Richard called Maya as she was about to walk to the elevator going up the offices after parking her car in her spot in the basement parking of Lim Corporation. She was running late due to an accident between a bus and a motorcycle near Boni, which delayed her travel for almost an hour. The accident caused a gridlock. She recognized the voice of the person who called her even without looking back to check.
“Ricky!” She said, smiling at Richard with her smile that lit up her whole face. She was very happy to see him. “Good morning! Did you also get caught in the traffic in Boni?” And what a beautiful morning it is kahit late dahil sa nangyari, as she is starting another day with Richard, Maya thought!
“Good morning, Maya! Yes, I did. Ikaw din pala! It took me around an hour to get passed the accident site! I think what compounded the whole thing were motorists slowing down when they reached it and trying to see what had happened. I guess, it is a pretty normal human reaction. By the look of it, mabuti, no one was got hurt seriously.” Richard said as he pressed the elevator button going up. Silently, he was thinking that despite being caught in a gridlock, this day is turning to be a very good one, with him seeing Maya again bright and early! “Have you had coffee yet?”
“Not yet! I usually just get it from the Starbucks here in the building.” Maya replied as she leaned against the elevator wall, carrying her laptop bag.
“Good! Me too! Come let’s get some coffee to perk us up.” Richard said, pressing the button for the ground floor instead of their floors after escorting Maya into the elevator. “I badly need a caffeine fix too.”
“Late night?” Maya asked before she can stopped herself, she sounded probing. And what if he had a late night Maya Angela Dela Rosa, it is his business! Then Maya found a a way out. She remembered him mentioning dinner with his parents. “How was the dinner with your parents?”
Richard shrugged. “It was okay. It was just our usual family dinner. I’m staying with them for now. I had to go out, though afterwards, for an urgent matter.”
“Oh….! Maya said, but at the back of her mind, she was curious on what was that urgent matter. The way he said it, he sounded mysterious.
Richard didn’t elaborate, though! He just grinned at Maya as if he was happy with the outcome of his late night errand as he opened the door of the coffee shop for her.
“Maya, just have a seat, please, while we are waiting. I can get us the coffee. What would you like, the same as the one I got for you the other day?” Richard asked with a big grin, remembering that day.
Maya blushed a bit, remembering it again. “Ah errr, yes, thank you pala for that coffee. You left my office before I could thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Maya! That was the highlight of my day that day, your text message and bringing you coffee.” He said with a teasing smile.
“Ricky, ikaw talaga. Hahahaha. I’m super embarrassed na nga!” Maya said, smiling. “Kung alam mo lang, I was wishing for the floor to swallow me. Normally, I don’t do mistakes like that.”
“Well, I’m glad you did!” Richard remarked, gazing at her meaningfully, then gave her a lopsided smile before falling in line to order their coffee.
Several minutes after, with two steaming tumblers of grande caffe americano and a sandwich bag for Maya, they left Starbucks. Unbeknown to them, some employees have seen them and has started wondering if their chief lawyer, the LC heir-apparent and the lovely Corporate Communications officer are an item now. The two of them looked so sweet with each other and they looked good together.
Richard and Maya chatted on the way up as there were just the two of them in the elevator. When the elevator stopped at Maya’s floor, Richard went with her again, just like the day before, escorting her up to her office.
“Have a nice day, Maya!” Richard said with a big smile when they reached the door to Maya’s department.
“You too, Ricky! Thank you again for the coffee and the sandwich.” Maya said.
“You’re welcome, Maya. See you!” He said, then went back towards the direction of the elevator. “Have a wonderful, sunny day!”
Like the previous day, Maya felt very happy when she entered her work area.
“Good morning, Ma’am Maya!” Minerva greeted her with a smile.
“Good morning, Minerva! Beautiful morning isn’t it?” She said with a big, goofy smile on her face that raised Minerva’s eyebrow a bit. It looks like her boss is having a beautiful morning, indeed. She saw who accompanied her up to the entrance of their department.
Maya entered her office and saw that she was in for another surprise that day!
On Maya’s table, another beautiful arrangement of sunflowers awaited her. This one was more beautiful that the one she got yesterday. Plus, today, there is a beautiful rectangular box beside it.
Maya slowly put down her coffee and her breakfast to inspect the new gifts. She found a small card attached to the box.
Music is good for the soul. I must have read that somewhere. I think it is true, as the lyrics, melodies and rhythm of a piece of music, or a song in particular, express a whole gamut of human emotions – sadness, longing, happiness, and most of all love. The last one was so very true of the songs I have included in what you will find in the box.
I hope you will like the gifts. Have a wonderful day.
“Hindi na naman signed!” Maya remarked, getting more and more curious with her mysterious admirer.
Maya, her brows knitted, opened the box and found nestled in the middle was the latest model of iPod Touch. When she opened it and checked, she saw several songs loaded into the music player. Most of the songs have either ‘fallen, fallin’, and falling in love’ in the title. What caught her attention were two of the songs she likes, ‘Fallin’’ from the musical ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’.
Maya’s heart beat faster, getting the meaning behind the songs selection. Does this mean….? Who could be sending this ‘message’ to her. Aside from that, in the box also were also three DVD of her favorite movies, and a pack of Snickers chocolate, a weakness of her. She really like eating Snickers while she drinks her favorite brew. Is Richard sending this? He was the last person whom she had mentioned her love for Snickers, and they did discuss those movies in the car the night before!
Maya went back to the card again and like the one she received yesterday, the message was handwritten in a very distinct masculine way. She was still inspecting it, trying to decipher who could have sent it, when Minerva knocked on her door.
“Ma’am Maya, heto na po iyong…..” Minerva stopped midway with what she was supposed to say. “Wow, mas bongga ngayon!” Minerva blurted out.
“Oo nga, pero unsigned pa rin ang note, Minerva! Were all of these here when you arrived this morning?” Maya asked.
“Hmmm, I think so, Ma’am Maya since I was the earliest one here again and wala namang nagpa-receive sa akin ng mga iyan.” Minerva replied.
“Thanks, Minerva! Hmmm, malalaman din natin kung sino ang nagpapadala nito in the future. For now, mystery siya at kung paano nailalagay ang mga ito sa desk ko ng walang nakakakita.” Maya finished. “Ano nga pala iyang ibibigay mo sa akin?”
“Oh, ito pong mga document na pina-review natin sa Legal at ipapa-sign kay Sir Richard. Dinala na po ng messenger. Ms. Liza also called, iyong secretary ni Sir Richard. Nag-apologize kasi several days ago pa po pala iyan natapos i-review ni Sir Richard, then he put marginal notes dahil dapat ibabalik sa atin for the adjustments, pero natabunan sa desk ni Sir Fred, iyong bagong lawyer nila! Palagay na lang daw po ng iba pang details, na nasa marginal notes, then ibalik natin sa kanila.”
“Okay, I’ll go over it. I guess dito na lang si Atty. Lim sa hard copy nag-correct instead of the copy we e-mailed din. Or baka hindi rin kaya nakita ni Atty. Fred sa inbox niya.” Maya commented, more to herself, as she sat on her desk. “Anyways, sige, Minerva, I will send it to you na lang kapag natapos ko na so you can print out the corrected copy. Thanks a lot.”
Maya was about to drink her coffee before checking on what was needed to be done when the handwritting on the marginal notes caught her eyes. She checked twice, then looked again. They looked the same as the…..! She scrambled to find the card from this morning and the one from yesterday! She put them side by side and confirmed that they looked like to have been written by the same person! Richard! She is 100 percent sure now that it is him who have been sending these stuffs to her. Everything fall into pieces, especially with his mentioned that he did an errand last night. Saka sobra naman ngang coincidence ng movies and the chocolates.
With the knowledge that Richard is her mysterious gift-sender, Maya’s heart somersaulted and she felt weak in the knees. She felt like she is floating. So it is him! OMG, she thought. But bakit pa-mysterious effect pa siya? Nagkikita naman sila everyday? Then Maya smiled, an element of mischief entered her head too. Two can play at this, hmmm. Could she do it? Yes, she could. She would ‘flush’ Richard out. It would be fun, and something they can laugh about in the future, for sure. She just wanted to tease him a bit too for not signing the cards.
With that in mind, Maya worked happily, with a feeling of anticipation. Everytime she looked at the flowers, she smiled goofily. She also enjoyed eating two of the chocolate bars. It was a heady feeling, knowing that your ‘crush’ likes you too! She still have a half-smile on her face when she answered her phone around lunch. She just didn’t notice the time, working through her paperworks, very, very inspired. It was James’s secretary Desiree who called, telling Maya that James will just meet her in the lobby in 15 minutes for their meeting in a nearby restaurant inside a hotel near Mega Mall.
Maya was striding through the lobby when she noticed Richard talking to the other LC lawyers. He saw her at the same time she saw James. She pretended not to notice Richard. Maya found an opportunity to start teasing Richard! She grabbed James arms and whispered to him to play along with what she will say.
“James , ikaw ha, I think you are the one sending me the flowers and the gifts!” She said. “Thank you, they are very lovely and I like it very much. Saka iyong Snickers, dalawa na ang nakain ko.”
“Ha bakit mo naman nasabing ako!” James asked, forgetting that he was supposed to play along! But Maya, thought to herself, his answer was just perfect!
“Eh sino pa ba naman ang nakakaalam na favorite ko ang sunflowers, Snickers at saka iyong ‘Before Sunrise’, ‘Before Sunset’ and ‘Before Midnight’ na movies. Saan mo nabili iyong third? I don’t think it was release here! Ang tagal ko ng naghahanap noon.”
Before James can react, Richard had reached them. He, of course, heard Maya’s side of the conversation. He thought, she really thought it’s James whose sending the gifts and the flowers? Nanliligaw din kaya si James sa kanya, he thought, the notion unsettling him a bit. “Hello Maya, James? Out for lunch?” He asked, curious and very much wanting to find out.
“Hi Richard!” James said. “Maya and I will go to EDSA Plaza Hotel for a meeting with the Chua Group of Companies for our joint venture. I’m bringing along Maya since we need to write releases on this as well.”
“Oh, okay. Yes, Maya mentioned nga that she has a meeting today. Ito pala iyon, Maya?” Richard remarked, relieved. Not really aware that his statement got James very curious, looking now very closely at his friend and his boss’s son.
“Errr, yes, Atty. Lim. Ito nga iyon. James and I will go ahead. Baka ma-traffic pa kami. Enjoy your lunch.” She said, gave Richard a smile and dragged a flabbergasted James towards the elevator going down They will take her car as James’s is on coding today. She got a bit self-conscious with the way he asked that question, is if they were the only persons in the lobby. Coupled with her knowledge that is is him, her poor heart skipped several beats.
“Maya Dela Rosa, I smell something! Umamin ka sa akin. Kailan pa kayo naging super cozy ng bagong-bagong chief lawyer natin? Ang alam ko nagkakilala lang kayo last week, when I introduced you two.” James probed. “May hindi ba ako alam, hmmmm, ha, college best friend?”
“Ha, wala iyon.” Maya said evasively, everything was too new to her to share even with her one of her closest friends. “Instant friends lang kami.”
“Instant friends!” James exclaimed. “Ano iyon, parang instant coffee at instant noodles lang ang peg! Parang ngayon ko lang narinig ang term na niyan, Maya. Saka what is this talk about sunflowers, chocolates and movies? Hindi ako ang nagpapadala noon.”
“I know, kaya nga sabi ko sumakay ka lang, di ba.” Maya said, blushing.
“So, may pinatatamaan ka noong statement na iyon. Mysterious admirer? Walang sign ang card? Tama ba ang guess ko? Eh ang lumapit lang namin sa atin si….” James said, putting two and two together. “Oh, don’t tell me???”
“James, college BFF, sshhhhh, basta, saka na lang ako magkukuwento!! No more questions please. Halika na naghihintay na ang mga kausap natin.” Maya pleaded.
“Okay, okay, for the sake of 12 years of friendship, I will shut up for now.” James said as they got into Maya’s car and they drove to their meeting.
While Maya and James were on their way, Richard was still puzzled how his overtures is backfiring on him. And why would Maya thinks it’s James? He thought, he gave enough hint with the latest one that it is him, especially with the chocolates and the movies. Maybe, he should do more so Maya knows it’s him. Kasi naman, ano ba ang naisipan niya when he decided not to sign the card. But, hmmm, he just know what do to rectify that. Richard smiled, happy again.