Richard returned to his office late afternoon, tired and was not in a very good mood. He had been in a meeting with his father and the LC Board of Directors which lasted the whole morning and most of the afternoon. It was a difficult, gruelling, meeting as the board and his father have very diverse positions in addressing the problem that one of their subsidiaries is facing. To top it all, he missed the morning coffee break with Maya. He was really looking forward to that.
His father’s secretary called Liza to inform him of the urgent meeting less than an hour after he had settled down in his desk to check on the briefs he asked Fred and his three other lawyers to work on.
Before he left his office for the meeting, he called Maya and informed her that he had to cancel on their coffee break. She already knew the reason why, after he said he will attend an urgent meeting of the board. As the Head of Lim Corporation’s CCD, she knows the flow of information within the company. She said, they can do it some other time, no worries, and that he can just give the pandesal and cream cheese to Liza, which he did.
“Liza, how are things?” He asked his secretary as soon as he sat down on his desk, massaging his forehead.
“Okay naman po, Sir. Here are the contracts that you need to finish reviewing today.” Liza put a thick pile of documents on Richard’s desk. “Sige po, Sir, babalik na ako sa station ko. Let me know if you need anything.”
“I’m okay, Liza, I better work on these papers so I can go home early. Oh by the way, there is one thing you can do for me, can you reserve a table for two at that revolving restaurant in Libis for say, 7-7:30PM?” Richard said, thinking of inviting Maya to have dinner with him to make up for their missed coffee break. If she can’t, he will just cancel the reservation. It would not be much fun without her. He ought to call her first, he knows, but he just want to catch his breath first.
“Yes Sir, right away po. Do you want me to request a romantic dinner set-up?” Liza asked with a big smile.
Richard laughed at that. “Ikaw, Liza, ha! Sure, and many thanks! Ipagdasal mo lang na libre si Maya.”
Liza smiled back and left her boss. She came knocking back several minutes after. Richard thought it has something to do with the reservation he had asked her to do.
“Yes, Liza? Okay na ba ang reservation?” He asked when she was approaching.
“Okay na Sir. I was about to text you na nga about it, when this arrived for you.” Liza placed a big brown Starbucks paper bag on his desk.
Richard looked at it, having an inkling from whom it came from. Now, he has a big, goofy smile on his face, which is a much better improvement on the scowl he had when he went back to his office earlier. “Oh, thank you Liza.”
“No problem, Sir. Sabi ko na nga ba, it will make you happy.” Liza teased before turning back to go her work station again. Unbeknown to Richard, Maya has called Liza earlier, asking her if she can text her when Richard is back at his office, which she did as soon as she saw him approaching. So, that was why Ms. Maya wanted to know, Liza mused. Ang sweet naman nilang dalawa. Sila na kaya? She asked herself.
Richard looked inside the bag as soon as Liza left. In it, was a coffee tumbler filled with his favorite brew and a slice of blueberry cheesecake. He also found a note, tucked into the side of the tumbler.
I heard the meeting was a very intense one. Just want to cheer you up a bit. Sorry, I can’t deliver this in person as I have scheduled a staff meeting this afternoon.
Maya (yes po, your girlfriend now 🙂 )
Richard almost dropped the coffee tumbler he was about to take a sip from upon reading Maya’s note. He read it again, wanting to be sure. The words were the same. “YES!!!!” He shouted.
It was so loud, that Liza came running to his office to check. “Sir, is something the matter? Ano po ang nangyari?”
“Ha, ah, errrr, wala Liza. May natanggap lang akong very, very good news.” Richard said grinning, blushing a bit. Come on Richard Lim, you are acting like a teenager instead of a well-respected lawyer, he said to himself!
“Oh, okay!” Liza said smiling, and shaking her head when she returned to her work station again.
When Liza left, Richard grabbed his phone, intending to call Maya, but then he realized she is in a staff meeting. He just decided to sent her a short message.
Thank you for the coffee and the cake, my beautiful girlfriend! 🙂 🙂 🙂 The best coffee delivery ever! Dinner later?
Maya was listening and checking on Emman’s presentation when her phone vibrated. She jumped a bit. She already was having a hard time concentrating, waiting to hear from him. She discreetly checked her message. However, upon reading it, she was not able to hide the big smile on her face. She blushed. Good thing the room was dimmed for Emman’s presentation. She typed in a quick reply.
Great, so very looking forward to our first dinner as a couple ; -) I love you.
I love you too. Magtrabaho muna tayo, baka masisante na ako! 🙂
Both of them have huge smiles and flushed faces when they put their phone down. It became more difficult to concentrate with work the rest of the day, with that major development in their relationship.
“That concluded my presentation!” Emman said, and Maya was jolted back to the meeting.
“Okay. Good presentation, Emman. Please email everyone a copy of your presentation for reference. If there are no other concerns, our meeting is adjourned.”
Everyone started getting out of the conference room, having no more concerns that needed to be tabled for that week, leaving Maya and Emman alone.
“So, kumusta naman si guwapong-guwapong Atty. Richard?” Emman asked as he started putting the projector in its case.
“Okay naman. Bakit mo naman biglang naitanong?” Maya asked.
“Eh kasi naman, sis, ang ngiti mo kanina. For sure, siya iyon. Nasa direct line of vision kaya kita kahit na busy ang beauty ko sa presentation ko, sight na sight ko.”
“Ikaw talaga, Emman. Walang nakakaligtas sa iyo.” Maya smiled. “Since ikaw ang super bestfriend ko dito sa department natin and you know about this, and since you and Liza played a role in this, sige na nga. Kami na ni Ricky!” Maya admitted to Emman. She was just so happy. She wanted to shout it to the world.
“Kami, as in…..?????” Emman almost dropped the projector. “OMG!!! Talaga, Kailan pa? Grabe naman pala ang tumama sa iyo, parang pana ni Hawkeye ang peg, bull’s eye na bull’s eye! At ito namang si Atty. Richard parang si Superman sa bilis ah.”
“Parang wrong universe yata ang mga superhero sa allusion mo, Emman!” Maya teased Emman. “Parang hindi naman taga-Marvel si Superman!”
“Whatever sis, basta, pareho silang mabilis. Pero one thing I’m sure of, hindi mo naman ibibigay ang matamis mong oo ng hindi ka sure diyan sa nararamdaman mo, and sa intentions ni Mr. Handsome Lawyer. I’m happy for you. Welcome to the land of ‘in a relationship’ status sa FB! Finally! Poor Sir James!”
“Thank you, Emman. Don’t worry about James, friends lang kami talaga noon. Imagine, sa tagal ba naman naming nagkakilala, wala naman kaming ibang naramdaman sa isa’t isa, maliban sa friendship. Feeling ko rin si Diana ang long-time love noon, hindi lang makaporma.” Maya said. “You know me, after what happened to me and seeing that life is too short to dawdle, to waste time, I would rather take things in stride kapag sure na ako. This time, I’m very, very sure. Bakit ko pa patatagalin? I haven’t felt this way before. My mind and my heart are telling me, this is it. It has taken me this long to find that special someone that makes my heart beat faster, that makes me happy with just the thought of him and fill me with so much emotion every time I think of him!”
“Wow, sis, so right and so eloquently put! I’m so happy for you. Wishing you and Atty. Guwapo the best. Teka parang pang-wedding na ang wishes ko.” Emman smiled, then hugged Maya. They both returned to their work stations with happy smiles.
“Ma’am Maya, may naghihintay po sa inyo sa office niyo.” Minerva said as soon as Maya stopped in front of her cubicle.
“Ha sino? May appoinment ba ako?” It can’t be Richard as they will see each other later. Pero you’ll never know, she mused.
“Si Sir James po.” Minerva added. Hmmm, lately, dumadalas ang mga guwapo sa department namin ah, Minerva thought.
“Oh, okay. Thanks Minerva.” Maya said, a puzzled look on her face as James does not normally go to her office. They usually meet outside for socials, and if it is about office matters, they meet at one of the conference rooms near his office.
“James, hello! Sorry, I didn’t know you are here. I had a staff meeting earlier.” Maya greeted her friend.
“Hi Maya! Sorry if I dropped by unscheduled! I just needed to stretch my legs after the gruelling meeting with the board, earlier. Coffee and Snickers for you! Here! I hope it is okay if I have my coffee break na rin with you.” He said with a big, lost little boy smile.
“Of course!” Unlike that coffee time with Richard, Maya sat on her desk, while James sat on the visitor’s chair while they have their coffee. Maya was about to grab a bite of the Snickers when she was reminded of the time Richard gave her Snickers too. She smiled, lost in thoughts.
“Ehemmmm, Earth to Maya Dela Rosa! Saan ka naman nakarating?”
“Errrr, James, wala. I’m just so happy.”
“Come on, this is your college BFF you are talking to. What gives?”
Maya smiled at that. She did tell Emman and mabuti nang sa kanya na malaman ni James ang balita dahil for sure, magtatampo ito sa kanya ng husto.
“James, I’m in love! Kami na ni Ricky.” She blurted out.
“In love? Ricky?” James asked, then the realization. “Oh you mean, si Richard Lim! Oh my, parang ang bilis naman ng mga pangyayari ah. Ilang araw lang tayong hindi nagkausap ng husto. Kailan pa?”
“Today lang!” Maya said with a smile that lit up her whole face.
Seeing this, James knows that one of his long-time and treasured friends has truly found love and is very much in love. Ngayon lang niya nakitang ganito ka-giddy si Maya!
“Seeing you this happy, what can I say, except that I’m very happy for you, too. Richard is a very lucky guy.” James said, then went to Maya’s side to give her a hug. “Truly, I’m so happy for you, college BFF. Richard is a good guy naman.” Then he added, jesting. “Ikaw ha, ako ang tagal na kitang kilala, hindi ganyan ang hitsura mo kapag ako ang kasama mo.”
“James!!! Ikaw talaga. You know, and I know, you consider me a sister and not a girlfriend material. Ganoon din naman ako since I don’t have a brother!”
“Hahahaha, joke lang.” James said, with a big smile.
“Kasi naman, sa ginuwapo-guwapo mong iyan, stable pa, responsible pa, pero torpe naman. Bakit hindi mo kaya subukan. Malay mo.” Ganoon yata talaga kapag in love, gusto mo rin lahat ng tao ma-in love and maramdaman ang wonderful feeling ng in love, Maya mused.
“Maya naman…..” James protested, scratching his head.
“Ha, anong Maya naman! Hindi ka ba nagtataka kung bakit single pa rin siya hanggang ngayon.”
“Eh bakit, ikaw? Ngayon ka lang naman din nagka-boyfriend ah.”
“Basta, bakit di mo kaya subukan. Tamang-tama, may outreach program ulit si Diana and her group next week. Sasama kami ni Ricky talaga doon, why don’t you join? Birthday gift mo na sa akin.”
“Sige na nga!” James smiled at his makulit na friend. He was really, really glad to have the old Maya back. He does not want to see her like in the state she was in after what she experienced in the Visayas.
The two of them said goodbye after 30 minutes. Maya finally had time to make inroads of the papers on her desk. The beeping of her phone interrupted her after a while.
Hi my lovely girlfriend, see you at the lobby in 15 minutes?
Maya looked at the time and realized that it is now almost six o’clock.
Hi my handsome boyfriend! I can just meet you at the restaurant. I have my car with me, di ba?
Please, let’s go together. You can take your car tomorrow.
Okay. Sige na nga. See you.
Richard immediately saw Maya when he got into the lobby of LC at 6:15. She was chatting with James. She saw him and waved, at the same time giving him a loving smile.
“Hi. Kanina ka pa ba?” Richard said softly, then gave Maya a kiss in the cheek, gazing at her lovingly.
She was also all smiles for him, as if they were the only two people in the busy lobby.
“Ehemmmm, ehemmm again, Earth again to Maya and now Earth to you too, Richard Lim. Nandito po ako.” James said with a grin.
Maya and Richard looked at each other, then grinned, and were still grinning when they faced James.
“Hmmm, and yes, Maya told me na. Congratulations, Richard! You are one lucky guy, ikaw lang, tanging ikaw lang ang nakapagpasagot dito sa BFF ko. Hwag sanang umiyak itong bestfriend ko ha.” James gave Richard a friendly warning as he patted him in the back.
“Of course, makakaasa ka James. Thank you.” Richard said shaking the other guy’s hand.
“O sige, baka ma-late na kayo sa dinner date niyo! I’ll get going na rin!” James said with a smile. “Enjoy your night.”
Maya and Richard said goodbye to him, then walked towards the elevator banks.
“Let’s go Maya. I will take you home again this evening, please. Promise tomorrow, you can drive na ulit. Would that be okay?” Richard cajoled sweetly. “I really like us sharing a ride.”
“Okay.” Maya said smiling.
They continued walking towards the elevator with hands intertwined. Maya is getting used to Richard being a touchy-feely person, and she likes the feel of their hands interlaced. The sight didn’t escape the notice of the employees who rode with them to the three-level basement parking. When they got off the level reserved for executives, two of the female employees talked about what they saw.
“Sila na ba?” A girl from Accounting asked her colleague.
“I think so. Tingnan mo naman, sobrang sweet. Hayyyy, kinikilig ako.” Her colleague replied.
“Ikaw naman kung maka-react wagas. Bakit ikaw ba ang niligawan ni Atty. Lim!”
“Hindi nga, pero I’m a sucker for romantic stories. Para silang sa pocketbooks lang na binabasa ko. Hay, sana ako rin makatagpo! Ang swerte naman ni Ms. Maya!”
“Ipagdasal mo kaya sa Quiapo tuwing Biyernes!” Her colleague teased her as the two of them got off on the third level. She continued, “Bakit, swerte rin naman si Atty. Lim kay Ms. Maya. Minerva, her secretary only has good words for her. Saka tingnan mo naman ang beauty-beauty kaya niya. Matalino pa. Dati nga iyang kilalang journalist di ba? Mula nga ng pumasok iyan dito, ngayon ko lang nakitang may kasamang ganyan, so sweet pa.”
By that time, Richard and Maya was about to exit the parking area. Richard drove towards the direction of Libis.
“Hmmm, opposite direction yata tayo ng Makati! Where are we going?” Maya asked, Richard still not letting go of her hand. “Saka, wait, Ricky, pahiram muna ang kamay ko, concentrate ka sa driving.”
“Okay.” Richard said grinning, but before letting go of it, he raised it to his lips. Maya felt a tingle of excitement with that gesture.
“Let’s try the revolving restaurant sa may Libis. I heard masarap ang food doon and the view daw the best kasi nasa top floor.” Richard replied as he navigated the, hopefully, short ride to the place.
They arrived at the building where the restaurant is a little past 7PM due to the traffic. Good thing he had asked Liza to book the place between 7PM to 7:30PM. They took the elevator to the highest floor and when they reached the restaurant, they were led to a table set for a romantic dinner for two, facing the magnificent view of the metro and beyond.
“This is amazing!” Maya said as Richard seated her, then took the seat beside hers.
When their waiter approached, both of them agreed in ordering the chef’s special dishes and a bottle of the restaurant’s best wine vintage that would complement the food. When the wine arrived, Richard poured a glass each for Maya.
“To us! I love you very much, Maya. Thank you for saying yes. You made me the happiest guy today.”
To us, Ricky. I love you very much too, and you made me the happiest girl too.”
They gazed at each other with so much love, the other people in the restaurant just faded away.
The moment was broken when the waiter returned with the first of the food they ordered.
Like their previous meals together, they chatted and enjoyed each other company while enjoying their food, but this time, their heated gazes were added to the mix. Sometimes, they would look at the view while sipping their wine and Richard’s hands on top of Maya’s. They felt like they were alone in a secluded place, at the top of the world.
Three hours later, after their wonderful dinner, and very enjoyable car ride to Makati, Maya and Richard arrived at Maya’s gate. Richard solicitous as always, opened the door for her.
“Would you like to come in, Ricky?” Maya asked.
“No na, Maya. You need to rest na rin. It is late. I will pick you up tomorrow.”
“Okay, have breakfast here again, please.”
“I’ll like that.”
“Thank you for a wonderful evening.”
“I should be the one saying that. Today has been the most wonderful day of my life dahil sinagot mo ako. I love you, Sweetheart.”
Hearing the endearment, Maya’s heart somersaulted. At that moment she felt so full of love and happiness and it is because of this wonderful guy.
“Me to Ricky. I’m so happy. I love you very much too, my Sweetheart. I never expected to find love like this, so fast, so unexpected. I never felt like this before.”
They gazed at each other, reluctant to part for the night.
Richard cupped Maya’s chin. “I never felt like this either.” Then he lowered his lips to hers, and they shared a very sweet kiss, their first.