Richard woke up alone on his bed the next day. Wondering where Maya is, he shifted to a sitting position and intently listen to his surrounding, hoping to hear the sound of swift flowing water in the shower that would answer his question to where his roommate is but to no avail. Glancing over the empty spot where she lay last night makes his heart beat faster and brought a smile on his face. He could have stayed in bed a little bit more and think about what happened last night but when he remember his tight schedule for the day, he then decided to get moving. He took a shower first and change to his usual office attire before going down for breakfast. At the breakfast table, he was expecting to see her already sitting on her chair and eating, but she’s nowhere to be seen, instead he saw Manang Fe preparing the table.
“Manang Fe si Maya po?”
“Ah si Maya..ayan..”
Maya emerge from the door that leads to the kitchen with plates on both hands. Smiling sweetly at him. By the look of it, she woke up early and help Manang Fe cook their breakfast.
“Good morning Mr. Lim! Ready for breakfast?”
She carefully lay the plates on the table and sit on the chair on his left.
“Ano gusto mo?”
Richard look at her with a furrowed brow, totally confuse of her sudden change of behavior. Maya answered his silent query with a chuckle.
“Bakit ba? ”
“Why are you doing this? Bumabawi ka ba for being stubborn and for going home late last night?”
“Stubborn? Hindi kaya..and kaya ako na late kasi pumunta pa ako sa bahay ni lolo Roberto kagabi.”
“Why? And I thought you went out on a date with your..crush?”
“Shhhhh ano ka ba! Baka marinig ka ni Manang Fe!”
Hushing him afraid that Manang Fe would hear him and learn about their little secret. She lean a little to him and talk in a whisper.
“Oo, pero pumunta talaga ako kay lolo after nun. Tanong mo pa sa kanya.”
Richard look at her still in doubt.
“Gusto mo tawagan ko?”
Maya stands up to get the phone on the counter but Richard holds her arm to stop her.
“Okay na..sige na, naniniwala na ako. So bakit ka pumunta dun?”
Maya replied promptly, grinning broadly, annoying Richard even more. Realizing that Maya will not tell her anything, he reach out to get bacon and egg .
“Rice or bread?”
Maya reach out for the plate and serve him with Rice. While both of them are eating, there’s only one thing running on his mind, the stolen kiss last night. He didn’t notice that he was smiling until Maya ask him why, to get even, he answered back.
With a foolish grin on his face. Good thing Maya didn’t insist on asking but continue on her breakfast.
“It’s Saturday and you don’t have classes, will you stay here all day then?”
“mmm hindi eh, I have to meet my classmates later kasi we need to plan the menu for next week. Meron kasing activity sa school and assign kaming mga HRM students for the food to be serve for the guests.”
“Are you going with me or papahatid ka na lang kay Joma?”
“Papahatid na lang ako kay kuya Joma.”
“What time will you be home?”
“Di ko pa alam.”
“Okay then, I’ll go ahead.”
Maya just nodded her head and smiles.
It was a pretty busy day for Richard, everyone in the office are working double time since the new Lim Hotel-Cebu will open soon. The hotel is his first project since he became the CEO of the Lim Hotels and Resorts following her lolo, Don Roberto Lim Sr.’s retirement five years ago. He barely had time to eat lunch as he needs to go over the paper works. If not because of Liza, complaining that she needed a break and had to grab her lunch Richard could have work non-stop the whole day. Forgetting about lunch, snacks, rest and everything. As long as he has a cup of coffee on his table he could go on all day long.
“Okay, you can go and eat your lunch. Be sure to be back after an hour, you know that we have to finish everything today, right?”
“Of course Sir..I will. How about you, Sir..do you need anything? Do you want me to order something for you?”
“Ah no, I’m okay.”
“Okay Sir..see you later.”
As soon as Liza closes the door, Richard pick his phone to call Maya but ended the call right after the first ring.
Okay, why call her when I should be calling Catherine instead?
Then Richard browse over the phone and search for Catherine’s number. After a few rings, he heard her on the other line.
“How are you?”
“I’m good..by the way, I have to tell you something. Are you going to come and visit me here tonight?”
“Umm I doubt, I might be working overnight and will have to fly to Cebu tomorrow and will be gone for two weeks.”
“Oh! Going for a vacation?”
“Nope, will have to supervise the preparation for the opening of the new hotel there in two weeks time.”
“Okay..so I won’t see you for two weeks?”
“Yeah, but I will keep in touch , don’t worry.”
“Too bad! I was hoping to spend more time with you.”
“I know..sige na..I have to go back to work na.”
“Love you too.”
As soon as ended his call, Richard is still wondering whether to call Maya or not. But decided to call her anyway to check her whereabouts. It took a while before he heard her answer her cellphone.
“Where are you?”
“Grabe ka naman wala man lang hi or hello, napaisip tuloy ako, sa sulat ba wala ka man lang salutation? Mabuti pa si Charlie may greetings muna bago mag-utos.”
Her reply confuse Richard, causing him to lift an eyebrow and took him awhile before he could process the idea of Charlie in his head. Realizing who Charlie is, he chuckles.
“Silly! Oh sige let’s start from the very beginning.”
Richard ended the call and redial Maya’s number.
“Loko-loko ka rin ah!”
He heard her giggle.
“Uh?! Ganyan ka ba bumati?”
Now she’s laughing.
“Seriously, where are you?”
“Nasa sa school pa po, but on the way to the market para makuha prices ng kailangan naming mabili next week.”
“Market? Di ba kayo sa grocery bibili?”
“Hindi po kasi kailangan namin ang fresh seafoods and vegetables.”
“Are you alone or you’re with your classmates?”
“I’m with my classmates po.”
“Maya stop that!”
“Ang alin po?”
“Yung po..it’s so annoying!”
“Sorry, I was just teasing..para ka kasing si nanay magtanong.”
“Why didn’t you tell Joma para may masakyan kayo?”
“Okay lang, may dalang sasakyan si Bart. Sasamahan niya kami .”
“Oh I see..can you drop by the hotel after nyo magpunta sa market para sabay na tayo pag-uwi later?”
“Unless may date pa kayo ulit ni Bart?”
“Hindi..wala..it’s just that…sige kita na lang tayo later.”
It was too late when Richard realized what he did. Now he only need to wait for Maya to show up on his office. Meanwhile, Richard started working again. Trying to concentrate and brush off the thought about Maya. It helped that Liza came back early than expected and gave him another files to work on, now he can completely forget everything for awhile.
It was past three in the afternoon when Richard was interrupted by an incoming call in his cellphone from Maya.
“Hi, nasa labas na po ako. ”
“Okay, tell the receptionist that you are here to see me.”
Right after the call, Richard called Liza to tell her that Maya is coming and told her to send her in immediately. After a couple of minutes, Maya called him again to tell him that the receptionist won’t let her in, so he told her to wait. He was supposed to ask Liza to go down and get Maya but decided to go there personally instead since his secretary haven’t met her yet.
“Liza, I’ll be back shortly.”
Richard decided to take the private elevator. After a minute, it took him to the ground floor. Richard then walk to the reception area.
“Good afternoon. Where is Maya?”
“There she is, Sir.”
The receptionist pointed to Maya who is sitting at the sofa. He approach her and call out her name. When Maya heard him, she turn her head and when she saw him, she instantly smile and stand up. He was taken by surprise when he saw her wearing a sheer blouse and a mid-thigh skirt. He quicken his pace towards her.
“Damn Maya, kaya ka pala di pinapasok .. Come!”
He grab her hand and lead her to the private elevator which he took earlier.
“Maya naman, hotel pinasukan mo bakit ka naka mini skirt?”
“Mini-skirt? Mid-thigh lang naman yan, hindi mini skirt!”
“Whatever Maya..but still, alam mong di pwede yan di ba?”
“Oo, pero ikaw ang nagpapunta sa akin dito eh, alangan naman uuwi pa ako para mag-change outfit. And besides, ayoko nga sana pumunta kanina pero naisip ko baka magalit ka na naman kung di kita susundin so I came here. Ikaw naman ang may-ari dito di ba, so maybe I can be an exemption to the rule?”
He was ready to scold her more when the elevator door open and everyone’s staring at them, specially to Maya. Pulling her hand to walk beside him as they step out of the elevator, he lead her then to his office.
Maya took the seat in front of his table. Maya place the paper bag that she was carrying on top of it.
“Pagkain..nagutom ako so nag take-out ako before coming here.”
Maya opened the paper bag and the smell of the food made his stomach grumbles.
“Di ka pa kumakain?”
Richard shakes his head.
“Mabuti na lang naisip kong mag take-out na lang. Pasensya na pasta lang dala ko.”
“Okay lang yan..buti nga nagdala ka. I didn’t realize nagrereklamo na pala ang tiyan ko sa gutom.”
Maya handed him the styro and the cup of coke but he refuse and ask for a cup of coffee to Liza instead.
“Hmmm Ms. Liza..ako na po. Saan po ang pantry?”
Liza showed her the pantry and left her there. Few minutes passed, she came back with a cup of coffee for Richard. Then they started eating the pasta that Maya bought.
It was already eight in the evening when Richard finished all the paper works. Maya on the other hand was sleeping on the couch nearby. After turning off his computer, he approach the couch and sit beside the sleeping Maya. Caressing her cheek, he woke her up.
“Oh! Sorry, nakatulog pala ako..tapos ka na?”
“Yes, let’s go?”
He offered his hand and help her up. He give her his jacket to wear.
Richard took her hand and started walking ahead of her. Maya could only stare at his hand holding hers, but when she remembered the stares she got earlier when she came in, she let him and didn’t attempt to take her hand away. Maya can’t exactly describe what she’s feeling right that moment, but one thing is for sure..her heart skips a beat.
The next day, Sunday, Richard spent the whole day at home. Maya, showing-off her cooking skills, cook something for their lunch, much to everyone’s delight, the whole Lim household were able to taste her Bourbon Chicken.
They practically spent the whole day talking, and for the first time they didn’t argue at all. They are on the veranda that night, talking over a cup of coffee when Richard broke the news that he will be gone for two weeks to personally supervise the preparation for the hotel’s opening.
“Be good while I’m away.”
It was a half-meant joke, but Maya ignored him. He was intently looking at her, watching how she would take it but looking at her reaction makes him smile.
“That’s good..di ka na pikon”
“Ang pikon ay laging talo..that’s what i learn from you.”
“Huwag mo ako ma-miss ha.”
“Of course not. Baka ikaw ang dapat kong sabihan niyan!”
“Yes, ma-mimiss kita..wala na akong babantayan na pasaway!”
“Don’t worry I’ll be good..may bantay kaya ako kahit wala ka..remember lolo?”
Richard also laugh, agreeing to what she just said. Maya was right, both of them are taking turns in taking care of her, afterall, they’re like family now, despite the unconventional setup she has with Richard. Both stayed at the veranda for a couple of hours before they decided to call it a day.
The next day, Joma is the one driving the car that carried Richard and Maya, they drop Maya off to school before they proceed to the airport. Before going inside the airport, Richard gave a few instructions to Joma . After a few hours of waiting, finally Richard boarded the plane and within an hour or so the plane landed in Cebu. Richard immediately look for the company car that was waiting for him outside that took him to one of the Lim Hotels in Cebu where he will be staying for the next two weeks. Liza was already there waiting for him.
“Liza, let me just change. I will join you shortly.”
Richard went to his room and change, call Maya to tell her he arrive safely before he step out again and join Liza. After 20 minutes, they arrive at the other hotel to see the preparation. As soon as he alight from the car, Richard is surprise to see someone familiar right at the entrance of the hotel.
“What are you doing here?”
He ask still shock to see her there.
“Surprise!! Miss me?”
She approach him and planted a kiss right on his lips.