“Maya, I have good news. We will open a satellite office in the Philippines.”
Ito ang bungad kay Maya ng Presidente ng JV Inc, ang kumpanyang pinagtratrabahuhan ni Maya na pag-aari naman ng pamilya ni James.
Kinakabahan si Maya dahil hindi basta-basta nagpapatawag ng meeting ang presidente with his staff. Laking tuwa naman niya dahil masayang balita pala ang gustong ipaalam sa kanya. James who was also in the meeting was giving Maya two thumbs up and was all smiles.
Mr. Ventura, James’ father continued..
“Because of your experience, skills and dedication, we are offering you the opportunity to head the Accounts team of the Manila satellite office.”
Gustong mapatalon ni Maya sa tuwa. Kung ano-ano nang plano ang nabubuo sa kanyang isipan pero natigilan nang …
“We are creating a Joint Venture with one of the biggest MRO companies in the Philippines.”
Kinabahan siyang bigla..
“That is indeed good news, Mr. Ventura. Thank you for putting your trust in me.”
But she is curious….
“Which company are we going to work with?”
“Lim Aviation Services.”
Her heart sank, it was the answer she expected but did not want to hear.
“This has been brewing for some time, Maya. I hope that this is not a problem.”
The elder Mr. Ventura was worried. He was trying to gauge Maya’s reaction. James has given him a brief history on the Richard –Maya love story.
“Richard Lim approached us with this opportunity. I do not know why he agreed to it because it does not make any business sense. He will be losing a lot of money with this deal.”
“But definitely, he will be gaining something far more precious.” He whispered loudly.
“Initially, he had some reservations on the agreements, akala ko nga hindi na matutuloy ang deal. Then one fine day, after meeting with James, Richard just gladly accepted all our terms without too much argument. I am not sure what changed his mind. James seems to know why but he would not tell me.”
Mr. Ventura looked at his son. James was glaring at his dad. He did not dare look at Maya.
“G-R-R-R DAD!! WHY DID YOU GIVE SUCH DETAIL?!” James was screaming in his head. “Oh Dad, you are such a hopeless romantic” James thought. He sighed and bowed down. He knows Maya was willing for him to look at her. … He was afraid that this is not the end of the discussion
Maya cannot believe what she was hearing. Richard is a very shrewd businessman. He loves being an engineer but above all he loves the company he built after getting the right experience and contacts in the industry.
“Richard had only one request.. That you be given a post in the Philippines office.”
Maya did not know what to feel. Masaya siya na makakuwi na siya sa Pilipinas at makakasama niya si Richard. Excited dahil araw-araw na niya makikita si Richard.It seems that they have to work very closely on projects. Si Luke din tiyak na matutuwa dahil mas madalas niyang makakapiling ang ama. What a great opportunity for her career. She also felt elated because Richard was willing to go to such lengths to win her back. Pero at the same time, inis din siya dahil, ano akala ni Richard, mabibili lang niya ako? Hindi pa ba siya bilib sa kakayahan ko?
“Oh, I see. Your decision for me to head the accounts team, was it in any way influenced by Mr. Lim? She had to ask.
“Maya, be secure in the knowledge that even before he came up to us, we already were thinking of sending you abroad, either to Europe or Asia for a similar position. You are the best person to do it. You have the hands on experience and the technical savvy. You are a people person and very optimistic. You deserve this opportunity. Don’t think otherwise, iha” Mr. Ventura reassured Maya.
“Congratulations Maya. I trust you will make us proud.”
She was so thrilled with the praises from the president..
“Thank you again for the opportunity.”
JAMES !! Maya shouted as she tried to get James’ attention. She was obviously on a mission.
“Ms. dela Rosa, I am running late for a meeting. I am very busy the rest of the week but ask Catherine to pencil you in the next available slot next week.” James said in a very serious business-like tone. He was clearly avoiding her.
“Mr. Ventura, I checked with your secretary, you were free for the next hour. So, I already asked her to block it. Your meeting is with me!” Maya said in an equally serious, business-like tone. Ngiting tagumpay si Maya.
“I want to hear it, every single detail James.” Maya said as they sat down to start the meeting.
“I signed an NDA with my BFF Richard so I cannot reveal anything.” Pairap niyang sinabi.. James had his arms crossed across his chest .
“NDA ka diyan at kelan pa kayo naging BFF ni Richard? ” Maya was serious..
“You know NDA.. non-disclosure agreement..’ James was stalling
“I know what an NDA is, James. Out with it .. You cannot avoid it ” Maya was now showing signs of impatience.
“Bestie naman ….” James changed his tone.
“Eh baka ako batukan non. Ang laki kaya ng muscles niya. Masakeet mabutakan.”
“Nag-isip ka sana ng mabuti bago mo ginawa kung ano man ang ginawa mo…. If you don’t start spilling the beans James, I swear.. kukurutin kita ng pinong-pino ……. sa singit..”
“ Aaaaayyy!!! Di ko reeen type yan..” Tili ni James.
“Know this for sure Maya, I did what I did because I love you girl.” James finally started seriously.
“Well, I saw Richard at a bar in Manila.. He was drinking by himself, so I asked to join him.. He was clearly distraught, almost at the verge of tears, mind you.. I had an inkling of why he was that way but I did not pry. After some time talking, he eventually opened up. He just read your email. You know.. the one asking him to sign the annulment papers. .. Paano ba naman ang email mo gurl.. PAINFUL!.. Pinaasa mo sa umpisa tapos nilaglag sa end.. Kung ako padalhan ng partner ko ng email na yan… buckets, buckets of tears ang aking iluluha.” Sabi ni James, sabay hugot ng panyolito niya.
Maya was grateful for James’ manner of telling the story. He gave it straight to the point but with a twist of humor. If he did not inject humor in his story, baka nadagdagan nanaman ng buckets ang kanyang inuluha dahil kay Richard.
James continued with his story.. . As it turned out, James was so touched with Richard’s stories. He felt Richard’s remorse with what he made Maya go through and is bent on making it up to her. He even got excited when Richard told him about his elaborate panliligaw plans.
“Richard, your plans are sooo nakaka-kilig” James said. James made a quick shudder while his eyes were closed, his hands in a ball just below his face.
The way he said it made Richard stop and look at James.
“Oooppss, did I just do that?”James thought.
“I mean, any girl at the receiving end will surely will swoon over you Richard.” Biglang bawi ni James, to protect his image.
“I was hoping so but Maya was not impressed with my efforts. She is seeing someone else. She also wants our annulment papers signed.” Richard sighed in resignation.
James intently listened as Richard poured out his heart.
“I was such a fool not to see how precious she is when we were still together. I was young, immature and was blinded by the temptations that came with success. I created a very superficial measure of what beauty is and I thought she did not fit in. I was working with Stephanie at that time and she was only so willing to be a welcome distraction. Well, I am sure you know the story?” Richard asked.
James just nodded his head.
“In my defense, Maya let go of herself. She focused on Luke’s needs and my needs. She totally forgot herself. Despite having several household help, she insisted on becoming a hands-on mom. Don’t get me wrong, I am appreciative of that, Luke is growing to be such a good kid. She was too pre-occupied with domestic stuff, she stopped reading and learning. I was not able to talk about anything else but Luke and the household. Then, Maya found comfort with food as we went through our difficulties and that really compounded the problem.”
People often say, “I cannot live WITHOUT him or her” that is why they get married. Kulang pala iyon. The important thing to ask is “Can I live WITH him or her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health?” The answer to that question will make or break the marriage. Tama pala, in marriage, it takes two people to make it work. Compromise and communication, two very important things to remember in any relationship.” Richard was listing his realizations out loud.
“Kaya ikaw James, when you marry, make sure that you keep the romance and as you said Kilig” Payo ni Richard.
“Richard, do you still love her? You don’t need to answer if you don’t want to.”
James only has to look at Richard’s pain-filled teary eyes to get his answer.
“Then fight for her, bro”
“I intend to. I just need the right time to show her and tell her how much I love her. I can feel that she still loves me.” Richard had his head bowed.
“Well, I am hoping that she still loves me. I am scared to let go but sadly for now that is what she needs. She needs her space to think and decide.”
“I think she is scared too. You know, she is sooo gorgeous now and all. Pwedeng maging contestant sa Miss USA.. ay mali, Mrs. USA pala.” James replied to Richard.
“What?? You said that???” Maya interrupted James’ story. “And what was his reply??”
“Girl, if you let me finish my story you will know” James said smugly
Maya pretended to zip her mouth
“What if you are only attracted to her now because she is thin and beautiful? James had to ask, for Maya’s sake.
“She has grown in beauty, you are right. But what is more important is she has become strong, confident and capable. It is intimidating sometimes.” Richard responded to calm James’ doubts.
“I think we both matured with what we went through. It is sad that we have go through so much pain to learn our lessons. I am praying that she realize that I have changed. I know where my heart lies now.”
“At this point, gurl, you know, I was the one teary-eyed. I did not care if Richard knows my secret. Knowing how you feel about each other, I had to help him.. That is when; my very elaborate plan was hatched “Operation kick out Simon”.
“I offered my new BFF, Richard, to “spy” for him.. It was simple because you gave me so much material to work with.. Sorry bestie.”
“James, ikaw talaga…I was wondering why Simon ended our relationship after a month. He did not offer any reason; he just said it was for the best. Tapos ikaw naman, second demotion ka.. you did not even advice me to confront Simon or start dating again.”
“Siempre pa. I need to help my BFF. I told Richard about the breakup with Simon, and then he decided to push through with his plans to work with JVI”.
“Insider trading yan, JVI had a lot to gain with the partnership.” Maya teased
“Thank you James” Maya said as she hugged her bestie.
“Seriously gurl.. This is the end of my double agent career! Di ko carry! It is so stressful!”