Chapter 11: Strange flower
(A/N: Happy New Year guys!! *jump* suuuuper salamat sa mga nagco-comment. Love you all! :))
The last few days tires her very well. Deadlines to meet are left and right. Add to the stress that she is carrying is Richard’s mood swings. The fact that he is a good lover, he is also a monster boss.
She never meets what he really wanted in terms of reports and stuffs. He would always say that there is something missing in her paper works, which leads to Maya’s over times.
A tiny part of her likes the over time hours. Because even though he is the cause of her stress, there are a number of times already that he showed his concern. He would ask if she’s doing well, if she has eaten yet, she doesn’t know why she likes that. Of course, he would make it clear that he is just checking on her because he doesn’t want anyone to be risking their health for work. Yet, they cannot afford to lose focus in their respective jobs.
He still didn’t dare to talk to her too much if it isn’t related to work, unlike before. He doesn’t smile at her, too. He remained stiff.
She, on the other hand, is wondering why.
“Girl, magoover time ka na naman?” Emman asked her
“Oh, di ba tapos na natin yung requirements? Konti na lang naman ang work natin ah.”
“Ah, eh.. Gusto ko na kasi gawin ngayon eh.” She answered. Truth is, she only has few more things to do but she wanted to stay. Somehow, she got used to having her work nights stealing glances at him.
“Sabagay, sige sasamahan na din kita. Gusto ko na din tapusin yung mga gagawin ko eh.”
“Ha? Ah. Sige.” She reluctantly agreed.
“Maya, why are you still here?” Chard asked her when he saw her still working.
“Uhm.. May kailangan lang pong tapusin, sir.” She smiled. Her heart beats fast. Why is she feeling like this whenever he is near? This can’t be!
He turned his eyes on the other person on the other side of the table. “Alright. I have to go. You guys should go home in a bit. Don’t stress yourselves too much.” He told Emman and Maya before disappearing.
A deep breath was released by her in disappointment. “Bakit kailangan pa niyang umuwi ng maaga ngayon?” Eh ano naman ngayon sa’yo Maya? Crush mo na ba siya? Naku po! Hindi pwedeeee!!! Parang nung nakaraan galit ka sakanya nung pinagalitan ka ah. Pero di naman niya sinasadya yun, kasi ako naman talaga ang mali nun kasi di ko natapos agad yung trabaho ko. Wow. Ano bang nangyari sa matapang na Maya? Siguro kasi natutuwa ka lang sa kanya. Kasi kahit gaano ka niya sungitan ngayon, nakita mo din kung gaano siya kabait. At, alam mo kung gaano siya magmahal. Teka! Bakit Maya? Naranasan mo na ba? Di ba nabasa mo lang naman sa notebook ni Alex?” She was having an argument with her own self.
“Hoy te!” Emman snapped his fingers to her face. Amused by his friend’s dreamy state.
“H-ha?” She answered when she’s back in reality
“Ha ha! Kanina ka pa kaya paiba-iba ng expression simula nung nakaalis si sir.” He laughed. “Tekaaaa! Siguro si sir ang dahilan ng madalas mong pagoover time no?” He teased.
“Ha? Oy hindi kaya!!”
“Ha ha ha! Oh myyy. Bakit napakadefensive mo ata?”
“Hindi kaya! Ikaw kasi eh. Kung anu-ano iniisip mo!” She pouted with his accusations
“Ang arteeh! Haha. Eh di ba, si sir naman talaga ang dahilan kung bakit ka lagi nagoover time kasi di ba pinapaulit nya yung mga reports mo? Oh. Sino ngayon sa’tin ang kung anu-ano ang iniisip?” He moves his eyebrows up and down.
She blushed. Geeez! What is happening to her?
Emman can’t help but to giggle. “Nako friend. I know you way too much. Alam ko pag kinikilig ka! That crushie feeling!! Ganyan ka dati sa ex mo! Pero come to think of it, parang destined kayo. Biruin mo, napulot mo yung notebook na sa wife nya. Late wife, rather. Tapos nagkita kayo ng ilang beses. Call it destiny or fate, basta di ba! Parang meant to be kayo!” He said lenghtly
“Ano ka ba! Ano bang sinasabi mo! Tigilan mo nga ako.” She dismissed the topic not wanting to blush more. She hates that she, too thinks the same way.
“Alam mo kung ano ang sinasabi ko. Pero teka, nabalik mo na ba yung notebook?”
Oh. Yes. That thing. She almost forgot all about that. “Hindi pa. Parang okay na kasi siya ngayon kaysa dati. Baka maging malungkot na naman yon.” She explained
“Nakoooo! Concerned!!” He chuckled. He is enjoying this.
Maya could only slap her friend’s shoulder to stop him from further teasing and to save herself. “Hindi ko siya gusto, okay?”
He smiled. “Ok. Sabi mo eh.” Emman rolled his eyes with a grin on his face.
She wasn’t aware that she is gradually falling. Or is she? The fact that she enjoys stealing glances at him every now and then sometimes makes her hate her own self.
A red long-stemmed rose was placed on top of her table. She picked it up searching for a note that was left. But to no avail.
“That was left there. I don’t know kung kanino galing. Ako na nga ata nagbukas ng gate sa sobrang aga ko pero hindi ko nakita kung sino naglagay niyan.” Simon appeared behind her as he sees her scrutinizing the flower
“Eh, sino naman magbibigay nito?” She asked out of curiosity
“Ewan ko.” He paused before continuing. “Well, come to think of it. Yung mga nasa maintenance mas maaga yun, or mga guards, or baka may kasalanan ka sa isang tao na nawala na at nagpaparamdam sa’yo! Maybe one of them. Naks! You have an admirer!!” He teased.
“Sira!” She laughed at his thoughts.
Somewhere deep within her is hoping that it was from her newly discovered crush. Really Maya? Is he only your crush? She quickly winced the thought away. Scared to find out that it was more than that.
Every day, a flower would welcome her in the office. It somehow warms her heart seeing that each day, but a part of her is now fearing if the person sending those is a stalker. The fact that no one knows who the person could be, she almost had a hard time sleeping every night thinking who that person might be.
There are a couple of times already when she assumed that it was from Chard but her mind would say that it is impossible. Why would he do that? So the sender of the flower became a stranger and a talk to their department. Some would say that maybe it was from a guy in their other departments. Maybe that is possible, but who could it be?
The clock ticks close to the end of their office hours. She is preparing now to go home when Chard came into her table.
“Hey.” He said. Maya turned around to look at him. She was searching for him the whole day but she didn’t see him. She thought he is out from a dinner meeting or something. He looks so dashing as ever. He is so handsome even though the day is about to end.
“Ahm.. Good afternoon po, sir.” She answered formally. She just passed her report for this month and he approved it already. She can’t think of any reason on why he is talking to her.
“Pauwi ka na?”
“Good. Pauwi na din ako, isasabay na kita. On the way naman eh.” He said
“Ah. Hindi na sir. Nakakahiya naman po eh.” Now what is up to this man? She knows too well that the street that where she is residing is way too far from the main road.
“It’s alright. I insist. Besides, I’ve heard about your so-called admirer. Aren’t you alarmed? Kung uuwi ka mag-isa, he might be stalking you. You are safe inside the office but not outside. So, pumayag ka na.” He said matter-of-factly.
She paused and cleared her throat. A realization sank in. So it wasn’t him who is sending her one flower each day? And why is he being this nice to her once again? You are very strange Mr. Lim! You are making me feel giddy. Geez! “Kasabay ko naman po si Emman eh” she replied. She had to say no or else she might conclude that she is really in love with him.
“Really?” He glanced somewhere else, and when she followed where he is looking, she saw Emman who was about to go.
“Ay. Maya, una na ako ha. Bye po sir” He waved at them and took long strides not waiting for her response.
She shrieked inside her head. How she wanted to slap her friend right now. Where is he when she needed him the most?
“So, I guess wala ka ng kasabay.” He took her folders and walked ahead.
She shook her head in disbelief. Calm your heart Maya. Oh please.
The car pulled outside Maya’s house. They had been very quiet the whole ride. No one dared to talk.
“Uh. Salamat po, sir.” She started
“No worries.” Maya nodded and was about to open the car door when Chard stopped her. Holding her arm. Time stood still for Maya. Oh how a single touch could send her somewhere else. Like she was taken into a magical place. “Ah. Maya, about the flowers.” He continued. Talking very slowly as if finding out the right words to say.
Her heart skipped a beat. She is waiting for him to continue. Is she right? Are those flowers really from him? She braced herself to what was he about to say.