Chapter 3: Plan B
“Hi. I am sorry dun sa nasabi ko last time.” Maya texted Richard that Tuesday morning. It actually took her some time to send that message. She still thinks that she doesn’t need to apologise, this is a free country and she could voice out what she wants to say.
But then, she’s been a good daughter all her life and that sudden incident make her look like a monster to everyone. Like, really is he that good for her mom to love him that much?
Different scenarios were eating her brain after she send the message. What if he would laugh at her? What if he thought that she likes him? She is overreacting, she knows but she can’t help it.
Focusing her attention to paperworks, Maya had finished her report which is due next month. She just reviewed her finish papers when suddenly her phone buzzed indicating a message.
She quickly took it from her bag and saw a message from Richard. After three hours he finally can spare her a few seconds to reply! Great.
‘Sorry? U don’t have to. But if u insist, dinner at 7pm will do. I’ll pick u up.’
What?! The nerve of him. She is already thinking of something to reply to him when her phone buzzed again.
‘Of course I want to know the progress of your plans. See u’ was his follow up text message.
Maya could have said no, but she needs someone she can share her plans with. Someone who knows the guy that much and can give her advice even though his advice were not always welcomed by her. Also, she knew she needed to talk to him and apologise personally. That would make her mama proud, she chuckled with her own thought.
‘Fine! Basta ikaw magbabayad’ she replied and shifted her attention back to her finished paper works.
‘Sure. See u.’
Richard arrived in their lobby at exactly seven in the evening. He was wearing an ordinary black V-neck sweater over a blue buttondown shirt and black slacks. It’s been a long day and yet he still looked striking. He is sitting on the couch while reading something on his phone.
Eds and Emman who were Maya’s officemates and friends teased her as soon as they saw such handsome man waiting for her.
“OMyyy!! Lookie lookie! Yan ba ang dahilan kung bakit di ka makakasama manuod ng movie ngayon girl?” Emman nudged her and stared at the guy seated on the couch.
Eds followed his eyes and was surprised to see such handsome man. “Hayyy! Kung ganyan din ang susundo sa’kin, I’m sorry girls di din ako makakasama sa night out natin.” Eds joined in.
“Tumigil nga kayo. He’s a friend of Simon, yung boyfriend ni Rafs. We will discuss something about the wedding since si Rafs and Simon were asking inputs from us. So, you know.” Maya explained and shrugged
“Oh, if I know, baka wedding plans nyo na ang iplano nyo ah.” Emman blocked her way and crossed his arms
“Shut up! Ano ba naman kayo. And please, mauna na kayo para malapitan ko na yun.” She rolled her eyes ignoring her friends’ stupid ideas
“Ha? Oh no! Ipapakilala mo kami sa kanya! Kung ayaw mo sa isang masarap na ulam, kami na lang ang kakain!” Emman giggled
“Sira talaga kayo. Sige na ipapakilala ko na kayo. But I don’t think he’s single.”
“Okay lang yan di kami selosa.” Eds and Emman pulled her and walked their way towards Richard.
“Ah.. Richard” Maya tapped him on his shoulder and smiled.
When Richard lifted his eyes from his phone, his lips curved up into a wonderful smile. “Hi, Maya.” He stood up “and.. Hi friends of Maya, I assume? I am Richard.” He offered Eds and Emman a handshake which the two giddily took.
“Hi din Richard! I am Eds and this is Emman. Yes, we are Maya’s friends. Well sige papahiram na muna namin siya sa’yo tonight.”
“Oh. Sorry, may lakad ba dapat kayo?”
“Ay hindi naman manunuod lang dapat ng sine pero nagkayayaan lang din kanina so talagang nauna ka sa schedule ni Mayabels kaya okay lang.” Emman animatedly said
“Oh, ok na. Sige na guys ingat kayo.” Maya gave her friends a piercing look when she noticed that the two weren’t still moving.
“Grabe ka naman friend pinapalayas mo na kami agad.” Emman pouts while Richard laughed
“Concerned ako kasi nga baka di kayo umabot sa Last full show.” Maya faked a smile and arched her eyebrow.
“Hmp! Fine. Sige na aalis na kami. Ingat kayo! Maya, ingatan mo si Richard ah?” Emman playfully caressed Richard’s arm which earned a chuckle from Richard and a slap from Maya.
“Sira ka talaga. Bye na.” She pushed the two away and wave her goodbye. “Sorry dun.” She apologized after the two were out of sight.
“Sorry sa nangyari last time or sa ngayon?” He smiled
She rolled her eyes “Sa lahat na lang, okay?”
“Don’t worry, kahit ano dun you don’t need to apologize.” He smirked and steered her to his car one hand on her lower back. She almost jolt with the feeling of his warm hand on her lower back but she didn’t remove it.
She could smell his perfume, faint and expensive inside his car. “So, saan tayo pupunta? At bakit mo naman naisipan alamin ang progress ng plano ko eh nung nakaraan nga halos-”
“Hey. Stop.” He glances at her and smiled “gusto ko lang din malaman kung ano na bang pinaggagagawa mo. Just that no reason at all. Also, I want to sing somewhere.” He starts the engine and drive his way out of the parking lot.
“Sa mall tayo? Dun sa karaoke booth? Stressed ka ba with work at gusto mong kumanta?” She asked. “And don’t expect me to sing! Nung nandun tayo hindi ako kumanta, I don’t sing.”
He smiled at her “Okay, ako na lang kakanta.”
The car pulled out outside The Club 522, a small but expensive looking kind of bar in Makati. Richard steered her around the crowd smiling down on everyone they see. A tall muscular guy approached them and whispered something at Richard. He shook his head on something that the guy must have said while the other mouthed an ‘Oh’ afterwards as if understanding something.
Maya wasn’t aware that this is where Richard wanted to be that night. Some place where loud music were playing and alcoholic drinks were passed. It’s like a party she used to watch on Hollywood films.
“Akala ko ba gusto mong kumanta?” She shouted at him to overpower the blasting of music.
“I do.” He shouted back “is it okay if I will leave you for a while?”
“Ha? No!” She is shaking her head wildly. Oh no, he won’t leave her alone in such a place.
“I’ll be quick.” He waved his hand and left her sitting on the stool. The crowd ate him alive so Maya doesn’t know where he had gone.
After a few seconds or so, she starts to fidget. She doesn’t know what she’s doing there and why is she staying. Like crap, Richard obviously left her and he doesn’t want to talk about her plans. Really, can they even discuss something in such noisy place? Is this some sort of penance from what she had said to him? Crap.
Maya is ready to leave the place and just send Richard a text message when she saw him on the stage with the tall, muscular guy earlier. The loud music starts to faint as the muscular guy approched the mic. “Hi everyone!”
“Yoooohhh!” The crowd cheered wildly raising their glasses up in the air.
“I know, you are all excited to hear a friend of mine’s song for you. So sit back and relax for this will be the first and final song for the night of him. Please, let’s all welcome Chardie!!!”
The crowd cheered once more while a group of girls shouted a “we love you” chant. As if they’ve been waiting for this performance their whole freaking life.
Oh no, wait. So Richard will sing in public? And ‘Chardie, huh?’ Oh just wait Mr. Lim ’til you get back here. She laughs.
She plucked an ice cube from her glass and looked straight ahead as she watch Richard playing on the keyboard with some melody. Okay, sure she wasn’t aware he knew how to play the guitar but he knew as well how to play the girls, too. About a group of girls were seated near the stage with their glass of wines resting on the table. All were waiting and smiling as the gorgeous man on stage looked at her for a moment and smirked before he started singing.
Beautiful in White by Shane Filan was Richard’s choice of song that night. She almost choke when she remembered that was the song she once heard on the radio and fell in love with. On that moment, she promised that will be her song on her own wedding day.
Not sure if you know this
But when we first met
I got so nervous
I couldn’t speak
Darn. He had a pretty voice. She shifts on her seat somewhat uncomfortable with the fast beating of her heart. That must be because of the loud sound coming from the stereo.
Applause and loud cheers filled the room after his song. He take a bow and stood up, walking down the stage was hard because of the girls waiting for him. They were obviously flirting with him she rested her chin on her palm as she waited for ages before he finally made it back. The girls were still following him with their eyes and was disappointed when they saw him approach her.
“So.. How do you find my performance? Hindi ka man lang nagcheer.” He grinned while sitting in front of her. True enough she didn’t even clap her hand while he’s singing or even after his song because she was just staring at him amazed that she met a man near perfection.
“I don’t think you needed it. Madami na namang nagcheer, Chardie. Anyway, pinapunta mo ako dito for that?” She doesn’t really get it why they are there.
He laughed as she emphasized his nickname and pauses for a while as if thinking “No. I just needed a place to relax. Let’s get out of here and have our dinner.” He took her hand and pulled her out of the place. They ended up having a dinner in a restaurant. She ordered chicken wings and ate with delight.
“You’re really good in singing, huh. Madalas ka ba kumanta dun? Parang everybody knows you, especially the girls.” She said what she noticed earlier inside the bar.
“Not really, just sometimes when I feel like it. The owner is actually my friend so I can sing there if I want to or if I want to relax.”
“And you bring girls with you whenever you feel like singing?” She asked finally more convinced that he’s like Simon.
“Nope.” Was his one word reply. Maya let it pass, his tone was cold as if he doesn’t want to touch that topic.
“Uh.. By the way, if you wanna know, Simon and I talked the other day and he told me that the wedding was put off because of the church’s renovations. You are indeed clever.” He smirked and took a sip of his soda. The air changed once again and he is back being nice and cool.
“I told you.” She wiped her mouth “so you asked me out to congratulate me.” She guessed that this is his way of congratulating her.
“Nope. I asked you out because you want to apologize.” He shrugged
“Ha!” She forked another chicken wing ignoring what he said “Whatever.”
He tried not to laugh as she’s now on her fifth chicken wing. She’s so sexy yet she eats like a man. “So what are you up to now?” He forked a chicken wing but Maya slap his hand away.
“Hey. Order ko ‘to, umorder ka ng sa’yo.” She said
“Wh-what? Ako naman magbabayad ah. And seriously, kaya mong ubusin yan?” He asked, amused.
“Yes, I can. And I don’t care kung ikaw ang magbabayad, pasta inorder mo kaya yan ang kainin mo.” She forked the last three chicken wings and put it on her plate.
Richard chuckled “You know, you make me laugh.”
She snorted “ano ako, clown?”
“Okay, no. You’re not. So ano na nga?”
“Why are you so into my plans now?” She raised her eyebrows questioning him.
“Well, it worked so maybe I am impressed.” Not that what she’s been doing is that hard. The universe is just on her side at the moment.
“Or maybe you’re here to stop me.” She arched an eyebrow at him trying to insinuate. Maybe he will try to fish details of her plans and tell Simon everything. That will ruin her and her friendship with Rafaela. Game over.
“I won’t.” He quickly said. She studied him for a while and was quite convinced that he’s sincere.
“Why?” But still she probed, unconvinced that he’s on her side.
“Why are you not stopping me? Like, you are Simon’s buddy.” She threw her hands up in the air stating the obvious.
He looked away for a nanosecond “Because as I’ve said, I don’t think he’s ready to settle down. But ayoko din siya pigilan sa gusto nyang gawin ’cause it’s his life.”
“Yun naman pala, then just leave it like that. Bakit mo pa gustong kausapin ako about my plans if number one, you won’t stop me and number two, you are not keen with the idea of him getting married? Seriously whose side are you?”
“I am not taking sides, Maya.” He smiled “I understand how much you love your bestfriend but she’s happy with Si, let her be. She’s stupidly in love that is obvious. That is-”
Maya holds her hand up to stop him. “She is not stupid, she’s blinded by Simon.” She defended her bestfriend. As though Simon gave Rafi a love potion or something.
“Fine, fine..” He sighs “Okay, I don’t want you to be upset. I am here to talk about your plans, remember?”
“Then zip your mouth shut and just listen!” She said quite annoyed.
Richard smirks, nodded and listened carefully.
“I still have few months to think of something. They are looking for a designer and Emman knows someone who studied in US pa. But I don’t really know if I can pay him for not doing his job. But I’ll try.”
“You will pay him to do exactly what?” He asks after finishing his pasta and resting his fork down.
“I still don’t know. Siguro pasikipin yung gown ni Rafi.” She shrugs still unsure. “Rafaela also wants mom’s flower shop to decorate her wedding day. Yun hindi ko na kayang sirain, my mom’s been very excited when she knew about it. Gusto na nga nya malaman agad ang venue so that she can plan already.”
He nodded and smiled as if he knew all along that she can’t do anything about it. “You know, for example, you are a guy and you’ve been secretly in love with your girl bestfriend then suddenly she’s going to marry her long time boyfriend and you wanted to stop that wedding.” He paused and grinned “what will you do? If you were a guy?”
She rolled her eyes again “I don’t know, you tell me. You’re a guy.”
“You can do this Ms. Clever dela Rosa.” He took a big gulp of his soda giving her more time to think.
“Uh, talk to her and tell her how I feel about her?” She arched an eyebrow. How the heck can she even know what guys would do if she’s a woman?
Richard shook his head, the smallest shake. “That will only break your friendship.”
“Eh ano nga? Sira din naman kasi yung guy, kung gusto nya yung kaibigan nya sana sinabi na lang nya agad.”
He laughed “But what if he’s scared na ayaw sa kanya ng kaibigan nya?”
“He’s such a chicken!” She raised a fork of chicken wing to emphasize the ‘chicken’ part of her sentence. “Just go straight to the point, Mr. Lim.”
He chuckled, he can’t believe how this woman can make him laugh with her silliness. “Okay, relax.” He raises his right hand. “What I am trying to say is to…” He trailed off exciting her.
“Is to freaking what?!” She exclaimed. Customers around them diverted their attention towards them from their food. Maya covered her mouth while Richard apologized for her.
“Hush, Ms. Dela Rosa. You’re ruining their night.” He chuckled again
“It’s your fault. Di pa kasi sabihin ang sasabihin!” She hissed and took a bite of her chicken wing.
He cleared his throat before speaking. “Fine. Ganito lang, give the guy a pretty girl to give his attention to.”
Maya’s eyes turned into tiny slits as if thinking and then it rounded after realizing his point. “Oh!! You’re a genius!” She squealed, she earned another stare from a few customers “opps, sorry po!” She quickly apologized.
“I know, I know.” He shrugs and took a sip of his soda again.
“Your ideas make me doubt your loyalty to your girlfriend.” She snorts
Richard pauses and look away. “You don’t know me.” His voice got distant and cold but she still heard him. He looked like a stranger to Maya. “As I told you, I know him and girls are his weakness.” She was taken aback by how he looked but then she can’t be deterred.
“Chill, Chardie.” She leans in and touched his cheek to get his attention back. “Now, about your plan… How will we do it? I mean, I am aware that your bestfriend is indeed a womanizer but still I need inputs.” She grinned and clapped a little, excited with the whole idea.
He forks some pasta and finished chewing and then put his fork down before looking at her. “I already gave you an idea. You go make the plans. I think you’re good at it.”
“Sungit! Okay, I will think of something. That will totally ruin the whole wedding!” She winked at him and finished her remaining chicken wings.
The highway is pretty empty on this side of the road at this hour. The red glow of scattered taillights up ahead.
She leaned her head against the car’s window. There was music. She’s looking through the passenger seat window, arms crossed.
Maya noticed how quiet Richard had been after their talk. Okay, fine. Not that they are that close to be talking for hours though, but still she’s getting bored inside the car.
“Um.. May kilala ka bang girl na Simon likes?” She asks suddenly when she can no longer handle the silence.
He stopped his car at a red light while the stereo hummed. “Yeah, Rafi” he stated
“Besides Rafi, duh.” She rolled her eyes. The light turned green and Richard drove again.
“Basta maganda and sexy, I think.”
“You’re right. Yeah, most guys likes that.” She stated bitterly
“Why do I sense that there is some bitterness in that statement of yours?” Richard’s calm voice came back, like her statement is an interesting topic.
“You don’t know me!” She retorts which made Richard chuckle again but didn’t say anything. She’s really good at making him laugh.
Beep. Her phone alerted a text message.
“Been tryin’ to call u. Must be busy. ‘Nyway, Hi, yo beautiful! I was thinking of checking out ur friend’s recommended designer. I AM SO EXCITED!! Call me asap! Xoxo”
Was Rafi’s text message to her. She was puzzled on why she needed her attention that night. And when there is an ‘asap’ in her message which meant that it is some sort of an emergency.
“Suup?” Maya called Rafi and she pick up after three rings.
“I am just so excited!!”
“Yeah, I know..” She exhaled and looked out of the window
“But kasi,” she giggled “hush, baby! I am talking to Maya” Maya heard her friend whispering to someone probably beside her. And she is so sure that she’s with Simon. She suddenly wanted to throw up.
“Rafi, if you’re with your boyfriend and you guys are playing hide and seek, whatsoever. Pwede bang ibaba ko na itong phone dahil nakakahiya naman sa inyo.” She said quite annoyed. Richard casts a glance at her and smirked
“Sorry, sorry. Si Simon kasi eh.–”
Maya immediately cut her off. “Okay! I don’t care what he’s doing to you or whatever. Sabihin mo na lang kung bakit mo ako pinapatawag.” She wanted to curse. Why does she have such a friend? She massaged her temple while she waits for Rafi’s response.
“Sorry. Anyway, about the designer can you please give me a contact number? I wanted to talk na sana asap.”
“Is that all? You could have just texted me! Sana sinend ko na lang. Geez!” She half shouted.
“Ang sungit mo naman, okay maybe you’re that busy. Fine. Sorry. But hindi lang naman yun kasi yung sasabihin ko. Pero kung ayaw mo ako kausapin okay, I will hang up.” Rafi said quite pissed on her bestfriend. She’s about to hang up the phone when Maya faked a calm tone and talked to her.
“Okay, sorry. It’s just that.. Well, I am not having a good day.” Richard throw her a glance and frowned. Maya mouthed a ‘I am having a good time with you! Swear!’ which made Richard smile again revealing his dimple. Damn hot. “So, okay Rafs.. Go on. Ano bang sasabihin mo?”
Maya waited on her friend’s news. She’s been quiet on the other line for a few seconds but Maya can feel that Rafi’s been smiling from ear to ear excited with the news she’s about to share. “Well, we are getting married!!” Rafi exclaimed and giggled.
Maya rolled her eyes. As if she doesn’t know. The heck, the whole world knows! “Rafi, alam ko! Alam naming lahat. Hindi mo na kailangan pang paulit-ulitin. Hindi kami malilimutin, okay?” She said. Like really, she’s been dying to find a way to stop that wedding and she’s reminded of their wedding day like every second of the day for crying out loud!
“No! You don’t get it..” Rafi sighed “what I meant was, Simon talked to his high school buddy na lawyer and asked him if he can officiate our wedding two days from now. Actually dapat nga bukas na but hindi siya pwede nun so sa makalawa na lang.”
At first, Maya couldn’t believe what she’s hearing. Like this is a bad joke her bestfriend is throwing into her. But she knows Rafi well, and definitely she’s damn serious. “WHAT?” Shocked was an understatement.
“Ye-yes! Wait. Bakit parang you are not happy? Maya, ayaw mo pa din ba na-”
“Oh! No! I am very happy for you. Nagulat lang ako. Pero bakit? I thought we’ve talked about this? Tapos you’re so excited for the wedding di ba mas maganda yung church wedding? Ano ka ba.” Oh Maya’s ready to bump her bestfriend’s head into something hard just so she can realize things.
“I know, but after na lang ng civil wedding. We both wanted to be together agad and five months were just too long for us. And besides, I called you up just to inform you. Kasi gusto kita maging witness also, after you we will call Richard kayong dalawa sana gusto namin maging witness so I’ve gotta hang up already so we can talk to him.”
Maya is nursing her temple and she hadn’t notice that they stopped somewhere and Richard’s been eyeing her. “Oh he’s here with me. Kausapin mo na lang.” She said immediately without even thinking. Darn it! She saw Richard’s eyes rounded in surprise.
“What? OMG!! Are you guys dating?” Rafi excitedly said on the other line.
“Oh no we aren’t!” Maya quickly said.
“Put the phone on speaker!!” Rafi demanded and Maya relented. She mouthed a ‘sorry’ to Richard before putting her phone on speaker.
“Hi.” Richard greeted as if testing the water.
“Oh bro!!” They heard Simon’s voice as excited as Rafi. “Nasaan kayo? Don’t tell me nasa lugar na madilim?” He teased
“Yes.. I mean no! Of course not!” Richard quickly took what he had said back. Darn it, it is indeed dark on that side of the street where they are but that is not what Simon is trying to say.
“Ohhkay..” Simon and Rafi laughed on the other line which annoyed Maya more.
“Shut up, you two!!”
“Eh bakit kayo magkasama?” Rafi asked them curious on why they are together and happy with the developments of their relationship as she thought.
“We.. Maya and I we’re just..”
“We were.. Ano. Nagkasalubong kami sa Makati and he offered a ride home!” Maya finished his sentence
“Yeah. That’s it.” Richard quickly agreed, he is blushing. Good thing it is dark in there.
“Sige na, sabi nyo eh. Pero ayun nga guys, gusto namin kayo maging witness. We will just text you the other details basta sa makalawa na yun ha? Better be there.” Simon instructed oh good thing that these guys sometimes were self-centered.
“Okay, I will be there.” Richard said without having second thoughts.
“How about you my bestest friend in the whole world?” Rafi checked on Maya. She look at Richard while he nodded as if telling her to agree.
“Of course! I won’t miss it for the world!!” She tried to communicate happiness in those words.
“Thanks guys, enjoy the night!” The two giggled once more before hanging up.
She broke off with a sigh and brought her hands together in front of her face.
“Ano ba naman!!” She screams. “Help me look for a pretty girl!! Let’s go back to the club! Now!” Maya’s eyes darted back to Richard. He cracks up with the situation and her reaction but he quickly went silent when he saw how serious she was. Like a good boy to his master, he started the engine again and steered his car back to The Club 522 for some girl hunting.
“Maya!” Richard roared and before Rafi could jump out of excitement, Richard’s roar jolted her.
“Sorry na, please don’t be mad. They deserve to know.” She pleaded cutely then pouted.
hi guys. Thank you for the prayers and all. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Gusto ko lang din malaman kung may nagbabasa pa. Haha finally I had the courage to watch the final episode ng bcwmh 😀 happy reading. 🙂 🙂 🙂