Swaying to the music of their own making, with nary a space between them, Maya and Richard gazed lovingly at each other. Richard felt so complete with Maya in his arms. Maya, on the other hand, wanted to pinch herself to find out if she is really awake or just dreaming. She had thought of a moment like this when she was a teenager and having the usual crushes, but her youthful imaginings were nothing compared to the reality of being in Richard’s arms and being loved by him.
“Maya, sweetheart, are you hungry? Let’s have dinner na.” Richard said after a while. “Manang Fe’s niece prepared a lot of food. She also did all the arrangements here.”
“Really, sinong pamangkin ni Manang? Si Grace, iyong may events planning business diyan sa may plaza?” Maya asked, suddenly taking a closer look at everything around her, and the now vacant piano in the corner. Hindi na nga niya namalayan na umalis ang pianist and the singer.
“Yes, and we have Emman to thank for everything. I asked for his help. Lahat ng ito siya ang nag-coordinate kay Manang Fe for her pamangkin, the caretakers and the owners who graciously allowed us to use this azotea when they found out that it was you I was going to propose to! I just described to him what I wanted for you.” Richard explained as he pulled the chair for Maya. He sat down on her left side so they they could sit closer, and started serving her the mouthwatering appetizer Grace chose for this occasion, Maya’s favorite, so were the other dishes. Richard really wanted to make this night extra special for Maya, for them.
“Thank you very much, sweetheart, for all of this.” Maya said, with a sweeping gesture. She is just so happy and so overwhelmed by Richard’s gesture. “I love you very much.”
“I love you too, so very, very much. And only the best for you, my love. I had helped. You can thank Emman later, and Manang Fe when she returns. Emman is at your house now. And by the way, your mom and Mamang know I will propose. After you left my room last night, I went out again, and talked to them about this. Prior to that, as soon as we arrived, I also asked for your mom’s permission to propose to you.” Richard informed Maya.
“Kaya pala, you two were having a serious talk ha, when I returned to the sala yesterday.” Maya said, as she took a closer look at the ring he gave her. It is a very beautiful ring and she likes it very much.
Richard noticed Maya admiring her ring.
“Sweetheart, do you like it? We can have another one done for you, if you want?” Richard offered, wanting to know what Maya think of the ring.
“No, Ricky, I love this one. The ring is so beautiful. It also fits me perfectly.” Maya said as she puts her hand on top of Ricky’s.
“The ring was my mom’s. She gave it to me six months after you went away. She wanted me to give it to you, when the time comes. It has been in her family for generations and was handed down to the female line of the family. “Richard explained. “She said as she does not have a daughter, she wanted you to have it.”
“Sweetheart, please thank your mom for me. I will be honored to be the custodian of this ring for our daughter.” Maya blushed when she realized what she said. “I mean, errr, when we….you know…ah basta!”
“Why are you blushing sweetheart. It will happen. Hmmmm, let’s see, we will have a daughter, then a son, then a daughter, a son, and a daughter…” Richard told Maya teasingly. “I hope we will have half a dozen kids. I want a big family, being an only child! Kaya dapat we should have an early start, di na ako bumabata!”
“Ricky!” Maya blushed anew, and lovingly hit Richard in the arm. “Ikaw talaga!”
Richard gave Maya a glass of wine, and poured one for himself as well.
“To us, my Mrs. Lim-to-be! I love you very much.” Ricky toasted.
“To us, Mr. Lim ko. Mahal na mahal din kita! Thank you very much for loving me and giving me the most memorable proposal ever!” Maya replied.
Maya and Richad shared another sweet kiss after their toast. They alternately chatted, made loving looks at each other, held hands, while having a leisurely dinner in the azotea.
Several hours later, which they have not noticed passing by,as they were so focused on each other, they are still at the azotea. The decided to walk a bit and found themselves standing near the edge of the azotea, gazing at the flickering light from the lake beyond the house, with Richard backhugging Maya, his chin on Maya’s shoulder.
“I can stay like this forever, with you.” Richard whispered. “I feel so complete. This is the happiest day of my life.”
“I never thought I could be this happy, us getting engaged, here in my favorite place.” Maya said, her heart feels like bursting from sheer happiness.
“Now, I understand why you love this place very much. It does a evoke a romantic feeling for bygone times when you are here.” Richard said. “I am glad the owner is still maintaining the house in pristine condition.”
“Yes, it has been with the Guevarras, for generations. The current owner is the only grandson of Don Fernando and Donya Angela. I wonder what will happen to the house after them. They are old and don’t have kids. They stay more nga in Manila than here. I wish their relatives who would have this house in the future will continue to love and keep it the way it is.” Maya said passionately.
Richard can hear the love and the worry for this place in Maya’s voice. An idea started germinating in his head, but he decided he will explore it further another time. He just wanted to continue enjoying this special moment with Maya.
Richard and Maya returned to the house close to midnight. They thought, it would just be them, as it was already late. But they were surprised when they ascended the stairs. The sala is still well-lit, and found Mommy Tessie, Mamang, Cristina Rose, and Emman chatting.
“Congratulations, Richard and Maya!” They chorused when they saw them entered the sala, hands still intertwined. Then they all stood up, hugged and kissed Richard and Maya, one after the other.
“Thank you, thank you!” Maya said with a huge smile and showed them her beautiful ring which elicited a round of ‘ohh’, and ‘ahh”.
“Maya, anak, masayang-masaya ako.” Mommy Tessie said emotionally. “Welcome to our family, Richard. And call me Mom na rin, hijo!”
“Thank you very much po Tita, errr, Mom!” Richard said. Then he proceeded to kiss Maya’s mom’ hands as a sign of respect for his future mother-in-law. He did the same to Mamang, and shook Cristina Rose’s hands. “Ipinapangako ko po na I will love Maya until we are old and gray and hinding-hindi ko siya paiiyakin. She will always be my number one priority, and the kids we will have in the future!”
“Tama, madaliin na iyang mga apo ko sa tuhod nang maabutan ko pa!” Mamang jested. “Sana, boy ang una dahil walang boy sa ating pamilya.”
“Bakit, ‘Mang, boy naman ako ah!” Cristina Rose interjected teasingly, which earned her a pinch in the ear from Mamang. “Bunso, Richard, congratulations. Ang pamangkin kong una, dapat honeymoon baby ha!”
“Kuteeee!” Maya said.”Grabe ka, wala pa ngang date ang wedding. Honeymoon na agad.”
“Maraming salamat, Ricky. I know my bunso is in good hands.” Mommy Tessie said simply, as she hugged Richard again.
Richard and Maya both hugged Emman too and thanked him for all he did for their most memorable night ever.
“Naku, bessie, Atty. Richard, basta para sa inyo. Eh, number one fan kaya ako ng love team niyo!” Emman told the couple. “Basta ako ang fairy godmother ng first born niyo ha!”
Richard and Maya, looked lovingly at each other and promised Emman that he will be.
Like the previous evening, the whole family, plus Emman, ended up chatting until past midnight.
Richard escorted Maya to her room, kissed her chastely, and then went to his room to spend another night in the bed he wish he can share now with Maya.
– Sweet dreams to the most beautiful fiancee in the world. You don’t know, and I can’t even measure, how happy you are making me! This bed would have been heaven if you are sharing this with me, but I can wait! 🙂 I love you very much.
Maya smiled as she read Ricky’s text message.
– Ikaw talaga, one track mind na naman, hahahahaha. Good night to the handsomest fiance in the world. I can’t ask for anything anymore. My heart is overflowing with joy and love for you. Good night. I love you.
Richard stayed three more days in San Nicolas. He needed to go back for work, while Maya has more than a week left before she starts work. They agreed that Maya will spent several more days with her family, and return to Manila at a later date. Richard and Maya spent the days going around the places with special significant to Maya, and having their ‘you and me’ moments. They also made plans for his parents’ visit to her family for the pamamanhikan and to set the date of their wedding. Both can’t wait for that day to come so they can be together everyday of their lives, for always.