Archive for August 23rd, 2014
Love Comes Calling – Chapter 1
Note: Double treat of sorts, because of the long weekend in PH! 🙂 I hope you will like this also. 🙂
Maya was enjoying the breeze, the cool air coming from the sea, as she sips her still very hot coffee while sitting on one of the park benches infront of the Little Mermaid, one of the most famous and iconic tourist attractions in Copenhagen, and watched the tourists of different nationalities taking turns in taking photos and posing for a souvenir photo infront of the bronze mermaid statue sitting on a rock on the waterside, with the beautiful and restful Copenhagen harbor in the background. She walked there, via the royal palace, more than an hour ago, wanting to relax after her meeting with several Danish design companies that produce very beautiful decors and other home accents, as well as beautiful but very functional furnitures and other housewares. She is enjoying springtime in this country. Everything is so vibrant and the place is really lovely with all the flowers in bloom and the trees, green again after the long winter months.
This is Maya’s last day in Denmark. Tomorrow afternoon, she is traveling via train to Stockholm, to meet with manufacturers of several Swedish products that her company would like to have on their stores’ shelves as well. Then off to Finland, for the same goal. The demand for Scandinavian products have risen the past several years. They are getting very popular and in demand among their customers who are building new homes or redecorating their houses. There are already orders if they could bring in certain products to the Philippines.
Maya works as a senior buyer for a holding company that runs an upscale chain of boutique stores and department stores, among other things. She never thought she would end up as a buyer. She studied industrial design at the university, and had hoped to work for one of the multinational manufacturing companies in the country. But a cousin was a buyer before she moved to France, and she got curious about the job. She applied for one. Since she has a knack for spotting trends, knew designs well, and quite artistic, she got accepted promptly and is now one of the senior buyers in the prestigious company, especializing in furnitures and home decorations, at the same time, about to hold a management position. She decided to take up some business and marketing courses to help her be better equipped for the job. On the side, she also learned several languages. She discovered she has the aptitude for it. Maya was offered the management position before she left and she has accepted it.
She is enjoying the trip, even if it was work-related as it was also a way to take a respite from everything. Since Ruby came running to her more than a month ago, she felt restless. A big part of it has something to do with the chinito guy she caught a glimpse of that night. She can’t get him out of her head. But she thought that she will not know how to react anyway, if ever, she meets him again, and besides, entering into a relationship is not in her list of priorities at the moment. It can wait, as she would like to concentrate on her career first, at the same time, she still has not seen a really happily-ever-after kind of relationship among her immediate circle. She sighed and took another sip of her cooling coffee.
It was when she did so that she saw a little girl, so closed to the edge of the harbor. She dropped her coffee cup and ran after her, afraid that she will not be able to catch her and she would fall into the water. While she was doing that, a guy was also running from the opposite direction. She was so focused on the little girl that she didn’t see him. They both hugged the little girl at the same time and took her away from the edge. They looked at each other in astonishment and both exclaimed. “You!”
Before they can react further, a woman with a stroller came running to them, and hugged the little girl tight. “Mathilde, sweetheart. Are you okay? Don’t run away from mommy like that again.”
She then stood up and looked at the strangers who saved her daughter, touched both their hands, and thanked them profusely.
“Thank you very much for your presence of mind. If not for you and your husband, I don’t know what would have happened to my daughter. She loves the water and as soon as she saw it, she ran towards it. Her brother wanted his pacifier so I got distracted!” The lady explained lengthily, looking so grateful to Maya and then to the guy beside her. “I’m Karen Petersen.” She said, and offered her hand.
“Hi Karen. I’m Maya dela Rosa. I’m glad that we were able to catch your daughter, Mathilde, right, before she fell. The water looks deep and added to that there were waves caused by all the boats coming and going. I thought we will not be able to do so.” Maya said, smiling at Karen, relieved while still trying to catch her breath. She then looked at the guy beside her. “Errr, he is not actually my husband, we don’t know each other, really, but I think we are both from the Philippines.”
Richard looked at Maya, and thought, so her name is Maya! It suits her. She is really beautiful with that lovely smile that lit up her face, pouty lips and doe-shaped eyes. But that was not the first things he noticed about her the first time he saw her in that coffee shop in BGC. That also, of course, but what attracted his attention was something else.
“Oh, sorry, I thought….It just that, well, you looked so good together….I thought…” Karen stammered.
“I’m Richard Lim.” Richard said smiling at the flustered Danish lady, putting her at ease. He shook her hand. Then turned to face Maya. “Hi Maya, just call me Ricky. Very pleased to meet you, finally.” He looked at her meaningfully, alluding to their first meeting. “And yes, Maya is right, Karen, we both are from Manila.”
Maya blushed a little at the way Richard is looking at her, getting a bit conscious. “Nice to meet you, Richard, errr, Ricky.” She managed to utter. It is him! The handsome chinito guy she can’t out of her head. Imagine, of all the places she would meet him again, here! In a place so, far away from home. What is he doing here anyway!
“Thank you again, Maya and Richard for saving my daughter. I hope you two will have a nice stay here in Denmark!” Karen said with a big grateful smile. “I’m afraid I have to go. My youngest is getting restless. Mathilde say thank you to this kind lady and gentleman.”
Mathilde, who was about seven years old, gave Maya and Richard the sweetest smile, hugged them spontaneously and said, “Tak”, before running to where her mother is, waving at them at the same time.
Maya’s heart went out to the cute little girl, and her sweet gesture. It made her missed her niece Abby, daughter of her sister Cristina Rose, suddenly.
“She is the sweetest, isn’t she! “ Richard said by way of conversation. Suddenly, there was just the two of them, standing by the edge of the harbor while Karen and her kids went to the direction of the royal palace. “She made me remember my niece, Nikki.”
“Really! How old is your pamangkin?” Maya asked, the two of them just fell into this easy conversation. “I remember naman my pamangkin also. Abby, she is about the same age as Mathilde, I think, seven years old.“
“Oh, she is about nine years old. She lives in the States now with my sister Rafi and her husband Charlie.” Richard steered Maya towards the park benches again and they sat where Maya left her things in her dash to save Mathilde. Richard asked Maya to sit first.
“Thank you, Ricky. By the way, isn’t it strange that of all places, we met each other again, here! I presumed, you remember me from the coffee shop more than a month ago since you recognized me earlier. That was the one and only time I saw you before, I think.”
“Yes, I do remember you. You are kinda hard to forget.” Richard said cryptically, then smiled at Maya with his lopsided smile. She remembered me also, Richard thought, and that made him very happy. Maya’s heart, on the other hand beat faster, seeing that smile. “How’s your friend? The one who was crying?”
“Oh, she is doing much better now. Thank you for asking.” Maya replied briefly, amazed that Richard remembered that scene so well. “How about you? What brought you here?” She asked Richard, curious about him, and why of all the places in the world, they met here, it seemed so far-fetched that they would!
“I’m here on business. I have been meeting with our business partners, Danish companies shipping products to and from the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific Region.” He said, simply. “I work for Lim Holdings Corporation.”
“Lim Holdings?” Maya said, then she remembered his last name. “Family company?”
“Ah yes, my dad’s. Im working for the shipping side of things.”
Maya then realized why the company name sounds familiar also. “Oh, I think we are using your company too, to ship products for our shops. I work for a retail company which belongs to MT Holdings Corporation.” Maya mentioned the company and Richard brightened up.
“Yes, I know MT Holdings! One of our valued clients, and your boss, Miguel Tan is a friend of my dad.”
“Small world, isn’t it?” Maya said smiling. “How long are you staying here in Copenhagen?”
“Maybe five more days. I have several meetings lined-up for the next several days.. Today I had two pero I finished two hours ago. I sent my executive assistant back to the hotel and told him I will just go for a walk here by the harbor, near the promenade where the Little Mermaid is. I always do so when I am here. I find it very peaceful and it clears the head.” Richard said, looking at Maya, finding her easy to talk to, considering that they just met. “How about you?”
“I’m leaving for Sweden tomorrow. Tapos na ang mga meeting ko sa Danish design houses that I was supposed to meet during this trip. It is just a matter of finalizing everything so we can ship the products to the Philippines. I think through your shipping company din.” Maya wished she could stay longer, now that Richard is here. He seems like a good company. For some reason, she is really drawn to him.
“Oh, sayang naman.” Richard, sounding disappointed, and wished also that Maya is staying longer. “When are you returning to the Philippines?”
“Late next week. I will travel pa to Finland, after Sweden. Then will take a short trip to Paris to see a cousin, then back to Manila.”
Richard nodded, deep in thought, as if there is a plan forming in his head.
He and Maya continued chatting, unmindful of the groups of tourists, coming and going around them. They were so concentrated on getting to know each other. They were so focused on each other.
Suddenly Love – Epilogue
It was a great day for flying kites. There was a gentle breeze blowing and the late summer weather that day was not too intense for such an activity. Four-year old twins Sky and Sunshine shouted with glee when their Grandpapa Arturo and Lolo Tatay Andres successfully made their kites soared with the wind, higher and higher, while they jumped up and down. They were so happy watching their kites, an eagle-shaped one for Sky, and a sunflower-designed kite for Sunshine, danced with the breeze. Their two-year old sister, Emerald Therese, named after their grandmothers, and nicknamed Misty gleefully looked on with her nanny.
The proud parents happily watched their brood while resting under one of the century-old acacia trees in the Lim property in Tagaytay. Maya was half-lying on her husband’s broad chest, finding the position the most comfortable with her current condition. She is seven-month pregnant with her and Richard’s fourth child, a boy!
Life couldn’t be better for Richard and Maya, five years after they were married. Today is their fifth wedding anniversary. The whole family, together with the grandparents, went to Tagaytay for the celebration. They just wanted a family get together like this, no grand celebration. Good thing, it coincided with Maya’s parents’ vacation. Mama Esme dragged her Mommy Tere to a spa today, while Grandpa Arturo opted to stay and spend time with his grandchildren. Since the weather is good, they decided to have a picnic in the property, near the pond. Richard surprised the kids with the kites. They were so happy to see their beautiful kites. When he saw Misty pouting, so like his wife sometimes when she didn’t get her way, he had to explain to her that she will have hers too when she is older, but for now, she can watch her ate and kuya fly their kites. Tatay Andres offered to help, while Nanay Ibing and Fely started preparing the food and other picnic paraphernalia. They all happily trooped to the spot they will have their picnic, and the best spot for flying kites.
Fifth anniversary! Richard and Maya, said to each other. Amazing! It seems like yesterday, they were standing near this tree, looking forward to getting married and building a life together. They really have made a lot of good memories in this place – from the first time they have stayed here, the proposal, the first time they made love, their wedding reception, their five blissful days of stay before they embarked on their honeymoon abroad, and so many other wonderful memories.
Maya and Richard first went to England and Scotland for their honeymoon. Richard showed Maya his world before he met her. They had fun exploring all the tourist attractions of London, and enjoyed going to the theater some evenings. They took the train to Scotland, explored Edinburgh and Glasgow. Maya wanted to see Rebus’ Scotland as described by one of her favorite authors of detective stories, Ian Rankin, in most of his John Rebus’ novels. Then they flew to Denmark, explored Copenhagen, and the nearby areas, and then off to the last leg of their honeymoon trip, to Sweden via a train ride from the Copenhagen central station. They wanted to go back to the place there which had the most meaning to them, Stockholm. Indeed, it was a sweet trip down memory lane to go back to the places where they had wonderful memories together, especially Skansen, and of course, the botanical garden. They spent the whole afternoon in the garden. Exploring the place again, having coffee, just soaking everything, with loving glances and touches for each other. They also visited Rafi, Magnus and Philippa before they went to the manor house that Richard rented for the rest of their honeymoon. It was a lovely period house and it was huge. The grounds was beautiful, and they explored it and the surrounding areas, but most of their time was spent in the master’s bedroom of the house, making love, exploring each other, discovering each other’s body more and what gives them the most pleasure. They stayed there for a week, blissfully, and lost in a world of their own making.
Three months after they have returned to the Philippines, Maya discovered that she was pregnant with the twins. Yes, Sky and Sunshine were honeymoon babies! Their joy was boundless with the news of her pregnancy, so were the grandparents, especially Maya’s parents, as they would be their first apos. Maya cut back on her working hours as head of the foundation when she was closed to giving birth, and left everything in Emman’s capable hands. Richard, on the other hand, successfully steered the family corporation into new directions with the help of people already in the organization and new ones he had hired. He delegated responsibilities to so he can spend time with his wife and take care of her while she is carrying their twins, they discovered, much to their joy! Maya and Richard’s first wedding anniversary was celebrated with their newborns. It was the best wedding anniversary present they have.
Life went into a pattern of loving each other, taking turns in taking care of their twin babies, of compromises, of adjustments, of not letting little arguments fester, of open lines of communication, trust for each other, and their own ‘Maya and Richard moments’ where they updated each other on what their day have been, or just enjoying each other’s company as they have cups of coffee in the veranda of their white, two storey house, near where Mama Esme lives. Richard also encouraged Maya to still have a ‘life of her own’ within the marriage – meaning pursuing her interests like reading books, watching movies, study languages, see her friends, and for her life not only to revolve around him and the children as she is a person too, not just a wife, and not just a mom. Richard explained that it does not make her less of a mom or a wife. He insisted that Maya needed her ‘Maya time’ too. At first Maya didn’t understand it, but she got Richard’s point when he lovingly explained it to her. She told Richard that he should have his own ‘Richard time’ too. Richard said, he knew that’s what she was going to say, and thanked his wife. They promised that they will always have time for their ‘Richard and Maya moments’, no matter what. Their lives became richer, their moments more loving, and if they thought it was not possible for their love to grow more, as it was already overflowing when they got together and married, they were wrong, it got deeper, more meaningful, and more loving. Their union was further blessed with the coming of their third child Misty, and now it would be doubly so, with their fourth child on the way.
“Sweetheart, are you okay? Are you comfortable enough?” Richard asked his wife solicitously, as he moved a little bit to make her more comfortable. “How about you, little buddy?” He asked his unborn son, as he touches Maya’s big tummy, gently, lovingly.
“We are okay, Daddy.” Maya said, smiling at her very loving husband, then giving him a quick kiss. “Thank you, my dearest sweetheart. I love you very much.”
“I love you too, my dearest wife. Thank me for what..?” Richard took hold of his wife’s hand and kissed it tenderly.
“Lahat ng ito.” Maya made a sweeping gesture, towards their kids happily playing together, then to where she and Richard are, half-lying on a blanket, with the picnic basket infront of them, resting blissfully. “For all the love you have showered me the past five years that we have been together, for being a very good husband and father to our children. Just for everything. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have found you. You and the kids made my life so complete. I couldn’t ask for more. Happy anniversary to us!”
“I’m the lucky one sweetheart. Because of you and the lovely kids we have, and the little one we are having soon. We are both lucky to have found each other and share this wonderful life together. Happy anniversary.” Richard touched his wife’s face lovingly. Then he settled her on his chest closely and hugged her, as they watched their children played with abandon. They ran around their grandfather, Tatay Andres, teased each other, climbed trees. But from time to time, they went to their mom and dad to give them the sweetest hugs and kisses. Maya and Richard were so overwhelmed with all their love. Gettings hugs and kisses from their children, the product of their love for each other, the feeling is indescribable, both of them said to each other. It felt like they can do anything, can face anything together for their kids, for the family they have built.
The kids didn’t want to go home when it was time to go back to Manila the following day. But their parents promised them that they will be back there soon, with their baby brother.
Two months later, Maya gave birth to an 8-pound baby boy, whom her husband insisted looked like him, just like Sky. Maya said it was a combination of both of them, like Misty. They both agreed, when the twins were born, that Sunshine was the spitting image of Maya, and Sky, Ricky’s. They named the baby Robert Arthur, Robby for short, in honor of his grandfathers. Richard knew his Papa would be happy with the name. Daddy Arturo was certainly a super proud grandpapa when he learned his latest apo’s full name, the same way Mama Esme and Mommy Tere were when they learned that their third apo was named after them.
Richard hugged his wife from behind when he saw her standing at their youngest child’s crib and looking at his sleeping form with so much love. It was several months after she gave birth. “I love you sweetheart, the best wife in the world, and the best mom.”
Maya turned and faced her husband, touched his beloved face. “I love you too, my Mr. Lim, my dearest husband. Walang pagsidlan ang kaligayahan ko. Sobra-sobrang blessings from God. I’m so very thankful.”
Maya and Richard started kissing each other, the passion still very much there. They just have to touch like this and they ignite.
Maya whispered something in Richard’s ear. He grinned big time. He carried his wife to their bedroom, locked the door, and dimmed the lights.
Note: 🙂 🙂 🙂