Archive for September 3rd, 2014

Love Comes Calling – Chapter 8

Chapter 8
‘May I love you?’

Richard unlocked the door, turned on the hall lights and ushered Maya inside his penthouse serviced apartment. He likes living in this place as he can come and go as he wishes. He does not like to have a live-in househelp either, used to being on his own, so this is the perfect set-up for him. Since his family owns the serviced apartments company, the top two floors were reserved for the family. Richard’s parents prefer living in the family home in a nearby gated village, and Rafi is in the US with her family, so he was the only one who opted to live in one of their two penthouse serviced apartments. It is too big for a bachelor, but he loves the space it offers.

“Maya, make yourself comfortable, and feel at home, ha.” Richard told Maya as he walked around the place, switching on floor lamps which gave the room a warm and cozy glow. “Do you want anything to drink? Coffee? Wine? Juice?”

“Hmmm, coffee and water, please. I can make it, just point me to where your kitchen is.” Maya offered, as she put her small bag on the console table by the entrance.

“No, no, I’ll do it. Just have a seat, please.” Richard said, then went to the kitchen. Maya can hear him rummaging around. It sounded like he does not know his kitchen very well. Soon after, the smell of coffee brewing wafted in the air.

Maya looked around the spacious apartment. She likes the fact that it is uncluttered, and yet looked very much lived-in, with comfortable sofas, window seats, bookshelves containing books of different genre, and a glass cabinet filled with Richard’s DVD and CD collections. She took a look at the labels of the DVDs and saw a lot of movies that are also in her collection. She was surprised, though, to see the same DVD sets of Lovers in Paris which he gave her. So, he did buy himself a copy, hmmm, she mused. She never thought that Richard will watch it too! But it looked like he did. She also saw DVD sets of Downton Abbey, from Season 1 to Season 4 and all its Christmas specials! In a corner, near one of the floor to ceiling windows, stood a grand piano, well-used, judging by the sheet music still propped on it.

She also noticed a staircase going to the second level of the apartment which she surmissed leads to Richard’s room, as well as some guest rooms. She walked to one of the big windows of the apartment, and fell in love with the view. She can see the whole city! Yes, she can just see the lights glittering from a distance, but it looked so peaceful. She looked down and saw that the streets are still very well-lit with headlights of vehicles still trapped in the monstrous traffic created by the downpour earlier. She was still staring at the view, but was about to take a sit in the very welcoming window armchair, when Richard returned to the living room.

“Maya, here’s your coffee.” Richard stood beside Maya and handed her a cup. He also made himself one. “I put your glass of water on the small table by the sofa.”

“Thank you very much Ricky. You have a lovely place! ” She smiled at him, and took a sip of her coffee, which Richard made perfectly – with just enough sugar, and no cream, as she prefers it. “Hmmm, the coffee is just the way I like it. You know, if this is my view every evening, I will surely feel very relaxed after a gruelling day at work.”

“Thank you, Maya. I love this place very much. It is too big for one person, I guess, but I like the big open space it offers. Like you, I love the view. I spend my free evenings here listening to music, having coffee, and just looking out, trying to de-stress. Same thing, during weekends.” Richard said as he sips his coffee. He also indicated to Maya that they should sit in the armchairs by the window, with the coffee table in between them, and the view on the side.

“You are lucky to have these.” Maya added, gestured to the view and the whole expanse of the big, airy and very inviting apartment.

“I know. I can give you a tour, if you want. I know you are into house stuffs because of your work. Maybe, you can help me also decorate the place. I feel it needs a woman’s touch, your touch. Come, please, let’s start upstairs.” Richard stood up and assisted Maya up to the base of the stairs going up. He put his hand on her back solicitously when they were going up.

The stairs led to another smaller, but very inviting living room, with what would be a stunning view of the city during daytime as three parts of it are floor to ceiling windows. The other side lead to three bedrooms. Richard showed Maya the two guest rooms first, then his bedroom. It is a masculine room, but very nicely done also. Adjacent to his bedroom is his office, and beyond it, is a small gym.

They went down again and proceeded to the big kitchen, obviously, it is not very much used, then to the dining room, a breakfast nook, then back to the living room. Maya saw the piano again and remembered that she was going to ask Richard something.

“Do you play, Ricky?” She asked, curious, gesturing to the grand piano in the corner.

“Hmmm, a bit. My mother dragged Rafi and I to piano lessons when we were kids. She is a very accomplished pianist among other things. She would like us to learn as well. Maybe, Mom thought we will be another Gerard-Lea Salonga sibling act.  But much to her disappointment, we didn’t have talents like their caliber! Rafi, has talent to some extent, maybe, but she didn’t have the discipline.” He said, smiling, remembering how he tried to avoid those lessons. “Actually, I found out that I enjoy playing the piano. It is relaxing.  But not while I was taking those lessons. I learned to like it after Rafi left me her beloved piano, this one, when she went to study in the States. When I have time, I play a bit, especially after a hard and trying day at work, or when I needed to think, or when I just want to get lost in the music. Do you play too, Maya?”

Maya grinned at Richard, then told him, just like dancing, she is terrible in playing the piano! Mommy Tessie hired someone to teach her and her Ate Cris, but she never learned properly. Mommy Tessie gave up, eventually.

“But I do like to hear, and watch, someone play. I find it very soothing. The hands on the keys, I find it very graceful.” She added. “So, Mr. Lim, can you play for me, please?” She said with a ‘pretty please’ pleading expression that Richard found endearing. He gazed at her, then smiled.

“Hmmmm, are you sure, Ms. Dela Rosa?” He teased. “Are you sure you are ready for my world-class performance?’

“Yes, please, Mr. Lim.” Maya said, liking Richard’s playfulness.

“Eh anong kapalit nitong pagko-concert ko at this time of the night?” Richard asked Maya teasingly.

“How about…..” Maya started…

“How about, ano, Ms. Maya dela Rosa.…” Richard teased back.

“How about dinner tomorrow night at home? I will cook.” Maya offered. “Mom and Ate Cris are going to Batangas with Abby to visit my grandparents. Tapos it’s Ate Sabel’s day-off naman. You can have dinner at home. See, you will not only not eat alone, you don’t have to cook either. Judging by your kitchen, you don’t anyway.” Maya teased Richard.

“Hmmm, baka naman sa hospital ako pulutin after I tasted your cooking.” Richard teased Maya again, trying to goad her to react. “Saka, I cook naman, hahahaha, when I’m super starving na.”

“Ha, Mr. Lim, baka makalimutan mo ang name mo after mong kainin ang luto ko. Pang-chef yata sa hotel ang cooking skills ko.” Maya said, smiling and playfully pointing at herself, and bowing.

“Hmmmm, bragging much Ms. Maya Dela Rosa?” Richard smiled, then tweaked Maya’s nose.

“Telling the truth, Mr. Lim, nothing but the truth.” Maya countered.

True, Maya has not cooked for Richard before. There was no opportunity to do so with the many restaurants to choose from every evening, and with Sabel in Maya’s house. But she is really cooks well. Her mom taught her. If her Ate Cristina had excelled playing musical instruments, Maya’s forte is cooking. She finds it relaxing, just like her sketching or some other creative activities she indulge in, using her hands.

“Okay, it’s a deal. What do you want me to play?” He asked Maya.

“Up to you, Ricky. Surprise me.” Maya said as she setlled in the comfortable sofa beside the piano.

Richard took his seat, did a mental check on what he can play. He took a deep breath, touched the keys and  the melody of “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca started filling the big apartment. Maya mentioned to him that Casablanca is one of her favorite movies. He segued to the theme of An Affair to Remember, another of Maya’s favorites. He also played pieces from their favorite musicals, like ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific. Maya clapped and cheered every time Richard finished a piece. He does play beautifully! They were having fun that they did not notice the passing, or the lateness of the hour. They didn’t feel the need to sleep either. Maya was so happy to be here with Richard, like this.

Richard thought too that the moment was perfect and he could stay like this forever, with Maya by his side, listening to him play, playing for her. He gazed at Maya with love in his eyes, from to time to time, while he played for her beautifully, and with so much feelings. The moment is just perfect for him to pass, and he feels this is the perfect time to declare his feelings. Suddenly, he also know the perfect way to do it. He started studying that piece on a whim, thinking that at some point, he will play it to Maya. He remembered, her telling him, it was her favorite scene in Lovers in Paris. Due to her influence, he also bought DVDs of series she raved about, wanting to know why loves those so much. He liked that scene too, when he got to watch it.

“Maya, I have something for you. I have been studying this piece for quite sometime, now.” He said, gazing at her with love in his eyes. “I hope you like this.”

Richard started playing the opening notes of Maya’s favorite song from Lovers in Paris. Maya’s heart skipped a beat. For her, one of the most romantic scenes in the series was when  Ki-joo played the piano and sang for Tae-yeong in a hotel bar, wanting to cheer her up after the very bad day she had. This time, Richard did not just play, like the character in the series, he too started singing the Korean song. She loved the melody of that song, too bad she does not know Korean. But judging by the subtitle on the DVD he gave her, though it was probably not the perfect translation, the song is indeed, beautiful. He played and sang, with all the feelings in him.

The door is opening, and I see you walking in
I knew from first sight that you’d be my girl
You walked to me with a sad face

But you were so beautiful, I thought you seemed familiar
My heart was skipping a beat, and you took my heart away

I want to confess my love for you
I’ll be courageous
May I love you from this day on?

I never felt this way
I don’t want to let this feeling go
Love is approaching me

I always want to give you the best things in life.

Somewhow, you seemed familiar
My heart is skipping a beat, and you took my heart away.

Since I endured, so many breakups and tears,
I was gifted with someone as beautiful as you.

May I love this girl sitting infront of me?

I want to give you the best things in life.

May I love you from this day on?

May I love you from this day on, Maya?

Richard looked at Maya with so much love on his eyes, when he sang the last line of the song, then the sound from the piano faded into the night.

The room got very quiet, with Maya just saying “Ricky!”

Richard stood up from the piano and then walked slowly to where Maya was, sat beside her, held her hands, looked her into the eyes, and then said, “I love very much, Maya. Will you let me love you?“

“Ricky, you love me? ” Maya managed to say, with wonder in her voice. She thought that this day may come, but she never imagined that it would be this evening, and that it would be like this. Her heart is galloping. She touched Richard’s face caressingly. He in turned put his hand on top of hers.

“Yes, I do, with all my heart, with all of me. I have been in love with you for quite some time now. The first time I saw you, I was immediatey drawn to you. I can’t get you out of my mind. I even returned to the coffee shop several times, hoping that I will see you again. Then, by a stroke of fate, we met in Denmark. It was there that I started falling for you. I was just very happy and content to be with you. I waited to tell you because I want you to be sure of my love. I wanted to show you first how I love you. I want you to be sure enough to overcome your fears. I want to allay those fears. I will always be here for you Maya, to love and treasure you. I will show it to you, if you will let me.” Richard vowed.

“Ricky, I, I…..” Maya gulped, and tried to still her galloping heart….

“Maya, I just want you to know my feelings. You don’t have to say anything at the moment, except say please that you are giving me a chance to show my love for you.” Richard said earnestly, thinking that Maya needs time to process his declaration.

“No, Ricky.”  Maya said, stopping Richard, with a hand gesture.

“No?  You don’t want me to show you? You don’t love me?” Richard asked, surprised.

“Ricky naman eh, let me finish.” Maya protested good-naturedly. “No, I don’t need time. That was what I meant!”

“You mean….I mean…you do…?” It was Richard’s time to stammer.

“Yes, Mr. Richard Lim, I love you too.” Maya said, then gave Richard the brightest and most loving smile.

Richard’s heart jumped with so much happiness. He hugged Maya very tight, at the same time caresses her hair. “Maya, thank you. I love you very much.”

Then he held her face, looked deep into her eyes. “I promise I will not make you cry, that I will be here for you always, that I will hold your hand  and we can face your fears together. That I will love you completely, with all of me.”

Maya got teary-eyed and so overwhelmed with Richard’s promise. “I will hold you on that promise, Ricky. You know, by just being you, you made me strong enough to take a chance, to open my heart to loving you. I now know if the person who came knocking on your door, is the one for you. One just know, in here,”  pointing at her heart.

Maya and Richard looked at each other with so much love, and they sealed that love with the sweetest and most loving kiss they can give each other.


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Love Comes Calling – Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Mutual understanding

Richard became a frequent visitor to the MT Holdings offices. Him standing at the lobby, talking on the phone while waiting for Maya, or sitting at the coffee shop, became a familiar sight to Maya’s colleagues who felt ‘kilig’ at the unfolding love story in their midst. The coffee, breakfast with three sunflowers, or tulips, or roses became a fixture on Maya’s office desk every morning, since the first time Richard’s driver made the initial delivery. It has been almost three months since this started happening. It has been three months since Maya and Richard met each other in Copenhagen. It has been three wonderful months of getting to know each other, of being with each other, and enjoying each other’s company every opportunity they have for Maya and Richard.

Maya couldn’t be happier with the attention Richard is showering her. Yes, there are no verbal declarations of love, but actions spoke louder than words, as they say. Maya felt Richard is wooing her the old fashioned way. She likes it, and is enjoying it very much. She is happy and okay with the way things are progressing. The more she know Richard, the more she likes him, the more she loves him. Everytime she sees him, her heart skipped a beat and she feels very happy. Life is just wonderful.

Richard felt the same. He would like to make an open declaration of his feelings for Maya. But he would like to wait for the perfect opportunity for it. He wanted Maya to feel truly comfortable with him, to trust completely his feelings for her, and to be assured that he will always be there for her no matter what, if or when she opens her heart to him and accepts his love. He may yet to say the words, but he is showing her in every way he could that he loves her.

Richard was formally introduced to Maya’s family one Friday evening. Mommy Tessie repeated her invitation to Richard to have dinner in their house, when he took Maya home one evening. He was a hit with Abby, who didn’t want her ‘Tito Richard’ to go home. Her sister also told Maya that she likes Richard very much. Mommy Tessie became Richard’s number one fan. She told Maya that her first impression of Maya’s young man was right on. Though, Maya was quick to correct her when she says that, telling her that she and Richard are just very, very good friends. But observing these two, they are not just good friends, Mommy Tessie thought.

Richard was again at Maya’s house, waiting for her in the living room, chatting with her mom. They will watch the musical ‘Wicked’ at the CCP. The tickets for this was included in the breakfast Richard sent five days ago. Maya missed seeing  ‘Wicked’ while in New York, opting instead to watch ‘Evita’ as Ricky Martin was the ‘Che Guevarra’ at that time. Richard told her that he hasn’t seen ‘Wicked’ either, so he got them tickets. They agreed to make a night out of it this Saturday – theater and a late dinner afterwards.

Maya descended the stairs half and hour later. Richard caught his breath. She was very beautiful in a violet classic cut dress that reached up to her knees, with her hair loose, wearing a light make-up and killer heels that showed off her long legs.

“Good evening, Maya. You look very beautiful.” He said admiringly, as he assisted her on the last few steps of the stairs, while Mommy Tessie looked on.

“Tama si Richard, anak. I like your dress. Bagay sa iyo.” Mommy Tessie added. “Maybe, it is better if you and Richard get going now. It will start to rain soon, judging by the dark clouds. You might get caught up in heavy traffic. Malayo pa naman ang CCP from here!”

“Thank you, Ricky, Mom. Yes, we better leave now Ricky.” Maya smiled at Richard. “Sorry, it took me a bit longer to dress up.”

“It was worth it, Maya. Besides, Tita Tessie and I had a nice time chatting.” Richard said, still looking admiringly at Maya. Maya’s mom told him to call her ‘Tita Tessie’ after his frequent visits to their house. “We’ll be on our way na po Tita Tessie.”

“O sige, ingat kayo. Enjoy. I read it’s a wonderful musical! Maya just let yourself in when you return.” Mommy Tessie said.

Richard put his hand on Maya’s back as he assisted her out of the house and into the car. Maya’s mom was right. The rain started falling several minutes after they hit the road. It was not a deluge, but it fell down steadily, enough to start causing heavy traffic in the metro. Richard thought it was a good thing they left quite early and made it to CCP with a bit of time to spare.

They stood in the lobby, together with the other theater-goers, while waiting for the ushers to let people in, to their seats. Richard asked Maya if she would like something to eat or drink. She declined. She was still full from her early dinner. Richard also ate an early dinner before he fetched Maya. They were chatting about their nieces’ antics when they heard Richard’s name being called.

“Ricky, Ricky Lim!” A girl who looked like she just stepped out of a page of a fashion magazine called Richard from the side of the lobby. She approached them and gave Richard a beso. “How are you, Ricky? I haven’t seen you out and about in a while!”

“Hi Ange! Yes, it has been a while since I have been out like this.” Richard smiled at the beautiful girl who greeted him. Maya just looked on, wondering who she is. Then, Richard brought Maya forward, holding her close to him as he introduced her to the girl. “Maya, this is a friend of mine, Mary Angela Buenavista. Ange, please meet someone very, very special to me, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa.”

“Hi Mary Angela, nice to meet you!” Maya said, blushing, as she smiled at the other girl, remembering also what Emman said, about her being Richard’s ex. She is lovely and she could be mistaken for a fashion model, if she is not that already, with her tall, slim built, and the way she carries herself.

Mary Angela smiled at the beautiful, poised girl beside Richard who looked very elegant in her violet dress. She read something different in the way Richard introduced his companion. Maybe, she is Ricky’s new girlfriend, she mused. “Hi Maya, I’m please to meet you too. Just call me Angela, please.”

“So, who are you with, Ange?” Richard asked her, as he looked around.

“Oh, I’m with a friend.” She replied, and waved at the general direction of a guy  standing near the stairs. Seeing Angela, the guy she pointed at started walking towards them. The guy looked familiar to Maya.

“Hi, good evening. Hey, I know you! Ms. Maya Dela Rosa!” He said, grinning at Maya. “Kumusta na?”

“Hi James? How are you? Wala kang flight today?” Maya asked Edselyn’s cousin.

“Small world! You know each other?” Angela exclaimed as Richard looked on, curious on who this guy that Maya knows.

“Yes, we do. James is a cousin of my college barkada, Edselyn. Richard, this is James Ventura, a pilot with Time Airways and my friend Edselyn’s cousin.” Maya said as she introduced James to Richard. “James, my very dear friend, Richard Lim.”

Richard shook James hand and said politely, “Nice to meet you, James.”

“Hi Richard, nice to meet you too.” James said as he shook Richard’s hand, then he replied to Maya’s earlier query. “I’m on leave, Maya, for the next couple of days. Maybe, we can have dinner, errr with Eds of course, one evening next week?” Though, James included Eds, it sounded like she was just an afterthought on his part.

Mary Angela was looking at Richard when James issued the invitation. She saw him took a deep breath, and swallowed, waiting for Maya’s reply. He seemed startled by James invitation and if she reads correctly, a bit jealous. So the mighty has fallen, she thought!  The elusive Richard Lim is really in love, finally. He was not like that when they were together. In a way, there was a tinge of envy in her heart. But they did part amicably. There was no spark between them, unlike what she is seeing now between him and Maya.

“I’m not sure about my schedule for the next couple of days, James. I’m sorry. Rain check?” Maya said with an apologetic expression. This is the only way she can think of, to politely extricate herself from the invitation she didn’t want to accept. “I will just let Eds know.”

“Oh, okay then. Maybe, the next time I’m in town.” James said, looking at her intently, then at Richard, sensing something now between these too.

Before they could continue chatting, the ushers opened the theater doors so they can go to their respective seats.

“Ricky, we will go ahead. Good to see you. Keep in touch.” Angela said, as she held on to James’s arm. “Nice meeting you, Maya.”

“See you around, Ange. Nice meeting you, James.” Richard said, relieved that Maya did not accept that guy’s invitation. He is not normally a jealous person, but he felt really territorial earlier when that guy tried to invite Maya to dinner.

“Nice meeting you too, Angela. James, we will go in also.” Maya said.

Richard held Maya’s hand when they went inside the Orchestra section of the CCP Main Theater. He solicitously guided Maya to their seats at the center, with the best vantage point.

“Wow, Ricky. Thank you for this.” Maya said as she settled down on her seat. She saw Angela and James settling down to their seats, and waved at them.

“You’re welcome Maya.” Richard said, glad that Maya was enjoying herself at their first theater night together. He noticed her waving at James and Angela. “Si James, matagal mo na bang kakilala?”

“Hindi naman. Recently lang. The first time I met him was the day I returned from Paris. I saw Eds at the airport. Galing sila sa flight nila sa Kuala Lumpur. She introduced her cousin to me. Then the second time naman, remember the Friday I can’t go out with you since I will be meeting Eds and Ruby in Greenbelt? He said hello while we were having drinks.” Maya told Ricky conversationally. “I forgot to make kwento to you about it pala.”

Richard nodded. “Ah okay. I was just wondering if you had known him long. Ange said they are friends but I don’t remember meeting him before.”

“Hmmm, about Angela? Emman mentioned that she was….” Maya started saying but hesitated, not sure how to proceed.

“Yes, she was my ex-girlfriend. It was several years ago na. We parted okay and remained friends, not that close, but just like what you have seen earlier.” Richard said then explained in detail, even without Maya really asking for details. “We just wanted different things in life. It was just initial attraction and not really love for both of us. We realized that several months into the relationship, so we decided to break up.”

“Oh, okay. Thank you for telling me.” Maya said, as she touched Richard’s arm affectionately. “I didn’t mean to pry ha, Mr. Lim.”

“Hmmm, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa, nakiki-chismis ka kaya sa lovelife ko.” He teased her.

“Eh, ikaw kaya Mr. Lim, hindi? Admit it! You were also asking me kaya if I had known James long! Parang iba ang tanong mo.” Maya bantered with Richard.

Maya and Richard grinned sheepishly, and then gazed meaningfully, at each other. Unknown to them, James and Angela were both observing them, and both felt envious with what they were seeing. Then the lights dimmed and the show started.

Maya and Richard enjoyed watching the musical very much. They just stayed in their seats during the intermission and just chatted, not wanting to brave the hordes of people wanting a quick snack at the bar that has been set up at the lobby of the theater. They clapped loudly, cheered, and stood up, with the rest of the audience, as the cast made several curtain calls. Both of them agreed that the musical lived up to its great reviews from Broadway to here.

They exited the theater, closed to eleven o’clock in the evening. When they reached the side lobby, they found out that it was still raining a bit. They made a run for Richard’s car which was, luckily, just parked near the side entrance of the theater. They were also surprised to see a lot of cars still on the streets at this time of the night.  Some of the drivers, honking and getting impatient, with the barely moving traffic.

“Naku, Ricky what happened kaya while we were inside the theater? It seems like traffic is on a standstill.” Maya remarked as she logged in to her Twitter account and checked the feeds of several news organizations, also the MMDA account,  that she is following. “Naku, kaya naman pala. Most of the metro is flooded na since it has been raining since early evening. Tuloy-tuloy pala, a bit intense in some instances. It says here, most of the streets in Manila are not passable at the moment. Sobrang traffic din. Marami pa ring stranded kahit gabi na.”

“Oh, okay, we can try going to Quezon City through Makati, then EDSA na lang kasi baka flooded na rin sa Mandaluyong.” Richard suggested. “Pero, let’s have a late dinner muna at Sofitel. Maybe, by the time we finish, traffic has eased up na.”

Richard and Maya had a lovely dinner. They temporarily forgot the chaos on the streets outside as they enjoyed their dinner and fell into their usual easy and comfortable chatter. Having no work the following day, and because they can’t resist, they also had coffee before they hit the road again.

More than one hour after, Maya and Richard felt like they were in the middle of a huge parking lot. They managed to make it to Makati. But traffic was moving at a snail’s pace, and in some intersections, at a standstill.

“Maya, I have a suggestion. Please don’t get me wrong, okay? I just want us to rest a bit, and maybe wait out until this chaos is over.” Richard ventured, hesitant as he doesn’t want to make Maya uncomfortable, and think that he has an ulterior motive with his suggestion.

“Okay, what it is? ” Maya asked, at the same time, she is also curious why Richard was a bit hesitant.

“My place is just several streets away from here. Maybe we can go there first to wait this out? I will just take you home later when everything goes back to some semblance of normalcy. Wouldn’t it be better than spending the night on the street?” Richard asked.

Maya mulled over what Richard suggested.

“Okay. I think it is better nga. Saka, baka pagod ka na rin, we have been driving for quite sometime na. I will just send a text message to my mom. Just in case, she wakes up and found out that I am not yet home. I know she worries even if I am a grown-up na.” Maya said, as she started composing a message for Mommy Tessie. “Looks like it will take several hours before this chaos is over.”

“Ricky,  just to be clear. I think I know you enough to trust you.” Maya added seriously, then teased Ricky. “Besides, I have a pepper spray, kaya behave ka ha, Mr. Lim.”

“Promise, Ms Maya Dela Rosa, I will behave. Cross my heart. Scout’s honor.” Ricky smiled, glad that Maya is taking the situation this way. “Besides, text Tita Tessie my address so she knows where to look when she comes with a shotgun,  commanding you to make an honest man out of me.”

“Ha, ha, ha, ha, very funny Mr. Lim.” Maya said, shaking her head at Richard’s quip. “Drive na please, Mr. Lim and get us out of this mess. Nahihilo na ako sa mga car na katabi natin. As if, may mangyayari kapag bumusina sila ng husto. Eh hindi nga halos makagalaw ang lahat.”

Richard took a turn at the first free side street he found, then drove home to his place.


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