The weather was very nice that Sunday afternoon. There was a gentle breeze blowing. The sea was calm. The setting sun’s golden rays making everything more alive and vibrant as if it was making a giant splash before it finally gives way to the night. It was a great day for a cruise, for seeing the beauty of the famous Manila Bay sunset. It was a perfect day for an engagement date.
Richard and Maya boarded the yacht, Mi Esmeralda, named after Donya Esmeralda, at five o’clock in the afternoon from the yacht club where Richard’s dad is a member. Don Roberto’s boat captain and several crew members welcomed them on board the huge yacht. Richard told Maya that the yacht was his dad’s 40th wedding anniversary gift to his mom. They planned on taking weekends off, sailing to places that would strike their fancy, to relax and unwind a bit. While not very often, he said, his parents have been doing that the past year. Sometimes, they asked him to go with them, and so far, he only managed to do it twice. The second time, when Rafi and her family was in town for a vacation.
“Wow, this boat is beautiful and huge, sweetheart.” Maya remarked as Ricky toured her inside, having told the captain that they can sail and find a good spot to moor and watch the setting sun. “This is the first time I have been inside a boat this size. It looks like a house! If I’m not feeling the boat moving, I would think I’m just in your living room.”
“Well, this is home away from home for Mom and Dad when they go cruising. They planned on taking longer trips than weekends in the future so the yacht was designed like that.” Richard explained. “My Dad has this custom-built. I think this is what is called a super yacht.”
Richard first showed Maya the upper deck which is accessible through a spiral staircase. He told her the first suite belongs to his parents. The suite is quite spacious, it has its own private terrace, and the view from the room is great. They moved to the next room, which is the room that Richard used before. Like the first room, it too, has its own private terrace, and the view is equally wonderful. There was also a third, but smaller room. They went down again and toured the main salon, which has an adjoining dining area. The view is incredible. The salon is tastefully furnished with comfortable sofas and to Maya’s delight, a piano on the side. It looked like the living room in a mansion somewhere. There are also other guest rooms and some other facilities on the lower levels, but Richard said they can look at it some other time since the sun is about to set. Richard led Maya out of the main salon, through a sliding door which opened to a spacious aft deck.
Maya gasped when she saw the deck. “Awww, sweetheart! So lovely, and so romantic. Thank you!” On the deck is a big wicker sofa, where two can sit and have the best view ever, and two inviting armchairs. At the center table, there was a cooling bottle of champagne. The dining table on the side was beautifully prepared for two, decorated with Maya’s favorite sunflowers, and colorful candles in small glasses.
While the sun was setting, painting the sky with different hues, Richard poured Maya a glass of champagne, then he poured himself one too.
“To the most beautiful and wonderful fiancée in the world, to the woman I will be spending the rest of my life with, here’s to us. I love you, Maya Dela Rosa, soon-to-be Mrs. Lim.” Richard said, looking at Maya with so much love in his eyes.
“Oh sweetheart,” Maya said, her heart so full. “To the best fiancé in the world, the only one for me, here’s to us. I love you too, my husband-to-be, how much I can’t find the words to describe, all I know is that my heart is so full, it felt like it would burst from sheer happiness and for the love I’m feeling for you.”
Maya and Richard toasted each other and sealed their love and promise for one another with a sweet, long kiss, amid the backdrop of the beautiful setting sun. They looked so good together, with Maya in a halter dress, beautifully designed and cut, and which hugged her figure, and Richard in a powder blue suit, maroon dressed shirt and a matching tie.
“I love you.” Richard repeated to Maya several times as he kissed and kissed her again and again.
“I love you more.” Maya said in between Richard’s assault to her senses.
Richard and Maya embraced each other, nary a space between them, and moved to their own rhythm, lost in the sweet music of their hearts. They stayed liked that for several minutes, just savoring the moment, and being with each other.
“This is the best engagement date, sweetheart.” Maya said happily. This was another treasured moment for her and Richard to savor fully. She felt so happy. “Thank you.”
“For you sweetheart, anything I can do to make you happy, I will do.” Richard said, kissing Maya’s hand. They watched the setting sun, with Richard hugging Maya from behind. His hands around her waist, his chin on her shoulder, looking at the great view before them. They stayed like that for quite sometime, enjoying the moment.
When the sun was about to disappear from the horizon, and twilight was settling in, Richard led Maya to the dining table. He seated her and took the seat beside her, both of them, looking at the wonderful view of Manila Bay, the sky painted in colors by the setting sun. They had a leisurely dinner. The food was superb and the atmosphere, even better. Later, they cuddled on the sofa, sipping the rest of the champagne, as twilight turned into night, watching Manila’s twinkling lights, a cool breeze blowing, and the stars decorating the night sky.
“I wish we could stay here, like this, the whole night. It’s so peaceful.” Maya sighed with contentment. “But I have work tomorrow.”
“Can you just go on leave tomorrow?” Ricky asked, still cuddling Maya. “We can stay the whole night, you know.”
“I wish we could sweetheart. But I need to brief Ms. Belmonte about my trip.”
Richard pouted like a little kid, which caused Maya to laugh. “Okay, sweetheart. We can always do this some other time, even the next time we have a free weekend. We can even travel with Mom and Dad one time.”
“That would be great, sweetheart.” Maya said smiling. “I want to spend time with your parents too. I kinda miss having a dad too.”
“Speaking of dads, do you want to invite your dad to our wedding?” Richard asked. “Of course, it would be completely up to you sweetheart. Whatever you decide on, I am with you 101 percent. I just want you to happy.”
“Hmmm, I don’t know Ricky. I will ask Mom’s view on the matter first.” Maya replied. “But thank you, sweetheart.”
Richard stood up, after a while. He told Maya to stay where she was. He went inside the main salon and soon after the melody of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ started filling the salon and the deck.
“May I dance with you my beautiful fiancee.” Richard asked Maya, bowing before her and holding out his hand for her to take.
“Of course, my handsome fiance.” Maya said with a big smile, taking Richard’s hand and moving closer to him.
They swayed to the music of that beautiful song from the very old movie musical they both loved so much. Richard started singing for Maya his favorite part of the song. It felt very apt, considering the way they met. He told Maya so.
Some enchanted evening
When you find your true love,
When you feel her call you
Across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side,
And make her your own
Or all through your life you
May dream all alone.
Once you have found her,
Never let her go.
Once you have found her,
Never let her go!
“Thank you, sweetheart. That was very lovely. I really like that song. And yes, parang iyong meeting lang natin, di ba.” Maya said lovingly when the music ended. She hugged Richard, cupped his face and gave him a sweet kiss. They stayed like that for a while, not wanting to be apart from each other yet, wanting to savor more this moment as much as they could.
Maya and Richard stayed in the yacht until around 10 o’clock in the evening. When they docked, they thanked Captain Medina and his crew profusely for the wonderful cruise around Manila Bay. Then after a lingering kiss in front of Maya’s gate, they parted for the night.
“Sweetheart, thank you for a wonderful engagement date.” Maya said, her hands still around Richard’s nape. “I’m the luckiest fiancee in the world. I love you.”
Richard grinned and tweaked his fiancee’s nose lovingly ,and then brought her closer to him, kissed her thoroughly. “Anything, for you, my wife-to-be. I love you. I better get going. No protest ha, I will pick you up tomorrow morning. I want to spend quality time with you before we start our work week.”
The following morning, Richard was at Maya’s house bright and early to take her to work. As soon as she got into the car, Richard gave Maya a big bouquet of sunflowers and a thermos of coffee. “Good morning, my love.”
“Good morning sweetheart. Thank you for these.” Maya’s happiness was unequal. She thought that she must have done something very very good in her past life, for her to deserve this kind of love.
They parted at the lobby of Maya’s building as Richard has an early meeting too.
Maya was arranging the flowers in a vase when Emman knocked on her door, followed by Ruby.
“Maya, welcome back. Let’s have breakfast downstairs first.” Emman asked. “Anyway, we have time before your meeting with Ms. Belmonte.
“Oo nga, Maya, na-miss ka kaya namin.” Ruby added. Then she noticed the ring on Maya’s finger and squealed with delight. “Oh my, oh my, oh my! Is this what I think it is? Maya, bes, I’m so happy for you.” Ruby hugged Maya really tight.
Emman looked, puzzled, “Ang alin, and saan, sis?” Then he too squealed with delight upon seeing the beautiful platinum ring on Maya’s finger. “Sis, congratulations!!!!”
Maya grinned happily at her two friends. “Thank you Emman, Ruby. I’m so happy!”
“Saan at kailan nangyari? Sa States, sumunod sa iyo doon si Mr. Super Handsome Boyfriend?” Emman asked. “Haba ng hair mo Ms. Maya Dela Rosa, soon-to-be, Mrs. Richard Lim.”
“Last Saturday lang, Emman after I got back. I was not really expecting this to be this so soon, and I was also a bit nervous, but my love for Ricky helped me be brave and took that final leap. I’m realy, really so happy. You know what, this was what he was planning while I was in the States.” Maya told her two best friends. She also told them of their romantic cruise/engagement date last night. All they while she was telling this, she was very animated and looked so glowing with happiness to her two friends, who are very happy for her.
“Ikaw na, ikaw na, Maya Dela Rosa!” Emman said, very happy for her friend. “Basta, abay kami ni Ruby ha. When is the wedding pala?”
“Oo nga, Maya ha.” Ruby said. “Maya I’m really so happy that you found love and that you were brave enough to take the leap of faith for it. Richard is a lucky guy to have you. Ikaw yata ang Pambansang Bestfriend, always there for your friends. You deserve to be happy and to find love like this.”
“Ruby, naman, hayan naiiyak na ako sa happiness. Basta, sis. Ikaw rin, I know you will find that special someone. Sobrang lovable mo kaya.”
“Eh ako kaya sis. Wala pang kapatid iyang si super papable, Mr. Lim.” Emman said in jest.
Maya and Ruby laughed. Maya told her friends that, of course, they will be part of her wedding entourage. Ruby will be her maid of honor. Emman said he would rather be a bridesmaid. But he said for the love of Maya, he will wear a suit, instead of a pink gown.
“The wedding date! I think we will set the final date this weekend, when my family have dinner with Richard’s parents. Sayang nga, wala rito ang sister ni Ricky, nasa States. But I have talked to her on Skype several times. Sayang din, hindi kami nagkita sa States noong nandoon ako. Sobrang hectic kasi nitong naging schedule ko.”
“Wow, mamamanhikan ang mga Lim?” Emman said. “Bongga naman.”
Maya laughed and explained to Emman that it was more of a dinner than a pamamanhikan.
However, the dinner turned out to be a pamamanhikan of sort.
Richard told Maya that his parents thought it would be more formal and fitting, if they will just do a pamamanhikan of some sort, instead of a dinner in a restaurant or in the Lims’ house. Mommy Tessie happily agreed. So the following Saturday, the elder Lims finally met Maya’s mom and sister, and little Abby, whom they immediately adopted as their own apo. Abby was so happy with her extra set of ‘grandparents’.
“So, Ricky, Maya, mga anak, do you have a date for your wedding?” Mommy Esme asked while everyone was having coffee and dessert at the lanai.
“Oo nga naman, mga anak, kailan niyo ba balak? “Mommy Tessie asked, as Don Roberto just looked on with a smile.
“Hmmm, kailan nga ba sweetheart?” Richard asked Maya, interlacing their fingers. “Iyon na bang napag-usapan nating date?”
“Yes. Mom, Mommy Esme, Daddy Robert,” Maya said, still getting used to calling Richard’s parents ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’. They insisted she calls them that now that she is their son’s fiancee and soon to be a member of their family. They also told her, she is already like a daughter to them. “We would like to have the wedding on November 15.”
“Two months, from now?” Mommy Esme remarked. “What do you think balae, kaya natin, ito di ba?”
“Of course, balae. Kapit-bisig lang.” Mommy Tessie replied.
“Hmmm, Mom, Mommy Esme, ‘kapit-bisig’, ‘kaya natin’, ang alin po?” Maya asked her two moms, puzzled.
“Maya anak, balae and I would like to help with the wedding preparations. We know you are very busy at work at the moment. So, Esme and I thought that it would make your load lighter if we help. We know, you will probably hire a wedding planner, but still, kailangan pa rin ng personal touch ng lahat. Iba pa rin ang hands on sa preparations.” Mommy Tessie said, while Mommy Esme, nodded, and seconded her mom.
“Awwww, Mom, Mommy Esme, of course po. The three of us can talk to the wedding planner and help them plan my wedding. I’m sure it will be a beautiful one with the two of you with me all the way. Thank you.” Maya hugged her mom and her future mother-in-law, touched by their gestures since she know they are also busy. Then she also hugged Daddy Robert and thanked him, as he also asked if he can help in any way with logistics and such.
“Maya hija, I’m happy to pitch in. You will be my one and only daughter-in-law.” Daddy Robert said smilling, as he hugged her. Then he went to his son, and patted him in the arm. “My Ricky is lucky to have you, di ba anak?”
“Of course, naman Dad. Nag-iisa lang iyang Maya ko.” Richard said, looking at Maya lovingly. “Dad, Mom, I think we should call it a night, para makapagpahinga na sina Mommy Tessie and Maya.
The Lims said their goodbyes, with Mommy Tessie and Mommy Esme setting the date for their next meeting. Maya and Mommy Tessie accompanied them to the gate. Richard went to his car and his parents to theirs, with Mang Lem, driving them home.
Maya was about to turn in for the night, she was about to go under the comforter, when her phone rang. She leaned on the headboard as she picked up the call.
“Hello my fiancee, reporting from my place, as usual.” Richard said as he too, got into his bed, which now seemed so big without Maya in it.
Maya smiled. “Glad that you are safe and sound, and has turned in for the night, my love. Makakatulog na ako ng maayos.”
“I missed you.” Richard said he too, leaned on the headboard and got comfortable. “My bed will be nicer with you on it, to cuddle, and you know……”
“I missed you too.” Then, Maya giggled and teased her fiance. “And none of that ‘you know……’ muna ulit Mr. Lim until our wedding night.”
“Ha, what??? You are making me wait, Mrs. Lim-to-be, that is two months pa kaya!” Richard said, teasing Maya back.
“Patience is a virtue, Mr. Lim, hahahaha,” was Maya’s witty comeback.
“Sweethearttt…that is soooo cruel…….” Richard, pretending to be hurt by Maya’s decision, then cajoling her to change it. “Pretty please, sweetheart. Matitiis mo ba ako.”
“Ha, ha, ha, it will be worth the wait, sweetheart.” Maya said, laughing, then teased him. “But, we can negotiate, you know….”
“Really!!!! That’s sounds so much better!” Richard grinned from the other end of the line.
“Prepare your negotiating skills, Mr. Lim.”
“Oh, I am good at that Mrs. Lim-to-be, so be prepared.”
“Let’s see, hahahaha. O go to sleep na and dream of me na lang…” Maya said, very happy.
“Hmmm, dream of you. Of course I will dream of you in any way possible, I could imagine…..,”
“Ikaw talaga, Mr. Lim. But I love you very much. Good night.”
“I love you very much my wife-to-be. You can also dream of me in any way you could. Good night.” He said, grinning and enjoying his banter with Maya.
Maya and Richard ended the call, smiling hugely. They both slid down their beds, under their comforters. Soon, they don’t have to do say good night over the phone. Soon, they can sleep as close as two persons can be. Soon they can be lost in their own world, their passion, night after night, until sleep and exhaustion claim them for the night. It would be so wonderful, to be together, finally, they thought, as they fell asleep with a smile.