Archive for October, 2014

Only Love – Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Meetings and beginnings

2006

Maya busily went from room to room, doing the job she was supposed to do, as a cleaning staff of a hotel in New York City. She learned of this job opening through a friend of her stepdad. She wanted a job in between pursuing higher studies or waiting for a job opening at one of the United Nations’ agencies she applied for, or anything related to the Development Communication course she finished. Her plan was to go back to school if nothing turns up by the time the new semester is about to start. A masteral degree will really help her a lot, anyway, with the field she want to be. She hated being idle so she looked for a job. Besides, since she was finished with university and was back in the States, she didn’t want to be dependent on her mother and stepfather. It was good enough that they sent her to a very good school, paid for her tuition and bought her a place to stay while she was studying.

Teresita Dela Rosa, Maya’s mother moved to America, several years after the death of her father, Arturo, when Maya was around 10 years old. She met an American through a friend, remarried and uprooted them to New Jersey. Maya, even at a young age, expressed her wish that she wanted to stay with her grandmother, Mamang, in Oriental Mindoro, but her mother explained to her that her place was with her and she will get use to  the life in their new country. Her stepfather, turned out to be the nicest guy, after her dad. He treated her like a real daughter and it didn’t change, even after her siblings were born. Her Daddy Mark is like a real dad to her. She also loves her half-brother and half-sister, Luke Andrew and Nikki Grace very much. Despite their more 15 years age gap, she is very close to them.

However, home was still the Philippines, for some reason she can’t explain, the pull of the old country was very strong despite her very nice life in the US.  She spent most of her summer vacations and school breaks in Mindoro, with Mamang and her cousins, Cristina Rose and Simon, children of her Tito Jose and Tita Pilar. When she finished high school, she persuaded her parents to let her study in a university in the Philippines. She promised them she will return to the States as soon as she finish her course. Maya was happy in the Philippines and living alone was not really a difficulty since she has an independent streak even when she was very young.

Now, she is back, in New York, two months after her graduation, sort of, in a limbo. She tried to enjoy the time in between working or studying again, spending time with her family. But after two weeks, she was feeling house crazy.  She told her mother about it. Her dad heard their conversation, understood her restlessness, and suggested asking his friend, Jeffrey, if there is a job opening in the hotel where he was working as a manager. There was, he said after two days, but not in reception but as part of the cleaning staff. Maya told her stepdad that it was okay with her. She applied and got the job.

Maya likes the routine of the job. Besides, she was no stranger to housework as Mamang and her mom taught her to clean after herself and help out in the house. She didn’t grow up as a pampered princess, despite the fact that her stepdad is well-off, and her Mamang is also comfortably off, with all her lands and businesses in San Nicolas. This job suits her fine for now. Her supervisor was nice enough and the hours are okay. She also made fast friends with her colleagues, especially Emman, another Filipino working in the hotel. He is gay and fun to be with. He ended up sharing Maya’s small apartment. She was happy to have Emman as a roommate and it made her parents feel so much better too. Kampante na sila since may kasama na siya sa bahay.

Maya rang the bell of room 1115, checking if the person staying there was inside. This is the second to the last room on this floor. It has the best view and quite spacious. It could pass for a small apartment. In fact, it is much bigger than the current place she is sharing with Emman. She was told by her colleague who was previously assigned to this section that the guest staying there is a very handsome Asian, probably Chinese, very nice and he has been staying in the hotel for quite sometime already. It seemed like Doris, her colleague already had a crush on him, the way she waxed poetic about this guy. Maya just shrugged it off. At that moment, getting attracted, crushing on someone or falling in love was the farthest thing from Maya’s mind. She listed down the goals she needed to accomplish before she is 30 and falling in love and settling down were somewhere in the bottom.

Maya rang the bell again and when no one replied, she opened the door with her card key. She was surprised to see someone on the bed, with the comforter moving a bit. She was about to apologize for disturbing whoever was there when she heard a moan, as if the one who uttered it was in pain. Maya threw away her reservation and approached the bed. It looked like the occupant of the room, a guy, was in need of help.

“H-h-hello, sorry for disturbing you. I thought the room was empty. Are you okay, Sir?”  Maya tentatively asked the lone occupant of the bed, his face to the side where she was, but buried under the thick comforter up to his chin. He was shaking.

“C-c-c-old.” was all he said. By now she has a pretty good idea that the guy in the bed was sick. She slowly approached the guy, asked him if she can touch his forehead to check if he is running a temperature as she can’t find a thermometer nearby. He just nodded.  She almost recoiled from the heat her hand came into contact with. He was running a very high fever!

“Oh my God, you are running a very high temperature! You need to go to the hospital!” Maya told the guy in the bed.

“No, no, no doctor please or hospital.” The chinito guy stressed. She saw him focusing with much effort on her face and then he appealed to her in English. “Please, could you just get me some medicine. It is on the table. I think I just have flu. I’m very thirsty too, but I feel boneless at the moment. I don’t think I cant stand.”

Maya looked at the direction he pointed out, and saw some tablets on the table. She grabbed a paracetamol among the pile, and gave it to the guy who tried to recline, sort of, against the head board of the bed, still covered up to his chin, wearing his glasses now. She also gave him a glass of water.

“Thank you very much.” He told her simply. He took the medicine from her, swallowed it, followed it up with a big gulp of water. He didn’t stop drinking until the glass was empty. He did look very thirsty.

“You’re welcome. Are you sure, you don’t want to go the hospital? Or at least let me inform the front desk that you are sick so they can get a doctor for you.” Maya suggested to the chinito guy.

“No, please, I will really be okay. I just got a bad case of flu. It happened before. Thank you for you help Ms….” The chinito guy asked Maya.

“Oh, I’m Maya Dela Rosa, Sir.” Maya said, really looking at the guy and noticing how handsome he is. Her colleague was right!  He looked like to be in his late 20s, several years older than her.

“Dela Rosa? Maya? Filipino-American?” The guy asked again. croaking a bit.

“Errr, yes Sir.” Maya replied simply, still not sure where this is leading.

“I’m Richard Lim, Ms. Dela Rosa. I’m a Filipino too, Filipino of Chinese ancestry.” He managed to say weakly before he winced in pain again.

“Mr. Lim, I think you should rest, and not talk anymore. If you want, I will just come back to clean your room. I can also get you a bowl of soup. It would do you good, I think.” Maya suggested.

“Oh no, no.” Richard said. “You can clean the room. It is okay. I don’t mind. Besides, I like the company. I have been cooped up in this room since yesterday afternoon.”

“You have been sick since yesterday? You should have called the front desk, Sir.” Maya was surprised to know.

“I’m okay. This happened to me before.” Richard said. “And please call me Ricky. May I call you Maya, too?”

Maya nodded, then really looked at him. She saw a wan smile on his still very handsome face, despite being sick. She was instantly drawn to this guy. Magaan ang pakiramdam niya. Her heart also beat faster by just looking at him, which she found strange. She smiled at him. “Oh, okay, Ricky. I will go ahead then and clean your room. I will do it as quietly as I could.”

Maya went on with her task with a graceful efficiency and cheerfulness that Richard like. He was also instantly got drawn to this beautiful girl. Yes, he noticed that even in his sick state. She also seems very nice, kind and caring. But before his thoughts could go farther, he felt a sudden tiredness. He laid down again and close his eyes. Before his head fully hit the pillow, he was asleep again.

Maya finished cleaning the bathroom, then she moved quietly around the room, so as not to wake up Richard, and tidied up. There was not much to tidy up anyway, as the room was relatively in order. She guessed that Richard is a very organized person when he is not sick. When she was done, she tiptoed out of the room, closed the door without a sound and proceeded to the last room she needed to clean before heading home.

However, Maya can’t help but felt worried about Richard’s condition. It looked like he has not eaten since he got sick, judging by what he said earlier. Then, suddenly, she thought of a way of help him out before she leaves for the day. She called up Emman, who was already off duty and was just waiting for her, and requested him to buy a big bowl of ramen from their favorite place one block away from the hotel. Since she knows Emman and all his questions, especially with something out of her usual norm, she also told him beforehand not to ask any question, and that she will explain everything when they get home. Emman arrived with a big bowl of very hot ramen when Maya was about finished with the last room.

“Sis, here. Hindi na talaga ako magtatanong kahit curious na curious na curious na ako kung bakit ka nagpabili nito samantalang pauwi na tayo at saka we just ate. Tapos pinadala mo pa rito. Pag-uwi na lang natin ang million dollar questions ko.” Emman said with a raised eyebrow. “I will wait for you downstairs na lang.”

Maya thanked Emman and then entered Richard’s room again, wanting to quietly place the bowl on the side table so he has at least something to eat when he wakes up kahit medyo malamig na. Richard’s eyes were still close, so he seemed to be in deep sleep pa.  But suddenly, he opened his eyes after she put the bowl on the table.

“Maya?” Richard said as he tried to focus on her, and sat up.

“Errr, yes. I thought you might want something to eat. Baka kasi kahapon ka pa hindi kumakain. Pinabili ko ito. This is good. My mom always give me a hot bowl of noodles or lugaw or basta any hot soup when I’m sick.” Maya told Richard hurriedly. She never intended for him to see her leaving the ramen.

“I hope this is okay.” She finished, trailing off.

Richard looked at Maya, touched at her gesture for a stranger, and her caring.  He gave her a lopsided smile. He actually felt better after taking the medicine and his nap.

“Thank you very much, Maya, for your kindness. You don’t have to, but I’m very grateful. Your guess was correct, I haven’t eaten since yesterday. I didn’t have appetite din kasi. But now with that mouthwatering smell, I think I can eat something na.

Maya felt a bit self-conscious with Richard’s smile and stare. She can feel the effect of his charm, which he was unconsciously showing her. My God, may sakit pa siya ng lagay na ito, she mused.

“No worries, Ricky, lalo na para sa isang kababayan.” She simply said, thinking that it was very sad din naman to get sick in a foreign land and in a hotel pa, malayo sa mga kamag-anak. “Paano I will go ahead, a friend is waiting for me downstairs. Tapos na rin ang shift ko.”

“Oh okay. Thank you ulit. By the way, how much do I owe you for the food?” Richard belatedly asked.

“Naku, hindi na. Okay na iyan.”  Maya stressed, then gave Richard the full wattage of her smile that transformed her already lovely face. “Libre ko na.”

Richard smiled back. “Thank you, Maya. When I get better, it’s my turn.”

“You don’t have to….” Maya insisted.

“Basta, I will.” Richard countered. “And please don’t argue with a sick person, hindi ka mananalo.” He finished with a smile.

They smiled and gazed at each other. When they realized that they have been doing it quiet some time, Maya hastily said goodbye. Richard continued to gaze at her departing figure. He stayed like that even after Maya had closed the door silently. He felt so much better, happier for some reason, he can’t explained at that time. Parang nagka-energy ulit siya. He finished his ramen with a happy smile. Maya, on the other hand, felt like there was spring on her steps when she took the service elevator and ended her shift for the day.

 

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23 Comments

Hello my co-adiks!

I’m back from somewhere! 🙂 I’m working on Chapter 1 of Only Love. Just let me get my bearings and I will post it as soon as I can.

Many thanks again to all of you who visits my blog, likes and enjoys my stories.

I also needed to catch up on several days of episodes of BCWMH. 🙂

GV as always.

🙂 🙂 🙂

13 Comments

Crossroads – Epilogue

Epilogue
Honeybun and Babe (and the little munchkins)

Maya and Richard exited the busy terminal at past three o’clock in the afternoon. Richard insisted that he will take care of their luggage. Hand intertwined  with Maya’s, he led his wife to a waiting taxi by the curb. The driver helped Richard put their luggage in the compartment. Then, Richard escorted Maya to the back seat of the obviously, new taxi. As soon as they did, the driver gave them a huge smile and a very warm greeting.

“Magandang hapon po sa inyo, Sir Richard, Mam Maya. Congratulations po sa kasal ninyo.” The kindly, old driver, greeted the happy couple.

“Good afternoon din po sa inyo Mang Gener.” Richard said smiling, while Maya was puzzled at the exchange. How come the driver knows them!

“Good afternoon din po sa inyo, Mang Gener. Kilala niyo po kami, or si Ricky?” Maya asked the driver, trying to recall if she had met him before.

But before the driver can reply, Richard held Maya’s hand, brought it to his lips, then smiled at her lovingly.

“Honeybun, hindi mo ba siya naaalala?”

Maya looked at the driver again, then noticed the name of the cab they were in, then it clicked in her brain.

“Manong, ikaw iyon!!! Iyong taxi driver namin ni Ricky noong nag-agawan kami sa taxi!” She said happily. “Saan at paano po kayo nagkita ulit nitong si Ricky?”

“Mam Maya ako nga po iyon. Ang saya-saya ko nga po nang malaman kong nagkatuluyan pala kayo ni Sir!” Mang Gener told her, as he started the car and  navigated the roads going to Quezon City. “Akalain niyo, matapos kayong mag-agawan ng taxi, sa kasalan nauwi ang lahat. Sabi ko na nga po, parang bagay na bagay kayo noong sakay ko kayo pareho!”

Richard and Maya gazed at each other lovingly and smiled, both remembering their meeting. They have come a long way since that day, more than six months ago. Who would have thought.

“Pero, itong taxi niyo, paano po na “Honeybun and Babe” na ang pangalan?” Maya asked, thinking that it was not a coincidence that the cab bore hers and Richard’s endearment for each other.

“Errr, tungkol po diyan, mas mabuti po sigurong si Sir Richard na ang magsabi sa inyo.” Mang Gener smiled, thinking of the day this nice gentleman sought him out and offered him a lifeline, without him knowing it. He had saved his family. He never thought it would happen to him by taking in this very nice couple to their destination.

“My love,” Richard started, taking his cue from the taxi driver, “even though we would eventually met through Cris, even if we didn’t share a taxi ride, I felt that our journey started, and became more meaningful, colorful, and something to tell our children and grandchildren when we shared that taxi ride. That would always be special to me. The idea of seeking Mang Gener out started with the MMS you sent to Cris, which I asked from her, with the idea of thanking Mang Gener in some way, for unknowingly throwing us together.”

Maya smiled, remembering the photos she took of Mang Gener’s ID and the name of the taxi they were in, which she sent to Cris. “Yes, I remembered you telling me you want to thank him.”

“I had my assistant looked for Mang Gener. Liza found him kaagad. So, pinuntahan ko siya doon. Malapit lang naman sa office ko.”

“Opo, Mam. Noon po kasi, medyo wala po akong biyahe, kasi po iyong taxi kung saan ko kayo naisakay, nasira po. Kaya nag-aabang po ako ng pwedeng imaneho at maka-extra man lang para sa pambili ng pagkain naming mag-anak at pambaon ng anak sa eskwela.” Mang Gener narrated.

“Nagpasalamat po si Sir Richard sa akin, tapos ibinigay niya ang card niya matapos kaming magkakwentuhan. Sabi po niya kung may kailangan ako, tumawag lang doon. Akala ko po, doon na natapos ang lahat, pero pagkalipas ng mahigit isang linggo, ipinatawag niya ako sa office niya, tapos ibinigay niya po sa akin itong taxi. Hindi nga po ako makapaniwala! Pakiramdam ko noon, tumama ako sa lotto!” Mang Gener continued.

“Talaga po, Mang Gener! Mabuti po naalala niyo pa itong si Ricky nang magkita kayo sa garahe!” Maya smiled and gazed lovingly at her generous husband.

“Mam, mahirap naman po kayong makalimutan ni Sir.” The driver smiled. “Ang sweet niyo nga pong magtalo doon sa agawan niyo sa taxi. Saka wala pa po akong mga pasahero na nagkaagawan na katulad ninyo.”

Maya and Richard smiled, and looked at each other lovingly. Forgetting Mang Gener for a while, and where they were, they kissed sweetly. Maya have a lot of questions for Richard, but she would ask him later.

They chatted with Mang Gener all the way to Eastwood. Maya found out that he has two children and one of them was supposed to be in college, the other one in high school. Mang Gener said  his panganay will go back to school again since may taxi na siya and steady income. He told them that he really want his children to have a better life. Iyon na lang daw ang maipapamana nilang mag-asawa sa mga anak nila. Soon after, they arrived at their place.

“Mang Gener, thank you po sa pagsundo niyo sa amin ni Maya.” Richard told the driver as they were standing at the driveway of their building. He also gave Mang Gener an envelope.

“Naku, Sir Richard, huwag na po ito. Sobra-sobra na po ang naitulong niyo sa akin at sa pamilya ko. Dahil sa inyo makakapag-aral ulit ang anak kong panganay. Hindi niyo lang po alam kung gaano ko na katagal na pinangarap magkaroon ng sariling taxi. Dahil sa inyo, malaki na ang naiuuwi kong kita sa pamilya ko.” Mang Gener put the envelope back in Richard’s hand.

“Mang Gener, huwag niyo po sanang tanggihan, please.” Richard insisted, pressing the envelope on the kind, old man’s hand. “Gusto ko po sana talagang maging bahagi ito ng celebration ng marriage namin ni Maya. Alam ko naman po na hindi niyo sasayangin ang lahat.”

Maya also prodded Mang Gener to accept the envelope, having an inkling that this gesture is important for her generous husband. She still remember the caretakers in Mindoro that he also helped. “Mang Gener, tanggapin niyo na po. Hala kayo, malulungkot po kami. Parte po iyan ng celebration ng wedding namin ni Ricky. Malaking bahagi po kayo noon. Imagine, sa lahat po ng mangyayari sa amin sa araw na iyon, para po kaming pinagtagpo ng tadhana sa taxi ninyo!”

With husband and wife, insisting, Mang Gener accepted the envelope. He thanked them profusely, then said goodbye to this wonderful, generous couple na parang guardian angels niya. When they went inside their building, he looked inside the envelope, and felt like going out and thanking them profusely again with what were inside it. Feeling ni Mang Gener at that time, kahit isanlibong ‘thank you’ kulang para sa kabaitan ng mag-asawang Lim.

Inside the envelope, Mang Gener discovered two educational plans for his kids, already paid for, aside from a generous amount of money, for his wife to start a sari-sari store, according to the note he found in it. Mang Gener thought, hinding-hindi niya sasayangin ang oportunidad na ibinigay sa kanya ng mag-asawang Lim. Habambuhay siyang tatanaw ng utang na loob sa mga ito.

Maya and Richard, hands intertwined, rode the elevator to Maya’s old unit, their home for now, sharing a loving smile. They decided that they will just sell Richard’s unit and live in this one. It is on the same tower as Cafe M. Richard also said that it is easier for him to move as he just moved to his unit anyway. Manang Fe went back to the Lim family home. She offered to stay with the couple if they need her. Maya and Richard thanked her but told her, Donya Esemeralda also misses her and that they can fend for themselves. Tutal, they told her, may cleaning lady naman sila. They assured Manang Fe na huwag na silang intindihin at mag-relax na lang. Richard also teased Maya that if she will be the one to move to the other unit, baka ilang linggo na hindi pa sila tapos maglipat sa dami ng gamit niya. It earned him a loving pinch from Maya.

“Home sweet home, my husband!” Maya said happily, as she opened the door of their home for now. She thinks they will need another one with the coming of their baby.

“Yes, my wife.” Richard said. Then just like in Vigan, carried Maya in his arms from the door, across the living room,  to their favorite armchair by the window. He sat down and adjusted his position so Maya can sit comfortably in his lap.

“Happy, my love?” He asked, as he played with her hair.

“Of course, Babe! Sobra-sobra! I’m the happiest girl in the world, with a husband like you.” Maya lovingly said, then she reached out, cupped Richard’s face and gave him a kiss.

Richard responded, deepened the kiss, and before long, husband and wife were sharing another very hot kiss. Richard’s hand crept up inside the loose blouse Maya was wearing, and started playing with her breasts. His move drove her crazy and started touching Richard also everywhere she could.

When they can’t get enough of touching each othee through their clothes, Richard carried Maya to their bedroom, and made passionate love to her the whole afternoon. They fell aslept after. After taking a shower together, Richard and Maya, went back to the living room, cuddled together and just relaxed.

“Babe, now back to my question, how come you ended up giving Mang Gener a taxi at saka ang name pa “Honeybun and Babe”, which I liked a lot by the way. It was a very generous thing to do at hindi na ako nagtataka, knowing what you did for Manong Benito and Manang Linda, and their kids.” Maya said while she settled comfortably in between Richard’s legs and his broad chest.

Richard put his chin on his wife shoulder while his arms were around her waist, hugging her from behind. “You know, my love, I will always be grateful for you coming to my life. Like I have mentioned, I wanted to thank Mang Gener, which I did noong pinahanap ko siya. I also found out during the course of paghahanap sa kanya how good a person he is. Kilala siya lahat ng mga kasama niya and lahat sila without Liza asking volunteered na ang bait niya, mahusay makisama at matulungin kahit pangkain na lang ng pamilya.

When Liza reported back to me, I was thinking of ways to thank him. Pero at the time I met him, wala ako masyadong concrete idea pa. Sabi ko sa sarili ko I will just return. In the meantime, I left him my card. Pero noong paalis na ako ng garahe, after I found out na extra-extra na lang siya, I thought of giving him the taxi, for him to earn for his family. Tapos, I want something to remember our meeting din, so the name of the cab.” Richard happily narrated to his Honeybun.

“I just felt tha helping someone would be the best way to thank God for bringing you into my life. Then to celebrate our marriage, I want to do something more for Mang Gener and his family. I called him from Vigan and requested that he pick us up. I want you to see ‘our special taxi’. Then give him the gift.” He finished while lovingly kissing his wife’s shoulder blades.

“What was in the envelope ba, Babe?” Maya asked, loving her husband more with his unending and imaginative ways of showing her how much he loves her and how happy he is with their lives together.

Richard told her about the educational plan for the kids, and also a little puhunan for Mang Gener’s wife, Pilar. “Liza found out na matatalino ang mga bata. Honor students. Natigil lang iyong panganay kasi humina ang kita ni Mang Gener sa pagta-taxi. Tumaas daw ang boundary, mahal pa ang gas, tapos kalaban niya pa ang matinding traffic. Tapos the wife naman, earning money from sewing rags na ibinebenta sa kalye. I just thought they deserve our help naman. Di ba, mas meaningful, kaysa naman dole-out.”

“I love you, Babe.” Maya said, teary-eyed. “You are a very good person and the best husband in the whole world.”

“I love you too, my Honeybun.” Richard said, happy to see his wife happy, then hugged her tight and then caressed her tummy. “And you too, little buddy.”

The rest of the day was spent in their apartment, having a quiet time together.  They ordered dinner from a nearby restaurant. They chatted like old married couple, marked by their ‘Honeybun and Babe’ banters. The night, like all their nights since they first made love, was spent pleasuring each other, discovering each other’s body more.

The following day, Richard and Maya went to Dr. Gonzaga’s clinic. Luckily, she had a schedule that day. She confirmed that Maya was, indeed, 12 weeks pregnant. When they returned home, Maya and Richard called their families and told them of the good news.

“Son, I’m so happy. Excited na ako sa magiging apo namin ng Papa mo.” Donya Esmeralda said, while Don Roberto listened on, smiling.

“Esme, sabihin mo kina Maya and Ricky na ako na ang bahalang mag-alaga sa apo ko, paglabas.” He added. “Isasama ko sa paggo-golf ko.”

“Hay naku, Roberto, hindi pa pwede kapag baby pa.” Donya Esmeralda teased her husband, then went back to her son and daughter-in-law, “Hay naku, itong Papa niyo, volunteering to be the baby’s yaya. Isasama raw sa golf course.”

Richard and Maya laughed. They said goodbye to Richard’s parents after promising to see them after their return from Mindoro. Then they called Maya’s mom and sister. Patty activated the speaker phone.

“Maya, anak, Richard, I’m so happy to know. Magkakaapo na kami ng Dad mo!” Mommy Tessie said, teary-eyed. “I’m sure, masayang-masaya rin ang daddy mo, anak kung nabubuhay pa siya.”

“Yes!!!! Ate Maya, Kuya Ricky, magiging tita na ako!” Patty chirped in happily. “Sana kamukha ko!”

“Hay naku, Patricia, bago ikaw, ako muna.” Mommy Tessie teased her other daughter. “Saka sana, hindi maging kasing kulit mo itong pamangkin mo! O sige na mga anak, enjoy your honeymoon, ha. Tawag na lang kayo pagbalik niyo ng Maynila.”

“Sige po, Mommy Tessie. Baka po, we can have a celebration dinner for the baby, with Mama and Papa.” Richard suggested to his mother-in-law.

“Oh, that would be nice. Sige, let Patty and I know when. Ingat kayo. I love you, mga anak.”

“I love you, Mom. You took, kulit little sister. See you.” Maya can’t just helped but egged her sister.

Next they called were Cris and Stephen, who were then in Palawan. Stephen went diving, Cris said while she stayed in their cottage, resting. Pagod pa raw siya sa biyahe nila.

“Talaga namang hindi lang pala mala-tornado ang ligawan niyo, pati pala sa pagiging parents. Boston Marathon lang ang peg!” Cris teased. “Nauna pa kayong naka-finish line sa akin ha.”

“Hahahahaha, bessie. True. Ito kasing pinsan mo eh…..” Maya said.

“Ha, bakit ako. Ikaw nga itong…..” Richard countered.

“Hahahaha, kayo talagang mag-HoneyBabe, walang kakupas-kupas.” Cris laughed. “Congratulations sa baby ha. O ninang ako niyan, ha.”

“Of course, pinsan, ikaw pa.” Richard assured his cousin.

“I’m sure Stephen will be glad to know. Hayan, maiinggit pati iyon sa inyo.” Cris said smiling.

They said goodbye to Cris after chatting with her and confirming the date they will see her and Stephen before they return to the States.

The following day, Richard and Maya flew to Mindoro with Captain Ventura and Captain Corpuz who congratulated them on their marriage. The two pilots will pick them up after two weeks, and they even teased na mukhang hindi na sila ma-i-stranded this time. Richard assured them that okay na okay lang namang ma-stranded. Maya laughed and blushed.

If Manang Linda prepared a lot of food the last time they were here, that was nothing compared to what they saw on the veranda this time, parang wedding reception ulit, with matching flowers and candles pa. Manang Linda said, this is to celebrate their marriage.

“Maligayang pagbati po sa inyo Sir Richard, Mam Maya.” Manang Linda said as she led the couple to the veranda.

“Thank you very much po Manang Linda.” Maya said. “Maraming salamat po dito. Ang dami nito, saluhan niyo kami ni Ricky.”

“Oo nga po Manang. Nasaan po si Manong Benito?” Richard added.

“Naku, Mam, Sir, salamat po. Tapos na po kami ni Benny. Para po sa inyo talaga iyan. Nandoon po si Benny sa kabilang isla, bumibili ng fresh seafood para sa inyo, para po bukas.” Manang Linda explain. “Maiwan ko po muna kayo. Enjoy po sa pananghalian niyo. Nasa kusina po ako kung may kailangan kayo.”

Richard and Maya thanked Manang Linda. They enjoyed the delicious food Manang prepared. Afterwards, they went for a walk, and ended up at their hammock at the other side of the island.

“Babe, it’s so very nice to be back here. This beats having a honeymoon abroad.”  Maya said as she nuzzled Richard’s neck as she laid very comfortably on his broad chest.

“I agree 101 percent, Honeybun. Feeling ko nasa private paradise tayo, lalo na at tayong dalawa lang ang maiiwan dito.” Richard said with a naughty grin.

Maya felt Richard’s teasing and intention in the way his voice change, sounding ‘bedroomy’. She smiled. She really love this very passionate side of her husband.

They stayed in the hammock most of the afternoon. When the sun was setting, they returned to the house. The caretakers were about to leave. They will stay in their house in the main island during the night and just come back for them for several hours during the daytime, giving them privacy.

Richard and Maya decided to take a swim, and have dinner at the beach afterwards.  They went to their room to change. Richard caught his breath when he saw what his wife was wearing, a very becoming and very sexy two-piece swimsuit, much more revealing than the one she wore the last time they were here.

“Wow! I love it my Honeybun!” Richard said, looking at Maya with desire in his eyes.

Maya’s whole being reacted to Richard’s heated gaze, added by the fact that  her husband was also wearing a fitted swimming shorts, that showed the shape of his hard length a lot. She also will never get tired of looking, and touching, his muscular chest.

They moved closer to each other, then started playing and touching, removing each other’s clothes, what little of it, hurriedly. They fell to the bed, and doused the fire they have created with their heated gazes. It was already quite dark when they made it to the beach with a big mat, a blanket, and a picnic hamper.

They had dinner first, feeding each other morsels of food, that also turned into a love play. They tested each other’s threshold of passion, with a touch here and there, and with their heated kisses and gazes. They continued their love play in the water, heating the cool night with their intense passion for each other.

“Maya, my love….” Richard said, his control almost to snapping point as they stood in the shallow side, with Maya caressing Richard’s hard length vigorously, while giving him a heated kiss, their tongues dueling.

Maya was just giving back Richard, what he evoked in her when he played with her breasts, with his tongue and hands, and with it, he also assaulted her corse, making her want to fly.

“Ricky, babe…..” Maya moaned against Ricky’s mouth as he increased the pressure of his caresss on her core. She also did the same on Richard’s hard length.

Richard’s control snapped. He carried Maya to the blanket they have laid with before going to the water, then proceed to love Maya thoroughly, every inch of her. Maya did the same. Their sighs and moans mixed with the sound of the wind and surf, until their cries of fulfillment echoed strongly in the dark night.

The rest of their stay in the island was spent like that, with their passion for each other, not diminishing, but getting stronger and stronger. The more they slake their desire and passion for each other, the more they want more. They were so attuned with each other’s body that a mere heated touch or a gaze, sets their passion ablaze.

Maya and Richard returned to Manila two weeks after, happy and more and more in love with each other. They settled into their newly-married life, with Richard going to work five days a week, but cutting back on his long hours at work. Maya also cut back on her travels as her tummy got bigger, concentrated on the cafe, and found that she also have a talent writing children’s stories. She created a website for her stories, which she shared with other moms.

Six months after they got married, one beautiful Saturday evening, Maya gave birth to their first borns, Robert Arthur and Emerald Therese. They lovingly called them Sky and Sunshine for what they represent in their lives. Their joy doubled when Maya’s next ultrasound several weeks after their honeymoon to Mindoro revealed that they will have twins. They decided to name them after the grandparents who were overjoyed with the honor.

Maya and Richard soon moved to a bigger house, with Manang Fe, her niece Fely who also works for them now, and the children’s nanny Leah. They settled into the life of doting parents to their lovable, adorable and super cute babies. They don’t want to take their eyes off them, and can gaze at them for hours, and marvel at the peaceful way they sleep. Their heart skipped a beat when they bestowed them a toothless smile.

“Babe….?” Maya sat up when she realized she was alone in the bedroom, when she woke up in the middle of the night. She got out of the bed. She have a pretty good idea where her husband is. She went to the nursery and stood by the door, watching her husband lovingly.

“Sky, it’s Sunshine’s turn okay. Settle in, little buddy.” He lovingly told his boy, while he was changing Sunshine’s smelly diaper. When he was done, he had a satisfied smile on his face, as if he had closed a very lucrative business deal. “See, that was not so bad. Daddy can do it too!”

“Wow, Babe, ang galing ah. Congratulations. Bakit hindi mo na lang ako ginising or si Leah.” Maya approached her husband and hugged him from behind, looking at their now happy, sleepy babies. He usually leave the diaper-changing to her or the children’s nanny after he mangled his several attempts. He looked so cute then, when he sheepishly smiled and showed her the crooked diapers he put on their twins.

“You were sleeping so soundly, my love. Alam ko naman na you just finished feeding them.” Richard said, as he kissed his wife lightly on the cheek. “Beside I want to do it too talaga. Gusto ko rin na kasama mo akong hands on to our babies. Courage lang, Honeybun and try and try. Sorry nga pala, I got home late, and missed dinner earlier. Marami kasi kaming ni-review na contracts ni Ryan.”

“Okay lang, Babe! Kumain ka na ba?” Maya said as she and her husband walked out of the nursery, arms around each other having put their little angels to sleep.

“Yes, I did. I was about to join you in bed nga when I heard the twins making noises. Before they wake you up, I decided to check on them.” Richard said as they entered their bedroom. He then noticed his wife wearing a very nice, black, lace night gown under her wrap.

“Hmmmm, Honeybun, is that new?” He asked, liking the way his wife looks in it. His wife got more and more beautiful and alluring with each passing day. He will never get tired of looking at her like this for the rest of their lives,

“Errr, yes. I bought it this morning after I have seen Dr. Gonzaga.” Maya replied, suddenly getting a bit conscious.

Richard picked up the subtleties of his wife’s gesture and what she was subliminally saying. He grinned, went to her with a seductive voice. “You mean to say, Honeybun…..???”

Maya smiled lovingly and alluringly at her wonderful, handsome, and the best husband in the world. “Yes, Babe…..”

Richard grinned, then proceeded to carry his wife to bed, turned off the light, and loved her thoroughly, most of the night. The twins, for once, slept through the night too, as if they know their parents will give them a baby sister in nine months time, so they better be quiet and behave like little angels.

 

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Crossroads – Chapter 21

Chapter 21
‘Infinite unfinished business’

“Wow!” Maya and Richard uttered when they opened the door of their room, the old room that became so special to them, with Richard carrying Maya over the threshold as per tradition. Lots and lots of rose petals of all colors were scattered all over the floor of the room, especially around the antique four-poster bed, draped with delicate lace curtains, giving the room a very romantic feel. The bed itself, was also covered with a vintage and especially-woven coverlet. The soft antique lamps around the room gave it a romantic glow, fit for a special night.

Evelyn and her wonderful sense of romance! Maya thought. But she liked what the gracious lady of the house has done to their special room. She even put a chilling bottle of champagne in a bucket on the table by the bed. Beside it was two delicate wine glasses that looked like they are heirloom pieces.

Richard put Maya on the bed gently. He gave her a long, lingering kiss, before he stood up again. He poured a glass of champagne each for Maya and him. Richard saw a note beside the glasses and handed it to Maya. It was from Evelyn, wishing them the best on their wedding day, and telling them to enjoy the night, with several winking smileys on it. Lastly, she wrote, that she hoped they will like what she and her staff did to their ‘special room’ and that the champagne and the flowers were her gift to them.

“Honeybun, to us! I love you very much, my dearest wife.”

“My Babe, I love you very much too, my dearest husband. Here’s to our wondeerful journey together!”

They toasted each other and proceeded to drink their bubbly. However, Maya only managed to drink a sip. She grimaced a bit after swallowing the first sip.

“Maya, is something wrong? Masama ba ang lasa? Di mo gusto, Honeybun?” Richard asked, puzzled.

“Babe, okay naman. I just felt a bit off drinking it. Parang may lasa siya na hindi agree sa tummy ko. Okay lang bang hindi ko ubusin?”

“Sure, Honeybun. Do you feel okay? Do you want me to get you anything?” Richard asked solicitously.

“No, thank you. I’m okay. Mauna ka na sa bathroom, Babe. Ayusin ko lang ang mga gamit natin. Nasaan na iyong suitcase mo? Nadala ba from the hotel where you stayed with Papa, Luke and John?” Maya asked, then she saw it by the other side of the bed, together with hers. She asked Patty to bring it here this evening.

She stayed in another hotel with Patty and her mom, saving this special place for the reception and their first night as husband and wife. That was where she prepared for the wedding too. She, her sister, and her mother had a wonderful bonding time on the eve of her marriage. Her sister and mom are staying there one more night, then with everyone who attended the wedding, will travel back to Manila in the morning. She and Richard will return to Manila the day after. They wanted to stay one more day in Vigan.

“Sure ka, Honeybun? You know, we can go together.” Richard said with a naughty grin.

“Babeee, ikaw talaga.” Maya was still grinning when she gave Richard his things. “Mauna ka na.”

“Thank you, my wife.” Richard said lovingly, then gave her a quick, hot kiss before sauntering off to the bathroom.

Maya smiled as she watched her husband walked to the bathroom. Husband. Wife. She felt so happy hearing those words.  She continued putting away their clothes, then when she was done, sat on the bed to wait for her husband.

Like the last time they were here, Richard took a quick shower. He noticed the tub full, and  was covered with rose petals too. He smiled, wishing he could go in it with Maya. Maybe tomorrow, he mused. It was already late. Maya might be quite tired already. Their wonderful day had started early. Prior to this, they have been very busy with finishing up pending work, and last minute stuffs. for the wedding. He hurriedly showered and came out of the bathroom wearing a white t-shirt and blue pajamas.

“It’s your turn, Honeybun.” Richard hugged Maya from behind and nuzzled her neck, while his arms found its way on her waist.

“Babe, you smell so nice.” Maya smiled and turned and lightly kissed him on the lips, then his neck. He felt his breath quickened. “Go and rest. We had a long day. Baka tired ka na.” She added while she gathered her things, which was bundled up tightly.

“No, my love. The shower refreshed me. I will wait for you.” Richard said as he settled on the bed, petals and all to wait for his wife and the possibilities the night will offer, depending on Maya. He would understand if they will just cuddle to sleep, plenty of other time to indulge in their passion for each other that has been growing stronger, the more intimate they became.

Maya, like Richard, took a quick bath. She dried herself with one of the soft towels in the bathroom, then grab her sleeping clothes, if one can call it that. It was a red negligee, with spaghetti straps, transparent bodice, and a matching barely there undies. It was a gift from Emman and Eleonor during her bridal shower. It elicited much teasing and giggling. Maya blushed then.  But at the same time, she also thought of the all the possibilities with that dress. She smiled. Her Babe will be in for a treat this evening. She wanted this night to be extra special for her husband, her very wonderful love. She put the dress on and she felt very sexy in it. Though, she also noticed that her tummy seemed bigger and her breasts fuller. But just shrugged it off. Maya opened the bathroom door and sought out her husband, who zeroed in on her and what she was wearing, then grinned.

“Wow!” For the second time that night, Richard uttered the word. However, the second time, it was with a matching gulp, quickness of breath and his whole body heating up quickly. He was gazing intently, almost speechless, at his lovely bride and the very nice ‘non-dress’ she was wearing. He loved it very much.

“Do you like it, Babe?” Maya asked, getting a bit conscious.

“Honeybun, you can wear that every evening.” Richard said smiling hugely, lovingly, as he approached Maya and cupped her face.

Richard lowered his head to kiss Maya. He nibbled on Maya’s lips, teasing it. Then he used his tongue to open the seam of her lips and gained entrance to her mouth. He explored her mouth, their tongues  started doing a mating dance.

“My love, seeing you in that dress is making me crazy with want and desire for you. I can’t think straight.”  Richard said, then he deepened the kiss, at the same time, he cupped her breast, massaging it through the thin material of her dress, and using his thumb to play with her nipple.

“Rickyyy…..”  Maya undulated against Richard, wanting more, instinctively.

Richard increased his teasing of Maya’s breast, at the same time their tongues are dueling, mating, the feelings between them getting more intense. Maya can feel the effect of what Ricky was doing up to her core. Her breasts also felt heavier, fuller. She rubbed herself against Ricky, wanting to be closer to him, wanting more. She can feel through his pajamas the burgeoning evidence of his desire for her.

Richard cupped Maya’s buttocks, and almost lost it, when instead of touching her undies, he touched flesh. He realized that Maya was wearing undies  that barely covered her. He transferred his hand to her other breast, giving it the same attention that the other got. Maya was going crazy too with what Richard was doing. She started exploring his body. Wanting to feel skin against skin, she started removing his t-shirt. Richard helped her by raising his arm and pulling the shirt off him, himself. While he was doing that, Maya started kissing his chest, zeroing on his male nipples, giving them the same pleasure he gave her by playing with hers.

“Maya. my love…..” Richard moaned. He almost failed to remove his shirt with that she was doing. “What you do to me!”

Maya continued with her assault on Richard’s senses, at the same time, she sought Richard’s hard length and starting touching it too, loving it.

“Honeybun……” Richard sighed, liking very much what she was doing to him.

“Babe, I want to make you happy this evening. Will you show me how.” She whispered, huskily, her voice heavy with desire.

Richard understood what Maya wanted. She wanted to take the lead this evening. He carried her to the bed, laid her gently on the fragrant bed of rose petals, and started wrecking havoc to her senses before he cede control to her. He kissed her forehead, her lips, down to the side of her neck, the sensitive area between her collarbones, to the valley between her breasts, at the same time, his hand slowly crept under the short hemline of her dress, to tease her thighs, until he reach her core, which already felt very hot with what he was doing, touched it, played with it, making Maya burn. Maya thought she will not be able to stand it when his lips touched her nipple and used his tongue to play with it through the flimsy material of her dress. He did the same to the other one. The twin assault to her senses was just too much.

“Rickyyyy…..” She said helplessly as she felt like flying and reaching for fulfillment. Richard increased the wonderful, loving pressure on both her nipples, and her core, until she can’t take it anymore. There was no other way, and with Richard’s encouragement and sweet, loving words, she flew to her fulfilment.

She kissed Richard’s neck, still breathing deeply, boneless from pleasure that only he could give her. She wanted to do the same to him. Maya started kissing Ricky, from his lower lip, which she lovingly touched with her tongue, then kissed him full on the lips, opening his mouth and seeking his tongue. At the same time, she started massaging his hard length. Now it was Richard’s turn to moan helplessly with the pleasure her hands and mouth were evoking. Before he lost it, Richard moved, putting Maya on top of him, guiding her to straddle him.

“Like this, Babe?” Maya asked, at the same time, getting excited about being on top. They have not done this before, but she thought she know, sort of, what do to.

Richard sat up a bit while Maya was on his lap. Then he proceeded to remove her thin covering. He also slowly and lovingly removed her remaining piece of garment until she was naked before his eyes, so beautiful. His wife. The love of his life.

“You are so beautiful, my love.” Richard lovingly said, reverently, then he started touching her breasts and using his thumbs, loved them thoroughly. Maya felt her desire reawakened and the heat she banked, getting stoke again, when he swirled his tongue around her nipples and loved her twin peaks, until she felt like she was on fire.

Richard also felt that he was just going to get consumed with the passion she was arousing in him, especially when she instinctively, unconsciously undulated on top of him.

“My love, I want to be inside you, now.” Richard said with ragged breath while he continued playing with her breasts that became more accessible with Maya on top of him. Maya nodded, but silently asked Richard to show her how.

Richard guided Maya, and then he was inside her. They started moving together until they have established a rhythm that got more and more frenzied, until they combusted, and reached fulfillment together. Their moans and sighs of pleasure filled the room.

Maya collapsed on top of Richard, too sated to move. Richard caressed her back, up and down, up to her buttocks, rhythmically.

“I love you my Honeybun. That was just awesome.” Richard said lovingly. “Thank you.”

“I love you too, Babe.” Maya grinned, too happy to say anything else.

“Hmmm, so no more energy for round two?” Richard teased, when he noticed her barely moving and was lazing like a cat on his broad chest. Maya just giggled.

Richard gathered the blanket and covered themselves. They slept like that. But several hours after, when they had  enough energy again, they made love as dawn was breaking. By morning, they were sharing the tub, in which bathing was not the only thing they did. Maya felt like Richard was torturing her already sensitive flesh with a wash cloth he used all over her body. She did the same to him and soon after, the bathroom was also filled with their moans and sighs of pleasure.

Richard and Maya managed to surface from their own sensual bliss around lunch. Maya felt queasy. Richard thought it was from lack of food. They dressed up and went to their favorite inn, as Evelyn and her family only serve breakfast, and they don’t want to bother her with lunch, considering what she has done already. The hotel was closed to other guests too, for their wedding reception and during the duration of their stay. Maya felt better after having some food in her stomach, but felt sleepy and dizzy. They went back to the hotel instead of going around, to take a nap.

Maya woke up with Richard playing with her then extra sensitive nipples. The mere touch of his hand and thumb sent them on fire. The nap turned into another bout of lovemaking. They managed to go for a walk just before dinner time to Calle Crisologo and the inn. Maya looked lovely in her halter maxi dress that hugged her curves and Richard so handsome in his khaki pants and polo shirt. They made a striking couple and it was obvious to people who noticed them that they were newly-weds and were so very much in love.

During their second night as husband and wife, they explored each other’s body again thoroughly and drove each other mad with the strength of their passion for each other. They slept with nary a stitch on, just the blanket they shared, covering their naked bodies, sated at that moment.

Richard woke up with the sound Maya was making in the bathroom. He listened carefully and realized that she sounded like she was throwing up. Without clothes on, he hurried to the bathroom. He knocked, found the door unlocked, so he just entered. He found her standing by the sink, clutching her tummy.

“Honeybun, are you okay? Kanina ka pa ba nagsusuka? Bakit hindi mo ako ginising kaagad?” Richard asked, getting worried.

“I’m okay, Babe. Wala naman ako halos inilabas! My stomach felt quesy lang.”  Maya replied still gripping the side of the sink.

“I think you should see a doctor. Baka na-food poison ka doon sa kinain natin last night. I’m sure, Evelyn knows a doctor here.” Richard suggested. He want to be sure that Maya is really okay.

“I’m okay, Babe. Kailangan ko lang sigurong uminom ng tea para mag-settle itong stomach ko.” Maya assured her husband, not wanting to disrupt their schedule and not wanting him to worry.

“Honeybun, wala namang mawawala kung magpa-check up ka please, for my peace of mind. Let’s stay here one more day. Our trip to Mindoro can wait naman. I will just call Captain Ventura.”

Maya saw that Richard was really getting worried. She would have been the same if he was the one who got a bad stomach, so she agreed to see a doctor and to stay one more day in Vigan.

Evelyn called up their family doctor. She told Maya that the doctor and his wife were also friends of her parents, and that her older sister went to school with the daughter who is also a doctor, so she knew them pretty well. An hour later, Maya and Richard were at the doctor’s clinic, more like a small hospital than a simple clinic. Dr. Lindsay Ramirez, attended to them, saying that her father got called in to the provincial hospital due to an emergency surgery. She asked Maya about her symptoms and then brought her to to the examination room to physically examine her. She had an inkling on what Maya’s condition is, but she needed to be sure. With the help of her medical staff, she asked Maya for urine and blood samples.

Richard and Maya waited for the doctor in the spacious waiting room that was already starting to get filled with other patients, holding hands. Dr. Ramirez’s assistant called them back inside the consultation room. Upon seeing them, the doctor stood up from the chart and test results she was reviewing. She was smiling.

“I guessed as much. I just needed to be sure.” The doctor told Maya and Richard, when they were all seated. “Congratulations, to both of you.” She said grinning.

Richard and Maya looked at the doctor, her words not registering at first. Then it sank in, and they both have huge smiles on their faces when they realized what she meant.

“We will have a baby!” They both blurted out. Then they hugged each other tightly, forgetting about the doctor, who looked at the couple indulgently.

“My love, dear husband, we will have a baby. I’m pregnant!” Maya said, wonder in her voice at the  same time touching her tummy reverently.

“My dear wife, my love, yes, and I’m so happy. We will be parents na!” Richard put his hands on top of Maya’s. Then he kissed her gently. They shared a touching moment, hugging tightly. Then they remembered the doctor.

“Oopps, Doctor, sorry po.” Maya said sheepishly.

Dr. Ramirez smiled. “It is okay, I’m happy for both of you. I’m both a general practitioner and an obstetrician, I’m not sure if Evelyn had mentioned. I thought that you might be pregnant when you told me what you have been feeling lately and up to this morning. May I asked, Mrs. Lim, when was the first day of your last period?”

Maya thought, but unable to remember the exact date, so she gave the doctor an estimate. “Sorry Doctor, I have always been quite irregular, and then to add to that, Ricky and I have been preoccupied with his cousin’s wedding in the States, and preparing for our own. I was not really paying attention to my cycle.”

“That’s fine. I think you are around 11 or 12 weeks pregnant.” She estimated. “Pero to be more accurate, at para mas sure, have an ultrasound done as soon as possible.”

Richard and Maya looked at each other, then smiled. Both were thinking, so our baby was ‘made’ in Vigan! They felt so. They believed so.

The doctor prescribed some vitamins for Maya, gave her instructions, and told her to see her OB when she returns to Manila. Maya said she does not really have one. Dr. Ramirez recommended one of her classmates who practices at a big hospital in Quezon City. She assured them that Maya and the baby will be in good hands with Dr. Emily Gonzaga.

Maya and Richard thanked the doctor profusely. They got of of her clinic, still in daze. They will be parents in six months time!

“Babe, you will be a Daddy and I will be a Mommy! “ Maya squeled in delight and unmindful of them being in a busy part of the city, hugged and kissed Richard, who hugged and kissed her back.

They walked back to the hotel and Evelyn was the first person who knew Maya’s condition, beside the doctor. She congratulated them, sharing their joy. They also informed her that they will be staying another night. Evelyn said it was perfectly fine as they didn’t really book anyone until the day after that.

Richard and Maya decided to save informing their parents, and immediate families, when they return from their trip to Mindoro. For their honeymoon, they decided they would like to spend it in the Lim island, another special place for them.

“Honeybun, sa palagay mo, okay pa if we take that trip to Mindoro? We can just do it another time.” Richard asked, his protective side rearing up.

“Babe, I am perfectly okay. Meron lang akong morning sickness, I think. Saka better nga doon, presko ang hangin and you will be there to take of me naman and our baby.” Maya assured Ricky.

They agreed that they will just go to Mindoro two days from their return to Manila from Vigan or after they have seen Dr. Gonzaga and have an ultrasound done. For the rest of the day, they just floated in happiness of their impending parenthood. After dinner, they walked around a quiet Calle Crisologo, the tourists were all gone for the night, the souvenir shops were closed and only the quiet of the elegant houses surrounded them. They were back where one of the most treasured moments in their live occured. They were there again, with another momentous occasion in their lives.

“I love you very much, my wife.” Richard touched his Maya’s tummy, gently, lovingly. “ I hope you are okay there my little buddy.”

Maya smiled lovingly at her husband. She know Richard will be a wonderful dad. He is already the best husband in the world. “I love you too, my husband. Life couldn’t be more perfect than this.”

Like the last time they were here, amid the ancestral homes which nurtured generation after generation, Richard and Maya shared a loving kiss, looking forward to the birth of their precious child, the product of their love for one another, in several months.

 

Note: ….and so, Honeybun and Babe, lived happily ever after with their little munchkins!  🙂

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Crossroads – Chapter 20

Chapter 20
Timeless

Situated on a hill, the Church of the Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion, or the Santa Maria Church, overlooks most of the town of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. Through its several centuries of existence, it has bore witness to the ebb and flow of lives of the people of the town and those that passed through it on the way to Vigan and other parts of the Ilocos provinces. The church’s centuries old walls and structures were a vital part in celebrating life and love of the people who entered it, since it was built in the 18th century.

In this beautiful Saturday afternoon, the church came alive again to unite two people who were fated, destined to cross paths, and fell in love with each other, with a love that will last a lifetime. Now, in front of their families and friends, within these old, majestic walls, they will ask God to bless their union. They will stand before God and promise to commit, love and cherish one another.

The church was bedecked with an overabundance of sunflowers, Malaysian mums, and roses of all colors. The groom wearing a powder blue suit, waited at the altar with his parents and his best man, John, his best friend in the States. Finally, Richard thought to himself. He and Maya are about to be joined in marriage. He feels nervous and emotional.

Richard never thought he would still find a love like this, but here he is, with the one and only love of his life, his Honeybun, the lady who streaked into his life like a beautiful, colorful comet, and made life richer and full of colors. In such a short time, they have experienced a lot together and managed to meld into each other’s lives. Sometimes, he thought, love is not really how long you know a person, but on how you get to really know a person, the ease you felt towards each other, and how deeply you care for each other.

He looked around at his and Maya’s families and friends present here who will witness their union. From Manang Fe, who is one of their sponsors to their bridesmaids and groomsmen – from Emman and Eleonor, to Luke and Patty, Tristan and Phailin, and Cristina Rose, Maya’s matron of honor. To their other guests, aunts, uncles, cousins, colleagues, and the people who have been part of their love story in one way or the other.

Surprisingly, Phailin ended up with Jeremy Sanderson. When Maya found out that they are now in a relationship, she invited Jeremy to their wedding too. So, that was my ‘almost competition’, Richard thought. He seemed like a nice guy, when he met him the other day. He is doubly happy that of all the guys that courted her, Maya chose him. His thoughts was interrupted by the opening strains of the wedding march, which signaled the moment he has been waiting for – the first glimpse of his lovely bride in her wedding gown. He has not seen her in almost two days!

The door of the old church slowly opened, to a radiant Maya, so very beautiful in her vintage lace gown that hugged her upper body tightly and flared from the hips down, with a long train. Her face was partially covered with the unstructured veil she chose, carrying a big bouquet of sunflowers.

Maya felt like she was floating, everything felt surreal. She took a deep breath, clutched her beautiful bouquet tightly and prepared to take the steps that would lead her to the man she loves with all her heart. Her Babe! In the sea of people who came to celebrate their marriage, she sought him, only him. She caught her breath, seeing him so handsome, with eyes only for her.  Maya though at that moment that, that’s the look she will never get tired of seeing. She felt as breathless as the first time she found out she loves him. She started gliding down the long aisle of the church, feeling a kinship to all the brides who have done this through the centuries. Do they also felt like a thousand butterflies are dancing in their stomachs as they walked down to the man they will share their lives with and vowed to love forever?

Halfway through, Maya was joined by a very teary-eyed Mommy Tessie, and her uncle whom she had asked to give her away. Tito Gabriel was touched at her gesture, with both of them smiling and getting a bit emotional, remembering her dad. Before she traveled to Ilocos for her wedding, she visited her dad alone, and laid white and red roses on his grave. She told him of the wonderful man she will marry. Maya momentarily looked up and made a silent conversation with her Dad, ‘I know you are here in spirit to witness me getting married’.  She had done that in the past with the milestones in her life. She wanted to share it with her father, the person who dreamt those with her. Then she continued walking, with eyes only for her Babe.

Richard was wiping the corner of his eye, with a handkerchief that his best man handed to him, when Tito Gabriel, Mommy Tessie and his Maya reached him. John had a pretty good idea this will happen. He met Maya when the two of them were in New York, and he knew his friend has found true love. Richard only had eyes for Maya. He was also honored that Richard asked him to be his best man. So, here he is, his first trip to the Philippines. Richard shook Tito Gabriel’s hand, then he hugged Mommy Tessie after kissing her hand, and promising to take good care of Maya for always. Finally, he joined his hand with Maya’s as they faced the priest who would solemnize their marriage.

Father Oscar, a family friend of the Lim family agreed to marry Richard and Maya despite his many responsibilities at the Vatican. He flew home for the wedding. In his homily, he spoke of finding love at the right place, at the right moment, and in God’s perfect time, like what happened to Richard and Maya. He said that not all people are lucky to do so. But if you do, you have to nurture it for it to thrive and grow. He said, parang halaman din ang relationship at ang marriage, hindi basta na lang itatanim at pababayaan na lang mabuhay na mag-isa. You have to care for it, diligan para mag-grow and magbunga. He said, he is sure that Richard and Maya will do that. He told the couple to love and cherish one another, that marriage is a two-way street and they have to meet halfway for a smooth travel to their forever, and that they must always love and trust one another.

Throughout the beautiful ceremony, Richard and Maya held hands, as if they just have to connect to feel that this is it, their moment has finally arrived. They kept giving each other loving glances also, that didn’t escape the eyes of their guests, who just sighed and felt so happy with the love they can see between these two.

Father Oscar, towards the end of the ceremony asked them if they have personal vows and the two nodded.

Richard held Maya’s hand tightly, looked deeply into Maya’s eyes with all the love he is feeling and told her of his innermost feelings, with his voice getting hoarse with emotions, at some point.

Maya, my love, my Honeybun, the love of my life. I promised to love and cherish you for always. I never knew I would find love when I accidentally shared a taxi ride with you, kahit sinupladahan mo ako sa simula. But I was so glad and forever thankful that I did. I’m so glad and ever so thankful that we crossed paths that day. For me, that ride was the start of my wonderful and unparalleled journey with you. Before I met  you, I never thought that the kind of love I found with you, existed. All my past, my experiences, faded in comparison to what we have, what you have shown me. I was just existing before you. Now I am living life to the fullest, with you. You are my life now, and the children I pray God will bless us with. I love you and I will love you until the end of our days. It will be my goal in life to make you happy for always. 

Maya sniffled, touched by Richard’s vows. They have known each other a short time, but it felt like they have known each other very long, not only in this lifetime.

Ricky, my Babe, my love, before I took that taxi ride, I was lost in my romance novels world and my last thought before I boarded that taxi was that someday, a guy especially-designed by God for me will come along. I never thought that a couple of minutes later, I will met that guy. Ganoon kabilis nag-reply si God. Life was never the same since that fateful day. As if the whole universe was aligned for our meeting. Destiny kita. I know that. I found the perfect guy for me, yes, I know, you will tell me you are not, but you are the closest to perfection I could find. I love you with everything in me, in everything I can give. I will be your partner in our wonderful journey together. I will love and cherish you. You and the children we will have will be my priority. My restless lonely traveling is over, as I have found home. You and I, and the kids, will travel together, exploring places and storing memories and experiences that will last us a lifetime. Mahal na mahal kita my Babe. 

They looked at each other, then Richard lifted Maya’s veil and kissed her thoroughly. They were so at it they forgot where they are.

“Ehemmmm, Maya, Richard.” A smiling Father Oscar interrupted them amid the laughter of those who were present, “Errrr, hindi pa ‘you may kiss the bride’ portion ng inyong pag-iisang dibdib.”

Maya and Richard looked at each other sheepishly, then Maya blushed, and hid her face on Richard’s chest upon realizing what they really did.

“Sorry po, Father.” Richard said, smiling. “Ito kasing Honeybun ko.” He said teasingly.

“Ha, bakit ako.” Maya protested, smiling. “Tayong dalawa kaya iyon.”

“Hmmm, eh kasi naman sobra akong nadala ng wedding vows mo.” Richard said as they were the only people there. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Maya replied, touching Richard’s face.

The smiling priest teased the couple, “O, bago mauwi sa pangalawang kiss, ituloy na natin ang ceremony.”

Richard helped Maya put back her veil and they faced the priest again, still smiling at each other.

Father Oscar said the final blessing to their union and announced to the guests that he is presenting to them, Mr. Richard and Mrs. Maya Lim.

“Now, you may kiss the bride na talaga.” Father Oscar teased the newly-weds, amid the laughter and teasing of their families and friends.

Richard smiled, then proceeded to remove Maya’s veil again, gently, cupped her face, lowered his head, then gave her a tender kiss. Then they smiled and whispered ‘I love you’ to each other before facing their families and friends. The kiss was followed by another as they were egged by the guests, with matching teasing from Cris na ngayon ba pa sila mahihiya matapos ang unscheduled kiss nila. Everyone laughed, happy.

The picture-taking that followed was still marked by Richard and Maya getting teased a lot about their impromptu kissing. The last photos the photographer took became Maya’s favorites. One of them was with Richard and her, and all their guests posing at the steps that leads to the church, and the majestic church and the bell tower in the background. She particularly like the wacky shot. Her most favorite, however was her and Richard standing in front of the church, sideways, with the facade of the church, the path that lead to the fortress-like side and the bell-tower in the background. They were looking at each other, candidly as they thought the photographer was already finished with the shots. It was the best photo they had as it was clearly visible the love they felt for each other, also the bump in Maya’s stomach that they were unaware of, at that time.

The wedding party, boarded the deluxe tourist buses that Don Roberto rented for the occasion. These were the same ones that took the guests to this beautiful church from the airport. Don Roberto asked the head of Time Airways, which the family owns, to make a special flight to Laoag for his son and daughter-in-law’s wedding. For the wedding reception, Maya and Richard decided to hold it at the courtyard of the house turned into a hotel they have stayed before. They just asked the inn, where they ate most of their stay before, to do the catering for for their reception. The owner agreed, happily so, having heard from Evelyn their story. Evelyn, who was so happy to know about their marriage, promised to take care of everything from that end. It turned out, she is the daughter of the owner of the hotel.

When the wedding party arrived at the reception. They were amazed. The place was transformed. They all felt like they were transported back to the 19th century Philippines and was about to attend a lavish party being held in that era.

“Happy, my honeybun?” Richard whispered to Maya as they danced their first dance as a husband and wife

“Sobra-sobra, Babe.” She whispered back, then caressed Richard’s nape. “Thank you. I’m the happiest girl in the world at this moment.”

“Then I am the happiest guy naman. I have been like than since we met.” Richard said, gazing at Maya lovingly, as they continued dancing without a space between them, lost in their own world.

When the music ended, the host called them back in front for the traditional reception ceremonies, marked by calls for them to kiss. Jeremy caught the garter that Richard lovingly removed from Maya’s thigh, with matching naughty grins on his face and unseen loving pinch from his Honeybun. Now, Maya knew where to aim the bouquet like Cris did, though she didn’t know if Cris really deliberately have thrown it in her direction. She threw it on the direction where Phailin was. Luckily, her Thai friend caught it.

“Playing cupid, my Honeybun.” Richard whispered to his bride, before he stole a kiss, while their guests were busy watching Jeremy put the garter on a laughing, blushing Phailin.

“Slight lang, my Babe.” Maya smiled at her husband. “Malay mo di ba? Bagay naman sila. Pareho pa sila ng job so it will be easier. Minsan mahirap maging husband or wife ang isang journalist, lalo na ang isang international correspondent, palipat-lipat.”

Jeremy and Phailin approached Maya and Richard after they gave it to the teasing of the crowd and shared a gentle kiss. They were teased to kiss, like Maya and Richard after Jeremy did a victory dance as soon as he managed to put the garter on Phailin’s thigh.

“Maya, Richard, lovely wedding! Thank you for making me a part of it.” Jeremy said, still smiling. ” Now, I know why wouldn’t even give me a glimmer of hope. I didn’t really a stand a chance with Richard here. Richard, you are lucky to have Maya.”

Richard smiled at the tall British guy. One can just help, but like him. “I know. Thank you for coming to our wedding.”

“Maya, see, I’m right that I might be going to the Philippines, for your wedding, and not your birthday. Be happy, my dear friend.” Phailin said, as she embraced her dear Filipina friend. “You too, Richard. I’m so happy for both of you. Take care of Maya, of each other.”

“Thank you, Phailin. You know that you are like a sister to me too.” Then whispered to her friend. “So, invite me also to you and Jeremy’s wedding, ha.”

Phailin laughed. “Maybe, if we end up together. We are still enjoying and getting used to our relationship. But I am thankful to you. We have gotten closer after you returned to the Philippines. I think, he also sort of, saw me in a new light. Though, he needed to recover from your rejection first.” She teased.

Maya laughed, “I doubt if he really was in love with me.”

They hugged. Phailin and Jeremy went back to dancing with the rest of the guests. Maya was happy to see Emman and Eleonor having fun, so were the other staff from their cafe. They too, were invited to the wedding. Eleanor shed a tear and thanked Maya profusely when Maya asked her to be one of her bridesmaids. Maya teased her, that siya pa ba ang mawawala sa wedding, eh presidente siya ng Team Richard. There was also John, having a merry time, making Mommy Tessie and Mama Esme laughed, also the aunts with his antics. He went solo to the wedding as his current girlfriend was busy with work. Don Roberto and the uncles were on another table, inspecting cigars and comparing them.

“May isa pang love team in the making, Honeybun.” Richard remarked, while hugging Maya from behind, as they stood at the base of the azotea watching everyone having fun. Then he pointed to a chatting couple in a corner.

Maya smiled. “I will be happy if they end up together.” She said, looking at Tristan and a very lovely Evelyn this evening. Then she turned and faced her husband.

“I love you Babe. I wish everyone will be as happy as we are. That they also find love like we have.” Maya said as she intertwined her hands on Richard’s nape.

“I love you too, Honeybun. My wish also. But for me, nag-iisa ka lang talaga.” Then he was about to whisper something more, with a naughty smile on his face, when his cousin and her husband interrupted them.

“Kumusta naman ang mga langgam ngayong gabi, parang present lahat ah?” Cris teased, while Stephen looked on. “Loyal na loyal sa inyong dalawa ah. Hindi kayo iniiwan, kahit saan kayo magpunta.”

Maya and Richard laughed. “Bessie, maraming salamat ulit, also, thank you Stephen. It meant a lot to me that you were my matron of honor. That the two of you are in our wedding.”

“Basta for you, ano ka pa. What are best friends for, tapos we are cousin na rin. Di ba, Kuya Ricky?” Cris replied, hugging Maya and then Richard. “Bessie, Kuya Ricky, Stephen and I will go ahead. Medyo kulang pa kami sa tulog.”

The cousins embraced, then said goodbye for now. They promised to have dinner before Cris and Stephen return to New York.

“Sa tingin mo puwede na tayo tumakas, Honeybun, my dearest wife? I think everyone would understand na….” Richard started saying as soon as Cris and Stephen left.

“….na what, Babe.” Maya asked, smiling. She knew what her husband wanted.

“….na kailangan nating ma-inspect iyong old room natin.”

“Hahahahaha, Babe, ikaw and your para-paraan.” Maya said, riding along with Richard’s teasing.

They smiled at each other, looking forward at their first night together as husband and wife. But despite their intention to escape, they stayed a bit more and partied with their guests.

“Maya, anak, I’m really so happy for you.” Mommy Tessie said, when she and Richard approached her, Mama Esme and Papa Roberto to say good night. Most of the guests have left for the night. “I’m sure, your dad is happy too, wherever he is.”

“I know, Mom. Thank you very much also for everything. I love you.” Maya said as she hugged her mother tight and kissed her in the forehead. “Thank you rin po sa inyo Mama, Papa.” Maya then hugged and kissed Don Roberto and Donya Esmeralda.

“Maya, hija, welcome to our family, again. Paulit-ulit namin iyang sasabihin ng Papa mo.” Mama Esme said. “Ikaw naman son, you take good care of Maya ha, saka bilisan na ang unang apo namin, di ba, balae.”

The elder Lims and Mommy Tessie laughed and teased the couple that they can go up na and work on their apo. Maya blushed and Richard grinned. They thanked the parents again.

Richard and Maya waved to the remaining guests, mostly their immediate families, and amid their teasing, entered the house, climbed up the stairs, to the room where they stayed before and where they first made love, to celebrate their first night as husband and wife.

 

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Crossroads – Chapter 19

Chapter 19
‘New York, New York’

Maya sniffled as she leaned against Richard’s shoulder, holding on to his biceps. She just can’t stopped herself. The scene before her was just so sad, and at the same time, cathartic. She should be used to it by now. This is not the first time she has seen Jean Valjean’s dying moment.

“Honeybun, here.” Richard offered Maya his handkerchief and smiled indulgently at his lovely fiancee, who he discovered is a cry baby when it comes to ‘Les Miserables’.

Watching Les Miserables in Broadway was one of the treats Richard prepared for his fiancee while they are in New York. She loves this musical and have seen it several times, though not in Broadway, as this was her first time in New York. They arrived here three days ago for Cris’s wedding.

Richard’s parents have been here since two weeks ago, with his Tita Susan and Tito Rafael, Tita Pamela and Tito Danny.  Mama Esme said, she and Tita Pamela would like to help Tita Susan and Cris with the last minute things that needed to be done before the wedding. At the same time, they wanted to relax a bit. They also opted to stay with Cris’s parents at their big apartment. Most of the other relatives who will attend the wedding are billeted in hotels of their choice. Luke, on the other hand, decided to stay with an old college friend.

Richard had asked Maya whether she wanted to stay in a hotel or in his apartment. He assured her that it was not the same one, where he lived with Natalie. Maya assured him it was not an issue with her if the apartment is the same. She opted for the apartment as she feel more comfortable in it since they will be staying in the city, several days more, after the wedding.

They met Cris and her fiance for dinner as soon as they got settled in Richard spacious apartment in Fifth Avenue, the first evening after they arrived. Maya have met Stephen before when he went to visit Cris in the Philippines. Richard on the other hand, knew him from before, when he was still living in New York.

Cris teased them a lot, saying that the two of them had a tornado-like courtship sa bilis. They grinned goofily and gazed at each other lovingly, momentarily forgetting Cris and Stephen, which prompted Cris to say that they brought all the langgam in the Philippines to New York. Mabuti raw, hindi sila naharang sa airport. They all laughed, and had to explain the inside joke to Stephen.

The two best friends also had some moments, on their own, when the fiances went to the restroom, one after the other. Cris told her bestfriend that she is really very happy that she will marry her cousin. They will not be just best friends now, but cousins too! She also told Maya just to play tourist with her Kuya Ricky for the next several days as everything is set for the wedding. They will just have a rehearsal the following afternoon.

Like Cris suggested, Richard and Maya have been playing tourists the next two days after that dinner. Well, Maya was the tourist, while Richard was more of the tour guide. The first day of their adventure, together, Maya cajoled Ricky into taking one of the double-decker tour buses they saw from Times Square. That way, she said, she will be familiar with most of the New York City sights, fast. They also met the rest of Cris wedding entourage late afternoon, and other relatives, for the wedding rehearsals. Afterwards, they just walked around Central Park, the highlight of which was a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around the park. They cuddled inside the carriage and exchanged sweet kisses.

The day after that, they took the tour boat to the Statue of Liberty. Maya was amazed at  finally seeing ‘the lady’, the symbol of freedom and the symbol of New York. They walked around Liberty Island and took a lot of photos. On the way back, they also stopped at Ellis Island, and the view of the New York skyline was just pretty amazing from there. The rest of the afternoon was spent seeing other sights on Maya’s list – from the Rockefeller Center, to the Grand Central Station to the Radio City Music Hall and so on. They saved the MoMA or the Museum of Modern Art and the Empire State Building for the days they will be there after Cris’s wedding which was the day after that. The evening was capped with this trip to the theater district to watch Les Miz.

“Thank you, Babe.” Maya said as she wiped her tears, then whispered to Richard. “Grabe, ewan ko ba, everytime I see Valjean dying, tapos dagdagan pa ng paglitaw ulit ni Fantine and ng mga namatay sa barricade, I cried talaga. Kahit doon sa movie version. Feeling ko kasi kasama ako sa struggles nilang lahat. I just love the universal theme of this musical –  love, unconditional love for that matter, redemptionm idealism, and unwavering faith.”

Richard smiled and held her hand. Maya is showing him a new perspective when it comes to this show, which he had seen before, but didn’t fully appreciate. She is showing him his old city in a new light! They both stood up with the rest of the audience when the cast made their curtain calls. They clapped enthustiastically, cheered and congratulated the wonderful cast.

Several minutes after, Maya and Richard exited the theater, holding hands.

“Babe, thank you very much again for the wonderful treat.” Maya stopped in the middle of the street, and kissed Richard lightly. “I love seeing Les Miz again and seeing Ramin Karimloo on stage was really, really the best treat. He was very good as Valjean. Guwapo also.” She became a fan after seeing him performed as the leader of the student revolutionaries Enjolras at the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miz, in which Lea Salonga was also a part of.

Richard smiled at his fiancee. “Mas guwapo pa sa akin, Honeybun?”

“Well, patingin nga.” Maya pretended to check Richard from head to foot.

“Sus, hamak namang….” She started.

“Mas guwapo siya sa akin?” Richard interrupted Maya, teasing.

“Babe, patapusin muna kasi ako.” Maya complained, smiling. “Sabi ko, hamak namang mas guwapong-guwapo ka sa kanya. Lamang na lamang ang Babe ko sa Ramin na iyon. No comparison at all. Hands down, ikaw na ang winner na winner.”

Richard laughed. “Silly! But thanks Honeybun, for being so loyal to your fiance. Halika na nga, I’m hungry na. Saan mo gustong kumain?”

“How about the restaurant that offers Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine we saw earlier, sa may Times Square ba iyon? One of the streets parallel to this one, di ba?” Maya suggested.

“Okay, they have good food nga there.” Richard agreed. “I think, it is this way.”

They walked several streets to the Asian restaurant Maya saw on their way to the theater. She remembered it as it was mentioned in an article she read before about going to the theater in NYC. She let Richard ordered. She was really very hungry. And Richard ordered a lot of food.

“Kaya ba natin iyang ubusin, Babe?” Maya asked, seeing plate after plate of mouth-watering food on their table.

“Hmmm, kaya iyan, Honeybun. We need all the energy later, for you know….. Richard smiled, wanting to get a rise out of his fiancee.

“Babe, one track mind ka naman.” Maya sweetly pouted.

“Hahahaha, Honeybun, di pa kasi ako tapos, assuming ka na.” Richard teased his fiancee. “I mean, energy for walking and walking later. We can walk around after our dinner. After all, this is the city that never sleeps, as they say.”

“Ikaw talaga, Babe. Aminin mo, double meaning ang statement mo.” Maya insisted.

“Hindi ah, walking lang talaga ang nasa isip ko….

“Really, really, Babe???”

“Yes, Honeybun!”

“Weh…..” Then she stuck out her tongue to him.

Richard laughed. “Let’s eat na nga.”

Like what Richard said, they walked, walked, and walked some more after dinner. They chatted most of the way and looked at the well-known landmarks they passed by. When they got tired, they took a taxi to Richard’s apartment.

“Home away from home.” Richard remarked as he turned on the lights.

“Yes, I really like this place, Ricky.” Maya said, gravitating towards the floor-to-ceiling window.”It’s a good thing you didn’t sell or sublet this apartment when you returned to the Philippines.”

“i thought of that. But I kind like this place a lot. Beside, sabi ko sa sarili ko before, I might come back here din, to visit.“ Richard said. “Well now, I’m glad that I didn’t. We can use this as our home away from home since I think someone fell in love with New York!”

Maya smiled. “Thanks, Babe! I did. I love the city, and especially the theater district. So many things to see, absorb and experience!”

“We can always take a vacation here, then travel to other nearby states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I think you will like Philadelphia, in particular.” Richard said, as he went the stereo system and the melody of ‘Unexpected Song’, the beautiful song from the musical ‘Song and Dance’, started filling the air.

“May I have this dance, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa, my Mrs. Lim-to-be? Ngayon may music na.” Richard asked, looking lovingly at Maya.

“Of course, my Mr. Lim.”

Maya and Richard danced to the beautiful melody and lyrics of the song.

I have never felt like this

For once I’m lost for words

Your smile has really thrown me

This is not like me at all

I never thought I’d know

The kind of love you’ve shown me

 

Now, no matter where I am

No matter what I do

I see your face appearing

Like an unexpected song

An unexpected song

That only we are hearing

“I love you very much, Maya.” Richard whispered to Maya’s ear as they danced as close as two people can be, sometimes, with his chin on her shoulder, and Maya’s cheek pillowed on Richard’s broad chest. “The song is apt. I never felt like this before. I wouldn’t tire of telling you that.”

“I love you too, Ricky. My heart is so full of love for you, it is immeasurable! You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” Maya looked at her fiance with so much love. “Thank you for loving me so much.”

Maya and Richard gazed at each other with so much love in their eyes. They sealed it with a sweet kiss. The song ended. Richard carried Maya to their bedroom and made sweet love to her. They went to sleep sated, still in a very tight embrace, as if they didn’t want to let go of each other, even while sleeping.

“Ricky. Babe, wake up na, we need to get ready na.” Maya has been trying to wake up Richard the past several minutes the following morning, late morning, or noon! They overslept. She shook him a bit on the shoulder, to no avail, so she started giving him a kiss and tickling him.

“I want to sleep some more.” Richard said sleepily. “Maaga pa naman, I think.” Then he grabbed Maya back to the bed, and started kissing her hotly.

“Babe, we will be late. I have to help Cris pa. I’m the maid of honor, baka nakakalimutan mo, Mr. Lim.” Maya protested, half-heartedly.

Richard looked at the clock and saw that it was just around before noon, then grinned naughtily, “We have plenty of time pa, Honeybun.”

They finally made it out of the house two hours later. Just in time to go to the place where all the members of the entourage will prepare for Cris’s wedding. Maya changed into her maid of honor gown.

By four o’clok that afternoon, Cris walked down the long, and beautifully-decorated aisle of the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral in a lace gown made by Monique Lhuillier, to her handsome waiting groom, Stephen Roberts.

The ceremony was beautiful. While everyone’s eyes was on the bride and groom, Richard’s eyes were on his beautiful fiancee, thinking that their moment like this will come soon and he is so looking forward to it. More than a month more and it will be his and Maya’s turn. Their parents, Maya, and the wedding planner have made a lot of headway already with the preparations. His dad finished arranging the logistics of them going to Ilocos, a week after the engaegement dinner. The church was also booked. The invites have all been sent.

The wedding party travelled to the harbor from the majestic cathedral after the picture taking. For the reception, the newlyweds, chartered a yacht that would cruise along New York Harbor for five hours.

“Congratulations, again, bessie, and Stephen.” Maya hugged Cris, and then Stephen.

“Cousin, congratulations. You too, Stephen.” Richard also said, hugging Cris and shaking Stephen’s hand.

“Thank you bessie, cousin. The next one will be yours!” Cris said. “By the way, good news, Stephen and I can be there. I can be your matron of honor! We revised our honeymoon plans to include the Philippines.”

“Yes, Maya, Richard. We did. I suggested it to Cris since I know she wouldn’t want to miss your wedding. She said she felt like she played Cupid to both of you.” Stephen added, smiling. “Besides, I think I would like to see Palawan.”

“Oh, thank you so much, bessie, Stephen.” Maya was very happy that Cris can come. “This means a lot to Ricky and I. And Stephen, you will love Palawan! I can recommend a good place you can stay.”

“Thank you, Cris and Stephen, for this.” Richard added, happy for his Honeybun. He knew how much she wanted Cris to be at their wedding, but understood that she may not be able to make it due to her scheduled honeymoon in Hawaii.

They were about to chat some more when the hosts called the newlyweds for the reception ceremony. When it was time for the garter throwing, Richard, Luke and several other male Lims, and Stephen’s cousins and friends lined-up. Richard got the garter and grinned. He wish Maya will get the bouquet. Then he remembered Cris’s statement about deliberately throwing it to Maya.

Cris called all the single ladies, which included Maya and all her bridesmaids, her New York friends, some friends from the Philippines and cousins living in various parts of the US for the bouquet throwing ceremony. For this, she had another bouquet made, a replica of the one she carried in church, which she would like to preserve for posterity. Cris threw the bouquet, and landed on Maya who instinctively caught it. Everyone clapped and Richard said a loud “Yes,” which made the Philippine contingent to the wedding, laughed and ribbed him.

Richard, grinning, slowly put the garter on Maya’s leg, with matching subtle caresss on her leg that was not visible to the audience, but Maya can feel it so much. When the garter was up to her thigh, they stood up. People egged them to kiss which they did, enthusiastically.

Soon after, the dancing started, and they joined the newly-weds and a lot of the guests, including Donya Esmeralda, Don Roberto, the aunts and uncles, and Stephen’s parents, on the dance floor. It was a fantastic and fun-filled celebration.

Several dances after, Maya told Richard that she would like to catch her breath. Rchard told Maya he knew the best place for it. They went to the aft of the yacht. Maya brought with her the wedding bouquet she caught, not wanting to leave it inside.

“So, Honeybun, feeling ko naman hindi na magiging pressed flowers ang bouquet na nasalo mo since nakatagpo ka na rin ng Prince Charming and your ideal man.” Richard teased his fiancee, pointing to himself, reminding her of that conversation the first day they meet which felt like a lifetime ago.

Maya smiled, remembering that too. Teasing Richard, she said,  “Hmmm, pinag-iisipan ko pa iyong Prince Charming part.”

They both laughed.

“Yes, Babe.I did find my Prince Charming, my ideal man. You are more than what I wished for.” Then she touched his face lovingly. “I love you very much, my Babe.”

“I love you too, very very much, my Honeybun.” Richard said with all the love he is feeling.

Richard lowered his head, and give Maya a tender kiss. Amid the backdrop of the New York skyline, they affirmed their love and commitment to each other.

 

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Only Love – Prologue

Prologue

Lim sole heir to take over management of LHI

Lim Holdings Incorporated has a new President and Chief Executive Officer.

In a statement, LHI corporate legal counsel Ryan Molina said that Richard Lim, the only son of the late business magnate, Roberto Lim, was elected to the position uninamously by the LHI Board of Directors, in their board meeting yesterday.  

The appointment ended speculations on who will succeed the esteemed elder Lim, who succumbed to colon cancer several weeks ago.

“Richard Lim is just wrapping up his work and transferring his responsibilities to his successor in New York before he assumes his posts,” the LHI lawyer added.

The younger Lim has a degree from Harvard Business School. He has been in charge of the company’s international operations since 2009.

Prior to his assignment in the US, Richard Lim was the Chief Operations Officer of LHI.

Lim, 35 years old, married the socialite Alexandra Coronel in New York in 2007. They divorced more than a year after the marriage and no reason was given by both parties. 

Maya Dela Rosa almost dropped the cup of coffee she was holding while browsing the news online when she saw that business news. As if there was something propelling her, she clicked the link to the story.

So, Richard Lim is moving back to the Philippines! It has been eight years since she last saw him, since they last shared a kiss. It has been eight years since the life she thought they were building together fell apart. She was that young, and she was that naive, that at age 22, she believed that she had found her happily ever after.

Maya thought that he would just be someone that was in her past, something she wanted to stay there, but now, it does not look like it. He is invading her present too. There’s nothing she can do about it since it will be inevitable that they will meet once he arrives back in the Philippines.

Maybe, it is the right time to face the past and finally put it to rest. She is about to commit herself to another person. She was about to say yes to Rafael who has been earnestly wooing her for over a year now. But is it fair to him for her to do so, if there is still this unresolved thing in her past? Should she wait or should she just say yes to a new relationship and move on?  Is it fair to Rafael to do so?

Is she really over Richard? Why would her heart skipped a beat by just seeing his photo that accompanied the article. He looked as handsome as the first time she met him. After what happened, she should have been over him. But the heart has a will and a language of its own. It took her a long time to recover and moved on. But after all this time, she should really be over him. She is over him! But is she really or she is just trying to convince herself when she said that?

She needed to be sure that she is. The only way for her to really know is to face him. Maybe, she will be at peace after that, and accept that Richard, her first love, was just that, a first love that was not meant to be.

 

Note: My next story, sort of! 🙂  Still working on Chapter 19 of Crossroads! Low batt na kaya hindi matapos! 🙂 

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