Archive for February, 2015
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Be Careful With My Heart
November 27, 2013 Episode (Richard and Maya’s Honeymoon in Japan)
Richard: Everyday, thousands of people cross this street, sort of reminds me of us.
Richard: That day sa Jones Bridge, what if we had never crossed paths?
Maya: Kung hindi man tayo nagkakilala noong araw na iyon, pwedeng kinabukasan, o di kaya sa susunod na linggo, o sa isang linggo. O kung hindi man tayo sa Jones Bridge nagkakilala, sa ibang lugar.
Richard: You really believe that?
Maya: Oo naman, Ricky. Destiny kita eh. Magkakasalubong at magkakasalubong tayo. Kasi pag hindi nangyari iyon. Magagalit ang universe pag hindi tayo nagkatagpo!
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“Pippa, anak, please visit soon ha! Ingat ka sa biyahe, and please text me as soon as you get home. Saka, make sure, you always eat, lalo na when you are working. Huwag puro kape na lang. Feeling ko nakakalimutan mo nang kumain on time! ” Mommy Marianne said as she said goodbye to Pippa the following morning at the gate of their family home.
“Yes, Mom, I will. Text ko po kayo kaagad pagkadating ko sa condo. I promise to eat properly and as soon as maplantsa ko ang lahat regarding this new program, and I’m sure that I can stay longer, I will come back.” Pippa promised her mother, hugging her tight. She felt sad to be going, and she hates goodbyes. “Manang Doray, ikaw na po ang bahala kay Mom!”
“Naku, Pippa, anak, huwag kang mag-aalala at ako ang bahala dito sa Mommy mo. Mag-iingat ka ha.” Manang Doray told Pippa, hugging her also.
Ethan just looked on, waiting patiently, straddling the motorcycle as Pippa said goodbye to everyone. He felt sad too that she is leaving. But what can he do? Pippa needs to go back to work. At the back of his mind, he wonders how one he just met became a vital part of his life! But he does not want to dwell on it now.
“Ethan, ikaw na ang bahalang maghatid kay Pippa sa pier ha. Ingat kayong dalawa” Mommy Marianne repeated.
“Don’t worry, Tita Marianne. I’ll take care of Pippa until she boards the ferry.” Ethan said. “Pippa, here’s your helmet!”
Ethan handed Pippa her helmet and then fastened his. Pippa looked at Ethan waiting for her. He does looked like Matthew Goode, in that pose, she mused, remembering the actor as Mandy Moore’s love interest, Ben, in the movie Chasing Liberty!
Pippa securely fastened her helmet. Ethan double-checked if it is was too snug and adjusted it a bit so that Pippa is more comfortable. Pippa climbed on the motorcycle, straddling also, behind Ethan, her backpack, strapped on her shoulders.
“Hold on to my waist, Pippa so you don’t fall. Put your arms around me.” Ethan instructed her. “By the way, have you ridden a motorbike before?” He asked as an afterthought.
“No. This is my first time kaya huwag mong masyadong bilisan. Lalo na diyan sa may curve dahil baka mamaya, wala ka na palang passenger.” Pippa said, half-excited, half-afraid of the motorcycle ride with Ethan.”But I do trust you, Ethan.” Then patted him in the back.
“You should!” Ethan said, smiling. “I used to race in my dirt bike! Don’t worry, I will be extra careful!”
“Really, you did! Good thing you are still in one piece!” She teased!
“Hahahaha, Pippa Montenegro, oh, ye of little faith!” Ethan said smiling. “We will get going, Tita Marianne, Manang Doray. I’ll be back as soon as I deposited Pippa to her ferry. Baka you want me to get something in town also para maka-save na kayo ng trip.”
“Wala naman, Ethan. We have everything in the house. Thanks a lot.” Marianne said. “Dumaan ka dito pagkabalik mo and have breakfast.”
“Sa town na lang po, Tita Marianne,” Ethan said. “Thank you. Pippa and I will get going.”
“Bye Mom, I love you!” Pippa said, then wave at her Mom as Ethan started the motorcycle and they were on their way.
Pippa held on to Ethan. It felt very nice to do so. Ethan also liked Pippa’s arms around him as he navigated the winding road going to Poblacion! There was not much traffic, the morning air cool, and the view is very nice, with the side of tbe mountain on the right, and the view of the sea and beyond at the left.
“So, how are you doing, Pip?” Ethan asked. “Okay ka lang ba, diyan?”
“Oh, very good! I didn’t realize that riding a motorcycle is very nice.” Pippa replied. She likes the feel of the wind on her face and the closeness of hers and Ethan’s body. “Exciting, actually!”
“See! I’m right! If you hadn’t had to cut your vacation short, I could take you for a spin. We could go up the dirt road to the mountain and to the waterfalls there in a motorbike, not this one, though. But I do know a German who lives at the next beach who has a dirt bike we can borrow.”
“Sayang nga! Kung hindi lang kailangan kong bumalik, I think I would like that. Maybe, you will still be here when I manage to return, and then we can try it.” Pippa said, at the same time, the thought of not seeing Ethan again was making her feel blue.
“Sure! Let me know. Maybe I ought to buy another mobile phone so we can keep in touch.” Ethan remarked lightly.
“You don’t have one?” Pippa asked surprise. She does not know of anyone who hasn’t have one or who does not need a mobile phone.
“Oh, I had one, but I lost it in Thailand. Then I realized I like not having one.” Ethan replied as they approached the town. “There was no need. I just check my e-mail from time to time. If Mum needs to get in touch with me, she can just e-mail me or call Tita Marianne.”
“Maybe, it would be better if you get one. I can’t imagine, not having one.” Pippa said. “Kailangan mo rin iyon kapag may emergency. Anyway, when you manage to get one, just ask Mom for my number.”
“Okay, I will.” Ethan said as he parked the motorcycle in front of a restaurant by the pier. He removed his helmet and helped Pippa removed hers.
They walked towards the ticket office. They found out that the first boat will leave not at 6 o’clock in the morning as Pippa thought, but at 8 o’clock due to a mechanical problem. They bought Pippa’s ticket.
“Hmmm, now, I have two hours to kill here!” Pippa remarked. “Di bale, okay lang since my boss told me to report for work na lang tomorrow. Iyon nga lang, for sure, lahat ng traffic all the way to Quezon City, I will encounter. Oh well, that is life!”
“Now, that you have time, let’s eat breakfast.” Ethan suggested. “I’m starving. The morning air made me hungry. I want a cup of coffee too!”
Pippa and Ethan walked to the restaurant where Ethan parked the motorcycle. Ethan chose the table which was the best view of the harbor. He seated Pippa, then gestured for the waiter to give them a menu.
“What would you like to have, Pippa?” Ethan asked as he perused the menu the waiter handed to them.
“Hmmm, I think I will have an American breakfast and a cup of coffee.” Pippa replied. “Tapos, maybe fresh ripe mango shake if they have it. How about you?”
“I think I’ll have the ‘continental’ breakfast. And the same drinks as yours.” Ethan replied and then called on the waiter and told him of their order.
“So when you left England, you left your job too?” Pippa asked as they were waiting for their orders.
“Well, I was working for myself before I decided to pack my bags and left as far away as a I could. I might pick up work again. I can even do it from here or in Manila.” Ethan said. “I’m not in a hurry, though.”
“So, just in case you find yourself in Manila one day, give me a call, okay.” Pippa remarked offhand, Ethan giving her the opening for it.
“Sure, I will. Actually, I have been thinking of going there.” Ethan said. “I just passed by it on the way here. There is also a guy from Belgium I need to meet for possible work here. Just want to check my options.”
“Really! Please let me know when you are coming. Where will you be staying pala?” Pippa asked. She wanted to offer her place to Ethan but he might have other plans.
“I’m thinking of staying in a hotel in Manila, the capital, or in Makati.” Ethan replied.
“No, no, don’t do that. I have a guest room. You can just stay with me.” Pippa offered Ethan. ” I can take you where you would meet your friend and places you want to go. Hindi ka sanay sa Metro Manila. It would be easier if I take you around.”
“Well, are you sure it is okay for you to do so, Pip? You will be busy with your new programme, isn’t it?” Ethan asked. He likes what Pippa is offering, but she might be very busy with work and he does not want to add to her burden, as much as he likes the idea of staying with her and being with her most of the time. Actually, his plan to go to Manila was very loose, but now that Pippa is going back there, he decided to push through with it.
“No worries, Ethan. I would be happy too. Besides, I will not be working all the time and saka by the time naman that you are in Manila, okay na ang schedule ko. It would be nice also to touch base rin with you.”
“Thanks a lot, Pippa, if it is no trouble, then I will take you up on that offer.” Ethan said, feeling happier now that he will see Pippa again. “I really would like that. Maybe, we can also go out in the evenings.”
“Sure, that would be okay. I can take you to the nice new restaurants in Quezon City and Pasig too.” Pippa said.
“It’s a date then!” Ethan said, giving Pippa a brilliant smile.
Pippa and Ethan’s breakfast arrived soon after. They chatted while eating, making plans of what they can do pa if Ethan finally find himself in Manila. An hour so, after, they were about to leave the restaurant when someone called Ethan.
“Ethan!” A tall, beautiful foreigner called Ethan from the opposite direction. “Fancy seeing you here, so early. How have you been? I have not seen you down the beach since the other day. I missed you!” The beautiful girl about Pippa’s age told Ethan. Then she saw Pippa. “Oh, hello there! I’m Madeline, a friend of Ethan’s.” However, she was looking at Ethan as if she wants to be more than friends with him.
Before Pippa can react, Ethan pulled her closer to him. He put his arm on her shoulder as well. “Madeline, this is a special friend of mine, Pippa Montenegro. Pippa, this is Madeline Bertrand from France. She is staying at one of your guest cottages down at the beach.”
“I’m please to meet you Madeline. I hope you are enjoying your stay at The Cove!” Pippa said with a friendly smile, at the same time, wondering about Ethan’s action.
“Oh, you are Belle’s cousin!” Madeline said. “ I usually chat with Belle when I stay at the bar for a drink or two. I never realized that you and Ethan knew each other that well.” She remarked, looking at how close Pippa and Ethan were, with Ethan toying with Pippa’s hair. “I’ll get going then. Nice to meet you too.”
They waved at Madeline, who joined another foreigner girl carrying grocery bags. They can see her talking earnestly to her and then both of them looked surreptitiously at Ethan and Pippa.
“Hmmm and what was that, Mr. Ethan Benitez Bowman!” Pippa asked with an arched eyebrow, looking at Ethan.
“Pippa, sorry for that and thank you for playing along. She wouldn’t get the hint that I’m not interested.” Ethan said.
“Oh, an admirer, huh, Clark Kent!?” Pippa teased.
“Pippa naman, I thought I look like Matthew Goode and not Henry Cavill!” He teased back.
“Hahahaha, and the flattery goes to the head.” Pippa said laughing.
They both laughed.
“Halika na nga, bumalik na tayo doon sa may ferry. Malapit na palang umalis.” Pippa said.
They walked back to where the ferry was docked and saw people boarding.
“O paano, Ethan, good bye for now! Thanks for the ride and the breakfast. Basta, let me know if you will go to Manila ha.” Pippa said, feeling a bit sad. She then gave Ethan a big hug. “And do not leave the country without saying goodbye, okay?”
“I will, promise. And I will not leave the Philippines without you knowing.” Ethan said, gazing at Pippa intently, then he cupped her face. “I’ll miss you a lot Pippa.” Then he lowered his lips to hers and gave her a light kiss.
Pippa just stared at Ethan, her lips still tingling from the quick kiss. Then said softly, “I’ll miss you a lot too.”
They shared a meaningful smile. Ethan touched Pippa’s cheek gently. “Take care. See you soon.”
Pippa gave him a smile that lit up her whole face. Then said, “You too,” before boarding the ferry that would take her away from Mindoro again.
Ethan stayed at the pier, until Pippa’s ferry pulled out of the harbor and started sailing towards the direction of Batangas. He feels very sad and lonely already!
Pippa on the other hand, was wishing that she could just get off the boat then and stay longer in Mindoro. She stared at the receding harbor, until it was just a a small dot, feeling like she had left her heart in Puerto Galera.
Note: Second Valentine treat! 🙂 ❤ ❤ For those who are following Pippa and Ethan’s journey as well! ❤ ❤ ❤
Maya felt like Richard was trying to look at her very soul by the way he was gazing at her after his words that shifted their relationship to a beautiful new level. She felt this overwhelming emotion towards him. She also felt like heart was going to burst. Grabe ka Maya Dela Rosa, manlligaw pa lang si Ricky nang lagay na iyon ha! She admonished herself. Kalma lang.
Trying to collect her scattered wits, Maya gave Richard another smile that lit up her whole face.
“So, let’s watch the movie na, Ricky?” She mentioned the first thing she thought of to bring things to a normal level dahil baka hindi na makayanan ng puso niya. “Unless, you want to have dinner now?”
“Come, let’s watch your movie muna Maya. I want to see it too since you like it.” Richard said, giving Maya one of his beautiful lopsided smiles that make her heart aflutter always.
Maya settled in beside Richard into the couch. Then she played the movie from the start so Richard can watch it from the beginning. They settled in to watch the movie which Maya told Richard, is one of her ultimate favorites. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck really looked so good on screen. When they kissed for the first time after taking an impromptu swim into the river while escaping, Maya remembered the kiss she and Richard shared the night before. Richard remembered it too. They caught each other gazing at the other after that scene. From then on, they became intensely aware of each other and their close proximity. Both fought the feeling. Maya can’t help it, she was imagining her and Richard sharing that kiss!
When the credits rolled, Richard heard Maya sniffling. “Maya, are you crying?” Richard asked, checking by looking at her closely.
“Sorry, just a little bit! Sobrang touching naman kasi. Ramdam ko ang longing nila for each other, kaso hindi naman pwede, di ba? Like Princess Ann said, she has a duty to her people and country. Hay, I just wish lang that every time na panonoorin ko ito, magkakatuluyan na sila ni Joe Bradley!” Maya said, dabbing her eyes.
“Doon sa last scene, I was wishing na lalabas ulit si Princess Ann and then will go to Joe one more time! Have you not feel his longing for her to come out pa rin kahit alam niyang hanggang doon na lang sila,” She added.
“Well, depends on how you look at it. The ending was open ended naman, just think na that they lived in an ideal world and that somehow, love had conquered all!” Richard said, smiling. “Hindi naman imposible na magkita sila ulit. See, it happened to us, di ba. Malay natin, gumawa pala ng paraan si Joe to be near Ann or vice-versa.”
“Wow, Mr. Lim, I didn’t know that you have such a romantic streak!” Maya said, smiling.
“Well, I’m feeling romantic these days.” Richard said gazing at Maya intently.
Maya felt her heart beating fast again. She gave Richard a sweet smile.
“So ilang beses mo nang napanood itong ‘Roman Holiday’?” Richard asked.
“I think this is pang-limang beses na!” Maya admitted.
“You like it that much! But I agree, it is a very good film!” Richard said. “I will get it for Mama, too. Matagal ka na bang mahilig sa classics?”
“I was more into it after Mamang died. I used to watch old movies with her when I was younger. Maliban kasi sa mga beauty pageants, mahilig din siya sa mga lumang film! Bonding time namin ang panonood ng lumang movies. Siya rin ang dahilan kung bakit mahilig ako sa books. She used to teach Literature sa college sa Mindoro.” Maya told Richard. “Maybe it was my way of coping with her death and remembering her. Then the more I watch, the more I enjoyed those movies, hayan I’m collecting DVDs na!”
“You really had a very good role model in your Mamang, Maya!” Richard remarked. “I wish I got the chance to meet your grandmother.”
“Oo nga. But she was gone too soon!” Maya said with a tinge of sadness, then smiling, she said, “I’m pretty sure my Mamang will like you had she met you.”
“Really, you think so!” Richard said, smiling. pleased with what Maya said.
“Oo naman, Ricky.” Maya said. “What’s not to like?”
“So, palagay mo ba, Ms Dela Rosa, magiging boto sa akin ang Mamang mo?” Richard asked, smiling, teasing her.
“Siguro. Pero sasabihin noon, ligawan mo muna ng husto ang apo ko, bago ka magtanong ng ganyan.” Maya teased Richard back.
“Gagawin ko naman ah.” Then Richard pretended to look up to heaven. “Mamang, liligawan ko naman ng husto itong apo niyo. Pero ilakad niyo ako para sagutin ako kaagad.”
Maya laughed at Richard’s antics, at the same time, she felt very giddy.” You are being silly, Richard Lim. Kain na kaya tayo at gutom lang iyan. Give me a couple of minutes to set up the table.”
But instead of waiting, Richard went with Maya to the kitchen and helped her set the table.
Maya put the flowers Richard gave her on the middle of the table. The bouquet he gave her the other evening, she had put on the table beside her bed. Richard got the wine from the bucket where Maya had put it and, poured a glass for Maya, and then him.
“This is a lot of food for the two of us!” Richard remarked, appreciating Maya’s effort. “Looks so good. Thank you for this Maya.”
“You’re welcome, Ricky. I hope you will like everything.” Maya said smiling.
“I’m sure I will.” Richard seated Maya, then sat on her left.
Maya started serving salad to Richard, but before they ate, Richard offered a toast.
“To us, Maya!” Richard said, looking at her with love.
“To us, Ricky!” Maya replied with the sweetest and brightest of smiles, mirroring the immense happiness she was feeling at that moment.
Maya and Richard proceeded to enjoy their sumptuous dinner. They also chatted while eating leisurely. At times, they would share a look and grinned goofily at each other. When they were finished with their main course, Maya asked Richard if he would like to have dessert.
“Maybe in a while, Maya! My tummy is so full. That was a very delicious meal.” Richard said, drinking the last of the wine in his glass. “You are a very good cook.”
“Thank you.” Maya said smiling. “I like cooking. It relaxes me. How about another cup of coffee? I can bring it to the living room!”
“That would be good. But I will help you clean up muna.” Richard offered.
“Ricky, ano ka ba, okay lang. I can do that later. Kaunti lang naman ito.” Maya protested.
“Nope, it is the least I could do for you after that very nice dinner.” Richard insisted, then started helping out Maya. Maya stopped protesting. They worked in synch until the kitchen and the dining room were in order and very clean.
“O since finished na tayo, go to the living room. I will bring coffee and the dessert. I’m sure we can eat that now.” Maya said. “I made ref cake.”
“Okay, I’m sure I can’t walk anymore after eating that.” Richard teased.
Richard went to the living room and was looking at the view when Maya walked in carrying a tray. She placed it on the coffee table. Richard walked back to the sofa and sat beside Maya.
“Thank you, Maya.” He said after Maya handed him the dessert. He tasted it and said, “Wow!” Then dived in, enjoying the dessert as well.
They ate in companionable silence. When they were sipping their second cup of coffee for the evening, Richard asked Maya her plans for the rest of the week.
“Well, tomorrow, I’m thinking of just walking around the area. See where my feet will take me. Then on the 24th, I will go to Tita Lulu and Tito Mario’s house for the noche buena like I have mentioned before,, then probably return here on Christmas Day.” Maya enumerated. “How about you?”
“Hmmmm, I’m also free tomorrow. Can we go together on that walk, spend the day together, then have dinner at one of the restaurants in the area? That is, kung okay lang.” Richard asked, hoping that Maya would say yes.
“Sure, Ricky! I would be happy to have you as company.” Maya replied. In fact, she was looking forward to that! Another day with Richard!
“Great!” Richard said, grinning. “Tapos isa pang request please.” He said, then plunged in. “Can we spend Christmas Day together? I know you will spend it with your family as I would, pero at least can we spend Christmas afternoon, together?”
Hearing Richard’s request, Maya felt very happy. She would like that too. She wants to celebrate her ‘first Christmas’ with him. Christmastime, especially when you are in a foreign country, made one missed the Philippines more and the loved ones you have left behind. Aside from thinking of her family, she also thought more of Richard during this season. Now, she will be celebrating it with him!
“I would love that, very much, Ricky.” Maya said softly.
“Thank you, Maya. You made me the happiest guy! I’m looking forward to our first Christmas together.” He simply said, making Maya’s heart rate go up with what he said.
Maya and Richard spent the rest of the evening learning more about each other, and chatting about every topic they could think of, so very happy in each other’s company that they quite forgot the time, until Richard accidentally looked at the clock and noticed that it’s midnight!
Richard told Maya that he will get going. He thanked her again for the wonderful time and then they agreed to see each other before lunch the following day. At the door of Maya’s place, Richard gave her a good night kiss on the lips, very gently, but it made Maya’s lips tingle with the lingering feeling of that wonderful kiss. They smiled at each other, then parted for the night.
“Good night, Maya, thank you for another best day.” Richard said, gazing at Maya tenderly. “Sweet dreams!”
“Good night, Ricky! Thank you too for a wonderful and very memorable day!” Maya simply said. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Drive carefully. Sweet dreams!”
Richard texted Maya several minutes after saying that he had arrived home. Just like the night before, they went to bed very happy!
The following day, Richard dressed in well-worn jeans and grey t-shirt that fitted him so well, arrived at Maya’s condo with two tumblers of coffee and breakfast, well brunch, from the cafe they have been to the day before. He was also holding a bouquet of red roses and a beautiful vase.
Richard noticed that Maya has not gotten around to buying one as the flowers he gave her the night before was put in a big jar. Maya explained that she still need to shop for stuffs for her place, as well as some big ticket items for her bedroom and guest room.
“Good morning, Maya!” Richard greeted Maya with a big smile. “I got breakfast. And these are for you.”
“Good morning, Ricky!” Maya said with a big smile. She too was dressed for going out in a pair of skinny jeans and loose cotton blouse and ballet flats. “Thank you for the flowers, and the vase for it! They are beautiful. Uy, nagdala ka rin ng breakfast! I thought we will eat there na lang sa cafe!”
“Well, baka kasi marami ng tao doon kasi too close to Christmas na and besides, I prefer to have breakfast with you like this.” Richard said.
“You have a point there. I like this better too.” Maya said. “Halika, let’s eat na.”
More than four hours later, Maya and Richard hit the streets around their area. They opted to spend the afternoon in Maya’s place. They ended up chatting and getting caught up in each other that they forgot the time again. Realizing that it was still a bit hot to go out, they opted to watch ‘An Affair To Remember’. When the movie was finished, Richard quietly handed Maya tissue when he heard her sniffling again, loudly this time.
“Thank you, Ricky!” Maya said smiling. “Sobrang touching naman kasi. Pero at least, sila pa rin in the end!”
“True. Now I truly understand you and Mama, and Mamang’s fascination with old movies. They reached out to your emotions without all the fancy stuffs nowawadays, just pure emotion and there is a kind of beautiful and innocent romance in those old movies. Aside from the very good actors that had starred in them” Richard said.
“I agree! I like rin naman contemporary movies, pero iba pa rin ang pull sa akin ng old movies. I just wished I managed to go to the top of the Empire State Building when I was in New York.” Maya said. “Hanggang sa tapat lang ako kasi walang time to go up!”
“You haven’t? Me too. Never had the opportunity or the time to do while I was in the city.” Richard remarked, then said, “Maybe, one day, we can go there together!”
“I would like that!” Maya smiled happily, feeling giddy, hearing Richard planning like this for the two of them. “So, shall we get going. Medyo hapon na kaya masarap nang maglakad.”
Maya and Richard went out several minutes. They were not planning to go far so they just took a leisurely walk while chatting. They ended up at the park beside The Mind Museum with a cup of coffee in hand.
“Ricky, do you always want to be an architect. and an engineer?” Maya asked while sipping the latte Richard got for her before they ended up in the park.
“Yes, I love to draw and at a young age, was interested in designs, even in painting. I like looking at buildings, houses, studying the lines. My father was more into me taking a business course. In the end, you see we managed to compromise. Though I leave most of the operations side of things to Mama.” Richard said. “Speaking of Mama, how about the dinner with my parents the day after Christmas?”
Maya paused and thought for a while. She is okay with meeting Richard’s parents, but she is also kind of shy to do so as she and Ricky had just started. “Sure, it would be okay to do so, Ricky?”
“Yes, it is perfectly okay, Maya. Pero it does not have to be on the 26th.” Richard said, sensing that Maya is having misgivings about it. Maybe, because everything is still so new to her and happening very fast. Besides kasisimula pa lang naman niyang manligaw, Richard mused.
“If it is okay, can we just do it after our trip to Mindoro or before the New Year? Before they leave the country. Di ba sabi mo, they will go abroad for the New Year.” Maya said.
“Sure, no worries, Maya.” Richard assured Maya.
When it got a bit dark, Richard and Maya went to one of the restaurants at Bonifacio High Street to have dinner.
The following day, Richard was back in Maya’s apartment around five o’clock in the afternoon to take her to her family’s home. He also brought a gift for Cho and pastries for the Franciscos. He only stayed a bit at her family’s home, as he will go to Quezon City to celebrate Christmas with his parents, some aunts and cousins on his father’s side of the family.
It was a wonderful Christmas celebration for the Franciscos since Maya was finally home! The food, drinks and merriment were overflowing. After noche buena, they exchanged gifts. Maya saw what Richard gave Cho, a Lego Star Wars set!
Maya’s phone also beeped after midnight, which made her jump as she was waiting for it to beep, sort of. Cris teased her after seeing her with a big goofy, smile. It was Richard wishing her Merry Christmas and telling her, he wished they were together that moment. Maya texted him back, saying that this is her best Christmas ever, with her family celebrating with her and with him in her life too. She also told Richard that she also wished they were together. But told him, they will see each other in a couple of hours. Maya’s reply earned the biggest grin Donya Esmeralda had seen from her son.
Richard picked up Maya from the Francisco’s after lunch. Tita Lulu and Tito Mario asked him to have dinner there. Maya told her aunt and uncle that she and Richard would love to, but some other time, as that day, they have already made plans. Her Tita Lulu smiled and teased her a bit on the side, which made Maya blushed. Good thing her Ate Cris and Kuya Jeff already went home as they will be going to Jeff’s family pa, otherwise, she would have been teased by them too!
Richard and Maya arrived at Maya’s place less than 30 minutes after.
“Maya, I’ll follow na lang! I will park the car first.” Richard suddenly said when they were in front of the building.
Maya was a bit surprised as usually Richard just go up with her. But she just shrugged it off. “Okay, I will just tell the reception that you would be along.” She just carried the food her Tita Lulu sent with her.
Several minutes after, Maya’s bell rang. When Maya opened the door, she saw Richard carrying a big flat rectangular gift, beautifully wrapped, also a huge picnic basket, and another beautiful floral arrangement!
“Ricky, ang dami mo pa lang dala! You should have told me para natulungan kita!” Maya exclaimed, as she helped him by carrying the gift and the flowers inside.
“It is okay, Maya. My surprises for you!” Richard said smiling. “But first thing first, I thought it would be nice to have a picnic kahit indoors so here it is.”
“Oh, this is wonderful Ricky!” Maya said liking the idea. “I know of the perfect spot.”
Maya then carried the picnic basket to the big floor to ceiling window. When she looked inside the basket, she saw that it contained a table cloth with a Christmas design, a bottle of wine, assorted cold cuts, bread, a big box of chocolate and bone china tablewares, silver knives and forks and two delicate wine glasses in protective casing so they will not break in transport.
Richard looked on as Maya arranged everything a big smile on his face.
“Ricky, this is, wow!” It was all Maya managed to say after laying down their picnic together, touched at Richard’s gesture for their first Christmas together.
“I’m so glad you like it, Maya.” Richard sat down on the table cloth beside Maya, then handed her the flowers and the big gift. “For you, Maya, Merry Christmas!”
Maya looked at the gift and the flowers. Her happiness is overflowing with Richard’s thoughtfulness. “Oh, Ricky, thank you for these. I’m so touched.” She said, then remembered her gift for him too. “Wait, I will just get something.”
Maya returned holding a big gift bag. “For you, Ricky! Merry Christmas!”
Richard was touched to have received something from Maya too. “Thank you, Maya.” He said with a big smile. “So shall we open our gifts to each other?”
“You first, Ricky!” Maya said smiling.
Richard removed the card attached to the gift bag. He opened it and smile, looking at Maya with so much love and happiness.
The best gift I received this Christmas season is seeing you again.
“Maya, seeing you again is the best gift I have received this season too.” Richard said softly. Then he opened the bag and saw a big hardbound book, doodle art book, and a big case of colored pencils. He took out the book and saw it is Douglas Adams ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and the doodle art book which features famous castles and houses.
“Thank you for these, Maya.” Richard said again. He remembered him telling Maya that he would like to read the complete ‘Hitchhiker’s’ book in one of their chats and he understood the whimsy of giving him the doodle art book. “I hope you will like my gift too!”
Maya removed the card attached to the big gift. Like Ricky, she read it first before opening her present from him. Her heart somersaulted.
This is the best Christmas ever. I can’t wish for a more wonderful gift than finding you again after all these years. Now, my Christmas is no longer lonely.
I love you, Maya!
“R-ricky….” Maya said breathlessly, her gift temporarily forgotten. She looked at him, wonder in her eyes. Her heart beating so loud. He had told her he will court her, but she was not expecting this declaration this evening.
“Yes, Maya, I do! I think I have started falling, seven years ago.” Richard said softly, lovingly, putting his hand on top of Maya’s then looked deep into her eyes. “I know we just met again, but I have never been more sure of what I feel. I know also that it may be too fast for you, I just want you to know that I love you very much. I’m not expecting an answer now. I’m just so very happy that we are together. Now open your gift, please.”
Maya felt her hands were very cold and she can’t breath from the thump thump of her heart. She gave Richard a heart melting smile. “Thank you, Ricky.” She said simply, so overwhelmed, gazing at Ricky, then put her hand on top of his. “I’m so happy we found each other again.”
Then, she opened her gift. “Awwww, this is so beautiful! Where on earth did you find this! Thank you for this.”
Richard got her a frame movie poster of Roman Holiday!
Rchard grinned. “Through a friend of a friend who has a shop at Cubao Expo. I’m so glad you like it.”
“Maraming salamat ulit Ricky. You are making me so very, very happy.” Maya looked at Richard with love too. She may have not said the words, but Richard can see it from her eyes.
“For you, Maya, anything! “ Richard said, gazing at Maya with all the love he was feeling.
Slowly, of their own volition, they gravitated towards each other, until their faces were so close, then Richard lowered his lips to Maya and gave her a searing kiss. Maya responded. They broke apart after several long seconds, both catching their breaths.
“Merry Christmas, Maya!”
“Merry Christmas, Ricky!”
They said it with big smiles on their faces. Indeed, it was the best Christmas ever!
Note: Happy Valentine’s Day!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
Maya hummed with the music she selected from her iTunes album while cleaning and tidying up her place the following day. She woke up late, but greeted Monday with a big smile and a very happy disposition. She had an egg salad sandwich and instant coffee for breakfast. Soon after, she started doing her household chores. She likes having music in the background when she is doing chores, cooking and also while driving. It makes her feel better, not that she needed that this morning with the overdose of kilig she got from Richard the day before.
Be still my heart/Lately its mind is on its own/
It would go far and wide/Just to be near you
Even the stars/Shine a bit bright I’ve noticed/
When you’ re close to me
Still it remains a mystery…
Maya had a big, goofy smile on her face as she cleaned shelves, rearranged the living room furniture, and hung two frames – a print of Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and a poster of a ballerina in motion she found in one of her trips to Holland for a training.
Anyone who’s seen us/Knows what’s going on between us/
It doesn’t take a genius/To read between the lines…
The song says exactly what she feels at that moment. She was remembering the kiss she and Richard unexpectedly shared the night before. She does not know what it really meant, but she does not regret it. It fact, it made her very happy and felt very giddy.
And it’s not just wishful thinking/Or only me who’s dreaming/
I know what these are symptoms of/
We could be in love….
“‘We could be in love, we could be’….” Maya continued singing happily, at the top of her voice as she put in the shelf the books from the last box parked at her living room.
“Now that’s done, the supermarket next!” She told herself. It is almost lunch and she has plenty of time to prepare for the dinner with Richard. She is excited about it and is looking forward to another beautiful and wonderful moment with Richard.
Maya is planning to cook for Richard her fettuccine carbonara, pork kebab with sour cream dip for the main course and a refrigerated cake for dessert. As for starters, she is going to make avocado salad with boiled shrimps, boiled eggs and mayonnaise. She hopes she can find very good avocados for the salad, one of her special dishes.
Maya hit the nearby supermarket after taking a quick shower and eating a light lunch. She was lucky. She found everything she needed for the dinner. It was only when she arrived back home, two hours later, that she remembered that she forgot to buy a bottle of wine. She decided to just go out again later for that.
While Maya was busy preparing for her and Richard’s dinner, Richard was out buying something for Maya. Like Maya, Richard felt like he was on top of the world that morning, remembering their wonderful day and the kiss he initiated before they parted for the night. He woke up late too, had a leisurely brunch. He checked with his secretary if there is something he needed to attend to urgently. When there was none, he went to his study, sat in front of his drawing board, and started making a plan for the place Maya wants to convert into a small private resort or vacation house for rent in Mindoro. He also made some calls and went out to get the stuffs he would bring for the dinner with Maya.
Happy with everything, Richard went back to his place, intending to spend the afternoon working. However, it was quite difficult to concentrate, thoughts of seeing Maya again crowding his head, making him smile goofily. He stopped and just rested on the sofa, thinking of how best to say to Maya what he wanted to say to her that evening.
Maya’s phone rang as she was preparing all the ingredients she needed for the pasta she will be cooking. Good thing, she had already made the refrigerated cake and have put the pork pieces for the kebab in barbecue marinade.
“Hello, Ate Cris! Happy Monday!” Maya greeted her cousin happily. “Napatawag ka?”
“Hi Maya? Are you busy? Mangungumusta lang sana ako.” Cris said. “Mag-isa kasi ako sa bahay. Pumasok pa si Jeff. Si Cho naman isinama nila Mommy and Daddy sa Star City. Matagal na kasing gustong pumunta roon ni Cho. Hindi na nila ako isinama kasi maraming tao, baka raw mahirapan pa ako. Tama naman si Mom. Kaya heto, home alone ako. Naisip kita bigla.”
“Okay naman ako, Ate Cris.” Maya replied. “Magluluto lang ako.”
“Magluluto, hindi ba medyo maaga pa for that. Pasado alas dos pa lang ng hapon. Saka di ba you usually eat out?” Cris asked.
“Errrr, may bisita kasi ako later.” Maya said smiling giddily, and blushing.
“Hmmm, sino? Pero wait, parang alam ko na kung sino!” Cris teased. “Tama ako, di ba, si Rchard ang bisita mo?”
“Yes, I invited him to dinner, pa-thank you ko sa pagsama niya sa akin sa shopping yesterday and paghahatid-sundo sa akin.” Maya said.
“Talaga naman, parang hindi na kayo naghihiwalay niyang would be boyfriend mo ah.” Cris remarked.
“Ha, Ate Cris, would be boyfriend! Hindi pa nga nanliligaw!” Maya protested, smiling.
“Hindi pa pala nanliligaw nang lagay na iyon si Richard ha, eh para mo nang boyfriend kagabi, lalo na kung makatitig sa iyo, little sis. Tapos hatid-sundo ka na, may pa-chopper ride pa hanggang Mindoro!” Cris said. “Ikaw na little sis! Paano na lang kaya kapag nanligaw na iyan sa iyo, baka himatayin ka na lang sa kilig. Heto nga akong may asawa ng tao, kinikilig na sa mga da moves niyang would be sweetheart mo!”
“Hahahaha, ikaw talaga Ate Cris!” Maya said happily.
“Teka, maalala ko, may utang ka pang kwento sa akin tungkol kay Richard. Hindi tayo nakapagkwentuhan kagabi.” Cris said. “So what’s the story behind you two? Pagpasensyahan mo na itong nosy cousin mo, hahahaha.”
Maya smiled. Aside from loving her Ate Cris like a sister, she is also her best friend, so she started confiding in her, just like her cousin did when she fell in love with her Kuya Jeff and when she got pregnant with Cho even before the two of them got married. “Well, you all know how we met. What you didn’t know was how I felt when I saw him.”
Maya settled in into the sofa and told her cousin of her and Richard’s ‘journey’ the past seven years.
“Wow, talaga, little sis! Ilang beses pala kayong kamuntik na magkita! So funny naman na napagkamalan niya kayong happy family nila Jeff sa Macau! “Cris said. “Pero in fairness, hindi mo naman siya masisisi kasi sino ba naman ang hindi mag-aakala eh mukha kayong family sa gondola. May mommy, may mukhang daddy and then added to that kamukha mo pa si Cho!”
“So true, Ate Cris. Pero iyang si Cho, guardian angel namin. Imagine ng dahil sa kanya nagkita kami ni Ricky ulit!” Maya said smiling.
“Tadhana iyan, Maya. Kung talagang para kayo sa isa’t isa and by the looks of it, mukhang papunta kayo diyan, you will see each other again and sabi nga nga sa hinaba-haba ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.” Maya’s cousin told her.
“Hahahaha, Ate Cris, iyan na yata ang pinaka-advance sa lahat ng advance! Simbahan kaagad!” Maya smiled at the thought.
“Eh, how do you feel naman about him? Mahal mo na ba?” Cris asked her cousin directly.
“I don’t know, Ate Cris. Hindi pa kasi ako na-in love eh.” Maya replied honestly. “Basta ang alam ko lang ang lakas ng tibok ng puso at kabog ng dibdib ko tuwing makikita ko siya kahit noong simula palang, iyong noong sa Mindoro, and when he smiles at me. Tapos ang saya-saya ko kapag kasama ko siya. Saka kahit hindi kami nagkita ng seven years, hindi rin siya nawala sa isip ko. I looked for him in every guy I met or dated. Strange di ba, considering na iyong question and answer lang sa pageant ang conversation namin!”
“Ganyan talaga iyan, Maya. I guess there this is an instant connection between you two! But little sis, congratulations. Kasama ka na sa bilang ng mga in love.” Cris said, smiling as she found a more comfortable position as her baby just kicked. “Parang agree din itong baby ko sa love life mo sis, sumipa.” She told her cousin.
Then Cris continued, “Basta, Maya kung hindi pa naman love iyan eh wala na akong ibang masasabi pa. But do enjoy it lang. Wala nang kasing heady ang feeling, kundi ang feeling ng in love. Mukha namang mabait, responsable and matinong tao si Richard. And I do think the feeling is mutual.’
“Talaga, Ate Cris!” Maya said, feeling giddy and very happy. She almost confessed to her cousin then that she and Richard already kissed. But she hesitated as it was a private, tender moment between the two of them, for the two of them. “Thank you.”
“O sige, magluto ka na at baka maagang dumating si Prince Charming.” Cris said. “I’m happy for you, Maya.”
“Bye, Ate Cris. Kisses to Cho!” Maya told her cousin, smiling at her use of the word. Prince Charming! And she is Cinderella, huh!
With a smile, she grabbed a can of Coke from the fridge and started preparing the kebab, alternating meat and veggies in skewers. When she had made ten, she put the skewered meat and veggies in the oven, then grated the cucumber, chopped garlic finely for the sour cream dip. Having mixed the dip, she started working on the pasta. When the sauce was simmering on the stove, and the kebab was done, just keeping it warm it in the oven, she took a bath.
Maya looked at the clock, when she came out of the bathroom and smiled. She is on schedule. She took out a sleeveless cream cotton dress from her cabinet. She looked herself in the mirror and having checked that she looks okay, she went back to the living room, deciding not to put any make up on.
Maya was about to start the movie she started watching the other night, when her house phone rang. She looked at the clock again and saw that it was just half past five o’clock in the afternoon! Richard is early, or maybe, that is not him yet! But she was not expecting anyone else. She pressed the pause button of her player, then answered the call.
“Yes po!” She greeted the girl at the reception.
“Ma’am Maya, nandito na po si Mr. Lim.” The girl said.
“Okay, pakipaakyat na lang please. Thank you.” Maya said, the feeling of anticipation started building again.
Several minutes after, Richard rang Maya’s door bell.
“Hi Maya, sorry I’m a bit early.” Richard said as soon as Maya opened the door, giving her a big smile, then gave her a kiss on the cheek, which made Maya felt warmer. He was also holding a huge arrangement of flowers of all kinds with a big sunflower in the middle, and a big eco bag.
“Hi Ricky! It is okay! I did tell you that you can come early, di ba?” Maya replied with a big smile too. “Please come in.”
Richard entered Maya’s place and noticed the changes. “You have been busy! But I like the changes you have made.” He remarked. “These are for you.” He handed Maya the flowers and the bag.
“I just thought of making some changes, making this place more of a home than like a warehouse with all the boxes! Thank you for the flowers.” Then Maya looked inside the bag and saw a bottle of white wine, then several DVDs. “Oh, you got me some old movies! Thank you for these, and the wine too. I forgot nga to buy earlier.”
“I hope wala ka pa ng mga movie na nandiyan or you haven’t seen them. I noticed you had a lot.” Richard said, gesturing towards Maya’s shelves.
“Hmmm, ‘Casablanca’ and ‘Sabrina’, I have seen these, but I lost my copies of these movies. May friend na nanghiram then forgot to return na before she left Macau too. Now I have them again! I like watching these movies again and again. Tapos ito namang ‘An Affair to Remember’, I haven’t seen and have been planning to. Pati na rin itong ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’! Thank you very much for these Ricky. You’ve made my old movie buff heart very happy!” Maya told Richard happily.
“Would you like something to drink? Coffee? Juice? We can eat na also. Tamang-tama actually ang dating mo, katatapos ko lang magluto. Sana magustuhan mo.” Maya asked.
“Hmmm, since it is still early, a cup of coffee please.” Richard said. ‘I’m sure I will like what you cooked!”
“Okay, coffee, coming up.” Maya replied. “Please have a seat. Doon na lang muna tayo sa living room.” She then went to the kitchen to make coffee for her and Richard and also to chill the wine.
“Here you go, Ricky. Sorry it is instant ha.” Maya said when she returned to the living room, holding two mugs of coffee.
Richard thanked Maya and then took a sip of the coffee. “Parang brewed ah. Masarap ang timpla mo.” He said, liking Maya’s timpla.
“Thank you!” Maya said simply.
“You were going to watch a movie before I arrived?” Richard asked seeing Maya’s DVD player and TV in pause mode. “What were you going to watch? Maybe, we can watch together.”
“Well, I started watching ‘Roman Holiday’, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Sure we can watch it. Okay lang ba sa iyo na manood ng old film?” Maya asked.
“Okay lang. I would like to see it too. My Mama loves old movies too, especially Hepburn’s films. I sometimes, watched with her when I visit the house. Though, I don’t remember seeing this one with her.” Richard said.
“Really, your mother likes old movies!” Maya remarked. “Kumusta pala ang dinner mo sa kanila? I forgot to ask you last night.”
“It was okay. Kami lang ni Mama ang nag-dinner. Si Papa didn’t make it. Doon na siya nag-dinnner sa friend niya na dinalaw. Kalalabas lang kasi sa hospital ni Tito Probo.” Richard replied. “By the way, she wants me to bring you to dinner one of these days!”
Maya was surprised to hear that. “She is inviting me to dinner! But why? Hindi naman niya ako kilala except as a new employee, and bago lang rin tayong nagkita ulit.”
Richard smiled and gazed at Maya meaningfully. “Well, because I told her about you.” He simply said. “She wants to meet you not as an employee.”
“Really! And Mr. Richard Lim, what did you exactly tell your mother about me?” Maya asked, very, very curious!
“Secret!” Richard said, not elaborating.
“Rickyyyy! Ang daya mo.” Maya replied, pouting.
“Basta, let me know when you are free ha! How about Friday night, after Christmas?” He asked, smiling.
“Hmmmmp, maybe, I will not go until you tell me what you told your Mama.” Maya said, teasing Richard.
“Maya naman, you are not playing fair!” Richard complained good-naturedly!
“Ha, at bakit ikaw ba, playing fair Mr. Lim? May pa-secret secret ka pa diyan.” Maya said, not giving in.
“Okay, okay, since I do want you to meet my parents, I will tell na.” Richard said, finding the opening for what he wanted to ask Maya this evening.
“I told Mama that we knew each other from seven years ago. I also told her of our missed meetings through the years.” Richard said, then took a deep breath, here it is. This is it Richard Lim. “She also asked me directly if I like you, you know, and if I am planning to court you. Maybe because she sensed something from my tone of voice when I was speaking of you.”
Maya waited with bated breath for the rest of Richard’s words. Her heart starting to beat fast!
Richard looked at Maya intently then said softly, “And I told her that I like you very, very much and that I’m not just planning to court you, I will court you.”
“R-ricky…..” Maya said breathlessly.
“May I court you formally, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa?” Richard asked as he gazed lovingly at Maya.
Maya felt like there was a ringing sound in her ear and she felt like she can’t hear her thoughts anymore because her heart galloped at what he said, and all the blood rushed to her brain and her face. She looked at Ricky and read something in his expression that made her feel so very, very exhilarated.
Maya found herself, uttering the words, softly. ‘Yes, you may!” She suddenly felt self-conscious.
Richard gave Maya a brilliant, loving smile. “Thank you, Maya!”
Richard and Maya gazed at each other, the movie and the dinner forgotten. They felt like they were at the edge of a precipice, about to jump together towards something very, very wonderful!
“Pippa, Ethan, mabuti nandiyan na kayo! Ipapasundo ko na nga sana kayo kay Doray.” Mommy Marianne told Pippa and Ethan when she saw them entered the house through the back veranda. She also noticed the two of them holding hands. Pippa was also wearing Ethan’s shirt it seemed since he was shirtless! Pippa realized that she forgot to return Ethan’s shirt when she noticed where her mother was looking.
“Oh, here’s your shirt, Ethan!” Pippa said, removing the shirt and handing it to him. “Hindi na ako nilalamig. Thank you very much again.”
“No worries, Pippa.” Ethan said, putting back the shirt that Pippa wore. “Sorry for taking so long, Tita Marianne. Pippa and I forgot the time. It was so very nice out there at the beach.”
“Oo nga, Mom. Sorry po. Sana po tinawagan ninyo na lang kami sa phone. I brought my phone with me naman.” Pippa said.
“Okay lang, Ethan, Pippa. Hindi pa rin naman ready ang food earlier. You are just in time,” Marianne assured her daughter and their guest. “Let’s eat na. I cooked your favorite, Pippa, adobo sa gata. Paborito rin iyan ni Ethan! Doray halika na, sumabay ka na sa amin!”
“Sige po Ate Marianne, mamaya na lang ako. Busog pa ako. Nag-merienda ako kaninang medyo hapon na.” Manang Doray said from the doorway leading to the kitchen. “Magpapahangin lang muna ako sa beach.”
“O siya, sige, bahala ka. Mauuna na kami.” Marianne said.
“Wow, thank you for this, Mom!” Pippa said happily as her mother passed her the serving dish with the mouthwatering adobo. Pippa got a portion then passed the dish to Ethan.
“Oopps, sorry Ethan!”
“It is okay, Pippa.”
The two of them shared a smile since Pippa almost dropped the dish and Ethan caught it, their hands touching.
“Pippa anak, tumawag pala ulit si Tristan, hindi na raw talaga siya makakabalik this evening kasi kailangan nilang i-monitor iyong patients nila, lalo na iyong driver.” Marianne said as they were eating. “He will try na lang daw to be back tomorrow afternoon.”
“Oh, okay po. Sayang naman. Pupuntahan pa naman namin sana si Belle sa resort ngayong gabi. Di bale, bukas na lang po.” Pippa said. “If ever naman na nakabalik si Tris this evening, for sure he is very tired na. Iyon nga lang, sayang he missed your adobo.”
“Oo nga.” Mommy Marianne said. “Di bale, padadalhan ko na lang siya kay Doray sa clinic sa susunod na mamalengke siya sa bayan. By the way, Ethan, inilagay na ni Doray sa cottage iyong laundry mo. Ako na ang nagtanggal sa dryer.” She told Ethan. Mommy Marianne has inkling that Ethan completely forgot about his laundry.
“Oh, golly! I forgot all about that, Tita Marianne!” Ethan said. “Thank you very much for doing it for me. Please send my thanks also to Manang Doray.”
“Okay lang iyon, Ethan. Maliit na bagay lang. Saka, wala naman akong ginagawa kanina habang nasa beach kayo ni Pippa.” Marianne said. “Hindi pa masyadong malakas ang alon? Usually, maalon talaga since mahangin, bukod pa sa medyo malamig, around this time of the year.”
“Hindi naman, Mom. Super nice nga eh. Iyon nga lang, malamig! Mabuti pinahiram ako ni Ethan ng t-shirt niya. Nakalimutan ko na malamig nga pala kapag ganitong panahon when I followed him there,” Pippa said. “Ito kasing si Ethan, for sure, sanay na sanay sa lamig. Ako, as you know, madaling lamigin.”
“Our weather here now is like late spring lang sa England.” Ethan smiled. “This can’t even be considered cold in my side of the world!”
The three of them then chatted about the seasons and best way to adapt to them, especially, winter. Pippa told her mother and Ethan that if she will go to Europe it has to be during spring or summertime, since parang depressing ang winter. Ethan said spring and summer are the best seasons talaga pero winter has its beauty too. Their conversation shifted to traveling and other things, mostly it was Ethan and Pippa alternately talking, while Mommy Marianne just listened to them, marvelling at the ease her daughter and Ethan were chatting, parang matagal na silang magkakilala.
When they have finished eating, Pippa and Ethan told Mommy Marianne that they will just take care of tidying up and putting the leftover in the fridge, also doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen.
“Mom, kami na po ang bahala ni Ethan. Do you want coffee or a drink sa veranda? Parang masyado pang maaga to go to sleep. I’m not into watching TV rin naman while I’m here.” Pippa said. “Coke po?”
“Hmmm, that’s a good idea! Tara doon na lang natin ituloy ang kwentuhan natin.” Marianne said. “How about you Ethan? Would you like to join Pippa and I?”
“Hmmmm, sure, it is okay to do so, Tita Marianne? Baka you and Pippa would like to have a mother and daughter time?” Ethan asked, hesitating. He does not want to overstay his welcome. Besides, he knew it that it is not very often that Pippa is home like this.
“No, we had chatted na this afternoon, di ba Mom? I told Mom na about Martin!” Pippa said smiling. Remembering her conversation with her mom earlier! “If you don’t have anything else to do, we can just chat there.”
“Okay. I would like to. Coffee, Pip?” Ethan asked, shortening her name further and she kinda like it. So, Pippa told her Mum about Martin! He mused.
“Sure, thanks a lot, Ethan.” Pippa said with a big smile.
Hearing their conversation, Mommy Marianne also thought, so Pippa had told Ethan about Martin! Did Ethan tell her daughter too what caused him to ran as far away as possible from home? She had a feeling that he did. It looks like her daughter has really found her prince among the frogs, but does not know it yet! Besides, with the way things are, their happy ever after would probably be not as easy as in the fairy tale, so to speak. Maybe, that’s better as their relationship, if ever, will be stronger and more long lasting, and meaningful.
Marianne went to the veranda ahead of her daughter and Ethan. They tidied up the kitchen and then followed Pippa’s mom there after 15 minutes or so, with Ethan carrying the tray with two cups of steaming hot coffee and a cold Coke in can for Marianne, as well as some leftover rice cakes from lunch for the three of them.
“Here you go, Mom.” Pippa said. She was about to say something more when her phone rang. She thought at first that it’s Martin again. Ethan thought so too. But when Pippa checked her phone’s screen, she saw that it’s her boss, Tina Peralta. Pippa excused herself, mouthing to Ethan and her mother that it’s her boss calling.
“Good evening Mam Tina! Napatawag po kayo?” Pippa asked, moving towards the end of the veranda.
“Pippa, good evening! Pasensya na for the call ha. I know I have allowed you to go on vacation leave, pero I’m afraid I need to recall that or you need to postpone it for several days since I really need you in Manila ASAP sana!” Tina told Pippa, apologetically. “Pwede ka bang bumalik muna tomorrow?”
“Bakit, what happened po?” Pippa said. Her immediate superior is very nice and very accommodating as always when she asked for the leave earlier. She immediately granted her leave even if it was on a short notice. She didn’t pry also when she told her that she needed time to deal with something. Tina just told Pippa that if there is anything she could do to help, don’t hesitate to ask. Pippa appreciated that very much. Now it seems, her boss needs her. She know that her boss will not interrupt her vacation if it is not really very important and urgent.
“Last Friday kasi I got a call from our boss that the new program you will produce will be launched earlier than we were told in our last production meeting. Noong nagpaalam ka sa akin for your several days of vacation, I thought kakayanin naman. But after our phone call and until this evening when I double checked the timeline, I realized na baka kapusin tayo sa oras. Lalo na at our business head wants us to do a presentation the day after tomorrow for possible sponsorships.” Tina explained, and she sounded stress out.
“I needed you sana Pippa for several days, just to set up everything, do the presentation, and then after we distributed the materials to the writers and researchers, then you can take your vacation na. Kailangan lang nating makapagsimula muna with everything”
“I made some pre-work na po on our new program.” Pippa told her boss. “Saka I produced a presentation na rin. I did it noong patapos na iyong isang program that we produced. Kailangan ko na lang i-finalize. Sayang I didn’t bring my laptop with me here. Biglaan kasi ag uwi ko.”
“Okay, that’s very good! So, please come back for two to three days, then after you have set it up, you can take your vacation na. Would that be okay?” Tina asked anxiously.
“Yes, Ma’am Tina, okay lang. I’m just here at our place in Mindoro. Okay nga rin po if I will return to work na, since I have seen my Mom na.” Pippa assured her boss. Maybe, work will take her mind of what happened to her and Martin, put things in perspective, now that she is in a better frame of mind! At the same time, maybe, she and Ethan need some distance. Yes, she enjoys his company, but maybe, she should stick to her resolve not to have another relationship so soon. Besides, she knows Ethan has to deal with some unresolved issues too. She is starting to like Ethan too much! She is also a bit afraid to love again so soon.
“That would be even better! I’ll see you at the office the day after tomorrow then? Around 9AM.” Tina asked. She feels better now that Pippa is coming back.
“Sure po! Kapag nakasakay po ako sa unang boat bukas, then I can go directly to the office after lunch.” Pippa offered. She likes traveling early mornings to avoid the rush and the traffic along the way, going back to Quezon City.
“Naku, magpahinga ka na muna bukas. Mahaba-haba rin ang biyahe mo. Okay lang naman the next day, specially now that you have cancelled your vacation.” Tina said.
Pippa said goodbye to her boss, then returned to her mother and Ethan.
“Mom, I need to cut short my vacation, or rather I need to cancel my vacation! That was my boss, kailangan na niya ako sa work. Sabi niya mapapaaga ang launching noong bago namin show na ako rin ang producer.” Pippa explained.
“Ganoon ba anak! Too bad naman, ngayon pa nga lang kita makakasama ng mas matagal-tagal.” Marianne said, a bit disppointed at the development, but she knows her job is very important to her daughter. “Di bale, next time, habaan mo na lang ang vacation ha.”
“Promise, Mom, I will!” Pippa said.
“When are you leaving Pippa?” Ethan asked. He felt a tinge of sadness at Pippa’s news. In such a short time, Pippa became a very important part of his life. He really enjoys her company.
“First thing in the morning! May mga kailangan pa kasi akong tapusin bukas pagdating ko regarding that project. I think mas maaga ang ferry sa bayan, doon na lang ako sasakay kaysa diyan sa katabi nating beach.” Pippa said. Since her Dad died she had an aversion too at taking small boats to Batangas and Mindoro.
“I can take you there in Manong Ben’s motorcycle.” Ethan offered. “Hindi pa yata siya nakakabalik from Calapan.”
“Yes, tumawag nga si Ben kanina, bukas na raw siya babalik dito.” Marianne said. “Better nga Ethan if you could take Pippa to the pier. Please get the motorcycle key na lang sa lalagyan ng mga susi sa kitchen.”
“Thanks Tita Marianne. No worries. I will deliver Pippa to her waiting ferry, safe and sound.” He said smiling.
“Oo naman hijo. Alam ko namang maingat kang mag-drive.” Marianne said. “Tungkol pala saan iyong bago mong show Pippa?”
“It’s a magazine show, Mom.” Pippa asked. “Quite interesting actually!”
‘Talaga. Good luck anak. Hihintayin ko na lang sa TV, anak. I’m sure you will do another very good one.”
“Thanks Mom!” Pippa said, hugging her mother.
“O siya, sige, I will say good night to the two of you. Medyo inaantok na ako. Hindi ako masyadong nakatulog sa Calapan. Namahay yata ako.” Mommy Marianne said. “Ethan, good night! Pippa wake me up before you leave ha.”
“Yes, Mom! Good night!” Pippa said, kissing her mother good night.
“Good night, Tita Marianne! Have a good sleep.” Ethan said.
Marianne went inside the house leaving Ethan and Pippa at the veranda, drinking their coffee and enjoying the sudden silence. Ethan was the one who broke it. “So, you will be back to Manila for good, Pippa? “ Ethan asked. “I mean, there is no chance that you will be back here soon?”
“Im not sure, Ethan! I want to stay more but I don’t think I will be able to concentrate, anyway, with our airing date being advanced. Saka, maybe, I should talk to Martin and close that chapter of my life completely para hindi na rin siya tawag ng tawag.” Pippa said. “Ikaw, what are your plans?”
“Well, I’m thinking of staying here another month, then heading home to find answers. Tapos, I might come back here and see if I can set up something more permanent.” Ethan replied, the idea getting more and more attractive. He can work anywhere, anyway, as long as there is an internet connection.
“What do you mean? Stay here in Mindoro for good?” Pippa asked, surprised.
“Here in Mindoro, or in Manila, or anywhere in the Philippines. I like it here so, might as well see if I could live here” Ethan said, shrugging. The truth is, Ethan does not need to work at all. He can ‘retire’ for life, at 32, as he had made enough money in the dot com boom and with a game program he made and sold to a company especializing in online games.
“Really, that would be great!” Pippa said, smiling, really liking the idea of seeing more of Ethan, and more importantly, he will be in same country!
Ethan smiled, gazing at Pippa. “Let’s see, Pip! Who knows, what tomorrow will bring.” He finished obliquely.
“So true! Que sera, sera!” Pippa said. “O paano, sleep na tayo at maaga pa ang gising natin bukas.”
“Okay. I’ll see you at 5AM.” Ethan said, smiling “Good night, Pip! Pleasant dreams!”
“Good night, Ethan.” Pippa replied. “Sweet dreams. I hope the nightmare is gone. But if you can’t sleep, just knock on my door. I’ll keep you company.” Pippa said, despite her resolve to keep a little distance from Ethan.
“Pippa, that’s so sweet of you.Thank you very much.” Ethan said, giving Pippa a big smile. “I think I will be okay.”
With a final wave, Ethan disappeared into the night to go to his cottage. Pippa locked up and went to bed soon after packing her things. She slept well that night. It was the same with Ethan, as the dreaded nightmare didn’t come. In fact, he dreamt of Pippa!
Love Me Tender
“Welcome to our home, Mrs. Lim!” Richard said with a big smile as he put down Maya in the living room of their home in BGC early Sunday evening, the day after their beautiful wedding in Mindoro. He carried her across the threshold as per tradition as soon as he placed their suitcases at the entrance of their new home.
Maya and Richard returned to Manila, together with their Manila-based wedding guests in the LC private plane late that afternoon. They were the last one to board the plane which earned them a lot of teasing.
“Thank you, my dearest husband!” Maya smiled at Richard.
They gaze at each other lovingly and then shared their first kiss in the house that Maya has transformed into a lovely and comfortable home for her and Richard and the kids they will have, while preparing for the wedding of their dreams.
“Maya, I love you very much, Sweetheart.” Richard told his wife as he caressed her face. “Sometimes, I still can’t believe that here we are, about to start our lives as husband and wife. That finally, I’m sharing this place with you.”
“I love you very much too, Ricky.” Maya replied, giving her husband feathery kisses. Then smiling she said, “Parang kailan lang nagkamali ako ng send ng message sa iyo. Kaiisip ko yata sa iyo iyon at that time. Naalala ko na ikaw ang star sa mga panaginip ko simula ng makilala kita.”
Richard grinned. “So, sa simula pa lang pala may pagnanasa ka na sa akin.” He teased his wife.
“Hahahaha, bakit ikaw ba, hindi? Grabe nga ang ginawa mong pagpaparamdam sa akin.” Maya bantered back.
They laughed, reminiscing.
“Sweetheart, what would you like for dinner?” Maya asked after a while, her stomach grumbling a bit.
“Mrs. Lim, I have taken care of that. Come with me, please.” Richard took hold of his wife’s hand, interlaced it with his, then led her to the beautiful dining room, now decorated with flowers and plants. Maya transformed the place into, some sort of indoor garden, taking advantage of the light coming from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The dining table was beautifully set for two, just like the evening Richard proposed to Maya. A wide array of mouthwatering dishes are on the table that is decorated with yellow and blue candles and a big arrangement of sunflowers in the middle.
“Wow, how did you manage this, Sweetheart?” Maya asked surprised. It looks like her husband will not run out of surprises for her throughout their married life as well.
“I requested Rina to do this even before the wedding.” Richard explained.”I want our first evening in our new home very special, Sweetheart.”
“Oh, Ricky! Grabe mo pa rin akong pakiligin. The best husband ka talaga, Sweetheart.” Maya tiptoed, put her arms around her husband’s nape, then give him a long sweet kiss.
“Sweetheart…..” Richard muttered, returning the kiss. “We better stop at baka hindi na tayo makapag-dinner!” He said. He is barely holding his control and to do that, he does not want to think yet of the evening ahead, or else, he will lose it totally.
“Oh….” Maya said, looking at her husband, seeing the passion he is trying to control. He had been very gentle and patient with her already.
Husband and wife, shared a loving smile, then Richard pulled the seat for Maya. Then went to the side table to pour him and Maya a glass of champagne each.
“To our first dinner as husband and wife in our home, Sweetheart.” Richard said. “Finally, the day has come for us to share this house.”
“To us my dearest husband.” Maya said. “I’ll always make this place a home for us and the children we will have!”
They toasted each other, shared another kiss, then started their dinner. Dinner was punctuated by their usual chatter, mostly about the wedding and the reception and Manang Fe knocking at their door around noon, saying that they needed to get going as the plane that would take them back to Manila is leaving at 3PM. They realized they overslept! They must have been very tired from the wonderful long day and night they had the day before.
Richard and Maya quickly showered, with Maya laying out Richard’s clothes and packing their stuffs while he took a shower. Richard finished the rest of the packing when it was Maya’s turned to shower. When they were both dressed and about to leave the guest cottage, Richard looked at his beautiful wife, devoid of any make up, and the feeling just overwhelmed him. He reeled her towards him and gave her a searing kiss.
“I love very much, Mrs. Lim.” Richard said lovingly. “Soon!” He added.
Maya knew what he meant. She blushed but is looking forward to that to. She smiled. “Not soon, but later, my dearest Mr. Lim! I love you too.”
Richard and Maya had lunch with her parents and Manang Fe who is staying in the meantime in San Nicolas. She will returned to Manila several days after. Maya’s parents opted to maintain the house in Bel-Air even if Maya and Richard will not live there. They said it will be their home in Manila still. Besides, it is also a place where everyone can gather, her mom said. Mommy Tere also told Maya that she better maintain the gardens she started there. Maya smiled and promised her mom, she will. The newly-weds didn’t notice the time and before they knew it, it was time to leave for Manila. They hurried, but still the last ones to board the plane, which earned them the teasing and the ribbing.
“Sweetheart, I knew why we got teased.” Maya said, sipping her second glass of champagne as she and Richard moved to the living room after their very nice dinner, cuddling and relaxing with the wonderful view before them. “If they only knew, the thing they were thinking about didn’t happen in Mindoro.”
Richard grinned. “Sweetheart, I never really know where I drew the willpower last night. You were so beautiful, so very desirable. I hope you have another of that night gown you were wearing last night.”
“I know where, my Sweetheart, from your immense love for me and your overflowing consideration of me and my feelings.” Maya said smiling, remembering last night. “And yes, I have several of those night gowns.” She grinned impishly. “They are a gift from Rafi during my bridal shower.” Maya added. She hopes her husband will like the other one she is planning to wear on their very special night this evening. She wanted to make it up to him for being very considerate and gentle with her on their first night as husband and wife.
When they entered the bedroom of the cottage, beautifully bathe in soft lights coming from the candles placed on the side tables, and flower petals scattered all over the floor and the bed, last night, Richard slowly put Maya down, then gave her another searing kiss, which turned into several kisses.
“Ricky, maybe we should get ready for bed.” Maya suggested, fighting the desire clouding her brain with the way Richard is touching and kissing her. “Let’s go shower first. I think whoever made this room very beautiful as a special treat for us have put your clothes with mine in that closet.”
“Okay, Sweetheart!” Richard said. He had an inkling that Maya needed to do this first. “Later!” He said before going to the bathroom, giving his wife a heated look.
Several minutes, after, Richard came out of the bathroom, smelling so nice, wearing blue pajamas and a white v-neck t-shirt that showed off his physique. He looked so handsome in Maya’s eyes. He gave her one of his heart melting, lopsided smile. “The bathroom is yours, my wife.”
“Okay, I’ll be along.” Maya said clutching the clothes she will wear tightly, then turned to go to the bathroom.
“Wait, Maya, Sweetheart, do you need help with your dress?” Richard asked, seeing that the dress has a lot of pearl buttons in the back.
“Oh, yes, please Ricky.” Maya said, forgetting that she wanted Richard’s help with the buttons. “Thank you.” Then she turned so Richard has better access to the buttons.
Richard started unbuttoning Maya’s wedding gown’s around 50 pearl buttons adorning it. Slowly, Maya’s beautiful back, was exposed to Richard gaze. He caught his breath and tried to rein the effect it was having on him. He thought, he was the only one getting affected by what is turning to be an erotic task, until he heard Maya caught her breath too. Several long minutes after, all the buttons were undone. Richard gave Maya’s back a light caress, which made her shiver.
“Done now, Sweetheart! “ He said softly. “Now off you go.”
Maya gave her husband a sweet smile. “Thank you, Sweethert.” Then she went to the bathroom clutching her opened gown. Unknown to her, she was presenting a very sexy picture to her waiting husband.
Richard settled on the bed, waiting for Maya. An hour later, his wife came out of the bathroom, wearing a diaphanous white night gown. He gulped and tried to control his fast beating heart, and the heat that traveled like a bolt of lightning through his body so fast.
“Wow, you looked so lovely, Sweetheart.” He managed to say.
“T-thank you, Sweetheart.” Maya said, taking a deep breath, trying to calm herself from the sudden nervousness she is feeling at that moment. Her hands suddenly became clammy. Now that the moment she and Richard have been waiting for, aside from the beautiful wedding they had, she is having a sudden attack of nerves. She knows about this, she had read about it, but she thought she will not have it as she and Richard have indulged in heavy kissing and heated caresses during their three-month engagement. Besides, she is innocent but she had seen enough movies and enough books to know what happens between a man and a woman in the privacy of the bedroom or out of it in some of the books she has read! But still, despite knowing that in an intellectual level, she is still having wedding night jitters!
Richard sat up, then walk towards his bride. He held out his hand to hers to guide her to bed, and discovered her hand is very cold.
“Sweetheart, is everything okay? Are you nervous?” He asked Maya solicitously. He had an idea that she might be, despite getting used to each other the past several months, as she has not done this before.
“Ricky, I’m okay.” Maya tried to assure her husband, then decided to tell him about what she was feeling at the moment. They have been very open with each other and she wanted to continue being like that in their married life. “I think I’m having wedding night jitters. Kasi, what if I don’t please you, what if I can’t do what you expect. I don’t have any experience at all on this despite what we have been doing before we got married.” Maya was getting a bit agitated without meaning to, trying to explain to Richard.
Richard understood completely what is going on through his wife’s head, especially because this is the first time for her. He knew that sometimes, no matter how much you prepare intellectually and mentally for something, reality is different.
“Oh my dearest Sweetheart, please don’t worry on that aspect! You will always make me happy, no matter what. Besides I’ll be here to guide you and be with you on this all the way. I love you very much and don’t doubt about the physical aspect of our relationship. This is going to be a physical expression of the love we feel for each other, so it can’t go wrong. I know, physically, you will experience pain when I finally join us and unite us in the closest possible way the two us can be united, but if there is a way I can spare you from that, I will.” Richard said, while cupping his wife’s face and looking at her deeply, intently, assuring her that everything will be okay. “Besides, we don’t have to do it this evening. Come with me please.”
Richard led his wife to the waiting bed, turned down the comforter, then laid her gently on the bed. He went after her, then put his arms around her, then he started caressing her hair gently, wanting to relax her, soothing her. After a while, he heard her steady breathing and when he looked, her eyes were closing. Before she did so, she gave him a loving smile, then a soft sigh of thank you came from her lips before she closed her eyes and sleep.
Richard also realized then that aside from the jitters, his wife was very tired from the long and emotion-filled day they had. He settled in to sleep beside her, content to be just with her, finally in his arms, even if it was just to sleep. Several minutes after, he too went to sleep with his wife securely ensconced in his arms.
Maya woke at dawn, with Richard’s arms still around her. She looked at her sleeping husband. If it was possible to fall in love again to the one person who you are already are very much in love with forever, she had done it last night with Richard’s gentleness and understanding. That also removed whatever jitters she had been feeling. With the thought of making it up to her husband, Maya burrowed deep into his muscular arms, gave him a gentle kiss, then went back to sleep. She and Richard fell into a deep sleep until noon. Good thing, Manang Fe woke them.
“Thank you again, for not only the best husband in the world, but for being the most understanding and the gentlest.” Maya said to Richard, kissing him, then putting her wine glass down, and standing up. “Come, Sweetheart!”
Richard smiled indulgently at his wife as she led him to their bedroom. But he has another idea, he stopped his wife, gave her a searing kiss and then carried her again across the threshold. He had an inkling that by taking the initiative, Maya managed to conquer the jitters she was having the night before.
“Ricky!” Maya shrieked, surprised, then she held on to her husband’s neck, feeling pampered.
Like the night before, Richard slowly put down Maya inside the bedroom, their bodies touching in every possible way as she glided down. They looked at each other heatedly, then Richard lowered his lips to Maya and they shared a very hot kiss, lips fusing as one, tongues duelling, wanting everything.
They surfaced from that very hot kiss, smiling lovingly and looking at each other heatedly.
“Sweetheart, I will just get ready for bed.” Maya said softly, blushing a bit.
Richard grinned and looked at his wife. Looks like she is planning something, he thought, and he is very much looking forward to that. “Go ahead, Sweetheart, take your time, I will be waiting. I will also take a quick shower in one of the guest rooms.”
Maya went to their shared closet, having moved most of her things there one week before the wedding, then got something, then gave her husband a big smile and she was off to the bathroom to get ready for the very special night with Richard.
Richard returned to the bedroom several minutes after, freshly showered and wearing another v-neck shirt and a checkered blue drawstring pajamas this time. Seeing that Maya is still in the bathroom, he settled on the bed to wait for her, thinking of the moment at dawn, this morning, when he woke up and just gazed at his sleeping wife’s form. He is so full of love for her, preparing to wait, no matter how long it takes, to consummate their marriage, to make them as one in every sense of the word.
Richard didn’t wait long. The bathroom door opened and out come his beloved wife dressed in another beautiful diaphanous night gown, this one in crimson red. If his heart beat faster seeing her in her white one last night, this one sent desire skyrocketing through his system. She looks so very, very beautiful and alluring, sexy, seductive, in this one. The gown is floor length, it was almost transparent, Richard can see his wife beautiful body and he gulped when he noticed the fine details of the gown, lace cupped his wife’s breasts lovingly, showing everything to him.
“Do you like this better, Sweetheart?” Maya asked in a sultry voice, the nervousness of the night before gone from her voice and demeanor as she approached the bed and her handsome husband who was having a hard time controlling his raging desire, confidently this time.
“Sweetheart, you look so very, very beautiful! I love you very much and the dress you are wearing.” Richard said, sitting up, then when his wife was in front of her, pulled her gently into his lap. “Sweetheart, I promise to be gentle and we are in this together, remember, all the way!”
Maya touched Richard’s face lovingly. “I know, Ricky. I’m ready. Thank you for your gentleness and understanding last night. I would like to belong to you completely. I love you, very, very much!”
With hat, Richard lowered his lips to Maya and gave her a searing kiss, playing with the seam of her lips, seeking entrance. Maya let him in. Their tongues sought each other and duelled. Maya put her hands around Richard’s nape and answered kiss after kiss with her searing ones too. Richard’s hand slowly sought Maya’s breast, cupping it through the lace of her dress, playing with it, one after the other, driving Maya to the heights beyond her imagination. The more he touch, the more she wanted more. Then Richard flicked and tweaked her nipples and the sensation was too much for Maya. She gasped, feeling the electricity traveling from her breasts to her very core. She started doing some touching of her own. Richard felt electrified too from her touch and kisses. From where she was sitting, Maya can feel the evidence of Richard’s desire for her,
From her breasts and nipples, that felt heavier now and more sensitive, Richard’s hand moved to the hem of Maya’s hiked gown, caressing her thighs, moving upwards, making Maya held her breath with a feeling of anticipation on what is about to happen next. She gasped when Richard’s roving hand reached her core, touched her through the thin material of her panties, then setting it aside, touched her very core. Oh, the exquisite pleasure she was feeling was getting to much, she wanted relief, fast, soon!
Richard had reached his limit too. He removed Maya’s night gown completely until his wife was naked before him, and so very beautiful. He then removed every stitch of clothes he was wearing, until he too, was naked before his wife who looked admiringly at his body.
He laid his wife gently on the bed, then proceeded to kiss her from her lips, down to her neck, nipping a little here and there, until he reached the valley between her breasts, rained kisses around it, with Maya panting with anticipation, wanting more. He gave in after, as his lips enclosed one engorged nipple, and played with it with his tongue, at the same time touching her other breast. When his seeking lips and tongue moved to the other nipple, his hand, moved lower, until he found her core again and started the twin assault to all her senses.
“Ricky…..” was all Maya managed to mutter from the overwhelming passion enveloping her, while her hand sought and find Richard’s hard length and started touching it tentatively, then more confidently.
“Maya….” It was Ricky’s turn to be incoherent with the passion he was feeling. Sensing that Maya is ready for him, he made his move.
Richard positioned himself on top of Maya, and Maya seeing her husband silent plea for permission nodded. Richard slowly drove himself inside Maya, assuring her while doing so that he will try not to make it hurt so much. Maya assured her husband that it will be okay. When he was completely buried in her, Richard waited several seconds before moving again so she will be accustomed to him. Maya encouraged him, assuring him that she is okay and it was not so painful. It was only then that Richard started moving, at the same time, kissing her and touching her everywhere he could. Maya did the same. The only sound inside the room were they sighs of pleasure, until it became too much for them, the movement became more frenzied until they both shouted for completion. They flew and soared together, becoming one, uniting to their very souls.
“Sweetheart, are you okay?” Richard asked Maya, caressing her face, several minutes after, still trying to recover from the heights they flew together. He has no words to describe that experience with his beautiful wife, the love of his life.
Maya smiled lovingly at her husband. She still recovering from the wonder it. She never thought it could be like this. She has no words to describe the physical union with her husband. “I’m more than okay, Sweetheart. I feel so very, very wonderful! Thank you my dear husband. I love you so very much.”
“I love you very, very much too, my dearest wife, my partner for life and beyond.” Richard said, gazing at his wife with all the love he is feeling. Maya was the same. She was just so full of love for this wonderful man, her life partner!
Richard kissed his wife one more time, then pulled the comforter over them, covering their naked, sated bodies. Sleep overtook them, but not for long. They woke up at dawn and made love again several times.
Throughout the next couple of days they have stayed in their place, in a world of their own, they made love every opportunity they could. They can’t get enough of each other, trying to discover each other’s body in every way they could.
One week after the wedding, Maya and Richard left for their honeymoon in Europe. Their first stop was Paris, then Rome, Venice and an island in Greece where they stayed the longest before returning to the Philippines and their respective jobs at Lim Corporation.
“Sweetheart, Maya, wake up na.” Richard kissed his sleeping wife on the cheek, trying to wake her up. It has been two months since they got married and a month since they returned from their month-long honeymoon. “Baka ma-late na tayo sa office!”
Maya slowly opened her eyes, then seeing her husband, gave him a loving smile. “Sweetheart, anong oras na ba?”
“It is already past 7AM!” Richard replied, caressing her face. “Are you okay, Sweetheart?”
“Sweetheart, actually I’m not feeling so good again.” Maya replied, finding it hard to get out of bed. “Magkaka-flu yata talaga ako!”
“Sweetheart, let me just call Liza, I will take you to the doctor.” Richard said. “Ilang araw ng masama ang pakiramdam mo. Kahapon nga nagsuka ka pa.”
“Sweetheart…..”Maya started protesting, when she felt her stomach getting quesy again. She ran to the bathroom. Her stomach heaved while she was at the sink but nothing came out.
“That’s it, I will take you to Dr. Montalvo.” Richard said, gently patting Maya in the back to help her feel better.
More than an hour later, they were at the clinic of the Lims family doctor. Maya was examined by the doctor and was asked several questions. Included in his question was when was the last time she had her period. He then told his nurse and medical technologist to collect urine and blood samples from Maya. He asked Richard and Maya to stay in the lounge of the clinic as they wait for the results of the test.
“Maya, wala kang flu and there is nothing wrong with you.” Dr. Adan Montalvo told the couple with a big smile, later. “You are pregnant, seven to eight weeks, I think. Congratulations to both of you!”
Richard and Maya just looked at the doctor after he said that, then what he said sank in to them. They looked at each other lovingly, then hugged each other tight.
“We will have a baby na….” Maya whispered to Richard, in awe. “I’m going to be a mom, Sweetheart!”
“Sweetheart, yes you are, a very beautiful and loving mom, and I’m going to be a dad! Yessss!” Richard happily said.
They kissed, got lost in each their world. Then they remembered the doctor and where they are. “Thank you Dr. Montalvo,” they said grinning.
Richard and Maya went back to their place after making arrangements to see Dr. Montalvo’s wife, Grace, who is an OB-GYNE in two days time as she was in a medical conference in Davao.
Richard twirled Maya around, when they reached their home, and the two of them danced like crazy, celebrating the fact that they will be parents in several months.
“We made a honeymoon baby, Sweetheart!” Richard said smiling.
He is pretty sure the baby was conceived the first time they made love. Maya thinks the same. “I’m thinking what you are thinking.” She smiled at her husband lovingly.
They shared a look, and just like before, they understood each other. Richard carried Maya to their bedroom. They slowly undressed each other. Richard kissed Maya’s tummy reverently, lovingly, before proceeding to make love to her the whole afternoon!
Seven months later, Sky and Sunshine were born to their very happy parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Note: And with that, Crushing On You, drew to a close. Thank you for being with me in this Richard and Maya love story/journey which I enjoyed writing and sharing with you! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Richard arrived at the Francisco residence less than an hour after he left his parents’ house in La Vista Village in Quezon City. He parked his car beside Jeff’s Honda then took a deep breath and rang the bell. Maya opened the gate several minutes after. Richard gave her a heart melting smile, very happy to see her again.
“Ricky, I’m glad you are back na. You are just time for coffee and dessert!” Maya greeted Richard with a big smile too. In such a short time, she realized she had missed his company and had been watching the clock since he texted, the minutes seemed longer before he arrived! That is why when the door bell rang, she jumped a bit, earning her a teasing look from her cousin Cris.
“Hi Maya!” Richard said, then gave Maya another peck on the cheek, making Maya self-conscious. Wow, bakit iba ang pakiramdam ng simpleng social kiss pagdating sa kanya. Maya mused.
“Sure, it is okay that I join you and your family? Kasi di ba, family celebration ito for you?” Richard broke into Maya’s thoughts and kilig. “I can just wait for you outside. No worries.”
“Of course, Ricky. Ano ka ba! Don’t worry. Besides, they want to meet you to thank you for helping Cho.” Maya assured Richard. “Besides, they want to meet a friend of mine.”
“Okay, then, let’s go.” Richard said, smiling. “I’m also looking forward to meeting the rest of your family.”
They walked towards the main house, then from the living room, crossed to the dining room, with Richard’s hand on Maya’s back, until they reached the back veranda where everyone is. Before Maya can introduce Richard, Cho ran to them.
“Tito Richard, Tito Richard!” The boy then gave Richard a big hug.
“Cho, buddy! Kumusta ka na? Mabuti naabutan pa kitang gising.” Richard said, smiling fondly at the little boy, at the same time ruffling his hair. Then he looked at Maya’s family. “Good evening po sa inyo.”
“Okay naman po ako Tito Richard. Malapit na po akong maging Kuya! Talaga pong hinintay ko kayong dumating bago ako matulog, di ba Daddy and Mommy?” Cho then looked at the pregnant woman with short hair beside Jeff.
Cristina Rose stood up with Jeff’s help. “Hi I’m Cris, nanay niyang si Cho and cousin ni Maya. Maraming salamat for helping our little boy last Sunday.” Cris told the handsome chinito guy before her. Now she understand why her cousin got torete yesterday when they were chatting on the phone.
“I’m please to meet you Cris!” Richard said, giving Cris a big smile. Hmmm, ka-guwapo naman pala talaga nitong special friend ni little cousin, lalo na kapag nag-smile, she thought to herself, and mukhang ang bait-bait. Kung na-meet niya si Richard habang naglilihi siya, baka napaglihian niya!
“Ricky, let me introduce you to the rest of the family.” Maya said, guiding Richard by the arm into the other side of the veranda. “Tita Lulu, Tito Mario, Lino and Lindsay, my friend Richard Lim! Ricky, my aunt and uncle, Lourdes and Mario Francisco na like I have told you, para ko na ring mga magulang. Ito naman si Lino eh parang kapatid ko nang bunso, and ang wife niya na si Lindsay. Then you know Jeff na naman and hayan nag-self introduce na si Ate Cris na my ate in every sense of the word!”
“Good evening po ulit, Mr. and Mrs. Francisco. Lino and Lindsay, Cris and Jeff. I’m pleased to meet Maya’s family. “ Richard said smiling at everyone. “Thank you for inviting me in. Sabi ko nga po kay Maya baka I’m intruding na on a family get together.”
“Naku hijo, dapat nga dito ka na nag-dinner!” Lulu said. “Please have a seat. Thank you very much for helping Cho! Gusto ka rin naming ma-meet para mapasalamatan in person.”
“Naku, I’m glad to have helped Cho po. Saka because of him nagkita kami ulit ni Maya after seven long years.” Richard said. “Nabanggit niya po ba na ako iyong isa sa judge sa sinalihan niyang beauty pageant sa Mindoro?”
“Really! Maya said nga na nagkakilala kayo years ago. She never gotten around to mentioning that” Lulu said, curious as Maya only managed to mention earlier that she met Richard from way back. Lulu handed Richard a serving of buco pandan. Then said, “Di ba iyon, Maya iyong pageant before namatay si Mamang. You really made her very happy that evening, when you won.”
“Thank you very much po Mrs. Francisco.” Richard said, getting the dessert from Lulu.”Yes, that is where we met po, I was one my Mama’s proxy since she got sick that night.”
“Naku, please call me Tita Lulu and Mario, Tito Mario since you are a friend of Maya.” Lulu told Richard, liking Maya’s young man instantly. This is actually the first time her niece introduced a guy to them. Hmmm, parang magkaka-boyfriend na ang pamangkin ko ah. Then she decided to test a bit if her intuition is right on. “You are the first male friend pati Maya introduced to us.” She remarked offhand.
Richard grinned, liking Lulu’s revelation. While Maya on the other hand, turned crimson, which Lulu saw. Hmmm, I’m correct!
“Okay po, Tita Lulu.” Richard smiled at Maya’s aunt, liking her instantly. He had an inkling that Maya’s aunt was, sort of, fishing. She probably sensed something and he is happy to rise to her bait.
“Ricky, coffee?” Maya asked, then poured Richard a cup, then put two teaspoons of brown sugar, trying to regain her composure and hoping that she is not as red as she feels at the moment, getting self-conscious.
“Thanks a lot, Maya.” Richard gave Maya another of his bone-melting smiles. They shared a look, gazing at each other until Lulu broke into it before they completely cross over into their own private world.
“Im glad naman that you and Maya saw each other after all these years.” Lulu remarked. “Nakakatuwa naman.”
“I’m so happy nga po to have finally see her again last Sunday.” Richard replied, leaving out the missed connections between Maya and him through the years. He is leaving it to Maya to tell it to her family. Baka she gets very conscious na, lalo na at feeling niya, Lulu knows that something more than friendship is brewing between him and her niece.
Maya and Richard had a wonderful after dinner time with the Franciscos. Tito Mario and Lino asked Richard about building resorts and which one would he considers the best place he had built on. Richard told him it was Palawan and also Mindoro. Lino is an Electronics and Communications Engineer so the conversation also shifted from resorts to technology. Lindsay just listened on while the two chatted or sometimes, she, Maya, Cris and Tita Lulu talked about other stuffs on the side. Jeff also joined the conversation while holding a sleeping Cho in his arms. Like Lino, he is an ECE.
“Jeff, mabuti yata dalhin na natin si Cho sa guest room.” Cris suggested after a while.
Maya looked at the time then. “Naku, almost midnight na pala! Baka bedtime mo na rin Ate Cris and ni baby girl pamangkin. Dito pala kayo matutulog.”
“Yes, we decided to stay the night na kasi wala namang pasok na si Cho. In fact, speaking of, dito na kami hanggang Christmas!” Cris said as she stood up. “O paano, I think Jeff and I will say good night na and put our little boy to sleep.”
“Okay, Ate Cris. Richard and I will get going na rin.” Maya said. “Good night.” Then she went on to hug her cousin.
“You still owe me kwento, little sis.” Cris whispered to Maya when they hugged each other. “In fairness, I like your boyfriend-to-be!” Cris teased her cousin.
“Ikaw Ate Cris, ha.” Maya smiling.
Cris smiled, then looked at Richard, whom she caught looking at Maya with something akin to love in his eyes. “Richard nice meeting you! Thanks again and good night.”
Richard smiled at Maya’s cousin and the same time, got curious what the cousins have whispered about that cause Maya’s face to turn red. Hmmm, something to find out later. “Good night Cris, Jeff.”
Maya and Richard also said goodbye then to her aunt, uncle and Lino and Lindsay who will go home to their house beside the Franciscos. Tita Lulu told Richard to come to dinner next time. She also said Richard can come with Maya to their Christmas dinner if he is free. Richard thanked the gracious, old lady and told her, he would have taken her up in if he does not have a dinner too with his parents. Richard thanked Maya’s whole family for inviting him as well.
Maya hugged her family, so happy that evening and thanked them again for the wonderful treat for her. Soon after they were on their way home too.
“I like your family, Maya. You are lucky to have such a big one!” Richard said as he navigated the late evening traffic on the way back to BGC. “Kami, tatlo lang nina Mama and Papa. I have cousins pero nasa abroad most of them.”
“Yes, I feel so blessed that I have them.” Maya replied, sighing contently against the seat. “Mom and Dad must have been watching over me from above, giving me a wonderful family pa rin kahit wala na sila.”
“Saan pala sila nakalibing?” Richard asked.
“Sa Himlayang Pilipino sa may Tandang Sora. We used to live in Quezon City. Noong namatay sila, of course, Mamang brought me home to Mindoro.” Maya said. “I’m planning to visit their graves sa Friday. Mamang saved all our family photos para raw hindi ko sila makalimutan since they died when I was very young.”
“You really had the best grandmother, Maya.” Richard said. His heart really goes out to Maya for the lost she had experienced while so young. Mabuti she has the best family to support and they love her very much. He saw that this evening.
“I do. I’m so very grateful for that.” Maya said, then noticed that they are almost at her place. “Ricky, thank you again for today. Sa lahat-lahat!” Maya said when they stopped in front of her building. “Sobrang wonderful ng araw na ito for me, I mean ng Sunday ko pala. I think Monday na dahil past midnight.”
“I also had a wonderful time because of you, Maya. The best Sunday for me also.” Richard said, smiling at Maya. “Come, I will take you up to your unit.”
“Naku, huwag na at gabi na. May pasok ka pa mamaya. Safe na naman ako rito. Hayun, nandoon naman si Manong Guard.” Maya said.
“Maya, I’ll feel better, knowing that I delivered you right at your door, please.” Richard insisted. “Wait ka lang and I will park the car by the side.”
“Okay, if you insists!” Maya smiled at Richard. No use arguing with him on this. She actually likes the fact that Richard is the epitome of a gentleman. She also likes the attention he is showering her, a lot. Laglag na yata ang puso niya, kung hindi pa. She sighed happily.
Several minutes after, the two of them are at the elevator going to Maya’s floor.
“Wala naman akong pasok tomorrow, Maya.” Richard said while they were walking towards her unit. “Last Friday na iyong last day of work ko sa Emerald before Christmas.”
“So, what are your plans for tomorrow?” Maya asked, an idea percolating in her brain.
“Just stay at home, I think. Sleep, wake up late, relax or work from home, do some plans for a new resort or something.” Richard said. “Just very loose. Why? Do you want to go somewhere? I can take you.”
“Oh, thank you, Ricky. I do need to buy a car. But I don’t think it is a good idea to do that before Christmas.” Maya took a deep breath and said, “Errrr, I’m thinking of, maybe I can ask you to have dinner here tomorrow night. Pambawi ko sa iyo?” She finished, looking at Richard, blushing a bit as it is the first time, she invited a guy like that. Normally, they do the asking and she just met her occasional dates in restaurants.
Richard smiled. He is very happy with her invitation. He wants to see her tomorrow too. But felt that maybe, Maya wants some space since maghapon na silang magkasama ng Sunday and most of the evening before that. Ayaw naman niyang i-crowd si Maya ng presence niya.
“I would like that.” Richard said, then added softly, “very much!”
“Really, you will have dinner here tomorrow!” Maya is happy to know also. By that time, they have arrived at her front door. “Great! I’ll see you around 6PM. Or if you want to, come earlier than that. I’ll just be at home too.”
“Okay!” Richard said, grinning. “I’m looking forward to our dinner tomorrow. Good night Maya! Thank you again for a very wonderful day.”
“Thank you too, Ricky for a very great day and for being a sport with my family.” Maya said. “Good night!”
Maya and Richard, it seems, both reluctant to part for the night, gazed at each other, hearts beating faster and just felt very happy. Before he can stop himself, Richard lowered his lips to Maya’s. Maya knew what was coming. She saw it on Richard’s gaze and intent. Helpless to fight the emotions she was feeling at the moment, she angled her mouth to received Richard’s kiss. They shared a quick, gentle exploratory kiss, then slowly parted, wonder in their eyes!
“Good night, Maya. Sweet dreams!” Richard said, gazing at Maya intently.
Maya felt like she was woken again from a wonderful dream.”Good night Ricky.” She replied so very softly, still recovering from the effect of the kiss she shared with Richard.
Richard waited until Maya was inside before leaving. Maya fumbled with the key, and Richard helped her, putting his hand over hers. Then with a bone-melting smile, he said good night to her, again.
“OMG, paano kaya ako makakatulog nito! Para akong lumulutang!” Maya said to herself after she has closed the door and with weak knees collapsed on the sofa, touching the lips that Richard has kissed.
Richard felt like he was on top of the world. He stopped in front of the elevator with a goofy grin, forgetting to press the elevator button going down, realizing it only when the numbers changed and it passed by the floor he was in. This feeling of overwhelming joy is enveloping him. The kiss he and Maya shared still very much in his senses.
Both Maya and Richard had a hard time sleeping that night. Both of them remembered their wonderful day and how it ended, and too excited to see and experience where the blossoming feelings between them will take them next.
Note: As requested! Happy Saturday everyone! 🙂