Maya spent the rest of the morning at the nearby supermarket, buying ingredients for the spaghetti that she will cook for Abby. She also decided to buy a chocolate dedication cake from a local bakeshop. She asked the shop staff to write ‘Welcome back to Mirasol Street’ on the cake. She also brought flowers for Manang Fe, red and white roses, and a bottle of wine.
Her mobile phone rang when she was unlocking the door of her apartment. By the time she was in, and about to answer her call, the phone has stopped ringing. She dropped her groceries on the kitchen table and checked her missed call. It was Doris who was trying to reach her.
“Yes BFF, napatawag ka? Sorry hindi ko nasagot kaagad. Kagagaling ko lang sa grocery eh. ” Maya said when Doris picked up her call. “Magluluto kasi ako ng spaghetti.”
“Hi Maya, okay lang naman. I though na baka nga out on errands ka since Saturday or baka kasama mo si Richard.” Doris said. “Tungkol kasi ito sa lakad natin bukas. Unfortunately, I have to go to Laoag early tomorrow morning kasi biglang na-confirm iyung interview that I was trying to schedule with the elusive retired feisty actress na naka-base na sa Pagudpud, si Miriam Bonifacio. Naalala mo, siya iyong sobrang frank na actress na sobrang galing naman sa acting. She is not active in the business for several years now. She just walked away, di ba? We would like to include her in the current issue we are working on, kasama nung lawyer that I interviewed recently.”
“Oh, so hindi kayo makakasama sa amin nina Ricky at Abby sa Tagaytay?” Maya said, a bit disappointed. She was looking forward to seeing her bestfriend and Lance again, to their bonding with Abby, and of course, with Ricky. Para na rin sana maipakilala niya si Ricky kay Doris as her boyfriend. However, she understand the nature of Doris’ work. Mas matindi pa sa demand ng work ni Doris ang naging demand sng dati iyang trabaho. “Sayang naman, but I understand BFF. No worries. Nasabi mo na ba kay Lance?”
“No, Maya, ako lang ang hindi makakasama sana.” Doris clarified. “Kung okay lang ba sa iyo na sina Lea and Lance na lang ang sumama sa inyo nina Richard at Abby sa Tagaytay? Lance is over the moon and counting the hours na until tomorrow since I told him about it yesterday.”
“Okay na okay naman BFF. No worries, ako na ang bahala sa kanila. Kahit nga kami lang ni Lance okay lang.” Maya assured her friend. “Akala ko kasi isasama mo si Lance sa Laoag for a little vacation after your work.”
“Naku, hindi kasi bibiyahe pa ako by land from Laoag to Pagudpud. Saka di ba may school si Lance. Isama mo na si Lea sa trip mo para naman on the side eh magkaroon kayo ng you and me time ni Mr. Dremboat. Para makapanligaw siya ng husto at mapag-isipan mo naman nang husto kung sasagutin mo na siya.” Doris said in a teasing tone. “Alam mo na namang support na support ko iyang lovelife mo.”
“Hahahaha, ikaw talaga BFF, walang kakupas-kupas! Dapat magsama kayo ni Attorney Ryan, iyong boss ko na close friend ni Ricky!” Maya said, smiling “Pero BFF, kami na kasi ni Ricky eh!”
“Kayo na? You mean as in sinagot mo na si Richard? Ibinigay mo na ang matamis mong ‘oo’ sa nag-iisang lalaking nagpapatibok niyang puso mo? May boyfriend ka na rin sa wakas!!!” Doris asked excitedly, in rapid succession. “Kailan pa naging kayo? Parang the last time we talked yesterday morning, wala kang nabanggit!”
“Yes, Richard is now my boyfriend. BFF, I’m so happy!!!!” Maya said happily and giddily. “Kagabi ko lang siya sinagot.”
Maya told Doris about her dinner with Richard the night before and the trip home, him letting her drove his car and him telling her he love her very much after they shared a kiss. “Hayun BFF, pagka-park namin ng car kagabi, I was just so happy to be with him. We kissed, then he told me he loves me very much. It was a perfect moment, so I told him that I love him too! Sinagot ko na! Masyado bang mabilis ang mga pangyayari? For me kasi, I have never been surer in my life than at that moment. I love him very much.”
“Maya’ I’m so happy for you BFF. Imagine sa tinagal-tagal man ng panahon at sa dami ng mga nangyari sa mga buhay ninyong dalawa, in the end kayo pa rin pala!” Doris said. “BFF bilang number one fan ng love team ninyo ni Richard at nag-iisang saksi sa pagmamahalan ninyong dalawa, ito lang ang masasabi ko, KINIKILIG AKO TO THE MAX!!!!” Doris shouted on the phone with matching tili!
“BFF, nabasag yata ang eardrums ko doon, pero salamat ha, for everything, for the support you know at maraming iba pa.” Maya laughed at her best friend’s reaction. “I never felt like this before. Iyon bang sobrang saya ka lang. Bigla kang napapangiting mag-isa and kapag kasama ko siya, parang kami lang dalawa ang nasa mundo. Kapag tinititigan niya ako niya ako para akong matutunaw! Kapag magkausap kami, parang tumitigil ang orasan. Just the thought of him makes my heart sing. Tapos siya ang huling nasa isip ko sa pagtulog ko sa gabi.” Maya finished eloquently.
“Ganyan talaga ang true love, Maya BFF! You are lucky to have found love, with a wonderful guy like Richard. Alam ko he will cherish you. The fact kasi that you have surpassed ten years of being apart and all the trials, then kayo pa rin, malaking bagay iyon. He is also lucky to have you. Ikaw ang yata ang pinaka-loving and most giving person that I know. You deserve all the happiness and blessings coming your way after ng mga unos sa buhay mo.” Doris said. “Saka ten years na rin naman ang history ninyo ni Richard kahit most of it magkahiwalay kayo. Sa buong panahon na iyon hindi nagbago ang feelings ninyo for each other and that is a very good foundation na. It does not happen to everyone.”
“Thank you very much BFF. I agree with what you said wholeheartedly. I love you and again, thanks again for being there with me, you and Tito Fernando. Parang kapamilya na talaga ang turing ninyo sa amin ni Nanay.”
“Naku, BFF, talaga naman. Kung pwede nga lang na maging mag-sister tayo. Kaso, iyung pudra ko, na-friendzoned ng mudra mo!” Doris said, teasing. “Teka, alam na ba ni Tita Tessie na sa wakas, may boyfriend ka na? Baka magpamisa iyon sa lahat ng simbahan sa galak.”
“Eh wala akong magagawa, one man woman yata talaga kaming mga Dela Paz ladies! Kita mo si Nanay, then si Manang din.” Maya said. “Yes, alam na ni Nanay ang tungkol kay Ricky. Tatawagan ko na nga sana siya kanina pero naunahan na niya ako, pagkagising ko, tumawag na siya. Like you said, ang saya-saya niya ng malaman na may boyfriend na ako. I told her also Ricky and I’s history. At hindi lang siya, happy, take note BFF, sabi pa naman sa akin, sa wakas daw magkakaapo na siya! Ganyan ka-advance si Mother!”
“Hahahaha, si Tita Tessie talaga, sabik na sabik na sa apo. Lance is so lucky to have her as an honorary grandmother.” Doris said. “Pero, tama naman siya, apo kung apo the soonest.”
“Sabi nga pala ni Nanay, ikumusta ko raw siya sa iyo at ihalik kay Lance kapag nagkita tayo.” Maya said, suddenly remembering her mother’s bilin. “Miss ko nga na si Nanay nang sobra-sobra, more than two months na nga kaming hindi nagkikita. Plan namin ni Ricky na umuwi sa Mindoro the next free weekend that we have. Di ba may parating na long weekend? Titingnan ko lang ang load ko and his schedule and kapag okay, bibiyahe kami pa-San Nicolas. Gusto niyang makilala si Nanay, and I promised Nanay rin that I will introduce Ricky to her the soonest time possible.”
“Talaga, meet the parent na agad-agad? Nakakatuwa naman iyang si Richard, matapos mawala sa buhay mo ng parang bula sa loob ng sampung taon, dinadaan sa santong paspasan ang lahat! Grand bawi kung grand bawi, kumbaga!” Doris teased her BFF, then seriously she asked, “Paano pala iyan BFF, what if Richard propose na to you kahit bago pa lang kayo because he does not want to waste time. Handa ka na ba?”
“Yes, BFF! I am!” Maya replied quickly and with conviction. “When I saw him again and realized that I still feel the same for him, and then when he started courting me, inihanda ko na ang sarili ko kung saan man kami mapunta, kahit sa simbahan, even if I had just started my career as a lawyer. Siya lang naman ang minahal ko, wala nang iba. Hindi naman magbabago iyon. Sabi mo nga ten years na rin ang history namin kahit most of that decade, magkahiwalay kami. He is the only one for me. Tanggap ko kung ano man siya and all the things that had happened to his life during that time. His first wife Alexandra and his precious angel, Abby. Pero for now, I’m enjoying our relationship muna. Hindi ko na muna iniisip ang engagement and kasal. Kung tuloy-tuloy na ito at kami na forever, I hope so, then I’m prepared na and more than willing to spend the rest of my life with him.”
“BFF, naiiyak naman ko sa happiness para sa iyo!!!” Doris said emotionally, sniffling. “Basta BFF matron of honor ako at ring bearer si Lance.”
“Hahahaha, Doris naman! Of course when that time comes! Pero matagal pa iyon. Kasisimula pa lang namin ulit ni Ricky!” Maya told her best friend.
“Naku BFF, malay mo bukas mag-propose na siya sa iyo!” Doris teased. “Sabihin mo lang kaagad if he did na ha, para makapag-diet ako ng husto at ng sexy ako sa matron gown ko.”
“Hahahaha, impossible iyan, bukas agad, as in. Pero promise ko sa iyo kapag nangyari iyan, when the right time comes, si Nanay at ikaw ang unang makakaalam!” Maya said.
“Okay, BFF. Love you. O paano, paalam na, see you when I see you. Bahala ka sa bebe boy ko ha. Hello na lang kay boyfie, saka na lang kamo kami magkumustahan. O siya magluto ka na ng spaghetti para sa future daughter mo, I presumed para kay Abby iyan. Di ba ngayon ang lipat nila pabalik ng Mirasol? I’m sure hit iyan. Iyan na yata ang pinakamasarap na spaghetti para kay Lance, at siyempre para sa akin din ah!”
“Surely BFF. Ingat ka sa biyahe at good luck sa interview mo.” Maya said. “Yes, the spaghetti is for Abby. Ricky said to drop by around 4 o’clock later. Sabi ko ako na ang bahala sa snacks, tulong ko sa paglilipat nila. Gusto ko ring makilala ng husto si Abby. Kasi di ba, isang beses pa lang kaming nagkita, di pa kami formally introduced. Nandoon rin kasi si Manang Fe sa bahay ni Ricky, maghe-hello ako.”
“Naks naman, mommy na mommy at future wife na talaga ang peg ng BFF ko.” Doris added.
“Hahahaha, Doris, ikaw talaga. O siya, goodbye na tayo at magluluto na ako!” Maya said, smiling.
Maya checked the time after and Doris and she finally ended her phone call! “OMG, pasado alas una na pala, kailangan ko nang magluto!”
Maya got moving briskly. She was finished with everything by 3PM. While she was warming the spaghetti sauce, Maya took a bath. She chose to wear shorts and a floral blouse. When she had checked her phone she saw a message from Ricky.
Hi sweetheart, we are here at Mirasol na! Settling in. I missed you.
Maya smiled at that. “Sus, ito talagang sweetheart ko, sobrang sweet! Para iilang oras pa lang kaming naghihiwalay.” She typed a reply.
Hello my sweetheart. I’m done na. I will be there in 15 minutes. I missed you too. See you!
She was about to put the phone in her bag when it beeped again.
Wait, stay there, sweetheart, I will pick you up. No buts. I’m going out of the house na!
Maya just smiled and shook her head. “Ang kulit talaga ng sweetheart ko!”
Several minutes after, Maya’s doorbell rang.
“Hi, sweetheart!” Richard said with a big grin. He looked very happy.
“Hi sweetheart! Parang ang saya-saya natin ah.” Maya said, smiling lovingly at her boyfriend. He looks so handsome and so mabango talaga. She will never get tired of looking at him like this and seeing him with one of his bone-melting lopsided smiles. “Halika pasok ka muna. I will just put the spaghetti in a container.”
“Of course, I’m here with my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend again.” Richard said as he followed Maya inside. He likes her in shorts. It shows off her long legs. He likes her in everything! She is very beautiful, in whatever she chose to wear!
Maya laughed, looked at Richard. “Ikaw talaga, pinapakilig mo na naman ako eh.”
“Siyempre naman, sweetheart, that’s my goal in life and I have an ulterior motive when I offered to pick you up.” Richard confessed, gazing at Maya intently, with mischief in his eyes.
“What is it?” Maya asked curiously.
“This.” Richard said, then before Maya could react, Richard lowered his lips to her and gave her a searing kiss. Maya opened her mouth to let Richard deepen the kiss. Before they know it, they are sharing one of the most heated kisses they have shared so far. Several long moments after, they were both catching their breaths.
Richard traced the seam of Maya, kiss-swollen lips. “I missed that. I needed my vitamins before we face the troop. For sure, mamayang gabi pa ulit kita masosolo pag dating mo sa bahay.” He said grinning. “I love you very much, sweetheart.”
“Sweetheart, ikaw talaga! But I love you very much, anyway!” Maya said, grinning, pinching Richard lightly on the side.
“Ouch, sweetheart, now you have to give me another kiss to sooth the pain you have caused.” He said dramatically, with a matching pained facial expression, but the smile he was trying to hide from Maya betrayed him.
“Hay naku, Mr. Lim, nagda-drama ka na naman! Halika na, baka gutom na si Abby.” Maya said, as she started walking towards the kitchen. But then she smiled sweetly at Richard, stood on her toes, cupped his face, then she lowered her lips to him and kissed him quite thoroughly, “May masakit ba pa, sweetheart?” She whispered softly.
Richard grinned naughtily at Maya’s innocent question. “Hmmm, meron pa sweetheart, a different kind of pain naman after that kiss.” He said, grinning at her unrepentently.
Maya blushed, getting his meaning. “Naku, Richard Lim, magugutom na talaga ang anak mo!” With a loving smile to Richard, she went to the kitchen. Richard followed and helped Maya with packing the food, the flowers, the wine and the cake that she bought, at the same time, sneaking little kisses to her, which made the task longer.
It was already a bit after 4PM when they managed to get out of Maya’s apartment. Hands, intertwined and with loving gazes, they walked happily towards Richard’s home.
Note: Have a nice weekend everyone! Thank you for the likes and the wonderful comments to Chapter 1 of Beyond Forever! I hope you will like this additional Saturday night treat! GV always!