It was already past midnight, and yet, Maya and Richard were still very much awake! Who would be able to sleep, or feel sleepy at all, after that wonderful and momentous evening! Engaged! Maya was still having a hard time believing that she and Richard are about to marry! Their being together was ten years in the making, but it was worth it, so very much! There is really no fighting destiny, Maya thought to herself, as she and Richard enjoyed their first private moment after they got engaged. Her belief that if you are destined to be together with that one person you will share your life with, then fate will find a way for the two of you to be together, was affirmed with what happened to her and Richard. Their journey towards their forever took a long time, but finally they have started it that evening in her beloved most romantic place!
From La Casa Antigua, Maya and Richard, with their loved ones returned to the most romantic place as everyone wanted to see the special place where Richard had proposed to Maya earlier in the evening. It was a bit late for the kids to be still up but they let them as it was a special occasion. Besides, they doubted if the kids too, will be able to sleep early with all the excitement they have had for the day, from their special plane ride to Mindoro, to the engagement dinner in an ancestral homes, and the trip to this special place.
The most romantic place was still brightly lit as per Richard’s instructions to Emman. The musicians also returned with them to provide entertainment should they wish to continue the party there! Upon seeing the replica of a ballroom, even Doris who planned the whole thing with Emman, was amazed at what he had accomplished in such a short time! The grown-ups were all amazed at the length Richard went to, just to be able to give Maya a beautiful and surely, a very unforgettable marriage proposal!
Emman was peppered with questions on how he was able to accomplish the feat in such a short time. He told everyone that his experience in the theater helped him a lot and he got in contact with a production group that makes props for shows. He said, it was easy to accomplish everything as Mr. Lim gave them the carte blanche to design the ballroom after telling him of his idea, and Maya’s love for bodice-ripper novels.
Emman also said, teasing Richard a bit, that when expense is not a problem, it is easy to do things fast! Richard flushed a bit when Maya teased him about it. But knowing everything he did to accomplish this, for her, filled her with so much happiness! She whispered a thank you to Richard again and while everyone was scrutinizing the make-shift ballroom, gave him a quick, but searing kiss.
Richard smiled and whispered that if that is what he will get, every time he would do something nice for Maya, then he would to do it all the time. Maya quipped back, that he can surely have that, and more! Richard smiled naughtily and whispered something in Maya’s ears that made her blushed. They were lost in their own world and their whispering, that they didn’t notice right away that Emman was finished explaining the design he did for the place. Manang Fe, nudged Richard. He and Maya shared a smile, flushing amid the teasing of their guests!
The whole party stayed in the place for an hour more. The kids played with the flowers and the decor, with Sabel and Lea watching over them. The adults chatted, and danced a bit when the orchestra played the waltz again. Doris’ father asked Nanay Tessie to partner with him. Simon then asked Doris. Maya’s Tito Rollie asked Manang Fe. Emman asked Manang Maring. Mely, playfully partnered with Abby and Lance, and Sabel with Lea. With Maya and Richard in the center, they all took a spin around the ballroom, laughing and dancing to their heart’s content. Before they left the place, they posed for pictures. Maya and Richard, their hearts overflowing with happiness, thanked everyone who have been a part of that momentous occasion.
When the party ended, Doris said she and Lance, with Lea, will just stay with her father, so they can also visit him until they leave the following day. Nanay Tessie insisted that Manang Fe, Abby and Sabel can stay in the Dela Paz’ ancestral house. Nanay Tessie assured Manang Fe that there was enough room for everyone and that Manang Maring had already prepared a bedroom for them. She said there was even an extra room, aside from they have prepared since Maya was staying in her. Abby can have Maya’s room if she sleeps alone. Richard said that Abby can stay with him. However, Abby had a different idea in mind. She asked her father if she can stay with her new ‘Mommy’ and Lola Nanay Teresita. Nanay Tessie assured Richard it was perfectly okay for Abby to stay with Maya and her as the bed is enough for the three of them.
Richard was surprised at his daughter’s request. At times, Abby was slow to warm to people she just met, but that was not the case with Maya, and now Nanay Tessie! He was happy, of course, at what he is seeing and he couldn’t ask for more. He was very happy seeing his future bride, his future mother-in-law, and his precious daughter bonding together this well!
When they arrived at Maya’s house, Manang Fe and Sabel went promptly to bed, tired from their trip, after Richard and Maya told them they will just take care of Abby. Nanay Tessie and Manang Maring went to the kitchen to double-check if everything was in order for the breakfast the following day. Maya and Richard went to the room that Maya was sharing with her mother and put Abby to sleep. It didn’t take long, as soon as Abby was in the bed, and after she had asked for kisses and hugs from her Daddy and her new Mommy, she was in sleep land. She also them that she was very, very happy before she closed her eyes! Maya and Richard looked at her lovingly, touched by the little’s girl’s acceptance and happiness at their engagement. From the doorway, Nanay Tessie looked at them happily, getting teary-eyed at the scene before her!
“Maya, Richard, ako na ang bahala kay Abby, kung gusto ninyo munang magkwentuhan.” Nanay Tessie offered as she walked towards Richard and Maya. “Feeling ko naman hindi pa kayo inaantok at sino nga ang aantukin sa pagkaganda-gandang araw nating lahat. Kahit ako, pakiramdam ko, mamaya pa ako makakatulog nito. Bantayan ko na lang muna si Abby habang nagpapaantok.”
“Oo nga po, Nay! Gising na gising pa ang diwa ko.” Maya said, looking at Richard and sharing a loving gaze.
“Samahan ninyo na lang po kami ni Maya, Nay. Magkwentuhan tayo diyan sa sala. Magkape tayo also.” Richard added.
“Next time na lang mga anak, moment ninyo iyan.” Nanay Tessie said smiling. “Since Richard proposed, hindi pa kayo napag-isang ulit, Maya.”
Richard and Maya grinned at Nanay Tessie. Maya hugged her mother. “Nay, maraming salamat po ulit ha.”
“Oo nga po, Nay Tessie, thank you very much for everything.” Richard added.
“Kayo talagang mga bata kayo, walang anuman. Sapat nang makita ko kayong masayang-masaya at maayos itong si bunso ko, Ricky.” Nanay Tessie said, getting teary-eyed again. “O sige na, magkape na kayong dalawa or magpahangin sa azotea. Alam kong paborito ninyong place iyon. Baka magising pa si Abby kung magkukwentuhan pa tayo ng mahaba-haba rito.”
While they were walking towards the kitchen to make coffee, Maya finally got to ask Richard when did he tell her mother about the proposal, kung kailan siya nagpaalam dito. Richard told him the day before, when she went to the kitchen.
“Talaga, sweetheart? Noon?” Maya said, grinning. “Kaya pala si Nanay, bigla na lang akong niyakap ha, tapos kaninang umaga naman, she set up our dinner sa La Casa! May pa-vintage clothes pa ni Mamang! Si Nanay talaga, ang galing ding makipagkutsaba sa iyo, sweetheart. Wala akong nahalata!”
“I was in a hurry nga, sweetheart when I was telling her! Baka kasi bumalik ka na and marinig mo. I wanted to tell your mother muna and ask her permission before I set into motion the final plan. Kaya nga pagkatapos naming mag-usap saka ko lang ulit tinawagan si Doris na go ang proposal ko sa iyo.” Richard said. “I’m very grateful to your mother and her organizational skills, lalo na nang sabihin sa kanya na parating din sina Abby, Manang, Sabel, Doris, Lance and Lea!”
“Pero, sweetheart, I never expected talaga that you will propose this weekend.” Maya confessed, preparing their coffee. “Minsan, sumasagi sa isip ko, pero I thought din na hindi pa since we just started our relationship!”
“I have been thinking about it for a while na, sweetheart. I didn’t want to wait anymore. Tagal na yata nating naghintay! I entertained the thought of doing it in Tagaytay but I shelved that kasi I want to ask Nanay Tessie’s permission first. I don’t like to do it naman over the phone. Hindi pa nga niya ako nakikilala ng personal, magpapaalam ako na gusto kong pakasalan ang anak niya sa phone. I wanted to ask her in person.” Richard said. “Tama naman ang decision ko kasi sinabi mo sa akin na pupunta tayo ng Mindoro this weekend!”
“Really, sweetheart?” Maya asked happily. She never imagined that Richard was planning this proposal that early. Bumalik sa kanya ang mga naging conversation nila about being together when the right time comes! “Sweetheart, thank you for talking to my mother. I know you don’t have to, but I’m glad you did. It made her very happy also. Ako rin, sobra-sobrang kaligayahan talaga ang nararamdaman ko ngayon!”
“It was the right and proper thing to do, sweetheart. Kung alam mo lang, sweetheart, I was very nervous when I asked your mother if I could talk to her!” Richard said, grinning. “ Then noong nasabi ko na sa kanya, I also asked for her help kaya, doon nga sa dinner afterwards.”
“So si Doris, kailan mo naman, kinausap? Ikaw talaga, sweetheart, bilib ako sa iyo. Natutuwa rin kasi alam ko kung gaano ka-busy ang schedule mo.” Maya asked as they walked towards the azotea.
Richard smiled and told Maya about the meeting with Doris that Tuesday afternoon. He also told her that it was Doris who called the jewelry designer for him since short time na nga. Then, he said, Doris took care of the details of setting up the ballroom at the most romantic place with Emman and her father for the logistics. Richard told Maya that Doris also took care of the flight to Mindoro of Manang Fe, Abby and Sabel, pati na rin sila ni Lance.”
“Grabe, I really have a lot to thank my BFF for!” Maya exclaimed upon hearing everything. “Para ko na kasi talagang kapatid iyang si Doris.”
“Yes, I agree sweetheart, you have a very good friend in Doris!”
The two of them were about to get settled in into the rattan settee in a corner of the azotea, when Richard’s phone rang.
“Hello Grace!” Richard greeted his sister when he saw on his phone’s screen that it was her, calling. “Mabuti, inabot mo pa akong gising!”
“Hello Kuya Ricky! I’m so sorry about earlier. I had an emergency at the hospital!” Grace said. “ I have a feeling that with the momentous event in your life, you will not be able to sleep promptly so I called, on the off-chance that yo are still awake, and I’m right. Congratulations Kuya Ricky!!! I’m so happy for you and my sister-in-law to be!!! So, how was the proposal? Can you send me photos!”
Richard smiled at his sister’s exuberant words! During the week, he had called his sister in China and told her that he and Maya are in a relationship. Grace was very happy for her brother and she said, she had an idea that he felt differently for Maya from way back. She was happy, she told him, that he and Maya have found each other again. Richard also told her that he was planning to propose to Maya in Mindoro that weekend. Grace told him that, she better be one of the bridesmaid. Richard’s sister also informed him that she is going home with their parents for a vacation and is looking forward to meeting her sister-in-law-to-be.
“Yes, you are right about that! Heto nga, hindi pa kami dalawin ng antok ni Maya. Thank you, Grace, for calling. Okay lang iyong kanina. I know naman the nature of your job” He said, then he looked at Maya and mouthed to her that it was Grace on the phone. “It was great. The best, Grace and I’m so happy. Of course, I was nervous also, who wouldn’t be!” Richard gave his sister a condensed version of his and Maya’s unforgettable night.
“Kuya Ricky, I never thought that you had it in you! Bow talaga ako. In fairness, Kuya, level up ka na talaga! That was simply amazing! If I was the girl, there was no way I would say no also! Ate Maya is lucky to have your love, and I know you are also lucky that you have hers. Hay, destiny talaga, there’s no fighting it!” Grace said, sighing happily. “I’m so very, very happy for you and Ate Maya! Sayang, hindi ako naka-join sa Skype kanina. I’ll make it up to you guys when I get home. May I speak with my sister-in-law to be, Kuya, so that I can greet her also!”
“Basta for Maya, anything, to make her happy, I will do. Sandali lang ha.” Richard told his sister softly. Then he looked at Maya lovingly. “Maya, sweetheart, my sister would like to speak with you.”
Maya nodded. She took a deep breath. This will be the first time that she will speak with Richard’s sister in more than ten years. “Hello Grace, how are you?”
“Hi Ate Maya, congratulations to you and Kuya Ricky! And congratulations too, a belated one, for topping the bar exams. Kuya Ricky told me about it when he called several days ago.” Grace said happily as soon as she heard Maya’s voice. “I hope it is okay if I call you Ate Maya now ha! I’m so very happy to have a sister! I’m sorry I missed the Skype call! I’m okay, pala. Tired from my long shift at the hospital, but very upbeat pa rin, especially after hearing that you guys are engaged now!”
“Thank you very much, Grace. Ricky and I understand naman.” Maya replied, smiling. “Of course, you can call me Ate Maya. I would be happy to have to a sister. I missed having one.”
“Oo nga pala, sabi ni Kuya, namatay daw iyong sister mo noong time din na nakidnap kami ni Mama.” Grace said. “It must have been a very difficult time for you. I’m so sorry to hear it din, Ate Maya!”
“Thank you Grace. Yes, she did. But I’m sure wherever Ate Cris is, she is happy for Richard and me. But you and your Mama also went through a very traumatic experience that time.” Maya said. “I’m glad that you and Mama are okay.”
“It’s all behind us Ate Maya. At least, Mama and I, we survived it and it made us stronger.” Grace replied. “Naku, let’s not talk about it sa happiest moment ninyo ni Kuya Ricky! Kailan ang wedding? Magbo-volunteer na ako na bridesmaid ha, kung okay lang sa iyo.” Grace added, laughing. “Sorry ha, if I’m way ahead of you and Kuya Ricky.”
“Hahahaha, it’s okay Grace.” Maya said, liking Richard’s sister’s exuberant personality. She is glad her traumatic experience didn’t change that aspect of Grace’s personality. “Of course, bridesmaid ka. As for the wedding, pag-uusapan pa lang namin ng kuya mo.”
“Grace, next week if I have my way!” Richard said in the background, which earned him a pinch from Maya. “Magtatanan na lang kami ni Maya! Kailangan namin ng early start sa half a dozen naming kids!”
“Naku, Grace, don’t listen to your brother.” Maya said, laughing. “I’m sure your Mama and my Nanay will not talk to us anymore if we do that! Itatakwil na kami ng mga mother natin! Actually, pag-uusapan pa namin ng Kuya Ricky mo kung kailan. We will set the date pa nd then he will just inform you, your Mama and Papa!”
“Tama ka diyan, Ate Maya. Excited na nga si Mama na umuwi and to help with the weddng!“ Grace laughed. “Ito talagang si Kuya, hindi naman masyadong nagmamadali ah, madaling-madali lang! Kalahating dosenang kids! Sabagay, ang saya-saya noon, I will have seven pamangkins!”
Maya and Grace laughed at that! Soon after, Grace said goodbye to them. After Maya gave the phone back to Richard, they sat on the rattan settee, with Richard’s arm over Maya’s shoulders and Maya half-reclining against his broad chest, and continued drinking their then cooling coffee, enjoying the night. After a while, Richard took hold of Maya’s left hand.
“Sweetheart, like I have told Grace, if it is up to me, I want us to get married the soonest time possible, kung pwede nga lang talaga, next week na.” Richard said, caressing Maya’s ring finger. “But I want to give you the wedding you deserve, so I can wait. So, when do you think is enough time to plan a wedding that you would like?”
Maya smiled. Aha, Maya thought to herself, impishly, now I know how to return the teasing, Mr. Lim, about the six kids you want to have! She touched Richard’s face, and said poker face. “Hmmm, how about next year, sweetheart?”
“Ha, sweetheart, that long!!!” Richard protested, then said rapidly. “Sweetheart, baka naman pwedeng mas maaga. How about in three months? We can just hire a wedding planner. Doable naman iyon, di ba?”
“Sweetheart….” Maya started, deciding to end her teasing as Richard looked so serious when he said that. However, Richard cut into whatever she was going to say, cupping her face.
“Say yes, sweetheart.” He pleaded. “I said I can wait, pero within a reasonable time frame. I want to be with you the soonest, sweetheart.”
“Sweetheart, akala ko ba ako ang bahala Mr. Lim. I just can’t resist teasing you.” Maya laughed, giving him a quick kiss. “Hindi mo ako pinatapos! Sasabihin ko pa naman sa iyo na, hindi ko naman kailangan ang grand wedding. If it is possible nga, I would like to marry you tomorrow. I just want to be with you rin. I don’t need a grand wedding. Ang importante, magkasama na tayo and we will journey together to our forever. I love you very much.”
“Sweetheart, you made me very happy.” Richard said, grinning, looking at Maya with all the love he feels for her. “I love you very much. So we get married, tomorrow?” He added, teasing her again. “You know, kailangan natin ng early start sa half a dozen na magiging kapatid ni Abby!”
“Hahahaha, sweetheart, ikaw talaga, incorrigible! Sobrang, not possible naman iyang tomorrow. Bukod pa sa lagot tayong dalawa sa mga nanay natin.” Maya pinched Richard’s cheek lovingly. “How about in two months time?”
“Hmmm, how about in two weeks.” Richard countered, grinning.
“Hahahaha, sweetheart, never say die talaga ang peg mo!” Maya teased back. “How about a month? Last Saturday of August?”
Richard grinned. “Deal sweetheart!”
Both of them giggled, grinned at their silliness, and happy to have agreed on a date for their wedding! “Sweetheart, ang crazy natin ‘no! Sabi ko na nga ba eh, iyang magnanimous statement mo na iyan na willing to wait ha!”
“Happily, crazily in love, Ms. Dela Rosa.” Richard said softly, lovingly.
“Yes, Mr. Lim, happily and crazily in love, with you.” Maya replied happily.
Richard and Maya gazed at each other with all the love they are feeling, thinking of the time when they will be finally, together forever. They sealed that thought with a searing kiss, which turned into several kisses as they enjoyed their private moment.
They went to bed when the roosters started crowing. Richard took Maya up to the door of the room she was sharing with Nanay Tessie, and Abby. They managed to part after several searing kisses. Both went to bed, and fall asleep, with big happy smiles on their faces.
Note: Finally! Have a nice evening/day! ❤ 🙂 ❤