Archive for August, 2015
“That was really good, Maya!” Ricky said happily after he had finished his second serving of Maya’s champorado. “The best champorado I tasted, swear! And the coffee is the best tasting too! If you are serving this brew in your cafe, then I definitely will have to go there everyday when I return to Manila and get my fix!”
“You’re welcome, Ricky. I’m glad you like it. I do hope you can check out the cafe when you return to Manila. I’ll be happy if you will drop by one day. Let me know lang ha, then I will personally give you a tour and play barista for you. Pero baka malayo sa office mo iyong cafe ko?” Maya said with a big smile, happy that Ricky loves the food she prepared. “Malapit pala sa Makati Avenue iyong cafe/gallery.”
“Oh, then I will definitely be there very often, kahit everyday! Two streets lang ang head office ng Lim Corporation from Makati Avenue. Saka even if malayo, I will go there, just to see you and taste your wonderful coffee!” Ricky said, giving Maya a charming smile, then he remembered something. “Wait, I think I know your cafe, or least I know which one it is! Is your cafe the one with floor to ceiling windows, with a big mural on the ground floor, and had a purplish decor, with pastel-colored chairs?”
“Yes, that’s the one! Nakapunta ka na sa Cafe Arts?” Maya asked, surprised. She can’t recall ever seeing Ricky there. If she had, she is one hundred percent sure that she will remember. But baka rin naman wala siya noong nagpunta sa cafe si Ricky. Hindi naman siya nasa cafe all the time. She and Emman take turns in manning the cafe. She has to divide her time between the cafe and the gallery on the second floor din.
“No, no, I haven’t been inside! Nadadaanan ko lang pauwi. I live in Rockwell kasi. Pero I have been meaning to check it out.” Ricky explained. “Mahilig din kasi ako sa coffee and I like trying out coffee shops na hindi part ng big chains, para kasing mas personal and mas less commercialized ang coffee. Saka parang your cafe looks very interesting from the outside.”
“I agree with you on that. Iyon din ang reason namin ni Emman, who is my business partner and a good friend from college, why we decided to put up the coffee shop. Lahat ng beans namin, we make sure na freshly ground, locally source, saka the best, and the food, personally taste-tested namin. Kasama rin sa menu namin ang best recipes namin na dati family and friends lang ang nakakatikim ng paulit-ulit at parating nire-request sa amin. Iyon ang mga bestseller namin. The two of us also enrolled in a barista school para mas alam namin ang ginagawa namin.” Maya said. “Then since art is my other passion, we combined it with that. Emman is into photoraphy naman so some of his works are also on display at the cafe and the gallery.”
“That’s great, Maya. I’m sure that cafe and gallery is a success. Every time I passes by, maraming tao. That’s one of the reasons why I was unable to check it out. Puno na also ang parking spaces ninyo pati.”
“Oh! Well, since we know each other na, please text me if you will be at the cafe, we can have coffee at my own private space there. There is actually a small garden at the back, away from the street which I uses, just to paint and take a break, enjoying my coffee in solitude” Maya said. “Tapos, there is a vacant parking space pa sa assigned slots ko kasi walang kotse si Emman. He lives nearby and just walks from his place to the cafe!”
“Okay, I will do that. I’m really looking forward to that.” Ricky said, then gave Maya, a lopsided smile that made her heart beat faster. “I’ll make sure na nandoon ka talaga.”
“I’m looking forward to that too, Ricky.” Maya smiled back at Ricky, then took a sip of her coffee, looked at the beautiful view before them, and sighed, content. “This is very nice! It is very nice here, like this. I’m glad I took the trip here to Ilocos.”
Ricky gazed at Maya intently as he sipped his coffee, then said softly. “I’m glad you did, Maya. I’m glad I did, too.”
The two of them gazed at each other without them intending to. It was Maya who broke the contact, getting self-conscious and feeling her face turning red from the look Ricky was giving her, not to mention the fast beating of her heart. Sa lakas ng kabog, feeling niya naririnig na ni Ricky. She took a deep breath to calm herself. “Plano mo ba talagang magbakasyon here, or like me, this is a spur-of-the-moment decision?”
Ricky was about to take another sip of coffee, but stopped for a while, and pondered Maya’s question. He stared at the view before him without really seeing anything. Then he looked at Maya again, and smiled. “I guess like you, this is a wonderful spur-of-the-moment decision, one that I seldom make. I’m not what you call a very impulsive person. I just needed to get away from everything for a while, then I suddenly thought about this place. So, one evening, I packed my bags, then drove straight to this place.”
“Wow, you drove all the way! It must have been very tiring! ” Maya said. “I flew to Laoag and then just traveled by land from the airport there. Hindi ko nga kabisado masyado. I just asked people for directions. Mababait naman ang mga napagtanungan ko. It was a good experience and a small adventure na rin.”
“It was. I only stopped for coffee and toilet break, then balik sa pagda-drive. Luckily, since gabi naman, traffic was light and mas mabilis akong nakarating, unlike kung daytime ako nagbiyahe. Pero, nevertheless, nakakapagod pa rin since I haven’t done that before. Kaya nga I was sleeping kahapon, nung napagkamalan mo akong multo.” Ricky grinned, remembering that incident. The loud crash of thunder and lightning woke him up, then Maya’s scream. When he checked and caught a glimpse of Maya standing in the living room, she literally took his breath away, she looked so lovely, standing in the living room like that.
“Hahahaha, I will not be able to live it down, do I? Sigurado na ako na you will not forget ever meeting me, hahahaha.” Maya said in return, laughing. “I must have looked very silly, and probably you thought, what is this crazy girl doing in my living room!”
“Maya, kahit naman hindi like that ang meeting natin, I don’t think I will ever forget meeting you.” Ricky said plainly, gazing at Maya again, with that look that makes her heart skipped a beat. “Really, I’m glad that we have met each other here, of all places. Pero, I think if not here, we will meet also, eventually, in your cafe. Baka we are fated to meet talaga.”
Maya suddenly took a sip of her coffee, getting flustered. She smiled at Ricky. “I’m glad to have met you too here, Ricky. And yes, we would have probably meet in my cafe, if not here. I usually chat with our regulars when I have time and they are not in a hurry!”
Richard was about to ask Maya what she was planning to do for the rest of the day, when his mobile phone rang, breaking the lovely moment between them. He had a pretty good idea on who was calling, but still, he stood up and checked, to be sure. Baka may emergency sa office niya. He confirmed who was calling, he was right so he let it his phone rang without answering the call. It rang again, and again.
“Ricky, hind mo ba sasagutin iyong call mo, baka importante.” Maya asked, unable to stop herself after the third time. She was very curious and at the same time wondering why Ricky was ignoring the phone call!
“The truth is, I can’t deal with it right now, Maya. One of the reasons why I am here. It is not an emergency call. Besides, I have told my personal assistant that I will take several days off and I am not to be disturbed unless it is a life and death situation. I have left the company in the very capable hands of my chief legal officer, who also happens to be a university friend.” Ricky finished. “I’m sorry, that is all I can say about the matter.”
“It’s okay, Ricky, I understand.” Maya nodded, then looked at Ricky, “But if you need someone to talk to, I’m just here, okay. We may not know each other that long and you don’t really know me, but you can trust on my discretion. Sometime it also helps when you share your burden with someone, kapag merong nakinig.”
“Thank you, Maya. I will, kapag medyo nakapag-isip na ako.” Ricky said. “I may not know you that long, in fact yesterday lang pala tayo nagkakilala! And yet, I feel like I have known you for a long, long time. For now, let us just enjoy Ilocos.”
Maya was startled at what Ricky said as she felt the same. “Pareho tayo, like I have said din yesterday. I guess partly because of our grandparents shared past. Saka I have read somewhere na may mga ganoon daw talaga na instances na parang matagal mo nang kilala ang isang tao, kahit you just meet each other. On the other hand, meron naman na kasa-kasama mo araw-araw, and yet at some point, you would realized that you don’t really know that person at all!” Maya finished her statement with a shrug. “I believe so.”
“I also believe that Maya.” Then changing the topic, Ricky asked Maya what he was supposed to ask her before Lorraine’s call. He had been avoiding her calls and has been deleting her text messages. Good thing, he didn’t tell anyone where he would be! “What is your plan, pala for the rest of the day? May gagawin ka ba?”
“Hmmmm, nothing important naman! I was just planning to walk around and sketch, look for inspiration for my painting.” Maya replied. “Bakit?”
“I was just thinking that we could drive around and explore the area. That way rin baka, may makuha kang inspiration. We can stop anytime na may makita kang interesting na pwede mong i-sketch. Then we can have lunch in Vigan or somewhere else na madaanan nating interesting. What do you think? Will you spend the day with me?” He asked beseechingly. He, very much wanted to spend the day with Maya. He wanted to get lost in her lovely company, instead of thinking about Lorraine and the issues he escaped from.
“Sure, Ricky, I would love to. Plan ko rin talaga to explore the area.” Maya said happily. “What time are we leaving? I need to get my sketch pad from the house, also my camera, and I need to change into more comfortable clothes for walking and exploring. Can we meet in an hour or so?”
Ricky smiled at Maya’s enthusiasm and he was really glad that she had agreed. He likes her company. “Well, we can leave anytime. I’ll just change and get ready din, then we can drive to your house and get your stuffs!”
“Okay!” Maya grinned, really looking forward to spending the whole day with Ricky.
Half an hour later, Maya and Ricky stopped at the Dela Paz beach house to drop off their breakfast basket and to get Maya’s things for their day trip.
“Ricky, this is Manang Miring, iyong caretaker namin dito, kasama nung anak niyang si Dorina.” Maya introduced Ricky to the old lady. “Manang Miring, si Ricky po iyong nakatira diyan sa bahay ng mga Lim. Bahala na po muna kayo sa kanya, magbibihis lang ako at kukunin ko ang mga gamit ko, mamamasyal kami ni Ricky. Ricky, sandali lang ha.”
“Sure, Maya. Take your time, we have the whole day.” Ricky said, then offered his hand to Manang Miring. “Kumusta po kayo, Manang?”
“Mabuti naman po, Sir Ricky. Apo po ba kayo ni Mr. Ricardo Lim?” Manang Miring asked curiously. “Kamukhang-kamukha ninyo po siya kasi.”
“Opo, Manang. Pero namatay po siya bago ako ipanganak, so hindi ko na rin siya inabutan.” Ricky replied. “Kilala ninyo po si Lolo Ricardo?”
“Tatang ko po si Berting Sotelo, iyong dati ninyong caretaker, na yumao na ilang taon na ang nakakalipas. Pinsan ko naman po si Kuya Tunying na kasalukuyang nagbabantay ng beach house ninyo.” The old lady explained. “Naalala ko po kasi ang lolo ninyo. Noong bata po kasi ako, ilang beses ko po siyang nakitang naglalakad sa beach, binigyan niya pa nga po ako ng chocolate one time. Pero pagkalipas po ng ilang araw mula noon, umalis na rin siya at hindi na nabalik dito.”
“Ganoon po ba. Natutuwa naman po ako na malaman.” Ricky said with a smile. The Sotelos have been taking care of their vacation home since it was built, according to his grandmother. “Madalang po kasi akong mapunta rito kaya hindi siguro tayo nagkakilala dati.”
“Sandali lang po pala, Sir Ricky. Ikukuha po kayo ng maiinom.” Manang Miring said. “Kape po? Masarap po iyong kape na ginawa ni Ma’am Maya.”
“Naku, huwag na po, Manang. Katatapos lang po naming mag-breakfast ni Maya. Two cups na nga po ng coffee ang nainom ko ng masarap na coffee ni Maya. Nagdala po siya kanina, kasama noong champorado and tuyo na the best sa lahat ng natikman ko. Thank you po. Saka paalis na rin po kami ni Maya. Hintayin ko na lang po si Maya rito.”
“O sige po, Sir. Kayo ang bahala. Ang aga nga pong nagising ng batang iyan. Sabi ko, ako na ang magluluto. Siya na raw po.” The old lady told Ricky. “Maiwan ko po muna kayo.”
Ricky looked around Maya’s house. It looks so much nicer and different from the Lim vacation house. The house feels familiar to him, as if he had been here before. He was still looking around, when Maya returned to the living room, wearing a white, sleeveless blouse and maong shorts that shows off her endless legs. Her hair was in pony tail and she was not wearing any make-up at all. She has a small backpack with her and her sketch pad in her hand.
“Ricky, sorry, natagalan ako. Ready na ako.” Maya said with a big smile, unaware of how lovely she looks and how Ricky’s heart lurched seeing her like this.
Ricky gulped, then took a deep breath, and gazed at Maya with admiration. “It’s okay, Maya. It was not that long and I liked looking at your beautiful house. And by the way, you look very lovely.” He finished with one of his lopsided smiles.
Maya blushed a bit. “Thank you, Ricky. This is my comfort clothes.” She then looked around the house. “I like this house very much as well. Pagpasok ko palang dito, pagdating ko, parang ang saya-saya ko. I fell in love with the house. Kung pwede nga lang, I woud live here all year round. Kaso nga lang kasi, ang layo sa Maynila. Someday, I will. Anyway, I can just come here very often.”
“The house feels familiar to me also. Baka rin naman sobra ko lang naisip ang laman ng diary ng grandparents natin. I remember reading the description of this place by Lolo Ricardo.”
“Oo nga, pala. Ilang beses din siyang nakapunta rito.” Maya replied. “Shall we get going. Ricky? Sandali lang magpapaalam lang ako kay Manang Miring.”
Several minutes after they said good-bye to Manang Miring, Ricky and Maya were on their way. They opted to travel towards the direction of the Santa Maria Church, their first stop, then traveling farther north towards Vigan and beyond.
Both Maya and Ricky felt an excitement that they can explain as they start their journey. From time to time, as if they can’t help themselves, they gazed at each other, and with smiles on their faces, look at the beautiful scenery before them, both felt their heart singing by just being in each other’s company.
Note: This used to be Chapter 4 before the revision I did. Please see the Richard and Maya folder index Library for the revised chapters! 🙂
“Happy, Mrs. Bowman?”
“Very, very happy, Mr. Bowman!”
“I love you very much, darling!”
“I love you very much too, honey!”
“The start of our lives together, at long last!”
“I’m looking forward to that!”
“I am, too, darling Pip, especially to our honeymoon, finally!” Ethan teased Pippa naughtily, making her blushed.
Pippa looked at her husband with so much love, before whispering back, softly and with a naughty smile as well. “Me too, honey! Me too!”
Ethan grinned and gave his wife a quick, but searing kiss. Pippa shivered, feeling the effect of that kiss deep into her being, as always. Ethan didn’t know where he got the willpower not to make love to Pippa in the three months they have been engaged and was practically living together. There were times where they came very close to doing so despite his, and her, resolve! Yes, they found ways to express their passion and desire for each other, learned about each other’s body, to satisfy each other somehow, in the meantime slaked the thirst, so to speak, while counting the days until they will become husband and wife. However, despite all the intimacies they have done together, they had managed, barely, to stop making love all the way.
Ethan and Pippa looked at each other again, and with a heated promise to each other, they glided gracefully in front of their guests. This was their first dance as husband and wife, several hours after their beautiful and simple wedding at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Puerto Galera that morning, with their families and friends from England, Davao, Manila, and from Puerto Galera, in attendance.
Colorful capiz lanterns and floor to ceiling lamps made of native materials illuminate the big open Anahaw pavilion especially built for Ethan and Pippa’s wedding reception at The Cove. Pippa’s mother insisted on building the pavilion to make her daughter’s wedding extra special. When Pippa half-heartedly protested that it may be over the top as she and Ethan only wanted a simple wedding, Mommy Marianne countered it by saying that it isn’t everyday that her only daughter is getting married. Besides, she said, it can be used afterwards as a wedding venue in the resort. Pippa stopped protesting and went along with what her and mother, her future mother-in-law, Virgie, and hers and Ethan’s wedding planner had suggested for their beautiful Filipiniana themed wedding. To complete the theme of the wedding, Philippine flowers and plants of all varieties were placed all over the pavilion and the areas around it, transforming it into a very beautiful tropical garden! It was picture perfect, and just the way Pippa envisioned her wedding to be.
Mommy Marianne sat closely with her balae and college friend Virgie, and her husband Colin, as they happily watched their children beautifully moving on the dance floor, with eyes only for each other. Both of them, while in college never thought that one day, their children will end up married to each other! But they were ecstatic that it happened. Seeing the happiness and the love between Pippa and Ethan, they couldn’t ask for more.
Mommy Marianne also wished then that her Tommy can see their daughter at that moment. She looked radiant. Her son-in-law, so handsome and looking so very much in love with her daughter. Mommy Marianne knew, doubly so that her daughter is in good hands. A mother couldn’t asked for more. Indeed, she had gotten a son in Ethan.
Virginia Bowman clutched her husband’s hand tightly as they, too, were very happy that Ethan has finally found a love that will last forever. After what their son had experienced almost a year before, they were very glad that he had bounced back and found true and lasting happiness in the arms of the lovely girl he had met unexpectedly. Love and happiness had found their son and they couldn’t ask for more. They just hope and pray that Allison will find the same happiness and love as what her brother had found with Pippa! Meeting Pippa and learning that their son was engaged to be married was the best news they have received since their son informed them that he was finally coming home after several months of disappearing in Asia! Now, this! Their happiness is complete.
Three months after they got engaged, Pippa and Ethan finally had the wedding of their dreams! Her cousin Belle was Pippa’s maid of honor. Werner was Ethan’s best man. Isabel, Pippa’s business partner in the production house she formed after returning from England, was also part of the entourage. Some of Pippa’s friends at her old work also made it to the wedding, combining it with a vacation to Pippa’s family resort. Tristan and his clinic partner, Joshua were also in attendance, together with their ‘heartbroken’ nurses, Susan and Marita, teasing Ethan that their heart will not recover, seeing that he is married. Ethan and Pippa laughed at their antics. Tristan was part of the wedding entourage as well. Colin, from Ethan and Werner’s company was also there with his Filipina girlfriend, and Ethan’s close friends from England, Robert and Timothy!
Ethan’s family from Davao also attended – his Uncle Michael, Aunt Minerva and several other aunts and uncles, and Melissa, who like Ally, was a bridesmaid. It was a good thing, Allison made it to the wedding, having just had a vacation several months before! She went back to England ahead of Pippa and Ethan. Ally made it to Mindoro several days after they have return home to tell Pippa’s mom of their engagement and their plans for the future. Pippa also updated her mother on her decision to quit her job and pursue her passion. As with her every endeavor before, she got the support of her mother, who was very, very happy on her engagement to Ethan. When Belle found about their engagement, she was ecstatic too. Tristan was also present when they informed their family and friends in Mindoro and he offered them his sincere congratulations. Ally had a wonderful week in Mindoro. She got along very well with Tristan, Joshua and Belle. When she leaving for England, Joshua, who was going to Manila at the same time for a conference, offered to take her to the airport. Ethan and Pippa promised Ally that they will travel to England as soon as they have manage to arrange things.
Ethan and Pippa finally got to visit the Bowmans in England more than a month after they had been to Mindoro to tell Mommy Marianne that they got engaged. Upon learning that Ethan was engaged to the daughter of her best friend, Virgie Bowman was ecstatic. She insisted on hosting an engagement party for Ethan and Pippa before they return to the Philippines for their family and friends in England who can’t make it to the wedding. She also insisted to Pippa that she would like to help in the planning of her only son’s wedding. So, when Pippa and Ethan went home from their month-long visit in England, the elder Bowmans traveled back to the Philippines with them.
Ethan also met with Claudia’s mother during their first week in England. He wanted to fully close that chapter of his life. She reluctantly agreed to meet him for coffee one afternoon at a neutral place for them after he told her that he would like to give her something that was of great value to Claudia. Pippa offered to come with him, but suggested that she can stay in the background as Claudia’s mum may not like it that Ethan was engaged to be married. Ethan said, it would be better if he does it alone, anyway.
The meeting between Claudia’s mum, Cordelia, and Ethan was cordial, but only lasted less than an hour. Ethan can see that Cordelia was not as composed as she should be when he gave her Claudia’s diary. Ethan hugged Pippa tight after the meeting. While it only lasted a short time, it had drained his energy. Several days after, he was surprised to received a call from Cordelia, asking him to meet again.
Ethan met Cordelia at a coffee shop near the Leicester Square Tube Station. Pippa went with Ally to Notting Hill. The two of them were planning to see what they can buy at the Portobello Road Market. Ethan saw a different Cordelia. She looked broken and sad. He guessed she had read her daughter’s diary. All she asked Ethan, when he sat before her, was to forgive her and to thank her for taking care of her daughter. She also said that she had hoped that one day she can forgive herself to what she had done to her daughter. Ethan softly told her that he hopes she will find peace one day. He said goodbye to her several minutes after. He and Pippa went to where Claudia was buried afterwards and offered a prayer for her and the baby. He felt so much lighter after they have done so. He was completely at peace, especially, he has the life he was making with Pippa to look forward to.
The rest of Pippa and Ethan’s stay in England was spent playing tourists in London and in nearby areas. One of the most memorable moments that Pippa and Ethan treasure was their London Eye ride. They kissed when they reached the top amid the magnificent scenery before them. It also reminded them of their Star City Ferris Wheel ride and their declaration of feelings for each other then. Ethan treated Pippa to a musical also in West End. They also drove around outside London and spent several days in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. They flew back after several weeks and got busy, only with the wedding, but their new jobs, Ethan in Werner’s company and Pippa with the production company she formed with Isabel. She had also launched her blog and it was well received. Several of her posts even went viral.
“Honey are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Pippa whispered to Ethan as they took one last twirl around as the music was ending.
“What?” Ethan asked, smiling, looking at the part of the pavilion where her gaze was, his brows knitted in curiosity.
Pippa pointed to where Tristan was sitting. He was scowling and the object of his displeasure was Belle, who was laughing hard at what Werner said. Pippa noticed it when they were rehearsing for the wedding. Werner was very attentive to Belle and he was very charming. He made Belle laughed a lot. She also noticed Tristan looking intently at Belle, but Belle was refusing to look at him. She tried asking her cousin several times if she and Tristan had a misunderstanding or something, but she changed the topic every time she asked. Pippa stopped prying. She felt that something happened to her cousin and their friend in between the time she and Ethan were in Northern Luzon and in England. It became obvious when they were planning the wedding. Belle was barely talking to Tristan, despite the fact that he seemed to want to talk to her. That evening, it was obvious that Tristan didn’t like Belle flirting with Werner. In fact, he looked very jealous. Pippa noticed that he had been looking at Belle closely, and there was that kiss after the bouquet and garter ceremony. It was Belle who caught the flowers and it was Tristan who got the garter. After he had put the garter on Belle’s leg, he looked at her with so much intent, then to hers and everyone’s surprise, he kissed her on the lips. Belle blushed and looked at Tristan with an unguarded expression, before she took on a neutral expression, then after a smile that seemed force, she went back to where Ally and other bridesmaids were sitting. Tristan walked away sadly, but with a determined expression on his face.
“Oh!” Ethan said, smiling. “Playing matchmaker, honey?”
“Hahahaha, this is looking very interesting, indeed!” Pippa said. “Parang alam ko na kung sino ang susunod na ikakasal sa atin! Though parang may hindi tayo alam. But I have a very good feeling about this two!”
Ethan nodded. “I think I agree with you on this dear wife! Pero parang marami pang kailangang gawin si Doc Tristan to win Belle’s heart. I wish him all the luck.”
The two of them shared a smile, then kissed as the music ended. They bowed to their guests. The end of their first dance was also the signal for everyone to go on the dance floor. When Pippa and Ethan were returning to their table, they caught a glimpse of Werner beating Tristan in asking Belle to dance. They smiled.
The party lasted for several hours more. Pippa and Ethan said goodbye to their families and guests late afternoon. They will fly to Palawan via a helicopter that was also part of the gift of Pippa’s godmother Evelyn to them aside from a week’s stay in her beautiful island vacation home. They have thanked Evelyn Romero, and her husband Raymond, earlier for their very generous gift to them.
“Pippa, Ethan, ingat kayo mga anak and enjoy your honeymoon.” A teary-eyed Marianne Montenegro told the newly weds, hugging them one after the other. “Ethan, take care of my daughter ha.”
“Yes, Mom, I will.” Ethan promised Marianne.
“Mom. don’t cry na. Akala ko pa naman tapos na iyan sa church.” Pippa teased her mother. “I love you very much.”
“I love you very much too, anak, and ikaw rin Ethan. Tears of joy naman ito mga anak. I am still having a hard time believing that my daughter has finally found her prince.” Mommy Marianne said, smiling happily at her daughter and son-in-law.
“Balae, I know the feeling. I’m happy too that my son has found his princess.” Mummy Virgie told everyone. “Enjoy your honeymoon, Pippa, Ethan. Don’t worry about us. Marianne and I, with your Dad, Ethan, are planning to take a trip up North as well, doon sa mga lugar na pinuntahan ninyo. Ally is joining us I think. Napag-usapan namin kagabi. We would like to see the place where Ethan proposed to you Pippa.”
“Talaga po! I’m sure you will like it there, Mum, Dad. I’m so glad also Mom that you are taking a vacation.” Pippa said happily.
“O sige, Ethan, Pippa, lumakad na kayo and baka gabihin pa kayo.” Mommy Marianne said.
Ethan and Pippa finally made it to the chopper a round of hugs and goodbye to their well-wishers. They arrived at the beautiful island as the sun was setting. They were welcomed by the caretakers and it seemed like another surprise was waiting for them. The whole place was filled with flowers and decorated with colorful lanterns.The place was fit for an unforgettable honeymoon. It was like stepping into their own private paradise.
Ethan carried Pippa over the threshold of the place after the thanking the caretakers and assuring them that they don’t need anything for the night. Manang Maring and Manong Banong told them that they will just be at their small hut at the far edge of the property should they need anything.
“Sa wakas, Mrs. Bowman,” he said with a silly, naughty and teasing grin. “Here we are!”
“Yes, my husband, here we are! Imagine, parang kailan lang I saw you chopping wood at my mother’s yard.” Pippa smiled at the memory, remembering that the first thing she noticed was Ethan without a shirt on. “Akalain mo ba naman!
“Hmmm, parang alam ko na ang ibig sabihin ng smile na iyan. Remembering that scene, parang I felt I was ogled as someone took a sip of Coke.” He teased. “Admit it, Pippa darling.”
“Hahahahaha, guilty. You looked so handsome kaya! Kahit na broken-hearted ako noon, I still have eyes.”
Ethan grinned, then cupped Pippa’s face. “And you looked so very lovely my darling, standing there, with legs that went on forever. My heart is so full that you are mine now. I never thought that I will feel this happy in almost a year after the most devastating thing that had happened to me.”
“Me too, Ethan. after the heartache, here I am, so well-loved by you. I love you very much so.” Pippa caressed Ethan’s beloved face.
Ethan lowered his lips to Pippa and gave her a searing kiss. Pippa kissed him back with all the love and desire she was feeling for her husband. Both of them thought at long last, here they were, in their wedding night! The kiss turned into more intense kisses, the desire they have ignited in each other turning into a conflagration. Ethan carried Pippa to the big bed, strewn with roses, laid her gently and started undressing her, slowly and maddeningly. He kissed every spot he had uncovered, sending volts of desire into Pippa’s. When he managed to remove every stitch of clothing, he looked hotly and with so much love at his beautiful bride, who also looked at him with eyes glazed with desire, and with all the love she was feeling. He undressed slowly and when he had shed off all his clothes, he joined his wife on the bed and proceeded to love her gently, taking in consideration her innocence. They loved throughout most of the night and indeed, it was worth the wait. They only stopped when sleep beckoned and they can’t ignore it anymore. Ethan covered his and Pippa naked and sated bodies with a beautiful embroidered blanket he found at the foot of the bed. They slept for the first time as husband and wife, as close as two person could be.
Pippa was woken up with searing kisses the following morning. She smiled and looked at her handsome and wonderful husband with so much love. They shared a look and before long, they were kissing each other with abandon, wanting to satisfy the passion that ignited between them again. Ethan wanted to be gentle as Pippa might still be sore for all the beautiful loving they did the night before, but Pippa will have none of it. She took the initiative and their lovemaking was more explosive than the first time they came together. More than two hours later, they finally got out bed as they can’t ignore their hunger anymore. Pippa made them an omelette, just like the first evening they shared a meal. They went for a swim after their leisurely brunch.
Ethan and Pippa expressed their love for each other in every way they could in the days and night they have spent in that beautiful, secluded island. They were like in a world of their own.
“I love you very much, my darling.” Ethan whispered to Pippa as they sat on a blanket by the beach, watching the sun set the day before they returned to Manila. “I will love you until my last breath.”
“I love you very much too, honey. I will do the same. I will love no other. I’m looking forward to a lifetime as your partner and beloved wife.” Pippa said emotionally as she reclined against her husband’s chest.
Pippa turned and the two of them shared another smouldering kiss as the sun was setting. When the sun was but a small disc on the horizon, they returned to the house to have dinner and the night was spent loving each other again in every possible way. Both of them knew even then that it will always be like this for them for the rest of their lives. Indeed, both of them were very lucky to find a love that would last a lifetime, unexpectedly!
Note: With this, I finally found my groove again, I think. 🙂 Sorry for just ‘disappearing’. I had writer’s block for some reason! I kept myself busy in the meantime (I also needed to help out my sister with her house moving), hoping to get out of it. Hopefully, I did! I have started working on the last part of On the Street Where You Live as well.
This ends Pippa and Ethan’s story, which is special to me too as this is my first non-RM fiction. Thank you very much for reading this as well, and supporting my other works. Next will be Doc Tristan’s and Belle’s story in Unrequited Love. Thank you very much, again, for the support. ❤
June 20, 1966
I woke up bright and early the following day despite the fact that it was already past two o’clock in the morning when I managed to fall asleep. I dreamed about Maya, that she and I were in a beautiful garden. We were sitting in a swing in the middle of the garden filled with all kinds of flowers and there was a nearby meadow. It looked like how I imagined paradise would be. We were so happy and so in love! We kissed and held hands as we marveled at the beauty around us and enjoyed our private moment. I woke up with a big smile. My heart sang! I felt exhilarated, like I was on the top of the world, like I have climbed Mount Everest and was marveling at God’s amazing work before me! The fact that I will see her again that day, aside from the beautiful dream I had, made me feel that way.
I didn’t have to wait long. Maya arrived one hour later, bringing breakfast with her. With a lovely smile, she told me it was the least she could do for the help I gave her the day before, and for the dinner. She brought champorado and tuyo, which she told me, she cooked herself, as well as fresh fruits, and coffee in a big thermos. She admitted that she too, woke up early despite the fact that, like me, she was unable to sleep promptly the night before. I remarked that maybe, she was not used to the quietness of the place, or the roar of the waves when the wind was very strong. She just looked at me, unable to answer, but I can see that she was blushing. I guessed, I was not the only one who was unable to sleep because of our meeting and the wonderful time we had. I really wished then that she had dreamed about me, too.
Maya and I set up the breakfast at the veranda overlooking the beach that our properties shared together at the moment. Our houses were the only ones there. The nearest neighbors were around two kilometers away on the East side, or before Maya’s family’s beach house. It was a beautiful, quiet morning. It felt like she and I were in our own private world, with the vast blue sea to look at.
In between enjoying our very nice breakfast, Maya and I talked about our families and common interests. We had a lot in common, we found out. We both like to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, reading books, watching movies. She loves Audrey Hepburn, and I on other hand, likes Alfred Hitchcock movies, Sean Connery and his James Bond films, among other things. We both like movie musicals. I also told her I don’t mind watching romance films, like the ones Hepburn had starred with. She was happy to know that. She also prefers her company than attending parties.
I asked Maya how she got started as an artist. She told me that it was just a hobby for her, really. She had learned from a family friend. She told me that she felt like she was in a different world when she holds a brush and put paints on her canvas, translating her imagination into vivid colors, shapes and images. She transports there whatever she feels in her heart. I told her that she had a very wonderful talent, and I can say that, even if I have only saw one of her works, so far! She blushed and thanked me softly. She asked me what I would like to do in my spare time. I told her my life revolves around the family business and that takes most of my time. However, I also found myself confessing to her that I would like to write novels, short stories, poem, the likes. She encouraged me to do, and I just smiled at her, for that dream, at that moment was beyond my grasp. Duty to the family rules my life, especially at that time that my father was in poor health.
We continued talking most of the morning. Manong Berting and Manang Felicing had arrived from the market, but seeing, that, I was already having my breakfast with Maya, they told me that they will just be in their kubo at the edge of the property. I gathered that they wanted to give me and Maya privacy. We took care of the dishes, despite my insistence that the caretakers can take care of those afterwards.
Instead of painting that day, Maya and I just took a walk at the beach, chatting and at times, silently staring at the vast, blue sea. We returned to the beach house when it got too hot. Manang Felicing made a very sumptuous lunch for us, local dishes, which she told us with a big smile, we must sample. While we were eating our lunch, I asked Maya if she would like to take a short trip to the nearest town with me, climb the bell tower and the lighthouse there, as well as go inside the beautiful centuries-old church. She said, she would love to. I told Manong Berting to get the car ready. He offered to drive us, but I told him, I can manage. He just gave us directions. I wanted to spend the rest of the day alone with Maya. We stopped by her house to inform Fe where we will be, and to drop off Maya’s painting and painting materials. Fe said she will prepare dinner for us, and I must sample her cooking too.
It was a lovely afternoon spent with Maya, something firmly etched in my mind, like the many photographs in my head of the beautiful moments I have spent with her. In town, we also found a photo studio, and I asked her if we can have several photos, as a memento of our time there, and she agreed. The photographer promised to send us the copies of the photos, or he said, I can have Manong Berting pick it up in several days. We returned to Maya’s beach house as twilight was setting in. Fe prepared a feast for us. She had left us alone after serving us dinner.
We had coffee in the veranda after our wonderful dinner. Maya’s family’s house looks more inviting than the one my father had built. It was made of hardwood, narra and some others I couldn’t identify right away, and the design was similar to the beautiful bahay na bato we have seen in town earlier, but more open and airier. It had a nice, lived-in look, which is strange as like ours, it was only being used, Maya said, as a vacation home.
It was already late at night when I returned to my house. While about to get into the car, I told Maya softly that I had a wonderful time with her again. She told me that also had a great time. We gazed at each other. There were only us and that moment, no past, no present, and yes, no future. We existed only on our awareness of each other. I felt my heart skipping several beats. I can’t help myself, I touched and caressed her lovely face as I said good night and sweet dreams to her. She looked at me with her very expressive eyes and gave me a smile that lit up her whole face as she bade me good night, touching my hand as well. I smiled back at her, not wanting to part with her yet. Yes, we have been together practically the whole day, but I felt like the day passed like a blur. I savored my every moment with her!
With a promise that we will see each other again the following day, by the beach after breakfast, we reluctantly bade each other good night for the last time, that night. Just like the night before, I have dreamed of Maya and I. But this time, we were walking down the beach, hand in hand under a full moon. We kissed and professed our love for each other as the moon’s glow bathed us.
I found Maya at her usual place at the beach when I walked there the following morning, bringing with me sunflowers that I had requested Manong Berting to find for me. In one of our conversations the day before, Maya mentioned that sunflower is her favorite flower. She told me, it is her happy flower, as it always seeks the sun, the brightness, and that she felt happy by just looking at it. Maya also said that she had asked their gardener in Manila to plant those as well, even if they grow very fast and overtakes and overwhelms all the other flowers! It was funny, Manong Berting confessed to me that he had to get it from a garden of someone he knows in the barrio as he knew there is nowhere he would be able to buy it. They cut the flowers from more than ten plants, with him promising his kumare that he owes her. He returned to the house with a triumphant smile, holding the flowers. I was sure, Manong Berting’s and Manang Felicing’s heads were full of questions, but prudently, they didn’t say anything. In fact, they looked like they were happy seeing me with Maya. They didn’t know that I was not free to love Maya anymore. In Maya’s presence, I set that aside in my head, wanting to ride the heady feeling I feel when I’m with her. I never felt like this and I wanted to experience it to the fullest.
Like the first time I have seen her, Maya was engrossed at what she was doing. However, instead of an easel , she had with her a sketchbook. I called her name. She turned and gave me a brilliant smile that lit up my morning in an instant and made my heart galloped. I gave her the flowers and Maya thanked me profusely, grinning. She was so happy with her flowers. She gave me a thermos of coffee, which she said, she brewed from the beans, harvested in their farm in Batangas. She noticed, she said that I have enjoyed it the day before. I thanked her for it and for being very thoughtful and observant.
While both of us were enjoying the coffee, the cool breeze blowing from the sea in the not so hot Wednesday morning, sitting on the inabel blanket she had brought with her to sit on, we talked about all topics we could think of. I noticed again the sketchbook, which she had set on the side when she greeted me, and asked her about it. Was she planning to start another project?
Maya smiled. She told me that she would like to give me a painting of hers. But she would like to paint me, me to pose for her! I smiled and asked her teasingly, if it will be like in art school where a nude model poses in front of the students. I told her, grinning, that I don’t have the body for it.
Maya laughed, and it was like music to my ears. She has this lilting laugh that I would not get tired of hearing, even if I live to be a hundred and hard on hearing. She touched my face gently, and turned me sideways. Her innocent touch sent an electric current through me. Her hands were very soft and the way she was looking at me intently, I became self-conscious! I know she had no other intent except to look at me as an artist, but still, she had that effect on me!
She then told me, that I would certainly made a very good artist model, and she was pretty sure that all the lady students will have a hard time sketching with me before them, she didn’t intent to paint me in the nude. She continued by saying that I have a very handsome, interesting face, especially when I laugh and my eyes disappear into tiny slits and I show my lopsided smile. I smiled at her, blushing a bit. Yes, I did, blushed!
Maya asked me to pose for her by the beach. She said, it will be her remembrance to me. I actually felt both happy and sad when she said that. But at that time, I didn’t really want to dwell on the fact that at some point we will have to part or do something about our situation, with what we were feeling for each other. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I didn’t want to dwell beyond the moment and the wonderful time I was having with her.
I posed and she sketched until the sun got intense and we sought the coolness of the beach house’ terrace. I asked Maya if I could see what she had worked on so far. She smiled but she refused to do so, said she wanted me to be surprised at the finished product. Maya and I shared a lunch again. At my invitation, she spent the afternoon at the beach house. She sketched most of the afternoon, and I, on the other hand, just read a book. We talked occasionally, but in most part, we shared a companionable silence. I felt such contentment that I had wished then that it will be like this for always!
When the sun was setting, we walked along the beach. I took hold of her hand while we were doing so, and she didn’t protest. We shared gazes and happy smiles. There was no need to put into words the happiness both of us were obviously feeling at that moment. We found a log where we sat, and watched the sun’s last burst of colors as it set for the night. When the sun was but a small disc in the horizon, I took her home. She invited me to dinner and I agreed, as I was reluctant to part with her for the night.
While Fe was preparing our dinner, Maya and I sat in the veranda, enjoyed the cooling night as we sipped a glass of white wine each and gazed at each other. Fe broke into our private world half an hour later, saying that dinner was ready. Maya and I enjoyed our third dinner together very much. It was another perfect day. I returned to my house, by the beach, humming a love song. For the third night, I felt wonderful and dreamed of Maya, but this one was different from the other ones!
Note: Chapter 5 used to be part of this Chapter. Hence the comments for that are here. Please see the Richard and Maya index under Library for the revised chapters!
This has been one of the longest periods that I haven’t written anything! My apologies! I took a quick break, and will resume writing this evening! I hope I will have something for you before the weekend. Which of my stories would you like me to update first? 🙂
Thank you very much, again, for the support. Good vibes always!
❤ Antigone ❤