Archive for September, 2015
The whole of Mirasol Street was closed to traffic that beautiful Saturday evening. Luckily, the weather cooperated as after several days of monsoon rains, the day was blessed with the clearest skies, fit for the very special occasion taking place at that moment.
The, mainly, quiet, and quaint residential street was decorated with sunflowers, roses and tulips of all colors. Capiz lanterns of all shapes and sizes lit up the beautiful night.
On the surface, it looked like a street party was under way, judging by the merriment that can heard from every corner of the street, with tables with blue and yellow table cloths lining up the front of the houses, with people walking around or chatting, or going back and forth to the center of the day’s festivities, the beautiful, ancestral home at the corner of the street.
The grounds of the Lim mansion was transformed into a beautiful and enchanting garden, resembling an English manor’s garden, for the wedding of the only son of its owner and his beautiful bride. Ivy Molina managed to achieve the near impossible in such a short time with Emman and his theatre friends’ help. In keeping with the bride’s love of period romances, the place was transformed into an English wedding reception place upon the request of the groom. The bride was expecting something else, something simpler. She got teary-eyed with happiness when she saw the wonderful surprise that her husband had for her. It topped the proposal production he had done, just for her and her love of all things old and romantic. She couldn’t ask for more, really, at that moment!
Richard Lim and Maya Dela Rosa, a month after their beautiful and unforgettable proposal night in San Nicolas, Mindoro opted to get married in a small, beautiful, old church inside the village near Mirasol Street. For the wedding reception, they opted to have it celebrated, with families, friends and neighbours, in the street where their love story started. Initially, they were only planning to have the reception inside the Lim mansion but it was expanded to include the neighbors from the whole street after, one after the other, the neighbors greeted them and expressed their happiness at them getting married. They have learned of their upcoming wedding from Manang Fe, who was also welcomed with open arms and much happiness by all of the old residents in the street.
Upon finding that most of their old neighbors still live in Mirasol Street, Donya Esmeralda and Don Roberto Lim suggested to Maya and Richard that they be included in the celebration of their marriage. Richard and Maya readily agreed. They initially thought of family and close friends only for the whole ceremony in deference to Richard’s parents recent return to the country. They thought they might prefer a smaller guests lists. Besides, they wanted to get married promptly and it was easier to plan a small, private wedding.
Richard’s parents idea was a better one, the more they thought about it. This is after all the street where they have started and both felt that it is fitting that they celebrated their marriage there, with people who have witnessed how they started, people who have expressed concerns when the Lim family just disappeared into the night and who, sort of, in their own way, looked after the empty house for its absentee owners. It became a celebration, of sorts, also for the return of the entire Lim family to Mirasol Street after more than a decade of absence.
However, for the wedding itself, Maya and Richard still opted for a small, private and solemn ceremony, with only family and close friends, and some colleagues, present. Maya remembered the small, airy old church which sits on the elevated part of the nearby village, a place where she and Richard have gone to mass several instances, the first couple of times they were going out together. She wanted the wedding to be there. On one occasion that they were there, it just entered her head that it would be a nice place for a small private wedding. She wondered where the thought came from. But she guessed it was because Ricky clasped her hand while listening to the priest sermon about love, fate and how two people, despite the odds, end up together. She forgot about it after all that has happened the past decade but she remembered it when she and Richard were planning the wedding.Maya was happy to see the church was still the same as she remembered it.
On her and Richard’s wedding earlier, the church, with its beautiful floor to ceiling stained glass window and hardwood pews, was decorated with her favorite flowers, sunflowers, pink roses and tulips. The place was also filled with the people she and Richard love so much and seeing them there made everything so perfect.
Everyone was very happy to be a part of the celebration of Maya and Richard’s Love, and to witness the day they will become one in the eyes of God and their loved ones. Especially so, for the people whom they have asked to their principal sponsors. Aside from Attorney Rafa, they have asked Maya’s old boss at the newspaper where she worked before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ben Rodriguez, to be one of their ninongs, together with Maya’s Tito Rolly and Tito Fernando.
For the ninangs, the number one on their list was Manang Fe, also the wife of Maya’s and Doris’ old landlord, who became like their second mother while in Manila, and a professor of Maya in Law school whom she was very close with and who have mentored here. Doris was Maya’s matron of honor, and Grace, Melinda, Emman and Simon were part of the entourage. Of course, Abby was the flower girl and Lance was the ring bearer. Ryan was Richard’s best man.
It was Ryan who discretely offered Richard a handkerchief when he saw him getting teary-eyed as his beautiful, seemingly ethereal bride, walked towards him. Richard was not able to hold back his emotions upon seeing a radiant Maya, wearing a vintage lace wedding gown she had ordered from a specialty shop in England. She was the most beautiful bride in his eyes. She is the world to him. All the love, all that they have been through and the fact, that there they were, about to have their forever, was too much for his poor, galloping heart. His heart was just so full. His throat constricted. He didn’t realize that there were tears in his eyes until Ryan discretely offered his handkerchief to him.
Maya was feeling the same as she took her walk towards her waiting, handsome groom in his power blue suit, in the arms of her Tito Rolly, and her mother. She tried to hold back her tears but she was unable to do so. Donya Esmeralda, Don Roberto and Ryan looked on, as well as all the guests, as she walked the walk that every bride did across time and space, but she only had eyes for the love of her life, the one and only man she will share her life with. She felt like she was not on firm grounds anymore. She felt like she was floating, with her awareness centered on the only man for her. Her forever!
If most of the guests managed to get hold of their emotions while Maya was walking slowly towards Richard, tears flowing and Richard visibly drying his tears of happiness and trying to control the emotions engulfing him, they were unable to do so when the bride and groom exchanged vows. Everyone was moved to tears with each word Maya and Richard uttered, voice breaking and full of love, for each other. The two of them lovingly narrated how they started and how fate, made them meet again after ten long years. It was like a lifetime but even so, no matter what, and despite the odds stacked against them meeting again, they found each other as they were meant to be.
“Happy, Mrs. Lim?” Richard asked his bride softly, taking hold of her hand and interlacing it with his, then raising it to his lips, as they took their quick rest after they have finished their first dance as a married couple. “Tired? Sandali na lang and masosolo na kita!” He added teasingly, lovingly.
“Very, very happy, Mr. Lim!” Maya said with a tremulous smile, realizing that at last, she and Richard will have their wedding night! Indeed it has been a very long, torturous two weeks. “I’m not tired at all! I feel so alive at the moment. Parang ang hirap ngang makatulog. Surprising, di ba, considering the long day we had!”
“I love you very much, Maya.” Richard whispered, looking at his lovely blushing bride at the same time, he caressed her hand with his thumb. “Huwag kang mag-alala, sleep will be the farthest thing from my mind, later!”
Maya shivered with the touch! “I love you very much too, Ricky!” She replied with a catch on her breath, flushing at the same time with the way Richard’s voice seemed to caress her from head to toe.
They looked at each other, and everyone and everything faded into the background except for their awareness of each other. Slowly, Richard lowered his lips to Maya’s. Their lips fused into a beautiful kiss full of promise, longing and passion for each other. It went on for a while, until something penetrated the private world they entered into. They slowly moved apart and realized where they were, at their wedding reception with all their guests looking at them with indulgent and teasing grins!
“Brod, mamaya pa ang honeymoon!” Ryan Molina teased his friend, then he raised his glass to him and Maya. Everyone laughed good-naturedly, cheering the couple with their glasses as well.
Both of them grinned at that, their faces turning crimson.
“Balae, mukhang sure nang maagang masusundan ang ating apong si Abby.” Nanay Tessie whispered happily to Donya Esmeralda. The two of them hit it off as soon as they were formally introduced to each other in a dinner that Richard and Maya organized the day after Nanay Tessie finally made it to Manila.
Donya Esmeralda giggled like a little girl, happily. “Sure na sure na ako diyan balae, ang sweet ng mga anak natin. So, very much in love with each other. Feeling ko nga gustong-gusto na nilang magsarili ngayong gabi. Sana kambal ang maging susunod nating apo.”
“What are you two whispering about!” Don Roberto asked from the sidelines, smiling.
“Naku, Roberto, feeling namin nitong si Tessie, masusundan kaagad ang apo nating si Abby. Mukhang desididong mag-make up for lost time ang anak at manugang natin.” Donya Esme told her husband. “Tingnan mo oh, ang sweet sweet nila and ang lagkit ng tinginan!”
“Well, I agree.” Don Roberto added happily. “Tessie, your daughter is the best thing that happened to our son. Ngayon lang talaga namin siya nakitang ganyan kasaya.” He added. “Di ba, Esme?”
“So true, Tessie. Tadhana nga naman, isn’t it? Kahit minsan paglayuin mo, may obstacles or magkalayo ang isang couple na meant to be, pinagtatagpo ulit para sa kanilang happily ever after. We are so happy our son found the love of his life in your daughter. We will always be grateful for that. We already love her like she is our real daughter.”
“Thank you, Esme, Roberto. Sobrang nakakataba naman ng puso ang sinabi ninyo tungkol sa Maya ko. Ganoon din naman ang saloobin ko. Richard is the best thing that happened to my daughter. Wala na akong mahihiling pa bilang isang magulang.” Nanay Tessie replied, happy that her daughter found her forever. Cristina Rose, I’m sure you are happy for your sister also, she thought, kayo ng Papa mo. Nanay Tessie wished that her husband and her eldest daughter had lived to see this day.
The festivities continued until late at night. In between dancing and moving around, sharing moments with their family and friends, Richard and Maya also managed to put Abby to sleep. Before she closed her eyes, Abby asked them for a hug and whispered that she was very, very happy that her daddy is now happy and that she has a new mommy. Maya and Richard felt teary-eyed. They clasped hands, and both kissed the little girl on her cheeks lovingly. They watched her sleep for several more minutes, full of love for this little angel in their lives, before they returned to the party in the garden. They also went up and down the street and greeted everyone.
The party ended at midnight, Richard and Maya said their good nights to their parents, Grace, Maya’s cousins and a handful of close friends who have stayed behind, including Ryan and Liza. Nanay Tessie and the Mindoro contingent to their wedding opted to stay in a nearby hotel for the night as Maya and Richard were planning to spend their first evening as a married couple in Maya’s old apartment. It was Maya’s way of saying goodbye to her old place in a way. They will leave for their honeymoon to Europe the next day.
There were still neighbors drinking and having a merry time when they walked to Maya’s old apartment with fingers interlaced. They were cheered and teased as they walked by, and both of them grinned happily and thanked them again for sharing their special day.
Upon reaching Maya’s building, all the noise and merriment disappeared. The hallway and the staircase was well-lit and there were flowers decorating the place, up to the door of Maya’s apartment where a beautiful floral arrangement was placed on the door with a ‘Just Married, Please Do Not Disturb’ sign cheekily attached to it. Richard and Maya grinned and knew that it was Doris’ handiwork.
Before Maya can open the door, to her surprise, Richard lifted her into his arms and carried her over the threshold. He slowly put her down while giving her soft kisses.
“Finally!” He said, grinning.
“Finally!” She replied, breathlessly.
They put their heads together, noses touching and cupping each other’s face, they grinned again, they can’t seemed to stop doing that, so very happy that at long last, they are husband and wife.
“So, is it really okay that we are staying here, and not somewhere else?” Maya asked Richard.
“Yes, sweetheart! Kahit naman nasaan tayo, basta kasama kita, I will be very happy. I hope you will like the places I got for us in the countries that we will visit.” Richard said, excitement in his voice. “And no, no more clues! Huwag ka nang makulit.”
“I’m looking forward to that, sweetheart. Promise, hindi na ako mangungulit. Surprise me na nga, like you have been doing a lot lately.” Maya said lovingly, putting her hands around Richard’s nape. “Thank you for being the best husband in the world. I promise to be the best wife in the world. I love you very much, Ricky. You, Abby and the children we will have, are my life now.”
“Sweetheart, thank you very much for loving me this much. No doubt you will be the best wife and the best mother in the world. You and our children are also my life and my first priority, Maya. Like I have vowed to do, I will love you until we are old and gray, and even beyond that if such thing is possible. For eternity!”
Too overwhelmed with all the emotions she was feeling, Maya hugged Richard tight. “I love you, I love you, I love you!” She kept whispering to his ears. Richard, feeling the same, gently hold on to her shoulders, then with a small space between them, he lowers his lips to Maya and gave her a kiss that said it all. The kiss went on and on. They didn’t have any concept of time and space anymore, just the touch of their lips and all the love and passion they were feeling.
While their mouths are wrecking havoc on each other’s senses, Richard’s hand slowly crept on Maya’s back and one by one, he unfastened the pearl buttons of Maya’s lace gown, slowly, and barely being able to do so as Maya started touching him as well. By the time, Maya’s wedding dress fell on the floor, the heat between them was so intense. They felt like they were on fire.
Richard looked heatedly at his now scantily-clad wife with passion burning in her eyes, he gulped, trying to control the desire for her that was consuming his whole being.
“You look so beautiful sweetheart.” Richard managed to say softly as he carried her to the waiting bed, barely registering that it was a bed fit for their first night together. He laid her down gently on the bed, then with his gaze not leaving her beautiful and very desire-laden face, he slowly removed his clothes.
Maya gasped upon seeing Richard’s beautiful body. The heroes in her bodice-ripper novels were nothing compared to the beautiful sight before her!
Richard slowly approached the bed, then while raining kisses all over Maya’s face, and with his hands zeroing to the parts of her body that instantly reacted to his heated touch, he removed the last of her clothes, until she too, was completely bared to him.
“Maya…..” Richard whispered as he admired his wife’s body. Then he proceeded to show her how much he worships her body. He was very gentle, reining, tried to, in the intense passion he was feeling as he knew that this would be Maya’s first time. However, Maya having none of it.
“Ricky….Maya managed to say, her voice crazy with desire for her husband. She then matched Richard, touch after touch, caress after caress, kiss after kiss and more, until it almost drove them completely crazy, unable to stand the conflagration they created. Their coming together several minutes after was like the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, explosive, brilliant and beautiful.
In the afterglow, Richard rained kisses on Maya’s face and then asked her gently how she was. Maya assured her husband that she felt like she was at the top of the world. That all the bodice-ripper novels she had read, paled in comparison. Richard grinned, touched his wife’s beautiful, still passion-filled face.
“I love you, my dearest sweetheart, my partner in life!”
“I love you more, my dearest husband!”
Richard carried Maya to the bathroom and they showered together. It took longer than they intended to as they just can’t get enough of each other, knowing now, firsthand, how really beautiful making love between them is. Richard dried Maya’s body, gently and maddeningly. He carried her back to the bed. They made love again and again.
Indeed, sleep was the farthest thing, not only from Richard’s mind, but Maya’s as well, as they loved throughout the night until exhaustion overtook them at dawn. They slept with only a thin blanket covering their naked, sated bodies.
Maya woke up late the following morning with Richard’s giving her tiny little kisses on her back. Desire flared between them again and they slaked it off first before satisfying their grumbling stomachs. They stayed in the apartment the rest of the day, barely leaving Maya’s bedroom!
The following day, Joma took them to the airport after saying goodbye to Abby and the elder Lims, Nanay Tessie and Grace. They promised Abby that they will give her a call as soon as they reached the first of their destinations in Europe, which was a manor house in England, near the sea. It was the first of the many surprises Richard had for Maya. He also took her to a castle in Sweden, a manor house in Denmark, a castello in Italy, and a chateau in France. Their days were filled exploring the beautiful houses and the breathtaking scenery before them, and the nights were spent exploring each other’s body in every way possible.
Richard and Maya returned to the Philippines one month later, to start their long and happy married life. Maya resumed working for RRMA and Richard returned to LAS, which Maya became a permanent part of eventually as its corporate legal counsel. Nine months later, Sky and Sunshine were born to their happy parents, big sister Abby, grandparents and Aunt Grace!
Yes, Maya and Richard’s first of their six bundles of joy after Abby, were conceived in the street where their love story started, and came into culmination. The house in Mirasol Street was filled with kids’ laughter in the years that followed. For after, Sky and Sunshine, came Nikki, Luke, Robby and Rosie, named after Maya’s sister Cristina Rose! Richard and Maya couldn’t ask for more. They have everything they ever wanted in life, a beautiful, large and happy family, and their unwavering love for each other.
Note: That ends OTSWYL, the longest fanfic I have written! Thank you very much again for reading this. ❤
“Ricky, is this okay?” Maya asked from the doorway of her bedroom. Richard looked up from the game he was playing on his iPhone while waiting for his fiancée. Maya was a vision before him! She looked especially lovely in her purple lace dress cinched at the waist with an intricate ribbon belt. She was wearing minimal make-up. She also opted to wear her hair in a bun, and it showed the graceful lines of her beautiful face.
“Sweetheart, you take my breath away! You look very beautiful, as always naman.” Richard said lovingly.
Richard stood up, then went to Maya, cupped her chin, slowly caressed it with his thumb, then he lowered his lips to hers. They shared an initially sweet kiss. It turned into something much more several seconds after. The kiss became laced with the passion that has been simmering between them, close to the boiling point, actually, not just simmering, the past weeks. It was really getting harder to rein in the intense passion they were feeling for each other. Two more weeks and she will be mine, Richard thought. He took a deep breath to control the effects of his fiancee’s response to the kiss he initiated, on his poor body.
Maya and Richard slowly broke apart, catching their breaths. Maya looked very thoroughly kissed, while Richard wore the evidence of their ardent kissing on his lips.
“Sweetheart, you are full of my lipstick!” Maya exclaimed, then proceeded to wipe the lipstick off Richard’s lips with her thumb. “Ikaw naman kasi Mr. Lim, humirit ka pa kasi! Paalis na nga tayo. Baka naghihintay na ang parents mo.”
Richard grinned. “Sweetheart naman! You know naman that I can’t resist you. Two more weeks my Mrs. Lim-to-be!”
Maya blushed, getting Richard’s meaning. “Yes, two more weeks, my husband-to-be!”
The two of them shared a look full of love and promise before they left Maya’s apartment to walk to the Lim family mansion where Richard’s parents were waiting for them. Don Roberto and Donya Esmeralda arrived back in the Philippines the night before after more than ten years of living in China. Grace, however, was coming the week before the wedding as she was badly needed in the hospital where she works.
The morning after they got engaged Maya and Richard told Nanay Tessie after breakfast that they would like to get married in a month’s time. Nanay Tessie was not surprised that they wanted to get married promptly. They told her they don’t want a big wedding anyway. They want it limited to immediate family, close friends and select colleagues at both LAS and RRMA. The wedding would be in Manila for everyone’s convenience and the reception, at the Lim house and in the street where their love story started.
Nanay Tessie promised to be in Manila the following week to help Maya with the preparations. Maya told her that the wedding planner that she and Richard will hire can take care of it. However, Nanay Tessie insisted, and Maya relented. But since she needed to do something for Cristina’s before she can stay with Maya until the wedding, mother and daughter agreed that they will just see each other instead in two weeks time. Nanay Tessie will arrive the following day. Maya was looking forward to spending time with her mother before she settles down as Mrs. Richard Lim. Mrs. Richard Lim! Maya Dela Rosa-Lim! Maya feels thrilled and so happy every time she would say it in her head.
Two days after Richard and Maya returned to Manila, they informed Donya Esmeralda that they would like to get married before the end of August. Like Maya’s mother, Richard’s mother was not surprised that they would like to get married promptly. She said she and Richard’s father will make travel arrangements for their return to the Philippines several weeks before the wedding so they can settle back in and help with the wedding preparations.
Maya assured Mama Esme that they can manage. However, like Nanay Tessie, Mama Esme insisted that she would like to help too in any way she could. The day after they have returned to Manila via the flight Richard chartered, Richard got in touch with Ryan and asked if his wife Ivy can plan the wedding. That same day, they had dinner with Ryan and Ivy. Ryan teased Richard about the short engagement. Richard just grinned happily, the very picture of a man very much in love. Ivy and Maya talked about the kind of wedding she and Richard would like to have.
News of their engagement spread like wildfire both in LAS and RRMA. Lindsay squealed with delight when she saw the beautiful ring on Maya’s finger. She was not exactly quiet when she offered her congratulations to Maya. Some people overheard it. It also reached the ears of Atty. Rafa fast. He congratulated Maya when he saw her around lunch. The same week, Richard and Maya invited him to dinner and formally asked if he could be one of their ninongs. The old man was delighted to be asked.
Like Lindsay, Liza was ecstatic when she saw Maya’s ring, Tuesday, when she reported for work at LAS. The whole floor heard her congratulating Maya. Richard’s employees, happy at this turn of events, and the fact that their boss was no longer sungit, offered their congratulations too. Maya and Richard were so happy to be sharing their engagement to their colleagues and employees. Liza, when she found out that the wedding will be in several weeks time, offered to help. Maya and Richard thanked her, but assured her that it was taken care of. Maya asked Liza to be one of her bridesmaids, which touched Liza’s heart a lot, knowing that Maya considered her one of her dearest friends now, even if they have only known each other for a short time.
Here they were, two weeks before the wedding, Maya thought! Ivy is a miracle worker! So far, the preparations was proceeding smoothly, and they have finished the wedding seminar. It was a very memorable experience for Maya, with all the questions they have been asked and the sharing they did with the other couples. Some of them they became really friends with.
“I love you, sweetheart.” Maya suddenly said to Richard, stopping in the middle of Mirasol Street, looking at Richard with all the love and happiness she was feeling, caressing their clasped hands. “Thank you for making me this happy. Parang sasabog na nga ang dibdib ko sa sobrang saya ko.”
“Me too, sweetheart! I never thought I would be this happy. But with you, only you, I am, so very much.” Richard said, caressing Maya’s face. “I love you very much. More than life itself!”
The honking of a vehicle about to pass broke into the intimate moment between them, in the middle of the street that has meant so much to them. They shared a lingering smile, then walked the last several meters towards the Lim family home. Maya felt both nervous and excited to be meeting Richard’s parents as his fiancée for the first time.
During the past two weeks, she had kept constant communication with both Richard’s mom, who she was still getting used to calling Mama, and his sister Grace. Donya Esmeralda invited Maya to dinner the day after their arrival, so they can finally meet again in person. She even asked if Maya’s mom can come. But Maya told her that her mother would be delayed in Mindoro.
“Here we are, sweetheart.” Richard said while they were going up the grand staircase of the Lim family home. “I’m so looking forward to formally introducing you to my parents in person, as my wife-to-be.”
Maya smiled at Richard. “I’m looking forward to that too, sweetheart. Sure, it is okay that I’m not bringing anything, food, wine?”
“Yes, sweetheart! Don’t worry about anything. Manang Fe has taken care of that. Besides, my mother would surely like the flowers you will give her.” Richard assured Maya, gesturing to the lovely bouquet that Maya was carrying. “Those flowers are her favorites.”
When Abby saw them from where she was sitting in the living room with her grandparents, she ran to the door, something she always do when she sees Maya. The past two weeks, Maya has been having dinner most nights with father and daughter, well except for the other Saturday, one week after Richard’s proposal as Maya wanted to celebrate it by cooking Richard a special meal in her apartment. It was a night to remember as well!
Not only Richard insisted that Maya takes her meals with them, but Manang Fe also did, arguing that since Maya was alone, and busy with her work, it would be better for her to have home-cooked meals with the Lims. Manang Fe even added to bolster her argument an so that, Maya will say yes, that it will be her home too in several weeks time.
“Mommy, Mommy, you are here!” Abby said happily. She had been calling Maya Mommy since the engagement. Every time she hears Abby say that, Maya felt very happy, her heart, so full of love, for this wonderful little girl. “Hug, hug, iyong super tight, Mommy.”
“Tight enough na ba ito, sweetie!” Maya told the little girl as she hugged her tight, peppering her with kisses. “I missed you today. How was school?”
Richard looked on with love on both his daughter and his wife-to-be. Don Roberto and Donya Esmeralda were both delighted at what they are seeing. Their son had really found a wonderful woman to love. She loves not only Richard, but Abby as well.
“Hmmm, selos na si Daddy. Bakit ako walang hug.” Richard teased his daughter.
“Daddy, ikaw ang next. But we can just have a group hug first with Mommy.” The little girl said sweetly.
Richard did that, also kissed Abby on the cheek. When Maya straightened up, she saw Richard’s parents looking at them with happy smiles on their faces.
“Good evening po, Mama, Papa!” Maya said, then she went to where Richard parents’ were. “Mano po!” She then gave the beautiful floral arrangement to Donya Esmeralda.
“Maya, hija, great to finally see you again.” Donya Esmeralda said enthusiastically, her eyes lighting up upon seeing the flowers. “Thank you for this Maya. It’s so beautiful. My favorite flowers.”
Maya smiled at her future mother-in-law, happy that she liked the flowers.“Kumusta po ang flight ninyo?”
“Okay naman. Medyo ma-traffic. I don’t remember that it was like this more than ten years ago. Marami na rin talagang nagbago dito sa Maynila.” Donya Esmeralda said smiling. “But it is good to be back, Maya. It’s good to be back, especially now that our Ricky is settling down for good. I didn’t realize how much I have missed this house until I have seen it again last night! Let’s go have a seat habang hinahanda nina Fe and Sabel ang dinner natin,”
“Oo nga naman hija. Ito talagang si Esmeralda, dinaldal ka na kaagad.” Don Roberto said.
“Natutuwa rin po ako at nandito na ulit kayo ni Papa, Mama. Ricky is very happy also, di ba, sweetheart?” Maya said, then looked at Richard who was also looking on happily as Maya chatted with his parents with ease. He thought she was a bit nervous earlier. But now, seeing them like this, he is a very happy man.
“Yes, Ma, Pa, I’m really very happy that you are back in your home. It has been a log time for all of us. I’m sure Grace will feel the same when she gets here. Sayang, hindi pa siya nakasabay sa inyo.” Richard said as he led Maya to the sofa. “I hope the changes and the renovations I have had done to the house are okay with you.”
Richard sat down beside Maya Abby sat on Maya’s lap and happily listened to the adults while playing with her iPad.
“Speaking of the house, Ricky, Maya, which by the way, I like the new look ha, your Papa and I have something to tell you. This is a good enough time to say this, di ba, Roberto?” Donya Esmeralda looked at her husband and when he nodded, she proceeded. “Roberto and I would like to give this house to you and Maya, son. Regalo namin sa kasal ninyo.”
Both Richard and Maya were surprised at the elder Lims generous gesture. Richard knew how much this house means to his mother. At the back of his head, he knew that he and Maya will stay here since his parents are going back to China the following month. But he never thought that they will transfer the ownership of the house to him and Maya.
“Ma, Pa, but this is your home!” Richard said. “I know how you treasure this house Mama. Maya and I can stay here without you doing that. Or we can find a place of our own should you decide to settle back to the Philippines for good.”
Maya just looked on. She let Richard do the talking since they are his parents. She clasped Richard’s hand.
“No, son, Maya. We really would like to have it. Kami ng Mama mo, tayo, naging masaya tayo sa bahay na ito and we would like our apos to grow up here, happy like you and Grace did. We insist, son.” Don Roberto said firmly. “And we have discussed this with Grace na. She said it is not really a problem with her. She would like you to have it, lalo na raw at dito sa Mirasol Street nagsimula ang love story ninyong dalawa.”
Richard looked at Maya lovingly again. “Thank you for your generosity, Ma, Pa. We are very thankful and honored for entrusting us this house.”
“Oo nga po, Mama, Papa. Promise mo namin ni Ricky that we will take good care of this house and fill this house with laughter and love.” Maya added, touched at Richard’s parents’ gesture. She already loves this house.
“Basta, we are happy to do it for you. We love you son, and Maya, we love you also and we can’t thank you enough for making our son this happy.” Donya Esmeralda said. “Nakikita namin na hindi lang si Ricky ang mahal na mahal mo, kundi maging si Abby. We couldn’t wish for more.”
Hearing that, Maya got teary-eyed and squeezed Richard’s hand. “Thank you po ulit. Sobra rin po akong pinasasaya ng anak ninyo, and ni Abby. I’ll be always be thankful that Richard and I are together now. Para ko na rin pong anak si Abby.” She looked at the little girl on her lap, then kissed her affectionately. Abby looked up from her game and gave Maya a loving smile. She also whispered “I love you” to her, which added to her happiness.
“Mam, Sir, Ricardo, Maya, nakahanda na ang pagkain.” Manang Fe said, breaking into the contented and happy mood in the living room.
Everyone trooped to the dining room where Manang Fe and Sabel prepared a feast. It was a fun dinner where Donya Esmeralda and Don Roberto got to know their future daughter-in-law more. They have also seen the immense love that Richard and Maya felt for each other and how taken was their only apo with Maya.
The Lims and Maya took their coffee and desserts in the veranda at the back after Richard and Maya had put Abby to bed. The little girl insisted that the two of them hugged her to sleep. Seeing that her would be in-laws were getting tired, Maya said good night to them before midnight. They simply didn’t notice the time as they chatted.
Richard took Maya home. Like earlier, they walked hand in hand in then empty Mirasol Street.
“Home before midnight Cinderella.” Richard said with a big smile when they were ar Maya’s door.
“Pasok ka muna sweetheart.” Maya invited Richard as she opened the door.
“No na sweetheart, at baka hindi na ako umuwi.” Richard grinned. “Baka hindi na kita kayang i-resist if I go inside. I barely did last Saturday.”
Maya reddened remembering the fire that ignited between her and Richard after the wondeful dinner they had that Saturday. They barely managed to stop. But they both agreed that they can wait, fingers crossed, for the wedding night.
“I love you sweetheart. Two more weeks and you will be mine forever, and I’ll be yours.” Richard whispered lovingly. “Dream of me. Of us!”
“Yours, sweetheart, with my heart, my soul, and my body in two weeks!” Maya replied breathlessly. “I’ll dream of us.”
Before they turn in for the night, Richard and Maya shared a searing kiss, both thinking that it’s going to be a very long two weeks until they are together, until they don’t have to part for the night!
The beautiful centuries-old cathedral was decorated elegantly, fit not just for a society wedding, but THE society wedding of the decade. The wedding that will transpire that afternoon will not just be a marriage between the most eligible bachelor in the country and the current society ‘it’ girl, but of two very powerful and very influential families in the world of business and politics.
The groom, very handsome in his powder blue suit, waited patiently with his parents and his best man, his friend in college and a fraternity brother, ready for his march down the aisle. He had a somber expression on his face and people attributed it at that time to nervousness. Who wouldn’t be, if all eyes will be on you, everyone thought! The guests, all dressed to the nines, conversed in small groups, catching up and exchanging pleasantries as they awaited for the much-anticipated arrival of the bride.
Near the entrance, by the steps outside, Maya Dela Rosa and some of her assistants were waiting for the bride to arrive too! She should have been there by now, Maya thought nervously! The ceremony will be starting in several minutes! Maya felt her stomach churning and she was getting very stressed out! She never likes the wedding planning part of the events planning business where she works and is a part owner of. Her Tita Margarita who started the business from being a small hobby to what it is now, the most sought after events planning business in the social circle where she moves, knew of Maya’s preference in not handling weddings. Tita Margarita has Emman, her gay son, and Maya’s only cousin, for that. Maya is happy to be handling their corporate accounts, while Emman handles weddings and other social events, which suits his personality to a T.
Emman loves weddings and happily ever afters. He loves attending and organizing parties. While Maya, on the other hand, is more on the sedate part by choice. Besides she does not believe in happily ever afters anymore. There is really no such thing as forever in her book. Everything ends, even life! She had seen countless of times how useless a piece of paper the marriage contract is if the person who professes to love and cherish you, found someone else and hurt you, or left you hanging without a thought about your feelings. Humans have this huge capacity to love yes, but they also have this huge capacity to hurt the one they are supposed to love and cherish. It is better to approach relationships with eyes open instead of with rose-colored glasses.
Maya ended up handling this wedding with Emman as her aunt, who have been like a second mother to her ever since her parents died in a plane crash when she was 15 years old, suffered a stroke two months before. She recovered but is still undergoing intensive physical therapy. Since this is one of the biggest and the most prominent events they are handling, not to mention the Lims and the Venturas being long time valued clients, Tita Margarita requested Maya to help her cousin in this one despite her sentiments.
Maya looked at her watched again. She can also see that the mother of the bride was getting antsy already with the delay. Maya approached her and assured her that she will find out what’s keeping Lucy Ventura and her maid of honor. She called Emman, but his phone was out of reach. She was at the end of her nerves when she caught sight of the bridal car.
“Emman, where have you been? I have been calling you! What took you so long?” Maya asked urgently. “The wedding should have been starting by now! Did something happen along the way? Flat tire? Accident?”
“Sorry, cousin, my phone died on me! So many last-minute phone calls drained the battery fast. Then, for some reason, it took Lucy a while to come out of the hotel room with Annika.” Emman said, referring to Lucy’s best friend and maid of honor. “I thought we will not be able to make it in time. But here we are!” He almost told Maya about the strange behavior he was sensing from the bride. But since they were already in the church, Emman changed his mind. Besides, they were already running late with everything.
“I’ll go in and signal the start of the wedding. Just stay here with Lucy.” Emman told Maya. Emman knew how his cousin hates ceremonies like this and avoid it like the plague if she can get away with it.
Emman asked everyone to be in formation and signaled the orchestra to start the wedding procession. The door of the church was temporarily close for Lucy’s grand entrance. The groom and the entourage walked slowly in front of the assembled guests. Upon reaching the altar, the groom patiently waited for his bride, with the same stoic expression he had been exhibiting.
When the parents of the bride reached the designated stop where they will wait for their daughter, the orchestra started playing the wedding march and the door started opening. Everyone looked, excited to see the radiant bride. But instead of the bride, it was a frantic Maya they saw. The mother of the bride looked at Maya, and then at Emman with a question on her face, so were all the guests. The groom swallowed hard.
Emman walked back to where Maya was.“What happened, Maya? Where is Lucy?” Emman asked, getting nervous at the turn of events. But deep down, he had an inkling that this would happen.
“Emman, Lucy just left several minutes after the wedding procession has started and after giving me these.” Maya showed Emman two folded notes. “I tried to stop her, but she moved very fast, then signaled the driver to leave the church! It happened in a blink!”
“OMG, we have a big problem!” Emman exclaimed.
Maya agreed. She never thought that this would happen! She only met Lucy several times and she seemed nice enough, even if times, she noticed that her mind was not really with them when they were discussing the details of her wedding. Maya noticed, even then, that she had seemed to be uninterested and it was mostly her mother who discussed things with them. But she had shrugged it off and thought it was just nerves. All would be brides experience that, even her, a lifetime ago!
Maya took a deep breath! “Emman, you better inform Mrs. Ventura!”
Emman approached the elegant older lady clinging tightly on her husband’s left arm and quietly handed her the folded note with Mom and Dad written on it.
Mrs. Elena Ventura hastily opened the note, and from where Maya was standing, she saw her expression changed from nervousness to outright dismay in a matter of seconds. She gasped and swayed. She showed the note to her husband, Jaime. “How could she! How could she embarrass us like this!” She kept saying as she crumpled the note.
“Emman, please lead Mrs. Ventura to the staging room.” Maya said softly as her cousin became very close to the old lady while planning this wedding, and then gestured to Sophia, one of their assistants to get a glass of water for Lucy’s mother. By then, the church was buzzing.
Emman did as she told. Several minutes later, and after several sips of water, Mrs. Ventura asked Maya to give the note to Lucy’s groom. She wanted Emman to stay by her side. Maya gulped at that! She wanted to protest. She can’t be asking her to do this! Emman looked at Maya and quietly beseeched her to do just that.
Maya was left with no choice. She entered the church again. Everyone looked at her. Maya thought she will not able to make her foot to take the first hard step towards the altar. The scene reminded her of her painful experience. But this is a job and she does not have any choice. She needs to act like the professional events planner that she is.
Maya saw Richard Lim, Lucy’s groom-to-be, whom she would be meeting for the first time up close, sort of, looking at her with a blank expression, while she was walking briskly towards him! Even if she had been with Emman in planning this wedding for the past two months, she stayed in the background and handled the other details. Emman was the one who met with Richard Lim and his family.
Maya tried very hard not to get self-conscious of the stares she was receiving and to just concentrate on reaching the altar one painful step at a time. When she was nearer, hers and Richard Lim’s gaze locked and Maya caught her breath. Her heart skipped a beat. She took a deep breath to calm herself. When she reached the altar, she silently handed the note to Richard.
Richard opened the note that the lady whom, he presumed, was with the wedding planners handed him. He haven’t met her, when he and his parents met with them. If he had, he is sure he will not forget. Yes, for some reason he was aware of her, even on his wedding and the events unfolding before him! Well, almost wedding anyway! Richard already, sort of, knew what the note will say.
Maya gazed at Richard Lim as he read the note. His serious expression didn’t change. He folded the note back.
Richard Lim moved to the center of the altar, then gazed, without really seeing, at the people before him. He took a deep breath and announced to all the assembled guests, the creme de la creme of Philippine society, that the wedding wss off.
Everyone burst into a cacophony of conversation with that announcement. Maya silently withdrew from the altar. Before she return to Emman, she looked back at Richard Lim, who in turn, as if he knew that she was gazing at him, look at where she was. They shared a gaze and then she was out of the church.
Poor guy! Maya thought. She believed she knew what he must be feeling at that moment! Love, really, is so overrated!
Note: Sometimes, I really am, a typical Gemini, starting a lot of things at the same time! 🙂 I have been mulling over this story for weeks but it was not really taking off. But over a cup of coffee, I finished the first draft of this instead of my other updates. I hope you will like this story as well! ❤