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. ❤