“Ricky, please wake up! Ricky, shhhhh, you are having a bad dream. It is okay, nananaginip ka lang.” Maya said softly while shaking Ricky’s shoulder gently.
Maya woke up when Ricky cried out in his sleep. He seemed to be very much in distress, judging by the tone of his voice. He actually cried out her name. It was what woke her up from her sleep. At first, she was disoriented on where she was, then she looked around, and at the other bed. She saw Ricky tossing and turning and mumbling ‘Maya’ over and over. When he wouldn’t wake up even if she called him several times, she approached his bed and shook him gently.
Ricky slowly opened his eyes, looked at his surroundings, disoriented, feeling very tired and very sad. Then he saw Maya hovering over him, sitting by the side of his bed nearest to hers, with a very concerned expression on her lovely face.
“Maya….” He sat up, then realized where he was, actually. He was in the room in the hotel in Vigan that he was sharing with Maya. He spontaneously hugged Maya as if to check if she is real, and for comfort. Suddenly, things are not so bad anymore. Maya hugged him back and patted his back, offering comfort. She kept assuring him, that everything is okay.
“Ricky, how are you? I heard you crying out in your sleep. Ginising na kita kasi parang you were having a really bad dream.” Maya said, touching his face, after a while, when she gauged that his breathing has returned to normal. “Parang feeling ko nga, binabangugot ka na.”
“Maya, I’m sorry for waking you up, and thank you sa paggising. Pasensya ka na. Yes, it was a really bad dream. Hindi lang bad, dream, sobrang lungkot pa, and yes, para siyang bangungot. Hindi ko alam why I have dreamed of our grandparents saying goodbye to each other on their last days at the beach house. It was so vivid. Parang nandoon ako, Maya, and I was really experiencing the whole thing.” Ricky told Maya as he hugged her tighter, then he told her about his dream in details.
Maya didn’t interrupt him. She can feel his lingering distress and sadness as he told her about the dream, as if he was really in that dream. She just offered comfort by touching his hands and his arm, from time to time. What Ricky was narrating was familiar to her as well. When Ricky was finished telling her the details of his dream, she cupped his distressed, and very sad, face.
“Ricky, it is familiar as that was what basically happened when our grandparents parted.” Maya said softly, gently. “You dreamed of what your Lolo Ricardo wrote in the journal. Parang pumasok na siguro sa consciousness mo ang nabasa mo sa journal, na-internalize mo na! Parang nandoon ka na kasi iyan ang paglalarawan ng lolo mo sa nangyari sa last days nila ng Lola Maya ko. I felt the same the first time I read the entries in the journal too. Hanggang panaginip nadala ko, and for several days, feeling ko nandoon ako sa past and sobrang affected.”
Ricky was startled to learn that, and blurted out, “But Maya, I haven’t reached that part of the journal! Nandoon pa lang ako sa part na nabanggit ko sa iyo while we were having coffee and chatting in Sta. Maria!”
“Really! Pero…..pero, the way you told it to me, ganoon talaga ang nangyari sa journal! How could it be, that you know even without reading it?” It was Maya’s turn to be surprised, then a thought occurred to her, one which she was reluctant to believe in actually, but how best to explain what is happening.
“ Hindi kaya….but that can’t be, di ba? Posible ba talaga iyon na…? I am not her!” She whispered almost to herself. She entertained the thought before, but she discarded the idea before. While, she loved the grandmother she had not fortunate to meet or spend time with, she believes that she is her own person.
“That I was relieving it because I was really Lolo Ricardo in my past life?” Ricky finished for her. He had heard about it reincarnation, of course, more than read about the topic. Lorraine is into those, as well as into believing in soul mates, past lives and the likes. but he considers those topics as bits of a mumbo jumbos. “ That I was his reincarnation, and that probably you are your grandmother’s? That somehow, meeting you here in Ilocos, the place where it all started beautifully and ended sadly, and reading the journal, triggered the onslaught of the past for us?”
“Naniniwala ka doon?” Maya asked, astonished to hear it from Ricky. She never thought that he believes in that.
“Not really. But I had an ex-girlfriend who believes in those things.” Ricky said, simply. “But how do we explain that dream and also the deja vu I have been experiencing since I stepped into the beach house and meeting you?”
Then he continued, “You know earlier in the church, I had a deja vu too. I felt like we were there before and that we were about to kiss. It was what happened between our grandparents in my dream, di ba! They were there too, in that church! Besides, I have this feeling that I have known you a long time! Di ba, you told me that you also had deja vu moments, like when you are holding a paint brush and you are in your grandmother’s studio?”
“Yes, but I thought I was just remembering what I have read in the journal. I have read it countless of times. And yes, noong una kong nabasa iyan, sobrang affected din ako and napanaginipan ang mga nabasa ko, and talagang parang I was there. Pero that was after I have read it!” Maya insisted. “Besides, I was reluctant to believe in those kinds of things. Yes, there are really things we can’t explain in this world, but this!…. Yes, I have those deja vu moments, pero…. ”
“I don’t know what to think, Maya. Yes, there are so many things happening in this world that we can’t really fathom, no matter how we much we look for answers and try to understand. You know, to make a logical or a rational explanation out of it. Yes, I will admit, had I met you under different circumstances, I would still be drawn to you, attracted to you. You are beautiful, and as I get to know you, not only that, you are lovely inside out. I feel very happy when I’m with you even if I just met you.”
“Ricky….” Maya blushed. She was not expecting Ricky to say that. At the back of her mind, she also remembered him mentioning an ex-girlfriend earlier.
“It is true, Maya.” Ricky said, gazing at Maya. There he said is. He was not intending to, not this early, he just wanted her to know and to drive a point. He then opted to go back to the topic they were discussing earlier as he suddenly realized that his intense attraction to her is a dangerous topic to bring up when they were in that situation – in the middle of the night and alone in that beautiful room, and her looking so lovely in her sleep-tousled state. Besides, he does not want Maya to be uncomfortable and he promised her that he will be a gentleman.
“Basta ang alam ko sobrang lungkot ko sa panaginip ko.” Ricky said, still hugging Maya. “Parang hindi ko rin ma-discount ang reincarnation na iyan, outright. Come to think of it, both of us were born after our grandparents died di ba, so posible iyon. But let’s leave it at that. Mahirap ipaliwanag and I don’t think we will get answers now. Pakiramdam ko lang, I’m so tired and unsettled.”
“True, pero tama ka, let’s leave at that. Do you want water, Ricky?” Maya asked, seeing that Ricky looked thirsty and quite tired, really. “Sandali, ikukuha kita. Sorry, I forgot earlier! Nag-worry ako ng husto sa iyo.”
“Maya, I can do it.” Ricky insisted, and was about to get out of the bed when Maya stopped him with her hand on his forearm.
Maya got out of Ricky’s embrace, and bed, walked to the small fridge in the corner and grabbed one of the bottled water there. She gave the water to Ricky and sat down on her bed, facing him.
“Thank you again, Maya, very much.” Ricky said after taking several sips. “I don’t usually dream like this. I don’t know what happened to me. I feel drained talaga. Mabuti na lang nandiyan ka.”
“It’s okay, Ricky. I’m glad to be here when this happened. Minsan kasi siguro nadadala natin sa subconscious mind natin ang nangyari sa atin sa totoong buhay.” Maya replied.
“I agree. I’m okay na. Please go back to sleep na. Pati tulog mo na-interrupt ko.” Ricky said. “I think I’ll really be okay na. Lalo na nandiyan ka lang sa kabilang bed.” He added with a smile. “Pahinga ka na. Marami pa tayong pupuntahan bukas.”
“If you are sure, ha.” Maya said, sliding down her bed and arranging her comforter around her. She put her hand on her cheek, then faced Ricky “Basta if you need me, or hindi ka pa makatulog and you need someone to talk to, gisingin mo lang ako ha. Good night Ricky. Sweet dreams this time.”
“Good night, Maya. Thank you. Just the fact that you are there, beside me, comforted me na. I’m sure makakatulog na ako ng maayos and will have a sweet dream this time.” Ricky said, giving Maya one of his bone-melting lopsided smiles. “Sweet dreams!”
They shared a sweet smile, while gazing at each other tenderly, until Maya got a bit self-conscious again. Hand, still cradling her cheek, she closed her eyes with a smile on her face.
Before long, Ricky heard her steady breathing, signifying that she was in sleep land. He was really grateful for her presence. He smiled. She really looks so beautiful. He likes her a lot. What he said to Maya earlier was the truth. He was intensely attracted to her, drawn to her in a way he can’t explain. He just want to be with her and he was immensely happy when he is with her, like his heart is singing. It was a feeling he didn’t feel with Lorraine, despite the fact that he had known her practically their entire lives and that they have been together for several years. It was, he realized, something missing in their relationship, this connection he has with Maya. He settled back into his bed and instead of dwelling on his bad dream, and Lorraine, he remembered his wonderful evening, earlier, with Maya.
Maya and him managed to find everything they needed at the shopping complex near the cathedral and the provincial capitol. They took their stuffs back to the hotel, and freshened up. The room was quite big for the two of them, beautifully decorated in wood and other native materials, the beds, looking so soft and inviting, a big LED TV on the wall, between the beds. Maya chose the bed nearest to the door and he took the one after it, near the bathroom.
Maya told him to use the bathroom first as she need to arrange her things and do other women stuffs, she added with a smile. When she came out of the bathroom an hour later, he caught his breath. She looked so lovely in the printed skirt and white blouse that she found in one of the shops. He told her so, and saw her blushed. He noticed it before. It does look so adorable and refreshing when she does that.
They had dinner at an inn near their hotel which offers quite a variety of mouth-watering Ilocano food. They chatted with ease while having dinner. Afterwards, hands intertwined without intending to, they walked along then deserted Calle Crisologo, as well as around the capitol and the plaza in front of the Vigan Cathedral, to shake off the heaviness in the tummies they felt after bingeing on their very splendid dinner. From time to time, they would smile at something they observed as they walked, or simply gave each other a look, a smile, as if to say how happy they are to be with each other, and to be sharing those moments. At least, on his part that’s what he felt. He thought Maya also felt that way, enjoying his company! He hoped so.
The two of them retired to their room around midnight. At first, Ricky thought he would not be able to sleep, too aware of Maya. She slept readily, while he opted to read a bit. It was a good thing he has a book in his phone’s Kindle app, diverting enough to take his mind away from Maya and her lovely self sleeping on the other bed like a babe. He tired himself and finally managed to succumb to that restless sleep and had that terribly sad dream.
It was a good thing, really, that Maya was there. His earlier dream really disturbed him. But he didn’t want to think about it now. Instead he focused his attention on Maya and the continuation of their adventure in the morning. After Vigan and the other areas they are planning to see, he knows where to take Maya in Pagudpud. He just need to make a phone call to make it happen. He smiled. Happy with his plan, and hopes Maya will like it as well.
Taking one more look at Maya’s sleeping form in a fetal position. She really looks adorable when she sleeps, he smiled then succumbed to sleep again and this time, he dreamed of Maya and him locked in a passionate kiss, in a beach, while watching the sun setting on the horizon. It was a very lovely dream, indeed!