Richard entered the room just as Nikki finished her tirade.
“Nikki? What’s wrong?”
Nikki stood up quickly and acted like nothing was wrong. “Um, wala Dad. May mga iniisip lang ako about… uh, what happened kanina, sa school”, she semi-lied to him.
“Anything I can help you with?” Richard persisted.
“No na Dad, nothing naman yun, don’t worry na”, she said with a smile.
“Um, Nikki, I wanted to ask Maya over for dinner here tomorrow. Is that okay with you?” Richard asked her.
“Yes of course Dad. Ok na kami ni Ate Maya di ba? That’s one thing you definitely have to stop worrying about na”, Nikki told her dad as she hugged him.
“Thanks Niks. Tulog ka na, okay? Goodnight.” He ruffled her hair affectionately and kissed the top of her head.
Late that afternoon, the Lim household was busy preparing dinner. Nikki was in her room, looking at Nicolo’s profile on her iPad. Ang cute pala nya nung baby sya! Nikki giggled to herself as she browsed thru old photos of Nicolo. Unknown to her, Nicolo was doing the same thing, looking at Nikki’s old pictures. Then he noticed that Nikki was online.
Hi Beautiful! Kamusta araw mo?
Hi Nicolo. It was okay. We had a really hard exam in algebra but I passed naman.
Kelangan mo ba ng tutor? Ako nalang Niknik! Naka uno kaya ako sa Algebra!
You’re so yabang!
Hindi ah, gusto ko lang mag apply na tutor mo 🙂
Ha ha ha.
Nikki heard Richard’s car arrive.
Have to go na, bye!
Nikki ran downstairs to greet Richard and Maya. She was actually excited to see them. Nakakakilig kasi sila tingnan eh! she thought. Ang sweet sweet nila!
Richard and Maya entered the house holding hands. Nikki couldn’t stop herself from grinning widely.
“Hi Dad! Hi Ate Maya!” Nikki kissed her Dad on the cheek and hugged Maya. Maya almost teared up at Nikki’s sweet gesture. She almost let go of Richard’s hand but seeing Nikki smiling genuinely upon seeing them, she hung on to it.
“Hi Nikki! Kamusta ka na?” Maya asked her.
“I’m okay naman, Ate Maya.” She was smiling almost giddily that Maya looked at Richard questioningly. He shrugged. He didn’t really find any reason to not be happy about the situation.
Nikki baked her famous chocolate chip cookies earlier that afternoon and excused herself to check on them.
“Anong meron kay Nikki, Sir Chief?” Maya asked when Nikki was out of earshot.
“Hmmm, anong meron? Mukha naman syang masaya ah”, Richard replied.
“Yun nga eh, parang syang masyadong masaya… may nakwento ba sya sa yo?”
“Um, wala naman. Well, last night she was saying GRRR to herself over something but she said it was about school. She didn’t elaborate naman, wala lang daw yun,” he said.
“Parang may kakaiba kasi kay Nikki. Anyway, basta masaya naman sya so masaya na din ako,” Maya smiled at him.
Luke and Abby came down. “Hi Ate Maya!” they said in unison.
“Hi Luke! Hi Baby!” Maya hugged them both.
“Get ready for dinner na guys, okay? Magpapalit lang ako ng shirt” Richard told them. The two kids went to the veranda. “Tara Ate Maya!”
“Susunod ako, mauna na kayo”. Maya went to the kitchen to help Nikki.
“Nikki, tulungan na kita” Maya said as she saw Nikki wrestling with the hot tray of cookies.
“Thanks Ate Maya. Help me nalang remove them from the tray”, she replied.
“Nasaan pala sila Manang Fe, Doris and Sabel?”
“They’re in the veranda na, inaayos nila yung food” Nikki explained.
“Ok ka lang ba, Nikki?” Maya asked her quietly as she and Nikki transferred the cookies to a platter.
“Of course Ate Maya. I’m okay na. I’m really sorry about what happened sa atin. I was just….”
“Nikki,” Maya interrupted, “hindi yun. Tapos na yun di ba?” Maya smiled at her. “Nag-aalala lang ako sa yo. Parang may iba sa yo eh,” she said gently.
Nikki frowned as a blush started tinting her cheeks.
“Uhm… What makes you say that, Ate Maya?”
“Nikki, namumula ka ah! Naku Nikki, parang alam ko na ang pino-problema mo!” Maya said, grinning at her.
Nikki put her hands on her cheeks. They did feel hot. “Oh my gee, Ate Maya! Am I that obvious??”
Maya looked into Nikki’s eyes. “In love ka ba Nikki?” she asked her softly.
Nikki covered her face with her hands. “Ate Maya, I don’t know. I’m so confused eh.”
Maya smiled at Nikki and put an arm around her shoulder. “Nikki, masarap ma in-love. Meron kang inspirasyon para mag-aral, may nagpapangiti sa iyo kahit masama ang araw mo… Pero bata ka pa. Enjoy it lang pero wag ka muna mag seryoso ha? Naku, lagot tayo sa Daddy mo pag nalaman nya to. Ok lang naman ma in-love, wag lang muna mag boyfriend ha?” she advised her.
“Ate Maya, you think ok lang for me to feel this way? Parang ang weird kasi eh!”
“Ganun talaga ang first love, Nikki. Lahat bago, lahat kakaiba. Walang hindi weird”.
“What was it like for you? Was Dad your first love? Or was it Simon?”
“Kay Sir Chief ko lang narandaman yun, Nikki. Weird talaga. Napapanaginipan ko sya, natataranta ako pag kaming dalawa lang ang magkasama, tumatayo ang balahibo ko pag nagkakahawak kami by accident, pag tinitigan nya ako, hindi ako makahinga…”
“Oh my gee, that’s exactly how I feel about…”
“Nicolo?” Maya guessed.
She bit her lip and nodded slowly.
“Hindi naman ako nagulat dun, Nikki. Matagal ko na din napapansin na parang there’s something between you and Nicolo.” Nikki’s eyes widened at Maya’s words.
“Really? You noticed something, Ate Maya?”
“Oo naman, Nikki. Sweet sa yo si Nicolo, kahit lagi ka nyang inaasar. Ikaw din, nagbago ang turing mo sa kanya. Dati, sobrang masungit ka sa kanya pero ngayon, tawa ka ng tawa sa mga jokes nya.” Nikki covered her face again in embarrassment.
Maya continued, “Ok naman si Nicolo. Just enjoy his company. Wag lang muna seryosohan ha? Bata pa kayo pareho.”
Nikki nodded again and hugged Maya. “Thanks talaga Ate Maya. I feel so much better na. Let’s go see who that is”.
“Parang may hinala ako…” Maya said as they walked to the gate.
They opened the door. It was Nicolo. Maya and Nikki looked at each other and laughed.
Nicolo looked at his clothes and shoes. “Hi Ate Maya! Hi Niknik! May mali ba sa itsura ko?”
“Wala Nicolo!” Maya assured him. “Halika, pasok ka.”
“What brings you here Nicolo?” Nikki asked as they entered the house.
“Dala ko yung mga algebra notes ko nung 2nd year. Sa iyo na to, I’m sure makakatulong to sa yo”, Nicolo said.
“Oh my gee! Thanks Nicolo! I’m sure that will help. We have the same teacher kasi eh!” Nikki replied happily.
The three of them sat on the sofa.
Naku ang sweet naman! Maya bit her lip trying to stop herself from smiling too obviously. “Dito ka na mag dinner Nicolo”, Maya invited.
“Oo nga Nicolo, Manang Fe prepared a special dinner tonight”, Nikki added.
“Talaga? Sige, I’m sure masarap yan!” Nicolo replied, delighted at the prospect of spending time with Nikki.
Richard came down from his room. Nicolo stood up immediately.
“Good evening Tito. Hinatid ko lang itong mga algebra notes para kay Nikki. Nagkaka-problem daw kasi sya sa algebra. Hindi kasi tinago ni Luke yung mga old notes nya eh.”
“That’s nice of you, Nicolo, thanks!” Richard said. “Dito ka na mag hapunan”, he invited as well.
“Sige po, salamat po”.
“Let’s all go na sa veranda, I think the food is ready”, Nikki told them.
As they walked to the veranda, Nikki looked worriedly at Maya, who gave her a reassuring smile. Ok lang yan Nikki, relax!
After dinner, Nicolo stood up to say goodbye.
“Magpapaalam na po ako Tito, baka hanapin na din po ako sa bahay.”
“Thanks again Nicolo. Ingat ka mag drive pauwi.” Richard told him.
“Ate Maya, Tol, Niknik, Abby, una na ako ha?” Nicolo bade them goodbye.
“Thanks uli sa notes ha. Ako na maghahatid sa yo sa gate,” Nikki volunteered.
Outside the gate, Nicolo suddenly took her hand and kissed it.
“Niknik, thank you.”
Nikki’s eyes widened and she felt electricity jolt her as his warm lips touched the back of her hand.
“Um… for what? Ako nga dapat mag thank you. You came all the way here pa to bring your notes. And, wag ka muna mag thank about the other thing coz I’m not payag ha. I’m still too young no!”
Nicolo smiled. “Alam ko naman yun, Niknik. Di ba sabi ng dad mo college ka pa pwedeng magpaligaw?”
She nodded, somewhat sadly.
“Eh di mag-aantay ako. Gusto ko lang naman malaman if I have something to look forward to…” he smiled and reached out to tuck her hair behind her ear.
“Seriously? That’s almost three years Nicolo. Things might change… We.. might.. change…” she said softly.
“So, may nararandaman ka din for me?” Nicolo’s heart leaped.
“You’re special to me too, Nicolo. I think you know that na by now,” Nikki replied shyly.
They stared at each other for a few moments, looking in each other’s eyes… savoring that sweet moment when you realize that you’ve fallen in love for the first time.
I love you, Nikki Grace Lim. Maghihintay ako sa yo, that’s a promise.
—– the end —–
A/N: Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it! Gagawan ko pa ba ito ng katuloy? Parang kakaunti lang ang nic-nik fans dito eh… o lahat ba kayo tulaley pa sa mega kilig kissing and dancing episode last friday? 🙂