This is a continuation to First Love, Last Love – part 24.
For the next three days, Richard and Maya were in cloud nine. The previous week’s spat made their feelings for each other stronger. Richard was pre-occupied with happy thoughts that incidences at the hangar that would normally make his lose his temper went unnoticed by him.
Maya, on the other hand, received so much love expressions from Richard.
On a Wednesday morning, she got surprised by receiving a basket of white roses from him with a message: “Apologies again for my bad behavior last week.” Although the message did not indicate who was the sender, she knew it was from him.
Thursday, she received another basket of roses but this time they were lavender color. The dedication read, “Thank you for landing in my hands at Shangri-la. That was the most interesting first encounter of my life.”
Friday, was red roses day for her that came along with a longer message.
“Honey, I know this might look cheesy to you, but I guess this what people in love do. They do crazy things and write insane messages. As I recall our first meeting, I now realize how appropriate our first song was. And to quote my favorite last paragraph from the song.
“I didn’t know I was looking for love until I found you…
Cause there you stood and I would
Oh I wonder could I say how I felt and not be misunderstood
A thousand stars came into my system
I never knew how much I had missed them
Slap on the map of my heart you landed
I was coy but you made me candid and now the planets circle around you
I didn’t know I was looking for love
Until I found you.”
I didn’t knew I was looking for love, but I found it at the least least expected time and place. I think I loved you from the moment I set my eyes on you. Love.. Richard”
As she read his message, her heart jumped with happiness. She didn’t expect that Richard could this be sweet and “corny” at the same time. If she wasn’t in the office, Maya could have shouted with joy.
Her heart was full of love for him and she couldn’t restrain herself from immediately going to his office unannounced.
When she entered his room, he was in a meeting with Ryan. He was seated in his swivel chair while Ryan was seated in front of his table. She didn’t care about Ryan’s presence. She was just too happy that she walked fast to where Richard was, sat on his lap and hugged him and whispered “I love you, Honey .”
She stayed in that position for a while until Richard reminded her. “Ah, Maya, Honey, si Ryan…nasa harap… may meeting kami.” He didn’t seem to mind her action as he was smiling all throughout time she was hugging him.
Embarrassment somehow caught up with her as stood to apologize to both men. “Ay, sorry, pasens’ya na at masaya lang.” She looked at Ryan first and then turned to Richard.
“So I guess the 3rd delivery arrived judging by your reaction?” His eyes twinkling. They both understood what he meant.
“Yes” She blushed. “Thank you… O sige na. Pasen’ya na uli. Mamaya na lang uli.” She waved at the two men then proceeded to leave them.
As she was closing the door , she overheard Ryan say, “Pare,totohanan na talaga ‘yan. I’ve never seen you like this before.”
To which Richard responded. “You’re right Brad, she’s the one.”
“Ha,ha,ha, nahuli ka rin Richard Lim!” and both men laughed.
They left the office early to beat the Friday traffic from Ortigas going to Marikina. When they arrived, they found her Dad, Arturo, sitting in a stool at the front lawn.
Richard saw what her father was doing and looked at Maya. Maya almost burst out in laughter when she realized what her Dad was doing and what it was implying. Her dad was busy sharpening a bolo . It appeared that he was preparing for something or someone.
“Hi Dad, anong ginagawa n’yo d’yan?” She approached her dad and gave him a kiss.
“Ah, nagpe-prepare lang. Plano kong palitan ng bakod doon sa likod bukas. Kaya hinahasa ko ‘to.”
“Ganoon po ba? Ah, eh, Dad, si Richard po kasama ko.” She signaling him to move closer to her and meet her father.
“Good afternoon, po.” He greeted her dad as he extended his hand.
“Good afternoon” Daddy Arturo accepted the handshake. “O s’ya, pasok na kayo. Nasa loob ang mommy n’yo at naghahanda ng hapunan natin.”
When they went inside the house, Maya immediately noticed the fresh flowers on the vases in their living room.
“Aba, pati dito sa bahay maraming fresh flowers, ha” She turned to Richard smiling.
“Mom” She called out. “Mommy, nandito na kami”.
“Maya, anak, sandali lang.” A few seconds later, her mother Teresita came out.
“Mom, si Richard po. Ang special friend ko, eh… hi,hi, hi, boyfriend.” She introduced him to her mother in a playfully manner including giving him a sign of peace as she mentioned special friend.
“Good afternoon po, Mrs. Dela Rosa.” He formally greeted her mom.
“Good afternoon din. Pwede mo na akong tawaging Mom or mommy din.” She gave him a quick hug.
“Oh, dito muna tayo sa living room.” She directed him to the sofa at the living room.
“Sandali lang at kukukuha ako ng ma-iinom at light snack. Makapag-snack muna kayo. Malapit ng maluto ang dinner.” She motioned him to seat on the sofa.
“Excuse me lang anak” She excused herself from Richard and pulled Maya to go along with her.
When they were out of Richard’s earshot, Mommy Teresita commented, “Maya, ang gwapo pala talaga n’yang boyfriend mo. Parang artistahin lalo na sa malapit at cute ang smila ha?”
“Mom… ‘wag ng makipagkumpentensya..” Maya warned.
“Anong kompetensya? Ang akin lang, nakakatuwa kasi ang mga anak ko, ang mga boyfriend nila ay mga gwapo. Tingnan mo si Jeff, si James – ay excuse me, history na pala ‘yon, pero itong si Richard, iba ang dating.” Her eyes were widened as she emphasized Richard’s name.
“Mom, okay na. Sige na, wag nag magbuhat ng sariling bangko. Alam ko na kasunod nyan, sasabihin mo kanino ba kami nagmana ng ganda kundi sa’yo.” The two women laughed.
A few minutes later, Mommy Teresita came back with two glasses of juice and sliced apples. Richard and Maya were busy looking at the photo album of Pocholo.
“Uminom muna kayo at mag light snack. Maluluto na ang dinner pero hintayin na natin sina Jeff para sabay-sabay tayong mag-dinner.” Mommy Teresita offered.
Mom, nasaan po pala si Cho? I checked his room, wala doon.” Maya when she noticed that her nephew was around the house.
“Ay, lumabas muna kasama ang Daddy n’ya. Babalik ‘yon dalawa before dinner.”
“Richard, ang cute na bata ni Cho ano?” Mommy Teresita commented as she drew back their attention to the photo album that they were viewing.
“Opo, nagmana sa inyo.” He smiled showing his be-dimpled lopsided smile.
“Ay… talaga naman! Mom, magkakasundo kayo ni Richard.” They all laughed.
As their laughter died down, Maya excused herself to call her Dad who was still out in the garden.
Richard took the opportunity to ask Mommy Teresita,“Ah… Mom… pwede ko ba kayong maka-usap ng sarilinan?”
“Pwede,anak, inaasahan ko na talagang mag-uusap tayo ngayon lalo pa’t halos bahain mo ang bahay namin ng bulaklak. Tara doon tayo sa may lanai.”
They were walking towards the lanai when Maya and her Dad entered the house.
“Arturo, halika sandali sa Lanai” Teresita took his hand while she lead him and Richard towards the area. She gave a sign to Maya to just wait. “Maya, anak, sandali lang at mag-uusap lang kami. Paki-tingan mo na lang ‘yung kusina, andoon din si Sabel, paki-check mo ang niluluto.”
There was look of worry in her face when she saw the three going to the Lanai. Richard just looked back at her and gave her a reassuring smile.
She had no choice but to wait. She went to the kitchen and found everything under control. Since she was alone, she decided to just watch TV. She kept on checking her watch for the time. It was almost an hour and the three haven’t returned. She waited some more. It was already 1 ½ hours and they were still out. She decided to just go to her room but it was locked. She wondered why it was locked because it was never locked even if she has moved out.
Impatience got the better of her so she decided to check on the three at the lanai. On the way there, she met them on the porch.
She noticed the change in the mood. Her father was walking beside Richard with his arm on his shoulder discussing about repair works on a car. They seemed to be getting along very well as Richard winked at her when they passed her by. Mommy Teresita was behind them with her eyes red, an evidence that she just cried. She got curious as to what happened.
“Mom? Umiyak ka ba? Anong nangyari?” Maya asked in concerned tone.
“Wala anak, masaya lang ako para sa’yo. Nagka-usap kaming mabuti ni Richard. Mabait s’ya anak at mahal na mahal ka n’ya. Nag promise s’ya sa amin ng Daddy mo na aalagaan ka n’yang mabuti.” Teresita’s eyes were starting to get misty again. When Maya heard what Richard told her parents, she was moved. She didn’t expect that he would express those words to her parents on their first meeting. She felt glad too that her parents have accepted him whole heartedly judging by the way they’ve received him and spoke about him. Her heart was full of emotion that she also started to cry.
They were both smiling and crying as the mother and daughter looked at each other. They were interrupted when they heard Daddy Arturo’s voice who was still with Richard a few steps away from them.
“Sweetheart, anak, tapos na ang nomination period for best actress sa TV. Baka gusto n’yong ipostpone muna ang drama anthology n’yo dahil itong si Richard bago lang sa atin. Baka matakot sa pamilya natin.”
Then turning to Richard, “Pasensya ka na Hijo at dito sa amin madalas ang baha, kaya dapat masanay ka. Pag hindi bagyo or habagat, may baha ng luha dito.”
“Don’t worry Dad, medyo sanay na ako sa anak n’yo. Well trained po ako.” The two men laughed.
As her crying was interrupted, Maya suddenly remembered to ask about her room.
“Mom, yung room ko pala, naka-lock. Hindi ako makapasok. Bakit naka-lock?”
“Ah… eh…” She seemed to be lost for words. “Ni-lock ko pala kasi si Cho, naglilikot baka mabasag ang mga figurin mo doon. Hamo’t bubuksan ko. Teka lang ha. Doon ka muna sa sala samahan mo muna ang Daddy mo at Richard doon.”
A few minutes later her Mom signaled her that her room was already open.
“Maya, okay na. Na-unlock ko na ang room mo. May kukunin ka ba?”
“Wala naman Mom. Gusto ko lang bisitahin. Mamaya na lang siguro.”
“Ay ngayun na, anak. Mamaya mag-kakainan na tayo tapos makakalimutan mo na.” It seemed strange to Maya that her mother sounded excited for her to go to her room.
“Tama ang mommy mo anak. Pag mamaya pa ay magulo na lalo’t dadating na sila Pocholo at Jeff.”
“Oh, okay, parang pinipilit n’yo ako ah.” She went up to her room .
She didn’t see her mom giving a go signal to Richard to follow her upstairs.
The moment Maya opened her room, she was so surprised that she exclaimed “Ay!” Her room was transformed into a garden full of flowers.
“Ahhhh, ano ‘to? Ang daming flowers dito.” Scattered all around her room were bouquets and baskets of different types of flowers. There were different varieties and colors of roses, carnations, daisies, tulips, chrysanthemums and other flowers that she didn’t know of.
She saw a red envelope in the middle of her bed. She immediately took it and read.
“Maya, These are for all the days that I should have sent you flowers to express my love for you but didn’t, for all the kisses, hugs and patience that you have given me generously and for all the love that we will share together. I love you.” Then he signed, “Love, Richard.”
She turned around to leave the room , tears running down her cheeks. She found him leaning by the open door, arms folded watching her.
“Hon, sobra naman ito pero thank you, ha” She pointed on all the basket of flowers scattered in her room.
Richard closed the door, walked towards her and hugged her. “No, hindi sobra. You deserve every single one of them.”
She reciprocated and embraced him tightly. He began to kiss her as he maneuvered them towards her bed and seated them both there.
She spoke first, “Ilang flower shop ang pinasara mo?” She teased him.
“Dalawa lang, I could do more if you want. Hindi pa kasi ako naka order for your condo unit.”
“Ikaw talaga. Sweet at corny ka pala?” She kissed him again and then paused. “Ay teka, sina Mom at Dad pala. Why are you here?”
“Why not? For your information, I have a permission to be in this room with you.” Gazing in his eyes, she saw some flicker of love there. Her heartbeats raced as she thought about what Richard might be thinking and plan to do in the room alone with her.
“Hey, baka ‘yang permission na ‘yan eh ma-revoke pag nalaman nila kung ano ang plano mo.” She giggled a bit.
“Hon, they know what my plan is.” His eyes were twinkling.
“Ano?” she asked in confusion and panic. “What kind of man would tell his girlfriend’s parents that he wants to make love to their daughter?”, she thought.
“Maya, anong iniisip mo?” He followed her trail of thoughts.
“Eh… alam mo na. Kasi mahirap mapag-iwanan with you in a room…” She was hesistant to continue as she was getting embarrassed by her own thoughts.
“Oh well… I think it’s you who has a hidden plan. Unfortunately, hindi pwede, honey..” He said these as he looked at her intently.
“Richard” She pouted as if in disappointment.
Seeing her reaction, he was tempted to kiss her again. He only intended to give her a light kiss but she responded amorously that he got carried away, his tongue started to entwine with hers. They were getting lost in their intense kisses. His hands were caressing her back.
“Maya… I love you… will you marry me.” Richard finally found his voice as stopped kissing her.
“Huh?” It didn’t register in Maya’s head.
“Will you marry me?” He repeated. He looked at her intently.
Maya blinked her eyes three times before she understood what he meant. “Richard are you serious?”
“Yes, I’ve never been so dead serious in my life.”
“This seems to be so sudden. Kakaumpisa pa lang natin.”
“I knew you’d say that. One month, three months, one year, 10 years they don’t matter to me because I know my feelings for you will be the same.”
“Eh, Richard….” She wasn’t able to continue because he interjected.
“Then, I have another option for you. Move in with me. Between the two proposals I prefer marriage but if you are not ready yet, I am prepared to wait. But I need you to be with me. I want to sleep and wake up every day with you by my side. I don’t think I can last long without you around me. I love you too much that I feel like my heart is going to explode. I want to have a family with you and spend the rest of my life with you.” The vulnerability of his expression made her heart leaped with joy.
“Richard” She can’t deny the same feelings for him as well. So, with one more kiss given to him, she told him “Yes, I will marry you.”
“Yes!!!” Richard’s voice could have been heard in the whole house.
He pulled her up to hug her and planted a kiss on her lips. “I’m the happiest man alive”
“At ako naman ang happiest woman alive” She giggled as she hugged him tighter.
Richard then suddenly remembered something so he searched his pocket.
“Hon, sorry I forgot the ring. I was supposed to take this out when I asked you to marry me . Ikaw kasi nag-umpisa ka ng kiss, na disorient tuloy ang proposal ko.”
“Ms. Maya dela Rosa, would be willing to become Mrs. Richard Lim?” He asked her in a different way while holding her left hand and the engagement ring on his other hand.
“Yes, Mr. Lim. I’d like to be Mrs. Richard Lim.” She smiled sweetly.
He slid the ring on her left hand ring finger and kissed it afterwards. It fitted her perfectly, although its bit heavy. The ring is a 4 carat marquise cut diamond ring set in white gold.
She marveled at its beauty.
Then a knocked was heard on the door.
“Richard anak, mag-di dinner na tayo” It was her mom who called out Richard.
Maya looked at Richard. “Ikaw ba ang anak o ako? Bakit ikaw ang tinatawag” He only shrugged as he went to the door.
“Hi Mom, lalabas na po kami. Ok na po. She accepted.” He was smiling ear to ear.
“Maya, anak… congratulations” Mommy Teresita embraced her daughter.
“Thank you, Mom. Okay lang sa inyo ni Dad?”
“Oo. Humingi ng permiso si Richard sa amin ng Dad mo kanina. Magaling magkumbinsi ‘yang boyfriend mo, napa agree ka agad ang Dad mo.” Mommy Teresita shared what they discussed with Richard earlier.
“Tara na, at nandiyan na sina Jeff sa baba. Mag-dinner na tayo.” Mommy Teresita reminded them about dinner.
As they were going downstairs to proceed to the dining area, Richard had some additional words to say only for Maya’s ear to hear.
“Thank you for accepting my offer Hon. Hmmm, either at my place or your place, let’s continue where we left off and celebrate later?” He winked at her .
“Ikaw talaga, nagiging pilyo na, ha.” She whispered back. She pinched his side but her eyes conveyed that she was in full agreement of his proposal. She understood what he meant and felt a yearning for him.