Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to MaiA. This is a continuation to Story of Me – part 5.
It was a very busy week for both Maya and Richard. Richard is locked in his room most of the time, occassionally calling on Maya just to ask for progress on her projects and the new organization. He is a different man pag nasa office, serious, busy palagi and mahirap kausapin. Di makahanap ng tyempo si Maya to ask him about their date.
“Alangan man lang humingi pa ako ng appointment just to ask him about the swimming party” she thought to herself.
Maya’s desk, Friday, late at night on the phone
Maya: “Rafi naman, wag mo na ako pilitin. Di ko sure if he can come with me, busy yon eh. I promised Simon that I will bring him there, so might as well di na lang pumunta kung hindi ko kasama si… “ explained Maya when she was interrupted
Richard: “Is that Rafi on the phone? Tell her we will go tomorrow. “
Rafi: “Sya ba yon? Pupunta naman pala eh, ikaw talaga.” She teased Maya.
Maya: looks at Richard “ha? Eh. Sige. Rafi, kita tayo tomrow. Bye” then puts the phone down.
Richard: “Di ba nagusap na tayo last week that we willl go?”
Maya: “eh kasi di ko alam kung… I mean busy ka and…
Richard: “pag sinabi ko, ginagawa ko.”
Maya: “Parang galit” whispered to herself
Richard. “Umuwi ka na, its getting late. What time should I pick you up tomorrow? May car ka ba today? Hatid kita?
Maya: “Wait, sunod sunod naman tanong mo. Ok. Pick me up tomorrow 10am? He nodded. “I have a car and no need for a ride“ she smiled. “ Thanks so much for your help. Bye.”
Richard: “Bye, Maya. Go home now. You need to rest for tomorrow” he smiled then he left.
When Maya and Richard arrived, Rafi, James, Jeff with other friends are already in the pool while Simon is with Edsel sitting on the couch near the pool.
Lumapit si Rafi kay Maya,
Rafi: “Maya, its good to see you here. Hi Richard. I’ ve heard a lot of good things about you from Maya.” then looks at Maya, kinikilig.
Richard: “oh really” amused, raised his brows, and gave Maya a teasing look.
Maya: “Rafi, ano ka ba, nakakahiya”. with a blush. Then turns to her other friends ”Hi Jeff, hi James, kanina pa kayo?”
James: “Yes, as usual late ka na naman and pauwi na kami.” Then splashed water at Maya.
Maya: “Ano ba! sobra naman kayo” nagtatampo look. “Jeff, James, si Richard” then turned to Richard “ito yung makukulit kong barkada”. Richard smiled at her friends “Asan yung iba?”
Jeff: “ Ayun si Simon, with Edsel. Puntahan mo, kanina ka pa hinahanap eh. Akala yata di ka pupunta.” Then points at Simon and Edsel.
Maya: “Mukhang serious yung dalawa” she thought to herself and smiled.
“Sige, puntahan ko muna sila sa patio.”
Simon: “Maya!” he stood up, hugged Maya and smiled at Richard. “Bakit late ka? Kanina pa kita hinihintay. Pauwi na si Edsel kasi may lakad sila ng family nya. Pinilit ko lang sumama so she could meet you.”
Maya: “Hi Edsel,” she gave Edsel a hug and beso beso then turns to Richard “Ahhm, Simon, si Richard.”
Simon: Good morning Richard. Kamusta? Kamusta naman kayo ni Maya? Medyo tiisin mo lang ng konti ha, sobrang makulit yan eh.”
Maya: “Grabe, ilaglag na naman ako.” then turns to Edsel, “Marami akong alam na sikreto ni simon, kwento kosa’yo minsan.”
Rafi: ”O tama na ang kulitan. Let’s eat na.”
Masayang nagkwentuhan ang buong barkada, while Edsel and Richard are trying to figure out kung ano ang meron sa dalawa.
Nagpaalam ng maaga si Edsel, hinatid ni Simon sa may gate. While Richard was closely watching Maya as she walked gracefully at the edge of the pool.
Rafi: “Help, si Maya…” In an instant, both Richard and Simon came to her rescue, jumping from the two ends of the pool.
Richard reached out to Maya and she immediately grabbed hold of Richards arm. Simon came to their side seconds later and asked, “Maya are you ok?” Maya looked back and said “Im ok, thanks Simon”
Richard: ”Ako na ang bahala kay Maya.” still trembling out of fear, Maya held tightly on to Richards arms as he brings her back to the edge of the pool.
Maya: “thank you” she whispered softly.
He was so gentle as he lifted and carried her to the couch just like a baby, while she closed her eyes, her head comfortably resting in his solid chest with her arms clinging on to his shoulders. When they reached the patio, he reached for Maya’s robe to wrap her cold body and covered her. Still shivering from fear, Richard now sitting beside Maya, he held on Mayas cold hands clasped on her lap and covered them with his own hands. Moments later, he adjusted his position to free his other arm and now lays at the back of her shoulder. Still feeling cold, with eyes closed, Maya moved her body closer, while Richard’s hand on her shoulders now moves from her arms, to her back, to her nape. The gentle touch of his palms on her body that calmed her down, slowly turned into a sweet caress. She slowly opened her eyes and saw him looking tenderly at her. In her mind she asks, does he truly care for me? It felt so right to have him so near and feel his warmth that she fell into a deep slumber.
Richard: “Maya,” he whispered softly to her ear.
Maya: “hmmm” still in deep slumber she adjusted her position and moved closer, her head still on his shoulder, lifted her head, “hmmm” their lips only inches apart.
Richard: took a deep breath “Maya, what you do to me” he whispered to himself, then touched her face to wake her up. “Maya, we need to change, lalo na ikaw, baka lamigin ka.
Maya: “No, I feel so warm” continues her sleep and snuggled even closer, smiling in her sleep.
Richard: “ Maya, its time for us to go.” That woke her up.
Maya: surprised “ay, Maya” Richard smiled.
Richard: “Maya, you need to change. Where’s your bag?
Maya: “Nasa kotse, di ko pa binaba.”
From afar, Simon was closely looking at them. When he saw Richard stood up, he went to them.
Richard: “Ok I will get your bag” then he saw Simon approaching them to also check on Maya.
Richard: “Simon, pakitingnan mo muna si Maya, I will get her clothes sa car”.
Simon: he got a stool and sat in front of Maya. “I am so happy to see you with Richard.” then he continues, “ Maya, things will not be as it used to be with us.” Their eyes met and can see sadness in them. “I promised your mom and dad sa hospital that I will take care of you, no matter what” he paused for awhile, “Especially now na nag-iisa ka na lang. And I will. I love you more than a friend you know that. We both tried to work things out for us. But…” Maya continued
Maya: “I know, hindi lang talaga pwede ipilit. Same with me, I love you more than that.
Di ba sabi mo, you will be with me until you are fully convinced that I have found someone who will love me, cherish me and protect me more than you do? And that’s the only time that you will pursue your love? He nodded.
“Paano si Edsel? I know she is the one for you. Alam ko hinihintay ka lang nya. Paano kung di ka maconvince na nakita ko na sya? Paano kung matagalan yon?
Simon: “Ako na bahala kay Edsel” and he winked. “I am already convinced na nakita mo na sya.” he teased her.
Simon: things will never be the same. “I won’t be seeing you for awhile. Tama ka, kailangan ko bumawi kay Edsel. I am sure she will eventually understand kung ano meron tayo. But it will take awhile.”
He hugged Maya, as if for the last time “You are the sister I never had.” And she hugged him back “And you will always be the brother I never had.”
Then came Richard.
Simon: “I love you and always will”
Maya: “Ako rin.”
Nagulat si Richard sa nakita at narining.