This is a continuation to I’m sorry, I love you – part 3
In India, Richard was in a pensive mood the moment his call with Maya ended. They’ve had two long calls in the last two days. In those calls, there was something in her voice that triggered his deep thoughts about her. He could sense her giddiness on the other end, but then again, she’s been like that since he met her a week ago. Her cheerfulness is contagious. It was so easy being with her. He felt comfortable being with her. He’s never felt this way towards a woman in a very long time and he is not sure how he would handle it.
In Manila, Maya was in a celebratory mood after their call ended. If there was something that she valued in their call was the realization of how much she loves the sound of his voice. His deep voice makes her heart dance. She could live each day with just hearing the sound of his voice.
The rapport they built on the first week flourished on that second week. They were beginning to share personal stories but mostly focused about themselves, never on their relationships with other people.
So, Maya was caught off-guard when he asked her, “Maya, what’s your plan tonight? Any plans of going out… say with a friend or a boyfriend?” Richard suddenly asked before their Wednesday call ended. Although he couldn’t understand it himself, he did not want to end their conversation yet. They’ve been on the phone for three hours and it was already their third day of daily calls.
“Ha, wala. I will just stay at home. Probably watch TV. Eh… ikaw what’s your plan.” It was her turn to prolong the call.
“As usual, I will be at the café, then be at my room. By the way, do you have skype account? Maybe in our next call we can use it.”
“Wala pa akong account but I can get it installed by our IT.” She told herself, “Hmm, an opportunity to see him even on video when I am back in Manila is not something I want to miss.”.
“Good, let’s try that next time. Alright Maya, I have to go for the next meeting. Talk to you soon.” He disconnected the call.
That same afternoon, Maya asked their IT support group to install Skype in her computer.
When she arrived home, she sent him a text message informing him that her skype account was already active.
“Ok.” Was his response.
The following day, Maya waited anxiously for a phone call. He didn’t call. While there was no agreement that there will be another call, she got used to speaking to him every day that she was already looking forward to it. It was as if it was part of her day to hear his voice. On Friday, there was still no call from him so she decided to do it herself.
Ring. Ring. Ring
“Hello, Maya.” He picked up the call after three rings.
“Hi Richard, how are you?” She suddenly felt anxious, not knowing what to say next in case he asks her reason for calling.
“I’m good. Sorry for not connecting yesterday. I left my phone in my room and got back late. Anyway, you are arriving Sunday night right?”
“Would it possible for you to change your ticket and come here on Saturday? We can go out on Sunday for some tourist activity, if you are open to it.” He offered.
“Ha? I’m not sure if I can get my ticket changed. It’s already Friday afternoon and ….” While she wanted to, she wasn’t sure if it was feasible to get everything changed in just one day.
“How about sending Lisa, my office secretary in Singapore, a copy of your ticket she can get it fixed there. The other thing is I can get you a different ticket. You can just rebook your current one for your next trip. I think that would be easier.”
“Ha? Sige. Please send me the email address of Lisa and I will communicate with her.” She sounded excited.
“Alright, then. It’s agreed, Maya. Ah… I will need to be in another call now. Sorry, talk to you soon.”
“It’s fine. I just wanted to say Hi to you. Bye, take care.” Then the moment she heard the phone disconnected, she added “Love you.” She felt giddy with the emotion.
The sound of incoming message on her phone was heard by Maya. She got up from bed to check her phone.
“Good morning. How was the flight? I’m out jogging. Would like to have breakfast together at 8?” It was from Richard.
“Flight was okay. See you at 8.” She hurriedly went to the bathroom to prepare herself.
Thirty minutes later, she was seated at the breakfast area waiting for Richard. Since she anticipated that the temperature would be hot that Sunday, she wore a pair of shorts and loose blouse ready for the tour that Richard wanted them to do.
Her heartbeat raced when she saw Richard approaching her. He looked so handsome and fresh in his tight fitting V-neck black shirt and denims. He looked liked he just stepped out of the shower.
“Hi, how are you?” He approached and kissed her on the cheek.
Maya blushed slightly but pretended she wasn’t affected by his kiss. It was just a form of greeting. “Wag mag-assume, Maya” She warned herself.
“I’m good. Thank you. And ikaw?”
“Excited… I mean excited to go around today. I haven’t visited any of the tourist places here. By the way, a couple of guys from the office are joining us. So, we will be a group of 6 people.” Richard informed her.
“Oh, that’s good. It will be more fun.”
They ate their breakfast and readied for the arrival of their group. As soon as they stood up from their breakfast table, Richard’s eyes widened as he caught a glimpse of Maya’s attire and legs.
“Ah… Maya. Please don’t get offended but I suggest that you change your attire. Mag-pants ka and not shorts.”
“Ha? Bakit pangit ba ang suot ko? Baka kasi maiinit sa labas, eh.” She wasn’t inclined to change her shorts.
“Maya, have you seen any woman here wearing shorts or short skirt? People will look at you especially men. So, please can you change. I insist.” Richard suddenly turned serious as he insisted that Maya wore pants.
It looked like his eyes were turning to tiny slits so Maya had no choice but to go back to her room and change.
As she was walking back to her room, she told herself “Hmmp, hindi man lang nag-compliment sa legs ko. Ito pa naman ang isa sa best asset ko sabi ni James.”
Then, she realized that she has not spoken to him in the last 3 weeks and she felt a little bit guilty. “Later na lang, I will call him up” was her resolution.
Richard watched her walking towards the elevator. Although he was surprised by seeing her in shorts, he was more bothered by what could potentially happen if she went out like that in a culture where women are fully covered. She’s got a very sexy pair of legs and it would be difficult not to be distracted by those legs.
The tour group of 6 people departed the Taj hotel shortly after Maya met them at the lobby. She changed into a comfortable jeans.
As she predicted, the temperature outside of their hotel was scorching hot. The tourist spot they visited was the Charminar which is a historic Islamic architechture quite famous in India. It is a momument that is depicts a long history of country and to see the whole place, the team had to go up in winding stairwell.
With the hot temperature and effort to go up the staircase, by the time they reached the tower’s 60th step of the 149 steps, they were all perspiring.
Richard & Maya looked at each other and laughed at their predicament.
“Super init ano? I like the place pero medyo luma nga lang” Maya commented as she drank in her bottled water.
“Yes, it’s really a hot day. They need to maintain this place well because it a tourist spot.” He responded. He pulled out his handkerchief and offered it to her. “Here”
“Ay, thanks. I have brought a small towel. I anticipated this.” She opened her bag and took 2 white face towels. “Here’ you can use this. I brought two, tig-isa tayo.” She handed him one while she kept the other for herself.
He took it and used it to wipe his forehead. They were both smiling as they observed their other 4 colleagues taking photos of the place. Then one of them, Anitha, approached Richard & Maya.
“Hey, you two. Let’s have a picture of you together. It’s better to take photo now when you’re not very tired yet. When we reach the top, you will surely look very spent.” Anitha spoke in her thick Indian accent.
The two agreed and had their photo taken. Richard even asked for an extra shot using his phone’s camera. After the photo session, they decided to continue going up the tower.
At one point in their climb, Maya almost lost her balance. It was fortunate that Richard was at her back who was able to hold her before she tripped.
“Maya, please watch your step.” As he reminded her, he overtook her in the steps so that he could be ahead of her.
Richard then extended his hand for her to hold. “Hold my hand, I’ll give you support as we go up.”
Maya, without much convincing, took his hand for the needed support. When their palms touch, she felt electric shock go through her body. “OMG, kakilig naman ito.”
“Richard, thank you ha. Mahirap ‘tong ginagawa nating umakyat ng pag-kataas na tower. Tapos, hila mo pa ako.” She shyly told him.
“Maya, it’s nothing.” He tightened his hold on her hand. As he did, she stared at him with a quizzical look. “Why are you being nice to me? Hindi mo alam that each day, I fall more deeper for you?” she wanted to ask him.
Richard in his mind was also saying something to her. “Maya, why do I feel I have to protect you? And when you are around, why can’t I take my eyes off you?”