This piece was inspired by the last part of the August 19 teaser that seems to have surprised and stunned us all–
Richard: I don’t think this can wait.
Don Roberto: What?
Richard: I’m PROPOSING to Maya.
Whew! Truly great news for all of us, indeed!
This story/convo came to me as I woke up this morning (August 19) and it simply wouldn’t leave me again. So write away, I did! Hope you’ll like it!
BEFORE HE PROPOSES
As much as he wants to propose to Maya soon, Richard knows in his heart that the right thing to do is to let his children know first…
It’s Friday night. It’s been two days since his birthday. All is well at the Lims’. Don Roberto and Donya Esmeralda are back in the mansion and are staying there for the remainder of their vacation.
Maya is at work–a flight to and from Cebu, and she is not coming back til 11 PM. Richard uses this opportunity to take his kids to dinner and then talk to them about Maya and his plans.
Over dinner, he encouraged the children to talk about school, their activities, and their friends as he happily listened to each of them. Life is good! He’s happy. His children are radiating with happiness, as well.
After dinner and he and the kids have ordered desert, he finally found the courage to let them know about Maya and his plans…
Richard: Guys, I want to tell you something.
Luke: What is it, Dad?
Richard: First, I want to thank you for making me so happy on my birthday! I love you!
Nikki: Awww! You’re so sweet, Daddy! Me, Kuya and Abby, we love you, too!
Abby: You’re the best Daddy in the world kaya po we made sure na happy po kayo sa birthday mo.
Richard: Thank you! I truly had the happiest birthday!
Luke: Thanks, Dad. Pero you should also thank Lola kasi–
Richard: I already did.
Nikki: And Ate Maya. She’s like the party organizer kaya, Daddy. She was the one who made sure everything will turn out perfect for you.
Richard: I know. And I already thanked her. But I’ll thank her again when I pick her up at the airport tonight.
Nikki: Daddy, that was truly your happiest and most memorable birthday ever! You and Lolo were so cute and so cool, huh! We never thought you and Lolo would ever sing in front of a crowd. But you did! You just showed us how much you love Ate Maya! And si Lolo, until now, he’s so super sweet to Lola pa din!
Abby: Daddy, don’t just say thank you po to Ate Maya. You have to tell her you love her, too, para po she’ll be so happy.
Richard: (smiles) Of course, baby. I’ll do that.
Nikki: Why don’t you give her a surprise, too, Daddy?
Luke: Opo, Dad. I-surprise niyo po kaya si Ate Maya tonight? We will help if you want.
Richard: You’ll really do that?
Abby: Opo, Daddy. We love Ate Maya, too. Diba Kuya Luke, Ate Nikki?
Luke & Nikki: Of course, baby! We love Ate Maya.
Abby: (smiles, stands up and gestures with her hands…) Kapit bisig for Ate Maya!
Luke: Alam mo, baby, para ka na talagang si Ate Maya!
Richard and Nikki laugh at Luke’s quip. Abby smiles, truly very pleased with herself.
Richard: Ahhhmm, kids, speaking of Maya… There’s something I think that you should know.
Nikki: What about, Daddy?
Richard: Promise me you’ll listen first. Let me say my piece muna.
Luke, Nikki and Abby nod in agreement.
Richard: You all remember how we were when your Mom died?
All three kids nod…
Richard: For many years, we were all really sad and we each coped with your Mom’s loss separately. I was angry at the world … I was so lonely …and I really didn’t know how to help you guys cope with your pain. I’m sorry if I became distant and if I made you feel that you lost me, too. I’m sorry for the five years that I was hardly a Dad to you. It’s just that I loved your mom so much. I couldn’t bear the pain of losing her. I didn’t really know how to cope with her loss… I never thought we would ever heal from her loss…
Luke: But we did, Dad. We all recovered.
Richard: Yes, Luke. I’m glad we did. Last year when Ma—
Nikki: Mom made sure we healed, Dad.
Nikki: That’s why Mom sent Ate Maya our way.
Richard: Nikki? Huh? What do you mean?
Nikki: Mom loves us, Dad. Even if she’s no longer with us na, I’ve always believed she watches us from heaven and continues to wish and pray for our happiness.
Richard: So what does Maya have to do with that?
Nikki: Ate Maya is the answer to my prayer, Dad… Before kasi, Dad, I would cry myself to sleep every night, and then I would say a silent prayer to Mom… I would ask her to help us become a happy family again, to bring us all close together, like we used to. I didn’t realize that when Ate Maya came last year, she was already the answer to my prayer, Dad. I was so mean to her…
Luke: … Pero kahit mean tayo sa kanya, she was so patient with us and she loved and cared for all of us. She loves and cares for us.
Abby: And she helped me talk again, Daddy! She’s the best!
Nikki: Ate Maya is simply amazing! But you were the meanest of the mean, Dad!
The kids all laugh, and all Richard could do was smile.
Richard: (smiles) I know! I know! But even if I was mean to Maya, she never gave up on me. She was so patient with me. She was never afraid to reach out to me, to talk to me, to be with me… She eventually became the person whom I would go to for advice… the one person who would help me understand you guys more… The one person who can soothe my nerves when I start getting cranky…
Richard could not believe what he just heard his kids say. He also couldn’t believe what he just told them, as well. He was happy. His heart wanted to leap out from his chest. All he could do was smile again at his three wonderful children.
Nikki: Then you fell in love with her. Then Kuya and I fell in love with her, too. But Abby was the first among us to fall in love with her.
Nikki: Dad, Mom loves us and we all love her. We will always love her naman, diba?
Richard: Of course, kids. We will always love your Mom. She’ll always be special to all of us.
Nikki: Mom is now an angel in heaven. She continues to watch over us from there. I’m sure she’s very happy to see us happy.
Luke: And Ate Maya is Mom’s best gift to us. Ate Maya is heaven-sent, Daddy!
Abby: Daddy, you love Ate Maya diba po? Please promise me you’ll make her our Mama someday, ha…
Richard: Ahhhm, kids, I wanted to talk to you about your Ate Maya sana–
Luke: Ano po yun, Dad?
Richard: There’s something I want to do. And I would love to have your blessing.
Nikki: What is it, Dad?
Richard: Are you guys ready to welcome Maya to the family?
Abby: Diba po, she’s a member of the family na kasi she’s your girlfriend?
Richard: Yes, but I want her to be more than that, baby.
Nikki: Oh my gee, Dad! Are you really going to ask her the P word na?
Luke: Ano na naman iniisip mo, Niks?
Nikki: Kuya! Oh my gee! You are so dense! Don’t you get it?
Richard: Niks, that’s enough. Look guys, I don’t know if it seems too soon. Maya and I have not even celebrated our second month as boyfriend and girlfriend… But I love her and she’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. So, I want to ask you for your blessing… I want to PROPOSE to her soon. I want to marry her… to have her as my wife… and your Mama if that’s okay with you, guys. I want us to be a family.
Nikki: Aww, Daddy! I’m so happy for you and for Ate Maya! Of course, you have my blessing! See, Kuya, I’m right! Daddy is going to ask her the P word…
Luke: Oo na. Tama ka na naman, Niks! Masyado ka lang yatang in love sa Mallows mo kaya kung anu-ano naiisip mo, eh.
Nikki: Dad, si Kuya, o.
Richard: O tama na yan, Luke. Nikki don’t think so much about this Mallows guy, okay? You promised. Studies muna ha?
Luke: (laughs) O kita mo na? Pati si Daddy, o. Haha… (then Luke looks at his Dad) Me, too, Dad! You have my blessing.
Luke hugs his Dad.
Abby: (smiles) When’s the wedding, Daddy? May I be your flowergirl? I can be an Ate, too, someday Daddy? I want a baby brother and a baby sister.
Richard, Luke and Nikki laughed…
Richard: Baby, wait muna. There’s no date yet. I have to propose to your Ate Maya muna. I have to ask her muna if she’ll agree to have me as her husband.
Richard: Pero siyempre, baby, you’ll be our flowergirl. And yes, I promise. Someday you guys will have a baby brother and a baby sister, too. Or maybe a couple of baby brothers and baby sisters pa if you want.
Abby: Okay po. That’s okay po. I think it’s fun to have a big family! So when will you ask Ate Maya, Daddy? Can we help?
Nikki: Yes, Daddy, we want to help you propose!
Luke: Are you proposing tonight, Daddy?
Richard: As much I’d want to, hindi pa pwede. I want to go to San Nicolas muna to talk to Nanay Teresita, Mamang and Kute. I want to let them know of my intentions muna before I ask Maya. So this will be our little secret muna, okay?
Lim kids: Of course, Daddy!
Abby: Can we come with you?
Richard: Where, baby?
Abby: To San Nicolas when you talk with Lola Nanay, Lola Mamang and Ate Kute.
Richard: Why, baby?
Abby: Para they’ll say yes agad, Daddy!
Nikki: Can we come with you, Dad? Para they’ll know that we all want Ate Maya to marry you… to marry us! Like I told Lola when she came, I also want to tell Lola Nanay that Ate Maya is like the best for you kaya and you’re like the best for Ate Maya naman!
Richard is on the verge of tears.
Nikki: (hugs him) Dad! We love you! We also love A — Tita Maya! Dad, you think it’s okay if we start calling her Tita Maya?
Richard: I’m sure she’ll like that Niks. She loves all of you! She cares for all of you. She treats you like you are her very own children. I’m sure she’ll be so happy to hear you call her Tita Maya. I will always be grateful to her for giving you all back to me…
Luke: What do you mean, Dad?
Richard: If your Tita Maya had not come into our lives last year, I don’t know if we would have healed and recovered this soon. It was her positive energy and selfless love that healed us. I also don’t know if I would ever have won your love and affection back.
Nikki: Oh, Dad! But we love you. We never stopped loving you naman.
Richard: I know (smiles)… When Maya came last year, she gave me a wonderful gift. Kayong tatlo yun! Seeing all three of you happy, whole and so full of love and hope all over again makes me so happy. And that’s all thanks to Maya… And okay, you can all come with me to San Nicolas.
Luke and Nikki: Yes!
Abby: We love you, Daddy!
Luke: So, how are you going to propose to Tita Maya, Daddy?
Nikki: When and where will you propose? Do you already have a ring for Tita Maya, Dad?
Luke: Why don’t you propose to her during one of her flights? Sa loob ng airplane while you are up in the air. Parang appropriate kasi Dad, eh. You’re an airplane engineer and Tita Maya is a flight attendant.
Abby: And diba po you met at the airport din? Or pwede din po you propose to her sa airport.
Nikki: Or Daddy, you can propose to her also in that tree in San Nicolas where her Tatay proposed to Nanay Teresita! That’s her most favorite romantic place, diba? That will be OH SO ROMANTIC!
Abby: And you can sing for her, Dad! Tita Maya loves to sing, diba? And she always loves to hear and watch you sing… Or we can all go po to Baguio and you can propose to her there. Or Dad, why don’t you propose to her po inside our car or the principal’s office or sa swimming pool natin or in my bedroom po? Hihi!
Luke: Or you can also propose to Ate Maya with us three… kinda appropriate Dad cos she’s not only marrying you. She’ll be marrying all of us, too!
Richard: Guys, guys! Thank you for all your suggestions. But don’t worry. You all have faith in Daddy naman diba?
The kids all nod.
Richard: Daddy already has a plan. I’ll let you know soon. Thank you for making this easy. Like all of you, I am so excited, too! I love you!
Abby: Group hug po!
They all laugh at Abby’s Maya-like quip, stand up from their seats and come together to hug each other.
Luke, Abby, Nikki: We love you, Daddy!
Richard: I love you, too, Luke, Nikki and Abby… (checks his watch) It’s getting late. Why don’t we all go to the airport together so we can pick up your Tita Maya?
Nikki: That’s a great idea, Dad!
Luke: Did you buy her flowers, Dad?
Abby: And chocolates?
Nikki: Did you use that perfume that I think suits you best?
All Richard could was shake his head in amusement. He has the most amazing kids! He even felt like singing and humming. He’s been doing that a lot this past year– smiling, singing, humming…
Richard whispers a silent prayer. “Thank you, Alex. Thank you, Lord!”
So much has truly changed since his Bambi-eyed princess entered their lives and made them all fall in love with her big time.
He thought and smiled to himself, “Life is beautiful and I simply can’t wait to propose to you, my dear Maya! No more arguments please, Attorney! Just say you’ll marry me. I love you, Maya. You are the only woman I’d want to spend the rest of my life with…”
(Written: August 19, 2013)
Allow me to give credit to BCWMH TV show’s brilliant writers as some lines and scenes from this story were taken from the TV series. Thank you.