A/N: Hello everybody! Before anything else, I would like to thank Ms. Mae (aka Sharpie) for inviting me to be a contributor. Kinabahan ako bigla at na-pressure! Hehe. c”,)
Anyway, here are the next ones. Dahil maulan ang linggong ito, ayan natapos ko rin ang utang ko. Hehe. Here are Chapters 6 and 7. I think this is one of my favorites. Thank you po sa pagsubaybay. c”,)
Btw, this is in continuation to His Promise – parts 4 & 5.
Enjoy this one!
And just like that, everything changed between Richard and Maya. It seems that Career Day brought them closer to each other.
All throughout the week, Richard would fetch Maya from the house, bring her to school, and pick her up after work. This routine continued but neither spoke of where they are and what the status of their relationship is (if one can call it that). One thing is for sure: the two’s happiness is immeasurable. And for them, that’s the most important thing.
It was Friday night and their scheduled batch reunion will happen tomorrow. Richard and Maya were in a coffee shop in Ortigas excitedly sharing stories of what had transpired during the day. Indeed, no moment is wasted when they are together.
“Grabe, alam mo ba kanina, sobrang proud ako sa class ko habang nagpe-perform sila sa Music class. Ang gagaling nila!” Maya proudly related to him.
“Really? Sayang, I was not there to see them. Eh di naiyak ka na naman nung pinapanood mo sila?” Richard teased her.
Maya smiled at his joke. He really knows her too well. “Grabe, hindi naman masyado. Ikaw ha. Anyway, naisip ko nga, ano kaya mangyayari sa kanila after 10 or 15 years? Excited na rin ako sa batch reunion nila kahit matagal pa,” she dreamily said.
Richard nodded. “Oh, wait. Speaking of reunion… Sunduin kita bukas ha,” Richard informed her. It was not really a question but rather a confirmation.
Maya almost laughed at his statement. “Ha? Susunduin mo pa ‘ko eh katapat lang ng condo mo ‘yung hotel. Okay ka lang? Nagpapatawa ka na naman ba?” She was looking at him incredulously. Although it was sweet of him to offer, she did not find sense behind his suggestion.
“Eh…” Richard started but Maya raised her hand to stop him.
“Ang kulit mo rin Engr. Lim, ano? Ako na’ng bahala. Magdadala na lang ako ng kotse. Marunong pa naman akong magmaneho,” she jokingly told him, as if reminding him that although he was always fetching her, she can still manage to drive on her own.
Maya continued to explain when she saw Richard frown.
“Richard, ano ka ba? Mahihirapan ka pa. Isipin mo: instead na relax ka na lang, susunduin mo pa ako sa Ortigas. Eh sobrang traffic pa. There’s no need to fetch me,” she smiled and patted his shoulder.
Richard sighed. “Okay, okay. I guess these past few days nasanay na kasi akong lagi kang sinusundo. Nakakapanibago lang,” he answered. Although it was hard for him, he found logic in her explanation.
“Ganito na lang. Text kita kapag andun na ‘ko. Ok? Pagka-park na pagka-park ko pa lang, sabihin ko sa’yo kagad. Ok na?” Maya assured Richard. She gave him the sweetest smile.
“Fine. You win. Pero ihahatid kita pagkatapos ng reunion. Huwag ka na kumontra kasi hindi ka mananalo sa’kin,” Richard told her with finality. He maintained a poker face to keep from smiling.
Maya just pursed her lips to keep herself from retorting back. Naku, mukhang seryoso ‘tong si Mamang Singkit. “Sige na po. Pero pa’no ‘yung kotse ko?” she asked.
Richard gave her his own bedimpled smile and replied, “Don’t worry. Just leave it to me.”
The following night, Maya was carefully driving through the streets of Taguig City to make it to their batch reunion. It had been raining the whole afternoon and cars were already piling up. Good thing she left the house a little early so that she won’t be late.
On the other hand, Richard was already in the hotel lobby. He had been calling and texting Maya but she was not replying. He was starting to get nervous when he heard his phone ring. He immediately answered it when he saw Maya’s name on the screen.
“Maya! Where are you? I’ve been calling you! I thought something happened to you already. You said…” Richard began. But Maya cut him off.
“Hep, hep, Mr. Lim. Kalma lang po. Kaya nga ako tumawag para sabihin sa’yo na nandito na ‘ko sa parking lot C. At kaya po ako hindi sumasagot kanina sa text at tawag ninyo ay dahil nag-focus po ako sa pagmamaneho. Grabeng lakas ng ulan,” she patiently replied. She was actually smiling for she was imagining his face. She suddenly felt giddy.
Richard touched his throbbing temple. “Ok, puntahan kita diyan. Where are you exactly?”
“Naku, huwag na. I’m already in the elevator. Let’s just meet in the lobby. And Mr. Lim, kalma lang ha. Bawal ang bad vibes. Dapat masaya tayo at mag-enjoy,” she reminded him.
Richard closed his eyes and nodded. “Okay. I’ll see you in a while,” he replied and finally felt relieved. Only Maya can really calm him down. He suddenly found himself looking forward to spending the night with her.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted when he heard the sound of the elevators. When Richard turned around, he saw the woman occupying his thoughts. He felt his heart beating fast when he saw her.
When the elevator doors opened, Maya saw Richard standing a few feet away from her. She felt her heart stop when she saw him in his gray suit. He was smiling his famous half-smile at her.
Kalma, Maya, kalma, she said to herself. She was about to acknowledge him but Richard beat her to it.
“Wow… You… look… fantastic, Maya,” Richard praised her, stuttering. He was looking at her from head to toe. Admiration was written all over his face.
“Asus, nambola ka pa. Ang sabihin mo, hindi ka sanay kasi minsan mo lang akong nakitang naka-dress,” Maya countered confidently. But the truth is, her stomach was tied in a knot and her cheeks were burning.
She was wearing a purple sleeveless dress that just ended above her knee. Strappy sandals accentuated her legs.
“I’m not kidding. It’s you, Maya. You should wear more dresses like that,” Richard replied. “Let’s go…” Seeing her looking like this made him want to stay beside her every time.
Richard took Maya’s hand and guided her to the grand ballroom. Although they had been going out almost every night, this was the first time he had held her hand. She fixed her eyes on the floor to hide her cheeks but Richard used his other hand to pull her chin up so that he can meet her eyes.
“Why are you hiding your face, Maya? Don’t be ashamed. You’re beautiful inside and out,” Richard tenderly told her, thinking that she was still uncomfortable being all dolled-up. “O baka naman nahihiya ka dahil masyadong gwapo ‘yung kasama mo?” he then teased her.
“Aba! Confident!” Maya feigned irritation but couldn’t keep the grin off her face. Richard just smirked and winked at her.
They continued walking, hand in hand. When they arrived inside, the place was all set up. Maya saw familiar faces and she was suddenly thrilled. They made their way to where their group was.
The night went on and everyone used their time to catch up and even remember memories (good and bad). Maya was busy chatting with the girls while Richard was also with the guys talking about business. Although they were both engrossed in their own conversations, they would steal glances at each other to see how each one is doing.
Again, these did not escape the others. The two have not openly shared what they have with the group but Sabel, Doris, James, Rafi, and Simon knew in their hearts what was going on. And they are certainly excited of this development.
“Naku! Bakit naman biglang bumuhos ‘yung ulan!” Doris voiced out. The group was gathered in the lobby and was looking at the main entrance. Cars already inhabited the streets and the rain didn’t care.
The celebration had already ended and one by one, guests were already preparing to leave.
James turned to the group. “Naku, guys. I need to leave. I have an early flight to Singapore tomorrow. Sino sasabay sa’kin? Maya?”
Richard was the one who answered. “Ako na bahala kay Maya, James. I can’t let her drive on her own in this weather.”
The girls all looked mischievously at Maya. Maya just brushed it off and addressed James, “Ingat ka ha. Text us if you’re already home.”
Soon, only Maya and Richard were seated in the lobby. The rain had already dwindled but traffic was still bad.
Maya again glanced outside. “Ayan, at least humina na ‘yung ulan…”
Richard turned to her and asked, “Yes, good thing. Kaso, let’s wait for a while para hindi na masyadong traffic. I’m sure everyone is on the road.”
Maya nodded. Actually, she did not mind staying here for a while and being with him.
“You know what? I have an idea…” Richard remarked.
Maya raised her eyebrow.
“Coffee?” Richard asked. On his face was his lopsided killer smile.
I thought you’d never ask, Maya gleefully answered in her head. “Ah okay, sige ba. Saan?” she queried him.
Eyes twinkling because of her response, Richard grabbed her hand and led her out of the hotel.
It was still drizzling but Richard and Maya did not care. They half-ran—in their formal wear—to the next building to go to Richard’s condo. When they arrived at the entrance, they were laughing like children, wiping the traces of rain on their skin.
They were still grinning from ear to ear and giggling when they arrived in front of Richard’s unit. When he opened the door, Maya was surprised to see the spacious place. More than that, it was also squeaky clean, far from the unkept bachelor’s pad that she had envisioned.
“Come in, Maya. Wait, I’ll get the coffee. Make yourself at home,” Richard then went to the kitchen to prepare.
Maya made her way to the living room and examined the place. Only a few pieces of furniture can be seen. Minimalist, she thought. A large television screen was in the middle.
On the table though, Maya saw pictures of Richard and his family. She took one photo frame and smiled as she saw them laughing while on vacation.
Richard approached with two cups of coffee in hand and gave one to her. “That was taken last year. We went to Lake Tahoe in the US during the summer break.”
“Oo nga, super ganda! And teka, si Nikki na ba ito? Ang laki na niya. I remember that you were always talking about her when we were in high school,” Maya replied, looking at the girl who was about 15 years old.
Richard chuckled. “Grabe, naalala mo pa ‘yun? Oo, dami na rin umaaligid. Kaya nga ako laging tumatawag sa Australia just to check.”
Maya laughed at Richard’s confession. “I’m sure naiinis na ‘yun sa’yo. Pero naku, kung ako rin naman, magiging protective din ako sa kanya. Ang ganda niya eh!”
Richard grinned at what she said. “Well anyway… Come on, let’s go to the veranda. I want to show you something,” he told her as he led her to the terrace.
“Look…” he then pointed at the sight in front of them.
What Maya saw made her heart skip a beat.
“Wow, Richard! Ang ganda pala ng view mo dito! Feeling ko nasa New York ako!” Maya exclaimed cheerfully. She placed her coffee cup on the table.
The rain had suddenly stopped. Lights were now twinkling and in the distance, fireworks were being displayed. Eyes full of awe, Maya was so engrossed with the view that she didn’t notice Richard was looking at her intently.
“Yes, very. The most beautiful I’ve ever seen…” He was staring at her face, admiring the beauty of her eyes, the perfection of her nose, and the exquisiteness of her lips.
Still oblivious to Richard’s scrutiny, Maya closed her eyes to feel the cool wind on her face. She was also reminiscing what had happened over the week with Richard, as well as feeling his hand clasped with hers a while ago. She smiled almost instinctively, and smiled wider when she heard Richard’s voice.
“Hmmm?” Maya was still wrapped up in her own world.
Richard moved closer.
“May I kiss you?”
It was a request he had been wanting to ask her since he saw her in the lobby a while ago.
Maya suddenly opened her eyes, startled with what she just heard. Slowly, she turned to look at the man behind the voice in her head.
“Richard?” Maya asked. She needed to be sure if what she heard was right and that this is not only happening in her mind.
Richard touched her cheek with the back of his hand and cupped her face. “May I, Maya?”
Maya gulped when she felt the plea in his voice. Totoo nga.
But then she suddenly remembered his question. She shook her head and said, “Ah, kasi, ano… I don’t want you to be disappointed… I haven’t…”
When he heard this, Richard couldn’t help but smile (ngiting tagumpay). Although he wasn’t surprised, what made him feel excited was her honesty. His heart was simply melted by this coy admission.
He placed his other hand under her chin and tilted her face up.
Richard shook his head and murmured, “I don’t think I will be…” He fixed his gaze on her lips and touched them lightly with his thumb.
And ever so slowly, he lowered his face and pressed his lips on hers.
Maya’s eyes widened when she felt Richard’s soft lips touch hers. So this is how it feels like, she told herself. She closed her eyes to savor the sweetness of the kiss.
It was just like in a fairy tale.
Under the stars, with fireworks at the background, Maya received a most extraordinary gift.
Her first kiss.
Ayii! First kiss! (Buti pa si Maya) Haha! I’m sorry I had to end it here. What do you think po? c”,)
What’s next for Maya and Richard? Tuluy-tuloy na kaya ito? Makukuha na kaya nila ang happy-ever-after?
‘Til the next one! Thank you again for reading. c”,)