This is a continuation to I’m sorry, I love you – part 14
A/N: I wish to thank all those gave their comments and appreciation to this fanfic.
Chapter 15 (THE FINALE)
Maya made sure that she joined Richard for breakfast the following morning. Neither of them talked much because they were both in somber mood knowing they were headed to different destinations. Richard was going back to Singapore while Maya was to return to Zhengzhou. It didn’t help that they had an unresolved issue the previous night. After breakfast, Richard went back to his room to get his luggage while Maya proceeded to the lobby to wait for Richard and send him off.
While waiting for Richard, James entered the main entrance of the hotel. Both were surprised to see each other.
“Maya! James!” They both said at the same time. It was at this juncture that Richard came out of the elevator and saw the two embraced and kissed on the cheeks. He observed them as they took a seat in a nearby waiting area and continued talking. Richard proceeded to the front desk to check out; his eyes still on the who were oblivious of him.
“Bakit ka nandito?” Maya asked James excitedly.
“Magbabakasyon. I had a flight here this morning and my next flight will be on Wednesday. So, I’m going to stay here for a few days. Ikaw?” James asked her.
“I have a consultancy work here in China. I am here for a vacation but I am going to return to Zhengzhou by this afternoon.”
“Ah ganoon? But can you spare sometime with me? Can we have lunch together?” James invited; seemingly encouraged that there is an opportunity to spend time with her.
“Ha? Eh…” She wasn’t able to respond because Richard has come to her side.
“Hello James” Richard greeted him. As they shook hands, there was an air of awkwardness between the two men. It just dawned on James that Maya and Richard were together not just for work. Richard, on the other hand, felt the familiarity of the two with the way they spoke to each other. It was making him upset.
He then turned to Maya. “I’m leaving. My car is here. I’ll just contact you when I reach Singapore.” He turned to walk towards the hotel’s exit and left her with James.
“Richard, wait!” Maya had to go after him to say goodbye. “Take care.” She then kissed him on the cheek. When their eyes met, she suddenly became nervous. His eyes had the similar look as when she was going to Goa. She noticed that Richard’s mood was serious and she didn’t like it.
On the car heading for Pudong airport, Richard was in a pensive mood. He had enjoyed the two days he was with Maya. He thought he could convince her to return to India or Singapore. He had planned on proposing to her during this past weekend. But, she was vocal in wanting to stay in China. She really seemed to be enjoying her assignment. In the end, he had to change his plan. He will just wait. He didn’t want to be in the way of her aspirations. However, when he saw her with James this morning, an old wound opened again. The pangs of jealousy was eating him up. He knows that Maya loves him and yet, he was still worried that absence can make the heart forget more so with the threat of an old boyfriend resurfacing.
The following day, Richard & Maya resumed their connection via telephone and facetime. Somehow, their vacation experience was overshadowed by their unresolved issue. Neither of them spoke about James or the about the night in Maya’s room. As the days go by, Maya was feeling the weight on her shoulder to make a decision. She knew what Richard wanted and she needed to sort out her priorities.
As the days went by, their time to connect was becoming limited due to their conflicting schedules. There were times she felt that Richard was being distant in their conversations. She felt uncomfortable on those days so she decided she will talk to him about it.
Ring… Ring… Ring.
Richard picked up the call of Maya.
“Hello Maya.” His short greeting.
“Hi Richard, how are you, today?”
“Okay naman. Is there anything wrong? Napaaga yata tawag mo ngayon.” Richard asked; his mood seemed cold.
“Wala. I just wanted to hear your voice. Busy ka?” She expected him to be excited to get a call from her but it sounded like he didn’t.
“Not really. I’m just surprised because normally I’m the one who calls you up.”
“Richard… galit ka ba sa akin?” She asked tentatively.
“Ha? Nope, why I would I be?”
“I don’t know. Actually parang lately kasi, your tone is different. At saka, about yung last night natin sa Shanghai…” Maya opened up. She wanted to share her feelings to him.
Richard was silent on the other end that Maya thought the call has been disconnected.
“Richard?… “Chard?” She checked.
Maya heard him gave a deep sigh before saying, “Maya, what do you want? If you want to hear that I’m missing you , the answer is yes. I do miss you a lot. But you are there and I am here. About the Shanghai night, I don’t want to talk about it on the phone right now. I’m actually…” Richard wasn’t able to finish his sentence because someone called him.
“Chard. Sorry I took so long. I couldn’t find my phone.” It was a female’s voice that Maya heard. She only heard portions of their conversation but she was sure it was from a female and she called him Chard.
“Where are you?” Maya suddenly asked; curious why he was with a female company. He responded after taking a long pause.
“I’m actually at the Taj lobby. I was waiting for Rafi. We’re about to go out for lunch.” He provided the information.
“So, Rafi is a female? I thought he is a he with the way you described your new consultant?” Maya was feeling uneasy with her own line of questioning. Am I getting jealous, she asked herself.
“Nope. She is very much a lady, cowboy nga lang.” A hint of fondness in his tone as he spoke about Rafi.
“Maya, I have to go. Talk to you later.”
“O sige, bye.” Maya felt tinge of jealousy.
He didn’t call and neither did she. For the next 3 days, they didn’t connect except for few short messages. This left her wondering what was happening on his side. She was starting to miss his voice. She’s been used to getting calls from him that the days were becoming incomplete without hearing his voice. She was feeling empty and was longing for him. During this period, she couldn’t fully concentrate on her work. She knew she needed to make a decision.
Finally, she decided that she will go to India to see him. She would like to surprise him and resolve their situation. She told her colleague that she was taking the whole week off and will be visiting India.
It took her almost 20 hours from China to finally reach Hyderabad, India including the 2 stop overs in her flight itinerary. It was then she appreciated how much effort Richard had put into in the last few months following her around in different countries. Her heart went out to him.
She arrived at the Taj hotel past midnight. After checking-in, she immediately requested guest services to call his room. She was told that no one was answering the call. So, she tried his local number but it was out too. She decided to call his Singapore number but it was busy. In the end, the hotel guest services gave her his room number upon her insistence; the hotel people knew Maya and Richard were colleagues.
Moments later, Maya was in front of Richard door, ringing the door bell. She waited until he opened the door.
He was in pajamas and seemed to have risen from the bed. It was the first time she saw him in this attire. In her thoughts, he looked so sexy.
“Maya! What are you doing here?” He was surprised to see her.
“Well, visiting you? Aren’t you going to let me in?” She responded assertively.
“Huh?” He seemed to be really in shock that he was at a loss for words.
“Sabi ko pwede pumasok?” She waited for his response and then for a fleeting second thought, what if he is with a woman and that’s the reason why he looked so shocked. “Know what, I’m coming in anyway.”
She went past him and prayed she won’t see anyone in his room. She was relieved that her suspicion was unfounded. She let out a sigh of relief. When she turned around, Richard was already close to her and about to give her a hug. She smiled as she encircled her arms around his neck and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.
“I miss you.”
“I missed you more. Why didn’t you tell me you’re arriving? I could have fetched you at the airport.“ Richard’s response; his arms still around her. He was smiling.
“I wanted to surprise you. If you missed me, then why didn’t you call me? I tried calling but your phone was always busy. Ayaw mo ba akong kausapin?”
“Maya, it’s not that I didn’t want to talk to you. But, I don’t like to have a disagreement with you over the phone. I was just waiting for a better time.” His smile was wiped off from his face as he defended himself.
“But we didn’t have a closure of our last conversation in Shanghai. You’ve asked me return to India or Singapore but you don’t seem to be interested in discussing it further.”
“It’s not that, Maya. I’ve been very open to you, I’m having difficulty with this set-up.” A feeling of hopelessness was creeping in his heart. It seemed that she didn’t understand where he was coming from.
So he continued, “I know you have your own dreams so I’m giving you the space to think about it. I don’t want to be in the way of your plans. And, I’ll be here to support you.” He said these to her with tenderness and love that it hurt it. If only she knows how much he wants her to be with him.
“So, okay na sa’yo that I accept the additional 8 months in China?” She asked him.
“Ikaw, it’s up to you. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you until you complete all the projects and countries you want to see. Although the later, we can do that together anytime you want to.” Was his response.
Maya was overwhelmed by his support to her. Before coming to India, she has also made up her mind that she’d like to be where he is. She was willing to meet him half-way just to be with him.
“Richard, salamat ha. I’ve thought things through the last few days. I’ll just finish the 1st phase of the Xinpian project. So, I think I will just need to find a job in Singapore?” She announced her decision.
As soon as she said it, Richard’s smiled from ear to ear.
“Yes!!” He exclaimed. There was hope that their long distance love affair is coming to an end.
Happy with the latest development, he kissed her lips. She responded with eagerness. They’ve missed each other so much that their kisses were burning. He laid her down his bed as his kisses moved from her lips, to her earlobe, then to her neck. He was starting to unbutton her blouse when his mobile phone rang. He was about to turn it off when he saw it was Luke calling from Australia. He picked up the call.
“Luke… sorry son we were cut off earlier.” Richard spoke while staring at Maya who was pinned by his upper body; his eyes burning with desire. “Can I give you a call tomorrow?… yes… bye son.” He placed the phone on the bed’s side table.
“May problem ‘Chard?” She asked while her fingers were tracing his shoulder. The way she was touching him was having an effect on him.
In a husky voice, “No. Magkukuwento lang. I was talking to him before you arrived. Unfortunately, he tends to forget that it’s midnight here. Hmmm, let’s continue where we left off.” He was about to kiss her again when his phone made another sound.
This time, it was Maya who took phone and was about to hand the unit to him when she noticed it was a woman’s face flashing.
“Who’s that?” She asked. It was a photo of a pretty woman .
“Oh, that’s Rafi. It’s just an incoming message from her.” Richard took the phone and returned to its place.
“So, yan si Rafi? Bakit may photo n’ya sa phone mo?” She pushed him aside to enable her to seat up as she eyed him suspiciously. She couldn’t help feeling jealous.
“Ah, she was playing with our phone yesterday. Nilagyan n’ya rin yung kay Ryan.” He commented getting amused by Maya’s facial expression. She seemed to be upset but trying hard to control it.
“So ganun? Parang may pinagkaka-abalahan ka na yata dito. Siguro kaya hindi ka makatawag-tawag sa akin over the last few days. ” There it was out.
“What?” He got out of the bed and sat the sofa beside it.
“I said she must be the reason why you didn’t return my calls. You were busy playing with her.” Ouch that hurt as she said it. She was getting annoyed by her own jealousy – she didn’t know she had it in her until then.
“That’s preposterous! What do you think of me? I’m not the type who plays around.” He was beginning to get offended.
“Maya, why are we even having this kind of conversation? We were okay until we got disturbed by that dammed phone and your insinuation.” His voice was an octave higher, his eyes fixed on her; his brows furrowed.
Realizing that her jealousy has ruined their moment together, she felt guilty. She kept quiet; afraid of his further reaction. There was silence from both of them until Richard got out of his seat and sat on her side of the bed.
“So, aren’t you going to say something?” His tone returned to normal but still his brows furrowed.
She just looked at him and suddenly tears started to well up in her eyes. She just shook her head and looked down.
“Were you jealous?” He placed his finger under her chin and tilted her head up. She couldn’t deny her feelings so she just nodded. She couldn’t look directly in his eyes.
“So, selosa ka pala” He let out a chuckle. Then, he kissed her lips and said “There’s nothing to be jealous of, okay?” He looked at her tenderly so she started to smile.
“Cute, ka magselos parang bata, ha,ha,ha.” His laughter stopped when Maya hit him with a pillow. She was embarrassed by her behavior moments ago.
“Eh, ikaw? Mas grabe ka yata.” She wanted to get even from his teasing.
“Of course not, when did I get jealous?” He challenged her.
“Mr. Lim, please don’t be a denial king. I noticed it when I told you I was going to Goa and saw it again when you saw James in Shanghai. Kaya ka siguro nakasimangot ng umuwi ka sa Singapore ‘no? Selos ka?” She replied. Unknown to her, there were other circumstances that he was insanely jealous.
Realizing that Maya knew his weakness, crimson color started to spread from his neck up to his face which didn’t escape Maya’s attention. She laughed at the confirmation.
“See, you are blushing. ‘Wag mag-deny.” She continued teasing him at the same time putting his face between her hands.
To make her stop, Richard pulled her towards him and kissed her lips. Initially, he wanted to punish her but she kissed him back with such ardency that their kiss turned very passionate, leaving them both breathless.
When they paused to catch their breath, Richard warned, “Now that you know I’m a jealous guy, please don’t play around with my weakness. I can’t promise you that I’m easy to handle when I am that mood.” It was a fair warning that she understood.
“Opo, sir.” She giggled and hugged him tightly.
“Maya, will you stay with me tonight?” He whispered in her ear as they remained locked in embrace.
“Yes, I’d like to stay here tonight.” was her immediate response. Only to say a few seconds later, “Ay, I can’t sleep here like this.” She pointed to her jeans and blouse. Richard eyed her with amusement . In his thoughts, is she this naïve or just teasing him?
So, he said, “Okay, give me your room key and I’ll get your luggage so you can change.”
Maya got up and opened her bag to get the key. She gave it to him without any argument. While she was left in the room, it dawned on her. He asked her to stay with him. She saw the desire in his eyes and she agreed to his request. It means she is prepared to sleep with him. He hasn’t even asked her to marry him and she was already going to sleep with him. Anyway, bahala na si Batman!
Moments later he came back with her luggage. She opened it and took her toiletries and nightdress. She proceeded to the bathroom to take a quick shower and prepared for bed.
Richard was sitting on his side of the bed watching TV when she came out of the bathroom several minutes later. Upon seeing her, he tapped the empty space beside him signaling her to join him.
She crawled to his side and placed her head on his shoulder while wrapping her arm around his waist. Richard on his part held her close to him; his hand caressing her hips. He turned off the TV as he kissed her forehead.
“I love you Maya.”
“I love you too Richard.” She looked up to him smiling.
“Thank you for being here and staying with me.”
“It’s what I really want to do, Richard. Recently, I realized that I am happiest when I am with you. Kahit nung first week pa lang natin dito sa Taj.”
It was the right moment that Richard was waiting for. At that point, he adjusted his position so he could directly face Maya. He took out a small box beneath his pillow and opened it to reveal its content. It’s a diamond solitaire ring.
“Maya, will you take me as your husband with all my imperfections? Will you marry me?” His eyes were glowing with love and sincerity as he offered himself to her.
Maya’s heart jumped with joy with his proposal. She couldn’t contain her emotion such that there were tears in her eyes when she said, “Of course Richard. I will marry you. I love you so much.” With a wave of emotions overtaking them, they kissed once more; contented that they have confirmed their love for each other.
A few minutes after Richard’s proposal and Maya’s acceptance, Richard got out of the bed. Maya observed him walked around the room turning off all the lights anticipating that the next stage of their relationship was about to happen. He only left the bathroom light on to provide some illumination in the room.
When Richard returned to the bed to join her, she was surprised when he said, “Goodnight, Maya. Sleep tight.” He patted his pillow and laid down on his side facing her while placing his free arm around her waist.
“Ha? Goodnight na?” She asked, her tone wondering.
“Yes, let’s go to sleep. It’s almost morning, you know.” He confirmed his intent but was actually smiling mischievously.
“Ah, okay.” She responded with disappointment. She turned her back from Richard and made a side comment, “Hmmp, old school or old man.”
“I heard that Maya.”
“Don’t mind me, goodnight Mr. Lim.” She remained on her side of the bed.
“Good morning, Mrs. Lim.” He pulled her towards him and she felt the hardness and warmth of his body.
Moments later, still wrapped in each other’s arm, Richard spoke while gazing at her.
“So, who’s old school?”
“Me” She was giggling.
“And… who’s the old man?” he asked another question.
“Ewan ko.” Her response prompted him to tickle her sides. She couldn’t help but laugh.
“Okay. okay ’Chard…it’s not you. I’m sorry… I love you.” She gave him one more loving kiss.