Note: This is a continuation of The Art of Letting Go 25.
“So do you have any plans for today?” asked Richard as they were eating their breakfast. “Umm.. Wala naman. Ikaw ba? Hindi ka pa ba babalik sa office?” asked Maya. “Nope! I’d like to spend some more time with you,” smiled Richard. “Eh pero ilang weeks ka ding hindi pumasok sa office ah?” Richard let out a laugh after hearing this from her. “What?” she asked. “Truth is, I go to the office from time to time, especially when really needed,” he explained. “Pero sabi ni Liza naka-indefinite leave ka?” “That’s what I instructed her.” “Ang sama mo talaga!” said Maya as she slapped Richard on his arm.
Richard just laughed and hugged her from her left side, placing his chin on top of her left shoulder. “Di ba sabi ko naman sayo, I needed to be sure of myself. It’s all worth it naman eh,” smiled Richard. Maya moved a little to look at Richard. For a couple of seconds, she simply stared back at him. “What?” he asked. Maya didn’t answer but just continued to stare at him. “Angel?” he asked. Maya smiled. “Para kasing.. Sigurado ka ba talaga sa lahat ng ito?” Richard laughed once again. “You mean after all my efforts you still doubt my feelings for you?” “Hindi naman sa ganon. Kaya lang. Para kasing panaginip lang ang lahat. Baka naman nga nananaginip lang ako? Pwede mo ba akong kurutin para makasiguro?” Laughing some more, “You’re so silly my Angel! Believe me. You’re not dreaming,” he said as he looked intently in her eyes.
“Eh pero kahit na. Sige na. Kurutin mo nalang ako,” pleaded Maya. “Hmm. I have a much better idea,” said Richard as he smiled at Maya and cupped her face. Slowly he moved his face towards hers and as his lips finally met hers, he gave her a long lingering kiss. As they finally broke off, foreheads leaned against each other, “So now naniniwala ka ng hindi ka talaga nanaginip?” smiled Richard. Maya simply blushed and nodded in response. Richard then gathered her in his arms once more, “I love you my angel. That’s for real. Hindi panaginip ang lahat,” he assured once more.
As the day progressed, they both decided to go to a movie house. “The Conjuring? Are you sure about it? Tungkol ba saan ang story non?” asked Richard as they’re on their way to buy their tickets. “Hindi ko rin nga alam eh. Plano kasi talaga namin ni Emman na panoorin yun. Sabi niya maganda daw at a must see film of the year daw. Nung tinatanong ko kung tungkol saan, hindi naman niya sinasabi. Basta maganda daw yun, yun lang sinabi niya.” “But are you sure na yun ang gusto mong panoorin? Baka may iba kang gusto?” asked Richard. Maya simple shook her head. “Ok na siguro yan. Wala din akong maisip na ibang movie eh.”
As they finally have the tickets in hand, they immediately went inside the cinema, unknown to each one what the story really is about. A couple of minutes after the movie started, Richard felt Maya squeezing herself on his side while hugging his arm tight. “Are you ok my angel?” he asked as he turned to look at her. He can see that Maya’s been frightened by the scenes on the movie. “Eh hindi naman kasi sinabi ni Emman na horror pala ito! Nakakatakot kaya!” said a terrified Maya. Richard tried to suppress his laugh. He then placed his arm around Maya’s shoulders and pulled her close to him. Maya, in return, rested his head on his shoulder. Whenever a frightening or jumpy scene occurs, Maya lets out a shriek as she instinctively buries her face on Richard’s chest while her hand tightly holds on to his shirt, much to the latter’s delight. Instead of concentrating on the movie, Richard simply looked at Maya the whole time, amused at how she’s acting.
As they finally came out of the cinema, “O bakit parang inis na inis ka?” Richard asked. With furrowed brows and pouted lips, “Eh nakakainis kasi si Emman eh! Hindi sinabing horror pala yang The Conjuring na yan! Maganda daw at a must see yun pala tatakutin lang ako!” said a thoroughly irritated Maya. Seeing her like this made Richard laugh. “At talagang pinagtatawanan mo pa ako!” she said but Richard simply continued to laugh. “Honey naman eh! Nakakainis ka!” said Maya pouting her lips more.
Richard was a bit taken aback by her endearment. He looked at her for a while then said, “What did you call me?” Maya suddenly felt unsure as shyness slowly crept its way to her system. Seeing Maya’s hesitation, Richard tilted her chin, looked at her in the eyes, then ever so sweetly he asked, “Did I hear you right? You already have an endearment for me my angel?” Maya simple nodded her head. “Can I hear it again?” “Eh naco-conscious ako!” blushed Maya. Richard let out a soft laugh, “Sige na. Please?” pleaded Richard as he continue to smile sweetly at her. “Ok, honey!” she said immediately then tried to turn her head away, avoiding his gaze as she felt her cheeks blush even more.
Richard touched her chin and gently turned her head to meet his gaze. “Angel, you don’t have to be shy about it. I totally love it,” he said, smiling sweetly. He collected her in his arms, giving her a warm assuring hug. “Talaga?” she asked as she hugs him back. “Yup! I love it. And I know you have a reason for coming up with something like that?” Maya grinned then said, “You’re just so sweet! Ikaw na yata ang pinaka sweet na lalaking nakilala ko eh!” Richard simply laughed at Maya’s response. “Hay Angel. You just don’t know how much I surprise myself as well.” Bewildered, Maya asked him what he actually meant.
“Let’s just say that I’m not naturally sweet,” then looking directly in her eyes, “but with you, I feel like I can be anything. I can be the sweetest guy for you. I can be the most caring, the most thoughtful, the best in everything, just for you my angel. Do you know that you have the magic to lure these things out of me like a natural reaction whenever you’re around?”
Maya was rendered speechless. As she felt blush creeping up her cheeks, she immediately covered her face with her hands and buried her face on his chest. Amused with her reaction, Richard laughed some more. “What?” “Eh honey naman eh! Gusto mo yata talagang matunaw ako eh!” replied Maya. “Matunaw? Bakit naman?” bemused by what Maya’s trying to say. Still leaning on his chest, “Eh kasi naman. Grabe ka na kayang magpakilig! Hindi na nga ako makahinga sa pagpapakilig mo eh!” she said, playfully giving him a slap on his chest which simply earned a laugh from Richard.
“So where to now? It’s still early,” said Richard. “Umm. I don’t know. Gusto mo mag-lakad lakad nalang tayo dito sa mall?” suggested Maya. “Ok,” smiled Richard. Hands entwined, they strolled around the mall. By 4PM they decided to spend their time inside a coffee shop. As they got their orders and settled themselves inside, “So Angel. Alam na ba nila Nanay Teresita ang tungkol sa atin?” he asked. “Oo nga pala! Teka lang at tatawagan ko sila,” said Maya. She then grabbed her phone and started calling Kute.
“Kute!” exclaimed Maya as she heard Kute answer on the other end. “O bunso! Napatawag ka?” “Umm. Wala naman. Mangangamusta lang. Sila Nanay nga pala anjan ba?” “Oo. Eto at katabi ko. Andito kami sa sala ngayon at nagpapahinga lang saglit,” explained Kute. “Ah. May gusto kasi sana akong sabihin sa inyo ni Nanay eh,” said Maya as she looked at Richard for some encouragement. Richard gave her a reassuring smile and held her free hand. “O sige. I-speaker phone na kita bunso para madinig ni Nanay ang sasabihin mo.”
As the phone was placed on speaker, “Hello Nak! Kumusta ka na jan?” Nay Teresita asked. “Ok naman po ako nay. Kayo po nila Mamang, kumusta?” “Ok naman nak. Mabuti naman kaming lahat dito. O eh ano ba yung nadinig ko kanina na may gusto ka daw sabihin sa amin?” “Ah ano kasi Nay. Ah. Kami na po ni Richard,” said Maya. “Teka Nak. Panong kayo na?” “Ano nay. Boyfriend ko na po si Richard.” “Ano??!” exclaimed Nanay Teresita and Kute in unison.
By 6PM, they decided to drop by a restaurant to take out some food and decided to have their dinner at Emman’s condo. By 7:30, they finally reached the condo and started having their dinner. Shortly after dinner, Maya prepared two cups of coffee and brought them to the living room. The two sat beside each other at the sofa, cuddled. As Richard was playing with Maya’s hand, “So you have a flight tomorrow?”he asked. “Yup! May flight ako ng 11AM bound to France.” “So when will you be back?” “On Sunday,” she said. “Wait. So you’ll be gone for four days?” “Eh ganun na nga. Aside from the travel time, we have a two days stay before going back to Manila,” explained Maya. With her back against him, Richard pulled her closer against him for a hug.
“I surely am going to miss you my angel,” said Richard as he planted a kiss on her head. Maya let out a chuckle. “Ma-mi-miss din kita honey ko,” she said as she hold the arms embracing her. They were in that position when Emman suddenly came in. “Roomie! I’m ho- Oh my pink walls!” exclaimed Emman as he saw Richard & Maya cuddled on the sofa. Maya immediately tried to straighten up upon seeing Emman. “Hi Emman!” greeted Maya trying to be casual and hiding her embarrassment. “Hi Roomie! Hello Mr. Lim!” “Hi Emman!” greeted Richard. “Ah sige. Maiwan ko po muna kayo. Doon lang po muna ako sa kwarto ko,” said Emman then turned around to proceed to his room.
“Nakakahiya!” said Maya, trying so hard to cover her face using her hands as she was already blushing furiously. Richard simply laughed and gathered Maya once more in his arms. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of my angel. Besides we are already in a relationship. It’s just normal for couples to cuddle saka wala naman tayong ginagawang masama,” reasoned Richard. “Eeeeeiii!! Basta! Nakakahiya parin!” said Maya, still covering her face. Laughing some more, “You’re so cute when you get embarrassed you know that?” “Honey naman eh!” said Maya.
“Ok, ok. I’ll stop na.” As Maya finally calmed down, Richard held her face and gazed at her eyes. “Angel, you don’t have to be ashamed of anything. It’s just normal for two people in love to show their affection to one another. To show how much they love each other, hm?” “Eh kasi nakakahiya lang kay Emman,” said Maya shyly. Smiling sweetly at her, “I know he’ll understand.”
After another hour, Richard finally decided to go back home. “Ihahatid kita bukas sa airport Angel ko ha?” said Richard. “Hindi ka na naman papasok sa office?” “I might drop by for a while” “Pero honey ko –“ “No more buts my angel. Just let me do this for you ok?” cut Richard. Letting out a sigh, “Fine! Hindi naman talaga ako mananalo sa’yo eh.” Richard simply grinned at her. “Mag-iingat ka sa pag-drive ha? Text mo ako pagdating mo sa bahay,” reminded Maya. “Yes Angel ko. I’ll be extra careful and I’ll text you once I reached home,” replied Richard. Hugging Maya tight, “I love you Angel ko,” he said. “I love you too honey ko,” she said as she hugged him in return.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay with you tonight?” he asked. Confused with his sudden question, “Huh? Bakit naman?” she asked. “Baka kasi mapanaginipan mo yung pinanood natin kanina at matakot ka na naman!” teased Richard, chuckling at the thought. “Ang sama mo talaga!” said Maya, slapping Richard playfully on his chest. “Sige na umuwi ka na. Ingat ka ha.” “I will.” Richard gave her a quick kiss on her lips then turned around to leave.