Note: This is a continuation of The Art of Letting Go 27.
A/N: Disclaimer: Guys, I’ve never been to Paris yet so whatever you read in this chapter about Paris and the places therein, are solely dependent to Mr. Google! Haha! Please forgive any lapses with the info. God bless everyone!
Shortly after their brunch, Richard & Maya went to their respective rooms to change their outfits. Richard advised Maya to simply wear something comfortable as they will do a lot of walking. Maya then opted to wear a Rosa vintage beaded cotton blouse matched by skinny white pants. She simply wore a light make-up and let her hair hung freely down on her shoulders. Richard on the other hand opted to wear a long sleeved black striped polo paired with jeans.
As soon as he’s done prepping up, Richard immediately went to Maya’s room. As Maya opened the door for him, Richard cannot help but be mesmerized by the simple sophisticated elegance that Maya exudes. “Ok na ba itong suot ko?” she asked trying to get assurance from him. Richard gave her a reassuring smile, “It’s ok. It’s actually perfect. You are perfect!” he said. Maya simply let out a soft chuckle. “So let’s go?” said Richard as he took Maya’s hand and intertwined it with his.
“So saan ang first stop natin?” she asked. “We’ll be going to Musee d’Orsay.” “Musee d’Orsay?” “Yes. It’s a local museum here in Paris which boasts the best collection of Impressionist paintings in the world.” “Nakapunta ka na ba dun before?” “Yes. My parents brought me there before,” he said.
As they reached the said museum, they immediately went to the special entrance as Richard already had the tickets at hand. “Talagang pinaghandaan mo ito honey ko ha,” quipped Maya. Richard simply smiled and said, “Mahirap if we’ll only have our tickets today. Usually an hour or two ang waiting time just to have the tickets.” As they got inside the museum, Maya easily noticed the structural design of the building. “Dati ba itong railway station?” she asked. “Yup! This is a former railway station. The history of the museum, of its building is quite unusual. In the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself could be seen as the first “work of art” in the Musee d’Orsay, which displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.” “Alam mo lahat ng yun?” surprised by his thorough knowledge of the building. Richard simply laughed and said, “Just read it somewhere before.”
As they tour around the museum, Maya cannot help but be in awe of the beauty of each masterpiece that she’s seeing from side to side. Whether be it a painting, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, graphic arts, or architecture. She may know nothing about art but she was completely amazed by everything laid before her very eyes. Richard, on the other hand, was completely satisfied seeing the awestruck reaction on her face.
“You like it?” he asked. “Grabe honey. Ang ganda! Parang kahit saan ka tumingin dito, lahat ng makikita mo puro magaganda,” said Maya in complete awe. “I know. Pero wala ng mas gaganda pa sa nakikita ko.” Turning her attention to Richard, she noticed that he was gazing at her the whole time. Realizing what he was pertaining to, Maya felt blood rushing up her cheeks. “And she looks even more adorable when she blush,” added Richard. “Honey naman eh!” said Maya, trying to hide her embarrassment. “What? I’m just telling the truth my Angel.” Richard then tilted Maya’s chin and gazed intently in her eyes, making the latter feel like her soul is bared for Richard to behold. “You’re far more beautiful than all of these works of art combined,” he said, making Maya blush profusely.
Richard & Maya continued to see the rest of the works of art inside the museum. Maya stopped in front of a particular painting that caught her eye. As she gaze intently at it, “This is La nuit étoilée (Starry Night) by Vincent Van Gogh,” explained Richard. “I’ve heard of Van Gogh before. He’s mostly famous because of his troubled mind,” replied Maya. Richard simply chuckled at Maya’s response.
“Ang sweet nila honey o,” said Maya as she continue to gaze at the said painting. Richard saw that Maya was pertaining to the lovers at the bottom of the canvas. “Under a star filled sky,” she said. Richard simply smiled all along. They stayed at the museum for a couple of hours more and left by 5:30 in the afternoon.
“So saan na ang next stop natin?” asked Maya eagerly. “That’s something for you to find out,” smiled Richard. As Richard & Maya went back to the rented car, Richard informed the driver to bring them to Port de la Bourdonnais. It was already dark when they finally reached their destination. “Perfect,” Richard thought to himself. Richard helped Maya get out of the car. As Maya checked her surroundings, she immediately saw the Eiffel Tower. “So sa Eiffel Tower ang next stop natin?” “Not exactly. But we’ll be going there later.” “Huh? Eh so saan tayo pupunta ngayon?” asked by a confused Maya. Richard simply smiled back in response and ushered Maya towards the entrance of Bateaux Parisiens.
Richard stopped in front of a luxurious yacht. They were greeted by a French guy who is also the captain of the said yacht. “Good evening sir, madam. Welcome aboard Jacques Cartier. I’ll be your captain for the night, Captain Jean de Vienne. If you may, let’s please all go inside so we can start our tour.” Richard simply gave the captain a nod and ushered Maya inside the yacht.
As they both got inside the yacht, Maya easily noticed the romantic atmosphere that filled the whole yacht. She saw red rose petals scattered all over the floor, a round dining table set-up in the middle with three candles on its centre. As she went deeper inside, she saw musicians playing violins and cielo at the corner. She was simply in awe and overwhelmed by everything that she’s seeing. As she turned around, she saw Richard smiling at her.
“Pinlano mong lahat ito?” she asked. “Yes. I know that it’s better to experience Paris at night and it’s more romantic if we’ll have a cruise at Seine River. So I arranged for a private dinner cruise. You liked it?” he asked. Maya was simply overwhelmed by everything that it brought tears to her eyes. Her immediate reaction was to go to Richard and hug him tight. “Sobra sobra na ito honey ko,” she said, as tear welled up in her eyes. “It’s nothing my Angel compared to everything you’ve taught and given me. I’m willing to give anything to you my Angel, just to show you how special you are to me,” he said with utmost sincerity.
As Maya broke off from the embrace, she immediately wiped the tears from her eyes. She then touched Richard’s face, and as she gaze intently into his eyes, “I love you honey ko! You just don’t know how happy I am. You never fail to make me feel so special.” “Because you are special,” replied Richard. As he cupped Maya’s face and looked intently in her eyes, “You’re very special my Angel. You deserve all the best and nothing but the best,” smiling warmly at her, “I love you,” he said then lowered his lips to meet hers and as their lips finally touched, they shared a long passionate kiss.
Richard ushered Maya to the top deck of the yacht. Maya leaned on the yacht’s railing while Richard hugged her from behind, resting his head on her left shoulder. As the yacht moved around Seine River, Richard served Maya’s tour guide, pointing out the different landmarks that they pass.
“Alam mo honey, tama ka.” “Hm?” “Mas maganda ngang ma-experience ang Paris at night,” she said. Richard simply let out a soft chuckle and held her tight. “You like it so far?” “Hindi lang like. I love it. Sobrang ganda kaya! At sobra sobra ng nakaka-overwhelm ang surprises mo,” chuckled Maya. “You remember that Starry Night painting by Van Gogh?” “Yup! Hindi ko makakalimutan yun. Ang ganda and romantic kaya nun,” she said. “You know what, if I can only bring Van Gogh back to life, I would. And I would ask him to do a canvass of us.”
Maya simply let out a soft laugh. “Alam mo honey, we really don’t need a painting para lang ma-document kung gaano ka-romantic and unforgettable ang gabing ito. Nakatatak na ito sa puso ko. It doesn’t have to take a Van Gogh to create a canvass of us, it only takes you and me to complete the canvass set inside our hearts,” said Maya. “So mas romantic pa ito sa Starry Night painting ni Van Gogh?” Laughing softly, “Yes honey ko. Mas romantic pa ito sa Starry Night ni Van Gogh. Mas romantic ka pa sa kanya,” assured Maya.
As they reached Pont de Archevêché, Richard signalled the Captain to stop. Richard helped Maya alight the boat and walked her towards the bridge. “Love Locks?” asked Maya. “Yes! Siyempre our trip wouldn’t be complete if hindi tayo maglalagay di ba?” he said. Richard got from his pocket a padlock with which both their names were engraved. “I had our names engraved on it,” he said. Then he asked Maya to help him put the lock on the bridge. Hand in hand, they locked their love lock on the bridge with a promise of forever to one another.
As they got back to the yacht, they then decided to have their dinner. “Honey, thanks for everything. I really can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful and romantic evening.” “We’re not yet done,” he said. “Huh? Meron pa tayong pupuntahan?” “Yup! We have another stop,” grinned Richard. “Saan naman?” asked Maya but Richard simply smiled at her.
After two hours of cruising around Seine River, they finally returned to their point of origin. Richard assisted Maya in alighting the yacht and directed her towards the Eiffel Tower. Smiling at him, “So this is our next stop? Eiffel Tower?” “Yes. I don’t think our Parisian experience will ever be complete without visiting the Eiffel Tower,” replied Richard.
With hands entwined, the two walked their way towards the Eiffel tower. Richard ushered Maya towards the observation deck. Looking at the horizon, Maya saw a breath taking scenery of floodlit bridges, churches, and other landmarks in the glittering Parisian landscape.
“Ang ganda!” muttered Maya. She then instinctively closed her eyes to feel the cool evening breeze. “Angel? Remember what you told me back in San Nicholas?” Trying to recall what it could be, “Ano yun?” she asked. “Nung nag-camping tayo sa burol. You told me kahit gaano pa kaganda o kasikat ang isang lugar, kung hindi ko rin naman kasama yung mga taong gusto kong makasama, o mga taong mahal ko, balewala din.” “Ah yun. O bakit?” smiled Maya. Richard smiling warmly at her, “You were right,” said Richard as he gathered Maya in his arms. “I’ve been here a couple of times before. Been here for work, at times just to see the place. But I never enjoyed it this much. Ngayon ko lang siya na-enjoy ng ganito,” explained Richard.
“Ako din naman honey ko eh. Every time na napupunta kami dito pag may flight, nasasabi ko lang na maganda siya pero may kulang. Kasi hahanap-hanapin mo at lagi mong hihilingin na sana kasama mo yung mga mahal mo sa buhay para hindi lang ikaw yung nag-e-enjoy ng ganda ng paligid. Para may ka-share ka sa happiness mo,” said Maya.
“So is this a new feeling for you as well?” asked Richard. “Oo naman! Ngayon ko lang na-enjoy ng sobra at na-appreciate ang Paris and all thanks to you honey ko. Kung hindi dahil sa’yo, hindi magiging memorable at hindi ko malulubos yung Parisian experience na sinasabi nila. At dahil andito ka sa tabi ko, naniniwala na ako na Paris is the most romantic place in the world,” said Maya.
Richard simply let out a soft laugh. “Paris is a romantic place. A place suitable for lovers like us,” said Richard. Cupping her face and gazing intently in her eyes, “But any place in this world, whether be it here in Paris, in San Nicholas, in my house, at Emman’s condo, o kahit saang lugar pa, as long as you’re with me my angel, that is the most romantic place in the world, basta kasama kita,” he said. Maya felt her cheeks blush but Richard continued to hold his gaze on her. “And no matter how breath taking the scenery is, or no matter how beautiful a canvass is, you my angel, you’re far more beautiful and special than any of those.” With that, he gave Maya another long lingering kiss.