Admin Note: This is a continuation to Restless – Chapter 3.
Chapter 4 – Rendezvous
“Let’s have lunch?” Maya asked as she cheerfully looked at him. “My treat.” She said and unconsciously looped her arm through his. She was so happy to finally accomplish something today after going around in circles the whole morning. They found the gourmet stall in Orchard after going through the hassle of finding their way by public transportation.
Richard nodded, and secretly smiled as he looks at Maya’s hand unconsciously clinging on his arm – it all seems natural that she instinctively reached out to him as if she’d known him for the longest time.
“What do you want to eat?” Maya inquired, as they strolled on the long stretch of Orchard road.
“You.” Richard replied, his thoughts naughtily taking a different direction as he gazed at the woman beside him. They’re physically matched – they simply fit together.
“Me? Well, I’d like to eat a good local dish here.” Maya replied and looked at him, her eyebrows drawn together in a confused expression,
She found it odd that Richard looked at her with a warm and tender light on his eyes; And his last remark seems to contain a meaning that tells her that he could be very dangerous for her peace of mind.
Dangerous? She stole a swift apprehensive glance at his attractive profile, and her features relaxed into a faint smile. Her instinct had never let her down before, and she knows instinctively that she was not in any physical danger. She set aside her assuming thoughts, and resolved to enjoy the rest of the day in his company.
The next couple of hours passed in a delightful blur. They went in and out of the malls, checking out some food stalls, looking at the sights and shops while talking companionably about everything and nothing.
“Here it is! Lunch.” Richard pointed at one of the eatery in the mall. They went at each food stalls, and finally decided to get some variety of dim sum, and barbecued chicken.
“I’ll get this” Maya volunteered, and quickly paid the cashier before Richard can even pull out his wallet.
He laughed at her quickness, and eagerness to pay for their lunch, and jokingly said, “Whatever happened to chivalry?”
“It’s dead, but you can take this tray of food to that empty table2 to make up for it. I’ll get a drink for us. Coke? Juice? Anything?” Maya smiled at him sweetly as she waited on his preference for drinks.
“Coke will do.” Richard replied, placing, and arranging the food on the table. He smiled at the novelty of what he’s doing since morning – malling, window shopping, carrying a tray of food, letting a woman pay for his meal. If one of his business colleague found out about this, there’ll be no stopping them from teasing him. The great and mighty Richard Lim, President/Owner of a big company, tending to himself, and looking domesticated – the only thing he lacks is an apron.
All weird to him, and yet, he was surprisingly happy.
He can’t count how many times he’s been in Singapore, but this is actually his first time that he’d enjoy the country – It’s like seeing this place for the first time in his life.
Maya came back with their drinks, and seated beside Richard. She opened both cans of coke and handed one to him.
“Let’s eat. I didn’t realize I was hungry until now.” She glanced at Richard, and found him observing her with an indulgent expression.
Ignoring his gaze, she picked up the chopstick and took a piece of Siomai but instead of eating, she offered it to him.
“Say ah…” She demanded, her eyes impishly twinkling as she waited for him to open his mouth.
Richard was surprise at her candidness, and almost choke a laugh at the way she’s offering the food as if she’s planning to shove the whole piece into his mouth. He indulged her and deviously thought of doing the same to her.
As expected, Maya shoved the whole Siomai into his mouth, and pretended to be serious, exerting all her effort not to laugh at his expression as he chewed the food.
“My turn.…” Richard grinned at her, taking the whole chunk of chicken feet with a chopstick, and offered it to her. “Here… Say, ah…”
“Seriously?” Maya gasped and giggled helplessly looking at the chicken feet as Richard waved it to her in a chopstick. “Can you at least make it into a small bites? Nakaka walang poise yan.”
“Hmmm, let me think about it first.”
And then, they both burst out laughing at the hilarity of the situation. It took them awhile to settle with their mischief before they quietly resumed eating – both with their own fond thoughts of each other.
“What are your plans later?” Richard drawled smoothly as he leaned back in his seat, and studied her speculatively.
Maya’s heart took a somersault at his question that she asked cautiously, “What do you have in mind?”
“How about dinner? This time, my treat.”
Maya hesitated, and struggled on a decision. On the other hand, he has been a gentlemen since this morning and no matter how much she wanted to deny it, her instinct was to trust him completely.
“Fair enough.” Maya smiled. “I’ve nothing to do anyway, and I would enjoy a company instead of mopping myself inside the hotel and eating takeouts.”
“Great. We still have time to go around the famous sites here before dinner.” Richard stood up, and held his right hand to her. “Let’s go?”
Maya alternately look at him and his upheld hand to her as if it will sting. He seemed boyish and mischievous as he continued to look at her, and she realized that it wasn’t fear that made her pulse beat faster. She was caught in a flurry of excitement discovering for the first time that she was attracted to him – big time.
She drew a deep breath, and unhurriedly took his hand. To her surprise, Richard interlaced his fingers with her, which made her stomach churn and heart beat a little faster than usual. She felt warm all over at the intimate way he’s holding her hand. She tried to ignore the feeling, and focus on enjoying the adventure.
The rest of the afternoon was spent site seeing, strolling around the famous sites. They went to museums; went on bus tours – hopping in and out to places like China Town, Little India, Esplanade, and Clark Quay. Maya bought souvenirs while Richard look on, indulging at her every whim. He was very patient, waiting on her, not complaining at all even when she asked him to take photos of her.
From a spectators’ point of view, they look like a happy couple on a date or on a honeymoon in a foreign country.