This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 23.
It took Richard fifteen minutes to complete the clearance and settle Abby’s bill. As soon as it was done, he went to the ER section to fetch his daughter.
On their way out, they passed by Joey who was standing beside a counter talking to Maya.
“Joey, thank you.” Richard extended his hand for a handshake which the other guy took. As their eyes met, the handshake turned into more than appreciation between a doctor and patient. There was a silent agreement that may the best man win Maya’s heart.
“Maya, we’re going.” Richard stated as he turned to Maya. He was looking at her intently hoping she read in between the line that she was supposed to go with him.
“I can take her home.” Joey countered. His stance challenging.
Maya eyes darted from Joey to Richard. It became another awkward moment for the three of them. She knew that she needed to make a decision as she felt the tension between the two.
“Joey, kay Ricky na lang ako sasabay. Anyway, papunta kami sa isang bahay.” Maya told Joey who had disappointed look on his face with her decision.
In the end he said, “Okay, I’ll call you later.”
Richard walked out of the ER when he saw Joey put his arm on Maya’s shoulder with an intention to kiss her.
It was Manang Fe who opened the door when the four arrived at the house.
It was past eight in the evening. The old lady looked worried so Maya informed her that the Abby was okay and that she just needed to take some medicine as the doctor advised.
Since it was late, Manang Fe asked whether they eaten dinner and in chorus, they replied. “Not yet.”
Richard looked at Maya. “I thought you had dinner appointment.” Richard purposely didn’t mention Joey’s name.
“No, hindi pa nga kami nakaka-order, tumawag ka na.” Maya responded with a tone of disappointment.
“Sorry if I ruined your evening. I was just worried about Abby.” He explained. He felt hurt by her reaction.
“Ahh, hindi naman ako nagalit dahil tumawag ka. Buti nga you called up. Otherwise, we don’t know kung may nangyari kay Abby. Anyway, mag-dinner na tayo. I mean dito ka na mag dinner. Gabi na eh. Manang Fe, pa ready na lang po. ” Maya offered to Richard which the latter accepted.
Manang Fe left the two with a hidden smile in her face. In her thoughts, “hmm, gumaganda ang takbo ng storya nitong dalawa na ‘to.”
Before leaving, Richard checked on Abby and found that she was still awake and still playing with her nanny. When Abby saw him, she immediately went to him and wanted to be carried. It was one of those heart wrenching moments again when he would have to leave her. In the end, he chose to stay a little longer. He asked Doris to rest in her own room while he looks after the child.
After a few minutes of playing, Abby started to yawn. Seeing that, Richard placed her in the middle of the bed to prepare her to sleep. He laid down beside her with the intent to just keep her company until she’s sound asleep.
It was then that Maya entered the room. She was surprised that Richard was still there. She actually thought that he left without saying goodbye to her. She was already in her night clothes as she was about to go to bed herself.
“Ricky, akala ko umuwi ka na.” Maya went to the other side of the bed and checked on Abby’s temperature.
“Not yet, ayaw pa akong pauwiin nitong anak mo. So, sinasamahan ko muna.” Richard responded with a smile. He looked tired.
“Ganuun? Pwede mo munang hubarin ‘yang barong mo. Parang uncomfortable naman to lie down in that polo.” Maya suggested. “Matatagalan pa bago matulog ito. May habit kasi s’ya na kailangan mag pa antok pa s’ya. Pero once natulog na s’ay tuloy-tuloy na ‘yan. Kaya madalas, pwede na syang iwanan dito sa room on her own.”
Richard heeded her suggestion. As Maya saw him take off his polo, she thought whether she made the right suggestion. Richard looked sexy in his white undershirt that emphasized his wide chest and biceps. She remembered
how it was to be enveloped by those strong arms. She had to look away as she felt herself blushing.
Richard returned to his side of the bed while Maya remained on the other side. Both of them continued watching over Abby who kept on turning as she was trying to go to sleep.
Eventually, Richard also fell asleep with his hand over the leg of their child. Maya looked at the father and daughter sleeping side by side. A familial emotion overcame her as she gazed at them lovingly. She then pulled the comforter up to cover them. She continued observing the two until she also dozed off peacefully.
It was already 9:00 a.m., but Richard and Maya were still sleeping under the comforter. As they slept soundly, they were not aware that Abby had crawled out of bed earlier and started to play.
Manang Fe, who usually checks on Abby first thing in the morning, saw the little girl playing on the floor while her parents were still asleep. She was pleasantly surprised to find the two in bed together. As she was in favor of the developments between the two, she didn’t wake them up.
Abby smiled when she looked up to Manang Fe. In her thoughts, “ang bait naman ng batang ito, hindi nang gising ng daddy at mommy n’ya.” She then took Abby’s hand and brought her outside for breakfast.
Richard was still half-asleep when he felt a warm body move against his chest. He was slightly disoriented when he woke wondering where he was.
Then, he felt an arm move around his waist.
Richard’s eyes widely opened when he looked down and found Maya staring back at him. She too has just woken up. Both of them had a shocked expression on their faces. Immediately they sat up and said “Si Abigail?”
Maya quickly got out of the bed and left the room to search for the little girl. When she was outside, she was relieved to find that she was already playing with Doris at the lanai area. Maya then went to her own room to take a bath. On her way to the room, she met Manang Fe who had a meaninful smile on her face. Maya suspected she saw them this morning but it wasn’t something she would want to discuss with the elder lady. Instead, she requested Manang Fe to prepare breakfast for them.
Richard remained in the Abby’s room after he put on his polo shirt. He picked up his phone to check on the time. It was 9:30 a.m. and he overslept. He had several missed calls from Ryan. Since his phone was on mute, he didn’t hear the calls. He missed their 8:00 a.m. court appearance.
“Bro. Sorry, what happened sa sala kanina?” He immediately called up Ryan.
“Richard, sa wakas! I’ve been trying to call you. Ano pang mangyayari eh di na postpone. If the lead counsel is missing what can we do.” Ryan explained.
“Pasens’ya na Ryan. I have no excuse other than I overslept. Dinala namin sa ER si Abby kagabi eh so medyo napagod ako.”
“Oh Bro, very domesticated ka na talaga. Kailan ba ang kasalan. Don’t tell me andyan ka pa sa Valle Verde?” Since the joint custody agreement has been signed between Maya and Richard, he had finally shared with his friend about their love story. Richard had kept it hidden from Ryan for two years too because Ryan has always been pro-Alex. It was actually Ryan who courted Alex in the earlier years but she ended up with Richard.
“Yes, I am still here. Paalis pa lang ako dito. I will need to go home first to change clothes. I will see you after lunch.” Richard was to end the call when Ryan teased him.
“Hmm, ‘wag ka ng pumasok bro. ‘Wag ka na rin kayang umuwi, anyway nakatulog ka dyan. You better stay there, baka magbago ang ihip ng hangin hindi ka uli papasukin sa kulambo.” Ryan was laughing as he teased his friend.
“Ryan, it’s not what you think. Anyway, got to go.” As Richard kept his phone in his pocket, he wished that what Ryan implied was true. If that happened, he really wouldn’t be going home anymore.
Richard and Maya were having breakfast in silence. Neither one of them wanted to start their conversation after they found themselves in bed together earlier. However, both of them were thinking about it. On Richard’s part, he found it quite amusing to wake up in that particular position.
Unable to bear the silence any longer, Richard spoke. “Maya, I’m sorry about this morning. I didn’t intend to sleep here. I was tired and…”
“Ricky, it’s okay. Ako din, pagod kasi ako kaya duon na rin ako
nakatulog.” She had recovered from the initial embarrassment of waking up with her arm around his waist.
Richard smiled. “Thank you…Hmmm… Actually, ang sarap ng tulog ko.” He stole a glance to see her reaction. He saw her blush slightly.
“Ricardo, please don’t start.” She anticipated the direction of their conversation. But Richard wouldn’t let go of the opportunity.
“What I meant was I felt good spending the night with you and Abby. We were like a family.” He continued. He was still smiling; his lopsided smile emphasized. In his heart, he wished he could do it for the rest of his life.
Maya didn’t respond but concentrated on her food. Strangely, she had same feeling as Richard mentioned. She too felt like they were a family last night. She had observed how Richard and Abby had become so close to each other. It didn’t matter that Richard missed many months of Abby’s life because the little girl had developed an attachment to him. She was becoming a daddy’s girl.
An hour later, Maya was seeing Richard out of the house with Abby in her arm. She made an offer to Richard that made his day extra special.
“Richard, tomorrow is Saturday di ba? Abby’s supposed to stay with you.”
“Yes, I will come and pick her up at the usual time.” When Richard was about to kiss Abby, the child wrapped an arm around his neck thus his face almost collided on Maya’s face; his lips few millimeters away from touching her face. Their eyes locked.
Maya recovered fast. She straightened her hold on the child. “Ahh, since kagagaling lang ni Abby sa sakit. Siguro she can just stay home muna. Pero, you can come here. May guest room naman di ba? Pwede kang mag-stay dito tomorrow. At saka, pwede ka ring matulog dito once in a while.”
Realizing the possibilities that came with the invitation, Richard smiled ear to ear; joy was evident on his eyes. In his thoughts, “Yes!! My chances are improving!”