Note: This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 24
Buzzz. Buzzz. Buzzz.
An overly excited Richard was waiting at the front door of Maya’s house early Saturday morning. As usual, he had flowers with him but for the second time in the same week, they were red roses. He had always known that she loved red roses. And after declaring his love for her, he thought he planned on giving her those flowers until she finally accepts him back. On his other hand, he was carrying a brown package.
Maya opened the door and smiled upon seeing Richard. He looked handsome as always but he had a different aura that morning, he looked so happy.
“Good morning, Miss beautiful.” He handed her the flowers.
“Good morning, mukhang maganda ang gising mo, ah.” She let him inside the house. “Ricky, may dala ka na namang bulaklak. You don’t have to this weekly. Wala namang okasyon, ah.” She noted they were red, similar to what he gave last Thursday. In the previous weeks, it was always assorted colors. But while she appreciated the flowers, she was conscious of the expenses he must be incurring with all the flowers he has been giving her.
“No, I want to do this.” He responded and then followed up with. “May occasion, kaya. Today is the inaguaration day of the guest room.” He was smiling.
“Anong inauguration?” She quizzical look on her face.
“Didn’t you say I can sleep over here and stay sa guest room. That’s the big opening event. Malay ko, next time, may iba pang magbukas dito.” He looked straight in her eyes conveying his message of love to her. His eyes were twinkling.
Her heart skipped at bit. She understood what he meant with flowers and his words, but she fended him off.
“Ricardo, ha, ang aga-aga, eh. Anyway, mabalik ako dito sa flowers. Magastos kasi kaya sinasabi ko sa’yo it’s not necessary.” She redirected their conversation back to the flowers.
Richard sighed. “Maya, isang tanong lang. Do you the like flowers or not?” His eyes were still focused on her.
She felt suddenly conscious. “Ah… eh… gusto.” She finally said.
“Yun naman pala. That’s settled then. Let’s go. I brought something else for you.” He took her hand and steered her towards the dining room.
“O ano naman ‘to?” Maya asked as Richard took out takeout bowls.
“I bought champorado with tuyo. I remember you love this so I picked these up at Max’s this morning. Pwede siguro si Abigail nito ‘no?” He excitedly arranged the food on top of the table.
Maya got excited. “Yes, pwede. She likes it too. O teka, kukuha ako ng mga bowls sa kitchen.” As she turned, she muttered “ ‘tong mamang singkit na ‘to, ang aga-aga kung manligaw.”
She only realized that Richard heard her when he retorted from behind. “I heard that.”
When she returned with the bowls and spoons moments later, he was grinning while he was seated on the chair.
It prompted her to ask. “Oh, bakit pangisi-ngisi ka d’yan? Baka mahipan ka ng hangin maging permanent ‘yan sige.”
“Masaya lang ako. I just I realized na naramramdaman mo na naman pala.” He was still smiling that was starting to make blush.
“Ang alin?” She had an inkling what he meant but she didn’t want to assume. She started to set-up the table. When she reached his side, Richard took her hand and pulled her which caused her to lose her balance. She landed on his lap.
He wrapped his arms around her and in almost a whisper said, “I love you. I want you back.”
It was as if an electric shock went thru her body that she quickly stood up and put a distance between them. “Richard, you know I have a boyfriend.”
She reminded him but wondered whether that reminder was really for him or for her.
“Oucch!!” was all Richard could say.
If breakfast time was spent in a jovial atmosphere, it changed when Maya was about to leave for her Saturday classes. .
Richard volunteered to bring her to school. However, Maya declined. It was then he found out that Joey was coming over to fetch and bring her to school himself before going to his clinic.
When Richard invited her for dinner, his offer was again declined. Since the dinner was postponed on the night Abby got sick, Joey and Maya had planned on dinner date later that Saturday evening.
In the end, Richard didn’t push for his own agenda. He also didn’t feel like seeing her go with Joey so he stayed in the guest room feigning he was fixing his things until Joey and Maya left for school.
Joey weaved through the traffic around Eastwood city with ease to ensure that Maya arrived at U.P. on time. During the ride, they shared stories about school, clinic and Abby. Before, Maya got off the car Joey surprised her with an invitation.
“By the way, Maya. I’ve decided to attend the annual pediatrician’s convention. Sa Cebu sa gagawin next week. It starts on Wednesday and ends on Friday. I was thinking you might want to join me.”
“Ha? Anong gagawin ko duon? I am not a doctor.” She quickly responded.
Joey was amused by her response. With a smile on his face, he clarified his intention “I didn’t mean for you to actually join the convention. We can be together in the evenings and the weekend after the conference.”
It took a while before Joey’s invitation finally sanked in. “Ehh, Joey, I’m not sure I can do that. Si Abby. I’ve never been away from her ng ganuong kalayo. At saka evenings? Weekend?” She wasn’t sure if she’d like to be with him on that length of time and just by themselves.
“Maya, I hope we can spend time na tayo lang. Please think it over, okay?” Joey didn’t want to lose hope from her initial response.
“Okay, sige. I have to go now. See you later.” Maya quickly got out of the car.
For the rest of the day, Maya focused on her classes and research assignment at the library. She didn’t think about the invitation until much later in the afternoon when Joey’s car stopped at the Law Center building to pick her up.
“So, how did your research work go?” Joey inquired as soon as Maya took her seat on the car.
“Okay naman. I’ll just need to consult someone to make sure that I making the right analogy on the case study I am working on.” Maya was thinking of Richard and planned to discuss with him her assignment when she arrives home.
“Where do you want to have dinner? Any preference?” Joey switched the topic to their dinner date.
“I’d like to go for Japanese food tonight, if you don’t mind.” Maya responded. “At saka, dyan na lang sa may Eastwood para malapit sa pag-uwi.”
“Alright, your wish is my command.” Joey drove to the direction of C-5.
Their dinner went well but right after Joey settled their tab, Maya asked to be brought back home. For some reason, she wanted to be in the comforts of her home. When his car finally stopped in front of her house, Joey made a comment that she couldn’t ignore.
“Aren’t you going to invite me in? I’d love to have your coffee.” It was a tender request that Maya couldn’t reject. So, she agreed and let him in the house.
As she opened the door, she prayed that the two men will not see each other inside the house. She didn’t tell that Joey that Richard would be in the house that night. She left him at the lanai while she quickly prepared coffee for him. After a few minutes, she returned with the coffee and muffins that she baked herself. She knew that he also liked her orange muffin.
They sat side by side at the sofa while the snacks were on the coffee table in front of them. They have just briefly started their conversation around their common friends when Joey brought up the Cebu trip again.
“Maya, if you like, you can bring one of your friends to the convention or you can bring Abby and her yaya.” He offered. By giving that suggestion, Maya recognized that Joey was serious about having a vacation with her.
“Naku, I don’t think Abby will be okay to travel. Alam mo naman hindi pa s’ya nakatravel outside of Manila. Anyway, weekends is devoted to her father. So, I don’t think Richard would allow her to travel.” She didn’t want to encourage the topic further.
Unfortunately, Joey thought the mention of Richard’s arrangement with her presented him a stronger argument to his proposition.
“Oh, since Abby will be with Richard anyway. Then, you wouldn’t have to worry if you leave her, right?” He paused for a while and then threw in another idea. “So, let’s do it like this. If you really don’t want to be away too long, you can leave Manila Saturday morning and we can return on Sunday evening. It will give us 2 days and 1 night. What do you think?” It was the best option that he could think of at that moment.
Maya evaluated Joey’s latest suggestion. Technically, she will be away on the night that Abby will be with her dad so it really didn’t matter whether she would be in Manila or in Cebu.
“Ahmm, parang that’s better compared dun sa earlier suggestion mo. Okay, I think possible na akong makasama.” She finally agreed as she didn’t want to disappoint a very hopeful Joey after he made a new suggestion.
“Yes, thank you.” Joey was so glad that he hugged Maya tightly. She hugged him back. They stayed like that for a few seconds.
As Joey felt Maya’s hands on his back, his breathing changed. He adjusted himself such that he could look into her eyes. Then, he uttered. “’Love you, Babe.” Slowly, he kissed her on the lips.
Maya was aware of what was happening and she let Joey kissed her. However, as his lips touched her lips, she felt a strange feeling. She felt uneasy being kissed by him to the point that she was flinching backwards. When she opened her mouth to say something, Joey interpreted it as allowing him full access to her mouth and so he deepened the kiss. Maya felt so uncomfortable that she began to gently push him away. But he didn’t stop.
As a last recourse, Maya ducked her head and pushed him hard. Then, they heard a loud banging sound from somewhere in the house. It was only then Joey stopped. Although, both were initially distracted by the sound, the event that just happened between them was more pressing that they ignored where the loud sound came from.
“I’m sorry, babe.” Joey straightened up. Then, elbows on his knees and hands on his head, he explained. “Sorry, I got carried away. I don’t know why I’m feeling this but I’m missing you.” He couldn’t look at her in eyes embarrassed by what transpired earlier.
“Joey, sorry din, I pushed you. I’m not ready with to be in that level of relationship with you.” Maya felt guilty that she couldn’t respond in a way expected of her. They have kissed before but it was the first time that she couldn’t reciprocate the kiss. It was almost sinful to her.
“I better get going.” Joey stood up to leave. They walked in silence up to the gate.
“Maya, I hope your plan to join me in Cebu won’t change because of what happened earlier.” Joey asked before he entered his car. His eyes still apologetic.
“I will work on the schedule. I have a Saturday class and I have to make sure that Abby is taken care of. Other than that, don’t worry about what happened earlier. I understand.” Maya assured him. Somehow, she trusts that he will not force himself on her.
In the guest room, Richard was very upset after seeing Joey and Maya kissing at the lanai. Had he known that they were there, he shouldn’t have gone out. He was on his way to the kitchen when he saw them. His heart was torn to pieces once more after seeing them together in a compromised position. He wanted to break them apart but couldn’t. They were in a relationship and he is an outsider. When he entered his room, he didn’t realize that he banged the door.
The following morning, Richard went back to his condo very early. He didn’t wait for Maya nor Abby to wake up to say goodbye. When Maya looked for him, Manang Fe was tasked to inform her that he has gone back to his own residence because he needed to attend to something personal.
“Manang Fe, kagabi po ba, may nadinig kayong malakas na lagabag dito sa bahay? Parang may bumagsak po?” Maya remembered the sound she heard the night before but didn’t suspect that it could have come from the guest room.
“Ha? wala naman. Baka naman sa TV ni Doris kasi late na yung nagpunta sa room in Abby kakanuod ng TV. O baka naman, may nagpaputok d’yan sa tapat. Minsan yung mga teens d’yan nagkakatuwaan pag weekend.”
“Ah ganoon po ba. Parang ngayon lang kasi ako nakadinig ng ganuon. Anyway, sige po Manang.” Maya went to Abby’s room feeling disappointed of not seeing Richard that morning.