This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 29.
Since they got engaged, Richard and Maya were inseparable. They spend their evenings mostly at home having dinner as a family with Abby.
Everyone in their family were informed of their engagement. As expected, everyone was happy for them and wished them well.
Although the wedding date has not been agreed, Richard could feel that Maya will soon confirm it. Unknown to Maya, he has started to connect with a wedding planner thru the help of Liza.
The news of their engagement has also spread out to their friends. Emman was informed the following day after Richard’s proposal.
“Ayieeee!! Sabi ko na nga ba, si Richard talaga ang true love mo. Girl, I’m very excited for you. We should have a get together. Kailangan maibahagi mo ang kaligayahan mo sa mga friends natin.” Emman suggested.
“Oh yeah. Sige, Emman, ikaw na ang mag-organize. I am free naman most evenings except Wednesdays and Saturdays kasi I have classes.” Maya excitedly agreed.
“Alright, how about next Tuesday sa BGC, mag-dinner tayo doon. I’ll invite James ha.” Emman further suggested.
“Ikaw ang bahala. Definitely, James should be there. Matagal tagal ko na ngang hindi nakikita ‘yung isang yon.”
“O sige Bes. Magdadala ako ng towel. Sigurado ko, iiyak yon pag nalaman nyan ikakasal ka na. Ha,ha,ha” Emman warned her.
“Naku Emman. Naka move on na ‘yon. Sabi nya sa akin last time, may bagong girlfriend na s’ya. He should be okay, tingnan mo.” Maya assured her best friend. James has become one of Maya’s best friends. He is also one of the godfathers of Abby so she is fully aware that James had moved on.
After her conversation with Emman, Maya told Richard about her get together with her friends. Richard agreed and just volunteered that he would like to fetch her after her dinner with her friends. He didn’t want to join them to give them the freedom to talk without being conscious of his presence. He knew there would be other times when he can bond with her friends.
If Emman and Maya predicted that the dinner with their friends was going to be fun, they have underestimated it. Since it has taken them a very long time since their group of 8 people have seen each other, their get together was so much fun especially since James was there. He was designated joke supplier of the group. It was almost midnight when they finished and Maya already had several messages from Richard.
Richard and Maya agreed that they will just meet up at the parking area near 29th street. Going to the parking lot, James accompanied Maya to ensure she was safe. Unknown to them, Richard could already see them from afar. He suddenly felt the pangs of jealousy as he saw her walking with James. He knew he shouldn’t feel that way but it was a feeling that he couldn’t control. Why were they walking so close to each other was in his thoughts. Later, he saw them stop and then hugged each other. James then kissed her on the cheek. Richard thought that they were just saying goodbye but to his consternation, he saw them hug again. This time it was longer and seemed to be tighter from him observation. Losing his patience, he walked fast towards them.
“Ehemm” Richard coughed when he got near them. Maya pulled away from James.
“Richard, good evening.” James held out his hand to offer a handshake.
“James, good evening. I’m here to fetch my fiancée” Richard emphasized the word fiancée as he shook James’s hand.
“Oh yeah. Congratulations, panyero. So, finally, you are tying the knot.” James was smiling genuinely.
“Thank you.” Richard then slung his arm on Maya’s shoulder. “It’s getting late, I need to bring her home.”
“James, thank you ha. See you” Maya waved goodbye to her friend as Richard walked her to the car. He didn’t say a word to her and she didn’t notice his silence until they were on the car.
“Richard, kanina ka pa naghihintay?” She checked.
“Not really but long enough to see that you two seemed to want to stick together. Parang ayaw nyo ng maghiwalay, ah. ” Richard wasn’t looking at her. He tried to concentrate on his driving.
“Anung ayaw maghiwalay? Kalalabas lang namin ng restaurant. Sinamahan ako ni James para i-meet ka.” She was unaware that Richard was in a bad mood.
“Do you have to keep on hugging each other? Parang ang tagal-tagal naman ng goodbyes n’yo.” Richard finally commented as he maneuvered a left turn to C-5 road.
“Ehh? Anong tanong yan?” She wondered what he was upset about and then realized something. “Oops, don’t tell me nagseselos ka?”
Richard didn’t respond but remained focused on the road. He just glanced at her and saw her smiling. He smirked.
“Ayyy, nagseselos ang mamang singkit. I didn’t know you had it in you.” She was giggling at the realization.
“Maya, it is not funny.” He pressed on his gas making the car speed up.
“Ricky, sorry. James is a best friend. Wala ka dapat ipagselos duon. Kung gusto ko ‘yon di sana hindi kita naging boyfriend dati.” Maya told him. Hearing her say that, Richard swerved his car to the right and suddenly stopped.
“Ibig mong sabihin he courted you and you almost said yes?” His temper already rising.
“Naku po, eh, matagal na ‘yon. He was courting me before, parang hindi mo naman alam. But the point that I was making was, I never liked him that way. Friend lang talaga ang feelings ko sa kanya.” Maya leaned towards Richard and gave him a quick kiss on the cheeks. “I’ve only been in love once in my life and you know who that is.”
Richard shook his head and started driving again. He remained quiet.
Maya on her part started to persuade him to stop being jealous of James. She took his hand from the steering wheel to hold it.
“Maya, I’m driving.”
She released his hand but continued running her hand on his arms. “Ricky… ‘wag na magselos, okay?”
Maya heard him sighed but still he remained quiet. As the car made a U-turn in C-5 towards the direction of Valle Verde, Maya’s boldly run her hand on his thigh. She thought that might distract him from his upset moment. He ignored her. She tried again, slowly, sensously running her hand from his knee going up to his thigh.
Richard stopped the car and caught her hand. “Maya, I’m warning you. You might not be able to get home tonight if you don’t keep your hand to yourself.” He looked at her and she saw desire in his eyes.
She took back her hand while Richard continued his driving. Few minutes later, they were in front of their house.
“Hon, I’m going. Thank you sa hatid. Love you.” She gave him a smack on the lips before alighting from the car. “Love you too.” He responded and drove off.
Tuesday was the last day they saw each other. For the next few days, Richard was busy with work that he wasn’t able to visit her even in the evenings. They just talked on the phone before going to sleep. She was missing him terribly that she was very tempted to come over his condo unit and sleep over there. By Saturday morning, she already made a decision that she would like to spend the day with him and if he asks her again, she will spend the night with him.
Maya joined Doris and Abby at the park on Saturday morning. Instead of waiting for him at the house, she decided to play with them that morning as it has been sometime since she last visited the village’s park. It also gave her an opportunity to see who are the new friends of her daughter in their community.
After more than an hour at the park, Maya checked on her watch and realized that Richard had not yet arrived. He was late and she wondered where he was. She waved to Doris signaling her to come over to her.
“Doris, ang Kuya Richard mo, lagi bang nalalate pag Saturday? Dito kayo nagme-meet di ba?” She asked the nanny.
“Eh, Ate, never po na late si Kuya. Always on time ‘yan” Doris proudly responded.
“Hindi na le-late, eh bakit wala pa hanggang ngayon? Fifteen minutes na wala pa.” She was getting impatient.
“Ate, kanina pa si Kuya. Ayun O,” Doris pointed at the direction where Richard was. He was near the basketball area. “Kanina pa duon si Kuya. Akala ko naman nakita mo na. Kaya lang, may mga nagpapa cute kaya siguro hindi makapunta dito.” Doris injected ideas in her mind.
Maya then noticed that indeed Richard was in a conversation with two ladies. He looked like he was enjoying his time, his be-dimpled cheeks very evident. She didn’t notice him there because she was only looking at the parking lot earlier so she might have overlooked him being on the other side of the park.
“Doris, ‘yan bang mga kausap ni Kuya mo eh laging nandito sa park?” She asked Doris but not taking her eyes off at the group that seemed to be engrossed with their chatting.
“Madalas po. Since nung lagi ng nagsusundo si Kuya dito, yun din ang time na dito na nagjo-jogging yang dalawa dito sa park. Ate, tingin ko, may crush kay Kuya ‘yung isa – yung naka pink. Yung ang mommy ni Strawberry na kalaro ni Abby.” Doris quickly gave her opinion to Maya. Maya continued observing them, making her own assessment.
As usual, Richard was so handsome that morning especially in his dark sunglasses. He was wearing a form fitting blue collared shirt and dark jeans that emphasized his well built body. Seeing him so good looking and talking to other women, she suddenly felt jealousy. She knew that feeling and she hated it. Looking at the woman in pink, she knew she was interested in Richard by the way she was standing emphasizing her size C chest. Richard looked so entertained that she was beginning to hate him.
“Doris, akina si Abigail. Susunduin lang naming ang daddy nya.” Maya was upset that she wanted to teach him a lesson.
Carrying Abby in her arm, Maya proceeded to where Richard was standing.
In a very loving voice called him out,“Daddy, andito ka lang pala.” She kissed him on the cheeks and passed on Abby on his arms. “Kanina ka hinahanap ng baby mo.”
Abby, as if understanding the script that her mother was on, wrapped her arms around Richard and started kissing him too. “Dad, ‘lab you.”
Although Richard was surprised by the actions of the mother and daughter, he quickly appreciated it. “Sorry, I was just here waiting for you guys while you were playing. By the way, Stephanie and Bambi, this is my wife Maya.”
The two ladies didn’t seem to be shocked by the introduction. It was Maya who couldn’t speak because she was introduced as the wife. She looked at him with her eyes narrowing, silently telling him not to make fun of her.
“Hi Maya, it is nice to meet you. We’ve been asking Richard about his wife because we’ve not seen you here in the past. So, kaya pala ng cute-cute ng baby n’yo, ang ganda ng lahi n’yo” Stephanie complimented them. Maya just smiled back but doubted whether Stephanie was just trying to be nice to her in front of Richard.
Eventually, they all said goodbye. On the way to the car, Maya asked him “So, why did you introduce me as your wife?” She eyed him curiously.
“And why not? Aren’t you going to marry me? Anyway, I think of you as my wife.” He smiled sweetly as he opened the car for her to board with Abby. Richard then called on Doris to join them since the nanny was still busy chatting with her friends.
Moments later, they were on the way to the mall. They went shopping for Abby’s things. By after lunch, they were done and so they decided to head back home.
After putting Abby in her room for her afternoon nap, Richard and Maya stayed at the lanai. It was then that he told her that he had an appointment that afternoon that might stretch to evening.
“So, sino naman ang ka-appointment mo?” Maya asked. Suddenly, she didn’t like the idea of him meeting other people on a weekend.
“I’m meeting some friends from law school. Dumating sila kagabi from the U.S. So, we’ll have a get together mamaya sa bahay nung isa sa kanila.” He explained.
“Anu ‘yan puro boys or meron mga girls?” She asked with a tone of doubt. She didn’t intend it to come out that way but somehow it did.
“All boys. Eh, teka, bakit ganyan ang tono mo? Do you want to go? You’ll be the only female there so I don’t think you’d enjoy it.” Richard was dissuading her from coming in case the idea was in her mind.
“I’m not going. Baka maka-istorbo ako sa inyo. Besides, you may have other girls joining you.” She responded, not hiding her emotion.
“Ooops. Why do I sense that you are jealous? Teka sino ang pinagseselosan mo? Puro boys nga kami.” He defended himself.
“Wala. I just realized today na masyado kang pa cute sa mga babae. Kaya pala, maraming nagkaka-crush sa’yo.” She pursed her lips and her eyes rolled upwards.
“Hmmm, nagseselos ka nga. Kaninang umaga inirapan mo rin ako. Halika nga” Richard pulled her towards him and embraced her.
“Love you. I’ll see you tomorrow okay? At itapon mo na ‘yang selos mo dahil wala kang pagseselosan.” He kissed her on the lips. It took a while before she was able to stop him.
“Maya, pwede makitulog dito mamaya?” He teased her again although his eyes showed he wasn’t joking.
“Sige na, Atty. Lim, baka naghihintay na ang mga friends mo.” She stood in front of him and pulled him up so he can leave for his appointment.
Alone in her room that afternoon, Maya was mulling over her emotions whole morning until Richard left. He was right, there was nothing to be jealous of. Assuming that there were other women who were making a pass at him, the fact that he declared her as his wife already was a sign that he is off the market. Realizing that she might have overacted that morning, she decided that she will surprise him that evening. She has access to his condo unit and she was sure he will love her surprise for him.
She immediately got ready and informed Manang Fe that she was going out with Richard. Manang Fe was not supposed to wait up for her because she will be with Richard and that to call her just in case there was emergency.