Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to AttyMayiVR. This is a continuation to Please Be My Legal Wife – part 5.
A/N: This is the continuation of Please Be My Legal Wife – Part 5
Thank you for clicking on this story and I hope that you’ll enjoy reading………
Richard: Si Maya po?
Manang Fe: Busog din, hindi na raw kakain. Pati nga kami nabusog. Pinag balot kami ng pasalubong, kaya wala ng gustong kumain ng niluto namin ni Sabel. Napaka buting bata ni Maya.
Teka, nag paalam mag jogging sa labas. Kanina pa nga yun eh. Hindi pa bumabalik. Baka nadaanan mo, at hindi mo lang napansin.
Richard: Ha? Kanina pa po ba? Madilim na po eh, hindi ko mapapansin sa daan.
Manang Fe: Aba, mag isang oras na pala ah. Pahanap ko nga kay Joma, baka naligaw na ang batang yun!
Sabel: Maka singit lang po Manang Fe. Si Joma po, plakda sa kama. Humihilik na. Sobrang napagod daw siya. At sir, ang phone ni Maya, ayun oh, nakasaksak nag cha-charge.
Richard: Richard heaves a sigh while pouting. Ako na maghahanap.
Richard starts to search the nearby streets. She’s not there. He proceeds to the main road down the hill. As he reached the end of the road near The Dome, he thinks where to turn, left or right. He remembers Maya saying she frequents Valley Golf so he turned left. He searches the road with his fog lights on, not minding blinding the drivers of the approaching cars.
When he reached Valley Golf, he was about to ask the guards if they have seen a woman with Maya’s description, but realizes that the distance from his house was too far. So he hurriedly turned around to head back where he started. Slowly, patiently, and more meticulously, he searches the area. There, on the right side of the road just after a blind curve near a dead end, he saw a woman limping, wearing an Adidas Aktiv pink ribbon fitted running tank and a super short Adidas running dual baggy shorts showing off her curvaceous body and a perfect pair of long legs. He couldn’t be wrong. It’s Maya.
Richard stopped the car and pulled the hand break. He puts down the window and shouts her name to get her attention.
Maya: S-sir Chief?!
Maya was crying and the look on her face was beyond description. Worried, Richard immediately got out of the car and ran to her side and held her by the arm. He looks down to check on her limping foot and saw blood on the surface of her knee which had scratches. As he felt Maya trembling, he slipped his arm around Maya’s waist to support her.
Richard: Come here, you’re hurt! What happened?
All of Maya’s remaining courage and strength succumbed to Richard’s unexpected presence, sympathetic gestures and tone of concern in his voice. Maya just hugged him so tight and cried like a lost child. Hush now Maya, I’m here. Then, Richard instinctively carried Maya to the car. Let’s go home, he said, and carefully positioned her on the front passenger seat.
Once inside the car, Richard heaved a sigh of relief and frustration. He looks at Maya momentarily and hands her his handkerchief. When she calmed down and stopped from crying, he started the car then focused on driving back to the mansion.
Richard: Were you not tired from all of today’s activities? Lahat ng kasama mo, napagod na, mga tulog na nga. Ikaw, nakuha mo pang mag jogging?
Maya: Napagod po.
Richard: Eh yun naman pala eh. Why did you have to go out and jog, Maya?
Maya: I was feeling uncomfortable po kasi. I felt heavy with all the food that we ate sa mall kanina.
Richard: You can’t be spontaneous all the time Maya. May mga bagay na dapat pinag iisipan muna. Pwede namang mag lakad lakad ka around the pool area. You didn’t have to go out here and jog. Did you not realize the danger of jogging here, alone at night, especially in that attire?
Richard looks at her and saw that the super short shorts became even shorter now that Maya was in a sitting position. The sight of her inadequate attire displaying 98% of her legs, almost exposing part of her butt infuriated Richard instantaneously. Eh bakit nga ba kasi ganyan ang suot mo?!
Maya: Eh anu po ba dapat? Maong pants? Dress? Jogging nga po diba?
Richard: Maya! Huwag ka ngang pilosopo!
Maya: Ayan po, sinisigawan nyo na naman po ako eh.
Richard: Sumasagot ka pa kasi!
Maya: Eh tinatanung nyo po ako eh, kaya sumasagot ako.
Richard: Ang kulit mo naman! You know very well what I’m talking about! Look at you! That shorts is too short!
Maya: Hindi kaya! At tsaka, shorts nga di po ba?, kaya, short yung shorts!
Richard: Anung hindi? Eh halos nakahubad ka na pababa. Tama ba yan? You’re like jogging in panties for Pete’s sake! Wala ka bang walking shorts or jogging pants?
Maya: Walking shorts? Sir Chief, I was jogging, not walking. At ang init kaya ng jogging pants. Besides, I bought this from a sports store. This is a proper jogging attire.
Richard: Yeah right! Jog like that in an area like this and at this time of the night. Sa sobrang iksi, halos kita na ang pisngi ng pwet mo!
Maya: How did you know? Sinilipan nyo ako?! Eeeeeeeeeee! Maniac! Freak!
Richard: How dare you call me a maniac! And I’m not a freak! My goodness! Mali ka na nga makikipagtalo ka pa rin? By the way you look, marami talagang mag mamanyak sa iyo sa paligid dito!
Richard heaves another sigh of frustration. He pacifies himself and starts talking in a calm tone. Look, stop being so difficult.
You said you’re familiar with this place kasi lagi nyong nadadaanan when you go to Valley Golf. Siguro naman you are aware na maraming nagpapatayo ng bahay sa area na ito. Maraming lalaki sa paligid. And of course, kitang kita naman, there are just a few houses here. Ayan o, ang daming vacant lots, ang lalaki at masukal pa. Can’t you see? Look, panay damuhan at madilim ang lugar.
And it’s not a busy road, so you’ll be an easy prey! It would be very easy for anybody to just drag you, rape you and dump you kung saang vacant lot diyan! Eh kung marami sila, gang rape!
Without making it obvious to Richard, Maya surrendered and gave up her strong front. The things that Richard said were the very same thoughts running in her mind while she was alone walking back home. Fear overcame her when she looked around. She saw the resemblance of the area to the scene of the crime in the rape and salvage cases she has read in the past. When she realized the danger of what she has done, her imagination ran wild and felt so relieved when she heard Richard called her name.
She wondered what could have happened to her if Richard did not find her. She realized that they’ve reached the mansion and she was just glad that she is now safe in his home. She was about to burst into tears of relief but held it back. She did not want him to see her vulnerability again.
Maya: I-im sorry po, Sir Chief…and thank you po for finding me.
Richard: Maya, you are my responsibility. Lagot ako sa mga magulang mo pag may masamang nangyari sa iyo. Bakit ba ang tigas kasi ng ulo mo? Paano na kung hindi ako dumating?
Maya: Eh di, pa ika-ika pa rin po akong naglalakad pauwi.
Richard: Or maybe a maniac or a freak has seen the opportunity and grabbed you and is about to rape you now.
Maya: Okay okay! Mabuti na lang po dumating ka at nagpaka superhero for me. Maya gives him a warm smile. Thank you Sir Chief! Thank you for being my superhero for tonight. Maya raised her left hand like a cobra, put all her fingers together as if she’s eating with it to imitate the shape of the lips and lets the tips of those fingers touch Richard’s right cheek as she makes the kiss sound mmmwaah!
Richard: Charmed by what Maya just did, Richard’s mood plunged to sub zero. Parang si Superman lang?
Richard: Yes. You said superhero. When you say superhero, who comes first to your mind, hindi ba si Superman?
Maya: Hindi rin. Hmmmm….Baka sa inyo, si Superman kasi generation nyo yun eh, 70’s yan, I was not born or even conceived yet! Hindi po ba pwedeng mas recent na movie, like The Avengers?
Richard: Avengers? O sige na, I’ll not debate on that. Sino dun, si Iron Man?
Maya: Iron Man?! Ikaw? Parang hindi naman po bagay.
Richard: Fine. Whatever or whoever. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is you’re now safe.
Maya looks at him naughtily ang gives a mischievous grin.
Richard: And what’s with the face?
Richard: What Bruce?
Maya: You! You’re not a Superman, you’re a Bruce! Dr. Bruce Banner! Hahahaha! Si Inre –
Maya: O, ayan na, galit ka na naman! Magtratransform ka na to INCREDIBLE HULK!
Maya attempts to get out of the car fast but Richard was faster.
Richard: Don’t you dare move! He immediately goes out of the car to get Maya.
Maya: Ay! Sir Chief, you don’t need to carry me, kaya ko naman po maglakad, ang bigat ko kaya! 1970’s……naku ang likod nyo oh, baka may osteoporosis na kayo nyan. Baka bumigay pa yang likod mo!
Richard: What?! Maya kanina ka pa nangungulit ha, abuso na yan.
Maya: Hmp! Ikaw kaya ang makulit.
Richard: Richard effortlessly scoops her from the car seat. With her right hand, Maya unconsciously held on to Richard’s left shoulder from his back. Richard was now enjoying Maya’s helplessness. With his face so close to hers, he smiles and said Because you obviously have a hurting foot and ego, I’d rather not argue with you. You are off the hook for now. He carries her inside the mansion and calls out for Manang.
Richard: Manang Fe! Paki tulungan po ako.
Manang Fe: Anung nangyari kay Maya? Ibaba mo muna dito sa sofa, at kumain ka na muna. Ako na bahala sa kanya.
Richard knew that Maya was annoyed with the fact that her vulnerability was exposed to him. So, he decided to toy with it.
Richard: Ang layo po ng narating nitong si Maya. Napulot ko sa madilim na parte ng kalye, limping and crying like a helpless baby. I think she sprained her ankle. I’ll just bring her to her room paki punasan na lang po. May kaunting galos kasi ang tuhod.
Maya: Oy Sir Chief hindi po ah. Humikhikbi lang. At kaya ko na po pumunta sa kwarto. Ibaba nyo na ako at baka bukas rayumahin ang likod nyo.
Richard: Hihirit ka pa talaga? You’re really stubborn as a mule. He carries Maya insider her room and lays her on the bed. In that position, he had the chance to appreciate her long smooth creamy and shapely legs at a closer glance. He carefully removes her rubber shoes and socks to check on the affected ankle.
Maya: Sir Chief! Nakakahiya po!
Richard: Seriously? Nahihiya ka sa akin? Pero kaninang sumasagot sagot ka, hindi ka nahiya? Non-sense! He sits on the bed and examines her left foot with his hands. Uhm… I think may na ipit lang na ugat. Madadaan yan sa coke bottle.
Maya: Ay alam ko po yun! Diba po tatapak ako sa curve ng coke bottle then I’ll just roll it back and forth with the sprained foot?
Maya: Kaya ko na po yun, sige na po Sir Chief, sobrang istorbo at abuso na ako sa inyo eh. Hindi pa pala po kayo kumakain.
Richard: Istorbo? No. Abuso? Yes. Pero huwag na sanang maulit, Maya. Is that clear?
Maya is in trance. “Hay, bakit ba amoy gwapo ka pa rin kahit gabi na? Eh ang gwapo naman talaga nya eh. Maya, ang cute nya mag smile lalo pag pigil. Hahaha! Ang pride kasi ni Mr. Chopsticks oh. Hmmm, may kamukha talaga yung smile nya eh…..makatingin naman to wagas. Ayiiiiiii, kinarga nya ako?! Hindi ata ako makahinga sa kilig! I need Oxygen!!!!!” In reality, she was fanning herself with her hands and her cheeks were flushed.
Richard: Maya? Maya!.
Maya: Yes, Dr. Bruce! Hindi ako makahinga! I need oxygen!
Richard: What?! You can’t breathe? I need to bring you to the hospital now!
Maya: Huh?! Ah….eh…Sir Chief! Okay na po ako, promise!
Richard: What okay?! You just said you can’t breathe! You were asking for oxygen! Anu ba Maya, nuknukan naman ang tigas ng ulo mo!
Maya didn’t know what to say to convince Richard that she was okay. She really is. “Maya! Ano ka ngayon? Isip isip! Pano mo ngayon lulusutan yang si incredible hulk?”
Maya: Sir Chief, okay na po talaga ako, promise! Anu po kasi, parang nahirapan lang po ako huminga kasi po, ano po eh –
Maya: Ano po eh, ksi po –
Richard: What Maya?!
Maya: Eto na nga po! Eh kasi po may nakabarang malaking kulangot sa ilong ko! Isang singa lang ang sagot dito Sir Chief.
Richard can’t help it. He laughs at Maya uncontrollably.
Richard: Hay Maya. Maya, Maya. Fine. I’m convinced. You’re really okay now. Mas lalo ka pa naging makulit eh! So I’ll leave you now but wait for Manang Fe, okay? Can you do that, Maya?
Maya: Yes, Sir!
Richard was surprised to see his children already seated at the dining table, early morning the next day. They were already up and about and it’s not even 7:00 o’clock yet. Then he remembers Manang Fe telling him that the kids were too tired and didn’t want to eat last night and went early to bed instead, so they must be really hungry by now.
He stopped descending the stairs and watched them for a moment. He saw Maya put food on Abby’s plate and kisses her on the head. “They adore each other” he thought. He proceeded going down slowly, so he could continue watching them.
Maya: Kuya Luke, Ate Nikki! Look at Abby oh, she knows na how to eat on her own. Show them Abby.
Abby proudly does so as coached.
Nikki: Wow baby! You are so galing na! Galing kasi ni Tita Maya eh. Right baby?
Abby smiles and gives Nikki a thumb’s up. She then pulls Maya down and plants kisses on her right cheek.
Maya: Wow! May unli kiss na naman si Teacher!
Luke: Tita Maya, thanks nga pala for yesterday. I really had fun.
Nikki: Fun? Masaya ka lang kasi nakasama ka sa school ko eh!
Maya: Ako rin naman nag enjoy! Pero mas enjoy ako ngayon kasi you’re eating breakfast with me! Late kasi kayo nagigising eh. Ilang araw na ba ako dito? Eh almost everyday I eat breakfast alone!
Luke: Bumabawi lang sa tulog, Tita.
Maya: Pero breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Mag skip ka na ng lunch or dinner pero never ang breakfast.
Nikki: Eh wala rin naman si Dad eh. Nakakatamad ng mag breakfast.
Maya: Ay, hindi maganda ang ganun attitude. Masama tamarin kumain ng almusal. Magtatampo ang grasya sabi ng lola ko. Negative vibes yun, maba-block ang blessings.
At tsaka si Daddy nyo, maaga umaalis kasi he needs to be at work early early morning. He is not playing around, he works, all because he loves you.
Biruin mo kahit siya ang boss, he makes sure he’s early at work. Hindi siya tinatamad kasi you are all his inspiration. Learn to appreciate your Dad because he loves you and he’s all that you’ve got, and you’re all his treasure. Try to understand him. Tao rin yun, napapagod, nag wo-worry, kaya nagsusungit at nagagalit.
Why do I know? Kasi ganun ang mga parents lalo na ang daddy, ganun ang daddy ko, marami sila masyadong iniisip. Add to it, mag-isa lang si Daddy nyo.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he stopped, strangely feeling reluctant to join them for breakfast. “There’s no stopping her from talking. She doesn’t know me but she thoughfully defended me as a father. How can she be so annoying and be amazing at the same time?” he thought.
Nikki: Okay. I’m sorry. Thanks Tita. It’s nice that there’s someone who talks to us like how you do and about these matters.
Luke: Yes, para may maglagay ng sense sa utak mo, hindi puro kaartehan.
Nikki: You’re so mean Kuya! Sige, Tita Maya, will try my best to join you at breakfast. Marami pala tayo pwede pagkwentuhan eh!
Luke: Oh yeah, the Katipuneras baby!
Maya felt that somebody was watching them. She looks on her left and saw Richard at the bottom of the stairs baffled.
Maya: O, Daddy’s there na pala eh. Good moring po, Sir Chief! Kain na po ng breakfast.
Richard: Good morning. Uhmm….it’s okay, patapos na ata kayo eh. I’ll just go check on my emails instead.
Maya: Huh?! Slightly limping, Maya approached him and in a soft voice says, Eh, Sir Chief! Kakasabi ko lang sa kanila na breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they should not skip it. I will lose my credibility pag hindi ka sumama mag breakfast! Besides, your children are looking forward na makasalo kayo sa almusal.
Let’s go. Maya holds him by the arm and leads him to the table. O, bakit tulala na naman kayong tatlo? Kulang talaga sa praktis! Nakalimot agad? Wala bang good morning kiss at power hug si Daddy? Abby, you know na what to do right?
Abby greets her Daddy as told, then Nikki and Luke followed. As Richard was about to sit down, Maya tries to exchange seats with Abby, feeling awkward that she is sitting beside him.
Maya: Abby, palit tayo ng seats para tabi kayo ni Daddy.
Richard: It’s okay Maya, stay…uhmm….is your foot better?
Maya: Yes, okay na po.
Richard nods, followed by complete silence. As they all eat, all that could be heard are the clattering sounds of the expensive elegant flatware on premium chinaware. Feeling uncomfortable, Maya could no longer bear it.
Maya: Uhmm….galit galit lang?
Everybody looks at her but no one talked. Maya persists.
Maya: Uhmm…. Daddy look at Abby, she can eat by herself na. Hindi na siya nagpapasubo kay Ate Doris! Hindi ba Abby? Show Daddy!
Abby smiles and shows off as told. Richard nods and just smiles at Abby. Maya was not satisfied with Richard’s reaction. In her thoughts “nod at smile lang? wala man lang ka energy energy itong Dr. Bruce na to, kainis ha! Teka nga…”
Maya: Sir Chief, okay lang po ba kayo?
Maya: Parang hindi naman po. Malungkot po kayo eh.
Maya: Sigurado po kayo?
Maya: Ah….okay. Wala naman po kayong sakit?
Maya: Weh! Wala pong masakit sa inyo?
Richard: Wala, Maya.
Maya: Sigurado po kayo? Baka naman dahil nagpumilit kayong magbuhat ng mabigat kagabi eh, nirayuma ang likod nyo. Gusto nyo ng Salonpas?
Richard: What? NO!
Maya: Ah! Alam ko na, FLANAX! Flanax ang katapat ng back pains nyo!
Maya: Okay, okay! Concerned lang naman po ako. Eh bakit po ba kasi parang ang lamya nyo?
Maya: Malamya po, meaning, nanghihina, walang lakas.
Richard: I’m not, Maya.
Maya: Okay, baka kulang lang po kayo sa vitamins. You should take vitamin supplement.
Richard: I do, Maya.
Nikki: We do, Teacher Maya. This one oh. Nikki gets the bottle of the multivitamis and shakes it, showing it to Maya.
Maya: What? Pareho kayo ng vitamins ng Daddy nyo?
Richard: And what’s wrong with that? He spoons out the remaining food particles on his plate and puts them in his mouth.
Maya: Sir Chief, this may not be commensurate with your needs. Duh! Teen agers sila, and you’re not! Maybe you should switch to Enervon.
Richard: Although he was still chewing his food, Richard immediately asked And why?
Maya: Ha? Hindi po ba sabi sa ads with Enervon, more ENERGY, mas HAPPY!
The children could not contain their laughter. Undoubtedly, Maya was hilariously persistent with her questioning, while Richard tried his best to control his temper and be calm. But Richard, in his attempt to supress his laughter, choked on the food he was just swallowing.
Maya: Ay! Maya hurriedly stands up and goes to Richard. She strokes his back. Naku naman Sir Chief, dahan dahan naman po kasi. Ayan kasi naman, talking while mouth is full and chewing.
The children’s laughter switched to smiles as they watch their Dad and Maya.
Nikki’s text: “Oh my gee Kuya! Tita Maya was hilarious but Dad did not seem to have been irked! And look at them! They’re like a couple! Awwww, super bagay talaga sila <3”
Luke’s text: “I totally agree Niks!”
On the other side of the kitchen near the backdoor, Manag Fe, Doris and Sabel, who were on a standby, saw everything. Just like the Lim kids, they were enjoying what was happening.
Doris: Manang, kakabagan ako sa kakatawa ng pigil dito kay Ms. Maya. Lakas maka pang-asar eh.
Sabel: Oo nga, ang saya-saya!
Manang Fe: Pinanganak na pala ang makakatapat ni Ricardo.
Sabel: Nakakakilig sila Manang Fe! Bagay silang dalawa. Tignan mo Manang Fe. Ang sweet sweet!
Doris: Oo nga Manang, kahit anung kulit ni Ms. Maya, hindi nakuhang magalit o mainis man lang ni Sir Richard ha. Kalmadong kalmado. “Wala, Maya. I’m not, Maya. I do, Maya” Ayieeee! Aabanagn ko to Sabel. Love story in the making ito!
As Richard continued to cough, Maya took the water goblet and puts it near Richard’s mouth. Gently, she held Richard’s chin and guides him in drinking water. Water po, Sir Chief.
Richard makes a stop sign with his right hand to signal Maya to stop. She did. But Maya saw a little splatter of water on his left cheek just near the edge of his lips. At once, Maya puts her left hand at the back of Richard’s head, her pinky finger resting on his nape. The feel of her finger on his nape produced goose bumps on his skin, which made him move a little. Impulsively, Richard grasps Maya’s right hand as she was about to wipe the splatter off his cheek but because of Richard’s movement, her hand slides, causing her pointer finger to slightly touch his lips, sending him a different sensation.
Richard: O-okay na ako Maya, thank you. Ang kulit mo naman kasi eh.
Maya: Me? Paano naman po ako naging makulit?
Richard: Don’t push it, Maya.
Maya: Fine. Peace na po Sir Chief! Ah…..alam ko na, baka kulang lang kayo sa kape. Wait lang po. She goes to the kitchen area.
Richard: Maya! Huwag na. Sina Manang na lang yan.
Maya: Okay na po, I’m making coffee for myself, sinasabay ko lang kayo. Saglit lang po ito.
Manang Fe enters the dining area. Of course, Doris and Sabel followed her.
Manang Fe: Maya, ako na diyan, Hija. Medyo ini-ika mo pa ang paa mo eh. Baka makasama, lumala.
Sabel: Tulungan ko na kayo Manang, Tag-isa po tayo ng tasa.
Maya: Maya submits right away. Okay po, Manang Fe. Thank you po, thank you Sabel.
Manang Fe: Kung tapos na kayong kumain mga bata, bumalik na kayo sa mga kwarto nyo at magpalit na ng damit. Mga naka pantulog pa kayo eh.
Doris: Oo nga Abby, halika na, prepare na tayo, maya-maya mag-simula na kayo ni Teacher Maya sa lessons nyo. Excuse po, Sir, Ms. Maya.
Richard: Go ahead.
Nikki and Luke: Dad?
Richard: Of course, you may go too.
Richard and Maya sip their coffee quietly while Sabel stashed away the dishes to clear the table. When they were left alone, Richard spoke first.
Richard: Nangulit ka na naman. Sa harap pa ng mga bata.
Maya: Nangulit? Pangungulit po ba yun?
Richard: So how would you categorize it?
Maya: Conversation. I was making conversation with you.
Richard: Well, with your line of conversation, baka hindi na ako respetuhin ng mga bata. They were laughing a while ago.
Maya: Sorry po. Kayo po kasi eh.
Richard: Eh bakit ako?
Maya: Nakakinis po kasi kayo eh. Excited at effort na effort si Abby mag show off, tapos kayo walang ka effort-effort pumuri sa kanya. Nod at smile lang ang binigay nyo. Walang ka energy-energy. Paano naman ma e-encourage yung bata? Proud na proud pa naman na ipakita sa inyo.
Richard was heartened. He was right. Maya is the one. She is not only someone whom Abby can trust, someone who can and will understand Abby. She is someone who could actually love Abby.
Richard: Thank you Maya, for how you handle Abby and for all your concern. I’m sorry. It has been a long time since I actually had a nice conversation with my kids and I’m having a difficult time understanding them, especially Abby. I rarely had meals with them. It really felt awkward eating breakfast with them and at the same time carry a conversation.
Maya: Eh kasi naman, hindi pa buwagin yang great wall of China.
Richard: I’m sorry. What was that?
Maya: Ah, wala po Sir Chief. Sabi ko po, don’t worry. Sanayan lang po yan. Pare pareho kasi kayong walang praktis! Kailangan pang i-coach. And don’t worry, your kids respect you. But they badly miss you.
Richard: They said that?
Maya: Well, in not so many words, yes. Si Luke, binata na, I think he is longing for a father-son thing.
Richard: You think so?
Maya: I know so. And mas masaya po si Abby when you’re around.
Richard: This is really good. You make good coffee.
Maya: Thank you.
Richard: Well, I better get going. I can’t be late for work today. Thanks for the coffee.
Maya: Welcome po. Buh-bye Sir Chief! Ingat po kayo! Wag magpagutom at huwag magpaka Dr. Bruce! Kawawa naman si Liza….
Maya: Peace po!
Lunch – Conti’s Restaurant, Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
Richard, Sonny and Liza were left on the table after the lunch meeting with a supplier in connection with the completion of the Clark Hangar. Atty. Ryan left earlier after legal matters were tackled.
Richard: Sonny, Liza, you go ahead. I’ll just see you back in the office. I need to go back to the house after I settle the bill. Naiwan ko pala yung architectural plan ng hangar.
Sonny: We need that for this afternoon’s meeting, sir.
Richard: Yes I know.
Liza: Sir, the meeting is at 3:00 p.m. Aabot ba kayo? We can ask Mang Lem to pick it up. Or maybe Joma can bring it to the office. You want me to call Manang Fe?
Richard: I asked Joma to take care of the car registration. He’s not in the house yet. Mas malapit na ako kesa si Mang Lem pa ang pupunta. Don’t worry, aabot ako. If not, you and Sonny will have to handle the meeting while I’m not there yet.
Sonny: Don’t worry Liza, aabot si Sir.
Liza: Okay, we’ll go ahead Sir.
After paying the bill, Richard stood up and headed for the door when someone called his name.
Richard: Tito Art! Richard approached Arturo who stood up from his seat. Richard paid respect by making the mano and thereafter gave Arturo a manly hug. Nice to see you here.
Arturo: Paalis ka na ba? Do you have time for coffee?
Richard: Of course!
Arturo: Okay, you go choose a table for us. Sabihan ko lang mga kasama ko that I’ll take a break. Mainit na diskusyon dun eh.
Richard: Sige po.
Richard chose a corner table and called the waiter. He was about to order when Arturo came and pulled a chair.
Arturo: I’ll have brewed coffee.
Richard: I’ll have the same.
Waiter: Okay sir.
Richard: My daughter Abby has never been better and happier. All because of your daughter.
Arturo: Malapit talaga si Maya sa mga bata. Palibhasa, parang bata.
Richard: Hahaha! May pagka matigas po ang ulo.
Arturo: Naku, pinasakit na ba ang ulo mo?
Richard: Ah….hindi pa naman po pinasakit, pina init lang po ang ulo ko. Nunknukan kasi ng kulit. Nasigawan ko nga po eh, pasensha na po.
Arturo: She can be really stubborn and persistent at times.
Richard: Oh yes, on her first night, bigla na lang nagtanggal ng dress at tumalon sa pool. She didn’t even change into a swimsuit. Is she really that spontaneous?
Arturo: Yes. Nasanay yan sa bahay. Ganyan ang ginagawa. Wala naman kasing ibang lalaki dun aside from me and his youngest brother, Andre.
Richard: Tito, she went night swimming in her underwear. Nude color pa naman. Hindi man lang naisip na nakikita siya ng mga kapitbahay. Nakipag talo pa sa akin, bago umahon sa pool.
The waiter arrived with their coffee.
Arturo: Buti napasunod mo?
Richard: Yes, pero matapos muna kami mag diskusyon.
Just last night. She went out to jog. Ang suot, body hugging na running tank at super short na shorts, halos kita na ang singit.
Arturo: Where did she jog?
Richard: Within the village. But you know the area, madilim, maraming vacant lots na madamo, may mga construction site, madalang mga sasakyan. When I found her, she was crying and limping. Pag lapit ko sa kanya, she cried like a baby! At nung pinag sasabihan ko po, namilospo na, nakipagtalo pa.
Arturo: Nakakapagod pa naman makipagtalo kay Maya.
Richard: Exactly. And you know what, this morning at breakfast, just because I failed to acknowledge my daughter the way she expected it, she asked me series of questions, para akong na cross-examination sa witness stand.
Arturo: Si Maya talaga…..makulit. We talk everyday. She didn’t mention those to me.
Richard: She doesn’t know that we know each other.
Arturo: Don’t tell her yet. Richard thank you. Hindi ako nagkamali. I could really trust you. Bahala ka na sa princess ko.
Richard: Thank you for the trust, Tito. Kaya lang, it seems that she does not get intimidated by me. Even if I am alreay fuming mad, humihirit pa rin. She is so witty and fast, ako ang natutulala, and she gets away with it. Hindi nga magpatalo. She’s such a bully!
Arturo: Then you have to dragoon. Harass if needed. Be a bully yourself.
Richard: And how do I do that?
Arturo: Simple, bawasan mo ang pagiging gentleman mo. Dragoon and bully her. Capitalize on us, her parents and on the fact that she has remained unattached.
Arturo: She’s never had any boyfriend. Sa dami ng nanligaw or nag attempt manligaw, walang pinagbigyan. Although it was her choice, now that she’s in her mid 20’s, napipikon pag yung pagiging unattached nya ang pinag uusapan.
Richard: Okay, I’ll try to do that. I hope it will work. Baka kasi pag sa susunod na mangulit si Maya, mapahamak na siya.
Arturo: Thank you for finding her last night. Sometimes, she can also be so naïve. Sometimes her being spontaneous and being naïve are not a good combination for her action, it might give a wrong impression and might be given a wrong interpretation.
Richard: Richard recalls the time when Maya did the mano-with-hug-and-kiss demonstration, just so she could convince his kids to greet him when he came home. Oh yes, I truly agree. She was teaching my children paano mag mano. She proudly shared on how she does it on you. And to convince them, she demonstrated it on me!
Arturo: Complete with the bear hug and yummy kiss?
Richard: That’s how she called them. Yes, complete with the hug and kiss. She pulled me just like that. Unbelievable, summa cum laude po ata si Maya sa kakulitan at pagiging spontaneous.
Arturo: Hahaha! Yes, she is and I miss her.
Richard: She’ll be with you this weekend. I’m sure she misses you too.
Arturo: Be careful you might just get into the trap.
Arturo: Maya, is addicting, with all her stubbornness and kakulitan. You might get off guard and fall, and in the end, her stubbornness and kakulitan will not only give you headaches but heartache as well. I’ve seen it before. She has never let anyone enter her heart.
Arturo stood up. Well, you better get going, son. I know you’re a busy man.
Richard: Richard stands up and offers his hand for a shake. It was nice talking to you Tito.
Arturo: Same here. Regards to Bobby and Esme.
Richard walked away. After a few steps, Arturo called him again.
Richard looks back.
Arturo: Please take care of my princess. Arturo winks at Richard who nods at him smiling.
Lim Mansion – 1:10 p.m.
Manang Fe: Ricardo, bakit ang aga mo? Masama ba ang pakiramdam mo?
Richard: May nakalimutan po ako, kailangan ko mamaya sa meeting.
Manang Fe: Ganun ba? Sha, kunin mo na at maka balik ka sa opisina, baka mahuli ka.
Richard: Maaga pa po naman. Si Abby po?
Manang Fe: Halika.
Manang Fe led Richard out to the Veranda and pointed to him the shaded part of the pool area. There, Maya, wearing a spaghetti strapped floral sundress, was on the hammock with Abby clutched on top of her, looking like mother and daughter taking their afternoon nap. Richard’s heart jumped at the sight. He smiles with thoughts in his mind. “Amazing! They both look contended and at peace. Abby must be really happy, she is sleeping with a smile.”
Manang Fe: Hindi humihiwalay si Abby kay Maya. Parang nuon kay Alex. Nakabuntot kahit nasaan si Maya. Mabuti si Maya napaka tsaga na bata. Alam mo ba Ricardo, mag mula ng dumaing dito si Maya, hindi na nag tantrums si Abby. Lagi ng maaliwalas ang mukha ni Abby.
Richard: Yes, I noticed she is always smiling now.
Manang Fe: Madali napapasunod ni Maya si Abby. Kung anu ang sabihin ni Maya ginagawa niya. Alam mo ba, hindi na siya kailangan samahan sa banyo. Marunong na mag-isa. Siya na rin magbihis sa sarili niya. Gawa lahat ni Maya.
Richard: She really adores Maya. They adore each other.
Manang Fe: Kaya huwag mo ma