This is a continuation to The Rightful Owner – part 7.
Sunday is typically a rest day for Maya. Emman and her assistant are fully aware of this and makes sure they don’t accept any engagement on this day except only on very special circumstances. So that particular morning, Maya got out of the bed late. It was the morning after her date with Richard. She dreamt of him last night; he was kissing her in that dream. She planned on staying longer to reminisce her date the night before if only her mother didn’t enter her room to wake her up.
“Maya, ‘nak. Late na.” Nay Teresita sat on her bed and pulled down the sheet covering Maya’s face.
An inspired Maya sat up and greeted her mother. “”Nay good morning. Hindi ko po pala natanong kagabi, anong time kayo dumating?”
“Mga alas sais na ako dumating. Nadelay ng konti ang eroplano paalis sa San Nicolas. Buti na lang may rental car akong nakuha kung hindi mahirap kumuha ng airport taxi papunta dito sa bahay mo.” Nanay Teresita started fixing her bed.
“”Nay, hayaan nyo na ‘yan. Nagbreakfast na ba kayo? Kumain na tayo.” Maya got out of the bed.
“Nagluto ako kanina. Sabayan na lang kita sa dining area. At maalala ko pala ‘nak, bakit wala kang kwento tungkol kay Richard? Kung hindi ko pa kayo na-abutan kagabi hindi ko malalaman na may boyfriend ka na pala.” Nanay Teresita has been itching to know more about Richard so she asked Maya as soon as she was able to.
Maya got self-conscious as she met the questioning eyes of her mother. “Kasi nga “Nay, bago lang kami.” She stood by the statement given by Richard the night before.
“Ah, so gaano ka bago? Di ba nag-usap lang tayo nuong isang araw. Wala ka namang nabanggit. Maya, ‘nak, nagiging malihim ka na sa nanay ha.” Nanay Teresita wouldn’t let go of the subject matter until she gets to the bottom of it.
“Ehh, “Nay, kagabi lang po.” There, Maya thought. Technically, she got into a pretend relationship with Richard only last night. They didn’t mean to lie but the since they were seen kissing, it prompted them to ride on the on her mother’s assumption, if only to save everybody’s face from embarrassment.
“Ay, salamat naman. Siguro naman matitigil na ‘yang espekulasyon kung sino sino ang boyfriend mo. At sa totoo lang ‘nak, pahanon na rin na mapalitan na si Simon sa puso mo.” Nanay Teresita continued on.
“”Nay, wag na nating isama si Simon. Nag-asawa na yung tao no. At saka, wag kayong masyadong nagpapaniwala sa mga nakasulat, tsismis lang yun.” Maya led her mother out of her room to the stairway so they could go to the dining room.
The Simon that her mother was referring to was her boyfriend five years ago before she entered show business. They broke up a few months after she moved to Manila; they broke up due to their busy schedules. Later on Simon who comes from a political family followed his father’s footsteps while Maya’s acting career progressed steadily.
A few minutes later, Maya was eating her usual breakfast with additional native kakanin and suman brought by Nanay Teresita from San Nicolas. While eating, Nanay Teresita made a suggestion that surprised Maya.
“”Nak, ipinagtira ko pala si Richard ng suman at kakanin para matikman naman n’ya yang galing sa atin. Di ba kayo magkikita ngayon? O ipahatid mo na lang kaya sa bahay nya.” Nanay Teresita who lives in San Nicolas typifies Filipino traits of hospitality and love of friends and family.
She had instilled the same values to her children.
Maya realized that her mother must like Richard even if she just met him last night. She couldn’t respond to her suggestion as she was searching for a way out of their conversation. She has always been honest to her mother and now, she was faced with another situation that she might have to lie again to her.
“Ah, Nay, wala kaming balak magkita today. Wala naman akong driver para maghatid sa bahay nya.” She couldn’t tell her mother that she doesn’t even know where he lives. She looked at the hopeful expression of her mother and so she decided that she will contact him. “Pero, tatawagan ko na lang, tingnan ko kung available s’ya. Otherwise, ilagay na lang natin muna sa ref. baka bukas mapadala ko sa office n’ya.”
“’Nak, mas maganda kung makarating sa kanya ng bago ‘yan. Bukas hindi na fresh.” Nanay Teresita insisted.
Maya called up Richard after her breakfast. It was good that Richard was available that day and he didn’t question much why he was being asked to come to her house. She just told him that her mother wanted him to have some native food from their hometown. Two hours their phone conversation, he was in front of their gate ringing the doorbell.
It was Nanay Teresita who opened the gate as their maids were on day off.
“Good morning po, Mrs. Dela Rosa.” A smiling Richard faced Nanay Teresita. He then handed her a bouquet of flowers much to the surprise of Maya’s mother. “Para po sa inyo.” Another bouquet remained in his hand.
“Sa akin? Wala namang okasyon ah.” She was glad to receive flowers from him. “Ayy, halika pumasok na tayo sa loob.” Nanay Teresita beckoned him to follow her after she closed the gate.
“Richard, nagluto ako ng kare-kare para sa lunch. Dito ka na kumain ha?” She motioned him to sit on the sofa opposite her as she placed down the flowers on the center table. “Dito muna tayo dahil si Maya nasa taas pa.”
“Thank you po, nakahiya naman po. I just came over because Maya said I need to pick up something na dala n’yo daw po galing sa San Nicolas.” Richard smiled as he responded. He was still holding peach colored roses for Maya. Prior to coming over, he passed by a flower shop so he could bring something to Maya and her mother.
“Naku, okay lang ‘yon. Kasi kagabi hindi naman tayo masyadong nakapag-usap. Actually, nabigla rin ako na may boyfriend na si Maya.” She shared then clarified herself.
“Ayy, hindi sa tutol ako ha. Natutuwa lang ako. At least, kahit paano may tumitingin din sa kanya dito sa Manila dahil kami ng kapatid n’ya nasa San Nicolas. Iba kasi ang mundo ng showbiz eh. Kaya medyo concerned ako sa kanya. Si Emman lang kasi ang pinakakatiwalaan ko.
Nanay Teresita was looking at Richard intently and he knew she was concerned over Maya’s welfare. And then she added some more “At ‘wag mo na akong tawagin Mrs. Dela Rosa, Nanay na rin. Yan din ang tawag sa akin ng ibang kaibigan ng mga anak ko.”
Richard appreciated Nanay Teresita’s kindness. He suddenly felt guilty with the lie they have on her and yet there was a part of him that was elated knowing that Maya’s mother seems to like him a lot. But more than the guilt, he felt very much connected with her sentiments. He also liked the idea of calling her Nanay.
“Don’t worry po, Nay. Maya is quiet sensible and strong. Sa pagkakilala ko sa kanya, alam naman n’ya ang tama at mali within the business she navigates in. Hindi rin naman po s’ya pababayaan ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya and that includes me.” Richard meant every word he said to Nanay Teresita.
After a few minutes, Maya joined them. Maya noticed how her mother and Richard were comfortably talking to each other signifying they were getting along pretty well. Upon seeing her, Richard stood up and handed her the flowers.
“Thank you Richard.” Her heartbeats raced when he kissed her cheek. Richard loved her freshly showered scent. He was tempted to hug her.
Nanay Teresita smiled as she watched them greet each other. In her thoughts, they looked good together.
Although Maya had a late breakfast, she ended up joining Richard and her mother for lunch. She found out that kare-kare is Richard’s favorite. He stayed for another hour after lunch before deciding to leave.
While walking on the steps leading to the gate, Maya thanked him for coming over on short notice. If she was happy when she woke up earlier, her heart was dancing throughout the time he was with them that day.
“It’s fine Maya. I like your mother. Medyo may similarities sila ng mom ko. Anyway, thank you for the lunch and these, ang dami naman nito.” Richard was carrying a brown bag containing the native food including the kare-kare that Nanay Teresita wanted him to take home.
As they stood before the gate, he thought suddenly crossed his mind. “I’m leaving. So, do I get a goodbye kiss from you?” He had a naughty grin on his face.
“Ano ka?” Maya laughed. She felt giddy deep inside.
“Well, di ba I’m your boyfriend so dapat may goodbye kiss. I think your mother is looking at us from the house.” His eyes moved to direction of the house and Maya followed his eyes instinctively.
She didn’t see her but as she turned Richard gave her a quick kiss on her cheek. Her brows furrowed as she looked at him, a bit surprised by his action.
Richard was grinning as he said. “Okay, don’t tell me you were upset because it wasn’t proper?” It was double entendre question which Maya didn’t respond to.
Richard then put down the brown bag on the ground and took a step closer to Maya. Without saying a word, he held her face in one hand and kissed her lightly on the lips. It was a quick kiss that nevertheless sent small shocks to Maya’s body.
“I think that will do for a show, sweetheart.” Richard turned to pick up his brown package, opened the gate himself and left her residence. It a few seconds before Maya moved to close the gate.
Maya was in cloud nine as she walked back to the house. When she opened the door, her mother teased her with a smile on her face. “Maya, ‘yang mga kissing na ‘yan baka saan mapapunta, ‘yan anak.”
“”Nay, naman.” Her mother’s comment didn’t dampen her mood. She went to her room thinking how long she could be in pretend relationship with him. She wished it would never end.
Richard was in a good mood as he drove from Antipolo on the way to San Lorenzo where his mother lives. Since there was so much food given by Nanay Teresita, so he planned on sharing it with his mother who also loves native delicacy.
His thoughts returned to Maya. Since their dinner date the previous night, he has been thinking if he made the right decision to stay out of James’s way so his brother could court her. Her pleasant personality draws her to him. There is no dull moment with her.
There is also a part in him that wants to be with her; to hold her. So last night when she stood so close to him, he succumbed to the temptation and kissed her. And then today before leaving her house, he assumed that her mother was looking out the window, just like how his mother would check on him. So, he used that as an alibi so he could kiss her again. It was a cheap move but he wanted the feel of her lips on his lips.
“Hi Ma.” Richard came to the house with his brown package. “I’ve something for you.”
Dona Esmeralda was glad to see Richard come over to her house on a weekend. It was a rare occasion. He usually visit on a weekday. She assumes that on weekends, he spends his time with his girlfriend, whoever the girl is. The last time he introduced a girlfriend to her was six years ago.
“Hi Ricky. What a pleasant surprise anak. What’s this?” She checked the contents of the bag.
“Kakanin, suman and there is kare-kare. You might like them. Madami kasi, I can’t finish them by myself.” Richard put his arm around his mother’s shoulder as they went to the kitchen.
Moments later, Dona Esmeralda was eating the food he brought. “Oh Ricky, ang sarap naman nito. Where did these come from? I love them.”
“Someone gave it to me. Galing sa San Nicolas.” He informed his mother. He anticipated her next question. “From a friend, Ma.”
“Ha,ha,ha. You are so defensive anak. So what’s wrong with me asking who is your current girl? I’m still your mother so I deserve to know son. When will I meet her?” Dona Esmeralda placed a hand over Richard’s hand.
Richard shook his head with his mother’s persistence. It was difficult to keep a secret from her. He was smiling as he responded to her. “I don’t know yet Ma. She’s not my girlfriend, technically. Anyway, may konting complication pa na I have to thresh out.”
“Ricky, is this related to what you were discussing with James the other day. I overheard pieces of your conversation, son.” His mother’s tone became serious.
“I know I shouldn’t be saying this because I might get accused of taking sides. But Richard, you have once given way to your brother. If you are really into this girl, I think it would be understandable if you fight fair and square. Baka kailangan lang kausapin mo si James.” Dona Esmeralda had seen how her two sons once fought over a girl, named Alex.
Alex was Richard’s girlfriend for almost a year but for unknown reasons to her, she became James’s girlfriend. The brothers didn’t speak for a year and her heart was broken during that time. If her husband Eduardo didn’t pass away that brought Richard back to T.A., the eventual reconciliation of the brothers wouldn’t have happened.
“Ma, wag kayong mag-alala. I’ll make sure we handle this issue properly this time.” Richard assured his mother thereby confirming that he and James were indeed interested in the same girl.
“Anyway, paki sabi mo na lang sa girlfriend mo na I love this kakanin and suman. At please stay until dinner kung wala kang gagawin sa condo unit mo.” Dona Esmeralda finished the food on her plate with gusto.
Richard decided to sleep over in his mother’s house. He suddenly felt the need for the company of his family. In his own room in the family home, he was thinking of Maya and what would his next steps with her. She once said she would like to keep it business with him but judging from her responses to in the last two days, he knew that he could take it further. He sensed he has a huge chance with her.
He fell asleep thinking about her. In his slumber, he dreamt of her. It was a type of dream that had him go for a cold shower when he woke up in the middle of the night.