This is a continuation to The Rightful Owner – part 10.
The following day, Richard woke up alone in his bed. In his half awake state, he threw an arm over the other side of his bed and felt its cold surface. His eyes opened wide and found an empty space beside him. He immediately stood up wrapped his lower body with the bed sheet and checked the bathroom. He thought Maya might be there but she wasn’t. He went out of his room and checked the rest of his house but she was nowhere in his place; Maya was gone.
He went back to his room and saw the red stains on his bed which meant the previous night with her was not a dream. His heart suddenly thumped nervously as he searched for any message that she might have left behind in his room. She didn’t leave anything. Then, he thought of calling her up. He spent a few minutes searching for his phone. He found it on the floor as it was thrown haphazardly the previous night together with his pants. But, the phone’s battery was drained so he had to charge it first and wait for a minute to be able to see any messages or make a call.
An incoming message flashed as soon as his phone turned on while it was charging.
“I have an appointment this afternoon. I will call you.” It was from Maya.
After reading the message and specially the “I will call you” part, increased his anxiety. He had used that in the past with other women and he didn’t like what it meant. So, he had to console himself that she is not that kind of girl who sleeps around. The proof was still on his bed. Nevertheless, he felt uneasy not seeing her that morning.
Richard checked on the time and his watch told him it was noon time. Maya’s message was at 9:30 a.m. which meant he had been sleeping the whole morning. The past week was stressful for him with the problem caused by his trusted employee at Lim Aviations and with dalliance with her the previous night, his body had succumbed to his much needed rest.
He called up her on her mobile phone but she didn’t answer. He decided to take a bath and planned on having lunch. As soon as he got out of the bath, he tried calling her again. He tried several times more in between dressing up until finally she picked up the call.
“Hi Maya.” He spoke tentatively as he waited anxiously for her response. He wanted to hear the tone of her voice.
“Hi” She sounded happy. “Ahhh, I saw your missed calls. Sorry, ha, I’m in the salon getting my hair and make-up done. After this, I need to go to the studio for a TV show taping. So, matatapos siguro ako dito gabi na.” She practically itemized her itinerary for the day. Richard heaved a sigh of relief.
“So, full pala schedule mo for today.” He felt disappointed. “Anyway, how did you get there? Why didn’t you wake me up kanina?”
“Ahhh, hindi ko ‘yan masasagot ngayon ha. Nasa salon pa kasi ako.” Maya tone’s change as if she didn’t want to respond at that moment.
“Alright, so how about I pick you up later wherever you are?” Richard offered.
“Ehh! May dala akong sasakyan. Alangan iwan ko sa studio?” She countered.
“Yes, iwan mo na lang. I want to see you Maya, please?” He almost pleaded. Since Maya has recognized her feelings for him, it was difficult to decline his request. In the end she agreed.
Maya was in the parking lot of ABN when Richard’s black BMW car stopped in front of her. He got out of the car and approached her with kiss on the cheek.
“Hi, sorry medyo late na ako.” He smiled apologetically. They’ve agreed to meet at 8:00 p.m. but Richard got entangled in a traffic two blocks away to her network studio. He arrived 15 minutes late although she didn’t notice as she spent her waiting time talking with some production crew.
“Okay lang Richard. Kalalabas ko rin lang.” She smiled at him.
“So, let’s go.” He steered her towards his car, opened the passenger door and allowed her to take her seat properly before closing the door. He went around the car to take the driver’s seat.
“Hmmm, in fairness, pa gentleman ang peg nito” Maya said to herself.
As Richard sat on the driver’s seat, he turned to look at Maya. “Hey, you owe me something.”
Maya looked at him quizzically. “Ha? ano ‘yun?”
Richard suddenly leaned over to Maya’s side, bringing his upper body close to hers. The next thing she knew, he was kissing her. Although initially surprised, she responded to his kiss. After a few seconds, he seemed satisfied. He was grinning as he pinched her chin before positioning himself back on his seat.
As they drove away from the studio, Richard took Maya’s hand while he was driving.
“Richard, unsafe ‘tong holding hands while driving na ginagawa mo.” She smiled in amusement as she looked at him. In her thoughts, “parang pasweet naman nito.”
Richard glanced at her and released her hand. “So, what do you want to do now?” Richard focused on his driving.
“Ahhh, ikaw? Nagdinner ka na?”
He shook his head. “Not yet, I was going to ask you out sana.”
“Late na ah. Richard, next time, ‘wag kang magpa late ng dinner or any meals for that matter. Sige, dinner tayo whatever you feel like eating.” She worried that Richard might have that habit of not eating on time so she reminded him.
“Ikaw, what do you want to eat? Any preference kasi ako I can eat anything.” Richard responded.
“Hmm, saan walang tao?” Maya was thinking aloud when she had that question.
“Walang tao? Eto na naman tayo sa ganitong usapan. If you mean a place where it’s private or few people around, we can go to my place.” Richard had a naughty grin on his face when he gave his suggestion.
“Richard, ikaw ha.” She was quiet for a while. “Sa bahay ko na lang kaya, baka nagluto si Nanay. Tawagan ko muna, okay lang?” Richard nodded. He had no food preference that night so anywhere was good for him.
The two ended up having dinner at Maya’s home upon Nanay Teresita’s insistence. After Maya’s call, Nanay Teresita immediately prepared something for the two such that when they arrived, there was something on the table waiting for them. It was good that she had earlier cooked two dishes to leave to Maya as she was scheduled to go back to San Nicolas the following day.
Over dinner, Richard and Maya were joined by Nanay Teresita as she served them and conversed with them as they ate. Maya further confirmed that her mother is very fond of Richard which she actually liked.
Richard was at Maya’s lanai when she later joined him with a tray a coffee for the two of them. As soon as she placed the tray on the center table, Richard motioned her to sit beside him on the sofa. They sat side by side with Richard’s arm around her.
She was smiling ear to ear as she faced him to give a comment. “Talagang ‘Nay ang tawag mo sa nanay ko ha.” She was pleasantly surprised during dinner that Richard call her mother ‘Nay in their conversation.
“Why not?” He was amused by her comment. “She was the one who actually told me to call her that the first time she thought we are a couple. Does that mean, she likes me.” He asked.
“I think so.” Then, Maya added. “Maasikaso s’ya pagdating sa’yo,eh. Lalo nga’t ang alam n’ya magboyfriend tayo.” Richard was elated with the thought that her mother likes him.
Then, he remembered his unanswered question from morning. “Maya, I haven’t forgotten my question this morning. Why did you leave without waking me up?” He was serious when turned to look at her.
Maya wondered why his mood change. “Kasi po, tulog na tulog ka. You looked so peaceful in your sleep so I decided to let you sleep some more.” She explained then, followed-up. “Richard galit ka ba kasi umalis ako?”
Richard had a sad smile as he folded her in his arms. “Not really, na disappoint lang ako. I wanted to wake up with you on my side.”
“Hmmm, pakonsen’sya effect ka naman.” As if the tightness of his hug wasn’t enough, she moved closer to him.
“Alright, one more thing. Do you know how I felt when I found myself alone in bed?” He whispered in her ear. She shook her head but ducked her head a little as she suddenly felt ticklish with his lips close and strands of her hair blew lightly as he spoke.
“I worried that you might have run away from me. Just like in the movies, paggising ng bidang babae, narealize n’ya ang nangyari noong gabi and then she regretted it and never came back.” Richard explained.
Maya couldn’t help but chuckle by what he said. “Ha,ha, eh cinematic pala ang thinking mo, pwede kang writer.” Then, she turned serious. “But actually, I thought about that when I woke up this morning.”
“What?” Richard voice raised that Maya sat up straight and looked at him.
She started to laugh again. “Naku, grabe naman ‘tong makapag-react, binibiro lang kita. Ang cute mo talaga.” She pinched his two cheeks to calm him down.
He tried to control the smile that was beginning to emerge from his face when he realized that she was teasing him. So, with a sullen expression, he retorted. “Hmmp, akala ko nga kasi iniwan mo ako matapos mong makuha ang lahat lahat sa akin.” He looked at her intently. They both knew what he meant. Then, they burst out laughing by their role reversal.
Unknown to the two, Nanay Teresita were watching them from the foyer.
She overhead their laughter so curiously checked on them. The two were in a tight embrace and she saw the contented face of her daughter. She hoped Maya had found in Richard the man she has been waiting for.
From where Nanay Teresita was standing, she didn’t hear what they were talking about but she saw Maya nodding to something that Richard was probably asking her. She decided to leave the two to give them the privacy they need.
What she missed was Richard’s whisper in Maya’s ear. “Maya, we are no longer in a pretend relationship. We are official, ha?”
She nodded several times as she said. “Yes, tayo na Mr. Lim.”