A/N: This is a continuation to Foolish Hearts – part 9.
Chapter 10 – Yes!
The romantic moment of Richard and Maya was interrupted by the arrival of Ysabel with Lino in tow. Although disappointed, both of them composed themselves and went towards the couple who just joined them at the park.
“Sabi ko na nga ba, andito kayo.” Ysabel greeted them. She was her usual upbeat mood as if she had forgotten her embarrassing moment in her condo earlier that day. “Ito kasi ang favorite place ni Maya. Lagi ‘yang pumupunta dito kada uwi nya sa San Nicolas.”
“Talaga?” Richard reacted and glanced at Maya. He was grinning while pretending not to know anything about the place.
“Ysabel, let’s go. Let’s have dinner sa may Plaza na lang.” Maya didn’t like where the discussion may end up to. Ysa in her light moments tends to spill out secrets without meaning to. Maya had a secret wish in this park.
Ysabel noticed Maya’s discomfort so she changed her tone but still teased her friend. She turned to Richard. “Yes, sir. May isang tao kasi na gusto n’yang dito sa lugar na ‘to magtapat ang taong mahal n’ya. Pangarap kasi n’ya na doon sila magsumpaan ng love nila sa balete tree na ‘yon.”
Ysabel pointed at the century old tree where Maya’s grandmothers had their love pledges.
“Ysabel, tara na. Mahirap maghanap ng parking sa Plaza pag gumabi na.” Maya once again asked them to leave the place.
Richard got curious on what Ysabel was sharing pursued the topic. “So, what happened? Nakapagsumpaan ba sila?”
“Sa pagkaka-alam ko, hindi. Parang walang nangyari or under process pa rin sila. Bihira na kasi sila magkita eh.” Ysa shared.
After hearing Ysa’s story, Richard thought. “Who is the guy whom Ysa is referring. I don’t think it is me. Then again, should have I declared myself under the balete tree? It could be the reason why she couldn’t respond earlier.” His heart ached a little.
Richard was in a pensive mode while driving to the town plaza. Now that he has told his feelings for Maya, a part of him was afraid that his love isn’t reciprocated. However, he had console himself that on several occasions, she showed him she felt the same for him. And while he committed that he will wait, he prayed that it wouldn’t take her long to respond and say she loves him too.
When they stopped at the parking area, Maya checked on him. “Ricky, okay ka lang?” He has been quiet so she was concerned.
“Yeah, I’m okay.” He half smiled.
They got out of the car to proceed to the restaurant where they would have light dinner. There were food in their homes but they also wanted to try the dishes offered by one of the local restaurants in town. They also planned on watching a cultural show at the plaza.
As they proceeded to the restaurant, Maya walked closely with Richard while occasionally glancing at him. She was trying to read his facial expression as she noticed something was bothering him. Richard could see her at the corner of his eyes.
He momentarily stopped, took her hand and clasped it with his. When he resumed walking with her hand on his, Maya adjusted their handclasp and intertwined their fingers. She smiled at him. Such move from Maya caused Richard to smile broadly in return. If his brows were furrowed earlier, it all straightened back and his smile reached his eyes.
When they entered the restaurant, Lino immediately noticed the two arrive holding hands. He also observed how, Richard pulled a chair for Maya and sat so close to her. He couldn’t help but comment.
“Hmm, mukhang may development dito sa dalawa, ah. Love is in the air.” Lino’s brows raised up and down as he looked at Maya whose face was turning to crimson.
“Lino, pang asar ka, ha.” She made face at Lino. “Anu umorder na kayo? Masarap ang pancit luglug dito.”
Lino laughed and continued.”Uyyyy, iniiba ang topic.”
“Lino, magtigil ka ha.” Maya warned him but instead Lino continued giving her naughty look. Ysa who just returned from the ladies room caught on what was happening and joined the teasing. They were all laughing including Richard.
“Ricky…” She widenend her eyes to warn him. “ikaw naman nakikisali ka pa.”
“What? Natatawa lang naman ako sa biro nila.” Richard responded with a smirk on his face.
“So, ano pare, kayo na ba ni Maya?” Lino asked Richard point blankly.
“Ahh, let’s just say malapit na.” Richard responded with a smile. After that he groaned “Aray” Maya pinched him on his side. She looked at him with warning eyes as she wasn’t ready to tell anyone whatever was ongoing between the two of them.
Lino seemingly satisfied with the response and what he saw stood up and invited Ysa. “Babe, tingnan ka natin duon kung anong available pasalubong items meron sila. Excuse us, ha.” They left Richard and Maya on the table.
A few seconds after, Richard whispered in Maya’s ear. “Are you upset?”
She responded in a whisper too. “Not really. Kaya lang, hindi pa naman tayo nakakapag-usap ng maayos kasi, eh parang nagbobroadcast ka na about us.”
Richard took her response as a positive sign. He then faced her as if there were only two of them in the restaurant. He leaned forward turned sideways so that his face was very close to hers. Then, he said, “So, do I take it I won’t be waiting long?”
Maya giggled a little as she pushed him away from her at the same time touching his face to make him sit forward.
Ysabel was giddy observing the two. “Babe, ang sweet nila. Ang sweet talaga nila. Tayo rin.” She told Lino. The two had just returned.
“Babe, dati na tayong sweet. Pag nag sweet sweetan pa tayo dito, langgam at hantik na dudumog sa kainan na ito.” Lino responded.
After dinner, they all went to the main plaza where the stage show was to be held. There were many people in the area and they couldn’t find a good spot to watch the show. At one point, Maya was accidently bumped by kids who were trying to make their way towards the stage. As Maya almost lost balance, Richard was quick to grab her in his arms. Eventually, Richard ended up almost embracing Maya from behind to protect her from any harm.
Maya standing in front of Richard could smell his cologne. She didn’t how it happened but moments later, she was already leaning her back on his chest as his arms were around her shoulder. It felt good to be held like that although they were in a public place. They were in that position for some minutes. When she slightly turned to look at him, she found their face so close together almost kissing.
It was Richard who spoke. “Maya, I think we should go home.” He bit his lower lip which caused Maya’s heart to leap. She just nodded in response.
Since they’ve decided to leave, they checked if Lino and Ysabel also wanted to go. As it turned out, the other couple also wanted to go home.
They’ve decided to call it a night and agreed to just see each other the following day for the fluvial parade.
The ride back to Maya’s house was short. Within 10 minutes, they entered the yard. When they climbed the staircase, they were still holding hands. Maya couldn’t recall whether their hands even got separated since they left the park.
It was already 10 p.m. and the whole household was quiet. She momentarily left Richard at the living room to check on her mother. Maya found Nanay Teresita soundly asleep with Mamang.
“Ricky… tulog na silang lahat. So, let’s call it a night.” She told him when she returned to the living room. She was standing in front of him and realized that he was gazing at her with such tenderness that her heart was thumping.
“Maya, about what I said earlier. I meant every word I said. I love you.” He took her hand and pressed it.
She was overjoyed and couldn’t contain her emotion that she was becoming teary eyed. “Ricky…”
He sensed that it was the right moment. “I love you very much. Will you be my girlfriend?” His emotions compelled him to ask her as if he would die if he can’t get an answer that moment.
Maya still misty eyed replied with a lump in her throat. “I love you too Ricky. Yes, I want to be your girlfriend.”
Richard’s heart leaped with joy as he embraced her tightly. “You made me so happy Maya. Thank you.” He said as their foreheads close together, their lips just an inch apart. With their eyes half closed, Richard tilted her head slightly and kissed her in the mouth.
The kiss was light and sweet. It was Maya’s first kiss and it was exactly how she imagined it to be. It was kiss full of love that was overwhelming the heart.
“I love you Ricky.” Those were the last words that Maya uttered before they went to their separate rooms. Maya could hardly sleep that night. Richard in the other room was also the same. In his head, it was the best out of town trip of his life.