Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to AttyMayiVR. This is a continuation to Please Be My Legal Wife – part 8.
A/N: Again, thank you to all readers, co-adiks at kapwa mga ilusyunadas.
Thank you for waiting and always checking on my homepage for updates, kahit sobrang delayed.
Sorry for the long wait. Demanding ang work, hindi na halos nakakabasa sa EB, pili na lang, pati ang BCWMH hindi ko na napapanood.
So here, I went on leave just so I can make time for fanfic reading here sa EB and this kasi sobrang miss ko na.
Thank you for your generous comments. I love reading them again and again. (”,)
MERRY CHRISTMAS to EB admin and to EVERYONE!
I hope you’ll like this one.
PREVIOUSLY on Please Be My Legal Wife – Part 8
When Richard arrived home from his meeting that night, he went straight to the kitchen to get a glass of water. It felt strange that Maya is not in the study, not in the kitchen, not in the veranda or the pool side.
In a short period of time, he has grown accustomed to Maya’s presence in his house and that night, somehow, it didn’t feel right not to feel her there. It simply felt strange not to hear that faint sound of music coming from Maya’s room. This made him wonder what she could be doing that very moment.
Then it just dawned on him. He misses Maya ……… terribly.
Richard released a sigh of frustration as he tried to brush off thoughts of Maya. He walked towards his home office to work on his laptop, but soon after he saw the main door, visions of what happened behind it early evening flashed in his mind. He couldn’t stop himself from recalling how it felt when Maya fell into his arms. The ant and the elephant…..silly girl! he thought, and shook his head smiling.
Instead of turning right into his office, Richard stepped to the left to head for the stairs. He remembered what Maya once told him, to first change into houseclothes so that he’ll be comfortable and relaxed while working at home.
Later in his home office, Richard realized that he has been sitting and staring at blank space for about an hour without any output. Since when did this chair become uncomfortable? he asked himself. No, maybe it’s the lack of natural air circulation in this room, he assumed. So, he stood up, took his laptop and started to walk to the veranda. When he passed by the study, something lured him to go inside – the white pashmina of Maya that was resting on the sofa where he usually sees her reading a book at night with the pashmina around her shoulders.
Richard immediately went inside, placed the laptop on the coffee table and sat on the sofa. He then lifted the pashmina to his face and got goose bumps all over as he inhaled the scent of Clinique Happy, the perfume Maya was wearing when she fell into his arms earlier. “That’s it!” he said, “I need to sleep this off!”
Saturday was going to be a busy day for Richard. Well, at least that is what and how he planned it to be. He has to make up for the two days that he was at the hangar construction in Clark. But aside from that, he wanted to be occupied with some other things. So, although he did not have enough sleep, Richard was already up early morning. He went down the stairs while putting on his wrist watch, mindful of not wasting any second. Richard went straight to the study to get his laptop, when Manang Fe chanced upon him.
Manang Fe: O, Ricardo, ang aga mo namang nagising. Sabado ngayon, saan ang lakad mo?
Richard: Papasok po sa opsina, Manang.
Manang Fe: Naku kang bata ka. Trabaho na naman? Naka pagpahinga ka na ba ng maayos mula sa byahe mo sa Clark? Eh kulang ka sa tulog ah.
Manang Fe knows Richard too well. Richard cannot deny that he did not have a good night sleep.
Richard: Marami lang pong iniisip, Manang.
Manang Fe: Ganun ba? O sha, kung talagang marami kang dapat gawin sa opisina, mag almusal ka muna bago umalis. Sumunod ka na lang sa dining table at tatapusin ko ang paghahanda ng almusal.
Silently, Richard thought, Yes, there were a lot of things in my mind last night…things pertaining to Abby’s private tutor…Maya…why does she seem to be really addicting…
Manang Fe: Ricardo?
Richard: P-po Manang?
Manang Fe: Sabi ko, halika na’t kumain ka muna ng almusal bago ka umalis.
Richard: Sa opsina na lang po Manang.
Manang Fe: Ay hindi ako papayag. Kulang ka na nga sa tulog, magpapalipas ka pa ng almusal. Magkakasakit ka nyan. Hindi mo na nga ako narining sa pagka lutang ng isip mo eh. Halika na.
Richard: Sige na po. Huwag na kayo magalit. Richard followed Manang Fe to the dining table and seated himself right away.
Manang Fe: Ang akin lang, huwag mong abusuhin ang katawan mo. Anu ba kasi pinag iisip mo at natutulala ka na jan?
Richard: Nothing Manang, just…uhm….things.
Manang Fe: Lumabas labas ka naman kasi. Hindi puro trabaho, Ricardo.
Richard: Lumalabas naman po ako Manang. Hindi po ba?
Manang Fe: Labas na ba ang tawag mo sa mga business meetings mo?
Richard: I go out with friends.
Manang Fe: Sino? Eh dalawa lang naman ang alam kong matalik mong kaibigan. Si Ryan at Rafi.Imposible na mang si Rafi. Halos hindi na nga kayo nagtatawagan at magkabaliktad ang oras nyo. Kung si Ryan naman, dito ka nya tinatagpo sa bahay, at matagal ko ng hindi nakikita si Ryan.
Richard: I do have other friends Manang.
Manang Fe: Pero hindi ng gaya ng pagkakaibigan nyo ni Ryan at Rafi. Nasasabihan mo ba sila ng mga nasa loob mo?
Ricardo, huwag mo kasing sarilihin ang mga bagay. Maganda na may napagsasabihan ka ng mga nasa luobin mo. Maganda man, o hindi. Lahat naman kasi kinikimkim mo sa loob mo, eh. Magkakasakit ka sa puso nyan.
Tignan mo si Maya, ang dali nya mag sabi kung anu ang nasa isip at loob nya, hindi natatakot, hayun, palaging magaan ang pakiramdam ng batang yun.
Richard: May problema po si Maya, Manang?
Manang Fe: Wala naman. Ang ibig ko lang sabihin, nakakagaan ng pakiramdam kapag nailalabas mo ang nasa luobin mo.
Sana kung hindi mo masabi sa akin, sana may iba ka pang kaibigan na mapagsasabihan maliban kay Rafi at Ryan.
Si Maya, napapansin ko, madalas na kayong nagkakausap ah. Kahapon, sa labas, para kayong nagkakatuwaan. Napatawa ka nya, Ricardo.
Richard: Eh nakakatawa naman po kasi yung sinabi niya eh.Richard chuckles at the thought of the ant and the elephant. Sabayan nyo na po ako kumain, Manang.
Manang Fe: Siya sige.
Alam mo, sa tanghali, madalas, magkakasabay kaming lahat nila Maya at Abby kumain. Niyayaya nya kami na sumabay sa pag kain para daw malibang si Abby. Dinadaldal nya at dinadaan sa kwento kaya hayun, maraming nakakain ang bata.
Richard: Sana lang mahawa si Abby sa kadaldalan ni Maya.
Manang Fe: Eh nakaka hawa naman talaga si Maya eh. Kita mo nga at, ang sigla sigla na lagi ngayon ni Abby! Nahawa kay Maya.
Nakakatuwa ang batang yun, hindi mo malaman kung saan kinukuha ni Maya ang energy nya. Parang hindi nauubos!
Haay, tahimik ang bahay, parang nakakabingi. Malungkot,walang kasigla sigla, wala kasi si Maya eh.
Maya’s naivety and innocence, together with her charm, energy and wit, are so enchanting; she has bewitched not only the Lim kids and the entire household, but Richard as well. Maya and her presence in the mansion have become a habit hard to break….for everyone.
Sunday finally came and it was the children’s turn to wake up early in the morning.
Abby was tasked by her siblings to go to their Dad’s room to wake him up. Slowly, Abby opened the door of Richard’s room and saw her daddy still sleeping. She walked towards him, careful not to make any noise, then she showered kisses all over Richard’s face.
Richard: Good morning Baby! Richard sits up and kisses Abby on her forehead. You’re up so early. You look so pretty! Why are you wearing that dress?
Abby smiles at her dad. She flaunts her dress and by putting her hands together just below her chin, Abby tried to tell Richard that it’s Sunday and they need to go to church to hear mass.
Richard: You want to go to church? Abby gives Richard the thumbs up sign. Where’s Kuya and Ate? Abby points to the door.
Richard: Gising na ba sila? Abby nods.
Richard: Okay Baby, go to Ate and Kuya while I take a shower and change clothes.
When Richard was descending the stairs, he was amazed to see his kids already waiting for him at the dining table for breakfast, all dressed up for Sunday mass.
Richard: Good morning kids.
Luke and Nikki: Good morning Dad!
Richard: You’re all up early.
Luke: Uhm…Dad, this is Abby’s plan. Last night, she showed us her drawing in one of her classes with Tita Maya, and it says there Sunday is family day and the day should start with going to mass.
Nikki: Actually Dad, Abby was so restless and couldn’t sleep last night and she was looking for Tita Maya. So I texted her and right away, she called –
Richard: She called last night?
Nikki: Yes Dad, she called to talk to Abby and she calmed Abby down. Then Abby looked for her drawing and showed us. Tapos kanina she woke us showing her drawing again all dressed up.
Richard: Okay, we’ll go to mass after breakfast. Then we’ll visit Alex.
Nikki: A-are y-you sure Dad? Y-you’re okay with that?
Richard: Yes Nikki. This is something inevitable. Sometime, this should happen, and it will happen. I should not stop you from visiting your mom as well. It has been a long time. We…well…I should at least try……Maybe it will do me… do us all good.
Richard saw his kids just looking at him with moist eyes. He knew that Luke and Nikki couldn’t believe that he was opening up, allowing them to see his vulnerability. It was almost an awkward moment for him, yet relieving.
Richard: Uhm….we could go to the mall after? Eat lunch, then watch a movie maybe, or let Abby play in the arcade?
Abby was not the only one who got frantically excited with what Richard just said.
Luke: Really, Dad?!
Richard: Yes! Anyway today is the last day of your vacation. Tomorrow it’s back to school.
Nikki: Oh my gee Dad!
Luke: That would be great, Dad! This is our first after a very long time.
Richard: Yes, son and this will be good for Abby. Maya is right, Sunday should be family day and we should start with hearing mass. We have a lot of things to thank for.
Nikki: Oh my gee, Tita Maya is really an angel!
Richard: Yes, she is…wait…and you really call her Tita Maya?
Nikki: Ah..uhm, yes Dad! And she said it’s perfectly okay with her for as long as it’s okay with you too!
Richard: Okay then, Tita Maya it is.
The kids gave each other a “high five” and after which, Nikki swooned while clapping her hands and Abby made her usual thumbs up sign.
Richard: And what is that all about?
Nikki: Oh nothing Dad. It’s just that we like her so much. Besides, she’s more than just Abby’s tutor…..she’s like family already and it just feel right to call her Tita Maya instead of Teacher Maya….and we are just so ecstatic that you do not have any objections to that.
Richard smiled at her thought and looked at the empty chair where Maya usually sits at meal time with them. Thank you Maya because you simply care for my children’s well being, you are effortlessly helping me bridge the gap we have and make my family whole again.
Nikki: Awwwww, sayang Tita Maya is not here to join us. It’s our last day of vacation pa naman.
Richard: She said she’ll be back around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon so you can still spend some time together later. So, are you two ready for school tomorrow?
Luke and Nikki: Yes Dad!
Luke: I think this school year will be the best one, Dad!
Nikki: Surely Kuya!
Richard was overjoyed being with his kids at church. He felt light after visiting Alex with them, especially after Abby casually waved at her mother’s grave while smiling. Then at lunch time, Richard went euphoric as he watched his kids eat lunch with delight on their faces while exchanging banters. Quietly he thought, So this is how they are at meal time with Maya. They look so happy, relaxed and free, not afraid to say anything, not scared to make mistakes.
Richard felt uncomfortable being in the arcade. It was too crowded and too noisy. But he couldn’t care less. The rowdy atmosphere paled in contrast to the joy, thrill and satisfaction that he saw in his children’s faces. It was like their first time in the arcade….well it is for Abby. While he reminisced the time when Luke and Nikki went to the arcade for the very first time, Richard got butterflies in his stomach as he felt how it is to be connected to his kids and be a father to them once again.
He was in cloud 9, too elated he wanted to shout it out and share it with someone, and the very first person who came to his mind was Maya. Why not? Richard asked himself in silence. It shouldn’t be any other person. After all, she is the very reason for all of these. Now I know why she is addicting, she gives you a natural high.
Richard checked the time and it was almost 3:00 o’clock. He approached his kids who were having fun playing air hockey.
Richard: I don’t want to put down the fun spirits that you have right now, but it’s almost 3 o’clock. I just don’t want you getting too excited and tired because either you might have difficulty sleeping later or getting up tomorrow for your first day in school.
Luke: It’s okay Dad, marami pa naming next time, right?
Richard: Yes of course.
Nikki: Awwwwww, it’s okay baby, may next time pa naman. But Dad, can we have ice cream first? You like ice cream, right baby? Abby nods smiling.
Richard: All right, we’ll have ice cream first.
It was nearly 4:30 in the afternoon when they reached the mansion, and the kids excitedly looked for Maya. They were so eager to see her and tell her the day’s events. Richard was eager himself.
Nikki: Ate Doris! Is Tita Maya home already?
Doris: Ay, wala pa po Ma’am Nikki eh.
Richard: She’s not here yet? Tumawag ba?
Doris: Ay, Sir, ako po walang nasagot na tawag, hindi ko lang po alam kina Sabel at Manang Fe.
Richard: It’s okay, I’ll just text her.
Richard’s Text: Where are you now? Kids are looking for you.
While the kids went up to their rooms to change into house clothes, Richard went to his home office and checked on his emails. Every now and then, he glanced at his cellphone and got more anxious when he saw no text messages or calls coming in from Maya. He sent her another message.
Richard’s Text: Are you still in Valley Golf? Are you in the middle of your client meeting, can I call you?
After 30 minutes, Richard was getting impatient. So, Richard decided to call her, but Maya was not picking up which infuriated him. Damn it! Why is she not picking up! Richard screamed inside. He starts to compose another message for Maya and it was at this time that the kids were noisily running down the stairs.
Nikki: Hahaha! Bilis Abby, baka Tita Maya is there na! Kuya is right behind us, unahan natin siya magkwento!
Luke: I-ke-kwento ko rin ang pagka pikon mo kanina! Hahaha!
Richard: Kids! NO running down the stairs!! And what’s the noise all about?!
The kids were startled at their Dad. A while ago, he was just so cool and calm, and now he is in tiger mode – so irritated and enraged. The children looked at each other and just shrugged their shoulders.
Richard’s Text: Maya, it’s already past 6 in the evening and you’re still not home yet. You’re not texting back. And why are you not answering my calls?
Worried that they will catch the ire of their father, Luke, Nikki and Abby quietly sat on the sofa, and patiently waited for Maya’s arrival.
Nikki: (whispering) Kuya, what’s wrong with Dad?
Luke: (whispering) Niks, How should I know, kanina pa tayong tatlo magkakasama nila Abby. Baka work.
Nikki: (whispering) Okay Kuya, whatever. I just hope Tita Maya comes home soon. I know she can calm Dad down.
After about 20 long minutes, the kids heard the faint sound of a car door closing and Maya’s voice saying good bye to Emman. On the other hand, Richard was so absorbed with his frustration and anger, he did not even notice the sound of the service gate being bolted.
Nikki: (whispering) Oh my gee Kuya! That’s Tita Maya na!
Tita Maya! Luke and Nikki shrieked as Maya entered the main door. Nikki and Abby hurriedly ran to Maya and hugged her right away while Luke trailed behind feeling relieved.
Luke: Tita Maya, kanina ka pa namin hinahantay eh!
Maya: Ah! Wow naman, para naman akong celebrity, may welcoming committee! Namiss ko rin kayo! Pa kiss nga! Mwah! Mwah!
The merriment was instantly stopped when Richard came out of his office and roared.
Richard: Maya! Bakit ngayon ka lang?!
Maya: Huh?! Sir Chief! Good evening po!
Richard: I said bakit ngayon ka lang?! Hindi ka man lang nag text and you were not answering my calls!
Maya: Sir Chief! Sabi ko rin po, good evening po! Kadadating ko lang nang a-away ka na naman po? Bakit po ba tiger mode kayo? Naniningkit na naman ang mga mata nyo oh. Siguro….gusto nyo rin ng kiss no?
Maya: Gusto nyo rin ng kiss? Abby, kiss mo si Daddy! Yung matunog ha! Abby did as advised.
Maya: Galing ng magic kiss ni Abby, nagkaka mata na uli si Daddy!
Maya: Sir Chief, bakit po ba ang init ng ulo nyo, na-miss nyo ako noh!
Richard: W-what? Richard blushes.
Maya: Hahaha, namumula si Sir Chief! Tama ako noh? Hahaha! Na miss nyo ako! Wala kasi kayong ibang maaway dito eh. Kaya ayan, kadadating ko pa lang, sinalubong nyo ako ng bulyaw.
Richard: W-what? Uhm….namumula ako sa galit! Why are you late? You said, you’ll be home at 3:00 o’clock, and its’s almost 7!
Maya: Sir Chief, I did not say I’ll be home at 3:00. Ang sabi ko po, I have a client meeting at 3:00 o’clock at Valley Golf at ihahatid ako pauwi dito ni Emman after that meeting.
Richard: But why were you not answering my texts and my calls?!
Maya: Tumawag kayo, Sir Chief? Maya took out her mobile phone and saw the alerts. 12 missed calls?! 8 messages?! Naku Sir Chief! Sorry po, naka silent mode eh.
Richard: Eh bakit kasi ang tagal nyo?!
Maya: Ay naku Sir Chief, ang gwapo kasi nung Daddy nung celebrant. Kaya imbes basics lang ang pag usapan, hayun si Emman, dinelay ang time at ang daming ki-nover sa meeting.
Nikki: Talaga Tita Maya? He’s cute? Funny talaga ni Em –
Nikki: Sorry, Dad.
Maya: Yun nga po Sir Chief, ang gwapo kasi nung client, kamukha ni Xian Lim! Ang kulit ni Emman, eh yung Daddy naman game, accommodating, kaya natagalan kami. Next meeting namin, finalization na lang before the event.
Richard: Eh bakit kasi Daddy ang kausap nyo, dba dapat ang mommy?!
Maya: Eh wala po kasi yung mommy.
Richard: Oh how convenient. Let me guess, his wife died too?!
Maya: Ay Sir Chief hindi po. Ano po kasi…uhm…Maya leaned towards Richard and tip toed to whisper in his ear Iniwanan silang mag ama ng wife nya! Sumama sa ibang lalaki yung mommy kasi fixed marriage sila and the wife was in love with someone else!
Richard shivered the moment he felt Maya’s warm breath against his ear. He stood still careful not to make any move as Maya traced his scent with her nose and pointed lips.
Maya: Wow, Sir Chief, ang bango mo pa rin kahit Sunday?
Maya: Uy, nakita ko na yung dimples….Baby, si Daddy hindi na Daddy Sungit, Daddy Bango na lang! Ngingiti na yan eh… ayan oh…
Richard: Richard grins. You’re silly, Maya. Kumain ka na ba? Kanina ka pa inaantay ng mga bata.
Maya: Talaga? Dami kayong kwento noh? Luke, Nikki and Abby smiled and nod at her.
Richard: Let’s have dinner first.
Dinner was wonderful. Richard was contented just seeing Maya with them at the table. He noticed though, that Luke and Nikki were both quiet and seemed to be holding back, so he excused himself under the pretext that he has to answer important e-mails. The barrier is still there. They still don’t feel comfortable with me. I should not have scolded them earlier. Richard reminded himself in his thoughts.
Nikki: Tita Maya, super thankie talaga, if not for you, today didn’t happen.
Maya: Eh, part naman kasi ng lesson ni Abby yun eh. Nagkataon lang.
Luke: No, Tita Maya, iba, kasi ikaw ang nag turo kay Abby. I’m sure she was taught about family and God even before you came, pero whatever you teach Abby, nag stick sa head nya.
Maya: Kayo naman, matalino kasi si Abby! Right baby?! High five!
Abby met Maya’s hand with hers. Then, she stood up and gave Maya a tight hug before she kissed her on the cheek.
Nikki: I’ve never seen her this happy and contended. Even si Dad, you seemed to have a special gift to make him calm all the time. Thanks talaga Tita Maya.
Luke: Alam mo, Tita Maya, Dad was so patient with us kanina sa mall, kahit alam mong annoyed na sha sa arcade, hinayaan lang nya kami.
Maya: Talaga? Hindi sha naglaro?
Luke: No, nanuod lang sha sa amin.
Maya: Hahaha! Sabi ko na nga eh, corny ang Daddy nyo. Hahaha! Everytime I see him, lagi nasa office or sa veranda man, laptop pa rin ang hawak. Ang boring nya siguro kasama.
Nikki: Shhh! He might hear you, mag tiger mode na naman!
Maya: Oops! Oo nga, sorry. Wait, kayo bang dalawa ready na for school tomorrow?
Nikki: I’m so ready na! Kuya is ready too! Ready to pick me up hoping he’ll catch a glimpse of Ate Joey, hahaha!
Luke: Lakas mong mag-asar Nikki Grace!
Maya: O, baka mag ka inisan pa kayo nyan, tama na, prepare for bed na. Dapat extra maaga kayo bukas, because you don’t know what to expect sa first day. Baka over sa trafik, titignan nyo pa ang section nyo, hahanapin nyo pa ang classroom nyo, etc. Kami naman ni Abby, mag bed time story muna.
It was almost 10:00 o’clock when Richard saw Maya at the veranda, in trance and staring at nowhere.
Richard: You seem to be in deep thought, Maya.
Maya: Ay Sir Chief! Maya stood up immediately.
Richard: No, no, don’t bother. Just go back to what you’re doing. Don’t mind me here.
Maya: Hindi po ba kayo makatulog, Sir Chief? Do you want some warm milk? Nagpapa antok po yun.
Richard: Hindi naman, just wanted to get some fresh air.
Maya: Coffee po?
Richard: Ipagtitimpla mo ako?
Maya: Opo, ayaw nyo? Takot kayo baka lagyan ko ng gayuma noh?
Richard: No, silly! I like your coffee actually.
Maya: Okay, coffee. Wait lang Sir Chief.
After a couple of minutes, Maya came in with 2 cups of coffee, holding them with each hand. Richard was smiling as he watched Maya put the coffee cups gracefully on the table.
Richard: Thank you. This is really good.
Maya: May gayuma kasi.
Maya: Hahaha! Joke lang Sir Chief, ang gullible mo. Natakot ka?
Maya: Okay, sabi mo po eh.
Richard: So, what were you thinking about?
Richard: Parang ang lalim ng iniisip mo kanina.
Maya: Ah…wala po yun Sir Chief, mababaw nga lang eh.
Richard: Mababaw? Eh bakit you appeared in trance earlier.
Maya: Si Emman kasi pahamak eh.
Richard: Why? Dahil dun sa gwapong daddy client nyo?
Maya: Nag back out kasi sa date namin.
Richard: What? You have a date with that daddy and he backed out?
Maya: Hindi po yung daddy. Si Emman po, nag back out sa date namin. Nakakainis kasi wala ako mahatak sumama sa akin.
Richard: Why did he back out? Baka naman justified. He’s your friend. I’m sure he wouldn’t do that for no reason at all.
Maya: Eh kasi dadating po yung isa nyang best friend from Australia. He arranged some activities para dun sa balik bayan, nag kasabay sa date namin.
Richard: Then move your date with him on another day.
Maya: Hindi po pwede. The tickets were already paid. Besides, yun na lang po yung available date, sold out na yung ibang show dates.
Richard: When is this and saan ba?
Maya: This Thursday na po, kasi last labas sana namin before going back to law school next Monday.
Richard: It’s a weekday. And where is this?
Maya: Sa Folk Arts Theater po, concert ni Vice Ganda.
Richard: Hahahaha! Seriously?!
Maya: Si Sir Chief naman o, pinagtatawanan pa ako. Maya’s animated face suddenly became lifeless.
Richard: You’re serious, aren’t you? You really want to watch that show?
Maya: Eh matagal ko na po gusto manuod ng show nya sa mga comedy bar. But because may restrictions, being the daughter of my parents, I could not simply go, baka makasama kina Papa. This concert is the only chance for me to see him. Nakakatawa kaya sha.
Richard: Okay, then bring Doris or Sabel with you.
Maya: I only have 2 tickets, kawawa naman yung isang maiiwan.
Richard: I’m sure you’ll come up with something. It’s only Sunday today and I’m sure you have a lot of friends.
Maya: Yun nga po ang pinag iisipan ko kanina pa eh, kung sino po ang papayag sumama to watch in the middle of the week. May pasok the next day.
Maya smiled when he realized that Richard looked so gorgeous and confident in pink cotton shirt and pastel pajamas.
Richard: Why are you smiling?
Maya: Po? Eh kasi po you’re wearing pink.
Maya: Eh sabi po sa philosophy, if a=b and b=c, then a=c.
Richard: So what has that got to do with me wearing pink?
Maya: Sabi nila ang tunay na lalaki nagsusuot ng pink!
Richard: And? Come on, Maya, stop grinning and spill it.
Maya: And Emman wears a lot of pink! Hahahahaha! In fact, his favourite color is pink! Hahahaha!
Richard: Hahaha! Are you insinuating that I’m gay?
Maya: Wala po akong sinabi ah. Shado naman kayong defensive. Iniisip ko lang po, baka kaya wala kayong girlfriend kasi they find you soft and comfortable.
Richard: Soft, malambot as in gay? Do you really think so?
Maya: Sir Chief, there is no doubt na lalaking lalaki ka.
That’s because I live in your house so I see how you are and who you really are, no inhibitions whatsoever. Ikaw na ikaw. The girls that you date don’t have that privilege. Eh for sure hindi ka pa nila nakita mag tiger mode, or mag transform to incredible hulk, or matawa sa silly jokes, or makita how you are as a father and as a boss.
What I’m saying is, soft and comfy, just like how you look right now. Parang pillow na cuddly, sarap yakapin kasi malambot, pero nakaka antok….boring. Yun! Baka you appear boring! Kaya sa first date pa lang, bored na sila.
Richard: You think I’m boring?
Maya: No and yes. No, because you’re smart and you can carry a conversation well. Masarap kausap kasi maraming pwedeng pag-usapan. Yes kasi corny ka. Sobrang smart at serious, nakaka bore din naman. You seemed not to know how to have fun.
Richard: What? Of course not!
Maya: Anung of course not? Eh sa arcade daw po kanina, pinanuod nyo lang mga bata sa isang tabi. Fun ba yun?
Richard: I do know how to have fun.
Maya: How? Playing solitaire? Sudoku puzzle? Cross word? Watch documentaries?
Richard: I can be fun.
Maya: Weh! Really now!
Richard: Lakas mo talagang mang-alaska Maya, pero hindi ako mapipikon, because I can really be fun too.
Richard: Yes! Wanna bet?
Maya: Wanna bet talaga? Seriously?
Richard: Yes! So, want to bet on it?
Maya: Wanna bet? Wanna bet your pwet is wet with sweat? Hahahahahaha!
Maya: O, akala ko ba hindi po kayo mapipikon? Eh totoo naman po eh. I’m sure, always wet with sweat yang pwet nyo kauupo sa office.
Office bahay, bahay office. Tapos dito sa bahay, office pa rin! Pati get up sa bahay, office attire pa rin!
Sir Chief, I have not seen you do anything else in this house except stay in your home office, busy with your laptop and some folders. Ang laki ng pool nyo, may basketball court, ni minsan hindi kita nakita gamitin mga yun. You do not have any recreational activities! Do you even watch movies? Or listen to music?
Maybe not! Panay upo sa office at nakatitig sa laptop. Kaya for sure everyday, wet with sweat ang pwet nyo.
May piano at guitar sa bahay nyo, bawal naman daw gamitin. Bawal mag play ng music, bawal mag-ingay! Hindi po ba boring yun at corny? Eh kanina daw po, nasigawan na naman yung tatlo kasi maingay sila kanina.
Richard: Ang dami mo namang sinabi. Are you always this talkative?
Maya: Guilty as charged Sir Chief! Pero at least, hindi po ako boring.
Richard: Definitely not!
Maya: Sir Chief?
Maya: Why are you so scared to get out of your box?
Richard: What do you mean?
Maya: Routine kasi. Bahay office. Office bahay. Dito sa bahay, office work pa rin. Why are you hesitant to try other things, and divert from that routine?
Richard: I’m not!
Maya: Talaga? Sige nga po, let’s see. Wait lang po Sir Chief ha. Maya got a pencil from the kitchen cabinet and drew 9 dots on the envelope containing the Vice Ganda concert tickets. Three dots in three columns.
Sir Chief, connect these 9 dots in 4 strokes but without lifting the pencil. That is the only rule.
Richard: Yun lang?
Maya: Yes, but you have to answer it within 1 minute only.
Richard: And what’s in it for me?
Maya: Kala ko po ba you can be fun? Eh di, for fun lang po.
Richard: For fun lang?
Maya: O sige po, if you fail to answer it correctly, I win and I get a prize from you.
Richard: And that would be?
Maya: Aha! Sasamahan nyo po ako manuod ng concert ni Vice Ganda!
Richard: What?! Iba na lang.
Maya: See, corny kayo, hindi pa nga sumasagot, iniisip na matatalo na when it should be easy for you because you’re an engineer and very smart at that.
Richard: Okay, fine! If you win, sasamahan kita sa concert sa Thursday. Eh what if I win? Do I get a prize too?
Maya: Of course. Ililibre ko kayo.
Richard: Really? Saan naman?
Maya: Sa concert ni Vice Ganda!
Richard: Hahaha! You’re really silly Maya. Either way, para na rin akong natalo. But it’s fine, this is just for fun anyway and I’ll show you that I can be fun too.
Maya: Talaga? Sige, sagutan nyo na, and your 1 minute starts……NOW!
Even if it was just for fun, and while he knows that it is a lose-lose situation with Maya’s challenge vis-à-vis the prize at stake, Richard concentrates. He tries several times but couldn’t get the answer right.
Maya: Awat na po Sir Chief lampas na po sa 1 minute. Hahaha I win!
Richard: I don’t think there is an answer for that.
Maya: Meron po. And FYI, I got it right when the challenge was given to me.
Richard: I don’t believe you.
Maya: I’ll show you how, ganito po oh. Start here.
Richard: But you did not say I could extend it.
Maya: Precisely. I just said connect the 9 dots in 4 strokes without lifting the pencil. No other rule was given. So it only proved my point.
Richard: And that is?
Maya: That you refuse to go outside the box, your comfort zone, hesitant to try new things or switch to the unconventional.
Richard: But I’m going with you on Thursday. That is definitely something new and different from my usual thing, outside my comfort zone. That should negate your point.
Maya: Sasama talaga kayo sa akin? Seriously?
Richard: Do I look like I’m joking?
Maya: Eh, wag na lang, kawawa naman kayo, baka sobrang ma ilang kayo dun, parusa sa inyo. Eh parang nakaka guilty naman napipilitan ka –
Richard: Maya, hindi ako napipilitan. May palabra de honor ako. Besides, that is nothing compared to what you’ve done for me.
Maya: Nothing compared to what I have done for you?
Richard: Think of it as an act of gratitude for helping me reach out to the kids. Probably for the nth time Maya, you effortlessly did it again. What we had today sa church, kay Alex and sa mall…..they’re priceless. Today happened because of you.
Maya: Iba naman po yun eh. Besides Sir Chief, family matters and praying are all part of Abby’s lesson. Nagkataon lang po yun.
Richard: Maya, we played a game, and I lost. So I’m going with you this Thursday. That’s fair enough.
Maya: Talaga? Okay lang sa inyo? Sasamahan nyo talaga ako? Baka ma bore lang kayo dun, tapos iinit ulo nyo, mag tiger mode kayo dun.
Richard: I wouldn’t worry getting bored, kasama naman kita eh, I’m sure marami ka pang ant and the elephant stories.
Maya: Totoo po? Promise? Okay lang sa inyo? Sasamahan nyo talaga ako?
Richard: Oo nga, ang kulit lang Maya. But I only have 1 rule too.
Maya: And that is?
Richard: You will address me as Richard with no po and opo.
Maya: Deal! Sir Chief wala na pong bawian yan ha!
Ayyieeeee! Matutuloy ako sa concert! Maya was so happy she hugged Richard’s upper left arm and rested her head on it. Weeeeeeeeeee! I’m so happy! Thank you Sir Chief! Maya raised her head to look at Richard and realized what she was doing with his upperarm.
Ay sorry po Sir Chief! Na carried away lang. Sorry sorry, nang gigil lang po sa sobrang tuwa.
Richard: Hindi naman masyadong obvious na tuwang tuwa ka. Hahaha! Maya, ang dali mo lang pala pasayahin.
Maya: Sabi ko nga po sa inyo diba, mababaw lang ang iniisip ko kanina, mababaw lang kasi kaligayahan ko. Haaaay, Sir Chief, makakatulog na ako nito.
Richard: Okay, so let’s call it a night. Richard stood up holding his coffee cup and grabbed the coffee cup of Maya, who was already holding her coffee cup. Richard smiled at the sight of their hands together.
Maya: Okay na po Sir Chief, ako na po dito. Kayo na lang po mag sara ng sliding door. Maya stood up and got the other coffee cup from Richard’s hand, and walked towards the kitchen, while Richard stayed behind.
Richard: What time is our date on Thursday?
Maya: Date? Maya looked at Richard after she placed the cups on top the breakfast nook.
Richard: Ah, eh, hindi ba date nyo ni Emman dapat yun, and I’m the substitute for Emman. So technically, it will be our date on Thursday, right?
Maya: Of course, Sir Chief! 7:30 pm po yung show.
Richard: Okay, we’ll just finalize the plan Wednesday night.
Maya: Maya ran back to Richard and pinched his cheek. Mmmmmmm! Kakagigil ka talaga sa tuwa. Thank you po uli Sir Chief! Good night po!
Richard: Good night Maya. Fascinated and tickled, Richard watched her go with a big smile on his face.