This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 3.
Maya just waited outside Richard’s place while he changed into a new T-shirt and get his car key. She chose to just walk outside, going to the main road.
It was mid-day and the temperature was already hot, even with the supposed to be Baguio cool weather. As she stood along the main road, she found out which side of Bokawkan road they were on. On the right side of the small eatery was a car dealer shop with a signage “Tiger Motors.” On the left side is a one story building that looked like an office. It has glass panels in front but the inside can’t be seen because of the dark glasses used for the building.
Moments later, Richard arrived. He was wearing a blue collared t-shirt and looked very fresh. Maya’s heart jump a bit when she saw him but she quickly dismissed it. She reminded herself, she was upset with him earlier.
“Tara na” He said as he walked towards a black full-size pick-up. Maya followed him.
“Eto ang sasakyan mo?” She asked. She couldn’t recall if it was the same vehicle they used the previous night. She is not familiar with this type of pick-up as it is not commonly seen in Manila. Also, the vehicle badly needed washing.
“Yes. Come on get in.” Richard opened the passenger door to let her in. Since the vehicle is quite high even with a step board, Richard assisted her as she boarded the car. He was all smiles to her.
He was about to close the door when they heard someone calling him.
“Chief! Chief!” A man came running towards Richard.
“O, Toy bakit?” He asked. The door was still open so Maya could hear their conversation.
“Dumating na yung hinihintay mong parts. Pwede nang umpisahan yung kotse ni Mr. Chua.” The man called Toy responded.
Richard paused for a while as if thinking of a something. Then, he said. “Okay, paki sabi kay Diego, umpisahan na ‘yung ilalim. Alam na niya ang ibig kong sabihin. May ihahatid lang ako sandali. Ako ang magkakabit ng control modules okay? Wag galawin dahil walang tayong local parts.” He emphasized.
“Okay, Chief. Sige, hintayin ka namin.” Toy was smiling as he took note of Richard’s instructions and then turned to Maya. “Good afternoon Ma’m.
Maya just gave the greeter a half-smile. From what she heard from their conversation, she understood they were going to repair a vehicle. She assumed that Richard must be working at Tiger Motors.
Finally, Richard boarded the vehicle. He was about to start the engine when he noticed that Maya wasn’t wearing a seatbelt yet.
“Hannah, mag seatbelt ka na.” Richard ordered her.
Maya didn’t hear him because her mind was busy thinking about him, what kind of a man he is. One thing she likes in him was his smell, he smells so good. Even inside his vehicle and his small house, the scent he is using is very much present. Also, he is quite good looking now that she is able to see him clearly in broad daylight. There is no doubt that he is handsome.
“Hannah” It was only on the second time he called her name did she hear him. When she turned sideways, she saw his lips pointing at the seatbelt.
Realizing what he meant, she quickly pulled the seatbelt to buckle up but it wouldn’t budge. She tried several times to pull it but it seemed it was stuck. In the end, Richard had to help her.
“Oh, sorry, minsan nagloloko talaga ang seatbelt dyan sa passenger seat. I’ll have to get that fixed.” Richard leaned forward to her side to pull out the seatbelt.
While he was adjusting the seatbelt, Maya could smell him. She loves his smell and she is drawn to it. With his upper body so close to her, even her heartbeats skipped as if not wanting to be heard. She held her breath.
After a few tugs, the belt loosened and so he was able to pull it and was ready for use.
“Okay na.” Richard said as he looked at her. Their face so close to each other, only a few inches apart. Their eyes met and gazes locked.
Maya just nodded conscious of his nearness. She couldn’t respond because she suddenly became nervous. His breath smelled minty good. She unconsciously stared at his mouth which was just few inches from hers. His lips were pinkish. She wondered how would it feel to be kissed by him.
When her eyes shifted back to his, she noticed it darkened. Then within seconds, Richard’s lips were touching her lips. It was a light, almost feathery kiss.
Maya’s eyes were open when he kissed her. When he lifted his lips, he gazed at her as if waiting for any a sign of anger or avoidance on her part. But, there was none.
Instead of protest, Maya did the unexpected. She kissed him and it was deeper, bolder. If Richard was surprised, it didn’t show because he quickly responded to her and they became more passionate. His hands started to roam around her waist while her hands found their way to his nape. The kiss went on and on until they were almost running out of breath. Then, Richard’s mobile phone rang.
Initially, they didn’t mind the sound of the phone but it kept ringing. Finally, the constant ringing brought them back to reality. He stopped kissing her and took out the phone from his jean’s pocket.
He took a deep breath before he answered the phone. “Diego…Oo… yung ang bilin ko…Don’t touch the ECM yet. May titingnan ako doon. I’ll be back within an hour.” While he was talking on the phone, his eyes never left Maya. She wasn’t looking at him but her face was red.
Maya was blushing thinking of what just happened moments ago. If the phone didn’t ring, what could have happened to them? She couldn’t understand what made her kiss him like that. She savored every minute of his kiss. She has never done such act before with a guy she hardly know. She never kissed liked that before.
Since she met him, there have been strange things she has done which were totally new to her. She stayed in a bar drinking with a stranger, woke up naked in a man’s place and few minutes ago kissing a man in his vehicle parked in front of a main road. It was good the vehicle was facing the wall and the tint was very dark, otherwise, people would have seen them kissing.
After the call, Richard shifted on his seat and touched her hand. “Hannah…” He started.
“Richard, let’s go. Hinihintay na ako sa hotel ko.” She told him. Her face now expressionless.
Richard started the engine and glanced at Maya who was looking straight. He assumed what she was thinking.
“Hannah, I’m not going to apologize for kissing you.” He said with a tentative smile.
“I’m not expecting you.” Was Maya’s response, still devoid of emotions. She couldn’t blame him because she knew she invited it. She should be more upset with herself, she thought.
On their way back to her hotel, Richard tried to have a conversation with her as if the kissing didn’t happen. “So, andito ka ba sa Baguio for a vacation or business?”
She looked at him before answering. “I am here for business but I think I lost it because I missed the meeting this morning.”
“Ikaw lang ba? Wala ka bang kasama who could have attended the meeting in your behalf?” Richard asked.
“I needed to be there. There was a deal I was trying to make. Anyway, I don’t think you would understand.” She dismissed him. She didn’t want to give away information about her as she was still trying to recover from all the embarrassment she brought to herself since she met him.
For the rest of the trip, they became quiet. Richard didn’t attempt to converse with her again until they reached the hotel’s driveway where Maya stays. By then, Maya was glad to part ways with him. She felt she had too much of him in the last 24 hours.
“Hannh, hindi mo pala nabigay sa akin ang last name mo.”
Maya just smiled at him. She spoke gently. “Hindi na siguro kailangan Richard. I mean I didn’t ask for your full name too. Besides, I’m not from here.” She opened the pick-up door and slowly got out of the vehicle.
Richard was momentarily frozen when Maya smiled. He really like her smile, like the sun shining up on the east. He also alighted from the vehicle and walked towards where Maya was standing.
“How about your number?” He made another try.
Maya just smiled and shook her head.
Richard shrugged his shoulders. “So , I guess this is it.” His hands akimbo. “Anyway, I enjoyed the time at the bar and the… kiss.” He paused before saying kiss but he had that devilish grin again that she saw the previous night.
Maya blushed but she pretended to take his comment in a stride.
“Yes, nice meeting you too.” She held out her hand for a goodbye handshake.
It was at that moment that Ethan came out in the driveway. “Maya, where have you been?” His voice was loud.
Both Richard and Maya were startled when they heard a voice. Maya’s facial expression showed mixed emotion of surprise and panic which Ethan quickly read. He called her Maya.
“Maya, I’ve been waiting for you since this morning.” Ethan’s tone of voice became softer as he put an arm around Maya. Then, he looked at Richard.
Richard met Ethan’s scrutinizing eyes squarely. The two men looked at each other as if measuring up each other. It was Ethan who broke the stare.
“I’m Ethan James Carreon.” He offered his hand for a handshake which Richard accepted.
“Richard Lim, pare.” He was serious, his brows furrowed. He glanced at Maya who was observing them.
It seemed it was the cue for Maya to speak up so she did.
“Richard, thank you sa paghatid and your assitance.” She smiled at him. “We’re going ahead.” After that, she steered Ethan back to the hotel.
Richard was in his room and just finished changing into his working clothes when he heard a knock on his door. It was Manang Fe who came in with his newly pressed shirts and pants.
“Nak, sino na yung natulog dito kagabi?” Manang Fe opened.
“Hannah daw po.” Richard responded.
“Hannah daw? Bakit hindi ka sure sa pangalan tapos naiuwi mo dito? Ricardo akala ko ba going straight ka na?” He knew she was teasing him because she was smiling at him. If she was upset, she would go straight to her litany of sermon.
“Manang Fe, matino ako ‘no. Kasalanan ko ba if women find me irresistible?” He responded with a wide grin on his face.
“Anyway, Hannah ang ibinigay na name sa akin pero kanina may tumawag sa kanyang Maya.” Richard’s face turned serious as he recalled the scene where Ethan placed an arm around Maya. He wondered if he is her boyfriend. But, how come she was alone in the bar the previous night. She even allowed him to kiss her which he has been wanting to do since he danced with her at the bar.
“Hmm, mukhang iniisip mo ang babaing ‘yon Ricardo. Wag mo sabihing interesado ka doon. Ni hindi mo nga alam ang talagang pangalan. Kagabi mo lang nakilala yon di ba? Hindi kita kailangan paalalahanan tungkol sa mga babae, Ricardo. Matanda ka na.” There was a tone of warning in Manang Fe’s voice. Then, she sat on the chair on his dining table which meant that their conversation will take long.
“Manang, don’t worry. I can handle myself.” Richard assured the old lady. He then sat on the chair in front of her. She is like a second mother to him.
“Ricardo, 38 ka na. Ilang taon ko na ring nadidinig sa iyo ‘yan. Minsan ang gusto ko namang madinig eh, Manang eto na ang babaing hinahanap ko, nakita ko na siya. Sa totoo lang, anak, hindi ko na mabilang ang naipakilala mo sa akin at dito lang sa Baguio ha. Eh paano pa yung mga taga Maynila na dine-date mo?”
“Ayy Manang, kaya ko sila pinakikilala sa iyo para makilatis mo. Kailangan kasi pumasa sa’yo. Kung hindi, the girl has to go.” Richard justified himself. He was back to teasing her.
“Marami ng pumasa sa akin, pero, walang tumagal sa’yo. Ang nanay mo, nasawa ng magtanong sa akin dahil iyon at iyon din ang sagot ko sa kanya – wala kang seneseryosong babae. Kelan ka ba mag-aasawa, ha.” Manang Fe was starting to get upset.
“Ooops, Manang Fe, wag kang ma high blood. Okay ka naman sa umpisa ng conversation natin. Kapag pag-aasawa ang naging topic naghi-high blood ka sa akin. Bakit ayaw mo na ba akong alagaan?” Richard tried to lighten up the mood.
“Hindi sa ganoon. Ang gusto ko namang alagaan ay apo, apo ko sa’yo. At ikaw naman makahanap ng babaing mamahalin mo at mamahalin ka rin.” Manang Fe declared.
“You are right Manang, I need someone who will truly love me. Ang gusto ko someone who will truly love for what I am, not just my looks or whatever I have.”
“Ricardo, hindi ka makahanap ng ganoon kung hindi ka magse-seryoso sa babae. Ang style mo pa naman, bigla kang nawawala at hindi nagpapakita sa girlfriend mo. Minsan pa sabay-sabay pa ang girlfriends mo.”
“Manang, yung bigla akong nawawala, alam mo naman na pag-may naumpishan akong project, hindi ko siya binibitawan until almost done. About the girls, well gwapo nga eh. Pero sige, let’s have an agreement. Pag iyong si Hannah or Maya ay bumalik dito sa ‘tin for whatever reason o nakita ko ulit then maybe it is a sign. Maybe I can try yang sinasabi mong mag-seryoso sa kanya.”
“Ahh ganoon? Una, hindi ka naniniwala sa mga sign, sign na ‘yan. At saka bakit siya, di ba may dine-date kang Michelle ngayon?” Manang Fe responded.
“Manang Fe, Michelle is a different case. But this Hannah or Maya, there is something about her that I like. She is interesting.”
He couldn’t share with Manang Fe exactly how he feels towards her because he himself still has to figure it out. The first time he saw her in Makati, he found her quite pretty. He was fascinated by her facial expressions. Last night lying on his bed, he saw the curve of her body. She is sexy with her fair skin, soft and smooth. His manly desire was stirred especially after seeing her body when she moved. He had to stay out of his house otherwise, he would have succumbed to his carnal desire.
But this afternoon, he was tempted again when he saw her looking at his lips as if waiting to be kissed. He gave in to temptation and gave her a light kiss. But, she wanted more than a light kiss. So, he responded to her kiss with equal fervor.
He loved the feel of her lips on his. She tasted sweet that he got carried away. He also loved her innocent appearing eyes which lights up when she smiles but can be deceiving with the way she kisses. But he knows there is much more to her than her body. He would like to get to know her better and the first thing is to find out her real name and an opportunity to meet her again.