This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 7.
Maya was already waiting at the lobby when Richard’s car stopped in front of the main entrance of her condo building. He quickly alighted from his car to open the door for her.
He greeted her “Good morning, gorgeous.”
She smiled. “Good morning din Richard.” She buckled her seatbelt. She seemed to be in a good mood that morning.
“Had a good sleep?” He checked on her.
“Yes, I did. The weather seems to be fine today too.” She responded and looked at the cloudy skies.
“Hmm, mukhang formal ka today, ah.” He commented as he noticed her wearing a business suit. He started driving to bring her to her office.
“Yes, I have a meeting with one of our clients that’s looking for a commercial property in Bohol.” She responded.
“Ahh, looks like you are tied up for the day. I was thinking if we could go out tonight, as in watch a movie?” He said while checking her out in his peripheral vision. Her smile remained plastered on her face.
“Richard, maybe tomorrow na lang? Kasi, I’m not sure how long this meeting will last. Medyo big account kasi ito na we hope to close as soon as possible.” She explained.
He was glad to hear her response. She didn’t turn him down but offered another option. That was positive. “Sige. Sunduin kita ng 6:00 p.m. uli?” He took his eyes off the road to glance at her. She was looking at him when she responded.
“Yes, that’s fine with me. Mag Glorietta na lang tayo para malapit.” She further suggested.
“Okay, that’s agreed then.” Richard confirmed. He turned on the stereo of his car so they could listen to the morning news. They talked about current events on the way to her office.
Moments later, Richard parked his car in front of her building. While Maya was unbuckling her seatbelt, Richard leaned and stretched his right arm to the back of the car. He got a brown package.
“Maya, for you. Something for snacks later.” He handed her a medium sized paper bag.
“Ohh. Thanks Richard.” She smiled at his thoughtfulness.
“You’re welcome. So, wala bang thank you kiss?” He teased her but quickly made a sign of peace with his fingers.
“Sira!” She responded sweetly and then blew him a kiss. “O ayan na. I’m getting off now.”
Richard pretended to catch the kiss in mid-air. “Thanks.” He then said. “By the way, would you please call me by my nickname, Ricky? Parang masyadong formal parati yung Richard eh.”
“Okay Ricky. See you tomorrow.” She finally got out of the car. She was smiling throughout her walk from the building main lobby up to the lift until she reached their office.
As soon as she entered her room, Maya checked the paper bag he gave her. Inside it was another bag but there was a note in it.
“I didn’t know your preference so I took everything that was available in the store…. Ricky.”
Inside the package were three kinds of hopias, a monggo, baboy and ube. There was also a jumbo asado siopao and bola-bola siopao. She burst out laughing. Then, her laughter was replaced by giddiness.
Early Friday morning, Maya woke up from the sound of incoming text message on her mobile phone. She already had 5 messages and all came from Richard.
“Rise and shine, gorgeous lady.” The message was sent at 10 minutes interval which meant he has been texting her for almost an hour. When she got up, she replied to his message.
“Good morning. I’m already awake.”
“See you later. Have a good day.” Richard responded with a smiley face.
Those short exchange of messages made Maya’s day. She was in cheerful mood the whole day which didn’t escape the office staff’s attention. They teased her to no end until Ethan silenced them.
In the evening, Richard and Maya were at Glorietta eating at a fast food chain. This time around she wasn’t surprise nor had expectations. She just told herself that Richard is just unique; different from the guys she dated in the past.
While they were eating she suddenly asked. “Richard, saan ka pala nakatira dito sa Manila? Di ba taga Baguio ka?”
Richard looked at her seriously as he answered her. “Actually, taga Manila ako. I occasionally visit Baguio. Dito sa Manila, sa San Juan ako nakatira. Malapit sa Tiger Motor’s office.”
“Ahh, ganoon pala.” She paused as if thinking. “Oh my, so galing ka pa ng San Juan para sunduin ako sa bahay at ihatid sa office? Eh, mas malapit pa yung bahay ko sa office ko compared to the distance between San Juan and Makati. Ma-traffic pa sa umaga.” She began to appreciate his efforts the previous day.
“Wala ‘yun. It’s a small effort for the reward of seeing you.” He gave her a meaningful gaze; a gaze that told her he was interested in her. She was starting to get giddy again.
“Hmmm. One more question, I know this might be a silly question but I need a categorical answer. Are you still single, as in unmarried?” She eyed him quizzically, wanting to make sure she reads any signs that might indicate he is lying with his answer.
Richard chuckled. With his eyes focused on hers, he gave her a response that made her heart jump. “If I am not single, do you think I would be here with you?”
Maya couldn’t respond as crimson color slowly crept from her neck to her face. Richard continued gazing at her to his heart’s content. As an effect, Maya couldn’t finish her food anymore feeling so self-conscious.
“Hey, just eat. Sorry, maganda ka kasi.” Richard told her while encouraging her to finish her food.
“Ricky… I’m done, busog na ako.” She responded shyly. Then, she changed the topic. “So, what movie are we going to watch?”
“Ikaw? I’m okay with any movie that you’ll choose.” He finished off his food so they could start going to the theater.
“Ako kahit ano basta wag lang horror.”
Twenty minutes later, Richard and Maya were seated inside the theater to watch The Hobbit. With them was a big bucket of popcorn and drinks. Although they have just eaten dinner, Richard insisted on buying popcorn. Maya thought he was like a kid going to the movies.
As it was Friday and a last full show schedule, the theater was almost full of moviegoers. Maya suddenly sneezed.
“Maya, are you okay? Nilalamig ka ‘no?” Richard checked her arm that felt cold. “I forgot to bring a jacket, sorry.”
“It’s okay Ricky.” She responded.
Richard was solicitous that they ended up exchanging places as Maya’s original seat seemed to be cooler than his. Maya sat on the right side of Richard. As if it wasn’t enough, Richard persuaded Maya to move closer to him so she could feel warmer. They have finally settled their seating position issues when the movie started.
Seated so close together, both couldn’t fully concentrate on the movie. There were several instances that their hands touched while taking popcorn from the bucket they were sharing. Maya ate most of the popcorn as she was a little edgy having Richard near her. By the middle of the movie, the popcorn was gone.
“Do you want some more popcorn?” He whispered in her ear that sent goose bumps to her legs.
“Huh? Tama na. I’ve had enough kaya lang naubusan kita.” She said in a low voice.
“It’s alright, Maya.” Richard placed the empty bucket on the floor and shifted his position to move closer to Maya. Then, he took her hand into his. With their fingers intertwined, he whispered again. “I hope you don’t mind.” He was referring to the hand holding. “Hopefully, this helps na hindi ka na masyadong lamigin. You can also lean on me.”
Maya didn’t take her hand away. Instead, she just tapped his forearm with her other free hand. She told him, “Manood ka na nang movie. Don’t mind me.”
During the movie, she ended up moving closer to his side. She started to yawn. It felt good watching the movie in that position. Eventually, without knowing it, she fell asleep.
Richard tried focusing on the movie. He had been holding Maya’s hand for sometime and felt the need to adjust their position to prevent them getting cramps later on. By this time, her head was on his shoulder. He noticed that Maya wasn’t moving and when he checked, he realized she was sleeping.
He didn’t wake her up but instead, he shifted such that his arm went around her shoulder. In the new position, Maya’s head was already on his chest. They were in that posture until the end of the movie. If Richard felt any discomfort, he didn’t notice it because it felt good having Maya on his arm like that.
It was only when the movie credits were completed did Richard wake her up.
Maya sneezed several times when they were on the car heading back to her condo unit.
“Maya are you okay? Kanina ka pa nag si sneeze. Are you getting colds?”
“I don’t know. Ngayong gabi lang ito, eh.” She responded. “Sorry uli , Ricky nakatulog ako sa movie. So, anong nangyari?”
“You must be tired from work. Anyway, anong, anong nangyari? What do you mean?” He asked while still focusing on his driving. It was past midnight.
“Syempre doon sa movie. Anong ending ng story?” She asked again. She only could recall half of the movie as she slept on the second half.
“Ano? You want to me tell you the story?” He chuckled. “Ikaw kasi tulog ka ng tulog, hindi mo tuloy napanood yung buong movie.” He continued laughing.
In reality, he himself couldn’t recall everything in the movie because he was distracted the whole time her head was on his chest. She smell of her hair and her scent disturbed him.
“Naman Ricky, sige na kwento na.” She insisted while shaking his arm.
Richard relented. He managed to tell the parts that he remembered. Anyway, she wouldn’t know the difference because she was asleep. By the time they reached her Makati condo building, the storytelling was also completed.
Richard accompanied Maya up to her doorstep. “Would you like to have coffee, Ricky?”
“Maybe next time na lang Maya. It’s already past midnight.” He declined.
“Alright. Thank you for this evening. I enjoyed it kahit nakatulog ako.” She smiled as she said her farewell.
“I enjoyed it too Maya. I hope we can do this again.” He responded with hopeful eyes.
“Yes, sure.” She was excited too. She waited for his response but he remained just standing in front of her; unsure of what to do next. Then, he took a step closer to her and kissed her cheek very close to her lips. It was so close that if she moved slightly, his lips would have landed on her lips. It sent shivers to her body.
“I’ll call you again, soon.” Richard’s last statement.
“Ingat sa pag-drive Ricky.” She reminded him as he walked towards the elevator.
That evening, Maya was convinced that she was feeling something romantic for Richard.