This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 10.
Richard arrived at Maya’s doorstep fifteen minutes early, Saturday morning. As he pressed the doorbell, he told himself “this is the day.”
While he was away for three days, he missed her terribly but didn’t call her up. It took a lot of energy to control himself from contacting her because he felt he still needed to hold back his feelings for her. He was having an inner battle and he was losing to himself, the one that loves her. After spending time taking care of her, his feelings for her grew stronger. So, as soon as he returned to Manila, he found himself pressing her number and setting a date with no clear plan in mind.
Maya opened the door with smile on her face.
“Hi Ricky.” She greeted him. She felt her heart thumped loudly when she saw his lopsided smile. He was very handsome in his black casual attire.
“Good morning, gorgeous.” He greeted her. “For you.” He handed her a bouquet of pink roses.
It was only then that Maya saw the flowers he was carrying as she was focused on his face. She was pleasantly surprised with the gesture.
“Good morning, medyo maaga ka, ah. Thank you sa flowers.” She opened the door wider to let him in. It was the first time he gave her flowers and she felt giddy about it.
Richard entered her unit as he responded to her comment. “Well, I thought it might be traffic coming from Greenhills to Makati.”
“Greenhills?” She was momentarily confused. They were both standing at her living room. Then, she put down the flowers on the center table. “Ahh, yes, sa San Juan nga pala ang house mo and work is in Greenhills. Anyway, can I offer you anything like tea, juice, coffee?”
“Kahit na ano, Maya. But you don’t have coffee, right?” He asked as he followed her into the kitchen. He was comfortable walking around her house.
“Ay meron na. Pero instant lang, ha. Nag grocery ako last night.” She told him. She is not much of a coffee drinker but knew Richard is so she bought coffee.
“Ma-upo ka muna Ricky.” She sweetly told him. A minute later, she handed him the mug with coffee. “O, iwan muna kita ha. Magbibihis lang muna ako.”
Ten minutes later Maya came out from her room ready for their Tagaytay trip. She was in a plain canary yellow blouse and white short that showed her shapely legs. Her shoulder length hair was now tied in a loose bun.
Richard had moved to the living room and was watching the morning news when Maya finished dressing up. Richard’s eyes lit up when he saw her walked towards him.
“I am ready.” She declared with confidence. She was sure Richard appreciated her looks.
She was pretty as usual. Then, his eyes focused on her legs. She was wearing the fashionable shorts that exposed a great amount of her skin. The memories of her in his Baguio workplace came flashing in his mind. With her lying on his bed with only the bed sheet covering her disturbed him for several nights.
With squinted eyes and half smile, he commented to her. “Wow, very lovely. Are you sure you want to be in shorts in Tagaytay? Baka lamigin ka.”
“Huh? Hindi naman masyadong malamig ngayon doon.” She defended her shorts.
Richard just stared at her seriously and finally said, “Ikaw ang bahala. Baka lamigin ka nga. Minsan pa mahangin doon. Anyway, I have a jacket, just in case you need one.” He turned off the TV and stood up ready to leave.
“So, ready?” He asked her. There was hesitation in her eyes.
“Teka lang, kuha lang ako ng jacket, now that you reminded me about it.” She went back to her room.
As she searched her closet, she was bothered by Richard’s comment. Maya sensed that he wasn’t really in favor of her attire. In a way, he had a point. So, she quickly changed into skinny jeans. When she came out of the room, she completely forgot the purpose why she went back there in the first place.
“Eto na talaga, Ricky. I am ready.” She announced as soon as she came out of her room.
Richard smiled in satisfaction. “Perfect.” He was actually referring to her sexy figure which caused her to blush. She understood the underlying meaning of his comment.
They have just managed to turn two blocks from Maya’s condominium unit on the way to EDSA when Richard slowed down his car.
“Hmm, parang may diperensya na naman ito, ah.” He said. He stopped the car on the right site of the road.
“Ricky, ano? May electrical problem uli?” She sounded concerned as she faced him.
“Yeah, I think so.” He seemed upset. There were creases on his forehead. “Of all days, ngayon pa ayaw mag cooperate nito. I thought this has been fixed.” He heaved a sigh of frustration.
Maya seeing his reaction and not wanting to have their day ruined made a quick suggestion. “Ricky, okay lang if the car won’t cooperate. How about mag commute na lang tayo? Di ba, may bus station doon sa may Pasay?”
“What? You are okay to take a bus? Nakasakay ka na ba ng bus papunta doon?” Richard was surprised by her suggestion. He didn’t expect her to think about taking public transportation.
“Hindi pa. Sa totoo lang hindi pa ako nakasakay sa public bus. Pero, it’s okay.” She unbuckled her seatbelt. A thought of volunteering her car came to her mind but she decided against it not wanting to offend Richard.
He studied her facial expression. She looked calm and determined. It was different compared to the first time they had car trouble. Back then, there was panic in her eyes when the car won’t start.
“Are you sure?” He asked again. He was thinking why didn’t she volunteer her car when she could easily do that.
“Yes, okay naman mag-commute di ba? I think it would be exciting.” She sounded optimistic. They stared at each other for a while until Richard spoke again.
“Alright. Buckle your seatbelt, please. I have a solution to this problem.” He directed her.
He restarted his car and started moving. After running a few meters, he made a U turn and took a different direction. He announced. “We’re going to Greenhills first and change this car.”
“Ha? May pwede tayong gamiting iba?” She gave him a quizzical look.
“Yes, meron. I don’t think its good idea for us to take a bus.” He glanced at her for any change of reaction, but she had none.
“Ricky, it’s really okay for kung mag-commute tayo.” She reiterated.
“No Maya. I don’t feel comfortable letting you take the bus.” He argued back. He didn’t speak for a while as he concentrated on his driving.
They were in EDSA on the way to Greenhills when Maya’s mother called her up. She was checking as to when Maya could return to San Nicolas so she could meet the guy they want to pair her up with. It was the potential husband for her.
“Ma, medyo busy pa ako. I’ll be there when I have free time.” She explained to her mother in a patient tone.
“Maya, umuwi ka na dito. Ang Papa mo ay naiinip na. Kaya kita tinawagan dahil plano niyang sunduin ka ngayon. So, wag kang mabigla kung biglang dumating ang Papa mo.” Her mother countered. She sounded frantic.
“Ma… pigilin mo, please. First, wala ako sa bahay. I’m going out of town.” She further explained to her mother. Richard glanced at her to see her worried expression.
“Sige, ‘nak. Tingnan ko. O s’ya. Ingat ka d’yan. Love you ‘nak. Bye.” Her mother ended the call.
Richard couldn’t help but ask her since he overhead their conversation. “So, that was your mom?”
“Yes, tinatanong kung kaylan ako uuwi sa San Nicolas.” She sighed. Her mind wandered off as to when is the appropriate time she can talk to her father about their plans for her.
“So, why are you not going home? From the sound of it, pina uuwi ka ng madalian.” He plainly stated.
“Uuwi naman ako. It’s just that there’s something that they want me to do that I haven’t come to terms with it. I’m buying time.” She was unsure if she should tell Richard about her parents plans. She and Richard were making slow progress in their getting to know each other stage and she didn’t want to pre-empt anything that she hoped will develop between them.
After a few minutes of silence, Richard suddenly asked. “Maya, are your parents strict?”
“If you are asking if they are conservative, yes especially si Papa. He can be protective. Pero generally, okay naman sila.“ She smiled at his question. She thought it was a good sign he was taking interest in her parents.
Their conversation about Maya’s parents ended prematurely as they slowly entered Tiger Motors building. They made their way thru the service area where several other cars were lined up. The car was quickly met by one of the servicemen when it stopped.
“Maya, baba muna tayo. We’ll change vehicle.” Richard unbuckled her seatbelt after removing his own seatbelt.
“Good morning Chief.” Maya heard the man greet Richard as soon as he opened his door. She also alighted the vehicle. She quickly noticed that there were a lot of expensive luxury cars in the service area. She assumed that those were all for maintenance.
“Louie, paki tingnan mo itong kotse. Umaakyat na naman ang temperature gauges and may strange sound sa makina.” Richard instructed the man named Louie. “Nalinis na ba yung isa?”
“Chief, yung dala mo kanina? Tapos na, ipakuha ko lang ha.” Louie took the car key from Richard and drove away.
The other service staff started to come out and were ogling at them, particularly at Maya.
“Maya, let’s go inside. Ma-init dito.” He led her into the air-conditioned office.
One of the staff greeted them as they entered the office. “Good morning Chief, good morning ma’m.”
The male staff quickly assisted Maya. “Ma’m, upo muna kayo. ” He motioned Maya to a round table with chairs in it.
Maya smiled. “Thank you.”
When she settled down, Richard rejoined Louie outside. Maya assumed they were discussing about the car. A few minutes later, he came back and told her.
“Just a minute Maya.” He smiled at her before going thru another door that connected to the main showroom of TM. Without Maya realizing it, she stood up and peaked thru the door. There she saw him talking to a woman but she couldn’t see her face. Richard’s hands were on his hips and looked serious. When she saw Richard’s eyes looking at her direction, she returned to her seat.
Finally, Richard left the showroom and came back for her. “Sorry for the delay, something urgent came up. Tara na at baka may humabol pa.” He beckoned her.
Maya was surprised when Richard took her hand as they went out of office. She didn’t protest but her heartbeats raced feeling the warmth of his hand. They walked inside the service area until they reached a parked BMW X-5 vehicle.
Richard opened the door for her. “Here we go. Please hop in.”
She looked at him first. “Ito ang dadalhin natin? Are you sure?” She wondered who owned the car.
“Yes.” His eyes were twinkling. “Don’t worry. Dito sigurado hindi tayo magtutulak.”
Maya finally took her seat while Richard walked around then took the driver’s seat. As she settled in the car, she had the strange feeling that Richard was connected to the vehicle. It was the type of vehicle that fitted him just like his Ram truck in Baguio; both were expensive vehicles.
They were back in EDSA going to SLEX when Maya spoke again.
“Hmm, Ricky, how long have you been working at TM?” She was curious after seeing him in his workplace. He seemed to command respect there.
“It’s been many years. I’ve been into cars since college days.” He glanced at her.
“Ah really?” She became more interested. She wanted to know more about him. They have gone out several times but somehow they’ve shared little about personal matters. “So, you mentioned about college, what was your course?”
“I took up automotive engineering but I’m interested in other things too.” He shared with her. Maya nodded her head as she was thinking about engineering. She didn’t follow thru about his other interests.
“Ahh, so kaya you ended up with TM doing what you currently do. I assume you have acquired specialized skills too kasi you work on luxury cars. It must be the reason why are the Chief sa work mo. Kaya pala medyo inglesero ka rin.” Maya chuckled when she made the comment. When she turned to look at him, she saw his brows furrowed.
“Ricky, I didn’t mean anything with that comment ha.” She quickly told him worried that she might have offended him.
“Maya, about the mechanic job…” Richard glanced at her as if wanting to say something more. “I want to explain about my work. Because I am dating you and I want to make sure you know….” He struggled on his sentence as he was hesitant to tell her the truth at that time when he was driving. But even before he could finish, she cut him off.
“It’s okay Ricky. Ang trabaho ay trabaho basta marangal. You don’t have to explain to me.” She pre-empted what he was about to say.
Richard glanced at her once again. She looked sincere with her statements. In his mind, he was thinking if he prematurely judged her. He realized that he will have to tell her very soon about his true identity. He just needs to find the right timing to tell her everything.
The topic for the rest of the drive shifted to Maya’s business. She began to share how she started her business when she first made a sale when she was 22 years old. Her company is considered small and young but it has been profitable. She has been self-sustaining since after her college graduation. She also shared that her parents have farmlands in San Nicolas. They are also into agriculture products trading and owned a chain of grocery stores in San Nicolas and nearby provinces.
Finally, they were at the Bag of Beans in Tagaytay. It was already midmorning and they were having their snacks. It turned out that they both liked the place. Richard appreciated their coffee while Maya liked their cheesecake. He smiled ear to ear seeing Maya took a second slice of cheesecake. She looked happy savoring the dessert she was eating.
His was gazing for sometime already that she began to feel self-conscious. “Ricky, why?” She asked as she paused slicing her cake.
His eyes brows raised. “Why?” He asked back.
“Bakit ganyan ka makatingin? What is it?” The intensity of his gaze was actually making her giddy but she had to control herself. At the back of her mind, she felt that he might declare his feelings to her anytime soon.
He chuckled. “Wala…I’m just appreciating beauty.” He responded. In his mind, it was too early in a morning to declare his love for her. Besides, the place was full of customers at that time.
“Thank you.” It was all she could say, a feeling of slight disappointment engulfed her.
“Maya, is there any particular place you want to visit dito sa Tagaytay?” He asked her after he settled their bill. Then, he pointed at Maya’s lips to let her know she still had crumbs from the cheesecake she ate.
“Hmm, Ricky sana makadaan din tayo sa Pink sisters.” She replied while removing the crumb on her lip using the table napkin. Seeing that it was still there, Richard removed it using his thumb. Again, she felt giddy. She noticed the occasional light brushes of their skin since morning.
“Okay, done.” He said as he took the napkin and wiped her lips a second time.
“May special request ka ba na ipadadasal?” He eyed her carefully; a wide smile on his lips.
“Bakit, pag may request lang ba kaya pumupunta doon? Mag papasalamat din ako ‘noh.” She responded shyly.
Richard just laughed at her response. “Well, sabi mo eh. Anyway, after pink sisters, let’s go bowling.” He suggested which Maya agreed to.
Seated at the corner of the front pew at the pink sisters convent, Richard and Maya were both praying. They have just finished writing their wishes in a piece of paper and dropped their envelopes on the box at the chapel. It was Saturday early afternoon but there were very few people inside the chapel.
With Richard beside her, Maya could hardly concentrate on her prayers. She could feel the warmth of his body so close to her. So, she knelt down. “Lord, please guide me. My only wish is that this person that I love also loves me too.” She silently uttered with her eyes closed; Richard’s face in her mind.
Richard on his seat was also requesting. “God, thank you for the blessings you’ve given me. If she is the right one for me, please bless us. I love her and I hope she feels the same. If I made a wrong assumption on her, allow me to make it up to her.” He was staring at her back, the subject of his negotiation with God.
With Richard’s eyes focused on Maya, it was as if there was a shining aura around her. He felt his heart slowly warming and over flowing with love towards her. He was just so into her. Holding back was no longer in his mind. Teaching her a lesson was not in the plan anymore.
When Maya got up from her kneeling position, she sat on the space beside Richard again. She noticed that Richard was gazing at her. There was a dreamy look in his eyes that made her blush again. She had been blushing too much that day, she said to herself. She was becoming too transparent. So, she averted her eyes from his.
It was as if it was a signal for him, Richard took Maya’s right hand into his and uttered. “Maya, I think you know how I feel towards you.” He started. Maya looked into his eyes and waited for what he would say next.
“I love you.” It was a simple straightforward declaration that made her heart stop. His eyes were locked in hers awating for an affirmation.
“We still have so much to learn about each other but I’m sure of my feelings for you. I hope you feel the same way too.” He added when she went mum after his admittance. The sincerity of his declaration was mirrored in his eyes. It went straight to her heart and her heart immediately went into wild celebratory beats.
Maya’s lips curved into a sweet smile. With that smile, he knew what was coming; the response was all there.
“Richard…” She didn’t finish her statement because he kissed her lightly on the lips. When his lips touched her lips, they automatically responded to him. The response confirmed she felt the same for him. Words were not necessary; their feelings were mutual. It was short, sweet kiss. Then, they hugged each other.
It took them several minutes more before they came out of the chapel. On the way to the car, they were all smiles and holding each others hand; their fingers intertwined under the hot Saturday afternoon.