Chapter 3: Vacation
The place that James suggested is more beautiful than the description. It was 4hrs drive from Manila but after hours on the road, she is still so energetic especially upon seeing the place.
The cold breeze coming from the ocean gave her this relaxation that she needed. She couldn’t thank James more, she sure is in the right place.
As her driver puts her luggages on the house that she rented, she made her way to the beach. This is a private beach so it will definitely give her the privacy that she wants after all those months that the media had followed her.
Her feet left footprints on the sand as she continued to walk. Only the sound of the waves crashing to the rocks and the chirping of birds can be heard. A gazebo from a far can also be seen. She’s starting to love this place more.
“Ma’am, nailagay ko na po lahat ng gamit sa loob.” Her driver got her back from her reverie
“Ay. Salamat po. Sige po, bumalik na kayo sa bahay. Pakisabi na lang po kay Manang na siya na muna bahala dun at huwag mag-alala sa’kin. Kaya ko na sarili ko dito. Tsaka, kapag magpapasundo na lang ako saka na lang kayo bumalik.” She instructed
“Opo ma’am. Puno na rin po yung bahay ng food supplies. Ingat po ma’am.”
“Sige po! Ay! Yung mga libro ko ba nandiyan na?” She asked again, on this vacation of her, she imagined herself reading a good book while seating and staring at the view of the beach.
“Opo ma’am andun po sa bag.”
“Okay, salamat ulit.” She waves her hand as her driver left, started the engine and drove away.
“Yes bro, don’t worry, I will. Thanks!” He replied to the man on the other line then he hung up.
He is now packing his things for his vacation. A couple of shirts, shorts and others that he thinks he’ll be needing. He could only smile foolishly. Oh how he can imagine these days would be… Full of fun.
“Sir Richard, okay na po yung sasakyan.” His driver, Mang Lem told him.
“Okay, thanks. I’ll be gone for a few days, kayo na pong bahala dito. I will be back soon.” He smiled as he puts his bags inside the backseat, humming the theme song of his show.
She’s reading her favorite book outside the house. She’s near the beach, only few meters away, reading from the street lamp standing beside the bench she was seated on.
She smiles whenever she feels so giddy on the lovestory that she is so consumed in. She didn’t notice that it was already time for dinner and he hadn’t cook something for her to eat, yet.
So, she decided to have sandwich for dinner since it will be easier for her to prepare and could also be a good food to munch as she continues reading.
She is walking back to her rented house when she saw that the light is on. She remembered that she didn’t turn it on since she left the house at 5 in the afternoon so there is still a sun lighting the whole place.
She quickly searched the beach to look for something hard for her security if there is someone inside the house. But Maya could only find a coconut on the sand, which she took. “Pwede na siguro ito pamukpok.” She thought.
She was so nervous as she gets closer to the house. She doesn’t know what to do especially that she is alone there.
As quiet as she can, she slowly made her way inside the house. As she reached the front door, she heard noise coming from the kitchen. And she couldn’t be so scared than ever!
She wanted to run, but where will she go? Her car is not here. She should deal with it. If there is a bad guy inside the house, she will throw the coconut to him. That wouldn’t kill the bad guy of course.. But she couldn’t do anything else.
Slowly, she walks into the kitchen. She saw a man standing, his back facing her. The bad guy seems to be busy in the kitchen with all the veggies and meats sliced in bowls. He will sure cook something for dinner. That will save her tummy for tonight, but hey, wait! That’s her supply for the whole month!!
It’s a thief!! “Magnanakaw!” She screamed and was ready to throw the coconut to him when the man turned around, startled by her presence.
She was so shocked. Why is he here?, she asked herself.
She couldn’t move, her feet were glued on the floor, her eyes fixed on the face of the man standing before her. All that she is aware right now, is that he is slowly walking towards her. She is still staring. Her heart is racing.
He is now in front of her, he touched her right hand, and he quickly took the coconut from her left hand as he spoke. “Yun! Meron na tayong buko juice.” He smiled “wait, umakyat ka sa puno?” He grinned
“Wa-it. Ba-bakit ka a-andito?” She asked, the words stumbling after another.
“Well, same as what you’re here for. I’m also here for a vacation.” He turns around and placed the coconut on top of the kitchen table and he gets back to what he’s doing.
“Ano? Te-ka.. I rented this house, so anong sinasabi mo?” She’s so ready for a talk right now.
He smiled again, that smile would always calm her down. But she cannot fall from that, not now. “Maybe because, we have common friends who suggested this place. And actually, medyo mura mo narentahan ito, right? That’s because you will have a housemate. There are three bedrooms here, akin yung isa. Pwede pa nga tayo magpaupa e.” He quipped
She rolled her eyes. “At bakit naman hindi nila ako ininform na may makakasama ako dito? Kaya nga ako magbabakasyon para mapag-isa!” She cannot take it. Her voice is rising now.
He sighed. “Calm down, okay? I promise, I will stay out of your way. Hindi kita papakielaman, if you want I will lock myself inside my room. But before staying out of your way, I will just cook our dinner. Sorry, hindi ako nakapamili ng food ko. Bukas na lang siguro. Anyway, I think hindi ka pa nakakapagluto so.. Ako na lang.” He smiled
Her arms crossed, she sighed and gave up. The thought of him ignoring her makes her heart pierced with so much pain. What is this man doing to her?!
“Yes?” He turns around to face her while he puts his apron on.
“Ano ba lulutuin mo?” Finally, he saw her smile at him.
Maya sets up the table as soon as Richard was done cooking adobo. It smells so good especially to the hungry stomach of Maya
She is busy eating like as if there is no tomorrow. Richard is staring at her, loving the way she eats. Maya is very much aware of the stare that she’s getting from Richard, so she pretends that she’s busy with her food.
“Ang sarap mo pala magluto.” She commented without lifting her head to meet his gaze.
He smirked “well, thank you very much.”
“Seryoso yun ah. Di ko talaga alam na magaling ka magluto, well nadidinig ko lang na marunong ka pero di ko naman alam na masarap ka magluto.”
He smirked once more. “Seryoso din yung thank you ko.”
An awkward silence ensued. Richard wanted so bad to start a conversation with Maya but he doesn’t know what to say.
Maya is troubled by their situation. Her mind is telling her that she should hate this vacation of hers, but her heart is jumping with excitement on how this vacation of hers will be well spent.
She is only wishing that this wouldn’t be on the healine later on. For sure this will be the talk of the whole country as soon as someone knows that they are together. Fans will love it, but haters will forever hate.
“Pero, teka!” She stopped eating and shifted her gaze to him, raising his hand in the air cutting the silence surrounding them as a question popped in her head. “Si James ba yung nagsabi sa’yo na nandito ako?”
He answered immediately. “No. Actually, I don’t know na nandito ka. What he just told me na maganda itong place na ‘to. And probably there will be also someone na makakasama ko sa bahay, but he told me that it’ll be okay because hindi naman daw ako papakielaman nung kasama ko dito, so I thought foreigner yung kasama ko na hindi ako kilala, I didn’t know that it’s you.” He explained while toying his food.
Maya nodded but is not that convinced. If he really do know, why does it seemed as if he is very cool with their set up? Well, maybe it’s because she is the only one who is affected whenever he’s around so it doesn’t bother Richard that she’s there. She could feel that James planned it all along. She doesn’t know if James knew about her growing feelings towards Richard or if she is just really that transparent enough to be noticed by James, but she cannot spend her vacation with Richard! It’ll make things worse. Just a thought of him makes her knees weak, and now he is indeed that close to her.
“Okay, let’s just make a deal.” She said which made Richard to turn his eyes back on her and listened very carefully. “Let’s just stay out of each other’s way para naman medyo makapagrelax tayo.” She said, standing up and wiping her lips with the table napkin. “And, o! Thanks for the dinner, ako na lang maghuhugas ilagay mo na lang sa sink. Aakayat lang muna ako sa room.” And with that, she left him in a huff without waiting for his response and Richard’s eyes following her.
She is pacing back and forth inside her room with her phone near her ear. She’s trying to reach James on his phone but he is not answering. Maybe he has a shoot or a pictorial that day. Upset with the situation she’s in, she threw her phone on the bed and went downstairs to wash the dishes.
Her eyes searching the place, she couldn’t find Richard so she walk her way to the kitchen.
Walking closely, she found him there with his apron on as he washes the dishes. Half running to his side, she half shouted “Uy, Richard ako na yan.” She taps his shoulder as she approached him
“Ako na. You go upstairs and rest.”
She pouted. “No. Ikaw na nga yung nagluto e. Dali na, ako na dyan.”
“Wag na nga.” He said firmly.
Crossing her arms, she answered “alright! Tutulungan na lang kita.” She immediately stepped beside him and starts rinsing the plates. He secretly smiled.