Chapter 30: Cruisin’
“Hi, I’m already here.”
“Oh. Alright, I’m also on my way now. Ciao.” She told the guy on the other line and hung up afterwards. She agreed with Cielo to finally have their date somewhere else. This is also the first time that she agreed to meet the same guy twice.
Richard who is just in front of her was curious on who she is talking to but is hesitating if he should ask her or not who it was.
“Ricky, you don’t have to do this. Wag mo na akong ihatid. I will be okay.” She said
“No. Baka mamaya mapaano ka pa sa daan pauwi.” He said.
“Thanks for the concern, but really, I’m okay. At isa pa, matagal na ako dito. Ikaw ang tourist, mamaya ikaw pa mapaano pabalik sa hotel mo.” She replied hiding the hint of concern
“Maya, wala sa tagal sa isang lugar yung safety ng isang tao. Madaming masamang tao sa paligid. And one more thing, I’ve been familiar with this place same as you. I am staying here in Treviso for two months already. Looking for you. So alam ko na pasikot-sikot dito.” He proudly said.
Maya was surprised to know that he’s here all these time. And hell, he’s looking for her! But she doesn’t want to dwell on it right now. They can talk some other time.
“Alright, since ang kulit mo, hindi pa naman ako kasi uuwi so mauna ka na. I have a date tonight.” She told him her plan that night. She wants him to leave.. Or maybe, deep within her, she wants him to get jealous on the thought of her dating someone else.
Maya was indeed successful in making Richard jealous. He pursed his lips and kept mum for a while. He nodded and said, “Can I come?”
“W-wwhat?” His question startled her.
“Pwede bang sumama?” He asked again.
“Ricky, date ko yon. Anong gagawin mo dun?”
“Babantayan yung karibal ko.”
“Ricky, he’s nice. Hindi na kailangan pang gawin yun.” She said. She doesn’t want to entertain the idea of him referring to her date as a rival.
“Sige.” He murmured. “But, can I also ask for a date?”
Her heart rejoiced with his question but Maya is still baffled of his sudden appearance. They need to talk, but not now.
“I’ll think about it.”
She swear, he saw his face fell. “I have to go. Bye.”
Richard watched her as she walks away. He was to blame on why everything had changed. He should do everything to win her back. Everything.
Maya is in Venice. They agreed to eat there since it is near and is very romantic.
“Hi Maya!” Angelo greeted her as soon as he saw her.
“Hi!” Angelo kissed her cheek and flashed her a smile. He is really cute!, Maya thought.
“Are you hungry? Or do you want to ride the gondola first?” He asked her.
The thought of her riding the gondola makes her excited! She doesn’t usually goes out, so it will definitely be the first time to ride the gondola.
“Can we ride the Gondola now?” She can no longer hold her excitement.
Angelo was amused by her. She is really pretty, he thought. “Aye! Aye! Let’s ride the gondola.”
“Someone gave me a huge discount with this gondola ride earlier. I bet he’s really good in sales talk.” Angelo told her while they are on their way to the boat.
“Really? That’s good. I’m excited to ride that.” She exclaimed.
Angelo stopped in front of the boats that were lined up on the grand canal. His eyes were searching for someone.
“He must be here somewhere.” He uttered.
The wind blows, touching Maya’s face. She closed her eyes and that familiar smell filled her nostrils. It’s Richard’s scent. And true enough, when she opened her eyes, she saw him on the gondola holding a long single oar used to move the gondola and he is also wearing a hat that other gondoliers were using. She was astounded. What is he doing here? Add to her surprise, Angelo approached Richard and smiled.
“Hey. My date is already here. We’re ready to tour around.” Angelo told Richard. She eyed Richard carefully and found him staring at her intently.
“You do have a beautiful date, sir.” Richard told Angelo but never left his gaze at Maya. “Very beautiful, indeed.”
Good thing that it was night time and the source of light were lamps scattered around the city and few stars above them that they didn’t notice her blush with Richard’s comment. He still affects her that much.
“I know she is.” He answered. “Well, let’s go Maya. You’ll enjoy this ride.” Angelo told her as he went in the gondola and assisted her to hop in as well.
It felt really awkward for Maya having Richard with them. Richard would always glance at her and would caught her staring at him. Richard would always smile at her when he catches her stares. Good thing Angelo is amazed by the sight that he didn’t notice this. She doesn’t know what goes inside Richard’s head to do this.
A traditional wood-carved gondola boat can make you see the sights of the city as it sails in the Grand Canal. Angelo would tell her things about his life and would also tell her stories, in which Maya would laugh at. Angelo is really funny at times that would make feel Maya comfortable.
“Maya, I’ve always wanted to experience riding in a gondola but I haven’t had a chance. I am very lucky that I am experiencing it now with you.” Angelo’s eyes were staring lovingly at Maya. He reached for her hand and gently pressed his lips on it. The sound of Richard’s cough distracted Angelo when he was about to kiss Maya on her forehead as well. Maya pursed her lips to prevent herself from laughing. She knew that Richard did it on purpose.
With his brows knitted, he asked the driver of the gondola- the gondolier which happened to be Richard. “Hey buddy, are you, okay?”
“Uh. Yes, I am. Sorry to disturb you, sir.” He said, but deep inside he is so ready to throw him in the grand canal if he tries to kiss Maya again.
Angelo nodded and turn to face Maya again. “Ah.. Maya, you look so lovely. I know that you are aware that I like you, right?” He cleared his throat before continuing. Richard’s mood becomes worse but he kept mum and listened. “Can I.. Uh.. Can I.. Court-”
“Sir! Excuse me, the gondola ride will now end.” He interrupted. He hates how this guy has this way on girls.
Angelo stared back at Richard with anger. “Hey, I thought this ride would last for 30 minutes?! We are only sailing for 8 minutes!”
Richard answered him with annoyance. “I’m sorry, but the owner of the boat no longer wants this crap. You don’t have to pay anymore.” He said.
Maya could feel the tension rising so she tried to pacify Angelo first and later on she will talk to Richard in private. “Uh.. Angelo, it’s alright. We still experienced riding the gondola. It doesn’t matter. Let’s not spoil the evening. Let’s go and just have dinner.” She suggested in which Angelo reluctantly agreed. “Ah, mister gondolier” she shifted her eyes back to Richard. Quite pissed on how he is acting. “Could you now send us back to the street. We are leaving.” And with that, Richard unwillingly led them back to the street.
“Angelo, could you wait for me over there for a second? I would like to talk to someone.” She told Angelo and pointed at a nearby cafe as soon as their feet landed back on the busy streets of Venice.
“Alright. I’ll wait for you there.”
She approached Richard who is now standing near the post beside the Grand Canal and who is still looking at her. “Anong kalokohan ‘to?”
“I just wanted to make sure na wala siyang gagawing masama.” He said
“What for? You are ruining my date! At isa pa, anong kalokohan yang nag-apply ka ba para maging gondolier?”
He shook his head and answered her. “No. I didn’t apply for it. I actually bought the gondola when I saw that date of yours earlier today. I know it’s him. I saw you guys last time in the restaurant of the hotel.” He explained. “And for what for? Are you seriously asking me that question? Of course it’s because I’m dead jealous Maya! I’ve been here looking for you. I wanna talk but you don’t want to talk to me.” He half shouted in frustration.
She let out a sarcastic laugh and said with controlled anger. “How could you say that to me, now. I am starting to move on with my life. I don’t want to talk about our past we’ve already talked about that before I left. That’s enough.”
“No. That’s not enough, Maya! I came to realize everything. And I want you back. I’ll do anything just to-”
“Well guess what?!” She cut him off. She can no longer bear this conversation, it seems as though she’s travelling back 1yr ago. “I’ve also came to realize that we’re not for each other.” She said although she knows that it is not true. She’s just afraid. So afraid to love him again and to eventually get hurt afterwards. She had given so much love that she once forget to love herself.
She turned her heels to leave but Richard grabbed her arm and held it very tight. “Please.. Just another chance.. I am very sorry if I took you for granted. I love you so much.” He murmured trying so hard to hold his tears.
For months, she’s been dying to hear those words from him. But now that she is hearing those from him, she seemed unsatisfied. “I have to go.” She pulled her arm away from his hold and went her way to the cafe to meet Angelo. She fought so hard not to look back at him. Her heart wanted so bad to do so, but she’s afraid that when she look back, she would run back to him and would do what she had longed to do. To embrace him and to tell him that she loves him, too.
“Enough Maya. Your heart deserves someone better.” She murmured.
Richard watched her from afar. They are holding each other’s hands as they walk away from his sight. This is all his fault. He is the one who is holding that soft hand of hers before. He is the only one to blame. “I know it hurts a lot bro. But let’s not give up. I didn’t waited this much just to stumble and sprawl. We should stand up and move towards our dream” he said with his hand touching his chest where his heart is.
“Alex, if you’re listening, please pray for me. I need you to guide me back to her. Just this once please..” That is the first time that he talked to her late wife without telling her that he misses her, rather he is asking for help to be with the woman of his life again.
(A/N: will try to post another chap. I’ll try. Ahaha post some thoughts. :)))
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