The Dying Girl – 2

Hiiii Happy Father’s Day 🙂


 

Page 2


Maya didn’t shed a tear. I am not even surprise because she’s such a brave girl. I am standing at the door of her room watching her as she stares at the wall, sighing every now and then.

 
Beep. “I can wait ‘til early morning.*wink*” I checked my phone and reads a message from the girl I’ve met at the bar. Seriously though am I really that charming? I hid a smile and could feel someone whose attention is on me.

 

 
“What?”

 

 

 

Her chin is rested at her right hand while eyeing me. “You are smiling while reading a message. Richard, if you have somewhere else to go, please don’t let my situation stop you. Enjoy your life.” She’s sincere while saying this but her last words hit the pit of my stomach.

 

 

Should I really enjoy my life while she’s here…Alone.. and who just found out that her ex did cheated on her?

 

 

“Pero alam mo, okay na din na nalaman ko na niloloko nya ko at hindi dahil may sakit ako kaya siya lumayo. At least I hate myself and my sickness a little less.”

 

I took a seat beside her not saying anything. I think she needs someone who can just sit and listen to her.

 

 

“Besides, he can be happy with that girl. Siguro nung nalaman nya na may sakit ako nabawasan yung guilt nya kasi parang tama talaga yung decision nya since I won’t last long and staying with me would end up hurting him.”

 
“Hey don’t say that.” I hate it that she’s pitying herself yet hates it when someone does it. She doesn’t deserve that jerk.

 

 

“Don’t worry, I am fine. You should go matutulog na lang muna ako.” She smiled at me before lying on her bed. I stayed and waited until she drifted off to dreamland.

 

 

And I went home and thought of her.

———————————————

 

Five minutes. I am here for five minutes and yet, she only nodded her head without looking at me when she heard her door flew open indicating my presence. It’s already 7 in the evening on a weekday and Maya is busy writing something on her working table.

 

“What are you so busy about??” I walked right behind where she is seated and peeked at her table to see what she’s busy doing.

 

And as fast as she could, her hands covered the notebook so that I wouldn’t be able to read it.

 

“is that your diary??” I asked, for sure it is.

 

“wag ka magulo dyan! Di pa tapos. Umupo ka muna sa bed, manuod ka ng tv or go play ps4.” She instructed which I obediently did. I don’t want to stress her out so I let her be. Besides she says it is still not yet finished with whatever it is that she’s writing so I guess she’ll somehow share it to me once it’s done.

 

 

I switch through channels until I decided to watch the documentary about alligators, like how strong is their jaw is etcetera. I am learning a lot by watching this documentary on National Geographic and I felt comfortable sitting there not being bothered by anything. Until Maya stood right in front of me blocking my view from the TV.

 

She’s smiling down at me like a sun shining so bright. Geez how can she be this adorable even though it’s already late in the evening??

 

 

“I’m done, Ricky!!” she is now calling me Ricky, and yes we became so close and comfortable at each other that she can call me Ricky, Chard and like hell whatever else she wants to. Any nickname of mine that I don’t even allow anyone else calling me.

 

“Done with what?”

 

She flashes her smile yet again and handed me the notebook that she’s so busy working on. I quickly took it from her and flips through its pages as she is still giving me that expectant smile of hers.

 

Bucket list

Things to do and places to visit with Richard Lim  (NOTE: it doesn’t have to be in particular order btw)

  1. Road trip to Baguio/Sagada
  2. Go island hopping in El Nido, Palawan
  3. Surf in Baler
  4. Camping
  5. Ride a roller coaster (I’m not that brave enough before but now…YOLO)
  6. Date someone (for one night only)
  7. Drive a race car
  8. Watch a concert
  9. Watch a theater play
  10. Do a garage sale (all proceeds go to charity)

 

I re-read it. I am having a hard time breathing. I’ve watched a hell lot of films of someone who’s about to die writing their own bucket list. I might’ve shed a tear by watching those soppy movies. But this? This is different, it is happening in my reality I don’t even want this. I don’t want the idea that she’s doing this because she thinks her clock is ticking and she haven’t lived her life to the fullest.

 

I don’t want to participate in any of this, but what can I do? Say no and make her hate me?

 
“Konti pa nga Yan but I don’t think pwede ako lumabas ng bansa unless it is for me to go to a better hospital in another country.”

 

“I- uh..” I am speechless. I want to cry, but I can’t do that in front of her.

 

 

“I’ve watched The Bucket List kasi kanina in HBO and I realized that ang dami ko pang hindi nagagawa. You know what? Unahin natin yung number 6. I need to date before I lose my hair.” She laughed at her own statement. I don’t even think there’s anything funny at all. How can she be so cool with all of these?

 
“Ricky?? Uy!! Ano?? You know someone na pwede ko i-date? But don’t tell him na I am sick baka matakot di sumipot.” And again, she laughed. What the hell, woman???

 

“are you even sure about this??”

 

“Yes. Wag lang KJ ha? I know I am asking too much of your time, alam ko busy ka din pero ka pero kasi di ako papayagan Pag hindi ikaw ang kasama ko eh. Saka, I am much way more comfortable whenever I am with you.” She grins.

 

“Fine. 7pm tomorrow. He’ll pick you up.”

 

 

“Ha?? Bukas na agad? Nako! Kailangan ko na pumili ng susuotin!! Teka ano hitsura nya?? Wala man lang ba picture?” She asked, excited with the idea of dating again.
I grinned “basta bukas na. I’ll go home so you could choose what to wear and rest afterwards.”

 

 

With a final wave of goodbye, I left Maya as she busily picks up random dresses in her closet.


 

 

“What does he looks like?? Is he nice?”



Maya keeps on texting me the same message the entire day and I only managed to reply once saying that the guy will pick her up at 7 and the place will be a surprise.
But of course being herself, she can’t just stop from bugging me.

 

The thing is, I myself is excited for tonight. I will be her date. I ordered flowers, reserved a table for two in a restaurant in a hotel. And patiently waits for the clock to hit 7 in the evening.

 

To be honest, I have no idea what’s gotten into me. After reading her bucket list of wanting to date someone, I automatically thought of myself having dinner with her. It wasn’t the first time that we will be eating together, but I will make sure that it will be a memorable night for her.

 
I am aware that the more time I spent with her, the more we became close with each other. My mom and friends notice that I no longer go out at night and would often spend my nights with Maya. My mother is happy about this and I am actually genuinely happy whenever I visit her. There’s this positive energy that surrounds her.


 

Her excited face as she walks down the stairs earlier turned into an annoyed one when I told her that I will be her date for tonight. Tita Tere, her mom, was as usual very happy with my idea. She just missed seeing her daughter all dolled up and I couldn’t agree more. I would do anything just to see such beautiful girl as much as possible.

 

 

She is more of like a princess in my eyes right now. Maya is wearing a black dress, minimal make up on, and her hair falls perfectly on her shoulders. Simplicity indeed is beauty.

 

“I hate you.” I’ve been dying to hear her voice again but she didn’t even bother talking to me until I ordered the food in the restaurant.

 

“Why?” I queried as if I didn’t know the answer.

 

“I said I want to date someone but not you.” She rolled her eyes and took a sip from her water. I chuckled at her cuteness.

 
“Well, First of all you clearly wrote there na yung bucket list mo, you will be doing with me..”

 
“Yes but I didn’t say na Ikaw ang kadate ko dapat. Your participation is just to find me a date.” She cut me off, her eyes still glaring at me.

 
“Okay, but still I don’t have friends who are not known to be a player, Maya. I don’t like you dating one.” I said, seriously. And I really wouldn’t let her date anyone else. Darn it.

 

“Wow. Am I not dating one now??” She said sarcastically. One point goes to her again.

 

“Besides, di ba ang exciting na ako naman yung magpapaasa?”

 

“I used to be… I’m no longer like that. And hey, you don’t know my friends. They wouldn’t let you go without getting you laid. Ganun sila kaplayer.”

 

She pouted as if thinking “ooh. So you’re like them.. before??”

 

She added the last word as I kept quiet and she must’ve noticed that I am not in the mood to answer. I don’t even want her to know the answer, somehow I want her to know that I am not a bad guy. That I am capable of loving one girl….

 

Oh! crap where did that came from?? My thoughts these days since the day I met Maya… I don’t know who I am anymore.

 

“Okay lang, you really don’t need to answer. Anyway, thank you for bringing me here. Pati sa pagsakay sa kalokohan ko.” She dont even have to thank me, I am enjoying every second with her.

 

“You’re welcome. So one down!”

 

“Yes, one down.” she smiled ever so sweetly, and from this night I surrendered. I lost this battle, my heart is definitely hers.


 

At exactly eleven in the evening we reach her home. I am staring at her, memorizing her every move. So this is what love feels like, huh?

 
“Thank you ulit, Ricky!!” she spins around and after a moment, I felt her arms engulfing me in a bear hug. My heart started pounding in my chest making known its existence. This is the first time I’ve felt this.

 

“Kahit hindi ikaw ang gusto ko talaga i-date.” She slowly steps away from me, a few inches apart. My eyes traveled on her face, starting to her eyes down to her..kissable lips.

 

Suddenly, as my eyes goes back to her eyes, the air changes. We are staring at each other.. and I did it. I kissed her. Just one lingering kiss. I don’t want to scare her and I am actually scared on what will be her reaction.

 

I broke the kiss and looked back at her. She is still staring at me, confused on what I just did.

 

“I-… I ” I stutter, darn it I don’t even know how to start.

 

 

“You don’t have to say sorry. Just leave.” Her coldness broke my heart into pieces. I won’t leave this room without explaining what I feel.

 
“I won’t leave until you listen to me, Maya.” I grabbed her arms and sincerely looked into her glassy eyes.

 
“I..I love you. I don’t care kung ayaw mong maniwala but I really do.”
I waited for her response..but she kept mum. I tried to read her thoughts but I couldn’t.

 

“I don’t know when and how it just happened, Maya.” I tried again, but still no answer.
“Hey, please say something.” I took both of her hands and pleaded. I might’ve been too fast for her but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from any of these it’s that time is precious.

 

I couldn’t wait any longer to love her and make her love me.

 
“Leave.” That one word and the coldness of her voice makes me so scared of what lies ahead in the future. She’s pushing me away and I don’t know why. We were happy, I know she’s happy as well when we’re together. Why is she doing this?

 
“No. I want to know why are you pushing me away.”
“Stop!” She half-shouted. Her voice trembling. “If you’re only doing this because naaawa ka sa’kin, please don’t. Have you ever thought na yung naramdaman mo is not love? Naaawa ka lang, Richard. Stop doing this to me.”

 
Maya is trying to hold her tears. I am mad at the situation, I am so sure of my feelings how can she even think that way?
“Maya ano bang sinasabi mo? This is the first time that I felt like this.”

 
“Kaya nga! Hindi mo ba naisip na kasi nga I am dying, kaya nandito ka palagi kaya akala mo mahal mo ako pero naaawa ka lang. Nalilito ka sa nararamdaman mo.”

 
“Nandun pa din ba tayo? After these past few days akala mo awa lang lahat?? Maya, yung first time na binisita kita I admit, naaawa ako. But every single day that I am here, I am happy…then I fell in love. I am not stupid not to know the difference, Maya.”

 

She purses her lips while staring down. “Everything is just too fast, Richard.”

 

“Okay, I will not push you to love me in an instant. I will prove my love to you.”
I reached for her and embrace her. “I already booked a flight to Palawan. We’re leaving in two days. I will see you, then. I won’t be able to visit you in the next two days as I need to finish some work para makapagbakasyon tayo.” I tilted her chin so she could look at me.

“Napagpaalam na kita. Don’t worry, I will see you in two days time.” I kissed her head and quickly went out of her room not even taking a glance back.

 

I can’t even allow her to say no. I will prove to her how much I love her. She changed me. Whatever it takes, no matter how hard it will be, I will still love her.

 

And as I leave her tonight, I look forward for the next few days with her. A smile spreads on my face as I imagine. Gosh, I love this woman!

_________

The Dying Girl

Hi. Long time no post. HaHa 😉 I don’t know when I will update the other stories but I am planning to do so the soonest my imagination allows me to. BTW this new story will only have few parts. I was inspired by a movie I watched but I cannot remember the title. hahaha so enjoy reading. Sorry for any errors as I no longer have time left to edit this :))


 

 

The Dying Girl

 

The sun rays slip through my window early in the morning. I stirred as it hit my face and covered my eyes with my pillow. I don’t know what time is it already and I don’t care. All I care about is the throbbing pain of my head because of a couple of beers that I drank last night.

 

Parties. Girls. Those are what I love, says my mom and she’s right. After office, I would usually go out with my friends to party and drink. Some days would end up with a girl in my condo unit but not last night.

 

 

“Richard!!” roared my mom from the other side of the door while knocking. Yes, I went home last night since she texted me that she needs to tell me something important. However, I was still up until wee of hours as it is Friday night and I needed some stress reliever before my mom reminds me of the transition and when I will be taking over the company.

 

 

You see, I know I will be having a lot of responsibilities soon enough as my parents age and I am enjoying my life before that day comes.

 

 

Reluctantly, I stood up to open the door for her. “Son, you still remember that childhood friend of yours??”

 

Wow. This is the first time that my mom didn’t greeted me a good morning and even the topic is so random.

 

I looked at her and saw her eyebrows furrowed, lips tight, and arms crossed. My mom seemed worried and bothered by something. “Actually Ma, I am not sure who you are referring to.”

 

 

“Anak, please talk to her. Visit her try to cheer her up.” She is pacing this time in my room. The heck is wrong with whoever, is she??

 

“Ma, calm down.. relax.” I grab her by the shoulders and I was surprised to see her eyes brimming in tears. Woah. Wait a sec. “Ma?”

 

 

“You remember your tita Tere? My friend in Cebu? Tapos di ba yung anak nya ay kalaro mo noong seven years old ata kayo noon nung lumipat tayo dito sa Manila then nine kayo nung lumipad sila ng England?”

 

 

Okaaay… I am following. I think I remember that time but I was too young to even remember the face. I know tita Tere for I saw her pictures with my young mom way back when they were in college. But the daughter??

 

 

I think my mom noticed that I no longer remember so she explained further “Tere called me yesterday” she sniffed.

 

“Oh so nandito na sila?”

 

“Matagal na after her daughter graduated there and every time na I am outside for lunch, I am with her. And ayun na nga as I was saying, She called me crying saying incoherent words and there her dear daughter is sick.”

 

 

“Okay, mom. Everyone gets sick.” I Shrug, I mean come on I can’t even still remember the name of my childhood friend.

 

“RICHARD! SHE HAS LEUKEMIA.” And from that point, I saw my mom sobbing as if it dawned on her that she might lose a daughter.

 

 

“She’s so nice and is still young I don’t even know why and how this is happening, son.”

 

I am still standing there, shocked on the sudden news. Even though I don’t remember her, I somehow feel bad that her life would suddenly change because of that.

 

I embraced my mom tight while she’s still crying. “Please do visit her tomorrow after your work or you could just skip work and let’s go in Rizal together.”

 

 

Tomorrow…I have an important meeting with a CEO of another company that I cannot cancel plus it is Ryan’s birthday.

 

 

“Ma, I have an important meeting and..”

 

“Richard! Her time is very important. Please do this for me and for her. She used to be your friend. You can have parties some other days. If you cannot cancel your meeting then at least visit her after that meeting and no more buts.”

 

 

 _________________________________________

 

Tita Tere greeted us warmly in front of the door. You can already see the dark circles around her eyes. She surely didn’t sleep well for days. The news took off all the positive energy that she has the last time that I saw her.

 

 

“How are you?” my mom asked her while we were guided inside her enormous glass house.

 

 

“not good but what else can I do?”

 

“Pray and believe in Him, Tere.” Mom pats her shoulder to comfort Tita Tere.

 

 

Everything is quiet and it is awkward. I don’t know what to do and don’t know if Maya even wanted me to be here.

 

I hope she gets well.

 ____________________________________

“Pinilit ka ba nila na bisitahin ako?”

 

THANK HEAVENS THE WOMAN CAN TALK! It took her good fifteen minutes after our mothers left us alone to talk.

 

We were outside her room’s terrace, staring at the beautiful view in front of us. She did smile at me earlier when we were introduced. Then I suddenly remember those summer days when we will visit each other’s houses to play or swim. Good times. But we were both still young then, I can’t even remember the details.

 

 

“Uh.. Not at all.” I lied…a little. My mom did push me a little but I was also curious and would want to see what she looks like after all those years. She’s gorgeous by the way, and I even think that word is an understatement. She’s amazing, too bad she only have numbered days.

 

 

“At least do the dying girl a favor and don’t lie. I had a lot of messages and phone calls from persons I rarely interact with tapos they are acting as if super tagal ko na sila kaclose.” She rolled her eyes while saying this. “Like you. I’m sure you don’t remember me and now you’re here.”

 

Silence. I cannot even deny that what she said is true. People rarely care especially if they aren’t even friends with you.

 

“I’m sure you hate it.”

 

She takes her time before answering me. “I hate everything about it. Yung hindi mo masyadong kilala would reach out kasi naawa sila sa’yo. Then those who cared before, the one you’re closest with sila yung lumalayo because they don’t know how to handle the situation.”

 

 

“they aren’t real friends then.” I said

 

She nodded and kept quiet again.

 

 

 ___________________________________________

“Hi. I am watching When Harry Met Sally.” Maya greeted me the next day that I visit her. I don’t know why I am here again, and I am sure she was a little bit surprise as well that I am here.

 

I took a seat beside her on her bed and took some of her popcorn from her bowl. I don’t know what’s with girls and cheesy movies.

 

“Do you believe on that??” I ask her in the middle of the film. She’s been so consumed that she doesn’t even care about me.

 

After pausing the movie, she stares at me while chewing her popcorn. “Naniniwala sa alin?”

 

“That a man and a woman can’t stay as friends sort of thing.”

 

Eyebrows creased, lips pouted, damn she’s so cute. How can my mom didn’t reintroduce us much way more early? “I think so..my boyfriend, I mean ex.” I raised my eyebrows at this “we were friends bago naging kami. Siguro attracted na talaga siya sakin kaya nakipagkaibigan bago ako niligawan.” She said confidently with a hint of sarcasm, I laughed at her.

 

 

“So that boyfriend, I mean ex of yours, what happened to him?”

 

 

“Patay na.” she answered without breaking eye contact.

 

“He died??? Paano?” I asked, curiously. How can this beautiful girl’s life be as heart breaking as this?

 

“Pinatay ko na siya. Wag mo na ipaalala. Di na nagparamdam after nya malaman na I am sick. Sabi nya di daw nya alam if he can take it if mawala ako sa buhay nya kaya kailangan daw muna nya lumayo. Hayop di ba?” She chuckled and took a handful of popcorn before putting everything in her mouth.

 

“More of gago siya.” I can’t do this. I play with girl’s heart but I will never leave a girl when she needed you the most.

“Pabayaan mo na siya.” She took her remote control and resume on playing the movie.

 

It was good. I can’t even believe that I will be enjoying such classic cheesy film.

 

“Cliché pero maganda no? Hindi maganda how they started but still they ended up together. I think they are destined.”

 

“So now you believe in destiny.” I smile at her. I admire how idealistic she is despite of everything.

 

“Oo naman. Kung para sa’yo, para sa’yo. Kung oras mo na, oras mo na” she said, the last words almost inaudible. I can feel the sadness in her voice.

 

And again, I don’t know what to say.

 ___________________________________________

 

Sunday afternoon after I drop my mom and Tita Tere in the mall, I was left with Maya. I enjoy her company, we became friends in a short span of time. We talk about anything under the sun and our friendship somehow reminds me of Tuesdays with Morrie although I dismiss that thought instantly as I don’t want how it ended. Such thing won’t happen to us.

 is wearing a black mickey mouse shirt, maong shorts and her Disney vans. She looks cute and looks young for her age. “Where are you going?” I asked her after noticing that as I entered her room, she already took her sling bag and is eyeing me.

 

 

“WE are going out!” she emphasized the first word, excited with her idea of going out.

 

 

“No. you are not allowed to go out. You should rest.” I remind her of her mom’s instruction. It must have been hard not being able to go outside of the four corners of her room but rest is also important for her.

 

 

“Wag ka na KJ Mr. Lim please. Di ka ba naaawa sa’kin? Malakas pa naman ako pero di na ako nakakalabas ng kwarto ko. Saka isa pa, next next week pa start ng treatment ko, kailangan ko na makagala before pa ako mawalan ng buhok.” She smiled at me ever so lovingly, trying to make me say yes. Behind those lovely doe-shaped eyes, I can sense how scared and sad she is.

 

 

I should’ve said no, but I couldn’t. She needs this. I will give her what she want, just for today.

 

 

 

“Ano bang gagawin natin?”

 

“Gusto ko lang kumain ng ice cream tapos kumain lang ng kumain. Baka kasi next time di na ako makakain masyado. So pleaseeee.”

 

 

“Okay. Pero di tayo pwede gabihin.”

 

“YEY!!!” she jumped with so much joy. How can she be this adorable?

 _____________________________________

We made it inside the ice cream parlor that she likes. She’s been very excited smiling at everything she sees. Two weeks had passed since the last time that she went in a mall and it felt that it has been forever, she said.

 

While we are waiting for her order, we took a seat on a corner and I took the time to go and check my phone for new messages and emails. Mostly I get messages from my mom asking about us, I ignored it for now and replied a text message that I receive from a girl I met at the bar a week ago, before I started my daily visits with Maya.

 

“Hi Chard, when can we hang out?” the text message reads

 

“how ‘bout tonight? 😉” I replied. I will not deny that I miss those parties and nights with girls so might as well do it tonight. Anyway, I already had spent my time with Maya this afternoon.

 

 

“ok sure, your place?”

 

 

“ok. Will text you later.” I am looking forward for tonight! I smiled secretly then look at Maya who became quiet in front of me.

 

 

“What is wrong?” I ask her worriedly. She must have been feeling something. This is a bad idea.

 

 

“Gago talaga siya.” She murmured repeatedly, I followed her eyes and stared at a couple seated far away from us. They are obviously sweethearts because they would occasionally laugh at each other and would even offer a spoon of ice cream to the other.

 

“Ahh..kilala mo sila?”

 

 

“That guy is my exboyfriend, and the girl is her officemate. I remember her kasi lagi ko siya nakikita sa pictures nila every time may outing sila. Di ba siraulo siya? Ginawa pa niyang reason yung sakit ko.” She is turning red in anger. I want to punch the guy.

 

 

“Do you want me to punch him?” I suggested. I am so ready to do it if she will give me a go signal.

 

 

“No. Choose your battles. Di siya deserving ng oras at effort mo. Uwi na lang tayo.”

 

She stood up abruptly and left me inside. I took her ice cream and followed her after sending a quick message.

 

 

Hi. I’m sorry. Something important came up. Let’s just meet some other time.

 

Maya needs me more than anyone else. So not tonight, old self.

 

 

 

 

 

This Time- Chapter 7: Who’s that Girl?

Chapter 7: Who’s That Girl?

~ ~ ~
Once Richard and Maya entered the lobby of the five star hotel, few businessmen with their respective partners were talking in a corner. Some turned their heads toward Richard, acknowledging his presence. He only nodded in return while keeping his hand at the small back of Maya.

Maya took a deep breath she is not used in situation like this. She is not really the partying type especially if rich businessmen are approaching them trying to engage her in a conversation that she lacks knowledge of.

Good thing, Richard kept his promise of staying beside her and asking questions that were thrown at him confidently.

Before they can even find a table, a certain man appproached Richard. Maya smiled at the man and only nodded when asked simple questions answerable by yes and no. Richard and the man continue with their conversation about a possible partnership that is when Maya allowed her mind to think things through.

Maybe Richard would give her the ring later after this event. Then they would kiss goodnight. Wait. Hell no. Where did that thought came from? Maya bit her lip and tried to shake off that thought away.

She can’t like him. But how is that possible when he is this good looking every single day? Ugh. She needs to try. She can’t complicate things more than it already is.

“Yes, she’s my girlfriend.” Maya heard Richard said. She was startled since she never heard the question as her mind wander off.

She look up at him and to the mid-40’s businessman in a white suit in front of them who has a huge grin on his face.

“Oh, I see. So the rumors about you pursuing-”

“It is up to you if you want to believe it.” Richard quickly cut him off. Maya fidgeted as she became uncomfortable with the amused expression on the man in front of them directed at her. As if he was surprised that she is Richard’s girlfriend.

Richard suddenly held her hand noticing her discomfort. She glances at him and gave her a small smile.

“If you’ll excuse us Mr. Castro.”. He nodded at the man in front of them and steered Maya around the room until they find a table at the corner. There are three people already seated and Richard smiled at them.

“Hey guys.” He greeted them quite cheerfully so Maya assumed that these people are somehow his friends.

“Hi Chard! Finally dumating ka din akala namin di ka na dadating eh.” The girl wearing a red dress said. Smile never leaving her face.

He raises an eyebrow “kanina pa ako nandito hinarang lang ako ng mga partners and CEOs.”

“Oh. Anyway, sino siya?” The guy who is also in the table asked him. Maya smiled nervously at them. All eyes are directed on her.

“Oh! Yes. She’s Maya. Maya, this is Janine, Greg and Reyes. Guys, this is Maya, my girlfriend.” He smiled at them, his hand still on her back. Maya stiffened but still manage to give a smile.

Surprised was an understatement on how the three reacted at this. Why is it that hard to believe it? “Ah.. Hi.” The three waved at her giving an awkward smile. “Upo na kayo.”

She took a seat beside Richard and remained quiet just listening to the conversation of the four.

They talked about work and personal lives that Maya doesn’t know anything about. She started feeling left out when suddenly they were curious about her and Richard’s relationship.

“So, since when pa naging kayo Chard?” Janine asked Richard before taking a sip of her wine.

“Just a few weeks ago”

“So bago lang pala..”

“Yes. We just met, we have a common friend who introduced us and the rest is history.” Richard explained as short as possible. All the while his friends were staring at Maya, as if examining her.

“Oh. Kaya pala we never met her before..” The other guy, Reyes spoke softly. His eyes scanning her.

“Yes.” Richard nodded. “Wait, sweetheart.” He turned his attention to Maya. Before she could turn her eyes at him, she saw Janine raises an eyebrow. Maya tried to brush it off but can sense that they don’t like her at all.

“Uh.. Bakit?” She asked, almost in a whisper. Her self confidence was taken away from her.

“I will get us some food, I am starving. Just stay here, okay?”

Maya, too is hungry but she won’t allow him to leave her with a group of people she barely knew and who hates her already. “Uh.. No, sama ako.” She murmurs. Her hands tagging his arm.

He chuckled a bit. “No, just stay here. Dun lang naman ako.” He pointed at the buffet table “I will be back.” He smiled at her before leaving. She swear she could feel the stares of the people of the table with her

They kept quiet and the only sound could be heard is the soft music playing somewhere.

Maya tried to smile at them and focused on her phone, playing some random app that she forgot about its existence there.

She could hear Richard’s friends talking again about work, totally ignoring her.

All of a sudden, laughters and chats died out. Their table became quiet. She wasn’t exactly sure on the reason why the conversation died down.

So she sets her phone down and looked at them only to find them staring at something behind her.

Slowly, Maya turned her head and saw what they are seeing.

Richard. With a very beautiful woman.

Beautiful is even an understatement on how to desribe her.

She’s talking to him. They are few inches apart. He is smiling at her and that smile reaches his eyes.

Maya’s heart started to ache. That familiar pain that she’s feeling whenever Richard seems not to care so much about her. And tonight the pain is worse.

“Alexis is here.” Reyes said

“She’s gorgeous, no wonder why Richard is so captured.”

“Hey. Shh someone might hear.”

Maya heard them loud and clear. They might have intended for her to hear it.

Maya tore her gaze away from them for she can no longer bear it. What is happening to her? And who is Alexis?

And why the heck does she cares?!

This is too much.

“Excuse me.” Maya stood up and walks her way to the comfort room. She doesn’t care what will they think of her. She just needs to breathe.

She inhale a calming breath

Her eyes lifted from the sink up to face her own reflection on the mirror. She’s been very confident on how she looks earlier, but now she’s been very insecure.

Too many questions she wanted to throw at him. But who is she anyway? She’s not even his real girlfriend.

Beep. A message.

She fishes out her phone out of her pouch and reads the message from Richard.

Maya, nasan ka?

And another one.

May ipapakilala ako s’yo.

Although she really doesn’t want to go out and see him. She can’t stay there forever. And who cares on who he wanted her to meet?!

She sighs heavily and checks her face again before leaving the rest room.

Her eyes instantly met his. He’s smiling at her once he saw her approaching him and his friends.

She didn’t even notice Alexis standing beside Richard until he introduced her.

“Sweetheart, this is Alexis a good friend of ours. We are all friends since college.” He said, his hand resting on her back.

Maya forced a fake smile before extending her hand to Alexis. “Nice to meet you. I’m Maya.”

“Same here, Maya. Finally I’ve met you. Richard’s been telling me about you.” Alexis gave her a warm smile. And did Maya mentioned that she looks like an Angel? She even notice Richard staring at her. Crap.

Richard and his friends told her about their college life. How close they were. And she hates it even more that Alexis and Richard would often remember stories in the past about them. Like how she secretly slides in a book in his bag which belongs to the library and on how the sort of alarm came ringing when he’s about to go out of the library without checking out the book.

“Imagine how shocked he was! Hahaha!” Alexis was laughing together with everyone.

“I was really shocked! I mean, why would I even check out a cheesy book?! And even steal it?”

“Hahaha! You two are really funny.” Says Janine.

The banter went on like forever. Of course she doesn’t care, she hates Richard for bringing her here. She feels so left out. The only thing that calms her is Richard’s hand that is still holding her close. But she still hates him!

As the laughter died down, a sweet music started playing and couples are gathering in the middle of the room swaying to the music.

Richard reaches for Maya’s hand and looks at her before redirecting his attention back to his friends. “Excuse us, guys. I need some alone time with my girl. We will go and dance for a while. Enjoy the evening.” He nodded at them and stirs Maya out of the group and in to the middle of the room.

With Richard’s hands resting on her waist, and hers on his shoulders, they sway to the beautiful music for a bit before Richard broke the wonderful dream Maya is having.

“You ask me once what will I gain for helping you…”

Maya spaced out trying to remember that day.

“Well, I introduced you to her… You are actually helping me to win her back. Thank you.”

He leaned in to the point that his lips were close to her ears. Those words shattered her heart into pieces and now she admitted to herself that she fell in love with Richard. She fell so hard and he didn’t catch her.

“Now, after our dance I will propose to you. In front of her and our friends. You will say yes.”

HOW DARE HE COMMAND ME!


I DON’T WANT TO.

But that would also mean there would be sweet moments with him.

Everything is fake. Her feelings are real. This is Karma. Ano ba itong pinasok mo, Maya!

She wanted to cry, but she can’t.

She can’t look weak.

“Then, I am asking you for a kiss. Just one, don’t worry I won’t take advantage of you. But it’s okay if ayaw mo.”

He looks at her expectantly.

“It’s okay.” She said before thinking about it. Damn feelings. Her heart started to beat fast, like it’s excited for that kiss.

“Thank you, Maya.” He stares at her and gives her a grateful smile.

“You really love her. Siya ba yung pinapadalhan mo ng flowers?” She asks after a beat. She regretted the question once it escapes her mouth for she already knew the answer and she doesn’t want to hear it anymore.

“Yes. I’ll explain everything to you after this night, sweetheart.” He laughs and winks at her.

She laughs, a forced and fake laugh. This will be the best night of her life!

~~~~

Hiii!! Thank you sa paghihintay ng update. Sorry di ako palagi nakakapagupdate but I am trying haha :)) huugs. Next update will be posted as soon as I can 🙂


P.S.
Can I ask for help? Can you guys send an ANONYMOUS e-mail here: confessionsoftheuniverse@gmail.com and share your secrets, problems or confessions. Something would be posted based on the things that you shared. 🙂 you could ask for an advice or just share what you wanna share. My friends would post it on their blog and would tell something about it so use another e-mail of yours if ayaw niyo malaman names nyo. Thank you. It’s some sort of their project. : )

It Happened in Paris – Part 7

Part 7

Maya’s been pacing back and forth in her hotel room. It’s been four hours since Richard left and she already packed her things and showered ready to go back home. She’s been trying to reach him but he is not answering.

If Richard wouldn’t still show up any time soon, they will still be on the road until morning which is not good considering that he still have an early meeting with Jeffrey.

Right, she’s been reminded of Jeffrey again. She’s been more confused than ever. Once, she thought that this vacation would do them good that it can somehow relieve their friendship but of course she was wrong. Because way back in Paris, she knows that what they had was more than friendship her mind just keeps on denying the obvious constant beating of her heart.
~~~

He head to the door at the end of the corridor and bang on as hard as he can.

“R-Richard?” She was surprised to see a tired looking man in front of her room. He’s panting as if he had ran a marathon. “Saan ka galing?”

He ignored her and quickly went inside “Let’s go. Ito na ba yung bag mo? Ibababa ko na sumunod ka na lang.” He started lifting her bags and headed towards the door but Maya shut it close.

“What is wrong?”

He pauses trying to analyze her question. His shirt is drenched in cold sweat, his throat felt dry. He shut his eyes and breathed deeply.

“Richard?” She tried to touch him but decided not to.

She saw how his face changes reactions. She is scared because she knew she saw such reaction before and it was when she left him in Paris.

The faint sound of the ticking of the clock as well as Richard’s heavy breathing were the only sound can be heard. Maya is afraid to talk nor make any movements. She doesn’t know what she had done this time but she doesn’t want to see him like this anymore.

“You are the freakin’ problem here!” He roared like a wild lion. The anger chips him away, even though he try to keep it at bay.

Maya stepped back like a scared cat.
“A-ano? B-bakit ako?” She doesn’t know what to do. Richard remained standing a few steps away from her.

He doesn’t reply for a minute, like he’s thinking.

“You are really good at this. Making people feel like you like them a lot but really, you don’t. And you are just afraid that you will be alone so here I am who wanted so bad to be with you and who’s a very willing victim.”

He sighed harshly and ran his fingers through his hair
“The distance that you gave us didn’t help me to forget you, it just made me fall harder for you.”

She’s not prepared for such conversation. She’s uncomfortable, words have deserted her. She took a long look at him and saw his dark undereye circles, defeated shoulder, unshaven face, why does she just noticed this now? he’s indeed miserable. How long is he like this? So unhappy, so unlike what she met in Paris.

She’s holding her breath. Her eyes are filling with tears.
The rain patters against the glass windows. As if the sky is mourning with the sight of them.

“Bakit?” She ask, and it comes out a lot sadder than she meant to.

He cursed and sighs “maybe because I am so stupid?”

She doesn’t know what to say. She stood still, thinking.

“I love you.” He says “and I’m dead serious. I’m slowly dying here Maya.” He added, pointing at his heart.

She gazes at him, surprised at his sudden declaration of love. It was as if the day that she had left him but this is different because she felt that after this, she won’t be able to see him again. This time around, she have to make the right choice. “Richard.. I-”

He held up his hand to stop her for talking “it’s all right, Maya. Don’t worry, after this I will keep my promise and sign that deal. Then we could stay away from each other.”

“When I saw you with him, you have no idea how hurt I was… You left me, for him. And can’t help but compare him to me which made me feel less confident and contented on who I am… So, my for one last time I have to give in to what my heart wants. And that is to be with you even just for a while.” He pauses and shakes his head

Maya listened and watches him quietly. She doesn’t know how much she had hurt him until now.

“I know I came up with a crazy idea but that is the only way. That makes me realize thatt you do love him. Because you are willing to do anything for him.” He tried to stop himself from crying but tears still fell from his eyes.

Maya wanted to brush his tears away but she too had something to say. She knows that more than her love for Jeff, the real reason that she’s there is because she wants to. Because no matter how much she tries to run away from him, her heart can no longer handle it.

“Don’t worry, Maya. As I said, huli na ‘to. I won’t go near you ever again.” He composed himself and stared right through her eyes.

Maya shook her head as if that is the most stupid idea she just heard. She cannot bear the mere idea of losing him forever. When she left him in Paris before, she still hoped that they will meet again and him leaving her forever is unacceptable.

“Ricky, Ma-Mahal din kita.” She said, almost inaudibly but Richard heard it loud and clear.

His eyes quickly shifted right where she is standing his face is void of any emotion. She doesn’t know if he like what she had said, while he is not sure if he’s dreaming right now.

“Y-you love me.” He said, more than a statement rather than a question

Maya pressed her lips and nodded. Tears now running down her cheeks. “I.. I was just scared n-nung nasa Paris tayo. Everything happened so fast, Ricky. And baka kasi nadala lang tayo like sa part ko, I am very vulnerable that time… I am not sure if.. If what I am feeling is really love. Tapos si… Si Jeffrey. Sobrang gulo ng isip ko… Akala ko pag nahiwalay ako sa’yo, I can move on but I never stopped thinking about you..” Contrary to expectations, she never stopped loving him

He struggles trying to stand still. He is happy, he sure is. He opens his eyes, when she moved to get her things from him, he clutches her hand to stop her.

Maya stared at him while he stares back. “You love me?” He asks

“Oo nga, ang kulit mo naman.” She smiled weakly

Richard punches up the air all of a sudden. “Yes! Finally you allowed your heart to do what it wants.” Maya giggled on his reaction. It had been so long since the last time she saw him this happy. Grinning like a fool.

He wipe away her tears and embraced her. She nestles into his shoulder but quickly jolted and pushed him away.

“H-hey, why?” He asked, confusion all over his face.

“Your perfume… Amoy babae ka. Saan ka talaga nanggaling, Mr. Lim?” She frowned at him

Richard tried to stop himself from chuckling for he might upset her even more. Here they are who just finally confessed their love for each other and is now having their first misunderstanding. She is so cute when she’s jealous.

“Uh.. Out. Sa restaurant..”

“With whom?” She crosses her arms while waiting for his reply

“The girl dun sa snack bar?”

“What?! She gave her number? At paano naman dumikit yung pabango nya sa’yo?”

“Yes, but sweetheart we only ate then I went back here afterwards.” He try to hold her but she moved away. “Maybe when we bid goodbye, she uh.. Sort of kissed me on my cheek.”

Maya blushes at his term of endearment for a second but quickly brushes it off once she heard that the girl sort off kissed him, she can’t be tamed right now. “Four hours ka nawala tapos sasabihin m-”

“Hey, hey” he cuts her “One hour drive, so two hours yung byahe plus we ate, then uminom ako ng two bottles of beer but I am alone na nun.” He explained “sweetheart, please…kakabati lang natin. Tapos kakasagot mo lang sa’kin” he ended which made her laugh. He really has a way inside her heart.

“Nanligaw ka?”

He arched an eyebrow “Hindi ba?”

“Nope.”

He sighed “Well, okay but tayo na. Liligawan na lang kita every day kahit tayo na. Then we will fix things. Ok?” He said with finality

Maya bit her lip unsure what to say. Sure she is happy if they will be together but how about Jeffrey?

As if he can read her mind, he added “I will still sign the deal but you will break up on him. As much as I’ve learned that you are a jealous woman, I am also a jealous guy, Maya.”

She nods in understanding, “Okay, pagbalik natin I will talk to him. Pero ayoko na makikita kang may kasamang iba! At, maligo ka nga muna bago tayo umalis ayoko ng amoy mo. Siguro yumakap siya sa’yo!” She pouted

Richard laughed out loud and engulfed her in a hug.
~~~

Richard: Sweetheart, take some rest. We will have dinner later, ok? I miss u. I love you.

Richard: I am on my way to the office. Proposal na ng EX mo. It may take two hours of discussion.

Richard: come to think of it, maybe we should just see each other tom. Baka ayain ka ng EX mo in a celebration. Spill the beans already. Tell him u love me..

Richard: I know it’s not that easy but…

Jeffrey: hi babe! See u later. This is my day! We will celebrate later I am so sure. I love you!

These are the messages that were sent to her early that day. Maya’s heart ached after reading these. Her heart was torn apart between Richard and Jeffrey. Sure, she loves Richard more than she loves Jeffrey but he’s been very sweet and loving to her these past few weeks and it will make her guilty if she will just break his heart.

But come to think of it, he once broke her heart!

However, he already apologized and showered her so much love that he wasn’t able to give her before.

Uggh!! She screamed frustrated with herself and with the war that’s been going on in her mind.

Unsure of what to do, she sent each guy a message giving her time to decide on what to do.

To Richard: have a good day, Ricky. I love you.

To Jeffrey: goodluck!! See u soon.

With a sigh, she stood up and headed to the bathroom to take a shower. She needed to clear her mind.
~~~~

Hi!! 🙂 🙂 So in love with JoChard’s recent picture! Haha! Super namiss ko sila kaya nagupdate. Thankie Sir Chief sa nakakatawang tweet. Haha! Youdabest. 😉

PS. Sorry if it’s a short chapter.

This Time- Chapter 6: Date

Chapter 6: Date

HAPPY MOM’s DAY!! ❤

—-

“Aaaaghhh!!!” Maya screamed her lungs out as soon as she heard the door shut closed behind her and saw Richard stepping inside the room.

What she really wanted to happen is that Rafi will follow her and will change her mind but, obviously she didn’t. And she hated the fact that her best friend all of her life seems to love his boyfriend for a few years more than her. It pisses her more. “Nasaan sila?” She pointed at Richard, asking him. She noticed that he is watching her quietly and is not moving an inch.

Suppressing a smile, he answered “sa kabilang room.”

Although she already knew, it still surprises her that Rafi opted to stay with her cheater boyfriend than to have some girl talk until morning with her “Ughhh!! I hate her! How could she do this to me? Paano nya nagawang ipagpalit ako sa mokong na yon?!” She started pacing back and forth in the room while Richard made his way on the bed and sat on it comfortably. “Di ba nya alam kung anong iisipin nila tita kapag nalaman ‘to? Nakakainis!” Maya ranted on.

Richard on the other hand started removing his shoes and rested his feet on top of the bed as he watches her amusely. There’s a smile coming up on the corner of his lips which was then caught by Maya as soon as she halted pacing and saw him seated on the bed. It irked Maya more that he finds it funny when there isn’t anything funny at all. “At bakit ka nangingiti dyan ha?” Arms crossed, she gave him a deadly stare.

He shrugged and grinned finally showing his dimple “Wala. Nakakatuwa ka lang kasi. Maya, hindi na sila teenager and they know what they are doing. Alam na nila ang tama at mali.”

Maya huffs “No! Madali madeceive si Rafs kapag yang mokong mong kaibigan ang kasama!” She glared and pauses for a while as if thinking of something “At oo nga pala! Bakit ka ba kasi pumayag? Baliw ka na ba?!”

Richard chuckled and slowly rested his head on the headboard. “Maya, you planned everything at ayoko naman masira yung plano mo. We should act like a normal couple, right? And I suggest na instead of you stressing yourself, bakit hindi ka na lang matulog at magpahinga?” He gave her a small smile and patted the empty sace beside him.

She sighed in defeat, really he’s right. What can she do if Rafi just made a choice? All she can do is to trust her best friend that she won’t do anything that she might regret later on. “Fine..”

“Good! Okay, goodnight then.” Pulling the covers up, Richard turned on the left side of the bed and closed his eyes leaving some space for Maya.

Eyes rounded in shock, it just occured to her that Richard is already comfortable on her bed. Her own bed!! “Riiichaaaard!!!!!” She squealed shaking him hard as if making him experience an earthquake.

“Wh-what?” He mumbled lazily

“Wake up!! Hindi ka diyan matutulog! No way!”

Throwing a pillow on Maya’s side he groaned “And where do you plan to make me sleep? Sa floor?”

“Yes! Kahit saan wag lang sa kama! Maging gentleman ka nga!”

“Well I am! Wala naman akong ginagawang masama all I wanted is to get a much needed sleep.” He shifted his position ignoring her

“Richaaaard!!” She shouted and an idea hit her. Without even thinking, she tickled him everywhere her hands may land. She tried tickling him on his neck but he didn’t budge so he tried on his arms, feet, knees and on his sides. That did it! Richard started laughing hard “stop it, Maya!” He chuckled while trying to get Maya’s hands off him but she didn’t stop.

“Umalis ka na kasi dyan!” She said, laughing as well at their playfulness.

“Ayoko!” He shouted as he chuckled some more. His breaths are heavier now, his chuckling stops every now and then with each intake of air. When Maya reaches the point where she paused in tickling him, Richard quickly took that chance and catches her hands pulling her on the bed.

“Ano ba!!” She squealed trying to get away from him but his firm hold of her didn’t let her. She wiggled some more as she attempts to escape from him but he just pull her hands tighter.

As she struggle to kick him, he tightens his hold of her and leans in closer. Much way more closer than earlier. Facing each other, their bodies only inches away. Watching her with an unreadable expression.

He continues to look at her then unanticipatedly, the atmosphere quickly changes. His eyes drop to her mouth, his lips parted as he takes slow breaths. His gaze melts her heart. That familiar sensation that she brushes off often is once again creeping to her heart.

Maya positively do not want to be having this reaction right now. The very last thing she want or even need is to develop a crush on Richard. Her brain tries to reach for her heart silently instructing it to stop from beating fast. She can’t feel such. Crap. But she wants him to do what she thinks he will try to do. So she waited…

Kiss me. A part of her brain sends signal to Richard’s brain and she hates how her brain could think of such idea.

Suddenly, He inhaled sharply, as if he was realizing something. Richard rolls onto his back without making eye contact and sighs a deep sigh. He sat up in silence for a few minutes before standing up. “I… I will just sleep here sa couch. Akin na lang itong isang unan.” He said still not looking at her. “Goodnight.” He lay down on the couch and closes his eyes waiting for sleep to come.

Maya was left lying on the bed staring at the ceiling. What the hell did just happened?, she asked herself. Disappointment written on her face.

~~~~~

A loud knock from the door woke Maya up the next morning. She is having a headache with a little sleep. Last night, after what had happened (or she hoped to happen) she can’t drift off to sleep as thousands of thoughts came rushing inside her head like a tsunami. And she is not ready for it.

True might be known that Richard is deadly handsome and attractive but it never occurred to her that this day would come. She has a crush on him, a huge crush on him! Or maybe more…No! Just no.

“Maya?” Knock “Richard? Gising na guys let’s go out for some breakfast.” It was Rafi knocking on their door like as if it would break.

She groaned and unreluctantly pushed the covers down from her body. The sunlight slips through their room indicating another day full of promises. She hopes it would be a beautiful one.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Rafi turned their locked doorknob and knocked again when it didn’t open. Maya should have shouted at her to stop being so loud in the morning but she seem too tired to talk.

As if remembering something, Maya’s eyes scanned the room and found Richard on the side of the room still lying on the couch. She thought she might still be sleeping but when she stood up to take a closer look, she found him staring at the ceiling, contemplating. Great. Good for him, she must not be the only one affected.

She cleared her throat to get his attention but he just stared at the ceiling ignoring her presence. “Uh…goodmorning!” She greeted almost inaudible.

This is way too awkward.

He nodded once acknowleding her existence but didn’t look at her. Her heart racing early in the morning, she tried to talk some more. “Ah.. Sabi ni Rafi-”

“Yeah, I heard it. And am still hearing it.” Said he. That is true, Rafi is still knocking and shouting at their door. It is a miracle that no one from the other room is requesting her to shut up. But Maya hated the way that he say it like she’s a stranger and he doesn’t care. And come to think of it that Maya earlier wished to wake up every morning someday with him near her! Darn feelings.

“Di mo ba bubuksan yung pinto?” He asked when he noticed that Maya is just standing a few steps away from him still not moving an inch.

Maya bit the corner of her lip, pissed at him. Way to start a beautiful morning! “SHUT UP, Rafs!!” She shouts

The knocking magically stops. “O! Good morning, too!” Rafi cheerily greeted as if it’s the most wonderful morning ever made. “Go downstairs sa may diner Simon and I will be waiting for you guys!” Fading steps were heard before they were left with complete silence.

When it is really, really obvious that Richard won’t talk to him, she went to the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Inside, she watches as the cold water from the shower lands on the floor, not ready to have a morning bath.

No one dared to talk to the other after their morning rituals in the bathroom and they headed to the diner. Maya notices the concerned look being exchanged by Rafi and Simon who were seated in front of them. They are eating pancakes and bacon quietly.

She is focusing on her plate ignoring the whole world when Simon talked “Ah.. Nagkatampuhan ba kayo kagabi?” He pauses “dapat kasi Maya pinagbigyan mo na!” He chuckled at his own joke with Rafi nudging him. Maya wanted so bad to pull his tongue out of his mouth and cut it with the bread knife that she’s holding. Can’t he just shut up? Looking up at him and Simon reading her expression, she knows he had wish the same.

“Oops..sorry!” He dropped his utensils and raises his hands up in the air in surrender. Richard just stared at his friend expressionless.

“Bro, joke lang yun!” He faked a laugh like a nervous boy in trouble.

“Ah.. Pero… Kasi… Parang may mali talaga.. Magkaaway kayo?” Rafi joined in the conversation looking at me longer with her eyes showing her concern. Oh how she wanted to embrace Rafi right now.

“No, we are good.” Richard answered before spooning some pancakes. “What time tayo aalis?”

Simon wipes his mouth with the napkin happy that Richard seemed not to care with what he just said earlier. “Mamaya pang hapon bro. Kasi yung gagawa ng sasakyan padating pa lang eh.”

Maya glances at Richard and saw him frown. He quickly took his phone out from his pocket and thumbs in something to someone. She wondered who that might be? She sighs and looks away then she catches Rafi staring at her. Her face full of concern. She raises her right thumb in an okay sign for Rafi to see. She nods at Maya and smiled but she knows that Maya is not okay. She doesn’t look okay.

“We can watch a movie sa room if you guys want? May cable naman yung tv nila eh.” Rafi suggested after having their breakfast and Simon and Richard were now talking about work.

“That sounds fun, babe.” Simon agreed

Rafi then waited for the other couple’s reply. She’s worried about what’s happening “Okay, pero babalik na muna kami sa room ni Richard we need to talk kasi about something.” Maya told her friend what her plan is that day. She really needs to talk to him and tell him what bothers her. She should block this feeling right now so that it won’t affect her plans.

Richard turned to her and gave her a confused look. “I actually texted Joma to come and pick me up. He will arrive in two hours. I will be working then as I waited, replying my emails.” He told Maya as if it should be now clear to her that he have to do that. Wait. Is he trying to stay away from her? So he is also affected? Did he nearly kissed her because he likes her? But why he didn’t?

“Ganon? Bakit saan ka pupunta bro? And iiwanan mo kami dito?” Simon asked him but Maya knows that what he meant by ‘US’ is really about her. Why is he leaving her?

“I need to check yung planta sa Pampanga. Kakatanggap ko lang ng text and I have to go as soon as I can. Hindi ko na din kasi mahahatid si Maya so can you guys just take care of her, please?” He said like it is true, or maybe it is true but Maya doesn’t want to buy it.

“Okay, ingat ka sweetheart. I will be fine with them.” She gave him a small smile and stared at Rafi with her eyes requesting for something.

Quickly, Rafi realizes what she wants. “Uh. Aakyat na muna kami ni Simon ah.” She turned to Simon and started pulling her up “Let’s go.” Simon looked confused but still followed Rafi.

“Richard, umiiwas ka ba?” She asks right away not wanting to waste time.

“Nope I am not.”

“Oh yes you are! If this is because last night, di ba dapat ako yung mailang?” Her forehead creased, pissed on how he is acting.

Richard sighed deeply and shifted on his seat to look at her in the eye “Maya…” He started “I am sorry, I didn’t mean it. That won’t happen again. I was just caught in the moment and–”

If Maya heard what he just said when she still doesn’t have any crush on him she will be fine with everything but right now, his words lashes her heart. It completely slays her.

She nods in agreement like she’s cool with it. “Yeah, whatever. Kalimutan na lang natin yon, okay? Wala namang nangyari eh. It shouldn’t bother us nor create such wall between us. We are partners, remember?” Her lips curve up in a smile pretending not to care. But really…

“I know. But I really need to go. Is it okay kung kila Rafi ka na lang sasabay? Tatawagan ko na lang si Nay Tere to inform her.”

If he is her real boyfriend he won’t leave her alone. If he loves her, he will spend more time with her. However, he is not. And he doesn’t love her so be it. “Oo naman, okay lang. And don’t worry di mo na kailangan pang tawagan si mom ako na bahala.” She smiles at him for a while and stayed there beside him as he waited for his driver to arrive.

~~~~~

One month down, four more to go. The plans were still not finalize as they still have a lot of time to plan. But Maya can feel the excitement everywhere she goes. At home, her mom keeps on bugging her about the wedding. In the office, Rafi would often call her to update her and talk to her about her plans not caring if she has a report to finish.

“Don’t forget bukas, ok?” Rafi reminded her on the other line for the nth time. Maya rolled her eyes as she hates being reminded like she can’t remember anything.

“Oo na. Paulit-ulit ka naman. Alam ko, ok? Even si Emman pinapaalala din sa’kin. Richard and I will be there bukas. On time.” She tried to assure her energetic friend

“Good! Good! Okaaaaay! See you!”

“Sige, bye.”

After the incident in the inn, Maya noticed that Richard really stayed away from her. She of course thought that he must be really busy with work but she just can’t brush off the idea that he somehow tries to get away from liking her. As if it is wrong, as if he’s in love with someone else.

Ouch. That thought hurt her. She sighs and shakes that thought away. He is just busy. That’s the real reason.

Richard rarely texts her much even calls her. He will just text her if Simon will tell him something about the wedding then that would be it. Maya attempted to engage him in a conversation countless of times but he will reply in few words. And it is hard for her to keep on giving topics when she is sure that he doesn’t like to talk to her. Ouch again.

“Sweetheart!! ;)” she texted him their sort of endearment earlier that day and is still waiting for his reply after her conversation with Rafi but to no avail.

So she tried again, “Busy? Don’t be late tom! 8am SHARPie. : ) okokokok?”

Then she followed up “Kumain ka na ba? Lunch na! Eat well.”

Maya chewed on the corner of her lower lip as she waited… And waited. Each passing second hurts. She hates having a crush on someone and even caring like this. This is all his fault for waking up this feeling buried deep inside her when he nearly kissed her.

“I will be there. Sabay ba tayo?” He finally texted back which made her to half shout a big YES. That earned some head to turn on her direction. She gave them all an apologetic smile and then shifted her attention back on her phone as she thumbs in a reply.

“Yes pls. Mom misses u.” She sent. Her mother even asked her why Richard is no longer visiting them for the past few days and has been asking her if they are fighting.

“Ok. Tell her that I miss her, too. Oh wait! I will just text her myself. See u tom.” WHY can’t he just tell her that he misses her as well. But not in a kind of way that he misses her mother. Maya’s been confused with what she’s feeling. She can’t feel like this because she knows that she will lose. She kind of feels right now that Richard doesn’t like her. Maybe a tiny bit he does, but that won’t lead to something more. Oh wait! Does she hopes that there will be something more? She is indeed in big trouble!!

~~~~

“Nag-away ba kayong dalawang bata kayo ha?” Teresita started throwing questions at them once Richard arrived to fetch Maya. She could only roll her eyes at how her mother sounded mad at them for fighting. “Aba, magiging mag-asawa na kayo dapat kung may hindi pagkakasunduan ay ayusin agad! Wag papaabutin ng ilang araw.”

Oh stop, stop, stop mom. Don’t go in there, she thought. Guilt starts to creep its way up to her heart once more.

“Nay, sorry busy lang po talaga kaya di ako nakakadalaw madalas.” He reaches for Tere’s hand and squeezes it. “Namiss ko po talaga kayo lalo na yung mga luto nyo.” He smiled.

“Nako, ikaw talagang bata ka oh!” Maya silently smiled at the sight. No wonder Richard is her mom’s favorite. “Hayaan mo, after nyang meeting nyo sa designer ay bumalik kayo dito para kumain. Isama nyo na sila Rafaela.”

“Okay po.” Richard agreed which surprises Maya. “Bye Nay, see you later.” Richard leans in and drops a kiss on her cheek before turning to Maya. “Let’s go?”

She pauses before nodding her head. “Y-yeah. Sige tara na.”

Richard slips his hand to hers and intertwined it with his as they made their way out of the house to his car.

~~~~

“Red would be a good motif!!” Rafi suggested

“That would look good since Red is an eye catcher. However, if red yung motif then you girls will be wearing white, matatabunan ang beauty nyo!” Raul, the designer said shaking his head “not that I can’t make your gowns look good pero I just think not advisable ang red.”

“Ow. You’re right.” Rafi pouted then turns at Maya “What do you think Maya? Ikaw? Anong suggestion mo?”

“Um.. Blue?” She smiled then glances at Richard. She saw him flipping through the magazine but then stops on the page where there is a very beautiful engagement ring being advertised. Maya’s heart momentarily stopped. Is he thinking of finally giving her a sort of engagement ring that he once said to cap off their pretend relationship? Maya’s spirits went up.

Raul and Rafi loved the blue idea and started going through Raul’s designs with Simon peeking at the designs beside Rafi. Raul even asked what shade of blue they might like and she leave it to Rafi to decide. They were absorbed in the conversation that Maya easily slipped away in the discussion staring at Richard.

“Richard!” She whispered to get his attention. He was startled that made him flip the pages of the magazine fast. Maya chuckled as if his action just confirmed what she’s thinking.

“What?” He turns at her and smiles she notice how nervous he is.

“Wala naman, parang masyado ka kasing busy dyan.” She gave him a knowing smile not minding at all if he will tell her now what he’s up to.

“Ah.. Just trying to look excited and hands on.” He whispered back

“Well.. I suggested na blue yung motif ng wedding. Sa tingin mo it’s okay?” Maya asked him waiting for his answer.

He shrugged and leans in closer, obviously he doesn’t want to be heard by the people around them. “Anything’s fine with me. We shouldn’t really care. Try to make Rafi decide as much as possible this is her wedding afterall.” He sat up straight and looked at her with an unreadable expression. She flinch. Her heart felt like it beat its last. He’s right. Why should they care?

She should be busy making plans to ruin this wedding, why is it now that she is starting to get excited about everything like she is indeed part of everything. She needed that wake up call from him. Time to go back to reality. “Oo nga. But.. But we at least should try to engage ourselves.” She mutters

“But try not to get too engage.” He replied noncommittally

She hates him for suddenly making her feel this way. His presence makes her happy, makes her excited. They really did built a strong connection for the last weeks and it affected Maya more than she could imagine. She was attracted to him the moment that he walked inside the karaoke booth and as day passes, she seemed to like him more. Now she feared that her plan is backfiring at her.

~~~~~

With her closet open wide, Maya spent the past half hour deciding what to wear. She even bought two nice dresses two days ago so that she could have something to choose from but those dresses, but unexpectedly it seemed as though they don’t fit the occasion anymore.

Two days ago, Richard texted Maya asking her out to go with him somewhere on Saturday night.

Hi. Can u accompany me somewhere? It’s a dinner party and I need a date. Saturday. 7pm. Will pick u up. 🙂

His text message reads and no matter how simple the message is, HE is still asking her out on a date!! Or at least, that is how it sounds like. It still sent shiver through her body. She tried to brush away the feeling but because it feels like ages since the last time that he asked her out somewhere, that text makes her heart race. She is excited that she silently prayed that Saturday would come so fast.

Beep.

Chardie

Be ready in an hour. I am on my way.

She almost drop the phone in surprise. She didn’t notice the time! As quick as she could, she took a black little dress and wear it. She bolted her way to the bathroom to fix her hair and do her make up as fast as a girl can do.

~~~

“Nako Richard, kanina pa yun nasa itaas. Eh pagkatapos ng tanghalian eh di na bumababa yun pagkaakyat.” Teresita sat on the couch near Richard. He is wearing a suit that looks so good on him. He checked on the time at it says that it is already seven thirty. What is taking her so long?

“Ganun po ba?” He smiled at Teresita and shifts on the couch then fixes his tie.

“Ay sandali nga at tatawagin ko na. Sasabihin kong kanina ka pa nandito.” Maya is still unaware that Richard is already in there so maybe that is why she’s taking all her time. As Teresita stands up, she stops abruptly and grins. “Ayan na pala!”

Richard gasps for air as soon as his eyes lay on her walking down the stairs. Her curls resting on her shoulder, her simple make up that makes her more beautiful.. And that dress that fits her perfectly. Her legs were exposed and he can’t help but appreciate how sexy those were. She fills out the dress well. He is not used in seeing her this beautiful. Not that she isn’t, he is just not used in seeing her in a dress. He is indeed lucky that she is his date that night.

“Sorry!” She apologizes when she’s at the last stair. She doesn’t have to apologize anymore, her grand entrance already made up for it.

Richard stood up and walks to her. He kissed her cheek and he saw her blush. “You look beautiful.” He complimented and he saw her blush even more.

They look at each other, smiling. That moment, they really looked like two people madly in love. Their eyes glittered with attraction that simply cannot be shrugged off.

“Ehem” Nay Tere clears her throat helping them to wake up to reality. The two slowly turned to look at Teresita and saw her giving them a teasing smile. “Oh, Maya. Curfew mo. Kailangan twelve nandito ka na.”

Maya rolled her eyes. With the travel time, it will only give her about 3 hours to have some fun. If of course there isn’t any traffic. “Ma! Hindi naman ako si Cinderella.” She sounded annoyed

“‘Nak, hangga’t di ka pa kasal ay may curfew ka pa din.” Tere said firm. Maya kept mum like she always does especially when the wedding is brought up.

“It’s okay po, I will make sure nandito na siya by twelve.” Richard assured Teresita, cool with everything.

“Osiya, sige. Umalis na kayo at nang makapagenjoy kayo ng mas matagal sa party. Ingat kayo ha?”

“Opo.” Maya kissed her mother’s cheek and step aside to allow Richard to do the same.

Once settled inside the car, Maya noticed a small pandora paperbag on the floor of Richard’s car. Her feet accidentally felt it and she knows that it contains something. Maya’s heart started racing. The image of Richard staring at the ring on the magazine enters her mind. She smiled giddily on the idea that he will give her that later.

After buckling his seat belt, Richard noticed her smiling so he asked, “Bakit?”

“H-ha?” She asked startled

“You are smiling.”

she frowns quickly wiping that silly grin off her face “Ah.. Wala.. Wala.” She looked at him lovingly “I am just excited to meet new people.”

Reversing his car, he said “Don’t be. Almost everyone in there will be businessmen. This will be quite boring but don’t worry I won’t leave you.” He reached for her hand and squeezes it giving her the most wonderful smile that she ever saw.

~~~~

P.S. To those ppl asking for the pw of multiverse, you can read it if you like. 😉

The TITLE is the clue to the pw of my protected post. All small letters! 😉

This Time- Chapter 5: Beautiful Nightmare

Chapter 5: Beautiful Nightmare

~
The whole week had passed like a normal week. Sure, Rafi and Maya called each other every now and then but it is not really about their wedding but more on Maya and Richard’s love story. All week Rafi wanted an update of Maya’s love life like she’s the president of their loveteam. Maya usually made up some stories and then she realizes, she can really try writing a love story. She thinks she is indeed good at it.

The girls had agreed that they will just enjoy them being single for a while until this dinner with Maya’s mother. After Maya finally announces her and Richard’s plan of getting married, she and Rafi will move on with their wedding plans.

At first, it didn’t bother her telling her mother. She is a great mom and she can understand this nonsense once she tell her everything soon. But at the moment she’s having second thoughts. Her mom will definitely hate her after this. However, she will still do this. There’s no turning back now and whatever consequences awaits her, she will face it.

Teresita was beyond surprised when Maya blurted the news to her. Maya can tell from her mother’s reaction that Teresita was confused. Then Maya remembered whoever Richard’s been delivering those flowers to. So she made up another story saying that they fell in love after she apologized to him because of the incident in the flower shop and that Richard already stopped sending flowers to someone. At this point, she wanted to ask her mother who was the girl(whoever that was) but decided against it. Richard still deserves his privacy and that’s all she can give him considering these troubles she brought him.

Good thing that Maya checked the customer’s orders and noticed that Richard did already stopped sending flowers to someone. She once texted him about this but Richard only told her that he had enough. She tried to ask some more but he doesn’t want to talk about it so she didn’t dig deeper. She’s just happy that he did. It’s for her own good, for her plan.

After a long conversation with her mother, she finally saw her mother’s eyes lit up. Like she’s happy that it is Richard whom she chose to love forever. As if she’s the luckiest girl in the world. That reaction made her guiltier but she quickly brush it off. Emotions shouldn’t be felt at the moment. Everything should be perfect.
~~~~

“Richaaaard!!” Teresita greeted Richard with open arms once the gate opened for him.

Richard is wearing a baby blue long sleeve and black slacks. He came directly from his meeting in Makati but he still look strikingly handsome.

“Nay Tere!” Richard embraced her back. He did greeted Maya’s mother first as if he’s happier that he saw Maya’s mother more than he was glad because Maya is also there.

“Kamusta ka naman? Alam mo ba na nag-alala ako nung tumawag sa’kin si Liza at pinapahinto na ang pagdeliver namin ng bulaklak. Tapos eto, nagulat ako nung kinausap ako nitong anak ko. Aba! Nung una nga ayoko pang maniwala… ” She laughed. Maya rolled her eyes, why is it that hard to believe her?! “Pero sobra kong saya at kayo ni Maya ang magkakatuluyan. Napakabait nyan. Swerte kayo sa isa’t-isa.” Teresita caresses his arm while talking to him. Maya is fidgeting. She’s scared of how her mother loves Richard. She is indeed in trouble once this is over.

“Namiss ko po kayo, Nay. Pasensya na po hindi ko man lang naligawan dito si Maya… Mabilis din po kasi ang pangyayari bigla na lang din namin naramdaman yung love.” Richard said. His eyes were looking straight at Tere’s eyes like he is sincere. Good thing Richard really loves Maya’s mother it is easier to do this.

Tere nodded happily like she knew all along that her daughter and him are meant to be.

“Ahhh… Ma, Chard, pasok na siguro tayo sa loob. Ma baka gutom na din si Richard.” She cut off the sweet moment because she’s getting more guilty as time goes by.

“Ay Oo nga! Halika na at nagluto kami ni Maya ng madami.” Teresita pulled him inside while Maya followed behind.
~~~~

“Kain lang nang kain Richard ha?” Tere shoves in more food on Richard’s plate.

Tere never did that to Maya’s ex boyfriend before. Maya’s mother rarely talks to Maya’s ex when he’s around their house.

“Nay, kayo po ang may the best kare-kare in the world!” He grinned at Tere before spooning some more rice in his mouth

“Ay nako. Yung adobo at afritada yung niluto ko. Pero masarap talaga magluto ng kare-kare yang anak ko.” Tere smiled broadly to the girl seated beside Richard.

He reached for the glass of water near him and take a big gulp “You cooked this? Masarap ha. I never knew you could cook!”

Maya was about to open her mouth to speak but then her mother beat her to it. “Ay nako syempre naman at tinuruan ko yan. Dapat marunong siya magluto bago man lang ikasal. Ngayon ay natutuwa ako at nasarapan ka. Pero Maya, nak. Di mo pa pala napagluluto itong si Richard? Kung sabagay ilang linggo pa lang din kayo naging magboyfriend-girlfriend. Minsan dalhan mo yan sa opisina.” Tere is indeed very excited to talk to her future son-in-law

“Opo. Balak ko din talaga ipagluto si Richard.” She smiled sweetly while squeezing Richard’s hand

“Mm.. Oo nga pala, eh sasabay daw kayo sa kasal ni Rafaela?”

“Opo Ma.. Pero matagal pa naman po so kami na bahala sa preparations.” Maya is getting uncomfortable with this.

“Kahit na ‘nak. Di bale, ako na bahala sa mga bulaklak kailangan sobrang ganda ng magiging venue nyo. Minsan lang ikakasal ang anak ko no.” Teresita said dreamily as if she’s decorating the church and reception already.

Maya almost choke with this. Richard gave her some water while he moves his hand up and down her back. From that moment, she knows that she is living a nightmare. But there is no escaping now.

~~~~

In her dream, she and Richard were lying on the bed with her head on his arm. They were just sleeping. Darn it, is it possible to dream of yourself sleeping? She saw her smiling in her dream while sleeping. So what is she dreaming of in her dream? Great.

Her phone suddenly rang waking her up. Her fumbling hands found the phone under her pillow. It was four in the morning, Richard is calling her. What does he needs at this hour?

“Hello” she answered sleepily

“Goodmorning sleepyhead!”

“Anong kailangan mo? Ang aga pa!!” She grunted. She needed a bunch of sleep before the day starts.

The line went quiet for a bit “hello? Nandiyan ka pa?” She asked

“I miss you…” He said. And for a second she thought that this is part of her stupid dream but then, he started laughing.

Maya propped her elbow on the bed and sighed “pwede ba. Kung nakainom ka at wala kang mapagtripan, wag ako!”

He chuckled some more. “Hindi ako nakainom. Nandito ako sa labas ng bahay nyo waiting for you.” Maya’s eyes rounded. His voice sounded like he is not teasing her.

With her phone tightly held on her ear, Maya stood up. She almost stumble while her eyes adjusts in the darkness. As soon as she made it to the window, she slightly opened it and indeed she saw him leaning on his car outside with a phone on his hand. She cursed upon seeing him outside.

“Hey, don’t say bad words.” She heard Richard laughing again.

“Sira ka talaga. Bakit ka ba nandito?”

“Magpapasama kasi ako…” He said firm. Like wherever it is she can’t say no.

“Ha? Ganito kaaga? Saan naman? At bakit hindi mo sinabi agad?” She ran her fingers through her hair in annoyance.

“Sa beach.”

“What?” She exclaimed

“You said sasamahan mo ako. Remember nung gabing sinabi mo kila Rafi na magpapakasal tayo?”

Maya closes her eyes trying to recall if she did said that. “Teka! Ang sabi ko sa club kung gusto mong kumanta!”

“Ganun na din yun, I am rephrasing it. Sasamahan mo ako anywhere I feel like visiting.”

“Wow! How can you be so sure na mapapasama mo ako?”

“Let’s just say na nakaspeed dial sa’kin si Rafi.. I can easily press the button and…”

“Fine! You are blackmailing me. Geez. Sana man lang kasi sinabihan mo ako agad.”

“Nagpaalam na ako sa mom mo. Maligo ka na you have an hour. Babalik ako at exactly five.” Then he immediately hung up, not waiting for her reply. Maya peeked outside the window and saw his car driving away.

Darn it, he is indeed serious! “Sinabihan nga si mommy ako naman hindi! Ugh!” She mumbled then reluctantly stomped her feet towards the bathroom.
~~~~

The light has the tint of early dawn when Richard and Maya started their journey to the beach. She of course doesn’t have even a slightest idea where will they go but she needs sleep more than bothering herself with where their destination is.

Maya jolted in her seat when Richard suddenly halted. She look up and saw a cat running away on the street. Richard has been quiet the whole ride making it better for her to get some needed sleep. She was about to close her eyes once more when suddenly she saw a bouquet of flowers from the rear view mirror in the backseat. So that is where that smell is coming from!

Her head quickly shifted at the back and smiled. Is that for her? But.. That can’t be. That must be for someone else. Yeah, right.

Richard caught her looking at the back seat. He pulled on a corner to a stop and reached for the bouquet.

“I ordered flowers sa mom mo. Iniabot nya sa’kin kanina bago ka bumaba. This one’s for you.” He smiled at her for a while and then started driving again.

“Thanks” Maya smiled while smelling those flowers on her lap. He can be sweet if he wants to. Then she remembered again that person whom he sends flowers everyday before.

“Ahh… Richard…” She started, she wanted to ask about that person. She is curious, all right.

“Yes?” He glances at her for a second before turning his eyes back on the road.

“Ah.. Um… Ano…” Screw it she can’t even verbalize it. “Saan ba tayo pupunta?” She said instead, chickening out on the last second

“To Neverland” he smirked at her and at that moment Maya thought she had met Peter Pan.
~~~~

Hand in hand they strolled the path along the shore, passing joggers and girls on swimsuits going the other way. Girls would turn their heads to Richard and Maya can see their attraction to him. But Richard doesn’t care he keeps on walking holding her hand not minding anyone.

Finally, they sat down on the sand and looked out to sea. Maya only has a few clothes with her. Two extra shorts, floral tops and undies. However inviting the sea gets, Richard is just sitting beside her lost in his own world. She then realized that it seemed like Richard didn’t brought anything with him. So will they just stay there and stare at the sea?

The two remained quiet for quite some time. Maya watched some family and couples walking by the shore and some having their swim.

He scooped up some sand and let it run through his fingers.

“A beach away from all the buzzing noises of the city. A whole place where you could swim, picnic with your nice sandwiches, watch the waves crash into those big rocks.” He pointed a huge boulder of rock near the shore. “There’s no place as peaceful as this. A picture of beauty.” Richard silently, almost to himself spoke. His eyes were still darted out into the ocean, examining the whole place as if he’s a kid new with such world. Discovering what it can offer his innocent eyes.

“So.. Nandito tayo to stare at it forever?” She glances at him with creases on her forehead. Not that she hated him for bringing her here but she wanted to enjoy this day and to swim in the ocean not just stare at it.

“Well, that is actually my plan. But of course you can go for a swim and I will just stay here for a while. I need to relax.” He closed his eyes for a moment and breathed deeply. The smell of salt water and the sounds of waves crashing and birds chirping drowned his ears.

“Gusto mo na namang magrelax? Ang layo nito sana kumanta ka na lang ulit sa bar mas malapit pa.”

“I need to be somewhere peaceful.”

She rolled her eyes and held his shoulder. “Uy!”

Richard quickly opened his eyes and blinked. “What?”

“Pwede bang kumain tayo? I am hungry.” True enough, they hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and she’s already starving.

He released a deep breath and held his hands high “all right. I think may stall around here somewhere.” He quickly stood up and offered her hand for Maya.

“Thanks, Sweetheart!!” She beamed after taking his hand to help her stand up then she walked passed him on her way in search of some food stand that might be anywhere in that beach.

Richard could only smile and followed his ever so funny pretend girlfriend.
~~~~~

“Dalawang chicken sandwich and cola.” Maya ordered right away once she reached a stall.

She’s been waiting for Richard to reach him for she knows that he’s following her earlier but still, he didn’t. Curiously, she turned back to look at him and her eyes turned into slits as she saw him talking to some girl wearing a two piece swimsuit and an enormous looking hat. The girl must be asking for something to Richard but she didn’t like that the girl seemed to enjoy having Richard’s attention as if he had won a bet. And with that, she wanted to break that girl’s heart at the moment. She would love to see the look on her face.

“Kuya, akin na yung cola. Babalikan ko yung sandwich. Wait lang ha pupuntahan ko lang yung magbabayad, ayun lang oh.” Maya pointed on where Richard and that girl is located. Few meters away from where she is.

The guy behind the stall looked at where she is pointing and nodded with a hint of pity “Sige po ma’am.” And as if that’s the sign she’s been waiting, she fixes herself and made her way towards Richard.

“Hi sweetheart!” She greeted cheerily which jolted Richard.

“Hey.”

“Ito na yung cola mo. Yung sandwich nandun pa.”

Richard nodded towards the stall and smiled “Ah, Maya.. This is Angela she’s just asking for some place where she could appreciate more the beauty of the place.”

“Oh.” She smiled at Angela and offered her hand for a handshake “nice to meet you.” The two just shook hand for a second then Maya shifted her eyes back to Richard. “So, tour guide ka na pala dito ngayon?” She eyed Richard carefully and she saw his eyes widen.

“Wh-at?”

“Wala…” She trailed off before looking away. She swear she would laugh any moment now on how the girl looks. Ashamed. Annoyed. Disappointed.

Angela cleared her throat suddenly “um.. Thanks, Richard pala. I should go. Baka hinahanap na ako eh.”

“Oh yes, you should. Ingat! Have fun!” Maya waved her hand as she watches her go. She glances back one last time before completely disappearing.

“Brat.” Richard commented while they made their way to the stall to get their sandwiches.

“Whaaat? Me? Come on!” She rolled her eyes while reaching for the bag of sanwiches and Richard handed some bills to pay.

“Seriously, nakita mo ba yung look sa mukha nya? Sobrang disappointed nya!” Maya gave a victorious laugh as she occupied a table with green umbrella to give them some shade from the heat of the sun.

“She was just asking for a spot here.” He shrugged “for a moment I thought you were jealous.” He grinned at her, teasing.

“Wow.” She scoffs “You wish. Nagugutom na kasi ako tapos ang tagal mo pa. Nagtatanong lang yun kunyari, kung medyo nalate ako ng konti nahingi na number mo.”

“Oh don’t be jealous, sweetheart.” He grinned “wag mo naman harangan yung mga nagkakagusto sa’kin.” He bit his lip which made his cheek to produce a dimple

“Ewan ko sa’yo!” She took a big bite of her sandwich and looked at him. She won’t deny that he really looks so good but somehow there is sadness in his eyes.

“Oo nga pala, Simon called me. Sabi nya next next week na yung schedule natin sa meet up dun sa designer.” He said

“Ahh.. Yes don’t worry about that ako na kakausap dun sa kaibigan ni Emman.”
~~~~

After that day at the beach, Richard would often ask Maya out somewhere. In a bar, mall, cinema, park, basketball court, any place he would love to go. Maya never said no, not only because she’s been blackmailed but because she also love being somewhere else. Also, Richard often asks her out during weekends so it really is a stress reliever add to that, Richard is a good company, someone you would love to hang out with.

Maya then tried to remember when was the last time she’s been this close with a guy. The thing is, its been ages. And after her last failed relationship, she tried to stay away from someone that might ruin her again. It is not that easy to mend a broken heart so she is now careful not to shatter it again into pieces.

But this certain closeness with Richard is her own idea after all. Somehow, she feel safe with him and never did it occur to her that he might hurt her. Because she knows that he won’t. She is that sure. Being with him gives her peace that she had never felt before with her ex boyfriends. He is such a nice guy and now a good friend of hers.

One sunny day, Rafi and Simon asked Richard and Maya out for an ocular inspection for possible reception that Rafi had searched online. Rafi doesn’t have any particular liking of any place. She just searched venues that she thinks might be a good place for a wedding reception whether it is a hotel, a function room, a garden, a beach, a private resort, wherever located, they will see it up close.

Maya wanted to vomit at the sight of Rafi and Simon tickling each other once they were outside the van and in their first venue. Them stealing kisses as if they had been a very perfect couple through the years.

Yuck. Gross.

“Bakit parang naiinggit ka sa kanila?” He leans in and whispers in Maya’s ear

“Asa naman! Kinikilabutan nga ako eh.” She hissed, getting queasy with the sight

Richard then pulled her waist closer to him and whispered “well, we also have to be sweet for their eyes.”

“Ha! Duh.” Maya rolled her eyes and hurriedly walked forward leaving Richard behind.

Their first stop is an enormous garden in the middle of the city.

After a greasy burger and fries, Rafi, Simon, Maya and Richard were on a break. Discussing what they like and dislike about the whole place that they just visited.

“Maganda yung garden, kaso lang…” Rafi took a sip of her iced tea “I don’t like the idea na nasa Manila pa din tayo eh. Parang a breath of fresh air in a polluted place…”

“Right, babe.” Simon quickly agreed

“Pero” Maya held her hand high “if sa Manila yung wedding, don’t you think it’s convenient na sa Manila din yung reception? Besides ikaw na nga din yung nagsabi na nasa Manila tayo pero parang wala.” She finished looking straight in their eyes

“Yes, I know. Okay, fine.” Rafi huffed ” let’s make this as an option.”

“Kung may magandang reception naman tayong makikita somewhere na malayo sa church, we can have the wedding early in the morning tapos gabi yung reception.” Richard surprisingly joined in the conversation. Maya’s been eyeing him earlier and he seemed so near yet so far. It is as if his mind is wandering elsewhere so it is really a surprise that he is paying attention.

“Tama, bro! Pwede din yan. For now tignan na lang din muna natin yung ibang mga lugar before we make a decision.” Simon nodded ending the conversation for a while.

They visited different venues such as hotels and resorts inspecting everything with Rafi picturing how their wedding reception will look like in there.

“Do you have any plan in mind?” Richard whispered in Maya’s ear while they quietly followed Rafi and Simon inside the grand hotel. “Para kasing masyado na nating tinototoo ito eh.”

Maya stopped as if thinking of her plans but really, there aren’t any. “Um.. Wala pa.” Richard opened his mouth to say something but Maya beat him to it “but don’t worry! I promise hindi aabot ng five months itong pagpapanggap natin.”

He sighed “fine. I trust you.”
~~~~~

The sky turned dark as they call it a day. Maya and Richard were seated at the back, with Maya staring out the window while Richard is checking his phone again. They all had been quiet inside as if all their energy were taken out of them.

Simon drove cautiously, but still, the tired engine of his car creaked and groaned at the endless pot-holes and rocks of the pavement.

Rafi groaned and woke up as the car halted in the middle of nowhere. “What happened?”

“Ah.. Baka napagod na yung sasakyan ko.” Simon said, scratching his head. “Okay naman ito kanina eh…”

“Babeeee!!” She screamed jolting them “It’s so dark na nga tapos wala pang tao anywhere! I want to sleep already.” Rafi shook his shoulders

Unbuckling his seat belt, he said to Rafi “Okay, babe chill. Dito lang kayo, Richard and I will check kung anong problema.” He then turned to look at Richard at the backseat and nodded. The two were about to open the door and jump out when Rafi grabbed Simon’s arm and stopped him.

“Oh no, no, no, Babe! Ayoko. Paano kung katulad ito nung mga nasa horror movies? Baka may monster or killer na bigla ka na lang saktan.” She pouted at him and turned to Richard, still holding Simon’s arm even tighter. “Richard can handle it, I think.” She smiled sweetly at him, Richard can only chuckle and nodded as if he’s understanding this silly act.

“Hoy! Teka, ang OA Rafs! At isa pa kung totoo yung sinasabi mo, bakit yung sweetheart ko lang ang lalabas? Paano nga kung may monster or killer sa labas at mapano siya? Sira ka ba? Di din ako papayag!” Maya hissed, looking so annoyed with the thought

Richard and Simon laughed at the sight of the girls. They are cute with their eyes staring at each other as if in a fight. Rafi really loves Simon while Maya is really such a good actress, Richard thought.

“We’ll be fine. Ichecheck lang namin saglit baka may problema lang. And actually, may nadaanan tayong inn and restaurant just a few minutes ago. We are not really in the middle of nowhere nasa Batangas tayo fyi.” Richard said, and opened the door but before he could jump out, as if remembering something, he leaned in Maya’s side and said, “Just in case na totoo ang sinabi mo Rafi, I love you sweetheart!” He grinned and planted a quick kiss on her cheek. Simon’s deep laugh filled the van, Rafi giggled while Maya blushed.

“Sira!! Dun na nga kayo para makaalis na tayo.” She pushes him out of the van and bit her lip trying so hard not to be affected by this. Everything is not real. She tried to remind herself.

After minutes of waiting inside the van, Richard and Simon opened the door of the van with a sullen expression. “The thing is, we don’t know kung anong problema and I don’t think kumpleto din yung tools natin.” Richard explained, his face has some black grease on.

Maya fight the urge to wipe those greases on his face while she watches as he stands outside the open door, but then she failed.

Quickly, she took her tissue box from her bag and wipe his face like a caring girlfriend. She didn’t even understood what Simon said for she’s focused on her pretend boyfriend.

His face was almost clean from dirt when Richard caught her hand and squeezes it. “Thanks, ako na.” He said and smiled at her for a flicker of second before finishing wiping his handsome face.

Maya nodded and redirected her attention back to Rafi and Simon who were talking.

“Okay, sige. Let’s just walk. Tutal sabi nyo malapit lang yung inn. We can stay there for the night. Ipahatak nyo na lang din itong van.” Rafi suggested then took her bag before hopping out of the van. “Tara na Maya” she offered her hand which Maya gladly took breaking the awkwardness she felt towards Richard. He should be happy that she cared. As she passes the guys, Maya rolled her eyes at Richard. He did caught her eyes and wore that confused look on his face as if asking what’s that for.

With a shrug, Richard followed the girls as they walk ahead of them while Simon locked the doors of his van.
~~~~

“We need two rooms, please.” Rafi cheerfully requested the reception of the inn.

“Okay ma’am. For 12 hours?” The receptionist ask them.

“Yes.”

“Sige po, ito po yung dalawang keys. Dun po sa second floor left side.” She handed them the keys with a smile and pointed where their rooms will be.

Maya happily followed Rafi while she leads the way. The whole day stressed her so much that all she wants to do is to lay on top of their bed and sleep all night long.

Once they are outside the two rooms, Maya literally clapped her hands and yawned. She is really that tired and needed to lay down as soon as possible. “Rafs, dito na lang tayo.” Maya reached for the locked doorknob of the room closest to her. She looks at Rafi and saw her face giving Maya an awkward smile while she clings on Simon’s right arm.

Oh no. No, no, no. Maya shakes her head while absorbing what that meant. “Sorry, Maya. But Simon and I will share the room kasi. You and Richard will share the same room.” She winked at Maya while the latter blushed profusely but covered her face with her hands immediately to hide her face.

“Please tell me that you are kidding.”

Simon and Rafi exchanged looks and turned to her. “Uh.. Nope.” Rafi grinned

“What?! Seryoso ka? Rafs, hindi maganda tignan at hindi pa kayo kasal!” Maya’s voice rises an octave higher after processing everything. This can’t happen. Although of course, she doesn’t know whether they are already doing it, but for as long as she has the power to stop them she will do it. A baby on the way can ruin her plans if ever for she, herself will tell Simon to marry her bestfriend if that happens.

“Duh! We will just sleep. And besides wag kang judgmental. You know me. I hope you can trust me as well.” Rafi released an exasperated sigh “and I am sure Richard is okay with this, right? We all needed rest and I am sure na mas masarap yung tulog ko if I am beside the man I love. I know ikaw din and also Richard.”

Maya gave Richard a knowing look as if asking for some help.

Richard thought that over for a moment, and then said, “Not a problem with me. I really miss being with my sweetheart.” He shrugged and winks at Maya.

Her lips parted in surprise, Maya stomps her feet and snatches the key from Rafi’s hand. “Fine! Goodnight!” She inserted the key to the keyhole and turned the doorknob leaving all of them behind.

This will be a sleepless night.

~
I am enjoying reading the comments. Yun yung nagpupush sa’kin to write. Thank you! Enjoym 🙂