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
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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 🙂