This Time – Chapter 8: We’re Engaged!

This Time
Chapter 8: We’re Engaged!

As the song near its end, Maya felt like she’s going to explode with excitement. After their dance, he will propose to her. A sudden and surprising plan of Richard which Maya, if she’s in her old self would never agreed into. However, from the moment that she accepted the fact that she likes him, she’s very willing to do whatever he wants as long as it would mean that she’ll be spending more time with him.

Even though it hurts to know that he’s in love with someone else.

She’ll deal with that later.

Richard continued to stare lovingly at her. Like she’s the most beautiful girl in the room. His eyes were glued at her face as if he’s studying her. For some reason, Maya couldn’t blame all herself on why she fell in love with this man. If he tried to keep his distance, instead of relentlessly teasing her about their pretend relationship, then she might not act like a stupid girl in love.

“it’s time, sweetheart.” He whispered as soon as the song ended. Maya ‘s knees felt weak just hearing his sweet voice. She could only nod with whatever’s coming next. She could swear that her heart will come out of her chest every step that they take while he steered her back to the table.

Richard’s friends remained seated while surreptitiously looking at them as they dance. Alexis watched them with envy. Her eyes burning with rage. Richard should only be hers alone. She knows that Richard still loves her just by observing him as he looks at her earlier. Alexis knew, he is still hers. He spent a lot of time and effort trying to win her back and it was just recently that he stopped from doing so. That is when, she guessed, is when he met Maya.

Maya is pretty, but not as gorgeous as her, Alexis thought. It is so easy to get Richard’s attention back. She fell out of love before and stood firm that she no longer loves Richard. But when she saw him with another woman, her heart was shattered into pieces. She’s so jealous. She never thought that she will feel such hurt again just by seeing Richard with someone else. And watching Maya and Richard dancing together added fuel to the fire. That should be her dancing sweetly with him and not just any ordinary woman.

Alexis smiled at Maya and Richard as they approaches their table. He smiled at everyone seated around the table while Maya’s eyes remained focus on the carpeted floor of the room. ‘Any moment now’ her mind kept on saying. Reminding her of what’s about to happen making all of her nerves shake. Biting her lower lip, she drew a sharp intake of breath as Richard shifted her body and lifted her face so she could see his beautiful face.

This is it.

He smiled ever so sweetly at her.

A classical music started playing somewhere, while other couple gathered around in the middle to dance again. She and Richard were already in front of the table. His one hand caressing her cheek, while the other is kept inside his pocket. And now, Maya knew, he will propose in front of his friends. An entertainment. A show for all of them to see.

“Sweetheart…” he pauses and grinned at her. Maya’s heart is beating so fast like as if any moment now it will leave her chest.

He slowly took her left hand, kissed it. Maya can feel Richard’s friends eyeing them. Their stares were like laser lights.

He kneeled down, lifted his eyes and stared through her soul, if that was even possible. She would definitely say yes even the question wasn’t still blurted out. She will say yes an marry this man who loves so greatly.

She knows how much love he could give. She will be the luckiest girl in the world.

But then, again… he is not in love with her.

This is just for a show.

Which she directed, somehow. And now, the producers seemed to give the project to someone else where the story line wasn’t good enough for Maya’s heart to handle. She can now foresee, this show would be the saddest story she would ever see in her entire life.

“Maya, will you marry me?” Gasps were heard from her friends, Maya could even feel some other businessmen watching them with shocked expressions. She can somehow read what’s running in their heads. This is the only time that they saw her, and now the great Richard Lim wants to marry her. She must’ve been a rare gem.

Maya blinked back the tears that ‘s about to run down her cheeks. She should be a professional actress. This is all her fault, why not go with the flow?

“Maya? Sweetheart?…” she heard Richard asks again, like as if he is scared that she’ll turn him down, or scared that she changed her mind in helping him win Alexis back.

“I know everything’s fast but it’s just that…” he tried to come up with some words that will somehow convince her into this. But Maya won’t have any of it. She doesn’t want to hear that he loves her, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Because it will hurt more hearing his lies.

That will be too much for her to handle.

Maya touched his lips with her thumb to silence him and reached his hand to make him stand up, she nodded before saying. “Yes.”

And if she could just capture this moment, his lips curving up in a huge smile, his strong arms engulfing her in a tight hug, and his fingers ever so gently slipping his engagement ring for her and sealing it with a kiss on her lips. She swear she tasted sweet and everything nice! She would definitely store this in her basin of memories. This is indeed one hell of a romantic proposal. Or so, maybe she though it was. Just because Richard had asked her. This is not as romantic as what she sees in movies or even in the internet, but whatever. She still couldn’t save a memory that is fake and a memory that whenever she remembers will surely break her heart.

For it will seemed like she was part of a fairy tale, and then she will wake up realizing that this is not real.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

“Congrats, Chard!” Were thrown at him after their proposal scene earlier. His friends were hugging him, patting his back looking happy for him, even though Maya could’ve guessed that they weren’t that really happy. They are also pretending.

“Thank you, guys!” Richard smiles back at everyone looking dashingly handsome. He is very happy, as if he’d won the lottery. If everyone just knew the reason why he’s happy is because his plan worked.

Somehow, Maya knew that it worked. She’s also a woman, and she knows how a woman gets jealous. She could feel Alexis eyes burning with jealousy. If Alexis could only snatched Richard earlier and kiss him in front of everyone, Maya knows she would.

Maya wanted to hurt her more, so she stayed beside Richard the whole night, clinging onto him. She keeps their hands intertwined, her head on his shoulder. They looked like what a happy newly engaged couple should looked like. Maya could’ve kissed Richard again, but decided against it. For everything might end tonight. Alexis might get Richard back, in which Maya wasn’t ready yet. Oh heck, will she ever be ready?

“Congrats, Richard.” Maya heard Alexis sweetly told Richard before they went out of the building.

Maya is still beside Richard, their hands still intertwined. But as soon as Alexis touches Richard’s arm while she talks to him, he disengaged from her hold and smiled at Alexis. “Thank you.”

“Yeah, goodnight then.” Alexis once again said. Maya knows she’s stalling. Like as if she wanted him to talk to her more. Darn.

“um.. Where’s your driver?” they are now outside the building. Mang Lem, Richard’s driver whom he asked to go there and drive for them just arrived a few minutes ago and is waiting for them. Richard already handed the keys to him and fetches the car.

“Well, I asked my driver to leave earlier. Sasabay na lang sana ako Kay Jana, but then ayun, may biglaang lakad siya. Out of the way na din so sabi ko I will just hail a cab.” She said. Maya can’t read whether she’s lying or not, but whatever she still thinks that Alexis is lying! Great.

“what?” in just one word, Maya could clearly hear his concern for her. “in this time? No way I will let you.” And as if he remembered I am beside him, he asked. “Right, sweetheart? Pwede naman siya sumabay sa atin Di ba?”

I looked at him, his eyes were pleading. As if begging me to agree. Like as if I have the right to say no!
Alexis must have been congratulating her self now. Maya wanted to cry and curse and sulk. But she couldn’t. She just can’t.

“I mean, I know meron kang curfew so uunahin na kitang ihatid, your mom might get worried.” Maya doesn’t know if it’s a suggestion or an order. Things get worse every time she doesn’t talk.

“Nakakahiya naman, Chard. Okay lang naman ako. I will be fine. May grab a car naman para mas safe.” Good! Maya would really suggest that if only she can.

“it is really just fine, Alexis. And besides on the way na din naman yun pauwi.” Richard looks at me then back to Alexis. As if I have a choice.

She gathered all her strength before answering “okay lang, Alexis. Sabay ka na. Gabi na masyado eh.” She tried to smile at her then she reaches for Richard’s arm. “Hatid na natin siya. I also want to make sure that she will be home safely.” She said sweetly at Richard. Crushing the victory that Alexis must have known she already has. “ako na bahala magexplain Kay mommy if malelate ako ng konti.”

“okay then, it’s settled. Let’s go.”

Richard opened the passenger seat for Alexis while Maya’s door was opened by Many Lem. This wasn’t left unnoticed by Alexis. She hid a smile as she settles down inside.

Maya could feel Richard slowly fading from her side. He slips inside the car beside her. Maya took his arm, loops her arm in his and rests her head on his shoulder. She will sleep. And everything will be okay, at least in her dreams.
—————-*****************——————-

A/N: hiiii!! I am back. Haha sorry, sobrang busy lang. I will finish this story, promise. Thank you for reading and for reminding me to write. Haha!  🙂 *huuuugs*

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 3: Plan B

Chapter 3: Plan B

“Hi. I am sorry dun sa nasabi ko last time.” Maya texted Richard that Tuesday morning. It actually took her some time to send that message. She still thinks that she doesn’t need to apologise, this is a free country and she could voice out what she wants to say.

But then, she’s been a good daughter all her life and that sudden incident make her look like a monster to everyone. Like, really is he that good for her mom to love him that much?

Different scenarios were eating her brain after she send the message. What if he would laugh at her? What if he thought that she likes him? She is overreacting, she knows but she can’t help it.

Focusing her attention to paperworks, Maya had finished her report which is due next month. She just reviewed her finish papers when suddenly her phone buzzed indicating a message.

She quickly took it from her bag and saw a message from Richard. After three hours he finally can spare her a few seconds to reply! Great.

‘Sorry? U don’t have to. But if u insist, dinner at 7pm will do. I’ll pick u up.’

What?! The nerve of him. She is already thinking of something to reply to him when her phone buzzed again.

‘Of course I want to know the progress of your plans. See u’ was his follow up text message.

Maya could have said no, but she needs someone she can share her plans with. Someone who knows the guy that much and can give her advice even though his advice were not always welcomed by her. Also, she knew she needed to talk to him and apologise personally. That would make her mama proud, she chuckled with her own thought.

‘Fine! Basta ikaw magbabayad’ she replied and shifted her attention back to her finished paper works.

‘Sure. See u.’
~~~

Richard arrived in their lobby at exactly seven in the evening. He was wearing an ordinary black V-neck sweater over a blue buttondown shirt and black slacks. It’s been a long day and yet he still looked striking. He is sitting on the couch while reading something on his phone.

Eds and Emman who were Maya’s officemates and friends teased her as soon as they saw such handsome man waiting for her.

“OMyyy!! Lookie lookie! Yan ba ang dahilan kung bakit di ka makakasama manuod ng movie ngayon girl?” Emman nudged her and stared at the guy seated on the couch.

Eds followed his eyes and was surprised to see such handsome man. “Hayyy! Kung ganyan din ang susundo sa’kin, I’m sorry girls di din ako makakasama sa night out natin.” Eds joined in.

“Tumigil nga kayo. He’s a friend of Simon, yung boyfriend ni Rafs. We will discuss something about the wedding since si Rafs and Simon were asking inputs from us. So, you know.” Maya explained and shrugged

“Oh, if I know, baka wedding plans nyo na ang iplano nyo ah.” Emman blocked her way and crossed his arms

“Shut up! Ano ba naman kayo. And please, mauna na kayo para malapitan ko na yun.” She rolled her eyes ignoring her friends’ stupid ideas

“Ha? Oh no! Ipapakilala mo kami sa kanya! Kung ayaw mo sa isang masarap na ulam, kami na lang ang kakain!” Emman giggled

“Sira talaga kayo. Sige na ipapakilala ko na kayo. But I don’t think he’s single.”

“Okay lang yan di kami selosa.” Eds and Emman pulled her and walked their way towards Richard.

“Ah.. Richard” Maya tapped him on his shoulder and smiled.

When Richard lifted his eyes from his phone, his lips curved up into a wonderful smile. “Hi, Maya.” He stood up “and.. Hi friends of Maya, I assume? I am Richard.” He offered Eds and Emman a handshake which the two giddily took.

“Hi din Richard! I am Eds and this is Emman. Yes, we are Maya’s friends. Well sige papahiram na muna namin siya sa’yo tonight.”

“Oh. Sorry, may lakad ba dapat kayo?”

“Ay hindi naman manunuod lang dapat ng sine pero nagkayayaan lang din kanina so talagang nauna ka sa schedule ni Mayabels kaya okay lang.” Emman animatedly said

“Oh, ok na. Sige na guys ingat kayo.” Maya gave her friends a piercing look when she noticed that the two weren’t still moving.

“Grabe ka naman friend pinapalayas mo na kami agad.” Emman pouts while Richard laughed

“Concerned ako kasi nga baka di kayo umabot sa Last full show.” Maya faked a smile and arched her eyebrow.

“Hmp! Fine. Sige na aalis na kami. Ingat kayo! Maya, ingatan mo si Richard ah?” Emman playfully caressed Richard’s arm which earned a chuckle from Richard and a slap from Maya.

“Sira ka talaga. Bye na.” She pushed the two away and wave her goodbye. “Sorry dun.” She apologized after the two were out of sight.

“Sorry sa nangyari last time or sa ngayon?” He smiled

She rolled her eyes “Sa lahat na lang, okay?”

“Don’t worry, kahit ano dun you don’t need to apologize.” He smirked and steered her to his car one hand on her lower back. She almost jolt with the feeling of his warm hand on her lower back but she didn’t remove it.

She could smell his perfume, faint and expensive inside his car. “So, saan tayo pupunta? At bakit mo naman naisipan alamin ang progress ng plano ko eh nung nakaraan nga halos-”

“Hey. Stop.” He glances at her and smiled “gusto ko lang din malaman kung ano na bang pinaggagagawa mo. Just that no reason at all. Also, I want to sing somewhere.” He starts the engine and drive his way out of the parking lot.

“Sa mall tayo? Dun sa karaoke booth? Stressed ka ba with work at gusto mong kumanta?” She asked. “And don’t expect me to sing! Nung nandun tayo hindi ako kumanta, I don’t sing.”

He smiled at her “Okay, ako na lang kakanta.”
~~~~

The car pulled out outside The Club 522, a small but expensive looking kind of bar in Makati. Richard steered her around the crowd smiling down on everyone they see. A tall muscular guy approached them and whispered something at Richard. He shook his head on something that the guy must have said while the other mouthed an ‘Oh’ afterwards as if understanding something.

Maya wasn’t aware that this is where Richard wanted to be that night. Some place where loud music were playing and alcoholic drinks were passed. It’s like a party she used to watch on Hollywood films.

“Akala ko ba gusto mong kumanta?” She shouted at him to overpower the blasting of music.

“I do.” He shouted back “is it okay if I will leave you for a while?”

“Ha? No!” She is shaking her head wildly. Oh no, he won’t leave her alone in such a place.

“I’ll be quick.” He waved his hand and left her sitting on the stool. The crowd ate him alive so Maya doesn’t know where he had gone.

After a few seconds or so, she starts to fidget. She doesn’t know what she’s doing there and why is she staying. Like crap, Richard obviously left her and he doesn’t want to talk about her plans. Really, can they even discuss something in such noisy place? Is this some sort of penance from what she had said to him? Crap.

Maya is ready to leave the place and just send Richard a text message when she saw him on the stage with the tall, muscular guy earlier. The loud music starts to faint as the muscular guy approched the mic. “Hi everyone!”

“Yoooohhh!” The crowd cheered wildly raising their glasses up in the air.

“I know, you are all excited to hear a friend of mine’s song for you. So sit back and relax for this will be the first and final song for the night of him. Please, let’s all welcome Chardie!!!”

The crowd cheered once more while a group of girls shouted a “we love you” chant. As if they’ve been waiting for this performance their whole freaking life.

Oh no, wait. So Richard will sing in public? And ‘Chardie, huh?’ Oh just wait Mr. Lim ’til you get back here. She laughs.

She plucked an ice cube from her glass and looked straight ahead as she watch Richard playing on the keyboard with some melody. Okay, sure she wasn’t aware he knew how to play the guitar but he knew as well how to play the girls, too. About a group of girls were seated near the stage with their glass of wines resting on the table. All were waiting and smiling as the gorgeous man on stage looked at her for a moment and smirked before he started singing.

Beautiful in White by Shane Filan was Richard’s choice of song that night. She almost choke when she remembered that was the song she once heard on the radio and fell in love with. On that moment, she promised that will be her song on her own wedding day.

Not sure if you know this
But when we first met
I got so nervous
I couldn’t speak

Darn. He had a pretty voice. She shifts on her seat somewhat uncomfortable with the fast beating of her heart. That must be because of the loud sound coming from the stereo.

Applause and loud cheers filled the room after his song. He take a bow and stood up, walking down the stage was hard because of the girls waiting for him. They were obviously flirting with him she rested her chin on her palm as she waited for ages before he finally made it back. The girls were still following him with their eyes and was disappointed when they saw him approach her.

“So.. How do you find my performance? Hindi ka man lang nagcheer.” He grinned while sitting in front of her. True enough she didn’t even clap her hand while he’s singing or even after his song because she was just staring at him amazed that she met a man near perfection.

“I don’t think you needed it. Madami na namang nagcheer, Chardie. Anyway, pinapunta mo ako dito for that?” She doesn’t really get it why they are there.

He laughed as she emphasized his nickname and pauses for a while as if thinking “No. I just needed a place to relax. Let’s get out of here and have our dinner.” He took her hand and pulled her out of the place. They ended up having a dinner in a restaurant. She ordered chicken wings and ate with delight.

“You’re really good in singing, huh. Madalas ka ba kumanta dun? Parang everybody knows you, especially the girls.” She said what she noticed earlier inside the bar.

“Not really, just sometimes when I feel like it. The owner is actually my friend so I can sing there if I want to or if I want to relax.”

“And you bring girls with you whenever you feel like singing?” She asked finally more convinced that he’s like Simon.

“Nope.” Was his one word reply. Maya let it pass, his tone was cold as if he doesn’t want to touch that topic.

“Uh.. By the way, if you wanna know, Simon and I talked the other day and he told me that the wedding was put off because of the church’s renovations. You are indeed clever.” He smirked and took a sip of his soda. The air changed once again and he is back being nice and cool.

“I told you.” She wiped her mouth “so you asked me out to congratulate me.” She guessed that this is his way of congratulating her.

“Nope. I asked you out because you want to apologize.” He shrugged

“Ha!” She forked another chicken wing ignoring what he said “Whatever.”

He tried not to laugh as she’s now on her fifth chicken wing. She’s so sexy yet she eats like a man. “So what are you up to now?” He forked a chicken wing but Maya slap his hand away.

“Hey. Order ko ‘to, umorder ka ng sa’yo.” She said

“Wh-what? Ako naman magbabayad ah. And seriously, kaya mong ubusin yan?” He asked, amused.

“Yes, I can. And I don’t care kung ikaw ang magbabayad, pasta inorder mo kaya yan ang kainin mo.” She forked the last three chicken wings and put it on her plate.

Richard chuckled “You know, you make me laugh.”

She snorted “ano ako, clown?”

“Okay, no. You’re not. So ano na nga?”

“Why are you so into my plans now?” She raised her eyebrows questioning him.

“Well, it worked so maybe I am impressed.” Not that what she’s been doing is that hard. The universe is just on her side at the moment.

“Or maybe you’re here to stop me.” She arched an eyebrow at him trying to insinuate. Maybe he will try to fish details of her plans and tell Simon everything. That will ruin her and her friendship with Rafaela. Game over.

“I won’t.” He quickly said. She studied him for a while and was quite convinced that he’s sincere.

“Why?” But still she probed, unconvinced that he’s on her side.

“Why what?”

“Why are you not stopping me? Like, you are Simon’s buddy.” She threw her hands up in the air stating the obvious.

He looked away for a nanosecond “Because as I’ve said, I don’t think he’s ready to settle down. But ayoko din siya pigilan sa gusto nyang gawin ’cause it’s his life.”

“Yun naman pala, then just leave it like that. Bakit mo pa gustong kausapin ako about my plans if number one, you won’t stop me and number two, you are not keen with the idea of him getting married? Seriously whose side are you?”

“I am not taking sides, Maya.” He smiled “I understand how much you love your bestfriend but she’s happy with Si, let her be. She’s stupidly in love that is obvious. That is-”

Maya holds her hand up to stop him. “She is not stupid, she’s blinded by Simon.” She defended her bestfriend. As though Simon gave Rafi a love potion or something.

“Fine, fine..” He sighs “Okay, I don’t want you to be upset. I am here to talk about your plans, remember?”

“Then zip your mouth shut and just listen!” She said quite annoyed.

Richard smirks, nodded and listened carefully.

“I still have few months to think of something. They are looking for a designer and Emman knows someone who studied in US pa. But I don’t really know if I can pay him for not doing his job. But I’ll try.”

“You will pay him to do exactly what?” He asks after finishing his pasta and resting his fork down.

“I still don’t know. Siguro pasikipin yung gown ni Rafi.” She shrugs still unsure. “Rafaela also wants mom’s flower shop to decorate her wedding day. Yun hindi ko na kayang sirain, my mom’s been very excited when she knew about it. Gusto na nga nya malaman agad ang venue so that she can plan already.”

He nodded and smiled as if he knew all along that she can’t do anything about it. “You know, for example, you are a guy and you’ve been secretly in love with your girl bestfriend then suddenly she’s going to marry her long time boyfriend and you wanted to stop that wedding.” He paused and grinned “what will you do? If you were a guy?”

She rolled her eyes again “I don’t know, you tell me. You’re a guy.”

“You can do this Ms. Clever dela Rosa.” He took a big gulp of his soda giving her more time to think.

“Uh, talk to her and tell her how I feel about her?” She arched an eyebrow. How the heck can she even know what guys would do if she’s a woman?

Richard shook his head, the smallest shake. “That will only break your friendship.”

“Eh ano nga? Sira din naman kasi yung guy, kung gusto nya yung kaibigan nya sana sinabi na lang nya agad.”

He laughed “But what if he’s scared na ayaw sa kanya ng kaibigan nya?”

“He’s such a chicken!” She raised a fork of chicken wing to emphasize the ‘chicken’ part of her sentence. “Just go straight to the point, Mr. Lim.”

He chuckled, he can’t believe how this woman can make him laugh with her silliness. “Okay, relax.” He raises his right hand. “What I am trying to say is to…” He trailed off exciting her.

“Is to freaking what?!” She exclaimed. Customers around them diverted their attention towards them from their food. Maya covered her mouth while Richard apologized for her.

“Hush, Ms. Dela Rosa. You’re ruining their night.” He chuckled again

“It’s your fault. Di pa kasi sabihin ang sasabihin!” She hissed and took a bite of her chicken wing.

He cleared his throat before speaking. “Fine. Ganito lang, give the guy a pretty girl to give his attention to.”

Maya’s eyes turned into tiny slits as if thinking and then it rounded after realizing his point. “Oh!! You’re a genius!” She squealed, she earned another stare from a few customers “opps, sorry po!” She quickly apologized.

“I know, I know.” He shrugs and took a sip of his soda again.

“Your ideas make me doubt your loyalty to your girlfriend.” She snorts

Richard pauses and look away. “You don’t know me.” His voice got distant and cold but she still heard him. He looked like a stranger to Maya. “As I told you, I know him and girls are his weakness.” She was taken aback by how he looked but then she can’t be deterred.

“Chill, Chardie.” She leans in and touched his cheek to get his attention back. “Now, about your plan… How will we do it? I mean, I am aware that your bestfriend is indeed a womanizer but still I need inputs.” She grinned and clapped a little, excited with the whole idea.

He forks some pasta and finished chewing and then put his fork down before looking at her. “I already gave you an idea. You go make the plans. I think you’re good at it.”

“Sungit! Okay, I will think of something. That will totally ruin the whole wedding!” She winked at him and finished her remaining chicken wings.
~~~~

The highway is pretty empty on this side of the road at this hour. The red glow of scattered taillights up ahead.

She leaned her head against the car’s window. There was music. She’s looking through the passenger seat window, arms crossed.

Maya noticed how quiet Richard had been after their talk. Okay, fine. Not that they are that close to be talking for hours though, but still she’s getting bored inside the car.

“Um.. May kilala ka bang girl na Simon likes?” She asks suddenly when she can no longer handle the silence.

He stopped his car at a red light while the stereo hummed. “Yeah, Rafi” he stated

“Besides Rafi, duh.” She rolled her eyes. The light turned green and Richard drove again.

“Basta maganda and sexy, I think.”

“You’re right. Yeah, most guys likes that.” She stated bitterly

“Why do I sense that there is some bitterness in that statement of yours?” Richard’s calm voice came back, like her statement is an interesting topic.

“You don’t know me!” She retorts which made Richard chuckle again but didn’t say anything. She’s really good at making him laugh.

Beep. Her phone alerted a text message.

“Been tryin’ to call u. Must be busy. ‘Nyway, Hi, yo beautiful! I was thinking of checking out ur friend’s recommended designer. I AM SO EXCITED!! Call me asap! Xoxo”

Was Rafi’s text message to her. She was puzzled on why she needed her attention that night. And when there is an ‘asap’ in her message which meant that it is some sort of an emergency.

“Suup?” Maya called Rafi and she pick up after three rings.

“I am just so excited!!”

“Yeah, I know..” She exhaled and looked out of the window

“But kasi,” she giggled “hush, baby! I am talking to Maya” Maya heard her friend whispering to someone probably beside her. And she is so sure that she’s with Simon. She suddenly wanted to throw up.

“Rafi, if you’re with your boyfriend and you guys are playing hide and seek, whatsoever. Pwede bang ibaba ko na itong phone dahil nakakahiya naman sa inyo.” She said quite annoyed. Richard casts a glance at her and smirked

“Sorry, sorry. Si Simon kasi eh.–”

Maya immediately cut her off. “Okay! I don’t care what he’s doing to you or whatever. Sabihin mo na lang kung bakit mo ako pinapatawag.” She wanted to curse. Why does she have such a friend? She massaged her temple while she waits for Rafi’s response.

“Sorry. Anyway, about the designer can you please give me a contact number? I wanted to talk na sana asap.”

“Is that all? You could have just texted me! Sana sinend ko na lang. Geez!” She half shouted.

“Ang sungit mo naman, okay maybe you’re that busy. Fine. Sorry. But hindi lang naman yun kasi yung sasabihin ko. Pero kung ayaw mo ako kausapin okay, I will hang up.” Rafi said quite pissed on her bestfriend. She’s about to hang up the phone when Maya faked a calm tone and talked to her.

“Okay, sorry. It’s just that.. Well, I am not having a good day.” Richard throw her a glance and frowned. Maya mouthed a ‘I am having a good time with you! Swear!’ which made Richard smile again revealing his dimple. Damn hot. “So, okay Rafs.. Go on. Ano bang sasabihin mo?”

Maya waited on her friend’s news. She’s been quiet on the other line for a few seconds but Maya can feel that Rafi’s been smiling from ear to ear excited with the news she’s about to share. “Well, we are getting married!!” Rafi exclaimed and giggled.

Maya rolled her eyes. As if she doesn’t know. The heck, the whole world knows! “Rafi, alam ko! Alam naming lahat. Hindi mo na kailangan pang paulit-ulitin. Hindi kami malilimutin, okay?” She said. Like really, she’s been dying to find a way to stop that wedding and she’s reminded of their wedding day like every second of the day for crying out loud!

“No! You don’t get it..” Rafi sighed “what I meant was, Simon talked to his high school buddy na lawyer and asked him if he can officiate our wedding two days from now. Actually dapat nga bukas na but hindi siya pwede nun so sa makalawa na lang.”

At first, Maya couldn’t believe what she’s hearing. Like this is a bad joke her bestfriend is throwing into her. But she knows Rafi well, and definitely she’s damn serious. “WHAT?” Shocked was an understatement.

“Ye-yes! Wait. Bakit parang you are not happy? Maya, ayaw mo pa din ba na-”

“Oh! No! I am very happy for you. Nagulat lang ako. Pero bakit? I thought we’ve talked about this? Tapos you’re so excited for the wedding di ba mas maganda yung church wedding? Ano ka ba.” Oh Maya’s ready to bump her bestfriend’s head into something hard just so she can realize things.

“I know, but after na lang ng civil wedding. We both wanted to be together agad and five months were just too long for us. And besides, I called you up just to inform you. Kasi gusto kita maging witness also, after you we will call Richard kayong dalawa sana gusto namin maging witness so I’ve gotta hang up already so we can talk to him.”

Maya is nursing her temple and she hadn’t notice that they stopped somewhere and Richard’s been eyeing her. “Oh he’s here with me. Kausapin mo na lang.” She said immediately without even thinking. Darn it! She saw Richard’s eyes rounded in surprise.

“What? OMG!! Are you guys dating?” Rafi excitedly said on the other line.

“Oh no we aren’t!” Maya quickly said.

“Put the phone on speaker!!” Rafi demanded and Maya relented. She mouthed a ‘sorry’ to Richard before putting her phone on speaker.

“Hi.” Richard greeted as if testing the water.

“Oh bro!!” They heard Simon’s voice as excited as Rafi. “Nasaan kayo? Don’t tell me nasa lugar na madilim?” He teased

“Yes.. I mean no! Of course not!” Richard quickly took what he had said back. Darn it, it is indeed dark on that side of the street where they are but that is not what Simon is trying to say.

“Ohhkay..” Simon and Rafi laughed on the other line which annoyed Maya more.

“Shut up, you two!!”

“Eh bakit kayo magkasama?” Rafi asked them curious on why they are together and happy with the developments of their relationship as she thought.

“We.. Maya and I we’re just..”

“We were.. Ano. Nagkasalubong kami sa Makati and he offered a ride home!” Maya finished his sentence

“Yeah. That’s it.” Richard quickly agreed, he is blushing. Good thing it is dark in there.

“Sige na, sabi nyo eh. Pero ayun nga guys, gusto namin kayo maging witness. We will just text you the other details basta sa makalawa na yun ha? Better be there.” Simon instructed oh good thing that these guys sometimes were self-centered.

“Okay, I will be there.” Richard said without having second thoughts.

“Thanks bro!”

“How about you my bestest friend in the whole world?” Rafi checked on Maya. She look at Richard while he nodded as if telling her to agree.

“Of course! I won’t miss it for the world!!” She tried to communicate happiness in those words.

“Thanks guys, enjoy the night!” The two giggled once more before hanging up.

She broke off with a sigh and brought her hands together in front of her face.

“Ano ba naman!!” She screams. “Help me look for a pretty girl!! Let’s go back to the club! Now!” Maya’s eyes darted back to Richard. He cracks up with the situation and her reaction but he quickly went silent when he saw how serious she was. Like a good boy to his master, he started the engine again and steered his car back to The Club 522 for some girl hunting.
~~~~~~~

Next Chapter:

“Maya!” Richard roared and before Rafi could jump out of excitement, Richard’s roar jolted her.

__

“Sorry na, please don’t be mad. They deserve to know.” She pleaded cutely then pouted.

~~~

hi guys. Thank you for the prayers and all. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Gusto ko lang din malaman kung may nagbabasa pa. Haha finally I had the courage to watch the final episode ng bcwmh 😀 happy reading. 🙂 🙂 🙂

This Time- Chapter 2: Step One

Chapter 2: Step One

Their steaks and salads arrived. Beautiful medium rare steaks. Richard ate with gusto. He was charming, but someone that you don’t just encounter everyday.

Maya called Richard three days after they first met. She said that it’s an emergency and that they have to meet as soon as possible. In amusement, Richard could only stifle a laugh and immediately cancelled some of his meetings for this day.

He then decided to meet her in a restaurant near his office which surprisingly was also near where Maya works.

He brought a forkful of steak to his mouth. They had remained quiet for the last minutes and the only words that has been exchanged were “hi”, “how are you”, and “good to see you again”. No one knows how to start a conversation with the other especially that they barely knew each other.

Maya is quiet in personal but could really talk too much on the telephone, he thought.

“You know what, we can start talking. Sabihin mo na kung tungkol saan itong emergency meeting na ‘to. I even cancelled some of my meetings for this.” He said, wiping his mouth with his napkin.

She set her knife and fork down on her plate and pressed her lips. “Ughh sorry.. I didn’t mean to..”

“Hey, come on. I can say na hindi ako pwede, but I did show up which means it’s really okay. The meeting is not that really important kaya I can cancel. Anyway, so ano na?” He voiced expressionlessly.

“OK.” She sighs “You will not believe this! Rafi called me up and talked more and more about her wedding plans. Like, yuck! I was just half listening with everything until she told me that I should help her in choosing the Church. So, I agreed and an idea pops in my head.”

Richard watched her face as it changes reactions. He took a sip of his wine “So.. What idea then?”

“We have this promise kasi noong High School, I reminded her of that tapos she went excited. Like, super natuwa siya. Kapag kasi ikakasal kami, gusto namin na sa Manila Cathedral kami ikasal so ayun.”

“Okay, and ano naman ngayon?”

Maya rolled her eyes at him when she realized that she should explain it further “Basically, gusto nila ikasal sa November. That is already settled. Pero, the church is still doing renovations! They still have like three months left for the renovation. See?”

“And how sure are you na hindi papakasal yung kaibigan mo kapag hindi dun yung simbahan at hindi rin November ang date?” His eyebrow shoots up

“Well, exactly I am her friend and I know her so well. At alam ko na hindi talaga siya magpapakasal kapag wala sa plano. She’s like that.” She shrugs her shoulder and smiled

Richard shakes his head “you are out of your mind. Simon can change her mind.”

Maya sighs “y-yeah he can… But wedding is very special lalo na sa mga babae I am sure I can still make her fix her decision.”

“How sure are you?”

“Hmm.. 95 percent! I should always leave a room for doubt especially with Rafaela. Anyway, check na yung church but if tama ka, and I can’t stop them from getting married sa isang simbahan, I can still ruin the reception.” She beamed

“Wow. You are really that determined.” He frowned

“Of course!” She thumbs in few words in her phone before looking back at Richard. “I just asked Rafs kung anong balak nila sa reception. So, check na yun. Next is honeymoon.” She scrunches up her nose in disgust.

“Lahat ba talaga pinag-uusapan nyo?”

“Yup. We’re that close. Anyway, gusto nya out of the country-”

“Ano, wag mong sabihing bibilhin mo lahat ng available seats?” He asked sarcastically

“Hindi no! Isipan mo nga kung anong magandang gawin natin dun?”

“The heck! Natin? Look, hindi ko nga alam kung bakit ako nandito eh. Maybe I just want to hear your plan. But really, I don’t know if you can do this. Just be happy for them it’s their life.”

“I can’t be happy kung alam kong sa huli, yung bestfriend ko na naman ang masasaktan!”

“You think your ideas will work?” Richard asked her quite annoyed.

Maya pondered this for a moment and stared off into space. “I guess so.” She pressed her temple and sighs

“What you should do is to sit tight and wait for the right moment. Don’t change anything by force. Walang mangyayaring maganda if you will force things to happen.”

“At anong gagawin ko? Hintayin na naman masaktan si Rafi? Then what?” She planted an elbow on the table.

“It’s her decision, Maya.”

She glared at him for a moment before she stood up. “Fine. Kung ayaw mo akong tulungan at kukunsintihin mo lang palagi yang kaibigan mo, sige. Pare-pareho talaga kayong mga lalaki.” She said with gritted teeth and left in a huff

“I am not-” he didn’t manage to complete his sentence as she watches her retreating back.
~~~~~

It’s a lovely Saturday afternoon another week of tiresome work had passed. Maya is helping her mother today with her flower shop in QC since one of her helpers was on leave. Maya happily accepted her mother’s request because she would also have a day off in Rafi’s wedding news.

‘I’m on duty. Text me later.’ She texted Rafi one last time before turning off her phone.

“Maya ‘nak, ikaw na muna bahala dito at bibili lang ako ng lunch natin dyan sa labas at hindi na ako nakapagluto kaninang umaga. Nandiyan naman sina Lino para tulungan ka sa mga customers.” Her mother said

Maya rarely helps in their business because most of the time when she was younger, she is studying hard and when she graduated, she’s been too busy with work especially when she is on her way to promotion. She used to work even on weekends.

One time, she did help in their flower shop and when a customer asked for a discount, she lowered down the price way too low. They didn’t earn a profit that day and her mother didn’t ask for her help anymore unless on special situations like this but she wasn’t left alone anymore. She prefer that she isn’t left alone in this shop especially when a guy enters the shop asking for a good bouquet she can suggest for her girl, she could throw up at that moment. She guessed, that the guy would have another girl in mind the next time he visited the shop. Darn love.

She is busy arranging a bouquet of red and white roses with the help of Cris, one of their helpers when suddenly, she heard the door opened.

“Good morning, sir! Kamusta po? Tagal nyong hindi nakabalik ah.” Lino greeted the customer as if he had known the guy for years. Maya’s attention remained on the flowers, not even having a slightest urge to look up.

“Oh sir, teka lang po ah, malapit na matapos ito.” Cris joined in. Maya knew then that the flowers they’ve been arranging was this guy’s order so she focused some more so that this can be done. She knew by then that the guy’s eyes were fixed on her direction because of the flowers.

“No problem. I’ve been away kasi for days kaya hindi ako nakabalik dito agad.” Maya quickly stopped in wrapping the flowers when she heard the familiar voice of their customer. She didn’t even dare look up. She knows that voice, it’s.. Darn him! Why is he here? She can still feel his eyes fixed on her direction.

“Where is ‘Nay Tere?” He asked, what the? And he also addresses her mother as ‘nay? Wow. That close huh?

Finally, with all her gathered strength, Maya lifted her eyes and met his stare. “Wala si Mommy, lumabas bumili ng makakain.” She answered him coldly.

“Ah, Sir Richard, si ma’am Maya po, anak ni ma’am Tere.” Lino introduced the two smiling.

“Oh, finally you talked, Maya. Nice to see you again. Hindi ko alam na anak ka pala ni ‘nay Tere.” He said in a way like as if they’ve been friends. She can sense that Lino and Cris were now curious on why they knew each other.

“Ano namang ginagawa mo dito?”

“Ahh.. Let me think.” He pauses and tapped a finger on his chin. “Buying flowers?” He grinned

Maya rolled her eyes. “Yeah whatever. Para ba sa bago mong babae? I am so sure since mukhang matagal ka na naming customer, na madami kang babae ang binibigyan ng bulaklak.” She crossed her arms but they didn’t notice that Teresita already entered the shop and had heard what her daughter had said.

“Maya! Ano ka ba!” Maya was startled with her mother’s voice. All of them stared at her as she walks closer to them. “Nako, Chard, pasensya ka na sa anak ko ah? Bitter ata sa pag-ibig.” She smiled at him while Richard chuckled. How dare him.

“Ma!” She roared why the heck would she say that? OK, she may be unlucky when it comes to boys but why did she even say such a thing? She is her daughter for the love of heavens!

Teresita gave her a piercing look before shifting her gaze back at Richard. “Ay, yung order mo pala. Cris, akin na nga yan at nakakahiya naman kay Chard at baka hinihintay na ito dun.” Cris quickly wrapped the flowers while Maya remained standing on the side of the shop. Lino thumbs in the price on the cash register while Richard handed him the money.

“OK lang naman po, ‘Nay Tere. I am sure she won’t mind if malelate ng konti yung pagdating ng bulaklak.” He said sadly. Maya wondered why his voice changed a bit.

“Ay nako, pero nung araw na nasa business trip ka, hindi naman nalelate yung pagdedeliver namin duon sa bahay niya. Wag ka mag-alala.” Tere taps his shoulder

“Maya, mag-sorry ka kay Richard sa mga sinabi mo kanina. Bakit ba kailangan mong sabihin yun sa tao eh hindi mo naman siya kilala.” Her mother’s loving eyes turned icy when she looked at her. Is she adopted and Richard is her real child? What the heck.

“Ah, ‘nay it’s okay. I am sure Maya doesn’t mean to say those things. And actually, we knew each other medyo hindi lang kami close.”

“Oh? Talaga? Eh paano naman kayo nagkakilala?”

“Ahh.. May kaibigan po ako na kilala niya. Anyway, ‘Nay I should go. Bukas na lang ulit and thank you.” He kissed her forehead and waved his hand towards Lino, Cris and Maya’s side before exiting the shop.

Maya was then left wandering.
~~~~

“You’ve gotta be kidding me?” Rafi giggled on the other line after Maya narrated what happened in the flower shop. “This must be fate!” She giggled some more

Maya snorts “shut up, you!”

“Eh ikaw kasi, why say nasty things? Bakit ba parang galit na galit ka dun sa tao? Like, hello Maya pangalawang beses pa lang kayo nagkikita.”

She bit her lip. Oh yes, she’s used to sharing everything to Rafi but she can’t tell her that she’s been seeing Simon’s friend because she wanted to stop her wedding. That is insane.

“Well, as I’ve told you give him a chance. I don’t think he’s babaero as what you think.” Rafi went on. “You know what, why don’t we hang out again? With Richard and Simon?”

“NO!” She quickly brush the idea away. “No way!”

Rafi laughs “Okay, chill. I won’t push you to him. Anyway, I’ve called the church na pala.”

“Ah.. Good, so anong sabi?” Maya can only roll her eyes when Rafi quickly changed their topic that easy back to her wedding plans. Maya sat down and rested her chin on her palm while waiting for an answer she already knows.

“Ayun na nga,unfortunately sabi under renovation pa daw yung simbahan and they can’t book me a date. They can reserve a date after five freakin’ months!” She sighed. Maya smiled on the thought that the wedding will be put off for a while. Rafi can consider for such span of time that getting married with Simon is not a good idea.

“Oh. Too bad.” She faked her feeling bad tone.

“I know! I’ve called Simon and he told me na sa San Agustin Church na lang but I told him na ayoko. Kasi di ba? We promised na dun tayo magpapakasal and then I remembered our moms’ friend Tita Ella getting married there it was so perfect. I can imagine getting married there, too!” Rafi keeps on talking while Maya listened.

“I know! Yung flower arrangement ni mommy dun was so pretty! And tita Ella looked like a Barbie doll. Tapos nung bumukas yung door ng church to welcome the bride..yung voice ng choir echoing.. Uggh perfect!” Maya relieved the moment as if wanting to get married there too but the truth is, she doesn’t care at the moment. Such wedding plans never entered her head especially that she’s single.

“Kaya nga.. I wanna cry! Two months of preparations is already long tapos maghihintay pa kami ng five months? What now? We really want to get married!”

Maya shakes her head. It is really that obvious that Rafi wants to get married but she just doesn’t know about Simon. She never heard Rafi telling her that “they” called this and that, what she keeps on hearing from her friend is that “I” called this and that. Another reason for Maya to stop this nonsense.

“Well, worth the wait naman ang pagpapakasal eh. At saka, mas mapagpaplanuhan at mas maaayos yung kasal kapag ganon. Mas magiging maganda and worth remembering.” Maya tried to make more sense.

“Right.” She sighs “di bale na, I can wait. Oo nga pala, we are looking for a designer na once we find one, magpapaset na kami ng date ng pagpapasukat. I will just inform you, ok?”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Kaaaay, bye.”

“Bye Rafs. Just call me anytime!”

“Ok.” She hung up. Maya sighed in relief at least the renovations bought her more time to stop the wedding. Knowing Simon, he can find another girl with that span of time.
~~~~~

Teresita is busy cooking in their kitchen when Maya enters to drink some water.

“Need some help?” She asked after taking a gulp.

“Hindi na ‘nak. Magpahinga ka na lang at bukas busy ka na naman sa trabaho.”

“Medyo well rested na naman po ako eh.” She shrugged

“Di na ‘nak, kaya ko na ‘to.” Tere pauses “Ay, siya nga pala. Paano ba kayo nagkakilala ni Chard?”

Maya leaned on the kitchen counter and crossed her arms. “Ma, di ba nga, may common friend kami. Ayun. I just met him, acquaintance lang.”

“Ahh.. Eh kung ganoon, wag mo siya pagsabihan ng ganung mga salita at hindi mo naman pala ganun kakilala. Hindi tama yun ‘nak. At isa pa, kilala ko si Richard napakabait na bata at hindi siya katulad nung sinabi mo. Kung pwede nga lang nireto na kita sa kanya.” Her mother smiled while chopping onions.

“Bakit hindi pwede?” She asked inside her head. She want to ask her mother but decided against it. It might prolong their conversation. Is he gay? But those flowers…

“Maya, ‘nak..” She glances at her

“Po?”

“Mag-sorry ka sa kanya ha?”

Maya reluctantly nodded. Her mother remained quiet after that, just humming some old songs that Maya never heard of. She wonder for whom those flowers are? If he orders one for that person everyday, then that person must be really special. Whatever. She doesn’t care. She shouldn’t care about him.
~~~~

sorry for the late update. Super stressed with school. Pleaseee pray for our defense on Saturday. 🙂 thank you sa mga nagbabasa pa din. Haha happy reading.