The FAs just arrived from their Palawan flight. They are now having lunch at the cafeteria of Time Airways, while waiting for further instructions and flight schedules. Joshua was on his usual teasing self
Joshua: O ano Eds? San ba kayo magcelebrate ng birthday mo? For sure “masaya” na naman yan. (Joshua said while grinning naughtily)
Eds: Ay ano ang mga ngiting yan ha Josh! Since 3 days off ko atsaka weekend naman, sa Boracay kami pupunta. Speaking of, buti naalala ko. I need to buy a set of swimwear pala.
Joshua: Ahem naghahanda talaga. Ganyan ba talaga kayong mga girls?
Eds: Siyempre naman, pinaghahandaan yan. Si bf nga nangungulit na if nakabili na ako ng isusuot ko. I want to look extra sexy for him, (sabay tawa ni Eds) Since busy ako the past days, he took care of the plane tickets and hotel. Can’t wait na nga to see him. Mamya pang hapon ang out nya kasi tinatapos pa yun iiwan na work sa office.
Ruby: Wow nakakainggit naman. Ang sweet nyo namang dalawa.
Eds: Hihihi, dapat lang no. Kayo nga ng boyfriend mo ang sweet din kaya. When I saw you nga sa moviehouse, nahiya na akong lumapit sa inyo kasi halos yun akbay nya sa’yo parang nagsusumigaw ng “off limits, do not disturb”.
Joshua: Pero teka nga girls. Let’s rate your boyfriends according to sweetness. Wag kayong mahihiya magsabi sakin. Malay nyo makapulot pa kayo ng tips ng mga likes and dislikes namin, hehehe! (pagmamayabang ni Joshua) Well lets start with… Maya!
(Napalunok si Maya)
(Maya was just listening to their whole conversation, busy eating and busy listening)
Ruby: Yes si Maya. Marami tayong matututunan for sure. Alam mo naman Mr. Lim is more experienced and more mature, naku kahit he looks so young. Swerte talaga nitong si Maya no!
(Tinginan ang tatlo kay Maya)
Maya: Ah eh… wag nyo na nga akong isali jan. Nakakahiya…
Joshua: Ay andaya. Sayo pa naman kami makakapulot ng maraming moves at tips jan. I heard Mr. Lim has a reputation of being overly romantic.
Eds: Oo nga. Amidst his stern and strict face, super sweet daw yan. Yun pinsan ko kasi dating kasamahan ng late wife nya. Super touchy daw si Mr. Lim. May roses si Mrs Lim daily tapos, bigla bigla na lang daw susulpot sa mga flights or makikiusap na irearrange ang flight sched ng ex-wife nya to surprise her with a vacation. Nakakakilig masyado. Kaya Maya, kwento na!
Ruby: Oo nga Maya. Gusto ko malaman what he does. Naku baka himatayin tayo nito Eds, hihihi!
Joshua: At Maya you can leave out the very intimate details, (grinning mischievously) Alam ko kasi super honest ka. Baka pati yun makwento mo eh nasa public place tayo, hahaha! Atsaka yun age ni Mr Lim, naku… lagot ka Maya. Lalo na ikaw lang naman ang sumunod na girlfriend nya after his late wife. (grins mischievously) How many years din siya na , let me put it subtly, “lonely”! hahaha!
Eds: Kaya ata laging puyat si Maya eh.
Ruby: Nagpupuyat with Mr. Lim
(Tawanan ulit sila)
Joshua: Sige na Maya, Kuwento na.
Maya: Ah, eh… wag na. (pulang pula na si Maya)
Eds: Ay ang kj naman nito.
Joshua: O cge cge, lets play a game na lang. Ako magtatanong tapos sasagot kayong girls, okay?
Eds and Ruby: Game!
Joshua: How frequent do you kiss? And where ang pinakamasarap na part na hinahalikan ng boys nyo? O wag yun spg ha!
Ruby: Kami, very frequent. As in magkita lang kami kiss agad, hihihi! Siyempre sa lips pinakamasarap esp pag yun sobrang tagal, yung halos mawalan ka na ng hininga. (fans self)
Eds: Ako naman sa lips din pero mas like ko yun dito sa side ng neck. (acts kilig). Lagi rin kasi alam mo naman yun boyfriend ko, sobrang PDA.
(They all looked at Maya… excited for her answer)
Maya: Ah eh… wala eh… dito sa cheeks lang at hand.
Joshua: Sus bola! Ayaw mo lang magkwento eh. Cge na nga di ka na naming pipilitin. Alam ko naman na ayaw mong masira ang image ng iyong Seeeerrrr Chhhieeef.
(Tawanan ulit sila)
Eds: Eh ikaw Josh, di ka ba magkwento?
Joshua: Ah I usually kiss my girl sa hand muna, then arms, shoulders, neck, sa tenga. Di ba like nyo yan, aminin! Haha! Tapos sa lips and everywhere else. Hahaha! Siyempre kung maganda ang girlfriend mas madami. Kung chaka, ay wag na lang.
Eds: Tingnan mo to si Maya, namumula na oh!
Ruby: Iniimagine nya siguro mga ginagawa nila. Naku Maya baka naman lagi kang naninigas everytime naglalambing sayo si Mr. Lim. You should loosen up kasi normal yan sa relationship. Sige ka jan, mabore sayo si Mr. Lim. Alam mo naman yun “experienced” ng masyado.
Maya: Ano ba kayo. Ako na naman nakikita nyo. (pulang pula na si Maya)
(Biglang dumating yun flight schedules nila from Time Airways)
Eds: O pano guys, hiwa hiwalay na tayo. Itutuloy natin to, hihihi…
Joshua: Talaga! kasi marami kang ikukwento for sure.
Ruby: Enjoy Eds… Happy Birthday sa yo..
Maya: Bye Eds. Happy Birthday! Ingat kayo.
Joshua: O sige, alis na rin ako. Maya susunduin ka ba ni Mr.Expert Lim?
Maya: Joshua talaga. Oo malapit na daw siya. Nagpapark lang ata.
Ruby: O Maya sabay na ako palabas kay Josh. Nandiyan na din sundo ko.
Joshua: bye Maya, Hinay hinay sa kisses at sa kung ano ano pa, hahaha!
Maya: Bye na. Loko ka talaga.
Maya was left alone in deep thought.
5 minutes later….
SC: I missed you. (Sabay hug at kuha ng luggage)
Maya just smiled coyly.
SC: Are you hungry? Cmon lets eat. Di pa ako naglulunch. Our meeting was extended and I didn’t eat na kasi I was thinking of having lunch with you. Tara. Where do you wanna eat?
Maya: Kahit saan. Ikaw na bahala, she said unenthusiastically.
Nahalata ni SC na matamlay si Maya but he dismissed it. Alam nyang pagod ito dahil sa sunod sunod na flights.
They are now in the car and Maya is still quiet.
SC: Are you okay? (malambing nyang tanong)
Maya just nod.
SC: Are you sick? Bakit tahimik ka? Did something happen sa work? Sa flight? Well you can tell me what bothers you. Ayokong malungkot ka. (buong lambing sa sabi si Richard)
Maya: Wala… wala SC. Pagod lang siguro at antok.
SC: You’re sure? Kasi Ive seen you pagod and antok and this is so different. Something’s bothering you. Im sure of that.
Maya: (impatiently now) Wala nga kasi. Ang kulit mo naman SC. Tara kain ka na para mahatid mo na ako sa condo. Gusto ko ng matulog.
SC: Okay. If you don’t want to share it with me I won’t argue with you. (He smiled at Maya while briefly holding her left hand as to assure her that whatever problem she’s having, he’s always there for her)
After eating sa nearby resto (Maya had dessert only), they are now on the way to the condo.
Both are silent. Maya was leaning her head at the headrest, looking outside the window, avoiding SC’s eyes.
After that lunch with the FAs, Maya was deeply bothered. It made her feel insecure. Lots of things are running through her mind.
Even after they elevated their friendship – courting days to being in a relationship, Maya already noticed that SC was not at all malambing, showy, touchy. Well not like in the movies she’s been watching anyway. He was reserved and oftentimes she feels more like an acquaintance than a girlfriend. He doesn’t automatically kiss her, he seldom says “I love you”, he’s not consistent with his hugs. Tapos he didn’t even stand up to meet her during her last visit to his office. It was ok with her actually kasi akala nya yun ang nature ng kanyang SC kaso when Eds mentioned that he was actually sweet, malambing and touchy with his late wife, Maya wondered why he isn’t like that at all with her. Is something wrong with her?
“Kung maganda girlfriend mas marami, pero kung chaka wag na lang” Joshua’s words were echoing in her mind.
SC was at a loss as to why Maya acts the way she does now. He recalled the last call they had before he left his office to fetch her. She seemed ok. Bubbly and excited even. He’s wondering why all of a sudden she’s sad and quiet.
SC: (Trying to fish out some info) Maya, kumusta naman sina Nanay Teresita?
Maya: Ok lang si nanay.
SC: Si Kute? Si Cho kumusta yun first day niya sa school? Okay lang ba yun pagalis ni Jeff? Are they adjusted already?
Maya: Ok si Kute. Ok si Cho…
Richard, though normally impatient, just allowed Maya her “mood” today.
Maya: at si Jeff… ayun “sweet” pa rin kay Kute kahit malayo siya.
Richard realized that its not about work or her family in San Nicholas that bothers Maya from the moment she said that last line. It was about him. But no, he wont bring it up. She wants Maya to be the one to open up about it. He’s secretly smiling at the thought that nagtatampo si Maya sa kanya for not being sweet and all. In fact he’s feeling giddy.
SC: (If you only know Maya what strength I draw just to restrain myself from doing what I want to do to you and with you), he thought to himself letting out a small smile.
Maya saw this and at mas lalo siyang napikon kay SC.
Both are not talking. One is feeling giddy while one is sulking in insecurity….
Maya couldn’t help it anymore….
Maya: Maganda ba ako SC???
SC suddenly stepped on the brake, not expecting that kind of question. Natatawa na siya but he knows that Maya is serious and needs to be assured of her worth and of how really beautiful and amazing she is.
He parked the car on the side of the road and faced her.
SC: Maya, I’m not that shallow. I love you beyond superficial reasons. You know that.
Maya: (she interpreted what SC said differently) So hindi nga ako maganda. Tama talaga si Joshua. (she said softly while tears are now welling in her eyes).
SC heard it.
SC: Joshua told you na hindi ka maganda? (he raised his voice a bit)
Maya: Ah eh hindi Sir Chief. Hindi ako ang sinasabi nya.
SC: Eh bakit sabi mo…
Maya: Eh… uwi na tayo SC. Gusto ko ng magpahinga. Pagod na ako.
SC: Maya, I’ve attended 3 meetings this morning. I also went to the hangar at 3 am kasi kulang kami ng engineers kanina, pagod din ako but I want to talk about this now. I know something is bothering you, tell me and we’ll do something about it. You know na ayokong ganito ka.
Maya: Pagod ka rin pala. Tara hatid mo na ako para makabalik ka na rin sa office at magpahinga ka na lang don. (she was still looking outside the window)
SC: (looking at Maya, acting hurt) You know what? I was excited to fetch you. I was looking forward to our lunch together, looking forward to hearing your stories coz it makes me relax, your voice soothes me. All I wanted was to be with you pero ikaw parang ayaw mo ata eh. (pinapakonsiyensiya nya si Maya)
Maya: (angrily facing him) Wag mo nga akong binabaliktad!!! (she actually has tears in her eyes now)
SC: (uh oh this is serious, he said to himself seeing Maya cry)
Richard wiped her tears with his thumb while Maya was trying to avoid him. He then gathered her in his arms and Maya now allowed him. She was now sobbing hard. She felt insecure, she’s mad at her SC and mad at herself for being this childish but she can’t help it.
SC: (kissing the top of her head) Hey, stop crying, I was just teasing kanina. Alam ko na you wanted to see me and ako din naman ah! Masaya ako everytime we’re together. Now tell me, ano bang nagawa ko. Why are you mad at me? Have I said or done something wrong?
(he tilted her chin so now she’s staring at him with still some remaining unshed tears in her eyes)
SC: Anong wala. Kanina mo pa nga ako inaaway (he said smiling, trying to make her laugh too).
Maya: Wala kang ginagawa (avoiding his gaze, finally she said it)
Richard is confused.
Maya: Kanina nagkwento sina Eds, Ruby at Joshua tungkol sa mga partners nila.
Maya: Marami silang ginagawa…
SC: Like what?
Maya: Eh… alam mo nay yun, yun ginagawa ng boyfriend-girlfriend…
Richard’s eyes grew big at this. He is loving this conversation.
SC: Ano nga?
Maya: Kiss (mahinang sabi ni Maya)
SC: I kiss you naman ah! Ikaw nga ang hindi gumagawa nyan sa akin (he was teasing)
Maya: Hindi naman sa lips (she was embarrassed saying this kaya nakayuko sya)
Napalunok si Richard.
Maya: Tapos sabi ni Josh, kayo daw mga lalaki pag maganda and girlfriend maraming ganun, pero pag hindi maganda….
Richard cupped her face.
SC: You are so beautiful Maya. (kissing her eyes) These eyes which I always catch stealing glances at me…
Maya: Hindi ah.. (she giggled a bit)
SC: (kissing her cheek) These cheeks which I enjoy seeing turn red whenever you blush…
Maya was actually turning red now. She’s feeling the sensation from SCs slow kisses on her face.
SC: And of course those lips which I wanted to kiss so badly for a long time already. You just don’t know what control I impose on myself just to not kiss those.
Maya: Bakit di mo ikiss? (mahina ngunit padabog na sabi ni Maya)
SC: (eyes widened after hearing what Maya said) Kasi I don’t want you to avoid me ever again. Baka mabigla ka na naman tapos iwasan mo ….
It was Maya who slowly laid her lips on SCs.
Realizing what she did, she immediately looked away, suddenly embarrassed.
Richard slowly turned Maya’s face to look at him then claimed the lips that he has been wanting to kiss ever since the night when his best friend Rafi treated Maya to a makeover.
Slowly he guided Maya, aware that this was new to her. He didn’t want to shock her so he patiently, slowly, kissed her.
He wanted so badly to deepen the kiss but he decided not to. He might not be able to control himself from doing something beyond that.
He wants to take everything slowly with Maya. He wants it to be perfect, special. He knows she’s new to all of these and he feels privileged realizing that he will eventually be the one she’s with in exploring all these.
SC: (Slowly tilting Maya’s chin so she can look at him) Are you okay now? Di ka na galit sa’kin? (he smiled)
Maya: Di naman ako galit…
Maya: (nodding her head) Sorry ha. Kala ko kasi….
SC: Maya, mahal na mahal kita. Please never doubt that. Maybe hindi ako kasing sweet ng iba pero it doesn’t mean I don’t love you enough.
Maya: Kasi sabi ni Eds you have a reputation daw of being romantic tapos ganun ka daw kay Ma’m Alex. Kasamahan ng pinsan ni Eds si Ma’m Alex as FA before.
SC: Alex, Maya.
SC: We were on our mid 20’s when Alex was an FA. Kaya ata I can easily be romantic then. Of course it goes with age. Kaso ngayon I feel awkward. Nahihiya din ako (he shyly admitted) Di kaya ako mukhang DOM?
It was Maya’s eyes which grew big this time.
Maya: Ano ka ba SC! Mukhang 20 ka lang nga eh. Lalo na pa di ka tiger mode.
(they both laughed)
SC: Sus you’re just saying that coz im your boyfriend. Tara na nga. Ang tagal na natin dito. Ang hirap mo kasing suyuin (he smiled at her)
Maya: Hindi ah! Ambilis ko ngang bumigay. Smile mo pa lang….
SC: (grins mischievously) You mean….
Maya: Hep hep… SC I mean madaling mawala tampo ko, smile mo pa lang. Ikaw ha! Parang iba ang nasa isip mo.
SC: Ano bang nasa isip ko?
Maya: (blushing) Wala! Di ko alam. Uwi na tayo. (sabay tingin sa window)
SC: Dun na nga tayo sa condo para maka pahinga na tayo.
Maya: Anong oras ka babalik ng office SC?
SC: Im taking the rest of the day off. Dun na lang ako sa condo mo.
Maya: Tatambay ka dun?
SC: Hindi ako tatambay Maya. Mag-aaral tayo. Im rusty na kasi (he grins)
Maya was confused.
Maya: Magaaral ng ano?
SC: siyempre ng ginagawa ng mag boyfriend at girlfriend. (he’s laughing now, teasing Maya)
Maya: SC ha! Sa mall na lang tayo dumiretso. Wag na sa condo.
SC: Ako I have proven that I have self –control, eh ikaw? Baka nyan…. (he’s loves to tease Maya who’s now covering her face)
Maya: SC naman eh….
SC: Im just kidding. Don’t cover your face na. Di ko nakikita yun napagandang mukha ng pinakamamahal kong Maya.
(Maya looked at SC who lovingly looked at her too)
They both smiled while fingers of his right hand and her left hand were intertwined on the ride home to the condo.