After sharing their very first kiss after 7 years, both disengaged with very contented smiles.
Richard embraced her and kissed her forehead. Her arms encircled his waist.
“I never imagined that this could still happen Maya. I am very happy right now.”
“Ako din Chard. I’m very happy. Hindi ko inakala na maaakap kita ng ganito.”
“At mahahalikan din?” He teased.
“Oo.” She shyly admitted.
He smiled and shook his head amused at how awkward yet giddy they felt at this very moment.
“Me too Maya. Hindi ko inakala na I could still find you and be with you.”
She slid her palms to his and was comforted by the warmth it brought her.
Both were overwhelmed.
“Halika dun sa loob ng bahay. Ano ang gusto mo? Magluluto ako. Magcelebrate tayo.” She was excited.
“No. Wag na. Let’s just go out. Ipapasyal ko kayo ni Luke.”
She got worried.
“Chard, baka may makakita sa atin at kung ano ang isipin ng mga tao.”
“Bakit naman? We hang out naman before di ba when we were practicing for the school concert?”
“Don’t worry too much Maya. I won’t allow na malagay kayo ni Luke sa alanganin.”
“Alam ko naman yun.”
“Yun naman pala. For now, magprepare na kayo ni Luke at ipapasyal ko kayo. We won’t tell anyone as long as hindi pa natin naaayos ang lahat. I just want to spend time with both of you.”
Maya relented. She wanted to spend time with Richard too especially now that the hope of being together is getting clearer. She would not think of his vocation, her marriage with James and other complications yet. All she wants right now is to be with him and their son.
Richard brought Maya and Luke to their beach resort.
Yes the resort where they created Luke.😊
The resort was well maintained and it remained operational even if Richard wasn’t around.
The resort had been opened to the public but usually it was rented for family events and company gatherings.
All of Richard’s family businesses have been flourishing despite his absence. His grandfather was really blessed with a competent and trusted staff who were actually like family already.
The proceeds of the businesses were used to finance all the charities and foundations they support. They were also used as source of fund for the expenses of the staff and household.
Liza with the guidance of Manang Fe manages all the businesses of the Lims. Mang Lem oversees the farm with the help of Joma. They actually grew up in with the Lims already and out of love and respect to Don Roberto and Richard, they made sure that everything is well taken cared of.
They regularly call Richard to update him and for his final say on important decisions.
When he arrived he was so impressed on how they managed to retain all the businesses, they even improved and embarked in new ventures.
He couldn’t ask for more. Everything was doing well in the home front then now…
Maya is with him and they even have a son.
Richard Lim is the happiest person at the moment.
“Chard ang ganda na dito. Sainyo pa rin to?”
“Yes Maya. Sila Manang, they manage it. Well magagaling yun staff. Actually mga alaga ni lolo before, malalaki na sila at sila na rin namamahala dito. You liked it?”
“Oo naman. Siguro magandang magretreat dito kesa doon sa pinuntahan natin.”
“Ah where you slipped?”
She slapped him lightly.
“Pinaalala mo pa.”
Then she shyly averted her gaze. She remembered the reason why she slipped and became embarrassed all of a sudden.
“Wala. Naalala ko lang kung bakit naslide ako nun.”
“Oh? Bakit ka nga ba nagslide. From what I know, antok at pagod ka that time. You were even a little bit grumpy then. Masungit.”
“Kayo kasi ni Rafi. Akala ko you were courting her. Naasar ako kasi she is married and I thought you were too.” She was blushing now.
He raised his eyebrows amused at what she was saying.
“Naasar or nagselos?” He teased her.
She didn’t say anything but just avoided his gaze.
He gathered her in his arms again.
“Oh my God Maya. Why haven’t I noticed?”
He regretted not having seen the signs of her jealousy. He was so busy trying to control what he was feeling for her that he totally missed the glaring evidence that she was still in love with him.
“Ang importante ay nandito ka na sa tabi ko, sa tabi namin ni Luke. Ang saya ko Chard.”
“Parehas tayo.” He held her hand and brought it to his lips.
“Halika na let’s go to Luke. Pa set up na rin natin kila Joma yun barbeque. Manang Fe will be arriving later. You want to spend the night here? They have a live band kapag gabi.”
“Ah eh gusto ko sana kaso hindi pa nila alam? Paano yan? Nakakahiya ata.”
“Bakit naman? Besides they know we are very good friends anyway. Sige na Maya para maenjoy naman ni Luke yun very significant place for him.” He smiled.
She understood what he meant and shyly smiled.
“Ikaw talaga. Sige payag na ako pero wala kaming dalang damit eh.”
“Can we ask Leah to prepare it? Samahan na lang siya ni Joma.”
They both decided to spend the night at the resort. Leah went back to the house to prepare clothes for Maya and Luke.
Since it was on a weekday, there were few guests on the beach.
Luke happily swam together with his dad while Maya just watched them by the shore.
It was such a heartwarming scene before her eyes. She can’t help but regret the years wasted for not telling him the truth.
She vowed to herself that she will do everything to make up for the years lost.
After over an hour Luke got tired and asked his mom if he could go inside and play with his tablet.
Maya agreed and Richard led them to the cottage he asked Manang Fe to prepare for them.
“Maya you and Luke can rest here. Complete naman yun gamit sa bathroom and may snacks din sa fridge. I’ll just stay dun sa labas. Antayin ko rin sina Joma.”
“Sige Chard, thank you.”
“Thanks Tito Ricky.”
“Nakatulog na. Napagod yun kasi bihira naman magswimming. Hindi sanay.”
Richard was seated at the sofa of the cottage.
It was actually a villa type made of coconut and shells. It had 3 bedrooms each with a bathroom. The villa has complete facilities, a kitchen, a dining area and a living room. At the back of it was a covered pool for guests who preferred to take a dip indoors.
“Come here Maya.” He asked her to sit beside him.
Maya took the empty space beside him and comfortably leaned her head on his shoulder.
“Chard so paano yan? Hindi ka na babalik sa Rome?”
“Nagpaalam na ako Maya. I also resigned from my job. I teach kids kasi there. Okay naman sila with my decision.”
“Eh ikaw, okay lang sayo na hindi ka na magiging pari?”
“I’m very happy with my decision Maya. I wanted to be a priest but knowing that you’ve always owned my heart, and i also own yours, I don’t think I would be able to be a good priest. Hindi ko mabibigay yun buong sarili ko. Even kung wala si Luke, and I’ve learned that you still love me and pwede pa rin tayo, I would still choose you. I could help naman even if I’m not a priest.”
She stared at him.
“Oh why are you looking at me like that?”
She is misty eyed.
“I just want to memorize your face. Kasi ngayon matitingnan kita ng hindi lang sa picture.”
He held her hand and placed it on both his cheeks.
“You can stare at me all you want. Ako din, it’s your picture that kept me company all these years Maya. At least ngayon hindi rin lang picture.”
He kissed her forehead.
“Chard paano natin sasabihin kay Luke?”
“We can tell him together. I hope he will be happy to know that I’m his dad. I would love that very much.”
“Baka magalit sya sakin. Baka magalit siya na naglihim ako sa kanya.”
“Luke is a sensible boy. I’m sure he will understand. Let’s do this together.”
“Kasi di mo ako sinumbatan sa paglihim sayo.”
“I know you had your reasons Maya. I respect your reasons. What’s important is we are given the chance to correct all our wrong decisions.”
“Ambait mo Chard alam mo yun?”
“Maya I’m doing this hindi dahil mabait ako. I do this because I love you. I love you so much. Kayo ni Luke.”
Then unable to control herself, Maya cupped Richard’s face and kissed him tenderly pouring her love for the only man whom she loved in her entire life.
“Mom you’re kissing Tito Ricky?”
A bewildered boy witnessed her mom kissing his Tito Ricky, the person he is so fond of.
The boy alternately stared at them with confusion.
Richard held Maya’s hand tightly as they both face the most important person to them, their son Luke.
She immediately went to Luke’s side and hugged him.
“Anak… Mom and Tito Ricky, we want to tell you something very important.”
The boy was still staring at Richard. His young mind couldn’t comprehend what he saw. He was still engulfed in his mom’s hug.
Maya carried him and they sat beside Richard on the sofa.
“Anak… Tito Richard… he is your real daddy.”
Luke looked at both of them alternately then without saying anything, he just cried and hugged his mom.
Richard was alarmed. Luke mustn’t have taken it positively.
The boy remained hugging his mom, not letting go.
Richard decided to leave the two by themselves. He needed some fresh air too.
It was already evening and Manang Fe, Joma, Sabel, Doris, Leah, Liza, Mang Lem, Felt and her kids were all in a celebratory mood.
They were happy with Richard’s decision to stay for good. They weren’t aware of Maya’s role in that decision yet.
Manang Fe on the other hand already suspected something but chose to wait for Richard tell her.
Maya and Richard decided to lessen their closeness while in front of Luke.
After their confession to Luke, the boy had been quiet and distant to him. He would be extra clingy to his mom.
He remained polite though. He would play with Fely’s kids but would immediately go to his mom once he sees her. He wouldn’t smile or acknowledge Richard at all.
Richard understood how it must have been hard for Luke to take all of these.
They’ve been close, but its entirely different now that he learned about his real dad.
He doesn’t know what’s in his son’s mind.
He hopes Luke’s thoughts weren’t unpleasant.
It was already late and everyone retired to their own rooms. Ricky couldn’t sleep so he decided to walk around, to clear his mind as well.
Then as he neared one of the small cottages at the resort, he heard sobbing sounds and found his son Luke, sitting by himself.
He immediately darted towards his son worried.
Then with the same doe-shaped eyes as his mom the boy stared at him and cried.
He threw himself to his dad and was immediately engulfed in Richard’s hug.
Right there at the small cottage by the beach, a new relationship started, that is the relationship of the father and his son.