The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and the BCWMH team

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and the BCWMH team

A/N One year na silang namaalam. Sila naman nga ang gawan natin ng episode na to. 😃

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“Maya yun blocking nyo ha! Wag na please pakialaman.” Direk Jeff reminded their lead star.

Direk Jeff was having a hard time making the lead stars follow the lines from the script as they always resort to injecting adlibs.

He knows he shouldn’t complain with the adlibs the leads are doing since they usually end up more ‘nakakakilig kasi natural’ but they are running out of time now and adlibs sometimes compel the writers to edit and sometimes change the dialogues for the succeeding scenes.

They don’t have the time anymore.

They will be shooting Ilocos scenes for the final episodes of the most loved, phenomenal series on TV.

“Eh Direk si Ricky naman po ang pasaway eh. Siya ang panay adlib.” Maya reasoned out.

“Ay hindi ah! Not me Direk!”

“Anong not you! Eh kung ano ano ang idinadagdag mo sa script.” Si Maya.

“It was unintentional Direk. I don’t even notice it. Atsaka she doesn’t correct me so di ko alam na mali na pala ako.” Si Ricky naman.

“So ako pa ang may kasalanan? Excuse me Richard! Halata kaya na sinasadya mo yun mga idinadagdag mo sa scenes.” Si Maya ulit.

“Konting lines lang naman yun eh!” He sheepishly smiled.

“Hindi lang po lines sa dialogue. May mga unnecessary touches ka din kaya. Hindi naman kasama sa script yun mga hawak hawak na yan ah!” She again complained.

Ricky scratched his head and smiled naughtily.

“At natatawa ka pa! See Direk guilty sya kaya siya dapat ang pagsabihan mo at hindi ako.”

“I’ve been doing it for quite a long time eh bakit ngayon ka lang nagrereklamo kung kelan patapos na yung show?” Then he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

Namula si Maya. She realized na oo nga, hinayaan lamang niya si Ricky for the longest time and she actually felt extra kilig whenever he does those extra-hindi-kasali-sa-script touches, like extra holding hands, extra akbay, holding her lower back, extra leaning and even extra kisses sa forehead and cheeks and maybe some kisses na rin sa lips na hindi na nya matandaan.

“See! You’re blushing! It means aware ka din at you allowed it and I bet you love it too. Ako kasi okay naman sakin kahit grabe yun kapit mo sa arms ko, yun mga extra yakap mo, extra kurot, extra hampas, extra gigil…” She scrambled to silence him by covering his mouth so he wouldn’t say more. Nasa harap sila ni Direk.

“Sumusobra ka na ah! Ang sama mo!” She said with her eyes turning into slits.

Direk was just watching them. He finds them amusing but right now pikon siya kasi they were running out of time. Ang kukulit ng leads nila. Daig pa yun teens.

“Naku ewan ko sa inyo! Panying ikaw na nga dito.”

Direk Jeff called Assistant Director Panying to take charge. He left them.

Ricky and Maya just looked at each other and even laughed some more. Maya was covering her mouth para di ni Direk marinig yun tawa nya.

Panying shot them a warning gaze which even made them laugh harder.

He even whispered, “Mas madaling malusutan eto si Direk Panying.”

She elbowed him, “Sshhh.. mapikon nga yan iwanan din tayo dito.”

He whispered again…”eh di better kasi masosolo kita.”

Nanlaki eyes nya. “Huy ang mga biro mo ha! Sira ka talaga! May makarinig nga maging isyu pa yan.”

He just grinned widely and with mischief which earned him another light slap from her.

“Ako okay lang sa kulitan nyo ha pero please lang, kailangan na nating matapos to. Kulang na tayo sa oras. Kailangan na nating bumalik sa Manila bukas para sa remaining Antipolo scenes. Kaya please naman tama na muna ang asaran, kulitan at biruan. Lalo na ikaw Richard!” AD Panying pleaded.

Maya wiggled her brows at Ricky as if saying na si Ricky nga ang may kasalanan sa delays ng scenes.

He just smirked but still tickled her at her waist para makaganti.

=================

They finally cooperated and was able to finish the Ilocos pasyal scenes.

It was getting dark and the couple together with the other bcwmh staff and crew were resting while the hotel room for the ‘you and me time’ scenes will be shot.

“Nakakapagod talaga ang out of town shooting. Nagkakamigraine na ako.” Direk Jeff complained.

“Di bale Direk, 2 sequences na lang naman eh.” AD Panying was confident that they will be able to finish the scenes earlier since the two were already cooperating.

The Ricky suddenly suggested..

“You know what Direk, I’ve read and reviewed the scenes, madali lang naman. Kaya na namin. Kahit si Sir Neil lang kasama namin okay lang.” Richard suggested.

He wants Direk Jeff and AD Panying to rest.

He noticed that their hardworking directors have been lacking their much needed rest.

Then he added, “The scenes are very easy. Kayang kaya na namin yan ni Maya.”

Maya protested.”No! Dapat nandun sina Direk. Baka kung ano ano na naman gawin mo!”

He grinned. “Bakit ano bang gagawin ko?”

“Ewan! Basta! Mang-aasar ka na naman. Hindi agad tayo matatapos nyan eh.”

“Takot ka lang ata sa sarili mo eh, baka kasi you won’t be able to control yourself, panggigilan mo ako. Last ‘you and me time’ scene pa naman natin. Last chance mo na partner!” Then he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

“Direk si Richard o! Nakakainis ka talaga!”

“O mamaya magkapikunan pa kayo nyan.” Direk Panying joked.

==================

They shot the “you and me time” scene still with Direk Jeff, Direk Panying and Sir Neil.

Direk Jeff didn’t give in to Richard’s suggestion knowing how playful he is. Hindi sila matatapos and they might deviate from the actual script.

While reviewing the shots, nagreklamo si Maya. “Direk maliwanag yun ilaw. Daytime tayo baka hindi yan pumasa sa mtrcb.”

“Ay oo nga. Neil pwedeng gawing madilim ng konti?”

“Direk we have to do the scene again if we want to dim the lights. Yun light sa room yun iaadjust natin.”

And so they did the scene again. Then when they checked it nagreklamo ulit si Maya. “Direk nakabukas ng konti yun mouth ni Richard. Dapat sarado lang. Masisilip talaga tayo ng mtrcb nyan. Anak TV awardee tayo.”

Direk agreed. “Sige. One more take. Okay lang kayong dalawa? Di pa kayo pagod. Sorry di ko rin nahalata.” Direk was even worried that his actors must already be tired.

“Okay lang Direk. Mukhang gusto ni partner ulit-ulitin yun scene eh. Pagbibigyan ko na lang.” Richard said in a serious face while hiding a grin.

Maya’s eyes grew wide…

“Hoy hindi ah! Concerned lang ako sa mtrcb. Grabe talaga to!”

“O sige na sige na para matapos at makatulog na kayo. Maaga kayong babalik sa Manila bukas.”

=================

“Direk, bakit ganito hitsura ni Maya sa scenes nyo sa Ilocos?” It is now their Master Editor Denz who noticed the scenes. He was talking to Direk Jeff.

The leads were seated beside each other practicing their lines for Maya’s birthday scene, which will be the show’s finale.

Direk Jeff was holding his nape, brows furrowed and controlling his temper now.

“Maya, bakit ganito? Maayos naman ni Richard ginawa yun scenes, bakit ikaw naman yun nakabukas yun labi tapos nakapikit ka pa. It’s too sensual. Naku paano ba yan?”

“Ah eh Direk hindi…” Her protest was interrupted by Master Denz.

“Yes Maya, kitang kita. Wala akong shots na pwedeng gamitin.”

Nahiya si Maya. Namula. She wasn’t aware that she reacted that way in the scene.

Hindi naman siya inalaska ni partner nya kasi baka mapikon sya but he offered a solution.

“Direk, well re-shoot the scenes dyan sa room na lang ng mansion. Ipaayos nyo na lang sa crew.”

“Sorry Direk.” Si Maya.

================

Naayos na yun problem sa scene but the two were relentlessly teased by the whole bcwmh team especially Kute.

“Kaya naman pala, ampupula ng mga mukha kasi ganyan yun scenes.”

“Ay Kute tumigil ka ha. Mainit lang sa kwarto kaya namumula kami.” Si Maya.

“It’s okay Partner. You don’t have to be shy. Tayo tayo lang naman. Normal reaction naman yun. At maooffend ako if the scene didn’t affect you a bit..” He explained in a serious manner.

“Oy don’t be shy daw. Kayo ha! Sinusulit nyo pa yun last scenes nyo. Pumaparaan talaga.”

“Siya lang.” The both said at the same time then laughed at each other.

“Maiwan ko na nga kayo at magrerehearse pa kami ng kanta ng mga bata. Enjoy your ‘you and me time’. ” Kute further teased.

=================

“Salamat naman at mahihiwalay na ako sa napakakulit at parang bata na leading lady ko. I can be serious now.” Richard said while they were having lunch with the whole BCWMH team at his family-owned restaurant.

Pinandilatan siya ni Leading Lady nya at hinampas din.

“Nakakainis ka! Ikaw kaya isip bata. Ang tanda tanda mo na, daig mo pa si Jerome sa kulit. Ay hindi, daig mo pa si Sky.” Maya countered.

Masaya yun team nila. And they usually enjoy teasing each other and making fun of each other. Pantay pantay sila and they support even the support casts as well.

They were teasing but deep inside sad lahat sila that they have to go their separate ways.

Ms. Ginny added. “Congrats to us guys pero I’m thankful that bawas na muna tayo ng trabaho ngayong pasko. Nakakastress din kaya yun show. I could enjoy with my family and I know you would want that too.”

Everyone nodded in affirmation of what Ms. Ginny said.

Little did they know, kinausap na ni Mam Charo si Richard and she asked him to distribute a bonus for each one of them sealed in an envelope….

They opened it which earned beaming smiles on their faces.

Si Maya naman, gave him a sharp stare when she opened it. Kinurot nya si Richard.

Anong laman ng envelope? Ewan. Wala na akong maisip? Let your imaginative adik mind supply the answer na lang. Basta natuwa lahat ng casts while asar talo si Maya. Tawa naman ng tawa si Richard.

😍😁😉

Traces of Love 5

 

A/N

It is November 28, 2015.

A year ago, our favorite show ended and until now, we’ve been trying to cope by watching our treasured BCWMH DVDs, watching those numerous videos and pictures we’ve accumulated and treasured during the 2 years and 4 months the show was on air, reading and rereading fanfics about the show and the most loved couple, and even watching the teasers which we patiently wait for every single night, when the show was still on air.

All these still gives me and maybe some of you, the same level of ‘happiness and goodvibes.’

When it ended, I felt bad just like the rest of you but I was certain that after a month or two, I would easily forget and be able to replace it with another show or another hobby. I was wrong. It’s been a year and the fondness never waned. Not one show, local or foreign had me interested. But instead, I just kept coming back to the bcwmh DVDs.

I even found myself writing stories. I never imagined myself writing fanfics. I’m bad with writing actually and I really have a hard time choosing the suitable words, making scenarios as vivid as possible in the stories I make. But surprisingly, I’ve done more than a hundred already and that was after the show ended. Thanks sa mga nagtyaga at nagbasa, hahaha! Talk about pagiging adik! 😝😁 I don’t know but I’m happy doing it. When I think of Maya and Ser Chief, many ideas would enter my head. Sila naman kasi eh! Ewan ko talaga why they have that ‘magic’!

So to reminisce my most loved show which had been a source of my positivity until now, here’s one of my treats for the day….

Good vibes everyone!

======================
The surgery of Richard turned out to be successful as his doctors expected it to be.

Maya and their daughter Sunshine was with him all throughout the procedure.

The doctors attributed Richard’s positive response to the surgery and his fast recovery to the presence of his daughter and her mom.
During his past encounters with the doctors, Richard usually gave them a hard time, but now he was all the more determined to get well for his daughter and for Maya as well.

The doctors were all hopeful that he will be in perfect condition sooner than expected.

=================

Maya would usually leave Richard and Sunshine to bond.

Richard was asked by the doctors to stay in the hospital since it will be easier to follow up on his medications for his recovery. With his condition, mobility had been a problem and the doctors and even Maya suggested for him to spend few more weeks in the hospital.

“Dad I will be going home na next week. Pagaling ka agad so pwede ka nang sumama kay Mommy pag dumalaw siya sakin.” Sunshine was hopeful.

“Yes I promise I’ll go with your mom then ipapakilala kita kay Ate Nikki mo. I will miss you when you go home. Always think of daddy ha!” Richard was getting emotional now.

“Si dad ang oa! We will be seeing each other naman soon. Three months na lang vacation na namin and matagal tagal ang bonding natin for sure.”

“I just want to be with my daughter all the time. I missed seeing you growing up. Gusto ko na nasa tabi kita palagi.”

“Kaya nga dad you should follow your doctors and also mommy para gumaling ka agad. Then you could visit me agad.”

“I promise I would. Magpapagaling agad si daddy so I can be with you and your mom. Thank you Sunshine ha! And take care of mommy muna while hindi pa masyadong magaling si daddy.”

“Yes po daddy kong makulit pero hindi naman masungit gaya ng sabi ni mom.”

“Your mom said masungit ako? I’m not ha! Siya nga yun inaaway ako palagi when we were still working together. She was quite a bully then.” Richard defended himself.

“Naku dad, sabi ni mom suplado ka nga daw.”

“To others oo, pero sa kanya hindi. Takot ko kaya sa mommy mo. She was a very good and sikat na actress already when I met her. I was intimidated by her.”

“Oy oy! Ano yan! Why did I hear my name?”

Richard and Sinshine was interrupted when Maya suddenly entered with Richard’s scheduled medicines.

“Nothing! I’m just telling our daughter here that ambait bait mo sa akin sa set before.”

Sunshine was laughing. Her dad looked amusing trying to explain himself to her mom.

“Hmmm talaga lang? Iba yun narinig ko ah! May parang bully ako at masungit….”

“I was just kidding.”

“Pasalamat ka, you’re still recovering kundi lagot ka sakin Chard.”

He winked at their daughter… “See what I mean?”

“Si dad talaga!”

“O tama na yan. Chard uwi muna kami ni Sunshine. We’ll be back later. May aasikasuhin muna kami. Bibili din ng pasalubongs. You’ll be okay here? Nandyan si Ate sa baba. She’s just talking to someone. We need to go na kasi si Kuya Carlo malapit na sa baba. Baka mahirapan kumuha ng cab so papahintayin na lang daw nya yun nasakyan nya.”

“Yes Maya. I’ll be fine. Do what you have to do muna. Shine, give dad a hug muna.”

Sunshine hugged her dad.

“Ikaw mommy hindi mo man lang ako ihuhug?” He was in a teasing mood.

But instead of protesting, Maya hugged him as well.

“Oh kala mo magproprotesta ako! Ikaw talaga Mr. Lim!” Then she pinched his nose.

“Aww! Ouch partner! Sige na nga you go na at baka kung ano pa ang gawin mo sakin.”

“Ewww…You guys are cheesy and nakakakilabot. Tara na mom! Bye daddy!” Sunshine complained and went ahead of Maya to meet his Tito Carlo who already called her phone.

Richard and Maya just smiled at each other.

Maya was fixing Sunshine’s bag when his room suddenly opened…

“Oh my God Richard what are you doing here? Bakit di mo man lang ako tinawagan? I could have accompanied you.” A woman who seemed near Richard’s age barged into his hospital room. She looked pretty and sophisticated despite her age.

Maya stood speechless.

“Stephanie how did you know I’m here?”

“Pumunta ako sa bahay at si Liza sinabi sakin. Ricky are you still mad that’s why you’re not answering my calls? You know I didn’t mean what I said the last time we talked. Please don’t be mad.”

“Stephanie, please… we will talk but not now.”

“Are you okay now. Oh my God! I should have been here…”

“It’s okay. Maya took care of me. Maya halika… Maya?”

But Maya was no longer inside the room. He didn’t notice that Maya already left.

===============

“Bakit ang tahimik ninyong dalawa?” Maya’s brother asked.

They were now in a cab heading towards a shopping center where they would be buying pasalubongs for the family back home.

He wasn’t used to silence when it comes to his sister and niece.

They usually had many things to say but surprisingly they seemed to be out of energy now.

“Okay lang si Richard?” He now worriedly asked.

“Oo. Okay siya. He’s recovering fast. Ilang araw lang makakauwi na yun.” Maya answered.

She realized that she musn’t let what she saw affect them.

Not now when she’s with her daughter.

She can just deal with her feelings when her daughter goes back to the Philippines.

She voluntarily cared for Richard but it doesn’t mean that they could be together.

She has to remind herself that having Sunshine doesn’t mean that they are now a family.

Indeed many years had passed and many things had happened already.

Of course Richard won’t be open about it especially now that he met their daughter.

But what she saw was enough to remind herself that she should distance herself from Richard once he’s completely recovered.

That’s the least she could do for the man she left and she hurt.

That’s what she should do for her heart as well.

Sunshine also couldn’t forget what she overheard when she saw the woman who entered her dad’s room.

The woman was talking to a doctor.

“My husband is here. I need to see him. Okay we’ll catch up later. Bye doc.”

Her young mind could only feel pain for her mom. She thought they could be a family now. She was obviously wrong.

===================

Few days before Sunshine’s flight back to Manila.

“Sunshine, will it be okay if I court your mom?” Richard nervously asked the permission of their daughter who was seated at the empty space in his hospital bed. He was hopeful that she will say yes. He was so sure that their daughter will be very happy.

But he wasn’t prepared of her reaction.

Sunshine didn’t say anything but rather evaded his face, his eyes. She turned her back on him. And he noticed her trying to wipe something from her face. He heard her stifling her sobs.

He reached for her shoulder willing her to face him.

When she did, he saw the tears in her eyes which she wasn’t able to completely wipe.

“Hey… Why are you crying Sunshine? Ayaw mo ng sinabi ni daddy? You don’t want me for mom?” He was was wiping his daughter’s tears. He was hurt with Sunshine’s reaction.

In a very soft voice “Gusto po but I don’t want mommy to be hurt. She’s been through a lot already.”

“Why would you think that? I won’t hurt your mom. I love your mommy so much. I love both of you and even your Kuya Sky so much.”

Sunshine still didn’t say anything but she just cried. Richard just reached for her and engulfed her in his arms while kissing the top of her head.

“Ssshhhh… stop crying na Sunshine. Please trust daddy. I want to make it up to you and mommy. Please give me a chance. I won’t hurt you mommy. I won’t hurt you. You guys are my life. Hey stop crying….” He managed to say while hugging his daughter. He didn’t know if she was even listening to him. She just continued to cry and he could feel her trying to get away from his embrace.

They were in that position when Maya arrived. She was surprised.

“Anak? Chard?”

“Wala mom! I’ll just miss you guys and si Kuya Sky pag umuwi na ako.”

“Oh!”

“Sige na Maya. Samahan mo na muna si Sunshine. She needs to see her Kuya before she returns to the Philippines.” He suggested.

“Ha? Bakit?” Maya who wasn’t aware of what happened couldn’t understand why Sunshine was crying when her daughter was actually a very jolly, far from being sentimental, person.

Sunshine gave him a last hug then said, “We’ll get in touch na lang dad sa emails and chat. Pagaling ka po.”

Richard just gave a rather painful smile and just nod his head while still tightly hugging his daughter. He gave her a last kiss on both her cheeks.

“Tara na mommy. I promised Kuya Sky that I will visit him today.” Sunshine obviously wanted to leave right away.

“Okay anak pero please go to the nurse’s station first and call dad’s nurse.”

The moment Sunshine left…

“What happened Chard?”

“I don’t know Maya.” Richard couldn’t hide the sadness he was feeling and Maya noticed it, so instead of putting more meaning to how Sunshine was behaving, she just downplayed it. Richard just had his surgery and he definitely shouldn’t be subjected to extreme emotions yet.

“Si Sunshine talaga. Sigurado malungkot yan kasi uuwi na siya eh. Ayaw nya ng goodbyes kaya iiwas na lang yan sa’yo. ” She justified her daughter’s action.

“Yes I know. I’m also sad na she will be leaving soon. But you will still let me see her di ba Maya?”

“Of course naman Chard. Bakit naman ganyan ang tanong mo. Ikaw talaga.”

“Maybe you should spend time with Sunshine. Ipasyal mo muna. She wants to go to her kuya. Okay na ako dito. You don’t have to worry about me. Tawagan mo lang ako parati. Our daughter needs your time. Baka magtampo na yan kasi lagi na lang kayong dito sa hospital.”

“Chard masaya si Sunshine to spend time here with you. She wouldn’t have it any other way for sure. Baka malungkot lang yan kasi aalis na siya. Alam mo na. Umiiwas. She’s usually not emotional. Nagulat nga ako sa inabutan ko kanina.”

But before they could talk some more, Sunshine arrived with Richard’s male nurse.

“Sige na Maya. I’ll just call you. Baka naghihintay na sa inyo si Sky.”

Maya relented and left together with their daughter.

She just requested Richard’s other nurse to watch over him. His sister will be arriving anytime soon anyway.

Right now she needs to bond with Sunshine who was unexpectedly too emotional.

She surmised that her daughter was just sad because she will be leaving in a couple of days. Maybe this is just her way of coping.

She wasn’t aware that like her, Sunshine also saw the woman named Stephanie.

Sunshine had been brave in facing her dad.

She even remained calm during her dad’s surgery.

Maya was so proud of her. Now she would heed Richard’s advice that she really needs to spend time with her daughter. They needed it too. They needed it for themselves.

=================

Preview of the Next Chapter:

Then moment Maya and Sunshine left, Richard asked his nurse to leave him alone. He wants to be given privacy.

He could no longer contain the pain he felt that he allowed himself to cry the moment his nurse closed his door.

He never expected how the events turned out. He was expectant of Sunshine’s happy approval of his plan to court her mom.

He had been rehearsing what he would be saying the whole morning before his daughter arrived.

=============

He felt insecure.

“Damn! I couldn’t even move and run after them!”

“Hey watch your language Richard!” His sister scolded him.

“Maybe I should talk to Stephanie now.”

=================
PS…

If you still want to let the management know that we still want them back, you can join in our requests for their project/s next year. Check the tweets. 😊

#JoChard2016 Wishlist:
1) MMK @MMKOfficial
2) BCWMH Book 2 @GMOunit
3) Movie @StarCinema

We could hope. Maybe we still deserve to be given the same ‘good feeling’ we had when the show was still shown. A positive, value-laden show is what we deserve to see on TV.

======================
I

My Safe Refuge 6

“Pa dito lang kayo sa building. You will be safe from the typhoon here. Lino and Bugoy secured the house already. They are now setting up the generator set. Medyo nagkamdali na naman ng forecast yun PAGASA and according to the foreign weather agencies, we will be directly hit.”

“Really son? But the local weather bureau said… Oh teka, yun trucks at mga sasakyan? Yung mga empleyado natin? Nasara na ba yun bodega?” Roberto was worried.

“Okay na lahat pa. Yun mga bata at si mama nandun na sa taas. Yung mga employees okay na rin.”

The top floor of their building is actually comprised of rooms for the family whenever they want or need to stay at their business establishment. It is a convenient floor with everything they need.

Richard had the whole floor converted into a four-bedroom condo-type residence for him, his parents and his kids. It had a kitchen, entertainment area and even a mini-gym which he uses for his daily exercise needs.

Initially, he planned on living there but his father didn’t like the idea of his granddaughters not being able to stay in a normal house so Richard relented and lived in their ancestral house which is only a few minutes away from their building.

They just use the rooms at the building for emergencies and just like now, everytime there is a typhoon.

Typhoons in their province are usually strong.

PAGASA forecasted that the typhoon will hit the neighboring province in five hours but Richard checked the foreign weather bureaus and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency both pointed out that the outer bands of the typhoon is expected any moment soon and the eye will directly pass over Mindoro, where San Nicolas and San Vicente are located.

Since the typhoon had been raised to a Category 5, it is expected to be extremely damaging.

San Vicente, the town where Richard and his family lives is the most elevated part of the province while the other towns of Sta. Clara, San Marcelino and San Nicolas are low-lying areas prone to flooding.

Richard had all his employees and their families secured in their building. This is a common practice by the Lim family.

Their building and warehouse are very safe from very strong winds that’s why everytime a typhoon hits their province everyone who works for them, together with their families, stays at the building of the Lim’s.

The whole morning, Richard had been supervising his employees in their preparation for the typhoon.

He’s been communicating with Maya regarding the preparation for the typhoon. He even suggested that they get a hotel room so that she, Luke, Lola Fe and Leah would be safe.

The last time they talked was 30 minutes ago while Maya together with Luke, Lola Fe and Leah were in a cab on the way to the Nicolas Tower, the lone hotel in San Nicolas.

He is now worried. She isn’t answering his call. He wasn’t sure if they were able to get a room. With the fear and anxiety creeping in, he made some swift decisions.

“Joma, pakihanda yun pick up. Pakisabihan sina Lino at Bugoy na maghanda ng mga pantakip sa bintana. Padala na din ng lubid.”

“Ser sa bahay nyo po ba? Kasi inayos na nila yun kanina? Natakpan na rin yun mga salamin ng grocery.”

“Ah hindi Joma. Pupuntahan natin sina Mrs. Dela Rosa. Delikado sa San Nicolas kasi mas malapit sila sa dagat. Please call Lino and Bugoy. Kailangan natin sila para mabilis yun pagtrabaho sa bahay nina Maya.”

“Son you will go to San Nicolas?”

“Yes pa. Hindi sumasagot si Maya. Lahat sila babae dun and Luke is only a kid. Si Maya and Leah lang ang able bodied if magkaroon ng emergency. They’re not used to calamities yet.”

“But son, malakas na yun hangin. It isn’t safe. Just call her.”

“She doesn’t answer her phone Pa. I’m worried. Di bale, I’m bringing the pick-up and magpapasama ako kina Joma, Lino at Bugoy. Magdadala na rin kami ng mga gamit to secure Maya’s house. Simon will stay here with you. Bahala na sila ni Liza. I’ll be back soon. I just need to be sure that they’re safe.”

Then suddenly Esmeralda who has been listening to them suggested…

“Son dalhin nyo pa yung isang pickup kasi mas safe kung dadalhin mo na lang sina Maya dito. Hindi kayo magkakasya dun sa sasakyan mo. It’s safer here. Baka bumaha dun sa kanila.”

“Okay lang kaya yun ma? Isn’t it improper?”

“Oh don’t try to be cute Ricky, this is considered an emergency. You set aside whatever attraction you feel towards Maya first para makapagisip ka ng matino.”

“Ma!”

“Sige na! You better get going while more than an hour away pa yun bagyo. Be safe ha! And please update us. Ayoko yun feeling na magwoworry kami dito because we can’t reach you.” His mom demanded.

“Sige na Joma, samahan nyo na si Sir ninyo. Yun isang sasakyan dalhin mo.” Roberto added as well.

“Opo Sir.” Joma replied while hiding a smile. Liza was right. His boss is indeed attracted to the mom of Nikki’s classmate.

==============

“Mommy I’m scared!”

“Anak dito lang tayo sa room. Safe tayo dito.”

Maya tried to calm Luke. She too was scared but she needs to show a brave front to Luke and also Lola Fe.

They weren’t able to secure a hotel room for it was fully booked already.

They opted to just stay home knowing very well that their roof and walls are sturdy enough to withstand even the very strong winds.

They were huddled in their second floor entertainment room which was soundproofed and also without windows. They covered the windows of their bedrooms and living room with heavy cabinets but she knows it’s safer to stay in a windowless room. The wind was howling outside and it will definitely scare Luke.

“Maya ang lakas lakas na ng hangin! Bumukas na yun gate.” Lola Fe was so worried. She came from the first floor of the house.

“Hayaan na lang po natin Manang kasi delikado na pong lumabas. Okay lang na masira yun kesa lumabas pa tayo para ayusin. Dito po muna kayo kay Luke at samahan ko si Leah na icheck sa baba.”

Maya was now worried of the floods and of the fact that their town is near the sea. She tried to hide it. She must not show any sign of weakness to Luke, Lola Fe and Leah.

Their front door was already being battered by the strong winds and there is no trace of Luke’s tree house anymore. Even her garden set and benches were easily blown by the strong wind.

Maya was getting teary eyed already, afraid of what still could happen. Its been a little over 30 minutes of strong winds yet significant damage was already felt. The news said that this is a slow-moving typhoon at 8kph and it will bring extreme danger.

She was scared and also mad at her husband for putting her through this situation. She felt helpless. She sat on their staircase not wanting Luke and her companions to see her.
She was crying already but her sobs were drowned by the howling winds outside.

She heard that their front door was even forced open. She thought flood waters caused it until she heard him…

“Maya! Luke! Are you guys okay?”

Maya hurriedly rushed to the first floor and saw Richard Lim in boots and heavy duty raincoat and sturdy hat. He had three companions as well.

“Richard! Ang lakas ng hangin! Hindi kami nakakuha ng kwarto sa hotel.”

Richard was sure that Maya had been crying and was really scared but he pretended not to notice it. There are more pressing concerns to attend to and time may be running out.

The winds on their way to Maya’s house was very strong and small vehicles could no longer withstand the wind. There’s zero visibility too and only tall military trucks ready to evacuate victims and residents are roaming the streets.

Their pickup trucks could maneuver the wind and rain and shallow floods but they will have a problem with flashfloods so they better move fast.

“Maya tatakpan nila Lino ng kahoy yung mga bintana at pinto ninyo. We brought materials already. Tapos better prepare your emergency bags. You guys will go with me. Asan sina Luke?”

She couldn’t react at once. Richard was taking charge and was swift in his decisions. She willingly obliged. Her son’s safety is her foremost concern right now.

“Nakahanda na yun bags namin. Even our important documents and records.”

“Sige I’ll help you carry them to the car. Even Luke’s school things dalhin na natin. Bilisan natin.” Richard suggested.

Maya led the way to the entertainment room while Joma, Lino and Bugoy proceeded to secure the windows and doors of Maya’s house.

After ten minutes, they are now on their way out of San Nicolas and driving towards Richard’s building.

Luke was obviously scared of the flying branches and roof and of the uprooted trees. Luke and Maya were seated at the backseat of Richard’s pickup together with Lola Fe and Leah.

“Luke were going on an adventure. This would be fun!” He tried to calm the boy.

“Oo nga Luke. At magaling to si Tito Richard magdrive. Parang tayong nag rarafting. At masaya umilag ilag sa mga puno.” Lino joined which earned a smirk and a shake of the head from Richard.

“Lino tinakot mo pa yun bata.”

“Ay sorry Sir. Ang ibig kong sabihin Luke eh masaya to.” At loss with other encouraging words to say he again added…”Basta masaya to.”

Maya was just hugging Luke sheltering him from the strong winds they can hear and feel battering Richard’s car. She also shielded Luke’s view of the flying branches and trees.

She was scared but her heart melted at the concern Richard Lim had for them.

He just met him three times.. when he brought Luke home when their classes were cancelled, when Nikki stayed at their home to play with Luke and the last time was when he dropped by and brought them cake claiming that he just happened to be in the area so he decided to drop by. He’s been sending messages at times to check on Luke’s assignments in school saying that Nikki needed Luke’s help.

She never thought that he would go out of his way to rescue them.

He didn’t mind going through the danger of driving just to get them despite the very strong winds and floods. Her eyes were getting misty as she was touched with what he is doing for her and for her son. She couldn’t imagine what could be happening to them at their house now had he not fetched them.

Joma and Bugoy were trailing behind with Maya’s things. Richard told her to bring all the important stuff they need including those electronic stuff for he was scared that a flashflood could happen. Their pickup truck is big enough anyway.

“Okay lang kayo dyan?” He asked when he noticed that his passengers were all very quiet.

“Okay lang Richard. Salamat talaga ha!” Maya replied.

“Naku wala to. Who would help each other kundi tayo tayo din. And Ryan told me to take care of you guys. Takot siya kasi siya gumawa ng bahay nyo.” He lied. He never mentioned about meeting Maya dela Rosa already to Ryan.

“Ah si Ryan talaga.” She managed to say.

==============

After few more minutes, they safely arrived at Richard’s building.

The steel gates were opened and Richard together with Joma safely parked both the pickup trucks at the ground floor of the building.

They helped in bringing Maya’s things to the topmost floor of the building where the guest room had already been prepared by Sabel and Doris. Esmeralda asked them to prepare the room the moment Richard left to fetch Maya and Luke.

“Dito na muna kayo Maya. Complete naman yun room, may bathroom dito and the kitchen is at the far end of this floor. Sabihin mo na lang kay Doris what you need.”

Luke was already being toured by Nikki. The kids were excited to be spending time together.

Maya was relieved to see Luke relax now. Her son had been through a lot already and she’s glad that the typhoon won’t be an addition to he son’s list of traumatic experiences.

“Sige Richard. Kami na bahala. Pakisabi na lang kina Mr and Mrs Lim na salamat. This means a lot to me.” Then she was teary eyed.

“Hey… we’ll be fine. Dadaan lang to then everything will be back to normal.” He tried to lighten what she is feeling.

He’s aware that Maya was worried of their house and their belongings and he hopes that the typhoon won’t bring severe damage to San Nicolas.

She just nod her head and was able to prevent her tears to finally fall. It would be embarrassing to be crying in front of Richard so he mustered all self control so she won’t cry.

Ricky gave a soft tap on her shoulder to make her feel better.

==================

While the strong winds were battering the province of Mindoro, they were all safely sheltered at that building of the Lim family.

They were having dinner of arroz caldo and bread for the grown ups and spaghetti and chicken, which was a special request by the kids Nikki and Luke.

Roberto was in charge of joking around. He was more fun loving than his son Richard. They were all laughing at Roberto’s jokes and Richard who was just quiet the whole time, had been observing Maya who was very appreciative and engaging to his father’s rather corny jokes. His stolen glances to Maya wasn’t missed by his mom Esmeralda.

Maya on the other hand, could also sense those glances Richard throws her way and she tried her best not to spare him a glance too.

She didn’t want to feel awkward, not now while they were at his place, not now when she’s starting to admire the qualities Richard Lim has.

As much as possible she didn’t want to acknowledge the fast beat of her heart whenever he’s near her. She didn’t want to complicate things. Her life is complicated enough already.

=================

“Di ka makatulog?”

She was startled to hear Richard’s voice.

Maya was getting a glass of water at the kitchen when Richard suddenly appeared.

“Hindi eh. Iinom lang ako ng tubig. Hindi kasi ako makalma.”

Richard also got a glass of water for himself then they both settled on the chairs at the kitchen.

“Why? You guys are safe here.”

“Oo pero yun bahay. Nag-aalala ako. Sana walang masamang mangyari.”

“Whatever happens, what’s important is safe kayo ni Luke dito. Your house can easily be repaired. What matters is wala kayo ni Luke to experience the typhoon there. Traumatic sa bata. That’s the reason why we stay here kapag may typhoon. Sa bahay kasi, kahit takpan mo pa yun windows, you still get to hear the strong winds. Yun parang galit yun hangin.” Then he chuckled and added..” Ano kaya ang sinisigaw ng hangin no?”

Maya replied… “Sabi ata nya, hoy putol kasi kayo ng putol ng kahoy.”

“But siya rin naman napuputol nya yun trees sa lakas nya.” Richard countered.

“Hindi daw pwedeng tao lang, siya din daw.” Maya said while laughing. Richard laughed as well.

Then suddenly her mood changed.

“Seriously Richard, I don’t know how to thank you for letting us stay here. We owe you our lives. Maraming salamat ha.” She was saying this while staring right into his eyes.

Richard felt a lump in his throat. He couldn’t react to what she was saying for he was so affected by Maya’s doe-shaped eyes staring at him.

She added…

“Atsaka yun magulang mo, ambait nila. We’ve known each other for a few weeks pa lang but my son and I, we feel na welcome kaming masyado dito. Maraming salamat.” She even tried to hold his hand to reaffirm the gratitude she was converying.

Richard felt a jolt of electricity upon the contact of her hand on his. He managed to act unaffected.

“Our kids are friends Maya. Mag bestfriend na nga yun dalawa. I hope we can be like them too.”

“Maging bata din?” She joked.

“You’re funny Maya. I mean maging friends din tayo. Wala naman akong kaibigan dito eh.”

“Sure Richard. Hindi ko aayawan yan. It’s a privilege to be a friend of someone as kind as you.”

“Kind lang?”

“Yan pa lang naman ang trait na napapansin ko eh. Ay wait…dagdagan ko.. matapang, maalalahanin, responsible na daddy… Yun! Marami na yan ha!” Then she giggled.

Inside that building, in the small kitchen, while the angry winds were roaring outside, a raging turmoil was also felt by the suddenly restless hearts of Richard Lim and Maya dela Rosa.

=================

A/N Let’s take it slow lang muna ha… 😊

Preview for the Next Chapter:

“Natouch naman ako sayo Ryan. Ibinilin mo pa talaga kami ni Luke kay Richard.”

“Kilala mo na si Richard Lim? Bakit wala man lang siyang nabanggit sa’kin?”

Maya was surprised. All the while she knew that Richard was giving them extra attention because she was a friend of Ryan.

Ryan hid his smile. He gathered that his friend had been making progress with Maya and was making him as an excuse to be near her.

He was planning on introducing the two but was pleasantly surprised to learn that they’ve already met.

He needs to see Richard Lim. He is looking forward to teasing his friend.

My Safe Refuge 5

My Safe Refuge 5

“Nikki kain ka lang. What do you want? Just tell Tita Maya okay?”

“Opo. Thank you Tita Maya. Ang saya po dito sa house nyo.”

“You are welcome to stay here if you want. You can tell your daddy to allow you to play with Luke kapag wala naman kayong pasok. Yun sister mo ba you still can’t play with her?”

“She just turned 3 po. Iba pa yun toys nya sa toys ko.” Nikki sadly said.

“Ah ganun ba? You’re an ate pala. Di bale, friend na kayo ni Luke and you can play with Luke anytime you want as long as its okay with your dad.”

“I’m sure okay yun kay daddy. Si Luke din po? Can he play at our house?”

“Okay naman but we have to ask your daddy first.”

Luke and Nikki spent the afternoon at the tree house Maya asked Ryan to build for Luke when the renovation of the house was taking place. Since Luke would just be staying home most of the time, she decided to allot a play area for him. The lawn was also big enough for picnics, which she vowed to do once in a while even by just themselves with Lola Fe and Leah of course. She wanted Luke to experience outdoor life though in their gated home.

=================

Richard had been checking his phone for messages. He’s been obviously distracted when he resumed overseeing the deliveries for the day. He’s got that smile plastered on his face and he’s been humming an upbeat love song the moment he arrived in his office after bringing his parents and youngest daughter home.

Liza, his trusted assistant was amused seeing her boss in a very different mood, indeed far from how he usually is.

“Sir mukhang masayang masaya tayo ah! Siguro nanalo kayo ni Nikki sa games kanina sa school no?” Liza was aware of the Family Day in Nikki’s school.

She has been Richard’s trusted assistant and secretary for many years now.

She was actually a scholar of the senior Lims, of Richard’s parents.

When Richard together with Alex and their kids lived in Manila, Liza stayed with them together with Doris, the kids’ nanny and Joma, a kababata who became her husband as well.

Sabel, their other househelp was left with Roberto and Esmeralda Lim together with their trusted workers, Simon, Lino, Bugoy and Minerva.

Liza was in charge of assisting Alex and Richard in their needs. She was there in every triumph, success and happiness of Richard’s family.

She has been a witness to the love story of her boss and his wife and she was also there when the love story ended when Alex died.

She never left Richard, even when he turned into a very difficult person. She was aware of his grief and she vowed to herself that she will do everything for him and his kids. Even Doris and Joma shared her sentiments.

So when Richard decided to go back to their province so he can be with his parents and raise his daughters there, Liza was the first one to wholeheartedly support him. Even though it means having a totally different life from what they had in Manila, she willingly supported her boss.

Now seeing her boss’ very rare, happy disposition, Liza couldn’t help but believe that maybe her prayers were now being heard and answered.

“Nikki won kanina in one of the group games. Ang galing ng anak ko!” He beamingly shared.

“Wow sir nakakatuwa naman si Niks. Sigurado pagod yun kaya pala wala siya dito ngayon ah!”

Nikki usually stays at their grocery or at her dad’s office when she has no classes. Richard wants to expose her to their business.

She allows Nikki to help in their grocery by counting some stocks, especially in the chocolates section which his daughter loves so much.

That’s how his parents raised him too and it also helped hone his social skills which he wanted his daughter to learn even at her early age.

It’s just like the grocery is Nikki’s big playground and she gets to be the grocer. His charming daughter was loved by all their employees for she was polite and very friendly to everyone.

“Wala si Nikki sa bahay. Nandun sa bahay ng classmate nya. Pinayagan ko makipaglaro kasi kawawa naman.” He was telling Liza with that silly grin still plastered on his face.

He could imagine Luke and he can’t forget the boy’s doe-shaped eyes which looked exactly like his mom’s.

“Oh that’s good Sir. At least may makakalaro na si Niks. Malapit sila dito….”

Then Liza was interrupted by a call to Richard’s cellphone which he excitedly answered.

The excitement didn’t last for more than a few seconds and she heard Richard say…

“Ok just have the orders delivered tomorrow.”

From what she gathered, her boss was excitedly waiting for a call which he may be expecting but turned out not to be that call he just received.

She can’t help but hide a smile because of what she is witnessing.

“Sir, I’ll check on the HR muna. Do you want Joma to fetch Nikki later?”

“No!!!”, he blurted in a louder than necessary voice, then recovered, “I mean… No. I’ll be the one to do it. Wala naman akong lakad mamaya.”

“Ok Sir. Just give me a ring if you want me to do something.”

“Thanks Liza.”

Then Liza left Richard alone in his office. She can’t help but shake his head and let out a smile for everything she witnessed from her boss.

================

Richard couldn’t stay still. He was wondering if Maya had misplaced his number. He was expecting her to call about how Nikki is.

Then he received a message.

“Mr. Lim, gusto ng mga bata magswimming dito sa inflatable pool. Papayagan nyo po ba si Nikki?”

He didn’t text back but excitedly called the number. He was happy that Maya finally texted him.

After a few rings….

“Hello Maya. Okay lang. Bahala ka na kay Nikki. Let her do what you think would make her and Luke enjoy. Hindi naman siya naglilikot dyan?” Out of excitement Richard blurted words nonstop.

“Ah Mr. Lim si Leah po eto, yun yaya ni Luke. Pinapatanong po ni Mam Maya. Sige po sasabihin ko sa kanya na okay lang sa’yo.”

The disappointment on his face was epic.

“Ah sige Leah. Pakisabi na lang kay Maya.”

As soon as he ended his call and with that annoyed smirk, he came face to face with his dad who just arrived from his appointment.

“Kasi why didn’t you just get her number kanina?” Roberto teased him.

“Pa why are you here?” He ignored what his dad asked knowing very well that his dad won’t stop bugging him about Maya.

“What kind of question is that Ricky? Of course I regularly visit here. Bawal ba?”

“No no pa! What I mean is, di ba may appointment ka?” He was still annoyed that he can’t think clearly.

“Kanina pa natapos. It’s already 3pm. Bakit ganyan ang mukha mo? Kasi di mo nakausap si Mrs. Dela Rosa or may problema ba sa negosyo?”

“Ah nothing pa. I was just thinking of something.”

“Okay. By the way is Nikki home already? Do you want Joma to pick her up? Dapat ata ipasundo mo na siya.”

“No Pa. Ako ang susundo sa kanya.” Then a smile now formed on his face.

“Well you better get going. I’m sure you don’t want to miss a few minutes of bonding with …”

“Pa don’t start again.” He gave his father a warning glare.

Then Roberto grinned.

“Okay okay…”

As Ricky was preparing to leave…

“Son, tell Mrs. Dela Rosa to prepare. A typhoon is expected to hit the province in a few days. Sabi nila sa katabi naman nating probinsya but it’s better not to leave anything to chance. Alam ko baguhan sila sa San Nicolas. Baka hindi pa sila sanay. It is forecasted to reach Category 5.”

“Yes pa. I’ll tell her.”

“Sige son. Ingat.”

Then he hurriedly left to fetch Nikki.

================

Richard arrived a quarter before 4 at Maya’s house. He was ushered by Leah to the backyard where Maya was watching over Luke and Nikki who were playing in the inflatable pool.

He handed Maya a cake which he bought along the way.

“Dad you’re so early. Kakastart lang namin magswim and daddy you bought the same cake that Tita Maya gave me kanina.” Then Nikki giggled.

He sheepishly smiled at Maya and she returned it with a smile too.

“Ay.. There’s only one bakeshop here and this is their best cake kaya eto rin nabili ko.”

“Thank you dito sa cake. Favorite to ni Luke pero hindi ka na sana nag-abala Richard.”

She said while motioning him to sit beside her at the bench.

“Wala to. Just a little something for you and Luke. Ah eh Maya baka nakakaistorbo na si Nikki. Baka you guys need to do something kaya pumunta na ako dito.”

“Hindi naman Richard. Mas masaya nga na may kalaro si Luke. Atsaka ambait ni Nikki. Kanina bago maglaro sinabihan nya si Luke na gumawa muna sila ng homework. Sabi ko nga kanina sa kanya, anytime na gusto nyang makipaglaro kay Luke, pwede siya dito pero siyempre magpaalam muna dapat sayo.”

“That would be great! Nikki doesn’t have any playmate. Yun sister nya is still very young kasi. We can work out a schedule for the kids. Pwede rin si Luke sa bahay para change of environment. Kung okay lang sa’yo.”

They both timidly smiled at each other.

“Wala namang problema sa’kin.”

They spent almost an hour talking about the kids and also about Ryan.

“How did you meet Ryan?”

“He was recommended by my friend, si Rafaela. Si Ryan din gumawa ng bahay nila. He did a very good job. Atsaka hindi mahal sumingil.” Then she laughed.

“Ah oo. Magaling talaga si Ryan. I seldom see him na nga. Di na bumibisita. He usually drops by our place when he’s nearby.”

“Baka dumating na yun wife nya. Sabi nya they will be going on a vacation pag dumating yun wife nya.”

“Oh you know Ivy?”

“Oo Richard. Nakwento kasi ni Ryan sakin. Sabi nga nya ipapakilala daw nya sakin.”

Richard was relieved to know that Ryan must have realized that he shouldn’t make Maya one of his numerous flings.

“Baka nga they’re on vacation. Those two are inseparable.”

Both fell silent. Both were envious of Ryan and his wife since both of them are now alone.

“Ah eh, Maya have you heard the news? Kasi a typhoon will hit the province daw. Mabuti ng prepared kayo.”

“Oo actually when we heard the news the other day, namili na sina Lola Fe at Leah ng supplies, batteries, candles at extra flashlights.”

“That’s good. Malakas kasi usually ang bagyo kapag tumatama dito. At malapit rin tayo sa dagat so we have to take extra precautions.”

“Ah ganun ba? Naku binabaha ba etong lugar namin?” Maya asked worriedly.

“Hindi naman pero you wouldn’t want to take chances. You should have your supplies on your second floor kasi it’ll be safer there. I remembered Ryan discussing that he made sure that the walls of your house had been reinforced para safe sa typhoon.”

“Oo he told me that din. Sabi nga nya, okay lang na minimal yun design sa loob as long as sturdy yun roof and walls and posts ng bahay.”

“Tama siya dun. Pero just in case the weather gets really bad, you can stay in a hotel dyan sa bayan. People usually stay there kapag may typhoon. May mga windowless and soundproof rooms kasi sila and you won’t hear the winds sa loob. Or baka may relatives kayo where you can stay.”

“Ah wala kaming relatives. Siguro I’ll just take your advice and stay in a hotel. Pero sana wag na lang tumama yun bagyo.”

“Yeah that’s what we’re also praying for.”

After a few more minutes, Luke and Nikki have changed into dry clothes and had just eaten another round of snacks.

It was already a little dark when Richard and Nikki bid goodbye. Both had wide, very happy smiles.

Before getting in his car, Richard had to ask Maya one more thing. He wouldn’t be able to sleep if he didn’t do it…

“Ah eh Maya, can I have your phone number.. Ah ummm… If it’s okay with you…so I can reach you, I mean, when the kids, when we need to schedule the kids to meet.. Uhmm.. Pero okay lang if hindi pwede…” He was stammering, he knows he was sweating and very nervous and embarrassed of what he was certain he looks like at the moment.

“Oh you have my number already Richard. That’s my phone Leah used kanina. You can save my number.” Maya was amused at Richard’s expression but she pretended not to notice it.

“Ay ganun ba. Sige I’ll just contact you there. Okay lang if di ka sumagot kapag busy ka…”

“I’ll make sure I have time to answer your messages or calls Richard. Don’t worry.” She smiled again.

“Okay… We really have to go. Nikki say bye bye to Luke and Tita Maya.”

Nikki proceeded to hug and kiss Maya and made a high five with Luke.

==============

On their way home, Richard didn’t waste time to ask Nikki everything he wants to know about the woman who caught his interest and who made him act like a fool awhile ago.

Nikki animatedly shared how Tita Maya played with them, took care of her and described how funny she was when she even played Chinese garter and taguan with them together with Leah.

The father and daughter drove home with contented smiles on their faces.

A/N : Yes i know, wala yun nasa preview. I still need to put one chapter before it so siya ulit ang preview for the next chapter.

Preview for the next chapter:

“Pa! Ma! Dito lang kayo sa building. You will be safe from the typhoon here. Doris pakisabihan si Joma na ipasok sa bodega lahat ng sasakyan.”

===============

“Mommy I’m scared!”

“Anak dito lang tayo. Safe tayo dito.”

“Maya ang lakas lakas ng hangin! Bumukas na yun gate. Hayaan na lang natin kasi masisira yun kapag napwersa ng hangin.”

They were all huddled in the living room. They covered the windows with heavy cabinets. The wind was howling outside. Maya was scared but she tried to hide it. She must be brave for Luke, Manang Fe and Leah.

The winds momentarily stopped and they heard him.

“Maya! Luke! Are you guys okay?”

My Safe Refuge 4

“Leah kumpleto na ba yun mga dala dala nyo?”

“Opo Ate Maya. May extra shirts na din po si Luke at may extra towels.”

It was the school’s annual Family Day and Luke will be accompanied by his Lola Fe and their househelp Leah.

As much as she wanted to be with her son in their school activity, Maya knows she shouldn’t risk it. It was for her and Luke’s safety anyway.

Luke understands it and he never complains.

“Anak galingan nyo ni Ate Leah mo ha! Siya na muna ang sasama sa paglalaro mo ng mga games. Wag mong pipilitin si Lola Fe at baka mapagod siya.”

“Yes mommy! Promise I will do my best sa games.” The boy was beaming despite the fact that his mommy won’t be able to accompany him.

It was the very first activity in school and Luke was very excited.

He will get to play with his classmates. He was a very competitive kid even in his former school.

“O sige anak. Iluluto ka ni Mommy ng spaghetti, chicken at barbeque. Meron na rin tayong ice cream at cake dyan. We’ll have a picnic at the backyard later paguwi to celebrate family day.”

The boy hugged his mom.

“Thank you mommy! You’re the best!”

“Naku sige na at baka ma-late pa kayo. Leah tumawag ka na muna ng taxi sa harap.”

“Okay po Ate.”

===================

The Northwest Hills Montessori is in a festive mood. Children with their parents in tow are in their PE uniforms and ready for the games and activities.

The kids were huddled in the school’s auditorium where the activities will be taking place. There were benches and tables all around for the families as well.

After the welcome message of the school principal, the PE department head was making some announcements regarding the mechanics of the game and was also introducing some invited guests to judge the games and activities.

Luke was with his Lola Fe and Ate Leah keenly listening to the announcement.

Richard Lim was with his daughters Nikki Grace and Abigail Ruth and his parents Roberto and Esmeralda and Abby’s yaya Doris. They were seated beside Luke’s table. Luke and Nikki were playmates so they decided to sit close to each other.

Richard was wondering where Maya was and why wasn’t she able to attend her son’s school activity. From what he gathered from Ryan, Maya just works from her home and she seldom goes out.

He was actually looking forward to see her. There’s something in her that excited him.

“Let’s all welcome our judges for our outdoor games, Teacher Samantha and Sir James!” the PE department chair announced.

Upon hearing the name, Luke cowered in fear. He seemed worried. It was so evident in his almond-shaped eyes. He was trying his best to hide himself by hugging his Lola Fe.

“Luke bakit? Anong nangyari?” Lola Fe noticed Luke suddenly turn pale and hugged her in fear.

Richard, who was nearby noticed that the boy literally trembled and seemed afraid when he heard the name James.

“Nothing po. Can we go home now? Hindi na po ako sasali sa games. Masakit po ang stomach ko.”

“Diyos ko anak! Bakit? Okay ka naman kanina pagpunta natin ah. Sige magpapaalam tayo sa teacher mo.”

But as Lola Fe and Leah was preparing to leave, the Sir James being mentioned by the PE Department Chair went up the stage. He turned out to be a young coach, in his 20’s and definitely not Luke’s dad.

A wave of relief was now seen on the boy’s face. He smiled and stopped Lola Fe and Leah from leaving.

“Wag na po. Okay na po ako.”

“Aba sigurado ka? Baka magalit ang mommy mo if magpipilit tayo.”

Then the boy whispered to his Lola Fe.

“Akala ko po kasi si daddy yun sinabi kanina.”

Lola Fe hugged the boy very tight. She wants him to feel safe and secure. Then in a low voice she said… “Hinding hindi ka namin pababayaan ha Luke. Wag kang matakot.”

Richard who was observing the boy heard it for he was near them.

It intrigued him more.

==================

The Family Day ended with Luke having 2 small trophies for being part of the soccer team and the track and field team. He looked so happy and proud.

He was blabbering nonstop about his mom being proud once she sees the trophies.

Nikki Grace also had a trophy as well for joining in the ‘tug of war’. She was also beaming to her very proud Lola and Lolo and daddy.

“Dad eat tayo sa restaurant ha!” Nikki requested.

“Naku Nikki Lolo and Lola has an appointment. Di na tayo pwede pumunta ng restaurant kasi we will be late. Next time na lang apo. We’ll just ask Ate Sabel to cook sa bahay.” Her Lola said.

“Okay po.” Nikki answered but she was obviously sad.

==================

Richard was driving their van out of the school premises when he saw Luke with his Lola and Yaya waiting for a cab. He knows that it would be very difficult to get one at this hour especially with many parents in line.

He stopped in front of them and rolled his car window and the window at the back where Nikki could be seen.

“Luke Andrew sabay na kayo samin.” He volunteered.

“Yes Luke join us.” Nikki also invited

“Ah eh. Nakakahiya naman. Makakaistorbo pa kami.” Lola Fe was turning down the offer.

“Hindi po. Atsaka alam ko naman yun bahay nyo kasi nahatid na namin si Luke dati. Matatagalan ho kayo dito at tanghali na. Kawawa yun bata.” Richard convinced them.

“Ah eh sige Mr. Lim, kung hindi naman masyadong abala.” Lola Fe relented. He already had a brief encounter with Richard and she knows that he is the kind dad of Luke’s classmate Nikki. Besides she was worried that they won’t be able to make it to lunch.

================

“Hijo you were so brave kanina as a goalie. Ang galing mo.” Roberto praised Luke.

“Thank you po.” Luke timidly replied.

“He is also magaling in class lolo. We always get stars from teacher.” Nikki proudly stated.

“Wow ang gagaling naman ng mga batang to.” Esmeralda commented.

Luke and Nikki were happily sharing stories on the ride to Luke’s home.

Lola Fe was happy that at least Luke is now starting to live a normal life. He has a friend already.

“Here we are. Bye Luke!”

Lola Fe, Leah and Luke alighted the van. Richard assisted them in carrying the bag with Luke’s things while Manang Fe was fumbling for the gate’s key.

“Ah eh wala po yun mommy ni Luke?”

Richard could sense the hesitation to give information in Lola Fe’s face so he added…

“Nakilala ko si mommy ni Luke, si Maya when I brought Luke home. Kilala rin siya ng kaibigan kong si Ryan.”

It was only then that the old woman relaxed.

“Ah nandyan sa loob si Maya. Nagluluto yun eh. Teka lang Mr. Lim tawagin ko.”

“Ay wag na po. Paki kumusta na lang ako…”

But before he could finish what he was saying, Maya emerged to see what she was hearing at their gate.

She looked like she’d been busy cooking for she still had an apron and some loose hair were on her temple which Richard had the urge to tuck between her ears.

“Oh Mr. Lim! Hinatid nyo na naman si Luke? Naku sobra na yan. Nakakahiya naman.”

“Richard na lang. At hindi naman abala kasi pauwi naman kami at mas okay na may kausap at kalaro etong si Nikki. Mag-isa lang kasi sa bahay. Naghahanap ng kalaro.”

“Ay ganun ba? Gusto nyo iwan nyo muna si Nikki dito sa bahay. May play area naman kami sa likod, yun dinesign ni Ryan. Para makapaglaro ang mga bata. Atsaka kain na muna kayo dito. Naghanda naman kasi ako kaso pambata yun pagkain, spaghetti, barbeque, chicken at cake. May ice cream din pala.” She laughed.

Richard was amused at how she speaks, how her face brightens. He was mesmerized even by the movement of her lips.

Then he recovered.

“Ah eh…hindi na kasi may appointment pa yun parents ko. Kasama kasi namin ngayon. But thank you for the invitation.”

Maya greeted his parents. She felt a certain ache in her heart for she remembered her parents as well.

“Dad can I stay?” Nikki suddenly blurted out. She wanted to stay and to play with Luke.

“Nikki, we need to go home na.”

“Please dad.” Nikki pleaded.

Maya suggested. “Ganito na lang, dito na muna si Nikki tapos sunduin nyo na lang mamayang hapon.”

As much as Richard didn’t want to be bothering the family, he also saw it as an opportunity to get to know Maya whom she admits to himself that he finds intriguing and very attractive.

“Kung okay lang?”

“Okay na okay! Halika na Nikki.” Maya assisted Nikki out of the van. Doris handed a small bag with Nikki’s extra clothes and other needs.

Luke was beaming with delight just like Nikki.

“Salamat Mrs. dela Rosa. Bahala na kayo kay Nikki. Mabait yan, right Niks?” He winked at his daughter then fished a blank calling card from his wallet. He got his pen and scribbled his name and number then handed it to her.

“In case you need to contact me about Nikki that’s my number Mrs. Dela Rosa. Sige we have to go. Thank you. See you later.”

“Just call me Maya. And sige thank you rin sa paghatid kila Luke, Richard.”

Richard kissed Nikki (si Nikki ha! Hindi pa si Maya!😁) then bid goodbye with his signature lopsided smile.

Maya smiled as well.

==================

“Naku son baka mahipan ang ngiti mo, di na yan makabalik sa dati.” Roberto teased his son.

“Pa!” He groaned in protest.

“Hey I’m just saying atsaka she’s very lovely. Ang gwapo din ng anak. Kamukhang kamukha nya. Kaso Ricky baka you might get yourself in a complicated situation ha! I’m just warning you.”

“Pa! You’re getting ahead of things. I’m just being friendly towards a co-parent.” He said defensively.

“Uh hmmm… Being friendly is different from being smitten Ricky. Kilalang kilala kita. You are my son.” His mom now joined his dad.

“Oh God! I’m not having this conversation with you guys.” He complained. His parents were laughing. They were really happy to see their son, who’ve been mourning for the longest time, genuinely happy at the moment.

He was both annoyed and amused. But he can’t shake the silly grin off his face. Maya dela Rosa radiates a certain energy which made his day so bright.

“Whatever you say son. Whatever you say.” Esmeralda commented.

But his dad even added, “Kung dala ko lang license ko, I would have left you with Nikki. I will be the one to drive the van. Antagal mo. Malalate na kaya kami ng mama mo. Mukhang hindi lang si Nikki ang gustong magpaiwan to play with Luke. Mukhang gusto mo ring magpaiwan to play with the mom.”

“Pa!!!”

“Roberto watch your words!”

“You guys are over-reacting! I mean play in a clean way.” Roberto defended himself

Now it was his parents arguing which he couldn’t even understand anymore for he can’t shake-off the image of Maya awhile ago. She looked so lovely especially with her sweaty forehead, a bit messy hair, cheek with a black stain he suspected to be charcoal for she smelled like she was cooking barbeque. She looked so beautiful despite not being made up and he can’t help but imagine her in different situations as well.

================

Preview for the next chapter:

“Pa! Ma! Dito lang kayo sa building. You will be safe from the typhoon here. Doris pakisabihan si Joma na ipasok sa bodega lahat ng sasakyan.”

===============

“Mommy I’m scared!”

“Anak dito lang tayo. Safe tayo dito.”

“Maya ang lakas lakas ng hangin! Bumukas na yun gate. Hayaan na lang natin kasi masisira yun kapag napwersa ng hangin.”

They were all huddled in the living room. They covered the windows with heavy cabinets. The wind was howling outside. Maya was scared but she tried to hide it. She must be brave for Luke, Manang Fe and Leah.

The winds momentarily stopped and they heard him.

“Maya! Luke! Are you guys okay?”

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Rafi and Ryan : The One That Got Away nga ba?

It will be the alumni homecoming of PUS and Ricky together with Rafi and Ryan were excitedly discussing and even reminiscing inside Ricky’s principal’s office.

“Alam nyo I can’t wait to see all our classmates. Kumusta na kaya sila? Si Brent kaya asan na yun?” Rafi said in a dreamy manner.

“Tingnan mo tong best friend mo brod. Si Brent talaga ang inaabangan. Let me remind you Rafaela that you have Charlie now.”

“You’re so oa Mr. Molina. What’s wrong with remembering Brent? Of course my dear Charlie is different. I’m just curious of Brent. Siya kaya ang pinakagwapo sa batch natin. Naku ano na kaya hitsura nya?” Rafi thought giddily again.

Ricky raised his eyebrows in protest. “Hmmm really?”

“Yes really!” Rafi confidently replied.

“O hindi sumasangayon si Ricky. Hindi naman kasi kagwapuhan si Brent. He was just maporma. Mas lamang kaya etong si brod.”

“Ano yan appreciate your own? Excuse me Ryan! Hindi rin naman kaya kagwapuhan si Ricky. Singkit at maputi lang pero ordinary naman ang looks nyan eh.”

“Sabagay si Maya lang naman ang gwapong gwapo dito kay brod.”

“At si Roberta, the most unforgettable person in college!” Then Rafi shrieked.

Ryan was laughing too.

Unknown to the three Maya just arrived home. She was supposed to proceed to Ricky’s office when she heard that Ryan and Rafi was with him.

Her ears were alerted with an unfamiliar name being mentioned so she decided to eavesdrop some more.

“Stop it you two! I’m not amused at all.”

“Ohhh! Turning into a tiger, dear Chard. Kilala pala siya ni Maya? Have you told Maya about her?”

“Of course not! And please don’t mention anything to Maya. If you do that magagalit talaga ako sa inyo.” He warned.

“Oh no! I’m scared!” The Rafi again laughed at her friend’s expense.

“Kasi naman brod, who would forget your dear Roberta. At di ba prom noon when you had your very first kiss, tapos ang wild nya pa noon, you were so helpless or baka naman you were enjoying….”

“Stop it Ryan. Di na ako magaattend if patuloy nyo akong tutuksuhin.”

“Uy sobrang affected. Bakit brod first time mo din ba siya?” Then Ryan wiggled his eyebrows.

Ricky shook his head, frustrated that his two best friends were tag-teaming him.

“Ewww Ryan, nandito kaya ako. Wag nga kayong magboys talk dyan.” Rafi complained.

“Ay sorry sorry! Mea culpa Rafaela!”

“But seriously asan na kaya si Roberta? The last time I heard was that she was a model in the US. Akalain mo naging model talaga siya. Malayo rin narating nya. Very driven. May asawa na kaya yun?” Rafi was serious now.

“Yun pagiging heartbroken kay brod ang naging motivation nya sa pagasenso nya. Sino ba naman kasing hindi masasaktan eh sinundan pa talaga si Ricky sa US tapos babastedin din lang naman. You are so mean Mr. Lim.”

“Oh sinundan ka nya Chard? I didn’t know that. Hala ka! Baka super beautiful na siya ngayon, patay ka nyan!” Rafi added teasingly again.

“Stop it you two. At please lang don’t ever tease me again. Nakakaasar kayo. Kung hindi lang ako nagpromise sa Alumni president of my presence, hindi talaga ako aattend.”

“Wag ka ngang ganyan Chard. Why are you so affected? Hmmm siguro…”

“Enough Rafi!” He barked.

“Enough na daw Rafi at super affected na to si brod. Oo nga nagtataka din ako at super affected nya.” Then he chuckled again.

Maya couldn’t take it anymore so she went back to the main door of the mansion and called out Ricky’s name to announce her presence. She was also trying her best to control her anger and annoyance at Ricky.

Ricky met his wife with a very tight hug and a lingering kiss despite the presence of Rafi and Ryan. Maya interpreted it as a sign of guilt on his part.

“Maya you’re here!” Rafi gave Maya a hug too.

Ryan just nodded his head and smiled at her. Alam nya kasi na super seloso si Ricky with anyone when it comes to his wife.

“Nandito pala kayo. Kumain na kayo Ricky?”

“Not yet Sweetheart pero naghahanda na sina Sabel. The table will be ready in a few minutes.”

“Sige magbibihis muna ako. Maiwan ko muna kayo Rafi, Ryan.”

“Sure Maya.” It was Rafi who answered.

When they thought that Maya was out of earshot Ryan again teased him…

“Naku brod ano kayang reaction ni Roberta if she sees how sweet you are to your wife?”

“Wala kasi hindi ko isasama si Maya sa reunion!” He said with finality.

“What?!!! Don’t be ridiculous Chard! Of course you’re kidding right?”

“No I am not Rafi and I don’t want discussing it now. Sige di ko kayo pakainin ng lunch.” He added but they know that he was only teasing.

“Naku tumigil na nga tayo Ryan. I wouldn’t want to miss Sabel’s dishes.”

“Ay oo nga. Gutom pa naman ako.”

“Good!”

==================

Inside their bedroom that night….

The couple was preparing for bed. Maya was combing her hair while Ricky sat beside her sniffing her neck.

“Hmmm you smell so good Sweetheart!”

Maya didn’t react but just continued what she was doing. She was in deep thought. She can’t shake off the conversation she heard earlier that day. Who is Roberta and why wasn’t she mentioned by Ricky at all. The way Rafi and Ryan described her seemed that she was a very significant person in Ricky’s life.

“Sweetheart are you okay?”

“Ah eh..oo naman Ricky bakit? Ikaw okay ka ba?”

“I am very much okay especially that you’re here now. Pero you look spaced out. Bakit? May problema ka ba? Sa work? Sa FAs? Sa mga bata?”

“Wala Ricky. Wala akong problema. Baka ikaw meron.” She still tried her best to keep cool though asar na asar siya kay Ricky.

She doesn’t want to initiate an argument either kasi everytime she does it she usually ends up wrong in her assumptions.

She decided that it is best to discover the truth behind whoever Roberta is. She decided to play innocent and mum for now and she would insist on joining the reunion, whether Ricky agrees or not.

“Ako? As long as my very beautiful and very sexy wife is with me, I can’t think of any problem at all.” Then he continued kissing his wife on her shoulder. Maya can’t help but submit herself to what Ricky does to her.

===============

“Ricky naayos ko na yun schedule ko with Ms. Calandra. Masasamahan na kita sa Alumni Homecoming nyo!”

She announced to her husband who just woke up.

Ricky sat abruptly after what his wife said.

“What?!?”

“Oh bakit parang gulat ka sweetheart? Hindi ka ba natutuwa na masasamahan kita?”

“Hindi! I mean oo! Natutuwa siyempre.” He managed to recover but the play of emotions in his face was enough confirmation to Maya that Ricky was indeed hiding something. She just played along.

“Okay naman pala so it’s settled. Excited na ako to meet all your classmates. Masaya rin siyempre kasi nandun sina Rafi at Ryan, di ba?”

But Ricky wasn’t listening. He was thinking of ways on how to discourage Maya from attending.

“Pero di ba sweetheart check up ng kambal sa araw na yun? Baka you need to stay home para mabantayan mo sila.”

“Kaya na nina Leah at Doris ang mga bata. Atsaka nandito naman sina Mama at siyempre sina Luke at Nikki.” She offered a solution.

“Pero baka mainip ka doon. My classmates are boring. I don’t even think I’ll stay that long. Magpapakita lang ako then uuwi ako kaagad.”

“Sweetheart bakit ba parang ayaw mo ako doon? May ayaw ka bang makita ko? Hmm siguro mag ex-girlfriend ka no?” She pretended to joke but in fact she was really trying to observe his reaction.

“Wala! Of course wala akong naging girlfriend sa school before sweetheart. Si Alex lang before you and naging kami after we graduated na.”

“Eh wala naman pala bakit super defensive ka? Atsaka Ricky wala namang problema sa akin kung marami kang naging girlfriends noon kasi ng college ka, aba toddler pa lang ako!”

“Ah ganun ha! So you’re saying ang tanda ko na?”

“Ikaw ang nagsabi nyan, hindi ako!” Then she laughed again momentarily forgetting about being upset that her husband seems to be keeping something from her.

===============

It was a night of catching up, of reminiscing the memories of the past, of happiness and also of melancholy.

Rafi who was with Charlie, Ryan who was with Ivy and Ricky and Maya were sharing a table very near the stage where the alumni homecoming of PUS was taking place.

Some of their other classmates joined them as well and the Ivy, Charlie and Maya were introduced to them.

Rafi was surprised to see how Brent looked now. He’s still so handsome but he gained weight. He actually doubled in size. Ryan and Ricky were shooting teasing glances at Rafi which the latter countered with her sharp stare as well.

But Maya was scanning the place for Roberta. She wasn’t around or maybe she joined was with the other groups. Ryan and Rafi didn’t also mention her at all.

Disappointed that she wasn’t able to see the person she was so curious about, Maya just enjoyed chatting with Ricky’s classmates who were really getting along with her.

They were in deep conversation when Kayla, one of Ricky’s classmates suddenly announced …

“Oh my nandito si Roberta! Ang ganda nya!”

Then all of them turned their attention towards the entrance of the venue.

Maya’s eyes were fixed on the lady by the entrance. She was indeed very beautiful, sexy, sophisticated and undeniably exuding confidence. Her face was so angelic and Maya can’t held but feel insecure all of a sudden. She gazed at her husband but he never spared a glance at the newcomer. Ryan and Rafi on the other hand were grinning foolishly while occasionally throwing glances at Ricky. Ricky, by her observation was trying his best to avoid making eye contact with his best friends. This infuriated Maya more but she still pretended that she wasn’t aware of anything. She wasn’t supposed to know about the banters of Ricky, Ryan and Rafi few days ago anyway.

Everyone was so welcoming towards the newcomer. Surprisingly the three friends didn’t discuss about her at all. They talked about other topics in college.

This made Maya all the more curious so she decided to be the one to bring the topic up.

When most of the couples started to go to the dancefloor, she took the opportunity.

She asked Rafi who was seated beside her. “Ang ganda ng bagong dating. Sino yun Rafi?”

Maya was aware based on Rafi’s facial expressions that Rafi was either controlling herself from laughing or was concerned that she might say something that would put Ricky in trouble unintentionally.

“Ah classmate namin si Roberta…” but before she could say anything more, Ricky suddenly stood up and held her hand. He wants them to dance.

After four consecutive songs, he still didn’t want to sit and she was aware that he didn’t want her asking Rafi about Roberta. She was now so jealous that she couldn’t help herself anymore. While still dancing she told him, “Ricky ang ganda naman ng classmate nyo na yun. Hindi kayo close? Bakit hindi man lang kayo nagbatian? Pakilala mo naman ako.”

“Wag na sweetheart. Hindi ko naman siya masyadong close.” Ricky refused.

Maya interpreted it as Ricky trying his best not to let her encounter an “ex” so as not to find anything about his past. Umiba na yun mood nya and she no longer tried to control herself. She now looked annoyed at her husband.

“Alam mo kanina ko pa pinagmamasdan. Bakit parang ingat na ingat kayong magkakaibigan na pagusapan siya. Sino ba siya sa’yo Ricky? Girlfriend mo ba dati. Wala namang problema kahit ipakilala mo ako. Bakit ikinakahiya mo ba na hindi nahigitan ng napangasawa mo yun ganda nya? Na mas malayo ang narating nya? Ganun ba yun?” She was very angry and he knows that an angry Maya is someone he doesn’t want to see right now. Mahirap suyuin si Maya, alam na alam nya yun.

“Of course not! Why would you say that! Maya I dont want to talk about Roberta kasi…” but before he could say more the music ended and an announcement about awarding the top alumni was heard.

She left him alone on the dancefloor. Maya just doesn’t want to be near him anymore for she knows she was already close to crying out of annoyance.

Ricky sat beside her. He whispered close to her ear,”Hey Maya… you shouldn’t be upset. There’s nothing to be upset about.” She continued to ignore him. So as not to get the attention of the others in their table, Ricky decided to keep quiet and just explain it to her later.

“Another outstanding graduate from our school, Richard Lim! He is a very well known aviation engineer and he manages two of his own companies. He has made the school so proud.” They heard the announcement.

“Wow Chard!” Rafi was so excited for him.

“Congrats brod! Iba ka talaga!” Ryan added as well.

“Let’s also call our very own Roberta Gomez whom we are so privileged to have with us tonight. It is her first time to attend after so many years. She is now a very famous model in New York and she also has her own clothing line.”

Ryan couldn’t help himself and he threw a glance at Ricky while grinning.

Then the outstanding alumni were called onstage.

Maya with her saccharine smile whispered…

“Go Ricky. I’m sure miss na miss mo na yun magandang makakasama mo dun oh!”

He just sighed. Alam nya na either way, he won’t be able to escape the teasing or Maya’s anger anymore. Well, he would pick her anger over her teasing anytime. And he had Rafi and Ryan to think about as well. This will be a long night for him.

With the smirk on his face, he stood up and proceeded to the stage but not before throwing Rafi and Ryan a warning glare.

=================

“Thank you for this recognition. It’s just a small contribution on my part. I’m just so blessed to have the PUS kind of education which helped me achieve whatever I have now. I share it with my inspiration, my kids and most especially my wife. Without them I don’t think I would be where I am right now.” He glanced at Maya whom he knows was still mad at him and was just pretending to smile.

He was standing beside Roberta but he was so obvious in trying to avoid even having a conversation with her. Selos na selos si Maya kasi Ricky seemed so affected with Roberta’s presence. Ang alam nya kasi, kapag sobrang affected, may feelings.

Then the lovely lady with a very sweet voice spoke…

“I’m so honored to be given this. Akalain nyo ngayon lang ako nag attend at nabigyan ako nito. Thank you. Siyempre makatabi lang si Richard Lim sobrang award na yun sakin.” She winked at Ricky who was now turning so red. Maya is witnessing all of it.

Loud shrieks and laughter were heard from the crowd. Even Rafi and Ryan were laughing.

Then she added…

“Seriously now, I offer this to everyone here who became my inspiration in reaching my dreams. To our teachers, to my classmates. To the love of my life, who can’t make it here tonight, this is for you honey.”

Oooohhh and aaahhhhs were heard from the crowd.

Then she again focused his attention on Ricky who was just politely smiling while Roberta was giving her speech.

“At special thank you to Richard kasi despite everything, tinulungan ako nito when I was new in New York.” She caressed his back which earned another round of teasing from the crowd. “Seryoso, salamat Richard. O hindi nyo alam yun no? May moment kami nito together in New York. RoRi in New York.” Roberta even added giddily while Richard was really red now and by the looks of it, he is either angry or so affected by the teasing. Roberta sensed it so she added…

“Your wife is so lucky.” She directed her gaze at Maya, ” Mrs. Lim, ang swerte nyo dito. Kahit suplado yan, he doesn’t discriminate at all”

Then she now added in a manly voice…

“At kahit hindi kami talo, hindi sya nagatubiling tumulong sakin, di ba ‘pre’?”

She gave Richard a hug and a kiss on the cheek which caught him off-guard.

Then super tawanan pa rin yun crowd. Rafi was teary eyed from laughing. Even Ryan. They were all amused with Ricky’s reaction and unease onstage.

================

Now on the drive home…

“Oh my God sweetheart bading pala yun? Hindi halata! Ang ganda nya, ang sexy! Nahiya naman ako! Nainsecure talaga ako.”

Ricky was just silent. He was smirking.

“Ang gwapo talaga ng asawa ko, akalain mo all genders sakop nya. Nakakaproud ka Sweetheart!!!” Then she clinged to his arm.

“Stop it Maya, I’m driving!”

“Ang sungit naman nito! Di ba nga nagsorry na ako! Atsaka kasalanan mo rin naman kasi naglihim ka sakin!”

“And if I told you, do you think you would be able to control yourself from teasing me?”

“Of course … hindi!” Then she laughed at him again and he shook his head.

“Pero hindi nga. Totoo ba yun sabi ni Rafi na first kiss mo yun?”

“Stop it Maya…”

“Maliban sa kiss may nagawa pa ba siyang iba? Yun sinasabi ni Ryan… Totoo ba yun?”

“I don’t want to discuss it Maya…”

“Kainis naman to. Sabi mo you will teach me everything I need to know. Tapos ngayon nagdadamot ka ng information.” She pouted her lips pretending to be mad too.

“You don’t need to know at hindi mo ako madadala dyan.” He said with finality.

“Sinabi mo yan ha! Sayang may special surprise ka sana tonight. I have a special activity planned for the two of us kaso you’re withholding information so wag na lang.” She teasingly warned.

But Ricky wasn’t giving in. Alam na alam na nya how naughty Maya is and he was sure that the activity was either involving the twins or any weird activity his wife would come up with and not his anticipated “you and me time under the comforter”.

So without having second thoughts he abruptly turned his car and drove towards a hotel with the intention to spend uninterrupted quality ‘you and me time’ with his wife on his own terms.

“Sweetheart wala tayong damit!” She complained.

“We wouldn’t need it so stop complaining. Kanina ka pa Maya! Naaasar na ako sweetheart so dapat bumawi ka sakin!”

“Sinabi mo eh!” She bit her lip and smiled mischievously. Her husband didn’t see the naughty glint in her eyes as well.

==================

“Maya!!!!!!!!” He stood up frustrated as hell.

She was laughing at him.

He called and ordered a bottle of wine and asked for it to be delivered to their room. He was planning on getting drunk.

She stood behind him and gave him a back hug.

“Sweetheart kasalanan mo naman kasi bigla ka na lang magpaplano. Alam mo kung minsan hindi naman maganda ang spur of the moment thing mo eh. Ayan tuloy mas frustrated ka.”

He looked at her and alam ni Maya na mas naasar pa si Ricky.

“O siya, halika na sa bed at gagawan ko ng paraan yan. Wag lang tampururot ang kahit sobrang bugnutin eh napakagwapo pa rin and sobrang mahal kong sweetheart!”

He now let out a smile. He knows that it would be good enough for the meantime. Besides, after another day or two, her monthly period would be over and they could have the ‘full you and me time’. For now he could settle with the ‘partial’ one muna.

===============

He was on the edge of the culmination from what his wife was doing to him. The pleasure was building up and was bound to be released. He was getting there when….

“Sir room service!” A knock and a voice was heard.

A/N: Murphy’s law Mr. Lim?

My Safe Refuge 3

My Safe Refuge 3

Luke Andrew dela Rosa is now enrolled at Northwest Hills, a private school in San Nicolas. He is a transferee.

Manang Fe was the one who took care of his enrolment and she was known as Luke’s grandmother.

Maya never visited the school and Luke was very much aware of their situation so he was okay with it.

The boy, who was now 8 years old was sensible enough to understand their need for safety and he wasn’t complaining at all if his mom couldn’t bring him to school or if they couldn’t do things normally like go to the grocery together, watch movies together or even eat out together.

For Luke the routine was house and school while Maya was just at home.

He knows how his dad hurt his mom and he vowed even with his young mind, never to let anyone hurt his mommy again. He promised to take care of her like the way she does of him.

==================

“Mr. Lim the classes has been suspended due to the heavy rains.” The class adviser of Nikki Grace Lim contacted Richard Lim’s phone.

Richard was an officer of the school and he was close to the teachers and even the school head so despite his daughter already calling him about the suspension of classes, the adviser still informed him.

“Yes Ms. Pacheco I’ll be right there. Please just let Nikki stay indoors. Baka maglaro na naman sa ulan. You know how stubborn my daughter is.”

“Yes Mr. Lim. Marami pa naman siyang mga kasama kasi Mr. Adriano announced the suspension a bit late already and some of the parents and nannies already left. Don’t worry. I’ll keep an eye on Nikki.” The class adviser Ms. Pacheco assured him.

“Okay thank you. I’ll be there in 30 minutes.”

=================

Richard had just arrived in their grocery and was overseeing the deliveries when he got a call from Nikki informing her dad that they were asked to go home.

While preparing to leave the class adviser also called him up. He hurriedly got his car keys and drove to Nikki’s school.

Richard enjoys his laid back life in the province. He gets to spend most of his time with his two daughters and he gets to be with his parents too.

His life now is very different from his fast-paced busy life in Manila two years ago.

He was on the way to the top in his career. He was working as an engineer in Time Airways and he was the most sought after person in the field.

It was busy working hours and limited time for his family. His wife Alexandra had always been very understanding to his schedule. She never complained and never took it against him if he wasn’t able to act as a husband to her and father to their daughters. Alex had never wavered in being the dutiful wife to him despite all his shortcomings.

Richard was a good father and good husband when it comes to loving his family and providing all their needs.

The only problem was he never had enough time for them. It was always work for him.

He was so career driven for he wanted to provide his family with the best. He never realized that he was missing a lot already.

He didn’t even realize that his wife was suffering from cancer. Alex hid it from him for she knows that Richard barely had time for her and the kids to be bothered with her sickness.

When Alex died, Richard vowed to give all his time amd attemtion to his kids. His kids needed him. They were his life, his everything. Without them, he knows he won’t be able to go on with life.

===================

“Nikki let’s go home.”

“Dad let’s wait for Andrew’s parents first. He will be left alone kasi wala pa yun sundo nya.”

Nikki was playing with Luke Andrew when her dad arrived.

“Nikki you should go home with your dad now. Kami na bahala kay Luke Andrew.” Ms. Pacheco assured Nikki.

“But teacher kawawa naman siya. He doesn’t have anyone to play with.”

“Son, are your mommy and daddy coming over?” Richard asked the boy.

“No po. Lola Fe will fetch me this afternoon pa po.” Luke looked worried.

“Ms. Pacheco natawagan nyo na yun parents ng bata?”

“Walang contact number yun parents nya Mr. Lim. Transferee kasi siya at yun lola nya ang kasama nya. Antayin na lang namin yun sundo nya.”

“But what if they fetch him this afternoon? Where will the boy stay? Bumabaha pa naman sa mga daanan papuntang school. Mabuti pa siguro ihatid na lang namin. Siguro naman malapit lang yun bahay nila.” Richard suggested.

“Ay teka po Mr. Lim. Tingnan ko po yun record ni Luke Andrews at nandun po yun address nila.”

Richard Lim was highly trusted by the school. He was an alumnus and his parents were benefactors of the school for the longest time so they didn’t have a problem if he volunteers to bring a student home.

=================

Luke’s house was only 15 minutes away from the school and Richard didn’t have a hard time finding his residence.

The rain was heavily pouring while they were in front of Luke Andrew’s house.

Unfortunately they didn’t have any umbrella so they had to wait for someone from Luke’s house to open the gate.

He has been honking his horn trying to get someone’s attention.

After almost 5 minutes the gate finally opened and a petite and very lovely lady with a big oversized umbrella emerged from it.

Richard noticed the she had that worried look on her face too just like the little boy’s when he offered to take him home.

Suddenly the heavy downpour stopped and the rain became drizzles which allowed Richard to step out of his car and assisted Luke, who was seated at the backseat of his car.

Maya immediately helped Luke and the man who brought her son home.

“Anak! Bakit? May problema ba? Asan si Lola Fe?”

“Ah Miss I decided na ihatid si Andrew kasi their classes were suspended due to the heavy rains. My daughter is his classmate and she said that he is new in their school. I hope okay lang sa inyo. I was asking him for any contact numbers but he doesn’t have one. Medyo delikado na rin sa kalye so hinatid na namin.”

Maya’s worried look didn’t leave her face. She was not used to having someone else and when she saw an unfamiliar car parked in front of her house, she got scared that it might be James.

“Miss?”

“Ah eh… Sir thank you for bringing my son home. Hindi ko naman kasi alam na pinauwi pala sila. Naabala pa tuloy kayo.”

So she was really the mom. He was surprised to know that she was indeed the boy’s mom for she looked so young to be one. He thought she was an aunt or sister.

“No worries. We’re on our way home anyway. Kawawa kasi yun bata if hindi masusundo ng maaga. The roads going to the school usually gets flooded. I suggest you better give your contact number to the school for emergencies too.” He further suggested.

“Ay opo. Nakalimutan lang siguro ni Lola Fe ilagay. Yun lola kasi ni Luke yun nagasikaso ng enrolment forms ng bata. Gagawin ko po yun agad.”

Richard nodded his head. “Good. Sige we have to go. Baka mas lumakas yun ulan at bumaha na sa mga dadaanan namin.”

“Salamat po Sir…”

“Just call me Richard. Richard Lim.”

He extended his hand. She took it.

“I’m Maya dela Rosa.”

“Maya dela Rosa? Ryan’s friend?” Richard asked. He was surprised.

“Ah eh.. Opo. Kilala nyo si Ryan?”

“Yes. He is my friend. So kayo pala yun nagpagawa ng bahay sa kanya. Sa store namin sya bumili ng materials noon.”

“Ah kayo po pala yun sinasabi nyang Mr. Lim. I’m pleased to meet you Mr. Lim.” She smiled and if she was scared of the stranger in front of her earlier, she now began to relax.

“The pleasure is mine Mrs. Dela Rosa. Well, we really have to go. I’ll just see you around, sa school ng mga bata maybe. They have lots of school activities and I’m sure I’ll see you often. Sige ingat kayo.” He gave his lopsided smile.

“Thank you po uli.”

“Thank you Mr. Lim. Bye Nikki!” Luke also managed to speak.

“Bye kiddo! Sige we really have to go.”

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On their way home, Nikki fell asleep.

Her dad on the other hand was grinning and shaking his head foolishly.

He was smiling at his discovery.

He realized that Ryan was right.

Maya dela Rosa is very lovely indeed and her doe-shaped eyes could easily mesmerize anyone.

He never felt this excited since Alex died.

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Preview of the Next Chapter:

“Luke anong nangyari?” Lola Fe noticed Luke suddenly turn pale and hugged her in fear.

Lola Fe was sitting beside Luke in one of the benches at the school’s auditorium. She accompanied Luke on the school’s annual Family Day.

Richard, who was nearby noticed that the boy literally trembled in fear when he heard the name James.

“Nothing po. Can we go home now? Hindi na po ako sasali sa games. Masakit po ang stomach ko.”

“Diyos ko anak! Bakit? Okay ka naman kanina pagpunta natin ah. Sige magpapaalam tayo sa teacher mo.