Before going on with the story may i request my fellow #bcwmh #jochard supporters who owns an Instagram, Facebook. Youtube and Twitter accounts to try to show our support to our favorite tandem of Richard Yap and Jodi Sta. Maria, our very dear Maya and Serchief, by liking JoChard-related posts and also voicing out our request for another project after their movie. Please encourage others to do the same as well.
Please like the original posts of official accounts so that we could show them our real clamor for another (preferably a serye) JoChard project after the movie.
In Instagram before reposting pictures, please comment and like the original account first.
In YouTube, please try to comment on what you feel about their tandem about their videos.
In Facebook, comment, share and like JoChard posts.
In Twitter, like and retweet or QT jochard posts too.
Please also participate in JoChard polls.
We already did it during the January Star Cinema polls and the request for a movie was granted. Maybe if we continue to do the kapit-bisig, the continuation of BCWMH or another BCWMH-like serye from our preferred GMO unit will again be given.
Please spread the word too to show the real clamor. Let us constantly remind ABS-CBN about the truly phenomenal tandem they once had on TV.
I’m sure many of us still wants to experience that same positive, kilig and inspiring vibes only JoChard could give.
For now, let us all support their very first movie, #TheAchyBreakyHearts. Some of us may not agree with how they are promoting the movie, by stressing the fans with polls, by instigating a rivalry between the supporters – things bcwmh never made us experience. Despite all these, let us show our support to the movie out of love for our dear JoChard who made us very happy.
And keep our posts positive like what our fave bcwmh taught us.
Please also post in the comments section the links to the IG, YouTube, Polls, FB posts, Tweets about JoChard for easier access since I don’t have a complete list as well.
Now here’s part 9 …
My Safe Refuge – 9
“Good morning Maya. Daanan na namin si Luke.” Richard together with Nikki dropped by to fetch Luke.
“Aba Ricky, out of the way ang bahay namin. Nag-abala pa kayo ni Nikki.” Maya was surprised to see Richard and Nikki outside their gate.
“May pinuntahan kasi akong customer dyan sa malapit Maya so I decided na daanan na lang si Luke.”
“Ah ganun ba. Salamat Ricky ha. Pababa na yun. Nagtoothbrush lang.”
“Ah eh… Maya…mmm can I invite you tonight? Free ka ba?”
“Dinner lang sana. Only if you’re free.”
“Ah, check ko muna yun online clients ko kasi sometimes busy kapag gabi eh.”
“Okay lang Maya. Text mo na lang ako if okay sa’yo”
“Sure Ricky. Text agad kita. I would also like to have dinner with you.”
That made him smile. It seemed that Maya is already at ease with him unlike their first few meetings.
“O eto na pala si Luke. Luke dinaanan ka ni Tito Richard at Nikki.”
The boy immediately gave Richard a hug and gave Nikki a high five.
“Mauna na kami Maya.”
“Salamat talaga. Ingat kayo ha!”
“Maya don’t forget to text me okay?”
“Yes Ricky, I’ll text you.”
Richard is really full of surprises. He never fails to make her and her son feel special everyday.
He would send her daily messages, would call her to check on her and Luke. He would also visit her place and bring food or some DVDs since he’s aware that Maya loves watching movies.
But she always declines his invitation to go out with him. She still fears her husband James.
The excuse she told him awhile ago was the only thing she could think of. She actually wanted to say yes to his invitation right away, she wanted to know what it feels like to be out on a date like normal couples do, one thing she never experienced with her husband before.
As much as she feared her husband that she wanted to be cautious in everything, her heart also wants to say yes to Richard’s invitation.
He’s been so good to her and her son and he made them feel special and well-taken cared of that she didn’t want to turn down his invitation.
Maybe she doesn’t want him to feel bad or maybe she really wants to be with him. Going out on a dinner date would mean entertaining him, unlike his visits to her house where he would alway bring Nikki and make the kids the reason for the visit.
San Nicolas is also far from Manila so it’s impossible for James to show up.
With a firm resolve she fished out her cellphone from her pocket. She wanted to immediately inform Richard that she’s accepting his dinner invitation.
She wants to enjoy dinner with him. She wants to have him as her company even just for tonight.
Richard just arrived in his office when his phone rang. He saw Maya’s name but he was hesistant to answer as he was afraid of what her reply would be. He was expecting to be turned down. He waited for a few more rings before anwering…
“Ricky are you still driving? Mamaya na lang kita tawagan.”
“Ah hindi Maya. Kakarating ko lang dito sa building. Im at my office now. Maaga pala yun mga bata. Di pa naguumpisa yun flag ceremony when we arrived.”
“Maaga naman kasi kayo Ricky. Salamat talaga ha pero wag mo yun gagawin araw araw ha. Nakakaabala na sa inyo atsaka masasanay si Luke nyan.”
“Maya wala namang problema na masanay si Luke kasi okay lang sakin na gawin yun araw araw . I want Nikki kasi to be happy and she’s happy whenever she’s with your son.”
“Kulit mo naman eh.”
“Ikaw kaya ang makulit Maya. Wag ka ng tumutol at di ko naman ititigil yun pagsundo kay Luke sa umaga.”
“Naku mukhang di ako mananalo sa’yo eh. Sige na nga pero kapag maaabala ka, sabihin mo lang ha.”
“Ok settled then. So why did you call? May sagot ka na sa invitation ko?”
“Ah about that Ricky…”
“Okay lang Maya kung di ka pwede. There is always another time.” he already anticipated that she would turn him down and conditioned himself that it’s okay with him.
“Ah eh hindi Ricky. I mean… pwede ako mamayang gabi… kung tuloy pa. Are you cancelling it? O..okay lang kung icancel mo… wala namang problema.”
“Maya im not cancelling it. Akala ko kasi umaayaw ka. Tuloy na tuloy Maya. Thank you for saying yes. Salamat talaga. You made me very happy.”
“Ay Ricky sa dinner lang ako umoo ha! Grabe ka namang magthank you. ”
“Oo naman Maya. Dinner yun pinaguusapan natin. ” he secretly smiled on the other line.
“Ricky pwede magrequest? ”
“Sure what is it?”
“Kasi hindi ako mahilig lumabas at di rin ako kumportable sa maraming tao. Kung okay lang sana dun tayo sa hindi mataong lugar.”
“Sure Maya. I know a place. Ako nang bahala. What time kita susunduin? Pwede ka mga seven?”
“Okay Ricky. See you at seven then.”
“Okay Maya see you.”
He was so happy when he ended the call. As silly as it may seem but he was actually feeling like a teenager. He shook his head and smiled.
Richard brought her to a cozy jazz-themed restaurant owned by a family friend. He actually requested the owner to close a portion of the restaurant so they could occupy it. He was able to learn of Maya’s preference for jazz, rhythm and blues genre of music that’s why he chose the said place.
When Maya mentioned that she prefers a not so-crowded place, he already assumed that Maya is not comfortable going out with another man because he knows that her husband just died recently.
She has been reclusive and would never attend any activity of the kids in school. It was always Lola Fe and Leah attending big gatherings or ocassions of the kids. Maya would only visit school once in a while and only to talk to Luke’s teachers to ask about her son’s performance in his classes. She would always turn down invitations to go on an outing or even picnic. Richard wasn’t even expecting her to say yes to his invitation.
“Ang ganda naman dito Ricky.” She was appreciating the place called ‘Food, Music and Great Company’.
“I’m glad you like it. Wait till you try their food. Masarap talaga.”
They settled inside the closed area which Richard requested. The music and ambiance was important so as to make Maya feel at ease. The soft music also allows them to have their conversation.
“May ganito pala dito at malapit lang sa bahay.”
“Bago pa lang to Maya. Maybe less than a year. The owner is a jazz singer in Manila tapos nakita nya that may market for this type of resto and music so he ventured in it. Karamihan kasi ng restaurants dito eh maingay at crowded. This one, they wanted to keep it the way it is kaya di sila gumagaya sa mga kainan na maraming promo at gimiks. Kapag weekends the owner usually has a show. He sings pa rin for a few. Next time weekend kita dadalhin dito or if gusto mo try natin magrequest for him to sing.”
“Ay naku wag na Ricky. Nakakahiya atsaka mas gusto ko to na walang ibang tao.”
“Ah sige. Sabagay mas maganda yun ganito. So have you decided what to order?”
They had pasta, steak, wine and various desserts and both really enjoyed the food and of course they enjoyed each others company.
“Luke wants to be a doctor when he grows up.” They were now talking about the kids.
“Si Nikki din. She’s been very vocal about it. When her mom died kasi, nagpromise daw siya sa mommy nya that she will be a doctor. Maybe she was amazed by the doctors she regularly sees then atsaka yun mga gamit sa hospitals tanong siya ng tanong dati sa mga nurses about it.”
“Grabe ang mga bata ngayon. They already have elaborate plans for their future. Si Luke nga rin, he really wants to be a doctor. Dati nga gustong mag pari pero pinakiusapan ko na wag na lang kasi iisa na lang nga siya tapos magpapari pa.”
“Hahaha! Boys usually look up to priests. Ganyan din ako dati kaso when I entered high school I saw how boring it is na panay dasal tapos halos araw araw magbibigay ng mass then bawal pa yun girls. Naku hindi ko kaya ang ganun.” He was laughing.
“Ay oo nga. Boring ang buhay ng mga pari. I bet chickboy ka nung kabataan mo.” She was teasing him now.
“Ah hindi naman masyado Maya. Slight lang. For curiousity and experience only. Wait til Luke reaches high school and you’ll know what I mean.”
“Naku yan nga ang kailangan kong paghandaan. Gusto pa naman ni Luke mag-aral ng highschool sa Manila. Pero hindi ko papayagan. Kahit ata college di ako papayag na sa malayo siya.”
“Kapag high school he still needs to stay close to you. Magaling yun high school program ng school nila ngayon pero kapag college you need to let him explore life and experience how it is to be independent Maya. Para sa kanya rin naman yun.”
“Alam ko kaso nakakatakot sa Manila.”
“Kaya na nila ang sarili nila by then. Ako I would allow Nikki. Sana magkasama sila ni Luke para kampante tayo.”
“Malay natin Ricky yun friendship ng mga anak natin gets to another level in the future. Malay mo maging magkapamilya tayo.” She was smiling at the thought.
“Ay hindi naman ako papayag nyan. If magiging magkapamilya tayo, I’ll ensure that it would be because of the two of us at hindi yun mga bata.”
He was staring into her eyes which made her blush.
“Ay ano ba yan. Mabiro ka talaga. Late na pala. Uwi na tayo. Baka hinahanap na tayo ng mga bata Ricky.” She hurriedly brushed off what Richard said as she was feeling uncomfortable already and she was sure that she was blushing in front of him.
Richard was also aware of it and he doesn’t want her to be uncomfortable too.
“Oo nga. Napasarap yun kwentuhan natin. Mag aalas dose na pala. Halika na.”
After getting the takeout food he insisted to order as pasalubong for Luke and also for his daughters, he led Maya to the parking area.
In less than 30 minutes they were inside Maya’s house. Richard assisted her in bringing the food he ordered and also the box of cake which is Luke’s favorite.
She offered coffee for Richard so he won’t get sleepy in driving home. He didn’t decline the coffee. He actually wants to spend a few more minutes with Maya.
After a few more minutes of coffee and conversation they were near the gate…
“Thank you Maya for this wonderful evening.”
“Thank you din Ricky. Nagenjoy ako.”
“Let’s do this again?”
“Ikaw… ikaw ang bahala. Okay lang naman sakin.”
He smiled. His heart couldn’t contain the happiness he is feeling now that his eyes automatically stared at her slighty-parted lips. Without giving it much thought, he gently cupped her face and slowly brought his lips to hers.
He gently kissed her and after a few seconds he could feel her responding to the kiss. Her hand was in his chest with the initial intention of pushing him. But she didn’t push him away. She instead transfered her hand to his nape. They were at it for a few more seconds until they felt the need to breathe. When they disengaged both had shy smiles on their faces. Both were also blushing and at a loss for what to say.
He was about to caress her cheeks when…
“Mom? Tito Richard?” Luke was as the main door seriously staring at them.
Preview for Chapter 10
“Luke… what you saw the other day, when i was … “He was finding it hard to verbalize it to Luke.
“When you were kissing my mom po?” It was Luke who continued it for him.
“Yes Luke. I hope you weren’t mad at me or your mommy.”
My Safe Refuge – 8
“Are you going to share the details now?” a grinning Ryan was having coffee at Richard Lim’s office.
“What details?” Richard knows what his friend was talking about but he pretended to be unaware of it.
“Sus brod you very well know what I’m saying – si Maya dela Rosa.” Ryan blurted out while giving his friend a teasing look. Richard was now trying to appear busy by reviewing some receipts of their deliveries which he had already read.
“Naku brod wag mo na akong lokohin. Alam ko na kilala mo na si Maya at I’m very sure that she’s the reason for that smile on your face. I also know that she took shelter here in this building during the typhoon.”
“Hey brod alam ko na kung ano hung tumatakbo sa isip mo. Stop! I just offered the place kasi her son is Nikki’s classmate. That’s all.”
“Oh. Ganun ba yun? Yun ibang classmates ba ni Nikki dito din tumuloy?” Ryan further teased.
Richard gave his pissed-off look.
“Hey… nagbibiro lang brod. Ang pikon naman nito. And what’s wrong if you are friends with Maya. Why are you denying it.”
“I’m not denying anything. Wala namang kailangan ideny.”
“So hindi kayo friends? Yun pagrescue mo sa kanila, yun pagpatuloy mo sa kanila dito, yun pagtulong mo sa paglinis ng bahay nila, yun paghatid kay Luke at pagpayag ng bonding ng mga bata sa bahay nina Maya, yun pagdalaw kina Maya, yun pagtawag at pagtext ng daily sa kanya….”
“How do you know all that?” Richard cut what Ryan was saying. Annoyed and surprised that his friend knows a lot.
“Baka nakakalimutan mo brod. Maya is my friend first before mo siya nakilala. Siyempre habang inaayos ko yun bahay nakwento ka nya. Don’t tell me you actually believed that di ko malalaman. And by the way brod, libre yun hardware materials mo as promised ha. Naku ang mahal magmahal. Malulugi ang negosyo mo…”
“Brod, that was for humanitarian reasons and it was meant for all victims of the typhoon at hindi dahil dyan sa iniisip mo.” He defensively replied.
Ryan was laughing. Aliw na aliw sya kay Ricky. “Whatever you say Mr. Lim. Whatever you say.”
“Stop it brod.”
“O sige na nga. Pagbibigyan na kita. By the way, nagiinvite yun si Maya ng lunch sa kanila sa weekend. She wants both of us and your family to be there. Two days na lang kasi, matatapos na yun repairs sa bahay nila.”
“I’m busy this weekend.”
“Oh c’mon brod! Promise I will behave. Hindi kita aasarin in front of her. Tutulungan pa kita madagdagan ang iyong pogi points.”
“It means making you look good kay Maya brod.”
“I’ve been doing well without your help brod kaya wag na. Makakagulo ka pa eh.” Ricky shook his head.
“Aha! So tama nga ako! Pinopormahan mo nga.”
“Can we just drop the topic?”
“Okay… Easy brod! Natutuwa lang ako that finally I could see that genuine smile again. I’m really happy for you. Matagal ko na ring ipinagdarasal yan for you.” Now Ryan was serious.
He witnessed how difficult life had been for Richard Lim when his wife Alex died of cancer. His friend seemed to have stopped living and only his daughters willed him to go on. Now that he could see him smiling again, Ryan couldn’t help but feel very happy for Richard.
“I know brod and thank you sa inyo ni Ivy for always being a constant reminder that life is still beautiful. Salamat.”
“O baka mag-iyakan pa tayo dito ha!”
“Sira ka talaga! But seriously din brod, si Maya, she’s like a breath of fresh air. Masaya siyang kasama. She makes me smile by merely seeing her, hearing her voice. Ewan but she makes me happy.” Richard couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
“I agree with you on that brod. The first time I met her a little over a year ago, she always had the positive outlook in life. Kahit nakikita ko yun lungkot sa mata nya at yun mukhang pagod sya because she was practically alone taking care of her son tapos nagpapagawa ng bahay at baguhan pa sila that time. She probably just lost her husband that time.”
“Yes. She’s a very strong woman.” Richard added.
“Sobrang ganda at sexy pa.” It was Ryan and Richard automatically gave him the look which made Ryan rephrase what he just said “I mean she looks fit and healthy… easy lang brod. Nakakatakot ka naman.”
“There’s more to her than just her physical attributes Ryan. She’s more than that.”
“Alam ko brod. Di ba nga yan ang sinabi ko awhile ago. Ikaw talaga ang high blood mo. O siya I have to go ahead. Nakarga na ata yun needed materials sa truck.”
“Sige brod. And please don’t let Maya know that we’re talking about her.”
“Oo naman brod. Ikaw talaga. Siyempre alam ko na yun.”
“Wala kasi akong tiwala sa’yo brod. Ikaw pa!”
“Naku Mr. Lim, trust me on this one. Marunong din naman akong magseryoso.”
“Yeah right! Sige na nga. Alis ka na at may pupuntahan na rin ako.”
“Okay brod. Thanks sa almusal at sa masayang kwento.”
“Sige na. Umalis ka na nga brod.”
Richard just shook his head while hiding a smile. His bestfriend could really be pushy and annoying at times but he’s indeed blessed to have him.
Maya and Luke’s house was repaired by Architect Ryan’s team for free.
Like what Richard suggested, he just told her that it was covered by insurance for he knows that Maya would decline any help.
It was Richard who provided all the materials for the the repairs made.
Ryan was also happy to help Maya and Luke whom he also became so fond of.
He even brought his wife Ivy during the lunch invitation of Maya. He wanted his wife to meet Maya and Luke and they indeed got along so well.
During the said lunch which Maya prepared herself, she invited Richard’s family and also Ryan. It was her way of thanking them for all the help they offered her and Luke during one of the hardest times she encountered.
Roberto and Esmeralda Lim enjoyed Maya’s kare-kare which she really cooks so well. Ivy was also bugging Maya for her Arroz de Valenciana and Kaldereta recipe.
The kids enjoyed the chicken and spaghetti which Leah and Lola Fe prepared. They were not so fond of the other meals Maya cooked and Maya already anticipated it that’s why the always-requested spaghetti and chicken was part of the meal.
Maya also baked some cookies and pastries which everyone enjoyed.
For their part, Richard brought ice cream and also the favorite cake of Luke. His mom Esmeralda also proudly asked everyone to try her Atsara which has their family secret recipe. They also brought steaks to be grilled.
Ryan and Ivy brought wine as well.
Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous lunch at Maya’s backyard. The kids enjoyed playing in the new treehouse Ryan constructed. Even Sabel, Doris and Joma were around to help in preparing and cleaning up.
“My dear thank you very much. I’ve never seen Ricky and the kids enjoy this much.” Esmeralda Lim was seated beside Maya. Ivy was with them. Ricky and Ryan were playing with the kids. The two men were helping Luke set up his toy drone which Ryan gave Luke as pasalubong. He gave Nikki a set of her favorite book too.
“Ako po ang dapat magpasalamat Tita. Hindi ko inakala na magiging masaya kami ng anak ko dito kahit wala naman kaming mga kakilala.”
“Oh dear you will always be loved by anyone you and your son encounters kasi ambait nyo. Di ba Ivy?”
“Ah yes Tita. Atsaka Maya raising your son alone, my God di ko ata kakayanin yun.” It was Ivy now.
“Mabait naman si Luke. Kung minsan nga parang matanda na kung mag-isip at bodyguard ko siya.” She proudly spoke of her son.
“Eh Maya what do you think of my son?”
“Ah eh si Ricky po? Mabait po siya. He’s a very good father.”
“Yes. Sobrang responsible father yan si Ricky and also a very loving one. Hindi lang siya mapagmahal sa mga anak nya kundi pati sa amin ng papa nya at sa mga kaibigan nya. Kaya nga sobrang natutuwa ako at nakikita ko na syang ngumiti ulit ngayon.”
“Inspired yan si Ricky tita.” It was Ivy again.
Maya already knew were the conversation was leading to and she can’t help but be a bit embarrassed for she could feel herself blushing.
“So dear if ever Ricky makes paramdam, bigyan mo naman ng chance ha? Don’t break my poor son’s heart.” Esmeralda Lim and Ivy was laughing while Maya just gamely joined their banters.
“Si tita talaga. Naku baka magalit si Ricky at pinagtsitsimisan natin.” was all Maya could say. She shyly smiled.
“Hindi yan hija. Atsaka ngayon lang ako may makakausap about Ricky. Naku just ask me anything about my son kahit yun like nya or how he sleeps at night, his favorite wear and I’ll gladly answer it.”
“Tita!” Maya just shyly covered her face.
The ladies were laughing when Richard joined them.
“Aba mukhang ang saya saya nyo. What are you talking about?”
“Ikaw Ricky. Ikinukwento kita dito kay Maya.” His mom teasingly told her son.
“Lagot ka Ricky. Binuko ka na ni tita kay Maya.” nanggatong pa si Ivy.
“Ma!” and he looked towards Maya. “Maya never take whatever my mom says against me ha! Naku dapat di ko na si mama sinama dito. She loves telling all these little anecdotes about me.”
Maya and Ivy couldn’t stop laughing.
“Oh thank you for reminding me son. Hindi ko pa yun nakukwento dito kay Maya.”
“Ma! Ikaw talaga. I better ask Joma to bring you home.”
The whole family stayed until the late afternoon. They even had karaoke sessions where Roberto Lim displayed his singing talent. Everyone was cheering. Maya and Ricky were forced to sing a duet. They were both conscious of each other’s presence already but tried to hide whatever it is they both felt for the other.
“Suddenly the wheels are in motion (…) and I’m willing to take all my chances with you.”
Everyone was cheering as the voices of the two blended so well.
“Naku ramdam na ramdam namin brod! Pwede na kayong sumali sa duets dyan sa pista sa plaza.”
“Ang ganda pala ng boses mo Maya. Hindi ka lang dancer, singer pa.” Richard commented remembering that Maya dances so well too.
“Hindi naman ikaw talaga. Ikaw nga dyan yun maganda ang boses.”
“Nagturuan pa kayo. Ako na ang maganda ang boses.” Si Ryan.
The day ended and Ivy and Ryan left ahead of everyone else. They still have to travel for hours to Manila.
After helping Leah and Lola Fe clean up everything used in the salo-salo, Sabel, together with Roberto and Esmeralda Lim were driven by Joma home.
Richard stayed behind as Nikki was still fixing her toys.
“Maya thank you. We enjoyed. Pasensya na rin sa kakulitan nina mama at papa atsaka ni Ryan. Kung ano ano ang pinagsasabi nun.”
“Ano ka ba, okay lang yun. Sanay na ako sa pagbibiro ni Ryan. Yun parents mo ambabait nila Ricky. Ang swerte nyo to have them.”
“Mabait na makulit. Thanks talaga Maya. Matagal na rin since we had this. Next time dun naman sa amin.”
“Oo ba! Basta ikaw naman magluluto.”
“Sure. O nandito na pala si Nikki. We’re going now Maya. Salamat talaga. Please just tell Lola Fe. Mukhang pagod na yun. Sige Ricky. Salamat rin sa inyo ni Ryan. Kampante na kami ni Luke ngayon.”
“Don’t mention it Maya. I’m just here, kami ng family ko, sina Ryan. Pamilya na rin namin kayo.”
“Thank you Ricky.” Then without thinking she hugged Richard very tight.
Both of them were surprised with her move. She blushed knowing that Doris and Nikki were watching them.
After they disengaged. Both were beet red.
“Sige mauna na kami.”
That night both Richard and Maya replayed the days events in their mind.
Richard is now decided to pursue Maya.
Maya on the other hand, admitted to herself that she also had feelings for Richard Lim.
She just doesn’t know if she’ll entertain such feeling.
She still had many problems in her mind. Her husband James Ventura is a big factor to think about. She’s not sure if she must open her heart to Richard or not.
Here’s #TheAchyBreakyHearts teaser featuring Frank.
Do you still remember this? Here are the links:
My Safe Refuge 7
“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.
Maya and Richard stayed a couple of minutes in that kitchen.
They spent their time talking about the kids, his business and her online jobs. They learned many things about each other.
Richard found out that Maya is really a hands-on mom to Luke.
She proudly talked about her son, how responsible her son is even at a very young age, how her son acts like her mini-bodyguard, how they review for Luke’s lessons every night and how she teaches Luke how to sing and even dance because those were the talents she was good at.
The kids had a recent ‘show your talent’ assignment in school and while Nikki also sang, Luke did a One Direction song and dance number which he practiced with his mom.
Richard couldn’t stop laughing at how Maya animatedly demonstrated some of the dance moves she taught Luke.
“I bet the teachers enjoyed Luke’s dancing.” He was still laughing.
“Oo ata kasi they asked Luke to join their dance club. Pressure to Richard. Mapapasubo ang dance moves ko nito. Sabagay kailangan ko na rin naman. Exercise din to. At least hindi na ako kailangang pumunta ng gym.” She was laughing while talking about her son. She was so proud of Luke and he is the best thing that happened to her despite what happened to her and Luke’s dad.
“Siguro I’ll send Nikki to your house para maturuan mo din ng dance moves mo Maya. She also loves dancing kaso si Mama lang naman ang mahilig sa bahay and she dances yun mga pang ballroom.” He laughed.
“Alam mo magaling sumayaw si Nikki kasi when she stayed with us, I saw her dancing with Luke. Ginagaya lang nila yun mga choreography sa mga music videos on TV. She’s really good. I’m sure magaling ka ring sumayaw. Nahihiya ka lang aminin.” She teased him.
“Ah not me but her mom. Si Alex kasi magaling yun sumayaw at kumanta. She was more hands on kay Nikki then.” He sadly smiled as he suddenly remembered his late wife.
Richard also talked about how he raised his kids after his wife died. Maya on the other hand never discussed James and Richard never pried.
They couldn’t sleep. The storm was raging above their province but a brewing storm have been silently creating a turmoil in their once-calm hearts.
Both were already affected by each other’s presence. But both were trying their best to act unaffected and normal.
Maya could now notice Richard Lim’s handsome features- his thin lips, his chinky eyes which would even get chinkier when he laughs, his dimple, the way he smiles, the way he carries himself, his voice. He seemed perfect, like a guy any woman would be proud and happy to have. Maybe she was already aware that he is handsome even during their first few encounters but just dismissed it because of the situation she was in.
She’s been guarding her heart and made sure that she won’t entertain any feeling of fondness or attraction towards anyone.
She’s been through so much pain with her marriage with James which she doesn’t even know how to put a closure to for them to move on.
She doesn’t need any complications right now. Luke is her life now and whatever longing she feels to have someone to be with doesn’t deserve to be entertained.
“Ah Richard pasok na ako sa kwarto. Baka kasi magising si Luke. Salamat ulit ha.”
“You’ve been thanking me too much already. We are friends Maya. I’m sure if baliktad yun situation natin, you would have done the same. Sige na rest ka na coz I’m sure tomorrow’s going to be a busy day for all of us.”
“Sige Richard goodnight.”
Richard Lim left the building in his pick-up truck as soon as the howling winds stopped. It was still very early but he needs to check their house to ensure that looters won’t be able to enter in case the house wasn’t able to withstand the strong winds.
Together with Simon, Joma, Lino and Bugoy, they were busy surveying the damage done by the typhoon.
It was massive.
The big trees in front of their building were uprooted. Even the steel bars of the constructed auditorium just near the municipal hall were twisted beyond recognition.
Felled electric posts lined up the streets and in the eerie silence, cries for help by some victims could be heard.
Many houses lost their roofs and walls and many people were walking the streets with disbelief on their faces.
There were flashfloods in nearby towns and barangays. Many people lost their homes and some even lost their lives.
“Sir grabe pala yun pinsala. Hindi natin naririnig sa loob ng building pero malala pala.” It was Simon who voiced out his observation.
“Mga ilang buwan kaya mawawalan ng kuryente at tubig. Dito pa lang sa mga dinaraanan natin sobra na yun pinsala. Ang sabi sa radyo mas malakas yun bagyo sa karatig lugar natin.” Joma added.
“Sir kumusta kaya yun bahay ni Mrs. dela Rosa? Narinig ko may flashflood daw doon at maraming napinsala.” It was Lino.
“We will check it later after we’re done with the house. Yun building did you survey for damages Joma?”
“Yes Sir. Wala namang damage Sir maliban doon sa bahaging nalipad yun bubong ng bodega ng mga plasticwares. Di kasi yun naipasok kahapon.”
“Okay lang as long as everyone is safe.”
“Ay oo naman po Sir. Safe naman lahat yun mga sumilong sa building. Kagabi nagdagdag ng ilang pamilya kasi lumabas pa si Don Roberto at nakita nya yun ibang pamilya dyan may creek. Mabuti nga at pinatuloy nya kasi nawash out daw po yun mga bahay doon.”
“Ah yes. Mga kilala naman ni papa yun mga pamilya doon. May food supplies na ba sila? Baka magutom yun mga bata at yun mga lolo at lola.”
“Ah hindi po Sir kasi inasikaso na yun ng mama nyo.”
“Ah good. Simon later remind Doris to give them clothes and ask them their needs. Then ask Liza to just get it from the store. Alam na nyan yun. I guess those families would have to stay a longer with us.”
“Sige po Sir.”
After checking on their house and the nearby streets, Richard and Maya together with Joma, Bugoy and Lino were now on their way to San Nicolas to check Maya’s house. They left Simon as he also needs to check on the needs of those who took shelter at the Lim building.
As they traveled to San Nicolas,they witnessed how strong the typhoon have been as evidenced by the damage to infrastructures, trees, houses, buildings, roads, bridge, properties and even lives of people as well. There was confusion and chaos from groups of people on the streets.
Good thing that Richard used his pickup truck which made it easier for them to maneuver the roads which were still blocked by uprooted trees and electric posts.
They also had a chainsaw with them which they could easily use if ever big logs or trees block their way.
Some areas were still flooded.
As they were nearing San Nicolas, Maya already had an idea on what their house could have experienced.
They have talked to some people they passed by and they have been informed that the storm surge reached the residential areas of San Nicolas which momentarily created a flashflood in the area.
They also saw the muddied concrete houses which even reached the upper level of the houses they passed by. It meant that the water level could have reached the second floor of most houses. The water have subsided but it left mud and a mixture of trash and anything the flood was able to wash out from different houses.
As soon as the pickup truck stopped in front of Maya’s property, she immediately hopped down the very big and tall car, not waiting for Richard to assist her. Maya came prepared as she donned rubber boots, a working jeans, plain dark shirt and a cap as well.
The house was badly damaged. The steel gate was nowhere to be found. The fence though, was able to hold up but it needs to be repaired badly. Maya’s main door was safe. The pieces of wood Joma and Simon used to secure the main door served its purpose.
The windows though were broken as the floods could have forced its way in the house. All the furnitures were in shambles and a mixture of mud and trash were able to enter Maya’s house.
It was depressing to see her newly-repaired house in this state. All the furnitures, appliances she invested in were rendered useless.
Maya was staring blankly at the sight before her. Mixed emotions of frustration, anger, fear, helplessness were beginning to engulf her. The repairs alone would need a big amount and she was afraid that their savings might be depleted. She wanted to cry and let out what she’s feeling but she vowed to herself that she shouldn’t be weak. She has Luke and Manang Fe and Leah with her. They will be okay, she convinced herself.
Richard, who was busy removing the pieces of wood and branches of trees which entered Maya’s house, saw her and immediately went to her side.
“Hey, everything will be okay. What’s important is that you and Luke are safe.”
She got back to her senses when she heard his voice. She nodded her head and smiled at him.”Hindi ko maisip kung anong nangyari samin kung hindi nyo kami kinuha Richard. Siguro takot na takot si Luke. Salamat talaga.” She couldn’t imagine the trauma had they been here the night of the typhoon.
“Ayan ka na naman. Di ba sabi ko stop mentioning it.”
“Kahit na. Thank you pa rin.”
He smiled and shook his head. “Syanga pala, you don’t have to worry of the repairs kasi insured naman yun bahay nyo.”
“Ay hindi siya insured Richard. Dapat pala ginawa ko yun.”
“Yes it is kasi lahat ng projects ni Ryan, he applies for insurance.” He needed to lie. He will just talk to Ryan. He wanted to help her badly and this is the only way he could think of that she won’t decline.
“Pero wala naman siyang nabanggit at wala rin naman akong napirmahan.”
“Hindi ko alam yun setup ni Ryan. Maybe yun firm nya and all his projects regardless of who owns it is automatically insured. Ganun siguro.”
“Naku sana! At least di na mababawasan savings ko para kay Luke.” She was elated with the information Richard shared.
They spent a couple of hours cleaning up. Since they had Joma, Lino and Bugoy with them, the place had been cleaned in no time. After securing the locks and installing a temporary gate out of the GI sheets they brought with them, they were now on their way back to the Lim building.
Richard’s admiration of Maya was heightened when he saw her cleaning and scrubbing walls and floors unmindful if she looked dirty and sweaty. She seemed like a very industrious woman. Hindi maarte, he thought. He also witnessed how she tried to keep up a brave front despite what happened to her house. He badly wanted to protect her and her son. They deserve someone who could take care of them.
He hopes to be that person.
“Brod, hindi naman pwede yun. Malulugi naman ako nyan. Hindi naman insured yun mga itinayo kong bahay dyan. Atsaka hindi ko naman kasalanan yun bagyo.”
“But Ryan, you should have seen the damage. Di ba tatlo yun nagpagawa sa’yo ng bahay dito. Baka naman for humanitarian reasons pwede mong irepair for free. I could provide all the materials for free as well.”
“Teka brod, may sakit ka ba at kailangan mong gumawa ng kabutihan? May taning ang bahay mo?”
“Sira! Wala! I’m just concerned of the people here. Grabe yun damage and destruction brod.”
“Baka naman ok yun mga itinayo kong bahay.”
“Sana nga okay but I saw yun karamihan kasi and even concrete houses grabe yun mga sira. Just check on your clients if i were you, especially your friend, the person you were mentioning, yun may anak.” Richard couldn’t admit to Ryan that he and Maya were past the introduction phase.
“Ah oo brod si Maya and Luke. Sige tatawagan ko nga. Kawawa naman yun. Sige kumusta na lang sa lahat dyan.”
After they ended the call, Ryan immediately called Maya.
“Maya, okay lang kayo dyan? I heard matindi yung naging pinsala ng bagyo sa inyo.”
“Ryan! Okay naman kami. Salamat naman at napatawag ka.”
“I was worried kasi nabalitaan ko yun flashflood dyan sa inyo. How are you? Si Luke? Si Lola Fe and Leah?” He sounded really concerned and worried. Maya is after all, his friend already.
“Okay kami at sobrang salamat Ryan ha. Natouch naman ako sayo. Ibinilin mo pa talaga kami ni Luke kay Richard. Nandito kami sa building nila ngayon. Dito kami nagpalipas ng gabi ng bagyo. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko kung hindi nya kami sinundo. Sabi mo raw kasi sa kanya asikasuhin nya kami. Salamat sa inyong dalawa ha.” She was thanking him profusely.
Ryan was surprised.
“Kilala mo na si Richard Lim? Bakit wala man lang siyang nabanggit sa’kin?”
Maya was surprised as well. 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. Even that call about the house insurance was definitely a move of his best friend.
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.