The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Rafi and Mr. Poon : The Good-looking Chinito Crooners

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Rafi and Mr. Poon : The Good-looking Chinito Crooners

“Sige na Chard pumayag ka na. Please….” Rafi was doing her best to convince Ricky. They were at the veranda of the Lim mansion.

“No! I won’t do that Rafi and please don’t use that bestfriend card with me. I can help you but in other ways.”

“Eh wala namang other way eh. Dito nga kita sa concert kailangan. Sige na Chard. I promise I’ll babysit your kids kapag nagbakasyon kayo ni Maya.”

“The kids are grown-ups and the twins naman have their own nannies. I don’t need you to babysit them.” He countered her.

“Kaasar naman nito! O sige, I’ll just redecorate your house for free. I’m sure Maya would love that.”

“No. Kakaredecorate lang namin last month di ba?”

“Ah alam ko na, I’ll treat Maya to a makeover para super ganda siya for you.” Rafi giddily suggested as she was imagining the hairstyle she would want Maya to try.

“Excuse me Rafaela but Maya is already very lovely as she is. She doesn’t need your elaborate makeovers which takes hours. I’d rather let her rest and sleep than spend hours sitting on those salon chairs.”

“Alam mo ang kontrabida mo! You’re also so kj and definitely kg! Siguro it goes with your age. Yun ugaling ayaw ng fun, ayaw ng trying new things – yung ugaling pang ‘matanda’.” Rafi pouted. Asar na siya sa ayaw pumayag na best friend nya.

“Hay naku Rafi even if you try many ways to convince me, my decision is final. I won’t join your husband’s concert. Atsaka hindi ako kj. At ano naman ang kg?”

“You are definitely kj Chard! And also kg -kaibigang grumpy! Nakakainis to. Sige na kasi. Pumayag ka na. This is for a good cause naman eh. Para naman to sa foundation helping those drug addicts who surrendered. Please naman Chard.”

“Rafi I could help nga by donating pero singing? No! I’m not that good a singer unlike that guy you married who really had singing as his profession. Atsaka for Christ’s sake Rafi, of all guys bakit kapangalan ko pa yun napangasawa mo? Hmmm gusto mo ata na lagi akong naalala? Tapos chinoy din? Naku it’s awkward kaya when people calls us, di namin alam kung sinong lilingon.”

“Ay bakit may exclusivity yun pangalang Richard sa’yo? Grabe to! At we can address naman that name confusion problem. We will just call my husband Richard the simpatikong chinito while ikaw si Richard, the supladong chinito. And my husband is definitely way better looking than you.” Then Rafi couldn’t stop laughing.

“Oy excuse me! Hindi ako suplado. And who says that he is better looking? Hindi no! Tell that to Maya at for sure kokontrahin ka nun.”

“Di ko tatanungin si Maya. Siyempre biased yun. Ewan ko nga at bakit gwapong gwapo sayo yun asawa mo. Well gwapo ka naman pero sakto lang.”

“Sakto lang? Tumigil ka nga. I bet you married a Richard-named Chinito guy kasi ako yun ginawa mong basehan.

“Uy kapal mo Chard! Hindi no! My Richard had all the best attributes at hindi dun kasali ang pagiging KJ, sumpungin at papilit.”

“Papilit?”

“Kasi nga ang arte mo! Nagpapapilit ka pa. Sige na kasi. Kumanta ka na sa concert.” Then nagumpisa na naman sa pangungulit si Rafi.

This was the scenario when Maya arrived.

“Mukhang nagkaksiyahan kayo ah.”

“Maya!!! Yey you are early!!! Let’s have lunch out! Treat ko!” Si Rafi.

“Rafi kelan ka dumating?”

The two lovely ladies embraced so excited to see each other.

“Last night. Kasama ko yun husband ko. Naku Maya you wouldn’t believe what I’ll tell you. This is so exciting!”

Ricky groaned knowing so well that pagtutulungan na naman siya ng dalawa. “Stop it Rafi! I’ll still decline kahit magkampihan pa kayo.”

“Oy Chard sabi mo Maya will be home tonight pa. Ikaw ha! Ayaw mo ata kami magkita para hindi nya ako matulungan sa pagconvince sa’yo.”

“Convince? Convince saan Rafi?” Maya got curious.

“Kasi Maya, si Richard, my Richard will be having his concert to raise funds for this foundation na tumutulong sa rehabilitation ng drug addicts. He is asking Richard, your Richard to join him. I suggested kasi alam ko na maganda ang boses nito ni bff.”

Then Maya laughed.

Naalarm si Rafi. She thought matutulungan siya ni Maya. Hindi pala.

Nairita si Ricky.

“Are you underestimating my singing?” He glared at his wife. “Uy Maya member kaya to ng glee club noon!”

Tiningnan lang siya ni Maya. Tawa pa rin ng tawa.”

Naningkit na ang eyes ni Ricky. Asar na talaga siya.

“Rafi! Sige tell your husband that I will join his show. I also want to show my dear wife here, who doesn’t believe in my singing prowess that I can really do it.”

Nagulat si Rafi. She never thought that papayag si Ricky.

“Really Chard? Oh my God! Thank you talaga!!! Wala nang bawian ha! Tatawagan ko na ang asawa ko.” She stared at Ricky whose ‘annoyed’ eyes never left Maya.

After the call, Rafi turned her attention back on the two. “O guys halina kayo. I’ll treat you to a very special lunch kasi pumayag na to si Chard.”

“Sige you two go ahead. I’ll just get something in the room.”

As Rafi and Maya were going down the stairs, narinig sila ni Ricky.

“O di ba Rafi, effective! Pumayag agad si Ricky. Di pa ako nagsasalita nyan.”

“Oh my God Maya, kilalang kilala mo talaga si Ricky.”

“Siyempre naman. Ako pa!”

Ricky rolled his eyes. Naisahan na naman siya ni Maya.

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

The concert…..

“Pare you’re next after the number of Kyle and Bailey.” Richard, Rafi’s husband just finished his set.

“God what have I gotten myself into. Kasalanan to ng mga asawa natin. Ang kukulit.” He complained.

“Hahaha!!! Sinabi mo pa! Masakit sa tenga kapag magkasama sila. Pero kayang kaya mo yan pare. Maya will sing with you naman.”

“Nagkamali nga ata si Rafi. Dapat si Maya yun isinali nya instead of me. Mas excited pa sa akin and she really wanted to join.”

“Hahaha!!! Hindi naman pwede kasi women mostly ang audience natin. Women yun mostly benefactors ng foundation. They wouldn’t want to watch ladies singing for them. Gusto ng mga yan men serenading them. Don’t worry, you’ll be okay. Relax ka lang and enjoy the performance. Sabi ng dalawa may surprise daw sila sa atin after the concert.” Mr. Poon smiled.

“I wouldn’t count on that. These two are such a tease. Baka mahopia tayo mamaya. Umasa tayo sa wala.” He sniggered.

“Hahaha! Okay lang yan. Just being able to sing with our wives is a very great surprise already.” Mr. Poon remarked, his eyes full of love for his wife.

“Yeah you’re  right. It would be the highlight for me as well. These two, we love them to bits kahit na sometimes mukhang inuuto na tayo.” He agreed, his eyes also sparkled as he imagined Maya and her naughty, teasing and very loving ways.

“True at dahil mahal na mahal natin, okay lang na mauto kung minsan.” Mr. Poon smiled and they both shook their heads, amused thinking about their wives.

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

Tapos na yun show. Pauwi na yun dalawa.

Naunang ihinatid ni Joma sina Luke, Nikki and Abby while Mang Lem already drove Doña Esmeralda and Don Roberto to the mansion right after Ricky did his number. Kute, Nanay Teresita, Tatay Arturo, Cho and Lino accepted Simon’s invitation to stay at their place kasi birthday din ng parents nya.

Inside their car…

Maya was still humming “Please be careful with my heart” the duet they sang.

“Stop that sweetheart! My God nakakahiya! Ninerbyos ako dun. Feeling ko nawala ako sa timing.”

“Ang oa mo Ricky! Hindi naman ah! Grabe nga tumili yun mga lola ng audience. Grabe senior citizens ang karamihan sa nagcheer sa inyo ni hubby ni Rafi.”

“Yeah right! Pinapagaan mo lang yun pakiramdam ko because it was your fault na nasali ako. Atsaka hindi naman lahat seniors ha. May mga bata din.”

“At bakit ko naman fault. Ikaw kaya yun sumali. Di naman kita pinilit. Atsaka sweetheart successful yun show. Ang dami nyong napasaya.” She assured him. Alam nyang ninerbyos si Ricky and alam nyang hindi sanay si Ricky. Her husband would have preferred giving his speech to the Philippine Aviation Society than singing.

He glanced at her and shook his head, not believing what Maya was saying.

She continued…

“Atsaka sweetheart wag ka namang madamot. Nasa iyo na lahat – gwapo, mabango, magaling manamit, maporma, matalino, successful CEO ng LAI and LAS, gentleman, respetado, magaling magsalita, may napakagwagwapo at napakagagandang mga anak, may ubod ng gandang asawa….”

Natawa siya ng malakas sa pinagsasabi ni Maya.

“Oo na! Oo na! I get it. Ubod ng ganda talaga ha!” And he was now the one teasing his wife.

“Bakit kumokontra ka?” She raised her eyebrow at him challenging him.

“No! Dadagdagan ko pa. Ubod ng ganda at ubod ng sexy!” He wiggled his eyebrows and he earned a light slap from her.

“Tumigil ka nga sweetheart! Ikaw talaga!”

He smiled and she leaned towards him.

“Seriously sweetheart, sobra yun kaba ko kanina. Rafi’s husband is very good. He sings effortlessly.”

“Sweetheart okay naman yun sa’yo. Di ka lang masyadong sanay. Konting videoke lang yan at magiging kasing galing ka na nyang kumanta.” Maya was trying her best to comfort Ricky whom she knew felt really nervous during his performance.

“You really think so?”

“Oo naman! Atsaka tumayo ka lang doon or magsalita bibili na ako at yun iba dun ng tickets just to see you. Kahit 10 thousand pa ang price, bibili ako sweetheart.” She was smiling at him.

“Yeah right!”

“Right nga! Di ka naniniwala. Eto talaga. Atsaka magaling ka namang kumanta Ricky eh. Di nga lang pang maraming tao.” She winked at him naughtily.

“Huh? At ano naman yan pakindat kindat na yan. I don’t like that ha!”

She giggled.

“Syempre pang bedroom lang natin ikaw magaling kumanta. At ako lang dapat ang audience.” Then she winked at him again.

“Ikaw talaga Mrs. Lim ha! You’re getting naughty ha! Don’t tease me nga! Malayo pa tayo sa bahay.”

“Hoy Ricky anong tease mo dyan, totoong kanta yun sinasabi ko. Ikaw ang naughty dyan. Eto talaga!”

“Totoong kanta ba talaga ang gusto mo?” He whispered in his soft voice which never failed to give her goosebumps.

“Oo! Kanta! At di kung ano man ang nasa isip mo! Grabe ka. Kahit kagagaling lang nating concert.”

“Ikaw eh. Pero ayaw mo talaga?” He asked again.

“Ayaw ng ano?”

“Singing. Later.”

“Ricky rest muna tayo mamaya. Nakakapagod kaya yun show.”

“Okay. Sayang I would have loved to squeeze something else other than singing sana kaso ayaw mo. Isa din yun sa talent ko na pangbedroom lang.” He was still grinning.

“Weh? Eh ano naman yan?”

“Siyempre dancing.” Then he was the one who winked at her this time.

“Ewan ko sayo Ricky! Ang cute cute mo talaga!” Then she kissed his cheek.

Nabitin si Ricky so he stopped the car and gave his wife a full kiss on the lips leaving her gasping for breath.

“There to help you decide while we’re on our way home if you’ll allow me to sing and dance mamaya sa bahay or as you said kanina magrerest ka na kasi pagod ka.”

Namumula pa si Maya after the kiss. She shyly stared and pouted at him. Of course di naman niya kaya magrest sa bahay mamaya after the kiss which made her restless.

So ano na nga bang ginawa nilang dalawa sa bahay pag uwi?

Ewan.

Nag-usap?

Kumanta?

Sumayaw?

Nagswim?

Nagdive?

The Mr. & Mrs. Lim way.. Or

Natulog na ata.

Sabagay nakakapagod nga naman yun show.

Basta alam ko sina Rafi and Mr. Poon eh gumawa pa ng Choco Liquor cakes paguwi nila. Yun totoong cakes na business ni Rafi.

Nag order kasi yun parents ni Simon.

😁😁😁😁
====================

A/N : Welcome to the fanfic world of Richard Lim, Maya dela Rosa-Lim, Rafi and the entire bcwmh family, Mr. Poon! You’ll surely enjoy it here… Or not? Hahaha!!!😂

 

My Safe Refuge – 15

My Safe Refuge – 15

After talking to Ryan, Richard was totally affected. He got worried for both Maya and Luke. What if Ryan was right? What if Maya and Luke were indeed in danger? But Maya admitted that the guy was her husband. There was no hesitation, no trace of hostility between the two. Maya seemed wary and nervous but it could be because her secret had been found out by him. The guy seemed okay.

But maybe he couldn’t see clearly or think clearly. Maybe out of guilt for having an affair with James’ wife, he failed to see beyond what the guy is really like.

Maybe his judgement was clouded due to his surprise and anger on what he found out.

Trying so hard to set aside his pain, his anger, his pride, he called Maya’s phone. He just needs to check on her, hear her voice. Maybe he would be able to sense if she was okay or if Manang Fe’s fear, whom Ryan observed meant something.

After five rings his call was answered.

“Hello. Maya?”

Then a male voice answered. “Hello! Good Morning! This is her husband, James Ventura. Sorry it took me so long to answer. I was taking a shower. Maya is still asleep. May I know who’s calling? ” James very well know that it was Richard who was calling for his name and face was flashing on Maya’s screen. He was staring at Maya while answering the phone in his fake polite manner.

“Oh I’m sorry. This is Richard Lim. Please just tell Maya that I called. I need to ask her something, something about Luke’s school.” Richard exerted all effort to talk calmly on the phone.

“Ah Richard Lim. Yun father of Luke’s classmate. I remember you. Sige I’ll tell Maya that you called pag gumising na sya. Napagod kasi yun kagabi. Alam mo na making up for the lost time.” Then he laughed which was intended to taunt Richard.

Richard’s blood rushed to his fists and he clenched his jaws. He also laughed but bitterly. “Yes James I understand. Sorry to bother both of you.”

“Oh no you’re not a bother at all. I know that malaking naitulong mo sa mag-ina ko. They both speak highly of you. And I’m thankful that you took care of them while wala ako dyan. You took care of them kahit di mo naman sila kaano-ano. Sabi nga ni Maya, marami kang tinutulungan at marami kang kaibigan. Thank you for being a very good friend to them Richard. O sige ill just inform Maya later. Bye.” Then James ended the call.

James is indeed cunning. He was able to make Richard believe that he was a very understanding husband to his wife. James’ intention to make Richard guilty was really effective. Now Richard felt like he was a very bad person having an affair with a married woman. What Richard didn’t know was James played everything so well and that he had a gun pointed at Maya while he was answering Richard’s call.

Instead of getting things cleared, the phone call made it worse for Richard.

He opened another bottle of wine. Though it’s just mid morning, he needed it to momentarily erase that conversation he just had with Maya’s husband.

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

“At tumawag pa talaga yun lalaki na yun ha Maya! Malakas ang loob. Ano kayang pwede kong gawin sa kanya?” James knew exactly how to make Maya be at his mercy. He would use Richard Lim.

“James nakikiusap ako. Tayo lang naman ang may problema. Wag ka nang mandamay ng mga wala namang kinalaman sa atin. Hindi naman ni Richard alam yun tungkol sa atin. Gagawin ko naman ang gusto mo wag mo lang siyang guguluhin. Nagmamakaawa ako James.” She was pleading.

“Wow! Ganyan ba siya kaimportante sa’yo para makiusap ka ng ganyan Maya? Nakakainsulto! Pero sige pagbibigyan kita. Mamaya tawagan mo at gawin mo ang lahat para mapaniwala siya na ginamit mo lang siya na pampalipas oras habang nagkakaproblema tayo. Do everything so he’ll stop bothering our family.”

“James di ko na lang sasagutin yun mga tawag nya. Titigil na lang yun.” She couldn’t find it in her heart to call Richard and further lie to him.

“Tatawagan mo sya at gagalitin mo sya para kalimutan ka na nya. Gagawin mo yan o ako mismo ang gagawa ng paraan para hinding hindi mo na sya makikitang buhay?”

“James!!!”

“It’s your call Maya. It’s up to you. Call him or I’ll kill him.”

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

Richard was still drinking when his phone rang. Maya is calling him. As much as he hated her and he doesn’t want to hear her voice after talking to her husband, Richard answered the phone.

“Ricky?”

“Maya…”

“Gusto ko lang magsorry sa paglilihim ko. Nagkaroon lang kami ng di pagkakaunawaan ng asawa ko na naayos naman namin na. Salamat sa pagiging mabuting kaibigan pero sana huli na ang paguusap nating eto. Gusto ko ring maayos ang pagsasama namin ni James at pangit naman kung patuloy akong magiging malapit sa’yo. Di ko makakalimutan yun birthday ni Nikki ng August 5 kasi napakasaya namin ni Luke. Pinasaya nyo kami ni Luke sa party na yun. Salamat Ricky. Bye.” Then she ended the call.

He didn’t have the chance to say anything.

Her call hurt and confused him as well.

August 5 is not Nikki’s birthday but it was actually the day they became a couple.

Something is indeed wrong.

Though he’s now nursing a severe headache because of the wine he drank, Richard wasted no time and took a shower, prepared himself and drove towards Maya’s home.

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

“Mommy I am sorry po.” Luke was embracing his mom. He was crying.

“Anak wala kang kasalanan. Don’t be sorry. Just follow what your father tells you para wag ka nyang sasaktan. You father is good kaya lang sinira ng drugs yun mind nya that’s why he’s hurting us. He is not aware of it anak.” Maya tried to make Luke understand his father.

“Pero mommy kung hindi ako bumili ng ice crea hindi ako makikita ni dad, hindi sana tayo nandito. Sana masaya pa rin tayo kasama sina Tito Richard at Nikki. Sana wala ka pong wound dyan sa face mo. Sana hindi ka po nahihirapan now.” The boy hugged his mom tighter and cried louder.

James left them inside his condo, the place where he transferred when Maya and Luke left him. James sold their house and bought the condo.

He left them but he brought their cellphones and he locked his unit. He threatened Maya that if she tries to do something silly, he could easily ask his friends to hurt Richard or his family especially his daughter, Nikki.

Maya wouldn’t risk it. She is aware of how crazy James could get.

Now she needs to focus on Luke first. She must ensure Luke’s safety even though it meant following everything James asks her to do. She will try her best to understand James for the meantime while she had no one to rescue her.

Maybe just like when Rafi and Charlie saved her and Luke a few years ago, an angel would again be sent by God to save them before it’s too late.

Yes. Maya still believed in miracles and answered prayers.

She is praying that Richard would be able to forgive her.

She is praying that James would stop beating her and their son.

She is praying that all these will come to an end…soon, before it’s too late.

 

Can We Just Stop And Talk Awhile 8

A/N : Short lang to. Pambawi lang dun sa sad other story. I don’t know if you still remember this.

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

“Good Morning Maya.”

Maya was surprised to find Richard very early inside her apartment donning an apron while cooking some breakfast of sinangag, omelette, tocino and pandesal.

She immediately covered herself with the towel she brought as she was about to go to the bathroom. She was suddenly conscious that she was still in her pajamas while Richard was already dressed for work, but yes, wearing an apron.

It was just 6 in the morning. She even thought that she was early. She woke up early because she promised to cook breakfast for the two of them.

“Good Morning. Richard ang aga mo. Paano ka nakapasok?”

“Si Emman. I called him last night and told him about my plan. Ayun pinapasok ako kanina. He went for a jog nga pala. Sabi nya mauna na tayong kumain.

“Ah ganun ba?”Maya couldn’t believe that Emman left her alone with Richard and even allowed him to cook. She was already embarrassed.

Noticing her sudden unease, Richard said, “Sige na you do what you have to do na muna. Ako na bahala dito.” He gave her his trademark smile of his that never fails to give her butterflies in her stomach.

“Ah eh sigurado ka?” She didn’t want to leave Richard alone cooking breakfast but she needs to change into something more presentable. She was wearing her favorite old and tattered Mickey Mouse pajamas.

“Yes. Masarap akong magluto Maya. Magugustuhan mo to for sure. Sige na ligo and bihis ka na so we could go to work na after we eat breakfast.”

She left Richard to take a shower and prepare for the day.

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

They are now on their way to work…

“Richard, di mo naman kailangan pumunta sa bahay at magluto. Masyado kang mapapagod nyan. Di ba sabi ko sayo ako yun maghahanda ng almusal kanina.”

“Why? Hindi mo nagustuhan? Hindi ba masarap?”

“Siyempre gusto at sobrang sarap! Kaya lang mapapagod kang masyado. Ang aga mong pumunta tapos nagluto ka pa. Hindi ka naman sanay sa ganun eh. Sa bahay nyo nga may tagaluto kayo.”

“But I wanted to do it Maya. Gusto kong iparamdam sa’yo how I want to take care of you.”

“Ehhh nakakahiya naman kasi. Alam ko na ikaw ang pinagsisilbihan parati tapos ngayon…”

“Gusto ko yun ginagawa ko Maya. Please allow me. I want to show you how special you are. Masaya ako to do it.”

“Pero…”

“Ganito na lang, I’ll take care of our breakfast then ikaw bahala sa merienda.” Richard suggested.

“Sige na nga. Makulit ka rin.”

“See papayag ka rin naman pala. Atsaka ngayon ko lang maibibida yun cooking skills ko. At ngayon lang may nagsabing masarap akong magluto.”

“Kasi po yun ang polite thing to do.”

“What polite thing to do?”

“Siyempre yun to appreciate what a person does.” Then she laughed.

“So hindi nga masarap?!?” His chinky eyes turned big and sad.

“Uy binibiro lang kita. Ikaw talaga! Masarap nga! Atsaka syempre masarap kang magluto kasi nag culinary school ka di ba?”

Richard had mentioned to her that he went to a culinary school without his parents’ knowledge. It was actually his hobby to cook but he never got to do it until now.

“Yes I studied pero malay ko ba kung masarap.” He looked sad now. Mukhang di ni Maya nagustuhan.

“Uy nagbibiro nga lang ako Mr. Lim! Masarap nga sabi. Naubos nga namin ni Emman di ba? Atsaka di yun palabreakfast si Emman pero naubos nya. Masarap nga. Wag ka nang magtampo. Di ka pa nasanay sakin.”

He glanced at her then smirked, sumimangot. Still not believing her.

“Ano yan? Bakit ganyan ang mukha mo? Ang cute cute mo pa naman. Dapat smile ka para lumabas yun pamatay na dimples mo.” She further teased. Lagot kasi sya at nagtampo si Ricky.

He ignored her and changed the topic.

“Later pala I’ll fetch you around 8. Antayin mo ako. Then well watch a movie.”

“Ay wala man lang lambing yun pagkasabi. Pero sige antayin kita mamaya. 7:30 yun labas namin ni Emman so tamang tama yun para makapagprepare na din ako. Sa bahay ka na lang namin antayin.”

“Okay.” His bland reply.

Maya hid a smile. Matampuhin pala si Mr. Lim. She finds it amusing pero of course she needs to think of how she can make it up to him.

They are now parked in front of Maya’s work.

“Dito na tayo Maya. Have a great day.” He just smiled but his eyes still mirrored sadness. He wants to kiss her din goodbye pero alam nya that Maya doesn’t want it. Baka mas sumama yun loob nya if she rejects him.

“Hindi ka na bababa? Hindi mo ako ihahatid sa loob?”

“Okay. Halika na.” He automatically went out of his car and accompanied Maya inside the restaurant where she’s working.

“Good morning Maya! Good morning Mr. Lim!” Lino cheerily greeted them.

It was still early but the place was already filled with customers.

James and Edz also greeted the couple.

“Richard magalmusal ka muna.” James even suggested.

“Lagot naalala ni Richard yun breakfast. Panira naman to si Sir James.” Maya mumbled to herself.

“Ah no. Hinatid ko lang si Maya. I have to go now.”

“Ah ganun ba. Sige Richard. Salamat sa paghatid dito sa makulit naming kasamahan.” James commented which earned laughter from his other employees and customers as well.

The restaurant of James has this homey feel and everybody felt like family. This is one thing which Richard loves about the place. This is why he frequently spends his time here.

“Sige na. I have to go. Thanks again for inviting me for breakfast James. Maya I’ll see you later.”

Then Richard turned to leave.

“Ricky wait!” Maya mustered courage for this. Kailangan nya talagang bumawi.

“Yes?” He turned around again and saw Maya running towards him.

“Nakalimutan mo naman yung pabaon ko.”

“Pabaon? Pero wag na Maya. May food naman sa office.”

“At sinong nagsabing food. Mas masarap sa food yun pabaon ko.”

Then without waiting for his reply, Maya held Richard’s nape and gave him full kiss right in front of everyone inside the restaurant.

Richard was pleasantly surprised he couldn’t react for a second but eventually gave back the kiss with equal intensity. It took about a minute. They didn’t mind if people are watching them. Gusto lang ni Maya na makabawi.

When they stopped to catch their breath both were flustered and both were smiling into each other’s eyes.

Maya then whispered to his ear, “Sorry na. Siguro naman with that kiss, hindi ka na magtatampo.”

With that Richard gathered her for a hug then kissed her temple. He also whispered back. “Hindi na. I love you. See you later.”

“Ehem ehem… pwede sa labas nyo na gawin yan. Nangiinggit kayo sa mga gaya ko eh.” It was Lino who broke the ice.

Maya and Richard just sheepishly smiled.

My Safe Refuge – 14

My Safe Refuge 14

“So Maya yun lalaking kasama mo kanina, siya ba yung rason kung bakit ka umalis at dinala mo pa yun anak natin? May ibang lalaki ka pala.” James Ventura sarcastically retorted.

“Alam natin na hindi yun ang dahilan James. Ikaw yun nagtulak sa amin para lumayo, para magtago. Ikaw at yun bisyo mo, yun pananakit mo sa amin ni Luke. Yun ang dahilan.”

But James ignored what she said. He continued.

“Binalak kong kasuhan ka ng kidnapping Maya, pero ngayon meron na akong pwedeng idagdag. Maaari kitang kasuhan ng adultery. Sabagay mukhang may kaya naman yun kinakasama mo. Maaari ka nyang matulungan. Mukha ring mabait. Hmmm… ano kayang pwedeng gawin ko sa kanya?”

“Wag kang mandadamay ng ibang tao. Alam natin ang totoong dahilan James. Nananahimik na kami ni Luke. Please lang. Wag mo na kaming guluhin.”

“And akala mo Maya ganun na lang yun? Hindi naman ako papayag. Sasama na kayo ni Luke sa akin.”

“Hindi yun maaari James. Hindi mo na kami kayang takutin. Maayos na yun buhay namin.”

“Talaga? Maayos na ang buhay nyo? Ah kasi meron ka nga palang kasama ngayon. Kanina ko pa kayo pinagmamasdan Maya. Ang sweet nyo ha! At close na rin kayo ni Luke sa pamilya nila. Yun dalawang bata anak ba nya? Richard Lim, mukhang kilalang negosyante siya Maya – pilantropo, maraming negosyo tapos yun mga magulang naman eh sobrang iginagalang sa bayan nila.”

Maya was surprised that James knew that much about Richard. She was so worried for him. James is very capable of hurting people.

Unknown to Maya, James Ventura have seen them already when the group of Richard arrived earlier today but instead of confronting her, he opted to do a little research on the man who was with his wife, the man whom he saw, was making his wife laugh, the man who was super sweet and touchy towards his wife. All he needed was to ask for the name and address of Maya’s companion. Despite being the wife-beating, alcoholic, drug addict jerk he is, James Ventura is very charming in his own way. He could easily make people think that he is a very good man. He uses this charm to his advantage. He used this charm to ask the resort’s front desk employee for information regarding Richard Lim. Getting Richard’s name and address was all he needed to get further details about Richard Lim’s work or business or any personal details from the web. A few clicks here and there easily gave him some information about Richard, his business and his family. Their being known in their province made it easier for James to get the information he needed.

“James please nakikiusap ako. Wag mo nang idadamay ang pamilya ni Richard. Wala naman silang kinalaman dito. Kahit si Richard walang alam tungkol sa’yo. Please naman James.” She was begging. She didn’t want Richard to be involved in her problem with James. She loves him so much. She wanted to protect him and his family from James. This was the very reason why she didn’t want to get involved with Richard before.

“Depende yan sa’yo Maya. Madali naman akong kausap. Sumama kayo ni Luke sakin, hindi ko pakikialaman si Richard Lim. Pero kapag pinahirapan mo ako, kapag tumakas ka ulit, sisiguraduhin kong madadamay siya at ang kanyang pamilya. Alam na alam mo ang kaya kong gawin Maya.”

“Please naman James.” She was begging him, holding his arm to beg him to stop bothering them.

“Ikaw ang bahala Maya. Kunsabagay masaya rin na lagyan ng konting aksyon ang mukhang napaka boring na buhay nyang si Richard Lim.”

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

After his phone call, Richard sought for Maya. He went to the stalls where he knows she will look for her son.

From afar, he already saw Maya seriously talking to a guy while Luke was tightly holding his mother’s hand.

He didn’t like what he saw.

He rushed to where Maya was.

“Maya i was looking for you and Luke.”

He ignored the guy Maya was talking to. He felt jealous at what he saw but he didn’t want to get upset so he just pretended not to notice him.

But James had something else in mind.

“Honey hindi mo ba ako ipapakilala sa kaibigan mo?”

This infuriated Richard.

And who are you?”

“I am James Ventura, the husband of Maya dela Rosa- Ventura and father of Luke Andrew dela Rosa Ventura.” James draped his arm around Maya’s shoulders. He was giving his fake smile to the shocked Richard Lim.

She was trying her best to act calm as she didn’t want to cause any commotion. She was so worried for Richard and also scared for herself and Luke.

“Maya is this true?” a very surprised Richard was asking her, hoping that she would deny it.

“Oo Ricky siya ang daddy ni Luke.” Maya couldn’t even look him in the eye.

She was already scared and Luke was obviously trembling in fear but Richard didn’t notice it. He was too focused on what he found out. He was focused on the shock, pain and anger he felt upon finding out that Maya isn’t actually a widow which she made him believe all these months.

“Excuse me pare, isasama ko na ang mag-ina ko. Nagkatampuhan lang kami nito pero aayusin namin. Salamat sa kung anuman na pagasikaso mo sa kanila.” James addressed Richard still with his fake smile. He even shook his hand.

Maya couldn’t speak and Luke was hugging the side of his mom.

“Okay pare. Bahala ka na sa kanila. Isinama lang namin sila ng pamilya ko kasi magkaklase yun mga bata.” Richard was at a loss of what to say so he chose to be civil.

Despite being mad, he didn’t want to cause further problems to Maya and her husband. Maya is not explaining so he couldn’t really understand what’s happening.

Then James left with Maya and Luke leaving the distraught Richard Lim behind.

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

Richard banged the door of his hotel room. He was furious. He never felt so led on and betrayed all his life.

His mother decided to cut short their vacation after witnessing the incident between Maya and the man who claimed to be her husband. She saw how surprised, clueless and helpless Richard was. Then she saw how her son became quiet and obviously enraged with what he found out.

It was fortunate that Roberto and their two apos were swimming together with the rest of the group when the scene happened.

When Maya and Luke left with her husband, Esmeralda Lim immediately suggested to Richard that they should all just go home but her son requested to stay behind. He needs to clear his head. He also didn’t want anyone at home to know about what happened. He still wanted to protect Maya and Luke. He didn’t want anybody to think badly of them.

So Maya is married and her husband is still alive. She lied to him.

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

“Brod wala ka sa office mo last week. I went there.”

He just stared blankly at Ryan. He’s on his third glass of wine.

“Ang aga nyan ah. Nag-almusal ka na ba?” Ryan tried again.

“Ryan why are you here?”

“Whoah! Bakit bawal na bang dumalaw sa’yo? Ang hirap mong hanapin. I have to threaten Joma para sabihin nya kung nasaan ka.”

“I’m busy and I’m not a very good companion lately. Sa sunod na lang tayo magkwentuhan brod.”

“Richard, alam ko na yun nangyari. Nakwento na nang mama mo sakin.”

He gave him an angry stare, upset that Ryan and his mom were talking about him.

“Hey don’t get mad at your mom. Nag-aalala lang naman kami sa’yo. You’re not answering your phone at di ka rin pumupunta sa building nyo tapos nalaman ko pa na you are renting this unit. Aba parang naglayas ka lang brod.”

“I don’t want the kids to see me like this.”

“Alam ko naman pero you won’t solve anything by drinking and hiding here.”

“There’s nothing to be solved Ryan so hayaan mo na muna ako to be miserable for being an idiot.”

“Brod…”

“Ryan please. Gusto ko na munang mapag-isa.”

“Okay I won’t say anything pero dito lang muna ako. I drove ten hours upang makarating dito. Makikipahinga lang muna ako, kung pwede.”

“Brod there’s a hotel nearby. Dun ka na lang. I really need to be alone.”

Ryan didn’t insist anymore. Richard had gone through the same situation when he blamed himself for his wife’s death.

On the way to the door, Ryan had to tell him one last thing…

“Brod pumunta ako kina Maya bago ako dumeretso dito…”

“Ryan please stop!”

“…nagulat si Manang Fe ng sinabi ko na sumama si Maya sa asawa nya. Takot na takot si Manang Fe. Akala nya magkasama kayo. Akala nya napasarap yun bakasyon nyo kaya hindi umuwi yun mag-ina. Akala nya walang signal sa pinuntahan ninyong beach resort. Nagpapatulong sa akin na hanapin sina Maya. Hindi ko maintindihan yun buong pangyayari at kung bakit ganun ang reaksyon ni Manang Fe. Kailangan ko lang sabihin sayo kasi baka may alam ka or may naikwento si Maya tungkol sa asawa nya.”

Richard was surprised with what Ryan shared. He stared at him, without saying anything.

Ryan added…

“Alam kong masakit yun pinaglihiman ka ni Maya. Baka nga akala mo ginamit ka lang nya. Pero brod sana lawakan mo muna yun pang-unawa mo. She may have her own reasons why she did it. You told me yourself na she always prefers to be private, to stay home at sinabi mo rin na di ka nya sinagot noon kasi may mga sarili siyang isyu sa nakaraan nya. She really didn’t hide it from you. Hindi lang nga sinabi kung ano. You don’t even know how she is right now. Sa pagkakakilala mo ba kay Maya masama ba siyang tao? Manggagamit ba siya? Could it be that she’s suffering at this very moment? Could it be na mas nasasaktan siya ngayon?”

Ryan slowly went back to the chair he occupied awhile ago. He seemed to make progress in talking sense to his friend.

“Ryan sumama siya ng di sya pinilit. She just left without saying anything. She never called, never texted.”

“Inalam mo man lang ba kung bakit? Do you think Maya would allow herself to be romantically involved with you kung okay sila ng asawa nya? Masaya ba sya ng nakita yun asawa nya? Takot? Galit? Ano? What have you seen?”

“I no longer give a damn what she feels. She played with me. I loved her brod. Mas minahal ko pa nga siya kay Alex. She could have told me that he husband is alive. I’ve been consoling her all these time thinking that she was a widow and she never corrected it. Pinagmukha nya akong tanga. I’ve bared my whole heart to her. I even opened up about Alex, about my family to her. Hindi nya man lang pinahalagahan yun.” Then the strong Richard Lim sobbed letting out all the hurt, anger and betrayal he felt.

“Brod, alamin mo muna the reason why she hid it from you. Alamin mo muna kung bakit hinayaan nyang isipin mo, isipin natin na patay na yung asawa nya. Maya loves you brod. Nakita ko yun tuwing ikinukwento ka nya. I’m sure she won’t be able to fake that look whenever she talks about you. I’m definitely sure that twinkle in her eyes, those beaming smiles are not just for show. Be reasonable enough to set aside your bruised ego and find out what really happened and why it happened. Baka kailangan ka ng mag-ina. Don’t wait until it’s to late to save them. Sa nakita ko kay Manang Fe natatakot ako para kay Maya brod.”

Richard didn’t say anything. He just stared at the glass on top of his table. His eyes were still red from crying awhile ago.

“Sige brod. I have to go. If you can’t pull yourself up for your own sake, do it for the kids. Do it for your parents. Do it for Maya and Luke brod.”

Then Ryan left the totally shaken Richard Lim.

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

My Safe Refuge – 13

My Safe Refuge 13

Maya hurried to the kitchen. She was surprised at what happened out there. She never intended to express her love for Richard. Not this soon.

But her jealousy and fear of losing him made her admit the feelings she’s been harboring all these months for Richard.

She now accepted Richard Lim as her boyfriend.

She was giddy.

She wanted to shout.

She wanted to jump for joy.

She was actually very happy with it but very scared of what’s in store for her, for them. She must tell him about James now that they’re officially a couple. But her fear of Richard leaving her once he finds out, still outweighs her resolve to tell him. Maybe she could still buy time. She wants to enjoy their relationship first. Besides they live very far from James.

“Maya…” His voice startled her that the teaspoon of the coffee she’s making fell.

“Sorry. Nagulat ba kita?” He said in his soft voice which made her all the more giddy, clumsy, aligaga.

“Ah eh hindi naman. Bakit ka ba sumunod. Wait ano ba gusto mong kape? with cream? black? Ay with cream nga pala ang kape mo. Gusto mo yun sinangag na niluto ni Leah. Meron din tapa o gusto mo ipagluto kita ng iba. Tocino kaya or…” She talked nonstop her eyes still avoiding him.

He just shook his head smiling while his arms are crossed in front of his chest. He was amused at how Maya is reacting. She was obviously so affected and she’s finding it very hard to act normal.

“May dala akong breakfast Maya. May coffee na rin yan at hot choco which is your favorite. I bought pancakes and sandwiches too. I also bought your favorite cake. Gusto mo ng rice?”

“Ah eh. Hindi. Ay oo may dala ka palang almusal. Teka ihahanda ko na muna… Dun ka na sa labas Ricky…”

He couldn’t remove the smile on his face but he didn’t want to make her more uncomfortable. He gently held her hands then her face. “Hey your hands are so cold and you’re blushing. Would you calm down. Ako lang naman to.”

“Kasi naman Ricky hindi naman ako sanay sa ganito. Hindi ko alam kung pano ko pakitunguhan yun nararamdaman ko. Nakakahiya.”

“And that makes the two of us. I also can’t explain what I’m feeling. Nanlalamig din kamay ko.” Then he placed her hand over his chest. “Feel my heart. Kanina pa yan di matahimik.” He tried to get her to look at him. She peeked, shyly smiling. Ricky now laughed.

“You know what, daig pa natin ang teenagers nito.” His ears are actually turning red too.

Then Maya covered her face, now giggling. “Nakakainis kasi. Para naman akong baliw! Bakit ko ba kasi nasabi yun?”

“Binabawi mo?” Now he is worried.

“No! Hindi! Of course not! Hindi ko binabawi.” She’s also worried na inakala ni Ricky na binabawi nya.

“Hay buti naman.” He sighed. Relieved.

Then he again gently cupped her face and looked deep into her eyes. She didn’t avoid it this time even though her hands can’t seem to stop trembling. “You know what, it may not be the most romantic way na sagutin ang nanliligaw sa’yo but you made me very happy Maya. I love you so much.”

She gave him a shy smile.

“I love you too Ricky. Actually matagal na. Hindi ko lang masabi kasi may mga personal na bagay pa akong dapat asikasuhin sa sarili ko. Pero oo mahal kita. Mahal na mahal magmula nang pinuntahan mo kami ni Luke ng nagkaroon ng bagyo. Doon ko naramdaman kung gaano ako, kami kaimportante sa’yo.” Then she was teary eyed.

Richard was touched with what she said. It warmed his heart. He gently wiped the tears which are now finding its way down her cheeks. “I love you so much Maya dela Rosa” then he gently touched his lips on hers for kiss.

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

It’s been 6 months since Richard and Maya became a couple. For the past 6 months they learned more about each other and grew to appreciate each other’s unique qualities and accept and embrace each other’s weaknesses. They enjoyed every moment spent together. Maya felt how it is to be cared for which she never experienced with James. Richard never failed to make her and Luke feel how important and special they are to him.

Richard had been very vocal of his plans for their future. He’s been hinting marriage but Maya always avoids the topic. He didn’t press on it lately thinking that Maya is still holding on to the memory of her late husband. He must double or triple his efforts so Maya could have a bigger space for him in her heart, the space which he believes, is still occupied by the father of Luke.

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

Since the kids just finished another school year, Richard decided to treat them to a weekend vacation in a resort somewhere in Batangas. Maya declined at first for the fear of her ex-husband. Richard suggested to a very hesitant Maya that they should try the new resort that was recommended by one of his former officemates. It was a secluded resort which is not yet highly commercialized. Maya eventually agreed after Richard and even the kids bugged her nonstop.

The family of Richard Lim together with Maya and Luke were enjoying their vacation. Even Roberto and Esmeralda Lim enjoyed bonding with the kids and their employees whom they brought with them.

Unfortunately Manang Fe couldn’t join because she is recovering from flu. Maya decided to let Leah stay with Manang Fe.

“Naku Ricky mabuti naman at naisipan mo to bring the kids and our employees here. Ang ganda ng resort na to. Napakalinis at napakalinaw ng tubig. Even these cottages are well maintained.”Mama Esmeralda commented as they settled in one of the cottages of the resort.

“The kids deserve it Ma for all their achievements in school. They have very high grades then both are in the top ten of their class. Yun employees naman natin, they also deserve it for their hard work and loyalty to us. Maganda nga tong resort. And I also requested them to close this area. Marami naman tayo so this area is exclusively for us.”

“Oh that’s very good son. At least your papa and also you wouldn’t wander looking at pretty young girls.”

“Ma! Hindi naman ganyan si papa. And I’m definitely not like that!” He vehemently protested to what his mom said.

“I’m just kidding. Ang pikon mo naman Ricky.” Then Mama Esmeralda laughed and further teased, ” Maya tingnan mo si Ricky very defensive.”

Maya laughed. “Good boy po yan Tita si Ricky. Di naman yan tumitingin sa iba. Sabagay kapag hindi ako kasama hindi ko alam.”

“Maya!”

“Biro lang. Tama ang mama mo. Ang pikon mo nga Ricky.”

Maya was helping Sabel set the table. Richard was setting up the barbecue grill. Nikki and Luke were with Joma, Simon, Lino and Bugoy who immediately proceeded to the sea for a quick swim. Doris was watching over the sleeping Abby. Roberto was at their hotel room having a nap after complaining that he felt sleepy after their very long trip.

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

“Anak stay close lang. Maraming tao baka mawala ka.”

“Mom I’ll just buy ice cream po doon.” Luke was pointing to the ice cream stall in the resort.

Richard and Maya were in their lounge chairs enjoying the view of the sea. They just had lunch. Everyone were back swimming except for Richard, Maya and Mama Esmeralda who was also busy checking out the stalls selling various souvenirs.

“Luke dito ka lang.” Maya was already worried that Luke must have forgotten her instruction to just stay close to her.

“Hayaan mo lang Maya. It’s safe here. Besides andun si Mama sa may stalls.” Then he told the boy, “Luke just stay near Lola Esmie, okay?”

“Yes po Tito Richard.”

Knowing that she wouldn’t win, Maya allowed Luke.

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

“Happy?” He asked her when they were left by themselves.

“Sobra. Ang ganda ng lugar Ricky. Mamaya magswimming rin tayo.” She was excited to swim. She never had the opportunity to do it since they arrived because she was busy preparing the food and she also spent time sharing stories with Ricky and his parents.

“Sige. Mamaya kapag napagod sila, tayo naman. Ang kukulit ng mga kasama natin. Ang iingay pa. I want yun tayong dalawa lang sa dagat.”

“Ganun? At bakit naman?”

“It’s more romantic at para naman masolo kita. Kanina pa ni mama kinukuha yun oras mo. Nakakatampo na nga.” Then he pretended to be mad.

“Ay ang oa ng mahal ko! Kulit mo!” She giggled.

“But seriously. I want to spend time with you later. Yun tayo lang at wala sina mama. ”

“Eh tayong dalawa rin lang naman nandito ngayon.”

“Yes pero wala namang masyadong privacy. I can’t even get to hug you kasi nandyan sila.”

“Sus nagtatampo si Ricky.”

“Siyempre. I was the one who planned this tapos sila yun nabibigyan mo ng reward.”

“Reward?”

“Yes. The reward of your precious time. Di ba dapat sakin mo binibigay yun…”

“Ang cute mo talaga magtampo. Oo na po. Later solo mo ako at walang ibang tao na makakaistorbo sa atin.”

“Sinabi mo yan ha! Walang bawian.”

“Oo naman.”

They were enjoying the soft breeze and downcast sky when Ricky’s phone rang.

“Maya I have to take this. Eto kasi yun nagpapatayo ng building ng malapit sa amin. I’m hoping to get him as a client. Sandali lang to.”

“Okay lang Ricky. Take your time. Puntahan ko na muna si Luke.”

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

Maya proceeded to the stalls to look for her son.

He was nowhere near the ice cream stall.

She found Luke at the stall selling toys.

“Anak di ba I told you to stay close lang. Sa ice cream stall lang kita pinayagan. Where is Lola Esmie?”

But when her son turned to face her, she was surprised to see the fear in his face.

Then a voice was heard behind her.

“You hid yourselves very well my dear wife.”

James Ventura finally found Maya and Luke.

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Sky and Sunshine : Very Good Daddy, Very Good Babies👦👧

“It’s a bad idea that we didn’t bring Leah and Doris with us.”

“Ano ka ba sweetheart! Masaya to para makapagbonding tayo ng mga bata.”

“Yes but Sky might refuse to dance kasi wala si Doris. Di ba he’s imitating her kaya siya napapasayaw.”

“Naku sweetheart, kayang kaya ko na yan. Nagpractice kami kahapon habang nasa trabaho ka pa. Sinusunod naman ako ni Sky. Atsaka kagabi nakita mo naman na sumasayaw talaga siya.”

“You mean gagawin mo yun silly dance moves ni Doris like what you did last night? Yun may pakembot kembot?” He was chuckling as he could already imagine his wife doing the dance.

“Oo naman sweetheart, para sa bata why not. Atsaka ang cute ko kayang sumayaw.” she said proudly.

“Yeah right! Cute and silly.” Then he shook his head and laughed again.

They are on their way to the twins’ school for their nutrition month program.

Sunshine will be reciting a short poem about fruits and vegetables while Sky is part of the five-member little boys who will be dancing while wearing food costumes. Sky will be wearing a chicken costume, while the other four boys will be in a pork, beef, bottle of milk and apple costumes.

They already talked about what they will do in the program. Ricky will be coaching Sunshine while Maya will be coaching Sky. Maya even has a chicken head dress and attachable tail to be able to motivate Sky to dance.

“Now makakaganti na ako sa’yo.” Ricky glanced at her still smiling.

“Makakaganti? Saan?”

“Remember when nagkamali kami ni Sky ng costume? At least now you get to wear that funny chicken costume.”

Aliw na aliw si Ricky. Now the teachers would forget his Captain America shield and mask and would definitely remember the funnier Chicken costume Maya will be wearing.

Wala naman kay Maya. She’s game and cool with it. She even made the dance more elaborate para mas maenjoy ng mga bata. Sky kasi prefers na magalaw masyado yun dance or else he won’t move.

When they were practicing last night, Sky wouldn’t dance if his mom doesn’t dance with her costume and if she doesn’t wiggle her butt earning the laughter from everyone at home. Ricky had been teasing Maya nonstop about it. But Maya was not affected at all.

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

They arrived earlier than the other kids. Ricky didn’t want to be late like the last time. He wanted Sky and Sunshine to be relaxed before the program starts.

“Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Lim. Ready na po natin yun twins.” The twins’ class adviser informed them.

Maya and Ricky both prepared the twins for their respective numbers. They were so proud of their three year old twins. Both are growing up so fast and both are so talented as well.

Sunshine recited the poem first. Ricky had to stand in front of her so Sunshine could look at her daddy whenever she feels nervous or when she forgets her lines. But Sunshine delivered her poem perfectly and Ricky didn’t have to coach her anymore. Both Maya and Ricky were so proud of Sunshine, who received loud cheers from the audience. The little girl was also very happy and proud of herself.

“Very good baby. Daddy and Mommy is proud!” Richard immediately carried Sunshine and kissed her as soon as she finished her poem.

They both proceeded to where Maya and Sky were seated. They will now wait for Sky’s turn which is the last number in the program.

After a while….

“Sweetheart magbabanyo daw si Sunshine.”

“What? Now? Eh sweetheart tatlong numbers na lang sina Sky na. Why don’t I bring Sunshine na lang? Ako na bahala. You need to be here for Sky’s number.” He was now suddenly worried. Malaking problema if Maya is not around during Sky’s dance number.

“Sweetheart hindi ka naman pwedeng pumasok dun sa cr ng girls. Ako na lang. Mabilis lang to promise.” Then without waiting for Ricky to answer, Maya hurriedly carried Sunshine and proceeded to the girls CR. Nagmadali sya para maabutan nya si Sky.

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

Tapos na yun program. They are now on their way home. Tahimik si Ricky. Guilty si Maya. Sobrang ingay at kulit naman yun twins.

“Sweetheart sorry na. Hindi naman namin sinasasdya na di maabutan yun dance number ni Sky. Puno kasi yun CR so kinailangan namin maghintay. Sorry na. Di tuloy sumayaw si Sky. Naku sorry talaga.”

Ricky sighed deeply, glanced at Maya with his smirk and eyes in slits. Asar talaga siya.

Siyempre behave ang Maya kasi nga naman, she wasn’t around kaya nasayang yun dance ni Sky. But Sky seemed okay with it. Di sya affected unlike Ricky na super pikon now.

“Atsaka sweetheart okay lang if Sky didn’t dance. Tingnan mo, di naman affected yun bata.”

“Mommy! I danced! And daddy too!” Sky joined in.

Nagulat si Maya. Akala nya fail yun number ni Sky.

Mas napikon si Ricky. He planned not to tell Maya that Sky actually danced and cheers were so loud that he wasn’t even sure if kasali siya sa being cheered on by the parents.

He was forced to wear the chicken head dress and yes he was forced to dance and wiggle his butt for Sky to imitate him and dance as well.

Kinilabutan siya when he heard ladies, mommies, grandmas and yes gays as well shouting “Go Mr. Lim! Go!” which definitely is not pertaining to Sky.

“Sumayaw si Sky? Sumayaw ka Sweetheart?” She asked.

Walang imik si Ricky. Asar pa rin. And he doesn’t want to be teased.

Si Sky yun sumagot.

“Yes mommy! Daddy danced like this.” Then Sky showed how his daddy wiggled his butt. The kids were laughing as if finding it so funny. Maya had to hide her giggles kasi may atraso na naman siya kay Ricky and ayaw nyang mapikon pa lalo ito.

The drive home took longer than it normally should. The twins are now asleep. Hindi pa rin namamansin si Ricky so Maya had to use her ‘paglalambing approach’.

In a soft malambing voice (pawhisper na din para di magising yun twins) “Sorry na nga sweetheart. Di ko naman kasalanan na mag wee wee si Sunshine. Di ko naman kasalanan na di ko abutan yun dance number ni Sky.”

“Hmmm sinadya mo eh. Lagi ka namang ganyan. You want na pinapahamak ako.” He replied in also a soft, whispering voice na may tunog tampo pa rin.

“Hindi Sweetheart ha! Sorry na kasi. Smile ka na kasi.” She reached for his hand.

Napasmile na si Ricky.

He held her hand then kissed it.

“Ano pa nga ba. Okay na sige na! You’re forgiven!” Then he shook his head. Hindi nga naman fault ni Maya. And what’s more important is di na sya inabutan ni Maya dancing or else he wouldn’t hear the end of it.

“Talaga sweetheart? Yes! I love you talaga Mr. Lim. Ikaw talaga and best daddy and best hubby in the whole world.”

He glanced at her, now he’s smiling.

Humirit pa si Maya.

“Kaso sweetheart lugi ako. Di ko man lang nakita yun sayaw nyo. Wala man lang evidence.” Then she giggled.

“Wala! And I’m glad I wasn’t able to set-up the video kasi nataranta na ako kanina. At least di mo nakita at di mo maikukuwento sa bahay, kay Rafi, sa co-FAs mo at kina Nanay and Kute, and specially kina papa at mama. Nasa bahay pa naman sila ngayon.”

He was actually relieved na walang nakita si Maya. That’s the best consolation for him now. Okay lang na sumayaw sya. It’s for Sky anyway.

“Eh mamaya sa room pwede mong idemo?” last hirit ni Maya. She was just actually teasing.

“No! Never!” Then he was chuckling now. He’s very sure na Maya felt lugi not being able to see Sky and also him dance. He rarely dances kasi.

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

Dumating na sa mansyon.

They were met with jubilant faces. The twins ran to their grandma and grandpa for a hug.

“How was it?” It was Doña Esmeralda.

“Super successful ma! Ang gagaling ng mga bata!” Maya proudly answered.

Mukha nga. Aba ang galing ni Sunshine reciting her poem. Wala man lang mali and Sky danced his heart out. And you my son, I didn’t know you danced so well.”

Nanlaki yun singkit na mata ni Ricky.

Nagulat din si Maya.

“Napanood nyo po ma?” She asked.

“Yes my dear. We all watched dun sa entertainment room. Sa big screen.”

Nikki added “May nagvideo po kasi dun sa school and he uploaded the entire video kaya napanood namin agad. We downloaded it na po mommy.”

Pinagpawisan na si Ricky. He wouldn’t hear the end of it nga.

” ‘Go Mr. Lim Go!???’ My God son, those women at the audience were intently watching you and not Sky.” It was Don Roberto.

“Stop it pa!” He shook his head.

“Anak naman kasi. Imagine someone was even heard sa video saying that she wants to pinch your butt. My God!” Si Doña Esmeralda naman.

“Ma!!!”

Tawanan lahat.

“Heartthrob ka talaga Sir. Dinaig mo pa si Sir Luke!” Si Doris naman.

“Agree ako dyan. Mas maraming may crush kay dad kesa sakin.” Si Luke.

“Oh my gee daddy you are blushing!” Si Nikki.
They were all enjoying the spaghetti, chicken and barbecue prepared by Sabel and Manang Fe.

And yes they were also enjoying teasing Ricky.

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

Sa bedroom na. They are now lying in bed. Ricky was reading a book while Maya was giggling imagining something.

“What? Why are you smiling?”

“Wala! Natatawa este natutuwa lang ako. Sweetheart ang galing mong sumayaw!”

“Aren’t you done with that topic yet?”

“Hindi. At sang-ayon ako dun sa comment na gusto nilang ma pinch yun butt mo. Ang cute cute nyo kasing sumayaw ni Sky sweetheart! Ang cute cute ng mag-ama ko!” She giggled again.

“Eh kung ikaw kaya pinch ko sa sobrang mong kakulitan!” He teased.

Maya squealed. “Mas gusto ko yan sweetheart!”

And with that, the couple turned off the lights and danced their own kind of dance, malamang yun hindi bagay kay Sky. 😝

My Safe Refuge – 12

My Safe Refuge 12

Maya couldn’t sleep that evening. She couldn’t s stop from assuming things about Richard and Stephanie and it’s upsetting her. She knows she’s being unreasonable and irrational but she can’t help it.

She knows that she had no right over Richard because they are just friends. Though he already expressed what he felt for her, she couldn’t commit herself because of James. She can’t even tell Richard about James. Now she’s worried that she might lose him.

It’s ten in the evening and he’s still not calling her. He usually calls her and sends messages no matter how short and trivial they may be every night.

She’s wondering why he’s not texting her or calling her.

Her mind tells her that he is with Stephanie.

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

Richard went directly to Stephanie’s house to drop her off after bringing Luke home. Stephanie tried to invite him for coffee but he readily declined.

He arrived at his buildng a few minutes after. The deliveries for the hardware materials they ordered months ago just arrived and he needs to check the deliveries for quality and for accurate specifications.

He knows that it will be a very busy and long night for him and his employees. He asked Liza to just buy him sandwich for dinner.

He also sent a message to Maya as soon as he arrived at his office for her won’t be able to call her like he usually does every night.

“Hi Maya! I just arrived dito sa office. Buti naman walang traffic pero I’ll be busy kasi dumating na yun binanggit ko sa’yong deliveries ng hardware. I may not be able to call you later. Nagdinner na kayo? I’m having a tuna sandwich now. I’ll just talk to you tomorrow ha. Maingay kasi dito ngayon, di tayo magkakarinigan. Goodnight Maya. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

But that message didn’t reach her.

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

The following morning Richard noticed the dark circles around Maya’s eyes.

“Maya you lacked sleep last night? You seem tired and sleepy. Maraming kang online clients kagabi?” He asked her.

Of course he wasn’t aware that she lacked sleep worrying about him and Stephanie.

“Oo maraming clients.” She simply replied.

“Ah kaya pala you didn’t text me. Rest ka muna. Bumawi ka ng tulog. Magkakasakit ka nyan. Have you eaten breakfast?”

But her mind was so preoccupied to even answer him.

“I’m ready na po Tito Richard.” Luke interrupted his mom and Tito Richard. Richard didn’t wait for Maya’s reply anymore. He noticed that she was not her usual happy self that morning and assumed that she was really tired and that she needed rest.

“Bye mommy!”

“Maya mauna na kami ng mga bata. You better rest na muna. Later na lang kita tatawagan.”

“Bye po Tita Maya.” Nikki also shouted from their car.

“Bye Nikki! Bye anak! Behave kayong dalawa sa school ha!” She told the kids in her usual happy voice then faced Richard and again and in her lackluster voice “Bye Richard. Ingat kayo.”

He just let her be. Masungit si Maya and he didn’t want to add up to her annoyance.

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

On the way to school…

“Luke is your mom okay? She’s quiet this morning.”

The boy giggled. “Masungit po si mommy kanina. She didn’t even eat breakfast. May kagalit po ata.” Luke volunteered the information.

He knows that his mom only gets grumpy when she’s mad at him or when his Ate Leah doesn’t follow her instructions at home.

“Ganun ba? Maybe I should bring her favorite cake later para mapasmile ko sya.” Ricky suggested. He couldn’t help but imagine Maya’s smile whenever he surprises her with simple little things. He shook his head while trying to hide the smile on his face.

After bringing the kids to school, he proceeded to their favorite bakeshop to buy Maya’s favorite cake. He planned to just drop it at her place so that when she wakes up, she will be surprised with her favorite cake. He also bought pancakes for breakfast both for him and Maya and also some for Manang Fe and Leah.

Though he also lacked sleep last night, he is not tired. Any chance to be with Maya or even just have a glimpse of her is enough to keep him invigorated the entire day. He draws inspiration from her.

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

“Sir Richard naliligo pa po si Ate Maya. Pasok na po muna kayo sa loob.” It was Leah who opened the gate.

“Hindi na Leah. I’ll just wait for her dyan sa garden. Pero pakipasok mo na ang mga to.” He handed her the breakfast and cake he brought then proceeded to the garden bench where he sat and started to read the morning paper.

He was supposed to just leave what he bought but hearing that Maya is taking a bath meant that she has no plans of going back to bed.

He also wants to find out why she seemed upset. She might need someone to talk to.

“Ricky bumalik ka? May nakalimutan ba si Luke? Tinawagan mo na lang sana ako at pinahatid ko kay Leah.” A freshly showered Maya who is now wearing a cute printed shirt and a cream shorts which emphasized her curves, without the intent to do so, suddenly appeared behind him.

“Maya good morning again. Wala namang naiwan si Luke. Nagdala lang ako ng breakfast. Idadaan ko lang sana kasi akala ko natulog ka ulit. But when Leah said that you’re taking a bath, I decided to stay and wait for you. Breakfast tayo. I haven’t eaten yet eh.” He gave her his warm smile. Maya never fails to put a smile on his face.

“Kumain na ako Ricky atsaka naabala ka pa. You shouldn’t have. Alam ko na you have other more important things to do.” She retorted unable to mask the bitterness in her last sentence matched with her facial expression.

“Wait. Is there anything wrong na hindi ko alam? Bakit ganyan ang tono mo? You are upset. Is it something I did? Galit ka sakin?”

“Hindi! Hindi. Bakit naman ako magagalit. Teka kunin ko yun almusal.” She replied blandly and was about to leave when he stopped her. He held her arms to stop her from leaving.

“You’re mad. May I know why?” His voice was gentle encouraging her to tell him what’s on her mind.

“Wala naman nga. Atsaka ano naman karapatan ko para magalit sa’yo? Sino naman ako sa’yo para magkaroon ng karapatan na magalit?” She couldn’t stop herself from saying those words.

She was frustrated at herself, at her situation with James and she was afraid that she could lose the only person she wanted to be a part of her and her son’s life because of her unsettled issues.

“Hey hey! Will you calm down?” He held her shoulders and she tried to avoid eye contact with him.

“Kunin ko na yun almusal Ricky.” She was pleading for him to release his hold on her.

“Can you please look at me. Galit ka nga sakin eh. Tingnan mo nga ako.”

Now that she’s being cornered she decided to just act mad. It is better than be vulnerable and pitiful in front of him.

“Bitawan mo na nga ako Richard. Masakit ang ulo ko. Dito ka na muna at kukunin ko yun breakfast!” Then she slightly pushed his hands so she can get away from him.

She was about to leave when he softly said,

“I’m sorry Maya.”

She stopped but didn’t turn to face him.

“I’m sorry for whatever I did or didn’t do, I’m sorry for upsetting you, I’m sorry for making you mad, I’m sorry kahit di ko alam kung anong naging kasalanan ko. Please wag ka nang magalit sakin.”

She clenched her fists willing herself not to cry. She was trying her best not to cry. She’s been so irrational and also embarrassingly immature and she doesn’t want him to see this side of her.

When she didn’t move Richard went behind her and slowly held her shoulders again wanting her to face him.
In his soft voice. “What did i do ba? Inis ka sakin kaya ba hindi mo sinagot yun message ko kagabi?”

This agitated her. She faced him now.

“Anong message!!??? Kaya nga ako asar kasi hindi ka man lang magtxt o tumawag kagabi. Ni hindi mo sinabi kung nakauwi ka na or hindi. Alam ko namang busy ka kasi kasama mo yun Stephanie pero kahit isang text man lang…” She wasn’t able to control herself anymore that she raised her voice.

Richard was amused when she mentioned Stephanie but he didn’t show it. He thinks she jealous. But he wouldn’t want to mess with Maya who’s really mad right now.

“Maya I sent you a message last night pero di na ako tumawag kasi nga dumating yun deliveries sa hardware and I need to check them. Hindi mo natanggap?”

By she didn’t reply. She was already hates herself for the way she’s acting.

He retrieved his phone and showed his message. It must be a network problem that’s why the message didn’t reach her.

She calmed down but she refused to look at Richard.

“Hey wag ka nang magalit. Hindi ko naman kasalanan eh. It’s the network’s fault. Sa Globe ka magalit, wag sakin.” He joked intending to make her smile.

“Nakakainis ka. Nagbibiro ka pa.” Was all she could say.

“Atsaka bakit naman nasali yun Stephanie? And why did you assume na I was with her? Nakisabay lang yun sa sasakyan, nagtitipid kasi sa pamasahe.” he further joked.

“Tumigil ka nga. Sabi ni Luke you’re having fun with her.”

“Hmmm so you asked Luke about me? Interesado ka sa mga ginagawa ko? Nagseselos ka kay Stephanie?” He teased her.

“Kasi naman ikaw.” She was already blushing.

“Maya when I told you what I felt for you, I meant it. Kahit hindi mo pa kayang suklian yun, or kahit wala pa man akong asahan, I’m still willing to wait and prove that I have honest intentions. Mahal na mahal kita and I’ll prove that to you to the best way I can. I love you so much.”

“Ako rin naman eh.” She blurted

He was surprised by her casual remark.

“You love me too? So this means….?”

“Oo. Kung ano man iniisip mo at kung ano man ang gusto mo, yun na rin gusto ko. Teka kukunin ko na nga yun almusal.”

Maya left a very happy Richard who smiled from ear to ear despite Maya’s dispassionate way of expressing how she also felt for him.