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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.