Kwentong Maya & Ricky : Dance
The Lims were all huddled in front of the fireplace at their rented villa in Baguio.
Each were settled comfortably on cushioned chairs in front of the huge TV.
Abby and Maya sat beside each other with Abby’s head on Maya’s lap.
They were watching Nikki’s favorite movie, Notting Hill, which she brought with her. They couldn’t complain even if they have watched it many times already.
Luke was seated on the floor busy texting Nicolo.
Sabel and Doris were checking the photos they took while they roamed around Baguio.
Manang Fe was admiring the shawl she bought earlier that day.
Joma had his eyes fixed on the TV screen, trying his best to be interested in the chick flick watched by the family.
Richard was also seated by himself on the lone lazy boy seat at the living room.
The family arrived a little over an hour ago after spending the whole day visiting places all around Baguio.
They happily spent the entire day eating, taking pictures and simply enjoying each others company.
Luke and Nikki enjoyed eating various delicacies only found in Baguio.
Abby and Maya enjoyed eating strawberry taho.
Sabel, Doris, Joma and Manang Fe enjoyed buying pasalubongs like strawberry jams, ube, peanut brittle and wooden keychains at the downtown market. They also enjoyed rummaging the famous ukay ukay shops.
Richard enjoyed a lot too.
He enjoyed watching the happy faces of his kids and all the members of his household.
But what he enjoyed the most is of course, observing Maya.
He is thankful that the weather is sunny and it gave him an excuse to wear his Ray Bans.
He was able to watch Maya without being noticed.
He enjoyed watching every smile, smirk, lipbite, frown and giggle of Maya.
He even enjoyed watching her talk to Abby animatedly.
He loved watching her doe-shaped eyes which were full of emotion, love and concern whenever she talks to his kids.
He enjoyed watching her face beam with happiness when he allowed her and Abby to ride the horses at the Mines View Park.
“Ate Maya I’m bored. I have watched that movie many times already.” Abby suddenly complained.
“Baby gusto mo pasok na tayo sa room tapos basahan kita ng kwento?” Maya suggested.
“I don’t want po yaya. Nakakaantok po yun mga stories. I don’t want to sleep yet.”
“Naku baby gusto mo ibang movie na lang?” Nikki asked Abby too.
“Ate Nikki I want po an activity where everybody could join.”
“May idea ako baby. Why don’t we play spin the bottle ” Luke suggested.
“Hindi naman po yun fun eh.” Abby complained.
“I know na baby. Why don’t we just have a videoke session. Ayan sayang naman yun videoke machine na kasama dito sa house na rented ni dad.” Nikki also suggested. Actually they already enjoyed singing on the night they arrived in Baguio. Nikki who’s the best singer among the Lims loves singing.
“Oo nga Abby videoke na lang.” Sabel joined in.
“I don’t want po. Only yaya and Ate Nikki will enjoy singing.”
“Ay hindi na ako kakanta baby. Kayo na lang nina Ate Nikki and Kuya Luke mo at si daddy mo rin.” Maya said trying to convince Abby to agree with the videoke. She actually wanted to hear her Ser Chief sing.
Pero ayaw pa rin ni Abby. “I don’t want po yaya.”
“Baby do you want to play with your dolls?” Ricky asked.
“No daddy. I am bored. I want something where everyone can join.”
“Naku Ser Chief baka gusto ni Abby maglaro ng tagu-taguan o piko o kaya patintero.” Maya whispered to Ser Chief who was seated near her and Abby. She got worried. They couldn’t play those games anymore kasi gabi na and they were all tired from their busy day.
“Baby we could play tomorrow morning but right now we should rest because we had a tiring day kanina.” Ricky explained to Abby.
“Hindi ko naman po gusto magplay ng mga sinabi ni yaya. Gusto ko po na magdance kayo?”
“Dance baby?” Ricky asked.
“Baby its weird to dance naman. Wala namang occasion and we will look silly dancing.” Nikki was trying change Abby’s mind.
“But I want to see you all dancing. I want to see Daddy, Kuya Luke, Ate Nikki, Ate Doris, Ate Sabel, Manang Fe, Kuya Joma and yaya dancing.”
“Baby…” Ricky was about to refuse but he saw Abby’s disappointed face.
Luke saw it too and suggested something else. “Alam ko na. Para wag nang malungkot si Abby at para magenjoy rin tayo, maglaro na lang tayo ng newspaper dance.”
“That would be super duper fun! You’re really a genius kuya!” Nikki exaggeratedly squealed while hugging her kuya.
“Ano ba Niks! Ang oa mo! Ano game ba lahat? Kuya Joma paki-set up na po. O find your partners na.”
Dali dali si Maya umakap kay Abby. Of course si Abby ang partner nya.
But Abby refused. “Yaya i wont join po. I will be the one to stop the music.”
“Naku Ate Maya, hanap ka na lang ng ibang partner.” Luke suggested.
Naalert at naexcite si Ser Chief.
Pero quick ang Maya. She immediately went beside Joma. “Kuya Joma partner tayo ha!” Mahirap na. Baka himatayin siya sa kilig if she gets paired with her crush.
“Oo naman Maya. Walang problema.” Joma easily agreed.
Naningkit ang eyes ni Ser Chief. Correction – mas naningkit ang eyes niya. He glanced at Maya who was avoiding his gaze.
So the pairs were Nikki and Luke, Manang Fe and Doris, Joma and Maya which leaves Sabel and Ricky without partners yet.
Excited si Sabel. “Naku partner ko si Ser Richard!”
“What? No!” Richard protested in a very loud voice.
“Ay grabe ka talaga Ser Richard. Parang ayaw na ayaw mo man lang makipagpartner sa akin.” Sabel jokingly said.
“You are heavy Sabel. Mamaya kapag I need to carry you baka malumpo ako.” He was serious and he could really be frank sometimes.
“Grabe Ser Richard lumpo agad? Hindi ba pwedeng pilay lang?”
Everybody was laughing except Richard who really wanted to dance with Maya. Sayang naman yun opportunity so naaasar talaga siya. He’s also annoyed at Maya for wanting to dance with Joma instead of him.
Manang Fe, who had been observing him and Maya for the past few weeks already knows what to do. “Ganito na lang para makapag-umpisa na tayo. Sabel kayo na ni Doris ang magkapareha. Joma tayong dalawa na lang at ikaw Maya doon ka kay Ricardo. Maliit at magaan ka. Kayang kaya ka nyang buhatin.” She said with finality.
Maya had no choice but to follow. Mas mahahalata siya kapag nag – inarte siya.
The mood of Richard suddenly changed. He now smiled again. Excited. Kilig.
“You were avoiding me kanina.” He whispered when Maya was infront of him.
“Hindi Ser Chief ha!” She whispered back.
“Yes you were.”
“Hindi nga Ser Chief ang kulit. Tahimik ka na. Maguumpisa na yun music.”
So the newspaper dance started.
On the third fold, Manang Fe and Joma, were eliminated. On the fourth fold, Doris and Sabel lost balance so they were eliminated. Maya was stepping on Richard’s right foot which was really strong that’s why they survived the round. On the fifth fold, Luke and Nikki got eliminated as well because Nikki got ticklish when Luke carried her.
Richard easily carried the blushing Maya.
He carried a few more seconds than necessary, even when they were already announced as winners.
Richard enjoyed having her in his arms again.
He already had the opportunity to carry Maya when she fainted a few months ago. He wasn’t smitten with her that time yet. In fact he was annoyed at Maya’s personality that time. For him she was maingay, madaldal, sumasabat kapag hindi kinakausap, bilib na bilib sa sarili. But that was before. He now found all these traits endearing.
“Dad pwede nyo na pong ibaba si Ate Maya.” Nikki commented after noticing that her dad was still carrying Maya.
Nahiya si Ser Chief and Maya covered her face to hide her blush.
“Pwede na palang ibaba?” Palusot ni Ser Chief.
“Naku si Dad pinapakita talaga na malakas sya. We get it po dad. You are strong na po. Ibaba nyo na si Ate Maya at kawawa naman.” Luke saved them again.
“Nakakainggit naman si Maya!!! Ser Richard kami din!”
Richard just laughed while Maya busied herself with Abby to calm her nerves.
They stole glances at each other which made both of them giddy.
The family spent more time chatting over mugs of hot chocolate and Lengua de Gato which they bought in Good Shepherd before they retired for the night.
Inside their respective rooms, Doris, Sabel, Joma and Manang Fe were already sound asleep while Maya was still wide awake replaying the activities of the day and most especially the newspaper dance.
Di sya makaget-over na binuhat siya ni Ser Chief nya. She could still remember his soft hands. She could still feel his strong arms scooping her effortlessly. She could still smell him. She got goosebumps just imaging it.
The all of a sudden her cellphone beeped…
“Maya are you still awake?”
“Gising pa ako Ser Chief. Nagpapaantok pa. May papagawa ka po?”
“Tulog na yun mga bata. I still can’t sleep. Can you accompany me muna?”
“Sige na Maya. Nandito ako sa veranda. I made two cups of coffee. Wala namang iinom nito. Sayang naman.”
He purposely made two cups so Maya can’t refuse his invitation for her to join him.
“Ah eh… sige po Ser Chief. Saglit lang po.”
Maya hurriedly wore a sweater above her jammies for the weather is really chilly outside their room.
She found him seated at the sofa in the living room listening to some soft music.
“Ser Chief akala ko nandun kayo sa veranda.”
“I decided to stay here. Ang lamig dun.” He smiled. “Maya sit beside me. Here’s your coffee.”
She tried her best to act normal and followed what Ser Chief told her. She sat beside him. Wala naman kasing ibang upuan because mukhang sinadya ni Ricky na lagyan ng mga bags of pasalubong yung ibang seats. She also got the coffee he was handing her.
“Salamat Ser Chief.”
“Taste it. Masarap yan. Thrice ako nag try magtimpla and that one tastes perfect.” he proudly told her.
She sipped her coffee and smiled. “Masarap nga Ser Chief. Salamat ha.”
He smiled. Then he moved a little closer to her pero not naman that close. Gentleman si Ser Chief eh. “Did you enjoy kanina?”
“Oo naman po Ser Chief kaso hindi nyo naman ako kailangan buhatin pa. Hindi naman natin kailangan manalo dun eh.”
“Not the dance, I mean yun pamamasyal natin around Baguio. ”
She silently scolded herself. “Naku Maya assumera ka na naman. Umayos ka nga. Nahahalata na di mawala sa isip mo yun sayaw eh yun pamamasyal pala yun sinasabi nya. Nakakahiya ka.”
He noticed her. “Are you okay?”
“Ay o..opo Ser Chief. At nagenjoy po ako sa pamamasyal kanina.” Aligaga na sya.
“How many times do I have to tell you that you don’t have to use po at opo kapag kausap mo ako.”
“Sorry po… ibig kong sabihin sorry Ser Chief.”
“Pero do you mean it? Naenjoy mo yun sayaw kanina?”
Lagot she actually admitted that she enjoyed the dance so di na nya pwedeng ideny.
“Oo naman Ser Chief kasi napasaya natin si Abby.” Whew palusot!
“Oh well yes. Abby did enjoy watching us pero of course I enjoyed kasi i was able to dance with you.”
“Wag ka nga Ser Chief.”
“What’s wrong with wanting to dance with my crush? Bakit ayaw mo bang kasayaw ako? Is that why you chose Joma kanina?” He sounded hurt.
“Hindi Ser Chief. Nakakahiya lang na nandun yun mga bata, sina Manang Fe…”
“Maya there’s nothing wrong with that. Atsaka iba naman tayo eh. And I’m sure Manang Fe, Doris, Sabel, Joma and even the kids already know that I have a certain fondness of you.”
“Ser Chief nakakaalangan pa rin at nakakahiya. Nasasabi mo lang na okay kasi kayo yan eh. Iba naman yun sitwasyon ko.”
“Maya we’re just starting to know each other in a deeper level. Normal lang naman yun mga ginagawa natin because we are also friends. I would never put you in an awkward situation kahit na alam kong crush mo ako at alam mo rin na crush kita. Just trust me.”
“Ser Chief kasi hindi naman ako sanay sa ganito eh.”
“Ako rin naman. I’m new to all of these. It’s my first time to feel kilig just by being with someone.”
“Ser Chief naman eh. Hindi naman ako handa sa mga pinagsasabi mo. Iba na lang pag-usapan natin.” She complained. Di na nya keri yun pagpapakilig ni Ser Chief nya.
“Well i can’t think of any topic.”
“Matulog na lang kaya tayo.” She suggested.
“No. I’m not sleepy yet. Dito na muna tayo. We can just listen to the music. It’s my favorite.”
They were listening to Michael Buble’s version of “The Way You Look Tonight.
“Ser Chief favorite din po yan ni nanay at tatay. Sinayaw nila yan dati nung mga bata pa kami pero yun version naman ni Frank Sinatra. Kaso nawala na yun kasayaw ni nanay so malamang kami na lang ni Kute at ni Cho ang magsasayaw kasama siya.”
Then her face suddenly turned sad. She missed her father.
Ricky saw it and was quick to ask her to dance. He wanted her to forget about the pain of losing her father even for just a few minutes.
She stood up and allowed herself to be engulfed in his arms for the dance.
“Maya from now on, i will be your forever dancing partner. Always remember that.”
What he said may have a deeper meaning for both of them but at that moment, Maya just wanted to be comforted by his embrace as they were swaying to the soft music while trying to calm both their hearts.
Tearin’ my fear apart
And that laugh, wrinkles your nose
Touches my foolish heart
Keep that breathless charm
Won’t you please arrange it?
‘Cause I love you
A-just the way you look tonight
And with that single dance, Maya and Ser Chief knew that they could really draw strength and seek comfort from each other.
Yes these crushmates have gone a long way.