The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya & Rafi : Pageant Trouble
“Rafi what will I do there?” Richard Lim was talking to his best friend Rafi on the phone. He didn’t notice that his wife was already inside his home office as he was so busy turning down Rafi’s request.
“Chard naman eh. Sige na. Si Hon kasi can’t sing eh. May sore throat siya and he already committed himself to serenade the candidates of the Daragang Magayon beauty pageant. Ikaw na lang kumanta sa kanila. Two songs lang naman. Sige na Chard.”
“Rafi I’m busy with LAI atsaka may mga new instructors kami for interview. I have to personally talk to them. Ang kulit mo naman. Sabi ko nang hindi ako pwede.”
Maya carefully sat on Ricky’s cushioned chair. She’s amused watching him running his hand thru his hair, trying his best to say no to Rafi. Maya knows how persistent Rafi is and she couldn’t help but smile at her husband’s dilemma.
“So you really won’t help me? Kahit mapahiya si Richard ko kasi hindi siya makakapunta sa commitment nya? Kakayanin ng kunsyensya mo yun?”
“Hey don’t blackmail me with that Rafi. That’s not gonna work. Humanap na lang kayo ng ibang pwedeng kumanta. And please stop bullying your poor husband. Kaya siya nagkakasakit because you always make him miserable.” Then he laughed.
“Ewan ko sa’yo Chard. Bahala ka na nga.” Then Rafi ended the call. Ricky was still laughing. He felt so good having been able to successfully decline Rafi’s request. It felt good because he hardly escapes Rafi’s pangungulit.
He was still so proud of himself. He felt so good then he turned around only to find Maya staring angrily at him, with brows furrowed and lips in a thin line.
Now he’s in trouble. “Sweetheart kanina ka pa?” He said in a soft guilty voice. He knows Maya hates it when he treats Rafi rudely though it’s really how they were even before she became Richard’s wife.
She’s obviously infuriated.
“Ano yun narinig ko? Tuwang tuwa at tawang tawa ka pa na may sakit yun asawa ni Rafi?”
“Ah… eh… no. Hindi yun yun tinatawanan ko. We were just…”
“Nakakainis ka. How could you? Nakikiusap na sa’yo yun tao kasi may sakit yun asawa nya tapos hindi mo na nga pinagbigyan aba pagtatawanan mo pa.”
But she continued to angrily stare at him which prompted him to dial Rafi’s number.
“O ano naman Richard Lim?” Rafi said the moment she answered his call.
“Okay Rafi. I will do it.”
The moment he ended the call, he glanced at his wife and was relieved to see her smiling and giving him her ‘im-so-proud-of-my-husband look’.
“Okay ka na sweetheart?” He asked making sure that he’s now forgiven.
“Okay na okay!” she said as she went to him for an embrace and a kiss which made him pause and close his office door for that kind of kiss would definitely lead to something else.
“Maya!” Rafi surprised her with a visit at her Time Airways office.
“Rafi anong ginagawa mo dito? Wala kang pasok?”
“I have work but I really want to bring you this. Niluto ko yan with of course my husband’s help. Gusto lang kasi naming magpasalamat for helping me convince Chard to take my husband’s place dun sa event next week.”
“Naku Rafi wala yun. Ano ka ba! We are always here for you ni husband mo. Atsaka si Ricky binibiro ka lang nun. Papayag naman talaga siya.”
“Yeah right. Naku Maya wag mo nang pagtakpan si Chard. Ayaw naman talaga nun. Alam ko naman that you were the one who convinced him. Nahihiya tuloy ako. He will be interviewing LAI applicants pa mandin. Babawi na lang ako promise.”
“Rafi ano ka ba! Walang problema yun kasi I will take Ricky’s place. I will be the one to interview the applicants.”
“Mabuti naman kundi lagot ako kay Chard. Naku thank you talaga Maya. You’ve always been a lifesaver to me and my husband.”
“Kumusta na pala siya?”
“Okay naman na kaso he still can’t sing. Pinagbawalan muna ng doctor. He was so worried kasi wala nga kaming makuhang papalit sa kanya in serenading the candidates. Si Chard lang naman talaga ang pwede kasi same ang genre ng songs nila and secret lang at wag nating aminin sa kanilang dalawa ha Maya, sila lang naman ang super gwapo at bagay sa mga ganung events. I’m sure the ladies there would be so kilig.”
Rafi was giddily imagining her husband and her best friend and yes the girls would definitely be so kilig to be serenaded by Richard Lim.
Maya was surprised. She wasn’t aware that it’s a beauty pageant. She thought Ricky would be singing in a corporate event because Rafi’s husband frequents corporate shows.
She could imagine what Rafi said and she hates the idea of Ricky serenading beautiful ladies.
“Maya okay ka lang?” Rafi immediately noticed the change in her mood.
“Ah eh oo.” Then she paused and asked Rafi, “ Rafi serenade? Saan ba yan?”
“Hindi nakuwento ni Chard? Maya he will be singing at the Daragang Magayon Pageant. He will serenade the candidates.”
“May problema ba?”
“Ah eh wala naman Rafi pero…”
“Oh you’re worried that Chard will be surrounded by more than a dozen lovely ladies? Maya your husband would never…”
“Rafi hindi yun. May tiwala naman ako kay Ricky. Yun mga babae lang yun wala akong tiwala.”
Natawa si Rafi. She knows how jealous Maya gets whenever ladies would be overly friendly towards her husband.
“Samahan mo na lang si Chard para wala kang problema atsaka para makaunwind naman kayo. You can leave the kids with me kasi wala naman akong work then.” Rafi suggested.
“Nakakahiya naman yun Rafi. Atsaka dapat kung pumunta ako dun eh may role ako.”
“Alam ko na. I can ask my friend, who organized the event, to make you a judge tutal you’ve been exposed to lovely flight attendants naman whom you train di ba? You are very much qualified to be a judge.”
“Oo naman. Sige I’ll talk to them then tawagan agad kita.”
“Thank you Rafi!”
“I should be the one thanking you Maya. Halika na let’s eat at lalamig na yang dala ko.”
Richard and Maya just arrived from work and the invitation for the pageant and the plane tickets had been delivered by Rafi earlier that day. It was handed to him by Manang Fe.
He was reviewing it and was surprised to see Maya’s name as one of the judges. “Kasama ka din sweetheart?”
“Oo eh. Si Rafi kasi…”
But he already hugged her. “Shhhhh wag ka nang magpalusot. Just say that you want to be there kasi maraming magaganda dun. Nagseselos ka lang eh.”
“Uy hindi ah! Ang yabang mo sweetheart! Hindi talaga!”
“Hindi no! Gusto ko lang pagbigyan si Rafi. Wala naman sa’kin yun ah!”
“Defensive! Ayaw mo lang akong ishare sa iba eh.”
“Ang yabang mo Ricky ha! Nakakainis ka!”
“Hep hep baka kung saan na naman yan mapunta ha Maya! Ricardo! Magkakapikunan na naman kayo tapos magtatampuhan tapos hindi kakainin ng dinner at magkukulong sa kwarto ng buong araw kinabukasan. Tigilan nyo na yan. Maliliit pa yun kambal!”
“Manang Fe!” Namumula si Maya, while Ricky had his goofy grin.
“Ano? Kayong dalawa alam na alam ko na yun mga pinagagawa nyo. Lalo na ikaw Ricardo. Naku makapasok na nga sa kusina.”
Manang Fe left them elbowing each other, blaming each other kasi napagalitan tuloy sila ni Manang Fe.
It was the much awaited Coronation Night and Maya was fixing her husband’s coat backstage.
“Sweetheart kinakabahan ako. What if I jumble my lyrics? What if masintunado ako?”
“At bakit ka naman masisintunado at magkakamali sa lyrics?”
“Siyempre ang gaganda kaya ng kakantahan ko. I’ll surely get distracted.” He teased which earned him Maya’s angry stare and a pinch at his side.
“Ouch! Biro lang sweetheart! Of course I might get distracted kasi I’ll be performing in front of you.”
“Yes Mrs. Lim!”
Then he kissed her just in time before she was introduced onstage as one of the pageant’s judges.
The lovely candidates were now parading their evening gowns while being serenaded by Richard Lim.
Maya can’t help but feel so proud of her husband. Unmindful of some flats in his song, she had her eyes focused on Ricky who she considered the best singer in the whole world (hehe!). She also felt giddy whenever he glances her way. They would exchange silent messages through their stares and smiles.
In the middle of the song though, Ricky sang a little longer to a particular candidate, candidate number 8. Maya easily noticed it and couldn’t help but get slightly annoyed. She made a mental note to observe candidate number 8.
The pageant successfully ended with Candidate #7 being crowned as Daragang Magayon 2017 and Candidate #6 being the first runner-up.
They were on their way to the hotel and Rafi was on the phone with Ricky. Maya was just listening to her husband while her head was leaning on his shoulder. She couldn’t hear Rafi though.
“Oh my God Chard ang galing mo kanina. I was watching the livestream and admittedly, you did great!” Rafi was praising her best friend.”
“Yeah right Rafi! You’re just saying that kasi napasubo ako sa’yo. My hands were so cold up there sa stage kanina. I thought hihimatayin ako.”
“Hindi naman halata na kinabahan ka. You were even confidently sintunado up there.” Rafi giggled.
“Biro lang Chard! Oh well kahit naman nasintunado ka it went unnoticed naman kasi the audience were all staring at you.”
“Because they find me handsome.” Ricky proudly said.
“Ewan ko ba? Bulag ata yun mga tao dun just like your wife.”
“Rafi one more and I would never do you a favor even if you beg in the future.” Pikon na siya and Maya was amused to see him pikon.
“Oh that’s a strong statement. Pero seriously Chard, thank you talaga. Successful yun pageant and you guys contributed a lot to its success.”
“Yeah fortunately everything went on smoothly. The people were also very warm and accommodating. Kung wala lang kaming pasok, I would have preferred to stay longer. Marami palang magagandang lugar dito”
“Maybe next time you could plan a vacation with the kids. O teka pala, I was just curious bakit hindi nakapasok yun candidate #8. I was actually rooting for her.”
“Actually ako rin. She was stunning and she did well in her question and answer as well. She’s a very charming lady.” Richard carelessly blurted out, forgetting that he would definitely get in trouble with his wife.
“Charming mo dyan Ricardo! Lagot ka kay Maya kapag narinig ka. Where is she ba?”
He automatically glanced at his wife who’s still leaning on his shoulder but whose eyebrows are now furrowed.
When he didn’t answer, Rafi continued, “Alam mo nahalata kita dun sa pag-serenade mo sa candidates. You stayed a little longer kay number 8. Kaya ata hindi nanalo kasi minalas sa pagkanta mo.” Then Rafi giggled again but the giggles didn’t last long for realization hit her. “Oh my God Chard! Hindi nanalo si Candidate #8 because Maya didn’t let her win. Ikaw kasi kinantahan mo nang matagal. Lagot ka Chard. It’s your fault she didn’t win. I heard that she’s the favorite candidate dyan. Lagot ka. Pinaselos mo kasi si Maya, ayun tuloy hindi nanalo si #8” Rafi further teased.
“You’re ridiculous Rafi! I don’t think that even happened!” he glanced at his wife again while saying this but of course her face is hidden from him. He was not aware that Maya is turning into a tigress.
“Bahala ka pero ako alam ko that you were obviously interested dun kay 8. If nahalata ko malamang si Maya rin.”
“I am not!” he said in a loud voice which made Maya remove her head from his shoulder and lean on the car window instead.
“Sige na Chard. Goodnight! Thank you again and goodluck sa pagsuyo kay Maya.” Rafi was laughing now and she ended the call before Ricky could even answer back.
He ended the call and gave his wife a nervous, guilty look. Rafi was right, he found candidate number 8 pretty but that’s just it. He’s a normal guy who admires beauty after all. Oh well maybe Rafi’s observation about Maya isn’t true at all. His friend has this way of making him feel guilty but he should act normal. He smiled at Maya who was just blankly staring at him.
“Sweetheart what’s wrong?”
“Ang lakas ng boses mo. Masakit sa ulo.” But she already looked angry while saying this.
“Sorry. Si Rafi kasi. She was insisting that…”He paused because he realized that what Rafi said may be true after seeing Maya’s reaction.
“Insisting what?” Nakataas na yun eyebrows ni Maya.
“Sweetheart naman eh. Nakakatakot ang hitsura mo. Are you mad?”
“Takot ka? Guilty ka?”
“Yes. No! I mean yes natatakot ako sa hitsura mo. You look like the volcano here, yun Mayon. You look like sasabog sa galit. But no I’m not guilty of anything. What would I be guilty of ba?” He smiled sweetly at her and tried to reach for her but Maya just ignored his attempt for a hug.
“Eh ano nga yun iniinsist ni Rafi?” She asked again so he had no choice but to tell her.
“Kasi sweetheart Rafi was insisting that I paid extra attention dun sa candidate number 8 kaya she didn’t win. Rafi was insinuating that naasar ka sakin kaya ayun hindi tuloy nanalo yun number 8. Isn’t Rafi ridiculous?” He was grinning but he abruptly stopped when he saw Maya’s reaction.
“Mabuti pa si Rafi napansin niya.”
“Oh God! Sweetheart so totoo nga?”
“Ricardo tig two seconds lang yun ibang candidates pero dun sa kanya you lingered for six seconds! You were staring at her for six seconds!”
“Siguro attracted ka sa kanya no? Siguro you want to get to know her better.”
“Of course not! Hindi naman siya kagandahan. She looked plain and…” palusot ni Ricky.
“Eh bakit ang tagal mo sa kanya?”
Lagot! Buti na lang smart si Ricky. “Ah eh… I’m Chinese sweetheart remember? I stayed a little longer dun kay number 8 kasi lucky yun number 8 sa mga Chinese. Yun lang yun. It’s the number not the candidate.”
“Talaga?” Maya is aware that nagpapalusot lang si Ricky and she actually finds him adorable when he acts scared of her. She just loves it kapag sinusuyo siya ni Ricky.
“Yes! Yun lang yun. Alam mo naman that you’re the only apple of my eye and I could never and would never stare at anyone else like the way I do to you.”
“Hmmm nagpapalusot ka lang eh.” But Maya was now smiling and allowing herself to be engulfed in her husband’s embrace.
“No of course not. You want mamaya sa hotel room I’ll spend the entire night staring at you?” Ricky suggested in his overly sweet voice.
Of course Maya naughtily quipped as well. “Stare lang?”
Ricky chuckled. “Of course stare and a lot more Mrs. Lim.”
Then they comforted each other with their tight hugs and occasional kisses unmindful of the hotel driver who couldn’t contain his kilig as well.