Anywhere The Heart Goes

Anywhere The Heart Goes by Henry Mancini is one of my most-loved piano pieces. It is also known as Thorn Bird’s ‘Meggie’s Theme’.

 

Coincidentally, Jose Mari Chan has his own version too. I always think of bcwmh, jochard when i see or hear JMC. It’s just like they also have this great chemistry – the singer JMC and the actors JSM and RY.

So here’s Anywhere The Heart Goes by Jose Mari Chan.

 

 

One Fine Day – 7

One Fine Day – 7

The soccer game went on with Richard cheering Sunshine while Jeff and Maya were cheering Sky.

Richard couldn’t help himself from stealing glances at the couple.

Maya would smile at him when their eyes accidentally meet.

He just smiled and berated himself at how he was reacting. He was even convincing himself that he couldn’t possibly be interested in Maya dela Rosa. She was not the type of woman he hangs out with or even date.  He’s been surrounded by models, beauty queens, sophisticated women but never someone like the uptight and control freak mom of his daughter’s classmate. Oh well he admitted too that she’s very lovely and interesting… but still not his type.

After the game ended, the kids were holding on to their little trophies proudly. Maya was wiping Sky’s arms and face. He was all sweaty and muddy from playing. Jeff was busily talking to another parent.

Richard was trying so hard but miserably failing to fix Sunshine’s hair. They were near Maya and Sky.

“Need a help with that Mr. Lim?” Maya offered.

“Ah no Ms. Dela Rosa. I got this.”  He declined. He didn’t want to bother her especially when her ex-husband is around.

But she insisted and before he could protest some more, she got her hairbrush from her bag and proceeded to fix Sunshine’s hair. “Eh ang gulo pa rin ng hair ni Sunshine. Hindi mo ata talent yan. Let me.”

He wasn’t able to say anything anymore to her so he just talked to Sky. “You were great out there little buddy. Your mommy and daddy is very proud of you.”

Sky gave him his proud, beaming smile.

“Sunshine is very good din. You run so fast Sunshine. Daddy is also so proud of you.” Maya also commented and Sunshine was smiling as well.

“O yan Mr. Lim maayos na ang hair ni Sunshine.”

“Thank you Ms. Dela Rosa.”

“Thank you din Mr. Lim sa lahat ng tulong mo today.” She was sincerely thankful to him for saving her day.

“Don’t mention it. It’s my fault anyway that the kids weren’t able to go on their fieldtip.”

“Kasalanan natin pareho. Pero I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thankful pa rin ako that di sila nakasama because I got to bond with my son na bihira ko magawa.” She told him.

He smiled at her.

Then she added, “I also had a chance to bond with Sunshine, and of course you.” She said the last word in a whisper but h heard it and oh boy it sent shivers to his whole body.

“Me too, I enjoyed today. It’s been a fine day for the four of us.” He was already affected by their conversation so he turned a bit serious.

“It’s more than just a fine day Mr. Lim. It’s a great day!”

“I agree.”

“We have to go ahead. Thank you ulit. See you around. In PTA meetings maybe?”

“Yes ill try to be more active in those, if only to see you.” Then he winked at her.

“Palabiro ka talaga Mr. Lim. Sige na bye bye na. Bye Sunshine. See you in school next week.”

After saying goodbyes, Maya dela Rosa together with her son and her ex-husband exited the soccer field of CSR. Richard couldn’t remove his eyes from their retreating forms.

“Daddy let’s go.” Sunshine was tugging his hand already.

“Okay Princess. Let’s go home now.”

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

Inside the cab on their way home, Maya had been playing the events of the day over and over again and she can’t help but smile as she remembered her simple banters with Richard Lim. She’s not even concerned that the cab she hired is not moving at all due to the traffic. She was grinning foolishly as she remembered what transpired today.

“Mommy why are you smiling?” Sky innocently asked.

She lovingly gazed at her son. “Mommy is just happy Sky. I am so proud of you. You did great in the soccer game. Mommy is also proud because you didn’t give Tito Richard a hard time.”

“I like Tito Richard mommy. He is funny and cool. He played with us at the park and he carried me when I got tired.”

“I like him too Sky. He seems like a great dad.”

“He is mommy. Sunshine said she loves her daddy so much.”

They both smiled in agreement.

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

Richard already prepared Sunshine for bed. He bathed her and brushed her teeth and changed her pajamas. He even fixed her bed and had Gus waiting for Sunshine.

He carried the squealing little girl who’s having fun with her daddy’s tickles and kisses.

“Enough daddy! Enough!  I have to sleep now.” Sunshine begged in between her laughter.

“Okay daddy will stop. Kiss daddy goodnight.”

The little girl kissed him and added, “Goodnight daddy. Thank you for today. You are the best daddy in the whole world.”

“And you are the best for me, my Princess.” He smiled then kissed his daughter’s forehead before dimming her lampshade.

As he was about to leave her room…

“I think Sky’s mom likes you daddy.”

He stopped then approached his daughter again, “She said that?”

“It is so obvious daddy. She asked about you.”

“What about?”

“Your work daddy.”

“And what did you tell her?”

“I told her that you fix things daddy and that you even fix hearts.”

“I do what?” His chinky eyes turned wide at what he heard.

The little girl giggled. “Mommy said you are also busy fixing hearts so I told tita Maya that.”

“Princess that’s supposed to be a joke. Tita Maya might think that I date a lot of girls. You shouldn’t have said that.”

“Good night daddy. I am sleepy now.

“Okay Goodnight Princess.

As he closed his daughter’s door, his thoughts drifted to Maya dela Rosa.

Now he’s worried of what she thinks of him, not that it mattered to him…

…oh well, yes it mattered. They got along well already and she even forgave him for the field trip incident.

He didn’t want to end the day with her thinking negatively of him after what Sunshine said.

So without even thinking twice, he went back to his daughter’s room.

“Sunshine let’s go visit Sky’s place.”

“Now daddy???”

“Yes Princess. I need to talk to your Tita Maya now.”

“You’ll ask her if she likes you?”

“Yes! Ah no!” He was excited that he even got confused. “I will ask her about something else.”

“Okay daddy if you say so.”

Then the father and daughter quietly left their unit to pay a surprise visit to Maya and Sky.

Richard didn’t want to end the day without clearing things with her.

It’s already 9 in the evening but he knows she wouldn’t mind.

He’s sure that Maya already knows that he’s a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy.

 

 

 

 

One Fine Day – 6

One Fine Day – 6

“Are you done eating?” Richard asked Maya.

“Oo tapos na. Wait lang aayusin ko lang muna etong mga gamit namin ni Sky.” She just finished the sandwich and juice which was supposed to be Sky’s food at the field trip and was now fixing everything in the small lunch box.

He was observing her with an amused expression on his face.

“O bakit ganyan ka makatingin? May dumi ba ako sa mukha Mr. Lim?”

“Wala naman. Nakakaaliw lang kasi very orderly kahit paglagay mo nang empty bottles at sandwich bags. Wala nang laman yan. You could just throw everything inside. You’re such a control freak.”

She was even folding the used napkins after wiping the juice bottle.

“Mr. Lim maayos lang akong tao. I want everything orderly, neat and clean.”

“It’s boring that way Ms. Dela Rosa. You’re wasting precious time trying to keep insignificant things in order.”

“Mr. Lim hindi insignificant  to! I got used to it already kaya maayos akong tao.”

“Naku kawawa ang magiging boyfriend or even manliligaw mo. Do you have any suitors?”

“Mr. Lim that’s a waste of time. Sky is enough for me. I don’t need to complicate my life. I don’t have time for that.”

“That’s because of your Captain Hook complex.”

“My what?”

“Your Captain Hook complex.”

“There’s no such thing!”

“Yes, there is and you have it. At hindi ka magkakaroon ng suitors because of it.” Then he stood up grinning at her.

She stood up as well pretending to act pikon though she’s actually enjoying their banters already.

He glanced at her and gave her his smile.

His be-dimpled smile caught her off guard. She wasn’t prepared for its effect on her. Her heart was beating fast all of a sudden and she had nothing to say as if she was in a trance.”

“Mommy! Mommy!”

She didn’t even hear her son calling her.

“Ms dela Rosa I think Sky needs something.”

“Ah… eh… oo nga… yes baby?” Then she proceeded to Sky, thankful to be distracted from what just happened. She is sure that she was blushing already.

Richard Lim just shook his head and smiled. He is sure of his effect on her but he’s already used to ladies admiring his good looks. It was no big deal but he surely felt proud and happy with it.

Then his phone suddenly rang.

It was his secretary Liza calling about a document he needed to sign.

“What? Can’t you ask just someone to sign it for me?”

He ended the call. He was visibly upset.

“May problema Mr. Lim?”

“Ah may nangungulit lang.”

“Kung may kailangan kang puntahan go ahead. Ako naman ang bahala sa mga bata.”

“No wag na. They’re both a handful. Mahihirapan ka.”

“Mr. Lim kinaya mo nga kanina. I’m sure kakayanin ko naman. Sige na. Baka importante yan.”

“Are you sure?”

“Oo naman!”

“Bibilisan ko lang. Promise. I’ll be back in 20 minutes. Let’s just meet here.”

“Okay lang. Gawin mo na kung ano man ang gagawin mo. Baka mapagalitan ka sa work mo.” She was really concerned.

“Okay then. Thank you Ms. Dela Rosa.”

She just nodded her head and smiled. Then as he was about to leave she called him. “Do you have any instructions? May bawal ba kay Sunshine?”

He turned to face her again. “Wala naman. I completely trust you.” He again smiled then left.

Since they don’t have anything else to do, she suggested for the kids to have ice cream which they happily agreed to. There was a small ice cream shop near the park.

Sunshine had a strawberry ice cream while Sky had cookies and cream ice cream as his mom didn’t approve of his request to have the chocolate ice cream. Maya had ube for herself.

 

The kids were happily telling her stories about the puppets at the daycare, about their lunch a while ago and about their stroll at the park. They were even sharing their ice cream with each other.

“Sunshine, where does your daddy work?” She wanted to fish some information on Richard.

“My daddy works at a big building Tita Maya.”

“What is his work?”

“Daddy fixes things at the talyer.” The LAS engineers calls the hangar ‘talyer’ as their inside joke. They also call each other mekaniko.

“Oh you’re daddy fixes things.” Maya was surprised to find out where Richard Lim works. He looked so neat for a mechanic, if he is indeed one.

“Yes po. He could fix my bike, grandpa’s car, his motorcycle and he could fix an airplane. Daddy could fix everything he told me.”

Maya smiled at what Sunshine said. “He told you that?”

“Yes po. He even said, he could fix everything that is broken, even a broken heart.”

She now laughed and shook his head. She found his sense of humor endearing even when it was told by his daughter.

“So is your daddy fixing broken hearts?”

“He is fixing Tita Catherine’s heart.”

“Oh!” She suddenly felt sad at what Sunshine said. There was a small pinch in her heart at what she heard.

They continued chatting until she heard her phone ringing. Richard Lim was calling.

“Ms dela Rosa asan kayo?” he asked

“Mr. Lim nandito kami sa ice cream shop sa may left side mo.” She already saw him as they were eating icecream at the al fresco area of the icecream shop.

He turned and saw them. He waved and proceeded towards them when a group of ladies stopped him and chatted with him.

Maya then saw the ladies pose for a picture with Richard.

“Aba feeling celebrity naman ng lalaking to. Nakakaaliw talaga to si Mr. Lim.” She couldn’t believe the confidence of Sunshine’s dad though she was clearly beginning to see his good attributes.

After the selfies with random strangers he went near them. “Did you guys enjoy?” Then he just got Sunshine’s spoon and casually took a spoonful of ube ice cream from Maya before she could even react. “Pahingi nga. Ang init maglakad papunta sa office.”

“Sige sa’yo na. Busog na rin naman ako.”

“No I just need a spoonful. Thanks.” He acted like sharing ice cream with her is a very normal thing to do.

She felt giddy now.

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

They were now at the soccer field of CSR in Makati where the mini football game will be held.

Maya and Richard were seated at the bleachers while the two kids, who were in their cute soccer outfits were being given instructions by their coach.

Sky was visibly not paying attention to his coach as he was craning his neck trying to see if the person he was waiting for has arrived already.

“What’s wrong with Sky?” Richard observed.

“He’s waiting for his dad. He promised Sky that he’ll be watching his game.”  Maya was alternately watching the school entrance and her watch.

“Ah yes Sky told me his daddy will be here. Baka naman natraffic lang.”

“Sana nga Mr. Lim. This has been going on for many times already. Si Sky pa naman kapag nagpromise ang daddy nya, he really looks forward to it.

“Hindi pa naman naguumpisa yun game. He will be here. If hindi naman malamang he has a very valid reason. Atsaka you alone are enough for your son. Hinahanap lang nyan ni Sky yun tatakbo while cheering him up. Kaya halika na, let’s get into action with this soccer game. Ikaw muna ang gaganap na role ng daddy na tumatakbo.” He smiled while offering his hand which she gladly took.

“Thank you for those encouraging words Mr. Lim.” She said as they went near the kids who were now starting their game.

Richard was loudly cheering both kids.

“Kick his ball Sky! I mean kick the ball!”

“Push him Sunshine! Very good!”

He earned disapproving stares from the parents.

“Mr. Lim you are very rude.” Maya commented.

“Ms. dela Rosa soccer is a rough game. Dapat matapang ang mga bata physically at emotionally. Di pwedeng lalampa lampa.”

“Kahit na. Mga babies pa yan eh. Ikaw talaga!”

He just chcukled then he whispered to Maya… “Cheer louder Ms. Dela Rosa. It helps our players.”

Though shy, Maya followed his advice and started running and cheering the kids.

They were at the middle of the game when Jeff arrived. He immediately went near Maya and waved to his son who was visibly very happy to see him.

“Sorry  late ako. I had to take the MRT kasi sobrang traffic.” He was apologetic.

“Okay lang. Ang importante eh nakarating ka. Kanina ka pa hinahanap nyan.”

Richard Lim silently left the couple. He didn’t want to intrude and he also didn’t want what he saw.

He saw Maya lovingly staring at her ex-husband.

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Rafi & Friends: Independence Day?

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya, Rafi & Friends: Independence Day?

“So what are you guys doing this June 12?” Rafi asked Ricky and Maya while they were having their breakfast near the airport. Ricky and Rafi who came to visit the Lims decided to fetch Maya from her early morning flight.

“Are we supposed to do something?”

“Aba oo naman. It’s Independence day. It’s another reason to celebrate.”

“So? Ano naman ngayon if it’s Independence day? How will we celebrate? Pupunta kami ng Luneta to sing Lupang Hinirang?” Ricky sarcastically replied.

Maya was just observing her husband and his best friend. She’s always amused whenever they try to annoy each other.

“Ano ka ba Chard. Ang corny mo talaga! I bet nahihiya na si Maya sa mga sinaunang jokes mo. I mean celebrate… kayo ni Maya. Kami kasi ni Chard, my very own mabait at sobrang gwapong Chard, we have this independence day celebration. Yun independent kami from each other, magkahiwalay kami ng lakad every June 12. Like last year, he went out with his dad to play golf, kami naman ni mommy nya went out to shop. This year I’m planning to have my spa day with my friends then he will have a karaoke night out with his sessionista friends. It feels great and liberating. Try nyo.”

“We don’t need it Rafi. I’m sure Maya prefers to stay with me on that day. There are surely more fun activities to do ‘together’on independence day. Right Sweetheart?” He stressed on the word together then he winked at his wife who was, unfortunately for Ricky, actually considering Rafi’s suggestion.

“Alam mo, mukhang maganda nga yan sweetheart. Try natin. Magkanya kanya tayong lakad sa independence day.”

“What? No! Hindi pwede!”

“Ang oa mo Chard! It’s not like buong araw kayong hindi magkikita ni Maya. Atsaka it’s healthy for a married couple’s relationship. You give each other space and time to breathe.”

“Rafi it is healthy for your relationship with your husband kasi palagi mong inaaway yun tao. He needs freedom from you kahit isang araw lang. I bet he prays that everyday should be independence day.” Then he laughed.

“Of course I don’t! I am a very loving wife and we have a very harmonious relationship. Atsaka wag ka ngang kontrabida Richard Lim. Maya wants it so pagbigyan mo na. Right Maya?”

“You really want it sweetheart?”

“Oo Ricky. Subukan natin. Mukha namang masaya eh.”

“You think so? You really like it? Mas masaya if magkasama tayo on that day.” Ricky was not happy at all with Rafi’s suggestion. He was so looking forward to a special day with his wife on Independence day. He planned to take her out and have a movie date since they both have no work. The kids have no classes as well so they could stay with Sky and Sunshine. He had everything planned already until his best-friend/ beast friend suggested her silly way of ‘Independence day’ celebration to Maya.

“Subukan lang natin Ricky. Sige na please.”

Rafi was grinning. She knows Ricky would give in to Maya’s wish.

While shaking his head, smirking ang giving his sharp stare at Rafi, Ricky sighed deeply and agreed. “Okay fine!”

“Yes! Thank you sweetheart!” Then she stood up from her seat and hugged her husband unmindful of the stares of the customers who were also having their breakfast.

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

Independence day.

Both were preparing for their ‘separate’ dates. Maya was fixing her husband’s collar.

“Sweetheart bakit doon kayo pupunta nina Emman? Why don’t you just have dinner somewhere else then spend the night na lang talking to each other.” He suggested because the idea that Maya will be spending her evening with Emman, Josh, Edz, Ruby and her other FA friends at a karaoke bar didn’t sit well with him.

Maya promised him that she’s just excited for the karaoke part and that she wont take any alcoholic beverages because of what happened to her during that ‘wine-tasting’ mishap years ago.  Ricky can’t help but still get worried of the possible dangers inside any bar.

“Ang boring naman nun sweetheart atsaka di ba walang pakialamanan? Promise hindi naman ako iinom at si Emman di rin naman yun umiinom. I will be safe.”

“Why did we even listen to Rafi.” He sighed again.

“Hep hep! Gusto ko to atsaka tama si Rafi. Healthy to sa relationship ng mga mag-asawa.”

“Our relationship is very healthy and we don’t need this.”

“Sssshhh… reklamo reklamo. Tara na at baka malate na tayo.” Then Maya dragged her poor husband out of their bedroom.

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

Ricky accompanied her to the said karaoke bar and didn’t leave until Maya shooed him away.

“O sige na sweetheart okay na kami dito. Punta ka na sa gimik mo with friends. Matraffic pa naman baka mahuli ka.”

“Ah no. I’ll just be at the sports bar dyan sa tabi nito. Nandun na sina Ryan. We will play darts.”

“Ano??? Sweetheart naman. Di ba sabi natin kanya kanya.”

“Oo nga kanya kanya. I will be with Ryan and you will be with Emman. Atsaka hindi naman ako makakampante so that’s my decision and it’s final.”

“Okay pero promise hindi mo kami pupuntahan dito ha at wag kang mangungulit sa phone.”

“Promise. O Emman ikaw na bahala dito kay Maya. Josh, Edz, Ruby aalis na ako. Enjoy your night guys.” He kissed Maya’s forehead and stood up to leave.

“Bye Mr. Lim!”

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

An hour later, Maya got distracted after checking her phone. Engineer Yamagutchi just posted several photos of the LAS engineers playing darts. One of the pictures unintentionally showed Ricky at the background talking with an obviously drunk Stephanie.

“Uy roomie okay ka lang? Ikaw na ang kakanta o!”

“Ah eh… Emman pwedeng samahan mo  muna ako?”

“Ha? Saan? Magrerestroom ka? Naku Maya hindi ako pwede sa girls restroom kahit prettier pa ako than most girls dyan.”

But Maya wasn’t laughing. In fact she didn’t even hear what Emman said.

“Uy roomie!”

“Emman…”

“O ano bakit ganyan ang hitsura mo?”

Without explaining it to Emman, she stood up and excused herself and Emman from their companions.

She dragged him towards the sports bar where Ricky and the LAS engineers were spending their night. She spotted a corner table where she could clearly see Ricky but where he won’t be able to see her because of the dim lights of the bar. They sat and ordered soda.

“Roomie nakakahiya yun ginagawa natin. Tara na. Magagalit si Sir Chief Ricky nito eh.”

“Wag ka ngang maingay Emman. Samahan mo lang ako. Atska wala siyang karapatang magalit. Kung may pwedeng magalit, ako yun!”

“Naku roomie unreasonable ka na. Atsaka look behave naman si sweetheart mo.”

They could see Richard talking to Atty. Ryan now. Kalmado na sana si Maya when she saw Stephanie approaching Richard again. She’s holding a wine glass and was staggering towards Richard and Ryan. She was really drunk. She even tripped and was lucky that Richard was fast enough to catch her. Oh well if Stephanie was lucky, Richard clearly isn’t if we base it on Maya’s reaction. Her brows were furrowed, her face red with anger. “Roomie relax. Hindi naman kasalanan ni Sir Richard yun.” But Maya wasn’t listening to Emman. She was about to approach her husband when she saw him stand up and assist Stephanie. Then he led the drunk woman outside the bar.

Maya and Emman just stared at each other.

“Roomie baka naman papasakayin lang ni Sir Richard sa taxi. Kalma ka muna ha. Hintayin na lang natin si Sir Richard dito.”

Maya just kept quiet. She also didn’t want to make a scene. She decided to wait for her husband.

“Atty Ryan asan Chief?” Maya and Emman could hear the Engineer Yamaguchi.

“Hinatid na muna si Stephanie kasi medyo lasing na.”

“Naku lagot si Chief.” It was Sonny this time.

“Nandun naman si Fred sa parking. Ihahatid lang ni Chief kay Fred.” Atty Ryan replied but Maya didn’t hear it anymore for she already stood up and hurriedly left the bar.

Emman followed her.

“Roomie kalma ka lang please.”

“Emman iuwi mo na ako.”

“Roomie magagalit si Sir Richard nyan eh. Halika na balik na tayo kina Edz tapos tawagan mo na lang si Sir Richard.” Emman suggested.

When Maya stared back she already had nanlilisik na eyes and was evidently very angry. “Emman uuwi na ako. Kung hindi mo ako ihahatid, ako na lang uuwing mag-isa.”

Emman didn’t have any choice but to give in to his roomie’s request to be brought home. She even turned off her phone and requested Emman to do the same after he informed Edz, Josh and Ruby that he needs to bring Maya home because of an emergency.

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

After assisting Stephanie to Fred’s car at the parking, he returned to the bar and enjoyed playing darts with the engineers. He called Maya but wasn’t able to contact her for her phone was turned off. He thought that she turned her phone off because she wanted to enjoy her night. Not wanting to disturb his wife, Ricky decided to just enjoy his bonding with the LAS guys and just wait for his wife’s call once she decides to go home.

It was already 3 am and he already texted her several times without getting any reply so he decided to fetch her from the bar where he left her. He was surprised when he was informed that the group already left as early as 12:30 am.

Worried that something might have happened to his wife, Richard frantically called Emman’s phone which he also didn’t answer. He couldn’t contact Maya as well.

He finally called home and was relieved to learn that his wife was already home. He was unaware of why she left him and went home ahead of him. He thought that she just wanted him to enjoy his night.

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

It was already 3:30 in the morning when Ricky arrived.

The house was dark and quiet. Everyone was asleep.

Though he didn’t enjoy the day much, he was still happy for allowing his wife to enjoy with her friends.

He was very tired as well and he’s looking forward to being with his wife. Their simple cuddles would be enough to remove the stress of the day.

He opened their bedroom door but was surprised to find it locked. He tried it again but it was still locked. Maya never locks their bedroom.

Ricky scratched his head. He thought that maybe Maya accidentally locked it.

He softly knocked.

She didn’t open the door.

He knocked again, a little louder this time. “Sweetheart I’m home.”

She still didn’t open it but sent him a message. “Wag kang papasok dito. Ayan yung unan at kumot sa labas. Sa labas ka matulog. Ayaw kitang makita.”

He was surprised at her message.

He knocked again but she still didn’t open the door.

Then he even saw the pillow and blanket.

He’s totally clueless of any wrongdoing to might have caused his wife’s anger.

But  he’s not angry at her. He’s not  annoyed even though she went home ahead of him. He’s not upset even though he’s tired and he badly needed to rest now.

He suspects that something might have happened.

He got the pillow and blanket and laid them on the floor just outside their bedroom.

Then using his phone he took his picture with his puppy dog eyes while hugging the pillow and sent it to her. “Goodnight sweetheart. I love you.”

Of course naguilty ang Maya when she saw the picture. She also got worried na makita ng mga bata yun daddy nila.

She opened the door.

Ngiting successful naman si Ricky. He knows that di sya matitiis ni Maya but uh oh she looked so upset.

“Sweetheart?”

“Wag mo akong masweetheart sweetheart Ricardo!”

Naku hindi lang upset si Maya. She’s mad! She’s actually ballistic whenever she calls him by that name.

“Why are you mad? What did I do?”

“At nagtanong ka pa talaga!”

“Of course kasi wala naman akong alam na reason why you should get mad at me. Ako nga dapat yun magtampo kasi iniwan mo ako sa bar.” He calmly told her.

“Dapat ka talagang iwanan dun kasi mukhang sobrang busy ka sa pag-akbay akbay dun sa Stephanie. At sinamahan mo pa talaga. Siguro kung saan pa kayo pumunta.” She is getting teary-eyed now out of anger and he’s also getting upset with what she’s accusing him of.

“Hey hindi ko siya inakbayan because I wanted to. I did it because she was drunk and she even tripped.”

Tama naman. She saw how Stephanie tripped and was luckily caught by her husband.

Pero tahimik pa rin siya. She just stared at him.

He continued…

“Atsaka hinatid ko lang siya kay Fred who was waiting for her at the parking area. He wasn’t able to go inside the bar anymore because naka-hazard lang yun kotse nya. He couldn’t find a parking slot.”

She continued to stare at him but her tears are threatening to fall now.

Upset na rin si Ricky at her accusations but when he saw her trying her best not to cry naawa na siya kay Maya.

“Sweetheart do you think magagawa ko yun sa’yo?”

Naku umiyak na nga ang Maya.

“Hey stop crying. Wala namang reason to cry. Wala naman akong ginawa. I was just being helpful there kasi ako lang yun hindi uminom sa kanila. Ako lang yun pwedeng tumulong kay Stephanie. Dapat nga proud ka sa’kin kasi I was being a gentleman there. Don’t cry na Maya.” He then engulfed her in his embrace which she allowed.

Maya had mixed feelings of jealousy, anger at herself for how she acted and also embarrassment at what she did to her poor husband. She hugged him tighter but was still silently sobbing.

“Hey look at me.” He held her face. “Okay na tayo ha? I’m sorry if I made you upset with what I did kanina. I promise lalayuan ko na siya.”

Then in a very small voice kasi she’s embarrassed nga of how she acted, “Sorry din Sweetheart. Kasi naman eh….”

“Hey enough na. Okay na tayo. It’s not my fault and it’s not yours as well.” He assured her to remove her guilt.

“I’ll just take a shower and change. Okay na tayo ha!”

She just nod her head. Then proceeded to their bed.

After a few minutes Ricky joined her donning his pajama. They cuddled.

“Next time I would never agree to spending June 12 separately.”

“Ako rin Sweetheart. Sorry ulit.”

“Don’t say sorry. Hindi nga tayong dalawa ang may kasalanan for what happened today.”

“Eh sino naman?”

‘Sino pa eh di si Rafi!”

And for the first time, Maya agreed with what Ricky said about his best friend. “Tama sweetheart, si Rafi nga ang may kasalanan ng lahat!”

“Let’s not talk about her anymore sweetheart.  Let’s celebrate now, the Mr. and Mrs Lim style. Let’s celebrate ‘dependence’ day.” He naughtily winked at her.

“Mas gusto ko yan sweetheart!”

Then he covered themselves with their big brown comforter which perfectly covered both of them but unfortunately wasn’t able to drown his wife’s giggles and whatever noise he would elicit from her later.

Happy 12th of June Mr. and Mrs. Lim!

 

 

He Aches She Breaks – A TABH Spin-Off

Chinoy and Chinggay : She Aches, He Breaks (A TABH Spin-Off)

A/N : Meron pala ako nito. I was about to delete this kaso baka gusto nyong pagtyagaan. I am more fond of using Ricky and Maya in the stories kasi and hindi ko masyadong gusto yun tunog ng names nila sa tabh.  Pero for this particular ff, hindi bagay sina Maya and Ricky because tabh yun plot.

Ginamit ko pala yun ibang lines ng movie. Credits to the people behind the movie for the names, dialogue (some) and for the teasers/trailer which served as my source in coming up with this story.

Ay ang haba ng paliwanag… Basta eto na yun. Sana magustuhan nyo rin.

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

“Sir Frank uwi na po kami. Salamat sa pamerienda”

“Thank you Sir!”

“Mauna na po kami Sir! Chinggay see you tomorrow.”

“Sir enjoy po kayo ng date nyo.”

“Chinggay ayan na yun hinihintay mo girl. Kwento ka bukas tungkol sa date nyo ni Sir ha!”

That line from one of her officemates got her attention. Sumimangot si Chinggay. “Anong date…”

Frank cut what she has to say.

He immediately dismissed his employees so they won’t go on teasing her. Mahirap na. It took him weeks and much effort to invite her for dinner. Baka magbackout pa si Chinggay.

“Sige na guys you can go home now. We will also go ahead.”

Then before Chinggay could even say anything, he held her elbow and led her towards his car which was already parked in front of his office.

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

Inside the car:

Her brows were furrowed as he stared at him. “Anong date? Bakit date ang sinasabi ng mga yun?”

“Don’t mind them. Siyempre we’re having dinner together so they assumed we’re on a date.”

“Excuse me! Hindi to date!”

“Then what is it?”

“Pinagbigyan lang kita ng dinner kasi ang kulit mo.”

“Nakukulitan ka sakin?”

“Oo. Di ako makaconcentrate sa trabaho sa pangungulit mo ng dinner kaya eto pinagbibigyan lang kita.”

“Pinagbibigyan? But I heard your friend. Sabi nya na eto na yun hinihintay mo. Aminin mo, you’re also looking forward sa paginvite ko sa’yo.” He was giving her the teasing look.

“Hindi ah! Kainis to.” Then she hid her blushing face by directing her gaze at her car window.

But he already saw it.

“Eh why are you smiling and blushing?”

“Magdrive ka lang nga. Nakakaasar ka.”she secretly smiled, unable to contain her kilig.

Frank secretly smiled as well.He’s finally making progress in his move of wooing Chinggay back.

In his trademark gentle yet manly voice…

“Thank you for accepting my invitation Chinggay. You just don’t know how happy I am.”

“Wag ka ngang madrama. Dinner lang to and nothing else.” She countered.

“Kahit na. Masaya pa rin ako that you said yes to my invitation.”

“Eh di masaya na kung masaya.” She sarcastically commented.

“Hey bakit ang sungit mo naman sakin?”

“Eh ikaw eh. Bakit ka ba kasi bumabalik?”

“Dahil namiss kita.” He replied in a voice that gave Chinggay the goosebumps which she couldn’t help from being evident on her smile.

Seeing her reaction, Frank attempted to do what they were fond of doing before, that is tickling each other.

“Hmmmm…”he tickled her side.

She was still smiling, but obviously annoyed, both with herself for she’s again being so transparent and also vulnerable to her ex-lover’s charm, and with Frank for easily making her smile and giddy despite what he did to her in the past. She really wasn’t sure whom to hate more.

“Frank ha! Tumigil ka!” She tried to stop him from what he’s doing.

“Okay sorry. Namiss lang talaga kita.” Then he behaved himself while Chinggay secretly made that kilig face which Frank saw reflected in the car’s side mirror. It made him smile. He was sure that she still has a space for him in her heart.

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

They had dinner and was now trying the wine Frank suggested.

“Alam mo isang glass lang talaga. Ayokong uminom ng higit pa sa isa.”

“Why? Scared that you would get drunk?”

She just stared at him. She very well knows what goes on in his mind. She knows him too well.

He continued, “Don’t worry kasama mo naman ako. I’ll take care of you kapag nalasing ka.”

“Ah hindi na. Hindi naman ako malalasing kasi hindi na ako iinom. Tama na yung isang baso.”

“Baka naman you’re scared of what you might do kapag nalasing ka. You’re more scared of yourself than me.” He teased her more.

“Alam mo hindi ka nakakatuwa. Ubusin mo na yan tapos ihatid mo na ako.”

“As you wish Ms. Chingit”

“Anong Chingit?”

“Chinggay na masungit. Napakasungit mo kasi sakin.”

“Wag mo nga akong tatawagin nyan! Parang singit. Siguro isisingit mo lang naman kasi ako sa sobrang busy mong buhay. Gaya noon na kapag malungkot ka saka ka lang magpapakita. Ganyan naman talaga di ba?”

“Hey easy! That was meant to be a joke. But is that what you felt?”

“Di ba ganyan naman talaga yun ginawa mo?”

“No. Hindi ganun. I was a mess then and I didn’t feel I’m worthy of your love. Wala pa akong napatunayan sa sarili ko.”

She just smirked. She was trying hard to ignore what he was saying. She’s not comfortable with the topic especially when Frank was being his charming self.

When Frank suddenly appeared in her life again, the feelings for him that Chinggay had deeply buried in her heart were suddenly stirred to life. She was sure that he could easily melt her defenses that’s why she’s been avoiding him.

“Late na Frank. Ihatid mo na ako.” She suddenly said. It was her attempt to end the conversation Frank was trying to have.

“It’s still early. Are you tired?”

“Oo kasi sanay akong maagang matulog. Di naman ako lumalabas kapag gabi.”

“Oh that’s good to hear. At least alam ko na you’re not seeing someone. It means wala kang ineentertain na manliligaw.” He smiled.

“Oy excuse me may mga manliligaw ako no! Gazillion!” She exaggeratedly countered.

“Asan? I don’t even see any of them na dumadalaw sa’yo sa office.”

“Hindi naman sa office sila dumadalaw. Sa bahay.”

“Yeah right! Halika na nga . Ihatid na kita at mukhang dumadagdag yun mga imaginary suitors mo.” He teased her again.

“Alam mo Frank ang yabang mo!”

“Pero gwapo?”

“Hindi rin!”

“Really? Eh why are you blushing when I stare at you like this?” She was indeed melting whenever he stares deeply into her eyes.

“Hindi ako nagblublush dahil sa kilig no! Dahil yan sa inis ko sa’yo!” Now naaasar na sya and Frank saw it.

“Sorry na. Binibiro lang naman kita.” He said in his soft voice again.

“Ihatid mo na ako.”

“Yes Ma’m.”

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

“Ching di ko maalis yun arm ko!”

“Kasalanan mo. Ang kulit mo kasi. Sabi nang ako na lang.”

“Pero ginagawa ko naman to before at kasya naman. Mukhang hindi naman binago yun gate nyo. Yun dati pa rin to. Bakit hindi na kasya yun braso ko. Ang sakit!”

“Yan kasi, pa gym gym ka pa! Palaki laki pa ng biceps. Nagpapacute at nagpapaimpress siguro to sa mga babae dun.” She said in a whisper which Frank heard.

“What did you say?”

“Wala! Sabi ko dahan dahanin mong hilahin yun braso mo kasi kapag nabigla baka magmaga yan. At baka mapunit din yun damit mo.”

“Oh so you’re concerned too?”

“Sa gate namin oo! Baka yun gate yun masira!”

“Ang sungit mo talaga.”

Then when she saw that he wasn’t faking his difficulty in removing his arm from her gate, she showed concern and helped him.

“Ayan nagalusan ka na nga. Kulit mo naman kasi Frank. Sinabi ko nang ako na. Ayan o napunit na tuloy yun damit mo atsaka ano to? May sugat ka nga! Teka gamutin muna natin yan.” Then she dragged him inside her apartment with the intention of applying first-aid to his wound.

Her concern for him made her forget  the promise she made to herself , the promise  to maintain a safe distance from him since her heart had been badly broken by the very same person in front of her now.

“Lalagyan ko nang alcohol to ha! Mahapdi to so kumalma ka lang dyan.” She warned him.

But he wasn’t listening to what she was telling him. He was just staring lovingly at her, like his heart is bursting with love for her.

“Wala nang mas sasakit pa kesa sa sakit na binigay ko sa’yo Chinggay and I am very sorry.” He sincerely said. His face was serious and it scared Chinggay.

She knows that despite denying it, only him owns her heart.

She was sure that she won’t be able to resist him if he continues to woo her back.

She tried to veer away from what he was saying.

“Frank lagyan ko na muna ng bandage to.”

“Chinggay why do you always avoid talking about us?”

“Tapos na yun ‘us’ Frank. Wag na nating balikan pa. Okay na tayo sa ganito.”

“But I want you back. I missed you. I  missed being happy. I only felt happy when I was with you.”

“Ako din. Noon. Masaya ako noon Frank when I was with you. Akala ko sapat na ako. Akala ko sapat na yun tayong dalawa lang pero niloko mo ako. Sobrang sakit yun at matagal bago ako nakabangon muli. Matagal bago ako naka-move-on. Kaya please lang tigilan mo na ako. Hindi ko na kayang maranasan yun ganung sakit.”

“Can’t you even give me another chance? Can’t you give me a chance to show you how sorry I was?”

“Frank iba na ngayon. Things have changed. Hindi naman pwedeng basta basta na lang balikan yun nakaraan after mong maging sorry.”

“Is this because someone else is occupying your heart now?  Si Ryan ba?”

“Frank…”

“It’s okay Chinggay. I get it. You don’t have to say anything. And for the record, hindi kita niloko. There was no one else. Yun mga babaeng nakita mo, I purposely made it appear that i had someone else para magalit ka sa akin, para iwanan mo ako. I had nothing to offer you then. I know that you deserve someone better than me. My life was a mess then, alam mo yun. Ayaw kong madamay ka that’s why I pretended to be a jerk. I never thought that you would be hurt this much. Akala ko mabilis mo lang makakalimutan yun and  when we see each other again, you would easily forgive me. I thought that once you see the better version of who I am, you would forget that old, good-for-nothing Frank and take me back. I was wrong. Mali yun inakala ko.”

“Sobra akong nasaktan Frank kasi sobra kitang mahal at hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko pang pagdaanan yun.”

“I understand Chinggay. I am really sorry. Sorry rin for bothering you for the past months. Sorry for making you feel uncomfortable and for annoying you sa office. I promise to stop doing that from now on. Thank you na rin for giving me this opportunity to talk to you and say what’s in my heart. Thank you for listening.” His face was somber and there was no doubt that just like her, he was hurting as well.

“Frank…”

“Sige Chinggay I have to go.” He stood up to leave but paused to fish something from his pocket.

She remained seated trying to take in everything he said.

He faced her again then placed a small black box beside her.

“When we started being a couple before, I badly wanted to give you something like this.  but you were aware I had nothing then. Pero hindi ko kinalimutan yun Chinggay. I had this made for you. I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to give it to you kaso that opportunity would never come. Tanggap ko na yun. Wala naman akong pagbibigyan nyan so I’m leaving it with you. Bahala ka na if you want to keep it, throw it,  whatever. Sa’yo naman talaga yan.” He bent and gave her a reverent kiss on her forehead. “Goodbye Chinggay. Take care of yourself.”

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

After that heart to heart talk with Frank, Chinggay realized that she can’t live without him. She realized that it is only Frank who would make her experience that elusive happiness she had been searching for. She vowed to give him another chance, give her a chance to be happy as well.

Frank was absent the following day at the office   She was informed that he took a week-long leave.

She missed him and she felt guilty. She was certain that what happened between them was the reason for him not coming to work.

He never reported to work and they were just informed that Frank had many speaking engagements.

The following week she arrived at her office and saw the sad faces of her office mates.

They informed her that Frank just talked to them and said goodbye for he would be going back to the States.

They also informed her that he was already on his way to the airport.

“Kanina pa siya nakaalis?”

“Kakaalis lang. May sasabihin ka sa kanya? Baka maabutan mo pa.”

She rushed to the elevators and repeatedly pushed the buttons praying that they would open at once so she would be able to see Frank.

She was running then she saw him at the entrance of their building, waiting for his driver.

She carefully approached him.

“Frank…” he heard her call his name and he slowly turned to face her.

“Chinggay…”

“Aalis ka?” Her face registered sadness.

“Oo Chinggay. This is the right thing to do. Ayaw ko nang gambalain ka. I promised not to bother you again. I’m keeping that promise.”

“Iiwanan mo uli ako?” she was getting teary-eyed now.

“Yes because I love you at ayaw ko nang nahihirapan ka sa tuwing makikita mo ako. I don’t want you holding back from accepting Ryan to your life just because ginugulo ko kayo. I love you that much to let you go.”

“Frank hindi naman eto yun gusto ko.”

“Chinggay…”

“Hindi ko naman gustong umalis ka. Hindi ko gustong iwasan mo ako. At lalong hindi ko gustong iwanan mo ako.” She was now crying.

“Hey I’m doing this for you. Makakabuti to sa’yo”

“Bakit ikaw ang kailangan magdesisyon kung ano ang makakabuti sa’kin?”

“Chinggay…”

Then his SUV stopped in front of them.

“Frank kapag sumakay ka dyan, hinding hindi na kita patatawarin pa. Hinding hindi na kita kakausapin at isusumpa kita.” She was desperate already for she doesn’t want him to leave her alone again.

He smiled, held her hand then led her to his car. “Then come with me.”

His driver gave them their privacy and quietly went out of the car.

Chinggay just followed Frank. She’s relieved that she was able to prevent him from leaving.

The moment they settled at the backseat she was no longer able to contain herself that she sobbed openly.

“Chinggay please stop crying. I’m sorry. I thought gusto mong lubayan na kita.”

She didn’t say anything but gave him her dagger stare.

“Hey nakakatakot ka naman.” He was trying to joke so she would stop crying.

“Nakakainis ka kasi. Pabigay bigay ka nang singsing tapos mang-iiwan ka. Sino magsusuot sakin nyan.” Then she gave him back the small box he gave her few days ago.

He opened it, held her hand, kissed it then slowly slid the diamond ring on her finger. “Chinggay would you be my girlfriend again?”

He didn’t expect her confused expression. “Ayaw mo?”

“Girlfriend? Girlfriend lang? Akala ko pa naman engagement ring to!” The disappointment was clear on her face.

He chuckled then engulfed her in his arms again. “Engagement ring talaga yan but I’m just too scared that I may not get the reply I’ve been hoping for.”

“Eh bakit di mo subukan? Malay mo magustuhan mo yun isasagot ko.” She teased him. She was now smiling even though her eyes were still red from crying.

He took the ring off again then cleared his throat as he held her hand again. “Chinggay will you accept all that I could offer you including my flaws, my weaknesses, my being crazy in love with you and agree to me my wife?”

Her tears were flowing nonstop now. “Yes Frank. Tinatanggap kita nang buong buo.”

He wasn’t able to control it that he also cried as he was overwhelmed with everything that happened.

He thought she didn’t care at all and that she would just allow him to leave as the same broken man he was.

They lovingly stared at each other then he gently laid his lips on hers. She was smiling as they kissed, he felt that. Then they embraced each other as they needed to be assured that everything that happened was real.

“This is the most unromantic proposal ever.” He commented.

They both laughed as they realized that he proposed inside his car.

“Gusto mong ulitin? Pwede naman Mr. Sison. Pero dont be so sure na pareho pa rin ang isasagot ko.” She teased him now.

“Hindi na. Okay na to. Babawi na lang ako sa wedding.”

“Chinggay?”

“Hmmmm?”

“Paano si Ryan?”

“Ssssshhhhh Frank! Don’t say bad words.”

He just chuckled.

Then she leaned her head on his shoulder as they were basking in happiness for they are again back together.

His brokenness and her pain would surely make them stronger as they enjoy the second chance they gave each other.

 

end.

 

A/N : I removed Chinggay’s name sa title. Di ko talaga masyadong like yung name nya. Hehehe!

 

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya & Rafi : Pageant Trouble

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.

“Sweetheart?”

“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.”

“Sweetheart…”

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.”

“Ha?”

“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.”

“Talaga Rafi?”

“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!”

“Selosa!”

“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.”

“Umayos ka!”

“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.

“Rafi!!!”

“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!”

“Sweetheart…”

“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.

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