“You’re wearing that?” Ricky blurted out when Maya opened the door of the condo she shares with Emman. His brows were furrowed. He’s obviously in a bad mood.
Maya doesn’t want to spoil her day so she didn’t mind his mood. She even joked about it.
“Mukhang masama ang gising natin Sir Chief ko. Ang sungit mo naman. Wala man lang goodmorning ah!” She was smiling.
He didn’t smile but instead shook his head and smirked. He did greet her good morning though and also kissed her cheek.
Noticing that his mood hadn’t changed, Maya joked again, “Sir Chief masungit ka pa rin? Siguro natraffic ka no? O kaya may pasaway na driver kang naencounter. O kaya hindi nga nginitian ni Ate Guard dyan sa baba? Huy ano?”
He just sighed in frustration that Maya didn’t realize the reason for his bad temper.
Maya continued, “Sabi ko naman kasi sa’yo wag mo na akong ihahatid. Pwede naman akong magpasundo sa shuttle ng Time Airways eh. Sina Edz nga nagpasundo rin. Gumising ka pa tuloy ng napakaaga. Dapat natutulog ka pa kasi alam kong late ka nang nakauwi kagabi at pagod ka sa daming eroplanong inayos ninyo.” She even babbled nonstop which annoyed him more.
“Maya hindi ako natraffic, wala akong pasaway na driver na naencounter, hindi ako sinungitan ng guard ninyo, hindi ako pagod at hindi ako antok, I am asking you if you’re wearing that.” He’s pointing to her cream shorts which exposed her slender, flawless legs.
Tumawa pa si Maya. “Di pa ba obvious Sir Chief? Suot ko na nga, magtatanong ka pa.” Then she giggled pa. Parang nakakaloko.
Tiger mode na talaga siya. He’s just sharply staring at her, not saying anything.
But Maya just laughed at him, amused at his expression. “Ang sungit! Ano nga ang problema mo? Eto bang suot ko? Ayaw mo nito?”
He rolled his eyes which made Maya laugh harder. “Naku hindi bagay sa singkit mong mata ang ganyan. So eto ngang damit ko ang problema mo?”
“Yes.” He replied.
“Naku ang dami mo pang pasakalye. Sinabi mo na lang sana na ayaw mo ng suot ko. Ikaw talaga Sir Chief.”
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”
“Sir Chief hindi mahuhurt ang feelings ko kasi hindi ako katulad mo na pikon at matampuhin.”
“Oo na. Magpapalit na.”
Then she left a relieved Sir Chief alone in their small living room to change her clothes.
On the way to the Time Airways office where her co-Fas will be waiting for her,
“Sir Chief bakit mo ako pinagbihis? Pangit ba yung damit ko?” She was curious. Di pa rin nya gets why. Or maybe she’s just pretending na di nya gets.
“Baduy ba yun hitsura ko?”
“Pangit legs ko?”
“Of course not!”
“Eh bakit nga?”
Of course won’t admit that he didn’t want other guys admiring Maya’s legs.
He won’t admit that he’s getting jealous just imagining other guys admiring his girlfriend.
“Mainit. Baka umitim and legs mo.”
Natawa si Maya. “Ibig mong sabihin Sir Chief magsusuot ako ng pantalon kahit sa pupuntahan naming beach resort?” She stared at him incredulously.
“Yes. You better not swim. It’s not safe for your skin.”
“Huh? At bakit pa ako pupunta ng beach kung hindi lang naman ako mageenjoy sa dagat. Atsaka Sir Chief hindi naman ako katulad mo na natulog lang nung pumunta tayo ng mga bata sa Subic. Tapos nakapajama ka pa.” She was laughing as she recalled that incident where Richard had been incessantly teased by the kids and his parents for walking around the beach in his pajamas.
They were on a vacation then and Nikki and Sabel packed shorts for him and a pajama for sleeping. Since he refused to wear shorts, he just used his pajama during their entire stay.
Pikon na naman si Sir Chief. “Basta don’t wear shorts on the beach.”
“Ay hindi pwede Sir Chief! Pagtatawanan naman ako nyan nila Eds at Emman kung lalangoy ako na nakapants.”
“Wag ka ngang magswimming. You can just stay sa cottage. Mabuti kung private resort yun pupuntahan nyo.”
“Sige pero sabihin mo muna yun totoong reason kung bakit?”
“Di ba nag sinabi ko na. Your legs will be exposed. Iitim yan.”
“Yan talaga ang dahilan?” Nangungulit si Maya because she knows the real reason why ayaw ni Ricky na nakashorts sya and she already feels kilig.
“Okay fine! I don’t want other guys staring at your legs.” He admitted.
Maya was so giddy. She loves seeing her Sir Chief acting possessive and jealous. “Nagseselos ka?”
“Of course not! Ayaw ko lang.”
“Sus ayaw pang aminin. Don’t worry Sir Chief ko. Hanggang tingin lang naman sila.” Then she whispered to tease him more, “Hindi naman nila pwedeng hawakan.” She giggled.
“Binibiro lang kita Sir Chief. Kalma ka nga. Focus ka lang sa pagdrive.”
“How could I? Ang kulit mo!”
“Eh ikaw eh, ang cute mong magselos.”
“Hindi nga ako nagseselos.” Ricky denied it.
“Oo kaya.” Maya insisted.
“Hindi nga!” Ayaw talagang umamin ni Ricky.
“Oo!” Of course Maya is Maya.
“Hindi!” Deny pa rin ni Ricky.
“Hindi.” Maya used a different tactic.
“Oo!” Nalito si Ricky.
“Sabi ko na nga ba nagseselos ang Sir Chief ko.” Tuwang tuwa siya that she won.
“Hey I’m not! You just tricked me.”
“Trick trick! Halika nga pakiss!”
Then Maya gave her jealous boyfriend a lingering kiss on his cheek which, of course, diffused his hot temper.
Nagshorts pa rin ba si Maya?
Of course hindi, kasi hindi na siya tumuloy sa swimming.
She preferred to spend her day with the kids and her Sir Chief instead of joining her co-FAs in their short vacation.
“Naku maalat na ata to! Patikim naman nito Ser Chief.”
She frowned. She’s disappointed at the dish she cooked.
Manang Fe, Doris, Sabel and Joma were all on their vacation. Luke and Abby were also at their grandparents house since it was their semestral break.
Nikki on the other hand had an unplanned meeting with the Teatro PUS at their house because her dad didn’t allow her to join if it would be held in another venue. Since she’s the TPUS president, she offered her house to be the venue for their meeting.
Ricky suggested that they should just have meals delivered for the Nikki and her visitors but Maya insisted that it would be healthier to have home-cooked meals. She actually wanted to do this for Nikki. She was thankful to Richard’s kids who wholeheartedly welcomed her to their lives when they learned that she is already their dad’s girlfriend.
She prepared kare-kare, adobo, beefsteak, fried chicken, chopseuy, leche flan and sago’t gulaman. She’s now grilling the barbeque in Manang Fe’s smokeless indoor grill but she’s so disappointed that she couldn’t achieve the taste she wanted.
She was stressed and worried that Nikki’s visitors won’t like the dish she cooked.
Ricky saw the worry on her face and immediately went near her.
“He grabbed the half bitten piece of barbecue from her.”
“Ako nga. I will taste it.”
Then he proceeded to kiss her lips.
“Ser Chief! Sabi ko tikim ng food hindi kiss. Ano ka ba! Nakakahiya.” She was bushing and she craned her neck to see if Nikki is nearby.
“Don’t worry wala naman si Nikki.”
“Ser Chief naman. Yang barbecue ang tikman mo!”
“Yun barbecue nga.”
“Eh hindi mo naman tinikman. Humalik ka lang eh.” She gave this cute little pout.
“Oh sige tikman ko ulit.” Then he kissed her lips again which made Maya all the more giddy and made her turn beet red.
He was smiling from ear to ear. He loved to see how his kiss affected her. It affected him as well for he knows that his ears are now blushing as well.
“Ser Chief ang kulit! Yun food nga! Panay ka naman kiss eh. Sumusobra ka na!”
“Kasi nga it will taste better if it’s on you.”
She just slapped him lightly.
Then he bit the piece of barbecue.
“Okay na. Ang sarap.” It wasn’t but he didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
“What time are they arriving?” He asked her.
“Hindi ko alam eh pero sabi ni Nikki papunta na raw dito. Baka natraffic lang yung mga bata.
“Oh sige you better go to Nikki. Naghihintay yun sa may gate. Ako na ang bahala dito.”
Then she proceeded to accompany Nikki while she’s waiting for the members of the Teatro PUS.
Richard spent time fixing all the dishes she cooked which were either matabang or maalat.
She may not be a wonderful cook but her effort to do something very special for his daughter overweighs her lack of skills in the cooking department.
Nikki’s schoolmates have left and Nikki had been thanking her Tita Maya nonstop for preparing the dishes which, even to Maya’s surprise, the kids appreciated.
After helping in washing the dishes they used, Nikki excused herself to go to her room.
Maya and Ricky were left at the large sofa at the living room. Ricky requested for her to stay a little longer before he brings her home to the condo she’s sharing with Emman.
“Thank you for doing this for Nikki.”
“Ser Chief masaya ako at may nagawa ako para kay Nikki. Kulang pa yan sa pagpapasalamat ko sa kanya.”
“Sa pagtanggap at hindi pagpapahirap sa akin.”
“And why do you think papahirapan ka ng mga bata?”
“Eh kasi ganun naman sa mga teleserye di ba?”
He chuckled. “You’re silly. On quality shows, there may be slight resentment but it could be resolved in a peaceful manner. Maybe sa non-quality seryes ganun ang nangyayari sa iniisip mo. That won’t happen to us. Iba tayo eh.”
“Kaya nga sobrang saya ko Ser Chief.”
“Me too I am very happy. Things like this make me very happy.”
“You cooking for the kids. It is very special Maya. It makes me love you even more.”
“Ser Chief naman eh. Tutunawin mo na naman ako sa mga pakilig na yan.”
“Uy Maya I’m not merely nagpapakilig. That’s what I really feel. You just don’t know how happy I was seeing you cooking there in the kitchen. It makes me want to see more of that very soon.”
“I know. I promise not to be a hindrance to your dreams. Okay na ako sa ganito for the meantime.”
“Salamat sa pag-unawa ha.”
“Anything for you Maya. I’ll wait until you have reached all your dreams, until matapos ka sa training mo, maging flight attendant ka na and until you have travelled the whole world.”
She looked at him incredulously. “Aantayin mo hanggang matapos kong lahat yun?”
“Naku ang tagal naman nun Ser Chief! Hindi ba pwedeng hanggang matapos ko lang yun training. O sige tawad pa ng konti, hanggang sa makaumpisa lang ako sa trabaho bilang FA. Kung hihintayin mo pang maikot ko yun buong mundo, aba baka kapag nagkaanak tayo eh hindi mo na sila malalaro.” Then her eyes turned wide at the realization of what she just said. She got embarrassed and covered her face.
He was laughing at her but was very happy with what he heard. Now he knows that he’s already included in Maya’s future.
He embraced the very embarrassed Maya and kissed the top of her head.
“Hey tumingin ka nga!”
“Ayoko nakakahiya yung mga pinagsasabi ko!”
“Don’t be. You made me very happy with it.”
“Ikaw masaya. Ako sobrang nakakahiya!” Then she hugged him tighter and hid her face on his chest.
“Huy!” He was laughing harder.
“Ser Chief naman eh!” She’s still hiding her face.
“Sige ka. If you keep on hugging me like that baka hindi mo na matapos yun training mo.” He naughtily warned her.
Maya immediately disengaged from the embrace. “Kainis to!”
He continued to laugh at her but she’s now getting pikon so change topic si Ricky.
“Ang sarap ng mga niluto mo. Naubos ng mga bata.”
“Uhm… I’m sure inayos mo yun kanina.”
“Of course not.”
“Peksman mamatay man ang mga langgam?”
He laughed at her silliness. “Halika nga ulit dito. Payakap ulit.”
“Ayoko na Ser Chief baka magkatotoo yun sinabi mo.”
“Yun hindi ako matapos sa training.” Oh Maya is so innocently cute.
“Hindi yan. Kung ako, I could control myself, ewan ko na lang sa’yo.”
“Oy Ser Chief ha! Overconfident ka ha! Of course kaya ko rin yan!”
“Patunayan mo nga.”
“Oo ba!” Then she proceeded to cuddle with him again at the Lim sofa.
A smiling and very contented Ricky possessively encircled his arms around her while they both listed to each other’s heartbeat, which were definitely meant for each other.
“Alam ko na where to celebrate your birthday brod. Pumunta na lang tayo sa bar. Isama natin yun mga engineers.” Atty. Ryan suggested.
“What? No! I won’t go to a bar to celebrate my birthday!” He said in a louder than normal voice, upset at his friend’s suggestion.
“Mabuti naman at pinansin mo na rin ako.”Atty Ryan was actually just trying to get the attention of his friend, whose mind seemed to be drifting elsewhere. “Kanina pa ako nagsasalita dito. I’ve been talking for about 15 minutes already brod and you were totally ignoring me. You’re hurting the feelings of your friend who cleared his schedule just to visit you on your birthday.” He even exaggeratedly remarked.
“Oh stop it Ryan!” He was really in a foul mood and he couldn’t even hide it.
“Brod bakit ba kasi? It’s your birthday tapos nagsusungit ka? Even yun mga nagsurprise sa’yo sa office kanina mukhang natakot sa’yo.”
“And why would they be scared? I even thanked them.”
“You thanked them nga pero halata naman na aburido ka. Siyempre takot yun mga empleyado mo.”
He just smirked and shook his head.
“Bakit nga? May problema ba brod? Si Maya ba?” Atty. Ryan asked again.
He sighed. Sadness and disappointment evident on his face.
“Aha! So si Maya nga ang dahilan. LQ ba kayo brod?” Ryan pried some more
“Lover’s quarrel! Don’t tell me hindi mo alam yan. Naku dapat aralin mo ang mga terms na yan brod at yun mga millennial terms na malamang kabisado ni Maya.”
“We’re not lovers! She’s not even my girlfriend yet.”
“Hindi ba? Hindi pa? Akala ko ba nililigawan mo siya? Hindi ka sinagot? Nabasted ka?” Atty. Ryan was surprised that Maya is not his friend’s girlfriend yet. He knows Richard’s been courting Maya for more than a year now.
“Ryan watch your term! Anong nabasted? Of course not!”
“Eh ang tagal mo nang nanliligaw hindi ka pa rin sinasagot? Aba bro ang hina natin ha! Baka naman ayaw lang ni Maya na masaktan ka kaya hindi ka nya magawang ibasted.” He teased again the already infuriated Richard who stared sharply at him. Galit na siya.
“Biro lang brod. Eto naman ang seryoso. Will you loosen up. Birthday mo pa naman.”
“Ikaw eh. Mainit na nga ulo ko sumasabay ka pa!”
“Oh so mainit nga ang ulo mo! And why is that?”
He shook his head. No sure whether to open up to his friend.”
“Brod promise hindi na kita aasarin. Now tell me bakit inis na inis ka sa mismong birthday mo? Did something happen?”
“Si Maya kasi. I was expecting her to be here today kaso ayun pa sa San Nicolas. I even celebrated with the kids yesterday and left them dun kina papa at mama so we could spend time by ourselves today pero I found out na hindi pala siya sumabay sa flight today.”
Richard was trying his best not to show his annoyance but he couldn’t control himself. He was very disappointed that everything he had planned for today was all for nothing.
What incensed him more is that she didn’t even call to greet him this morning.
He was expecting Maya to be the very first person to greet him knowing how thoughtful she was.
“Brod baka naman may dahilan kung bakit hindi siya nakabalik today. Tinanong mo sana.”
If he saw Richard upset awhile ago, Ryan could now see the sadness in his friend’s face.
“She didn’t even call.” Was all he could say.
Atty. Ryan couldn’t believe it as well. He knows Maya and it’s so unlike her to totally forget Richard’s birthday. “Brod baka naman may surprise. Baka pag-uwi mo eh nakahanda na sa bedroom mo yung…” Ryan tried to joke but was instead met by Richard’s angry stare again.
“That’s not funny at all Ryan! Maya is a decent woman.”
“Wait brod! That’s not what I meant. Ibig kong sabihin eh baka she’s preparing a surprise like a cake or handa dun sa bahay nyo. Of course mas surprise kung sa kwarto mo. Brod sorry, honestly hindi yun ang ibig kong sabihin. I really meant her decorating your room. Yun lang talaga kaso pinutol mo yun sinasabi ko. I know that Maya is a decent woman.”
“Mabuti na ang malinaw.”
“As I was saying, maybe she has a surprise. You better go home at baka naghihintay na siya dun.”
“You think so?” Richard was suddenly hopeful.
“Well oo. Pwede! Sentimental si Maya. Maybe she prepared something special. Pero if hindi naman, I’m sure may dahilan siya.”
Richard’s face suddenly lit up.
Maybe Ryan was right.
Maybe there was a surprise waiting for him at home.
“Kumusta na siya?” Manang Fe was talking to someone on the phone when he arrived.
“Ayun Manang tulog pa rin. Nagpupumilit na bumiyahe kaso napagalitan na ni Nanay. Pinainom na namin ng gamot. Nataranta kami ng nahimatay eh.” It was Kute whom Manang Fe was talking to on the landline.
“Hesusmaryosep na bata yan! Ano raw ang dahilan bakit siya nahimatay? Sigurado nagpakapagod na naman yan si Maya.” Manang Fe sounded worried.
This was what Richard heard the moment he entered the house. He rushed to get the phone from Manang Fe when he heard Maya’s name. He got it even before Manang was able to inform Kute that she’ll be handing the phone over to Richard.
Kute was still talking at the other line “…okay naman siya kahapon. Sobra ngang excited makabalik dyan. Umaga pa lang nakahanda na. Tapos may pinuntahan sa palengke. Namili ata ng pasalubong. Ayun bigla kaming tinawagan ng suki ni nanay sa palengke. Nahimatay daw si bunso.”
“What? How is she now? Did you bring her to the hospital? What did the doctor say?” Richard blurted nonstop. He was so worried.
Kute who thought she was still talking to Manang Fe, was surprised to hear Richard Lim’s voice.
She was also touched by the sound of his voice which meant that he was very much concerned of Maya. Maya already told Kute of her dates with her Ser Chief and she already told her of how he takes care of her even after she stopped being Abby’s nanny. The daily trips to and from Time Airways, the food deliveries at Maya and Emman’s condo, how he took care of her when she got drunk from the Wine Tasting activity –Kute was aware of all these. She thought that Maya was just exaggerating it because of her ‘crush’ on Richard Lim. Hearing how worried he is confirmed what Maya had been telling her. She can’t help but smile.
“Ah eh Sir Richard kalma lang po. Okay na po si bunso. Medyo nahilo lang kahapon kasi nakipagsabayan sa maraming tao sa palengke eh hindi pa nag-almusal. Pinacheck-up namin eh sabi ng doctor over fatigue daw kaya ayun pinagpahinga na muna sya. Tumawag lang naman ako kasi alalang alala si bunso na hindi siya makabalik dyan eh birthday nyo daw po. Happy Birthday nga po pala.”
“Thank you Cris and just call me Richard. Please stop calling me Sir. How is Maya now? Kumakain ba siya? Does she drink her medicine? Sinong kasama niya.” He was frantic again.
“Sir este Richard okay na si bunso. Konting araw lang na pahinga siguradong babalik na yun sigla nya. Si nanay po ang nagbabantay sa kanya sa kwarto at pinapagalitan siya kapag hindi kumakain.”
He sighed, relieved to know that Maya is well-taken cared of. “I am just so worried. Alam ko naman that she is in good hands lalo na at kayo ang kasama nya. Thank you for informing me Cris. I was already worried when she didn’t reply to my messages and I couldn’t even reach her phone.”
“Yun nga po ang dahilan kung bakit ako tumawag. Sobrang alala kasi ni bunso na hindi ka man lang niya mabati ngayong kaarawan mo. Nung nahimatay kasi siya nawala yun cellphone nya sa palengke. Nahulog yata. Sana yun nakapulot eh ibalik pa sa kanya. Pero ayun hindi ka nya matawagan kasi hindi nya kabisado yun number mo. Ang saulo nya eh etong landline ng mansion.”
“Tell her not to worry about not being able to greet me. Pakisabi na magpagaling siya. I’ll see her in a few days. Please tell her too na wag pabayaan sarili nya at kumain ng mabuti. And please give her my number or kahit save mo na muna sa phone mo so I can talk to her there.”
“Ah sige Richard. Kunin ko na yun number mo at ipapaabot ko kay Maya lahat ng sinabi mo.”
“Thank you so much Cris. Pakisabi na rin kay Aling Teresita na salamat.”
“Salamat din Richard sa pagaalala mo kay Maya at sa lahat ng pagaasikaso mo at pagaalalay sa kanya dyan sa Manila.”
“Your sister is very important to me Cris. She is very special too.”
“Halata nga. Salamat at happy birthday ulit.”
The moment they ended the call, Richard still couldn’t seem to calm down. He was still worried of Maya and he felt helpless being far from her.
“Nay bakit ka ganyan makatingin?” Maya woke up to see her Nanay Teresita adoringly staring at her.
“Wala lang. Ang bunso ko kasi dalaga na. May naiinlove na.” She teased.
“Nay naman eh. 25 na po ako hindi na dalaga. Atsaka kung si Simon na naman yan…” She gets upset every time her family teases her to her childhood friend Simon who had been very vocal of wanting to court her.
Nanay Teresita ignored her. “Kumusta na pakiramdam mo? Nakahanda na yun dinner mo sa labas or gusto mo dito na lang. Kaya mo na bang tumayo?”
“Nay hindi naman ako lumpo. Kaya ko na po atsaka buong araw na po akong tulog.” Then she suddenly remembered something. “Nay si Kute po tinawagan na po ba nya si Ser Chief? Binati na po ba nya? Naku sasama ang loob nun sa akin.” She was worried now.
“Maya natawagan na ni Kute. Wag ka nang magalala dyan. Atsaka alam kong maiintindihan naman yun ni Sir Richard mo.”
“Kasi naman nay nung birthday ko masyado nyang ginawang espesyal tapos ako ngayon…”
“Maya nagkasakit ka. Mas magagalit si Sir Richard kung nagpumilit kang bumalik sa Manila.”
“Kahit na nay. Ang dami namang araw na magkakasakit eh kung bakit sa kaarawan pa ni Ser Chief.”
She didn’t notice Kute joining them. She also had a teasing look. “Baka naman kasi bunso sobra kang excited sa kaarawan ni Ser Chief mo kaya hayun nagkalovenat ka tuloy.”
“Uy Kute hindi ah! Kaasar to!”
“Hindi pero namumula na. Naku Maya umayos ka nga. At mag-ayos ka ng buhok mo. Ayun binigay ni Ser Chief mo yun number nya. Tawagan mo na para masabihan mo na nang I love you, este Happy Birthday pala.”
“Kute ano ba!” Pikon na si Maya. “Pahiram na muna nga ng phone mo.”
Nanay Teresita enjoyed watching her daughters.
“Naku mag-ayos ka na muna Maya tapos lumabas ka na muna para kumain na tayo. Mamaya mo na tawagan si Sir Richard.” Her nanay said with finality then left the room.
“O bunso magpaganda ka na para naman magtunog kang maganda sa phone.” She teased some more.
“Excuse me Kute maganda talaga ako!”
“O siya sabi mo eh! Bilisan mo na para makakain na tayo at para makausap mo na si Ser Chief mo. Para na rin matanggal yang lovenat mo kapag nakausap mo si crushmate.”
“Kute!!!! Marinig ka naman ni Nanay! Tayong tatlo lang ni Ser Chief ang may alam dyan eh. Nakakainis ka!”
“Oo hindi na! Kaya mo na ba talaga ha? Hindi ka na nahihilo?”
“Hindi na Kute. Okay na ako. Sige na mauna ka na dun at wag mo akong bibiruin sa harap ni Nanay. Kahiya!”
After fixing her hair and changing her clothes which she had been wearing since last night, Maya went out her room and proceeded to their dining table. She was surprised to see what her nanay and sister prepared. All her favorite dishes were on the table.
“So how are you feeling Maya?”
The gentle voice that she missed so much startled her and gave her goosebumps. Even Richard Lim’s voice never fails to make her feel giddy.
Maya turned around slowly. She thought her ears were playing tricks on her.
The moment her eyes met his, she was unable to control herself, he flung her arms around him for an embrace. “Nandito ka Ser Chief! Happy Birthday!”
She was beyond happy to see him.
Though a bit embarrassed that Maya hugged him in front of her parents, Richard hugged her tightly in return. He even kissed her forehead. “You overworked yourself again kaya ka nagkasakit. You made me worry. ” He tenderly told her in a voice that made her knees wobble with kilig.
Also in a whisper she replied. “Sorry na. Kala ko naman kasi kaya ko eh.” They were still in an embrace while talking to each other. They occasionally look into each other’s eyes while doing so.
“Ehem ehem… ang dami nang langgam… yun pagkain.”
The two suddenly broke the embrace, both blushing.
Richard sheepishly smiled. While Maya pouted and gave her pikon glare at Kute.
“Ano Maya? Bakit ganyan ka makatingin? Huy bunso may basbas naman na ni Nanay yan so okay lang. Go lang kayo.” She joked.
Nanay Teresita was just observing them but she was happy to witness Richard’s concern for her daughter.
“Anong basbas? Anong pinagsasabi mo Kute?”
Richard interjected, “Ah eh, Maya kanina I already made my intention clear to Aling Teresita and Cristina Rose. I asked their permission to court you and they gave me their blessings.”
If she was already blushing awhile ago, Maya even turned redder this time. She was shy all of a sudden especially as to where the conversation was leading to.
Richard was quick to notice how she became uncomfortable. “Hey what’s wrong?” He even tucked her errant hair in her ear.
She was really shy. “Ah eh wala! Wala naman.”
“Maya I asked permission so that your nanay and sister would know that my intentions are clean. I also promised them that I’ll take care of you and won’t give them any reason to worry. This is the right thing to do Maya and gusto ko na alam nila that I’m sincere when I say that you are very special to me. I also want them to know that I would always support you and never get in the way of your dreams kahit, hopefully, maging tayo na. I also want to assure them that I would always protect you, never give you a reason to be sad or upset or mad. And most of all I would take care of you and always be careful with your feelings, with your heart.”
“Eeeehhhh! Nagpapakilig ka nang masyado baka himatayin ulit ako nyan.”
“Silly!” Then he hugged her again and kissed her forehead leaving both Nanay Teresita and Kute in awe of the man who flew all the way to San Nicolas just to make sure that their daughter is okay.
He even gave both the dela Rosa women flowers and asked the local restaurant to prepare food to celebrate his birthday with Maya and her family.
“Ehem ehem sabi ko nga di ba ang dami na pong langgam ng pagkain…”
“Yes let’s eat now.”
After a hearty meal shared by the family and even their neighbors, Maya and Ricky were now seated at the small sofa in the dela Rosa living room. Kute and Nanay Teresita were at the Chibugan. They wanted to give Richard and Maya privacy so they left them alone.
“Ser Chief salamat ha!”
“Nagpunta ka pa talaga dito. Kawawa naman yung mga bata.”
“No. I already celebrated my birthday with them yesterday and nandun sila kina mama at papa. I cleared my schedule today kasi nga I have plans to celebrate my birthday with you. Kaso yun nga nagkasakit ka.”
“Nagalit ka ba nang hindi kita natawagan at nabati?”
“No. Of course not!”
“Hindi ka affected?” Sad sya to learn na wala naman kay Ser Chief na hindi siya nabati.
“Syempre affected. I was expecting to hear your voice the moment I woke up eh to greet me. Pero hindi ako galit. Tampo is more like it. But when I found out you got sick it’s more of worry. I had to ask Captain James to fly me here.”
“Si Ser James? Seryoso? Akala ko naiinis ka dun.”
“No hindi ako naiinis. Nagseselos ng konti siguro. But that was before. Now alam ko that there’s nothing to be jealous of.” Then he gave her his confident smile.
“Bakit do I need to be jealous of him?”
“Siyempre wala. Pero dapat hindi ka na nagpunta. Pwede naman na akong lumuwas bukas.”
“No. We’re staying here for three days. Ipinagpaalam na kita sa Time Airways and I already asked Liza and Atty Ryan to take care of LAS matters.”
“Ser Chief hindi naman kailangan eh. Mas kailangan ka sa LAS.”
“But I want it here. I want to take care of you. I also want to experience what it’s like to live here in the province kahit three days lang. I’ll make sure na magpapagaling ka.”
“Magaling na nga ako Ser Chief. Ang kulit.”
“Shhh stop arguing with the birthday celebrant.”
“Ay teka Ser Chief may surprise ako sa’yo.”
“A kiss?” he teased.
Namula si Maya and she lovingly slapped him. “Ano ka ba! Hindi! Ikaw talaga!”
He made a pout.
She just giggled at how cute he looked.
Then she stood up and got something from her room. “Regalo ko to na pinagawa ko sa palengke kahapon.”
It was a shirt with his face on it
In front it showed
At the back…
She gave the shirt to him and hid her face while giggling at what she had printed on it.
He chuckled, amused at her. Maya never fails to make him smile.
“Nagustuhan mo?” She asked him.
“Of course. What’s in this shirt is true. I only began to smile when I met you.”
“Pakilig ka na naman eh.”
“I love the shirt but of course it would be better to have a birthday kiss too.”
She was blushing again.
“Bakit bawal ba?”
“Ah eh… hindi naman pero…”
But before finishing what she was saying Richard already captured her lips with his and gave he a gentle kiss which made Maya close her eyes and hold on to Richard’s nape.
A/N: No hindi pa sila pero pwede naman ata yun kiss. Birthday naman ni Serchief Ricky eh.
The kids came to the breakfast table and found their dad smiling as if imagining something. He was even blushing. He seemed amused. Kahit yung eyes nya smiling. Isang linya na lang sa tuwa.
“Uy si dad very happy. What are you thinking about dad?” It was Luke.
Hindi siya narinig ni daddy nya. Ser Chief’s mind was on something else. He was indeed thinking about the “tipsy” incident and he couldn’t help but feel kilig. Parang kinukuryente and yun butterflies sa stomach nya di makalma. He’s been grinning, shaking his head, smiling… he looks like a lovesick fool.
“I bet dad is thinking about his crush. Ayan he is nagbublush!” It was Nikki in her typical ‘Nikki-like’ comment.
Of course naalert ang ears ni daddy nya when he heard the word crush.
“No I’m not!” Of course deny naman ang daddy nila, panic seen in his eyes.
“Of course you are, dear daddykins. Even nga your ears are red and you look like Kuya whenever he is daydreaming about Ate Joey. Naku nagmana pala sa’yo si Kuya.” Nikki further teased her already uncomfortable daddy.
“Nikki!” hala panic mode because his kids seemed to notice him na. Worried sya siyempre.
Namumula siyang lalo.
“Daddy it’s okay to have a crush. At least you’re no longer sungit and we get to see you being happy.” Nikki assured him when she saw na parang nagworry si daddy nya.
“Oo nga dad okay lang naman yan. Atsaka pabor sa amin ni Niks and Abby kasi tumaas allowance naming.” Luke even joked.
Si Abby naman tahimik lang. She’s enjoying eating her cereals for breakfast.
Ayaw pa rin ni Ser Chief patulan yun sinasabi ng kids. Patay malisya na lang. “Kumain na kayo. Malalate na kayo sa school.”
“Si dad iniiba ang usapan. What were you thinking about kasi?” Nikki prodded.
Oh well he was thinking about the tipsy incident of Maya, of course hindi yun kanya kasi nahopia sya when Manang Fe interrupted them.
He remembered how extra touchy Maya was that time.
He remembered how she poked his dimples and pinched his cheeks.
He also remembered when she even told him how handsome he looks and how good he smells.
Kinukuryente na siya sa kilig while imagining it again.
“See kuya. In love talaga si dad.” Nikki again commented.
“Dad kelan mo ba kasi balak ligawan si Ate Maya?” Luke casually asked.
All the three kids – Nikki, Luke and even Abby excitedly looked at him.
Hala caught red-handed si Ser Chief. Namumula. Nauutal. “What are you talking about?” Last attempt nya para magpalusot.
“Dad we all know naman that you like Ate Maya and we all know that everyday mo syang pinupuntahan sa Time Airways.” Nikki admitted.
“Yes dad and alam din namin na kaya ka sobrang inspired lately is because of Ate Maya. So dad when ka manliligaw? Bibigyan kita ng tips dad.” It was Luke.
“Eeewww Kuya! Baka hindi sagutin ni Ate Maya si dad kapag moves mo yun gamitin nya.” Si Nikki.
Ser Chief now smiled. Nakahinga ng maluwag. So the kids know pala and are even okay with it. He was beyond happy with what he discovered.
“Dad I love Ate Maya. Sana maging mom namin sya.” At humirit pa ang Abby.
“Naku baby masyado kang advanced. Baka matakot si Ate Maya nyan. Pero honestly dad, if ever may papalit kay mom, I hope it is Ate Maya.” Luke assured him.
Nagsmile na lang si Ricky. He didn’t know what to say. Overwhelmed siya sa support ng kids nya.
Yes they were what he calls ‘crushmates’ but he already had elaborate future plans which definitely includes Maya.
“Oh dad wag ka nang magworry kasi okay naman sa amin nina Kuya at Abby. I’m sure you are making tago your kilig kay Ate Maya kasi you are worried na kontra kami. Of course we are not kontra dad. We are 100% behind you.”
“Oo nga dad at tutulong pa kami. Even nga sina Ate Sabel, Ate Doris and Kuya Joma are planning how to help you and Ate Maya.” Luke added.
“Oh yes dad. You’re so bagal kasi. Mamaya nyan baka may makilala si Ate Maya na mas handsome, mas mabait at mas sweet sa’yo sa Time Airways. Marami pa namang gwapong flight attendants. Siyempre alam lang ni Ate Maya na you have a crush on her. Iba dad yun crush lang sa making ligaw na. Sige ka maunahan ka ng iba.” Nikki even warned him.
“So everybody knows?” He was surprised that the entire household knows.
Nahiya tuloy siya kasi he exerted much effort acting na parang wala lang sila ni Maya when in front of his kids and their househelp.
“Oo naman dad. We all know. Even sina lola at lolo knows.” Nikki happily told him.
“Yes dad and lolo Roberto said that you are like a turtle daw po. Mabagal ka daw po.” Abby innocently said.
He was blushing, shaking his head and laughing “When did you find out? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hide it kaya lang…”
“Dad we understand. Siyempre nakakahiya naman na someone like you is like a high school boy na kinikilig sa crush. Nakakahiya naman talaga yun.” Nikki interrupted what he was about to say.
He was about to explain about the more serious reason like – the kids may not agree with it or they may not like Maya, pero his kids are really kindhearted. They genuinely like Maya and they thought na nagtatago siya ng feelings kasi nahihiya siya to have a crush at his age.
“O dad we’ll go ahead na po kasi baka mahuli na kami sa school.” It was Luke.
“Bye dad!” Si Nikki.
“Bye dad!” Si Abby.
All the kids kissed him goodbye.
As they were about to board the car, Ricky called all the three of them. “Guys give your old man a hug muna pwede?”
Then the three kids rushed to their dad.
Ricky engulfed the three of them in a big group embrace while whispering “Thank you very much. I love you guys.”
“Awww si dad mushy. You’re making me iyak.” Si Nikki.
“Naku Niks halika na nga. Magdradrama ka pa eh.”
Then the kids left. Ricky was beyond happy. Now he could indeed tell Maya his intentions.
The kids were with him when he fetched Maya one afternoon. He begged them not to tell Maya that they already know. Ayaw nya kasing maging uncomfortable si Maya. All the three kids agreed.
“Maya kasama ko yung mga bata. Gusto kasing magbonding.” He immediately told her the moment he saw her at the TA entrance.
“Huh? Hala dapat di mo na ako sinundo Ser Chief. Nakakahiya naman sa mga bata. Naabala pa yun bonding nyo.”
“Maya they wanted na kasama ka sa bonding namin. They actually requested na sumama sila to fetch you.”
“Ser Chief naman nakakahiya naman sa kanila.” Worried syempre si Maya.
“Don’t be. They like you. Actually excited na yan pumunta dito. Bitin daw kasi sa bahay because kahati pa nila sina Sabel at Doris sa’yo.” He assured her.
“Sinasabi mo lang yan Ser Chief.”
“No I’m honest.”
The moment they arrived sa car, aba excited nga yun kids. Unahan sila sa paghug kay Maya. Sa loob naman ng car, unahan din silang magkwento about school. Totoo nga yun sinabi ni Ser Chief
Ricky was enjoying every minute of it.
“This will be my future family”, he told himself.
He drove towards a mall to watch a movie which was part of the kids’ request.
After the movie they were having dinner while telling nonstop stories.
Ricky was just enjoying the scene before him when Abby suddenly blurted out…
“Ate Maya when will you say yes po sa panliligaw ni daddy?”
“Wag ka na nga Ser Chief. Nakakahiya!” She was covering her face.
Richard and Maya were having snacks in a small coffee shop in front of Time Airways. He was teasing her about the wine tasting activity the TA Training School had a few days ago, where Maya got drunk and did silly things in front of the other FAs and their mentors.
Ser Chief, who again fetched her that day, wasn’t spared from Maya’s antics as well. He’s been pinched on both cheeks, sniffed then she even removed his glasses then tried it on. “Bakit ganito ang salamin mo Ser Chief?”
“Bakit? What’s wrong with my glasses?”
She giggled. “Mas lalo ka kasing gumwapo sa paningin ko eh.” Then she giggled again.
Richard exerted every ounce of control and patience that day. He was already affected by his crushmate’s touchy moves. Maya was very talkative and uninhibited. She’s been telling him how good looking he was, how he makes her feel so kilig whenever he sends her messages or whenever she hears his voice, how her heart leaps whenever he fetches her. In short nasabi ni Maya lahat. Kasi nga she was drunk and unaware. She even leaned on his shoulder then even leaned on his chest. She possessively held his arms too.
Of course sobrang happy si Ricky. Very wide yun smile nya. He felt like he was the luckiest man alive. He even hoped that may part two yung wine tasting activity nila Maya.
“Ser Chief naman eh. Iniimagine mo na naman yun mga pinagagawa ko nung araw na yun. Erase na kasi.” Tampo na si Maya. Medyo napipikon na.
“How could I forget? You were so funny. At you were also extra sweet.” Then he grinned again.
Nagpanic ang Maya. “Sweet? Bakit ano bay un ginawa ko?”
Of course hindi naman ni Ser Chief sinabi kay Maya kung ano yun mga pinagagawa niya. He didn’t want to embarrass her and of course he didn’t want na mahiya sa kanya si Maya at iwasan siya. “Nothing. You were just extra talkative and you were malambing. No harm done.”
“Talaga? Naku nakakahiya! Hindi naman kita sinukahan?”
“No. You did it sa labas ng kotse.”
“Naku sumuka nga ako. Hindi naman nangamoy Ser Chief?” She was already worried na baka nagkalat sya.
“No you didn’t. Pina-gargle kita ng tubig after kang sumuka. Atsaka you don’t have to worry. Hindi naman kita pinabayaan.”
“Yun na nga ang mas nakakahiya. Sa harap mo pa talaga ako nagkalat. Naku nakakaturn-off.” Cover ulit siya ng face niya si Maya.
Tawa pa rin ng tawa si Ser Chief. “Hey stop covering your face. Never akong matuturn-off sa’yo. In fact I enjoyed it. You were so funny. I saw another side of you din.”
“Ha? Another side? Anong another side?”
“Hey don’t worry. Ako lang naman yun nakakita.” Hala mali yun phrasing niya. Baka mamisinterpret ni Maya.
“Ser Chief!!! Anong nakita???” Lagot na.
“Ah eh… nothing. You were just extra talkative, extra funny. Yun lang.” Of course di nya pwedeng sabihin that she was extra touchy, that she even removed her outer blazer kasi naiinitan siya. Buti na lang gentleman si Ser Chief that he never took advantage of the situation. He even used Maya’s scarf to cover her front blouse which she also tried to unbutton kasi nga mainit. Promise never sya tumingin.
“Sigurado? Yun lang talaga ginawa ko?” Gusto nyang malinaw.
“Yes. Yun lang nga. Stop worrying about it. Ako yun kasama ko so you are in very safe hands. Hindi naman kita papabayaan.”
Kumalma na si Maya. “Next time sana ikaw naman ang malasing Ser Chief para makabawi naman ako.” She wanted to take care of him too when he gets drunk.
“I don’t get drunk Maya.
“Weh? Talaga? Kahit marami kang iniinom?”
“I don’t drink. Well konti lang. Kapag may occasions lang so yan, you would never see me drunk.”
Sad ang Maya. Di sya makakabawi.
Ayaw ni Ser Chief na sad siya so an idea hit him.
Two days after, on a weekend.
Maya was surprised to see Joma, instead of Ser Chief fetching her.
“Maya halika na?”
“Ah eh bakit ka nandito?”
“Kasama ko si Ser Richard kaso ayun sa kotse. Medyo nakainom kasi.”
Worried agad ang Maya. “Hala lasing si Ser Chief? Inuwi mo na sana sa mansion Kuya Joma.”
“Walang tao sa mansion Maya. Lahat sila nandun sa bahay nila Don Roberto at Dona Esmeralda. Pupunta kasi ng beach bukas kaya dun na sila matutulog. Si Ser nagpaiwan kasi may kameeting pa kanina kaso hayun niyayang uminom eh hindi naman si Ser umiinom kaya nalasing agad.”
“Naku paano yan? Kawawa naman si Ser Chief. Halika na kuya Joma.”
She hurriedly followed Joma who insisted on carrying her bag.
She saw her Ser Chief at the backseat of the car. His eyes were closed.
“Maya tabihan mo na si Ser dyan. Dito ko na lang sa harap ang bag mo.” Kuya Joma suggested.
“Sige Kuya Joma. Tapos dahan dahan ka lang sa pagmaneho kasi baka mas mahilo si Ser Chief.” Super worried si Maya. She sat beside her Ser Chief. He smells alcohol nga pero mabango pa rin. Namumula rin face nya pero gwapo pa rin. “Naku Maya tama na muna ang pagkabighani sa face ng crush mo” She told herself.
Hindi rin nya alam ang gagawin. “Kuya Joma anong gagawin ko?” Aligaga siya.
Joma was laughing. Amused kay Maya. “Tulog naman si Ser hayaan mo lang.”
“Pero Kuya Joma mukhang naiinitan si Ser Chief. Pakilakasan ang aircon.” She requested.
“Maya wala nang ilalakas ang aircon. Buti pa buksan mo na lang yun polo ni Ser.”
Panic ang Maya. “Naku ayaw ko nga Kuya Joma!” Namula na rin si Maya.
“Huy bakit namumula ka na? Ang oa naman ng reaksyon mo. Buksan mo yun polo ni Ser kasi naiinitan ang mga taong nakainom. Para mapreskuhan lang si Ser. Atsaka naka tshirt naman yan sa ilalim. Ikaw talaga Maya.”
“Eh Kuya Joma…”
“Sige na Maya. Atsaka mukhang matratraffic pa tayo. Kawawa naman yan si Ser. Wala naman yang malay kaya okay lang yan.”
She followed what Joma told her. She opened the top three buttons of her Ser Chief’s polo. Para siyang kinukuryente. Kilig na kilig kasi.
Kung sa tingin nyo tulog si Ser Chief. You are all wrong. Di ba nga Maya wanted to experience na alagaan din siya kapag he’s drunk para makabawi? So ayan he’s just pretending he’s drunk and pretending to sleep din. Even si Joma walang malay sa lahat. Richard had a few drinks pero he is not drunk. Pero sa suggestion ni Joma, mukhang dapat panindigan nya na drunk sya. Pasaway naman kasi si Joma.
“Kuya Joma nabuksan ko na!” Then she covered her face.
“Nakakatawa ka Maya. Para yan lang pulang pula ka na. Si Ser Richard lang naman yan. Hindi naman yan si Piolo.” (Naku Joma kung alam mo lang. Mas bet ng marami si Ser Chief kesa k Piolo).
“Eeeehhh Kuya Joma mas nakakahiya nga kasi si Ser Chief. Atsaka first time ko kayang magbukas ng polo na ganyan. Kuya Joma nakakahiya!”
“Shhhh ang ingay mo Maya. Baka magising yan si Ser.”
Naku gising si Ser Chief at aliw na aliw sa reaction ni crush nya. All throughout the trip, Maya remained quiet na. She would check on him once in a while pero malayo sa kanya. Shy si Maya na masyadong dumikit kay Ser Chief.
Ser Chief felt naughty that night at may plano na sya kung ano ang gagawin when they arrive sa mansion. Alam nyang walang tao sa mansion. (Huy not those naughty plans sa minds nyo! Gentleman kaya si Ser Chief!)
Ayun na nga dumating na sila.
They both assisted the nakainom-and-pretending-to-be-drunk na Ser Chief. Of course he acted convincingly or else malalagot sya kay Maya.
Joma and Maya laid him sa sofa sa living room.
“Dito na lang siya magpahinga Maya tutal wala namang tao. Sasamahan ko na lang. Pakihanda na lang pamalit na damit ni Ser. Ako na lang magpapalit sa kanya. Tapos tulungan mo na lang ako na punasan sya. Baka naman kasi mahiya ka ulit dyan.” Joma suggested.
And of course asar na asar yun pretending-na-lasing na Ser Chief. Panira si Joma sa diskarte nya. He should have instructed Joma to stay with the kids.
Of course prepare naman si Maya ng clothes ni Ser Chief. Yun shirt lang syempre. Alangan naman palitan ni Joma ng pambaba si Ser Chief. Maya also prepared a basin with warm water and a small towel to wipe his face.
She was about to wipe his face and arms and Joma was removing his polo when Joma’s phone rang. Sinagot muna nya.
After a few minutes….
“Naku Maya, nakalimutan ko pala yun pinapabili ni Don Roberto na gagawing barbeque. Ihahanda na kasi yun mamaya ni Sabel para sa outing bukas. Okay lang ban a iwanan muna kita dito? Pagising nyan ni Ser itimpla mo lang ng sobrang tapang na kape. Ikaw na rin bahala magpalit ng damit nya kasi baka masarahan ako ng grocery.”
“Okay lang Kuya Joma. Sige na ako na ang bahala dito. Kayang kaya ko na to.” Volunteer agad ang Maya.
Naku super happy yun pretending-to-be-drunk na SC.
Maya was left with Ser Chief.
Plan would commence now.
Pakonti konti na gigising kunwari.
He needs to act mala-drunk.
Dumilat na yun eyes. He acted na unaware sa mga nangyayari. He smiled with his pamatay na smile with dimples.
“What are you doing here very lovely lady?”
Nagulat ang Maya. She was still wiping his arms. “Ser Chief gising na kayo? Anong nararamdaman nyo?”
Pacute na smile ulit. At tunog lasing ulit “I feel good. I feel happy. I feel lucky that there’s a very pretty lady in front of me. You look like Maya dela Rosa, the woman of my dreams. You are very lovely.”
“Ser Chief!!!” Pulang pula na si Maya sa mga hirit ni Ser Chief.
He was smiling. Magaling umakting na drunk and he’s enjoying na kilig na kilig si Maya sa mga sinasabi nya.
“You look like my crush… wait I’ll rephrase that… you look like the woman whom I want to be my girlfriend… my partner… you even smile like her…ambango mo rin.”
Nanlaki eyes ni Maya. Lumakas heartbeat. “Gusto nya akong maging girlfriend?” She said to herself.
“Ser Chief wag na kayong maingay. Pupunasan ko muna kayo kasi ampula nyo na.” She needs to stop him from talking or else baka himatayin siya sa kilig.
Syempre Ser Chief won’t miss the chance of simpleng innocent touches like yun pagpupunas sa arms. Hindi naman yun bad, he justified. Atsaka arms lang naman at neck, if he gets luckier.
So para maipagpatuloy ni Maya, he closed his eyes again.
Maya wiped his arms ulit.
At he became luckier nga. Maya was wiping his neck na rin with the warm cloth and was about to even wipe his chest when…
“Maya ako na dyan.” It was Manang Fe. Bumalik pala siya sa mansion.
Nakahinga si Maya, pero slightly disappointed rin.
Nahopia si Ser Chief. Hindi pa nga nya nagagawa yun mga ginawa rin sa kanya ni Maya when she was drunk. Kakastart lang nya.
Then Manang Fe got the warm washcloth from Maya. “Sige na Maya. Maghapunan ka na muna tapos magpahinga. May gamit ka naman kaya dito ka na matulog para may kasama ako sa kwarto.”
“Sige po Manang Fe.”
As Maya left…
Manang Fe pinched Richard’s side. “Gumising ka na nga dyan. Ang pilyo pilyo mo Ricardo!”
“Manang I am drunk.” He complained. Pikit pa rin yun eyes.
“Hindi mo ako maloloko. Lumang gimik mo na yan kahit noon. Lagi mo yang ginagamit sa mga babae noong college ka. Pati si Maya idadamay mo. Kung may gusto kang sabihin kay Maya sabihin mo nang diretso hindi yun magpapanggap ka pang lasing.”
“Manang lasing nga ako.”
“Lasing talaga ha! Sige ako na magbibihis sa’yo.”
Scared na gawin nga yun ni Manang Fe, he immediately sat. Lasing act forgotten.
A/N : Kasi naman Ricardo! Pumaparaang #crushmates nga naman
Saturday. Richard was very excited for the swimming lessons he would teach Maya. He asked Joma to clean the pool the night before. He even asked Doris to get the inflatable toys in their storage room so that they could use it.
He asked Manang Fe and Sabel to prepare barbeque and hotdogs and other finger food for them to eat as well. They prepared the table near the pool. Dun na rin sila magbreakfast as it was still very early.
It will be swimming day for the entire Lim family. He decided to allow everyone to join them so that Maya wouldn’t be awkward when he teaches her the basics of swimming. He knows that Maya tends to be shy so he already thought of a solution and that is to let everybody join.
Nobody knows too that it was because of Maya that they would be swimming today. Richard decided not to mention it.
He’s very excited.
Maya spent the night with them. She slept at Abby’s room as her former ward requested her Ate Maya to sleep with her.
“Ricardo abalang abala ka dyan.” Manang Fe appeared behind him. He was busy checking the pool making sure that the floor tiles weren’t slippery to avoid accidents.
“Ah Manang I just checked the floor. Baka kasi nakalimutan ni Jomang linisin. Baka madulas yun mga bata.”
“Naninibago ako sa’yo. Ngayon ka lang naging excited magswimming. Ang alam ko, eh halos ayaw mong gamitin yang swimming pool na yan.”
“Manang it’s summer. This would be a great bonding time for the kids. Kayo Manang join din kayo mamaya. I already told Sabel, Doris and Joma to join as well.” He was smiling at Manang Fe.
“Eh si Maya?”
“Ah…eh… it’s up to her Manang if she wants to join.” Hala nahiya pa si Ricardo na aminin na si Maya ang reason for the impromptu swimming.
“Pasalihin mo para matuwa si Abby. At para matuwa ka rin.” Manang said the last line to herself.
“Yes Manang I’ll tell her.”
Then Manang Fe left him.
He was relieved. He was never a good liar. He didn’t want to lie but he was shy kay Manang Fe especially that Manang Fe could read him like a book. He didn’t want her or anybody teasing him. Di siya ready for it.
“Dad are we gonna start na?” Nikki who was excited to wear her new swimming outfit and hat asked her dad. Luke was also trailing behind. He was just making annoyed expressions at Nikki.
“Sure you go ahead. I’ll just wait for Abby.”
He was excitedly waiting for Maya and Abby. He was ready to swim. He’s wearing board shorts and a shirt. Siyempre he couldn’t be topless or else baka di sila makafocus ni Maya. Excited din siya on what she will wear. She mentioned that she even bought a swimwear kasi required ng TA Training School.
He heard Sabel and Doris by the stairs “Day ano yan? Bakit ganyan ang suot mo? Naku dapat swimwear di ba? Manang wear naman yan eh.”
Di pa nya nakikita sina Maya but he already braced himself to be disappointed. Maybe she got shy to wear her swimsuit. Malamang she is wearing a dark shirt and cycling shorts.
“Ano ba Doris, Sabel. nakakahiya naman magsuot ng ganyan sa inyo.” She protested.
“Naku Maya dela Rosa kung ganyan ang katawan ko sa’yo isusuot ko na ang pinakasexy na swimsuit. Nakakainis ka girl!”
“Wag nga kayo. Marinig nga tayo ni Ser Chief. Nakakahiya!!!”
“Anong hiya hiya eh si Ser nga nakaswimming trunks” Sabel teased her.
Nagulat si Maya. Napaimagine ng kung ano-ano.
She even closed her eyes. “Naku Sabel! Erase erase!”
“Ha? Anong pinagsasabi mo Maya? Anong erase erase mo dyan?” Clueless si Doris pero quick si Sabel. “Aha! Iniimagine mo si Ser ano?! Naku Maya ikaw ha!”
“Oy kayo hindi ah! Hali na nga kayo at inip na tong alaga ko.”
“Uy excited na makitang nakatrunks si Ser.” Sabel further teased her.
Richard who heard everything was just smiling. Naaaliw sya kina Doris at Sabel especially when they are teasing Maya.
Maya came down still wearing a robe so di pa nya alam what’s underneath.
“Good morning Ser Chief.” she greeted him. Relieved din sya that her Ser Chief was wearing board shorts and not trunks. Nakahinga sya ng maluwag pero slightly disappointed din pero ayaw nya siyempre aminin even to herself.
“Good Morning Maya. Hi Baby! Let’s have breakfast muna. Nakahanda na sa poolside.” Then he carried Abby.
“Ah sige Ser Chief.” Shy na shy pa rin sya.
She just took few bites of the hotdogs and di na rin kumain ng rice. She wanted to start the swimming lessons while hindi pa masyadong mainit.
Abby already joined Luke and Nikki. Joma, Sabel and Doris were also swimming. Manang Fe returned to her room.
“Dad, Ate Maya join us.” Luke was calling them already.
He went near her. Pasimple ba. “Ready ka na?”
‘Oo Ser Chief. Alalayan mo ako ha?”
“Of course.” They were both talking in hushed voices para di marining ng iba.
“Remove your robe na Maya.”
Nashy ulit si Maya while naexcite si Ser Chief.
Ayan dahil sa nerbyos or hiya, nabuhol yun knot ng robe ni Maya. She couldn’t remove it.
Of course Ser Chief to the rescue. He slowly went near her then carefully untied the robe. Pulang pula and hiyang hiya si Maya. Kilig na kilig rin like electric bolts were in her system.
“Relax…” He said in his soft voice that never fails to give Maya goosebumps.
“Ako na Ser Chief.” She said when she was na naayos na yun belt ng robe nya.
He gave her his sweet smile showing his dimples. He even winked at her.
Maya saw what he’s been doing so she whispered to him. “Ser Chief tigilan mo nga yan. Baka matunaw ako bago pa man tayo mag-umpisang magswimming.”
“Affected ka?” he teased her.
“Ser Chief ha! Mabiro kang masyado kahit sa harap ng mga bata.”
“Okay lang yan. They know that I’m fond of you anyway. We all are naman.”
“Wag ka na ngang masyadong magpakilig dyan. Nadidistract na nga ako at nakashorts ka.” She compalined.
Ricky was loving every bit of their banters. He was oblivious that they were in front of everybody. “So you find me sexy with my shorts? Affected ka nga!”
“Halika na nga Ser Chief. Nagiging pilyo ka na ha! Hindi bagay.”
Then Maya slowly removed her robe.
He was expecting the worst but was blessed with such a lovely sight.
Maya was wearing a conservative one-piece swimwear but it hugged her body perfectly. It even showed her curves and her legs.
Uh-oh siya na ngayon ang sobrang affected at excited that without waiting for Maya he dove sa pool and did few laps of swimming.
Nagtaka naman lahat maliban kay naughty Sabel who saw Maya and immediately understood that their boss got affected with Maya’s swimwear. Natawa na lang si Sabel.
“Daddy why are you making pasikat with your swimming skills?” Nikki innocently asked.
“I was just showing Maya that magaling akong magswim. She’s doubting me kasi when I told her na I’m a very good swimmer.” Palusot nya.
Maya was already beside Abby. Panay lang hawak sa sides ng pool.
“Ate Maya si Daddy pala dapat ang magturo sa’yong magswim.” Abby knows that Maya has swimming lessons in time Airways.
Siyempre pakipot ang Maya. Pretending na hindi nila napagusapan ni Ser Chief yun lessons. “Baby baka busy ang daddy mo atsaka nakakahiya. Hindi ako marunong. Baka mahirapan syang turuan ako.”
Tumaas lang ang kilay ni Ricky. Nagpalusot din ang Maya.
“Okay lang naman yan kay dad. Di ba dad?” It was Luke this time.
Nang hindi agad nagsalita si Ser Chief, Joma volunteered. “Ako na lang Maya para wag maabala si Ser.”
Lagot kung kanina happy like a dolphin si Ser Chief, now biglang sungit like a shark.
Maya saw it so she immediately quipped. “Wag na Kuya Joma. Si Ser Chief na lang. sayang naman yun pagkakataon na maturuan ng napakagaling na swimmer.”
Ayun smiling like a dolphin ulit si Ser Chief.
Alam na alam ni crushmate pano siya pakalmahin.
And yes he patiently taught her all the basics of swimming kahit na yun iba’t-ibang strokes – breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, sidestroke and butterfly stroke. Kahit nga ata dolphin at tiger stroke.
Sobrang thankful si Maya kay Ser Chief.
Sobrang proud naman si Ser Chief that Maya is a very fast learner.
And both sila happy that everybody was supportive of the swimming lessons.
He was now bringing her to the condo:
“Thank you talaga Ser Chief. Marami akong natutunan sa’yo. Sana hindi kita pinagod.”
“I enjoyed it Maya especially that I got to do it with you. I’m very happy.”
“Hindi ka nawalan ng pasensya?”
“Do I look like nawalan ng pasensya?”
“Hindi naman. Pero malay ko ba. Baka nagprepretend ka lang na okay.”
“I am okay. I enjoyed every moment I spent with you and I’m looking forward to teaching you many things pa and doing more activities with you.” Then he again gave her his pamatay na smile with those dimples which made Maya’s heart somersault.
“Anong activities Ser Chief?”
“You’ll see.” Then with a naughty grin forming on his face, he continued driving towards Maya’s condo.
A/N : Ano pa bang activities ang pwedeng ituro ni Ser Chief kay Mayabels? Golf? dancing? singing? cooking? Ah bahala na siya. Pero crushmate level activities lang ha! Light lang ang series na to. Inspired by the ligawan scenes of BCWMH.
“Maya wag mong kakalimutang magpraktis pag-uwi mo ha.” Edz jokingly reminded Maya while she was about to get inside the car. Her Ser Chief, as usual, fetched her again.
“Naku Edz ikaw talaga.”
Then she waved goodbye to Edz and Joshua then entered the car.
“Good afternoon Ser Chief.” He gave him her napakasweet na smile.
Of course happy ang heart ni Ser Chief, all pagod at inis dahil sa traffic forgotten.
“Good afternoon Maya.” He also smiled at siyempre sumirko at nag acrobat din ang heart ni Maya. Alam nyo naman si Ser Chief, smile pa lang sobra sobra na.
“Merienda tayo Ser Chief, treat ko.” Maya offered.
“Sure. I won’t say no to that. Where do you want to eat?”
“Sa madadaanan na lang nating Jollibee Ser Chief, gusto ko kasing kumain ng spaghetti.”
Natawa siya. Parang bata si Maya.
“You really want that one? Aren’t the food there for kids?”
“Hindi naman pangbata lang yun Ser Chief. Masarap kaya yun atsaka bibilhan ko kasi si Abby. Nagpromise kasi ako na ibibili ko sya kapag may pera na ako. Eh Ser Chief may allowance naman yun training namin kaya may pera ako.”
“Maya you have to save that for yourself. Wag mo na akong ililibre at wag mo na rin bigyan si Abby.” He didn’t want her spending on them. He knows she needs the money.
“Ser Chief pagbigyan mo na ako. Atsaka ngayon lang naman.”
“Sige na kasi mamaya may hihingin akong favor.” She again smiled at him, shyly this time.
So she will be asking for a favor kaya siya manlilibre. Maya is so cute. She considers him as parang barkada na ililibre kapalit ng favor. Napasmile siya. Aliw.
“Pero Ser Chief, kung di ka lang busy. Naisip ko kasi Sabado bukas so baka pwede ka tonight. Pero kung busy ka Ser Chief okay lang…”
“I have all the time in the world for you Maya.” He interrupted her. Kinilig syempre si Maya sa statement ni Ser Chief.
They were like this until they reached the Jollibee fastfood. Maya held her Ser Chief’s arm kasi mukhang hesitant siyang pumasok. She dragged him. “Halika na Ser Chief.”
But hila hila na siya ni Maya. She led him to an empty seat at the corner. “Dito ka lang. Ako na ang oorder. Anong gusto mo Ser Chief?” She asked him, excitement in her face. She seemed so happy to be able to treat him for merienda.
Ayaw naman nyang sirain yun mood ni Maya though he didn’t want her spending on him. “Kung anong kakainin mo, that’s what I’ll have na rin.” He knows that she’ll be having spaghetti so yun na rin sa kanya. At least it’s not that expensive.
“Sure ka ha?”
Then she excitedly walked to order.
After a few minutes he saw Maya with a tray of two orders of spaghetti, rice, chicken, sundae, iced tea and Champ burgers. She also had spaghetti and burgers for take out for Abby, Luke and Nikki. She was assisted by a Jollibee staff in carrying everything she ordered.
He was surprised. Nanlaki ang singkit na eyes. “Maya ang dami naman nyan!”
“Eh Ser Chief di kasi ako nagbreakfast at lunch nang maayos kanina tapos grabe yun activities namin. Gutom talaga ako. Marami ba to?”
“Oo Maya sobrang dami. Parang kang yun mga engineers kung magorder.”He wasn’t able to control his mouth. “Maya… I meant… ano…”
She was laughing. “Kala mo magtatampo ako sa sinabi mo Ser Chief? Hindi no! Atsaka totoo naman. Matakaw talaga ako kapag gutom at pagod at… kumportable ako sa kasama ko.”
He was relieved. Hindi naman pala galit si Maya. And she was comfortable with him. That line made him feel special.
“Let’s start? Nagutom rin ako sa mga inorder mo.” He managed to say.
So in that corner table of the famous fastfood chain, the crushmates shared stories of how their day went. Amidst the noisy crowd of that , they were both able to drown the noise and only focus on what each other was saying. This was new for Ser Chief. He never had the chance to eat in this kind of place for when the kids would request it, he would decline and just have a take-out or drive-thru instead. He loved the experience. He loved especially that it’s with Maya.
“Kita mo Ser Chief naubos mo rin nga.” She was amused to see that her Ser Chief ate everything she ordered for him as well.
Nangiti si Ser Chief. “Di ko na namalayan. I enjoyed our conversations kasi. But thank you Maya. Nabusog ako. I bet I won’t be able to eat dinner and also breakfast tomorrow.” He joked. He really enjoyed.
“Naku lagot ka kay Manang Fe nyan Ser Chief. Ayaw na ayaw nun na di ka kumakain.” She teased him.
“Ikaw ang ituturo ko. You made me eat all these.”
They were enjoying a lot.
“Maya so what’s the favor you’ll ask me to do?” He remembered.
Namula si Maya all of a sudden. She covered her face.
“Naku nakakahiya Ser Chief.”
“Bakit? Ano nga? Gumastos ka to treat me tapos nahihiya ka to ask the favor.”
“Mamaya na sa kotse. Baka may makarinig dito.” Shy talaga siya.
Si Ricky naman ay kung ano – ano nang naughty kalokohan ang naiisip with Maya’s expression. Why would she blush like that nga naman if simple lang ang favor na hihingin nya. And why nakakahiya na marinig ng iba? Excited si Ricky.
“Ano nga?” he asked her again.
“Mamaya na nga kasi Ser Chief.”
“Fine. We better go tutal tapos na rin naman tayo.” He’s now excited of what he would do for her.
Inside the car.
“So ano nga?”
“Eh wait lang Ser Chief. Ihahanda ko muna sarili ko bago ko sabihin.”
He’s getting impatient. “Ang dami mo naman pasakalye…”
“Kalma Ser Chief. Need ko rin munang kumalma kasi nakakahiya.”
He just smirked. Annoyed siya.
“Eto na. Sungit naman nito. “Kasi Ser Chief mag-aaral kaming magswimming. Kaso yun mga kasama ko marurunong na sila. Ako hind talaga. Naalala ko yung sinabi ni Manang Fe na sumasali ka sa swimming contests noon, kaya magpapaturo sana ako sa iyo. Atsaka may swimming pool sa bahay nyo. Doon na lang ako magpapaturo para pwede nating isama sina Abby. Yun. Okay lang ba sa inyo Ser Chief?”
Naku Maya could be really naïve. Okay na okay siyempre kay Ser Chief.
Namula si Ser Chief. Of course he’s a normal guy with normal hormones. Siyempre naexcite siya sa favor Maya is asking. At siyempre his mind brought him to imagine what he would be seeing kapag tinuruan nya si Maya magswim (hep hep hanggang swimming lang po ang imagination ha! Kapag sumobra doon, kayo na yun dear readers, hindi na si Ricardo at lalong hindi na rin ako).
“Uy Ser Chief okay lang?”
Napalunok si Richard. Nautal “Uhm.. o.oo. Sure Maya. Yun lang pala.”
Natuwa si Maya. “Thank you Ser Chief.” She even higged him. “Pag natuto ako hindi na ako kakantyawan nina Eds. Turuan mo ako ng iba’t ibang styles ha?”
“Su..sure…” He wasn’t able to recover yet lalo na at may hug pa. Comfortable na talaga sa kanya si Maya while sya naman getting uncomfortable na.
Maya noticed him. “Uy Ser Chief okay ka lang? Bakit namumula ka? Kahit yun tenga mo ang pula pula?” Naku talaga si Maya at tinanong pa.
“Nothing. Ganyan lang yan kapag nabusog sa treat.” Palusot nya.
“Ay ganun? Parang impatso?”
“Yes Maya. Impatso.”
She got worried. Dali dali naman kinuha yun sealed bottled water nya to give him.
And yes. He really needed it.
“Shall we go?” He asked her.
“Yes Ser Chief. Atsaka pwede bang humirit nang isa pa?”
“What is it Maya?”
“Pwede bang sa mansion ako matulog ngayong gabi? May dala na akong damit Ser Chief.” She was hiding her face. Nahihiya pa rin.
“Of course Maya. I would love, este Abby would love that.”
So with that famous smile plastered on his face and with that heart na kanina pa nagmamarathon sa tuwa, Ser Chief started driving towards the direction of the mansion.
Fiesta Ser Chief?
A/N : Treat – pwedeng yun Jollibee, pwede ring yun makikita ni Ricky sa swimming lessons, hahaha!