The Heart Never Forgets – 6

Richard went home when Manang Fe, Liza and Luke arrived.

He needed to take a shower and change his clothes which he wore since yesterday.

He left Manang Fe to take care of Maya and Luke. He also asked Liza, the trusted secretary of his late grandfather to stay. He requested Liza to handle all doctors instructions and relay it to him if ever an emergency comes up.

Maya was asleep when Manang Fe, Luke and Liza arrived. He didn’t bother to wake her up for he knows that she badly needs a lot of sleep and rest.

Luke was left in the care of Manang Fe and Liza.

Rafi and Edz also arrived and a few minutes Maya woke up.

“Kumusta na pakiramdam mo?” Edz asked her

“Okay naman na ako. Nakakahiya sainyo, naabala ko pa kayo”

“Naku, don’t say that. Anong abala ang pinagsasabi mo.” Rafi joined in.

“Kasi may activity tapos nandito kayo.”

“Emm, don’t say that. We love you kaya kung ano man ang mangyari sa yo or kay Luke, you can count on us.”

Rafi was genuinely smiling at her that Maya felt bad for thinking about her negatively.

Edz then said…

“Pero kinilig ako kahit taranta tayong lahat kahapon kasi super aligaga si Ricky sa pagdala sa’yo sa hospital. ”

“Oo nga. You could really see the worry in his face. Aakalain mo boyfriend ni Emm kung mag-alala.” Rafi was teasing her.

Namula si Maya. She never expected Rafi to be teasing her that way. It contradicts with her belief that Rafi and Ricky might be having something.

“Grabe, wag nga kayong ganyan, nakakahiya. Baka may makarinig. Baka marinig nya.”

“Ay naku Emm, kagabi pa after we have settled you dito sa hospital at okay naman lahat, we were already teasing Ricky. Tawa lang naman ng tawa.” Rafi continued.

Mas nahiya si Maya to find out that Richard is already being teased by Edz and Rafi.

“Naku nakakatawa nga kasi sa sobrang taranta ni Ricky, nabitawan nya yun contact lens ni Rafi.”

“At pasalamat ako na di natusok yun mata ko.”

“Ah ano?”Maya was baffled.

“Kasi nga di ba, nahihirapan akong maglagay ng contact lens, kaya I asked Ricky to help me tapos hayun nagulat kami ng nagslide ka.”

“Naku sorry Rafi. Ano ba naman ako. Ang clumsy ko naman. Okay lang ba yun mata mo? yun contact lens mo nawala ba?”

“Don’t worry my dear. I have a spare naman. Basta you have to rest at may concert pa tayo remember.”

Maya was embarrassed but mostly relieved that her assumption about Rafi and Ricky weren’t accurate.

Though she can’t admit it to herself, though she has no right at all, she was really jealous to the point that she was close to not being able to handle her emotions that night.

“Okay lang Emm. Ang pinaka importante ay you’re okay. Magiingat ka na sa susunod ha. Mabuti na lang Ricky was so quick at ang galing dumiskarte. Mabilis kaming nakarating sa hospital. He decided everything on his own kasi nagkagulo na kami.” Rafi was genuinely smiling at her.

“Very decisive nga siya. He just called his secretary ata yun, then yun na umayos ng hospital. At talagang alaga ka sa hospital na to. Family friend ata nila isa sa mga doctors dito kaya grabe sila magasikaso. Naku Emm grabe ang pogi points sayang nga lang at taken na kayo pareho. ” Edz was teasing.

“Huh? You mean siya lahat nag asikaso nito?” Maya asked.

It was then that she realized that Richard had provided her with the best room of the hospital, had flowers by her table and had fruits and food as well. Then she saw Manang Fe who was seated by the sofa, smiling at her.

“Manang Fe…”

“Kumusta na Maya?” Manang Fe smiled at her with fondness.

Maya knew Manang Fe from way back. Manang Fe was like a mother to Richard. Maya was able to meet and even talk to Manang Fe in many occassions already. Manang Fe was even one of the last person who tried to convince her not to leave Richard. She felt guilty and embarrassed.

But Manang Fe, the ever loving person that she is, immediately dispelled whatever unpleasant feelings Maya is having.

“Mabuti naman at magaling ka na anak. Nagalala kaming lahat sa’yo. ”

“Marami pong salamat Manang. Naabala ko po kayong lahat.” She shyly replied.

“Walang anuman anak at hindi ka abala sa amin. Alam mo yan. Yun anak mo, si Luke, andun kasama ni Liza. Gusto daw kumain ng cake sa canteen. Pinayagan ko na kasi bored na dito sa kwarto.”

Her face got pale. She was tongue-tied the moment Manang Fe mentioned Luke.

“O anak magpahinga ka na muna kasi mukhang di pa masyadong ayos yun lagay mo. Wag kang mag-alala kami ang bahala sa’yo.”

“Yes Emm, tama si Manang. You should rest so that you could go home na soon.” Rafi added.

“Alam na ba ni James?” Edz suddenly asked.

“Hindi pa. Hindi naman nya kailangan malaman, magaalala lang yun.”

Manang Fe was just listening. She was happy that Ricky saw Maya again after all these years though she’s sad that they can never be together anymore.

Luke Andrew is a very charming kid, Manang Fe observed. Like his mom, he’s very polite and makwento din. Though she assumed that Luke was the reason why Maya left Richard, she can’t bring herself to have ill feelings towards the boy.

Luke spent the night at Richard’s house with Manang Fe and the entire household staff of the Lim’s. Luke played with Fely’s kids and Manang Fe closely observed him.

She felt bad with the fact that Maya left Richard and chose the kid’s father over him. She also felt sad that Maya was able to move on and have a family when it took Richard years before he eventually moved on.

She is just hoping that the recent encounter of the two wont open wounds again that took very long time to heal especially for Richard. Her ward is already happy now and at peace and Manang Fe really hoped that he wont be affected by Maya’s reappearance in his life.

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

The accident and the bonding at the hospital turned out beneficial to both Maya and Richard.

Maya was a bit at ease talking to him now. She’s no longer jittery and jumpy whenever Richard is around.

They worked so well together. The practice and preparations for the concert was not at all affected by any awkwardness they had before.

Richard was so proud of all the students of the school. They were able to stage a show that was well-applauded, well-received and all the kids were given their own exposure to showcase their talents.

All the parents were beaming with pride. Even the sponsors vowed to support the school even after the show. They were all impressed.

Among the kids, Luke made his mom very proud. Maya was teary eyed during Luke’s performance. The scene was poignant especially with Richard coaching Luke on the sides.

This scene was also observed by someone very significant to Richard and Maya. It was observed by the Mother Superior of the school who was in attendance with the audience, unknown to the two.

After the show ended, the energy of all the participants, parents, teachers were still very high. They were so happy with the reception of the audience.

Fr. Francis was also among those who watched.

“Congratulations!” he addressed the whole faculty of Northwest Hills Montessori.

“Naku Fr. Francis thank you so much at nandito ka.” Rafi was still full of energy.

“So pwede na kayong magshow sa archdiocese this coming feast day?” He added.

“Yes Fr. Francis. They can certainly do it.” The School Directress, Sr. Mary Ann answered.

“Basta nandito si Ricky, kayang kaya namin yan.” Rafi again said.

Richard was just smiling at them. Maya was also with the other teachers congratulating each other and happily enjoying the success of the show.

Then Fr. Francis saw the Mother Superior who was descending from the school auditorium’s balcony.

“Oh, Mother Elena, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Fr. Francis, how are you?”

“I’m good. im good. I thought you were in Rome.”

“Ah I just arrived. I came here to witness this. I’m really so proud of these kids and of course our hardworking nuns and teachers.”

Everyone was happy to hear the pride in the voice of their head, their Mother Superior. They were all grateful that she took time to grace the show.

Everyone were happy except for Richard.

The moment he saw her, Richard tried to leave the scene only to be stopped by Rafi.

“Naku Ricky, you should meet Mother Elena para maka thank you siya sa’yo for the very successful show.”

“No need na Rafi. She’s busy entertaining visitors. Some other time na lang besides I really need to go.”

“Please Ricky, few minutes lang. Hindi ako matatahimik hanggat hindi niya nakikilala ang taong responsible why the show was very successful.”

“Rafi….”

But Mother Elena and Fr. Francis were already facing them.

“Mother Elena, I want you to meet Mr. Richard Lim. He was the one who helped us with the show. Si Fr. Francis actually and nagpadala sa kanya. Very successful yun show because of him.” Rafi excitedly introduced Ricky.

Richard just coyly nodded his head trying to avert his gaze from the nun who was smiling and staring at him.

“Good evening Mother Elena.” Richard managed to say.

“Richard thank you very much. I never doubted that you will be able to successfully stage the show, as always.”

Rafi and Fr. Francis weren’t able to hear what Mother Elena said so they were oblivious to the fact that Ricky and Mother Elena already knew each other.

They were busy talking with the other guests.

Richard replied.

“I did it for the kids Mother and of course for the school.”

“I see. I’m really glad to see you. To see what you became. ”

“Thank you.” Richard said with a bitter smile.

“Oh so you and Maya are okay now?”

Richard was taken aback by her question. She of all people had the courage to ask him. And despite his being patient, what she said hit a nerve and angered him. But he knows that he should hide whatever feelings he has.

“Yes we’re okay.” he just replied.

“I’m really glad you are. You see Maya is still the same Maya you knew way back. I’m glad to see you friends again.”

“There’s no problem anymore Mother. We both moved on and we already have our own lives. I’m grateful for the opportunity to patch things up with her and even had the honor to coach her very talented son.”

Richard was trying so hard to maintain his composure while talking to Mother Elena. They were now huddled in a corner while everyone was oblivious to what they were discussing.

“Oh yes, Luke is a great kid, very talented indeed. Polite, charming and responsible at his age. Maya is so blessed to have him.”

With the last ounce of patience, Richard replied…

“He is indeed. He obviously got it from his mom.”

“No. It’s more of from his dad. He is a great guy. I am so proud of him.”

Richard didn’t know what to say. If earlier he was elated for the success of the show he directed, what he is feeling right this very moment was anger, pain he can never remove from his system.

“O sige na Richard. I hope we could get to have a longer chat. Congratulations talaga and thank you in behalf of the school.”

He didnt have the chance to say anything anymore as Mother Elena turned and walked towards the other parents and guests who were still there.

Maya, immediately left the scene when she saw Mother Elena approaching Richard. She excused herself and stayed in the faculty room together with the other teachers who were busy preparing to go home.

“Emm nandito na pala kayo ni Luke.” Edz suddenly arrived.

“Ah inaayos ko kasi yun gamit namin. Uuwi na ba tayo?”

Before the show started, it was already arranged that Maya and Luke will ride with Edz on their way home. She can’t use her car since it is still in the repair shop.

“Yun na nga ang problema. Tumawag yun driver ko, na flat tire siya at medyo matatagalan pa daw.”

“Ha? Naku paano yan. Its late na. Mahihirapan tayong sumakay.”

“May naisip na akong solusyon. Pahatid na lang tayo kina Simon.”

Simon heard them. “O sige ba. No problem kaso mga few minutes pa kasi inaayos ko pa yun instruments.”

Rafi who has just arrived in the faculty area with Ricky suddenly joined in.

“Out of the way si Emm sa pupuntahan ni Simon. Mabuti pa si Edz na lang ang sumabay sa’yo tapos si Emm at Luke, kay Ricky na lang. Okay lang naman di ba Ricky?”

Richard was surprised at Rafi’s suggestion but he immediately replied…

“Sure no problem.”

“Ah eh wag na kasi baka may iba pang lakad si Ricky.”

“No it’s okay. It’s on my way home anyway. Atsaka medyo malayo ang byahe at least hindi ako aantukin.”

Richard smiled. Maya nodded her head.

“Okay. Maghahanda na muna kami ni Luke.”

==========

The drive on the way home, Richard’s home takes an hour while Maya’s place is about 40 minutes.

Luke, tired from the activities of the day is now sleeping in Maya’s arms.

They are driving in silence with occasional comments on the show, the students, the weather.

Both are so careful not to discuss any sensitive issue.

If during the course of the practice, they were already at ease with each other because of the hospital incident, this time the tension, awkwardness is very present again.

Mother Superior’s appearance opened lots of bad memories especially to Richard.

He can no longer contain it and Maya sensed it as well.

“Chard are you okay?”

He glanced at her.

“Why do you ask?”

“Kasi parang iba yun mood mo eh. Parang ang tahimik mo. You should be celebrating kasi successful yun show. You made it successful.”

She shyly said.

“Ah everyone is involved, i was just the one who helped.”

“Pero bakit parang hindi naman celebratory yun mood mo?”

“Ah nothing. It’s just something Mother Elena said. ”

Maya just bowed her head. She very well knows that whatever Mother Elena said which made Richard’s mood sour is about her or anything from the past. She knows Mother Elena to always speak her mind.

“Chard…”

“It’s nothing Maya. I was just a bit offended with what she said.”

He was offended when Mother Elena, expressed her fondness of Maya’s husband right in front of him. It hurt him coz it seemed like she was happy that Maya and him didn’t end up together.

“Bakit ano bang pinagusapan nyo? She was so proud of you naman kanina when she approached you, di ba?”

“No its not about the show. Its about something else.”

She hesitantly asked.

“About us? before?”

Richard didn’t answer her. So Maya added…

“Ricky what happened seven years ago…”

He stopped whatever she was about to say.

“Don’t worry Maya. We’re okay now and that’s more important to me.”

He was contented with the set-up they have now and he didn’t want to risk losing her friendship again.

“Ricky I’m sorry that I caused you….”

“Maya you don’t have to feel bad about what happened besides matagal na yun. Seven years is a long time already.”

His intention was to remove Maya’s feeling of guilt or remorse.

He continued.

“Besides the two years we were together was just me being immature, siguro since you were my only constant companion then kaya napilitan ka to take me. I always know that you always wanted me to feel good then. Sorry nadamay pa kita. It was nothing so you dont have to bother yourself anymore.”

His intention was for her to feel good.

But what she felt was the worst feeling ever..

Unconsciously, she got teary eyed. She hugged Luke very tight.

She remained quiet for the rest of the ride until they reached her home.

“Sige Chard thank you.”

Maya was trying to wake Luke up but he was sleeping so soundly that Richard had to help her and carry Luke inside her house.

He was unaware of Maya’s sullen mood and silent tears during the rest of the ride home that when he was about to say goodbye and look at her, he was surprised that she had red eyes and nose.

“Umiyak ka? Why?”

She just stared at him and her tears are again welling in her eyes.”

“Maya?”

She didn’t say anything but just avoided his eyes.

“Bakit Maya? Is something wrong?”

“The two years we had? That was nothing to you?”

She couldn’t contain it anymore so she asked him while her tears are now flowing.

He was taken aback by what she is openly showing him.

“No.. no it’s not that Maya, kaya lang….”

“The two years that meant nothing to you were the best two years of my life. It was very special to me. Wala lang pala sa’yo yun.”

Richard doesnt know how to react seeing her trembling lips, shoulders which are shaking while she’s trying to control her sobs.

He gathered her in his arms.

They remained in that position

“Maya, it was special to me but we can’t go back to it anymore. Alam ko naman na ayaw mo na ring balikan yun and with what we have now, you and me having our own lives already, it is inappropriate to dwell on that. I’m happy with the friendship we have now. I’m thankful that you even allow me to be close to your son despite the circumstances of our past.”

Maya just remained silent while tears are still streaming down her cheeks.

“Sige na Chard, gabi na. Thank you sa paghatid.”

She dismissed him.

“Maya…”

“Uwi ka na Chard. It’s already late and I’m sure you are tired. I am too. Baka magising din si Luke. I need to change hi clothes pa.”

“Okay i’ll go for now but we will talk about it Maya.”

Richard left with so many questions in his mind.

The moment she closed her door, she allowed herself to cry n let out all her regret for what she did in the past.

Preview of the next chapter

She went to him, held his face with one hand then his nape with the other then gave him a kiss full of longing, kiss of all the love she has in her heart for him.

He wasn’t able to react. It was too much for him. He just stood glued to the floor, not returning her kiss.

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and Ryan: The Audacity of Ricardo

At the Principal’s Office (aka home office) Richard, Ryan and Maya (yes kasali na siya sa usapan this time) were discussing the Philippine Aviation Society (PAS) 30th anniversary celebration.

“Brod we should tap the ideas of the young aviation professionals. Mas okay yun mga suggestions nila. We definitely wouldn’t want the affair to be boring.”

“Ay oo Sweetheart. Mas okay yun kasi kung yung mga kaedad nina Mr. Ventura, Mr. Javier and magsusuggest, siguradong nakakaantok ang anniversary nyo.”

She was grinning.

Ricky smirked, raising his left eyebrow.

“And what are you implying? Na boring ideas ko?”

Maya forgot that Ricky was actually near the age of Mr. Ventura and Mr. Javier.

“Ay sorry Sweetheart! Ang ibig kong sabihin yun ibang tao, tama yung ibang mag susuggest. Atsaka hindi ka naman pwede magbigay ng ideas kasi ikaw nga yun presidente ng PAS. Hindi pwede yun.”

Maya explained.

“You’re just saying that pero you meant differently kanina.”

“Naku Sweetheart hindi ah. Atsaka kahit na medyo konti lang ang agwat ng edad nina Mr. Ventura sa’yo, ang layo ng hitsura nyo.”

She went near Ricky.

“Tingnan mo, gwapo, sobrang bango. Parang kaedad mo lang si Luke.”

Then she pinched his cheeks, not minding that Ryan was there.

“Sweetheart. Stop that. Nakakahiya kay Ryan.”

“Naku brod okay lang ako. Ituloy nyo lang.”

Ryan was shaking his head amused at the two.

Their discussion went on.

~~~~~~~~~~oooooooo~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ricky was the newly elected President of the Philippine Aviation Society. His achievements and contribution to the aviation industry didn’t go unnoticed that’s why he was unanimously elected.

He was all set to implement new reforms and introduce new technology in the aviation industry.

His being elected also coincided with the PAS 30th Anniversary. It is a very much anticipated event. All Aviation companies of the country really spend and prepare for this annual celebration.

Now that it’s actually celebrating the 30th year, it was expected to be the best ever.

Richard, though always a no-nonsense guy and very confident in business wasn’t all equipped to handle celebration, parties and the like. When they hold celebrations at Lim Aviation Services, he usually hires a planner.

He wanted to do it this time but the officers of PAS declined his suggestion. They said that it would be much better to tap the ideas of those who are really members of the aviation industry.

They decided to get representatives from every company to be able to voice out their own opinions on how the 30th anniversary should be celebrated.

After months of planning and preparation with the young and driven aviation professionals, they had the consensus to hold a week-long celebration with the following activities : a concert featuring some of the musically-inclined members of the aviation society; an exhibit of the airplane models of the different airline companies; an outdoor airshow; various lectures from prominent personalities of the aviation industry and lastly a pageant to showcase the good looking and very talented young men and women of the PAS. The pageant would be included in the culmination night where a special dinner will be held for everyone.

~~~~~~~~~oooooooooooo~~~~~~~~~~

Days before the week-long anniversary, Maya was visiting Ricky in his office with Sky in tow. Sunshine was left with her Ate Nikki, Ate Abby and Kuya Luke at an ice cream shop nearby. Maya has to bring Sky coz he’s been having tantrums.

She visited to bring food for Ricky since she’s aware that due to the busy preparations for the anniversary and also the daily schedule at LAI and LAS, her husband mught not be able to eat lunch. She wants to take care of him and be sure that he doesn’t skip meals.

With Luke in tow, she met Atty. Ryan who has just left Ricky’s office.

“Hi Maya. Sky… ”

“Ryan, si Ricky?”

“Nandun sa office nya. May kausap sa phone. Sobrang busy ngayon dito Maya.”

“Ah oo nga kaya nagdala ako ng lunch para kumain talaga siya. Halika Ryan, sumabay ka na kay Ricky.”

“Ah Maya thank you na lang pero nagmamadali rin ako kasi may hearing akong hinahabol.”

“Ah o, sige. Ingat Ryan.”

“Ah Maya, siyanga pala, dadating mamaya yun incharge sa lecture series, yun sa anniversary celebration. Si Ricky kasi, he’ll be a speaker of one of the topics. Pakifill up na lang ng form at attach na lang ng vitae nya. For introduction purposes lang yun. Hindi na kasi maasikaso ni Liza kasi she has to go sa hangar. Wala pa rin nga eh.”

“Sure Ryan ako na bahala. Tulungan ko na lang sila. Papatulugin ko lang to doon sa office ni Ricky.”

Sky was fidgeting in Maya’s arms.

“Bye Maya, Bye Sky.”

Maya entered Ricky’s office.

Ricky was still on his phone but he ended the call and immediately rushed to his wife and son.

He engulfed both of them in a very tight embrace that Sky had to wiggle out of his mom’s arms.

“So what brings my very beautiful wife and son here?” He said after giving both Maya and Sky a kiss.

“Sweetheart dinalhan kita ng lunch kasi alam ko wala ka ng time magpabili. Kain ka na muna sweetheart.”

Ricky smiled widely at Maya.

“Halika nga. I need a hug again para mawala pagod ko.”

Maya went to her husband’s arms and was again engulfed in a hug while Sky was bouncing on his dad’s sofa.

“Naku Sweetheart kunin ko na si Sky at baka makabasag pa. Kain ka na muna.”

After having lunch, Ricky resumes his busy work taking calls, meeting with engineers, reviewing and signing papers.

Maya pitied her husband for he looked so stressed and tired. Se decided to stay in his office to assist him in whatever way she can. Luke called to inform her that he, Nikki, Abby and Sunshine already went home so she opted to stay with Ricky. She doesn’t have anything to do anyway.

A couple of hours passed Sky slept and Maya was able to take some phone calls, fixed some of Ricky’s documents and made him coffee.

It was already 4pm when Sky woke up and since he wasn’t sleeping in his room, he went into his tantrum mode, crying and only wanting to be carried by his mom.

It was while Maya was carrying a crying Sky that Ms. Pacheco came rushing to Ricky’s office.

She seemed in a hurry .

“O hi Maya! wala si Liza? i need to get kasi the file of the representative of LAS and LAI. Ready na ba?”

“Ay Ma’m Pacheco, opo I had it ready na. Teka nandito po.”

She handed her the folder containing Ricky’s Vitae.

“Ah Ma’m yun form po? Ako na magfifillup kasi wala si Liza”

“What form?”

“Yun form daw po…”

“Ah not needed na Maya. Here pakisulat na lang ng complete name sa list  Ako na bahala sa form. This would suffice. O sige I have to go na. Nagmamadali kasi I have to meet Emman and some people who will decorate the venue.”

“Okay po Ma’m Pacheco.” She wrote Richard’s name and bid goodbye to Ms. Pacheco.

“Bye Maya, bye Sky.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~ooooooooooo~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That evening, Maya got a call from Ms. Pacheco.

“Maya si Mr. Lim ba talaga ang representative ng LAS and LAI? Akala ko si Engr. Gutierrez.”

“Si Ricky po Ma’m. Ibinilin yan sakin ni Atty Ryan. Bakit po?”

“Ah wala naman. I never thought he would agree.”

“Magaling yan si Ricky sa ganyan Ma’m. He has a great command sa audience atsaka, hihihi, ang charming naman ng asawa ko so sure ako hindi mabobore yun makikinig.”

“True Maya. I’m sure matutuwa yun mga tao. Ako din naeexcite sa mga magaganap. Please just tell Mr. Lim to practice.”

“Si Ms. Pacheco talaga. He doesn’t need to practice.”

“Ikaw talaga. Ewan ko sa’yo Maya. Buti at naconvince nyo si Mr. Lim. Sige goodnight.”

“Sige po Ma’m.”

“Sino yun Sweetheart?”

“Ah si Ms. Pacheco. Kinuha kasi nya yun files mo for the lecture.”

“Oh… oo nga pala, I have to give a lecture on the Green MRO.”

“Kayang kaya mo yan Sweetheart, ikaw pa.”

“Hmmm too much confidence on your husband huh?”

“Siyempre. At di mo na kailangan magpractice.”

“So if I wont practice, ano na lang ang gagawin ko, or natin tonight?”

Ricky wiggled his eyebrows.

“Sweetheart ha! Pagod ka kaya.”

“No I’m not! Atsaka mas makakatulog tayo ng mahimbing after.”

“Ricky!”

Shrieks of Maya and chuckles of Ricky were heard at the confines of their room.

Then it became quiet as the couple spent the night showing their love for each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ooooooooooo~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first four days of the PAS Anniversary celebration were very successful and highly attended by prominent personalities. It gave a boost to the aviation society. They all admired the leadership of Richard Lim.

The fifth day of the week-long PAS 30th anniversary celebration is the time for socials, for meeting people and catching up with old colleagues.

Food, wine and music matched the well-decorated venue apt for the aviation theme. Emman, Maya’s former room-mate and friend was in-charge of the decorations that made Maya very proud.

As the night progressed, the much awaited event was about to start. It was highly anticipated that many of the VIPs were in attendance and they even secured the best seats near the stage.

The pageant of PAS was the idea of the Time Airways group. They believed that it would be great to showcase most of the beautiful and handsome FAs, Pilots, Engineers of the aviation society.

It was just for fun. They didnt even rehearse for they no longer had time to do it with their tight schedule.

Besides most of the participants were the FA’s so they really dont need to rehearse. They just reminded all participants to practice on their own.

Richard was with the Philippine Aviation Society table with his fellow officers while the LAS and LAI team was a few tables away from them.

Richard was constantly glancing at his wife. They are silently exchanging glances and smiles which evidently showed how they admired and loved each other.

As the program progressed, Maya was already fidgeting on her seat. She can’t believe what she accidentally did. She just found out a few minutes ago from her friend Emman.

The hosts of the pageant were are now announcing the participants from various companies. All eyes were on the stage as one by one, the participants rose from their respective seats to go to the stage.

“And from, Lim Aviation Services and Lim Aviation Institute, their CEO-President himself and our very own PAS president, Mr. Richard Lim.”

Nanlaki ang mata ni Ricky. He couldn’t believe what he heard.

All eyes were on him. Everyone was excited, offering him smiles, applauding him.

He immediately sought for his wife who was averting her eyes from him.

Ryan and Liza were equally shocked as well.

Maya was bowing her head and was now teary eyed for putting her husband in this very awkward situation. She thought that Ms. Pacheco was in charge of the lecture series so she submitted Ricky’s name to her. It now made sense as to why Ms. Pacheco was so surprised days ago.

Emman was right. Si Ricky nga yun pinakainaabangan ng mga tao. When her husband’s name was announced, everyone was up on their toes cheering for him.

They couldn’t believe that the elusive, stern, no-nonsense Mr. Lim would allow himself to be part of the pageant.

But everyone was ecstatic.

Drowned by the noise, the postive prodding of people, Ricky was faced with a big dilemma.

He would definitely disappoint a lot of people if he backs-out.

He would embarrass the LAI and LAS and himself as well. He didnt want to deprive the crowd of the excitement they are feeling.

Though not putting much attention to his physical attributes, Ricky was very much aware that he is capable of making ladies, women and some men swoon.

These people are among the crowd now.

They were highly anticipating his participation in the pageant.

He glanced at Maya again and he was sure that Maya was engulfed in a very unpleasant feeling now.

He didn’t want Maya to feel bad or guilty so with all the courage he has, he stood up and joined in the stage.

Everyone was cheering again louder this time as Richard Lim went up the stage. He borrowed the microphone from the hosts.

Ryan and Liza were worriedly anticipating what he will be saying. Maya couldn’t even look at him.

Nahihiya siya at naguguilty kay Ricky.

“Good evening everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the night and the food.

There is a very big misunderstanding that’s why I’m here in front of you now.

I’m not sure how it happened but I am certain that I never agreed to join the pageant. I believe that this is for our young members.”

Sighs of disappointment were heard from the crowd.

Ricky continued.

“But since I dont want to dampen our happy mood tonight, okay, i agree to join. Count me in! Pero be kind to me ha!”

Laughter were heard from the crowd. They were even cheering his name.

“I also would join not as a contestant. Unfair sakin, ang babata ng kasali. Anong laban ko sa kanila.” He tried to joke.

Emman instantly provided his costumes which were not hard to find coz Ricky’s good looks alone would suffice.

He was not included in the proper contest per se for it would definitely be unfair for the others.

He joined the ramp modelling in his business attire and his white coveralls eliciting shrieks from the ladies and women and some gays in the crowd.

Then he sang two ballads much to the amusement of the crowd as well. For the question and answer, he took the role as the host.

All the while Maya was with Emman and Liza assisting him but they are not talking.

Maya is sure that despite his seemingly cool acceptance of what happened, that he is mad, annoyed.

Ricky was a nervous wreck all throughout the pageant but he managed to put up a brave front, not allowing himself to back out.

The cheers of people and his love for Maya were enough encouragement for him to do it.

~~~~~~~~oooooooo~~~~~~~~~~

Now on their way home

“Sweetheart sorry na.” Nagungulit si Maya

Ricky was tight-lipped and quiet.

“Atsaka malay ko ba na yun mga sasali sa pageant ang pakay ni Ms. Pacheco at ililista nya.”

“You should have read it kasi muna.” He has the impatient tone.

“Eh Sweetheart karga ko si Sky ng nilapitan ako ni Ms. Pacheco. Hindi ko na naklaro.”

“Then if you are carrying Sky, you should have not listed my name kasi hindi mo pa nga nababasa. Malay mo, list na pala yun ng mga idedeport sa ibang bansa.”

“Ay ang oa mo Sweetheart. Si Ms Pacheco kaya yun. At bakit ka naman idedeport, aber?”

He was annoyed that Maya doesn’t get the point he is driving at and even finds the whole thing amusing.

He shook his head.

Maya continued…

“Akala ko Sweetheart bibigyan ng meal stub yun mga nakalista.”

“Meal stub!?!” Asar na talaga si Ricky. He feels that ginugoodtime siya ni Maya.

“Meal stub, yun pangclaim ng pagkain.” Maya continued.

“Maya!!! May catered dinner di ba and why would there be a meal stub. Ano yun feeding program ng dswd?” He was gritting his teeth in annoyance.

“Sige na Sweetheart sorry na. Okay naman kanina di ba. Tuwang tuwa nga sila. Ikaw yun pinakaaabangan nila dun. Napasaya mo lahat Sweetheart.”

She said in a giddy voice while snaking her arms around his muscular biceps.

“They’re happy. I am not!”

“Ay ang KJ mo Sweetheart, hindi ka game!”

“Maya, Im not the head of PAS to play games. We do serious stuff.”

“Oo nga kaso isang gabi lang naman yun. Ibigay mo na sa kanila.”

“Binigay ko na nga di ba? and I’m totally humiliated by it.”

“Hep hep hep Mr. Lim Bakit ka humiliated eh ang galing galing mo nga kanina. Parang enjoy na enjoy ka.”

Maya was really tuwang tuwa and also tawang tawa at Ricky’s predicament a few hours ago.

“Hindi ako nagenjoy Maya. And i totally dislike that those middle-aged women na board of directors ng JJ Aviation were eyeing me as if I’m a prey. They’re ogling at me. Nakakakilabot ha!”

“Naku ang Sweetheart ko talaga, madamot.”

“And why is that so? Bakit ako naging madamot?”

“Kasi you dont want to share yun kagwapuhan mo sa iba. Kita mo di ba, kilig na kilig sila sa’yo, hihihi.” Maya was finding the entire thing funny.

“And you’re okay with it? You’re okay na ishare ako sa kanila?” He looked at her incredulously.

“Sweetheart oo naman. I’m okay with it. Atsaka hanggang tingin lang naman sila eh.”

“You’re okay na tinitingnan nila at halos hubaran ang asawa mo?”

“Oa ka talaga Sweetheart. Pa’no ka naman huhubaran eh nasa stage ka, sila nakaupo lang at sa age nila di na sila makakapunta ng madalian sa stage.”

Maya laughed again. She knows what Ricky was talking about as she witnessed how many of the women among the audience were totally glaring at him. But mas gusto nyang asarin si Ricky so patay-malisya pa rin siya to Ricky’s consternation.

“Aghhh! Ang hirap mo namang kausap Maya. Matutulog na lang nga ako.”

Ricky was really pikon na kay Maya.

“Sweetheart sige na sorry na nga.”

Richard just closed his eyes without uttering anything.

At times like this, when Richard remains quiet, madaling mapikon at maiyak si Maya.

Kinukulit nya si Ricky for she knows that he was actually awake and just pretending to close his eyes.

She doesn’t want to be treated coldly. She wants an argument coz she finds it amusing to banter with Ricky especially since most of the time, he easily gives in and abruptly forgives her antics, kalokohan, kapalpakans.

But Ricky remained unnerved this time. Hindi na nya kinikibo si Maya while she tried to snuggle in his arms.

Pikon na si Maya not getting any reaction from Ricky. She was now in tears as she tried to hide her face in Ricky’s chest. he felt his shirt get wet and she looked at Maya to find her eyes filled with tears.

“O bakit umiiyak ka?”

“Nakakaasar ka kasi. Nagsosorry na nga ako.”

“So ako na yun may kasalanan ngayon? Maya remember ikaw yun mga atraso sakin.

“Kanina oo pero ngayon ikaw na.” She mumbled while furiously wiping her wet cheeks with her hands.

Richard’s Chinito eyes grew big. Maiisahan na naman siya ni Maya just because she cried.

He has to think on how to benefit from their current situation na hindi naman siya lugi.

“Sige kasalanan ko that I did not forgive you agad though we both know that forgiveness is earned not forced upon.”

She stared at him with her doe-shaped eyes. Sa sarili nya, madali na siyang patawarin ni Ricky.

She smiled inwardly happy that di siya natitiis ni Ricky.

“Pero Maya, may conditions ako before I forgive you totally.”

“Conditions?”

“Oo conditions para naman it wouldn’t be unfair to me.”

“Unfair?”

“Yes kasi di ba, it was your fault na napasali ako sa pageant and got embarrassed. Tapos you said sorry. Now you’re demanding na iforgive agad kita and you even cried when I didn’t. See how unfair that is.”

Oo nga naman. It was always Ricky who gives in, Maya thought.

“O sige Ricky, anong conditions mo?” She bravely asked him.

“Sure ka ha? No backing out.”

“Oo naman, kaya ko yan.” She put on a brave and confident front.

“Okay since pinagawa mo sakin yun mga kanina infront of many people, you also have to do it.”

This means Maya has to do ramp modelling, sing, and do a question and answer thing.

Natawa si Maya. How could she do it eh super busy sila with work. Ricky would definitely forget about it eventually.

“Oo ba. Kelan ko gagawin?”

“Tonight sa bedroom natin. Pero since ako lang audience mo, ilelevel up natin para fair.”

Ricky was grinning mischievously.

“Level up?”

“Yes!”

“At pano naman natin gagawin yun, aber?”

“Well, you have to do everything… (he whispers in her ear) without any clothes on.”

Then he winked naughtily at her.

“Sweetheart, ano ka ba!” She shrieked and pinched Richard’s side.

“Non negotiable na yan ha Maya. Di na kita pagbibigyan.”

Actually, Maya was feeling giddy, kilig, flustered with Ricky’s suggestion but she could do it. She would do it for him.

“Oh sige Sweetheart, mamayang gabi pagdating natin sa bahay, gagawin ko yan.”

She bravely said.

“Naked ha!” Richard forgot to whisper it to her ear out of excitement.

“Ssshhh Sweetheart ang lakas ng boses mo. Maririnig tayo ni Mang Lem. Malalaman na ang naughty mo.”

She giggled. He chuckled.

“Don’t worry Sweetheart. Mang Lem always focuses on his driving that he surely doesn’t pay attention to what we are discussing. Di ba Mang Lem?”

“Oo brod, si Mang Lem nakafocus sa pagdrive pero ako, nadidistract na sainyong dalawa!”

They realized that it was Ryan who was driving the car home. Mang Lem went ahead earlier to bring Manang Fe and the kids home.

Namula si Maya and nahiya si Ricky. Ryan heard everything they said.

“Ikaw kasi Ricky eh!”

“Anong ako? Ikaw jan eh.”

And another round of argument began….

Ryan just shook his head totally amused at his best friend and his wife.

The Heart Never Forgets – 5

Richard was blankly staring at the vast garden outside the music room.

He couldn’t stand what he was feeling while the teachers talked about Maya and her husband. He thought he could easily accept the fact that Maya is already married.

He was overwhelmed with this feeling of sadness, pain and maybe jealousy that he needs to hide from the teachers and from Maya. He didnt want to appear vulnerable especially to her, not after what she did years ago.

His deep thought was disturbed when Rafi came looking for him.

“Ricky okay ka lang? You seemed upset awhile ago. ”

“Ah it’s nothing. I just received a message which I had to reply to.” he lied.

“Oh buti naman. Akala namin may problema kasi bigla ka na lang lumabas kanina.”

“Wala naman. Important lang yun message. Sorry. Are we going to start na ba?”

“Not yet atsaka our School Directress, si Sr. Mary Ann wants to meet us muna regarding the team building and outing this weekend.”

“Okay. Anong oras yun meeting? I think I better go home na muna. Sasaglit lang ako sa bahay if hindi pa naman magsisimula.” He badly wanted to leave.

“Later pa Ricky. 11:00 at the her office. Its two hours from now pa. Pero it’s okay if you need to go home. Important yun Im sure.”

Rafi assumed that Ricky has some very important concerns to attend to based on his demeanor.

“No need, antayin ko na lang yun meeting. Madali na pala. Ill go to the restroom lang muna then balik ako.”

He smiled at Rafi. Somehow he felt okay with Rafi’s genuine show of concern. On the other hand, he also felt upset that Maya didn’t even bother.

Rafi returned to the music room.

“Rafi asan na si Ricky?” Simon asked.

Maya was intently listening. She was concerned of him. Awhile ago while they were busy talking about James’ flowers, she saw the change in Ricky’s facial expression. She wanted to assume that it was because of her but she chidded herself and was sure that it had nothing to do with her.

“Nandun pupunta sa restroom. Medyo worried yun mukha eh. Maybe he needs to go home. I think may importante sya na dapat gawin.”

Moments later, despite their prodding that it’s okay for him to leave if he needs to attend to something important, Richard stayed for the meeting. He wont let his personal feelings meddle with the responsibility he has for the school and students.

The meeting with the School Directress was about the team building the faculty will be having over the weekend.

It was an annual activity of the school and Ricky being a part or the faculty now, though temporarily, was requested by Sr. Mary Ann to join so he could also bond with other faculty members.

It will be held for 2 nights and 3 days at a beach resort 2 hours away from the school.

It will also be some sort of recreation for the faculty members and their families. This happens every year as part of the school tradition.

Ricky was very much aware of it coz it was also done during his stay in the school.

~~~~~~~~ ooooooo ~~~~~~~~~~

The activities were fun. Ricky actively joined and forced himself to block, even for the meantime,  thoughts about Maya or their past.

He didn’t want to spoil the fun he’s having with the teachers and staff and of course with Maya as well.

He was the constant videoke singer, guitarist, keyboardist and even joined the outdoor games.

For him he also needs to release all pent up energy he has stored from the moment he first saw Maya after all these years and keeping himself busy would surely help.

Rafi was the constant partner of Ricky in games, in singing and in other activities as well.

She made it a point to make Ricky feel at ease for she believes, she’s responsible for him being the one who talked to Fr. Francis.

They were sharing jokes and stories all throughout the activity.

Maya on the other hand kept herself busy with Luke and the kids of other teachers.

She opted not to join the games and reasoned that she needs to take care of the kids. She really loves kids.

Richard noticed that Maya was avoiding any close interaction with him but he just ignored it. He was in fact loving the sight of her taking good care of the kids, especially her son, Luke.

But as the first night came to an end, Maya was already upset with Rafi’s closeness to Ricky. She could no longer stand hearing her giggles whenever Ricky cracks a joke.

She was aware that Rafi was fond of Ricky based on how she takes care of him. She was mad that Ricky was even allowing it.

Rafi is married though she’s been having problems with her husband and Ricky is married as well, He never mentions anything about his personal life but ring on his finger clearly states that he is indeed married.

On her way to their room where she was about to go to sleep ahead of the others who were having a bonfire by the beach, Maya noticed two shadows at the back of their rented cottage.

She held her breath when she realized that it was Ricky and Rafi. The seem to be kissing from her vantage point.

She wasn’t sure but her anger and jealousy made her conclude that they were indeed doing something married people shouldn’t be doing.

Her eyes were now blinded with tears as she rushed towards her room and slipped on a wet portion of the floor.

Her fall was so loud that it was heard by Ricky and Rafi.

“Maya!” Richard shouted when he saw her knocked out when her head hit the floor as she slipped.

He rushed to where she was.

Maya was unconscious and Ricky had to carry her to his car. He would rush her to the hospital.

Rafi frantically called their other companions and asked Edz to join her and Ricky in bringing Maya to the hospital. Simon volunteered to follow with Luke.

~~~~~~~~ 0000000 ~~~~~~~~~

“Where am I? What are you doing here?”

“Hey, you’re awake. You gave us quite a scare.”

He was relieved.

She just stared at him.

He approached the hospital bed.

“How do you feel. May masakit ba?”

She felt her arms and legs and noticed that is okay until she felt her forehead and noticed the swollen part.

“You slipped and hit your head. Good thing Rafi and I were there.”

She automatically felt the warm liquid in her eyes when she heard Rafi’s name. She didnt want him to notice it so she turned her back on him.

“Chard, sige na uwi ka na. Naabala ka nang masyado”

Her voice was already choking when she said it. She was trying her best not to cry for she was feeling so jealous at the thought that Rafi and him might be having something special already.

“Hey hindi ako naabala and you’ll never be a bother to me. I would want to believe that we are now friends Maya. You would have done the same thing if I was the one in your situation.”

“Alam ko. Thank you Chard.” She cant control her sobs now that her breathing became unsteady and her sniffs can be heard.

He immediately went to the other side of her bed were she was facing.

“Hey, why are you crying? May masakit ba? Wait, ill call the doctor.”

“No walang masakit. Ok na ako.”

“Ba’t ka umiiyak? Hey tingnan mo nga ako.” She was still avoiding his eyes.

“Wala. Natakot lang ako for Luke, pano kung malala nangyari sakin. Wala pa naman si James.”

She couldn’t tell him the real reason why she was so emotional.

She can’t tell him the reason why she slipped and hit her head.

She cant tell him that she was jealous of Rafi which led to her accident.

He smiled, relieved that her sobs were just because of her fear for Luke and not because she felt some pain in her body.

“Don’t worry too much. It was just a minor accident and thankfully hindi naman cement yung floor.”

She now looks a him.

“Thank you Chard.”

“Anything for you Maya.”

“Ah eh.. si Luke pala?”

She tried to divert the topic for the last line he said has a whole lot of different meaning for her. Maybe she was just imagining or over-analyzing things.

“He’s with Manang Fe. I let him sleep at home na muna kasi hindi pwede yun bata sa hospital.Mamayang tanghali, nandito na yun. You want to call him?”

She nods her head.

“Here use my cellphone na muna. Wala ng battery yun sa’yo coz Luke used it playing games last night. He was here until 9. Tapos pinauwi ko na muna kay Manang at kay Joma. Marami naman kaming bantay mo kagabi.”

“Huh? Nako naabala yun activity!”

“No. They pushed through with it. Ako, si Manang Fe, si Sabel, si Doris, si Liza, si Joma and Luke, kami yun bantay kagabi. The doctor had to ask the others to leave kasi makulit sina Doris at Sabel. They were playing with Luke.”

“Rafi and Edz joined me in bringing you here. Mamaya nandito na yun. I asked Rafi to accompany you while I go home and change.”

Rafi again. She was sad that Richard was somehow fond of Rafi. She was mad that they seem to be close despite the being married.

“Wag na Chard. Busy sina Rafi. I can go home na this afternoon. Okay na rin naman ako.”

“No Maya. The doctors will run some tests pa just to be sure. You dont have to worry kasi Luke has no classes pa naman and he’s enjoying playing with the kids at home.”

“Kids? Mga anak mo?”

“Ah no. Anak ni Fely, yun pamangkin ni Manang Fe. Wala akong anak Maya.” He smiled.

Preview of the Next Chapter:

“Ricky what happened seven years ago…”

He stopped whatever she was about to say.

“Don’t worry Maya. We’re okay now and that’s more important to me.”

He was contented with the set-up they have now and he didn’t want to risk losing her friendship again.

“Ricky I’m sorry that I caused you….”

“Maya you don’t have to feel bad about what happened besides matagal na yun. Seven years is a long time already.”

His intention was to remove Maya’s feeling of guilt or remorse.

He continued.

“Besides the two years we were together was just me being immature, siguro since you were my only constant companion then kaya napilitan ka to take me. I always know that you always wanted me to feel good then. Sorry nadamay pa kita. It was nothing so you dont have to bother yourself anymore.” 

His intention was for her to feel good.

But what she felt was the worst feeling ever..

The Heart Never Forgets – 4

Richard Lim was on a six months vacation in the Philippines. It was the first time in seven years that he decided to spend more time in his country especially his province San Nicolas.

For seven years , Richard tried to stay away and build his new life outside the country.

He actually was just supposed to attend the wedding of his two former classmates and close friends but he decided to stay and spend his vacation here.

He also needed to check on the properties his grandfather left.

He also missed the people who took care of him when his grandfather died. He considers them as family.

The moment the plane landed in the province of San Nicolas, Richard cant help but feel excited and also nostalgic.

This was the place that gave him very good memories and also the place that seized all the happiness in him.

He can’t help but have a feeling of uncertainty of whether to continue with his plan of spending his 6 months break here.

He alighted the plane and after a few minutes, he saw their trusted driver Joma.

Ricky excitedly hugged Joma much to the surprise of the latter.

“Joma kumusta kayo? Sina Manang?”

“Okay kaming lahat Sir Richard. Ayun naghanda sina Manang.

Lahat tuwang tuwa nang malaman na magtatagal po kayo dito.”

“Natutuwa rin ako Joma. Namiss ko kayong lahat.”

They drove to the house exchanging stories. Joma was updating Richard of the new developments in their province and also of some gossips and juicy news.

Richard was amused that he momentarily forgot his apprehensions.

Maya dela Rosa Ventura aka Maya, Emm (she used this nickname after her years of self isolation from her work, her collegues and friends) have just been reinstated a year ago to work at Northwest Hills Montessori.

For the past years after she got married to James and had Luke, she worked as a non-teaching staff at the Rizal Campus of Northwest Hills. She was assigned there by the Mother Superior.

She was already settled and at peace with her family life until James got hired by a big airline company in London, where his parents were based.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime which he couldn’t refuse. Maya understood it and vowed to follow James after a couple of years.

With James in London, Maya decided to return home to her province.

She wanted to be where her mom lives and where her friends were.

It would be a perfect environment for Luke.

She vowed to let go of the past and reconnect with the people she knew.

She sought the help of the Mother Superior and was again brought back to work at Northwest Hills Montessori.

She opted not to mention to anyone that she already worked at Northwest Hills before. It was better that way, she thought.

So here she is working at Northwest Hills Montessori again with her son, Luke. They have already adjusted after a year of stay.

She was living with her mom and she has settled with the routine of going to school with Luke then coming home in the afternoon to her mom. She doesn’t mind the seemingly boring state of her life now. It wasn’t boring seven years ago anyway.

But her world was about to be rocked again at the mere presence of Richard Lim.

~~~~~~~~ 000000~~~~~~~~~

Richard was inside the music room. He was very early that he came ahead of the other teachers.

He was already provided with keys to the music room the day before so he easily entered without asking permission from anyone else. He just informed the guard.

He was busy arranging songs for the kids to work on when Rafi entered.

“Naku Ricky, you’re here na pala. Good morning”

“Good Morning too. Oo maaga ako kasi I have nothing to do naman. At least I could prepare for the practice later.”

“Wow naman, you’re so dedicated naman sa work. Maprepressure kami nito.”

“Oh well, if we wanted a perfect show, dapat talaga we practice hard. Strict ako sa practice and time. Pero dont be scared… ill be a bit lenient pag yun faculty na. Takot ko lang kay Fr. Francis.” He joked.

“Oh well, salamat pala kami kay Fr francis. But kidding aside, I assure you na the faulty members here are all professional with regards to work ethics. Hindi ka naman mahihirapan. Atsaka very strict si Mother Superior, yun pinakahead namin, sa punctuality, sa perfection so malamang hindi naman magkakaproblema.”

Rafi gave him the assurance.

After a couple of minutes Simon, Lino, Edz and Maya arrived.

They greeted each other while Maya was just at the back of Edz and she tentatively smiled at Ricky.

He smiled back and nodded his head at her.

They were discussing the songs, flow of the program when Jeff arrived with a lovely bouquet of flowers.

“Good morning! Kakatapos ko lang ng classes. So what have I missed?”

Jeff saw Maya, who was busy (or acted busy to keep herself from being affected by Richard’s presence)

“Emm dumating to kanina.” He handed her the flowers.

“Naku Emm ang ganda ng flowers!” Rafi was so excited.

“Kanino ba yan galing?” Simon asked.

Maya checked the card. She wasn’t expecting flowers from anyone. She only receives some from a few students but this one was obviously expensive and not bought at the local florist.

She half expected it to be from Ricky but she of course was certain that Ricky would never make that move anymore.

They were all eyeing her as if asking who sent the flowers.

“Galing kay James.” she sheepishly smiled after reading the card.

James sent Maya flowers. How he did it in a short span of time, she didnt know. But one of James’ trait was his unending surprises and sweetness.

“Malaki siguro ang kasalanan ni James ngayon ah kaya sobra kung bumawi. Mahal yan ganyang flowers.” Eds interjected.

“Romatic naman talaga si James kaya eto si Emm miss na miss na siya.” Simon joined in.

“Kelan ba kasi uuwi para masundan nyo na si Luke?” Jeff kidded.

Maya’s work colleagues already met James when he came in for a short visit. They all liked his personality and admired him for his dedication in his work and his love for Maya and Luke.

Ricky was just listening while Maya was just smiling.

She felt awkward talking about James in front of Richard but she needs to act normal.

Ricky was unconsciously clenching his fists that were above the piano keys. His eyes turned to tiny slits.

He stood up, excused himself and went out of the music room to calm his nerves.

Preview of the Next Chapter:

“Hey, why are you crying? May masakit ba? Wait, ill call the doctor.”

“No walang masakit. Ok na ako.”

“Ba’t ka umiiyak? Hey tingnan mo nga ako.” She was still avoiding his eyes.

“Wala. Natakot lang ako for Luke.”

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

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and Ryan: The Anniversary Surprise

A/N This was supposed to be this weekend but since it’s our dear JSM’s (aka Maya’s) birthday, and I’m feeling happy today, i decided to post this one now. Yes, hindi birthday ang theme pero may celebration na rin so pwede na ata to. Pardon the errors. Just did this for fun. Good day to all!

Maya and Richard has been married for three years. Well actually they’ll be celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary in 3 weeks time. They had Sky and Sunshine and are working on another baby.

At bed that night…

“Sweetheart anong plano mo sa anniversary natin?” Maya asked as she lay cuddled in her husband’s arms.

“Hmmm wala pa akong naiisip Sweetheart eh. Maybe dinner. What do you think?” Ricky glanced at his wife.

“Pwede naman Sweetheart kaso parang common na yun eh.”

“What do you have in mind ba?”

“Outing or road trip kaya tayo ng mga bata? ”

“I think it’s a good idea. Or pwede naman tayong magspend ng whole week sa Baguio like we did before.”

“Ay oo Sweetheart. Masaya ngayon kasi kasama na yun kambal.”

“Yes at sina Mama at Papa baka we can ask them to join also. Even si NayTere , TayArturo, Kute at Cho.”

“Ang dami na natin Sweetheart!” Maya quipped.

“Ayaw mo no’n, masaya?”

“Magastos naman masyado Sweetheart.”

“It’s okay tutal we don’t get to do it often. I think it’s a great idea.” Ricky was really getting excited now.

He continued. “Si Sonny may bahay sila sa Baguio, maybe I can just ask if we could use his place para we wont stay at a hotel. Better yun kasi we’ll get to feel like living in a home in Baguio.”

“Ay sige Sweetheart! Masaya yan!” Maya said enthusiastically.

Her mind was now working on how to prepare for the trip. She could finally enjoy time with the whole family. It will be fun to see the kids bond with thier lolos and lolas. Cho and the twins could finally get to see Baguio. And she could buy a new Bahay Kubo brand of puting kumot.

Puting kumot… she smiled sheepishly at the thought. Her mind drifted elsewhere as she reminisced the first time she was with her then employer, Richard. He accompanied her in buying a “Bahay Kubo puting kumot” for her Nanay Teresita during their first family outing in Baguio.

That same puting kumot was the one she and Richard shared on their first night to sleep together (yes sleep only) after their wedding at San Nicolas.

Richard noticed his wife in deep thought, smiling as if remembering something special.

“Sweetheart why are you smiling?”

Maya was startled so she blurted out without thinking…

“Ah naalala ko lang yung first night natin.”

Ricky’s eyes grew big, his eyebrows raised in amusement. He smiled naughtily at Maya.

“At anong naalala mo Sweetheart?” He was teasing the already blushing Maya.

“Mr. Lim!!!”

“What? I was only asking?”

“Eh iba na naman yun nasa isip mo. Ang naalala ko lang yun natulog tayo sa San Nicolas pagkatapos ng kasal. Kasi yun kumot na galing ng Baguio yun gamit natin, nakakainis ka!” She slapped his arm.

“Awww! That hurts Sweetheart ha!”

“Ang naughty mo kasi Mr. Lim!”

“Of course not! You’re the one na nag-isip ng ganun, not me.” He was having fun teasing Maya.

Hindi na kumikibo si Maya, pikon na siya kay Ricky.

Tumalikod na siya kay Ricky.

“Hey Sweetheart, I was just teasing. Pikon ka naman masyado.”

She glanced at him, pouted her lips then glared at him.

“Hmmm alam ko na ang gusto mo Sweetheart…” he wiggled his eyebrows then attacked Maya with tickles and kisses on her cheeks and neck.

Maya was protesting at first until she got tired and allowed Ricky to continue what he’s doing. She wasn’t really angry at him anyway.

Her shrieks, and his laugh were all that was heard in their bedroom.

======

At the Principal Office / Ricky’s home office (again)

“Sigurado ka brod magugustuhan niya ang gift?”

“Definitely!”

“It’s difficult to get plane tickets kasi eh. Alam mo naman pasukan ng mga bata. Maraming pasahero.”

“We have special privilege at Time Airways. We can use that.”

Maya was on her way (again) to the principals office….

“I can already imagine it brod. Spending anniversary together in a beach. Swimming together tapos spending the night away from busy Metro Manila. Ganda talaga ng idea mo.”

“I told you so.”

“Perfect anniversary gift indeed!”

“Oo naman at baka magkaroon pa ng anniversary baby.”

“Bilib talaga ako sa’yo brod.”

The two friends were happily discussing…

Maya can’t contain her excitement behind the door. She was so happy hearing that Ricky has a surprise for their wedding anniversary.

As much as she was also excited with the Baguio trip, she honestly wanted to spend time alone with her husband. They were always busy with work. It would definitely be a welcome respite for both of them.

She just left the two on their own. She doesn’t want to disturb them especially that Ricky was asking Ryan’s help for his anniversary surprise to her.

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

On the phone one morning while Maya was still taking a bath…

“Yes Liza you should ask the florist to fill the room with flowers.”

“Okay Sir. How about the food?”

“I think steak and wine will be perfect. Please don’t forget the pianist.”

“Yes Sir. I have informed and paid him already.”

“Okay thank you Liza. I want this to be perfect.”

“Of course Sir. I’m glad to be of help.”

“Wait Liza, have you asked the owners to close the beach? There shouldn’t be any customers on that area we chose.”

“Ah yes Sir. It would be exclusively closed. All taken cared of Sir. You don’t have to worry.”

“Thank you very much Liza. I can really count on you.”

“Anytime Sir.”

“And Liza, please don’t mention this to anyone especially to Maya.”

“Of course Sir.”

“Thank you Liza. Bye.”

He ended the call.

Unknown to him, Maya heard his conversation with Liza.

She was so giddy, happy, excited.. kilig. But she definitely wouldn’t want to ruin her husbands surprise so she will pretend to not know of it. She could definitely do that.

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

Driving to work Ricky asked her.

“Sweetheart did you talk to Kute about our Baguio trip?”

Nagulat si Maya. She thought hindi na matutuloy because he already has an anniversary surprise for her.

“Ah hindi pa Sweetheart. Mamaya tatawagan ko.”

“You better call her para naman makaprepare sila.”

“Okay Sweetheart. Sina Mama at Papa?”

“Okay na sila. They will arrive three days before our outing.”

“Ang saya sweetheart. Makakasama sina Mama at Papa.”

He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

She feels so happy. Maliban sa time together anniversary ni Ricky sa beach, they would still push through with the family outing. It is really happy to be married to Richard Lim, the best husband in the world, she thought.

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

That night before going to sleep.

“Sweetheart, this weekend LAS will have a meeting with some foreign investors at Boracay.”

“Eto na yun” Maya thought giddily to herself.

“Tapos we might sign a deal on the acquisition of a property there. Since wala si Ryan coz he has some important matter to attend to with his wife, ikaw na lang ang sumama sa’kin.”

She was smiling happily while staring at her husband.

“O bakit ganyan ka naman makatingin?”

She kissed her husband and pinched his cheeks.

“Wala! Ang gwapo gwapo mo talaga Sweetheart. Nakakakilig kang masyado!”

Ricky was amused at Maya.

“Naku Sweetheart, baka naglilihi ka na nyan ha!”

“Hindi Sweetheart. Wala lang. Nanggigigil lang ako sa’yo.”

Then she hugged him so tight and pinched his cheeks again.

“Sweetheart, you’re not listening to what I’m saying kanina. It is important.”

“Nakikinig ako Sweetheart. Magpapasama ka sa Boracay. Tayong dalawa lang. We will go there for business.” She stressed on the last word then winked at Ricky.

Ricky just raised his brows. Alam nyang nilalambing na naman sya ni Maya.

She thought, “Si Ricky talaga, ginamit pang palusot yun negosyo nya.” She was happy at the thought that Ricky was doing everything to keep the gift a surprise kahit alam na alam na rin nya.

Though they would celebrate their anniversary a week earlier, it is okay with her. Besides they will still go to Baguio on their actual anniversary date.

==========

She got the details.

Ricky and her will leave Manila Saturday morning. They will stay until Sunday lunch then be back to Manila in the afternoon.

She happily called her former roomie Emman.

“Mayabells!!!!”

“Naku Emman, magpapasama ako sa’yo sa mall mamaya. Okay lang ba sa’yo? May bibilhin tayo.”

“Sure roomie kahit ngayon pa.” Emman excitedly replied.

That afternoon, Maya and Emman spent the day looking for swimsuits she would be using on their wedding anniversary celebration.

She chose two sets which were a bit daring for her. Kakayanin nya to wear them for her husband.

She also bought a bright red lingerie which she knows would make their night interesting. She wants to surprise Ricky and being a little feisty and bold on their anniversary night will surely make him happy. Alam nya na matutuwa si Ricky with her purchases. She also bought boardshorts for Ricky and some plain white and gray shirts and boxers and some Hawaiian polo.

The two friends happily went home after the successful shopping at the mall.

===========

Friday afternoon, Ricky didn’t report to work. He was busy in his home office attending to some documents. He wants to be prepared for their travel tomorrow.

He requested Maya to just prepare his clothes for their travel.

She was excited coz she would be able to sneak in her surprises for Ricky. She would be the one choosing his beach wear.

Richard was always conservative like her but for this travel, she wants them both to be carefree and at least shed some of their inhibitions. She wont allow Ricky to wear those soft jeans he usually wears on their beach outings.

All she packed for him were shorts, undershirts, hawaian polo, body hugging shirts, boxers, slippers, hat and an extra polo and jeans for their flight back home.

Ricky would definitely be forced to wear what she brought as he has nothing else to choose from.

She smiled at her naughty thought.

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

The travel to Boracay was smooth, from the plane to the boat ride. Maya was excited. Ricky was anxious.

“Sweetheart, okay ka lang?”

“Yes. I am fine. Just a little nervous on how the deal would turn out.”

Sa isip nya. “Si Sweetheart talaga, in character pa.”

Sinakyan lang nya si Ricky. Pretending not to know anything about the surprise. She doesn’t want to spoil it since alam nya that Ricky went through all the trouble just to surprise her.

They proceeded to their hotel room.

“Sweetheart, magprepare ka na. I’ll just check our reservation sa restaurant. I’ll change after you’re done. Shower ka na para you’ll be comfortable later.”

Ricky then left her. She showered.

Ricky was already back in the room frowning when Maya went out of the bathroom.

“Sweetheart bakit?” She worriedly asked.

“Sweetheart, you didn’t pack any business attire for me? Anong isusuot ko pagharap ko sa potential investors natin?”

He was upset.

Maya was surprised. She thought….

Upon realization that there have been some misunderstanding, she got speechless, embarrassed, worried. Her feeling was so unpleasant that she wanted to hide and not be seen by Ricky.

Ricky was staring at her in wonder. Then he saw Maya’s worried face and misty doe-shaped eyes staring at him.

He just closed his eyes and took a deep breathe to calm himself.

Maya bolted the room to hide herself in the bathroom where she cried in shame and where she admonished herself for not learning her lesson. She again jeaopardized Ricky’s business. She felt a failure. Hiyang hiya na siya kay Ricky.

Even though he was upset, Ricky wanted to comfort Maya. He never wanted her to feel bad. She is far more important than business. He loves her so much.

He changed his clothes.

He knocked at the bathroom door. He heard her stiffled sobs.

“Sweetheart please open the door.”

She didnt answer but he can still hear her crying.

“Halika na. We might be late for our meeting.”

“Di na ako sasama. Ikaw na lang.”

Her voice was shaky.

“Pero i want you to meet them.”

“Ikaw na lang Ricky. Nakakahiya. Maga ang mata ko.” Then she cried again.

“Okay pero could you please open the door first. I need to use the bathroom.” He lied. He just wants to see and hug his wife to let her feel that everything is okay. He couldn’t stand seeing her crying.

Maya opened the bathroom and as soon as he saw her, he engulfed her in a tight hug.

Maya cried louder as she felt the love of her husband despite what she did.

He held her face to make her look at him. She wiped her tears.

“Hey, don’t cry. I’m sorry I got upset kanina. Im sorry Sweetheart. I didn’t mean to do that.”

“Pero nasira ko na naman ang business meeting mo.” She said in a tiny voice.

“Wala kang sinira. I could still meet them even with these.”

He was already in the board shorts and hawaiian polo Maya chose for him.

He was smiling at her. He wants to let her know that it’s okay.

Maya let out a small smile.

“Atsaka Sweetheart baka mas madaling matuloy yun deal kasi they wouldn’t want to be with me while I’m looking all handsome and cool”

He tried his best to remove Maya’s feeling of embarrassment and guilt.

“Halika na Sweetheart, samahan mo na ako.”

“Ikaw na lang Ricky.”

“You’re sure okay ka na?”

“Oo.. sorry ha…”

“Hey there’s nothing to be sorry about. Don’t cry na. I love you so much Sweetheart.”

Maya’s eyes were again misty with what Ricky said so he hugged her and kissed the top of her head.

“Sweetheart I have to go meet them na muna ha! As much as I want to stay here and ravish that figure underneath that robe, I dont want our potential investors to think negatively of LAS, of me.”

He quipped naughtily.

“Ricky naman eh. Sige na puntahan mo na sila.”

So wearing that same outfit and adding his aviators, he proceeded to the meeting.

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

Later that night…

Maya was lying under a very thick comforter when Ricky joined her.

He was in his boxers and gray undershirt that Maya brought on their trip. He’s not fond of these sleepwear as he was always used to wearing his pajamas but he didnt want to offend Maya. He wants to make her feel better. He was certain that wearing the stuff she proudly bought as a surprise for him, would at least make her feel better. Besides he has no other choice since she didnt bring any other clothes for him to use.

“Sweetheart are you feeling cold? Bakit balot na balot ka naman?”

“Malamig yun aircon sweetheart.”

“I can just hug you.” He smiled at her. He was in the mood.

“Sweetheart matulog na tayo.”

“Hmmm okay pero share tayo ng comforter. Nilalamig na rin ako Sweetheart kasi look at what I’m wearing naman.”

He slipped inside the comforter. He hugged Maya’s back when he felt that she was wearing a robe.

He abruptly sat and removed the comforter revealing Maya using the hotel robe.

She didnt have any sleepwear too aside form the red lingerie she bought. She has no guts to wear that alone in front of Ricky now after all the embarrassments she had.

“Sweetheart bakit ka nakarobe?”

“Kasi Ricky… sweetheart kasi…”

Then she covered her face. She was blushing, suddenly shy.

Ricky realized it so he opened her robe and swallowed hard when she saw her bright red lingerie.

“Sweetheart, wow! Had I known na may dala ka nyan, di na sana ako nagtagal sa meeting kanina. You shouldn’t cover yourself with that robe.”

Ricky then slowly lowered his lips to hers and in that quiet hotel room, they both spent the night pouring the love they had for each other.

=======

As he lay after their steamy night together, he realized that Maya must have overheard him and Ryan.  Or she must have forced Liza to spill the secret. Natawa siya kay Maya. His wife is really amusing, silly and that’s what he loved so much in her.

Pero kailangan nya ring bumawi. He didn’t want to disappoint her since he knows she was expecting na talagang para sa kaniya yun surprise.

The following morning, Ricky got up very early leaving his sleeping wife. He needs to do something and he only had a couple of hours to do his plan.

So he went out early to find a florist and have them deliver and decorate or rather fill with flowers a new room he booked for him and his wife (he decided to extend their stay for another night). He also rented a pianist and specifically chose the songs that would be played.

He also bought a dress for Maya and a new set of jeans and polo for him since nakita nya na lahat pangswimming ang dala ni Maya. He asked the hotel’s restaurant to cater for them tonight.

Everything should be perfect even though it was just a spur of the moment thing.

He wants to make this evening extra special for both of them.

He loves Maya so much and he knows she loves him so much too. He can never imagine himself with anyone else.

They would celebrate tonight and still continue with the Baguio trip.

He doesn’t mind. If he had it his way, everyday is not enough for him to show how he loves his wife.

Same time somewhere in Amanpulo…

Another couple lay cuddled in bed.

“Honey, thank you for this wonderful surprise.”

“Anything for you.”

“Pa’no mo nagawa lahat to?”

“I asked Richard’s help. Sina Liza ang nag-ayos ng lahat ng ito.”

“Really?”

“Oo kasi nga ang hirap makalusot sa’yo. Mabubuko agad ako.” Ryan laughed.

“Ang galing Honey, I was talking to Maya the other day and she never slipped.”

“Ah hindi rin nya alam. We decided not to let her know kasi alam mo naman si Maya…”

They both laughed as they continued their celebration.

Happy Anniversary Ryan and Ivy

Advance Happy Anniversary Maya and Ricky!

Happy Birthday Jods!