A/N: Hello! Thank you sa mga patuloy na nagbabasa ng mga gawa ko. HAHAHA. It means so much to me. Again, super excited ako to post this one so forgive me if there are errors. Anyway, please enjoy! 🙂
Love, Miles ❤
“Really? You’re cousins? How come I don’t remember?” Maya was still confused. She has been in the industry for long time yet she has forgotten that Raffi and Richard were relatives.
“I remember, almost 28 years ago, we did our first teleserye together with Direk Jean. You were my sister in the series pero you died in the story after our 4th week, so we didn’t spend that much time together. Sobrang mahiyain ka pa nga nu’n. You saw Richard once because he brought food during our shooting. I think you were about 4 years old, I was 11 and Richard was 14.” said Raffi.
Maya fell silent for a moment as she was still trying to reminisce. She then remembered that she started in the business 28 years ago like Richard and Raffi. However, Maya belonged to the group of child stars while Richard and Raffi were in the group of blossoming teen stars. She also recalled calling Raffi “ate” during those years. But when Maya and Raffi became best of friends on the set of the second series that they made 4 years ago, she said that Maya should just drop the “ate” and start calling her “bestie” instead.
“Ah! Naalala ko na Raffi!” Maya said, pointing at Raffi. “I mean, Ate Raffi. Hehehe!”
“Hey! Stop calling me that! Besides, sabi nila I look young. Ikaw nga diyan, makakalimutin.” Raffi giggled.
“Ok, correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember asking you the first time we met bakit ang singkit mo. Tapos, sabi mo sakin it is because you are half-Chinese. Tinanong pa kita bakit ang ganda-ganda mo, bakit ang tangkad mo, saka kung pwede bang mag-bestfriends nalang tayo. Hahaha! Grabe, Raffi. Yung mga tanong ko pala sa’yo nu’n ano? Non-sense!” Maya covered her mouth while laughing.
“Yes, you are right! Akala ko hindi mo na naalala ‘yun eh. Tapos, eto pa, few years after, we met at Direk Jean’s birthday party. You were 8 that time I remember kasi sinabi mo sa akin, then I congratulated you for winning best child performer and I pinched your cheeks afterwards. Na-annoy ka sa akin kasi nasaktan ka! Hahaha!” Raffi added.
“Who would have thought that we will be this close? We’ve been friends for almost, what? 4 years! Imagine!” Maya said in disbelief.
“At, take note, three years ago lang nasagot yung tanong that has been bothering you for years – kung bakit Alcantara ang apelido ko.” said Raffi.
“Ah, ya’n naalala ko na! You are using Alcantara because it was from your Lola, the late Miss Susan Alcantara who was also one of the best actresses during the 1950s.” Maya crossed her legs as she was trying to imitate the way Raffi said it to her. “Ganito ka pa nga oh, ‘actually, my real name is Rafaela Suzette Alcantara Lim, pero sabi ni Mr. C, Rafaela Alcantara nalang daw, para connected parin kay lola’. Tapos nag-smile ka sa akin.”
Raffi can’t help but to burst out laughing. Maya never fails to make her laugh. “Maya, stop it please, nakakahiya. We’re at Genie’s party. Baka isipin nila nabubuang na tayo.”
Richard went back to their table and found Raffi and Maya giggling. “Hey guys. Did I miss something?”
“Wala naman. Maya and I were just talking about you.” Raffi joked.
“What about me?” asked Richard.
“Just kidding. Eto kasing si Maya, nakalimutan niya na mag-pinsan tayo.” Raffi replied.
Richard looked at Maya and smiled. “Talaga?”
“Oo eh! Nakalimutan ko talaga, I swear. I mean, Raffi told me that you were cousins few years ago but I guess it slipped out of my mind.” Maya felt embarrassed.
“Papaano kasi, stressed yan couple of weeks ago. Naging mali-mali. Kaya kahit yung lipstick niya, nailagay niya sa bag ko.” said Raffi.
“Raffi!” Maya looked at Raffi as if she was warning her not to spill something.
“Hey Raffi, Richard, and Maya! How are you guys doing?” One of the country’s best acoustic singer, Charlie Dy, approached their table. He also has a crush on Raffi.
“Hi Charlie!” The three replied.
“I hope you guys don’t mind if I take Raffi to our table right there.” Charlie said while pointing towards the table where other invited celebrity singers were seated.
“Not a problem, Charlie. Dalhin mo na yan si Raffi, ang daldal eh.” Richard said in jest.
Raffi slapped his arm, pretending to be annoyed. “Ikaw talaga! Anyway, see you guys later.”
When Richard and Charlie left, Richard moved to closer to Maya. Maya felt a bit nervous. Ayan ka nanaman ha, bakit ka ba kinakabahan? she questioned herself. Richard placed his hands on the table, deciding whether to grab some appetizers or not. Meanwhile, Maya tried to fix her hair and took a sip of water.
Richard tried to speak up. “Ang daldal ni Raffi, ano? Hindi ‘yan nauubusan ng salita. Kaya alam ng tao na kapag may bisita ako sa bahay, automatically, siya ang nandun.”
Maya grinned. “Oo nga eh, pero it’s really fun kapag kasama ko siya. Kung ano-ano pinag-gagagawa namin. She’s frank but it only means that she cares about you so much.”
“Ah, yes. Very, very frank. Ganun talaga siya sa lahat ng tao na ka-close niya.” Richard added.
“Nakakatuwa nga kayo, at least, you and Raffi were that close. Kasi, look, different kayo ng personalities pero nagkakasundo parin kayo. Ang cool niyo kaya tignan.” said Maya.
“Yeah, pero may time na nagbabangayan din kami ni Raffi. But in the end, nagbabati kami since kami lang ang mag-pinsan eh. We treat each other as siblings.” Richard took a sip of water.
“Ay really? Ang cute naman!” Maya replied.
Few minutes later, the emcees called everyone’s attention for the programme was about to begin. The program started with a prayer for Genie followed by an AVP presentation which was prepared by Genie’s friends. The parents and siblings of Genie also gave their birthday wishes for the celebrant who was trying not to be very emotional. All guests were eager to participate in the mini-games prepared. Everyone was having so much fun. Dinner was served afterwards. It was around 12 midnight when the DJ turned up the music and said, “Come on, people, rise up! Let’s dance! Let’s party!”
Everybody was dancing like there’s no tomorrow. Everybody swayed their hips to the rhythm. It was indeed a good time. Richard and Maya mingled with other guests afterwards. Both didn’t show any tinge of exhaustion after an hour of dancing. The two quite had a few drinks beforehand. Richard was still sober, though. Maya, on the other hand, seemed to be a bit tipsy, but she insisted that she can still manage. Both of them went back to their seat to have a rest.
“Tired?” Richard asked Maya.
“No, not at all. I’m having fun actually. Minsan lang kasi ako lumalabas eh.” She replied.
“Oh yeah? Ako rin eh, bihira lang din. Not unless I have to attend to a birthday party like this.” Richard finished his drink and placed the glass on the table.
Maya checked her phone if someone texted her. She placed it on the table beside Richard’s phone after. She turned to Richard and said, “Gabi na ah. Ayy, mali… Umaga na pala. Buti hindi ka pa tinatawagan ng asawa mo?”
Richard was quite surprised with her question, but he realized that Maya was getting drunk. He casually said, “Actually, I am already annulled Maya.”
Maya was shocked with Richard’s response. Moreover, she was more puzzled why she asked that kind of question. “I… I’m sorry Richard. I didn’t mean to.” She decided not to speak further about the matter.
“It’s okay Maya. Besides, nag-e-enjoy nga ako sa mga kwento mo.” said Richard.
“Weeeeeh?” Maya took another sip of wine. “Mukha ngang, you’re getting annoyed with me. Sorry. Hindi ko kasi masyado kilala yung ibang guests, kaya ikaw at si Raffi lang ang sinusundan ko. Hihihi.”
“Me neither. Don’t worry, patas lang.” Richard replied.
“Pero may anak ka di ba?” Maya asked.
“Ah, yes. Her name is Abigail and she is 8 years old.” Richard answered.
“Aww, how adorable. Ang sarap siguro magka-anak, ano?” said Maya.
“It’s challenging, yet it is rewarding. You have to be a good role model. Unfortunately, eh, kaming mga sarili niyang mga magulang, are not good role models. My ex-wife and I were thankful that Abigail is such a darling, very sweet and understanding.” It was evident on Richard’s words about Abigail how proud father he is.
“Things happen for a reason, Richard. You may not understand why it happened as of now, but eventually, the things and experiences you’ve been through and will still go through will make you a better person. I know, it sounds cliche, but it’s true.” Maya said.
Richard smiled back at Maya. “Thank you Maya. Eh ikaw, wala ka bang balak magkaroon ng sariling pamilya?”
Maya stopped to think for a second. Then she said to herself, oo nga ano? Kelan nga ba? She took a nice deep breath before answering Richard. “Meron din naman, in the future. Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit hindi ko pa iniisip ‘yun eh. I mean, I guess I don’t want to rush things.”
“Sabagay, you’re still young.” replied Richard.
“Weeeeh. Ayan ka nanaman. Niloloko mo ako, ha? Doesn’t mean that I’m quite tipsy eh, pwede mo na ako i-joke.” Maya responded in doubt.
“I’m serious, Maya. I really thought you were 27 or 25.” replied Richard.
“Nako, wag na nga tayong mag-bolahan dito. Claim it nalang na we look young! It means, masaya tayo sa mga buhay natin.” said Maya.
They had more drinks, but Richard was still sober than Maya. His tolerance with alcohol was so strong, in contrast to Maya’s. Raffi saw the both of them laughing out loud. “Chard, uwi na tayo. Medyo nahihilo na ako sa nainom ko.” She sat beside Maya.
“Raffi, ang kulit pala ni Maya, ano?” said Richard without paying attention to what Raffi said.
“Eh, Raffi, etong pinsan mo pala, nakakatawa! Akalain mo, Richard Lim, ganito?” Maya said, giggling.
“Hey, I know you guys are having fun, pero uwi na tayo. Please? Saka 3 am na.” Raffi pleaded.
“Okay, I’ll just call the driver.” said Richard.
“Ay ako din, uuwi na pala.” Then Maya suddenly remembered, “Naku! Patay kang bata ka! Yung driver ko, pinauwi ko pala! Hindi ko pa siya natatawagan.”
“Don’t worry Maya. Ihahatid ka nalang namin.” said Richard.
“Naku, wag na, nakakahiya naman, saka si Raffi, nahihilo na. Tignan mo oh.” replied Maya.
“Tinawag ko na ‘yung driver, Chard. Kanina pa. Nandyan na daw siya sa may entrance. And Maya, ihahatid ka na namin. Wag ka nang makulit. Tara na please.” Raffi’s headache was already torturing her.
The three said their goodbyes to some guests who still remained in the area and of course, to Genie. The birthday celebrant was indeed happy that Richard, Raffi, and Maya came to celebrate with him despite of their busy schedules.
Soon after they reached the van, Richard assisted Maya and Raffi inside. Maya and Raffi both fell asleep not long enough. The good thing was, Richard was able to ask Maya where she lives when they were talking at the party earlier.