A/N: Thank you everyone for your continuous support! You have no idea how happy and grateful I am to all of you. Happy reading! 🙂
Love, Miles ❤
The cast of With Love and Happiness showcased their talents in singing and dancing. Richard, Maya, and all others were warmly welcomed. For the very first time, the venue, where they held the show, was jam-packed. The producers even had to double the security for there were some fans who weren’t able to contain themselves due to overwhelming happiness and excitement. Not to mention that there were some who even stayed at the same hotel where the actors checked in. Everyone who came to see the show were extremely satisfied and even requested a repeat.
A coaster van was waiting at the parking area of the concert hall. It was their last day of show and it was evident that each of them gave it all out. Nikki was staggering on her way to the coaster van. Fortunately, Luke and Nicolo was there to assist her even though they were all equally tired. The staff and crew were left at the venue to clean up and gather things that were used during the concert.
“Niks, dahan-dahan lang ah.” said Nicolo. He was dead worried about Nikki. Jennifer Del Rosario, Nikki’s mom, asked Nicolo to look after Nikki since she wasn’t able to join the trip. “Nasobrahan ka ata eh. Naku, yari ako nito kay Tita Jenny.”
Luke slightly tapped Nicolo’s shoulders. “Tol, pinag-aalala mo pa si Niks eh.” He then turned to Nikki while holding her left arm. “Don’t worry Niks, okay na ‘yan bukas, tutal rest day naman natin for three days. Inom ka ng pain killer mamaya, ha?”
Nikki smiled upon the sweet gestures of the two. “Kuya and Nicolo, okay lang ako. Thanks sa concern. Promise, nangawit lang talaga ako. This happened to me two weeks ago during our practice. All I did was to put warm compress. Trust me, by tomorrow, magaling na ako.”
Nicolo’s face brightened a bit, “Talaga? Sige, gawin mag-lagay ka agad mamaya, ha? Sasabihin ko sa assistant mo na mag-prepare na ha.”
“Nicolo…” She paused walking for a bit to rest, then she continued. “Nagawa na ‘yun ni Ate Sandy, ‘wag ka na mag-panic diyan. Saka, hindi naman magagalit si Mommy eh.” Nikki assured Nicolo. Suddenly, Nikki bumped into Luke. “Ouch, Kuya, my shoulders…”
“So…sorry, Niks. Okay ka lang ba?” Luke apologetically said.
“Bespren, ano bang nangyayari sa’yo? May hang-over ka pa ba sa concert natin?” asked Nicolo.
“Oo nga Kuya, ba’t ka ba huminto? Malapit na tayo sa van oh, onti nalang.” added Nikki.
Luke didn’t speak for a moment. He just looked at Nikki and Nicolo who were both clueless about his strange acts. Then he said in a whispering manner, “Guys, nakikita niyo ba ang nakikita ko?”
“Ha? Ang alin? Wag mong sabihing… may multo?” Nicolo tightened his grip on Nikki.
“Nicolo, ouch naman, dinadagdagan mo pa ‘yung injury ko.” complained Nikki.
“Sorry Niks, alam mo naman ako eh…” Nicolo felt shy and covered his face.
“Sshh, tumigil nga kayong dalawa…” Luke said.
“Eh, bespren,” Nicolo then turned the tone of his voice down. “Ano ba kasi?”
Again, Luke didn’t respond. His eyes and mouth were wide open. Since Nikki and Nicolo were getting annoyed, they tried to look at the direction where Luke’s focus was at. Few seconds later, the two were also shocked of what they saw.
“Oh. My. Gee. Kuya? Nicolo? Nakita niyo?” asked Nikki.
“Anong nakita niyo?” Nicolo said.
“Kung anong nakita niyo.” replied Luke.
“Wait, baka iba-iba tayo ng nakita. Sige, ganito, sabay-sabay natin sabihin kung ano ‘yung nakita natin, okay? I just really want to confirm na hindi lang ako ang nakakita. Game?” Nikki was now able to stand on her own without holding onto Luke and Nicolo. She was right, the pain would go away immediately.
“Sige, on three sabay sabay nating sabihin.” suggested Luke.
“Game.” Nicolo and Nikki agreed.
“One… two… three…” Luke slowly counted.
“Nag-kiss si Tita Maya at Tito Richard!” The three said in unison.
“Oh my gee! I can’t believe it! Kuya! Nicolo! Nag-kiss nga sila!” Nikki exclaimed.
Luke tried to keep cool and calm. “Guys, guys… Kalma lang, okay? Pag pasok natin sa van, act normal. Parang walang nakita. Niks, wait for Tito Perry to come and sit with you. Sabi niya, lalabas na rin daw siya maya-maya. Tol, dun tayo sa likod nila. Tara na.”
Nikki heaved a deep breath. “Okay, Kuya. Let’s go! Napigilan ko na ‘yung kilig ko.”
Richard sat on the window side again. He loved it when he was making Maya a favour. While she was busy placing a pillow on her back and adjusting the seat, he was busy checking his phone. “Ayan na pala sila Luke, papunta na rito.” He said.
“That’s nice. At least may iba naman akong makakausap.” teased Maya.
“Hey, are you jealous because I’m checking my phone?” Richard jokingly said.
“Hindi ah! Ba’t naman ako magiging jealous?” The truth was, she wanted to know who was he texting.
“Don’t worry, it’s Abigail. I’m telling her that I miss her and I’ll see her in three days.” said Richard.
Maya found it oddly satisfying when Richard told her who it was. “Di ko naman tinatanong eh, defensive?” She tried to mock him.
“Eh kasi eh, parang may nag-se-selos.” He said while his two eyebrows were raised. Richard accidentally poked his eyes while trying to tickle Maya. “Ah, ouch… Partner. Hipan mo yung mata ko.”
“Ha? Hipan? Eh! Wala namang pilik-mata na napunta sa mata mo eh. Natusok mo kaya.” said Maya.
“No, partner. Dati, when I was young my yaya used to blow my eyes kapag natutusok ko ‘yung mata ko. Please, partner. Dali na…” pleaded Richard.
“Sige na nga.” Maya came closer towards Richard and gently blew air to his eyes. “There. Much better?”
“Thank you partner! The best ka talaga.” He smiled at Maya.
“Hmmm, gaya-gaya ng sinasabi.” Maya slightly elbowed Richard and leaned on the chair comfortably. “Idlip muna tayo. Medyo malayo pa naman ‘yung hotel.”
It was 2 in the morning when Maya finished taking shower. She had been thinking too much about what she and Richard talked about an hour ago. Maya slipped into her crimson silk night gown and laid in the bed.
One hour ago…
Maya and Richard were walking hand in hand while entering the hotel. Both were obviously engaged in a fun conversation. As usual, Perry was behind them, busy taking pictures. He wanted to listen to the discussion but they were so careful to not let anyone hear. Before stepping into the elevator, Maya looked behind to check if Perry was still there.
“Perry…” She called him and paused since she was examining what he was doing. “Anong ginagawa mo?”
Perry was startled upon hearing his name that he almost dropped his phone. He tried to make up an excuse. “Ah, ako? Ano, ah… Naghahanap ng signal. Ah, oo, naghahanap!” He pretended to search for a signal by stretching his arms up in the air. “Oh! Ayan oh, four bars! Galing! Kagabi kasi wala masyadong signal sa kwarto.”
Good thing Richard spoke so Maya’s attention drew back to him. “So, bukas, may tour tayo. Right, Perry?”
“Oo, bukas yung group tour natin hanggang sa susunod na araw. The day before our flight back to Manila eh parang extra day lang. You know, baka may mga gusto kayong bilhin or puntahan pa, pwede.” replied Perry.
The elevator stopped at 5th floor and the three of them stepped out.
“Oh, paano ‘yan guys, good night na! See you tomorrow.” Maya bade good bye to Perry and Richard. She hugged Perry and surprisingly, Richard leaned forward to kiss her on the cheeks.
“Good night Maya.” said Richard.
Perry smiled inwardly while looking down as if telling the two that he didn’t see anything. May pa-kiss-kiss nang nalalaman. Mananalo talaga ako sa’yo, Geneva. Nako! Sinasabi ko talaga… He said at the back of his mind.
Maya just closed the door when she heard her phone beeped. Baka si Nanay ‘to. She assumed although she was wrong. The sender was non-other than, Richard. His message was:
Sleep tight, Mrs. Chief! ❤
She felt that she experienced a mini-heart attack. Why on earth did he call her Mrs. Chief? She knew that it was only Perry who calls her that. She replied:
At kakahiwalay lang natin, text agad? Hihihi. I will, Sir Chief ko. Ikaw din, sleep well. 🙂
Richard was laying on the bed while grinning from ear to ear. He then had the urge to admit to Maya that he was the one who was sending her flowers. He said:
Maya, I have something to tell you. Hindi na ako magpapaligoy-ligoy pa. I am Mr. Y. Ako yung secret admirer mo. Kahit tanungin mo pa si Raffi.
Maya was getting ready to hop in into the shower when she saw the reply from Richard. She stared at it for a moment with disbelief. I knew it! She murmured. Then she responded:
Weeeh? Ikaw talaga! Ang hilig mo sa jokes! Tulog na Sir Chief, maaga pa ata ang tour natin bukas.
Richard knew that Maya wasn’t going to take him seriously. So, he called her.
“Oh, Sir Chief naman… Di pa nakuntento sa text. Kailangan pa talagang tawagan ako?” Maya tried to hide her excitement. Her heart was beating faster and faster.
“Maya, I called to tell you that I am not joking. I’m serious. So darn serious that I couldn’t get you out of my head, even in my dreams.” Richard said. I finally said it, at last. He said to himself.
Maya was speechless. She can’t find the words to say.
“Hello? Maya? Are you still there?” Richard started to worry.
“Ah, yes. Oo. Yeah. Thank you… Ah, uh, yeah. Thank you ha?” That was all she could ever say.
“I’m sorry, Maya. I’m really sorry. Nabigla ata kita. I’m sorry Maya. I really am.” Richard felt guilty for he thought it was a bit too early to tell Maya about it. In the past few weeks, he has been affectionate towards her, in which she would reciprocate, so he took it as a sign.
“No, Richard. There’s no need to be sorry. Okay lang ako, don’t worry. Can I just…can I just have time to think? I mean, it won’t be long.” She replied.
Richard tightly closed his eyes in regret and said, “Sure, Maya. No rush at all. Take all the time that you need.”
“Thank you, Chard. Good night.” She pressed the end button. Seconds after, she threw herself onto the bed, covered her face with a pillow, and shrieked at the top of her lungs.
End of flashback…
Maya was about to doze off when she decided to check on her FB. There were three messages: one from Raffi; the second was from her friend, Krizela Abaya, another celebrity; and lastly, from Raph. She first opened Krizela’s message. It read:
Girl! Miss na kita! Ang tagal na nating hindi nagkita ah? Congratulations nga pala sa success ng inyong series. Pinapanuod ko talaga ‘yun! Kilig ako sa inyo ni Sir Chief! Hay! Ang sarap ma-in love ano? Hehehe. Pa-kiss nalang kay Sir ah? Hehehe! Joke lang, Maya. Let’s meet up when you get back, ha? 🙂
Maya was giggling while reading the message. She replied:
Girl! You don’t have any idea how much I’m missing you right now! I was just thinking of you last night, pero nakalimutan kitang i-message because I fell asleep! Haha! Pagoda much ang lola mo. Anyway, don’t worry! I’ll text you kaagad pag-uwi ko. Love you, K! 🙂
Maya then opened Raffi’s message.
Hi Maya! I hope you guys are having a great time! Congratulations! I heard na super duper successful ang concert niyo. Maya, you know that I really, really hate keeping a secret from you. So kahit pinsan ko pa siya, kailangan ko nang ibuking. Mr. Y is your one and only Sir Chief. Hindi ko alam kung sa mga oras na ‘to sinabi na niya sa iyo but yeah, I just have to be honest with you. You know how much I love you and how much I value our friendship. Richard is a gentleman. I know na medyo awkward and quite nakakailang yung magiging relationship niyo in the future because alam mo na, but I promise you na you’re in good hands. I’m not saying this because he is my cousin pero trust me, I’ve seen everything. Simula bata kami, when he had his first heartbreak, hanggang sa ngayon, alam ko ang lahat. So, Maya, relax and take your time. But from now on, you’ll be my bff-cuzzo. Hehe! Love you Maya. ❤
Maya was quite teary eyed. She felt the sincerity in Raffi’s message. Her reply was brief.
Hi BFF! I missed you. Thank you for being honest with me. I really appreciate it. Richard just called me and he confessed na siya nga si Mr. Y. Of all codenames, bakit Mr. Y pa? Haha! Anyway, thank you Raffi ha? Alam ko naman that Richard is indeed a good man. Love you, Raffi! ❤
By reading Raph’s message, she prognosticated that it would ruin her night. She expelled a deep breath before opening it.
Babe, where are you? I miss you. Call me, please?
Maya scratched her forehead and turned her cellphone off. She has no intention of sending Raph a reply.