Maya silently sneaked in inside their condo unit. She was carrying this huge bouquet of flowers that were delivered at Time Airways today and a box of chocolates was hidden inside her bag. She’s been receiving them daily since that Monday after the Summit. And it was all from one guy – the white-masked stranger named R.
Richard never missed a day of giving M flowers. Even if they haven’t seen each other again, Richard wanted to tell M through the flowers that he likes her. And if still M didn’t get his message, he would literally send a whole flower shop to her. He has never done this before. Richard never gave flowers or even chocolates to a woman before. He never thought he would actually do those corny stuffs he’d seen on those romantic-comedy movies. It was never in his plan to actually fill the shoes of those fiction characters, and when he met M, it all changed.
After leaving her luggage on the living room, Maya tiptoed silently to her room, afraid that Emman would catch her. She was only a few steps away from her door when she heard the creaking sound of Emman’s door opening.
“Roomie, dumating ka na –“ Emman stopped halfway when he spotted Maya holding a bouquet of Sunflowers on her arms. “Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Roomie! May flowers ka na naman?!” Emman exclaimed. Emman has been a witness on how pursuant Richard is. He would always catch Maya with a bouquet of flowers in her arms. And even if Maya tucked it inside her luggage bag, Emman would always see it. “Kanino galing? Wait, let me guess. Kay Mr. R yan ano? Naku Roomie! Sabi na nga ba eh!” And then Emman continued to squeal inside their condo unit.
“Shhh! Emman naman oh!” Maya hushed out her friend. She trying so hard to control the blush on her cheeks but she always fail. “Hindi ‘to galing kay R, may .. may lalaki lang akong nakasalubong kanina. Binigay sa’kin ‘to kasi binasted ata siya nung nililigawan niya.” She lied.
“Oh?” Emman looked at his friend with one of his brows raised. Then he quickly reached for that little envelope tucked inside the bouquet. When it was already on his hands, he quickly ran away from Maya. And if his theory is true that R was the one who gave it to her, she would run around just to get that envelope back. Maya proved his theory right as she ran around inside their unit just to grab that envelope.
“Emman! Akin na yan!” Maya said as she continued to catch Emman.
“Ayoko nga Roomie. Akala ko ba hindi galing kay Mr. R ‘yung bulaklak? Bakit ayaw mong ipabasa ng nasa card?” Emman said as he held the envelope as high as he could as he continued to run around.
“Nagpromise ako dun sa lalaking nagbigay sa’kin na hindi ko raw ipapabasa yung sulat dyan. Emman naman kasi eh!”
“Asuus! Eh bakit may letter R dun sa labas ng envelope?” Emman asked as he spotted that letter cursively written on the envelope. It has been one of the trademarks that Emman always saw whenever Richard would send flowers. First is the sunflowers, next are those envelopes that Maya doesn’t allow him to read.
“Ano naman ngayon? Ano, R-Ronaldo yung pangalan ni kuyang nagbigay. Ibigay mo na kasi Emman!” Maya said as she tried to reach the envelope from Emman, but she just couldn’t as Emman held it really high.
“Umamin ka na lang kasi, girl. Sige ka, babasahin ko talaga ‘to.” Emman warned Maya. He immediately saw the faint red color in Maya’s cheeks.
“Sige na sige na! Si R nga yung nagbigay nyan!” Maya finally admitted. “Pwede bang makuha ko na yung card?”
Emman smiled meaningfully at her. Slowly, he lowered his hand and almost gave Maya the envelope but he withdrew quickly. “Sa isang kondisyon!” he said. “Babasahin mo ng malakas para naman marinig ko.”
“Emman naman eh! Akin na kasi.” Maya continued to utter.
“Yun kondisyon ko muna Roomie.” Emman said. Maya sighed in defeat. She knew that she will not win over her friend. “Okay, payag na ko Emman.” Maya said.” Emman gladly handed her the little envelope and grabbed her by her arms and made her sit on the couch. Maya just shook her head when he saw Emman looking too eager in hearing what the message inside the envelope is. With a sigh, Maya opened that little thing and pulled out the card inside.
She read out loud.
I’m slowly dying each day with the thought that I haven’t seen you since the Summit. I’ve been calling and texting you but you seldom reply. Is something wrong? Are you hurt? Please answer my call this evening. I will be calling you. I’m dying to hear your voice again.
Patiently waiting, R.
Maya was mum after reading the card. She never thought that R would actually be concerned of her. Yes, she wasn’t responding to his text but it was because she was given double-legged flights. It was actually what Maya needed. She’s been so confused of R’s actions. She has this feeling that R likes her but she doesn’t wants to believe in it even if those flowers and chocolates are screaming that it was the reason why they’re sent.
“Girl! Nagriring yung phone mo!” Emman exclaimed as she shook Maya by her shoulders. True enough, Maya heard her phone ringing. She quickly reached for her bag and grabbed the phone inside it. She gulped when she saw R’s name and number flashing on her screen. Emman mouthed that he’ll just be inside his room and immediately left when Maya gave a nod.
“He-hello?” Maya said.
“M? What happened to you? Are you okay? Did you get my flowers? Have I done something wrong? I’ve been worried sick –“
A burst of laughter stopped Richard from talking. Maya actually found R funny. While the other one was really concerned, the other one just kept on laughing.
“M?” Richard said. “What happened?”
“Sorry, sorry, R. Ikaw kasi eh.” She said as she continued laughing. “Hayy! Grabe, ngayon na lang ulit ako tumawa nang ganito.”
“I’m glad to hear that but what happened, really?” Richard replied.
“Kasi naman ikaw eh. Dire-diretso ka kayang magtanong kanina. Kung hindi siguro ako tumawag hindi ka titigil sa pagsasalita.” Maya explained and then she continued laughing.
“I’m sorry, okay? Ikaw kasi eh. Did you know that this is the only second time that you’ve answered my call? Tapos hindi ka naman nagtetext pabalik. How was I supposed to know na nakukuha mo yung mga bulaklak na pinapadala ko –“
“Anong bulaklak?” Maya teased. She bit her lower lip to prevent herself from laughing.
“W-what? Wala kang natatanggap?” Richard asked. Maya heard him grunt on the other line. “I’ve sent flowers over the days at Time Airways. I thought you received them. I –“
“Kilala mo na ko?” Maya asked.
“No, no. Uhm, I asked my secretary to call Time Airways and asked .. well, I asked for you but I told my secretary not to mention your name.” He shyly said.
A smile crept on Maya’s face. “Hindi mo talaga alam kung anong pangalan ko?”
“No. I swear, M.” Richard surely answered. “So, care to explain why you’re not returning my calls?”
Instead of answering, Maya just smiled. Hearing R say that he still doesn’t know her name made her really glad. He’s just one of those men that really know how to wait. And she knew R would really wait even how long she will tell him to.
“M?” He sighed. “Are you avoiding me?”
“Ha? Hindi naman kita iniiwasan ah.”
“Well, it’s just that, you don’t answer my calls, even my texts. Do I have to repeat everything that I’d said earlier?”
Maya chuckled. “Sorry. I was busy eh. Sa .. sa trabaho.” Maya nodded as she said her reason. She just kept it at that because of their agreement.
“Sana kapag nagkita na tayo, wala na yang no-personal thing na ‘yan. I really want to know you.” Richard said. “Good thing you answered today. Ipapa-cancel ko na lang sa secretary ko yung mga flowers na pinapadeliver –“
“Natanggap ko sila.” Maya interrupted.
“Oo. Niloloko lang kita kanina.” Maya said, and then she giggled.
Richard smiled. “Ah, good. And I’m pretty sure you’ve read my messages on the cards?”
“Oo. Salamat ha. Hindi mo naman kailangan magpadala ng bulaklak araw-araw eh.”
“It’s my pleasure, M.” Richard simply said. “So, I was wondering when are you available so we can have dinner.”
“Dinner? Kasama nino?”
“Tayong dalawa lang. Like .. like on a date?” Richard said. His heart is pounding after he let go of those words. He’s afraid that M will say no. He really wants to meet her. He knew he will be crazy if he didn’t meet the woman behind that black mask.
“Yes.” Richard answered. He waited again for the reply on the other line.
“Ako nang bahala sa lugar. I’ll just text you or I can ask someone to pick you up.”
“I-text mo na lang sa’kin.” Maya answered. She was thankful that this is just a phone call or R would see the red color on her cheeks. “Magpapahatid na lang ako.”
“Does that mean that we’re finally going to meet?” Richard asked. Even though Maya could only hear his voice, she really felt that R is hoping for this.
Maya gulped. She knew that she’s scared to meet him again. She doesn’t know what R’s expectations are and she’s afraid that she’ll not meet them. But she knew one thing – she wants to see him again. “Yes.” She said.
“Great! That’s really great! Uhm, k-kailan mo gusto?” Richard asked. His voice is full of joy.
She paused for a while. Her flights for this year are all done as of that day. She just needs to attend some Christmas parties and the rest of her days are free. The problem is Emman has to go to the states before Christmas and celebrate it there with his family. Maya, on the other hand, doesn’t want to go home because she knew her family wouldn’t even notice that she’s there. “R, sa .. sa Christmas day, pwede ka ba? Wala naman kasi akong gagawin sa pasko so ..”
“Christmas day it is then. I’ll just call you for the details.” Richard exclaimed.
“O sige.” Maya said, feeling giddy. Somehow, R’s enthusiasm affected her on the other line.
“I can’t wait to see you.” Richard said and then he disconnected the call. Maya felt her heart flutter at what R said. After days of wondering what he’s like, she’s finally going to see him.
“I can’t wait to see you, too, R.” She whispered.
After disconnecting the phone call, Richard immediately called Liza to tell her that their plan is finally happening on Christmas day. He’s been planning their dinner little by little as the day passed and the date is the only missing piece. He felt like he’s going to explode when M finally said yes to their date. Her answer was the only thing he could hear that time. His waiting finally paid off, they’re finally meeting again.
“Ma.” Richard said when his mother finally picked up her phone. He’s been smiling from ear to ear since he ended the call between him and M.
“Ricky, bakit parang ang saya-saya mo?” Esmeralda asked. The tone of her son’s voice intrigued her.
“Are we going to have dinner on Christmas? I’m sorry but I can’t come.” He said.
“Oh? Anong meron? May masakit ba sa’yo?” His mom asked.
Richard chuckled. “No, Ma. I’m fine. I .. I’m going to have this dinner with someone.” He shyly said.
“Aba, why am I feeling that my son has a date on Christmas?”
“H-how come you always know these stuffs, Ma? You can’t even see me!”
It was his mother’s turn to laugh. “Its mother’s instinct, son. And don’t worry about the dinner with your Papa and I. We surely understand. Have fun okay? At ipakilala mo na rin sa’min.”
Richard shook his head. “Thank you, Ma. And we’ll see if I can arrange a dinner with you. I have to go, now, Ma.”
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning. The December air fills up the air and everywhere you look, the Christmas spirit is present. Everyone is happy, especially Richard. He’s can’t wait for it to be Christmas already. He’s dying to see M again.
Richard parked his car and entered the Starbucks stall near him. He ordered one frappuccino to get his buzz and settled on a table near the window. He dialed Liza’s number to make sure that everything is according to plan.
After calling Liza, he dialed up M’s number. As the phone was ringing, his eyes were stuck staring at a familiar face. The lady was sitting on the other side of the cafe holding her own frappuccino. She’s staring at the designs inside and when she moved her head, Richard hitched his breath. It was the same lady that he gave his handkerchief to. It was the lady inside the jeepney, the one that he took a photo of. He was positive that it was her. Richard was about to stand up to approach her when someone answered his call.
“Hello, R?” The lady on the phone said. “May kailangan ka ba?”
“Ah, M.” He said as he looked at the lady. Just like him, the lady is talking to someone on her phone. She was smiling as she listens on the one she’s talking to.
“Huy, napipi ka na dyan.” M said as she giggled. “Tuloy pa ba tayo bukas? Mamaya indyanin mo ako –“
“No! I would never do that.” Richard quickly said. He sighed and scolded his self for ignoring M just because of seeing the lady again.
“Ayos ka lang talaga R? Kanina ka pa bumubuntong hininga eh.” M worriedly asked. “Ganito, kung masama ang pakiramdam mo, wag na lang nating ituloy yung bukas. Ayos lang naman sa’kin –“
“It might be okay for you but for me, no. Mababaliw ako, M.” Richard said. It was the truth after all. He shifted his gaze from the lady to avoid distracting his attention to the woman he’s calling. “Tumawag lang ako para sabihin na suutin mo yung mask mo pagpunta mo bukas.”
“Ha? Eh akala ko ba magkikita na tayo ng wala na ‘yun?”
Richard smirked. “Trust me on this, okay?”
“Sige.” M said. “Sige na R, aalis na ko. May sasamahan pa kasi ako eh. Babay! Advance merry Christmas!”
Richard chuckled. “Okay. Ingat ka. Advance merry Christmas too.”
As Richard disconnected the call, his gaze went back to the lady he was observing. The lady was also finished from talking on her phone and she’s fixing her things. After a few seconds, the lady stood up to go outside. Richard was about to stand up and to finally meet this lady when a man joined her when she’s already outside. The man hugged the lady and the two of them strode off. Richard just sighed in his seat. But somehow, he was also thankful. Seeing that this lady already has a man with her made him feel relieved. He now knew that there’s only one lady he needs to focus on. And that is M.
A/N: MERRY CHRISTMAS GUYS!!! Pasensya na po kasi late update ako. Naging busy lang po sa church duties. Will post another one later this Christmas! MERRY CHRISTMAS PO ULIT! Thank you po sa patuloy na pagtangkilik ng mga kwento ko! God bless po! And have a blessed day! Love you guise!