“Are you hungry? I can pull over para makakain muna tayo.” Richard asked as he glanced at Maya. As usual, Maya was staring out of the window with her new camera in her hand. She’s holding it like she’s not going to let a simple moment worth capturing pass by. Richard chuckled. She looks like a little girl who’s too excited with her new doll. “Maya, baka maubusan ng charge ‘yang camera mo. Turn it off, I’m sure mas marami kang makukuhanan mamaya.” He said.
“Ang ganda kasi nung kulay nung mga ilaw sa kotse kapag gabi. May nakita ako sa tv nung isang araw na ganun yung shot. Gusto kong i-remake.” She said and then she shifted to look at Richard. “Nasaan na ba tayo? Bakit puro kalsada lang yung nakikita ko?” She asked.
“Nasa SLEX tayo. We’re almost there.” He said and switched lanes. They stopped at the toll gates and while Richard was paying, Maya kept turning her head to figure out where they are. She saw a sign on the edge of the road saying ‘Sta. Rosa’, written in white over the green back ground.
“Richard, anong meron dito sa Sta. Rosa?” Maya asked. “Laguna area na ‘to di ba?” She kept asking. Maya might’ve not yet recovered her memory but she knew well enough that it’s quite far from Richard’s condo.
“We are going to celebrate your birthday here.” Richard simply answered.
“Saan dito?” Maya asked. Richard gave a soft laugh. “Ang kulit mo naman Maya eh. It’s a secret nga eh. You’ll find out soon.” He said.
“Richard ha, ‘yang secret secret na ‘yan nakakakaba ha. Mamaya kung saan mo ko dalhin. Birthday ko pa man din ngayon.” She said and Richard laughed at her.
“I thought you have complete trust in me? Bakit parang nagdududa ka na?” He teased.
“Oo naman. I have so much trust in you. Ikaw nga lang ata yung taong pinagkatiwalaan ko ng buo katulad ngayon eh.” She said and Richard’s heart swelled. It really means a lot to him what she just said. Trust is a big issue among others, especially if they are in a relationship. But to them, trust is already there from the start and with each day that pass, it just kept getting stronger and stronger. “Pero dahil sa ginagawa mo ngayon, parang nagdududa talaga ako eh.” She added.
The car stopped because of the stop light. Richard reached for her hand and looked at her. “Hindi mo kailangang magduda. We both know that I will not take you to a place where you’ll get hurt. Just hold on to that trust, okay? I’m sure matutuwa ka kapag nalaman mo kung saan tayo pupunta.” He assured her.
Maya just nodded. “Okay.” She replied with a smile. “Malapit na tayo?”
Richard nodded back. “I think so. First time ko lang din makakapunta dun eh.” He said.
Instead of doubting Richard’s sense of direction, Maya thought it’ll be much better if she just cheered him up. “Edi masaya ‘yun. Kasi pareho nating first time makakapunta dun!” She said.
A few minutes later, Richard parked his car. He opened the door for Maya and her mouth gaped when she saw where they are. She felt like she’s drifted back to the time when she was still a kid. She knew she would be happy wherever Richard might take her but this place was where she wanted to be.
“Richard! Nasa Enchanted Kingdom tayo!” She exclaimed.
Richard laughed. “Yeah. I figured out that you might like this place. Am I right?”
Maya nodded frantically.”Tara na!” She said and grabbed Richard’s hand and almost ran to the gates. “Why are you in a hurry? The night is still young!” Richard said as they got in the line. Maya had to apologize to the family getting in line too for stepping in front of them. The place was just so filled with happy energy that the father said that it’s okay and turned his attention back to his overly excited son.
“I’m sorry Sir. Excited po kasi, nasingitan pa ho namin kayo.” Richard said to the man. He gave Richard a polite smile. “Ayos lang yun. Hindi naman naalis yung gate eh.” The man said. “First time niyo dito?”
Richard nodded. “We’re from Manila. Birthday niya kasi and I thought she would like this place.” He said truthfully.
The man looked at him and then to Maya who’s still holding his hand. He smiled again. “Miss,” he called and Maya turned around. “Happy birthday.” He greeted.
Maya smiled at him. “Thank you po! Saka sorry po ulit.”
The man chuckled. “Kalimutan mo na yun. Birthday gift ko na lang sa’yo.” He said. When it was almost their turn to buy tickets, the man added. “Ang sweet ng boyfriend mo ano? Dumayo pa talaga dito samantalang meron din namang ganito sa Maynila.”
Maya’s cheeks blushed. Richard was still not her boyfriend but people are starting to assume he is. She wanted to give Richard her answer but she’s still not saying it. She felt like she still has to really know who Richard Lim is and at the same time, she would really like to know herself.
“I think it’s better here. Saka para hindi po puro Maynila ang ambiance.” Richard replied. The man nodded at them. “Totoo yan. Ang daming nagagawa ng pag-ibig, ano? Kaya neng, wag mong pakawalan ‘tong boyfriend mo. Bukod sa gwapo eh marunong magmalasakit.” He said.
Maya’s cheeks continued to redden. “Thank you po.” She replied. Richard was actually surprised that Maya did not correct him about being mistaken as her boyfriend. He actually felt glad about it. Their whole situation is actually like they’re a couple, but the reality is he’s still courting her. He knew Maya has his own reasons and he doesn’t have to worry about it because he could really say that Maya is only his even without the label.
After Richard paid for the ticket, they spent the whole night on different rides inside the amusement park. Maya was screaming through the rides, especially on the Anchor’s Away and to the roller coaster. Richard couldn’t remember the last time when he laughed so hard like this. He was literally tearing up because of laughing at Maya.
Maya on the other hand was having so much fun. Even if her amnesia was blocking her memory, she could say that she never had fun like this. When she tries to remember what her life was like before, she kept feeling dull, and sadness, the happiness part were just few. It was what she was feeling before.
Richard was right, Maya really needed that camera. She kept capturing photos of the lights inside the park. Most of the photos were landscapes just like what she likes but it got mixed up by her own photos. Richard was insisting that she must fill that camera with not just plain memories but her memories with it. He wanted her to drift back to that second when he’s going to take the photo whenever she looks at the photos in the camera. So in the end, Maya had a lot of pictures in her new camera, and Richard too.
“Richard! Bilisan mo! Gusto ko dun sa kabayo!” Maya giddily said as she ran. It was now their turn to ride the carousel, then after that, they agreed to eat dinner.
“Why are you always in a hurry? Ang dami-daming kabayo dito hindi ka mauubusan.” Richard said as he ran to catch up with her.
“Gusto ko sa kabayong ‘to!” She said as she stood before one of the horses on the edge of the carousel.
Richard narrowed his eyes at her. “How can you say that it’s the horse you wanted? Eh nakailang ikot ‘to kanina ‘di ba?”
“Basta ito yun, sure ako. Ang majestic kasi niyang tignan.” She exclaimed and started climbing on it. As she put her foot to climb up, she lost her balance. Richard rushed to catch her, putting both of his hands on either sides of her waist. Maya’s arms went on Richard’s neck, with their faces close to each other. Their lips are almost touching that when Maya’s gaze shifted on his lips, Richard slowly leaned in.
“Mommy! Gusto ko dun sa horsie dun! Dali!!” A little boy said as he ran and bumped Richard, making his lips to kiss Maya’s cheek instead. Richard just chuckled and assisted Maya in climbing the horse and then he reached for her hand and kissed it. “I guess it’s not the right time, yet.” He said and climbed on the horse beside hers.
Maya bit her lower lip to prevent her smile from tearing her lips apart. She was ready, ready to feel Richard’s lips on hers. If it wasn’t for that little boy, they might’ve shared their first kiss already. Instead of putting his legs on either side of the horse, he swung his other leg so that he’s facing Maya. He was smiling foolishly at her as the carousel started to move. Maya laughed when Richard grabbed the head of the horse for support when it started moving up and down. She pointed her camera at him and took a quick photo.
Her heart swelled when she looked at it. Richard is smiling foolishly and not just because the camera was pointed at him, he was smiling at the one who’s taking the photo. The smile on his face is not because he was happy. His smile clearly shows that he’s in love. And Maya was smiling back at it, because in the photo shows the man she’s starting to fall in love with.
When the ride was over, they walked to the food court with their hands intertwined. Maya chose Japanese food because she wants to learn how to use chopsticks. They started eating when Richard came over, holding a tray filled with foods.
“Ang dami naman nito!” Maya exclaimed as Richard placed the food on the table. He sat beside Maya and gave her a pair of chopsticks.
“Of course. Birthday mo ‘di ba? There’s ice cream over there. I’ll buy later for desert.” He said and picked a piece of sushi and brought it in front of Maya’s mouth. “Try this.” He said. Maya’s mouth opened and ate the sushi. “Hmm! Ikaw din.” She said and using her poor chopstick skills, she did her best to pick up one sushi.
Richard shook his head as he kept his mouth shot. “Not that one. Yung isa na lang.” He said. Maya’s brows furrowed and ate the sushi instead. She picked one sushi from the other plate and brought it to Richard’s mouth. That’s when Richard’s mouth opened and ate the sushi.
“Bakit ayaw mo nung isa?” Maya curiously asked.
“May pipino. I don’t eat those.” He honestly said. Maya’s eyes widened. “Talaga? Ano pang hindi mo kinakain?”
Richard shrugged. “Okra.” He said. Maya laughed at him. “Talaga? Eh ang sarap nung mga yun eh!”
“Not for me!” He exclaimed. “How about you? Anong hindi mo kinakain?”
“Hmm.” Maya tried to think. “Pasas. Ayoko nun. Saka hindi ako nakain ng hipon. Allergic ako.”
Richard nodded and then smiled at her. “May naaalala ka na pala eh.” He said.
“Yung mga simple things lang. Pero yung mga personal, wala akong matandaan eh.” She said. “Favorite ko yung color blue, hm, birthday ko ngayon, morning person ako, tapos favourite ko ang kare-kare. Yun lang.”
“I wonder how old you are.” He wondered as he ate.
“Twenty-three.” She said. Richard’s eyes widened. “Really? Are you sure about that?”
Maya nodded. “Sure ako, promise. Ikaw? Ilang taon ka na?”
“I’m six years older.” He answered. “Ayos lang sa’yo na 29 na yung nanliligaw sa’yo?”
Maya giggled. “Oo naman! Age doesn’t matter ‘di ba? Mas matimbang pa din ang love.” She said and pinched his cheeks. “Hindi ka naman mukhang 29 ah!”
“Maya, I look like 29. I’m not getting any younger. Pero dahil sa sinabi mo, baka maniwala talaga ako nyan, sige ka.” He teased.
Maya laughed at him again. “Hindi ka nga mukhang 29!” She exclaimed. “Basta, kahit ano pang edad mo, gwapo ka pa rin. Gawa lalo nung singkit mong mata oh! Ang cute!”
“Stop it. Let’s just eat.” He said and they continued to eat. Richard kept feeding Maya different cousins that he ordered. He might be Chinese but he sure knows a lot of things about Japanese foods. In the end, they were stuffed.
Maya picked up the last piece of sushi on the plate and brought it in front of Richard’s mouth. “Richard, last na sushi na. Kainin mo na.”
“No, I’m full. Sa’yo na lang Maya.” He said as he pushed her arm away but Maya was stubborn. “Sige na, Richard. Please!” She pleaded.
With a sigh, he opened his mouth and Maya fed the sushi to him. She waited giddily while Richard chewed her food. Her jaw dropped when she saw Richard swallowed his food. “What?” He asked.
“May pipino yun!” She exclaimed.
Richard smiled at her. “I know. I tasted it.”
“Eh bakit mo kinain?” She asked back.
“You seemed excited about it. I don’t want to ruin the fun. And I wanted you to know that I can change, just for you.” He said and then he stood up. “Let’s go?”
Maya reached for his hand and entwined it with his. She’s starting to fall so deep and she doesn’t even care how deep it is. She knew Richard would catch her by the end of it. Her heart is filled with love for him. She’s now ready to say yes to him. She’s now ready to be his. She just needs a right moment, and the right place to tell him that she’s ready to take their relationship to the next level.
A/N : Thank you po sa pag-aalala sa’kin. Ayos na po ako ngayon. Pabitin lang po ng onti, magrereview pa po kasi ako haha. Pasensya na po kung late na ko nag-post, ang bagal po kasi ng internet.