Then and Now

 

Maya sighed contentedly as she sat before the fireplace of the master suite she and Richard were staying at for their get-away anniversary celebration. They were supposed to go to San Nicholas again, but due to inclement weather, changed plans and instead left early this morning for the drive to Taal Basilica in Batangas where they attended mass, and afterwards had a hearty brunch before checking-in to this lovely bed and breakfast in Tagaytay. He had the fire turned on and had fallen asleep while she explored the room, and knowing how tired he was, having arrived home late last night, she settled beside him and fell asleep as well.

Beside her, Richard stirred, and she smiled as he opened his eyes. “Sweetheart,” she said softly.

His return smile was wide and lazy, the corners of his eyes crinkling. “Mag-ga-gabi na pala. Bakit hindi mo ako ginising?”

She chuckled. “Umuulan, makulimlim, kaya akala mo gabi na.”

He glanced at his watch. “Mag-a-alas kwatro palang-pala.” He yawned then stretched, looking towards the balcony. “Let’s go outside?” He invited, and at her nod, stood and helped her up.The air smelled fresh, the rain brought a cold breeze, and Taal volcano, though covered by a light mist, looked spectacular.

“Ang sarap dito, sweetheart,” Maya sighed.

“It is,” he agreed as he slipped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.”

“Hm? Para saan?”

“I wanted this time for us to enjoy, kaso tinulugan kita.”

She gave a soft snort. “Sus, Ok lang yun. Pagod ka kagabi, tapos maaga pa tayong umalis kanina; tsaka, nakatulog din naman ako, e. Nauna lang akong gumising.” She felt him smile.

“I love you so much, Mrs. Lim.”

“At mas mahal kita ng higit pa, Mr. Lim.”

He snickered. “Uumpisahan ba natin yan?”

She gave his arm a playful swat, sighing as she touched their heads together. “Alam mo ba, may binigay sila kaninang USB na may mga lumang palabas, kung feel daw nating mag-movie marathon kasi nga, ma-bagyo, tapos hindi tayo maka-alis…hulaan mo kung anong nakita ko.”

“Ano?” He leaned back, eyebrows raised, as she turned her head to look at him.

“My Girlfriend’s Engagement!”

“Really?”

“Oo. Mapapanood na natin ng buo…at,” she paused for emphasis, wiggling her eyebrows, “magbibigay sila ng popcorn na hindi sunog!”

He chuckled. “Ganon!”

She wagged a finger at him. “Wala ka nang takas, sweetheart, dahil nakatulog ka na. Hindi na tayo aantukin.” The look on his face made her laugh. Turning back to the view, they went quiet for a while. Maya loved their moments like this. Not talking, just feeling. A gust of wind made her shiver.

“Are you cold?” He held her tighter.

She moved so they were hugging each other, and closed her eyes. “Hmm…Ang sarap mong ka-akap.”

“Ganitong-ganito din tayo dati. Do you remember?” He asked softly.

“Hmmm?”

“Malamig din yung panahon…We were standing in front of a lake…a volcano…”

She giggled, remembering. “Oo nga no…Nawala ako, tapos hinanap mo ako…”

“Ka-ka-picture mo kasi…I was so worried…”

“Napagod na ako kaya umupo na lang…”

“And then when I found you, we held each other, just like this.”

“Na para bang ayaw na natin pakawalan ang isa’t-isa?”

“Eh, hindi naman talaga kita pakakawalan na.”

She sighed. “Akala ko talaga nasira ko na yung honeymoon natin.”

He loosened his hold so he could see her face. “But you didn’t; and it turned out to be the best night of our honeymoon. Alam mo kung bakit?”

She gazed lovingly at him. “Bakit?”

“Because it was the night I finally claimed my wife,” he answered, smiling, but his eyes were solemn.

“Awww, sweetheart,” she said softly, reaching up to caress his cheek. He lowered his head.

Richard’s kisses never failed to evoke sweet and kilig feelings, but now they were magnified ten-fold; maybe it was the mood, or the setting, or because they had just reminisced a significant event in their lives, Maya did not know. She could only, helplessly, respond.

“Sweetheart…” Richard whispered. She opened her eyes. “Ok ka lang?” He teased, but she could see that he too was just as affected by the kiss they just shared.

“Mmm…isa pa,” she purred, and he laughed softly.

“I think I know something better that we can do right now.”

“Hm?”

He winked. “This.” He stooped to lift her up. Giggling, she hung on to him as he carried her over the threshold. To her surprise, instead of the bed, he went and knelt before the fireplace, lowering her gently on the carpeted floor. Her eyebrows rose.

“I just thought this was more romantic” he said, shrugging shyly, “maiba naman.”

She smiled. Come to think of it, they have always made love on a bed.

“Four years of happiness,” he breathed, looking at her with so much love. “Happy Anniversary, sweetheart.”

“Happy anniversary.” She started to reach for him.

“Wait!”

She stopped. Standing up, he comically raised a knee and knocked her bag off the low table beside him, making her laugh.

Sweetheart, hindi naman ganyan ang nangyari,e.”

He grinned wickedly, then shrugged again. Getting down on all fours, he brought his face close to hers. “Now, what was it you wanted, Mrs. Lim?”

She brought her face even closer to his. “Isa pa…”

“Aahhh…marami pa…” For a few seconds, they just gazed at each other; and then, “I love you.” Richard claimed her lips.

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Then and Now