Chapter 18: Past and Present
He stirred from his bed and slowly opened his eyes. But to his surprise, he wasn’t on his bed. He is laying on the grass, what is he doing here? How did he even get here? He must have been dreaming.
The dust mites danced in the ray of sunshine and the butterflies are flying freely above the wonderful flowers. They were beautiful- magnificent even, surely, Alex would love them. Oh, Alex. He sighed upon remembering her. His heart would never forget how to love her. He roughly wiped away the moisture that easily formed at the corner of his eye and stood up.
He is indeed dreaming. This place looks like heaven to him. He ran. He shouted, but no sound came. He scanned the place. If this is heaven, she must be here. Alex might be here.
A smile formed on his lips as the moments with Alex flashed momentarily on his mind. He misses her terribly.
“Richard.” An angel, he thought. As a woman’s voice was heard by him while his eyes were closed, he knew it’s an angel calling him. How did he die if this is heaven?
Slowly, he opened his eyes. His heart leaped with so much joy. It’s Alex! He hugged her so tight as if never wanting to let go. “I love you, so much.”
“I love you, too. I miss you.” She uttered. And that was it. He is staying with her forever.
He woke up. He sat on the edge of his bed and covered his face. Another dream that is better than his reality. Why is he reminded again of his wife? Maybe Alex wants him to hang on to their love. But what will he do? He is starting to fall deeply in love to Maya. She keeps him happy in this world that he is still living. “What do you want me to do, Alex?” He asked
He stopped on his routine of sending her home after office hours. He also spent his time on their other company so that he won’t be on the company where Maya is. He needed time to think. His heart needed a little time to know who is it still beating for.
Maya on the other hand had missed him so bad. He no longer call nor text her. He must be very busy in his work so she let him. That also made her to know what she truly feels. So she made a decision that day.
“Hi Ricky!” She sounds so happy on the other line as Richard accepted her call on his way to the office.
“Good morning, Maya. Do you need anything?” He asked casually.
“Uh..wala naman, ano lang. May gusto kasi akong sabihin sa’yo. May meeting ka ba ng lunch?” She asked nervously
He paused for a while to think. “I have one this morning, but I think it’ll end before lunch. Well, sige. Let’s have lunch mamaya. I’m on my way to the office.”
“Okay, sige ingat ka.” She hung up immediately after his confirmation.
He is starting to wonder what would she say to him. Will she dump him now? He thinks that’s a better idea. It will be for the best for he is now confused.
“Girl, ano? Una na kami magLunch?” Emman asked her as soon as the clock hit twelve noon. Richard is still inside the board room having a close door meeting. But Maya opted to wait for him.
“Yes. Sige” she smiled
Emman eyed his friend and gave her a teasing smile. “Okay, so I guess alam mo na”
“Yes, alam ko na.” He happily answered.
Emman covered his mouth with giddiness stopping himself from shreaking “I’m so happy for you, friend!”
There are so many things running inside her head. She’s thinking on how to start the conversation about their courting stage and on how she should answer him with a ‘yes’. Richard had been very quiet the whole time they had been together. He is no longer that sweet. When she asked him if he has problems, he answered that it’s about work so she shrug it off.
Richard couldn’t think clearly. He is so confused with his feelings. He loves Maya, but is his dream earlier a sign that he should stop on pursuing her?
“Ah. Ricky?” She broke their silence in eating.
He lifted his head to meet her gaze.
“Ano.. About James.. Kasi..”
He stared at her, waiting what was she about to say next. Maybe, she is really dumping him.
“I already told him to stop.” She blurted out. She studied his face but couldn’t seem to read his reaction.
So does that mean that.. She chose him?? “Uh..what do you mean?”
Without wasting any moment she said,”I am choosing you.”She flashed a smile that melted Richard’s heart. His heart shouted yes! But his heart shouted no!
Biting her lip, she studied him and was worried that he didn’t like the idea. Don’t he love her anymore? Change of plans? “A-ayaw mo ba?” She asked those words with so much pain.
“No. I mean, of course gusto ko! I am so happy, Maya.” He smiled at her lady. He is happy, very happy indeed. He wanted to give his heart what it wanted- this present love.
She’s laying on top of her bed repeating the scene earlier that day. She’s just so giddy! Everything feels surreal. After their lunch out together and her, giving him her sweetest ‘yes’, she’s smiling like a fool. They also had their dinner together and drove her home. She even caught him glancing at her a couple of times. She can’t hide it, she loves him so much!
As she shifted her position from her bed, she saw the notebook that is on the bookshelf. Her heart sank upon remembering that thing. She hadn’t gave it back, yet. She feels so guilty about it, so she stood up and get it from the shelf.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, she scanned once again its pages. It seemed ages since the last time that she held it yet, it still looks the same, including the picture in it.
When will they have such perfect picture as a couple? Will he smile as big as that when it’s the two of them having a picture of? Those thought bug her head. Surely, she came into conclusion, that they will have. He will be very happy with her. She’ll make sure of that.
After the last entry of the notebook, she started staring at the blank page. She wondered what might be the next entries of Alex would had been if she’s still alive? Probably, happy moments with Richard and those cute little babies that they might now have.
Her heart felt like it was stabbed in pain but she shrug it off away. He’s with her now, she’s the present and Alex is the past. He might had so much good memories with Alex but he will have new wonderful memories with her, she makes sure of that.
With her right hand shaking, it starts to do some scribbling. Letters become words, and words turned into thought. Until the whole blank page is no longer blank but is filled with black ink and her own hand-writing.
Her mind is full with thoughts that she wanted to tell Alex, questions that she wants to ask. And she thought that this is the only way to connect to her. Alex’s notebook.
Hi. I honestly don’t know what to tell you. Maybe, I wanted to thank you for I believe, giving us way to meet. I do know that it is not an accident that I saw your notebook. You made him left that on purpose. For us to meet, for him to move on. You are so lucky to be loved by Ricky, you know? I even envy you when I was reading this notebook of yours. I can feel his love for you through the words that you put here. I also wanted you to know that today, we are already a couple. I hope you don’t mind. I promise I will take good care of him. I swear I would.
I may not love him the way you do, only you can give such love. But I swear, I will love him in my own way. Gee, I love his smile. I know you do, too. It’s actually awkward to say these things to you but since you are really special to him, and also to me, I would like to tell you this. He still loves you, and it’s okay. You are worth his love and I wouldn’t mind if you still occupy a portion of his heart, as long as I know I’m also loved it doesn’t matter.
Again, Thank you Alex. Please do pray for our love to last.
After writing that, she embraced the notebook and fell asleep.
Goodmorning beautiful! Rise and shine. See u in a bit.
She woke up with Richard’s message to her. It is indeed a good morning.
Lazily, she stood up and prepares for another day. But today is not just an ordinary day. It is the first whole day that they will welcome as a couple.
She is smiling the whole time as she enters the office. Richard fetched her from her house and they both went to the office together. All of the employees are looking at them while greeting Richard good morning.
Hands intertwined, the two seemed not to mind others. As they reached Maya’s table, he bid goodbye.
“I have a meetings today, I may not accompany you to lunch.”
“Okay, dinner instead?”
“Alright. See you later, baby. I love you” He kissed her on her cheek and went inside his office. Maya’s heart leaped with so much joy upon hearing the word ‘baby’ and ‘I love you’. She feels that she is floating.
When Richard is out of sight, Emman, and Simon hurriedly went to his table.
“Girl!!! OMG. Finally! Kayo na no?” Emman shreaks too loud to be noticed by other employees.
“Shh! Oo. Wag ka nga magulo, nakakahiya sa iba eh.”
“At bakit naman nakakahiya? Kung jowa ko yan ipagsisigawan ko! At isa pa, wag kang mahiya na baka malaman ng iba dahil alam na ng lahat! Kaloka ka eh magkasabay kaya kayo pumasok ng magkaholding hands!” He teased. Simon could only laugh at the two. While Maya shook her head, blushing.
“O, Maya, congrats. So.. Si James wala na?” Simon suddenly asked her
“Wala na. Sinabihan ko na siya, okay naman daw sa kanya.”
“Haaayy. I’m so happy for you! Buti ka pa may ka-Valentines na!” Emman pouted and the three of them laughed.
Oh yes, Valentines day is approaching and she couldn’t hide her excitement! She wonders how that day would be spent by the two of them. She dreamily smiles.