Chapter 31: Delectus Personae
Cielo is laughing his lungs out after listening to Maya’s story that night when she went home. Maya’s eyes were knitted as she watches her cousin who is finding her story funny.
“Okay. Okay. S-sorry. I just can’t believe it. It all happened in a day? That’s.. That’s.. Uh.. I can’t seem to find the right words. Wait.” He raises a hand and burst into laughter again.
“Okay. Sorry couz.” He stopped himself from laughing and looked at her seriously. “But, really. He did followed you and looked everywhere for you. I think he had learned his lesson.” He tried to make sense of everything
“No. I don’t think so. Siguro, ano.. Natakot lang siya na tumanda mag-isa ng walang kasama” she reasoned
“Eh kung takot lang pala siya, why would he search for you? Ang dami namang babae dyan? And tungkol dun sa kwento mo earlier sa spa, dami nga napapatingin sa kanya but he seemed not to care. See, he is still into you.” She had told his cousin everything except for the part where she gets a little bit jealous on the thought that someone will give Richard a body massage.
“Teka! Di ba dati, sabi mo kalimutan ko na yon? Sabi mo pa nga, di siya deserving. Tapos ang dami mo pang nireto sa’kin!” She said with her arms crossed
“I know, I did said that. But with all of his efforts, I think he loves you. Maybe now, with all of his heart. And! I can see it in your eyes.. You love him still. Don’t you dare deny it, couz!” He pointed his finger at her and sat beside her on her bed.
She reached for her pillow beside her and covered her face with it. “Aaaaaah!!! I hate him so much!” She screamed. Cielo chuckled. “The more you hate, the more you love, Maya. He still affects you this much”
Removing the pillow on her face, she pouts. “I hate how much I still love him. There I said it! Are you happy?” She sarcastically said
He let out a laugh “well, I’m not but if you’ll tell that to Ricky I’m sure he’ll be happy.” He teased. Maya threw her pillow at him.
“Pero, seryoso na.. I just don’t think I can trust my heart to him. Sobrang sakit kasi. Mas masakit pa with James before. And naiisip ko pa, siguro kung buhay pa si Alex, hindi naman niya ako mamahalin eh. Never. Tapos nung wala na siya, hindi pa nga din niya ako kayang mahalin.” She laid out what’s bugging her mind.
Cielo wrapped his arms around her. “Maya, Maya, Maya… People change. Hindi talaga mawawala yung love nya for his ex-wife. But the thing is, he loves you and you said, he is trying to reach out to you. He even trashed and burned all of those things that might have reminded him of his late wife. And about that siguro kung hindi namatay si Alex, heck Maya! She’s gone. It is destined. It is written that one should leave in order for someone else to come. Maybe God wanted Richard to be prepared for you. Maybe, these things happened because God wanted both of you to learn your lessons so that when the both of you are back together, you guys are the better version of you.” He lenghtly said.
“Pero..” Tears started to flow free from her eyes. “Pero.. I’m scared that I will experience pain once again.” She said
“The fear to take risk, is more painful than the suffering itself that you’re afraid to feel. You will never know what might had happened if you never take that leap. You will suffer thinking every day of the what ifs. That is much way more painful.” He said making Maya realize things. “Think about it. Lahat ng tao napapagod. See, ikaw nga napagod intindihin sya one time. Paano kung mapagod din siyang suyuin at habulin ka?”
“Eh.. P-paano yung si Angelo?”
He smiled at his cousin who really would think of others’ feelings. “Don’t worry about him. Hindi pa naman malalim ang connection nyo. He’ll get over it. Give him a day or two, he’ll meet someone new. But this Richard of yours, it would cause him so much pain.”
She stared at the window with her mind floating. “Good night, Maya.” He bid goodbye when he knew that he just knock everything to his cousin. He wants her to be happy.
The next day, Maya was disappointed that Richard isn’t waiting for her outside their house. He must have given up with what she told him. She felt bad about the things that she said. She never mean it. Now, maybe, she has to face everyday without him and to finally move on.
As soon as she entered the spa, she was surprised that a lot of people are inside as if there’s a commotion.
Thinking that there might be something wrong, she hurriedly entered the spa. “Lara! Lara!” She called her out.
“Hi gurl! Finally you’re here.” She giddily greeted her.
“Oy! Anong problema mo at parang kilig na kilig ka diyan?” She asked, fazed up with the situation
“Eh kasi girl, ang gwapo ng bagong boss natin!” She exclaimed with her eyebrows moving up and down
“Huh?” She was lost. “Eh binenta na itong spa? Under new management? Okay naman ang lahat dito di ba? Tsaka may 1yr pa ako sa contract.” She was scared that she will lost her job.
“Relax girl! Wala naman matatanggal. Kausap ni sir yung bumili. Eh, mataas ata ang offer kaya napapayag yung owner na ibenta ‘to. Enough for him to open a new business, I guess.” She said.
Suddenly, the door of the office flew open. Her eyes wide in shock. Richard is there talking to the owner of the spa! Oh no. Don’t tell me… “Ww-wag mong sabihin..”
“Yes! Your ex is our new boss. He is so cute. Hayy girl, sabihin mo kung wala na ba pag-asa ha? Akin na lang siya.” She dreamily said.
Richard shook hands with the former owner and turned to look at Maya. He smiled lovingly at her. Her heart beats raced.
He made his way to her and flashed another heart melting smile. “I’m sorry if I’m not giving up on you. I’ve heard you still have a year here so I think I should be this close to you, anyway, I loved this place.” He said. “We started in an employee-boss relationship, so I guess we can start all over again with this set-up. I won’t give up nor force you to love me again. I am really am sorry, Maya. I love you with all my heart. And I missed you so much.”
All of the girl employees inside the spa were eyeing Maya carefully. Most are envy on her. Her lips gave up and curved up in a smile that instant. Richard’s smile widen. That smile of hers gave him hope.
“Alright, sir.” She said and tapped him on his shoulder before stepping inside their office ready for a whole day of work.
“You’re going home?” He asked her when she saw her preparing her things that afternoon.
“Uh. Yes, sir.”
“Can.. Can I.. Walk you home? If, of course it’s alright?” He checked. He wanted to push his luck eventhough the same scene last time might repeat again. He no longer cares if she will push him away again. At least he tried.
“Sure.” She answered and immediately went out. Richard was surprised, his feet were glued on the floor. Did she just agreed?!
“Sir?” She peeked in through the door when she noticed that Richard is still inside the office.
“Uh.. Yes, let’s go.” He smiled and went out with her.
They take a different route that day and Maya noticed this. Richard took the longest way to her house. Richard must really had stayed here for quite sometime for him to know this. An awkward silence filled the air and Richard doesn’t know how to break it. He’s afraid that Maya would lash out on him again.
“Ricky…” Finally, Maya broke their silence after walking for 5 minutes. Maybe it’s the right time. She, too had suffered long enough.
He shifted his eyes towards her and waited for what she’s about to say. “I am.. I just wanna know.. Why.. Why are you here?” She asked. Although she knew the answer, she wanted to hear it straight from him.
He smiled and stopped. He reached for her hands and held it tight. Maya didn’t pull her hands away anymore. His heart rejoiced. “Maya, I know things had been hard for the two of us. But I am here because of one reason. And that is because I love you.”
She saw the sincerity in his eyes but couldn’t trust him that much again. “Bakit mo ako mahal?” She wanna hear reasons. Reasons that would make her feel secured. Reasons that would make her feel loved by him more than anyone else.
He took a deep breath before answering. “Because I just do. There’s no need for any reason when you love someone. You just do. And my heart tells me that it only beats for you. Only you.” He held her hands tighter and planted a kiss on it. How she missed this side of him. “I am sorry for.. For making you feel unimportant before. I am just so broken, then. I though I am ready to love someone with all my heart but there are things that I need to realize. And the time and space that you’ve given me really did helped. Although my heart broke again when you left me. At least, I still do have a reason to live. And that is to win you back.”
“Every single day of my life.. All I wished for is to be with you again, Maya.” He said, tears ready to fall from his eyes any moment now.
“But..but Ricky, I don’t want to force you.. Ayokong gawin mo ‘to because you’re afraid to grow old alone.”
“The hell. I am not afraid to grow old alone, Maya. I am afraid to see you growing old with someone else. That’s different.” He told her. He felt the urge to kiss her forehead that moment with his tears now falling from his cheeks.
“Kainis ka! Isa pa pala, bakit kailangan mo pang bilhin yung spa?” She asked
“Well, I told you earlier, right? I need a job if I will stay here and wait for your contract to be finished. Or might as well, if I will be the new owner, I won’t mind if you will go back to the Philippines with the new owner.” He said which earned a slap from her on his chest. “Don’t worry, I gave your former boss a good deal.”
She nodded. This man will do anything just for her. She met his loving gaze afterwards. She wiped his tears away, and slowly as if the world is theirs, she leans in to kiss him on his lips. That kiss that confirms how much they love each other no matter what. A kiss that can make them forget how hard things had been before. A sweet loving kiss that would seal their love forever.
“Is that a yes?” He asked as soon as the kiss was over
“Bakit? Ano bang tanong mo?” He chuckled with her question and with his strong arms, he engulfed her lady love with an embrace. “I love you.” He whispered.
“I love you, too.”
They are holding each others hands as they finally reached Maya’s house. Smile never left their lips. Richard was about to kiss Maya goodbye, when the door flew open. Both of them were startled and immediately stepped away from each other. Like teenagers who were caught kissing after their first date.
“Oops! Sorry to disturb such sweet moment pretty.” Cielo was trying so hard to prevent from bursting into laughter.
Richard’s brows shoot up. What is this guy doing here? Heck! Are they housemates or what? He cannot help but to get jealous of him especially when he saw Maya and this guy before in the festival and they seemed really close.
“Ano ka ba naman Cielo! Nakakagulat ka.” She half shouted at him and looked back to Richard. She noticed how his brows were knitted. She knows that there is something bugging him. “Ah.. Ricky, sweetheart, si.. Si Cielo.. Cielo, si Richard.” She introduced the two.
“Oh! Finally, I’ve met you. Mukhang sinunod mo agad ang advice ko Maya.” He winked at her. Richard couldn’t help it anymore so he dared to ask.
“Who is he?”
Sensing that Richard is upset, Cielo answered the question instead. “Hi brotha! I’m Cielo, Maya’s boyfri-”
Maya’s eyes shoot daggers at him. “Just kidding, haha. You’re too serious couz.” He told Maya and shifted his gaze back at Richard whose eyes turned into tiny slits. “I’m Maya’s cousin. No need to kill me.” He said and laughed. Richard let out a sigh of relief and intertwined his fingers with Maya’s.
“I thought.. Well, I just saw you guys before and you seemed so sweet.”
“Ha.ha. We’re just close. Anyway, Maya why don’t you let him in and introduce you boyfriend to mom” he said
Before that day ends, Maya introduced Richard to her aunt and Richard couldn’t help but to feel so lucky. She had given him another chance and once again was welcomed by her family. He smiled. He is so contented. After all, he knows that their partnership is now based on trust and confidence.
(A/N: it’ll end soon. Last chapter na yung next.. I guess… :))