Chapter 18: In Between
The plane landed safely. Esmeralda called Richard, while Roberto called the real reason why they are there in the first place.
It was because of Maya’s parents.
Finally, after all this time, they contacted them. Maybe, they can give them answers to their questions. Answers on what happened to their children and even on why they left and cut off whatever connection that they have with them.
This trip should be able to clear things. They badly needed answers.
“Art, we are already here. Nasaan na kayo?”
“Aaah. Robert, nasa bahay kami. Medyo sumakit lang ulo ng asawa ko kaya ayun, pinasundo na lang namin kayo sa driver. Nandiyan na yon.”
“Ah ganon ba? O sige. Salamat.”
“Anong sabi?” Esmeralda asked after she also hung up her phone after talking to her son
“Ipapasundo daw tayo.”
And that is how they ended up inside a car with hope that things will end up well after talking to their old friends.
They wanted to be enlightened on what did really happened to their son and to Maya. Before all of these transpired, they are seeing changes between the two. To the point that they believed they will soon have a grandchild and that Maya and Richard will stay happy like them. But again, they were wrong. Are they really wrong in the first place in arranging a fixed marriage?
They were afraid that they might be.
The car halted outside a typical american two-storey house located within Quebec. Roberto and Esmeralda were excited! Their friends were living here all this time. Well, they actually have found out about this last month but since they still don’t know where Maya’s family are staying in Canada, and their investigators still hasn’t found out, they opted to keep it as a secret from Richard. They don’t want him to expect too much.
And now, they’re here. Esmeralda wanted Richard to know as soon as Arturo called them one night but their family requested to keep it as a secret to Richard. She feels guilty about this. Her son has suffered enough, but what can she do? She’s been dropping hints about their trip to Canada, she keep on insisting him to come but he seemed unable to notice this.
She is also aware that Richard hired an investigator, so she called it and asked for a report. Good thing that when Richard’s investigator also had found out about Maya living somewhere in Canada, Esmeralda had found out first so she requested the investigator to keep mum about this for a while.
She had promised herself that when everything’s okay and when they already talked to Maya, she will be the one to blurt the news to her beloved son.
Silence filled the living room as they patiently waited for Art and Tere to come down.
Time went slowly. Only deep sighs from Esme and Roberto will be heard inside the room every now and then.
Few minutes after, someone went down the stairs. The two shifted their heads and stood up. Finally, it’s Arturo and Teresita smiling at them while approaching.
“Esme! Rob!” The two shouted from the stairs and half ran their way to them. They hugged the couple and smiled. Oh how they miss their friends!
“Kamusta na kayo? Grabe ang pagkamiss namin sa inyo. Nagtampo kami dahil isang taon nyo kaming iniwasan.” Esme sadly told them she’s been hurt more because of their son rather than for herself.
“Sorry. Kailangan lang kasi. Maupo muna kayo.”
Roberto and Esme sat on the sofa while Arturo and Tere took chairs and sat in front of them.
Silence. A deafening silence ensued. No one knows what to say first. There are a lot of things that should be discussed that day. They don’t know how or where to start.
Finally, Arturo gained courage and cleared his throat. “Ah-.. Kamusta ang byahe?”
Esme and Roberto exchanged glances before Roberto answers “maayos naman, but we barely had enough sleep. We are thinking all this time kung bakit ngayon nyo lang kami naisipang kausapin… ” He trailed off, he glances back to his wife and find her staring at him. “Our son.. We wanted to know what happened sa kanila ni Maya. Sobrang lungkot nya”
A pause. Arturo and Tere were also thinking on what to say. “Ah. Sa totoo lang, hindi din namin alam. Ayaw din kasi pag-usapan ni Maya. Sa ngayon.” Tere answered truthfully. They, too after all these months were clueless on what happened. They were just there to support Maya.
“So anung dahilan kung bakit kami nandito?” Esme is now more curious than ever. Why did the two asked them to go there if they couldn’t explain why they cut off all their connections to each other?
Maya suddenly emerged from the stairs. She’s been hiding behind the wall of their stairs, quietly listening to their conversation. She somehow missed their parents-in-law. Richard’s father is so like him in terms of being workaholic and being a scary tiger when mad. “Hi po, ma, pa..” She greeted the two politely and gave a tentative smile.
Rob and Esme were surprised to see her. After all these months. She is even prettier than the last time that they saw her, though she gained some weight, she is still gorgeous. She is not really fat, she just gained some weight. Maybe she’s used to living here and she’s happy. Esmeralda would never tell her son that Maya seemed happy without him. That would make him more devastated.
Esme stood up immediately and walks where she is standing. Esme engulfs her in a bear hug. Maya always loves the way Richard’s mom hugs her. It feels like home. Like she’s drawn back on those days with them, when she and Richard were still together. “Kamusta ka na, anak?” She asked Maya after creating a small distance between them.
“I’m okay, Ma. Kayo po? Namiss ko po kayo.” She was almost in tears.
“Namiss? Eh hindi mo nga kami kinontak.” Esme pouts. She was deeply hurt on why Maya never called them but she was never mad. Roberto finally stood up beside his wife.
“Ma, sorry. Sorry po talaga. I cannot tell you yet, why. But the reason why I asked dad to call you is because of.. I– ugh.. I wanted to tell you something very important.” She’s nervous. She never thought that this will be hard.
Esme eyed her curiously. “What is it, hija?”
“Ma, I am really am sorry. Kung.. Kung ngayon ko lang sasabihin..things are just hard and.. And..” She cannot continue as tears started falling from her eyes. Esme embraces her immediately while Roberto pats her back.
“Maya, what is it? Tell me.” Her voice is very soothing, and kind as ever. Which makes Maya more guilty of not telling them.
“Ma, Pa… ” Before she could continue, Maya’s parents went down of the stairs. The drama scene made them unaware of Arturo and Teresita’s sudden disappearance earlier.
And now Art and Tere are back from upstairs, holding a cute little girl as the baby keeps on smiling and cooing at the sight of her grandparents. As if the baby knew all along that they were the parents of her father.
Their attention was shifted to the baby who looks like a girl version of Richard. Her eyes, nose and ears were all from Richard! There’s no doubt. The baby got her smile from her mom though.
Esme and Rob couldn’t believe it! They look back at Maya as if asking if this is true, if the baby is real or if they are dreaming. Maya nodded as a confirmation that the baby is their grandchild. Roberto’s lips curved into a smile while Esme cried with happiness. Esme immediately carried the baby while Roberto played with her tiny hands.
“Ang apo ko!” Esmeralda cried again while holding and kissing the little baby girl. The sight of the two happily playing with their grandchild is such a picture perfect moment. Maya is happy to see them like that, but she can’t help but notice. Why do they look like they just had their first grandchild? Is Richard keeping a secret to them?
“Abigail, they are your lolo and lola. Say, hi Abby!” She hold up her hand and waved. The little girl smiled in delight.
“Awww! Ang cute cute ng apo ko!” Esme proudly said which earned a hearty laugh from them.
Esmeralda and Maya sat across each other on the living area while Roberto and Maya’s parents were upstairs playing with their grandchild. Maya decided to talk to Richard’s mother. She knew that she still needs a lot of explaining to do.
“Ma.. I am sorry. The day I left, nun ko lang nalaman na I am pregnant. Two months na pala, I didn’t know because irregular talaga ako tapos, hindi din naman kasi ako maselan. And I didn’t notice any changes.” She explained trying so hard not to break the eye contact to make her know that she’s sincere.
“Okay, so… Let’s skip the part on why you left, since sabi mo sooner sasabihin mo din ang dahilan. Even Richard hates it when I am asking him why. So, fine. But I wanted to know details about the baby. Ilang buwan na siya? And nabinyagan na ba? Did you include our surname?” She shoots question one after the other.
“Ah.. 5months po siya. And hindi pa po nabibinyagan. Yes, I included Richard as her father sa birth cert. Hindi ko po inaalis yung karapatan nya. I just needed time.”
Esmeralda nodded. She cannot understand why the two are allowing this misery. She can see the same sadness in Maya’s eyes that she’s also seeing in her son. She can only sigh. “So, kailan mo naman siya ipapakilala kay Richard? Para sana nandun siya sa binyag ni Abby.”
She nods. She also wanted Richard to be present on that day. Just for their daughter not for something else. “Ahhh.. Ma, kung pwede po sana, wag na muna.”
“Ha?!” She was surprised. She cannot hide anymore something as good news as this to his son. She doesn’t want to see him sad again.
“Ma.. Ang gusto ko po sana ako yung magsasabi sa kanya.” She quickly added before Esme could say something more.
“Okay. Sige. Pero sana soon. Gusto ko na siyang makitang ngumiti ulit, Maya.”
Richard is inside the airport. He is on the same spot where he’s usually seated before. At the coffee shop, on one of the tables where he and Sandy usually chats. He doesn’t know why, but indeed, he’s happy way back then. Hell. It does make him furious that once upon a time, he really did felt something towards another woman and he cheated on his wife. And now, he lost a friend and a wife. She surely hates him that much.
Although he knows that maybe, that is one of the reasons why she left him, he cannot really tell the real reason on why she left. For all he knows, she already forgave him after he said sorry. He thought they patched things up. What did urge her to leave him? They were okay on the last few days before she decided to leave him. They are sweet, much way sweeter than before. What the hell had happened?
He gulps the remaining coffee in his cup and waited some more. As usual, people are busy with their own world around him. He’s been dying to know what Maya’s been doing on the past year. Is she happy without him? The thought breaks his heart more.
He checks his watch for the time. It is already eleven in the morning and he’s waiting for Sandy for a while now. She called him last night to ask him if they could see each other after her flight. He was reluctant at first but is more curious on why she wanted to see him. Anyway, no one would now care if he will meet Sandy. Maya doesn’t care anymore.
Beep. A message had arrived, whenever his phone flashes a message, he still hopes that it’s Maya. But for the nth time, it wasn’t. Instead, the screen flashes the name of Sandy.
“Chard, cancelled yung flight namin pa-Manila. I can’t meet u. Sorry. I’ll just call u again. We really needed to talk.” She texted him.
His eyebrows were knitted while reading her message. What is it that they should talk about in person? He sighed in resignation.
“Alright. Take care.” He replied and stayed where he is for a couple of hours before he decided to go back to his office and bury himself with work.
It is already 8 in the evening after dinner. Her parents and Richard’s parents were all inside the nursery room, playing with Abigail. She wanted to give Richard’s parents time to make it up to their grandchild. She’s guilty of keeping her away from them.
And because of that, her thoughts were drifted back to Richard. She’s ready to accept him, to love him forever and to trust him again. But maybe, what happened before is already a sign that she should give up on that love. She had suffered too much. She should love herself, too.
It is still clear in her mind how her decisions changed because of what happened that rainy day. She’s broken as she keeps on walking. Tears rolled down her face. The words from that someone whose name she wanted to forget were still being absorbed by her brain.
She’s feeling weird again that day, she didn’t mention this to Richard yet because he might worry that much. So, she decided that she will go out for a checkup after Richard left her for work.
After an hour of waiting for the result, she was dumfounded. She cannot believe it. This is the first time that she felt as happy as this. The result says that she’s pregnant. She’s ben craving for food lately but she always loves eating so it never crossed her mind that it is already a sign. She decided she will surprise Richard later and ask him out for dinner.
She texted Richard and he happily agreed to meet her later at dinner in a restaurant. She will blurt out the news to him that night. All her married life, she wished for such blessing and now it came true!
As she waited for that dinner date with her husband, an unregistered number come flashing on her screen. The same number called her three times already as she keeps on declining the call because she doesn’t know who it was. Thinking that it’s an emergency, she already answered it and the moment that she heard the voice on the other line; she regretted answering the phone call.
She asked her if they could meet that day. She doesn’t want to go, but there is something in Sandy’s voice that tells her to go and meet her. Her heart started beating fast with her words before she hung up. “We need to talk. There is something you need to know. I’ll text you the details where. Bye.”
And indeed, that day changed their lives completely. Maya’s dreams about her future vanished.
Maya wondered what happened to them now. She still doesn’t have that courage to ask Richard’s parents about them. For all she knows, Richard must be keeping everything as a secret to them. She will face him soon. Just one more week for her to think, maybe, that is enough.
Her grip on her wedding ring tightens before she places it back inside her drawer. “See you, Ricky… I’ll see you soon.” She whispered
“I am already here, Sandy.”
“Okay, just wait for me. Papunta na ako.”
He ended the call and waited for her inside the terminal’s coffee shop. Whatever it is that she needs to say, he only hopes that it won’t change anything as things were already messed up.
I’ll try to update sooner. 🙂