Chapter 19: Wallpaper
if there are any errors whatsoever, sorry! Di ko na chinecheck 🙂
Richard is pacing back and forth in his home office. His brain is still processing everything. All this time, he wasn’t aware of what really did happened before. He’s been blaming himself on why Maya left even though he doesn’t know why.
Maya might thought all of those things were true. Maya hated him more than ever for sure! He cursed ecerything that he sees around him. He can’t believe how someone can affect his entire life. How his wrong decisions could take such toll on him.
He raked his hair and slumps on his chair. He’s helpless. Where on earth can he find Maya and explain to her everything? She should let him explain! She should at least tried to talk to her before she just left him like that.
Richard sat upright as soon as he saw the woman who once caught his eyes and attention. She is still the same. She is still beautiful just like before. He remembered the day the two of them met. Same old spot. He can’t help but feel the sudden guilt. Because of that day, he had lost Maya, his best friend and even he is unaware before, he is now sure that Maya is his true love.
After a few, he saw Sandy standing in front of him. She gave him an unsure smile. Her lips were trembling, as if afraid on what will happen that day.
Richard acknowledged her and stood up after few seconds of staring at each other. It’s been a long time since he saw her.. And she’s never changed. Same old her with him in a familiar place. Sure it is such an awkward situation where they are right now. No one dared to speak. They are still staring at each other, like meeting a stranger where in the other one is studying the person in front of him.
He can clearly see how Sandy’s hands were shaking and how she keeps on rubbing her fingers. She seemed scared. Why should she? What is this meeting all about? Why after what seemed to be a very long time ago of not communicating, she just appeared and asked to meet him? Too many why’s that he knows only Sandy can answer that day.
He swallowed and lifted his eyes to face her again. Sandy is staring elsewhere, somewhat contemplaining on what to say and when to start. He couldn’t bear the silence anymore. Richard sat up straight and cleared his throat to speak. “Uh.. Sandy, it’s good to see you again.” He started
Her eyes shifted back to him and she smiled tentatively. “H-hi. It’s good to see you, too. Ah.. Hm..” She find it hard to speak. She cannot say what she rehearsed last days. She already memorized those things that she needed to tell him so it won’t be that hard anymore, and yet, at that moment she still finds it hard to talk to him.
Sandy still loves Richard. She still does. The first time that they met is repeating inside her head. How he’d been really sweet and caring, she misses the old times. She shook her head countless of times to throw those thoughts away to the nearest garbage can but then her mind will still pick those memories and reminisce. Much to her heart’s desire.
She hated everything. How everything turned out wrong. Is it really wrong to fall in love? Wrong time, and wrong person indeed. But she knows that it is not considered as wrong love. When you love, you just love. Are there any rules to follow on loving someone? Society dictates everything! People make everything worse. However, she knows that you cannot give equal attention and love to a lot of people at the same time. Maybe hers is a right love, but Richard couldn’t love more than one. Life could be so unfair.
This gorgeous man in front of her has been her everything for months. She loves this man so much which led her to do selfish things just to win him. But in the end, she is still the loser. She ended up alone.
“What is it that we need to talk about, Sandy?” Sandy jolted when she heard his gentle voice. She miss every bit of him. Sandy smiled at him again and pursed her lips to stop the tears that’s about to flow.
She is here because she accepted everything. She still loves him but she is ready to let go and to ask for forgiveness. For everything. “I—I’m.. I am sorry, Richard.” She muttered. Her tears started falling from her eyes. She can no longer contain the sadness that she’s been holding.
Richard was surprised to see her crying. The last time that they talked, he remembered how Sandy lashed hurtful words at him. Yes, she did said sorry, but she’s not that sincere unlike now. Also, if she cried before, she made sure that he won’t be there to witness this.
He leaned and reached for her face, as gentle as he could, he wiped those tears away. “It’s alright, Sandy. It is my fault as well. I started everything. You don’t have to say sorry again.”
“I–I.. No. I am also at fault here. Nung nalaman kong you are already committed, I still stayed. I never left you.. And-”
“That is because you already love me.”
“I know.. Honestly, I still do. But.. But.. I am ready to move on Chard. And I am so sorry.” She covered her face with her hands and cried.
“Hey.. Sandy, please stop crying.” He hushed her down. They are now getting attention around them. “Sandy, please. They might thought I am hurting you.”
Sandy sobs and tried to stop. She wiped her tears away and paused for a while to regain herself. She nodded at Richard as if assuring him that she’s okay. “Sorry. Pero Chard, may sasabihin talaga ako s’yo. Mas lalo akong nahihirapang sabihin habang tumatagal.”
“Okay, so what is it?” He asked. More curious now.
“Please, listen to me first before reacting, okay?”
His heartbeat raced. He doesn’t have any clue and what is this all about but it seemed very important. As if whatever she will say can change everything.
“Okay, I promise.”
Sandy heaved a sigh. This is it. “I–I did something stupid. The day.. Remember the day that you wanted to talk to me?”
Oh yes. Richard can still remember that day. She wanted to talk to her to end things face to face. He wanted to clear things and to say sorry. That same day, Maya left him without a word. Maya was gone. “Yes, I do.”
“Well.. That day.. Is the same day that I did something. I- I.. Before I went to see you, I meet someone…” She gathered enough courage. She’s been going cirlces but she needed time. She knows as soon as she drops the bomb, Richard will seethe with anger. “I.. I talked to Maya.” As soon as she mentioned Maya’s name, she saw Richard’s eyes went round and big in surprise and then his eyes turned into slits.
Before he could say something, she continued. “Please, let me finish first. I.. I talked to her on the phone. I called her up and asked her if we could meet somewhere. I called her after I received a call from you that same day. Because Chard, I am not that stupid. I know you will break up with me. I’ve been noticing the changes. You’ve been cold to me and I know that your relationship with Maya is getting better. I should have known.”
Richard closed his eyes, absorbing everything that she says. “What did you tell her, Sandy?”
“I.. I told her that we are still together. I told her that you still love me and you’re just guilty. That.. That we have a child. That I am pregnant and we’re having a baby. But-”
He didn’t let her finish as he promised earlier. He slammed his fist on the table earning glances from the other customers. “What?! Why did you do that?” He’s almost shouting. He checked his temper, he is aware that they are in public so he tried to breathe to calm himself.
“I’m really am sorry. You know how much I love you Chard.” She pursed her lips trying to stop to shed more tears.
“What else did you tell her?” Ignoring what she had said.
“I.. Yun na yun. As far as I can remember. At first she didn’t believe me but I gave her a fake evidence. A pregnancy test in which she believed. I know I’ve been stupid and selfish. That is why I am saying sorry. I know hindi pa huli Chard, I can talk to Maya. I can explain. I should have done it before meeting you but I don’t know where she is.”
He looked away. He cannot look into Sandy’s eyes again. Maya.. His wife left her because she believed Sandy. Why didn’t she even ask him if what she told her were true? Heck! He definitely did lost her trust. “I also don’t know where she is right now.”
“W-wala ba siya sa Manila?”
“I don’t know. She’s good in hiding.” He closed his eyes. This is too much for him to handle. He now has the answer to his question on why Maya left him. But how can he talk to her? Where is she anyway? His hand touches his neck and sighs. “Thank you anyway, Sandy. I guess this is the last time that we should see each other again. Goodbye.” He stood up and started walking away from her he heard her say sorry again but he doesn’t know if he can forgive her at that moment so he continued to walk and never dared to look back.
Now he is more determined to find her and to explain himself. But how can he do that? He will never be okay until he sees her again as soon as possible. Somehow, he knows it is soon enough.
The guy behind the cash register eyed Richard. He looked exhausted. He didn’t have any decent sleep after talking to Sandy a week ago. Sandy still tried to contact him a couple of time to say sorry and to inform him that she, too will try to look for Maya, but he left those messages unanswered.
The guy rangs up cans of beer and some chips from Richard’s basket. This is Richard’s usual dinner. He doesn’t feel like eating. Slowly, he is losing hope on finding Maya. He abandoned their house and stayed in his condo unit for the past days. He’s been drinking himself to sleep unable to think on what he should do to solve all of his problems.
Someone woke him up from his sleep. He’s been shaken so hard that didn’t help in his headache because of his hangover. He reached for his pillows and covered his face. “Stoooop! I’m sleepy!” He growled. He doesn’t care who the hell is waking him up. He needed rest.
But someone just keeps on waking him up.”What?!” He sat up and threw his pillow on the side of his bed but his eyes were still closed as soon as it caught some sunlight.
“Anong oras na Ricky! Bumangon ka na! Hindi ka daw sa bahay umuuwi ng ilang araw sabi ni Fe. Hindi ka man lang nagpaalam. Nag-alala sa’yo ang mga tao sa bahay!” He remembered the voice alright. It’s his mother who possibly just got home from their business trip and is now ready to deal with him.
“Ugh! Ma. You could have called me up. Uuwi naman ako kung papauwiin nyo ko. I just don’t feel like staying there all by myself.” He mumbled.
“Kanina pa kita tinatawagan hindi ka naman sumasagot. Buti naisip ko na baka nandito ka sa condo mo. Hay nako! Kung sumama ka samin eh di sana…” She trailed off, unable to finish her sentence. She can’t. She made a promise.
“Eh di sana ano?” Richard slowly stood up as his head is still throbbing in pain. “I will just get bored if I will attend business meetings one after the other, and besides madami din naman akong business meetings dito, the only difference is the country but same boring business discussions.” He answered while pacing inside his room grabbing his towel and some clothes. If only he is aware of his parent’s real intention there…
Esme remained silent. She saw bottles of beer scattered all over the floor. Richard never did drink this much, even in special occasions he rarely drink beyond his alcohol limit. She heaved a sigh. Richard is getting worse. She should remind Maya to talk to his son as soon as possible because she can no longer bear seeing her son in such state.
“Ricky, napakadami mong ininom na bata ka. Kaya hayan, sumasakit na ang ulo mo! Bakit ba kasi kailangan pang uminom, ha?” She scolded him as if he’s a teenager.
“I drink some. Not too much, Ma. Don’t worry.”
“Anong not too much? Eh ang dami nitong mga bote dito!”
“Ma, please! Ang sakit pa ng ulo ko wag kang sumigaw. I just needed those because I can no longer sleep! I am losing hope, Ma.” He half-shouted then he shut his bathroom’s door close.
Esme can only shook her head. If only she can tell him everything at that moment. However, she can’t risk everything. Maya asked for more time and if Esme will spoil everything, Maya might run away from her son forever. “Konting tiis na lang, anak…” She whispered on the bathroom’s door.
Maya finally reaches the gate of in the airport that evening. She’s early, way too early for her flight. The clock above her says 6:00pm. Some might say that she’s excited, or rather too scared to miss her flight, but the thing is, she is scared and nervous on what might happen and if she will be late, she might change her mind and never go out of this country ever.
She pushes her way towards the rows of chairs, most are occupied by other passengers who are waiting for their flights. She scanned the place and saw a vacant seat at the back. She placed her suitcase in front of her and digs for her phone.
She scrolls her contacts for her mother’s number. She dialed it, and her call was answered after few rings.
“Ma.” She greeted
“Oh, anak, nasa airport ka na?”
“Opo. Si Abby po kamusta?”
“Maayos siya, kami ng bahala wag ka mag-alala.”
Maya nodded and sighed. “Maya, ‘nak. Wag kang kabahan. Sabihin mo lang ang mga dapat mong sabihin. Kailangan mo din ito para makapagmove on ka na sa buhay.” Her mother told her when she heard her sigh.
“Opo, kaya ko ‘to. I-kiss nyo na lang po ako kay baby. Bye.”
After hanging up, for a long moment, she sits there with her phone still held tightly. She is trying to brush her thought on what awaits her on the other side of the world. Her plan on why she went there early is to have a few hours all by herself. A few hours to get ready before the flight. Staying inside their house and getting reminders by her parents make her feel more nervous and she can’t think on the things that she will do when she faces him again.
Crap. He used to be her most favorite person in the world but now she’s scared to see him. She is afraid that she might still love him even though he just broke her heart countless of times already. For the past months, she tried to train her heart to forget him. She doesn’t know if she did succeed. She just hopes that she did.
“Maya.. Breathe in, and out.. In and out.. Kaya mo ‘to. Be brave. Be strong.” She reminded herself before closing her eyes, her mind rewinding everything that happened before.
He just finished taking his shower and his headache is slowly fading. His mother already left his room. She’s probably outside cooking something for him to eat.
He took a deep breath before taking a seat on his bed. Every single day that his life offers him, he feels that he’s losing his happiness. He is scared that one day, he won’t be able to smile again.
His wandering mind was interrupted by a sudden buzz somewhere. When Richard scanned his room, he saw an iphone on top of his bedside table, the one buzzing for a text message. This must be her mother’s phone. She must have left it there when she is waking her up earlier. He stood up and took it. He’s ready to go outside and to hand it to his mother when something had caught his attention. His mother’s phone is asking for attention as it’s light flashes on his eyes.
His eyebrows were furrowed. The wallpaper of her mother is a picture of a baby girl. His mother is smiling widely as she holds this little girl close to her chest. The baby girl is so cute for Richard’s eyes. She is chubby and is smiling cutely at the camera. Her dimple on her right cheek is showing, and her chinky eyes who completes her cuteness as a baby.
Wait. She looks familiar. Very familiar to him. Is the baby girl one of his relatives? Maybe one of his cousin’s child that he haven’t met yet?
There is only one way to find out. “Ma!” He yelled as he opens the door and stepped out of his room looking for answers.
hi! Sorry if super tagal magupdate. My sembreak started last week pero ang dami ko pang ginawa. Been very busy sa pagtapos ng ojt and pagpasa ng requirements tapos enrollment na agad! Sorry guys! :))))