Chapter 20: She’s Back
Para sa mga nagpapaalala sa twitter, ito na po haha :))))))
“Ma!” He yelled for the second time while walking to the kitchen area of his flat.
“Ano ba yun at sumisigaw ka dyan?” Esme turned around and paused chopping onions.
“Who’s this baby in your wallpaper? You seemed very fond of her.” Richard asked, his face scrunched up while holding the phone facing Esme.
Esme was shocked, oh how careless she was. She stared for the phone’s screen for a moment, thinking of what to say before responding. She seemed to lack the right words to say. What will she tell her son? She can’t tell him the truth, oh how painful this is for her. She is there, in front of her son, seeing how devastated he is, but she can’t do anything about it. Not now.
“Uh..” She started. Richard waited for her response. “It’s a family secret, Ricky. Soon sasabihin ko. She’s a-.. A… A relative, yes, a relative.” She answered sounding unsure.
His expression went back to not minding anything. How he looks shows that he believes his mother. Well, he does. He doesn’t want to think of anything else besides his problem with Maya. “Oh. So I guess, a young cousin of mine got pregnant. Whatever. As you say, soon you guys would let me know. I just hope it’s not Trish. She’s like what? 13!” He shook his head a few times before taking a seat on the dining table.
“Of course not! Ano ka ba.” She replied instantly, dismissing his thought. “Basta! Kumain ka na muna ng breakfast. Nagluluto pa ako ng lunch. Parang pumayat ka masyado. You have to eat, son.”
“Yes, Ma.” He ate as if he hadn’t eaten for weeks. He should start taking care of himself, no one will do that right now except his mother. He should start making himself look good. Who knows? He might one day bump into someone who might make him fall again… Oh scrap that thought! Maybe, one day he will bump into Maya. Yes, only her. He should be really handsome on that day.
The plane landed safely in her homeland where everything seemed unfamiliar to her. Weird enough, she’s not been far away for too long. However, as soon as she took her first few steps, she felt like she’s in another foreign country. Like she had never been here before. She can no longer recall how this place had been a year ago.
The beating of her heart doubles as she nears the gate. Richard’s mother will be the one to fetch her today then she will stay in a hotel for a while to rest. A long and tiring journey she has been yet she didn’t manage to sleep inside the plane. As the big aircraft wanders over the earth, her mind wanders as well.
Maya misses her baby so much. She had planned that she won’t take her when she meets Richard. That is her first plan, then second, she will talk to him about why she left and then… About their baby Abby.
Sure thing, she’s pretty nervous at the moment. Richard’s mother assured her that Richard will be happy to know that they have a daughter, but she is not that sure though. He already has a child with someone who, Maya assumed, Richard truly loved. Maybe he still didn’t mention it yet to his parents, but the truth would still come out soon.
She breathes deeply as random thoughts envelops her brain. If he won’t be happy about them having a child, she won’t push her into him. After talking things and clearing everything, she won’t ask them to be friends if that would just mess things more.
But why did Richard’s mother had once told her that Richard is unhappy? A lot of things came in her head as an answer. Maybe, Sandy had met another man. Or maybe he feels too guilty on what he did that he cannot be at peace. Yes. He deserves to be unhappy.
Fishing her phone inside her bag, she types in a short message for her mother, and to Richard’s mother informing the two that she had landed safely in Manila.
This is it!, she thought.
Richard stayed in their house with his parents when they came back. He doesn’t want to be left alone anymore. He hates the feeling.
The three of them are eating their breakfast when Richard noticed how frequently his mother checks on the time. She would glance to her rolex watch every now and then. He would guessed, every after she spoons a food, she will check the time. What now huh?
“Ma, will you stop that? It’s annoying.” He said when he cannot take it anymore.
“That! You keep on checking the time. May importanteng lakad ka ba?” He asked, his mom and dad turned to look at each other before returning back to him.
“Ah.. Oo, mamaya. Eh baka kasi ma-late ako.” She told him.
“If that’s the case, finish your breakfast first then leave. Ma-traffic ngayon since rush hour and it’s Monday.” He answered still annoyed, he took a sip of his coffee as he lost interest already in eating his omellette.
“That is what I will really do, son. Anyway, what are your plans for today?”
He wiped the corner of his mouth with a cloth before answering, just the thought makes him bored. “Work, Work, and work.”
“Oh. But will you make it for dinner?”She asked hopeful.
“I am not sure, Ma. I have a late meeting later with a client which I cannot cancel.” That is true and also, he would rather stay outside and keep his mind full with work and go home exhausted so that his mind would be occupied. Same routine as before.
Her mother opened her mouth to say something when suddenly, her phone beeped indicating a message. She fished it out of her pocket, Richard and Robert were looking at her and Richard noted how his mother’s eyes light up when she read the message.
“Who was it?” Richard asked, he usually doesn’t care who her mom’s texting to, but something she saw with his mother’s eyes tells him that he should ask. She’s not usually that happy when receiving a text message, especially that most of the time those messages were related with work. So, indeed, how curious Richard is at the moment.
“Ah.. Someone. I have to go now. Finish your breakfast first before you guys go to work, alright? Have a good day.” She kissed Richard and her husband goodbye before leaving.
Richard watched her mother as she walks out of the door before returning back to the food, his father talked to him about work stuffs to keep his mind off the weird actions of his mother that morning. In which, Robert succeeded.
“Finally, hija! Hindi mo alam kung gaano ako kasaya! Sa wakas magiging masaya na ulit yung anak ko.” Esme keeps on talking about this and that as soon as Maya went inside the car. They are now headed to the hotel where Maya would stay for a few days.
“So, ano? Kailan na kayo mag-uusap? I was wondering nga if pwede this evening but hindi pwede si Ricky. So ano? So that I could ask him to free his day.” Esme excitedly went on and on.
Maya was surprised on how almost every question that Esme would ask her, she has no definite answer. Sure she had thought of these, she had plans. First, see him, second, talk to him and third, go home. No more, no less. But the question of why and how, she is not sure. Is she really ready for this? Just the thought of everything that might happen makes her want to go back home to her baby’s arms where she could always find peace.
She took a deep breath before facing Esme’s hopeful face. “Ah.. Ma.. Pag-iisipan ko po mamaya. I will just inform you po. I need a complete rest after my flight. Sobrang gulo pa din po ng isip ko. Sorry, Ma.” She apologized. With a sudden wave of realizations, her mind seemed to drown. She needed a little more time to ready herself.
Esme nodded in agreement. “Ay. Oo, I’m sorry Maya. You are tired, I know. You need to rest, of course. Okay, just inform me. Anyway, how’s my cute little Abby doing? I had missed her. A few days away from that cute little apo of mine. Hayyy!”
Maya suddenly came back to her old self again at the mention of Abby. She readily narrated how the few days had been with her baby. She’s been smiling a lot blah blah blah. She told Esme everything like a proud mommy.
Esme sensed how comfortable Maya gets when Abby is the topic. She suddenly remembered the scene a few days ago.
“Ah.. Maya. Richard actually saw Abby’s picture.-”
“Po?!” Was Maya’s immediate response. She was surprised. She wanted to know how he reacted. She is still thinking on how to drop the bomb to him, and then he already knows about Abby? What should she do? Is he even happy about it? She wanted to ask a lot of questions but she cannot make herself talk.
Esme saw it in her eyes, so she told her. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t know. Sabi ko lang I will soon tell him. Sabi ko she’s a relative. Funny how he assumed that one of his cousins got pregnant and all.” Esme laughed
Maya finally breathed out in relief. The remaining drive was quiet so Maya took a short nap, finally giving her mind some rest that it needed.
At eight o’clock in the evening, the streets were still busy with people. Some are on their way home while others were about to have some fun. Richard, however was still stuck in a meeting with a client. They were still discussing things and after half an hour, finally agreed to seal the deal.
He shook hand with the clients and bid goodbye as they stood up to leave. Liza, his most trusted secretary also bid goodbye after a few instructions from him.
He was then left alone on a corner table of an Italian restaurant, finishing his glass of red wine. His eyes wandered outside the restaurant, silently watching all of the people passing by.
Too many different faces walking in different directions. Amazing how each has somewhere to go. Unlike him, who keeps on waking up, allowing the world and the wind to direct him somewhere.
He no longer has concrete plans. Just keep on living. Who knows what might happen tomorrow.
He’s getting more tired than ever, he is ready to go home, pulled some bills out from his wallet and took one last look outside the window of the restaurant when suddenly, he saw her. She’s wearing a gray cardigan and a blue shirt, maong pants and a pair of sandals. His heart pounded so fast. It’s her, walking outside the restaurant. He stood up. He almost tripped on his way out of the restaurant.
As soon as he was out, she’s no longer in sight. He shouted her name “Maya!!” But no one turned to look back that has a face like his Maya. He must be dreaming. The wine might took his mind already off to reality. He sighed in disappointment. If this would go everyday, he might soon be insane.
Breakfast again with his family. Another day of work. He didn’t sleep well last night. Although his body was very tired, his mind wouldn’t let him sleep. It keeps on thinking about that girl walking outside the restaurant. Is she really Maya or does she just looks like Maya? Or maybe, he’s just dreaming. His mind probably is just loosing a screw or something. It isn’t real. She’s not here.
The sound of his parents’ conversation was the background of his wandering. Soon, his mother snapped her fingers at him to get his attention.
“What?” He jolted
“Ano bang nangyayari at tulala ka?”
“Problem with work?” His father asked
“Uh.. Yes.” He lied
“Well, I just hope na maayos yan later. You will go home early. We will have a family dinner!” Esme announced.
“What? Ma! I have tons of work to do.” He complained.
“That is not a request, that is a command. No more excuses. I already called Liza to cancel some of your meetings. Basta, you will go home early.” She said with finality
Richard could only groan. “Fine. Dinner later.”
Esme smiled and even clapped her hands. Very happy with what’s about to happen.
Earlier that day, Esme received a short message from Maya as soon as she heard her text alert, she sat up from her bed and hurriedly opened the message. It reads:
“Ma, dinner would do later. I still don’t know where. Kayo na po magdecide. I am ready to talk to Richard.”
This talking took a long time to happen. She just hopes everything goes well for her son. She only wants him to be happy, and she’s sure that he will be happy when he’s with Maya and Abby.
As soon as Richard was home from work, his mother welcomed him with a kiss and hug. She pulled him upstairs to his room just to see a couple of longsleeves, and slacks were on top of his bed.
“Go ahead and change! We can’t be late!” His mother pushed him.
“Ma? What is this all about? I thought family dinner? Kasama ba buong angkan natin sa family dinner? Bakit kailangan pang formal?” He asked one after the other.
“Ang dami mong tanong! Basta! We have a reservation kasi. Just change! I will just apply some make up and we’re ready to go! Move fast, okay?” She went out of his room and closed the door shut. His mother is really acting strange. But what else can he do? This is part of living his life now. Just go with the flow. No more plans, no more expectations. Just keep living.
She woke up just after the sun sets. She can’t be alone in a room, it feels like she’s inside a box. And whenever the place is like that, all that’s left for her to do is to overthink. So as soon as she woke up and had checked the time, she stood up, took a quick shower and off she goes to eat out and have some dinner.
She still remembers the place, alright. It’s not that she’s gone in the Philippines that long. She still remembers where she used to enjoy eating her favorite foods.
After eating dinner, she decided to take a long walk. People around her would be a good distraction.
She just keeps on walking. Walk. Walk. Pause. Glances at the stores. Walk. Walk. Stares at some cute kids with their parents. Walk. Walk.
Wait. She heard someone from a distance. A distant sound of her name. The voice sounds familiar. She can remember that voice. She doesn’t want to turn back. She just can’t. Finally, a few seconds passed, her brain recovered, so she decided right away to run. Run as fast as she could with nowhere in her mind where she would go.
The voice is so distant that she herself doesn’t know if she really heard that voice. Maybe she’s daydreaming. Or maybe, that is a sign that she should talk to him already. Yes, that must be it.
While inside the car on their way to the restaurant, Esme can’t help but to check on Richard’s looks from time to time.
“Anak, yung buhok mo ayusin mo.” She reaches for his hair but he moves
“Ma! I’m okay.”
“Oh, naglagay ka ba ng perfume?” His mother, who’s beside him sniffs his neck so he tried to move away
“Ma! Seriously? What are you doing? This is just a family dinner. Don’t tell me that you arranged a date for me?” He sounded pissed
“Of course not!” She replied
“Stop it already, malapit na tayo.” Roberto stepped in between them. He can’t blame his wife on why she’s getting obvious with this dinner with Maya. He knows that she’s just excited. But he should try to stop his wife from spoiling everything.
The three alighted from the car after a deafening silence ensued inside the car. Richard’s mood turned bad so Esme tried not to talk to him anymore as she might tend to get him more annoyed.
After they were led to their table, Richard noticed that there are four chairs reserved for them. So, maybe he was right! His parents set him up on a date! He remained standing while his parents took their seats.
“Ma, Pa! You’ve gotta be kidding me. Did you really set me up on a date? You do know that I wouldn’t like that don’t you?” He asked, he tried not to get that angry at them in public.
“No, Ricky. Please sit down, son. Someone will join us but it is not a date.” Esme calmly explained to him.
“Who will join us anyway? And you didn’t even tell me this? I thought simple dinner lang then this? May kasama pa pala tayo?”
The three were distracted with their conversation that they didn’t notice a lovely woman in black dress is already watching them a few steps away. She gained all her strength and confidence before approaching the table and answering Richard in the most normal way ever. Void of any emotion.
“Actually, akala ko simple dinner lang din but Mama texted me the details only to find out na formal dinner pala. So sorry I’m kinda late, galing pa akong mall eh.” She answered that made three heads turn to where she is standing.
With just the sound of her voice, Richard knows who is talking. That voice haunts him even in his sleep.
“Ma-ya” he mumbled. He misses saying her name in front of her. He misses everything about her. Damn! She is so beautiful. Her hair laid down on her shoulders and her lips so red. He misses kissing him there! Damn!
“Maya!” His lips curved up in a smile and as if his body has the mind of its own, he pulled her close to him and enveloped her in a bear hug.
What a heartbreaking scene to witness. Esme shed a tear. She’s happy to see her son like this. It’s been a long time since he flashed that smile.
Richard is happy just to be this close to her. To feel her warmth. If he’s dreaming please don’t wake him up! He wanted to stay like this with her forever. But he can’t. He just can’t. Because after a few, reality slaps him, Maya pushed him away to put distance to them.
“Richard, please.” She started, “I am here so we could talk. Upo na tayo.” His eyes followed her every move as she took a seat beside a vacant one where Richard sat down. They are beside each other, but Richard can feel that Maya is so far away from him. They needed to talk. Good thing that his parents are here because he needed support. And for whatever reason his heart pounded nervously. He’s afraid on what might happen that night.
will try to update as soon as I can. I won’t make a promise though. Will be very busy with school but I will write whenever I have free time that I could promise. Last Sem starts tomorrow. Thanks guys. Needed to survive this last sem. *prays* 🙂 🙂