Chapter 23: Monster
Sitting on the chair, he replayed the past in his head. That is actually what he did most of the time before this event, and never get tired of it. Richard wanted to know all of his mistakes, so he won’t mess up again.
Today is his baby’s baptism. He’s been very excited about this day, babbling all the details to his friends and even giving invitations to all of his employees himself. Yes, he is that proud.
This day, he is sure is the happiest day of his life. Well, as of the moment. He never had imagined how his baby in his arms would make him feel so happy and proud. His heart melted when the priest blessed his baby and Abby wailed cutely. For him, whatever her baby does is cute. Heck, he can’t wait to spoil his baby girl.
Add to the highlight of today’s event is that it feels as if Maya, him and Abby were a one happy family. He can’t swipe off that huge smile on his face. Maya beside him, him holding Abby, them smiling for the camera, everything feels so perfect. Well of course except for that stupid monster. And yes, he calls that man a monster, only in his mind of course. But hell! He swears he could kill that man whenever he’s near his wife. He will just try to stay calm because he doesn’t want to ruin things now. He knows that when he tries to punch that man hard, Maya will hate him more. He can’t risk that.
Okay, he is aware that Maya still tries to distance herself to him. She will only talk to him if it is important or if it is about their daughter. He once thought that everything’s already fixed when they talked weeks ago, but he was wrong. Oh yes, sure, a few minutes of conversation won’t be able to change all of his stupidness before so he should make some more effort. But for now, at least they are talking, although he hates it that he is closer to that guy and does spend most of her time on that guy rather than talk to him. Which pisses him off. Who the hell is that stranger who is making his wife laugh at his stupid jokes? The heck!
That man who’s been like his wife’s siamese twin who can’t seem to stay even a bit of second without Maya, he learned was named Tom. And Maya didn’t even dare to introduce Tom to him, Richard just overheard Maya calling his name one time when that man was away for a second! Just damn one second and she’s been looking for him!
So if you will ask if Tom has been everywhere they go, not really. Most of the time whenever him and Maya will go out to shop something for Abby, Tom will be there as if he is Maya’s chaperone. When he visited Abby in Maya’s house here, he was surprised to see Tom also there and he’s holding Richard’s baby and he hates Tom more because he’s already there when it’s only seven in the morning. But Richard never dare ask him why he is there. Richard just went in, greeted everyone and took his baby away from the monster. Fortunately though, whenever Maya’s parents and his parents will have a dinner with him and Maya, that monster is not present. At least he knows when Richard will kick him out if his presence is there.
Although he wanted to know, he never ask Maya what is Tom’s role in her life. Not that he doesn’t care, he is just scared of the answer that she might give him. He cannot do stupid things that might cut the thread of hope he only has. He will still keep on doing things to win his family back. And no one, he repeats, NO ONE will get in his way. Because if he will.. Heavens must forgive him of the things that he might do to that man.
Richard is still seated on the chair spacing out of the far corner of the function hall where visitors welcomed Abby to the Christian world. He has been staring for quite sometime now after all of their visitors left the venue. The sky is slowly turning dark as the day closes to an end when he was startled by the chuckles of his and Maya’s parents as they play with Abby on the corner of the room. The oldies were still full of energy even though it had been a very tiring day as everyone were busy in taking care of their visitors. He smiled as he sees his baby smiling, as if she’s happy that she is with her family.
Only few people were there, their parents, some caterers who are now putting away the things that they used for the event. He scanned the venue trying to look for his wife who he misses so much unfortunately she cannot be found. This whole day, it seemed as though she is out of his reach again even if she’s beside him. She is trying to avoid him and it hurts him so much. Few words were only exchanged from the two of them which were all about Abby. And it scares him that Abby is the only connection that is left between them now.
He stood up and walks towards his parents to ask for Maya’s whereabouts. She is not here and add to that, Tom is also not there. He is hating the possibility that they are together at the moment. Damn.
“Ma, Pa.. Have you seen Maya?” He smiled at his baby and kissed her before asking his parents.
Robert shoot his eyebrow up before he answers “no. I haven’t seen her. Kanina she’s talking to the caterers.” He shrugged
His mom and Maya’s parents also were unaware where she is. Frustrated that he didn’t found any clues to where she is, he walked away and looked for her.
He rounded the corner and turned onto the Garden of the place dimly lit. Only the moon is the source of the faint light surrounding the place. There aren’t anyone there, he was ready to turn his heels when on the corner of his eye he saw some movement. He would shrug it off thinking that it is just a cat but a cat would never be as tall as a human. And indeed even it is dark out there, to his surprise, Maya and Tom were there a few meters away from him. They seemed so engrossed with their conversation that they hadn’t notice him. At first, they are just talking and then Tom touched Maya’s face…Richard’s heart racing. Then suddenly, Tom leans in.. And kissed her. Her Maya. Damn. He lose it! His jaw clenched, his fist ready to punch.
He half run to where they are, pushes Tom away from Maya and threw punches not caring where he hit him. Maya screamed in fear as she tries to stop Richard from throwing more punches.
“Damn you! Stay away from my wife! I’ve been eyeing you since day one! I will kill you!” His voice roared like a lion which made Maya flinch. She never saw him as angry as this.
He’s so strong that he shove Maya’s hands and plunged to Tom again, his fist landing on Tom’s face. Tom didn’t fight back which pissed Richard more. “Stop it! Richard!!” Maya screamed angrily on how Richard behaves.
“Damn!” Maya grabbed Richard’s hand and pulled him away from Tom. She kneeled down to Tom who is already spitting blood on the grass.
“Are you, okay Tom?” She asked, dubbing her hanky on his face.
Richard cannot take in the sight of his Maya nursing that monster. Why is she so concerned with that guy? She should only show love and concern to her husband! Only to him! “What the hell!” Richard’s voice roared once again, hurt on how Maya attended to that stupid man. He is trying to breathe in and out to calm himself but he cannot calm down.
Robert, Arturo, Esme and Tere rushed towards to the lion’s roar and was surprised to see such scene. Abby is now with her nanny while the parents ran to see what’s wrong. Tom’s still lying down on the grass with Maya beside him. Richard is standing only few steps away, his hand still gripping like a ball and he doesn’t look like himself. He doesn’t look like that confident, calm business man that he is. Anyone who might see him right now will be scared to him.
But still, Esme ran towards her son and gently touched his arm. Trying to pacify the lion but his eyes stayed glued to Maya and Tom with fire in his eyes. No one dared to move as if afraid to whatever Richard may do.
Maya’s lip were trembling. She was mad on how Richard reacted and was also afraid of him at the moment. She can clearly see how angry he is. Her mind were lost for words to say to him. She doesn’t know what to say and why the hell is he mad of what he saw? It should be clear that they already broke up, right?
“What’s wrong son? Calm down please..” Esme whispered to Richard she had guessed that maybe her son was jealous of Maya and Tom’s closeness. She also doesn’t know who is Tom in Maya’s life because she respected Maya’s private life. She doesn’t want to interfere of whatever set up Maya and Richard had talked about but still she is hoping that the two can talk things through and be together. After all, they do have Abby.
Still not trusting himself to act normal, he gave Maya a deadly stare before he walked out of the place. Everyone just stared at his retreating back, curious of what push him to create such scene.
“Tom, mabuti pa bumalik ka na muna sa hotel mo at aayusin muna namin ‘to.” Arturo cut the silence surrounding them after Richard had left.
Tom and Maya stood up with Maya’s arm around his waist. “Pa, I think he should stay for a while gagamutin ko na muna siya.” Maya pleads for him to stay. She was guilty on the things that happened to him. His face is full of blood. But she is thankful, she’s so thankful that he didn’t try to fight back.
“Maya, ‘nak I think I will just ask someone to nurse him. We should talk first.” Her mother suggested for she can already see how stressed Arturo is with the situation.
Maya’s eyes shifted from Tom’s bloody face, to Richard’s parents who seemed baffled and with her parent’s face whose ready to give her a pice of their mind. “Okay.” She agreed reluctantly before turning her attention back to Tom “I am sorry.” She said
“Don’t worry I will be okay. Just please… Nothing will change, okay?” He almost begged. His voice full of fears.
Maya nodded her head and smiled weakly before she follows her parents.
“Whaaat?!” Ryan’s voice echoed inside their house. After walking out on his family, Richard went to see Ryan to rant and curse all night. He needs a drinking buddy and someone who can tell him what to do. He is fuming mad with what he saw. It cannot be erased in his brain which makes him hate them more.
Richard traces the lip of the shot glass before drinking the content in one gulp. “Yup. Good for her, huh?” He glances at Ryan before pouring some more alcohol.
“Pero brod, hindi mo na dapat sinapak.”
“And why not?! The hell! He’s my daughter’s godfather!” He shouted, just the thought makes him sick
“Calm down brod. I think you guys should talk. Ask her kung ano ba yung lalaking yun sa kanya. Then do something about her revelation.”
“I am doing something! She is staying away from me. I have waited weeks for her and Abby to come home then what will welcome me? Her and that monster kissing? The hell!” He is seething in anger.
Whatever advice Ryan gave him, his mind didn’t absorb anything. His anger is overpowering him. He felt cheated, heck! So this is how it feels. Now he doesn’t know whether he should be mad at Maya for kissing that monster or mad at himself for making this thing happened. Because he is aware that his life won’t be as complicated as this if he never cheated on Maya before.
It is a bright sunny day, and Maya was left alone. Her parents and Richard’s parents went out to the mall with her daughter. She asked if she could just stay because the event last night still made her mind wander.
She hates Richard more. Damn him to shout at her like that! She doesn’t deserve his wrath. Whatever she does with her life, it’s her choice. He already lost his right in meddling in her own life.
Last night after talking with his and her parents, Maya revealed what’s up with her and Tom. Her parents knew that Tom is her boss’ son and has been a very good friend of hers however, they aren’t aware that there is something more between them. They thought Tom is with them because he is Abby’s godfather and he also catch the same flight as theirs. Somehow, Maya wanted things to be kept as a secret because she wanted to know Tom more. Their relationship is nothing close to boyfriend-girlfriend, he just gives her too much attention that she longed for.
When Tom asked her out once, it is during those time when she and Richard talked about Abby’s baptism. Somehow, she wanted to prove to herself that she already had moved on and is ready to start moving forward with her life. Not that she won’t be able to see him again, of course Richard will always be there for Abby and she accepts such fact. But his part on her life is only because of Abby. Just because they have a daughter to love and protect. Nothing more.
Last night was the only time that Tom tried to kiss her. He had told her how scared he was because Richard might draw her attention back. She promised that she no longer loves him but he knew too well. He can sense that no matter how hard she tries to stay away from Richard, her eyes would always look for him. Tom notices how Maya would smile when Richard would call when they were in Canada to update her of Abby’s baptism details. She keeps on denying it, but the truth still shows. Her love for him overflows.
The doorbell rang which startled her from wandering. She is sitting on his father’s swivel chair inside his old home office. This is where she usually stays to read books whenever Abby is asleep.
The doorbell keeps on buzzing like the unexpected visitor is in a hurry and can no longer waste another second in his life. Such a freak!
She lazily stood up from her chair and was about to open the gate when she saw their house helper on her way outside so she settled back.
Flipping to the pages of the hardcover book she’s been reading, her attention was distracted when she sensed that there is someone standing in front of her. And when she looked up, she saw the lion who scared the hell out of her last night.
It is Richard, he is still wearing the same polo that he wore yesterday. He still looks good even though she’s very much aware that he hadn’t take a bath yet and she can smell the alcohol that he might had drunk all night. She wonders where he went after walking out on them.
Richard’s eyes were dark and deep. Maya is sure that he is still mad at what he saw. She isn’t ready for a talk with him, not now. So she tried to ignore his presence and held her book high to continue reading. And with that, Richard took it away from her and threw it on the far corner of the room. His face is now red and is fuming mad. “What the hell! Look at me!” Richard commanded making Maya fear for her life at the moment.
She tried to stay calm and put on her best smile. “Hey. You’re here. Abby is not here, she’s with our parents. What’s up?”
‘The hell she’s so cool about this!’ He muttered with gritted teeth “oh yeah! Hi! Nothing’s up with me, but I know there is something between you and that Tom!” He leaned in, their faces closer, Richard’s brows were furrowed.
She is annoyed on how he’s reacting. Like as if she killed someone while once upon a time, when he cheated on her, she just cried and never asked him with such rage. “Eh ano ngayon?”
Maya jolted as Richard’s fist made contact with the wood desk of the old office room. “Ano ngayon? Maya, you are married!” He yelled in disgust
“And so are you when you cheated on me! So society accepts more when men cheats? Give me a break! For all I know, wala na tayo.”
He released a deep breath reminding himself to stay as calm as he can be. Because he knows that he commited a mistake more than a year ago and he wants her back. Such conversation reminding them of the past won’t do them good. “But the fact still remains. We are still married.” He said slowly, emphasizing the last word.
Maya gave a sarcastic laugh “oh yes we are. That is why I am planning to file for an annulment.”
A deepening silence ensued and like a bomb dropped in front of him, Richard felt numb. As if that one word killed him in an instant. He stared at her to see if she’s serious and he knew that she is. “And after that, what? You and that monster will be together forever? The hell, no!” He exclaimed
“You are calling Tom as a monster? When all this time you’ve been the monster here?” She gave him a deadly stare
Oh sure, he once was a monster of Maya’s life. And he was that stupid before! “Maya, please. I have already explained everything to you. Di ba you forgave me before for us to have a fresh start? You gave me your trust again, and then we already talked about what Sandy told you wasn’t true. Why are you doing this to us?” He calmed down and talked to make some sense. He wants her to love him again.
“No, you did this to us. Richard, yes, before I gave you that chance. Pero palagi ko pa din naaalala yung sakit na binigay mo eh. Every day, naiisip ko, paano kaya kung lokohin mo na naman ako? Saktan ako? Hindi ko na kakayanin yun. And I cannot help but think na siguro nga we are better off as friends.” She also didn’t believe herself but she have to move on. Her happiness awaits her, she hopes so.
“Maya, please..” He held her hand but she brushed it away “Look, that is why I am trying to become a better man for you. To deserve you and to win you back. I know I’ve been stupid before as I thought I only love you as a friend that I will never love you more than that, so I messed up. I tried to search the world for my better half not knowing that she’s beside me all along. I realized a lot of things and I regretted every stupid mistake I’ve made. But please don’t do this. We can still make it work.” Richard held her gaze with such longing. Oh how he missed her! He will do anything just to be with her again. Especially now, all that he can wish for is to have a complete happy family.
“I am sorry, Richard. I don’t think we can still make it work. Without trust it’s impo–”
“Then trust me! Just this one last chance Maya, please.” He begged. Darn it! If he needs to kneel in front of her, he will do it!
“Please, tama na.” She bit her lip as she controls her tears from falling. She can see through his eyes how sincere he was but all this years of loving him, she never felt that he loves her just the same. If she will give him another chance, just one wrong move from him could break her. And she knows that we all commit mistakes, she can’t handle another wrong move of him.
“No! I won’t sign any freakin’ annulment paper whatsoever. We are still married and no one can take you away from me. I won’t let it happen. Maybe when I die you can be happy with someone else, but not as long as I am breathing! Never!” He said and left afterwards. He knows that he is being selfish but right now that there is their baby’s life involved, he can’t just give up that easy. He won’t give them up especially to that monster.
With much more determination, he went home to take a shower and fix himself before planning on what he should do to fix their marriage and to push that monster Tom away from their lives.
Maya finally allowed herself to weep. She is happy whenever she is near Richard and she won’t deny it. But she is not sure if she will still be happy as this if they will start living again together because living with him is not that happy. Her heart is safer if her heart will just love him for a distance because it won’t shatter into pieces if he will mess up again.
Knowing him, she is sure that he won’t give up that easy. It makes her heart flutter a little bit that he is fighting for her but whenever she’s reminded of the pain that he had caused her, she is back at questioning his every move.
I apologize if there were errors. 🙂