This Time- Chapter 1: Operation

Chapter 1: Operation

~~

Are you out of your mind?!” Her voice erupts like the sound of a tormented animal. Her eyes widened in shock. Her grip on the telephone tightened with her friend’s sudden news. Yesterday they were still hanging out together and it never occurred to her that this will happen. Heck! Her friend’s been crying last week and now she’s back to her bubbly self as if she’s never been broken into pieces by someone.

“Maya, listen.. I know what you are thinking, OK?, But-”

“No! You have no idea! Last week lang Rafi! Just freakin’ last week nung umiiyak ka sa’kin at sinabi mong you hate him! Should I remind you of everything that you said?” She challenged Rafi. She should have recorded everything that Rafi told her on her phone, she thought.

“No need-” Rafi tried to stop her but Maya continues

“Sabi mo, he’s such a waste of time. Hindi siya deserving sa pagmamahal mo. You hate him, ang sama nya. Manloloko..”

“Maya, please stop.” Rafi almost pleaded

“He’s arrogant, selfish..”

“OK, I get it!” She snapped “I know you are my friend, Maya. But you can’t understand… I love him! And he apologized na. I saw sincerity in his eyes, Maya. I know this time hindi na siya uulit.”

Maya rubs her temple as her head starts pounding because of her friend’s decision in life. Rafi’s the top of their class way back in highschool! What happened to her brain cells? Did it stop functioning that her heart do all the talking now? Geez! “You already said that before! Geez Rafs! OK lang sana kung first time siya nambabae but, no! It is the fourth time na nahuli mo siya!” She yelled while pacing back and forth in her bedroom.

She heard Rafi sighed “I know, OK? You don’t have to remind me. Maya, this is my life. I love him and he loves me. Kaya nga ako yung pinipili nya palagi. And!” She pauses emphasizing the next words. Maya could only roll her eyes. “at least he never lied to me. Hindi nya dinedeny and then he apologizes.” Darn it! Rafi reminded her of her ex-boyfriend who cheated and denied it but then who left Maya. Well, at least she never accepted that idiot again! She wanted to retort back but decided against it. That won’t help her friend, right now.

“And Simon vows never to do it again but still he does! Nasaan na ang katalinuhan mo, Rafi?” Oh she needed a paracetamol after this conversation. She’s been stressed all week because of work and this talk makes her headache worse.

Silence. Maya thought she’s now making some sense and her friend is already absorbing everything that she had said.

“Maya, we all make mistakes. Even you! I wish you would trust me to decide what imperfections I am willing to forgive in the man I love!”

Maya gasped.

“Maya, please. I only called because I thought you will be happy for me..” Or so, she thought. She should have known better that her friend will never, ever listen to her.
“Just please understand me. This time it might work.” Damn! If only Maya can shook her out of this crazy idea.

“Alam mo, don’t give me this friends-should-be-happy-for-her-friend idea right now. Because you know I only want the best for you and I want you to be happy.”

“And I am happy!” Rafi answered right away. Oh yeah, as of now she is happy.

“OK, fine. Bahala ka na. If this is what you want then.. Sige na. Wala naman akong magagawa eh, sabi mo nga this is your life. So wag na wag kang iiyak and tell me na nagsisisi ka na you did this.”

“I won’t.” She answered confidently. Maya released a breath she’s been holding. She lose again, she never won when it comes to Rafi’s decisions in her love life.

Maya slumped on her bed in defeat, sighs and answered. “So, kailan yung kasal?”

And with that, the atmosphere lightens bringing Rafi to her bubbly self talking about her dream wedding. Maya half-listened praying to the heavens that her bestfriend would realize that this idea is not right.
~~~~~~

A group of girls went out of the coffee shop giggling at the sight of some cute guy on the far corner of the room. Oh the crush feeling when you’re young. She remembered her and Rafi feeling like this before. But now, she is facing a problem with her friend. She hates how that man inflicted her bestfriend with so much pain, yet she still loves him. Damn love.

She stirs her now cold coffee for the nth time while she listens to Rafi’s narration of Simon’s proposal to her. “So after he asked for forgiveness, sabi ko, eh ano namang mapapala ko sa sorry mo? I already forgave you thousands of times!” Rafi animatedly told Maya, her eyes sparkling. With that, Maya knows that she is happy. She might throw up with the sight. Not that she doesn’t want her bestfriend to be happy, of course she does, but only with the right man!

Rafi puts down her cup of coffee after taking a sip, and started talking again. Not even noticing that Maya is not even responding. “Ayun, sabi nya this time, totoo na, he will be the best man for me. Then he kneeled!!! In front of the whole restaurant! All eyes are on us, then ayun. He asked me to marry him. Everyone chanted ‘say Yes!’ So I did!” She happily ended her story with a smile.

Darn it, those people thought that they were witnessing a lovestory worth treasuring forever. They have no idea how that guy fooled her bestfriend over and over again.

Maya nodded her head and faked a smile. “Which gives me a thought na baka, hindi kaya, napressure ka lang sa mga tao kaya ka nag-Yes?” She asks, whatever reason she can come up with this crazy idea of her friend, she will throw it at her.

She scrunched her nose. “What? Maya! Ayan ka na naman. Of course not! I love Simon and we are getting married whether you like it or not. Come on, Maya! You are my bestfriend and I want you to be happy. Ikaw ang bridesmaid ko.” She is starting to get annoyed with Maya’s reaction. She should at least see how happy she is right now and celebrate with her.

Maya rolled her eyes, again, what else can she do? Rafi already made a choice. So, goodluck with her life! “Yeah, yeah.. Sorry, go on.. What happens next?” She smiled and tried to give her a happy tone. Rafi doesn’t seem to notice this as she continues with her story.

After eating their cakes, Rafi fishes out her phone and grins at the sight of someone’s name. “It’s Simon, asking me what am I doing, you see, he’s been very sweet to me lately.” She giddily told Maya not even lifting her eyes on her phone.

‘Oh of course, malamang kakabati nyo lang’ Maya thought.

“Anyway, Maya, next week gusto ko sanang magdinner tayo.” She stated it in a way that she couldn’t say no.

“OK, fine with me.” She shrugged

“With Simon-”

“What? No way!” Maya snapped which earned a sullen look from Rafi. “I mean, I might be very busy, you know, with work.” She bit her lip, now Rafi won’t buy this excuse.

“Nope. Friday night yun. And, you already said yes kanina. Anyway, hindi lang naman tayong tatlo. Kasama din yung bestman. Simon’s bestfriend.” Rafi told her while she wiggles her eyebrows, teasing her. Oh great! And now she wants to set her up with her fiance’s bestfriend? No way! Birds with the same feathers flock together!

“Oh no, no, no! You are setting me up! Ayoko nga, for sure babaero din yan.” She crossed her arms.

“He’s not. I think he’s nice. I’ve met him once, he is so gwapo Maya. You will like him! At saka, we will talk about the wedding na din kasi. In two months time, we will get married so I need your inputs, you know.” Rafi reaches for her hand and squeezes it.

“Pwede naman tayong mag-usap sa bahay, or sa phone. Rafs, palagi naman tayo nag-uusap.” Two months, two months.. Maya silently noted this on her head.

“But, mas OK yung dinner with me and Simon. I know you don’t like him kaya nga we organized this so we can all have some bonding time together. Hindi naman siya formal dinner eh. Please, Maya..”

“So kaya din kayo nagsama ng isa pa para ano?” She couldn’t help asking, why would they even set her up with someone?

“Uh.. Yep, and also kasi nga he’s also part of the wedding. So please, sama ka na. And besides, he is nice, really. Hindi mo naman siya idedate kung ayaw mo eh. Ipapakilala ka lang din namin sa friend ni Simon so that we can all be friends. This is important to me.” Rafi held both of Maya’s hands and stared at her.

What else can a good friend do? “OK.” She heard Rafi squealed in delight.

Maya’s mind wandered on what will happen that day. She is now creating images of that friend of Simon that she knows she will hate instantly. Just the thought that Simon and him are friends makes her blood boil. Surely, he is such a cheater like his friend.
~~~~~~

Maya’s been staring at her wardrobe for what seems like an eternity, still unable to decide on what to wear for the dinner. “This is not formal, Maya. Just choose anything!” She muttered to herself.

Rafi’s text messages reminding her of the dinner later makes her sick. She really doesn’t want to go, but for sure Rafi would hate her if she won’t show up. “Just one night, Maya.” She talked to herself again before choosing a sleeveless white top and maong shorts. She checked on herself once more then went out of their house.
~~~~

Maya arrived on time and saw Rafi beside Simon waving at her. She approaches them and greeted the two before asking where is Simon’s friend.

“Ah, he’s caught up in traffic. Parating na din siya..” Simon answered

“Yup, anyway, we already rented a karaoke booth dun na lang natin siya hintayin so we can order na.” Rafi hooked her arm on Maya’s and pulled her to the Karaoke-restaurant located on the 3rd floor of the mall.

Their orders had been served and Rafi is already on her second song but still there were no sign of Simon’s bestfriend. She knew it! She will definitely hate this man even more.

As Rafi belted the last line of the song, Simon clapped his hands and kissed her forehead. Eww. She cringe.

“Where is your friend Simon?” Maya asked once again just to converse with them. Hating the thought that she’s like a third wheel right now.

“Ah, sabi nya nandito na daw siya eh..”

As if on cue, the door of the booth flew open and a man in his blue longsleeves and black slacks entered the booth.

“Be nice to him.” Rafi whispered on her ears. The heck, why wouldn’t she be nice to this drop dead gorgeous man standing in front of them? Maya’s eyes were glued at him as if he is the only man alive. Whatever nasty things she had said earlier, she takes them back! Rafi shouldn’t understate how handsome this man is! He is so good-looking! His chinky eyes, muscular frame, manly scent. Oh, heaven!

“Hi, I am really sorry, sobrang traffic.” He apologizes and took a sit beside Maya.

Maya’s eyes followed his every move. She didn’t notice that the man is already asking for a handshake. “Ah, oh hi! I am Maya.”

He grinned “hi, Maya. I am Richard.” He shook her hand and directed back to Simon.

“Bro, kanina ka pa namin hinihintay.”

“I know, Si. Sorry. Anyway, ano bang pag-uusapan?” He asked Simon

“Well, nothing much. Gusto lang sana namin magpatulong about the wedding. Like saan magandang church, reception. You guys might have brilliant ideas.”

“Sana sinabi nyo, nakapagresearch sana ako.” Maya answered sarcastically. Rafi gave her a sharp look while Maya rolled her eyes at her.

“Well, sabi nga ni Simon, gusto kasi namin maging perfect wedding ito, and you guys know naman na kayo yung pinakaclose namin so gusto namin maging part kayo ng wedding namin.” Rafi smiled at them while waiting for their replies

“Eh di ba kasali na naman talaga kami sa wedding?” Maya asked again, hating the idea of being hands on with the wedding of the year that she is against of.

“I know, but gusto din namin na makakuha ng ideas from you guys. Like, yun nga, magandang venue ng wedding.. Even place for the honeymoon.” Rafi grinned. Good thing Maya isn’t drinking anything for she might spill it out of her mouth.

“OK. Fine with me.” Richard finally engaged himself in the conversation after watching the scene in front of him.

Maya shifted her head at him and could only round her eyes in disgust.

A few minutes later, like as if they were on a meeting and her and Richard were the meeting participants who should actively engage themselves in this, Maya and Richard reluctantly gave inputs and ideas about the reception and possible churches that they might like.

“I think we need to accept things and do our best to enjoy their happiness.” Richard suddenly whispered on her ear while Rafi went to the comfort room and Simon left to get something inside his car.

“I never said I was absolutely against it.” She denied, dang! She never even talked to him that much this whole evening. Where did he get the idea? Is she that obvious?

“Oh really? Yung mga hirit at tingin mo kasi tells me otherwise. Come on, Maya. I am also against this.”

“Wha- wait, what?”

“Yes, you heard me right.” He answered and took a sip of his beer. “Not that I don’t like your friend, of course. It is just that, she’s amazing and she doesn’t deserve my friend. Simon is not yet ready for marriage emotionally. Financially he is capable. But I just doubt it if he can hold on to a promise of forever.”

Maya nodded frantically. Finally someone understands her. And the fact that it is Simon’s friend who is telling her this, her spirit went up. “I knew it. Yan din ang nasa isip ko. Ayaw lang talaga makinig ni Rafi.”

“Well, I cannot also make Simon change his mind. Mukhang he is determined to marry your friend.”

Hang on a second. He is against this, she bet there is something more. “Wait, hindi kaya you are in love with your bestfriend?” Maya blurted out

Richard coughed so hard and laughed afterwards “what the heck? Sa tingin mo I am gay?” He shoots his eyebrow up and stared at her.

“Eh kasi naman..”

“Look, I am just concerned sa friend mo. Simon broke my cousin’s heart before. We fought for a whole year bago ko siya napatawad. Ayoko lang maulit.” He shrugged his shoulders

“You mean, inaya din niya ng kasal dati yung pinsan mo?”

“Well, not really, just.. Forever and always?” He grins and shakes his head

Maya stared blankly at nowhere and stood up. Determination shown on her face. “I should stop it!” She yelled

“What?” Richard’s eyes lifted at her “and what can you do, huh?”

“Anything! Basta. I can do this. Help me, OK?”

“Oh wait, no!”

“You are the one who gave me an idea.”

“I did not. That is just a warning. I only voiced out what I noticed earlier sa’yo.”

“Ah basta!” Maya sat down and snatched Richard’s phone.

“Hey! What are you doing?” He tried to snatch back his phone but Maya moves it away while she thumbs in something.

“There! I saved my number for your convenience, I also miss called it so I can save yours. We will have an operation! We will stop this wedding to happen. You will do this dahil ayaw mong makapaginflict pa ng pain ang friend mo. If my bestfriend would shed a tear once more, you will feel so guilty about this!” She said and gave his phone back

Richard found her amusing. “Whatever. You are crazy. I shouldn’t have talked to you.” He shook his head and chuckled.

“Your bad.” She winks. The door suddenly flew open ending Richard and Maya’s conversation.
~~~

pls do comment your thoughts/suggestions. : ) btw, I am using the same password as of the moment. Isa lang yung password ko, just comment your emails tapos I will just send it to you kapag nakapagonline. Thank youuuu!! 🙂

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It Happened in Paris- Part 5

Part 5

“So, what is this all about?” Richard asked as soon as he settled himself on a cozy chair inside a well-known coffee shop.

They had agreed to see each other that day. Maya is not really sure on what to say or how to start. She still feels uncomfortable facing him especially that he still have that effect on her. He is gorgeous for crying out loud! Everyone who sees this man for sure is attracted to him. She hates it how good-looking he is right now and how he smiles and looks at her this time is not helping to calm her heart down.

“Gusto mong umorder muna? I already ordered coffee, oorder na sana kita kaso baka lumamig.” She offered trying to buy more time constructing her sentences

“No, thanks. Someone already prepared coffee for me sa office. Anyway, I am very busy so please sabihin mo na kung tungkol saan ito, Maya.” He said as if trying to tell her that she is wasting his precious time.

“Uh.. I- I just want to know kung.. Uhh why did you cut off the deal with Jeffrey’s company?”

Richard nodded his head as if he knows all along what is this talk all about. He wasn’t surprised, he expected this question will be thrown at him. “Sa tingin mo, bakit?” He continued to stare at her waiting for her response.

Maya looked away becoming more uncomfortable as their conversation goes on. “Well, ayoko isipin but it crosses my mind na baka it is because of me, of what happened to us. Please wag mo na lang idamay si Jeffrey. He exerted too much effort in this deal.” She finally had laid the thought that’s been bothering her.

Richard smirked and for a while wished that he had ordered a coffee to sip, that would add to the perfect scene that’s happening right now. “Funny how you think that it is always about us, that it is always because of you.” He leans in closer and bit his lip “hindi ba pwedeng I studied their proposal and may hindi ako nagustuhan? Someone offered me a better one. So, sa tingin mo, why would I settle for something when a better-looking prospect comes along.” His stare is piercing straight to her heart, why does she still feels that it is about them?

Maya wanted to kick herself for always putting herself to shame. She blushes and how she wished that the ground would open now and eat her whole. “I– OK, uh.. But at least just give him another chance.”

Richard’s eyes turned into tiny slits. “Wow, what a perfect girlfriend that you are, trying to save your prince.”

“Look, pinaasa mo sila. You told them how much you liked their proposal before and that day akala nila you will sign the contract but you didn’t!” She said, and tried to ignore what he had said.

“Hmm.. Sounds familiar don’t you think? Well, someone taught me that. Yung paasahin yung tao by showing that you might like the proposal pero sa totoo, you don’t. And then what you can offer is only that maybe one day both of your companies can have a friendly relationship.” He raised his eyebrow at her trying to make a point.

Maya is starting to get pissed at him. He told her that it is not always about what had happened to them and yet it is! “Akala ko ba it is not about us!”

“Whether it is or it is not won’t change anything, Maya. But if you really want to save your prince then I have a business proposal.”

Maya meet his gaze and saw from his eyes how serious he is. She should have run away from him again at that moment but she decided that she won’t. And whatever it is that may stop him from ruining other people’s life, especially Tom’s, she will do it. “Okay, what is it?”

Richard smirked again and then Maya’s heartbeat starts to race. A thought of an indecent proposal pops in her mind. What if he will make her his slave? What if he will ask her to be his Anna while he will play as Christian Grey? Will she allow him to do those crazy things that she had read in the book? Darn it! “Hey! Basta whatever it is, hindi ako papayag kung yang proposal mo involves..” She trailed off unable to think of a right word to say it.

Richard raises an eyebrow as he curiously waited for what she is a about to say. “Involves what?”

“Y-yung.. You know. Basta if hindi decent yung proposal!” She blurted which earned a chuckle from Richard

“You are funny. So you meant that my proposal shouldn’t involve us joining together as one in a heated night?” He smirks while he looks amusely at her.

“Y-yeah! That. Whatever. So ano na nga?” She blushes. Her eyes scanning for a fire exit where she could run now to save herself from more shame. Darn this man for making her feel stupid.

“OK.” He pauses and raises his hand for he can’t contain his laughter

“Shut up! Just say it!”

He laughed some more. “OK. OK, sorry.” He chuckles and then stops. “OK, I promise that this proposal is not that ‘indecent’ as what you think. Anyway, what I want is a weekend get away with you. Just two days, Maya.” He grinned as if that proposal is the best deal he had ever made.

“Wh-what? Akala ko ba-”

He cut her off “Hey, I made a promise di ba? We will have two separate rooms, we will just have a short vacation, have fun, rest nothing is wrong with that, right?”

She nodded but still she doesn’t know what he will gain from spending a few days with her. “I don’t get it, what will you gain from it? What I want is for you to give my boyfriend a chance for that deal.”

“I know, but if you agree, I will sign their contract. Seal that multi-million deal. I just want to relive our friendship, nothing is wrong with that, right? Lalo na because you have a boyfriend na gusto mong tulungan and I am dating someone. So this time, we can try yung gusto mong maging magkaibigan tayo. Friendship is what I will gain from it.”

He is dating someone. That sentence echoed in her ears like an old unfamiliar chant. “You.. Are dating? Si-si Jane ba? Yung girl sa party?”

“No personal questions to be answered by me. That is our rule. So, ano? Payag ka ba? Friends?” He offered his right hand for a handshake which symbolizes a sealed deal and waited for it to be reached by Maya.

“I- I don’t know. Let me think first. Give me two days.” She said. Things are once again happening too fast. She doesn’t want to make a wrong decision, if this is a trap, she should be very careful. Crap that ‘best girlfriend in the world’ thing that she wanted to be.

“My time is precious, Maya. But all right since it is already Wednesday, I will give you two days to decide. Just call me if you’re okay with it. I will be waiting for your call.”

Richard finally stood up and left her wandering on the things that may happen on the weekend.

~~~

“Hello, babe.” Jeffrey answered on the fourth ring and no matter how hard he tried to conceal how problematic he is, he cannot hide it from Maya. Just the way his voice sounds is enough for Maya to know. They had known each other that much.

“Still in the office? Tumawag ako sa inyo wala ka pa daw eh.”

“Uh.. Yes, I am still here. Actually baka hindi na ako umuwi ngayon, kailangan kong gumawa ng another presentation. You see, my prayers were answered. Mr. Lim called and asked to meet me tomorrow morning. Sabi niya I should prepare another presentation baka he might reconsider the deal. Short notice but I won’t blow this chance. I badly needed this.” He said, in a hurry. She can also tell that he is really that busy.

“Oh. That is good. Goodluck, ‘Rey. I know you can get this deal.” She cheerily said. And she is also very aware that this meeting is a warning that she should decide soon if she will agree to Richard’s proposal. It won’t change anything, right? Just two days for Jeffrey.

“Thank you, Maya. Babawi ako sa’yo. We can celebrate after this.”

“Sure. Just don’t stress yourself too much.”

Two days with Richard won’t hurt. It might also bring her happiness for she indeed misses spending time with Richard.

However, she is afraid that she might fell deep in love with him with those two days alone with him. How much he affects her is just so scary for she can hurt herself in the process. But right now, she needed this to close that chapter with Richard and to help Jeffrey so that she can start another chapter with her boyfriend. This will help, she really do hope that it will.
~~~

It is already four in the morning and the bags were packed and she is ready to go. Yesterday, Maya’s boyfriend had informed her that after the meeting with Richard, he looked impressed but still was unable to give him an assurance says that he will call him on Monday. Jeffrey is still happy that Richard is reconsidering, at least he does.

And that did it, Maya made a decision that she really should accept Richard’s proposal. He really do know how to play well.

“Where r u?” She texted him. She’s been restless the whole night packing and thinking of what will happen this weekend and all that she wants to do is to sleep during the drive.

“Here.” She almost threw her phone as she reads his reply. What the hell does he mean that he is here? In her room? In their house? Dang!

Going down the stairs is not that easy especially if she is running as if there’s a price to be won at the last step. He shouldn’t be inside their house! All that they agreed is that he will fetch her at the gate, just that. Her mom will be throwing questions at him that he might not answer correctly.

Her excuse was that she and her elementary friends (yes, elementary because her mother doesn’t know most of them) would have a mini reunion and spend the weekend somewhere in Batangas. But to be honest, she is still clueless where they will be going because Richard wants everything to be a surprise. Imagine that!

As she made her turn on the dining room, she heard chuckles from the room. And true enough, Richard is there eating breakfast with her mother. She rolled her eyes before making her presence known.

“Good morning, everyone.” She greeted

“Good morning, ‘nak. Kanina pa dapat kita aakyatin kaso sabi nitong si Richard okay lang naman daw at hindi kayo masyadong nagmamadali. Halika na at kumain.” Maya’s mother stood up to put food on her plate like how a caring mom always does.

Richard on the other hand is staring at her from head to foot which made Maya uncomfortable. What now, huh? “You might want to change clothes, Maya.”

“At bakit? Anong problema sa suot ko? Sabi mo wear something comfortable? Well, I am comfortable with my top and shorts, thank you very much.” Maya is getting annoyed this early in the morning. How dare he tell her what she should wear?

“Because we are going to Baguio and you might catch a cold wearing that.” He smiled at her. Though she looks wonderful with her outfit, Richard is concerned for she might get sick.

Oh how evil he was! She hated him more. “What?! Eh bakit kasi hindi mo agad sinabi?”

“Teka, Baguio? Akala ko ba Batangas? At bakit hindi mo alam ‘nak na sa Baguio ang punta niyong mga kaklase nyo?” Maya’s mother interfered upon hearing the news and seeing how surprised her daughter was.

There it goes her mother’s questions. She will kill Richard for ruining her alibi.

“Uh.. I think hindi po niya nabasa yung last e-mail ng mga ELEMENTARY FRIENDS namin. Change of plans po kasi.” Richard emphasized the words ‘elementary friends’ to let her know that he is now aware of her alibi and is enjoying everything.

“Y-yeah, yun nga Ma. Anyway, I will go upstairs to change at para dagdagan na din ng mga jacket yung bag ko.” She almost cursed in annoyance as she lazily went back upstairs to fix her things.
~~~

“Oh, mag-iingat kayo sa byahe ah? Dun na pala kayo magkikita-kita. Mas okay nga yung sumabay ka na dito kay Richard kaysa ginamit mo ang sasakyan mo.”

“Opo, Ma. We will be OK. I will text you pagdating namin dun.” She assured her mother. She knows how worried she is.

“Don’t worry po, I will drive safely.” Richard told Tere after securing their bags in the trunk of his car.

“Let’s go!” Maya waved to her mother goodbye and went inside Richard’s car before he could open the door.

“Bye po.”

“Sige, Richard. Ingat kayo!”

And with a one last sound of his car’s horn, the two were out of the gate and out of the village. One excited with this weekend, and the other dreading what’s about to happen.

~~~

I know this is not that long, bukas na lang I will post the new story. Since nagulat ako dahil may birthday video greeting ako from Joni of Be Careful, hooray. Haha Wednesday pa naman birthday ko so baka hindi ako makapagupdate nun kaya bukas na lang. Thank you guys sa lahat. Hugs!! 🙂

The One That Got Away Chapter 24: Leaving

Chapter 24: Leaving

Two more days were left before Maya, Abby and her parents will go back to Canada. And after Richard had talked to Maya three days ago about his disagreement on filing for an annulment, Richard had been a very constant person in their family.

At five in the morning, Richard will text her a good morning and I love you. Not only that, because at such time of the day he is already inside Maya’s house. Richard would cook their breakfast much to her surprise. Well, of course he couldn’t cook. One time he prepared an omellete and bacon for her and all were burned but still were edible.

Richard spent most of his time inside their house taking good care of Abby. She allowed him to spend most of his time with their baby because they will be separated for a long time once they headed back to Canada.

This day, however is the last day of Tom in Manila for he will be coming back in Canada a day earlier. Days after Tom and Richard had a fight, Maya asked Tom to distance himself on her first. He obeyed and didn’t visited her for the next days but still texted and called her all the time. He just keep his day busy exploring museums and theater plays around Manila.

Tom asked her out on a date before his early flight the next day. Although he will only leave her a day early, he still couldn’t help it but to miss her and to fear that someone will snatch her away from him. It scared him more that what he and Maya was, is still unclear to him. He is not assured that she indeed loves him the way that he does and he is afraid to ask because he is also scared that she might answer him with a response that he doesn’t want to hear.

Tom remained quiet after he parked his car on the side of the street outside Maya’s gate. Questions he is afraid to ask were flooding in his head.

Maya noticed how quiet Tom had been during their dinner. He is not his own self this night and she has a hunch on why he is acting like this.

“Maya…” Tom started to get Maya’s attention and cleared his throat before continuing “I… I will miss you.” He told her, his love for her is evident with just the way that he blurted those words. That is what Maya likes about him, he loves her so much that she is assured that he will never hurt her and she won’t shed a tear if she’s with him.

“Ano ka ba naman, isang araw lang naman inaga ng uwi mo sa’min.” She laughs

But his eyes remained sad, unsure if he should say those things that worries him. “But…” He sighs

Knowing that he is bothered by something, Maya touched his hand and squeezes it to encourage him to talk some more. “What is it, Tom?”

He exhaled and tightened his grip on the steering wheel before he had the courage to continue. “It is just that… Are you… Will you.. Will you really leave him for good?”

His question didn’t surprise her. She knows he is scared and she can’t blame him. She is not his and she never gave him an assurance. They are just dating, nothing more. “Tom, Richard is and forever will be part of my life. We have Abby.”

“I know, but I can be a father to Abby, too.”

“You have been a good father to Abby when we’re in Canada. You showered her with love and I thank you for that but the thing is, si Richard ang daddy nya. Hindi ko naman pwedeng ipagkait yun sa kanya.” She explained while still holding his right hand

“Pwede naman nyang dalawin yung bata, he can provide her with her needs but can’t he just stay away from you?” There he said it. He hates it when Richard is near Maya the same way how Richard hates Tom when he is with Maya.

“Yun naman talaga yung plan eh. I am here for Abby. We are talking because of Abby. Yun lang.”

“That is not how I see it, Maya. I know that he still loves you and you love him.” He stared into her eyes to see that even her eyes still mirrors her love for Richard.

“That is not true!” She looks away and sighs “Tom, hindi ako umaasa na magkakabalikan pa kami kasi desidido na ako na layuan siya. Uuwi kami ni Abby sa susunod na araw, yun na yon. Ngayon kung marami kang iniisip na iba, hindi ko na problema yun. Kung hindi mo kayang makita si Richard na part ng buhay ko dahil kay Abby at kung palagi kang magseselos, eh di wag na lang natin ituloy kung ano mang nasimulan natin. I think we are better off as friends.” She keeps her gaze back on the empty road of the village and unbuckled her seatbelt but before she can reach out for the door, Tom held her hand

“Wait. I am so sorry, I don’t want us to be just friends Maya… J-just please…” His voice is breaking. Maya settled back on her seat and turned his head to look at him. They are staring at each other before Tom asked her something which she doesn’t know if she can say.

“I want an assurance Maya… Just tell me that you love me and I will go back to Canada tomorrow morning feeling better. Yun lang just say that you love me and I will be secured.” He is close to tears because he knows that asking her to do so is very risky. No matter how much she denies it, he is sure that she is still in love with her husband. No mask can hide it.

Maya felt cold. She doesn’t know if she really loves him or even if what she feels is close to love. She likes him, all right. But still, she doesn’t know if she should tell him that she loves him just so that he could stop with this. She doesn’t want to hurt a good man who only wants to love her with all of his heart.

“I- I…” Maya started while Tom waited patiently for her to continue.

“Tom.. Y-you do know that we are still getting to know each other, right? I am still not that sure and I –”

Tom cut her off with him kissing her hand. “You don’t have to continue Maya. I already got my answer. If anything goes wrong, always remember that I will still be here for you and will still love you. OK?”

“What are you saying?” She asked, confused with his action

“It’s OK, I will be fine. It is getting late pumasok ka na sa loob baka miss ka na ni Abby.” He smiled at her before he went out of the car to open the car door for Maya. “I had a good time. I will see you soon.” He kissed her cheek before he left her standing at the side of the street staring at his car.
~~~~~~

“Ginabi ka ata?” Richard appeared from upstairs as soon as she opened the front door. She rolled her eyes at the sight of him. She is pissed at the sound of his question as if he’s mad at her for going home late. She should have remind it every single day to him that they are over.

“Ano namang problema dun?” She asked as she clutches her bag. Richard stared at her and hated her for wearing shorts and sleeveless in the evening. She could catch a cold and that monster could have feasted on her. Damn.

“Abby is waiting for you. Anong oras na siya nakatulog and I bet it is because wala ka pa.” He crossed his arms trying to keep his emotion in check as he is already boiling in anger when he saw Tom’s car outside earlier. He is jealous and he hates Maya for removing that right from him.

“Natraffic kami. Anyway, I don’t have to explain myself to you matutulog na ako. Umuwi ka na din dahil gabi na.” She said then headed upstairs to her bedroom

Richard grabbed her arm to stop her. “I am your husband! I have the right to know where you are and even the right to get jealous when you are spending the night with someone else! Tell me, kaya ka ba nalate ng uwi and hindi inintindi si Abby because dumaan pa kayo somewhere dark ni Tom?!” Richard lost his temper when Maya didn’t seem to care for his feelings. Anger and jealousy took over. He yelled at her and had said harsh words which earned a slap from Maya.

Richard instinctively touch his left cheek where Maya’s hand landed. Both stared right into each other’s eyes. “Huwag na huwag mong ibibintang sa’kin yung mga bagay na ginawa mo noon! I never confronted you before kahit na aware akong may ginagawa kang mali. Kahit masakit tiniis ko lahat. Ngayon, natatakot kang baka ginagawa ko yung ginawa mo noon?” Maya smirked “you are pathetic. And damn you to think na I don’t care for my daughter. Palagi ko siyang iniisip that is why I gave you a freaking chance na makasama siya! But I never gave you such right para pakielaman ang buhay ko! I will file an annulment and you will sign it! Leave me alone!”

“Is that what you really want?” He asked calmly, his eyes were close to tears. He is losing her again, and this time he won’t be able to get her back.

“YES! Leave me alone!” Maya shouted at him and half run upstairs leaving Richard at the foot of the stairs staring at nowhere.

He closes his eyes as he realized that he messed up again. Big time.
~~~~~

It is two in the afternoon when Maya decided to go to the mall for a last minute shopping for her co-workers in Canada. She tried so hard not to remind herself of what had happened yesterday and this alone time might help herself from forgetting.

But she’s wrong. So wrong. Because when she took a turn inside a boutique, her eyes locked with someone from her nightmares. The last woman on earth that she would want to see. It’s Sandy, standing infront of her with a surprised look but later on her lips curved up in a smile and apparent delight.

“Hi, Maya.” She greeted “how are you? It’s good to see you! Finally! Gusto sana kasi kita talaga makausap, kaso sabi ni Richard hindi ka daw niya makita.” She told her.

Maya stared at her and was shocked to know that Richard and her were still talking. “Nag-uusap kayo?” Maya asked her. She needs to know.

“Uh.. No!” She responded quickly as she sensed that she might have misinterpreted what she had said and might start another fight. Sandy doesn’t want to ruin anything, not again. “But uh.. We did talked two months ago na ata? I am not sure. Basta I called him to talk. I asked forgiveness, dun ko natanong kung nasaan ka because gusto din kita makausap to say sorry. I have ruined a relationship.” Sandy reached for her hand. Maya saw the sincerity in her eyes and at that point, the hatred that she felt for her lessened.

“You actually didn’t ruin anything. Our relationship is not founded with love. Fix marriage lang kami so I don’t think you need to say sorry.”

Sandy smiled at her and looked away. “No, Maya. Richard loves you. He really does. Kahit nung kami pa he adores you. In denial lang siya but.. Mahal ka niya. I think we have something in common at first sight, I don’t know, but yun yung pakiramdam ko.”

“The day that we met, I was crying sa coffee shop. Then one day, I asked him kung paano kayo nagkakilala and he said, you were childhood friends. You know what? He was smiling the whole time na kinwento nya na nung first day na pinakilala kayo, you were playing tea party with your dolls sa garden nyo but you were crying so hard that is why lumapit siya and joined you. He kept you company.” She pauses and shrugged “I think after hearing that story, and with the look on his face, alam ko na nung araw na nagkakilala kami, somehow he remembered the day that the two of you met. But during those times, I am so in love with him na ayoko pansinin yung nakita ko.”

Maya bowed her head and wiped away the tears that fell from her eyes. She hates it how Richard can make her feel this way. “I.. I don’t think that would change anything now Sandy. It’s over.”

Sandy squeezes her hand. “Please Maya, nung huli kong nakita si Richard he is so sad. He loves you so much. I can see that you love him, too. Give him aanother chance to prove himself. Nung araw na nakipag-usap ako sa’yo, galit na galit ako sa’yo kasi iniwasan na ako ni Richard. He left me telling me na ikaw yung mahal nya noon pa. Na he was a fool not to notice that his heart is beating only for you. Takot lang siya na masaktan nya yung babaeng pinrotektahan nya simula pagkabata but then he ended up hurting you still. He had learned his lesson Maya. Give him another chance.”
~~~~

guys, yung susunod dito would be the last chapter. Then after TOTGA, IHIP naman tatapusin ko but I will post a new story. 🙂 thank you for reading. Btw, pls pray for my daddy’s soul. And also for our Aud subj.