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, 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
“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!! 🙂