Sinundo nina Richard at Simon si Maya sa opisina nito Byernes ng hapon, papauwi na sana ng bahay ng nagkasundong dumaan muna sa isang restaurant para kumain. On the way there, Richard to called his favorite resto para makapagpa-reserve na ng table at ng di na sila maghintay pa sakaling maraming customer ang kakain doon.
“I’m sure you’re gonna love the food there. Kaibigan ko yung may-ari doon and minsan pag nagse-set kami ng meeting outside the office doon ko sila dinadala. They have wide variety of dishes.” ngumiti lang si Maya kay Richard..if there’s one thing she would like to do that moment is to sleep than eat. Alam niyang ginagawa yon ni Richard para lang siya kumain. Lately, sa sobrang busy niya sa upcoming event ng Fashion Sense di na siya nakakakain sa tamang oras, which worries him. Minsan nagpapadala na nga siya ng food sa office for her pero kadalasan di naman niya nakakain sa tamang oras.
“Maya, I know that you are super busy but please try to relax naman kahit sandali lang. Lagi na lang sumasakit ulo mo these past few days. I’m getting worried already. Kakagaling mo lang di ba. I don’t want you getting sick again.”
“Richard, okay lang naman ako. Pumayag na nga ako di ba na kumain na tayo sa labas..” Richard look at her. Buti na lang si Simon ang nagda-drive ngayon, he can relax and cuddle her at the backseat.
Pagkahinto ng sasakyan sa may parking area, naunang bumaba si Richard at inalalayan si Maya para makababa sa kotse. They walk inside the resto side by side with Richard’s hand twine with hers. Kung titingnan mo sila parang picture ng isang happy and very inlove couple. He never let go of her hand kahit pumasok na sila sa loob. A waiter approached them and after telling him they had reservation, they were quickly ushered to their table. After getting their order, the waiter left them.
“How’s the preparation?”
“Oh well..okay naman, the collection is complete, thank God. Models were already chosen, the day after tomorrow naka set na din ang pictorial. I’m glad I work with the finest team in this business.”
“Glad to see you happy too.” He smiles at her then kiss he knuckle. Medyo nasanay narin si Maya with his constant PDA kaya di na siya gaanong naiilang unlike before. Looking at him she wondered if only they started out right, before the marriage happened..sana di na nangyari yong accident and all the bad memories. But more than anything, she’s glad that slowly their relationship is back to normal. Just as she was about to say something nakita niya across the other side of the room a familiar figure.
Blinking her eyes to confirm what she is seeing. There he was, across the room with a girl. There are talking and laughing. But the way they are behaving, flirting is the best word to describe it. Just then Jeff turned his head to her direction and saw her watching him. Nakita niyang nagulat ito at tumayo.
“Richard, si Jeff… and he is walking towards our table.” lumingon si Richard at nakita nga nitong papalapit si Jeff sa kanila. He withdrew his hand but Maya held it tightly. Nakalapit na si Jeff and it’s too late to hide their hands, kaya nang makita ito ni Jeff nawala bigla ang ngiting naka-plaster sa mukha, ang mga mata nito ay tila nagtatanong kay Maya.
“H-hi.. nakauwi kana pala?”
“Yes, matagal-tagal na rin..”
“So..mind if I join you guys?”
“Actually, I do mind..” nodding her head with brow slightly raise..
“And you must have forgotten your lovely companion..” she added further. For Jeff she may sound a jealous girlfriend but for her she is just reminding him.
“Oh..actually Maya, Grace is my close friend .. she just came back from the US so I’m showing her ..”
“Yeah right..will you just leave Jeff? I told you I do mind right..you are ruining a very intimate date here.”
“Date? Seriously?” umiiling pa at parang di naniniwala si Jeff.
“Yes, an intimate date with my husband.”
“Di pa kita napapatawad Jeff..now, if you don’t want to create a scene here please leave and don’t bother to come near me again. Sinayang mo lang ang friendship natin. I trusted you, di ako makapaniwala sa ginawa mo or sa..ginawa ng..” Richard squeeze her hand reminding her that they are in a public place.
“Jeff leave.” Richard needs to speak or else they will attract attention from fellow customers. Seeing how mad Maya is, Jeff return to his table without a word. The next thing they know Jeff stormed out of the resto with his friend following behind him with a puzzled look on her face. Minutes later dumating din ang order nina Maya kaya nagsimula na silang kumain.
“Okay ka lang ba?” tanong ni Richard later on..
“Yes, okay na okay..” she managed to smile, a smile that reached her eyes. Richard is glad to see her happy. He can sense the peacefulness within her.
“Thank you for being with me all throughout my fight. Nung nawala sina dad ikaw ang pumalit..guiding and caring for me. Yes, merong may di magagandang nangyari sa atin but then you never gave-up on me.” saying this while staring at his eyes stirred up his soul.
I’m more than happy to have you finally Maya, the long wait is a bit exhausting but it’s worth it.
They enjoyed the rest of their time over their dinner. It was an intimate one indeed. The first time since their first night together.
A call on Richard’s cellphone woke them up around 2 a.m. Maya was slightly irritated since they had just slept an hour ago after they made-love, all she wanted is to sleep snuggled up close to him and because of the call he have to climb out of bed para di siya gaanong madisturbo while he speaks with whoever it was on the phone.
“Yes, pupunta na kami.” she heard him answer.
Kami? …sinong kami? Arggghhh
“Baby wake up..we have to go somewhere..” Richard is nudging her to wake her up.
“Where? Ang aga pa Chard..” she whined.
“I know, but we need to..Come here na, let’s take a shower together.”
“Chard shower lang ha..exhausted na ako” it was a half-meant joke that makes him smile.
“Kailan kapa napagod in making love..come, i know something that would wake you up.” teasing her to lighten her mood. Fortunately, the tease will never remain a tease. Another make up session at the bathroom occured kaya gising na gising na si Maya when they stepped out of the shower room.
Simon drove the car. Richard let’s Maya slept while holding her, first because she is dead tired and second, to avoid further questions. His arm over her shoulder and gently caressing it. Running inside his mind are worry and fear. Makakaya kaya ni Maya ang susunod na mangyayari sa buhay niya. But he have to choice..all he can do is to be with her especially now, just like what he did for her the last time. The car stopped already, it took him minutes before he decided to wake her up and to tell her they are there already.
“Maya..baby, we’re here.” she move and slowly open her eyes.
“Oh..andito na tayo?”
“Yes, halika na..” he can’t help but feel sad. Napansin na ni Richard na alam na ni Maya kung saan sila.
“Anong ginagawa natin dito sa ospital?”
“You’ll know if nakapasok na tayo.”
Hindi inalis ni Richard ang pagkaka-akbay niya kay Maya. Alam niyang naguguluhan ito kung bakit andun sila sa ospital ng ganoong oras.
“You have to see him now,or baka late na..I don’t want that to happen. But first, you need to understand why ngayon mo lang nalaman ito.” Richard started. He told her its her dad that they will be seeing. Apparently 2 days na since dumating parents niya from their travel abroad. What she didn’t know is hindi sila nagpunta abroad to relax but for treatment. Na discover kasi ng parents ni Maya na merong liver cancer ang dad niya, medyo late na ng madiscover kaya madali ng nagspread sa katawan at di na kinaya ng treatment. Gulat at di nakayanan ni Maya ang nakita sa kwarto ng dad niya kaya hinimatay ito.
Nang mahimasmasan, ang mommy na ni Maya ang nag-explain sa anak kung bakit kinailangang ilihim nila ang lahat. Kahit iyak ng iyak at di makapagsalita si Maya alam nilang naiintindihan sila nito. Even si Richard nakahinga na, napawi ang kanyang pagdadalawang-isip at baka magalit nanaman si Maya sa kanya for keeping this a secret to her, Si Maya naman di makapaniwala sa nakikitang kalagayan ng papa niya. Payat, malaki ang tiyan, at nagnghihina na. Lumapit si Maya sa higaan ng daddy niya at hinawakan ang kamay nito.
“Dad ..” di alam ni Maya kung saan siya magsisimula. She loves her dad and mom so much. Ngayong nasa malubhang kalagayan ang dad niya di niya lubos maisip paano na sila ng mommy niya. Before she got married, it was always the three of them. Kung saan ang isa, andun din ang dalawa. Inseparable. Para nga nga silang magbabarkada, kaya noong nagdecide ang daddy niya na ipakasal siya kay Richard at umalis with her mom di niya maintindihan kung bakit. Biglang nagbago lahat, but now she understood. It was all because they wanted to protect her, not just because may sakit ang daddy niya at ayaw nilang malungkot siya but also to protect her future. They gave her their last precious gift. And that is to make her happy for the rest of her life, with the man who could give her love and care the way they did when she was with them.
Lumipas ang ilang days pumanaw na ang daddy ni Maya. For those remaining days, Maya and Richard helped her mom in the hospital. It was the last thing they could do for him and for her too.
Nasa harap ng puntod ng daddy niya si Maya, Richard, mommy Teresita, at Mamang. Naka-alis na ang nakiramay at nakipaglibing pero parang ayaw parin umalis nina Maya. All that Richard could do is to hold and hug her as she sobs. True to his word, di niya iniwan si Maya at the most lowest point of her life. And Maya is thankful to have him too, easing her pain away. She looks at him and hug him back.
“Thank you so much..” mouthing those words on him with so much love. He smiled and caresses her back as they hug. Seeing them that way makes Maya’s mom happy, there is only one thing that runs in her mind..
Di tayo nagkamali Greg. We gave the most precious gift to our daughter. A happy life ,filled with love contentment.