Secrets 12

ryan 001

The woman smiled at him. He smiled back.

“Glad to see you too Esmeralda.”

“It’s been 20 years Conchita..ang tagal na!” they both hold each other’s hand firmly. Seeing her grandma and her long lost friend warms his heart. It’s the reunion his lola have been longing eversince he was still young. He heard alot of stories of this  woman, and now that she’s here with her beloved grandma, he couldn’t help but shed a tear as well.

“Kumusta kana?”

“okay lang..how about you?”

“Eto, masaya at nakita na kita finally!” Conchita look  at Richard.

“Marunong kayo mag-tagalog?” tanong ni Richard sa matanda.

“Ha? Oo naman..Filipina ako eh.”

“Di ko ba nasabi sa’yo Ricky? She was born and raised in Spain pero her parents taught her how to speak our language. Nang makapag-asawa she  moved to Saint Vincent naman together with her husband.”

“Ah, so that explains why..is your husband  Pinoy too?”

“Yes,  but both of us never got the chance to see the Philippines. He was born and raised in Spain too…”

If not because of Richard di pa malalaman ng lola niya na ang lola din pala ni Maya ang matalik niyang kaibigan. The two met when his lola was still studying in Spain. Conchita’s family became his lola’s family too while she’s there alone. Palibahasa Pinay pareho kaya di mahirap sa dalawa maging super close as time went by. After college his lola went back to the Philippines, they keep in touch for years until biglang nawala ang communication nila one day. Nalaman nina Richard that was the time na nangyari ang pagkamatay ng parents ni Maya and since busy rin sa pag-aalaga sa apo at kanilang negosyo doon tuluyang nawalan ng communication ang dalawa.

After Simon’s visit sa San Nicholas, Richard went back to Manila to ask help from his lola. After nilang pag-aralan ang sitwasyon, na-discover nila ang connection between Esmeralda and Conchita. Kahit konti nagkaroon si Richard ng pag-asang makikita niya si Maya.

“How are you Richard?” tanong ni Conchita sa kanya. Halatang may konting pagaalala sa boses nito.

“Honestly Ma’am, ayokong sabihing okay lang kasi hindi naman talaga. I’ll never be fine kung di ko pa kasama si Maya. I want my wife back.”

Conchita looked at him in the eyes as if reading his soul.

“You want your wife back?Gaano ka kasiguradong asawa mo parin si Maya Richard? It’s been a year since..since you left her.”

“Left her? No! She was the one who left me. If  what you meant is tumalikod ako sa relationship namin of course not..I just needed time para ayusin ang sarili ko before ko kayo harapin. I thought I made it clear with Simon.”

“Siguro nga Richard yon ang gusto mo, but for Maya ang hindi mo pagdating one year ago means goodbye..and she made it clear to me, it’s for good.”

“No! That  can’t be. .” he shook his head, ayaw tanggapin ni Richard ang paliwanag na yon. Not even once he doubted Maya’s love for him but it never occured to him that she would gave him up, just like that.

“I need to talk to her Ma’am..please.”

“I cannot promise you that Richard. Masyadong busy si Maya ngayon. She’s always with James, minsan na nga lang kami nagkikita.”

“Kahit sandali lang, please I really need to talk to her.”

“Please Conchita..please…” pressing her friend’s hand, Esmeralda begged her friend too.

 

 

———- ♦ ♦ ♦ ———-

After days of convincing her grand-daughter, finally Maya gave-up. Dressed in her fabulous nude and black colored tulle dress, she made her way to the ballroom hall to join her grandparents  who are  celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The party started already when she arrived. It was a last minute decision for her, the thought of seeing the crowd still gives her chills but the overflowing love for her grandparents who took care of her since she was still young overpowered her fear.

     I can always go out if di ko na talaga kaya. I’ll just stay close sa door para madali lang.

Before entering the ballroom hall where the party was held she called her lola to tell her na dumating na siya. Ang saya ni Conchita ng malamang di siya binigo nito. Pagkababa ng cellphone, huminga ng malalim si Maya before she nodded towards the guards who were standing outside the door. Binuksan ng isang guard ang malaking pinto para makapasok na si Maya. Habang papasok, nakita na niya kaagad ang mga taong nasa loob. Ang ilan sa kanila yumuko ng siya ay makita tanda ng pagbati. Ngumiti naman si Maya sa kanila at agad hinanap ng kanyang mga mata ang kanyang lola. Ilang sandali ay nakita naman niya itong nakangiti habang papalapit sa kanya. Nang nakalapit ito ay agad siyang niyakap ng buong higpit.

“Maya! Salamat at dumating ka. Si James andun kasama ng lolo mo..halika.” hinila na siya ng kanyang lola papunta sa kinaroroonan ng lolo at ni James. Bawat taong dinadaanan nila ay yumuyuko tanda ng pag galang sa kanya. Alam na kasi ng mga naroroon na engaged na siya kay James at ilang araw na lang ikakasal na sila.

“Nama..kinakabahan na ako.”

“Don’t worry malapit lang sila sa isang pintuan doon kaya if ever you feel di mo na kaya you can always excuse yourself at doon ka dumaan. It’s a small room where you can stay.”

Nilapitan nina Maya at ng lola niya sina James at ang lolo ni Maya na kausap ang ilang taong nakilala ni Maya na mga kilalang negosyante rin sa kanilang lugar. Nang makita siya ni James ay agad siya nitong nilapitan at humalik sa kanyang pisngi.

“Glad that you’re finally here.”

“Yeah..but as soon as step inside the hall I’m already trembling.” bulong ni Maya habang nakahawak siya sa braso nito. Hinawakan naman agad ni James ang kamay niya at ikinwit ito sa braso niya. Habang naka abresete, lumapit na sina James sa lolo ni Maya at sa mga kasama nito. Humalik si Maya sa kanyang lolo at bumati ng happy anniversary, ang mga kasama naman nito ay nagbigay galang sa kanya.

Habang nag-uusap sina James at ang mga kasama nito, bigla naman siyang tinawag ng lola niya at may ipapakilala daw na mga guests niya. She excused herself from James na agad namang pinakawalan ang kamay niya. Nagbilin pa itong bumalik siya kaagad kaya tumango naman si Maya. Pinakilala ni Conchita si Maya sa kanyang mga kakilala at dahil sa sila ay nakatayo sa may gitna ng hall di maiwasang makaramdam ng pagkabalisa si Maya. Nagsimula na siyang pagpawisan at medyo nanlalamig, hinanap ng kanyang mata kung saan ang malapit na pinto at nagawi ang tingin niya sa kanyang kaliwa at nakita niyang medyo malayo kung doon siya pupunta sa may bandang pintuan kung saan malapit kina James. Agad siyang naghanap ng iba at nakita niyang ang pinto kung saan siya pumasok ang pinaka malapit.

“Nama..excuse lang sandali..babalik ako mamaya.”

“Are you alright?” napansin ng lola niya ang pawis na namumuo sa kanyang noo at ang pamumutla niya.

“Yes, don’t worry .I just need to relax a bit.. lalabas lang po ako sandali”

“Okay..don’t forget to call me if ever you want anything. Go now at namumutla kana..”

Dali-daling naglakad si Maya papuntang pintuan, sa dami ng tao, nahirapan siyang makalusot kaagad. She’s  starting to tremble uncontrollably and just as she reached the door nahihilo na siya. In sharp breath, she tried to remain conscious but she felt so weak already. Kumatok siya sa pinto para buksan ng guard at makalabas na siya, dahil sa hina ng katok niya di agad narinig ng guard kaya nanatili itong nakasarado. Napapikit na siya ng kanyang mata at hinang-hina na, trying to get sa air. Di na siya makahinga buti na lang may taong umalalay sa kanyang likuran. Kumatok ito kaya agad na nabuksan ng guard. Inalalayan siyang makalabas doon. Para siyang galing sa pagkakalunod, ang lalim ng paghinga niya the moment she step out of the hall.

“Are you alright?” tanong ng lalaki sa kanya pagkalabas nila.

“Ye..yes..thank you.” She managed to answer him in between heavy breath. Naka-upo siya habang nakayuko ang ulo.

“Maya..stand up..okay ka lang ba talaga?” tanong sa kanya ng lalaki na halatang nag-aalala ang boses.

“Oo..okay lang..”

     Bakit nagtatagalog.. at saka..

Maya looked up and was surprised to recognize him.

“Richard!? Anong ginagawa mo dito?” napatayo si Maya sa mga sandaling iyon.

“Hi.”

“Why are you here?” tanong niya ulit kay Richard.

“Maya..I know this is not the right place but I beg you , let’s talk.”

“No..di pwede.. I need to go back.”

“Maya, di ka pa nga maayos tapos babalik ka doon? Alam mo namang di ka pwedeng pumasok sa isang lugar na maraming tao bakit pa nagpunta dito?”

“It’s none of your business.” Tumalikod na si Maya para bumalik sa loob kahit hindi pa normal ang paghinga niya ng pinigilan siya ni Richard, hinawakan siya sa braso nito ng mahigpit.

“Look, alam kong galit ka. Pero di kita papayagang bumalik doon sa loob after what happened earlier baka mapapano ka. Sumama ka sa akin. You have to calm down and we need to talk Maya.”

“Let me go. Wala na tayong pag-uusapan pa.”

“Meron Maya..you owe our husband an explanation kung bakit bigla ka na lang umalis one year ago!.”

Natigilan si Maya sa narinig.

“Husband? That was one year ago Richard. Walang bisa yon. My husband is inside that hall at naghihintay sa akin so now let me go before may makakita sa atin dito.” pilit siyang kumawala sa pagkakahawak ni Richard sa kanya.

“What’s going on here?”

Nakita ni Maya si James  sa may pintuan, agad siyang nataranta. Ayaw parin siyang bitawan ni Richard. With pleading eyes she stared back at him so he slowly let her hand go.

“Nothing..he was just trying to help me ealier. ” lumapit si Maya kay James at yumakap nito. James gently rub his hand up and down Maya’s bare back to calm her.

“Oh..Are you okay? Maybe we should go. I’ll just tell Nama.”

“No..just stay here. Don’t leave me. I will just call her and inform her we’re going.”

Hinanap ni Maya ang cellphone niya sa pouch at tumawag sa lola niya. Nagpaalam na siyang umuwi  kasama si James, agad naman itong pumayag.

“Thank you for helping Maya.” nakipagkamay si James kay Richard. Hindi agad tinanggap ni Richard ang pakikipagkamay nito, tiningnan muna ni Richard si Maya at ang nakalahad na kamay ni James. And when they finally shake hands, she saw Richard clencehed his jaw.

Along with James and the bodyguard, umalis na si Maya. Lumingon pa si Maya kay Richard habang papalayo. James is holding her elbow as he guides her towards the car.

———- ♦ ♦ ♦ ———-

Kausap ni Maya si Richard sa cellphone isang gabi. Ilang ulit na rin niya itong binabaan ng telepono at iniwasan everytime susulpot ito sa ilang lugar na pinupuntahan niya.

“Maya.”

“Richard please. Maayos na ang buhay ko. Umuwi kana sa Pilipinas.”

“Di ako uuwi hanggang di ko kasama ang asawa ko.”

“Will you please stop that. Hindi mo na ako asawa.”

“I have the evidence Maya to prove to James na asawa kita. If di mo ako kakausapin si James ang kakausapin ko.”

“Richard, please tahimik na ang buhay ko.”

“Paano naman ako Maya? Just one more time Maya, mag-usap tayo. Tomorrow, I’ll text you the place. Please be there.”

Gusto sana niyang tumanggi pero binababa na ni Richard ang telepono at di  na siya binigyan ng pagkakataong magsalita pa.

     Paano ba kita haharapin muli Richard at ipagpilitan sa’yo na okay na ako at hindi na kita mahal if everytime nakikita kita gustong-gusto ko ng yakapin ka at sabihing sobra na kitang nami-miss? I love you too much Richard pero ayoko ng umasa at masaktan ulit. Tama na, ayoko na..Bukas kahit masakit, sisikapin kong iyon na ang huli nating pag-uusap.

Photo Credit to:  Jaikiza Asor

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. yan
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:12:41

    next plss.. i can’t wait.. sorry ha? i’m so demanding.. more intense na kasi ang scene.. thank u again nylcoen..:-)

    Reply

  2. Bong
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 14:28:05

    Hope the next chapters will be out sooonn! Thanx🙂

    Reply

  3. Rocsan
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 14:13:36

    Next pls

    Reply

  4. felcarnelle2008
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 13:06:41

    wahhhhhhh, getting more intense… kailan ang kasunod sis? hindi ako atat ha … ibalik na please c Maya sa bisig ni Ricardo lol

    Reply

  5. Jenny Carandang
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 12:02:41

    Tgank you! Looking forward for the next chapter! (“,)

    Reply

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