“Ate Maya? Is it true?”
Di na napigilan pa ni Maya ang sarili niya. She covered her face with both of her hands and nodded to confirm their guess.
“Dad! Why didn’t you tell us before? So ano na, kayo na ba?”
“Yes, it’s been a while now..kami na ni Maya.”
Richard answered Nikki proudly. He couldn’t help but smile, parang naka-plaster na nga sa mukha niya ang ngiti niya that night.
“Baby!! Narinig mo yun? Dad said sila na daw ni ate Maya.”
“What do you mean sila na ate Nikki? Di ko po kayo naintindihan.”
“Baby, it means na girlfriend na ni daddy si ate Maya. Isn’t it good news baby?”
“Is that true ate Maya?”
“uhh ummm ”
Maya nodded again. When Abby heard it, she hugs Maya who is just sitting beside her in the table.
“Aww nainggit naman ako dun. Sali din ako.”
Nikki and Luke left their places at the table and joined Maya and Abby for a group hug. Touch naman si Maya and Richard sa ginawa ng kids. Richard never expected this to happen, he expected them to understand but he didn’t expect it would turn out this way. You are not lucky Richard Lim..you are blessed! ..he thought.
Pagkatapos ng hapunan, nanood sandali sina Maya, Richard at the kids ng movie. Abby keeps yawning the whole time kaya sinamahan ito ni Maya sa kwarto nito para matulog na. Sinamahan niya ito hanggang sa makatulog na si Abby. She was about to leave the room when the door opened. Akala ni Maya si Richard, checking on her and Abby but si Nikki pala ang pumasok.
“Ate Maya tulog na si Abby?”
“Oo, kakatulog lang.”
“Ah okay..hmmm ate Maya, can we talk?”
“Oo naman. Bakit?.. (natahimik si Nikki parang naninimbang kung makikipag-usap o hindi ).. Tungkol ba to sa sinabi namin ng daddy mo sa inyo kanina?”
Maya couldn’t think of any other reason kung bakit gusto ni Nikki makipag-usap sa kanya. Kinakabahan man, she knows that there’s a possibility na may mangyayari na confrontation.
“Ate Maya, I hope you will not take this as pakikialam sa inyo ni dad, kaya lang i’m worried eh.”
“Worried? Bakit? Halika upo ka muna dito.”
Maya pats the spot right beside her for Nikki to sit down para makapag-usap sila ng masinsinan.
“Ate Maya, i know naman how much dad loves you. And don’t worry, i’m not against it. I’m even happy that dad found someone na mabait, maalaga, and of course, a loving person like you. Pero i’m afraid na dadating ang time that you’re gonna leave him too. Ate Maya, sana hindi yon mangyari. Di na kakayanin ni dad pagnangyari ulit yon. Can you promise me that ate Maya, na hindi mo iiwan si dad?”
The gentleness in Nikki’s voice touched Maya.Richard is very blessed to have such a loving daughter like Nikki. She might be very nosy sometimes but no one can compare on how thoughtful and caring Nikki is. She loves her dad and her siblings so much, Maya knows this so she perfectly understand why Nikki is worried.
“Nikki, bago ko pa sinagot ang daddy mo hiniling ko kay God na kung talagang para kami sa isa’t-isa ibibigay niya yung sign na hinihingi ko. Binigay ni God yun, kaya alam kong siya na ang lalaking para sa akin. Kaya wag ka mag-alala, unless di na ako mahal ng daddy mo di ko siya iiwan.”
“Thanks ate Maya..super thanks talaga for coming into our life..specially to dad’s life. You are really such a blessing to us. Sana di ka magsasawa na mahalin si dad and sana kami din.”
“Oo naman Nikki. Di naman kasi kayo mahirap mahalin kasi mababait kayong bata. ”
“Thanks ate Maya.”
Niyakap ni Nikki si Maya ng mahigpit.When Nikki release Maya from her embrace nagulat si Maya ng makita itong may luha sa mata.
“Nikki umiiyak ka?” (Maya grinned at her)
“Eh kasi ate Maya nahahawa na rin ako sa’yo eh, mababaw na din ang luha ko.”
Tawanan silang dalawa ni Nikki habang nagpapahid ng luha at pasinghot-singhot.
Meanwhile…In Richard’s office..
“Dad, can we talk?”
“Sure son, sit down..what is it?”
“About you and ate Maya.”
“What about us? Bakit ayaw mo ba?”
Biglang nag-alala si Richard. Looking at his eldest child na seryosong-seryoso mukhang meron itong concern about the news earlier.
“Dad, mahal mo ba talaga si ate Maya?”
“What kind of question is that Luke? Of course i love her..I wouldn’t pursue her if hindi. Bakit ayaw mo ba? Akala ko kanina okay na?”
Richard grows uneasy with how their talk is going.
“Hindi naman sa ayoko dad. I know Maya is a good choice. You loving her is not that surprising at all kasi mabait si ate Maya and madami na siya nagawa for this family pero i’m more worried about you than ate Maya, dad.”
“Dad, we know naman dad di natin hawak ang future natin. What if ate Maya will realize that your relationship with her won’t work tapos kinailangan niya umalis. Natatakot ako baka di mo kayanin. We don’t want to lose you again dad.We’ve been there before and its not easy for all of us. And I know that feeling too dad..losing Joey is like losing my life too. What if..”
“I understand you Luke. And you don’t have to worry, just like what you said we’ve been there kaya alam ko na how hard it is for all of us. I won’t certainly allow it to happen again. Don’t worry Luke.. we will be okay. I promise you that.”
“Sana nga dad..but hey, don’t let this conversation bother you and Maya.. gusto ko lang manigurado. We love you dad, ikaw na lang ang meron kami nina Nikki and Abby. Having Maya as an addition to the family isn’t a bad idea too. What do you think dad?”
Luke smiles at Richard. Richard took it as a hint and smiles back.
“Soon, son..soon..for now, let’s just take it slow. i’m happy on how things are going between us. Madami pa din siya gusto mangyari sa buhay niya, i don’t want to get in her way.”
At the right time she will become part of our family..and i will see to it that it will happen.