“Tell me Maya, ganun pa din ba ang gusto mo?”
Maya look up and stare at him. For all those years na magkasama silang dalawa ni James ngayon lang niya nakitang malungkot ang mga mata ni James. Suddenly, she feels guilty knowing that she is the sole reason why he is sad. He doesn’t deserve this, how could she do that to James who’s always there to make her feel special and who love her despite her past. He deserve to be happy.
“James, I’m so sorry if right now you are hurting. Alam ko kahit di mo sinasabi sa akin lahat, alam ko..nararamdaman ko nasasaktan ka. Ako din, nasasaktan kasi ayokong nalalagay ka sa alanganin. James from the start alam mong merong Richard Lim sa buhay ko. You know we started and ended our relationship na hindi maganda. At first you know kung gaano ako naging hesitant to enter into a new relationship but pinakita mo sa akin na totoo ka at tanggap mo ako. Nung sinagot kita, what I have in mind is to spend the rest of my life with you. We were just waiting for the right time di ba? And now he is here.”
“So what you’re trying to say is tuloy na ang annulment?”
James’ lips curve into a smile. In his eyes she can see hope as he waits patiently for her confirmation.
“James, I don’t want to hurt you. I love you, you know that..kasi if di kita natutunang mahalin di ako papayag na makipagrelasyon sa’yo in the first place. But I’m sorry if I have to end our relationship.”
“What? But why? Sweetheart, don’t say that please..”
Maya starts to shed her tears. She promised herself na pipigilan niya ang sarili but she just can’t. Alam niyang masakit ito kay James who waited for her patiently for the last four years that they’re together.
“I’m sorry James but you deserve someone better than me. For four years naging masaya ako..tayo..but more than that, alam natin na di natin matatakasan kung ano yung totoo. Yung totoo na merong isang Richard Lim na kakabit na sa buhay ko.”
“You mean makikipagbalikan ka na sa kanya?”
She can see him frowning and desperate. How she hates to see him that way.
“Sa totoo lang, di ko pa alam James. Mula ng nagkahiwalay kami ni minsan di ko inisip na babalik pa siya. Who would have thought after six years bigla na lang siyang magpapakita sa akin at gustong makipagbalikan. James we both want to settle down and live happily, kahit ipilit nating dalawa na pwede nating gawin yon, alam natin pareho na hindi maaari. Ma-annul man kasal namin di na ako pwedeng magpakasal pa sa’yo. I don’t want to hurt you further James, you deserve to be happy that’s why i’m letting you go.”
“Maya alam ko yan. Nililigawan pa lang kita alam ko na yan, but why is it that suddenly bigla mo akong hihiwalayan? You are not being fair to me Maya.”
“No, James.. this time i’m being fair to you. You deserve a woman na pwede mong mahalin, pakasalan, at bumuo ng pamilya at maging maligaya. I want you to do that. That is fair and right. Sa mata ng tao at sa Diyos, yan ang tama. ”
” I don’t want you to let me go Maya. I don’t care if I can marry you or not, what is important is andiyan ka sa tabi ko..”
Maya is shaking her head, both of them are sobbing already. For the first time she saw him so desperate that it tore her heart even more.
“Tell me Maya, di ka na ba masaya sa akin now that Richard is back? ”
“Don’t say that, alam mong masaya ako kung kasama ka. I just want to be rational and set things right. Please understand. Mas magiging masaya ako kung alam kong di kita iniipit sa gulo ng buhay ko. Find the right woman for you James. Love her more than you love me. ”
James held both of Maya’s hand and squeeze them tightly. He brought them into his lips and kiss them. Maya could see his wet cheeks as it glistens with tears. She gave him a tight hug as they both sob. After a few minutes, James let go of Maya first.
“Because I love you so much Maya, yes.. I will let you go. Alam kong di madali sa ating dalawa to pero ayoko din na mahirapan ka pa. Ayoko na may sabihing mali ang ibang tao sa’yo. Naiintindihan kita..”
James said as held her face between her hands. Wiping the tears in her eyes through his thumb.
“Please promise me, whether you decide to come back to Richard or not..promise me you will be happy.”
“Thank you James..I promise..”
They hug each other once again. This time, relieved and comforted knowing that though this is the last night they will be together, still it’s not a very sad goodbye for them.
Hinatid ni James si Maya sa condo nila. Habang naka-park ang sasakyan, Maya remained seated in the passenger seat for a few minutes. Both of them are silent until James turn to her.
“We’re still friends right?”
“Of course James. . you are still my boss, di pwedeng di tayo maging kaibigan since we are still working on the same company.”
“I’ll surely miss the way you call me Sir Chief at work whenever naglalambing ka habang papasok sa office ko.”
“James.. Pwede pa namang ganun din itatawag ko sa’yo eh..”
“No..baka di kita tuluyang mapakawalan if you do that. Just call me James … So, this is it..friends?”
James offer his hand for a handshake.
“Of course.. not just friends… how about, good friends?”
James smile, instead of shaking his hand Maya gave him one last hug and a kiss on his cheek. Minutes later, Maya alight from the car and bid him goodbye.
Nadatnan ni Maya si Richard sa living room na may ginagawa sa harap ng laptop niya. Nakita din niya ang nakakalat na papeles sa mesa. As soon as he saw her, he smile at her.
Richard greeted him with a hoarse voice. With a weak smile and a nod, Maya walk towards the single couch opposite Richard and sit down.
“Nakakain ka na?”
“hmmm okay na ako dito. ”
Richard raises his mug of coffee.
“Anyari sa’yo? Nagbibinata ka na?”
“Ahh malat.. dahil sa meeting and sunod-sunod na presentation ko sa clients.”
“Ahh..Ano yan, for Bermudez Group?”
“No..di namin nakuha ang account. This is for another client. Not as big as the Bermudez Project though, pero okay lang..”
“What? Why? I mean..I thought okay kayo kay Mr. Bermudez?”
“Yeah, akala din namin, pero like what he said during the conference di lang siya yung nagdedecide. Unfortunately di kami okay sa iba.”
Richard is trying to be cheerful as he could but Maya could still see that he is really affected. Maya wanted to talk to him but decided not to do it this time. Masyadong maraming iniisip si Richard para makikisali pa siya.
“Pasok na muna ako. ”
“Are you sure di ka kakain?”
Tumayo na si Maya at naglakad patungong kwarto nila. Ilang minuto ang nakaraan, pagkatapos makapagbihis nasa kama na si Maya para sana matulog na. But with what happen tonight, imposibleng makatulog agad siya so she decided to work on a few reports instead baka sakaling mapagod siya at makatulog na. Lumipas na ang tatlong oras, natapos na ni Maya ang ginagawang report di parin siya dinalaw ng antok. Upon cheking the clock at the bedside table malapit na palang maghahating gabi. It was only then that she realized di parin pala pumasok si Richard. She decided to go out at magtimpla ng gatas baka sakaling makatulong sa kanya. Nakita ni Maya si Richard na nakahiga na sa couch and look like nakatulog na din. Gusto sana niyang gisingin si Richard para lumipat na sa kwarto but she changed her mind.
Baka isipin mo pang gustong-gusto kitang katabi.
Maya proceed to the kitchen at nagtimpla ng gatas niya. Habang umiinom, napatingin si Maya kay Richard. Di maiwasang mapatanong ni Maya sa sarili kung ano ang gagawin ni Richard once he hears her decision. Just like James, this man has gone through alot over the years without her knowledge. All along she thought na masaya na si Richard and had completely forgot about her and their marriage, but a month ago he came back and shook her world.
He once held a space inside her heart. He was once a part of her dream. He was her original Sir Chief , her dream guy.He was her first crush, one of the reasons why pumayag siyang pakasalan ito noon. But he was also the reason of her first broken heart. She admit, noon umasa siya na sana just like her all time favorite teleserye, Richard would learn to love her but he chose to let her go.
Hay Richard Lim mula noon hanggang ngayon sakit ka pa din sa ulo ko.
Maya said to herself as she wash the empty glass. As she walk towards the bedroom again, she glance at him in the couch before she close the door of their room .
Good night Sir Chief..sweet dreams.
Lunch time, Maya is busy inside her office when she received a call from Richard.
“Yes, Mr. Lim?”
“Hello Mrs. Lim.”
He said cheerfully despite his hoarse voice. Maya realize it’s worst than how it sound this morning.
“At bakit ka tumawag? May kailangan ka ba?”
“It’s lunch time.Diyan ka lang ba sa office mo kakain?”
Maya chuckle. Wondering why all of a sudden naging curious bigla si Richard about her lunch.
“And why are you asking?”
“Nasa restaurant ako sa tapat ng building ninyo.. can you join me for lunch?”
“Oh..and what if I refuse to go with you?”
“Then i’ll just go and forget about lunch too.”
Maya wanted to refuse, marami pa kasi siyang tatapusin na trabaho but her tummy betrayed her. The mere mention of food it keeps growling . Naalala din niyang di niya nakita na kumain si Richard that morning at dumadaing sa sore throat niya.
“Ang arte. Sige na bababa na ako. Be sure pakakainin mo ako ng masarap ha.”
Nagligpit na si Maya ng gamit niya and started to leave. Habang pababa siya sakay ng elevator naalala niya ang sasabihin niya kay Richard. If she have the chance to talk about it, she needs to tell Richard about her decision. Ayaw niyang magsayang pa ng oras. He deserve to know kung saan tutungo ang lahat ng to.