Note: Thank you for taking the time to read my work!:-)
Maya and Emman’s plane landed at the NAIA Terminal 2 at 3PM. Spirits weary, bone-tired and sleep-deprived, Maya wished she could just crawl into her bed and sleep for 48 hours. It has been a long and gruelling day, not only emotionally but physically. They barely made it to the Cagayan de Oro Airport for their flight back to Manila. Their ferry left Camiguin one hour after it was scheduled to sail due to some mechanical problems.
“Mayabels, OMG, nakikita mo ba ang nakikita ko?” Emman asked excitedly as they were exiting the terminal. “Si Atty. Richard, at the coffee shop!”
“Ha? Naku Emman, parang hindi pa ako ready na makita siya. Tara, doon na lang natin sa kabilang bay abangan si Belle.” Maya started dragging Emman to the other side of the terminal.
One of her realizations during her long, sleepless night, though not the best course of action, is that she will just avoid Richard in the meantime, so her broken heart can recover before she face him and accept the situation that the two of them cannot be. However, she was too late. Richard saw her and Emman.
“Maya, Emman, there you are! How’s your vacation?” He asked while giving Maya his lopsided smile that never failed to make her heart beat faster.
“O-ookay naman”. Maya stuttered as she tried to keep her voice normal. “Nag-enjoy kami ni Emman. O bakit nandito ka? May susunduin ka?”
“Kayo ni Emman. I know that you guys need a ride. I asked Manang Fe about your flight back to Manila. I wanted to surprise you.” Richard explained as he tried to help Maya with her luggage.
“Naku, Atty. Richard, thank you pero hindi na ako sasabay sa inyo ni bessie. Susunduin ako ni Belle at idadaan ko nga sana itong si Mayabels sa kanila. Pero since nandito ka na, mauuna na ako. Take good care of my bessie ha. Oh, there’s may sundo na pala. Bye, Maya, call, call na lang tayo laters.” He said as he leaned and whispered to Maya. “Maybe, about time you two talk. Good luck.”
“Tara na, Maya. Doon ako naka-park sa may bandang dulo.” Richard told Maya, who haven’t fully recovered from seeing him so soon. Maya allowed herself to be steered towards Richard’s car.
She didn’t say much during the ride to her townhouse. Richard looked at her from time to time, unused to seeing her quiet, having gotten used to her bubbly self, her never ending chatter and plenty of kwento. He thought she is just tired from her trip so he let her rest.
Richard parked his car in front of the townshouse and was about to get off the car to open the door for Maya and help her with her things, when she stopped him by holding on to his arm.
“Richard, don’t get off na. I can manage. Thank you for picking me up.” She hurriedly said, got her things, waved abruptly at Richard and went inside.
“What was that? What happened?” Richard was puzzled at how Maya acted, as it was so unlike her. “Hindi man lang ako niyaya sa loob like she always do kapag inihahatid ko siya!?”
For the next several days, Maya avoided Richard. She refused to answer his text messages and when he invited her to have coffee or dinner, she politely declined. Richard can’t take it anymore so one afternoon, he surprised Maya at her magazine’s office. He asked the receptionist not to call Maya and don’t let her know that he is here. The girl agreed since he is already known in Manila Beat. Maya had been constantly teased by her colleagues on her very handsome, almost-boyfriend!
“Guess who?” Richard said after he covered Maya’s eyes with his two hands.
Maya was so surprised to hear Richard’s voice and felt the touch of his hands. Her heart raced and she caught her breath.
“Hi Richard, what are you doing here?” Maya stuttered as she faced him, realizing she really missed this wonderful guy, but she needed to be strong. Better do it abrupt, even if the pain is too intense, than slowly die every time she sees him and be constantly reminded of his wedding date getting nearer and nearer.
“Maya, what is wrong? Suddenly, you are avoiding me. I thought that you’re just busy. You didn’t reply to my texts. You declined my invitations! Parang hindi na ikaw ang Maya na kilala ko. What happened Maya? Emman said wala naman kayo deadline kasi kaka-out lang nung latest issue niyo. May nagawa ba ako?” Richard asked, obviously frustrated and hurt at what is happening between them.
Maya upon hearing this made a decision to have it out with him. Better to be honest and make a clean break so she can still try to pick up the pieces. What is left to salvage, anyway.
“Let us talk somewhere, not here. There is a newly-opened coffee shop near the bay, you wouldn’t miss it. Meet me there in half and hour, please.” She told him.
Richard was already into his second cup of coffee when Maya arrived. He alternately took a sip, stared blankly at the view, and tapped his fingers on the table.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting. Let me just order a cup of coffee.” Maya didn’t even wait for Ricky to stand up as he offered to get the coffee for her.
She needed to move and calm herself down so that she will have the courage to do what has to be done. She ordered her usual americano coffee, put three sachets of sugar, stirred it slowly, to give her a couple of minutes, marshalling her thoughts. When she felt she had some sort of control over her emotions, she returned to the table, sat on the vacant seat in front of Richard. Took a deep breath and started talking without even asking him how he had been.
“Okay, here it is, Richard. You are my dearest friend, you know that. You are the only guy I got so comfortable and at ease with. I’m always happy when we are together and do what we usually do. But now that you are getting married, which came as a big surprise to me, though there is no rule naman that we have to tell each other every details of our personal lives, I think maybe it is best if we stop seeing each other, even as friends.” She said with conviction as she looked at Richard sadly.
“What? And why is that? Is it because I didn’t tell you right away about Alexandra?” Richard said, surprised at Maya’s pronouncement. “If you only know how many times I wanted to tell you about her and my predicament! Look, I didn’t tell you because….”
“Richard, enough na please. Mabuti na rin ito. Cut our ties completely.” Maya insisted. “I’m not sure I want to know. Baka mas lalo pa ako masaktan.”
“Why, please tell me why, and why are you doing this? Maya please talk to me. Listen to me.” Richard asked earnestly.
“Richard, please….I can’t take this anymore, I can’t be friends with you anymore… because…..because, I have feelings for you…I love you. Hindi ko kaya na makita kang magpakasal sa iba.” Maya blurted out. Then she grabbed her bag and ran out of the coffee shop.
Unmindful of the people around her, tears flowing freely, Maya flagged the first taxi she saw. She caught sight of Richard’s sad face as he ran after her, until she can’t see him anymore.