Note: Happy second anniversary Be Careful With My Heart!:-)
Two years later
Maya felt the full blast of Manila’s scorching summer temperature as she stepped out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. She was glad to be back home after two years and the heartache she was not courageous enough to face here. Yes, for some, maybe she took the coward’s way out by bailing out and going as far away as she could, but it was the way she was able to cope with everything.
But, it is also true that time heals all wounds, and the heart recovers no matter how painful it had endured. Maya is more confident now, at peace, and ready to face Richard. Perhaps, she needed to to get full closure and maybe, she can still be friends with him again. She still have feelings for him. But she had accepted the fact that he belongs to someone else. It took more than a year of living and working in Afghanistan to do that. There, she had seen first hand how fleeting life was, realized there are worse things than suffering from a broken heart. Maya also learned that you can love without being loved back, to love unconditionally, painful as it maybe. She believed that Richard loved her in his own way, not just the way she wanted or envisioned it to be.
“Mayabels, Mayabels, Bessieee!!!! I’m here!!!!” Emman waved at her excitedly near the coffee shop. Seeing that coffee shop, her mind went back to that point in time where she was seeing Richard there, suprising her and her Emman after that unforgettable and eventful vacation in Camiguin in 2012. There is still a bittersweet feeling in her heart, but the pain of remembering all the sad things that had happened since that day, had ebbed.
“Emman, good to see you!” Maya’s face lit up as she hugged her best friend. ‘Na-miss naman kita ng sobra-sobra. Grabe!”
While Maya and Emman were hugging each other, a guy was finding his way to the seat at the coffee shop that Emman vacated. He was about to sit down when he noticed the two persons happily and noisily hugging each other at the edge of the terminal that borders the coffee shop.
“Maya???” He blurted out as he looked closely. His heart beat faster and a very overwhelming feeling of joy enveloped him as he confirmed that is indeed, Maya, the girl who had been haunting his thoughts for the past two years!
Richad slowly approached Maya and Emman. He is not sure whether he will be received well, all he is sure of is that he can’t let this moment pass.
“Maya, Emman. Hi. I saw you guys from the coffee shop. Nice to you again Emman and I’m very happy to see you, Maya. I thought I will never see you again. It has been two very long years!!” He said nervously and excitedly.
“Hi Atty Richard, long time no see ah. Kumusta ka na? Ah, eh Mayabels, dito ka na lang catch up with Atty. Richard, kunin ko na lang iyong car and pick you from here.” Emman said as he quickly escaped before Maya could react.
Emman knew that the two have a lot to talk about. He can still remember that evening six months after Maya was gone and he found himself having a drink with Richard. At that time, even he, don’t know where Maya disappeared to after resigning from her job at the magazine. He thought she just went home to San Nicolas. However, when he called Maya’s sister, she just said that Maya was out of the country and that she was not sure when she will return. Maya only contacted him after that chance encounter with Richard. She requested that they don’t discuss her abrupt departure when she phoned him as she wanted to move on. So, he didn’t tell her about that night when he saw Richard drowning his sorrows in a bar he frequented.
Maya was so surprised to see Richard so soon after she landed, what Emman said did not register in her brain. At first she didn’t know what to say to Richard after two long years, but she recovered quickly.
“Hi, Richard, kumusta? How have you been?” Maya greeted Richard warmly, with the sunny smile he remembered so well.
“Maya, I’m really, really so happy to see you! You don’t know how much. Where have you been?” Richard asked as he looked intently at Maya.
“I’m glad to see you too, Richard. I flew from Singapore. Before that I was in Kabul, Afghanistan, where I have been working. I have been traveling for more than 24 hours na I think.” Maya said, as she looked closely at Richard. “And you, how are you?”
”I was okay lang before, but heto, I’m happier now that I’ve finally seen you again. I have been trying to find you, Maya, you don’t know how hard. I went to your place several days after we met at that coffee shop by the bay, but another person was occupaying the unit. She can’t tell me anything about you. Look, can we talk, please, really talk? This is not really the best place for the things I want to say to you. May I see you as soon as you get settled?” He asked her earnestly.
Maya took a deep breath to calm herself a bit. “Of course, Richard. I am really going to look you up after I have rested from my flight. Eh, tiyempo naman, heto pagtuntong ko ng Pilipinas after two long years, here we are.”
“It is good to know that you were going to do that. I’m glad that I decided to go here myself instead of sending my driver. Please let me know when can we see each other. Do get settled first. Pahinga ka muna. I can wait. I know you just got back and all. Where are you staying?” He asked as he continued to stare at Maya, as if memorizing her face.
“I will stay with Emman for several days, before heading to San Nicolas. My mother and Cristina Rose do not know yet that I am home. I was not so sure of the date I can leave Kabul, so I decided I will just surprise them. Saka ilang beses na ring na-postpone itong uwi ko eh.” Maya replied as she observed that Richard is still as good looking as ever, though a bit thinner, and while there is a sadness that she sensed in him, he is still the same Richard that she was drawn to from the beginning. “Can we see each other two days from now, at same coffee shop where we last saw each other? Is it still there? Doon ko na lang din ikukwento sa iyo ang lahat”
Richard was surprised at her choice of place for their heart to heart talk. He thought that she wouldn’t want to be at that place again as it was the place where he experienced the happiest and the saddest day of his life. Happy to find out that Maya loved him, and sad that she ran away from him and that at that instance, there was nothing he can do, except to let her go. If only he reacted quickly after. Ah, but that is all in the past, and he can’t undo it anymore, the important thing is, she is here again and he will have his chance.
“Yes, it is still there. I will see you there at 3PM, Wednesday? He asked, as he observed how beautiful Maya still is, with her very expressive eyes.
It just occured to Maya, then, to ask why Richard is at the terminal. But before she could do so, someone called Richard.
“Chard, Chard, you are there pala. I have been looking for you doon sa cafe. Sabi mo doon tayo magkita.” The beautiful lady said to Richard as she approached, towing a big trolley bag.
“Oh, hi, nandito ka na pala. Sorry. Errr, Maya, this is….” Richard was interrupted before he can finish the introduction.
“Maya??? You are Maya dela Rosa????” The lady blurted out.