Note: Double treat! 🙂
Maya’s heart went out to Richard. If only she had listened to him before. But, one thing she had learned the past two years, you can’t undo the past and nothing good comes out of indulging in ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’. The past is the past and she can’t do anything about it anymore. The only thing to do is to learn from the lessons of it and move on. What she and Richard can do is to take it from here. Hearing Richard’s confession lifted her spirits in a way she can’t fully described at the moment. She knows he has a lot to tell, but Maya is very happy to know that he loved her! Yes, maybe, it was wrong of him not to be completely honest with her, but to his credit, he was a complete gentleman, didn’t take advantage her, and a very good friend to her all the time they were together. If not for this confession, she wouldn’t completely know that he felt the same way as she did, she still does. He hid his feelings well. Though she did wonder from time to time, because of his actions and especially when he sang that song in the videoke booth. And of course, there was Emman who kept saying that there was something going on beyond friendship between her and Richard.
“What happened after we parted ways?” Maya asked Richard as she looked deep into his troubled eyes, and touched his arm again, as if to comfort him and to let him know that she is there, that she understands.
“I was lost for several days. I just stayed at home, didn’t want to talk to anyone. Took several days of leave, turned off my phone, and tried to drown my sorrows with alcohol at some point – when I can’t take it anymore seeing your sad face, in my head, as you said you love me, then running away from me. I was like a zombie, until one day, Alex surprised me with a visit. She found me so miserable and asked why. She told me she had been worried since I was not replying to her text messages and that my phone was unattended every time she called. She also said that my parents, and Rafi, are also trying to reach me since I didn’t make it to our Sunday dinner at the family home.
In my still drunken state, I blurted to her that the only girl I will ever love in my life has left me and that I had hurt her by not being completely honest and courageous enough to tell her the truth. I kept saying to her that I love this girl with all my heart. That I can’t can go on and marry someone else when I love her. Then I even said that maybe it is not to late to rectify my mistake and fight for her – and that I will tell Alex about Maya and hopes that she understands that it is Maya I love very much. Then, I realized that I don’t have to tell Alex, as this is Alex, my fiancee, infront of me and I was already telling her I was in love with someone else, with you! I thought she would get mad, you know like the scenes you see in teleseryes, but no, the opposite happened. Really, Maya, sometimes, life has a way of heaping you the most surprising thing when you least expect it and that was what happened!
Instead of getting mad, Alex hugged me tight and thanked me profusely for making things easy for her. At first, I was puzzled. She told me to sober up, take a bath, shave and do what i have to do to make myself look like a human being again while she makes coffee, and we will have our long overdue talk. She also said it is about time that we get completely honest with each other anyway. And talked we did.
You see, Maya, like me, Alex came to a point where she felt that we were the best of friends and not two people in love. She also called our relationship comfortable! Like me, she let things slide since she was going through a personal crisis, something that she was trying hard to deal with on her own. In recent years, Alex felt that her calling is getting stronger, but didn’t want to upset the status quo too, with me and with our families. It turned out she wanted to be a nun. She was afraid to tell me for fear of hurting me, and she didn’t know how to tell her parents, for fear of disappointing them as they wanted to have grandchildren and she was the only one left, Jeff having entered the priesthood.
In one of her flights to Cagayan de Oro, she ending up sitting with a nun. She and the nun ended up chatting and just before the plane landed, Alex told her about wanting to be a nun. They continued talking until they reached the city as they found out they are both going to Jeff’s mission house. The sister advised her to discern, that she should be sure that is what she really wanted to do. She also advised Alex to talk to me when she has made up her mind to enter a convent. This was the reason why Alex was looking for me.
She urged me to find you after we have spent half of the evening talking about you and my feelings for you. Alex said that I must have loved you very much as I looked and sounded different when I talked about you. She also assured me that she is happy for me, for us, Maya. Before we parted, we agreed to invite the parents to dinner the following evening and let them know that we are not getting married. I went to sleep that night so happy. I felt like I was flying. But the morning after, plummeted to the lowest level of hell when I can’t find you. I went to your townhouse and not only you where gone, Manang Fe too. There was a for rent sign on the gate. I called your phone but it is already disconnected. I went to your office but they told me you resigned. Emman didn’t know where you were. But he mentioned that you might be in Mindoro. I decided to go there the following morning. I wanted to go after you that same day, sana, but there is that dinner with my parents and Alex’s.
Like Alex and I agreed on, that evening, we told our parents that we will not get married. Alex’s parents, at first, appealed to her to reconsider her decision to be a nun, but she stood firm, and appealed to her parents to understand, that this is really what she wanted. They eventually relented. I, on the other hand, told my parents and hers about you. Dad was very surprised, but Mom was not. She said she had noticed a change with me the past year or so. I seemed to be happier, she said, as if there is something that makes me happier and that I was keeping it to myself. They told me that you must be a very exceptional girl to turn me upside down, tied me in knots. They wanted to meet you right away.” Richard smiled as he paused from his narrative to drink the water he didn’t notice Maya asked from the barista.
“Of course, I told them the complications of my own making, and that I vowed that will find you, no matter what. I arrived at your family home in Mindoro the following afternoon but your mother and sister refused to tell me where you were. Manang Fe was there. She called me when I was about to leave. She brought me to a shaded area at the back of your house, the one that borders the white and empty Spanish house beside yours. The one you told me before. We talked and I told her about my feelings for you, about Alex. But, she regretfully told me she does not know where you are also, only that you went away. She just told me to have faith and that if we are destined to be together, then fate will find a way for us. Alex, then Rafi whom I have told about you, told me the same thing as days, weeks and months passed by without me knowing where you were and if you are okay. I buried myself in work, hoping that one day, in a crowd, I will see you and that we will have that moment, like this, where I will be able to explain everything and finally tell you that I love you, that you are my life! I love you Maya, I never stopped and I will continue loving you, no matter what the outcome of this talk would be!” Richard said earnestly as he held both of Maya’s hands.
“Richard!” Maya said his name, so full of love in her voice as tears streamed down her face. Hindi na niya talaga napigilan. She should have opted for a more private place for this, but she does not care anyway. Richard’s words were music to her ears. He still loves her and they can really be together! “I love you too. I never stopped loving you too. Kahit kung saan-saan ako naratating, ikaw pa rin ang laman ng puso ko. Yes, natanggap ko na hindi ka para akin, pero tanging ikaw lang talaga ang nandito eh.” Maya pointed at her heart.
“Maya, I love you, more than you will ever know! Thank you!” Richard said as he moved to Maya’s side and hugged her tight while caressing her hair, as if trying to comfort her. “Tahan na please, I don’t like seeing you crying. I promised this would be the last time you will cry because of me! I vowed to make you very happy from now on!”