Richard was blankly staring at the vast garden outside the music room.
He couldn’t stand what he was feeling while the teachers talked about Maya and her husband. He thought he could easily accept the fact that Maya is already married.
He was overwhelmed with this feeling of sadness, pain and maybe jealousy that he needs to hide from the teachers and from Maya. He didnt want to appear vulnerable especially to her, not after what she did years ago.
His deep thought was disturbed when Rafi came looking for him.
“Ricky okay ka lang? You seemed upset awhile ago. ”
“Ah it’s nothing. I just received a message which I had to reply to.” he lied.
“Oh buti naman. Akala namin may problema kasi bigla ka na lang lumabas kanina.”
“Wala naman. Important lang yun message. Sorry. Are we going to start na ba?”
“Not yet atsaka our School Directress, si Sr. Mary Ann wants to meet us muna regarding the team building and outing this weekend.”
“Okay. Anong oras yun meeting? I think I better go home na muna. Sasaglit lang ako sa bahay if hindi pa naman magsisimula.” He badly wanted to leave.
“Later pa Ricky. 11:00 at the her office. Its two hours from now pa. Pero it’s okay if you need to go home. Important yun Im sure.”
Rafi assumed that Ricky has some very important concerns to attend to based on his demeanor.
“No need, antayin ko na lang yun meeting. Madali na pala. Ill go to the restroom lang muna then balik ako.”
He smiled at Rafi. Somehow he felt okay with Rafi’s genuine show of concern. On the other hand, he also felt upset that Maya didn’t even bother.
Rafi returned to the music room.
“Rafi asan na si Ricky?” Simon asked.
Maya was intently listening. She was concerned of him. Awhile ago while they were busy talking about James’ flowers, she saw the change in Ricky’s facial expression. She wanted to assume that it was because of her but she chidded herself and was sure that it had nothing to do with her.
“Nandun pupunta sa restroom. Medyo worried yun mukha eh. Maybe he needs to go home. I think may importante sya na dapat gawin.”
Moments later, despite their prodding that it’s okay for him to leave if he needs to attend to something important, Richard stayed for the meeting. He wont let his personal feelings meddle with the responsibility he has for the school and students.
The meeting with the School Directress was about the team building the faculty will be having over the weekend.
It was an annual activity of the school and Ricky being a part or the faculty now, though temporarily, was requested by Sr. Mary Ann to join so he could also bond with other faculty members.
It will be held for 2 nights and 3 days at a beach resort 2 hours away from the school.
It will also be some sort of recreation for the faculty members and their families. This happens every year as part of the school tradition.
Ricky was very much aware of it coz it was also done during his stay in the school.
~~~~~~~~ ooooooo ~~~~~~~~~~
The activities were fun. Ricky actively joined and forced himself to block, even for the meantime, thoughts about Maya or their past.
He didn’t want to spoil the fun he’s having with the teachers and staff and of course with Maya as well.
He was the constant videoke singer, guitarist, keyboardist and even joined the outdoor games.
For him he also needs to release all pent up energy he has stored from the moment he first saw Maya after all these years and keeping himself busy would surely help.
Rafi was the constant partner of Ricky in games, in singing and in other activities as well.
She made it a point to make Ricky feel at ease for she believes, she’s responsible for him being the one who talked to Fr. Francis.
They were sharing jokes and stories all throughout the activity.
Maya on the other hand kept herself busy with Luke and the kids of other teachers.
She opted not to join the games and reasoned that she needs to take care of the kids. She really loves kids.
Richard noticed that Maya was avoiding any close interaction with him but he just ignored it. He was in fact loving the sight of her taking good care of the kids, especially her son, Luke.
But as the first night came to an end, Maya was already upset with Rafi’s closeness to Ricky. She could no longer stand hearing her giggles whenever Ricky cracks a joke.
She was aware that Rafi was fond of Ricky based on how she takes care of him. She was mad that Ricky was even allowing it.
Rafi is married though she’s been having problems with her husband and Ricky is married as well, He never mentions anything about his personal life but ring on his finger clearly states that he is indeed married.
On her way to their room where she was about to go to sleep ahead of the others who were having a bonfire by the beach, Maya noticed two shadows at the back of their rented cottage.
She held her breath when she realized that it was Ricky and Rafi. The seem to be kissing from her vantage point.
She wasn’t sure but her anger and jealousy made her conclude that they were indeed doing something married people shouldn’t be doing.
Her eyes were now blinded with tears as she rushed towards her room and slipped on a wet portion of the floor.
Her fall was so loud that it was heard by Ricky and Rafi.
“Maya!” Richard shouted when he saw her knocked out when her head hit the floor as she slipped.
He rushed to where she was.
Maya was unconscious and Ricky had to carry her to his car. He would rush her to the hospital.
Rafi frantically called their other companions and asked Edz to join her and Ricky in bringing Maya to the hospital. Simon volunteered to follow with Luke.
~~~~~~~~ 0000000 ~~~~~~~~~
“Where am I? What are you doing here?”
“Hey, you’re awake. You gave us quite a scare.”
He was relieved.
She just stared at him.
He approached the hospital bed.
“How do you feel. May masakit ba?”
She felt her arms and legs and noticed that is okay until she felt her forehead and noticed the swollen part.
“You slipped and hit your head. Good thing Rafi and I were there.”
She automatically felt the warm liquid in her eyes when she heard Rafi’s name. She didnt want him to notice it so she turned her back on him.
“Chard, sige na uwi ka na. Naabala ka nang masyado”
Her voice was already choking when she said it. She was trying her best not to cry for she was feeling so jealous at the thought that Rafi and him might be having something special already.
“Hey hindi ako naabala and you’ll never be a bother to me. I would want to believe that we are now friends Maya. You would have done the same thing if I was the one in your situation.”
“Alam ko. Thank you Chard.” She cant control her sobs now that her breathing became unsteady and her sniffs can be heard.
He immediately went to the other side of her bed were she was facing.
“Hey, why are you crying? May masakit ba? Wait, ill call the doctor.”
“No walang masakit. Ok na ako.”
“Ba’t ka umiiyak? Hey tingnan mo nga ako.” She was still avoiding his eyes.
“Wala. Natakot lang ako for Luke, pano kung malala nangyari sakin. Wala pa naman si James.”
She couldn’t tell him the real reason why she was so emotional.
She can’t tell him the reason why she slipped and hit her head.
She cant tell him that she was jealous of Rafi which led to her accident.
He smiled, relieved that her sobs were just because of her fear for Luke and not because she felt some pain in her body.
“Don’t worry too much. It was just a minor accident and thankfully hindi naman cement yung floor.”
She now looks a him.
“Thank you Chard.”
“Anything for you Maya.”
“Ah eh.. si Luke pala?”
She tried to divert the topic for the last line he said has a whole lot of different meaning for her. Maybe she was just imagining or over-analyzing things.
“He’s with Manang Fe. I let him sleep at home na muna kasi hindi pwede yun bata sa hospital.Mamayang tanghali, nandito na yun. You want to call him?”
She nods her head.
“Here use my cellphone na muna. Wala ng battery yun sa’yo coz Luke used it playing games last night. He was here until 9. Tapos pinauwi ko na muna kay Manang at kay Joma. Marami naman kaming bantay mo kagabi.”
“Huh? Nako naabala yun activity!”
“No. They pushed through with it. Ako, si Manang Fe, si Sabel, si Doris, si Liza, si Joma and Luke, kami yun bantay kagabi. The doctor had to ask the others to leave kasi makulit sina Doris at Sabel. They were playing with Luke.”
“Rafi and Edz joined me in bringing you here. Mamaya nandito na yun. I asked Rafi to accompany you while I go home and change.”
Rafi again. She was sad that Richard was somehow fond of Rafi. She was mad that they seem to be close despite the being married.
“Wag na Chard. Busy sina Rafi. I can go home na this afternoon. Okay na rin naman ako.”
“No Maya. The doctors will run some tests pa just to be sure. You dont have to worry kasi Luke has no classes pa naman and he’s enjoying playing with the kids at home.”
“Kids? Mga anak mo?”
“Ah no. Anak ni Fely, yun pamangkin ni Manang Fe. Wala akong anak Maya.” He smiled.
Preview of the Next Chapter:
“Ricky what happened seven years ago…”
He stopped whatever she was about to say.
“Don’t worry Maya. We’re okay now and that’s more important to me.”
He was contented with the set-up they have now and he didn’t want to risk losing her friendship again.
“Ricky I’m sorry that I caused you….”
“Maya you don’t have to feel bad about what happened besides matagal na yun. Seven years is a long time already.”
His intention was to remove Maya’s feeling of guilt or remorse.
“Besides the two years we were together was just me being immature, siguro since you were my only constant companion then kaya napilitan ka to take me. I always know that you always wanted me to feel good then. Sorry nadamay pa kita. It was nothing so you dont have to bother yourself anymore.”
His intention was for her to feel good.
But what she felt was the worst feeling ever..