Richard immediately entered his car, turned on the ignition and drove as fast as he could. He had been subjected to all kinds of emotions that day and he was so overwhelmed already.
He wanted to understand what just happened.
He was totally surprised at what Maya said.
He knows that her sudden confession should make him feel happy. It should have removed the pain he’s been keeping in his heart all these years.
He is happy to know that it was not only him who seemed miserable after they ended or rather she ended what they had years ago. He was, but that happiness came with regret, anger at himself.
He berated himself for giving up easily seven years ago. Oh well, he believed that he did everything he could to convince her not to leave him. He pleaded, he begged.
Begged. This word has totally struck a chord in him. It brought him back to his last encounter with Mother Elena
“What happened to you Richard?”
Mother Elena reprimanded an unshaven, drunk and incoherent Richard Lim waiting inside her office.
“Gooood eevening Mother Elenaaa.” He slurred his words.
“Richard you are drunk!” Mother Elena raised her voice totally disappointed at the sight in front of her.
“Just, just a feeew bottles po… to haavve courage to ask abouut Mmma…yaa.”
“Maya? You mean Ms. Dela Rosa?”
“Yes, the one and only, my geerlllfriennd, Maya” He beamed, proudly smiling at what he revealed to Mother Elena.
Mother Elena was surprised at what Richard said. She did not like what she heard. She has been so strict with regards to teacher and student relationships and find them unethical.
“Oh so Ms. Dela Rosa is your girlfriend.”
“Yes!” He proudly exclaimed at her with glassy eyes.
“So if Ms. Dela Rosa is your girlfriend, why are you drunk? Is that her effect on you? This is not the Richard Lim that I know.”
Mother Elena was disappointed.
She left Richard who was sprawled on the sofa of her office. He passed out due to drunkeness.
She dialed Richard Lim’s home number.
The moment Richard left, Maya sat on their living room sofa needing support at that moment. She felt so weak, so vulnerable, so embarrassed at what she confessed.
It was never her intention to open up to Richard but the pain she felt compelled her to say what she felt.
Now she is again regretting it. Like how she regetted doing what she did years ago.
They just celebrated their 2nd anniversary then. Richard was now 3rd year college while Maya was still working at Northwest Hills. Before they became a couple, Maya and Richard were already the best of friends.
She was his confidante, his adviser and his source of happiness. They shared every success together and they faced challenges and problems be it in their personal life , career or school together.
Their relationship was laid back, like more- than-friends yet less-than-lovers kind of thing. Richard was a complete gentleman and Maya was his first girlfriend. Maya too is a very conservative lady, having been raised by her mom Teresita alone. Her focus was to succeed in her profession. She had bigger plans for her and her mother. She wanted to pursue further studies in her education field, she wanted to be able to give her mother the life she deserves.
She wasn’t supposed to accept Richard for a boyfriend having promised herself that she would never get into a relationship if she hadn’t reached her goals yet but, she couldn’t resist her bestfriend, who undeniably, is every other woman’s ideal guy.
Richard on his college years became more attractive, more handsome. He exuded confidence. He became more responsible especially for the household, properties, companies and foundations his grandfather left. He was faced with a very big responsibility when his grandfather died when he was younger. With a competent staff, what his grandfather left when he died was well taken cared of but now that Richard is grown up, he took it upon himself to manage what his grandfather left of course with their very loyal staff he considers his family.
Their relationship was convenient for both of them and it inspired them in eveything they’ve been doing. No one dared to level it into a certain kind of intimacy with the fear of not knowing how to handle it.
Everything had been smooth until Richard had been accepted in the Berklee College of Music for a full study grant.
They were both ecstatic with the news. It had been Richard’s dream to be able to study music and instruments in that very prestigious school. Music was actually his life and being able to be admitted in Berklee was a dream come true to him.
They both made plans already. Richard was going to stay there for a full four year music course. They were happily planning it and Maya was very supportive.
But as the euphoria died down, alone in her room, Maya would cry herself to sleep as Richard’s departure gets closer. She doesn’t know how she could handle not seeing him for a very long time.
In truth, though she was the more mature one in their relationship, she was the one with insecurities, she was the dependent one.
She can’t take the thought of Richard meeting other women who would definitely get attracted to him. She can’t bear the thought that he might eventually find someone better than her.
Two weeks before his scheduled departure, they were celebrating Maya’s new position in school. Richard did everything to make their sort of last celebration special.
He asked Manang Fe to prepare one of their cottages in a beach resort they own. They were to spend the weekend together. This was always their way of celebrating special ocassions since both of them loved to swim and loved the sea.
But during that certain weekend, Maya was already not a very good companion. She was moody, sad and she was mad at herself for being such when she was supposed to make Richard happy on this sort of last celebration together before he leaves for Boston.
She even provoked him just to elicit an argument. Maybe she wanted anger more than sadness. She thought that if he leaves while she’s mad at him, it would be easier for her to come to terms with his departure.
“Maya, hey what’s the matter with you?”
Richard said when he sensed that Maya wasn’t as excited as he is with their short weekend getaway.
“Nothing. Im just tired. Nakakapagod yun trabaho.”
“That’s the reason why we’re here. Para makaunwind. Halika na dito. Im making a schedule on how we should regularly communicate kahit nandun ako.”
Richard was holding a planner which he prepared. He meticulously prepared one which showed the time of both philippines and boston so they could decide on the best schedule and time to talk to each other.
But Maya showed disinterest.
“Hindi naman importante yan. Im sure pag nandun ka na, magiging sobrang busy ka na. You wouldn’t even bother to keep that schedule once magstart na yun classes nyo.”
She was in a foul mood and he already sensed that she was in for an argument.
“Hey, don’t say that. Did I ever give you a reason to think of me as someone who would not keep my promise?”
She just shook her head and turned her back on him.
She hates herself so much for trying to pick a fight with him but she cant help it. She’s becoming emotional because the truth is she doesn’t want him to leave.
“Sige na Chard. Magpapahangin na muna ako.”
“This is supposed to be our last celebration together. Bakit nagkakaganyan ka?”
“Yun na nga LAST. How could we even celebrate? Sabagay, when you get there, mas masaya dun and you’ll get to experience new things that a boring person like me could never do.”
He was surprised at what she said. He never wanted her to feel bad about him leaving.
“Maya, I could stay if you want me too. You are far more important than anything or anyone. Bakit nagkakaganyan ka?”
He tried to reach for her but she entered her room and closed the door behind him.
She cried. She hated herself for the way she acted. She was immature, unreasonable and completely unfair to him.
“Maya please. Ayaw ko na nagkakaganyan ka. Please tell me what to do.”
He was pleading.
Disregarding modesty, reason, she opened the door.
She went to him, held his face with one hand then his nape with the other then gave him a full kiss of longing, kiss of all the love she has in her heart for him.
He wasn’t able to react. It was too much for him. He just stood glued to the floor, not returning her kiss.
She broke the kiss feeling rejected, unwanted, unforgiven, unloved. She was looking straight into his eyes while crying.
“Maya… I’m… I don’t….”
“I just wanted to feel how it’s like Chard kasi with the years you will be away, I’m no longer sure if I will still be able to do that. Baka…. baka may iba ka nang mahanap dun…”
That did it for him. He now cupped her face and kissed her full of passion with the simmering desire he had always felt for her but was afraid to even try before.
Maya just closed her eyes, allowing Richard what he is doing.
He brought her to her bedroom and closed the door. There is no turning back for he himself wanted her for a very long time already. They ignored all caution and fear and gave in to what they both are feeling at the moment.
So in that room at his grandfather’s resort, Maya and Richard became one. They never realized that the one mistake could change their lives forever.