“Lem bilis, ihanda mo yun sasakyan, kailangan nating dalhin sa ospital si Ricardo.”
A very distressed Manang Fe found an unconscious Richard in his room the following morning.
They rushed Richard to the hospital and had him airlifted to Manila so that he could be given the best medical care which is lacking in San Nicolas.
The family doctor advised Manang Fe that it is best for Richard to be brought to Manila. He didn’t want to take chances.
Richard had a congenital heart disease when he was born. It was already healed, but his doctor didn’t want to risk his health, not when he found some abnormalities in Richard’s heartbeat when Mang Lem and Manang Fe rushed him to the hospital.
Maya has decided to face Richard and explain everything to him. She would face his anger and promised herself to make it up to him.
While nervously anticipating Richard’s visit that day, Maya suddenly felt sick. A wave of nausea hit her.
She rushed to their bathroom.
Maya had been throwing up that morning.
Her mother who was rubbing her back already had her suspicion on what could be her daughter’s condition.
That same day, while Maya was home waiting for Richard to visit, Aling Teresita went to the nearby pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test kit.
Manang Fe was listening to Dr. Gallardo’s explanation. He was the Lim’s family doctor for years. Actually his uncle was the late Don Roberto’s doctor and he took the responsibility to continue their family’s services to the Lim’s when his uncle couldn’t work anymore.
Richard had a mild stroke. His body was subjected to extreme stress, lack of food, lack of sustenance and lack of sleep. What made it worse was his inebriation the day before. His body wasn’t used to taking alcoholic drinks so it led to his mild stroke.
Richard was lucky enough that it wasn’t a full blown stroke.
Manang Fe stayed by his side. Mang Lem was there as well. Mang Anastacio was left in San Nicolas for he was needed by their office staff there.
Richard was slipping in and out of consciousness. The doctors needed to sedate him for he was so determined to leave the hospital.
Days and weeks passed by and Maya had been waiting for Richard. She would tell him about her pregnancy. She knows he will be happy. She hopes he will be.
She was 2 months pregnant but since it wasn’t visible yet, she decided to continue working. It was the last month of the school year anyway.
She was busy in her desk checking some test papers and was surprised when Mother Elena showed up.
She was surprised for she seldom drops by the faculty room.
“Good morning po, Mother Elena.”
She nodded her head and smiled at Maya.
“Good morning Maya. Can you follow me to my office?”
Maya was in Mother Elena’s office. She was nervously anticipating what could be the reason for her being called.
“Maya, I am sure you are aware of our school’s policies. You have been one of our best teachers and I am so proud of you for that.”
Maya was just quietly seated in front of Mother Elena.
“Richard Lim was here weeks ago. I never expected to see him like that. He was drunk and he didn’t look good. I was honestly very disappointed. And then he told me about your relationship. Maya totoo ba?”
She just nodded her head, got teary eyed and she could no longer look at Mother Elena.
“Maya hindi ako galit. I don’t actually have the right to meddle with your personal affairs. It may be unethical but Richard doesn’t study here anymore so okay na rin sana but we are talking about Richard Lim. You are aware of what he went through all these years, tama Maya?”
“As much as possible I want Richard to reach his dreams, to succeed in his chosen field. I owe his grandfather that.”
Maya had her head bowed down.
“I’m not asking you to avoid him or not see him. I just would like to request for you to end your relationship temporarily. I don’t think Richard is mature enough to handle one from what I witnessed. He doesn’t need any distractions either. Richard is an emotional person and he is very much in love from what I saw in him. I just want to avoid accidents Maya. I’m sure you know what I mean.”
She definitely knows what Mother Elena was talking about. That was the very predicament she’s gotten herself into.
After that talk with Mother Elena, Maya came up with the decision of resigning from her job. She would keep her baby but she would wait for Richard to finish his studies before she reveals about their baby.
She felt like she was a hindrance to Richard’s success. She was aware that he could reach his potential if he doesn’t have a responsibility to worry about.
Maya submitted her resignation letter a week after. Her reason was she needs to go for an opportunity to work abroad.
The school, after much hesitation relented. Mother Elena wasn’t aware of it for she was in a pilgrimage when Maya resigned.
Richard underwent an operation to clear a blocked passage to his heart.
Though his condition wasn’t that serious, his doctor decided to perform the operation so that Richard won’t have to worry about it anymore in the future.
While he was recovering in the hospital, he was incessantly asking Manang Fe about Maya.
Manang Fe informed him that she still couldn’t contact Maya.
She didn’t tell Richard anymore that she actually talked to Maya few days before her flight to Dubai to work there as what Maya told her.
Manang Fe went to see Maya with the intention to ask her to at least visit Richard in the hospital.
After not showing up for the supposed proposal, Manang Fe already had her reservations on Maya’s feelings for Richard.
She was hurt for what she did to Richard but she was also aware that he needs her. So with that in mind, she sought to see and talk to Maya.
“Maya anak, hindi ko naman alam kung ano ang nangyari sa inyo ni Ricardo. Nakikiusap lang ako na sana puntahan mo siya.”
“Manang Fe, mas makakabuti po na hindi na ako makita ni Richard. Paalis na po kasi ako para magtrabaho sa Dubai. Mas hindi kami masasaktan kung hindi na kami magkita. Tutal ilang linggo na rin naman ang nakalipas na.”
“Manang mas mapagtutuunan ng pansin ni Richard yung pagaaral nya at ako naman yun trabaho ko. Marami pa po akong pangarap Manang. Alam ko na mas makakabuti sa amin eto.”
Naluha si Manang Fe para sa alaga niya.
“O sige Maya mauuna na ako. Mag-ingat ka as Dubai anak. Wag mong papabayaan ang sarili mo.”
“Maraming salamat po Manang. Alagaan nyo po si Richard para sa akin.”
Manang just gave her a sad smile.
“Nasaktan ng masyado si Ricardo Maya. Mahal na mahal ka nya.”
“Mahal ko rin siya Manang. Sobra. Kaya lang kailangan kong gawin ito.”
“O siya anak. Ikumusta mo na lang ako sa nanay mo.”
Manang Fe left without telling her of what Richard went through. She no longer informed Maya that Richard was hospitalized, underwent a surgery and was recovering now. She didnt tell her anymore that she was the first person he asks for every morning.
It doesnt matter anymore.
Maya tried her best to control her tears.
That was her last encounter with anyone related to Richard Lim.
“Sir Richard, sabi po ni Manang Fe pumasok na daw kayo sa loob.”
He was brought back to the present time when Joma knocked at his car window.
“Sige Joma. Susunod na ako.”
After what Maya confessed, Richard went on to reminisce what happened between them.
It had been years and he was already healed. Well maybe that’s what he wanted to believe. What Maya said confused him. He would have to clear it with her soon. It doesn’t matter if he’ll get hurt again in the process.
Maya remembered all the pain she caused Richard before.
She is happy for him now. He is successful, he seemed happily married and there seems to be a lot in store for him.
She was genuinely pleased with what he became.
But she admits the painful truth that it is not her he’s sharing his life with.