Maya didn’t report for work the next 5 days.
She called in sick. She didn’t want to face Richard.
She couldn’t face him.
She promised to restrain herself from doing something that could risk the friendship they have now, but that’s what she actually did when she allowed herself to be vulnerable to the feelings of regret , pain and loneliness she have been harbouring all these years.
And she couldn’t face him. She was ashamed of what she did.
She called her husband to calm herself. She needed him right now.
Luke, never failed to attend his classes though his mom wasn’t with him.
One thing that Luke got from his father was his sense of independence. He could really handle himself despite his young age.
Richard was there for Luke. He would eat with him during lunch and he sees to it that the boy would be fetched by his yaya before he even goes home.
He knows that his mom’s being absent from work for the 5th day now, has something to do with what happened last Sunday.
He didn’t like the idea that Luke was alone because his mom couldn’t even have the courage to face him.
He now doubts the reason she gave him before. He now believes that there’s more to her claim of just being emotional or insulted when he said that the 2 years they had wasn’t important.
The look in her eyes revealed something else.
There was sadness and pain. He was so sure of it.
He wanted to confirm what he saw.
“Maya can we talk?”
He went to her place while Luke was still in school.
“What should we talk about Chard?”
“What happened the other day, I mean yun… the things you said…. the..”
He couldn’t continue.
“There’s nothing to talk about anymore. I’ve been humiliated enough for what I did. I’ve embarrassed myself twice already. Ayoko nang alalahanin pa ang mga yun.”
She cut him short.
“Siguro I just acted that way because I was really hoping for a closure, so we could really move forward.”
“That doesn’t seem like wanting a closure Maya. Please.. let’s talk about it.”
“It’s just that Chard. No other reasons. Please don’t put more meaning to it. Besides we both have our own lives already. We wouldn’t want to hurt our loved ones by this silliness of trying to unearth what is in the past, what already happened.”
She was adamant and Richard could clearly sense that there’s more to what she’s trying to project.
“Please don’t leave me hanging after what happened. I have many questions Maya. All these years I’ve been wondering…”
“Those questions are better left unanswered Chard. Please wag na nating guluhin pa.”
“But Maya how can we achieve that so-called closure of yours if we wont lay our cards on the table. How can we move on if we don’t face the issues that has long been buried?”
“Open it up then what?”
“I just need to know the reasons Maya. I need to know why you just suddenly shut me out of your life. I just need to know what I did or what I didn’t do for you to just leave me. Yun lang. I’m not asking for anything else. I just need to know.”
Silence engulfed them then while trying to act all brave and calm Maya said…
“I just fell out of love. You are too young for me. I met someone else.” She lied.
“That’s it?” He asked. His face has a pained expression. He’s looking directly into her eyes.
“Yes.” Her eyes evaded his.
He knows Maya and one thing about her is her inability to lie. Maybe that’s why she hid herself from him for all these years. Whatever reason she had, she wanted it kept to herself alone.
“Chard it’s getting late. You need to go home. I need to do things. Padating na rin sina Luke.” She tried to change the topic.
“I will go home Maya but just this once, please look directly in my eyes and tell me that you don’t love me anymore. Tell me that I no longer have a space in your heart.”
“Chard… please leave.”
“No Maya… just look at me and tell me that.”
He then cupped her face making her look at him.
Her eyes couldn’t look at him directly and she couldn’t take it anymore.
Her eyes are now filled with tears that would spill any moment soon.
He’s still looking into her eyes. He still held her face .
She couldn’t bear it any longer. She let out the tears she’s been trying to hold.
He automatically hugged her tight, kissing the top of her head.
“I know Maya… I know… thank you…”
He was overwhelmed with the realization that she still had feelings for him. She definitely loves him. He was right all along. He tried to ignore it but all the things she did from the moment they saw each other again after 7 years were enough reasons for him to be sure of her feelings for him.
She wouldn’t be so affected if she indeed didn’t love him anymore.
After all these years, he got the answer that he had been searching for. He was right all along. Maya wouldn’t just forget him. She cared for him. She loved him .
Now he needs to find out why, despite her evident love for him, did she allow herself to suffer and pretend that her love was non-existent anymore. What big reason did she have to leave him. He needs to know.
Maya stayed engulfed in his embrace, not wanting to leave the warmth and comfort she derives from him.
She silently sobbed in regret for the love that she denied herself all these years.
They stood at the middle of the room for a couple of minutes. No one is speaking. They just needed to be in each others arms.
Then all of a sudden…
Both Richard and Maya automatically disengaged from the hug they’ve been sharing.
Their eyes automatically darted towards the owner of the voice.
Standing by the door is James Ventura.
Preview of next chapter.
“It’s not like that James. Please makinig ka naman.”
“And what am i supposed to think Maya? Pinapunta mo ako dito and then I would witness that scene?”
“You don’t understand James.”
“The hell I don’t. I could easily kill that guy. Wag na wag siyang magpapakita sa’kin.”