Angel of our Hearts 10

Snow was excitedly running towards Luke’s grave. The dog seemed to know where his former owner and friend Luke is.

“Hey Snow wait up!”

Dr. Richard Lim, in his jeans, plain shirt and sneakers, was trailing behind with a box of cake, flowers, candles and a large paper bag containing the latest Millennium Falcon Lego set.

Inside his car were chocolate drinks in tetra packs, cupcakes and loot bags with toys and candies for the kids within the area. He will be distributing it to them later.

It was Luke’s birthday and just like the past years, he never failed to visit the boy he grew to love.

He never failed to visit Luke on every ocassion he could think of – Christmas, New Year, his birthday, even Maya’s birthday.

He would even show up on non-working holidays or when he just wanted some peace and quiet.

Whether he does it out of guilt, out of affinity to the boy, as a way of saying sorry to his mother, he doesn’t know anymore.

What he is sure of is it gives him a certain kind of happiness being able to do it.

Maybe he wanted to chance upon seeing Maya here too.

Years have passed yet he still couldn’t get over her.

He tried to date other women but it was always a first date. He never followed up on any of them.

His two closest friends Dr. Ryan and Dra. Celeste also tried to set him up with some women whom they thought would capture his attention, his heart but they never succeeded.

He got tired of trying to find someone else to forget Maya so he just stopped.

He was used to being alone anyway.

==================

It was just 6am and he was playing with Snow while enjoying the solitude of the place.

This was his routine everytime he visits.

“Now kiddo we’re going to build this thing. Watch Tito Ricky, okay?”

He was leisurely sitting on the grass beside Luke’s grave.

Snow was lying down near him, watching him as he prepares to build the huge ‘Millennium Falcon’ Lego set.

“This will take quite sometime but don’t worry, I have the whole day for you.”

He’s been talking to Luke as if he’s really in front of him.

His concentration was disturbed by Snow’s sudden excitement. He was barking and wagging his tail.

He turned around to see what made his rambunctious Maltese puppy very excited.

Then he saw her, the only woman who always invades his thoughts, the only one who never ceased to make his heart beat faster like it does now.

He saw her staring at him with the smile that he never thought he would see again.

Ricky hurriedly stood up to approach her.

He wanted to wrap his arms around her but he wasn’t sure if he is still allowed to do so, if it is proper.

He just stood there, his eyes conveying happiness just seeing her.

He was dumbfounded.

There are many things running in his mind which he wanted to tell her but all he managed to say was….

“Maya…”

Maya ran towards him, flung her arms around him and hugged him so tight. Ricky hugged her tightly as well.

His heart was overwhelmed with happiness at her mere presence. He couldn’t contain it anymore that his tears fell from his eyes while he was engulfed in her very tight hug.

When she finally released him, she saw his face wet with tears.

She wiped his tear-streaked face with her hands.

Ricky was just staring at her lovingly afraid that if he blinks, he might wake up from this wonderful dream.

“Ricky!!!”

Maya hugged him again and now she was the one crying, smiling while crying.

As they disengaged from the embrace they shared, Maya clung to his arms tightly as if afraid to let go of him. He loved the feeling. She was here with him.

“I missed you Maya. How are you?”

They were now walking towards Luke’s grave.

They sat beside each other on the grass with Maya still clinging to him. He just allowed her.

“Eto kararating lang ng isang Linggo. Sa Dubai ako nagtratrabaho Ricky.”

“I know.” He sadly stated.

“I missed you din Ricky.” She shyly told him.

“You did?”

“Oo naman. Sobra.”

“I thought kinalimutan mo na ako Maya.” He bowed his head. He’s getting teary eyed again.

“Hindi. Bakit mo naman naisip yun?”

“You just left me. You didn’t give me a chance to see you before you left. I thought you just wanted to forget me.”

“May reasons ako kung bakit ako lumayo Ricky. Pero tapos na yun. Matagal na yun. Lumayo ako pero hindi ibig sabihin kinalimutan na kita.”

“Well that’s how I saw it Maya. Honestly I was really hurt.” He held her hand then caressed it.

He continued.

“Sorry Maya ha. Siguro kung hindi nawala si Luke, siguro kung napagaling ko siya, you wouldn’t have left me. Siguro hindi ka lumayo. I’m really sorry.” His voice was quavering as he was on the verge of crying.

Maya’s eyes grew big hearing what he said, hearing the pain in his voice.

“Ricky hinding hindi kita sinisisi sa pagkamatay ni Luke! I’m even very thankful that kasama ka namin sa mga huling buwan niya.”

His head was still bowed down, he was trying hard not to break down in front of her.

She cupped his face willing him to look at her.

“Tumingin ka nga. Wala kang kasalanan Ricky. Napakaswerte namin ni Luke na nandun ka.”

“Then why did you leave me?”

Maya was about to explain herself when suddenly….

“Maya tulungan mo muna kami dito.”

Jeff was shouting from afar. He had a picnic basket with him and he needs Maya’s extra hand to carry the other stuff they brought.

She stood up.

“Sandali lang Ricky.”

She left him to go to Jeff.

Ricky saw Maya rushing towards the good looking guy. They were smiling at each other while the guy gave her the picnic basket. He also saw a boy, probably aged 2 or 3 with them.

His heart was breaking at the sight before him.

Ricky hurriedly stood up. Gathered his things and was preparing to leave.

“Ricky aalis ka na?”

Maya wondered and worriedly asked.

Jeff went back to their car to gather their other stuff.

Cho was with Maya now.

“Ah oo. May pasyente ako.” He lied.

“Ricky…” Maya knows very well that he is not telling the truth. She knows that he usually spends his whole day here on Luke’s birthday.

“Maya I don’t want to intrude. This is your private family time. Lagi naman akong nandito every year so kayo naman na. I’ll leave the toy na lang. Promise ko kasi yan kay Luke.”

He was obviously hurting.

She knows that he must be assuming wrongly about Jeff, about Cho. She hid a smile and maintained her serious face.

“Pero Ricky, pamilya ka na namin. At magagalit si Luke sa akin kung hahayaan kitang umalis.”

“But Maya….”

She just held on to his arms, not allowing him to leave.

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Dreams and Family

She is now a full fledged flight attendant.

She is well-loved and an easy favorite of the passengers of every flight she’s in.

Even her co-FAs are all fond of her.

Her positive aura radiates everywhere she goes and her smile is infectious to everybody she encounters.

Just being in a place where she is dissipates worries, sadness, fear and gloom.

Even a brief interaction with her could turn a not-so-good-day to a day full of positivity.

That’s Maya de la Rosa – most awarded and most loved employee of Time Airways.

Since the time she joined TA HongKong, there had been a significant increase of passengers choosing the airlines.

Some were taking chances that it was her on their flight.

Some also didn’t mind if she’s in the flight or not because her positivity already affected most of the FAs of Time Airways and they are all now adapting the “Maya way of service”.

This is her second year at the Time Airways Hong Kong Office.

The TA CEO personally picked her after being impressed by her outstanding performance while she was still a trainee.

She’s been travelling all over Asia and since she’s at the top of her job, she’s been oftentimes requested to cover for FAs who can’t make it on flights to Europe and US.

Maya is not complaining.

It was her ultimate dream to be travelling all over the world.

Soon she will be allowed to bring her family abroad as an incentive for top FAs of Time Airways.

Just the thought of it is motivation enough to work hard.

She’s doing all these for her family.

She wants them to be happy.

She wants them to experience the promise her father wasn’t able to fulfill, that is to travel to various places all over the world.

She wants them to be proud of her.

Most of all she is doing this for someone who has been very important to her for the last three years, her former employer, turned mentor, turned confidante, turned friend – Richard Lim.

She wants him to be proud of her.

She wants to prove to him that she was worthy of his support.

After all, she never forgets the fact that Richard Lim was instrumental in helping her reach her dreams.

Richard always refuses to take credit and always reminds her that she would still reach the point she’s in now even though they haven’t met because of her determination, perseverance and hardwork.

Yes, Maya, even after having left the Lim household 2 years ago is still very much in constant communication with all the members of the family she cared for so much.

She’s been FB and twitter friends with the Lim kids – Luke, Nikki and Abby.

She’s also FB friends with Doris, Sabel, Joma, Liza, Rafi, and even Manang Fe who asked Doris and Sabel to create an FB account for her too.

Luke is now studying in the US and he still calls her whenever he wants to seek advice regarding life, girls, school stuff when he is too embarrassed to ask his dad.

He calls her during every special occasion, holidays, her birthday, whenever he passed an important exam, when he needs tips on cooking for someone at his apartment.

Yes despite being in college now, Luke is closer to Maya.

During one of her flights to the US, they were given two days off to enjoy the place and visit some relatives.

Since she didn’t have friends and relatives, she contacted Luke who was so happy and excited with the news.

Luke made it a point to fetch her at the airport, treated her to a nice dinner and even spent a big part of his allowance to book her a nice hotel near his place.

She is very important to him after being instrumental in healing their family three years ago.

He’s forever grateful to Maya and he wants to show her that.

He wants her to remain a part of their family and, though he’s far, he’s making it a point to take every opportunity to strengthen their ties with Maya and make her feel loved and make her feel that she’s very important to them.

“Guys, this is my Tita Maya, she’s actually more like a mom to me and my sisters”, Luke beamed while introducing her to his friends.

Maya was so touched hearing this.

He toured Maya to his school and showed her his apartment.

He even introduced her to the girl he’s courting in his school.

Joey, his former love interest entered the convent and Luke easily accepted it.

He is now courting a schoolmate who is also a scholar, like him.

She’s a Filipina too.

But unlike Joey, she is more adventurous, bubbly and as Luke described her –
“parang ikaw Tita Maya, masayahin, palaging positive at nakakatawa na nakakatuwa.”

“Nakakatawa pala Luke ha!”

“Ah, uhm, ang ibig ko pong sabihin, napapangiti nya din ako palagi, like you to dad.”

“Oo na di ka na kelangan magexplain”, she was laughing coz she’s seeing Richard in Luke.

“Pati kung pano magpalusot pareho kayo”, she said this to herself.

Luke is growing up like his dad -responsible, thoughtful, intelligent, good looking and charming too, she thought.

She sees Richard in him.

God she misses him.

Now she wished Richard was here.

It would have been romantic to have dinner in an unfamiliar place with him, visit new places with him, experience new things with him.

“Tita, let’s have lunch na muna before I drive you to the airport.”

“Ah cge Luke, tara kain na muna tayo pero treat ko ngayon. Atsaka di mo na ako kelangan ihatid. Pwede naman akong magpasundo kasi may service naman yun Time Airways office dito.”

“But Tita, I insist and please don’t argue. You won’t win”, he really sounded like his dad and it amused her.

“Hay naku, parang si Ser Chief lang, ah!”

They both laughed.

=================

“Sige Tita, you have a safe flight. Thanks for visiting.”

“Maraming salamat Luke. Pasensiya na sa istorbo ha.”

“Naku Tita, hindi istorbo yun. Kahit nga araw araw ka nandito, mas okay yun”, he sincerely said.

Maya smiled.

“Tita, thanks for taking care of us kahit wala ka na sa bahay. Sana wag kang magsawang alagaan at intindihin si dad.Pasensiyahan mo na rin ang kaartehan ni Niks at kakulitan ni Abby. We love you Tita.”

Luke was serious and a bit sad now.

“Of course Luke. Pamilya ko na kayo. Di na magbabago yun. O cge, bumalik ka na. Ingat sa pagmaneho ha. Tawagan mo agad ako pag nakauwi ka na. Salamat sa lahat”, she was now teary eyed.

Luke hugged her tightly.

“Sige Luke, bye”, she waved goodbye and entered the airport when Luke’s car was out of sight.

===============

Nikki is now a Senior.

She grew up to be a responsible sister and daughter.

She would always send messages to Maya and would ask her advice on girl stuff, those she can never tell her dad.

Nikki and Maya’s bond started when she chaperoned her during Luke’s prom, when Nikki was invited by a senior.

She was more than a chaperone to her.

In fact Nikki was vocal to her dad and kuya that Maya was like a mom during the prom.

She was incessantly telling them over breakfast, the morning after the prom, that she was really happy Maya was there coz she didn’t feel deprived of a mom.

Luke was agreeing with his sister.

“Di ba kuya, she was so maalaga. I felt like Abby when I’m with her. Atsaka she was so galit when she learned of Inigo’s plan. Parang tiger mode din gaya ni dad,”

Abby was amusingly watching them.

“You can be her baby too ate Nikki. Pareho din po kayong madaldal ni tita Maya.”

“Oo nga Niks, tuwang tuwa ka nga at nakalimutan mo na nandun sina Stacey at Megan kasi busy kayong nagkwekwentuhan ni ate maya. At take note dad, hindi si Iñigo ang topic nila kundi si Nicolo.”

“Hindi kaya kuya. Ate maya was just asking about nicolo so I answered lang naman her questions atsaka bat naming paguusapan si Iñigo eh may dark plan pala siya that’s why he invited me.”

Richard was overflowing with happiness listening to the banter of his kids.

He was even happier that they were talking about her.

“Actually kuya, three questions lang naman ang tinanong ni ate Maya about Nicolo. First where he will study, second if he is courting someone sa school and third if he’s making me asar.”

“Talaga? So anong sagot mo?”

“I’m not interested in making kwento about him kuya. Mas like ko yun mga tanong ni ate Maya about dad.”

She was looking at her dad while saying this.

Richard almost choked on the bread he was eating.

He became self-conscious all of a sudden scared that an extra expression, extra slip of the tongue would reveal his true feelings for Maya.

He is not ready to share it with his kids yet.

But he badly wants to know what they talked about.

“Me? What about Nikki?”

“Oh dad, she was asking if you eat regularly, if you stay late at night sa principals office (the kids chuckle at the name maya gave his office), if you have problems at work, if you are masungit? Madami dad!”

“And?”

Richard was waiting for Nikki to continue.

“I told her na di ka na masungit. Actually slight na lang. Pero I told her na you are more kuripot now kasi you didn’t even buy her a pair of shoes to match the dress I advised you to buy.”

Nikki was teasing him.

“Practical Nikki. Im practical. Besides you didn’t tell me that I should buy shoes too. And I resent being called such. I didn’t even look at the price of that dress.”

He is slightly irritated at the accusation that he didn’t want to spend for her.

Of course he would spend anything to make her happy.

“Hala ka Niks, napipikon na si dad.”

“Daddy, im just teasing you atsaka I know you are practical, and its not a bad thing dad, ha! It’s a very good trait.”

He wasn’t sure if Nikki was sincere or just trying to take back what she said awhile ago.

“Tita maya told me to show my stars in school kay daddy. And also to kiss daddy everytime you are tired para daw maalis pagod nyo.”

Abby saved the conversation.

“Aww that’s so sweet. I so miss her na talaga kuya.”

“Si dad kasi eh, hindi pinigilan. Sana di na siya umalis. Kung malapit lang edad namin ni ate Maya, liligawan ko siya. Parang ang perfect nya maging wife and mom.”

“Naku kuya di kayo bagay. Mas super bagay sila ni dad, right dad?”

“You’re going to be late. Pahatid na kayo kay Joma.”

“Naman dad wala po kaming pasok. You see, hindi kami nakauniform.”

“Uy si daddy, iniiba ang topic. Mali naman yun diversion.”

Nikki teasingly tells him again.

He knows the teasing won’t stop so he excused himself and prepared to go to his work.

Though he feels awkward during these teasing sessions with the kids, he loved it.

He feels some unfamiliar sensation whenever he is being teased to Maya.

No not unfamiliar but a sensation he long ago tried to forget.

He is thankful that the kids do this infront of him only and not when Manang Fe, Doris, Sabel or even Joma is around.

Most especially he is thankful that they don’t do it infront of Maya for he’s not sure how he would react.

His kids really love her.

Instead of talking about their prom dates, here they are talking about this wonderful person who they all miss right now.

Richard was certain that he felt something for Maya long before the prom, long before he knew that she has a crush on him.

This explains the way he felt when he thought she was going out on a date.

This explains why he felt a certain pain when he saw her hug Simon, her suitor.

This explains why he is always looking forward to the end of the day when she would bring her coffee and talk about the events of the day.

“Sir chief kape nyo po.” God he misses hearing this.

Despite the realization, Richard chose to keep it to himself.

He wants her to pursue and fulfill her dreams.

He wanted her to grow into the confident and beautiful (inside and out) person he is certain she would become.

He doesn’t want to hinder her journey to fulfill these dreams because he knows Maya so well.

He knows that if he did court her, she would have a hard time choosing between him or her longtime dream of being an FA.

He wants to spare her from this difficult life-changing decision.

But Richard made sure that he was with her in every step towards fulfilling her dreams.

He made sure to be a friend- a very good friend.

He would mentor her about everything he knew about the airline industry.

Even now that she’s with TA HK, Richard would send her emails everyday.

She’s the first person he shares news with regarding the kids, his company, and anything under the sun.

Whenever he learns that she’s going to be on a flight to a new country, Richard would spend time to research about the culture of the country and he would right away send it to Maya so she would be prepared.

This has been their routine for the past three years.

================

“Bat parang ang saya mo ngayon Ser Chief?”, they were chatting on skype.

“You don’t want it na masaya ako? And why Ser Chief this time? Di ba Richard na yan?”

“Naninibago lang kasi extra ang saya mo ngayon. Tumatagos nga sa monitor eh.”

They both laughed.

“Atsaka mas type kong tawagin kang ser chief. Paglalambing lang ba.”, the last line was almost a whisper but he heard it.

Naglalambing ka sa akin, maya?”, he was teasing her.

“Naku ibig ko pong sabihin, ah, eh…”

She can’t find her way out of this.

She was tempted to turn off skype.

Richard though amused wanted to spare her of embarrassment and tension going on.

“It’s okay Maya. Sanay naman ako sa’yo. Malambing ka naman sa lahat ng tao. Sakin nga bihira lang. At least ngayon oo na rin.”

“Ser Chief, kumusta sa opisina nyo?”, she averted the topic.

“Very good. LAS is doing great this year. Infact we will be awarded as the top company in aviation in two weeks time. Im also back to being the businessman of the year.”, he proudly told her.

“Wow nakakatuwa naman yan Ser chief. Im sure masaya sina Ma’m Liza, Ser Sonny, Engr Yamagutchi at lahat sa opisina nyo. Pati na rin ang mga bata at sina Manang Fe. Ang galing nyo talaga. Kaya pala sobra ang saya mo.”, she was so happy with the news.

She knows aside from the kids, the company is the most important thing to Richard.

She still wasn’t aware that like the kids, she has been the most important person to Richard for a long time, even when she was still at the mansion.

This was evident on the way he treated her, his concern about her studies, her training, his jealousy when he saw her happily giggling with Capt Ventura and of course the first time she went out on a date with Simon.

The date with Simon, well that was, to him, the proof of how affected he was with the thought that she was with another guy.

One of Richard’s talent is keeping his emotions to himself.

He is guarding his heart which have been broken after Alex died.

A/N. Old file again. Post ko pa rin. May kasunod but need to edit pa. 😁