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