The Heart Never Forgets 14
James was at one of the church benches. He was waiting for Luke to finish his choir practice. Suddenly someone sat beside him.
“Great to see you here James.”
James gave Mother Elena a big hug which she gladly accepted.
“You are waiting for Luke?”
“Opo. He is there practicing.”
James pointed to where the choir was.
“So kumusta ka na James? How’s your dad Jaime? Your mom?”
“Okay naman po si Dad. Mom is too. They wanted to visit din kaya lang I told them to do it kapag Pasko para naman they’ll enjoy it more.”
“Ikaw kumusta ka?”
“Si Mother Elena talaga. I’m good. Never been better actually.”
“You saw Rafi already?”
“No not yet. But we’re good naman po. We talk in Skype sometimes. Makulit pa rin. She really finds it weird that Maya teases me to her.”
“She doesn’t know anything about Maya and Luke?”
“Ah hindi po. She doesn’t atsaka Maya values her privacy a lot. I’m not in any position to tell anyone about her life.”
“Oh that’s good. I’m sure Maya needs that very much too.”
“I’m sure she does.”
“Any plans of bringing them with you?”
“Ayaw naman po ni Maya. She loves it here and Luke is growing up to be a very responsible kid. Mas okay yun environment dito para sa kanila. I don’t want to deprive them of that. And im sure Maya wouldn’t agree as well.”
“I’m certain she won’t. You should have seen the concert. Luke played a vital part. He’s really growing up fast.”
“Opo ang laki na nya and he’s doing great in school and in his other activities. Sayang nga lang I wasn’t here during their concert. Maya was so proud. I saw the video naman. I’m really glad that he had the chance to bond with his dad.”
“Oh Maya told you?”
“Maya tells me everything. Actually I met him yesterday. Seems a great guy. No wonder Maya couldn’t forget him.”
“Richard Lim could never be forgotten.” Mother Elena said with a smile.
James nodded his head and smiled as well.
“Dad were done na po!” Luke was rushing towards James.
“Good morning Mother Elena.” He greeted.
“Oh good morning Luke. How was your practice?”
“It was okay po. Easy na rin po to play yun songs in the piano kasi Tito Richard and I practiced it already.”
“That’s very good Luke.” Then Mother Elena patted the boy’s head.
“Sige na James. I’m sure you need all the time to bond with this very good boy, di ba Luke?”
Luke just gave Mother Elena a beaming smile.
“We’ll go ahead na po Mother Elena. I’ll visit you before I leave. 5 days naman po ako dito.”
“Okay I’ll wait for you James ha! You take care of yourself. Alagaan mo yun mag-ina ha!”
On their way home….
“So Luke how was the concert?”
“It was great dad. I played solo piano and also with the orchestra. I even tried guitar. Nagdance din po ako.”
“Opo. Tito Richard taught me kasi if magaling daw magpiano, magaling din daw mag-guitar. Tapos teacher Rafi made me join the dance din.”
“Mabait si Tito Richard, Luke?”
“Opo and he is also friends with Mom. Pero mas friend nya ako. Si Mom kasi is always busy when Tito Richard drops by the house for our practice. Sabi nga nya mom is masungit.” The little boy chuckled.
“So aside from practice, what do you do?”
“Wala na po. He just comes over if I ask him to teach me a song. Sometimes sa school and sometimes at home. You know him na dad? Dapat mameet mo siya kasi he was asking me where I got my piano skills. Sabi ni mom sa’yo daw po. Masaya if you can show him too na magaling ka sa piano.”
The boy was so proud of his dad.
“Yes I would love to meet him Luke.”
“Si mom kumusta? You’re not giving her a hard time, aren’t you?”
The boy’s eyes grew wide.
“No po! I’m a good boy po.”
“Yeah I know. Your mom told me. I’m really proud of you.”
“Dad aren’t you staying with us?”
“Daddy’s work kasi is there Luke. Your mom doesn’t want to stay there too. Ikaw you want to live with daddy na? Kayo ni mom?”
“Gusto po but malayo kasi. Madami akong friends here and I love my classmates. Si mommy din love na love nya yun work nya and friends nya.”
“But you miss daddy?”
“Opo kasi when may family day si mom lang lagi tapos sina teacher Simon, teacher Jeff. Hindi ko naman sila daddy.”
“You better talk to mom about it. I have lots of pasalubongs pala. May new piano books and also toys.”
“Dad I’m not a kid. I don’t play with toys anymore.”
“Aba and what are you? A teenager? Luke you’re just 6.”
“Pero I’m a big boy na. I’m the one taking of mom na nga eh.”
“Oo na. Sige big boy ka na. Anyway yun toys pwede naman yun sa big boys. I got you a ps4 and also an iron man robot.”
Luke’s face lit up.
“Ricardo, kumain ka muna.”
“Wag na po Manang. I’m already late as it is.”
“Ang tigas naman ng ulo mo. Hayaan mo na ako Ricardo. Ngayon ko lang naman magagawa ito. Aalis ka na rin naman at matagal na di kita makikita. Baka nga di mo na ako makita eh.”
Manang Fe was sad that her ward will be leaving soon and with her age, she may not last long for her to wait for his next visit again.
He sensed her disappointment so he hugged her. He loves Manang Fe so much and he doesn’t want to make her feel bad so he relented in eating the food she prepared.
“Manang I will be visiting you, I promise. Baka nga di na ako umalis eh.”
Manang Fe threw him a glance.
“Seryoso ka? Dahil ba kay Maya? Pero may asawa siya Ricardo. At ikaw rin ay hindi na pwede. Hindi ako sasangayon sa gagawin mo.”
Manang Fe said in a scolding tone.
“Manang relax po. I’m not yet sure. Partly yes, its because of Maya but I will definitely not intrude in her marriage. Hinding hindi ko siya hahayaan na magkasala just for me to be happy. I won’t do that Manang even if I know she still feels something for me which I could use to woo her.”
“Mainam naman. Hindi kita pinalaki para manira ng pamilya. Higit sa lahat, hindi magugustuhan ng lolo mo kung gagawa ka ng ikasisira ng pangalan mo, ng pangalan nya.”
“Manang you know me better than anyone else. Do you think magagawa ko yan?”
“Hindi. Pero pag dating kay Maya hindi ko alam. Hindi na ako sigurado. Matagal ng panahon Ricardo. May sarili na kayong mga buhay ngunit siya pa rin ang nilalaman ng isip at puso mo. Aba, siyempre magaalala ako.”
“Manang I won’t do what you think I might do.”
“Ipangako mo yan. Mahal ka man ni Maya, dumaan na yun pagkakataon ninyong dalawa. Kung hindi man naging kayo, sigurado akong may dahilan. Maayos ang pamilya ni Maya. Sabi mo nga mukhang mabait ang asawa niya at yun anak nila, maayos nilang napalaki. Hindi nyo na dapat balikan yun nakaraan. Kausapin mo siya. Magkaliwanangan kayo ngunit para lang mapanatili ang pagkakaibigan ninyo. Kung hindi man ni Maya mapigil ang nararamdaman nya para sa’yo, ikaw na ang pumigil ng nararamdaman mo para sa kanya. Sa inyong dalawa, mas inaasahan ko yan sa’yo Ricardo.”
“Opo Manang.” He sadly agreed to what Manang Fe is saying. His heart may not agree but his mind knows that it is the only way it should be.
He was on his way to the San Nicolas cathedral to practice the concert. He was listening to a song to be included in the orchestra when he saw an incoming call from Maya.
He hurriedly stopped his car at the side of the road to take her call.
“Good morning Maya.”
“Good morning Chard. I was just wondering if we could meet maybe tomorrow?”
“Sure Maya. What time? Where?”
“Ikaw san mo gusto?”
“Anywhere convenient to you. Ikaw na bahala.”
“Okay. Tawagan na lang kita ulit for the time and place.”
“And Chard, the main purpose is to clear this certain air of awkwardness between us. Alam ko you know what I mean. Gusto ko for us to be friends especially for Luke. Yun lang.”
“No problem Maya. I would love to be friends with you and even your husband. Thank you din for allowing me to still be a mentor of Luke kahit I know it would seem awkward.”
“Oo Chard atsaka Luke looks up to you. Ayoko namang kung anong isipin ng bata. He’s more inspired now in his piano playing and even guitar kasi you coached him.”
“Well thank you really Maya. I appreciate that very much. I hope your husband is aware of our meet up too.”
“Yes he is. He knows about our past. He’s even the one who suggested that we talk.”
“I see. He seemed a level-headed guy.”
“Yes he is Chard. So I’ll just call again for the time and place, okay?”
His heart was pounding as they ended the call. There was still this pain in his heart especially when she talked highly of her husband.
But he was comforted with the reality that at least Maya had been in good hands, that Maya found a great man.
Even though that man was not him.