Richard was inspired after his talk with Maya. He could settle for a friendship, really. If that’s his only way to be able to be in touch with her or show his care for her.
The concert he directed was a huge success again. It was attended by the bishops, clergy and the religious of different provinces. He gave his best knowing that it will be his last directing job while he was still a deacon.
In a few days he will be leaving the country. He already had a talk with his Spiritual Director and had confessed his intention of leaving his vocation. He vowed though to still continue teaching the kids if they will still allow him.
Though the future is not yet clear for him, he still feels contented with the current state of his life.
Lying in his bed, he was looking at some pictures of him and Maya years ago. They indeed looked so good together. She was so beautiful then, so innocent, so sweet. She is definitely stunning now. She became sexier too. He wanted to scold himself for where his thoughts were leading to.
A knock on his door was heard.
He opened it to find Manang Fe.
“Ricardo may naghahanap sa’yo.”
“Sino po Manang?”
“Siya daw si James Ventura. Yun asawa ata ni Maya?”
He was surprised. He never expected a visit from the guy whom Maya chose over him.
He tried to remember what he must have done to make James pay him a visit. He can’t remember anything wrong from that date or rather time together they had days ago. It was even James who brought her there. They just talked.
He can’t help but feel apprehensive of James’ sudden visit especially at 9 in the evening especially when he was actually thinking about James’ wife.
“Sige po Manang. Papasukin mo na po. I’ll be right there.”
Richard hurriedly fixed himself and went to meet James who was ushered by Manang Fe to his home office.
“Richard good evening pare.”
They shook hands.
“Good evening James. What brings you here? May kailangan ka ba? Si Maya? She needs something? Is she okay?” He couldn’t help but worry.
James smiled. He realized that the guy in front of him is indeed still in love with Maya. Pareho lang yun dalawa at masarap silang pag-untugin he thought.
“No pare. Okay si Maya. I just dropped by kasi I’ll be on an early flight to Manila tomorrow. Alis na ako bukas ng gabi. I just want to give you this before I go back to London.”
James hands Richard the box that Maya had treasured all these years.
“Open it pakaalis ko na. Its kinda confidential and very important. Hindi alam ni Maya yan. I actually got that without her permission. She was supposed to tell you kaso you know Maya. Our dear Maya always choose to keep things to herself.”
Richard couldn’t understand what James was talking about. He just held the box.
“Hindi naman to detrimental to my health, I suppose?”
“Hahaha! No pare. Hindi. Safe naman yan at di naman sasabog yan. Pero it might not be too safe for your heart. Dapat may tubig ka kapag binuksan mo yan.”
James joked. He was really a great guy.
“Okay pero pare, though i don’t know what this is, I just want to thank you for allowing me to talk to Maya the other day.”
“No problem pare. You both needed that. And what’s in that box is yun mga hindi na nasabi ni Maya sa’yo. I have to go. Sumaglit lang ako. She doesn’t know I will be going to your place. Si Mother Elena ang nagbigay ng address mo.”
“Ah okay. I will be leaving rin in a couple of days. Dadalawin ko sila before I leave. I hope its okay with you.”
“No worries pare. There is really no problem at all with me.”
Then James hands Richard his calling card.
“I’m sure you will have to contact me soon Richard. Just call me anytime. If I don’t answer, just leave a message.”
“I will James. Sige pare salamat!”
“Okay. Thanks for taking good care of them while I was away. Luke thinks highly of you.”
“Ah.. Kids always think highly of their teachers.”
“I suppose so. I better get going.”
James left Richard’s place with a contented smile and light heart. He knows that what he did was the best decision ever. He did it for his special friend.
He is convinced that its time to put an end to their marriage. Maya doesn’t need him anymore. Richard could very well come back to her life and their son’s life as well. They all deserve to be happy. Maya deserves to be happy. She suffered long enough already. And Luke definitely needs a dad who could be there for him.
When Mother Elena told him about Richard Lim who was supposed to be a priest but was contemplating of not going through the process of ordination, James decided right there and then that he needs to do something to bring him and Maya together.
They were clear with their setup. They just got married to keep each other company but he isn’t even able to keep his part of the deal. How can he take care of Maya and Luke when he was in London most of the time. And her opportunity to be reunited with Richard is here.
Now that he knows Richard is still free, he must make the move, he is very sure his friend Maya would never have the guts to do so.
Richard carefully read the documents inside the box with trembling hands.
He first saw Luke’s birth certificate which was dated a year earlier than what Maya told him. There were Luke’s ultrasound pictures, baby pictures, toddler pictures. Every picture has a note at the back which was addressed to him.
His first piano recital picture which was taken when he was 4 years old has a note which said…
“Chard, this is our son’s first recital. I’m sure you will be proud of him once you hear him play. He got his talent from you. I miss you. -Maya”
There was a picture with Luke and Maya in the dentist.
“Chard see hindi siya takot sa dentist like you. Our son Luke’s first dental appointment. -Maya”
There were lots of pictures documenting Luke’s growing years. Each of them has a note.
Then he saw her marriage certificate with James’ note attached to it.
“Richard, call me so we can talk about the annulment. Maya was never mine. She was completely yours. Sa papel lang ang kasal namin.”
He also saw an album of all their pictures together. Maybe James wasn’t able to remove it anymore. They were the same pictures he was looking at earlier before James arrived.
There was another album. It had pictures of a pregnant Maya. He learned from the pictures that she was with her Nanay Teresita and they stayed at the convent of Northwest Hills Antipolo campus.
The pictures showed the sadness in Maya’s eyes. She looked dull and pale. It seemed she had a difficult pregnancy.
Richard’s eyes were puffy from crying after going through everything that’s inside the box. He closed it and went on to dial a number.
“Liza, please book me a flight tomorrow to Manila and please move my flight for Rome tomorrow night.”
“Sir may emergency? Why a sudden change in schedule?” Liza was upset because they actually prepared a despedida party for him.
“Yes Liza. May emergency. I have to go back to Rome the soonest time possible. Babalik rin naman ako dito pagkatapos. You can make your party a welcome party instead of a despedida.” He was aware of the surprise and he knows that his staff will be disappointed to know that they won’t be able to have the despedida party.
“Sir Richard talaga.” Liza just shook her head on the other line.
“Seriously Liza, I need the tickets.”
Preview of the next chapter:
It’s been a month after Richard left.
“Tito Ricky!” Luke hurriedly met him at their gate.
Maya was surprised to see him.
He hugged the boy tightly while kissing his forehead.
“Hi Luke! I got some goodies for you. Go inside na muna and ask yaya Leah to prepare it.”
When Luke left to go find his yaya Leah, Richard approached a dumbfounded Maya who was glued to where she was standing.
He stared at her and with all the love he was feeling, he gave her a very tight hug.
He had tears in his eyes when he disengaged from the hug. He stared at her eyes…
“Why didn’t you tell me Maya?”