“Celeste sigurado kang si Ricky ang nagpabili nito?”
At the table were various platters of food – noodles, pasta, kakanin, salad, pizza, barbecue, chicken, salad and many more. It could actually feed the whole hospital staff.
“Oo nga. Tinawagan ako ni Liza kanina. Pinadeliver raw ni Ricky. On the way na raw dito at gusto niya tayong makita at makausap.”
“Hmmm at ano kayang nakain non? Sinaniban ata ng mabait na espiritu.”
“Kapag narinig ka Ryan lagot ka. Whatever it is, I’m glad at mukhang okay si Ricky today.”
“Of course I’m just kidding. Alam mo namang mahal na mahal ko ang kaibigan natin. Liza what’s the occasion?”
“Hindi naman sinabi Doc. Nagpabili lang siya nyan. Yun ibat ibang department nadalhan ko na rin. Parang fiesta nga.”
“Oh my God! Baka despedida to ni Ricky para sa sarili nya. Liza nagbabalak bang umalis Ricky?”
“Wala naman po siyang nababanggit doc. Wag naman po sana.”
They were still chatting when then door opened and Richard came in with a beaming smile.
Three pairs of eyes were staring back at him totally bewildered.
He laughed at them.
“O bakit ganyan ang mga hitsura nyo?”
Celeste went near Ricky and felt his forehead.
“Okay naman Ryan. Wala namang lagnat.”
Richard chuckled again.
“Eh Ricky, what’s this? Bakit may fiesta?” Dr. Ryan couldn’t control it anymore so he asked.
“This is my peace offering to you guys for being a jerk for the past years. It’s also a way of thanking you for your patience.”
The two smiled and Celeste hugged Richard.
“Awwww… He’s back!! We missed you Ricky.”
“I missed myself too guys. I missed my old self.”
Then his phone rang. He answered.
“Paakyat ka na? Sige see you. Love you.”
Ryan and Celeste exchanged glances. Then Ryan blurted out…
“Aba kaya naman pala good mood eh kasi in love. Finally you’ve moved on.”
Richard just smiled and shook his head.
“Teka lang. Babalik ako.”
The three were left curious of who could have caused Ricky’s happy disposition now.
The moment the door opened, Ricky and Maya stepped in.
Ricky’s hand were on Maya’s waist.
“Oh my God it’s Maya!”
Celeste couldn’t contain herself that she immediately hugged Maya.
Celeste was even teary-eyed.
“Kaya naman pala napakasaya ni Ricky. Maya it’s so good to see you. Thank you for putting back that smile in our friend’s face.”
The two best friends of Doc Ricky were really happy for him.
“Good morning Doc Celeste, Doc Ryan.”
Maya was overwhelmed with the love and acceptance they showed her despite what she did.
“Where have you been Maya?”
“Sa Dubai ako nagtratrabaho Doc Celeste. Kumusta na kayo?”
“We’re good Maya. Etong si Ricky ang hindi. After you left wala ng social life yan, kahit lovelife. He keeps things to himself. Hindi na nga makausap eh. I’m really thankful na nandito ko. Had I known that it is you who would put that smile back on his face, sana hinanap na kita.” Doc Celeste answered her.
Doc Ryan added.
“Masungit yan Maya. Hindi mo na yan makitang tumawa o ngumiti man lang.”
“Hey guys kain na lang tayo. Kakarating lang ni Maya kung ano ano ang pinagsasabi nyo. Don’t mind them Maya.”
Maya and Richard enjoyed their simple lunch with Ricky’s best friends Celeste and Ryan.
It gave Maya a glimpse of how Ricky was when she left and she couldn’t help but regret what she did.
After the visit to the hospital to meet Richard’s friends Ryan and Celeste, the two were on their way to his parents.
Maya was quiet.
“Hey okay ka lang? Mabait sina papa at mama. You don’t have to worry. They will love you Maya.”
Then he squeezed her hand.
“Ok naman ako Ricky.”
“Are you tired? Do you want to go home? You can meet mama and papa some other time if pagod ka na.”
“Ah eh. Hindi. Hindi naman ako pagod Ricky.”
She smiled at him.
“Bakit tahimik ka?”
“Yun sinabi nina Doc Celeste at Doc Ryan…”
“Don’t mind them. They’re just exaggerating. Alam mo naman yun dalawang yun.”
But she wasn’t convinced.
She was aware that Ricky became sad and hurt when she left.
He already told her that but learning from Celeste and Ryan that he even neglected his health, his friends, at times his work, she felt so guilty.
She was also hurt when she left but that paled in comparison to what she learned he went through.
He noticed that she was in deep thought.
He doesn’t want to ruin what they have now with her feelings of guilt.
He doesn’t want her blaming herself.
Whatever happened to them was nobody else’s fault.
Fate played a major part in it.
He stopped the car at the side of road and faced her but she tried to avoid his eyes as she was overcome with shame and guilt.
“Please look at me Maya.”
As she did so, he held her face and he kissed her forehead reverently.
“What’s important is you are here now with me Maya. I am very happy that you came back. The few days we had already banished all the years of sadness without you. I couldn’t ask for more. Dito ka lang masaya na ako.”
“Ako din Ricky. Masaya ako na magkasama na tayo. At pangako, hinding hindi na kita pakakawalan.”
He smiled, contented with what she said.
“I love that Maya. And since we are both happy siguro its better to let go of what already happened di ba? Let’s enjoy.”
“Yes Ricky I agree.”
“Napakaganda naman pala talaga nito ni Maya kaya hinding hindi makalimutan ni Ricky.” Richard’s dad, Roberto commented.
“Naku Ricky katulad ka talaga ng papa mo. Kahit ako noon iniwan ko siya para magtrabaho sa US, hindi rin yan humanap ng iba. Alam mo Maya almost 9 years ako pero hinintay nya ako.”
They just finished having dinner and Richard’s parents already warmed up to Maya.
They even joked at the expense of their son.
“Naku ma, wag mong bibigyan ng idea si Maya. Baka umalis uli yan.”
“If she does, follow her. Ang hina hina naman ng anak mo Roberto.”
They were enjoying each other’s company.
“So Maya you work in a preschool in Dubai?”
“Opo. I teach toddlers. Masaya makalaro ang mga bata.”
“Ah yes! Masaya talaga kapag may mga bata. It makes you feel like a kid too.”
“Opo atsaka di sila naauubusan ng kwento, di rin sila nauubusan ng tanong.”
Ricky was just watching Maya as she happily shared her experiences in her work.
“Naku hija, sabi ko nga dito kay Roberto eh dapat araw araw mag invite ng mga bata sa orphanage para naman maaliw kami. Ang lungkot kaya dito. Kaming dalawa lang ni Roberto.”
“Don’t worry darling, I’m sure we will have little apos soon, right Ricky? Right Maya?”
Maya blushed at what Richard’s father said.
Ricky, though amused, knows that Maya is not used to it so he hugged her.
“Ma! Pa! Kayo talaga. Tinakot nyo pa si Maya.”
“Aba Ricky we are not. You are both getting old. Atsaka I’m sure Maya wants to have kids na rin. She’s very good with kids.”
“Ma! Naku Maya pagpasensyahan mo na sina mama at papa. Palabiro talaga sila.”
Maya just smiled shyly.
Ricky’s parents went to bed earlier and left the couple by themselves.
They were seated by the couch while watching a movie.
“Maya when will Ate Cris and Jeff go back to Dubai?”
“Next week na. Pero kailangan ko daw munang sumama sa kanila para ayusin yun pagresign ko sa trabaho at makuha na rin yun mga gamit ko. Okay lang ba yun sayo Ricky?”
“What? When will you be back?”
“Madali lang ako. Siyempre gusto kong makabalik agad. Mamimiss kita eh.”
“Can I accompany you?”
“Wag na Ricky. May trabaho ka. Madali lang naman ako. Atsaka kailangan ko rin namang magpaalam ng maayos sa mga boss ko doon.”
“Okay. Basta mabilis lang ha. At dapat araw araw maguusap tayo. You know how I am without you by my side.”
“I know kaya nga po madali lang ako. Gusto kong makasama na kita lagi.”
“I would love that Maya. I love you so much. Thank you for making me so happy.”
She embraced Ricky and snuggled closer to him.
Maya felt so secure in his arms.
Just like before when Ricky used to be with her, she felt that she now had someone to call her own, someone to take care of her.
She won’t feel alone now.
And she vowed to herself that she will do everything to make Ricky happy.