PhilCarMor : More Than The Usual 6

PhilCarMor : More Than The Usual 6

She stirred and slowly opened her eyes. She realized that she is not in her room and definitely not on her bed.

It is already late in the morning as she checked her phone. She had many missed calls and messages.

It is Christmas. Her staff, Roma Christie, Peter and her only best friend Betty Mae had greetings for her. She smiled. Despite having no family to share Christmas with, she still had a best friend and some loyal staff.

Then her thoughts drifted to the man she met last night. She was drawn to him for he looked exactly like Carlo Asuncion, the guy who also saved her Chirstmas of last year, the guy who, for some unknown reason, never left her thoughts and maybe her heart as well, despite that one encounter they had.

She thought Philip was the complete opposite of the charming and seemingly nice guy Carlo. He seemed fierce, straightforward and stern as well. She thought he was someone she would despise after that reaction he gave her when she smiled at him thinking he was Carlo.

But she had been wrong. Philip saved her last night from the vicious Claudia Buenavista when she made a scene to embarrass her and the helpless and indecisive governor couldn’t even protect her. Oh well, she didn’t expect him to protect her anyway just like years ago when he couldn’t even stand up for her.

And that’s not the only thing Philip did. He even kept her company and made sure he got home safely as she was drunk last night. She may be intoxicated but she was very much aware of how he assisted her, get her into comfortable sleepwear and even took care of her. For her entire life, no one ever did that for her. No one did go that extent without being paid. That meant a lot to her. And maybe that was the reason why she got all emotional and decided to share a night with him.

He wasn’t the one who suggested it, she wasn’t the one either. It just came out. Maybe due to the lonely circumstances they both were in, being Christmas, or maybe because they have established a level of comfortability already last night.

She remembered that she woke up in the middle of the night to find herself cured of her hangover. She saw him leaning on her sofa by the living room with eyes closed. He seemed tired.

She was just supposed to wake him up and ask him to sleep in her guest room. But the moment he opened his eyes and stared at hers, something ignited. A force pulled them together. Some inexplicable energy made them gravitate towards each other which eventually led them to spend the night in each other’s arms. She was still giddy at the thought. She didn’t feel any regret at all. And he was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He pleased her, made her feel loved and well taken cared of even just for the night.

She knows that before they both decided to be in each other’s arms, she was the one who has to remind each other that there would never be strings attached to what they were about to do. She made it clear to him that they would just do it for they both needed each other last night, that’s all. He readily agreed and even suggested that they go to his place for he said that it would be improper for them to do it in hers. She didn’t think anymore but just followed what he said.

She loved being with him. She couldn’t shake that image of him smiling at her, those strong arms which engulfed her last night and made her feel that she was safe and secure, those hands which knew very well how to please her, how to stroke and caress and oh that lips which felt so good on hers. It still made her heart thump just recalling it. She smiled at the thought and it made her blush.

While still recovering from her memories of last night, the bathroom’s door opened and emerged a freshly showered Philip.

Amor tightly held on to the blanket, being well aware that she was still bare underneath. She shyly smiled at him.

“Slept well?” He said as he kissed her lightly on her forehead. “Merry Christmas Amor! I tried to cook something for us to share. It is not much but I’m sure it’s edible. I’m starved. You do what you need to do first and just follow me in the kitchen. I have prepared your change of clothes already. It is right there.” He pointed towards her folded clothes by the chair and also a towel for her to use.

“Thank you Philip. Sige na. I will follow. Shower muna ako.” She tried to avoid his gaze for it was affecting her already. It didn’t help that he was wearing a plain white shirt with his loose cotton pants.

He smiled. He knows she is shy and he definitely didn’t want to make her more uncomfortable. He left her to do her morning, or rather noontime, as it was nearing lunch time already, rituals.

As he was nearing the door, Amor managed to speak.

“Philip, thank you for everything last night. Thank you for helping me, keeping me safe and taken cared of. I never expected you to do it.”

“It was the right thing to do. I’m sure someone there would have done the same if I wasn’t around.”

“No, no one could have done that. Thank you. That meant a lot.”

“Don’t mention it.” He smiled at her and stared directly at her eyes.

She just smiled, now blushing as his stare affects her already.

He added, “Thank you too. You were wonderful last night.”

She blushed more, avoided his gaze and shyly replied, “You were wonderful too.”

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

Preview of the Next Chapter:

“Sir, you will love the news I will tell you.” Liza excitedly entered his boss’ Carlo’s office.

“Yes Liza?”

“I already know of Ms. Amor Powers’ whereabouts.”

“Really!?” His eyes grew wide in excitement. He had been looking for her for the past 18 months.

“Yes Sir. My friend in immigration finally got hold of her travel documents.”

“Oh thank you Liza. Will you know where she is now? Is she here in the Philippines?”

“No Sir, according to the documents, Amor Powers is now residing in Shanghai, China.”

A/N Short lang muna ha! Happy Holidays!

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and Iskay : Be Careful Mayabels!

It is the morning of December 25

The entire Lim household are happily gathered around their Christmas tree. Earlier this morning, while their parents are still sleeping and only Manang Fe was up, the elder kids, Luke, Nikki and Abby excitedly went out of their rooms to take a peek on the stockings they hanged on their giant Christmas tree.

Oh well the two elder kids know very well who fills those stockings with goodies but they still join and play along for their three younger siblings.

Santa Claus gift opening time, as they call it , is one of the most exciting and fun events in their household during the 25th of December. It is also hilarous because Ricky and Maya has this habit of giving funny gifts to everyone. It was fun because aside from the kids, the entire household is included. Everyone has a stocking with their name on it embroidered by Manang Fe.

Last year they had a good laugh with what each one got.

Manang Fe had a framed teenage picture of Mang Anastacio which elicited the teasing from everyone and made Manang pinch Ricky when no one was watching. She knew it was her former ward who thought of that gift.

Doris had a brand new blond detachable bangs which made everyone laugh. They all took turns trying the bangs on themselves.

Joma, who had been complaining about his stubborn curly hair got a hair iron which made Doris and Sabel run to him and begged that they swap gifts. It was Maya who thought of the funny gift.

Leah who was known to be very tactless got a roll or duct tape.

And Sabel who had been complaining of her husband Jerry’s schedule which, she regularly monitors, got a logbook and a whistle.

The couple decided that to make their gifts a surprise for each other, Maya would buy Ricky’s gift and the same goes with Ricky who will be the one to buy Maya’s gift.

Ricky got a basketful of various liniments while Maya got a boxed set of those miniature wines. Whatever the reason was why they gave each other those gifts were kept to themselves. They elbowed each other and discreetly teased each other relentlessly no one was watching them.

Nikki, got a book with the title “Studies Before Boys”, Luke got one with the title “How to Court A Girl the Proper Way” and Abby got one which says “Why People Love Short Girls”, this was because Abby had been complaining about her height.

The twins got toys for they wouldn’t find the humor on the gifts anyway. Aside from those, each stocking had a bunch of goodies, candies, chocolates and cookies as well.

Now it is the time of the year again and everyone was anticipating the gifts they would get.

Everyone was excited except for Sky.

Sky, now a talkative four year old was seated at the foot of their stairs, sulking.

Luke noticed him.

“Oh Sky let’s take a look at what Santa gave you na. Halika na!”

“I don’t want to.” he shook his head.

“Mommy, mukhang masama yun gising ng bunso natin.” Ricky who heard Sky and Luke, whispered to Maya.

“Ah teka lang Daddy, puntahan ko nga.”

As she was nearing Sky, the boy abruptly stood up and went near Ricky, wanting to be carried.

“O Sky what’s wrong? Are you not feeling well?”

The boy just hid his face on his daddy’s neck. He avoided his mommy’s face.

Maya whispered to him. “Aba mukhang sakin may tampo ang baby natin ah!”

“Kasi Sweetheart pinatulog mo agad kagabi di ba? Gusto pa nitong maglaro eh.”

Ricky had Sky on his lap while the rest of the family and the Lim household were noisily teasing each other with the gifts they got from Santa this year.

“Sky don’t you want to open your stockings? Santa surely gave you your favorite toys. Di ba you asked for a toy airplane?”

But the boy vehemently shook his head. Wriggled out of Ricky’s hug and down his lap.

“I don’t want Santa anymore.” then he ran upstairs to his room.

“Hala daddy napano yun?” Maya was surprised with Sky’s tantrum.

The boy never had tantrums anymore since he turned four. He actually stopped when he and Sunshine turned three so both Maya and Ricky were surprised at how he acted this morning when he was usually the one very excited with Santa’s gifts.

“Sundan na natin daddy.” Maya nudged Ricky to stand and follow Sky.
The rest of the household had worried look on their faces.

“Sundan muna namin ng daddy nyo si Sky ha! Sige ipagpatuloy nyo na muna yan. Bababa agad kami.” Maya assured them while Ricky already followed Sky leaving Maya behind.

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

“Sky what’s wrong buddy?” Ricky asked his son who was now sulking on his bed covered with his Spiderman blanket.

“I hate Santa Claus!” The boy grumpily answered his daddy while still hiding underneath his blanket.

“Why are you mad at Santa? Di ba nya binigay yun gusto mong toy? You haven’t even checked your Christmas stockings yet. Halika na. Let’s join your Kuya Luke, Ate Nikki and Ate Abby downstairs.”

“I don’t want to Daddy. Kayo na lang po.” Sky still didn’t go out of his blanket.

Maya was by the door quietly signalling Ricky to ask if everything’s okay. Ricky just shook his head.

“Sky you want Mommy?”

“No!”

Both Ricky and Maya was surprised with Sky’s reaction.

Maya’s eyes grew big. She worried as to why their son was seemingly angry at her. She already noticed the boy avoiding her awhile ago but she thought it was just Sky’s tantrum.

“Sky?”

“I don’t want Santa. He wants to take Mommy from us.”

“Hey little buddy, Santa doesn’t take mommies away from their babies. Why would you think that? Halika na labas ka na dyan kay Spidey blankie mo.”

Now he heard the boy crying but he can’t remove the blanket which Sky held so tightly.

Maya now came near them but still didn’t say anything. She allowed Ricky to handle Sky.

“But last night daddy, I took a peek sa stairs and I saw Santa with Mommy.”

Both Maya and Ricky had worried look on their faces. They were afraid that Sky might have found out that it was only his dad who was the Santa Claus they believed in. Maya stepped back and hid herself from her son’s view when she saw Sky peeking from the blanket.

“Sky, maybe you were just dreaming. Maybe you thought you saw Mommy and Santa.”

“I saw them Daddy. He even carried mommy to the sofa then kissed her. Di ba mommy should be kissing only you and me, Sunshine, Ate Abby, Ate Nikki and Kuya Luke. I don’t want Santa daddy. He is bad.”

Richard didn’t know how to explain it to his son without blowing his cover. She seeked his wife’s help but she just covered her mouth and smiled at the situation his husband got himself in.

“No Sky. Santa Claus kisses mommies and even daddies especially if they have been very good parents to their children. It’s his way of saying thank you to them. He should have kissed me too if I was there. Daddy kasi was in his room last night kaya di ko tuloy nakita si Santa Claus.”

“But he kissed mommy differently. The way daddies and mommies kiss each other.”

“No Sky, he was just thanking mommy. Are we okay now little buddy?”
Sky seemed to have been convinced with Ricky’s explanation. He now gave his daddy a smile and a kiss on his cheek.

Maya still hid herself from Sky. He didn’t want the boy to be upset. She still needs to talk to her son later.

“Let’s now join them downstairs little buddy?”

“Okay daddy.” Sky smiled and held his daddy’s hand.

They went out of the room with Maya following behind them.

But as they were nearing the foot of the stairs within the hearing distance of everyone, Sky had something else to say…

“But Daddy Santa kissed mommy differently. He was like eating Mommy’s mouth.”

Eyes grew wide, ears turning red all of a sudden, Ricky defensively and loudly blurted out…

“I DID NOT!”

All eyes were on him.

Manang Fe, Joma, Sabel, Doris and Leah were all trying to control themselves from laughing.

The elder kids were laughing as well. Abby and Sunshine was clueless on what’s happening much to the relief of their mom and dad.

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

Maya was the one who appeased Sky after she saw that Ricky was already helpless on what to tell the boy.

Maya was able to convince Sky that Santa was just kissing her and it just looked differently because the living room was dark and there were shadows. The boy was convinced and he even lovingly hugged his mom and dad and excitedly took his stockings to take a look at what Santa gave him.

Luke went beside his dad.

“Dad next time kasi do it inside the room. Di talaga matiis kay Mom eh. Good that it was only Sky. What if si Abby yun nakakita sa inyo?”

He teased his dad who just smirked and shook his head.

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

They were now cuddling in bed about to sleep.

“Sweetheart stop that!” Ricky was annoyed at Maya already as she was teasing him nonstop with that incident with Sky.

“Nakakatawa ka kasi Sweetheart. Pero in fairness ang galing mong magpalusot.”

“It’s your fault naman kasi eh. If you didn’t follow me with your sexy sleepwear eh di sana walang nangyaring ganun. My God good thing Sky only saw the kissing part.” He was so worried that his son saw what happened after.

“Don’t worry sweetheart, madilim naman and he wouldn’t know naman what we were doing.” Maya tried to calm her husband.

“Pero kasalanan mo pa rin. Ikaw kasi you’re such a tease.”

“Sige na nga, ako na. Pero di ko naman kasalanan na sexy ako eh.”

“Kahit na. Dapat bumawi ka pa rin.”

“Aber ano ang gusto mong pagbawi Sweetheart?”

“Hmmm since Sky mentioned it, it would be nice if you demonstrate yun sa song na ‘I saw Mommy ‘eating’ Santa Claus’ ” he grinned at her.

“Ricky!!!!”

Then the demo begins….

Happy Holidays!!!

Traces of Love 8

Traces of Love 8

The moment they disengaged, Richard had that surprised look on his face while Maya had tears in her eyes overwhelmed with what she heard from Richard.

“Maya?”

But she just hugged him again tighter despite the difficulty in their position, him being on a wheelchair. She kissed the top of his head and cradled it in her arms while still sobbing. She was so happy that she didn’t care anymore how they looked.

“Sorry Chard. I assumed again. Sorry nasaktan kita. Akala ko kasi… I’m sorry. Pero hinding hindi naman kita bibitawan, hindi kita iiwan. Dumistansya lang ako kasi akala ko yun ang nararapat. Hinding hindi naman kita maaaring iwanan. All these years I’ve never forgotten you, ngayon pa kaya. Ikaw lang kaya ang pinakaespesyal na tao sa amin ng mga anak ko. I’m sorry…”

Then he saw the relief on her face and the same look she had when he saw her on the train. Gone were those evasive eyes and tentative smiles he saw in her during her last visit to him at the hospital when Sunshine was about to leave and the smiles she gave her just awhile ago.

“Maya? I don’t understand?” He was happy but surprised at her sudden change in reaction.
“Kasi naman Richard, sana sinabi mo agad para hindi na ako nagisip ng kung ano-ano…” then she was teary eyed again.
“Sinabi? Ang alin? Hey…”

“I’m sorry akala ko kasi… basta masaya ako na wala ka naman palang asawa.”

“You know very well that I’ve divorced Alex a long time ago.” He looked at her incredulously.

“Hindi. Hindi si Alex. Yun Stephanie. Akala ko…”

“What? Maya naman…” He was surprised. It never occurred to him that Maya would assume that Stephanie is his wife.

“Kasi di mo naman siya pinakilala sakin. Akala ko. Atsaka Chard, nakita ko kung gano siya kalapit sa’yo ng pumunta siya sa hospital. She was apologetic. Parang may pinag-awayan kayo at inisip ko na yun yun dahilan kung bakit hindi mo sya magawang mabanggit. Akala ko nag-away lang kayo. Ayokong makasagabal. Tapos si Sunshine narinig nya si Stephanie na kausap yun isang doctor. Sabi nya dadalawin nya ang asawa nya. Pumasok siya sa kuwarto mo. Anong iisipin ko?”

“What? Wait… so even Sunshine thinks that way?”

“Oo, pero wag kang mag-alala. Wala naman sa kanya yun. She was very happy na nakilala ka nya. Di naman siya umaasa ng kung ano pa man.”
He looked at her sadly. He was dismayed that instead of just asking him, Maya assumed and believed her assumptions.

“Kaya pala she reacted that way. Kaya pala nagtampo sakin si Sunshine. Maya sana naman pinakausap mo muna ako sa anak natin. I could have explained to her, made everything clear to her. Sana di mo na sinabi sa kanya. I’ve been thinking of a reason why she didn’t agree when I asked her permission to court you. I thought ayaw nya sa’kin because I’m sick. I thought she didn’t like me for you. Sana ipinagtanggol mo man lang ako sa anak natin.”

“Richard wala akong sinabi sa kanya. She was the one who overheard Stephanie. How could I explain that to her. Hindi ko rin naman alam kung ano yun totoo. Nahiya naman akong magtanong sa’yo. At hindi ko rin alam that you talked to her.” she shyly glanced at him to see his reaction. “I’m sorry Chard. I’m so sorry.” she can’t stop her tears from flowing again.

Sensing how bad Maya felt, Richard set aside the hurt and pain he experienced the past weeks when he thought that Maya and Sunshine didn’t want him to be part of their lives.

He gathered her close to him and sat her on his lap.

“Hey okay na. I’m glad everything is clear now. Enough na. Kain na tayo. I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten eh.” He tried to make the situation light.

She managed to smile and wiped her cheeks.

They gave each other one more tight hug then Maya stood up to set the table.

Richard realized that they have nothing to eat anymore.

“Maya padeliver na lang tayo. Pinadala ko lahat kay Sky yun pagkain. Walang natira dyan.”

“Don’t worry dala ko siya Chard. Linagay ko na sa dining table mo. Ayusin ko muna ha.”

“Let me help you.”

“Wag na. I want to do this. Makabawi man lang sa’yo.” She gave him an apologetic smile. She still can’t believe how foolish she have been assuming wrongly.

“Di mo naman kailangan bumawi. Just being here now is more than enough.”He smiled at her.

“Hayaan mo na ako Chard. I feel bad for what I did. At least mabawasan man lang ang bigat ng pakiramdam ko.”

He just smiled. He knows it’s hard to argue with her.

She went near him again and gave him a kiss on his cheek.

“Sorry na talaga Chard.”

“Stop saying sorry Maya. Okay na. What’s important is okay na tayo.”

“Yes. Okay na tayo. Thank you ha!”

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

They shared the seafood pasta and green salad Richard prepared earlier that morning.

Now they’re settled at the sofa beside each other while sharing the brownies Richard bakes so well. They were having it with coffee.

“Ang sarap mo talagang magluto Chard. I remembered when you used to bring food sa work before. Alam mo bang inaabangan namin lagi yun mga dala mo?”

“Really?”

“Oo kahit sina Direk kapag nakaschedule ka for taping noon, tuwang tuwa sila because lagi kang may food.”

“Ikaw rin naman. You feed us with your lutong bahay. Kaya nga I fell for your then.”

“Richard wag ka nga…”

“Yes it’s true. Maya we’re already old. Magkakahiyaan pa ba tayo?”

“Hindi naman sa ganun, kaso…”

“Maya we already have Sunshine, can I just skip my plan to court you and be on the next phase instead?”

Maya was getting giddy yet uncomfortable with where the conversation is leading to.

“Kinausap mo talaga si Sunshine? Nagpaalam ka?”

“Yes. I thought that was the right thing to do. Actually even Sky. But unlike Sunshine, si Sky pumayag agad. He keeps me company here kapag wala siyang pasok. Your son loves me Maya. Thank you for allowing him to come here.”

“Hindi ko alam na pumupunta siya dito. Pero Chard kahit noong bata pa si Sky favorite ka naman talaga ng anak ko. Actually pinagalitan nya ako kanina. Sinermunan ako ni Sky kung bakit daw ayaw kong pumunta dito. He insisted that I come here and I’m glad I did.”

“Sky did that? Dapat pala kay Sky ako magpasalamat.”

She just shook her head and smiled. She remembered how emotional and angry Sky was when he insisted that she visits his Tito Richard.

“Why are you smiling?”

“Wala. Naalala ko lang si Sky kanina. Parang mas kampi pa siya sa’yo kesa sa’kin.”

“Oh well, we spend more time together and he knows how much I care for you Maya. Alam nyang mahal na mahal kita and that you’re my life.”

“Chard naman eh.”

“It’s true Maya. All these years you’re the only one who could make me smile by just the mere thought of you, you’re the only one who gets me excited with just the sound of your voice. You’re the only one who made me want to see the brighter side of life again. At ikaw rin lang ang nakapagpaiyak sa’kin.”

“Ikaw rin naman eh. All these years wala namang iba. Kaya nga I was so happy na nagkita tayo. Alam mo naman kaya yun. Binuko na ako ni Sunshine sa’yo di ba?”

“Ah yes. Our daughter talks a lot like you and I’m glad she does. I learned many things about you.” He grinned teasingly.

“Naku pinagkakaisahan ninyo akong tatlo eh. Si Sky, si Sunshine tapos ikaw. Mali na ata yan ah.” She joked as well.

“I bet they were aware how lonely you were without me.”

“Ang yabang mo…” she tenderly pinched him.

“You’re denying it? Kasi ako I admit, my life had no meaning without you in it.”

“No hindi. Inaamin ko naman na I was lonely. Kaya nga dapat stop na tayo sa mga ganyan na usapin. Ang mushy mo Mr. Lim. What’s important is that we have each other now.”

“We have each other now?!?” He was surprised with what she said. He hopes he had the right understanding of what she said.

“Bakit ayaw mo? Di ba you said we’re old para magligawan pa tayo. Oh well siyempre gusto ko rin naman ma-experience yun pero sayang yun time…”

“Wait.. you mean… hindi nga? Really?… Oh my God! Talaga Maya?”

“Kung gusto mo… kasi gusto ko rin naman na eh. Hindi pa ba obvious?”

“Of course gusto ko. Oh God! You made me so happy Maya. So this means we are a couple now?” he asked her again wanting to make everything clear.

“Okay lang ba? Hindi ba parang ambilis?” Now she was tentative on whether to instantly level up their relationship or wait for a perfect moment to let that happen. She wanted it to be special.

“Maya mahigit 15 years na tayong naghihintayan, I think that’s long enough already. And wala nang bawian please. Let’s be together now. You already kissed me kanina and I’m sure you don’t go on kissing just anyone who is just a mere acquaintance. So siguro naman sign na yun na we are a couple now.”

She smiled. She blushed remembering how she kissed him awhile ago. She just hid her face on his chest.

“Sige pumapayag na ako. Matagal ko na rin namang gusto eh.”

“Me too Maya. I love you so much. I have never felt this way for anyone in my entire life.”

“Chard…” She can’t say anything anymore and she just hugged him tighter while leaning on his chest.

They just stayed in that position savoring the moment having been engulfed in each other’s embrace.

Richard repeatedly kissed Maya’s head.

He couldn’t believe how everything would turn out today.

“Chard… gabi na. I better go home now. Asan na yun kasama mo dito? What time will your nurse arrive?”

“Later Maya. He will just assist me to do my nightly rituals then uwi na rin yun.”

“Ha? You mean you don’t have anyone here pag gabi? What if there’s an emergency? What if may kailangan ka? Richard naman.”

“Sanay na ako Maya and besides malapit naman yun bahay ng nurse ko. He has a family too kaya he can’t stay here the whole night.”

“Pero delikado. You shouldn’t be left alone lalo na you are still recovering…”

“Then stay with me…”

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

“Kuya, where is mom? I can’t seem to contact her.” Sunshine was on Skype with her brother that evening.

“Ah busy lang si mom. May inaasikaso lang yun.”

“Akala ko she will sleep at your place.”

“Nasa work ata siya. Wag mo nang kulitin Shine.”

“Kuya kasi I want to ask her about her meeting with dad. Alam ko na they will see each other kanina. May news ka about that?”

“Wala Shine. Don’t ask mom na muna about your daddy. What I know is that they are okay now and getting along so well. Baka mapurnada if kulitin mo si Mom. You know naman si Mom ayaw nyang binibiro sya.”

“Kuya baka naman umasa si Mommy. I dont want her to get hurt.”

“She won’t get hurt Shine. Your dad loves her so much to hurt her. Basta let’s just trust them okay?”

“Whatever you say Kuya. Wait pala Kuya… Kwentuhan mo na ako about the girl you were mentioning.. si Bettina..”

And the inquisitive Sunshine now bothered Sky about his lovelife, totally forgetting about her parents affairs.

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

“Chard okay na yun pillows? Or do I have to add some more?”

“Okay na to Maya. Halika na dito. Let’s sleep.”

Maya decided to spend the night at Richard’s place. She got so worried after learning that he’s been spending his nights alone in his home. She called Sky and asked him to bring her things so she would have a change of clothes for the evening and the next day.

She plans to fix the schedule of his nurse so he’ll have someone with him starting tomorrow.

Sky happily brought her things and was even teasing the two when he arrived earlier. Richard pretended not to notice and Maya gave her son some warning glaring stare which just made Sky chuckle.

“Dun na lang ako sa sofa Chard. You won’t be comfortable if I’ll stay in your bed. Maliit yun bed mo.”

“No Maya. Kasya tayo dito. Halika na. Unless takot ka sa’kin.” he teased her.

“Mr. Lim of course I’m not. Atsaka I know very well na you won’t take advantage of me. We are also not drunk unlike the time we made Sunshine.” She tried to put up a brave front.

“And who said I was drunk then?”

“Richard tumigil ka nga. Usog ka na. Matulog na tayo kasi I am tired. Mahaba yun byahe ko this morning.”

“God you’re bullying me already… ”

“Tumigil ka nga.” Then she just gave him a kiss to silence him.

“Good night Mr. Lim. Sleep tight.”

Then she turned off the lights and snuggled close to him.

Richard smiled and hugged her tighter.

For the first time in many years, he would sleep with a contented heart and a genuine smile on his face.

The Swimming Dilemma

The Swimming Dilemma
(A One Shot Fanfic)

Ricky was in front of their bathroom mirror.

“Sweetheart kanina ka pa dyan ah.” Maya smiled sweetly at him as she stood beside him about to brush her teeth.

“Halata ba?” he asked her with a worried look on his face.

“Ha? Ang alin?”

“My skin tone.”

“What do you mean?”

“Ah kasi I’m tanned. Halata na umiba yun kulay ko.” He explained.

“Ok lang lang naman yan sweetheart. Mas gumwapo ka nga. Mas nakakamacho yun kulay, hihihi.”

He smirked, faced her and pinched her cheeks. “Alam ko na gwapo ako, kaso po, the kids noticed na pareho tayo ng kulay. Malalaman nila that we’ve been swimming .”

“Ha! Naku! Grabe pa naman magtampo yung mga bata.” Maya looked at herself on the mirror too, stood beside him and was frantic.

Maya and Ricky had been going to the beach for three Saturdays now. Ricky suggested that they should have a weekend getaway because they seldom have time for each other when they’re home. Maya’s time is usually spent with the kids.

“Naku sweetheart, pano to?” She was also worried.

“Oh see ikaw din naalarm din.”

They were both looking at themselves at the mirror now.

But after the initial panic, she calmed down.

“Sabagay sweetheart ok lang kasi summer naman. Uso naman talaga magswimming. Okay lang yan. Di naman alam ng mga bata that we were on the beach together. Aakalain nila that nagswimming kami ng mga FAs at ikaw naman kasama yun mga taga LAS.

“Uh.. hmmm.. kasi sweetheart.”he was fumbling on how to tell her.

She raised her brows telling him to continue..

“Kasi, eh yun classmate ni Luke, si Joey and her family nandun sa Batangas. I saw them there tapos nilapitan nila ako.

“Ha! Sina Joey? Di ko naman nakita ah.”

“Kasi sweetheart may binibili ka when I saw them. Then she asked me to join in their table and we took a picture together. Kaso when she posted it sa facebook, nasabi nya that you were at the local stores buying pasalubong kaya kami lang yun may picture.”

“Sweetheart! Naku paano yan? Di mo nasabihan na wag magpost? Baka nakita na yun nina Luke and Nikki.”

“I told her kaso she posted it agad after we took the picture. She was so excited kasi ipaalam kina Luke and Nikki. Pero she removed it naman agad. Sorry sweetheart.”

She was so guilty and worried now.

Ayaw nyang magtampo yung mga bata. They have been suggesting that the whole family go on an outing but Ricky would always make excuses that they are busy with work.

She initially didn’t agree with Ricky’s suggestion that they allot Saturdays as their ‘you and me’ bonding time but her husband insisted that they should have time for each other.

She took pity on Ricky when he complained that she had been spending most of her time with the twins, with Abby, with Nikki and even with Luke and not with him. She actually missed bonding with him as well that’s why she was convinced of his plan.

They usually leave very early every Saturday to spend time on Atty Ryan’s resort in Batangas. They spend time swimming and snorkeling and sometimes just walking hand in hand along the shores. They cherish every moment spent together. They both love each other’s company and missed their moments together.

He sensed her apprehension and he thought of something quick.

“Sweetheart, we can do something about it.”

“Ha paano?”

“Ganito na lang, why don’t we have a pool party mamaya dito sa bahay. I’m sure the kids would love that.”

“Ah sige. Palutuin natin si Sabel ng mga paborito ng mga bata.”

“Ako din I’ll ask Joma to check the pool.”

Sabay silang lumabas ng bathroom. Maya went to Sabel to request her to cook while Ricky had Joma prepare the pool.

They told Doris and Leah to prepare the twins for their pool party as well

The older kids were so happy when their mom told them the good news

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

“Nakabawi na tayo sa kids.” he said as they now lay cuddling in bed about to sleep.

The kids enjoyed their unplanned pool party. Though Luke and Nikki suspected that their parents have been sneaking on them, they pretended not to know. Alam nila that their mom and dad needs time for themselves also.

The twins enjoyed as well and Abby is now an expert. Ricky and Maya also joined the kids. Sabel, Doris, Leah and Joma also had joined as well. Manang Fe was just watching them. She so thankful that the one sad household is now full of laughter and love.

“Alam mo sweetheart, sa mga pinagagawa natin, madali tayong mabubuko. Si Manang Fe pa naman ang galing makahalata. Tinanong nga ako kung talaga daw bang may flight ako kapag Sabado. Tinanong di nya kung bakit lagi kang may bag sa kotse.
Ikaw kasi.”

“Anong ako. You enjoyed it too. Masarap takasan si Manang at yun mga bata.” he grinned

“Ano ka ba! Para namang tayong teenagers na tumatakas sa magulang nyan.”

“Pero exciting di ba? And don’t overthink na sweetheart. What’s best is we enjoyed our time together and we were able to make the kids happy as well. Hindi na magtatampo ang mga bata nyan.”

“Oo nga kaso sometimes nakakaguilty rin sa kanila kasi alam mo na, iba pa rin yun bakasyon sa ibang lugar. Gustong gusto nila yun.”

“No Sweetheart, ayoko munang iexpose yun twins sa beach kasi their skin are still delicate. And remember Sky doesn’t want to leave the sea the last time we went swimming. Ayoko nang maulit yun.”

“Tama ka. Dapat ata dito na lang tayo palagi sa bahay magswimming kasama sila.” She quipped.

Looking down at her while wiggling his eyebrows and smiling naughtily “Alam mo you’re right sweetheart.”

“At ano ang mga ngiting yan?”

“It means I agree with you. Dito na lang tayo dapat magswimming.”

Getting what he means, “Sweetheart ha! You’re getting naughty again. I mean swimming sa pool. Ikaw dyan.”

“Oh anong ako. Pool din naman and iniisip ko. Where do you think can we swim? Ikaw ang naughty sweetheart.”

She blushed, embarrassed by her thoughts. “Ay ewan ko sa’yo. Iba naman talaga ang iniisip mo eh.”

She disengaged from his embrace, turning her back on him “Hmmp! Bahala ka nga dyan. Goodnight!”

Grinning at her. “Sweetheart ang cute mo talagang mapikon. Sige na harap ka na sakin. Okay I admit. Im thinking of the same kind of swimming rin.”

She slowly faced him but with eyebrows still furrowed and lips in a thin line.

“Nakakaasar ka.”

“Sorry na nga di ba. Atsaka mas magandang magswimming dito. Hindi tayo mangingitim and I can also dive.”

Then he suddenly attacked her with kisses as he said those.

“Ricky!!!!”

At nagswimming na nga sila”

At may nagdive din!

A/N Pantawid lang muna….

Traces of Love 7

Traces of Love 7

Richard called Maya. He invited her to his home. He said he had some gifts he bought for Sunshine. Actually he did it to be able to see her. He was aware that she will visit Sky and was hopeful that she could spare a few hours with him.

“Sige Chard dadaan ako dyan sainyo pagpunta ko kay Sky this weekend.” She promised him.

Just that mere promise from Maya made him smile already and made him excited.

“I’m looking forward to that Maya. What do you want? Ipaghahanda kita. Do you still love adobo or do you want something else? Yun niluluto kong pasta, naalala ko that you like that one. I remember you love brownies, okay ba yun?” He excitedly asked her.

“Chard ano ka ba? Wag ka nang mag-abala. Ako na lang ang magdadala ng makakain. What do you want?”

“Wala Maya. Just be here. I missed you.”

“Oa naman to. Lagi naman tayong nag-uusap.”

“Bihira Maya. You just call me once a week.”

“Naku nagtampo ka pa. Sige na, I’ll visit you this weekend.”

“Okay Maya. Thank you.”

He ended the call with a beaming smile on his face.

He missed Maya so much.

He’s been longing for her.

She never visited him anymore after he was discharged from the hospital.

They talk on the phone but she’s been distant and she makes sure that their topics would dwell on Sunshine, his recovery and even on Sky.

Now that Maya agreed on visiting him, he won’t waste any chances of telling her what he feels for her.

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

Sky was in constant communication with Richard without his mother’s knowledge. He would visit his Tito Richard, whose home was near his school. He never stopped calling him by that name even after all these years. That’s how he called him when he still worked with his mom.

Even when he was still young and he would sometimes tag along on his mom’s tapings and shootings, Sky already developed a certain fondness of Richard.

Even when he found out that he was Sunshine’s father, Sky never harbored any hatred or anger towards his Tito Richard.

He was very happy to learn that his mom saw her greatest love on a train when she visited him.

He had been praying that his mom would find someone to take care of her, someone who would share her life with, someone who would love her. When he learned that his Tito Richard was back in her life, he believed that his prayers have been answered.

He thought everything has turned out well especially when Sunshine met her dad.

He was wrong. He wondered why his mom suddenly stopped talking about him. He also noticed that she no longer visits his Tito Richard in the hospital after Sunshine returned to the Philippines.

When his mom asked him to go to his Tito Richard’s place to get the stuff he had for Sunshine, Sky was convincing his mom to go with him but Maya was ready with her excuses.

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

This morning when Maya told him that she will pick up the stuff he had for Sunshine, he prepared for her visit.

He cooked her favorite pasta and even baked her favorite brownies. He would have cooked adobo if he had time. Maya told him that she can’t stay longer for she has to go back to New York after lunch.

He even fixed himself. With the help of his nurse, he took a longer bath and spent quite a couple of minutes choosing what to wear.

He smiled while infront of the mirror figuring out what to wear and what cologne to use.

He felt like a teenager and he can’t help but feel nervous. He just smiled at the absurdity of what he felt.

The moment a car stopped in front of his house in Boston, Richard already had that expectant happy look on his face.

He was in his wheelchair waiting for her arrival. He had the wide smile on his face which suddenly turned to a disappointed smirk, which he couldn’t help, the moment he realized that it was Sky and not Maya who will be getting the gifts for Sunshine.

He immediately recovered. He didn’t want Sky to feel bad. The boy had been very close to him. But Sky already saw how his Tito Richard’s excited, happy face suddenly turned sad and serious.

“Hi Tito.”

“Sky where’s your mom?”

“He sent me po kasi something came up. May important daw siyang gagawin. She will just call you tonight. Here po pala pinabibigay ni mom.” Sky handed him a basket of assorted pastries which Maya bought at a Filipino bakeshop in New York. They were Richard’s favorite when he was confined in the hospital.

“Thanks Sky. Let’s have lunch. I cooked. Maybe you could bring some for your mom. Yun mga gusto nya yun hinanda ko.” He tried to smile.

“You cooked po? Dapat di ka na nag-abala Tito. Napagod ka pa. I know you don’t have helpers here atsaka your nurse, hindi yan marunong magluto.” Sky laughed. He knows how Richard lives after spending most of his weekends visiting him. He also got close to his male nurse and found out that aside from caring for a patient, he doesn’t know any household chores.

“Okay lang. I was happy doing it. Basta dalhan mo ang mom mo so she can taste them too.”

They had lunch together but instead of staying longer, Sky bid goodbye to him. He needs to attend to something very important.

“Tito, I’ll be back po tomorrow. Thank you for these.”

Richard just gave Sky a fatherly hug and asked him to give his greetings to his mom.

He sighed heavily when his nurse closed his gate after Sky left.

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

Sky hurriedly went to his mom who was fixing his things in his school dorm.

“Oh anak, you saw Tito Richard already? Bakit ganyan ang hitsura mo?”

Sky was upset.

“Mom, prepare ka na. Ihatid kita kay Tito Richard. He was expecting you.”

“Sky I’m busy and we always talk to each other on the phone. I’m sure he understands. Alam naman nya yun eh.”

“Mom, he doesn’t complain but it doesn’t mean he’s not hurt.”

“Anak why would he get hurt naman. Ikaw talaga! Okay kami ni Tito Richard mo. We both know how busy my work is.” Maya was trying to downplay it but Sky was already annoyed.

“Hindi naman ikaw yun nakakita sa kanya mom. You’re not the one who saw him. You’re not the one who saw how excited he was only to be disappointed when he found out that you won’t be able to visit him. You haven’t seen how he prepared for your visit. Nagluto siya mom, despite his condition. He cooked your favorite dishes. Why can’t you even spare him even a couple of hours? That’s not too much to ask for. May ginawa ba siya sa’yo na hindi ko alam because if meron, ako mismo I won’t visit him anymore. I would stop spending my weekends with him.”

Maya was surprised by Sky’s outburst and also surprised to learn that he’s been visiting Richard.

“You visit him?”

“Yes mom. I do. I spend my free time with him. I want to get to know the father of my sister and mas gusto ko siyang makilala now na malaki na ako. He was always my favorite when I was younger and now that I have the opportunity to get closer to him, I don’t want to waste it. He always treated me like a son and I would always be grateful to him for that.”

“Sky he is really a very good person. I’m glad that you agree with me on that.”

“Yun na nga mom. He is a good person but why are you avoiding him?”

“I am not.”

“Mom, di lang ako nagsasalita but I know you are avoiding Tito Richard. I was just wondering why you became distant again all of a sudden when before you had him meet Sunshine, you were always excited to be with him. You even sacrificed your work just to be able to take care of him. Tinulungan mo siya when he was sick and obviously he was inspired and motivated to get well because you and Sunshine were by his side.”

“Sky kailangan kong bumawi sa work ko. You know that. Wala naman kaming problema. I’m just busy with work and besides we do talk on the phone.”

“But you don’t have work now and I am sure that Tito Richard is more important than fixing my room. Kaya if talagang wala kayong problem, prepare ka na mom, ihahatid kita sa kanya.”

“Sky…”

“Mom…”

“Okay para matahimik ka I’ll visit him. Just give me a few minutes to prepare.”

“Fine. I’ll be waiting outside.”

Maya knows how stubborn her son is. Actually she was surprised to learn how Sky felt towards Richard. She was more surprised to find out that her son had been visiting Richard. It was a gesture that warmed her heart. If only they could be like a real family, everything would have been perfect.

As much as she wanted to distance herself from him, she didn’t want Sky and even Sunshine to notice it. She didn’t want them to change in the way they treat Richard. She needs to visit him and act normal. She shouldn’t let her feelings of hurt or jealousy be evident. She could do it for her children.

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

Richard was at his backyard garden when Maya arrived. Sky just dropped her off. It was his nurse, who was about to home, who opened the gate.

“Ma’m Maya. Glad you’re here. I need to go home now. Sir Richard is at the garden. Its over there.”

“It’s okay Wilson, I can manage.”

Richard wasn’t aware that Maya was there that’s why he was surprised to hear her voice.

“Chard, pwede pang humabol ng lunch?” She joked but she wasn’t prepared to see the look on his face when he turned and faced her.

Richard’s eyes was so red and he obviously cried. His brows were also furrowed as he stared at her.

“Richard?”

“Maya why are you avoiding me? I thought we’re okay.”

“Avoiding you? Hindi naman kita iniiwasan Chard.” She vehemently denied.

“Then why aren’t you visiting me anymore? I bet it was Sky who convinced you to come here. Why don’t you call me like the way you used to?” There was obvious hurt in his tone.

“I’m no longer needed Chard. Magaling ka na rin naman. I need to report to work kasi baka mawalan ako ng trabaho.” She tried to reason out.

He took what she said negatively.

“So I was right all along. Kinaawaan mo lang ako. That’s the only reason why you helped me.” He couldn’t hide what he felt.

“I’m trying to make myself better para hindi ako maging pabigat. I am very much aware that I’m a burden to you. Ginagawa ko naman lahat.”

“Richard don’t say that. Ano ka ba!” She was worried hearing those words from him.

But he just continued…

“I’m even undergoing my therapy now. I want to be able to walk again for you Maya, for the kids, Sunshine and also Sky. Di ba you told me to make you a reason to want to get better. Well i did that. Ikaw ang dahilan. Konting panahon pa Maya. Please wag mo naman akong bitawan.” He could no longer take it that he was now again silently sobbing.

“Why are you saying that Richard. It doesn’t matter to me whether you walk or not. I was there hindi dahil naaawa ako sa’yo. I cared for you.”

Maya was now in front of him while he was avoiding her eyes. He was feeling so vulnerable, so useless and now embarrassed that he seemed so broken crying in front of her. He even seemed begging. She was trying to wipe his tear-stained cheeks.

He still continued despite his tears.

“Well i dont see it that way. Maybe I should make my therapy daily. I just do it thrice a week. Sinabihan ko na yun therapist ko na araw arawin para mas mabilis yun paglakad ko but di siya pumayag. Stephanie is just like her husband, my cardiologist, Dr. Madrid. I requested for an intensive therapy para mas mapadali yun paglakad ko pero hindi daw pwede kasi I just had my bypass. Maybe I should change her. I’ll find another therapist. I want to be able to walk soon so I will be the one to visit you, bring you to and from work. Kakayanin ko naman. Just don’t leave me again.…”

Maya didn’t hear the rest of what Richard has to say. Her heart was now relieved to learn that she was worrying and jealous over nothing. Sinaktan pa nya si Richard with her baseless assumptions.

“I don’t want to waste time. I’ve already done that but Maya habang hnahabol ko ang oras para gumaling agad ako, panay naman ang takbo mo papalayo. I’m already hurt. I thought we had something special. I thought you….”

But before he could say more.. Maya held his face and suddenly kissed him slowly, tenderly as if conveying whatever she wants to tell him. Richard was shocked, pleasantly so. He just closed his eyes while responding to her kiss with equal intensity.

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

Traces of Love 6

Traces of Love 6

The moment Maya and Sunshine left, Richard asked his nurse to leave him alone. He wanted to be given privacy.

He could no longer contain the pain he felt which was further intensified by his state of helplessness.

He felt so frustrated that he allowed his tears to finally fall, he allowed himself to cry all his anger and frustrations the moment his nurse closed the door. He needed to release it or else his heart won’t be able to take it.

He never expected how the events turned out. He was expecting Sunshine’s positive reaction on his plan to court her mom. He was sure that his daughter would be delighted with his plan.

He had been rehearsing what he would be saying the whole morning before his daughter arrived.

He could imagine Sunshine smiling so brightly while giving her approval.

He could even imagine their daughter helping him get closer to her mom.

He could imagine Sunshine even teasing them.

He was looking forward to that.

The moment they were introduced, Sunshine had been vocal about her love for him. She was also vocal of her wanting him to be present in her future plans, like visiting the Philippines. He was assured that all he needs was the formality of asking his daughter’s permission. He was so sure that she would say yes.

He had been wrong.

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

Maya and Sunshine were on their way home after leaving the hospital. Maya noticed that her daughter was unusually quiet. She wasn’t talking that much even when they already reached their home.

“Anak, don’t worry, kapag vacation pupunta ka ulit dito. You can spend it at your dad’s place. I’m sure both of you would love that. He lives near Kuya Sky’s school.”

“Okay lang mom. I’m not thinking about dad naman po.

Maya noticed that Sunshine stopped talking about her dad. For her whole stay in the States, she talked relentlessly about him and would always worry about his condition but now, she didn’t mention him.

“Sunshine did something happen ba with you and daddy? May sinabi ba siya?”

Sunshine stared back at her.

“Anak you can tell me.”

But Sunshine didn’t want to tell her mom that her dad wanted to court her. It is better not to do so. She wants what’s best for her mom.

She loves her dad and she is very much aware that her mom obviously loves him too.

It was the reason why she remained unattached until now. She prayed for her mom to find happiness but not the kind thaf her dad could only offer.

Her mom doesn’t deserve only a portion of that love for she was the most selfless person in the world.

“Anak no secrets remember? Did something happen? Galit ka sa daddy mo?”

“Sunshine knows that she couldn’t hide anything from her mom. She wouldn’t stop until she gets the truth from her.

“Hindi po. I’m not mad at him. Sad lang po kasi I thought we could be a family now.”

Maya’s heart constricted. She doesn’t know what made Sunshine say that. Like her daughter, she had also been hoping for it to happen.

“Anak daddy loves you and we are also okay. We are now close friends, special friends. Aren’t you happy? Para na rin tayong family.”

Sunshine just stared at her with that unmistakable sad and longing eyes.

“Anak…”

“Mom, I saw the woman who visited daddy. I also heard her while talking to a doctor saying that she was going to visit her husband. Asawa siya ni dad?”

Sunshine’s eyes were misty already. She was obviously disappointed and sad. Maya knows that she shouldn’t make her similar feelings of frustration evident. It wouldn’t be good for her daughter. She tried her best to maintain composure and mask her feelings.

“Sunshine, di ba you know that daddy has a family? I let you meet him so that you’ll know each other. Yun lang naman ang important di ba anak? All is well. Your dad and I are now very good friends. And I’m thankful that you two had the chance to know each other. We shouldn’t ask for more. Atsaka we are happy naman di ba?”

Sunshine didn’t say anything but just hugged her mom. Maya gave her the comfort her daughter needs so badly right now.

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

Sunshine together with her Uncle Carlo are now on their way to the airport. They were accompanied by Maya and Sky.

They will be returning to the Philippines.

They have dropped by the hospital to see Richard and bid goodbye.

Richard promised his daughter that he would visit her very soon.

Sunshine also promised her dad that she will regularly call him and that she will be a good girl and do well in her studies.

It was very sad for Richard and Sunshine and also Maya.

“Dad, don’t forget to regularly take your medicines. Pagaling ka po.”

Richard just nod his head and smiled sadly. He will miss his daughter. They didn’t even have the time to bond because he couldn’t leave the hospital during her visit.

“Don’t be sad na daddy kasi I will call you everyday.”

Despite her disappointment that her dad couldn’t be totally with her mom, Sunshine loves him so much. Maya brought her up making her aware of all the positive qualities of Richard.

They shared a very tight hug before Sunshine eventually left.

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

It’s been a week after Sunshine left and Maya only visited him once. She told him that she needs to make up for the days she took a leave from her work.

She still calls him everyday to remind him of his medicines but she remained distant. She would just focus on Sunshine and everytime the conversation would be lead to anything about them, she’ll veer away from it.

Richard had noticed it already but he pretended to be unaware of it. He couldn’t understand why Maya changed all of a sudden.

Everything turned out well from his surgery, to meeting his daughter, to being close to Maya again. It gave him the reason to look at life positively again. It gave him motivation, it made him feel excited to wake up everyday.

Maya and Sunshine brought back the happiness which had left him for many years now.

He wanted to give them back what they deserve and he knows he can do it by giving himself to them. He wants to be committed to them, he wants to be there for them.

But after the successful surgery, after meeting his daughter, Maya had been avoiding him.

Unlike before when she would be the one bugging him about taking his medicines, unlike those simple conversations where Maya would animatedly talk about anything whether trivial or serious, now she stopped doing it. She just stopped and would make her work as an excuse for not frequently talking to him or visiting him.

He couldn’t think of a reason why she had a change of heart. He thought they were okay.

Maybe Maya realized that he was a burden to her and her daughter.

Who would want a person who couldn’t walk anyway.

Who would want someone with a fragile heart.

He knows that with his condition, he would make things difficult for Maya and Sunshine.

That’s the only reason he could think of. Maya was just helping him because of pity.

He felt irrelevant, unimportant.

Insecurity is again creeping in his whole being.

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

He was going home now.

His sister and nurse were assisting him towards their car.

Maya called him up earlier this morning and said she was happy that he would finally go home. She said she couldn’t leave work that’s why she couldn’t be with them.

“Chard, alagaan mo ang sarili mo ha! I will visit you pag pumunta ako kay Sky. Sorry di ko talaga maiwan trabaho ko.” She made her work an excuse again. She could actually leave work and attend to him but she wanted to distance herself. She wouldn’t want to allow her heart to fall for him again. She can’t stand being hurt again.

“It would have been more special if you’re here Maya. I missed you. I haven’t seen you since our daughter left.”

“Grabe ka naman. Naguusap naman tayo lagi ah. Pagaling ka Chard.”

“Yes but it’s different from having you near me, hearing your voice while looking at you.”

There was sadness and pain in his tone but Maya dismissed it. She doesn’t want Richard to start getting clingy to her just because they had Sunshine. She wouldn’t get in the way of his relationship with Stephanie, whom she gathered, from what she heard, must be having some problems with Richard.

“Ay ang drama naman Chard. Sige na maghanda na kayo. Papasok na ako sa trabaho. Promise pupuntahan kita sa bahay mo pag bumisita ako kay Sky sa Boston.”

“Okay. Thank you Maya for helping me, for taking pity on me. Sorry if I was a burden to you. Sorry nahirapan ka sa’kin. Sorry naabala kita.”

“Richard…”

“Bye Maya.” He ended the call.

Maya could feel Richard’s frustration and she wanted him to know that she did not help him out of sympathy. She did it out of concern. She cares for him. And after all these years she still loves him. But she knows that it’s better for him not to be aware of it.

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

“What’s wrong Richard? Kanina pa di maipinta ang mukha mo?” His sister asked the moment they arrived in his house.

“Don’t mind me.”

“Di ba you should be happy and thankful that magaling ka na.”

He sighed heavily. He couldn’t hide what he’s been feeling.

“I feel so useless! I couldn’t even see Maya.”

“You can visit her once you’re fully recovered. Nakakalabas ka naman even with your wheelchair. It’s never been a problem.” His sister wanted to comfort him.

“Damn! I couldn’t even drive them to the airport! I couldn’t even run after them!”

“Hey watch your language Richard!” His sister scolded him. “Where are all these frustration coming from? Di ba dapat masaya ka at okay na kayo ni Maya and you have a daughter. That is more than enough blessings you should be thankful for. Instead of wallowing in self pity, why don’t you pursue Maya. Make everything right.”

“She doesn’t want me.”

“What? Why would you say that?”

“I’ll be a burden to them. Maybe I should talk to Stephanie now.”

“Just because Maya is avoiding you, kakausapin mo na si Stephanie?”

“She could help me. I couldn’t just sit here and wait for Maya and Sunshine to slip away. I need them.”

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