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.
“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.”
“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.”