My Safe Refuge 14
“So Maya yun lalaking kasama mo kanina, siya ba yung rason kung bakit ka umalis at dinala mo pa yun anak natin? May ibang lalaki ka pala.” James Ventura sarcastically retorted.
“Alam natin na hindi yun ang dahilan James. Ikaw yun nagtulak sa amin para lumayo, para magtago. Ikaw at yun bisyo mo, yun pananakit mo sa amin ni Luke. Yun ang dahilan.”
But James ignored what she said. He continued.
“Binalak kong kasuhan ka ng kidnapping Maya, pero ngayon meron na akong pwedeng idagdag. Maaari kitang kasuhan ng adultery. Sabagay mukhang may kaya naman yun kinakasama mo. Maaari ka nyang matulungan. Mukha ring mabait. Hmmm… ano kayang pwedeng gawin ko sa kanya?”
“Wag kang mandadamay ng ibang tao. Alam natin ang totoong dahilan James. Nananahimik na kami ni Luke. Please lang. Wag mo na kaming guluhin.”
“And akala mo Maya ganun na lang yun? Hindi naman ako papayag. Sasama na kayo ni Luke sa akin.”
“Hindi yun maaari James. Hindi mo na kami kayang takutin. Maayos na yun buhay namin.”
“Talaga? Maayos na ang buhay nyo? Ah kasi meron ka nga palang kasama ngayon. Kanina ko pa kayo pinagmamasdan Maya. Ang sweet nyo ha! At close na rin kayo ni Luke sa pamilya nila. Yun dalawang bata anak ba nya? Richard Lim, mukhang kilalang negosyante siya Maya – pilantropo, maraming negosyo tapos yun mga magulang naman eh sobrang iginagalang sa bayan nila.”
Maya was surprised that James knew that much about Richard. She was so worried for him. James is very capable of hurting people.
Unknown to Maya, James Ventura have seen them already when the group of Richard arrived earlier today but instead of confronting her, he opted to do a little research on the man who was with his wife, the man whom he saw, was making his wife laugh, the man who was super sweet and touchy towards his wife. All he needed was to ask for the name and address of Maya’s companion. Despite being the wife-beating, alcoholic, drug addict jerk he is, James Ventura is very charming in his own way. He could easily make people think that he is a very good man. He uses this charm to his advantage. He used this charm to ask the resort’s front desk employee for information regarding Richard Lim. Getting Richard’s name and address was all he needed to get further details about Richard Lim’s work or business or any personal details from the web. A few clicks here and there easily gave him some information about Richard, his business and his family. Their being known in their province made it easier for James to get the information he needed.
“James please nakikiusap ako. Wag mo nang idadamay ang pamilya ni Richard. Wala naman silang kinalaman dito. Kahit si Richard walang alam tungkol sa’yo. Please naman James.” She was begging. She didn’t want Richard to be involved in her problem with James. She loves him so much. She wanted to protect him and his family from James. This was the very reason why she didn’t want to get involved with Richard before.
“Depende yan sa’yo Maya. Madali naman akong kausap. Sumama kayo ni Luke sakin, hindi ko pakikialaman si Richard Lim. Pero kapag pinahirapan mo ako, kapag tumakas ka ulit, sisiguraduhin kong madadamay siya at ang kanyang pamilya. Alam na alam mo ang kaya kong gawin Maya.”
“Please naman James.” She was begging him, holding his arm to beg him to stop bothering them.
“Ikaw ang bahala Maya. Kunsabagay masaya rin na lagyan ng konting aksyon ang mukhang napaka boring na buhay nyang si Richard Lim.”
After his phone call, Richard sought for Maya. He went to the stalls where he knows she will look for her son.
From afar, he already saw Maya seriously talking to a guy while Luke was tightly holding his mother’s hand.
He didn’t like what he saw.
He rushed to where Maya was.
“Maya i was looking for you and Luke.”
He ignored the guy Maya was talking to. He felt jealous at what he saw but he didn’t want to get upset so he just pretended not to notice him.
But James had something else in mind.
“Honey hindi mo ba ako ipapakilala sa kaibigan mo?”
This infuriated Richard.
And who are you?”
“I am James Ventura, the husband of Maya dela Rosa- Ventura and father of Luke Andrew dela Rosa Ventura.” James draped his arm around Maya’s shoulders. He was giving his fake smile to the shocked Richard Lim.
She was trying her best to act calm as she didn’t want to cause any commotion. She was so worried for Richard and also scared for herself and Luke.
“Maya is this true?” a very surprised Richard was asking her, hoping that she would deny it.
“Oo Ricky siya ang daddy ni Luke.” Maya couldn’t even look him in the eye.
She was already scared and Luke was obviously trembling in fear but Richard didn’t notice it. He was too focused on what he found out. He was focused on the shock, pain and anger he felt upon finding out that Maya isn’t actually a widow which she made him believe all these months.
“Excuse me pare, isasama ko na ang mag-ina ko. Nagkatampuhan lang kami nito pero aayusin namin. Salamat sa kung anuman na pagasikaso mo sa kanila.” James addressed Richard still with his fake smile. He even shook his hand.
Maya couldn’t speak and Luke was hugging the side of his mom.
“Okay pare. Bahala ka na sa kanila. Isinama lang namin sila ng pamilya ko kasi magkaklase yun mga bata.” Richard was at a loss of what to say so he chose to be civil.
Despite being mad, he didn’t want to cause further problems to Maya and her husband. Maya is not explaining so he couldn’t really understand what’s happening.
Then James left with Maya and Luke leaving the distraught Richard Lim behind.
Richard banged the door of his hotel room. He was furious. He never felt so led on and betrayed all his life.
His mother decided to cut short their vacation after witnessing the incident between Maya and the man who claimed to be her husband. She saw how surprised, clueless and helpless Richard was. Then she saw how her son became quiet and obviously enraged with what he found out.
It was fortunate that Roberto and their two apos were swimming together with the rest of the group when the scene happened.
When Maya and Luke left with her husband, Esmeralda Lim immediately suggested to Richard that they should all just go home but her son requested to stay behind. He needs to clear his head. He also didn’t want anyone at home to know about what happened. He still wanted to protect Maya and Luke. He didn’t want anybody to think badly of them.
So Maya is married and her husband is still alive. She lied to him.
“Brod wala ka sa office mo last week. I went there.”
He just stared blankly at Ryan. He’s on his third glass of wine.
“Ang aga nyan ah. Nag-almusal ka na ba?” Ryan tried again.
“Ryan why are you here?”
“Whoah! Bakit bawal na bang dumalaw sa’yo? Ang hirap mong hanapin. I have to threaten Joma para sabihin nya kung nasaan ka.”
“I’m busy and I’m not a very good companion lately. Sa sunod na lang tayo magkwentuhan brod.”
“Richard, alam ko na yun nangyari. Nakwento na nang mama mo sakin.”
He gave him an angry stare, upset that Ryan and his mom were talking about him.
“Hey don’t get mad at your mom. Nag-aalala lang naman kami sa’yo. You’re not answering your phone at di ka rin pumupunta sa building nyo tapos nalaman ko pa na you are renting this unit. Aba parang naglayas ka lang brod.”
“I don’t want the kids to see me like this.”
“Alam ko naman pero you won’t solve anything by drinking and hiding here.”
“There’s nothing to be solved Ryan so hayaan mo na muna ako to be miserable for being an idiot.”
“Ryan please. Gusto ko na munang mapag-isa.”
“Okay I won’t say anything pero dito lang muna ako. I drove ten hours upang makarating dito. Makikipahinga lang muna ako, kung pwede.”
“Brod there’s a hotel nearby. Dun ka na lang. I really need to be alone.”
Ryan didn’t insist anymore. Richard had gone through the same situation when he blamed himself for his wife’s death.
On the way to the door, Ryan had to tell him one last thing…
“Brod pumunta ako kina Maya bago ako dumeretso dito…”
“Ryan please stop!”
“…nagulat si Manang Fe ng sinabi ko na sumama si Maya sa asawa nya. Takot na takot si Manang Fe. Akala nya magkasama kayo. Akala nya napasarap yun bakasyon nyo kaya hindi umuwi yun mag-ina. Akala nya walang signal sa pinuntahan ninyong beach resort. Nagpapatulong sa akin na hanapin sina Maya. Hindi ko maintindihan yun buong pangyayari at kung bakit ganun ang reaksyon ni Manang Fe. Kailangan ko lang sabihin sayo kasi baka may alam ka or may naikwento si Maya tungkol sa asawa nya.”
Richard was surprised with what Ryan shared. He stared at him, without saying anything.
“Alam kong masakit yun pinaglihiman ka ni Maya. Baka nga akala mo ginamit ka lang nya. Pero brod sana lawakan mo muna yun pang-unawa mo. She may have her own reasons why she did it. You told me yourself na she always prefers to be private, to stay home at sinabi mo rin na di ka nya sinagot noon kasi may mga sarili siyang isyu sa nakaraan nya. She really didn’t hide it from you. Hindi lang nga sinabi kung ano. You don’t even know how she is right now. Sa pagkakakilala mo ba kay Maya masama ba siyang tao? Manggagamit ba siya? Could it be that she’s suffering at this very moment? Could it be na mas nasasaktan siya ngayon?”
Ryan slowly went back to the chair he occupied awhile ago. He seemed to make progress in talking sense to his friend.
“Ryan sumama siya ng di sya pinilit. She just left without saying anything. She never called, never texted.”
“Inalam mo man lang ba kung bakit? Do you think Maya would allow herself to be romantically involved with you kung okay sila ng asawa nya? Masaya ba sya ng nakita yun asawa nya? Takot? Galit? Ano? What have you seen?”
“I no longer give a damn what she feels. She played with me. I loved her brod. Mas minahal ko pa nga siya kay Alex. She could have told me that he husband is alive. I’ve been consoling her all these time thinking that she was a widow and she never corrected it. Pinagmukha nya akong tanga. I’ve bared my whole heart to her. I even opened up about Alex, about my family to her. Hindi nya man lang pinahalagahan yun.” Then the strong Richard Lim sobbed letting out all the hurt, anger and betrayal he felt.
“Brod, alamin mo muna the reason why she hid it from you. Alamin mo muna kung bakit hinayaan nyang isipin mo, isipin natin na patay na yung asawa nya. Maya loves you brod. Nakita ko yun tuwing ikinukwento ka nya. I’m sure she won’t be able to fake that look whenever she talks about you. I’m definitely sure that twinkle in her eyes, those beaming smiles are not just for show. Be reasonable enough to set aside your bruised ego and find out what really happened and why it happened. Baka kailangan ka ng mag-ina. Don’t wait until it’s to late to save them. Sa nakita ko kay Manang Fe natatakot ako para kay Maya brod.”
Richard didn’t say anything. He just stared at the glass on top of his table. His eyes were still red from crying awhile ago.
“Sige brod. I have to go. If you can’t pull yourself up for your own sake, do it for the kids. Do it for your parents. Do it for Maya and Luke brod.”
Then Ryan left the totally shaken Richard Lim.