My Safe Refuge – 18
A/N Since nakapagpost na ng lighter story kanina, I’m sure kaya nyo na tong slight mala-mmk na continuation. Matatapos na to. Final chapter na ang sunod dito.
It was morning when Luke arrived at the hospital with Manang Fe. It was Richard and Rafi who stays with Maya in the hospital. Rafi went home to change and Richard was alone when they arrived.
They brought Richard’s clothes which were prepared by his mom Esmeralda. There was also food for him.
“Tito Richard hot chocolate po. Ginawa po yan ni Lola Fe. Yun breakfast po inaayos pa sa table.” Luke handed Richard a mug as he sat beside him inside Maya’s hospital room.
“Thank you Luke. I’ll have breakfast later. Kayo kumain na ba?” Richard got the mug of hot choco then placed his arm on the boy’s shoulder to draw him closer to him.
Luke just nodded and smiled at him.
After what happened, the bond between the two of them got stronger. Luke already treats him like his own father and the boy was even protective of Richard’s daughters Nikki and Sunshine. He acts like a kuya already even if he’s just a few months older than Nikki.
Luke and Manang Fe were staying at Richard’s Manila house together with Richard’s mother, Esmeralda. The kids, Nikki and Sunshine had to go back to San Nicolas with their grandfather Roberto after they visited their Tita Maya. Nikki still had classes. Roberto also volunteered to talk to Luke’s teachers so they still could reconsider him despite being absent for a long time.
Everyone in Richard Lim’s family were helpful to Maya and Luke. They loved the mother and son and they vowed to take care of them not out of pity alone but because they already owned their hearts as well.
“Tito Richard thank you po ha.”
“Kung hindi po sa inyo nandun pa rin kami kay dad. Baka kung ano na ang nangyari kay Mommy. Sinubukan ko naman po to save mom pero ang strong ni dad. Then he locks the door para di ko matanggol si mom…” There was anger ang pain in Luke’s eyes as he recalls how they suffered from his dad.
Richard stared into the boy’s eyes wanting to assure him that everything is okay now, “Luke you have saved your mom. If not for you, we wouldn’t have found you. You should be very proud of yourself. I am very proud of you and I’m sure your mommy is very proud too.”
“I wished I had a different father. Daddy James is like a monster. His eyes would get red and he would always curse and say nasty things. He wouldn’t stop hitting mom even if I beg him.” The boy is shaking in anger now. Richard could see how Luke unknowingly clenched his fists.
He drew the boy closer to him.
“Luke, your dad did those things because of the drugs he had been taking. He was not aware of it anymore. He wasn’t in his right mind.”
“I hate him Tito Richard. I wished he wasn’t part of our lives.”
“Don’t say that Luke. He is your father and I’m sure if it wasn’t for his wrong decision of taking drugs, he loved you and your mom. You wouldn’t be here if not for that love your mom and dad had for each other. You have to understand him and pray for him. Nasa prison na siya Luke and he will pay for what he did to you and to your mom there.” The boy just stared at him but the hurt and anger is still evident in his eyes. Then he nodded and gave his Tito Richard a pained smile.
Richard hugged Luke. He knows that the young boy’s mind still couldn’t fully understand why his own father did what he did to them. He knows that Luke, just like his mom needs to learn to trust people again despite everything that happened to them. He would gladly be that person to help them erase the pain in their hearts.
“Luke, listen to me.” He again stared at the boy and calmly explained, “Bad things happen to anybody without us understanding why. Sometimes sobrang painful na and you can’t help but feel sad and angry. It’s normal to feel that way. Before, when Nikki and Sunshine’s mom died, I also felt so sad. I was angry at everybody. I blamed myself. I could have saved their if I only found out about her cancer on it’s earlier stage. I hated myself that time but then I realized that people who love me doesn’t deserve seeing an angry, sad and bad Richard. I still have many things to be grateful for – my parents, my kids, my friends and right now kayo ng mommy mo. I realized that what happened to me before led me to meeting you and your mom. That alone Luke already removed all the pain in my heart. That’s why it’s okay for you to feel bad for now pero don’t allow yourself to feel that for a long time. Atsaka ang goal natin is to make your mommy happy di ba? Partners tayo in doing it? Help Tito Richard in making mommy happy okay?”
“Opo Tito Richard.” Then the boy’s tears are flowing this time. He couldn’t help it. He was so thankful that they were saved from his dad. “Thank you po ulit.” Then he sobbed now into the arms of their saviour.
“Sssshhh… It’s okay now Luke. Safe na kayo and I’ll make sure that no one would hurt you and your mommy again.”
Manang Fe was just listening. She was so thankful that her prayers for Maya and Luke have been answered. An angel was again sent to save them just like what Rafi and Charlie did years ago.
Maya stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks. The doctor said that she could already go home after her fifth day but Richard and also Rafi decided that Maya had to fully recover before going home. At least the doctors and nurses would be able to take good care of her and Maya wouldn’t insist on working or even doing chores.
They could actually take good care of her at home but both Richard and Rafi knows how stubborn she is. Maya doesn’t want to depend on others. She dislikes being served. This made them decide to just let Maya rest and recover in the hospital.
Richard never left her side while Maya spent most of her days sleeping. The doctors had to sedate her so she won’t feel the pain in her body. Aside from the visible wounds, she also suffered broken ribs and even her abdomen had suffered from the pain inflicted by James.
On her seventh night, she woke up at the middle of the night.
“Hey how are you feeling?”
“Medyo okay naman pakiramdam ko. Bakit gising ka pa?”
“I’m answering emails lang. Do you want something?”
“Wala naman. Matulog ka na Ricky. Di mo naman ako kailangan bantayan. Mapupuyat ka nyan eh. Baka pati ikaw magkasakit nyan.”
“No Maya. I’m okay. Di pa naman ako inaantok. Masakit pa ba yun mga sugat mo?”
“Medyo Ricky pero magiging okay na din to. Hindi ko na nga masyado maramdaman yun sakit kasi nandyan kayong lahat. Nandyan si Luke at lalong lalo na ikaw.” She lovingly stared at him wanting to communicate the love and gratitude she has for him.
She wanted to embrace him tightly but she can’t with all the tubes attached to her.
“Pagaling ka ha. I missed you.”
“I missed you too. Luke said you didn’t leave the entire time lalo na nang palagi akong tulog. Lagi kang nandito. Ricky baka napapabayaan mo na sina Nikki at Sunshine, yun mama at papa mo, yun negosyo nyo.”
“No Maya. Don’t worry about it. Kayang kaya na nila dun.”
Then his eyes became evasive and she easily noticed it.
“May problema ka ba? Ricky…”
“Wala. I was just…I’m ashamed of myself. Nahihiya ako sa inyo, sa’yo. I didn’t know how to face you. I promised to take care of you and Luke but I failed.” He looked down, not wanting to meet her eyes.
“Richard wala ka namang kasalanan. Ako yun naglihim sa’yo.”
“But I still failed to protect you and Luke. I could never forgive myself. What if we weren’t able to locate you. What if di nagkaroon ng chance si Luke to call. What if…”
Then she held his hand. “Richard kung hindi dahil sa’yo baka kung ano na ang nangyari sa amin ni Luke ngayon. We owe you our lives. Palagi mo kaming nililigtas. Dati iniligtas mo kami sa bagyo. Ngayon naman kay James.
He slowly lifted his head to be able to look at her. “But i allowed him to get you and Luke. Hindi ko man lang siya napigilan…”
She caressed his cheek. “Kasi wala kang alam. Kasi inilihim ko sa’yo. Wala kang kasalanan.”
He touched her face, her forehead, her hair. “I am so sorry…”
“Stop saying sorry. Alam mo ba na punong puno ng pagpapasalamat ang puso ko para sa’yo? Hindi na nga magkasya eh.”
“I love you Maya.” He lovingly told her while caressing her hair.”
“Ako din Ricky mahal na mahal kita. Salamat sa lahat.”
Then Richard slowly planted a soft kiss on her bruised forehead careful not to exert pressure on it.
They both knew that everything will be okay from now on. Maya knows that the worst nightmare she and her son experienced is over now. Richard vowed to make Maya and Luke experience the love, the care and protection that they had been deprived of while they were with James. He would erase that bad memories from Maya’s husband.