Can We Start Over Again 7
A/N : Scheduled posts muna po while I’m away. Don’t worry. Sunod sunod yan. Si WP na bahala magpost.
After discussing with both parents, they had decided that Maya would accept Mr. M.’s offer to be a contract artist of the network.
Richard on the other hand declined despite his parents’ assurance that they were okay if he would join Maya. He preferred to return to his normal life with his family. Both parents supported the decision of the two.
Maya was happy that she would finally pursue her ultimate dream but also very sad that she would have to face the new chapter of her life alone. She would have been happier and less-scared if Richard was with her. He used to be her strength. He used to be the one who would encourage her when she feels that she’s not capable of doing something. But now she had to do everything on her own.
The other half of their partnership could no longer be with her. She had to be strong to be successful in the path she had chosen.
“Maya you take good care of yourself there. Kapag may time ka, lagi kang tatawag sa amin ha and kapag may problema, tell us.” It was her Tita Esmeralda during their despedida lunch for Maya. The Lims treated the dela Rosas for lunch. She will be leaving in two days. Her mother Teresita will accompany her and stay with her for a week until she has adjusted to her new life in Manila.
“Opo Tita. Mamimiss ko po kayo.” She was really sad.
“Naku Maya you are going to reach for your dreams. Iwanan mo na yun lungkot lungkot na ganyan. You can do it. You are very talented, very smart atsaka ang ganda ganda mo pa. Walang sinabi si Anne Curtis sa’yo lalo na sa boses mo. Tito Roberto and Tita Esmie are very proud like your mom and dad. Kayang kaya mo yan.” Tito Roberto tried to make everything seem okay. He was also sad but he didn’t want that to be the mood before Maya leaves. He wanted her to leave with happy memories and with the thought that she had their 100% support back home.
“Salamat po Tito.” She managed to say. She was thankful that Richard’s parents were supportive of her decision. At least, though Richard failed to show the support she needed, his parents still gave her their blessings on what she chose.
Richard remained quiet during lunch. He couldn’t mask his disappointment that Maya chose her career over her parents. He would just answer questions asked of him but never join in their conversation. Maya already noticed his indifference but she just ignored it. She didn’t want them to argue like the last time they talked.
“Ricky kapag free time mo don’t forget to call Maya ha. At least hindi siya masyadong malulungkot kapag makakausap ka nya.” Nanay Teresita requested.
“Opo Nay Tere.” It was the only reply he could give.
“Naku kayo ha! Maghihiwalay na nga kayo tapos nagtatampuhan pa kayo. You guys should enjoy your last days together. Malay nyo, the next time you see each other eh binata at dalaga na kayo. Baka mas magkahiyaan pa kayo nyan.” Esmeralda couldn’t help but notice how the two avoided talking to each other.
Maya just bowed her head. She felt like crying already because Richard was really ignoring her and when Tita Esmie voiced what she observed, her tears automatically made way to the surface. Maya didn’t want them seeing her crying so she excused herself to go to the restroom.
The moment Maya left…
“Anak pwede ba isantabi mo na muna yun tampuhan ninyo ni Maya. Aba mahirap ang gagawin nya. Kailangan nya mag-adjust sa bagong buhay nya sa Manila. Hindi man natin nakikita pero sigurado akong kinakabahan siya. Wag mo nang dagdagan.” His mom couldn’t help but scold him even in front of Teresita and Arturo.
“Sorry po. I’m just sad na ipagpapatuloy pa rin nya. Alam naman nya how uncertain showbusiness is.” He was able to tell them.
“Ricky, anak dalawang taon lang naman yun. Atsaka kung hindi ni Maya magustuhan o kaya kung hindi naman maganda ang kalalabasan ng desisyon nya, pwede naman natin siyang pauwiin dito. Malungkot na malungkot yan at hindi ka nya makakasama. Pero sana kahit magkalayo kayo, manatili pa rin yun pagkakaibigan nyo. Para na kayong magkapatid para masira lang ng pangyayaring to.” Nanay Teresita understands Ricky’s apprehension for she was with them when they stayed in Manila after they won The Voice Duets. She understands when Ricky talked about the cruel world of showbiz, the unhealthy hours, the insincere people they had to deal with, the tiring travels, the bashers, the competition among the stars themselves and their managers. She knows that Ricky is just concerned with Maya’s welfare and she actually appreciates it.
“You take care of yourself there Maya.” Ricky was telling his bestfriend when he and his parents accompanied the dela Rosas to the airport. Their parents were fixing their luggage while Maya and Richard were talking at a corner.
“Ricky mag-iingat ka rin dito ha. Magchat tayo palagi. Yun facebook mo lagi mong bubuksan kasi lagi kitang papadalhan ng message.”
“Yes I will do that. Be careful with the people you deal with and always ask your nanay and tatay sa mga decisions mo ha. Don’t let the managers or the showbiz people decide for you.” He reminded her.
“Oo naman Ricky. Mag-iingat ako doon. Ikaw mag-aral ka ha. Baka mamaya nyan palagi ka na lang magbabasketball kasi wala na ako. Atsaka baka lagi ka na lang magvideo games.”
“Of course mag-aaral akong mabuti. I’m aiming to be top of the class di ba?”
“Ricky wag ka munang mag gigirlfriend ha. Kung meron kang gustong girl, dapat kilalanin ko muna.” She didn’t know what made her say it but she really meant it. Worried siya that the girls who were stalking Ricky would be more aggressive now that she’s no longer with him.
He laughed at what she said. He even joked. “Huy Maya I’m just fifteen. Eto kung ano ano ang iniisip. Atsaka daig mo pa sina mama. Siguro tama lang na we’re parting ways temporarily kasi natatakot sa’yo yun mga girls na may crush sa akin. Ang higpit mo raw kasi.”
But she was serious. She would always be possessive of him. “Basta mag promise ka na lahat ikukuwento mo sa akin ha?”
“Oo na. ikaw talaga. O here, you listen to the songs here kapag mag-isa ka so that you won’t miss me.” He handed her an ipod with all their favorite songs. Some were their duets and some were his solo songs he recorded a few days ago.
“Mga duets natin, favorite songs natin and some are my solo numbers para wag mong mamiss yun napakaganda kong boses. Pabaon ko sa’yo. You get to keep the ipod.” He was smiling at her.
Out of so much happiness because of his thoughtfulness, Maya hugged him very tight. He was surprised but he hugged her back as well. Not yet being able to recover from the hug, Maya kissed his cheek too. She was smiling “Thank you talaga best friend. Sobra talaga kitang mamimiss.”
Maya may have kissed and hugged him innocently but what she did made his heart leap and made him feel that same feeling he kept and tried his best to ignore.
He wasn’t able to say much anymore until Maya and her mom boarded their plane.
He was affected by what she did.
Mr. M. was disappointed that it was only Maya who accepted his offer. When they considered them to be part of their roster of talents, they already had plans of launching Richard and Maya as a love team. The intense chemistry they had was the major consideration for the offer. Now that it was only Maya who accepted the offer, they had no choice but adjust. Mr. M. had to change their plans for Maya. They now had to launch her as a solo artist.
The moment she arrived, Maya became so busy that she momentarily forgot her loneliness of being away from home. Her Nanay Teresita stayed with her for a week but she had to leave Maya under the care of her Auntie Fe.
Weeks have passed.
If Maya seemed so happy in TV, she wears a different mask when inside her room after the day’s busy work. She would cry herself to sleep for she missed her family and friends so much already.
Richard just called her a few times and he would always make excuses as to why he couldn’t call her. He would always text her that he was busy. He intentionally didn’t want to talk to her after that incident at the airport.
He also saw Maya on her TV interviews and some shows where she guested. These were shown in TFC. She seemed okay to him so he decided that he should lessen their communication so she could be more independent. He also needs space to assess what he felt. He got scared. For him what he felt was wrong. He wouldn’t want to ruin the great relationship their families had by acknowledging Maya’s effect on him. They were still very young, Maya now 13 and him 15. It’s best for him to avoid her. She seemed so happy with her new life anyway.
It’s been two months since Maya left.
Nanay Teresita was visiting Esmeralda when Richard arrived from school. He heard snippets of what the mothers were talking about.
“Ayun gabi gabi umiiyak si Maya. Alam mo naman yung batang yun. Malakas ang loob nun kaso wala naman siyang masabihan ng mga pangyayari sa kanya. Medyo naglilihim na rin sa akin. Siguro ayaw nya lang na mag-alala kami ng tatay nya. Ewan ko nga Mare. Dapat ata hindi ako pumayag sa gusto nya. Sinabihan ko nga na wag nang ituloy yun karera nya doon. Ibabalik na lang naming yun lahat nang nagastos nila kay Maya.”
“Akala ko okay siya. Kinumusta nga kami ng Tito Roberto nya sa Skype kahapon. Mukhang masaya naman siya kaya akala ko well-adjusted na si Maya. Sayang nga at wala si Ricky. Ewan ko ba sa dalawang yun at hindi ata masyadong nag-uusap. Nag-iiwasan. Siguro nalulungkot na nagkalayo sila.” Esmeralda was surprised to learn about how Maya finds it hard to adjust to her new life in the Philippines. She thought that Maya was having the time of her life. Her TV interviews and TV guestings showed her happy side, her bubbly side. They thought she was happy.
“Sabi nya sa amin ng tatay nya, masaya siya pero Mare alam kong hindi. Tuwing kinakausap ko laging umiiyak pero sinasabi lang na miss na daw nya tayo. Totoo yun pero sa tingin ko hindi lang sobrang homesickness yun.” Teresita was really worried.
“Naku mahirap yan, wala pa naman siyang masyadong kaclose doon.”
“Yun nga ang ikinakabahala namin kasi wala naman kaming kamag-anak doon na medyo malapit sa edad ni Maya. Si Auntie Fe hindi naman nun maiintindihan yun bata atsaka hindi rin naman ipinapakita ni Maya sa ibang tao na malungkot siya.”
“Mahirap yan Mare. Dapat ata pauwiin mo na lang.”
“Oo nga atsaka alam mo naman yun batang yun, ayaw nyang mag-alala ang mga tao sa paligid nya. Kapag humaharap sa mga tao, pinipilit nyang magmukhang masaya pero kapag nasa bahay na, ayun tatawag na sa amin at iiyak.”Nanay Teresita continued to share to her friend.
Richard felt very guilty. He avoided Maya. He even ignored her Facebook messages. He would just send her short messages of good mornings or goodnights. He seldom called her.
Like her normal day, Maya would go home to her condo after work. Her mom decided to just sell the house she won and buy a condo near the network so that Maya won’t have to travel to and from work. It would be safer for her. Auntie Fe lives with her already and the network also provided a PA for her when she goes to work.
She just finished talking to her nanay and tatay and was about to listen to the songs Ricky recorded for her, like she used to do so she could sleep.
Her phone rang.
She instantly got teary eyed when she saw his name flashing on her phone.
Richard was calling.
She didn’t know why he ignored her for two months when they were okay when she left. Yes he sends her messages but she expected more from him. She wanted to frequently hear his voice, talk to him about her experiences, ask his advice on things just like the way they used to do before.
She received the call. With a trembling voice, “Ricky…” then she couldn’t say anything else. She just cried. Namiss nya yun bestfriend nya. They haven’t talked to each other and she really missed him.
“Hi Maya. Kumusta na?” Was all he could say. He was also gauging if she’s mad at him.
She couldn’t speak for she could no longer control her sobs.
“Ssshhhh Maya are you crying? Hey don’t cry. Tumawag lang ako umiiyak ka na. Ang iyakin mo naman.”
“Ikaw kasi eh. Inaway mo ako. Di mo na nga ako sinamahan dito tapos di mo pa ako kinakausap. Akala ko ba okay tayo. Okay naman tayo nung umalis ako di ba?
“Maya I was just busy and I did it para makaadjust ka agad. You need time to familiarize yourself with the people there. I decided that it’s the best thing to do.” He tried to make excuses.
“Nakakainis ka Ricky. Ang sama kaya sa loob na paulit ulit kitang tinatawagan tapos ni isa wala ka man lang sinagot. Feeling ko hindi na ako importante sa’yo.”
“Of course you are very important.”
“Hindi ko naman yun naramdaman.”
“Sorry na Maya.”
“Nahihirapan na ako dito Ricky. Ang lungkot pala. Kapag ganitong gabi na, ang sobrang lungkot. Ang hirap makatulog.”
He could feel her loneliness.
“You want me to sing for you so you could sleep?” He used to do this when they were together back home and when their parents would leave them alone to attend an event.
“Okay lang? Baka naman mahuli ka na sa school. May pasok ka na di ba?”
“Mamaya pa naman yun. Sige na kakantahan kita para makatulog ka at makabawi ako.”
Then he started singing…
“I was not so happy being lonely
Living without you
So I prayed so hard for your love
In my heart I needed you
Then I looked up in the sky
And I’m thinking why oh why
These are all the many changes in my life”
“Ricky?” she interrupted him.
“Bakit naman yan ang kanta mo?” Maya was always particular with song messages and lyrics.
“Ah eh… wala naman. Pinapraktis ko lang. I’ll be singing that in a school program.” He lied. He really meant what he sang to her. But he would never admit that.
“So Maya kumusta naman kayo ni James Ventura?” The host asked her. She just finished shooting a film with her loveteam.
“Okay naman kami.” She shyly smiled.
“Ang mga ngiti ba na yan ay may ibig sabihin?” The host teased.
“Masaya naman kami. Special naman siya sa akin.” She was careful with her answers as she was instructed by the management to act sweet with James for the sake of their movie.
“So does this mean that he will be your escort in your coming debut?”
She didn’t answer it anymore for she wanted someone else to be her escort in that very special day of her life.