Can We Start Over Again 6
The supposedly very good news had a bittersweet effect on both Maya and Richard.
After their meeting with Mr. M. both of them remained quiet for the rest of the day.
Even during lunch, both tried their best not to discuss about Mr. M’s offer.
Their mothers noticed how it affected them and suggested that they would just discuss about it once they get back home in the States. They had to discuss it with their husbands.
They left the Philippines to go back home to the States.
Until their last days in the Philippines, the network took good care of them and they really appreciated it.
Both Maya and Richard felt that they were very special.
It should have been easier to accept the offer as they already felt the warmth, love and concern for them of the management, their new workmates, their supporters.
But they also know that the life-changing decision of accepting the opportunity to have a career in the Philippines will definitely change not only their lives but their parents’ lives as well.
They will certainly leave the peaceful, uneventful yet very happy lives they have with their parents and friends in the States.
Maya and Richard together with their parents and their music mentor in the States, coach Jeffrey, his wife and two kids, enjoyed the travel for ten to the Asian countries that Maya and Richard won.
They visited Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
They enjoyed the place, food and culture of every country they visited.
They all enjoyed the wonderful experience each country had offered them. Every memory was worth treasuring especially that they experienced all these things with the very special people in their lives.
They were having lunch at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant in HongKong Disneyland, which was the last country they visited.
“You are so blessed Richard and Maya. When I started teaching you when you were still small alam kong malayo ang mararating nyo. I am so proud of you. Thank you too for including me, my wife and kids in this unforgettable adventure. The kids are so happy.” Coach Jeffrey commented.
“Siyempre naman Coach Jeff. Love na love ka kaya namin. Kung hindi sa inyo hindi naman kami mananalo.” Maya hugged their mentor who was also like a big kuya to her and Richard.
“And everything we know, we learned from you Coach.” Richard added.
“Hep hep paano naman kami? We are also your mentors atsaka yung talent nyo sa amin nyo nakuha.” Roberto Lim jokingly protested.
“Naku Roberto wag ka na ngang makisali. Kapag ikaw yun nagtuturo kay Ricky eh wala naman yang ibang kinakanta kundi yun mga makaluma mong mga kanta. They won’t win with those songs.” Esmeralda teased her husband.
“Oo nga kumpare, hindi ipapanalo nang mga bata yun paborito mong My Way.”
They were all laughing.
“But seriously, we would like to thank you Jeffrey. You have taught Maya and Ricky not only the technical side of singing but yun mas importante na discipline and dedication in what they are doing.”
“Wala po yun Tito Art. Ang dalawang to ang pinakamasayang turuan sa mga estudyante ko. Nakakalungkot lang na hindi ko na pala makikita ang dalawang paborito ko. You will be expanding your horizon na Maya and Ricky? Dadalaw pa rin kayo ha?” Coach Jeffrey sadly expressed what he felt.
Maya and Richard just stared at each other. They know that Coach Jeffrey was talking about the offer they got from the Philippines. They were just surprised that their coach assumed that they already accepted the offer.
“O bakit ganyan ang reaction nyo? I already know it kasi kinausap rin ako ni Mr. M when I was in Manila. He asked about the set-up we have here. Maybe he was concerned if may kontrata tayo. I gladly told them that wala naman. You kids don’t have to worry. You have my 100% support.” Coach Jeff added.
“Thank you Coach Jeff. Dalawin nyo kami sa Manila ha.”
“Hindi naman kami pumayag Coach.”
They said at the same time then stared at each other again after hearing what the other said.
“Ayaw mo?” Maya asked Richard.
“Pumapayag ka?” Richard asked Maya.
“Akala ko gusto mo.”
“We haven’t talked about it yet di ba?”
“Eh paano naman natin paguusapan eh umiiwas ka na pagusapan natin.”
“Because we decided to enjoy the trip and not stress ourselves with it. Pero bakit you seemed so sure na tatanggapin mo yun offer?” Richard was surprised with what he heard from Maya.
Nanay Teresita interrupted the argument of the kids. “Wag na munang pag-usapan yan dito. Magenjoy na muna at sayang naman kung dito pa kayo magdidiskusyon sa Disneyland.
Both kept quiet but avoided each other even in the succeeding rides they tried. Maya was always with Coach Jeff’s kids while Richard busied himself taking pictures.
“Tere mukhang may samaan ng loob ang mga bata.” Arturo dela Rosa voiced his concern.
“Oo nga eh. Nakakalungkot naman na pagmumulan pa ng di pagkakaunawaan yun offer sa kanila.” Teresita was sad at the turn of events.
“Pinagusapan nyo na ba yun offer sa mga bata?” Roberto Lim asked his friends.
“Hindi eh. Iniwasan naming pagusapan kasi medyo mahirap yun gagawing desisyon. Gusto sana naman na enjoyin muna yun bakasyon natin.
Coach Jeffrey joined them. “Malaking opportunity po yung mabigyan ng offer sa ABS. Sikat na company sila at marami na silang napasikat na artista, singers, dancers, celebrities. Many are doing everything just to be part of the network. Sayang naman po.”
“We just leave it to the kids to decide Jeffrey. Kung ano ang pangarap ni Maya, we will support her. Gagabayan lang namin siya pero we will allow her to do what she wants, kung tumuloy man siya sa career sa Pilipinas or manatili sa dati nyang buhay.” Nanay Teresita and her husband always supports their only daughter in her dreams.
“Kami rin, we will let Ricky decide on his own. Fourteen na si Ricky. Though he’s still young he can already decide for himself. We will just guide him in whatever decision he makes.” Roberto and Esmeralda Lim also supports their son in whatever he does.
Though both parents know the weight of the decision they will be making, they didn’t want their kids to see the stress they are also going through while pondering about it.
Whatever decision the kids make, it will still make them sad. If they accept the offer, they will definitely have to leave them and stay in the Philippines for two years. It would be a major adjustment for all of them.
If they decline the offer, it would mean turning their backs on the big opportunity that would help them grow, improve in their craft, and make them successful like the other singers and celebrities of the network. It would mean saying no to something that many people dreamt of.
It was their last night in HongKong .
Maya and Richard were left inside their hotel unit while their parents were doing the last minute shopping with Coach Jeffrey and his family.
They were watching a concert on TV.
Richard was seriously watching while Maya was already restless. She wanted to talk to her best friend about her decision.
“Ricky pag-usapan na natin.”
Richard just glanced at her then resumed watching TV again.
But Maya is determined to talk to him about it. She wants to change his mind and convince him to accept the offer. She wanted to accept the opportunity given them. She knows that Ricky doesn’t seem interested so she wants to make him see why they should accept it.
“Ricky maganda namang subukan di ba? Atsaka hindi na tayo dumaan sa maraming proseso. Hindi rin tayo ang lumapit at nagmakaawa para makasali sa ABS. Marami dyan namumuhunan ng pagod, pera, nagsasakripisyo, nagmamakaawa para lang bigyan ng project pero tayo ayun marami na agad silang projects for us, may movie, tv show, recording contract. Masaya naman yun Ricky di ba? Napakaimportante natin sa kanila.” She tried to make him see how favorable the offer is for them.
“Maya I know that and I am grateful that they considered us. Pero Maya our family is far more important than having a career while being far from them. I could see all that we could gain by saying yes to the offer pero Maya it would mean leaving our parents. Hindi naman pwede yun. It was the reason why we joined the contest in the first place. Naalala mo? We joined kasi kapag nanalo tayo hindi na kakailanganin ni Papa na tanggapin yun trabaho sa Australia. It would be ironic na tayo naman ang aalis para iwanan sila.”
“Two years lang naman Ricky atsaka pwede naman tayong bumisita palagi o kaya sila ang bumisita sa atin. Sayang naman Ricky. Ayaw mo ba nun? Sabay naman tayo eh.”
“Maya it’s not that. Kung sa gusto, I want it for us as well. We’ve been through a lot already with our singing, with our friendship. We’re practically family and yun contract that they offered us would be perfect to grow as a person, to hone our talents, to earn for our family. Gusto ko rin yun especilaly that we will be doing it together. Hirap din ako to decide Maya pero I really can’t have the same decision as yours. Mas priority ko sina Mama at Papa.”
“Ricky naman eh.” She was already desperate.
“Sorry Maya but I really can’t.”
“Pasosolohin mo ako?” She was already teary-eyed that despite her attempts to convince him, Richard already made up his mind.
“Maya what if ikaw naman ang kumbinsihin ko to decline the offer and just go back to the States. We were happy there. We have friends, we do well in school, nabibili naman natin ang gusto natin, we may not be able to enjoy travelling like this pero being with our family is priceless Maya.”
Maya didn’t say anything. She just went inside her room and left Richard at the small living room or their hotel unit.
She automatically teared up when she saw his name flashing on her phone.
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 for two months.
“Ssshhhh Maya, don’t cry. Ang iyakin mo naman.”
“Ikaw kasi eh. Inaway mo ako. Di mo na nga ako sinamahan dito tapos di mo pa ako kinakausap.”