Can We Start Over Again 10
Richard busied himself with school as he was about to graduate. It also helped him keep his mind off Maya.
She has been calling him but Richard would always find an excuse not to talk to her.
He seldom stays home too and spent time finding part time jobs while he was in his last year in school.
“Tita Esmie wala pa po ba si Ricky? Hindi ko kasi siya macontact. Medyo ilang linggo ko na rin pong hindi makausap. Okay lang po ba siya?”
“Wala siya dito Maya. He is busy kasi he is going to graduate na. Okay lang si Ricky.”
“Pakisabi na lang po na tumawag ako. Sige po Tita. Magiingat po kayo ni Tito Roberto. Sana po makadalo kayo ni Tito at ni Ricky sa birthday ko.” Mama Esmeralda could hear Maya’s sad voice.
He was actually in front of his mom but he was avoiding Maya. He pleaded his mom to tell Maya that he was not around. He refused to talk to her.
“And what was that son? Bakit mo iniiwasan si Maya? May problema kayo?” His mom was upset.
“No Ma. Wala. I’m just tired. Kapag nagumpisa na kaming mag-usap, I won’t be able to finish my school work.”
“Is that the only reason? Kasi parang may problema kayo eh. She sounded sad on the phone.”
“Ma you’re imagining things. We’re okay. Busy lang ako.”
“Wala talaga? Then why aren’t you attending her debut? You are invited at expected ka nina Tere na sasama ka sa kanila papunta ng Pilipinas.”
“Ma busy ako. I’m graduating remember? And I’m sure she wouldn’t notice my absence. Marami naman siyang visitors on that day. The network will even throw a big party for her. Makakaistorbo lang ako dun. I’ll just send her my gift.”
“But son, your presence is the best gift you could give her. Alam mo namang you are her bestfriend and you very well know that Maya isn’t fond of material things. Mas gusto ng batang yun na bisitahin siya.”
“Ma she has a boyfriend already. Ang pangit naman to still be there. Baka magkaisyu pa because of me.”
“I don’t understand you Ricky. Bahala ka kung kaya mong tiisin na wag pumunta sa special day ni Maya. Kung pwede lang kami ng daddy mo, kami na lang ang pupunta.” Then his mother left him, obviously disappointed with him.
He was also annoyed at himself. He should be blaming himself and not Maya. It wasn’t her fault that he’s such a coward to admit what he feels for her. It was his fault that he’s falling for his best friend.
It shouldn’t be happening.
He has nothing to offer her yet.
Maya has everything right now. A great career, fame, the support of her countless followers from all over the globe and an equally-famous and accomplished boyfriend.
He shouldn’t get in the way.
Maybe things won’t last between James and Maya. For sure they will break up and Maya would come running back to his arms.
He’s hopeful that it would happen.
But for now, he is determined to make a name for himself first to be worthy of her.
“Anak dapat masaya ka. Debut mo na ngayon. Ganap ng nasa legal na edad na ang dalaga ko. Sobrang proud kami ng nanay mo sa’yo.” Tay Arturo hugged his only daughter while they were preparing for the big event.
They were staying at their hotel suite where Maya’s 18th birthday party will be held.
“Masaya naman po ako tay.” She hugged her tatay tightly. “Mauna na po kayo sa baba. Tatawagan ko na lang po yung PA kapag ready na ako. Isang oras pa naman po bago magumpisa yun party.”
“Sige anak. Smile ka na. Dapat happy. Her dad said before closing the door behind him.
Her nanay was busy talking to visitors already but Maya requested for a few minutes to stay in her room.
She was so grateful to everyone who made her feel very special today. There were greetings from the management, her team, her fans, her colleagues in showbiz, from James, from her parents, from Aunt Fe and from her Tita Esmie and Tito Roberto. There were gifts from everyone as well. Even her sponsors sent her gifts and cakes.
She felt so blessed
She should be happy but she isn’t completely happy.
Not when Richard failed to greet her on her special day. Not when she felt that she’s not that important to him.
He’s been avoiding her for weeks already but she still hoped that he would at least greet her today.
She invited him to attend her debut but he turned her down. She couldn’t understand why he suddenly turned aloof and uncaring when they were still okay when he visited her a few months ago.
Maya has been waiting Richard’s greeting since this morning.
She was already crying silently and she was already mad at him for making her feel that way. She was about to call him when her phone rang. His name was flashing on her phone.
“Happy Birthday Maya! I’m sorry di ako nakapunta dyan. I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time. Enjoy with nanay, tatay and your friends.” He greeted her.
She sniffed but she tried her best not to let him know that she’s crying.
“Are you okay?” He heard her.
“Oo naman,” She kept her voice devoid of emotion.”Sinisipon lang kasi ang lamig dito.” She lied.
“You should drink medicine kasi for sure you will be very busy later.”
Then when he heard no reply from her, he added, “Sige na Maya. You enjoy your party. Ayaw ko namang makaistorbo pa sa’yo. I’m sure you have lots of visitors who want to greet you. Papasok na rin ako sa school.”
She just answered with a simple, “Thank you Ricky.” then ended the call.
She wiped her eyes and tried to appear okay. She had visitors to attend to anyway.
Richard felt the lack of excitement in Maya’s voice when she answered him. He’s worried that she seemed sick. He sent her a message. “Maya if you’re not feeling well, wag mong pilitin sarili mo. You rest.”
She now smiled at his message. At least he still cared enough to worry that she’s sick. Medyo nabawasan tampo nya. She also texted him. “Don’t worry, okay lang ako. Salamat sa concern.”
Then she prepared herself to face her visitors.
Back in the States, Richard made sure that he would be very busy on the same day as Maya’s 18th birthday. He couldn’t stand the thought that she would be dancing with James Ventura. He wouldn’t want to imagine her smiling at James Ventura while she was being engulfed in his arms. He needs to keep himself busy or else jealousy would be eating him up.
“Maya you need to do a final rehearsal with Darren.” Her manager informed her at the backstage of The Theatre in Solaire.
Maya is having her 10th year anniversary thanksgiving concert. It was her way of thanking her fans and supporters.
She will be singing a song of Coach Leah with Darren who was once just her idol but eventually turned out to be a very good friend to her.
As they were starting the rehearsal, the moment the first line was sang by Darren, Maya couldn’t help but be emotional.
Coach Leah’s song had been instrumental in what she had achieved in her life. Coach Leah’s song was her audition piece with the person whom she still considers her best partner ever.
It brought back the memories of yesteryears. They have grown apart already and she’s missing him. He played a major part in her career as well and she wanted to show him how grateful she was for everything he did for her.
She missed Richard Lim.