A/N This is an old fanfic. It was written, if im not mistaken during Nikki’s disapproval of Maya episodes. Please bear with me for errors, inaccuracies of dates, ages of characters etc.
At the condo. After having lunch.
“Wag ka na kasing tumuloy sa Davao.”
“SC pagkakataon ko na to go to Davao. Alam mo namang dun lang ako di nakapunta ng training namin.”
“Not tonight. I don’t feel good about this. Besides recital ni Abby tomorrow. Dapat nandun ka.”
“SC time nyo magbonding ng mga bata. Alam ko na gusto nila yun lalo na si Nikki. Pagbigyan mo na. ”
Nikki is still resenting that Maya might be her dad’s girlfriend. Her dad didn’t confirm it yet but she feels it. Whenever Maya is around, she would find all excuses just to stay in her room. Maya is sad at this so she decided to minimize her visits at the mansion. Ayaw nyang maipit si SC sa kanila ng mga bata.
She decided to take the Davao flight tonight so that wala siya sa araw ng recital ni Abby. She talked to Abby already. She even requested for Abby to perform in front of her in advance para siya ang unang audience sa recital nito. Okay na kay Abby. So Maya has decided that she will push through with the flight. She will be leaving at 7pm tonight then stay the whole day at Davao tomorrow para makapamasyal and mamili ng pasalubongs. She requested to fly back to Manila tomorrow night.
“But Maya it would be better if you would be there for Abby. ”
“SC alam ko namang hindi dahil kay Abby eh. Bakit ba? Bakit hindi ka mapakali? Eh safe naman ang eroplano ng Time Airways. Atsaka kayo ata ang nag mamaintain nun. ”
“Not those bound for Davao.” He said with downcast face.
“SC wag ka ng magworry. Atsaka kung oras ko, oras ko!”Maya was trying to be cheerful
This line angered Richard.
“Don’t ever say that Maya!”
Maya saw fear in SC’s eyes. He turned pale. She realized that what she said reminded him of what happened to his late wife.
“Sorry SC. Sorry. Ayaw ko lang kasi magworry ka. Promise nandito na ako bukas ng gabi. ” she said while caressing his face.
She was trying to assure him. She was trying to banish his worries.
“Atsaka makakabili na ako ng favourite fruit mo. Yun durian. Sana lang hindi sakin magalit yun ibang FAs. Balak ko kasi bumili ng marami para sa mansion at pati kina nanay. Di kaya mangamoy buong plane?” She laughed, trying to make their conversation light.
Richard let out a small smile. Alam nyang he can never convince Maya knowing how stubborn she is. Alam din nyang its Maya’s way of allowing him and his kids their own bonding time.
“Okay you can go. But promise dito ka tomorrow night. I’ll be waiting for you, okay?”
“Oo naman. Wala namang ibang naghihintay sakin eh, (whispering, teasing SC) ikaw lang..”
SC smiles now. His worries are a bit lessened thanks to Maya’s antics. ” Sige na nga. Alis na muna ako. I’ll bring you to the airport tonight. ”
Maya was about to say something…
Maya acts as if zipping her mouth.
“Silly! Sige I’ll go now. Pahinga ka na.
He gathers Maya in his arms for a tight hug.
“I love you”
“I love you. Ingat sa pagdrive”
Maya prepared her things for her evening flight then took a nap. Richard returned to his office.
That evening Richard took Maya to the airport. Maya was really excited with the flight. Davao is one place she really wanted to visit.
“You txt me when you land, okay? ”
“Yes SC! Kahit call pa!”
They both laughed.
Alam ni Maya that something is really bothering SC. She is now worried too but tried not to be affected by it.
They are now being called to the TA office for further instructions.
Maya hugged SC. SC hugged her very tight then cupped her face and while staring at her eyes, briefly kissed her lips. She was caught off guard but she didn’t have time to process what just happened. It was the first time that SC did it.
He hugged her again tightly.
“I love you so much Maya. Please come back to me tomorrow.”
Maya, at loss for words to say after that kiss, just smiled and nod her head, touching her lips.
Then she went inside the TA office while SC was left watching her.
Paalis na si SC nang….
She ran towards him. Enveloped him in a hug then kissed both his cheeks and caressed his forehead lightly with her fingers.
“Wag ka ng magworry SC. Dito na ako bukas ng gabi. I love you.”
Richard was now smiling. “And we’ll eat durian?”
They both laughed.
“You go ahead. They might be waiting for you na.”
“Ingat sa pagdrive.”
Nakaalis na si SC. Maya is reading some documents at the TA office. Ms. Calandra joined her while waiting for the the other FAs.
When they were being briefed, Ms. Calandra made some announcements. When the briefing was done, she sighed then got her cellphone. She texted Richard.
The Lims just had dinner. The kids are now in their rooms. Doris is with Abby while Sabel, Joma and Manang Fe are now preparing to retire for the night.
Richard kept pacing back and forth in his office. He is waiting for Maya’s message. He’s been calling her but her cellphone cant be contacted.
Manang Fe went out to check on the locks and lights when she saw Richard. ” Ricardo, may problema ba? ”
“Manang tumawag na po ba si Maya? ”
“Ah hindi eh. Bakit magkagalit ba kayo? ”
” Hindi po Manang. Hinatid ko siya kanina sa flight nya pero hanggang ngayon di pa siya tumatawag or nagtext man lang. Eh kanina pa yun lumapag sa Davao.”
” Baka naman nawalan ng baterya o kaya walang signal sa lugar. Wag kang masyadong magaalala. Okay lang si Maya.”
Richard just smiled at Manang Fe and nod his head.
Manang Fe retired to her room and Richard, tired after the days events, went to his room to sleep as well.
Its 1:30 am. Kumakatok sa pintuan ni Richard si Manang Fe.
“Ricardo, kanina pa raw siya tumatawag kaso di makontak and telefono mo.”
Richard brings the phone to his ear. ” Maya?”
“Mr Lim. This is Ina. I’ve been calling…”
Richard was unable to speak. Color left his face. He could sense something wrong, He is now worried, scared, even without Ina saying the purpose of her call. This scenario is familiar as it already happened 6 years ago.
“Our plane bound for Davao is missing. It was expected to land 3 hours ago. Davao tower called us. They said nawalan ng ilaw yun runway kaya hindi nakalapag yun plane. Im sorry. I have to be the one to call about this. (Ina was trying hard not to get emotional) Mr. Lim?”
“Okay. Thank you Ina. Please update me.”
Richard was trying so hard to control what he’s feeling and controlling the tears that is threatening to fall but the moment they ended the call, Richard cant help his tears from falling. He’s desperately wiping them while giving back the phone to Manang Fe.
Manang Fe, though entirely not aware of what transpired in the phone conversation, was able to gather bits and pieces of information and with Richard’s reaction, she knew that what happened 6 years ago is again happening now.
He hugged Richard. Patting his back and allowing him to cry.
“Manang, Maya’s plane is missing. I told her I had a bad feeling about that flight but she was stubborn. I hate her for not listening to me.” He was shaking now, sobbing.
” Pero hindi pa naman nila alam kung asan di ba? Nanjan lang yun. Sa ibang airport lang lumapag.”Manang Fe was trying to be hopeful, but her tears are also threatening to fall
Unknown to Richard, Luke and Nikki were in the entertainment room and they were able to hear everything.
Nikki was crying too and Luke was hugging her. He wanted to go to his dad and console him pero alam nyang mas kailangan siya ni Nikki kasi she was the reason why their Ate Maya pushed through with her flight despite protests from her dad. Nikki was blaming herself.
“Niks, tama na. For sure naiintindihan ka ni Ate Maya. And knowing Ate Maya, hindi siya magagalit sa yo. Mahal niya tayo Niks Atsaka di pa naman natin alam kung ano talaga nangyari. Bukas nyan kasama na natin si Ate Maya.”
Hearing what Luke just said, mas lalong umiyak si Nikki at mas lalo siyang naguilty.
Luke was staying positive though in his heart, he was so scared. He witnessed the same scenario 6 years ago when their mom’s plane, which was also bound for Davao went missing. During that time, the family was in chaos. He was just 12, while Nikki was 9 and Abby was 2. Their dad deployed all choppers of LAS to find the missing plane. He did this for 2 weeks though the government already stopped all search and rescue operations. He only stopped when the wreckage was found by some fishermen under the sea and Alexandra Lim’s body was positively identified. Their dad stopped living from then on. Well, he’s still there tending to their needs but they can never talk to him, even be near him.
Luke was now also crying while hugging his sister. He knows what would happen if their Ate Maya won’t be back. He loves his Ate Maya. She was the mediator between him and his dad. They got closer because of her. And who could forget the prom practice where they stepped on each other’s foot while practicing. He recalled that his Ate Maya’s hand was so cold after his dad held her to demonstrate what should be done. She must be in love with his dad long before and Luke now hoped that his dad and Maya should have been together longer. And Abby. His baby sister talked again because of Ate Maya. He couldn’t imagine what would happen to Abby if their Ate Maya wont be back.
He was crying for his dad too. It was a long time that their dad sulked, hibernated. He deserves to be happy and he was genuinely happy for him and Ate Maya. Now if only he could give up anything to see his dad and Ate Maya together again.
Both Luke and Nikki spent the rest of the night silently sitting at the sofa of the family room. They are not speaking but the thought that they were together in a way consoled both of them.
At a loss of what to do, not having access to any information regarding the flight, Richard called James Ventura’s phone.
James knew it was Mr. Lim right away. They exchanged numbers during a recent meeting.
James was sullen. He was Maya’s friend and he felt so scared, helpless and mad. What more would Mr. Lim feel. Mr. Lim, James knew, from that moment at the summit, had very strong, hidden feelings for Maya. He knows that the serious, stern and elusive Mr. Lim has fallen deeply in love with the bubbly lady, he considers a friend, a sister even.
” James, do you have any updates?”
“We’re still waiting Richard. We’ve alerted the government and all agencies involved inemergencies like this. The coast guard was already alerted and we’ve been trying to locate the plane. The problem is we can’t pick up any signal from it. We’re very hopeful Richard. Two of our best pilots are the ones in that flight and of course our best FA’s are there too. I will call you if we learn anything new. We also cant let this out on the news yet. The possible landing sites is near the hostile areas of Mindanao. That’s why we opted to have a news blackout first. ”
“James please find them. Please find her. Please bring her back to me .” He was choking saying these words.
” I will Richard. I will.”
After the phone call Richard made more calls to his contacts in the Air Force, Navy and to Liza. He instructed her to let the LAS choppers and pilots to be ready for further instructions from him. Liza and the rest of the LAS people, were already aware of what happened since they are in close contact with Time Airways. Luckily, they are not in charge of the maintenance of the Davao-bound Time Airways planes for it has been commissioned to a different company.
Without any news and desperately searching for answers, Richard got his car keys and was about to go to his car when Manang Fe stopped him
“Ricardo, dito ka na lang maghintay ng balita. Wala ka namang magagawa sa ngayon. Mas magaalala pa sa’yo ang mga bata. Sa katayuan mo, hindi ka pwedeng magmaneho.”
“Pero Manang, i need to find her. Maya needs me. I need her….” he said in a pained voice
“Tama na anak. Walang mangyayari kung ganyan ka. Pumunta ka na lang muna sa kwarto mo at dun mo na hintayin ang mga tawag nila. Sigurado ako, okay si Maya.”
Richard relented. But still he aimlessly went to his car. Retrieved something at the backseat then entered his office. He got a bottle of wine from the mini bar at his office. He never drank in years. He only kept those liquor for some visitors. But he needed one tonight. just to numb the pain he’s feeling, even temporarily.
Richard locked his office and sat on his swivel chair, his back facing the door. He then hugged the pillow he retrieved from his car. It was Maya’s birthday gift to him.
He remembered the note that came with it. “SC, hug this if you miss me. <3”
He now allowed himself to cry freely, to let out all the pain, longing, anger his heart couldn’t hold any longer.
Richard cried himself to sleep. He held the pillow tight. It still had Maya’s smell on it. She usually uses it when she naps on their drive from the airport to the condo. The liquor bottle was empty.
Nakatulog na rin si SC.
It was already 5 in the morning. Di na lahat natulog maliban kay Richard who fell asleep after finishing the whole bottle of liquor. Manang Fe, Sabel and Doris are all crying silently in the kitchen. Even Joma, had tears in his eyes as well. They all loved Maya, the girl who loved each one of them and made them feel equally important. They are now trying to console each other by reminiscing funny anecdotes of Maya.
“Naalala nyo yun pagpustahan natin noon? Kung natuloy yun, talo tayong tatlo di ba Joma, Doris?”
“Oo day. Eh yung pagmermaid nya para lang mapangiti si Abby? Ang kulit ni Maya noon. (she was trying to smile in between sobs) Maya naman eh…”
“Yun ngiti nya na pwede mong baunin sa buong araw… kahit na lagi siya sa principal’s office…”
“At yun nagliban siya sa eskwela para lang mabantayan ako sa ospital. Di nga sya natanggap sa airport dahil dun eh.” Manang Fe couldn’t stop herself from crying now.
All of them now fell silent. Each with tears in their eyes.
Luke and Nikki who didn’t sleep too came to the kitchen and saw all of them there. Sinalubong ni Manang Fe si Nikki ng yakap kasi alam nya na sinisisi ni Nikki ang sarili kung bakit nandun si Maya sa flight na yun.
“Magdasal tayo na okay ang Ate Maya nyo. Hanggang walang kumpirmasyon, magtiwala lang tayo. ”
Manang Fe, trying to keep the household together despite this very trying incident said, “Sige, maghanda na tayo ng almusal. Luke, Nikki maghilamos na muna kayo. Tapos pakaalmusal, matulog muna kayo. Hindi pwedeng ganito tayo. Hindi ganito ang gusto ni Maya. Di ba lagi nyang sinasabing kapit-bisig? Gagawin natin yun para sa kanya.”
“Opo Manang Fe. Maghahanda na ako ng almusal”, Sabel was trying to regain composure after crying so hard.
Doris and Joma went to start their usual chores. Nikki and Luke proceeded to their rooms as well.
It’s now 6:30 am.
Richard was awakened by Abby’s tiny fingers poking his cheek.
“Daddy, wake up na po.”
Richard rubbed his eyes, still holding the pillow. His head throbbing in pain. His eyes all puffy and swollen
“Ricardo, ginamit ko na yun susi kasi nagaalala na ang mga bata.”
Manang Fe is there together with Luke and Nikki. Sweet little Abby is looking at her dad’s liquor bottle.
“Daddy, are you okay po? Are you drunk po? Why did you drink?”
“Baby, daddy just couldn’t sleep last night that’s why.”
“But Ate Maya doesn’t want guys who are drinking. Sinabi po niya yun sa akin.”
Richard’s heart wrenched in pain just hearing her name.
“She can’t see me naman baby.”
“But she can hear you po Daddy.” Abby was handing her pink cellphone to her dad.
Richard’s eyes grew wide. Flooded with emotion, he can’t bring himself to speak. Listening to the other line….
“Sir Chief salamat naman at nakausap na kita. Kanina pa ako tumatawag di ka sumasagot. Telepono ng Time Airways ang gamit ko kasi kinuha nila mga cellphones namin. Di tuloy kita nabalitaan tungkol sa nangyari. Naku kung hindi kita natext about yun change of flight ko from Davao to Cebu bago ako lumipad, hindi ako mapapakali kasi malamang grabe ang pag-alala mo.”
Richard couldn’t understand a thing she’s saying. Tears are rolling down his eyes. He was so overwhelmed with relief and happiness that he couldn’t even bring himself to speak.
Luke and Nikki were crying with happy tears and even Manang Fe was so happy for the Lim family. Abby unaware of why they were all so emotional just shook her head and smiled at them.
“Sir Chief… nandiyan ka pa ba? Sir Chief???”
“Maya where are you?” He finally said, voice still shaking while he’s still crying.
“Dito na ako sa Time Airways office, Sir Chief. SC umiiyak kaba? uy bat ka umiiyak? Alam mo namang wala ako sa flight na yun diba? Nagtxt ako sa’yo di ba?
“I didn’t receive any message Maya. But it’s okay now. I’m so relieved that you’re safe” He can’t control his sobs again.
Maya realizing what her SC had been through said…
“Sir Chief, okay na. (malambing nyang sabi) Nandito na ako. Ligtas ako. Tama na. Wala pa naman ako jan para yakapin ka. Sir Chief… uy… sir chief…”
“Wait for me. Ill go there right now.”
He ended the call and towards Manang Fe, he said
“Manang sunduin ko po si Maya. Bahala na muna kayo ng mga bata. Nikki, Luke take care of Abby muna.”
He darted towards his car not even waiting for Manang Fe’s or the kids reply.
“Joma halika sundan mo si Ricardo. Magdala ka ng bihisan nya. ”
It took him 10 minutes to reach Time Airways office. Unmindful of what he’s wearing or how he looked, he darted towards the main entrance of the building, ignoring the guard, who just allowed him to proceed upon recognizing him.
Maya was already waiting for Richard at the lobby. While he was on his way to Time Airways, Manang Fe called her again and relayed the events that happened. She felt badly for Richard. She cant imagine what he’d been through thinking that she’s part of the Time Airways plane that went missing.
Upon seeing Richard, Maya rushed to him and she was engulfed in a very tight hug. Richard was hugging her very tight letting her know of how scared he was of what happened. He was teary eyed when their eyes finally met.
“Sir Chief…” She was caressing his cheeks.
“I got so scared Maya… I thought I would lose you… I thought iniwan…”
“Sssshhh Sir Chief. Nandito na ako. Tama na. Hinding hindi kita iiwan.”
Realizing that they were in the middle of the busy Time Airways entrance where many people are there inquiring about the missing plane, Maya took Richard’s hand and led him to their waiting area. They sat there to let the events that transpired sink in.
A call was heard from Richard’s phone. He wasnt answering it since he was still shaken from from happened.
“Sir Chief, sagutin mo na yun phone. Baka yun mga bata nagaalala rin..”
He finally answered.
“No need Joma. We will be going home now. Mauna ka na sa bahay. Susunod na rin kami ni Maya.”
“It’s Joma. Nagdala ng pampalit ko.”
“Ah eh bakit pinauwi mo na?”
“I dont have to change.”
They sat beside each other while Maya’s head was on his shoulder. Then he felt her sobbing silently.
“Sir Chief… sina Eds. Nandun sila nina Joshua at Mary Faith sa flight na yun.”
Richard realized that he was so preoccupied with his grief and fear that he failed to acknowledge what Maya could have been going through as well since her colleagues were also on that flight.
“Maya, let us pray that they will be found. I am sure Time Airways are doing their best.”
“Sir Chief, naguguilty ako. Ako ang dapat nandun sa flight kaso pinalit ni Ms. Calandra yun flight namin ni Mary Faith ng nalaman nya na ayaw mo akong pasamahin sa Davao.”
Before the Davao flight, Maya and Ms. Calandra were exchanging stories while waiting for the other FAs. She was teasing Maya on the scene she witnessed earlier, the scene where she was hugged and kissed by Richard infront of many people.
“Naku Maya ha, kinilig naman kami ni Ms. Pacheco kanina when we saw you and Mr. Lim. I never thought Mr. Lim could do that. Sa harap pa ng maraming tao.”
She was blushing. “Ah eh Ma’m, ewan ko nga dun. Ang kulit. Di mapakali ng malaman na sa Davao yun flight ko. Ayaw nga nya akong pasamahin kaso di naman siya mananalo sa’kin” Maya was laughing at the thought of how Richard finally gave in.
When Maya said this memories of the past flashed through Ms. Calandra’s mind. She remembered that worst day of Time Airways years back. She was just a trainee then. That was the time when the Time Airways bound for Davao also went missing. It took them weeks before it was found.
Yes, that was the flight where one of the FA’s was Richard’s late wife, Alexandra Lim.
She is now very much aware of what Mr. Lim could be going through just with the mere thought of Maya being on a Davao flight.
Lim Aviation Services was in-charge of the Davao flight when Alex’ plane crashed. After several months of investigation, it was discovered that one of the pilots had a stroke which caused him to miscalculate the flight. LAS was cleared but Richard decided not to handle any aircrafts bound for Davao anymore. It was also known that he never set foot in Davao ever since his wife died there.
Ms. Calandra, out of respect for Richard Lim, decided to pull Maya out from the Davao flight. Without telling Maya of the reasons, she just switched Mary Faith’s flight with her.
“Nag-aalala ako kina Eds. Di naman sila pababayaan ng mga naghahanap di ba Sir Chief”, she needs the reassuarance that her friends will be safe.
“Yes, Maya let us pray that they are okay.”
They sat in silence with thoughts running through their minds.
“Maya, is Captain Ventura in his office? I need to talk to him”
“Ah, kanina siya yung sumalubong sa akin sa chopper.”
“Pinasundo niya ako sa Cebu sa private chopper niya tapos pagdating ko dito pinatawag nya agad ako sa’ yo. Baka nasa opisina pa siya.”
When he learned what James did, he was more determined to talk to Captain Ventura to thank him.
Richard and Maya proceeded to Captain Ventura’s office.
The two shook hands.
“James i don’t know how to thank you enough for taking good care of Maya.”
“Dont mention it Richard. Maya is a very good friend of mine. We will take good care of her Richard. ”
“Thank you James.”
Richard overwhelmed with gratitude, hugged James.
“I’m also sorry for doubting your intentions before.”
“No worries, Richard. Alam ko naman that you were just protective of Maya then. But all is well now. At least we can start anew and be really good friends.”
“You can count on that.”
Maya suddenly joined the conversation with very worried look in her eyes.
“Sir James, kumusta na po sina Eds? Dapat po makapunta na kayo sa Davao.”
Then James produced a smile.
“Maya don’t worry. Na locate na yun plane. And everyone is safe. May mga minor injuries lang yun pilots natin coz they crash landed the plane on a forest area pero overall safe silang lahat. ”
“The mayor took charge coz they don’t want outsiders kasi nga maraming rebels sa area baka kunin yun mga parts ng plane at baka saktan yun passengers natin. But our other plane might be there now para sunduin sila.”
Maya was relieved to hear the good news. Richard hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
“I guess we need to get going now. James, iuwi ko na muna si Maya.”
“Sir Chief, tutulong na muna ako sa kanila.”
“No Maya, you go home and rest. Im sure lahat ng nasa bahay nyo worried sa nangyari. Besides when the plane arrives, pauuwiin ko na rin naman yun mga FAs. They will have their stress debriefing then they have to go home to their families. Umuwi na kayo. Kaya na nila dito and you should also rest.”
“Richard iuwi mo na si Maya.”
“Okay James. We better get going.”
“Pero Sir Chief… Sir James… kailangan…”
“No Maya, Im instructing you to go home. Atsaka dapat bumawi ka kay Richard. Ikaw lang ang nakapagpalabas sa kanya ng bahay ng naka pajamas.”
Captain James tried to make the joke to lighten the mood.
Richard just shook his head and laughed as well.
“Okay James, thanks again.”
“Get going you two.”
Maya and Richard are now on their way to the mansion. Both are smiling, relieved that everything was okay. Richard is holding Maya’s hand while ocassionally kissing it on the drive home.
“Sir Chief kumusta yun mga bata?”
“They were all relieved to know you’re okay Maya.”
“Yes. I was pretty obvious. I couldn’t help myself. Sobra akong nag-alala. I thought…”
“Shhh Sir Chief okay na di ba?”
He smiled “Yes and next time wag ng magmamatigas ang ulo mo. You just dont know how scared I was.”
“Yes Sir Chief. Promise. Sorry na nagalala ka sa’kin at thank you na rin at ngayon alam ko na sobra mo akong mahal.”
Richard’s brows furrowed. “Ngayon mo lang nalaman? I’ve been madly in love with you for a long time na Maya. Akala ko you were aware of that” He sounded hurt.
“Alam ko naman yun. Pero ngayon lang sa harap ng mga bata….”
“And I will do what is right. Ipapakilala na kita formally sa mga bata as my girlfriend.”
“Pero Sir Chief..”
“Trust me Maya. The kids love you. We all love you. Trust me okay? If you didnt trust me when I disagreed with the flight, could you now trust me on this?”
Maya is aware that Richard knows what’s best for both of them. Despite her fears on facing the kids, she wholly entrusted whatever would happen to Richard. She is sure that he will never allow her to get hurt.
Richard, after what happened earlier, knows that indeed time is too short. Things could happen and change their lives completely. He needs to take action now and fix what’s between Maya and his kids. He should also introduce her to his parents.
He wanted to make her happy because her happiness would also be the source of his.