TRACES OF LOVE 11 (Epilogue)
“Amiel stop running! Grandpa can’t keep up with you.” Richard was trailing behind his youngest grandchild from Nikki.
The boy was giggling while holding the colorful ball he’s been playing with for hours now.
“Pa, ako na po bahala kay Amiel.” Nicolo who was watching his father-in-law and his son took charge. He carried the sweaty child who was still holding on to his ball.
His father looked tired from playing with his three younger grandchildren. He sat on the bench at their backyard to catch his breath.
Nikki and Nicolo’s eldest Lance who was now 10 years old readily gave his grandpa a glass of water.
Their two younger kids, Amiel is three and Chloe is barely 6 months old.
The two other kids were Sky and Bettina’s rambunctious twins Pocholo and Louie, who were two years old. They were just running, jumping and screaming while giggling. They were following whatever Amiel does. Their nannies, Doris and Leah were also behind them ready with the towels for the twins who didn’t stop running and jumping as they were so amused watching their cousin Amiel.
“Nicolo, pasok muna ako. I’ll take a nap. Napagod ako sa mga bata.” Richard stood up.
“Sige po Dad. Rest na muna kayo para mamaya may lakas kayo pagdating ng mga bisita. Sabi ni Sky hindi pa naman po dumating yun eroplano.” Nicolo replied.
“Oo nga. He also called me awhile ago. At least I have time to take short nap and also prepare. Kayo na muna bahala dito. Kids give grandpa a hug.”
The three younger kids scrambled towards their grandpa.
Sky was fetching his dad’s visitor’s from the Philippines. They were some of the people he and Maya worked with before – Cris, Terry, Jeffrey, Neil and Jeany.
Jeffrey, their former Director seldom does projects now but the last one he did earned him an award in New York that’s why they were visiting. He will be receiving the award during the weekend but since it was their good friend Richard’s birthday anyway, they decided to arrive a few days before the awards night and spend their days visiting places and also celebrating Richard’s 68th birthday and Sky volunteered to drive for them.
When the former cast and crew of that unforgettable TV show were invited to their wedding by Richard and Maya 5 years ago, they all flew to the States to be part of the very special event of their most loved couple who became their friends and family already.
The show changed their lives and they were all grateful that beyond the fortune they got from its very successful run, they gained lifetime friends as well.
When Maya and Richard stopped any communication with them, they all got worried and sad but they all respected their decision. Little did they know that their two leads, had a very sad and difficult life.
When Maya called Terry, who was her mother at the series before, she was beyond happy. They spent hours on the phone and hours on Skype as well. Then eventually they got in touch with Cris, Jeany and Direk Jeffrey.
Whenever they are visiting the States, they stay at Maya and Richard’s place. Whenever the couple visits the Philippines they make it a point to have a get-together as well.
Now they were visiting and staying for a few days.
Richard had taken a nap already and had showered and changed his clothes as well. Even at his age, he still looks very handsome, he still carries himself well, looks dapper in anything he wears and he still smells so good.
While waiting for their visitors, he just decided to stay indoors. He can’t keep up with his grandchildren and he didn’t want to look all tired and sweaty as he face their visitors.
He loved it whenever the house is filled with people. He loved the sound of the kids’ laughter, the unending stories of Nikki, Sunshine and Sky. He loved having visitors coming over.
He was by the piano playing his favorite, yet hauntingly sad song, the song which brought him wonderful memories of yesteryears.
“Faded photographs covered now with lines and creases….”
He was softly singing while his long and wrinkly fingers tried its best to put pressure on the piano keys.
As he was playing, his eyes went to their family pictures atop the piano.
Nikki and her husband with their kids, Lance, Amiel and Chloe occupied one frame.
The other one was of Sky, Bettina and their twins Pocholo and Louie.
There was a solo picture of Lance when he received a trophy for their school soccer team.
And there was a picture of Sky receiving his Masters diploma in Harvard. He was flanked by his sisters Nikki and Sunshine.
Another picture was an old one. It was a group picture of their TV family where he met the love of his life. He smiled reminiscing the wonderful memories of the show.
Another picture was their wedding. They both wore smiles of genuine happiness. Even their eyes were smiling. It was the picture that has been teased a lot by the kids. Sky would always comment that it seemed that their parents couldn’t wait for their honeymoon in that particular picture.
Richard shook his head and smiled. Their son was really funny and he could have been a good entertainer like his mom if he pursued showbiz.
There was another picture of them exchanging their wedding vows. He immediately remembered the promises they gave each other when the got married in that small church four years ago. It was a solemn private family event which was prepared by the kids. They just invited a few friends to witness the bond of their parents.
Richard remembered how his wife made him the happiest man on their wedding. They even surpassed the vows they promised each other. Life has been wonderful since the day they found each other again after being away from each other for many years.
There were pictures of the wedding of Sky and Bettina as well.
Another was a picture of him carrying the giggling twins on both his arms.
Another picture was of the ladies in his life – Maya, Nikki, Sunshine and baby Chloe. It was taken when Chloe was 3 months old.
And the last one was Sunshine’s graduation picture when the whole family attended. They were all in the picture wearing beaming smiles. It was taken the very same day his wife fainted and was rushed to the hospital.
Richard’s heart constricted as he remembered that day. His fingers stopped playing the piano as he was overcome with emotion just remembering what happened.
“Mr. Lim can I talk to you privately?” the doctor who attended to Maya requested as he saw that the patient had lots of company.
“Sure doc.” Then he addressed the kids ” Nikki just wait here. Kayo na muna bahala kina Shine at sa mga bata.”
They were all worried of their mom. She has been the healthiest in the family and they couldn’t imagine her getting sick.
“Baka naman naglilihi si Mom?” Sky tried to joke despite the worry etched in his face. He wanted to lighten the mood of his siblings.
“Kuya naman eh!” Sunshine was between upset and angry. She’s so worried of her mom and Nikki was hugging her.
After undergoing various tests, Maya have been diagnosed with colon cancer.
It was the most devastating day for the family. It was the day that Richard hates remembering.
He took the picture of their wedding vows atop the piano and caressed the picture of his wife. His eyes were now misty.
He hugged the picture tightly. “I love you so much Maya. I love you so much.” His tears were now streaming down his cheeks.
“Mommy, grandpa is crying.” 3 year old Amiel rushed to her mom Nikki.
Richard was startled. He wasn’t aware that his grandson was in the room with him. He quickly wiped his eyes and returned the picture to its place.
In a few seconds, Nikki was trailing behind Amiel who was pointing to his grandpa. Sunshine was following behind as well. They were donning aprons as they were still busy in the kitchen.
“Dad! What’s wrong?” Nikki frowned as she saw her dad’s puffy eyes.
“Nothing. I just got something in my eyes. Napuwing lang ako.”
“Grabe naman na puwing yan dad, both of your eyes are red and puffy. Ano ba kasi yun?” Nikki insisted.
“Wala nga. Don’t mind me. Sige na tapusin nyo na ang ginagawa nyo.”
Sunshine joined in. “Alam ko na Ate Nikki. I’m sure tiningnan na naman ni dad yun pictures natin.” Then Sunshine took her graduation picture.
“Ano yan Shine? What will you do with that one?” Nikki asked, puzzled as to why Sunshine suddenly took her graduation picture.
“Kasi Ate Nikki everytime dad sees this one, naiiyak siya. He remembers mom kasi.”
“Naku naman dad. Ayan na naman tayo eh. Nagsesenti na naman on your birthday.” Nikki smiled and shook her head while hugging her dad.
“Sige ka dad, you won’t look gwapo with those swollen eyes. Kasama pa naman si Tito Neil. He will surely take lots of pictures.” Sunshine joked then joined her sister in hugging their dad.
“Ay bakit nandito kayong dalawa? Inilabas ko lang yun steak at barbeque dun kay Nicolo nawala na kayo sa kitchen. Shine yun pasta baka ma overcook yun.” Maya suddenly emerged. Her hair was messy and she smelled of the food she was cooking. Her eyebrows were raised but she was trying to hide her smile.
“Oo na nga po mom, punta na kami sa kitchen. Si dad kasi nang-iistorbo.” Sunshine, who was still holding the picture frame was now about to go out of the room. Nikki followed her but still had something to say “Naku Shine let’s go at baka kung ano pa ang gustong gawin nina mom and dad. Let’s give them some privacy muna.”
“Naku mom, dad remind ko lang that the kids are around ha! Amiel might see you.” Sunshine added.
“Nikki! Sunshine! Go you two! Dun na nga kayo sa kitchen.” Richard just shook his head and smiled. He was already used to the kids’ teasing.
As soon as Nikki and Sunshine left, Maya held her husband’s face wanting to confirm that he really had been crying. He tried to hide his face.
“Sweetheart bakit? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Halika dito sweetheart. Sit on my lap. I just need a hug right now.”
Maya hesistantly sat on his lap. And he engulfed her in a very tight hug.
“Amoy ulam pa ako Sweetheart. Nakabihis at ligo ka na, magiging amoy kusina ka na rin nyan.”
He just shook his head and hugged her tighter.
“Bakit ba kasi? Bakit ka umiyak?”
“Chard kung tungkol na naman yan dun sa medical findings sakin, di ba we already went to different doctors at pare pareho sila ng sinabi that I don’t have cancer. Atsaka di ba yun mismong nagdiagnose sa akin ang nagsabi na nagkapalit yun results namin ng isang pasyente.”
“Yes but what if that’s true. What if talagang nagkasakit ka? Di ko kakayanin sweetheart.”
“We’ve been through a lot Chard. Marami na tayong pinagdaanan. Wala namang sigurado sa buhay pero kung ano man ang mga haharapin pa natin sa kinabukasan alam kong kakayanin natin kasi magkasama tayo. Alam kong hindi mo ako pababayaan at ganun rin naman ako.”
“I know but..” He was teary eyed again.
“Naku ang asawa ko napakasenti. Gusto mo lang atang ma offeran ng project ni Jeany mamaya eh. Alam ko may gagawin silang bagong movie at naghahanap sila ng senior actor.” Maya teased him while wiping his tear-streaked cheeks.
“Silly!” He now managed to smile. His wife had somehow calmed him and removed his worries.
Maya gave him a deep and passionate kiss. “Ayan para matahimik ka na. Paunang birthday gift ko sa’yo!”
“Oo parang preview ba, teaser, ganun kasi yun karugtong na gift hindi ko pwedeng ibigay dito. Ayokong magmadali sa oras at ayoko rin na hindi ako nakaligo or nakabihis ng maayos.” Her eyes twinkled naughtily.
Getting what she said, Richard smiled mischievously. He got excited. Despite their age, they never neglected each others needs and they always banter like kids when in the confines of their bedroom.
While Maya was still on his lap, Richard suddenly stood up, carrying her.
“Mr. Lim ibaba mo nga ako! Marami pa akong gagawin. Baka dumating na yung mga bisita natin.” She was giggling.
“Mabilis lang tayo. Kulang yun teaser eh. Di ko masyado ma-appreciate.”
They were both laughing while on their way to their bedroom, Richard still carrying the squirming Maya, tickling her when…
“Mom! Dad! Our visitors are here!” It was Sky and behind him were Jeany, Direk Jeffrey, Neil, Terry and Cris. All their eyes were on the couple who appeared to have been caught red handed. They were both blushing.
“Walanjo talaga kayong dalawa! Baka rayumahin na yan si Chard ha Maya! Pabuhat buhat pa kayo.” It was Cris.
“Si Chard kasi. Sabi na eh. Di pa tuloy ako nakaligo at bihis.” Maya blamed her husband.
“Aba Maya manisi ba. Kitang kita naman na enjoy na enjoy ka rin. Kayo talaga! ” it was Cris again.
They all had a good laugh while exchanging hugs and kisses as they welcome their visitors.
A/N Sorry natagalan to. The twitterserye kasi! They are better than fanfics 😁 and they are eating my time.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, follow @IamPhilipTang , @ImCarloAsuncion and @AmorDJPowers in twitter. I don’t know if those accounts are connected sa shows nila or writers yan but they are good. Pero malay natin sila pala yan. 😝😝😝
Thank you for reading and for taking time to leave comments. I appreciate them all. Also if you have spare time, let’s help in letting the network know that we really want our fave loveteam to work together again. JSM had finished Psy and its time for another serye that would again give her the good “role-model” image she had been known for when she played the very positive character ‘Maya’.
We can do this in twitter. You can follow their personal accounts or the network’s accounts as well.
Have a great day everyone!