Angel of our Hearts 3

Dr. Richard Lim and Dra. Celeste Madrigal proceeded to Richard’s clinic on the top floor of the hospital building. They were chatting on their way.

“Thank you for coming in such a short notice Celeste.”

“Naku Ricky hindi rin sana kita sisiputin eh kaso my duty is far more important than my annoyance at you for standing me up the other night.”

“Sorry na nga. I was really held up by something important.”

“Something or someone?”

“Both.” He chuckled.

“Ay naku sinasabi ko na nga ba, Dr. Richard Lim, kaya pala wala lang sayo even you knew how boring that friend of yours Engr. Yamaguchi is. God Ricky I was listening to his boring stories the whole 2 hours and I hated you talaga!”

“He is not boring at mabait siya. Di ba you said you prefer foreigners, kaya ayun si Yamaguchi.”

“Oo pero you are very much aware that i dont speak his language. Ikaw talaga ipinasubo mo ako don ah.”

“I asked him. Mukhang natuwa sa date nyo kaya I was thinking that I made the wise decision of not showing up. Naging third wheel lang sana ako.”

“Ay nako Ricky, isusumbong talaga kita kay Tito Roberto.”

“Sorry na nga. Don’t worry Dr. Ryan just separated from his girlfriend, malay mo kayo ang meant to be.”

“Kilabutan ka nga. Usapan ay usapan. Walang talo talo di ba? And why are you so pakialamero with my lovelife ha.”

“I just want you to be happy.”

“Ay naku. Stop the topic na nga. Para naman tayong teenagers nito. And please stop teasing Ryan to me ha at talagang kakalimutan ko ng bestfriend kita.”

“Ang sungit.”

When they reached his private clinic, he immediately showed Celeste the results of the blood tests of Luke.

Dra. Celeste Madrigal is a pediatric hematologist. She together with Dr. Ryan Molina who is an oncologist and Dr. Richard Lim, a cardiologist went to medical school together and until now, they are the best of friends even if they work in different hospitals with different specializations.

“Is Ryan coming over?”

“No but Liza already brought the laboratory results to him. Why?”

“Ricky, this is not good.” Celeste was looking at Luke’s record.

“What do you mean?”

“This is a possible leukemia case Ricky.”

“What?!?”

“Where is the patient?”

“I discharged him kanina.”

Then all of a sudden Richard’s phone rang. Dr. Ryan Molina was calling him.

“Richard I’m on my way there. Dapat maagapan natin ang bata. Liza briefed me with his medical history. I need to talk to the mother.”

“Umuwi na sila Ryan, kanina lang but I’ll have Joma fetch them para makausap nyo ni Celeste yun nanay.”

“Oh hindi ba pwedeng papuntahin na lang sila? Kasi malamang maipit ng traffic sina Liza at Joma. They took Edsa at may aksidente ata kanina kaya one lane lang. ”

“Okay ako ng bahala. How many minutes pa before you get here?”

“40 minutes max Ricky.”

“Okay see you.”

The moment he ended the call, Richard left Celeste who is busy reading the history of Luke and the test results as well.

======================

Maya was busy doing the laundry. Her and Luke’s clothes piled up after their 3 days stay in the hospital. Luke was in their small apartment’s living room playing with his new transformer toy.

Maya is washing their clothes in the kitchen sink. She was in her plain white shirt and shorts just a little above the knee. Her hair tied in a simple ponytail.

Emman left to do the grocery. Maya and Luke are living with Emman ever since Luke was born 7 years ago. Emman is such a dear friend to Maya that Maya took it upon herself to make sure that her dear friend eats well, has clean and ironed clothes to wear and has a clean place to live in.

That is the only way she could repay Emman for allowing her and Luke to stay in his apartment for free, for being instumental in Luke’s scholarship and for being like a father to her son and the only family they have in the Philippines. Her only sister is in Dubai working.

Their doorbell rang.

Maya rushed towards the door.

“Dr. Lim?”

“Maya I’m sorry but you and Luke have to return to the hospital.”

“Ha? Bakit? Atsaka kakarating lang namin. Hindi po pwede bukas na lang kasi pagod na si Luke at marami rin akong gagawin. Si Emman wala rin siya.”

Maya was surprised to see Dr. Lim by their doorstep. She was self conscious especially with the way she looked in front of him.

“Maya it is very important that you could talk to our specialists with regards to Luke’s condition.

If awhile ago, she was just shy to be in front of Dr. Lim, now she felt the dread in the pit of her stomach. She was sure that Dr. Lim wouldn’t be here if it isn’t important or serious.

“Bakit? Ano po bang meron kay Luke Dr. Lim? Seryoso po ba? Ano ba naman to. Naku…”

Maya was frantically pacing back and forth at their small living room.

“Sige na Maya, magprepare na kayo ni Luke. I’ll wait here.”

“Ha talagang sinundo mo po kami?”

“Yes kasi dapat nang matingnan agad si Luke at dapat ka na ring makausap ng doctors.”

“Pwede naman pong tinawagan nyo na lang ako.”

“Yes. But matatagalan kayo and this is urgent so i decided to fetch you. I also would like to believe na friends na tayo, di ba?”

“Ah eh….”

“Bakit ayaw mo? Hindi pwede?”

“Ay siyempre opo, ay oo. Pwedeng pwede po doc!”

“Good. O sige na. The doctors who will check Luke are already there.”

Maya quickly prepared Luke and also changed her clothes. She brought small overnight bag with some of Luke’s clothes just in case he needs to be admitted again.

On their way out, they met Emman who was surprised to see Dr. Lim with Maya and Luke.

“Emman Luke needs to be back in the hospital. Sinundo ko na para wag ng mahirapan si Maya.”

Emman couldn’t utter anything. He just nod his head.

===========

On their way back to the hospital Maya, who was seated at the front passenger seat was quiet and Dr. Lim was very much aware of the fear and worry she is feeling right now.

“Maya, kumain na kayo ni Luke? Do you want anything? Pwede tayong dumaan saglit.”

“Ah eh wag na po doc.”

“How about you kiddo? You want something?”

“No po. Busog po ako kasi Ninong Emman bought spaghetti kanina.”

“Okay.”

He smiled and glanced at Maya again who was trying so hard to calm herself.

He reached for her hand and held it tight with the intention of making her feel his support.

She glanced at him and smiled a bit but her eyes mirrored the fear she has for her son, who is the most important person in her life.

“Hey, don’t worry, I am here. Di ko naman kayo pababayaan ni Luke.”

She was teary eyed again.

“Maraming salamat po doc.”

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Angel of our Hearts 2

Richard was in his clinic at the top floor of the hospital when Liza arrived. He was staring at some laboratory results in front of him.

“Doc you called for me?”

“Yes Liza. Can you please bring these to Dr. Ryan Molina in St. Luke’s? Joma will accompany you.

“Oh Dr. Molina?”

“Yes Liza, and please have him call me once you are there.”

“Okay doc.”

Richard handed her the lab and test results of Luke Andrew dela Rosa.

============

Maya and Emman were busy fixing Luke’s things. He has been discharged from the hospital and will just be waiting for the results of his laboratory tests at their home.

He has been staying in the hospital for 3 days now and Maya is relieved that her son will finally be allowed to go home.

“Emman, salamat ha. Babayaran kita pag dumating ang sweldo ko.”

“Naku naman bessie, wag mo na nga munang isipin yan. Siyempre i’ll do everything for my gwapo at kamukha kong favorite inaanak.”

“Tito Emman, you are not gwapo po.”

“Hmm at kinokontra ako ni favorite inaanak…. ”

“Kasi po you are pretty, not gwapo.”

Maya laughed.

“Aba at marunong bumawi ng bonggang bongga. Kayo talagang mag-ina kayo. Sige na bessie settle the bills na para makauwi at makapahinga na kayo.”

“Sige Emman. Sana hindi masyadong mahal.”

“Naku bessie, kung mahal man yan eh sulit naman sa lahat ng facilities, gamot at tests na ginamit for Luke. Para nga tayong nasa hotel nito eh.”

“Naku bessie baka pag inabot yun bill, ako naman ang himatayin.” She chuckled.

“Di bale, nandyan naman yun new found friend mong super gwapo, bango at napakabait na si Dr. Richard Lim. I’m sure sasaluhin ka nya.”

“Sssshhh… Emman naman baka may makarinig, nakakahiya.”

“Eh totoo naman na gwapo, mabango at mabait siya di ba?”

“Oo pero baka kung ano ang isipin nya. Baka sabihin pinagtsitsismisan natin siya. Sige na nga kunin ko na yun bill. Ikaw talaga Emman.”

“Naku si bessie namula, naconscious, may feelings, may crush. Affected!”

“Emman!”

Emman and Luke giggled and Maya left to settle their bill.

================

“Ma’m baka po nagkakamali kayo.”

“Eh Mrs. Dela Rosa, yan po talaga ang computation. Napirmahan na po yan. Dalhin no na lang po sa cashier tapos pwede na po kayong umuwi.”

Maya was confused and upset.

She went back to their room only to find Dr. Lim inside.

“Oh good morning Mrs. Dela Rosa! I’m just checking Luke here. Seems malakas na ang pasyente natin. Right kiddo?”

“Yes po doc, super strong na ako. I can take care of mama again.”

She has a serious face.

“Doc pwede ka muna pong makausap?”

“Sure Mrs. Dela Rosa. Is anything wrong?”

Then she just dragged him out of the room.

Richard and even Emman was surprised at Maya’s action.

Maya dragged Dr. Lim just outside Luke’s room, for from Emman and Luke’s hearing distance.

Richard raised his brows in curiosity.

“Dr. Lim hindi naman po pwede ito.”

“Ang alin Mrs. Dela Rosa?”

“Eto pong bill. Impossible naman pong 700 pesos lang ang babayaran ko.”

“Ah Mrs. Dela Rosa, i’m not the right person to talk to regarding your billing concerns. Doon sa accounting department ka magtanong.”

“Kinausap ko na sila doc. Tingnan mo po, walang kasamang tests at pati yun kwarto ng anak ko hindi kasali.”

“Ah yung room, since hindi si Liza makakuha ng available na kwarto, pinagamit nya yung room na designated for me and my family since wala namang gagamit. Hindi yun kasali sa mga binabayarang rooms dito kaya wala siya diyan sa list. Yun tests naman, free naman lahat yun. But you have to pay for the hospital food for 3 days. ”

“Pero… bakit? ”

“Bakit ano?”

“Bakit napakabait nyo po sa amin? Bakit tinutulungan nyo kami?”

“Kahit naman sino sa posisyon ko would readily help.”

“Hindi naman po. Kayo lang yun nakilala kong ganyan.”

“So is it wrong to help?”

“Hindi po.”

“Kaya nga. Baka mamaya umayaw na ako kasi kinukulit mo ako.”

“Dr. Lim.”

“Sige na Mrs. Dela Rosa pumunta ka na sa cashier at bayaran mo na yan at may gagawin pa kami ni Luke.”

“May tests pa po siya?”

“Ah wala. Maglalaro lang kami.”

“Po?”

“Sige na.”

She was about to proceed to the cashier but turned around.

“Dr. Lim…”

“Yes?”

“Hindi po ako misis at kung pwede po Maya na lang ang itawag nyo sa akin.”

She shyly requested.

“I would love to, Maya.”

Then he smiled at her making her heart race a bit.

===================

When she returned, she saw Dr. Lim seated at the foot of Luke’s bed while Luke was also sitting in the middle of the bed. They were building a transformer robot.

“Mama look binigyan po ako ni doc ng toy.”

“Doc sobra na po yan.”

“Huh? This is nothing Maya. Besides I’m not playing with it anymore. Kawawa naman yun laruan, bored na doon sa bahay ko. Mas maaalagaan ito ni Luke.”

Emman was silently observing them. Smiling while doing so.

“Hey kiddo, what other things do you want to build?”

“Kahit ano po. Basta yun binubuo. Gusto ko po kasing maging engineer paglaki ko at itatayo ko si mama ng malaking bahay.”

“If you want to grow up and be an engineer you should eat healthy. Dont eat too much chips and candy para healthy ka at di na magworry si mama, okay?”

“Okay po doc.” The kid smiled and Richard ruffled his hair.

“I have to go. Maya, ill have Liza contact you for the results. I had it sent pa kasi sa isang doctor. All set na kayo to go?”

“Opo doc.”

“Okay.”

Then he pressed the button to call for a nurse.

“Yes Dr. Lim?”

“Please assist them kasi uuwi na sila.”

“Ah yes po Dr. Lim.”

Then his cellphone beeped. After reading the message…

“I have to go. Kaya nyo na dito? Luke be healthy kiddo!”

“Kaya na po namin Dr. Lim. Maraming salamat po talaga.”

“Sobrang ng pag thank you yan.”

“Kulang pa po yan.”

“Sige magrerequest na lang din ako para makabawi ka.”

“Kahit ano po doc, basta makakaya ko.”

“Sige magmula ngayon, wag mo akong ipo-po. Masyado mo naman akong pinapatanda, Maya.”

“Ah eh… sige po. Ay sige doc.”

“Good. That’s settled then. I have to really go. Emman, Maya.”

“Thank you very much Dr. Lim.” Emman joined in.

He just smiled and stared at Maya.

“Thank you ulit doc”, Maya uttered in a small shy voice.

He smiled one more time then left the room.

As Dr. Lim left the room…

“Oh my God bessie! Ang haba ng hair mo!”

“Ano ka ba Emman. Tumigil ka nga!”

“Kasi naman bessie kinikilig ako. Ang gwapo gwapo ng doctor slash friend mo.”

“Doctor lang Emman hindi ko friend.”

“Ay ang choosy lang!”

“Hindi sa ganun Emman kaso parang ang atribida lang na mag assume na friend kami dahil lang tumulong siya kay Luke. Ganun naman siya for sure sa lahat.”

“No bessie. I’ve done my stalking, este, research and i found out that Dr. Richard Lim is a bachelor but serious, mailap sa tao, hindi sociable, suplado and very strict. This means you’re an exemption to his rule. Special ka bessie. Ayiiii!”

“Emman tumigil ka nga! Kainis to. O ayan hindi ko na nagamit yun hiniram ko kasi 700 lang yun binayaran ko.”

Upon hearing it, all the more that Emman wiggled his brows at her and teased her some more.

Maya just sighed unable to stop her bestfriend from teasing her.

=============

Now at the lobby of the hospital..

“Dito na muna kayo bessie, kunin ko lang yun kotse at abangan nyo na lang. Matatanaw naman dito.”

“Okay Emman.”

All of a sudden, they both saw a very sexy, beautiful lady, by the hospital’s entrance.

Then they heard that very familiar voice.

“Celeste!”

Dr. Richard Lim approached the lady and he gave her a very tight hug and a kiss on her cheek.

Maya who saw the incident, tried to fumble for her cellphone in her bag and pretend to be unaware of what happened right before her eyes.

Emman saw it too but just proceeded to get his car with a sigh of frustration.

Angel of our Hearts 1

The clouds turned gray. An impending downpour is expected anytime soon and Richard is already late for his 6 pm date with Celeste.

His car didn’t cooperate with him coz it just stopped in the middle of road somewhere in Salcedo St. He didn’t have a choice but to leave his car and ask his driver Joma to pick it up.

He will take the cab.

He didn’t have a choice coz he cant seem to convince Celeste to move their date to another day.

Ten minutes after, a cab stopped in front of him. Just as he was about to board it, a woman came rushing towards him, begging to be allowed to use the cab first.

“Sir puwede pong ako na muna kasi kanina pa po ako naghihintay ng masasakyan dito. Kailangan po ako ng anak ko.”

“Miss, si Sir po ang nagpatawag ng taxi. Sa susunod ka na lang sumakay.”

“Parang awa nyo na po.” She addressed the taxi driver then looked towards the other passenger with worried, pleading eyes.”

“Saan ba yun anak mo Miss?” Richard asked the woman.

“Nasa Don Bosco po. Tumawag kasi yung teacher nya kanina pa. Hinimatay daw yun anak ko. Kanina pa ako dapat nakapunta kaso wala po akong masakyan. ”

“Miss kung nagiimbento ka lang para maunahan mong makasakay yun ibang…..”

Richard cut what the taxi driver was about to say.

“Okay Miss. Get inside. Idadaan ka namin sa school ng anak mo.”

“Naku salamat po. Hulog po kayo ng langit.”

“Pero Sir…” the driver was about to object.

“Ako nang bahala Manong. Ang importante ay mabilis tayong makarating sa anak niya.”

She stared at him with her teary doe-shaped eyes conveying gratitude towards him.

“Maraming salamat po Sir.” She timidly said.

“You’re welcome.” Richard said as he retrieved his cellphone from his pocket.

He was keying in his message for Celeste when the other passenger’s cellphone rang.

In a low voice, afraid to disturb the other passenger, she talked to the person on the other line.

“Hindi ko alam Emman. Basta tumawag si Teacher at sabi natumba na lang daw si Luke.”

“Natatakot ako Emman. Sana okay lang si Luke.

“Sige itatakbo ko na lang siya sa hospital na malapit.”

“Di ko pa alam. Basta tatawagan kita mamaya at sumunod ka ha.”

Then she ended the call. After a few minutes, he could hear her stifling a sob and trying to wipe her eyes with her hands.

He offered his handkerchief.

“Ay wag na po Sir. Okay lang ako”

“Sige na take it.”

“Nakakahiya na po.”

“Walang nakakahiya and I’m sure you wouldn’t want your son to see that you cried.”

She hesitantly accepted the hankie from him.

“Maraming salamat po.” She shyly told him.

The taxi halted in front of Don Bosco Makati. He got off the taxi so she could use his door which was on the safe side of the road.

She reached out to pay the driver but Richard was quick to object.

“Wag na. You go ahead. Ako na bahala.”

“Sir may pambayad naman po ako atsaka sobrang abala na ako sa inyo.”

“Sige na. Just spend that para ibigay ng pasalubong yun anak mo para makabawi ka sa tagal mong makapunta rito.”

“Maraming maraming salamat po Sir. Hinding hindi ko po ito makakalimutan.”

Sige na Miss. I’m sure your son is waiting for you.”

Hearing him mention her son, she left and rushed towards the school entrance.

As soon as Richard got in the taxi, loud thunder was heard and the heavy rain began to pour.

Without thinking twice..

“Ah Manong, park ka muna sa tabi. Here’s my payment pero antayin mo ako. I just wanna make sure na okay yun anak ng pasahero mo kanina.”

He handed the driver a 1000 bill.

Pero Ser, napakalakas po ng ulan at baka abutan tayo ng baha dito.

“All the more that I should check on them. Sige na Manong. Mabilis lang ako.”

Scratching his head, the driver relented.

“Sige po Ser. Ayan po sa may likod nyo, gamitin nyo po yun payong.”

With the umbrella to protect him from the rain, Richard rushed towards the entrance of the school as well.

When he entered the school premises, he requested to be accompanied to the school’s infirmary where he was sure the son of his fellow passenger was brought.

Upon reaching the infirmary, he immediately saw the woman, whose back was facing the door talking to someone he suspects to be a teacher. He saw her son lying down on the bed. The teacher saw him.

“Sir may kailangan po ba sila?”

“Ah I’m here for her and her son”

She immediately turned when she heard his voice.

“Sir, may nakalimutan po kayo?” She asked wondering why the Good Samaritan she met awhile ago followed her.

“Ah i can no longer go to my appointment since ang lakas na ng ulan. I just decided to check if your son is okay.”

“Nalapatan na po ng first aid pero inaantay pa yun doctor kasi kailangan pa daw tingnan. Traffic pa kaya wala pa yun doctor.”

Then he rushed to the boy. He checked his pulse, temperature, eyes. Then in a few seconds he requested the teacher to ask the guard to allow the taxi he hired to enter the school. He will bring the boy to the hospital. The boy needs to be checked immediately.

Sensing the apprehension of the mom on his drastic actions, he pulled his wallet and retrieved his calling card.

“Don’t worry Miss. Your son will be taken cared of. I am a doctor”

She stared at him in awe. Then read his card. She stared at him again. He caught her eyes and he smiled in return.

“We will now bring him to the hospital. Hindi tayo pwedeng maghintay pa ng matagal. The floods might worsen.”

She just nodded, completely trusting the stranger named, Richard Lim, who is now generously extending help to her and her son.

As they were in the taxi, he’s been busy in his phone calling the hospital to prepare for their arrival.

The moment, they reached the hospital, a doctor, some nurses were already waiting for them.

They immediately took charge and Dr. Lim was giving instructions to them.

Then he glanced at her and saw her worried face.

He went near her.

“We will check your son so we could know the cause why he fainted. You need to provide your son’s medical history.”

“Okay po doc.” was all she could say.

“If you need anything just tell me or my secretary over there. Her name is Liza. She is a nurse.”

She just nodded her head, worried about her son especially that it seemed that his condition must be more serious than what she thought it is. Based on how many doctors were called and nurses were assisting, it didnt seem like a simple fainting spell.

“O sige, i have to check him now. Just wait here. I’ll make sure he’s fine.”

Then he went over to Liza and gave some instructions as well.

After Dr. Lim entered the ER, Liza approached her for some questions regarding her son’s medical history.

An hour has passed and she was already very worried as to why it took that long for the doctors to check on her son. Liza has left already and she was ushered to a waiting room.

Then she saw Dr. Richard Lim approaching her with a very serious look on his face.

Her heartbeats raced, dreading what news he has about her son.

“Mrs. Dela Rosa, your son is being brought to his room right now. I already had my secretary arrange it.”

“Kailangan ni Luke magovernight dito?”

“Yes because we have to run some more tests tomorrow.”

“Pero doc hindi po ba pwedeng bumalik na lang kami bukas? Hindi naman malala yung anak ko di ba?”

“Mrs. Dela Rosa, it is better that your son be admitted so he could rest and also be ready for the tests tomorrow.

If she is only capable, she would readily have Luke admitted in this hospital. If she had the means, she would want to have Luke checked herself but she doesn’t have the financial capacity to afford any of the facilities, medicines, doctors of this hospital. She can’t even afford the regular vitamins of her son.

She was just blessed to have a very generous friend, Emman,  whose cousin is a priest in Don Bosco, that’s why Luke was a full scholar of the school.

She looked worried, embarrassed, helpless that she can no longer contain herself and wept in front of him.

“Hey, your son is okay. We just have to run tests thats why we need to admit him.”

“Kung pwede lang doc ako mismo ang magpipilit na ipasok yun anak ko kaso hindi ko naman po kayang bayaran ang ganitong klaseng ospital. Wala naman po akong kakayahan para ipagamot si Luke dito. Dadalhin ko na lang po yun anak ko sa health center.”

She wept openly in front of him. She felt pitiful in her current state. She cried for her son, whom she can’t even afford to be treated in this hospital.

Though he never gets personal with any patient or any relative of a patient, he couldn’t help himself so he hugged the woman in front of him, intending to give her the support she badly needs.

“Sshhhh, hush now Mrs. Dela Rosa. What’s important is to make your son feel better. Ako ng bahala sa lahat.”

She glanced at him with her doe shaped tearful eyes.

“O sige na. Puntahan mo na si Luke. Liza here will accompany you.”

“Liza ikaw na ang bahala. Tawagan mo ako kung may problema.”

“Okay po doc. Maya, halika na samahan na kita.”

Liza, who interviewed Maya earlier, had already been aware of some information regarding Maya Dela Rosa and her son Luke so she felt at ease calling her by her first name. It is also, for her, a way to make the patient’s mother at ease despite the worrisome situation her son is in now.

“Dr. Lim maraming maraming salamat po. Napakabait nyo po. Sabihin nyo lang po kung paano ako makakabawi sa’yo”

She’s again teary eyed while thanking the very handsome doctor in front of her.

He smiled and patted her back.

“What i need you to do para makabawi ka sa akin is to stop worrying and go to your son’s room. He needs you there now.”

“Salamat po doc.”

She smiled back at him and that single smile she gave him brought a warm fuzzy feeling in his heart.

A/N hnf7 will be posted tomorrow. I had to redo a part kasi nadelete ko accidentally, kaya this one na muna.

The Adventures and Misadventures of Ricky, Maya and Ryan : Hopia and Hiya

Ricky and Maya arrived from the PAS anniversary celebration.

“Tigilan mo nga ako Ricky.”

“Hep hep bakit parang baliktad. Bakit parang ako yun may kasalanan ngayon?”

“Ikaw naman talaga.”

“Of course not!”

“Of course yes! Ikaw kaya. Hindi ka na nahiya kay Ryan. Hindi mo na naisip yun kahihiyan ko.”

Maya was glaring at her husband with brows furrowed.

“Sweetheart unang una, I wasn’t aware na he’s the one driving. Di ba dapat ikaw yun nakakaalam kasi ikaw ang nagpauwi kay Mang Lem kina Manang Fe at mga bata.”

“Malay ko ba na hindi na si Mang Lem bumalik.”

Maya was so embarrassed that Ryan heard everything they were arguing about kanina. hiyang hiya siya kay Ryan not only with her recent mishap but also with those others in the past.

“Kaya nga Sweetheart, walang may kasalanan and besides it’s only Ryan.”

Ricky doesn’t want an argument anymore for he was so looking forward to Maya’s consequence happening in their bedroom tonight.

“Anong it’s only Ryan. Paano naman ang dignidad ko?!?”

“Dignidad?”

“Yes my dignity! Pano na lang kung ano ang iisipin ni Ryan. Nakakaasar ka talaga Ricardo”

Richard could only raise his eyebrows. He could sense that Maya really wanted to have an argument with him.

He could easily read his wife.

Gusto na naman nitong makalusot. Pero he won’t allow it. Not this time.

So as much as he wants to counter his wife, he opted to play the very patient husband role.

He is so sure that Maya would do the consequence and he will definitely be rewarded tonight.

“Sweetheart wala naman yun kay Ryan. He is a very close friend.”

“Anong wala! Ibig mong sabihin okay lang sa’yo if kami naman ang magkukuwento ni Ivy at sasabihin ko rin na naked ka?”

“Of course not. Atsaka it’s entirely different. Yun sa inyo ni Ivy you will be deliberately telling her while yun kay Ryan, accidental yun. Atsaka hindi ko naman dinescribe di ba?”

“Kahit na! Ewan ko sa’yo Ricardo, jan ka na nga!”

“Sweetheart!…”

Maya rushed to the mansion’s second floor while Ricky was following her.

Then nasalubong nila si Manang Fe.

“O anong nangyari sa inyong dalawa, bakit nakakunot mga noo nyo at salubong ang mga kilay nyo?”

“Etong alaga nyo kasi Manang, napakapilyo!”

“Huh, wala naman akong ginawa ah!”

“Meron kaya!”

“No Manang, wala akong ginagawa sakanya. Nagpapalusot lang yan si Maya kasi ayaw nyang gawin yun dapat nyang gawin mamaya.”

“Bakit ano bang dapat gawin nya?”

Maya frantically covered Ricky’s mouth afraid that he might spill to Manang Fe about her “consequence” tonight.

Manang Fe just shrugged her shoulders and left the two.

She smiled inwardly amused at the banters of the two.

As soon as the couple entered their bedroom, Maya proceeded to the bathroom to take a shower and prepare for bed.

Ricky did his nightly ritual as well as soon as Maya went out the bathroom.

Ricky was excitedly anticipating Maya’s “show” tonight.

But the moment he’s done and he returned to their bedroom, Maya was already sleeping.

He was disappointed but he knows that Maya was really tired from the days events and also from keeping up with the twins who joined the earlier activities of the PAS celebration.

With a sigh of frustration, he went to sleep.

=============

The following morning Ricky woke up to an empty space beside him.

Maya had gone to work without waking him up.

It was just 6 in the morning yet she already left for work.

He called her.

“Sweetheart you left early. Why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Kasi ang himbing ng tulog mo sweetheart eh alam ko namang pagod ka at 9 pa naman ang una mong appointment sa office.”

“Eh bakit maaga ka? It’s only 6am, di ba 9 din ang flight mo?”

“Kasi Sweetheart sumabay na ako sa mga bata. Magpapahatid ako kay Kuya Joma. Hindi kasi makakasundo yun service ng Time Airways.”

“Dapat ginising mo ako para naihatid kita.”

“Sweetheart okay lang naman atsaka at least nakabonding ko yun mga bata. O nandito na kami sa school nina Nikki at Abby. O mga anak bye na kayo sa daddy nyo.”

“Bye daddykins!” Nikki squeled at Maya’s phone

“Bye dad. Enjoy your day po.” Si Abby naman.

“Bye kids. Study hard ah!”

His heart still melts at scenes like this and he cant thank his wife enough for allowing him and his kids, their kids, the happiness anyone would wish to have.

“O sige na Sweetheart. Magalmusal ka na. Nagluto ako ng champorado kanina at inihimay na kita ng tuyo.”

“Okay sweetheart. Have a safe flight. I love you.”

“I love you so so so much more Sweetheart Ricky.”

What she said made him smile but wait! He shouldn’t be fooled by Maya ‘s overly sweet gestures coz it ony means one thing…. she wants to be freed from her consequence.

So he texted her.

“Don’t forget tonight Sweetheart and no excuses na please. =D”

He waited for her reply. After a few minutes he called her again but she is no longer answering her phone.

===============================

Ricky was already in a sour mood when he entered his office.

He didn’t even acknowledge the employees who were greeting him and offering their congratulatory messages for the very successful PAS anniversary celebration.

With that mood he’s having, no one even talked about his participation in the pageant. No one except for…

“Brod! kumusta ang Ginoong PAS?”

Ryan was grinning widely while sitting in front of Liza’s table when Richard arrived.

Richard just stared at Ryan then proceeded to his office.

“Uh oh. May masama ang gising ngayong umaga. Sige Liza susundan ko  na. Salamat sa kape.”

“Sige Atty. Ryan, kausapin mo na si Ser kasi kawawa naman ang mga empleyado if ganyan yan buong araw.”

“I’ll try Liza. Mukhang sobrang sungit eh. Baka di ko kayanin.”

They both chuckled and Ryan went inside Richard’s office.

“O brod anong atin? Bakit sambakol ang mukha mo?”

Ricky just smirked at Ryan.

“What are you doing here Ryan? Akala ko may hearing ka ngayon. And why are you smiling?”

“Naaaliw lang ako sa hitsura mo. Parang kang napagkaitan…”

“Why are you here Ryan?” Ricky asked again.

“Hey easy. Ayun i brought the legal docs regarding JJ Aviation. Inoorganize ni Liza for your signature.”

“Pero maiba tayo. Bakit nga ba ang sungit mo? Di ka napagbigyan ni Misis ano?”

Ryan wiggled his eyebrows and Richard let out a deep sigh.

“Ikaw kasi brod eh!”

“At ano naman ang kinalaman ko? Ba’t nasali ako jan?”

“If you didn’t react last night…”

“Baka kung saan pa napunta usapan nyo.”

“Hindi no. Kung hindi ka sumabat, hindi mahihiya si Maya.”

“Oh! So tama ako. Di ka nga napagbigyan.” Ryan sniggered.

Richard just shook his head, getting more upset that his friend is making fun of him.

“Brod dahan dahanin mo naman kasi. Siyempre ang mga babae gusto special ang lahat ng bagay, pinagplaplanuhan, pinaghahandaan.”

Richard raised his eyebrows totally not getting what Ryan wants to point out.

“Kami kasi ni Misis, everytime we have a big event coming up, pinaplano nya, yun mood, yun ambiance, pati yun amoy ng room, klase ng bedsheet, pati kurtina brod.”

Now Ryan had Richard’s attention so he continued.

“Alam naman nating sentimental ang mga babae. Special sa kanila ang mga ganung events. I assume si Maya bihira naman nya gawin yun pinagagawa mo kaya dahan dahanin mo lang brod.” Ryan was serious now.

“Umiiwas brod eh. Parang ayaw.”

“Imposibleng ayaw. May kambal na nga kayo. Sigurado ako gusto nya na pinaghahandaan yun. Treat it like a celebration. Kami ni Misis hinahanapan namin lahat ng reasons to celebrate, like yun first time to use the bed celebration, job promotion celebration and (now whispering) even buy my wife a thong celebration.”

“That’s absurd!”

“Absurd na kung absurd but sa mga misis natin, importante yan. Mas sasaya sila nyan. I suggest umpisahan mo sa pagregalo ng something intimate like negligee.”

“I do that.”

“Baka naman you choose the boring designs. Mas okay brod yun mejo wild, a thong perhaps.”

“I wont do that! My wife is conservative and so am I.”

“Si Maya conservative, ikaw conventional!”

Then Ryan laughed at Richard’s annoyed expression.

“Easy, im here to help you brod. Ang sa akin lang, your wife is younger than you and ikaw lang naman ang una nya sa lahat. You wouldn’t want to deprive her of that i’m sure. Atsaka ang mga kaibigan nyan for sure nagkukuwentuhan about sa happenings in their married life. I am sure you wouldn’t want to disappoint your wife.”

Natigilan si Richard. Realization hit him.

“O sige brod. I have to go ahead. At relax lang, mukhang kulang na lang kainin mo yun mga empleyado mo.”

“Sige na brod. Thank you.”

=============

Richard arrived home earlier that day. He preferred to stay with the kids since he doesn’t have anything important to do in the office anyway.

The moment he entered their bedroom he was surprised to see Maya’s laptop turned on. He realized that she was home so he searched for her in the bathroom. She wasn’t in there.

When he was about to leave the room,  to search for her in the twins nursery, the website that she has been browsing caught his attention.

https://www.victoriassecret.com

So tama nga si Ryan. His wife has been preparing for her version of the pageant and it seems she’s shopping for a lingerie.

He browsed the site and swallowed hard by merely imagining his wife in any of those and also slowly removing those.

He was excited that he accidentally opened another window that his wife had been browsing.

“No way!” was Richard’s reaction upon seeing the website.

It was a local online shop and Maya already placed purchases for 3 pcs of size xl maxi panties, yes the one that covers the whole thing.

Ricky is very much aware that Maya is not into those very sexy lingeries but he definitely wouldn’t want to see her in those oversized “lola undies”.

He knows the playful at mapangasar nature of his wife so he will just play along and pretend to be unaware of those online purchases. He is certain na ginugoodtime ulit siya ni Maya.

But he will definitely do something about it to his own liking.

=================================

2 weeks later.

Richard, Ryan and Liza were discussing the labor issues and legalities of the Lim Aviation Institute when Minerva came in with a FedEx package.

Thinking that it was the Boeing 737 manual he ordered, Richard asked Minerva to open the package.

A gasp was heard from her and Liza immediately went over Minerva to check on her only to find out that the package were undies ordered by Richard.

He immediatley grabbed the package from  Liza and Minerva.

“Ah Sir, sa labas na po kami ni Minerva.”

Liza immediately left knowing very well that her boss is not used to being teased in front of them.

She wanted to spare him from further embarrassment especially that Ryan will surely make fun of him.

As soon as the two ladies left, Ryan let out the laughter he’s been suppressing.

“Stop it Ryan. This was your idea anyway.”

“I am proud of you brod. Honestly. Level up ka talaga. At gold talaga! Parang with Maya’s touch, este Midas touch it turns to gold.”

Richard couldn’t do anything and just allowed Ryan’s nonstop teasing besides, he is happy with his purchases. He got Maya a hot sexy red lacy VS underwear and himself a pair of Calvin Klein white undershirt and briefs with the gold garter.

==================

He went home early that day planning to have lunch with Maya whom he knows doesn’t have a flight. He might be able to convince her to do the consequence.

As he was near the kitchen…

“Basta Sabel ha, dapat palibot din ng petals ha. Atsaka yun mga kandila, okay na ba yun?”

“Ay okay na po Mrs. Chief. Nailagay na rin ni Kuya Joma yun mp3 player dun.”

“Salamat Sabel ha. Secret natin to ha. Gusto ko kasi surprise.”

“Walang problema Mrs. Chief. Buti na lang wala sina Doris at Leah”

“Itinaon ko talaga na wala yun mga bata kasi nakakahiya naman kung nandito sila.”

“Korek ka dyan! At hindi rin kayo makakabwelo. Mga anong oras po kayo uuwi mamaya?”

“Mga 4 pm kaya dapat handa na yun room.”

Richard was very happy with what he heard. So today is the day. He better prepare too. He didn’t want Maya to suspect that he heard them so he went to the main door again and called for her.

“Sweetheart I’m home!”

Maya emerged from he kitchen to meet Ricky.

“Sweetheart wala kang pasok?”

“Meron Sweetheart pero I’ll just work in dito sa bahay. Ikaw bakit nakabihis ka? May lakad ka?”

“Ah eh oo Sweetheart. May aasikasuhin lang ako pero babalik naman ako ng maaga. Lunch na muna tayo bago ka mag umpisa magwork.”

“Sige lunch na tayo pero you don’t have to go home early if may mga gagawin ka pa. I might go back to the office rin later to bring some documents.”

He saw Maya’s relieved face and it confirmed his assumption of the big event Maya must be preparing for later.

The moment Maya left the house, Richard asked Manang Fe, Joma and Sabel to go to South Curves restaurant and order food for the kids and his parents. He asked them to bring it to his parents house. It is actually an excuse so he can check the preparations Maya did.

He found out that Maya had asked Sabel to prepare the guestroom. It had candles, petals scattered all around, table with fruits and wine and some mood music.

Tuwang tuwa siya. Maya indeed prepared for this. He didn’t mind if he saw that box of undies Maya ordered. He was sure that it was part of Maya’s playful nature.

Now it was his turn to prepare.

He took a very long shower taking time to scrub. He also made sure to shave.  He also took a longer time to choose what to wear but deciding in the end that he will just put a robe over his purchased undies.

It was already 3pm when he finished. Manang Fe, Sabel and Joma had arrived.

“Ricardo, aalis ka?”

“Opo Manang. Pero magpapasundo na lang ako sa LAS. Iiwan ko yun sasakyan” He lied. He didn’t want to spoil his and Maya’s surprise for each other.

He just actually stayed in his home office trying to eavesdrop if Maya had arrived.

The he heard Sabel talking to Joma.

“Parating na raw si Mrs. Chief. Mga 10 minutes na lang nandito na siya..”

“Huh? Bakit hindi nagpasundo?”

“Ay basta may surprise ata. Wag na tayong makialam. Tara samahan mo akong magtapon ng basura.”

“Ang weird. Si Mrs. Chief ayaw din magpahatid sundo tapos si Sir Richard iniwan din yun sasakyan.”

“Hayaan mo na ang trip ng mga amo natin. Ikaw talaga Joma.”

The moment he heard Sabel and Joma’s fading steps, he immediately rushed to the guest room.

He was so excited that he would be the one to surprise Maya instead. He laid Maya’s lacy VS lingerie. He lighted a few candles and played a soft music.

He was contemplating on whether to still wear the robe or not. He decided to just wear what he bought.

So he leisurely laid in bed while excitedly anticipating Maya’s arrival.

A few minutes passed, he heard the knob being turned so he placed both his hands under his head in a sort of open invitation position.

He had a wide grin in his face when the door opened.

“Hesusmaryosep!”

Nanay Teresita screamed upon seeing Ricky. Tay Arturo embraced her while trying to suppress his laughter.

Maya was behind them and happily announced….

“Happy Anniversary Nay! Tay! O bakit Nay?

Maya was wondering why her Nanay reacted that way.

She directed her eyes towards the room when she saw Ricky frantically wearing his robe which got entangled due to his embarrassment. He was red faced and couldn’t even look at his in-laws.

It also didn’t help that Sabel was there for she rushed when she heard Nay Teresita’s scream.

“Sweetheart?”

Then Richard just nodded his head at his in-laws rushing to leave the very awkward and embarrassing scene he got himself in.

=========================

Richard locked himself up in his home office. He didnt want to interact with anyone.

Maya was knocking.

“Sweetheart buksan mo naman to please.”

He just ignored her. Hiya din siya kay Maya.

“Sige naman Sweetheart. Galit ka ba sa’kin?”

He could now hear Maya’s pleading and worried voice so he opened the door.

Upon seeing her husband, Maya hugged him very tight. They closed the office door and Maya sat on her husband’s lap.

“Hmmm ang gwapo gwapo at ang bango bango mo Sweetheart!”

“You’re just saying that kasi napahiya ako kanina. Oh my God what will Nanay and Tatay think of me?”

“Na sexy ang asawa ko at napakaswerte ng anak nila?”

“You’re making fun of me.”

“Hindi ah! Atsaka buti nga yun, nawala yun kaba ni Nanay sa gagawin nila ni Tatay.”

“And why is that?”

“Kasi nagulat siya sa’yo. Naging icebreaker ka Sweetheart!”

“At anong akala mo sa gagawin nila nanay at tatay, magteteambulding at kailangan nila ng icebreaker?”

“Basta wag ka na ngang kumontra. Tara dun na tayo sa room. Tayo naman ang magteam building.”

Maya playfully teased Ricky intending to make him feel better.

“Atsaka suot ko na oh.”

Ricky saw that she was now wearing the lingerie he purchased.

The couple proceeded to their room.

They saw Sabel was near the staircase going to the second floor of the mansion. Maya knew what to do.

Maya went ahead of Ricky and whispered to Sabel.

“Sabel sabi ng ser nyo, bibigyan ka nya  ng bonus basta kakalimutan mo na lang yun nakita mo.”

“Eh Mrs. Chief ang hirap naman kalimutan yun nakita ko eh.”

“Sabel!!!” Ricky’s booming voice was heard.

“Ay oo nga po Ser Richard, kakalimutan ko na po. Iisipin ko na lang na si Sir Luke yun.”

Richard glared at her.

“Ay si Joma na lang po”

Richard didn’t stop glaring at Sabel.

“Si Tay Arturo na lang…”

Nanlaki mata ni Maya.

“Sabel!!!”

“Mrs. Chief nakakatakot naman kasi si Ser Richard .”

Richard left the two by the foot of the stairs looking totally annoyed.

“Basta Sabel yun sinabi ko ha! Wag mo na rin sana ikuwento kina Doris at Leah”

“Opo Mrs. Chief.”

As Maya was about to go up the stairs, she paused.

“At Sabel please wag mo na rin idamay si Luke, Kuya Joma at lalo na si Tatay.”

“Opo Mrs. Chief. Para wholesome, si Sky na nakadiaper na lang ang iimaginin ko.”

Natawa si Maya.

“Sige na nga. Akyat na ako. Maguusap muna kami ng Ser nyo para kumalma siya. Tiger mode na kasi.”

The Heart Never Forgets – 6

Richard went home when Manang Fe, Liza and Luke arrived.

He needed to take a shower and change his clothes which he wore since yesterday.

He left Manang Fe to take care of Maya and Luke. He also asked Liza, the trusted secretary of his late grandfather to stay. He requested Liza to handle all doctors instructions and relay it to him if ever an emergency comes up.

Maya was asleep when Manang Fe, Luke and Liza arrived. He didn’t bother to wake her up for he knows that she badly needs a lot of sleep and rest.

Luke was left in the care of Manang Fe and Liza.

Rafi and Edz also arrived and a few minutes Maya woke up.

“Kumusta na pakiramdam mo?” Edz asked her

“Okay naman na ako. Nakakahiya sainyo, naabala ko pa kayo”

“Naku, don’t say that. Anong abala ang pinagsasabi mo.” Rafi joined in.

“Kasi may activity tapos nandito kayo.”

“Emm, don’t say that. We love you kaya kung ano man ang mangyari sa yo or kay Luke, you can count on us.”

Rafi was genuinely smiling at her that Maya felt bad for thinking about her negatively.

Edz then said…

“Pero kinilig ako kahit taranta tayong lahat kahapon kasi super aligaga si Ricky sa pagdala sa’yo sa hospital. ”

“Oo nga. You could really see the worry in his face. Aakalain mo boyfriend ni Emm kung mag-alala.” Rafi was teasing her.

Namula si Maya. She never expected Rafi to be teasing her that way. It contradicts with her belief that Rafi and Ricky might be having something.

“Grabe, wag nga kayong ganyan, nakakahiya. Baka may makarinig. Baka marinig nya.”

“Ay naku Emm, kagabi pa after we have settled you dito sa hospital at okay naman lahat, we were already teasing Ricky. Tawa lang naman ng tawa.” Rafi continued.

Mas nahiya si Maya to find out that Richard is already being teased by Edz and Rafi.

“Naku nakakatawa nga kasi sa sobrang taranta ni Ricky, nabitawan nya yun contact lens ni Rafi.”

“At pasalamat ako na di natusok yun mata ko.”

“Ah ano?”Maya was baffled.

“Kasi nga di ba, nahihirapan akong maglagay ng contact lens, kaya I asked Ricky to help me tapos hayun nagulat kami ng nagslide ka.”

“Naku sorry Rafi. Ano ba naman ako. Ang clumsy ko naman. Okay lang ba yun mata mo? yun contact lens mo nawala ba?”

“Don’t worry my dear. I have a spare naman. Basta you have to rest at may concert pa tayo remember.”

Maya was embarrassed but mostly relieved that her assumption about Rafi and Ricky weren’t accurate.

Though she can’t admit it to herself, though she has no right at all, she was really jealous to the point that she was close to not being able to handle her emotions that night.

“Okay lang Emm. Ang pinaka importante ay you’re okay. Magiingat ka na sa susunod ha. Mabuti na lang Ricky was so quick at ang galing dumiskarte. Mabilis kaming nakarating sa hospital. He decided everything on his own kasi nagkagulo na kami.” Rafi was genuinely smiling at her.

“Very decisive nga siya. He just called his secretary ata yun, then yun na umayos ng hospital. At talagang alaga ka sa hospital na to. Family friend ata nila isa sa mga doctors dito kaya grabe sila magasikaso. Naku Emm grabe ang pogi points sayang nga lang at taken na kayo pareho. ” Edz was teasing.

“Huh? You mean siya lahat nag asikaso nito?” Maya asked.

It was then that she realized that Richard had provided her with the best room of the hospital, had flowers by her table and had fruits and food as well. Then she saw Manang Fe who was seated by the sofa, smiling at her.

“Manang Fe…”

“Kumusta na Maya?” Manang Fe smiled at her with fondness.

Maya knew Manang Fe from way back. Manang Fe was like a mother to Richard. Maya was able to meet and even talk to Manang Fe in many occassions already. Manang Fe was even one of the last person who tried to convince her not to leave Richard. She felt guilty and embarrassed.

But Manang Fe, the ever loving person that she is, immediately dispelled whatever unpleasant feelings Maya is having.

“Mabuti naman at magaling ka na anak. Nagalala kaming lahat sa’yo. ”

“Marami pong salamat Manang. Naabala ko po kayong lahat.” She shyly replied.

“Walang anuman anak at hindi ka abala sa amin. Alam mo yan. Yun anak mo, si Luke, andun kasama ni Liza. Gusto daw kumain ng cake sa canteen. Pinayagan ko na kasi bored na dito sa kwarto.”

Her face got pale. She was tongue-tied the moment Manang Fe mentioned Luke.

“O anak magpahinga ka na muna kasi mukhang di pa masyadong ayos yun lagay mo. Wag kang mag-alala kami ang bahala sa’yo.”

“Yes Emm, tama si Manang. You should rest so that you could go home na soon.” Rafi added.

“Alam na ba ni James?” Edz suddenly asked.

“Hindi pa. Hindi naman nya kailangan malaman, magaalala lang yun.”

Manang Fe was just listening. She was happy that Ricky saw Maya again after all these years though she’s sad that they can never be together anymore.

Luke Andrew is a very charming kid, Manang Fe observed. Like his mom, he’s very polite and makwento din. Though she assumed that Luke was the reason why Maya left Richard, she can’t bring herself to have ill feelings towards the boy.

Luke spent the night at Richard’s house with Manang Fe and the entire household staff of the Lim’s. Luke played with Fely’s kids and Manang Fe closely observed him.

She felt bad with the fact that Maya left Richard and chose the kid’s father over him. She also felt sad that Maya was able to move on and have a family when it took Richard years before he eventually moved on.

She is just hoping that the recent encounter of the two wont open wounds again that took very long time to heal especially for Richard. Her ward is already happy now and at peace and Manang Fe really hoped that he wont be affected by Maya’s reappearance in his life.

=====================

The accident and the bonding at the hospital turned out beneficial to both Maya and Richard.

Maya was a bit at ease talking to him now. She’s no longer jittery and jumpy whenever Richard is around.

They worked so well together. The practice and preparations for the concert was not at all affected by any awkwardness they had before.

Richard was so proud of all the students of the school. They were able to stage a show that was well-applauded, well-received and all the kids were given their own exposure to showcase their talents.

All the parents were beaming with pride. Even the sponsors vowed to support the school even after the show. They were all impressed.

Among the kids, Luke made his mom very proud. Maya was teary eyed during Luke’s performance. The scene was poignant especially with Richard coaching Luke on the sides.

This scene was also observed by someone very significant to Richard and Maya. It was observed by the Mother Superior of the school who was in attendance with the audience, unknown to the two.

After the show ended, the energy of all the participants, parents, teachers were still very high. They were so happy with the reception of the audience.

Fr. Francis was also among those who watched.

“Congratulations!” he addressed the whole faculty of Northwest Hills Montessori.

“Naku Fr. Francis thank you so much at nandito ka.” Rafi was still full of energy.

“So pwede na kayong magshow sa archdiocese this coming feast day?” He added.

“Yes Fr. Francis. They can certainly do it.” The School Directress, Sr. Mary Ann answered.

“Basta nandito si Ricky, kayang kaya namin yan.” Rafi again said.

Richard was just smiling at them. Maya was also with the other teachers congratulating each other and happily enjoying the success of the show.

Then Fr. Francis saw the Mother Superior who was descending from the school auditorium’s balcony.

“Oh, Mother Elena, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Fr. Francis, how are you?”

“I’m good. im good. I thought you were in Rome.”

“Ah I just arrived. I came here to witness this. I’m really so proud of these kids and of course our hardworking nuns and teachers.”

Everyone was happy to hear the pride in the voice of their head, their Mother Superior. They were all grateful that she took time to grace the show.

Everyone were happy except for Richard.

The moment he saw her, Richard tried to leave the scene only to be stopped by Rafi.

“Naku Ricky, you should meet Mother Elena para maka thank you siya sa’yo for the very successful show.”

“No need na Rafi. She’s busy entertaining visitors. Some other time na lang besides I really need to go.”

“Please Ricky, few minutes lang. Hindi ako matatahimik hanggat hindi niya nakikilala ang taong responsible why the show was very successful.”

“Rafi….”

But Mother Elena and Fr. Francis were already facing them.

“Mother Elena, I want you to meet Mr. Richard Lim. He was the one who helped us with the show. Si Fr. Francis actually and nagpadala sa kanya. Very successful yun show because of him.” Rafi excitedly introduced Ricky.

Richard just coyly nodded his head trying to avert his gaze from the nun who was smiling and staring at him.

“Good evening Mother Elena.” Richard managed to say.

“Richard thank you very much. I never doubted that you will be able to successfully stage the show, as always.”

Rafi and Fr. Francis weren’t able to hear what Mother Elena said so they were oblivious to the fact that Ricky and Mother Elena already knew each other.

They were busy talking with the other guests.

Richard replied.

“I did it for the kids Mother and of course for the school.”

“I see. I’m really glad to see you. To see what you became. ”

“Thank you.” Richard said with a bitter smile.

“Oh so you and Maya are okay now?”

Richard was taken aback by her question. She of all people had the courage to ask him. And despite his being patient, what she said hit a nerve and angered him. But he knows that he should hide whatever feelings he has.

“Yes we’re okay.” he just replied.

“I’m really glad you are. You see Maya is still the same Maya you knew way back. I’m glad to see you friends again.”

“There’s no problem anymore Mother. We both moved on and we already have our own lives. I’m grateful for the opportunity to patch things up with her and even had the honor to coach her very talented son.”

Richard was trying so hard to maintain his composure while talking to Mother Elena. They were now huddled in a corner while everyone was oblivious to what they were discussing.

“Oh yes, Luke is a great kid, very talented indeed. Polite, charming and responsible at his age. Maya is so blessed to have him.”

With the last ounce of patience, Richard replied…

“He is indeed. He obviously got it from his mom.”

“No. It’s more of from his dad. He is a great guy. I am so proud of him.”

Richard didn’t know what to say. If earlier he was elated for the success of the show he directed, what he is feeling right this very moment was anger, pain he can never remove from his system.

“O sige na Richard. I hope we could get to have a longer chat. Congratulations talaga and thank you in behalf of the school.”

He didnt have the chance to say anything anymore as Mother Elena turned and walked towards the other parents and guests who were still there.

Maya, immediately left the scene when she saw Mother Elena approaching Richard. She excused herself and stayed in the faculty room together with the other teachers who were busy preparing to go home.

“Emm nandito na pala kayo ni Luke.” Edz suddenly arrived.

“Ah inaayos ko kasi yun gamit namin. Uuwi na ba tayo?”

Before the show started, it was already arranged that Maya and Luke will ride with Edz on their way home. She can’t use her car since it is still in the repair shop.

“Yun na nga ang problema. Tumawag yun driver ko, na flat tire siya at medyo matatagalan pa daw.”

“Ha? Naku paano yan. Its late na. Mahihirapan tayong sumakay.”

“May naisip na akong solusyon. Pahatid na lang tayo kina Simon.”

Simon heard them. “O sige ba. No problem kaso mga few minutes pa kasi inaayos ko pa yun instruments.”

Rafi who has just arrived in the faculty area with Ricky suddenly joined in.

“Out of the way si Emm sa pupuntahan ni Simon. Mabuti pa si Edz na lang ang sumabay sa’yo tapos si Emm at Luke, kay Ricky na lang. Okay lang naman di ba Ricky?”

Richard was surprised at Rafi’s suggestion but he immediately replied…

“Sure no problem.”

“Ah eh wag na kasi baka may iba pang lakad si Ricky.”

“No it’s okay. It’s on my way home anyway. Atsaka medyo malayo ang byahe at least hindi ako aantukin.”

Richard smiled. Maya nodded her head.

“Okay. Maghahanda na muna kami ni Luke.”

==========

The drive on the way home, Richard’s home takes an hour while Maya’s place is about 40 minutes.

Luke, tired from the activities of the day is now sleeping in Maya’s arms.

They are driving in silence with occasional comments on the show, the students, the weather.

Both are so careful not to discuss any sensitive issue.

If during the course of the practice, they were already at ease with each other because of the hospital incident, this time the tension, awkwardness is very present again.

Mother Superior’s appearance opened lots of bad memories especially to Richard.

He can no longer contain it and Maya sensed it as well.

“Chard are you okay?”

He glanced at her.

“Why do you ask?”

“Kasi parang iba yun mood mo eh. Parang ang tahimik mo. You should be celebrating kasi successful yun show. You made it successful.”

She shyly said.

“Ah everyone is involved, i was just the one who helped.”

“Pero bakit parang hindi naman celebratory yun mood mo?”

“Ah nothing. It’s just something Mother Elena said. ”

Maya just bowed her head. She very well knows that whatever Mother Elena said which made Richard’s mood sour is about her or anything from the past. She knows Mother Elena to always speak her mind.

“Chard…”

“It’s nothing Maya. I was just a bit offended with what she said.”

He was offended when Mother Elena, expressed her fondness of Maya’s husband right in front of him. It hurt him coz it seemed like she was happy that Maya and him didn’t end up together.

“Bakit ano bang pinagusapan nyo? She was so proud of you naman kanina when she approached you, di ba?”

“No its not about the show. Its about something else.”

She hesitantly asked.

“About us? before?”

Richard didn’t answer her. So Maya added…

“Ricky what happened seven years ago…”

He stopped whatever she was about to say.

“Don’t worry Maya. We’re okay now and that’s more important to me.”

He was contented with the set-up they have now and he didn’t want to risk losing her friendship again.

“Ricky I’m sorry that I caused you….”

“Maya you don’t have to feel bad about what happened besides matagal na yun. Seven years is a long time already.”

His intention was to remove Maya’s feeling of guilt or remorse.

He continued.

“Besides the two years we were together was just me being immature, siguro since you were my only constant companion then kaya napilitan ka to take me. I always know that you always wanted me to feel good then. Sorry nadamay pa kita. It was nothing so you dont have to bother yourself anymore.”

His intention was for her to feel good.

But what she felt was the worst feeling ever..

Unconsciously, she got teary eyed. She hugged Luke very tight.

She remained quiet for the rest of the ride until they reached her home.

“Sige Chard thank you.”

Maya was trying to wake Luke up but he was sleeping so soundly that Richard had to help her and carry Luke inside her house.

He was unaware of Maya’s sullen mood and silent tears during the rest of the ride home that when he was about to say goodbye and look at her, he was surprised that she had red eyes and nose.

“Umiyak ka? Why?”

She just stared at him and her tears are again welling in her eyes.”

“Maya?”

She didn’t say anything but just avoided his eyes.

“Bakit Maya? Is something wrong?”

“The two years we had? That was nothing to you?”

She couldn’t contain it anymore so she asked him while her tears are now flowing.

He was taken aback by what she is openly showing him.

“No.. no it’s not that Maya, kaya lang….”

“The two years that meant nothing to you were the best two years of my life. It was very special to me. Wala lang pala sa’yo yun.”

Richard doesnt know how to react seeing her trembling lips, shoulders which are shaking while she’s trying to control her sobs.

He gathered her in his arms.

They remained in that position

“Maya, it was special to me but we can’t go back to it anymore. Alam ko naman na ayaw mo na ring balikan yun and with what we have now, you and me having our own lives already, it is inappropriate to dwell on that. I’m happy with the friendship we have now. I’m thankful that you even allow me to be close to your son despite the circumstances of our past.”

Maya just remained silent while tears are still streaming down her cheeks.

“Sige na Chard, gabi na. Thank you sa paghatid.”

She dismissed him.

“Maya…”

“Uwi ka na Chard. It’s already late and I’m sure you are tired. I am too. Baka magising din si Luke. I need to change hi clothes pa.”

“Okay i’ll go for now but we will talk about it Maya.”

Richard left with so many questions in his mind.

The moment she closed her door, she allowed herself to cry n let out all her regret for what she did in the past.

Preview of the next chapter

She went to him, held his face with one hand then his nape with the other then gave him a kiss full of longing, kiss of all the love she has in her heart for him.

He wasn’t able to react. It was too much for him. He just stood glued to the floor, not returning her kiss.