For the next eight months, I felt like the sun has set and has not risen for me. It’s like I’m living in a world with no colours, with no one to brighten up my day. Everything is dull and grey.
Maya is now in Cebu, back with her family. I know that I should be happy for her. I must be happy, but I can’t seem to make myself smile.
We’re fine on the first month of our so-called ‘long-distance-relationship.’ Then after that, we lost all of our communication. She’s not answering my calls, or my texts. She’s seldom online; I don’t know how to reach her. I even told Liza to find any ways to contact her. I was still full of hope back then. After a while, I gave up.
I decided that I should just focus on working. And you know what? It’s actually effective. I’m at the top of my career, everyone recognizes our company, and we’re even busier than before. Everything is good. Except for the fact that I know, deep down, I’m still broken inside.
Yes, I still love her. In fact, I think she’s the only girl that I loved this way. But I’m mad at her.
“Sir, your flight for Cebu is all set. Engr. Yamaguchi will be waiting for you para raw po mabisita agad ‘yung bagong branch.”
“Alright. Thanks, Liza.”
“No problem, Sir. Hay naku Sir, ang dami niyo pang pending site visits. Nakakagulat naman kasi ‘tong pag-unlad ng Lim Aviation.”
I smirked. “Tell you what, I’ll give you a raise. You deserve it.”
“Sir! Naku, maraming salamat po talaga. Sige, Sir, maiwan ko na po kayo.”
I spent every night looking outside. Still looking at that bench where it all started.
“Ricardo, nakapag-impake ka na ba?” si Manang.
“Opo.” I answered her but I’m still looking outside.
“Miss mo na si Maya, no?”
I sighed. I just can’t answer that question.
“Ricardo, kahit anong saya ang dulot ng trabaho mo, kung malungkot naman ‘yang puso mo, baliwala lahat.”
“Hayaan niyo na, Manang. Lilipas din ‘to.” I’m doing my best to forget her.
Tinapik ni Manang ang braso ko. “Hay nako, Ricardo. Tanging hiling ko lang naman eh bumalik ‘yung ngiti mo.”
“Welcome to Cebu, Chief.” Sabi ni Engr. Yamaguchi.
“Thanks. Ah, pasensya na rin kasi biglaan yung pagpapalipat ko sa’yo dito.”
“It’s okay Chief. I understand. Let’s go na to the site?”
I’ll be here for a week in Cebu. Part of me wants to spend it to look for her. But I’ve decided not to. I want to move on.
“That’s all, Chief. A few more works and they’re all good to go.” Sabi ni Engr. Yamaguchi.
“Thanks. I’ll be back here tomorrow to help. I’ll be here all week.”
“Ok Chief. Ingat kayo.”
It’s currently 6PM. I’m on my way to the hotel. Then I remembered that Manang Fe wants me to buy her a cloak. So I drove to a market. I have no idea where to get those things.
“Uh, Miss, may tinda ba kayong cloak?”
“Meron ho Sir, ano ho bang klaseng cloak?” Finally.
“Hindi ko alam eh. But maybe you know what kind? It’s for my granny, you see.”
“Ah, sige ho, Sir. Ano pong kulay?”
“Hmm. Maybe something that’s not too bright?”
“Tingnan ko lang po ah.” Tumingin siya sa mga stocks ng tindahan niya. And eventually, she found one.
“Ito ho Sir.” She handed me a brown cloak. I think Manang will like this.
“Ah, Salamat.” Binayaran ko na tapos umalis na ako.
My phone rang.
“Chief? Can you go back here?” si Engr. Yamaguchi. “We have a problem with an aircraft.”
“Can’t it wait for tomorrow? I’m sure you guys are already tired.”
“Hindi ho pwede eh. Our hunch is that baka mas lalong lumala yung damage kung ipagpapabukas pa.”
“Ok. I’ll be on my way.” Might as well. It’s the reason why I came here at the first place.
“Richard?” a voice called me from my back. And I recognize that voice by heart. It just tears me to hear it again.
I turned around. And there she is – Maya.
“Richard! Ikaw nga!” she suddenly hugged me. Tears falling from her eyes.
But I was surprised by how I reacted – I didn’t hug her back. I just stood there, frozen.
“Bakit ka nasa Cebu?” tanong niya pagkatapos niya akong yakapin. “Huy, sumagot ka naman! Kuya!”
I’m still not saying anything. I’m just looking at her. She still looks the same, still talks the same. She’s the same woman that I’m in love with.
“Chard. Huy. Oo. Alam kong nagtatampo ka sa’kin . .”
“Nagtatampo? Nagtatampo lang, Maya? You have no idea what it’s like na mahalin ang taong ilang buwan kong hindi nakakausap. And yet she’s the one who told me na we can make this work! Pero anong nangyari?” I can feel a tear trying to escape from my eye. “I know that this is not the right place and the right time for me to say all of this, pero hindi ko mapigilan ang sarili ko. So if you’ll excuse me, I still got work to do.”
With that, I left her.