“Nasan si Luke?” Maya worriedly said.
She’s holding Nicolo in her arms while worriedly looking for his other son, Luke.
The twins are her pride and joy, her heartbeat, her breath and her life. It might be a painful memory, but she was glad that she has them.
She decided to take them to the mall. She finally got a two-day off from her work as a flight attendant. They were looking for new toys when she lost sight of Luke.
“Are you lost?” Richard went down on his knee so that he could face the little kid.
The kid is not even responding to him. He’s just amusingly staring at the plush car toys.
“Do you want this?” He grabbed a “Lightning McQueen” toy and held it out to the kid. The kid grabbed it and hugged it. Richard smiled. He really likes kids. Especially little ones like him.
He grabbed the child who’s still playing with his toy. “Let’s go buy your toy, ok? And we’re going to find your Mommy.” He then walked away with the child, making his way to the cashier.
“No one seems to be looking for you.” He said to the child who’s surprisingly calm in his arms. He just finished paying for the toy.
“Anong pangalan mo?” he tried asking.
“Luke.”, answered the kid.
Richard smiled. He was glad to be able to hear the tiny sound that came from Luke’s mouth.
“Uhm, do you know your mother’s name?”
“Ma . . Maya de .. dela Rosa.” Luke answered.
So that’s her name. What a worthless mother she must be. Leaving her kid wandering alone inside the mall.
“LUKE!!” someone shouted from afar. Then a woman, with another kid in her arms, came rushing towards them.
“Jusko naman, anak! Kung saan-saan ka kasi nagsususuot eh! Nag-alala tuloy si Mommy.” The woman said to Luke.
“Ay, nako, Kuya, pasensya na ha? Ang ligalig lang talaga kasi ng anak ko.” She said to Richard. “Ako nga pala si Maya dela Rosa. Ako yung Mommy ni Luke.”
“Mrs. Dela Rosa, next time, pakialagaan nang mabuti ‘yang anak niyo para hindi nawawala. Pano na lang kung hindi ko siya nakita? You should be with someone kung dadalhin mo sila dito. Your husband for instance! For crying out loud, ang bata pa ng anak mo para pagalain mong mag-isa!”
Aba! Gusto ata ng away ng mamang singkit na ito! Maya thought.
“Eh ikaw kaya ang pag-alagain ko ng kambal? Tapos single-parent ka pa, pareho pang aanim na taon lang sila! Saka pwede ba, wag mo akong sigawan dahil sa parenting ko? Kasi hindi mo alam kung gaano kahirap eh!” Hindi na napigilan ni Maya ang sama ng loob niya. Ikaw na nga ‘tong pagod sa trabaho tapos pagdating sa mall, may magmamarunong pa dahil lang sa nahanap ang anak ko!
She put Nicolo down and grabbed Luke from Richard’s arms. “Tara na na Luke! Mahawa ka pa sa sama ng ugali ng mamang ‘yan.”
“Wait! Mrs. Dela Rosa!” Richard called her.
Maya hurriedly went away while holding her sons. Richard was left standing, still holding the plush toy car.
“Tito, where did you buy this po?” Abbie asked Richard. She’s looking at the Lightning McQueen plush toy that he bought earlier.
Richard smiled at his niece. “At the mall baby.”
“Why did you buy it po?”
“Uhmm. There was a kid earlier who was looking at this. He was lost, so I bought it for him.”
“Did he find his mommy?”
Abby grabbed the toy and scanned it.
“Tito, can you buy one for me also? I want a blue one.”
“Why do you need a toy car, Abbie?”
“Because of my dolls po. They need a car so they could travel.”
Richard smiled. He’s always been amused by the child’s capacity to imagine. “Ok Abbie. Tito will go back to the mall tomorrow to buy you one.”
“Yey!” Abbie hugged him. “Thank you po Tito! You’re the best!”
“Luke, wag ka nang umiyak.”
Maya is starting to get stressed. Ever since they left the mall, Luke has been crying. Nicolo is now fast asleep but look is still widely awake.
“Mommy, I want a toy car.” Luke said.
“Ang dami mo nang toy car –“
“Hindi ‘yun mommy! Yung malambot tapos .. tapos kulay .. red” he said in between sobs.
“Hindi na makakabili si mommy nun, anak. Gabi na. Nagpapahinga na ‘yung car.”
“But i want it mommy.”
She sighed. Ano pa ba ang magagawa niya? Alam naman niyang gagawin niya ang lahat-lahat para lang sa ikasasaya ng mga anak niya.
“Ok. Ganito na lang Luke. Iiwan ko muna kayo ni Nicolo kay Ate Doris bukas, ok? Tapos aalis si mommy at bibili ng toy car, ok?”
“Promise, Mommy?” he finally stopped crying.
“Oo naman anak. Promise ‘yan. Kaya matulog ka na, ha?”
Luke hugged her and kissed her on her cheek.
After his work, Richard went to the mall where he first saw Luke. He have to buy Abby her toy or else, the little girl will be mad at him.
He’s busy browsing toys when he heard a familiar voice.
“Miss, kailangan ko nung stuffed toy na pula.”
“Ay Ma’am, yung si Lightning McQueen ho ba? Pasensya na po kayo pero out of stock na po yung ganun namin eh.”
“Haa? Naku. Wala na ba talaga miss? Yung anak ko kasi, sure ako na mag aalburoto yun.”
“Sorry po talaga Ma’am, wala na po talaga eh.”
He saw Maya talking to a saleslady.
She’s looking for a toy?
Then he remembered that he owns one.
“Mrs. Dela Rosa?” Richard called her name when he reached her.
Maya turned around and her face frowned on what she saw.
“Anong kailangan mo?” she told him.
“Uhm . . I . . I just want to apologize about yesterday. Pasensya ka na. I’m really sorry.”
“Ewan ko sa’yo.” She tried to walk away
“Wait! Mrs. Dela Rosa!”
“Stop calling me Mrs. Dela Rosa! Miss lang hindi misis!” she answered.
“I’m sorry. I just assumed –“
“Well you’re wrong mister. So if you’ll excuse me, kailangan ko pang suyurin lahat ng malls dito sa Manila para maihanap ng laruan si Luke.”
“I have that toy.”
“The toy that your son wants. The toy Luke wants. I own one. It’s the one that I bought him yesterday.”
“Sa’yo na ‘yan. Maghahanap ako ng akin.” Sbe attempted to walk away again but Richard grabbed her arm.
“Take it. It’s my way of apologizing to you. And I know your son will not be happy if she found out that her mom failed to have his toy back.”
Maya stared at him. Mukha namang sincere. Sige na Maya!
“Fine. Nasan na ‘yung laruan?”
“Uhmm. I didn’t bring it with me. Nasa bahay siya eh. But I insist na sumama ka sa’kin para makuha mo na agad.”
“Sige na sige na. Naku, kung ‘di lang para sa anak ko ‘to eh.”
Richard smirked. Then he held out his hand.
“I’m Richard Lim.” He finally introduced himself.
Maya shook his hand. “Ms. Maya dela Rosa. Single parent, no strings attached.”
Richard let out a soft chuckle which also brought a tiny grin to Maya’s face.