A/N : Sorry po for the long wait! As much as I wanted to write during the weekends, inatake po ako ng sobrang sakit ng ulo. Natatakot po akong gumamit ng laptop kasi feeling ko po lalong makakasama. Pinalipas ko lang po at kanina lang po ulit ako nakapagbabad. Haha!
Arturo couldn’t believe his ears. Did he just hear Richard told him that he wants to marry Maya? And without even courting her? He let out a deep breath, stood up and said, “Kailangan ata natin ng mas malakas na tama.” Then he left.
What the hell Richard? Did you just say that? Even Richard couldn’t believe what he said. It’s like his mouth has a mind of its own. Well, yes, I want to marry her but not in an instant! I still need to court her and all and I should’ve said that instead of a wedding! He let out a sigh. It’s my memory’s fault.
Yes, it’s his memory’s fault. Earlier, when the two are still talking, Richard remembered another thing that he said from his past.
I saw the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.
So, with that memory plus their conversation with the guidance of alcohol, those words came out from his mouth. The moment he said that, he wants to take it back, but no, he cannot control his body once again. It’s like he wanted what just happened. And now, he’s quite nervous on how Arturo will take all of this.
Arturo came back holding a liter bottle of clear liquid. He returned to his seat and placed the bottle on the table, rattling the other objects. “Tuba. Mas kailangan natin ‘to.” He said.
“Uhm, Tay, tama na po, lasing na –“ he argued.
“Hindi ako lasing.” Arturo said. “Pero base sa narining ko, palagay ko kailangan kong malasing.”
Richard could only sigh. “Tay, tama na po tong beer na ‘to ngayong gabi.”
“Hinde. Iinom tayo.” He started to twist the cap off of the bottle. “Baka naman, takot ka lang. Akala ko ba gusto mong pakasalan si Maya?”
Richard felt like he’s been on-the-spot. He gulped, and his body moved on its own – he nodded.
“’Yun naman pala eh! Ang gusto kong son-in-law, yung game lagi pag nagyayaya akong mag-inom!” he turned to him. “Ayaw mo ata eh.”
Richard immediately emptied his glass of beer and put it near the bottle Arturo is holding. “Simulan na po natin yan.” He said.
A smirk appeared on Arturo’s face. Then he poured the liquid on his glass and to Richard’s. When Richard drank it, he felt it burning on his throat, and he can say that this thing is really stronger than beers. This is going to be a long night.
“Kute, bakit parang ang tagal namang mag-inom nina tatay?” Maya asked. She’s on Cristina Rose’s bedroom, exchanging gossips and stuffs that happened while she was away. It’s already 11 in the evening and they still haven’t heard their father or even Richard entering their rooms.
“Nako, bunso. Baka bumili pa si Tatay ng isa pang beer.” Kute explained.
“Nag-aalala ako eh.”
Kute nodded, then asked. “Kanino? Kay Tatay o kay Richard?”
“Kay Richard.” She absent-mindedly said. “Kay Tatay!” she said when she just realized what she just said. “Kay Tatay, Kute. Eto naman, tinatanong pa ba ‘yun?”
Cristina Rose looked at her with a sly smile on her face. “Weh? Kay Tatay bunso? Kay Richard ka na eh.” She teased. Maya couldn’t help it and buried her face on her hands. “Kuteee! Naman kasi eh!”
The older daughter laughed. “So, confirmed! Sabi na may something sa inyong dalawa nung singkit na ‘yun eh!” she paused to laugh again at her younger sister. “Ano na? Nanliligaw ba? O boyfriend mo na?”
Maya just shook her head. “Anong iling ‘yan? Hindi mo pa boyfriend?” Kute asked, confused at Maya’s response.
“Ehh, hindi pa nanliligaw.” She said.
“Hindi PA nanliligaw? Eh bakit daw? Ang sweet niyo kayang dalawa kahit si Nanay, feeling din niya boyfriend mo na. Ano ba bunso?”
“Ehh.” She sighed. “Kute. It’s complicated.”
“Wow. May ‘it’s complicated’ ka na, Maya? Ano ba kasi? Dali na, kapatid mo naman ako eh.”
Maya sighed. Sasabihin ko ba? “Basta Kute, i-promise mo sa’kin na hindi ka tatawa, na maniniwala ka kahit na sobrang imposible ng sitwasyon.”
Kute nodded, and raised her right hand. “Promise.”
Maya took one last breath and told Cristina Rose the truth. The truth that Richard was her guardian angel before, that he was the one who rescued her from her accident, and he became her boyfriend, well, her angel-boyfriend. Then she also told him about meeting his parents, and the day Richard came back to his body not remembering anything that they shared and about Esmeralda’s family of angels. Maya told all of these without missing any detail. She said it all to her sister because she trusts her truly, and she could hide anything from everyone except for her sister. And when it ended, she can clearly see Kute’s shocked expression.
“Kute, ayos lang kung hindi mo ko papaniwalaan –“
“Kaya pala.” Cristina Rose interrupted.
Curious, Maya asked, “Anong kaya pala?”
“Tanda mo yung unang atake mo ng phobia dito sa bahay?” Cristina Rose continued. “Di ba, nung gabi, kinuwento ko sa’yo na parang may sumigaw sa’kin na buksan yung bintana? Si Richard ‘yon diba? Ikaw na yung may sabi na kaya niyang makipag-usap gamit ang thought ng tao. Edi nagamitan niya ako? Si Richard ‘yon diba, bunso?” Kute asked, analyzing each word she said.
Maya smiled, remembering their conversation that night. “Oo, Kute. Si Richard ‘yon.”
Cristina Rose was even more gobsmacked. “Wow. So teka. Ang ibig-sabihin nito, naging boyfriend mo si Richard no’ng anghel pa lang siya, tapos ngayong wala siyang maalala, hindi mo na alam kung kayo pa, tama?”
“Oo Kute. Pero iniisip ko na hindi kami kasi iba naman yung Richard ngayon eh. Ayan, nalaman mo na ha. Wag mo na lang sasabihin sa iba, lalo na kay Nanay at Tatay.”
“Sige, sige.” Then she sighed again. “Pero bunso, bakit ayaw mo na lang sabihin kay Richard na ganun yung lagay niya? Hindi ba parang mas madali?”
“Ehh ayoko Kute eh. Kasi kung sina Tito Roberto nga, hindi sinasabi sa kanya, ako pa? Saka baka kasi hindi siya maniwala. Parang ang dating kasi, dinidikta ko na lang sa kanya yung nakaraan niya. Saka mamaya, baka mas lalo pa siyang lumayo. Wag na lang. Di ba nga, slowly but surely.” She said, smiling at how she ended her sentence.
Kute chuckled. “Pag nagmamahal nga naman oh, kung ano-ano ang paraan. Basta bunso, advice lang ha? Wag mo munang itaya ng buong-buo yang puso mo. Baka mamaya, kapag nadurog, wala nang matira para sa’yo.”
Maya nodded. “Thank you Kute. Secret lang natin ‘to ha?”
A knock on the door was heard, and their Nanay Teresita went in.
“Nay, hindi pa po ba sila tapos mag-inuman?” Kute asked.
“Hindi pa eh. Ewan ko ba dun sa Tatay niyo. Kinuha niya yung tuba na nakatago dun sa ilalim ng lababo eh.”
“Nay! Bakit niyo naman po hinayaan si Tatay?” Maya worriedly asked.
“Pinabayaan ko na, nak. Parang may gusto siyang sabihin kay Richard eh.”
Maya could only sigh. She’s worried about Richard. Paano kapag nalasing yun? Paano kapag nagkainitan sila ni Tatay? Lagot ako nito kay Tito Roberto. Tapos yung kondisyon pa ni Richard. Ano ba ‘to!
“Maya, may mensahe nga pala ako sa’yo.” Teresita said.
“Anong mensahe, Nay?”
Teresita put her hand above Maya’s. “Sabi ni Richard, sabihin ko raw sa’yo, ‘Goodnight’.”
Maya couldn’t explain it but she suddenly felt her cheeks go warm. When she couldn’t contain it anymore, she again, buried her face on her hands. She even squealed a bit.
“Ayun eh, kinilig eh.” Cristina Rose said. “Nay, pasabi kay Richard, na sabi ni Maya, goodnight din at lagyan niyo na ng I love you.” She teased.
“Oy Kute!!” Maya exclaimed, and then she turned on her mother. “Nay! Wag niyong sabihin ‘yon! Joke lang yun!” she said, her face totally red.
Teresita and Cristina Rose just laughed at her. They could clearly see that Maya really likes Richard. Kute feels happy for her sister. She just can’t wait for Richard’s memory to come back. She just wants Maya to be happy.
“Sheryosho ka talaga sa shinabi mo kanina?” Arturo asked. After a few more shots of tuba, the two are now completely drunk.
“Opo Tay. Ehh naiship ko na, liligawan ko muna shi Maya. Okay lang ho ba?” Richard asked. His face is red due to the alcohol he’s been drinking.
Arturo laughed. “Ayan! Ligaw muna! Ito naman, kung anong bagal nung ‘Goodnight’ mong yun, siya namang bilis ng kasal!” he continued to laugh. “Pero siguraduhin mong alam mo yang pinapashok mo ha? Ayokong nasasaktan yung anak ko!”
“Opo Tay. Ewan ko po pero may pakiramdam po ako na parang may gushto na ko kay Maya noon pa. Gawa lang nung memory ko.” He said. Well it’s true. He developed that feeling ever since he got so worried with Maya on that night when she told him about her accident, added with his feeling of longing towards Maya. He can’t explain it but he feels that it’s because he likes her. No, not just because he likes her. There’s still something more.
“Ehh Tay. Paano po kung ako nga yung Richard na ‘yun? Kashi ang sabi ni Maya, Chinese daw yung Richard saka sa .. ano yun, ah, sa LAS din nagtatrabaho. Ehh ang alam ko, ako lang yung singkit na Richard sa LAS.”
“Edi ikaw nga yung Richard!” Arturo exclaimed. “Inom pa.” Then he poured more on Richard’s glass.
“Ang sabi po ninyo, ipagkakasundo niyo yung Richard na yun kay Maya. Eh paano pag ako nga po?”
Arturo paused, analyzing Richard’s question even though he’s too drunk. “Sa’kin lang naman yun, Richard. Eh kung ayaw ni Maya, edi ayaw niya. Desisyon pa rin ng anak ko yun. Kaya kung ako sa’yo, ligawan mo na lang.”
Richard nodded, accepting Arturo’s answer. “Eh payag po ba kayo na pakasalan ko siya?” he asked, the alcohol giving him courage again.
Arturo paused for a while. Then he straitened his body, stood up and rushed to the kitchen. Richard was bewildered by Arturo’s action so he stood up but he was too dizzy. He ended up leaning on the walls to go inside and saw Arturo vomiting at the kitchen sink. He was about to go near him to make sure that he’s alright but he lost his balance. He closed his eyes, waiting for the pain of his fall and was surprised when it did not happen. When he opened them, he saw Maya standing next to him, her arms around his waist, supporting him to stand up. When he turned his head, he saw Teresita near Arturo and Cristina Rose cleaning up on the veranda.
“Yan kasi, inom nang inom.” Teresita said to Arturo. “Dinamay mo pa si Richard eh!”
“Eh kasi naman, itong si Richard –“ his response left unfinished because he vomited again.
“Richard, tara na, Ihahatid na kita sa kwarto mo.” Maya said, taking a step. “Please naman o, maglakad ka. Hindi kita kaya eh. Saka wag mo nang alalahanin si Tatay, andyan naman si Nanay saka si Kute.”
With a nod, Richard started to walk. He has never been this dizzy after drinking alcohol. He hadn’t noticed but his head is throbbing with pain like he hit it on a wall. But despite all of those things, he felt good to see and to feel Maya near him. Can she just stay with me?
Maya assisted Richard to lie on bed. When Richard complained about his head aching, she immediately went to their medicine cabinet to get him an Advil. When Richard already took it, she proceeded to the bathroom to get a basin and a wet towel. She came back and sat on the other side of the bed, with the basin near her. She wiped his forehead using the towel, hoping that it’ll make him feel better.
When she finally heard Richard’s steady breaths, she was sure that he already fell asleep. She put the towel on the basin and attempted to leave the bed when Richard caught her arm.
“Maya,” he said, eyes still closed. “Don’t leave.”
Maya could only sigh. She grabbed Richard’s hand and placed it on top of the bed. She leaned closer to Richard’s head and whispered, “Matulog ka na, Richard. Goodnight.” She kissed his head and left the room.
I can feel it ending, soon.