“It’s okay. He just fainted.” Ryan said as he turned his little flash light off. “Makikitulungan na lang ako na ihiga si Richard dun sa sofa dun, Jeff.” He continued. Jeff nodded and moved to lift Richard along with Ryan. Frank helped them too while Imelda and Maya walked beside them.
Maya sat beside Richard when he was properly lying on the couch. Feeling Richard’s warm hand around hers made her a little bit relieved.
“He’ll be okay, Maya.” She heard a voice behind her. When she turned her head around, she saw that it was Frank. “I know James wouldn’t let him die.” Frank reached for a chair and placed it in front of Maya to sit on it. “Maya, I really am sorry. What James said was right. Hindi ko matanggap na nawala na siya kaya naibaling ko sa iba yung galit ko. I’m sorry that I’ve put you in hell for those years. I completely understand kung hindi mo pa ko mapapatawad ngayon. I’m really sorry, Maya.”
Maya could feel that Frank meant every word that he said. She couldn’t help but let her tears flow again. After avoiding them for years, Frank finally admitted that he’s the one who’s wrong.
“Sir, tinatanggap ko po yung apology niyo.” Maya said that made Frank’s bowed head to lift up in an instant. “Hindi ko rin naman po kayo masisisi kasi kahit po ako, sobrang nasaktan nung nawala si James. Naiintindihan ko po kayo.”
“I-I’m already forgiven? Pero hindi ba dapat may grudge ka pa sa’kin?” Frank softly said. He finds it all unbelievable that Maya would forgive him right at that moment. If it were him, he would definitely let that person suffer yet Maya chose to just forgive him.
“Eh, wala na pong point para magkaro’n po ako ng grudge sa inyo. Humingi na naman po kayo ng patawad eh. Ayos na po ‘yun sa’kin. Lalo ko lang pong papalalain yung sitwasyon kung hindi ko po kayo mapapatawad. You meant every word naman po ‘di ba?” Maya said as she held back her tears.
Frank nodded. “Yes, Maya, I meant every word.” He said and stood up and gave her a hug. “I’m really sorry, hija.” Maya returned the hug and got all teary eyed once more. “If I’m already forgiven, can you please call me Tito again?”
Maya nodded. “Oo naman po, Tito.” She answered and Frank hugged her again. Both of them were feeling so happy, especially Frank. He learned that even though he lost his son, he still has Jeff and now he gained a daughter. He thought his world crumbled down when James died but he was proven wrong. Because from this day on, he knew Maya would pick those pieces up and do everything to build it again and even do anything improve it.
Both of them shot their heads sideward when Richard stirred in his sleep. After stirring, his eyes slowly opened. His brows were furrowed as his eyes adjusted to the light. He brought his right hand to his forehead and massaged it. “What happened?” He whispered.
“Are you okay now, Richard?” Frank asked as he turned to him. “Please look after him muna, Maya. I’ll get Ryan.” He continued and rushed outside. Maya scooted closer and held Richard’s left hand. “Richard, ano nang nararamdaman mo?”
Richard quickly sat up when he heard Maya’s voice. “Maya, what happened earlier? Did Tito Frank continue to yell at you? Do you still want to leave?” He asked but then he leaned on the couch when he felt his surroundings moving around.
“Humiga ka nga muna.” Maya said and assisted Richard to lie back again. “Nahihilo ka?”
He answered with a nod. “My head is pounding. But if you would like to leave, it’s fine with me. Kaya ko pa namang mag-drive.”
“Hindi mo maalala yung nangyari kanina?” She asked. Richard shook his head. “Anong nangyari? The last thing I remember was Tito Frank shouting and I was starting to get mad and .. and then I can’t remember anything.” He said, confusion written all over his face.
Maya lightly pinched Richard’s cheek. “Wag ka nang mag-alala. Ayos na kami ni Tito Frank.” She assured him.
“But how –“ He abruptly stopped when Ryan entered the room once more. “Brod! What the hell happened to you?” He asked and sat on the chair close to him. “Bigla ka na lang nawalan ng malay. Are you stressed? Do you even in on time?” He asked as he checked Richard using his stethoscope. Maya chose to leave them for a while. She went outside to breathe some air and saw Jeff sitting on the grasses. He stood up when he saw Maya and smiled at her.
“Ate Maya, gising na raw si Kuya?” He asked and made Maya a little bit confused. “Ah, sorry. I asked Kuya Richard if I can call him Kuya kasi nga he has Kuya James’ heart. I didn’t mean my actual Kuya.” He explained.
“Ahh. Oo, gising na siya.” Maya replied. “Ayun, nagrereklamo. Masakit daw ang ulo eh.”
Jeff chuckled and sat back down on the grass. “Do you have any idea what happened to him earlier? I can’t really imagine how Kuya James would return like that. I mean, did he really come back just for a few minutes just to clear the air?”
Maya smiled while staring at the scenery. It was almost nightfall. The clouds were all orange because of the sun. The skies were so relaxing to watch. It was just like what happened to them – after all the struggle, everything was still beautiful, just like this sunset. “Siguro nga si James ‘yun. Ang alam ko kasi, siya lang yung nakakapagpatahimik kay Tito ng ganon eh.”
She heard Jeff chuckle. “You’re right, Ate Maya. I still remember when Dad and Mom were fighting just because of a TV show. He was the one that made them to shut up.” He smiled as he reminisced those times when they were still kids. “God, I really miss him.”
“Ako rin Jeff.” Maya said. Even if she finally moved on, there’s still a part of her that still loves James. No matter what she does, there’s still a part of her that doesn’t seem to let go of the man she used to love.
“Pero don’t worry, Ate Maya. I’m sure Kuya Richard will make you happy, just like Kuya James used to.” Jeff said and Maya couldn’t agree more. “He has Kuya James’ heart after all. It only means na it’s still Kuya’s heart that loves you, plus, si Kuya Richard pa. Mahal na mahal ka talagang siguro ni Kuya Richard.”
Maya was rooted to her spot. Jeff has a point. If Richard owns James’ heart, does that mean that it was still James who still loves her? And since Richard has it, does he have those feelings just because James’ heart dictates him to?
“Babalik muna ako sa loob Ate. I’ll check on them.” Jeff said leaving Maya mum, lost in her own thoughts.
“You seem all fine to me.” Ryan said. “Can’t you remember anything that happened to you earlier?”
Richard shook his head. “Brod, I’ve told you again and again that I can’t remember anything. Ang kulit mo naman eh.” He said as he continued to massage his head.
“Here, take this.” Ryan gave him a tablet of Advil and gave him the glass of water Imelda brought earlier. “Would you believe that you became James earlier?”
“What do you mean by ‘I became James’?” Richard asked after he took the medicine. He really has no idea what Ryan was talking about. Everything was blank. He just woke up feeling this headache and what he still knows was that Frank was still accusing Maya as the person responsible for James’ death.
“Well, I don’t know how it is best explained pero, you called Tito Frank Dad earlier. And then you said you’re James and you explained to us how his accident wasn’t Maya’s fault. You said it was simply his time and that no one is to blame for it.” Ryan stated. “Naaalala mo na?”
“I .. I did that?” Richard asked and his best friend answered with a nod. “I can’t really remember. All I knew is that I felt that I got lost inside of me. Maybe that’s the time James was out.” He said. “Does that mean that he can possess me?”
“I’m not sure eh. Pero I doubt that it is possible. I don’t also know if there’s a scientific explanation for it. Maybe because he used to own your heart and there’s still a part of him left? But I doubt that he can possess you. Maybe it’s all a coincidence.” Ryan explained. “Pero everything turned out for the best naman ‘di ba?”
Richard slowly nodded. So it was James all along. He was the voice inside his heart that he has been talking to. It was him who kept telling him just to stay calm no matter what the circumstances are. He didn’t just give him a heart; he was also the reason for being a new Richard Lim.
“Kuya, okay ka na?” Jeff asked the moment he spotted Richard.
Richard gave him a small smile. “Yes. My head is just aching.” He said. Jeff sat beside him. “Great! Listen Kuya Richard. Kuya James already left us kaya dapat healthy ka lagi para hindi na ‘ko mawalan pa ng Kuya.” He said.
Richard chuckled. “Nandyan pa naman si Ryan eh.” He teased. Jeff narrowed his eyes at Ryan and said, “Parang hindi bagay kay Kuya Ryan yung Kuya, siguro Tito, pwede pa.” He joked and both he and Richard laugh while Ryan mouth gaped.
“What? Alam niyo kayong dalawa malakas ang trip niyo eh.” He defended but didn’t stop Richard and Jeff from laughing. Maya watched them as she stood near the door. Richard and Jeff really looked like true brothers even though they were really different from each other physically. Maybe it’s because of James. She thought. She walked towards them and saw Jeff teasing Richard.
“Patay ka Kuya, nandyan na ang kumander mo.” Jeff said with a sly smile. Richard just laughed. “She wouldn’t hurt me. And if she did, I know just the trick to make her stop.” He said and teasingly looked at Maya.
Maya just watched them with her smile never touching her eyes. Her mind was still bothered by what Jeff said earlier. She just needed some proof or something that could confirm or could say that it was an absurd thing to discuss.
“Ah, Ryan. Pwede ba kitang makausap sa labas?” Maya asked while Richard and Jeff were still busy talking to each other.
“Sure thing.” Ryan said. He stood up and followed Maya who’s headed back outside. The sun has already set and darkness is slowly lurking in. With a sigh, Maya turned around and faced Ryan. “What’s up? Is it about Richard?” Ryan asked.
Maya nodded. “May .. may nabanggit lang kasi si Jeff kanina na hindi maalis sa isip ko. Promise me Ryan that you’ll tell the truth and never lie to me just because Richard is your best friend.” Ryan’s brows furrowed a sign that he was confused, but he still nodded. “I figured that you’re the best person to ask if this is true since you’re a doctor, more particularly, you’re Richard’s doctor.”
“I promise. Teka, ano bang meron Maya? Pinapakaba mo naman ako eh.” Ryan said.
Maya took a deep breath. “Alam naman nating pareho na .. na bumalik si James kanina, kahit saglit lang. At ang sabi niya, nanatili siya sa puso niya hanggang sa dumating ‘tong pagkakataong ‘to.” Maya said and got a nod from Ryan. “Kanina, bago pumasok si Jeff, nagkausap kami. Ang .. ang sabi niya, mahal daw ako ni Richard kasi mahal pa rin ako ng puso ni James.”
“And then?” Ryan asked.
“Kaya ba ako mahal ngayon ni Richard dahil lang sa nasa kanya yung puso ni James? Posible ba ‘yon?” Maya asked as her heart thumped loudly as she waited for Ryan’s answer.
“M-Maya, I believe you should ask Richard about this –“
“Posible bang mangyari ‘yon, Ryan? ‘Yun lang ‘yung gusto kong malaman.” She asked. Ryan gulped. He doesn’t know what his answer will be. He knew that everything was now great between her and Richard and if he spoke, it might break all of it. “Ryan, nag-promise ka sa’kin.” Maya added.
Ryan took a deep breath. “Look, I .. I personally don’t know if it’s really possible. All I know is that there are cases that a receiver of a donor’s organ sometimes have this changes in the food that they like, in the way they spend their whole day, their habits and stuff but I haven’t heard of this .. this .. feelings or even love being transferred. I – I don’t really know, Maya.”
Maya slowly nodded as Ryan’s words sank to her. “Tinanong ka na ba ni Richard tungkol dito?”
Although Ryan knew it will make what Maya’s feeling worse, he still answered her truthfully. “Yes. He once asked me if his heart was the reason for it.”
Ryan saw Maya like she was in pain. “Ibig-sabihin, kahit siya, nagtataka rin.” She whispered.
“No. I didn’t mean it like that Maya. Kausapin mo si Richard. Siya lang talaga ang makakasagot ng mga tanong mo. I’m just answering everything base on what my knowledge knows. Science can’t answer everything Maya! Just talk to Richard!” Ryan said. He was alarmed when Maya came to that conclusion.
“Maya, Ryan, we’re already leaving.” Richard said when he appeared through the doors. Maya’s back was to him, so he did not see what expression Maya has on her face. Maya heard Richard’s footsteps coming near her and she managed to put her usual smile on her face just in time when she felt Richard’s hand on her waist. “Una na kami, brod. Thanks for coming.” He said to Ryan. The two of them walked away leaving Ryan alone. He suddenly felt nervous on what’s going to happen next.
I’m sorry, Brod.
A/N : Salamat po sa paghihintay! For those leaving their comments, thank you thank you! Parang nagiging achievement ko kapag nababasa kong may napapaiyak po akong reader ko whahahaha. Stay tuned! God bless 🙂