CHAPTER 34 – FINALE
The couple went back to the room wearing smiles on their faces. Esmeralda knew from the moment they entered the room that Richard did what she planned him to do. She purposely put that box on her son’s hand so that he could decide right there and then what he is going to do. Sure enough, she saw the ring on Maya’s finger when they assisted Richard back to bed. She was happy that Richard finally understood everything that she said.
Their whole family was waiting at for their arrival at Richard’s house that night. Manang Fe prepared them what Emman called a ‘feast’ for Richard’s recovery. The old lady was teary eyed when she saw the condition of Richard. She kept mumbling about thanking the Lord for giving Richard another chance to live life, his third one in fact.
Richard and Maya were always stealing glances as they had dinner. They were like a new couple who couldn’t stop staring at each other. Kute would always tease them about it and telling them that ants were already attacking them. The two would just laugh it off but it didn’t stop them from taking those glances.
“Uhm, everyone,” Richard started when they were all seated at the living room. “first, I would just want to say thank you so much for being with me. And I would also like to apologize for my stupidity. Hindi ko talaga binabalak maaksidente and I’m not really intending na pag-alalahanin kayong lahat.”
“Richard, hindi mo naman kailangang mag-sorry dun. Aksidente yun ano ka ba. Nangyayari talaga yun. Nagkataon lang na ikaw yung natsambahan ng panahon.” Kute said.
Richard felt the hand he was holding held his tighter. “Tama si Kute, Ricky. Hindi mo kasalanan ‘yun.” Maya said.
Richard chuckled. “Edi wala na pala akong sasabihin? Hindi pala ako dapat mag-sorry eh.” He teased. “But seriously, thank you. And second, Nay Teresita, Tay Arturo, mamamanhikan po ako.”
He got widened eyes and gasps around him after he said those words. “Eh Richard, hindi ka pa maayos ah. Mamamanhikan ka na agad?” Arturo inquired.
“Yes po, Tay.” He determinedly said. “Ang gusto ko po sana, kapag nakakalakad na po ulit ako, ikakasal na po kami ni Maya.”
“Agad-agad, Papa Richard?!” Emman interrupted.
Richard nodded with a smile. There’s no turning back now. If the whole accident didn’t happen, they could’ve been married within a month. Maya could be Mrs. Lim sooner than now but everything is different. And he knew there was a reason why it all happened.
“Son, why are you rushing? Hindi naman aalis si Maya sa tabi mo ah.” Roberto asked. “Pa, I simply just couldn’t wait for the day that I would wake up in the morning and Maya will be the first one I’m going to see. I’ve waited long enough and I knew I will wait a little bit longer because of my injury. You’re already planning some things right? Might as well continue it instead of postponing.”
“Eh Maya, are you okay with Ricky’s plans? Baka mamaya nabibilisan ka na sa mga nangyayari.” Esmeralda asked the woman beside Richard.
Maya shook her head with a smile on her face. “Hindi naman po Ma. Actually, pareho po naming plano ni Ricky yun. Hindi naman po kami nagmamadali eh. Gusto lang po naming sulitin yung oras habang ganito pa po yung kondisyon niya.” She said. “P-pero po kung against po kayo, ayos lang din naman po sa’min.”
The parents smiled at the couple. They were not against them, they were just surprised that Richard would already pursue with the plans of the wedding knowing that he is currently disabled. There was no doubt in the hearts of Maya’s parents that Richard was really the one for her.
“Uhm, I .. I just have to make special arrangements for my flight to San Nicolas. I will do it as soon as I can po.” Richard said when no one dared to speak after Maya.
“Paano ba ‘yan balae, mukhang hindi magpapapigil ‘tong anak namin.” Esmerada said to Arturo and Teresita. “Desidido ata. Mana sa ama.”
The room was filled with laughter when Roberto knitted his brows and snarled at Esmeralda saying that he’s not hard-headed like his son, but by doing that, he proved it even more. Roberto just sighed and let the joke pass. “Are you sure, Ricky? I can talk to Frank para ma-arrange na.”
Richard nodded. “Yes Pa. I’m sure.”
Roberto immediately took his phone out from his pocket. “I’ll just call Frank –“
“Ay balae, wag na.” Teresita interrupted. “Bakit .. bakit hindi na lang natin gawin ngayon yung pamamanhikan? Tutal, nandito na naman tayong lahat eh.”
“Balae, hindi ba sa inyo dapat ginagawa ‘yun?” Esmeralda asked.
“Siguro gawin na nating exception ‘tong kay Richard. Mas lalo lang nating pahihirapan kung papapuntahin pa natin ‘to ng San Nicolas eh.” Arturo said. They got nods as the answer. “Payag naman pala lahat eh.”
“Wait lang, Tay ha.” Kute interrupted. “Grabe. Wait lang. Ako yung nabibilisan sa mga pangyayari dito. Akala ko si bunso at si Richard lang yung nagmamadali, pati rin pala kayo Tay?”
“Nak, kung si Richard lang din naman ang magiging manugang ko, aba oo na agad! Ang laki pa nga ng utang na loob namin sa kanya eh. Kung hindi dahil sa kanya, hindi tayo buong pamilya na katulad ngayon.” He said.
Based from the smiles on Richard’s parents, he suspected that Teresita and Arturo already told them about what happened when he first visited San Nicolas. What he did was a very bold move but it was all for the better. Sacrificing his own life was not in his plans but it happened accidentally, though he was sure that it was in His plans.
“Pero balae, kailangan ko pa ring pagalitan si Ricky. Bakit naman kasi ganun agad yung tanong niya no’n sa inyo? Pwede namang calm approach, kaso ginalit agad kayo eh. Ayan tuloy, inatake ulit sa puso.” Esmeralda said.
“Pasensya na balae, si Richard kasi eh.”Arturo said with an apologetic smile. “Hayaan mo na, Arturo. Hindi naman yan papabayaan ni Ryan.” Roberto said. “Now, can we proceed to the pamamanhikan?”
Richard chuckled. It seemed like the conversation between him and Maya’s parents would never end. After letting go of a deep breath, he rolled the wheels of his wheelchair to reach Arturo and Teresita. He put the back of their hands to his forehead, showing the traditional way of starting the pamamanhikan. After that, he rolled his wheels back beside Maya and held her hand tightly.
He smiled nervously. “Nay Teresita, Tay Arturo, Kute, I would like to formally ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage. I vow to spend the rest of my life making her happy and being that man she has beside her in every ups and downs of her life. I loved her then, I love her now, and I knew that I will love her still for eternity.”
Even though what he said was just short, it was enough for their moms to be teary eyed. Their husbands comforted them in the best way they both know. Maya on the other hand didn’t cry. I wide smile was just plastered on her face like it will tear apart. She’s just happy. So happy that it’s finally happening.
“Richard, ako na lang ang magsasalita. Mukhang iiyak na lang ata ‘tong si Teresita eh.” Arturo spoke as his wife continued to cry. “Ipinapaubaya na namin sa’yo si Maya. Alam kong hindi mo siya sasaktan. Alam ko nang mahal mo ang anak namin nung nakipag-talo ka sa’min noon sa San Nicolas. At wala akong alinlangan na ikaw ang lalaking mapapangasawa ni Maya.”
“Salamat po!” Richard replied with a huge smile on his face. Now it’s official. They will finally get married. “I promise that I will take good care of your daughter. At gagawin ko po lahat para hindi na po siya umiyak ulit.” He added, getting a slap on the arm by Maya.
“Now, what else must we do?” Roberto inquired.
“Pagpaplanuhan na po natin yung kasal.” Kute answered.
“OMG! Ito na siguro yung part kung bakit ako nandito!” Emman squealed. “O game na! Kailangan na nating asikasuhin yung mga common details para hindi nahihirapan ang wedding planner. O roomie, sino ang Bride’s maid?” Emman asked and all eyes went to Maya.
Maya smiled teasingly at her sister. She knew there’s a probability that she would get mad at her for this decision but she just had to do it. They’ve been through thick and thin and it would mean a lot to her if her sister would be her bride’s maid.
“Maya, hindi ko gusto ‘yang tingin mong yan.” Kute warned her.
Maya continued to smile at her with both of her brows raising up and down, as if mocking her.
“Emman, pag bride’s maid, ‘di ba dapat naka-gown?” Maya asked and Emman answered with a nod. “Oo, roomie, bakit?”
“Si Kute. Si Kute yung bride’s maid ko!”
After some months, Maya and Richard we’re finally married. They settled for a wedding near beach where they could see the sunset as the wedding went on. Everyone cried during the exchange of vows. It’s like their love for each other were greatly compressed to those limited number of words. Richard did something unexpected during his turn of saying his vow. Before saying anything, he kneeled on one knee and he said his vow like that and only stood up before he said I love you. He said that he never got the chance to do that when he proposed to her since he was injured and now that he has done it, he finally felt that there’s nothing that he’s been missing.
The reception happened near where they were wedded. The cool breeze of the night gave them the perfect night. The first dance of the two was very special. There were so many people surrounding them but they were both lost in each other’s arms.
“It still feels the same.” Richard whispered to her ear as they continued to dance.
“Ang alin?” Maya asked.
Richard smirked. “Remember the dance we shared on that Summit where we met? When I held you in my arms, everything just felt right. I felt something inside me that I only feel when you are near.”
Maya buried her face on his chest. “Ako rin, Richard. May nararamadaman din ako na nangyayari lang kapag nandyan ka.”
Richard kissed her head. “It’s probably lust. Nagagwapuhan ka lang sa’kin eh.” He teased.
“Hindi no! Ang conceited mo talaga!” Maya laughed as her husband laughed with her. “I’m sure. It’s love, mahal.” She looked up to look at those pair of chinito eyes that she loves about him.
Richard dipped his head and kissed Maya on her lips. “It seems like we have something in common, Mrs. Lim.”
Maya smiled at him and kissed him. “Hindi lang ‘yon. May isa pa.” She said with a smile. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” He happily replied.
They spent the rest of the night together, never letting go of each other. Finally, the air was clear. James’ heart was a blessing in disguise to them. It’s the reason that brought them together. The fact that Richard received James’ heart doesn’t mean that he loved Maya because of it. Even if it was from somebody else, it was still Richard who fell in love with Maya and it was Richard whom Maya fell for. James might’ve changed Richard’s life for the better but he also changed both him and Maya’s lives, making them share eternity with each other.
A/N : This will be the last chapter po for A Change Of Heart! I’m planning to make an epilogue. Ipopost ko na lang po kapag nagawa ko. Watch out for my next fanfic – Chances.
Thankee po sa lahat ng patuloy na sumusubaybay sa mga story ko! Maraming salamat po talaga 🙂 God bless po sa inyong lahat!