“Thank you Mr. Lim. I’ll just give you a call if there are certain changes on the designs that we would like to have. Mahirap na, baka mag-iba bigla ang isip ni Misis. But you’re design is very good, baka umayon na lang din siya.” Anton Rivera said as he gave Richard a tight handshake. He has this huge smile on his face. And Richard knew it was because of the fulfilment of buying a new house.
“Alright, Mr. Rivera. Just give me a call. And thank you for choosing my design here at Aero Designs.” Richard replied.
“I can see why my friend recommended an Architect like you. Your designs are very different from others.” Anton said. “I should get going, Mr. Lim. Thank you once again.” He said and left.
Richard heaved a deep breath as he sat on his swivel chair. Finally, the last customer of the day was now done. He can now see why his father would always have that smile on his face after a client would accept his design. Now that he was following his footsteps, he can also feel that rush of happiness that someone just liked your creation.
But not this time.
Richard graduated Architecture years ago and took internship at their own architectural firm ran by his own father. He just took the course because his father wanted him to. It was never his thing. Just a year ago, he left their own firm and applied to his friend’s – Aero Designs.
His friend, James Ventura, happily accepted his offer. The two go way back in college. They were buddies since James had that passion in architecture, while Richard’s mind was someplace else. James influenced him to love the course he’s enrolled in while Richard gave James ideas for the drafts he makes. James has the passion while Richard has the outlook. Before their first year ends, Richard decided to take a look in the firm of his father. He sat on his meetings and saw how huge smiles were painted on the faces of families who were looking for plans for their new house. At that very moment, he wanted to be the person responsible for those smiles. After that, he started loving his course.
James was too generous when he applied at his firm. He gave him a nice office, more spacious than the other architects and he even offered him if he wanted to be his partner. Richard didn’t accept it and said that he would be contented just by working there. He just can’t stand seeing his father in the same place he is in. Memories of his mother’s death and what his father said will just flood his head. If there was a way to make him forget all of those painful memories then he would do anything for it, no how much it cost, no matter how. It was just too much for him to keep.
He ran a hand through his hair as he read the messages in his phone. It was his younger brother, Luke, telling him to go back to their house again like old times. He just put the phone back in his pocket. He knew Luke would understand why he doesn’t go in there anymore. It was just too painful.
Richard was just sixteen when his mother died. He was so depressed that time that he truly didn’t treated Luke as a little brother when his father brought him in one day. His father said that he had a promise to take care of his sister’s son if she died of cancer. And when his sister died, he took Luke in their house and said that he will be Richard’s younger brother. Luke was scared of him on the first week inside his new home. He was half the age of Richard back then but both of them have something in common – they were both lonely. They both lost their mothers and they’re still on the stage of coping what just happened.
It was one night when Richard saw Luke scribbling something on paper. When Richard took a closer look, he saw that Luke was making a drawing of a house where there are three stick figures who look like men, standing on the ground and there are three more on the roof of the house. The figures on the roof have something on their backs and an oval thing on their heads. Luke shyly explained that the men on the ground were him, Richard and his father, who’s also his father now and then the figures above them were his real father, his mother and Richard’s mother. Luke told him that they were now angels, that is why he added wings and halos on their body. He was silent after he explained it, waiting for Richard’s response.
It was that moment when Richard truly accepted Luke. For the first time since his father brought him, Richard gave Luke a smile. He finally understood that they both share that pain inside their hearts. He was in awe of Luke since he can cope the loss of his parents much better compared to Richard and he was just eight back then. Richard decided to be like Luke. He will do anything to make his father proud and even his mother. They spent that night drawing more houses and even cars. They even fell asleep together on Luke’s bed.
A knock on his office door brought him back from his reverie. “Sir, that’s the last meeting for the day.” Liza, his secretary, told him.
He just nodded. “Liza. Contact the suppliers for the construction of Mr. Tolentino’s house tomorrow. I just want to make sure that –“
“Ah Sir, its Sunday tomorrow. Uhm, I’m not sure if the suppliers are going to respond to my calls ..” She trailed off.
“Is that so?” He asked as he rubbed his forehead. Ever since he worked at his friend’s firm, he vowed to leave the shenanigans he have with his family and just do his work. And because of that, he completely lost track of time. “Sorry. Ah, by Monday. Thank you.” He shortly added.
Richard gathered up his things and took the house plan he presented to Anton a while ago. He needs to finalize the draft so that he would not be behind his schedule. On his way to his car, he saw his friend James who was already smiling at him.
“And you’re the last one out. Really Richard? Ang alam ko ang dapat nahuhuli sa paglabas ng firm ay ako. Inaagawan mo na ata ako ng pwesto eh.” James teased as he opened his car door and placed his things inside. Richard did the same to his car parked beside James’.
“May last client eh. Paulit-ulit niya akong tinatanong kung glass windows talaga yung ilalagay ko sa may study room nila. I told him yes countless times and explained to him that the light of the sun will bring some ambiance to the room and since that part of the house is facing west, they could always watch the sun set.” Richard explained as he loosened his tie.
James produced a laugh. “He’s just finding it hard to believe! Hindi pa rin talaga kumukupas yung ideas mo since college. I think I should step up my game. Kaya ata pumupunta yung mga tao dito dahil sa designs mo. And you accepted five projects already? Kaya mo ba ‘yon?”
Richard shrugged. “I’ll work it out, surely. I’ll be gone a lot next week. Iche-check ko yung mga construction sa mga bahay na nauna na.”
“Sure thing.” James replied. “Ah, Richard, I’m going out with some of our college friends. They’re asking me about you. Sumama ka kaya.”
Richard just shook his head. “I’ll pass again. Still have work.” He replied shortly.
“Gee. Have a break sometimes Richard! I can’t really imagine how you spend your day. Wala ka na bang ginagawa sa condo mo kundi mag-drawing? Hindi ka ba nagsasawa?” James exclaimed.
“And here I thought you were the one who’s passionate about architecture. What happened, James?” Richard teased. “I should go. Just tell them I said hi.” He said and went inside the driver’s seat.
“Hey I am still passionate! Nahawaan kita, ‘di ba? Kaso .. sumobra ata.” James snarled. “Sige na, go. Go do your thing Lim. I’ll see you on Monday.” James said and went inside the driver’s seat and sped off.
Richard did the same thing and put his mind on autopilot again. No family problems, just work. He kept his mind busy with the stuff he needed to do, the meetings, the constructions and the list just went on. He was already near his condominium building when he abruptly stopped his car. “What the ..” He muttered as he opened his door and went outside. The whole place was quiet, even the roads – one of the reasons why he wanted to live at that place. But what he saw was also a disadvantage of it.
“Jesus.” He kept muttering as he bent down to take a closer look of the reason why he stopped driving. A woman was lying on the road, unconscious. She was wearing a blouse and some black slacks making her look like she was going to a meeting or something. “She’s too decent. What the hell?” He confusedly muttered. Her skin was bruised and a blood can be seen on her forehead because of her wound. Richard put his two fingers just below the woman’s jaw to check if there’s still a pulse. “She’s still alive.” He muttered.
He moved to open the back door of his car. He went back to the woman and carefully moved her so that he can carry her. He was a little bit frightened to do it at first thinking that there’s a possibility that he would worsen the fractures she might have. He carefully lied her down at the back seat and returned to the driver’s seat to drive at the nearest hospital he knew.
The nurses from the emergency room rushed to his car to put the lady on the stretcher. She remained unconscious as she was sent inside. Richard took out the phone from his pocket and dialled the police. While it was ringing, a nurse went to his side.
“Sir, kailangan niyo pong magfill-up ng form sa may counter. Para po kay Ma’am.” The nurse said. Richard just nodded and walked to the counter she was pointing to. He, too, was in shock. He thought that these things just happen on TV. He never thought that he would encounter the same experience as those actors from the telenovelas he saw from the commercials.
The nurse at the counter gave him a piece of paper. He was about to write when it hit him that he didn’t know the name of the woman. It was all an accident and he just rushed her there. He explained the situation to the nurse and gave him another form instead. Minutes later, the police arrived and asked for his statement. They said that they would do everything to investigate about the case of the lady and they also asked him if he could phone them again when the woman wakes up.
All Richard could do is to just sit on the chairs on the hallway of the hospital and gathered up his thoughts as the hours passed by. He became so disoriented; he doesn’t know what to do next. Everything went too fast. He had trouble thinking things through. Just as he was about to stood up and get coffee, a doctor called him.
“Mr. Lim?” The doctor asked. Richard nodded, still finding it hard to speak. “I’m Dr. Manalo. What’s your relationship to the patient?”
Richard shook his head. “I .. I rescued her. She was .. she was lying on the ground, unconscious. I just brought her here.”
“I see, I see.” The doctor said. “You might want to contact the police for this. She’s doing fine. She hit her head on the ground that’s why she has that wound on her head and the reason why she had a concussion. She also got three internal hemorrhages, and three fractures. We already operated on her and we can assure that she’s going to be fine.”
Richard just nodded and thanked the doctor. Dr. Manalo told him the room number of the woman and left him. Something inside Richard just made him turn and his feet started walking to the room she was in. He turned the knob of the door and saw the woman sleeping peacefully inside. A bandage was put on her right arm and to her head too. Her head was a little bit pinkish on those parts where there are bruises.
He sat on the chair beside the bed and took a good look on her. He never got a chance to do so since the road was dark and he was hit with a rush of adrenalin. Even though she was injured, Richard could tell that she’s pretty. He just sighed and closed his eyes. He wants to rest, too. It’s been a tough day for him.
The next day, the woman was already awake when he opened his eyes. He immediately stood up to get the doctor but the woman grabbed his hand that prevented him from walking away. “Nasa’n ako?” The woman said. Richard was momentarily stunned when she spoke. She really had this sweetness in her voice even though what she said was barely a whisper. How could anyone do this to her?
“Y-you’re in a hospital.” He replied. His gaze shifted from her hand on his arm to her. “Tatawagin ko lang yung doktor.” He moved to go outside but she tugged him again.
“Wag mo kong iwan.” She said. Richard could clearly see in her eyes that she’s scared. “I’ll be back. I promise.” He said. “Hindi kita iiwan, okay?” He assured her. The woman nodded and Richard headed outside to the nurse station. A couple of seconds later, he went back inside again with Dr. Manalo behind him. He immediately went to her side and to his surprise, the woman reached for his hand.
“Are you feeling okay? May masakit ba sa’yo?” Dr. Manalo asked her. The woman looked so scared that she looked at Richard. “Don’t be scared. He’s a doctor.” He said.
The woman nodded and turned to the doctor. “M-masakit lang po yung ulo ko.” She said. The doctor nodded and jutted something on the file he was holding. When he looked up, he noticed Maya’s hand on his. He smiled at Richard and said, “I could say that you already gained her trust.” Richard just nodded and the doctor turned back to the woman.
“That man brought you here yesterday. You were badly injured. Do you know what happened?” He asked. Richard felt the woman’s hand gripping his tighter. “What is it?” He tried to ask her. The woman shook her head and her eyes became teary. “I .. I c-can’t remember anything.” She stammered.
“Well, that’s not peculiar. Ah, your name hija?” He asked.
The woman shook her head again. “I don’t know. Who am I?”
A/N : Double treat pa po bang maituturing yung magkaibang kwento? Hahaha. I’ll be back to school tomorrow. Baka po madelay. Tapos na po ang two day vacation dahil sa Lasallian Festival. God bless!