Richard remained his passive mood until they reached their condo. Maya decided not to speak since she knew Richard was pissed off. He sat on the couch and groaned in frustration. He buried his face on his hands and tried to calm down. Maya didn’t know what to do so she sat beside him, looped her arm on Richard’s as she rubbed his back.
After a few more deep breaths, Richard glanced at Maya and saw how worried she is. He gave her a smile and encircled his arm around Maya to pull her closer. Richard knew that if Maya wasn’t there, he would drive himself to a bar and get drunk. He was really thankful for having her that even if he was at rage earlier, she was still with him.
“I’m sorry.” He said and kissed her head. “I told you. This is not a good idea.” He added.
Maya looked at him and then leaned on Richard’s shoulder. “Ayos ka lang ba?” She asked.
Richard was surprised at Maya’s question. Usually, when Luke was with him when he had a row with his father, the first thing that would come out of Luke’s mouth was that he shouldn’t have scolded his father. Even all of the people around him would always be on the same page as his father. This is the first time someone decided to stay on his page.
He sighed. “No.” He said, almost whispering. “When I saw him, I just wanted to punch him on his face. He’s always been like that. Akala niya Diyos siya na dapat lahat ng taong kakausap sa kanya, rerespetuhin siya. My father is not like that. He’s the kind of person who will always look at everything with concern. He’s the type of person who will always put others sake instead of his. He’s a person who doesn’t care what everybody else thinks about him. He’s not my father.” Richard said, his voice breaking.
Maya frowned. She hasn’t seen Richard so broken like this. He was worse now compared to what he was like before he had this meeting with his father. “I just couldn’t believe that he would be using my mother just to make me say yes.”
“Richard, yung bahay ba na ‘yon, importante sa’yo?” She asked.
He nodded. “It was the house where I grew up. Kung makikita mo ‘yung bahay na ‘yun ngayon, mukha siyang luma. The materials that my father used were all simple since we’re not really rich before. My father worked so hard for me and my mom. Then he was discovered by a mayor he worked for. That’s when he slowly became popular. He was offered more work and he buried himself in them and totally forgot that he has a family. That’s the house where .. where I last saw my mother. It is where I got my nightmare from.”
“Ayaw mong ipa-renovate?” She asked.
Richard shrugged. “It’s not that I don’t want it but .. I don’t know. Ayoko nang bumalik don. I don’t want to see what it looks like because I’m being haunted by my memories there.”
Maya nodded, perfectly understanding everything. “Ayaw mo lang ata nung design nung Papa mo eh.” She teased, trying to change his mood.
Richard chuckled. “Manghang-mangha ka nga eh. What’s left to change? That man’s really well known in the architectural industry. When I was still young, I thought he was just doing sketches of pretty houses. When I became an architect, that’s when I knew that it was more than just a sketch. Every plan of his is flawless. Kahit siguro gawa ko, walang-wala sa kanya.”
Maya leaned back to look at him. “You speak highly of him. You know that?” She said, keeping it simple. Even if Richard put it like that sarcastically, Maya can feel a hint of pride in his father’s work.
“W-What?” Richard obliviously asked. “I’m not. Even if he’s at the top of his work, I’m not in awe of him.” He said, obviously lying. Maya was going to tease him more when he blurted something next. “Fine! I’ve been spying on his works ever since I became an architect. That man is good. He’s able to translate the real meaning of home – the one I’m trying to do. Any child would be proud of a father like that, but not me. That’s when my hatred draws the line.”
Maya giggled and then she stood up and went to Richard’s home office, leaving him gaping at her. “After telling you that, you’re just going to leave me here?” Richard exclaimed that made Maya laugh. “Teka lang kasi. Wait lang. Wag kang aalis dyan.” She replied and proceeded inside.
Richard leaned back on the couch. It turns out that he can’t hide everything from Maya. There’s just something about her that makes him blurt out everything about his life. Yes, he’s been admiring his father secretly. Who would not? He’s made so many deals in his life and it’s still counting even though he can already retire at his age. Even if Richard loathed him, there’s this side of him that is proud of the achievements of Roberto Lim. But he only admires him as a stranger, and never a father.
Maya emerged from the office holding Richard’s sketch pad and a few pencils on the other hand. She sat back on the couch and gave those materials to Richard. “What’s this for?” He asked.
“Mag-sketch ka.” She said.
“Maya, I’m not in the mood –“
“Ganito. Gusto kong ikaw yung mag-sketch ng bahay niyo. Isipin mo kung ano yung magugustuhan ng mama mo. Yung depinisyon mo ng home, i-express mo sa sketch na ‘to.” Maya said.
“And for what? You’re just going to compare this to ‘his’ work. If that’s what will happen, then I’m not doing it.” He said as he placed the sketchpad on the table at their front.
Maya sighed and reached for the sketchpad. “I’m not going to compare it. I just want you to express what you think.” She explained and placed the pad on his lap. “You dad already showed you what he thinks would be the best look for your house. Now it’s your turn.”
Richard groaned but still opened the sketchpad and settled into a blank page. But when he lifted his pencil, to start drawing, he failed. He just couldn’t do it. “Maya, I can’t.”
“You can but you won’t!” Maya countered. “Just picture your mom and your dad when you were still little. Those memories when you’re all happy and laughing. Yung mga panahong wala kayong pakialam sa mga problema saka sa mga nangyayari sa mundo.”
“I can’t. It’s already tainted by him.” He said, and then sighed. “And those memories you were talking about? It’s too short in my head. My father was discovered when I was still young and at that young age, I started to notice the sudden change. I practically grew up hating him.”
Maya nodded. “Eh ‘di iba na lang.” She said. As she think of other things that could make him happy and inspired, Richard was just watching her. Could anyone be so caring for others and not expect something back? Ever since Maya lived with Richard, all she could ever worry about was the people around her and not herself, or ever her condition. He was completely amazed by her. And he just kept falling for her.
Without having second thoughts, Richard shifted in his seat and faced Maya. He cupped her face and slowly went in. Although surprised by Richard’s sudden action, Maya knew what was coming and she closed her eyes.
The simple touch of Richard’s lips against hers was enough to make her forget everything again. It was their first kiss, and Maya knew, without a doubt, that he’s her first kiss. Richard was always respecting her even though they are always with each other and practically living together. He’s the type of person who respects her personal space and never do any move that he knew Maya doesn’t want. But this is something that they both want to have and to share.
When Richard pulled back, Maya’s eyes were staring at him, with her mouth gaped. She slowly lifted her hand and placed it where Richard’s lips were just a few moments a go. Richard just amusingly smiled at her and removed her hand to kiss her lips again.
“Now, I’m inspired.” He whispered, his lips brushing against Maya’s. He could see her face so red even though he didn’t lean back to watch her. He kissed the tip of her nose before he finally leaned back. He grabbed his pencil and started drawing some lines on the sketchpad.
He shot a glance at Maya and saw a hint of smile across her lips as her fingers still touching her lips. Richard shifted in his seat and faced Maya. “Isa pa?” He teased.
Maya went completely red and buried her face in her hands. Richard laughed at her and held her in his arms. “Bakit? Don’t tell me you didn’t like it. I felt your lips pouting against mine when I kissed you. Gusto mo pa nga ata ng isa –“
“Richard!” Maya exclaimed and slapped his arm. “Ayoko na. Tama na –“
“Ayaw mo na?” Richard teased with a huge smile was painted on his face. Maya just kept her face hidden in embarrassment as Richard laughed. “But if I was too fast in doing things, that I didn’t even asked if you wanted that, then I’m s-“
Richard was stopped from speaking when Maya covered his mouth with her hands. “Bawal ang sorry ng walang consultation ‘di ba? Ikaw din, magkakaparusa ka.” She said. Richard’s eyes turned into slits, indicating that he was smiling at Maya. He removed Maya’s hands and brought it to his lips and kissed it. “I don’t care. If my punishment involves kissing you then I don’t mind.” He said.
Maya bit her lower lip to prevent herself from smiling, and then she shook her head. “Hindi. Ang punishment ko sa’yo, makipagbati ka sa Papa mo.”
Richard groaned. “I thought we’re already done with –“
“Sige sige, kahit hindi ka makipagbati. Pero ang gusto ko, hindi na ganon yung pakikitungo mo sa kanya.” Maya explained. Richard was about to complain but she pressed on. “Richard, past is past. Alam kong sasabihin mong hindi totoo ‘yon kasi sobrang laki ng epekto sa’yo ng past mo pero hindi ka makakagawa ng magandang future kung patuloy mong dadalhin yang sama ng loob mo.” She added.
Richard just sighed. His jolly mood evaporated. “And what do you want me to do?”
“Gusto kong makipag-usap ka sa kanya ng maayos. Hindi yung nagsasagutan kayo. Ang pride, magandang bagay ‘yan, pero kapag sumobra, nilalamon niyan ang lahat ng nadadaanan nya. Let go of the past Richard. Kung ano mang nangyari dati, sure ako, may dahilan ang Papa mo. Just let him explain and I’m sure if you let him, you will understand.” Maya said.
Richard nodded and smiled at the woman he clearly loves. He reached for her hand and looked straight into her eyes. “I’ll do it. For you. I know that I should be doing this for myself but I want to do it for you. Of all the people that I’ve met, you’re the only one who made me change like this.”
Maya smiled and held his hand tighter. “Alam mo, mas swerte ako. Kasi willing kang magbago, para lang sa’kin. Mahirap kaya ‘yun.” She said. “I love you.”
Richard leaned in and gave her a peck on her lips. “I love you too. Sige na, it’s getting late. You better get some sleep.”
Maya nodded. “Eh ikaw?”
Richard lifted the sketchpad and showed her the outline he had made earlier. “I got inspired by a woman I love the most. Baka makagawa ako ng house plan.”
Maya giggled. “Sobrang inspired ka naman ata gawa ng babaeng yan.” Richard chuckled and then he nodded proudly. “Syempre, mahal ko eh.”
Maya laughed further and stood up. “Tutulog na ko. Matulog ka na maya-maya. May pasok ka pa bukas.”
Richard nodded. “I will.” He said and shifted his glance at the sketchpad and started sketching the design he wanted that house to be like. His inspiration was eaten by that argument with his father. Good thing he had a new source – Maya. He should’ve known that she will serve not only as a love of his life, but also his new inspiration. From now on, Richard decided that Maya will be the reason why he will sketch houses.
Before going to bed, Maya went back to him and gave him a kiss on the head. When Richard was sure that she’s inside the room, he saw the cup of coffee Maya prepared for him. A green sticky note was attached to it with the words ‘I love you’ written on the little paper. Richard smiled and drank it. He’s really head over heels in love with her.
It was around 2AM when he finished sketching. He brought the sketchpad to the bedroom and saw Maya sleeping on his bed, her arm splayed on his side as if she’s looking for someone to hug. Before lying on the bed, he took one last glance of the sketch he made. The design he made was almost like Roberto’s but there’s one thing that made him love it so much – it screams home.
And it’s the house he’s planning to live in when he and Maya got married.
Richard wanted a house, neither for himself nor for his father – but for him and for Maya.
He joined Maya in bed and automatically, Maya curled up beside him. He kissed her head and drifted off to sleep. He needs all the energy he can get because he had a plan to make things right. This time, he’s willing to let his guard and pride down. This time, he’s willing to let his father explain.
A/N : Ito po muna. Makikipray over naman po ako sa finals ko next week. Haha. Salamat po sa patuloy na pagbisita sa blog na ‘to kahit na hindi po ako nakakapag-update. Thankee po! God bless!