“Really? That’s all you did?” Richard asked as he waited for Maya. He was sitting on his bed while Maya was getting dressed up inside the bathroom. He glanced at his clock and saw that it’s already ten past nine in the evening.
“Oo. Puro paperworks lang talaga yung ginawa ko, tapos nag-ayos lang ng meetings niya. Yun lang.” Maya said from the bathroom. “Richard ha, you have a meeting with him tomorrow. 3PM ‘yon, na-confirm ko na rin kay Liza.
“I know, I know.” Richard replied. “I was the one who told her to have the meeting at 3PM so after that, we could go home.”
“Ah, kaya pala alangan yung oras.” Maya said as she emerged from the bathroom. “Tulog na tayo. Maaga pa bukas.” She said.
Richard moved to lie down on bed while Maya lied down beside him. She scooted close to Richard and placed her head on his chest while Richard’s arm goes around her. They were always like this every night, like it’s a normal thing for the both of them.
“Ang sarap nung garlic bread kanina dun sa restaurant ni Angela. Hihingi pa sana ako kaso nahiya nako.” Maya said.
Richard chuckled. “No wonder. Good thing I gave you mine. Kung hindi ko pa ata binigay yung akin maglalaway ka na dun sa table.” He commented as he looked at Maya.
“Nakakainis ‘to.” Maya said as she slapped Richard’s arm. “Pero favourite ko talaga ‘yon. Ayoko nung dessert.” She said and frowned.
“May pasas kasi. Kung hindi pa tayo nagpalit, hindi ka pa kakain. Bat ba kasi yun yung inorder mo?” Richard amusedly asked.
“Double glazed rum chocolate cake. Sino bang hindi matatakam dun? Nagke-crave pa man din ako ng chocolate kanina tapos biglang may pasas.” Maya said and pouted. “Buti yung sa’yo masarap kahit may pagka-kape yung lasa.”
“It’s a Coffee Tiramisu, Maya. It’s really coffee flavoured.” Richard defended. “But your coffee still tastes better.”
“Thank you!” Maya said and kissed Richard’s cheek. “Hey, alam mo bang pinagtatawanan na tayo ni Angela at James kaninang dinner?”
“Yeah, I saw that too. Ang kulit daw nating kumain sabi ni James. Ang picky daw natin masyado.” Richard said.
“Hindi naman natin kasalanan na may pipino, may hipon saka may pasas dun sa mga inorder natin. Kung alam ko lang na magkakaganon dapat tinanong ko muna pala si Angela kung anong mga ingredients na kasama nung pagkain.” Maya defended.
Richard laughed and shifted. He propped an elbow to support his head and faced Maya. “Maybe we need to find a restaurant where there are no cucumbers, no prawns, no raisins and no okras. Then we’ll eat there for the rest of our lives.” He said.
Maya giggled. “Hindi kaya magsawa tayo don?”
“Nah. As long as we’ve got each other, alam kong hindi tayo magsasawa.” He said and hugged Maya beside him. “Do I really need to attend the meeting tomorrow afternoon?”
“Oo. Nako Richard, sumipot ka, kundi mag-aaway tayo.” Maya warned. “Paano ba kayo magbabati?”
“I don’t know.” Richard sighed. “Maybe it’s not really meant for us to reconcile.” He said. On the times he talked to his father, it always ended up with them in bad terms. At that very moment, he’s really thinking about that possibility. Maybe they already let the chance pass by.
“Ah ganon. Sige, mag-isa ka na lang dyan.” Maya said and turned away from Richard.
Richard chuckled and cuddled closer to Maya. “Ito naman nagtampo agad.” He said and chuckled. “Why is it so important to you that we make amends?”
Maya looked and glared at him. “Sasabihin ko na naman ba? Paulit-ulit na kasi ako Richard eh.” She said. “Basta gusto kong magkabati kayo kasi pareho lang kayong nasasaktan sa ginagawa niyo. Akala mo ikaw lang yung may hinanaing na ganyan, pero alam kong pati Papa mo, nasasaktan.”
Richard groaned. “Sige na, sige na. You win. I promise to try my best not to argue with him tomorrow. Just make sure that he does the same thing.”
Maya turned around and smiled at him. “Ayan ang Richard na kilala ko. Sige. I’ll try to say that to him. Basta sisipot ka sa meeting mo ha.”
“Yes Ma’am.” He replied and snuggled even closer to her. Then they both drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms.
“Yes Sir? May kailangan po ba kayo?” Maya asked the moment she entered Roberto’s office. Unlike before, Roberto was just staring out on the window instead of working. Maya knew that the person in front was just Richard’s father who’s worried about something. And she has a hunch on what it is.
“Tuloy ba ang meeting mamaya kay Richard?” He asked and Maya answered with a nod. “Really? Hindi niya kinancel?”
Maya just smiled at the old man. “Hindi po. Sure po ako don. Kinausap ko po kasi si Richard kagabi. Wag po kayong mag-alala.”
Roberto sighed heavily. “Thank you, Maya. But for the first time, I think I’m scared to face him. I don’t know what I will say.”
“Ano po bang gusto niyong mangyari sa pagitan niyong dalawa?” Maya inquired.
“Gusto kong magkaayos na kami. For once and for all. Like you said, I’m hurting inside knowing that my son still couldn’t accept my apology and .. and he’s not even giving me a chance to show him that he can trust me again.” Roberto said, his voice full of agony. “It’s funny how thinking things through overnight could change what I want now.”
“Basta po Sir, ang sabi ni Richard, gagawin daw po niya lahat para hindi makipag-away sa inyo at sana ganon din daw po yung gawin niyo. Kaya sure po akong magiging maayos lahat mamaya.” She said. She knew words like these were just not enough to encourage Roberto but it was the only thing she could do. Besides, everything was the truth. Richard didn’t really say anything about this particular meeting when they got up in the morning. She knew Richard is keeping his word, especially that he said it to her.
“Saka Sir, wag niyo pong madaliin. Alam ko pong hindi instant yung pagpapatawad na gagawin ni Richard pero kailangan pa rin pong mag-try ‘di ba?” She continued. “Try and try until you succeed ‘di ba nga po?”
The tension on Roberto’s face seemed to disappear. He gave Maya a small smile and breathed deeply again. He glanced at his watch and looked at Maya again. “Ah, Maya. I’ll be in the meeting room. It’s almost three. I’m sure Richard is already on his way.”
Maya nodded. “Yes Sir.” She said and turned to leave.
“Maya.” Roberto called. “Can you join us in the meeting? In case lang.” He shyly asked. Maya chuckled lightly. “Sige po.”
As if on cue, the elevator pinged when Maya got out of Roberto’s office. Richard went out from the lift and immediately smiled when he saw her. Maya tried to remain calm despite of the blush that was slowly spreading across her face. When Richard stopped in front of her, she kept her business face on but she could feel her cheeks cramping from holding back her smile.
“Hi Miss. Are you new here?” Richard asked with a huge grin on his face.
“Uhm, yes. I assume you’re Mr. Richard Lim? Sir Roberto’s waiting for you inside.” Maya played along.
“Nah. Let him wait. I felt the urge to talk to you.” He said and leaned on her desk, folding his arms on top of it as he leaned in. “So, I’m Richard.”
“I’m taken, Sir.” Maya said with a smile that made Richard chuckle. “What an unfaithful name. You just crushed my heart. I guess this guy’s lucky to have you.”
Maya nodded. “I think so.”
Richard’s brows furrowed. “And why is your answer like that?”
“Well, I don’t think if he’s really lucky to have me. He has this problem with a certain someone and I keep telling him to fix it but I don’t know if he’s really doing it.” She reasoned out, anxious to find out what Richard’s going to say.
She saw Richard winced. “I bet he’s doing the best that he can, just for you. I personally think that the wound he got was so deep, he’s afraid to do anything about it. And I do bet that he already did something about it but maybe the wound just got deeper.”
“That’s why I’m here for him. I’m going to make sure that his wound would be treated properly. If I only I could heal him, I would’ve done it myself but I can’t. I’m only here to support him so his wound would not get any worse. I want him to be healed.” She explained, hoping Richard would get her point.
Richard sighed. “I’m sure he knows that.” He said and reached for her hand. “I promise, okay Maya? Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
Maya gave him a smile. “I know. Sige na, lumakad ka na. Naghihintay na yung Papa mo.”
Her boy friend nodded. “Wala bang pampalakas ng loob dyan?” He asked with a sly smile.
“Mr. Lim, I’m afraid you’re a little late for your meeting. I still have to –“ Richard’s kiss cut her off. His hand on her nape and his lips are firmly pressed to hers. She was all red when he broke the kiss. “I love you.” Richard whispered.
Maya bit her lower lip. “I love you, too.” She whispered back. “Lakad na, Richard. Susunod ako, kasama ako sa meeting niyo kaya wag kang mag-alala.” She pleaded.
Richard nodded and entered the meeting room. Sure enough, his father was waiting inside. He was standing near the window with his eyes fixed outside. Richard cleared his throat to get the attention of his father and when he turned around, the son gave a small smile. “Let’s get started?” He asked and sat down on one of the chairs.
“Sorry if I’m a bit late. I talked to Maya.” Richard further said. This time, he’s determined to make things right. He will do this not only for Maya, for also for his self.
Roberto took a sit in front of Richard and then Maya entered. He saw how Richard smiled at her. A smile that was true and not fake. He suddenly realized that he wants Richard to give him that smile whenever he sees him and not some smile of acknowledgement. And Maya was right. He has to try every possible way just to have his son back.
Maya sat a few chairs before them, jutting down the minutes of the meeting. For the whole hour, the father and son just discussed everything there is to talk about the renovation. It was all pure business. They decided that the renovation can start as early as the next week and the two would personally be visiting the site since it’s their house.
When the meeting was finally over, Richard kindly asked Maya to wait outside. Maya didn’t even ask why and just obliged. She’s been silently observing the two and from her own point of view, she knew that if she leaves the two of them, they will not be killing each other.
“You really love her, do you?” Roberto asked as soon as the door closed. Richard’s gaze followed Maya until she left the room, only turning his head back when his father asked him this.
“Yeah.” Richard shortly replied. “Okay, there’s one question that I haven’t answered last time. It was why there are five rooms.” He said and his father nodded. “I .. I’m planning on getting married.”
Roberto’s eyes widened for a moment. His temper tried to rise up but he held it back. “R-Really? And to Maya I assume?”
Richard nodded. “I just don’t want to let her go. I know that there’s a saying that if you love someone, you should set her free. Well I believe that it’s an idiotic thing to do. I mean you already have that person who you know you’ll love forever and then you’re going to let her go? I will not. I will tie her up with me like a balloon so that she’ll always be with me. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” He elaborated.
“Don’t take this wrong son, but don’t you think it’s all too soon? Wala pa nga kayong isang taon ni Maya eh.” Roberto commented.
“Based from what I’ve learned through these years, I know that when you truly found the one, it doesn’t matter if you’ve only been together for a week, a month, or even years. Because when you’re with that someone, everything just seems right.” Richard said. “When I’m with her, everything just seems to agree with us. Everything’s always in place. Even this. She’s the reason why I want to talk to you. She’s the reason why I don’t want to be messed up anymore. At first I thought I’m only doing this because she wants it but after telling me countless times why I should do this, I finally told myself that deep down, I want us to work.” He continued while his father was just watching him.
“I think you already knew that Maya doesn’t really know her background and maybe for the short period of time she worked here, you already got to know her. She’s not what you think she is. She’s a great person and if you’re worried about me, don’t be. I know what I’m doing.” The son continued.
Richard’s words made his father’s heart heavy. Finally, he heard the words he wanted to hear. His son has already moved on and wants to start fresh with his father. Roberto can feel fresh tears forming in his eyes. After years of keeping everything inside, for once, he just wants to let it all out. “I’m sorry, Richard. I’m really really sorry for all the heartaches that I’ve caused you. Believe me, I really want to talk to you a long time ago, I really want to. But I’m too afraid. I’m scared that you will just reject me. I should’ve knocked on your door a long time ago. I never should’ve said those words. I’m really sorry. I have so much regrets especially with you, son.” He said as he wiped the tears that streamed from his face.
Richard stood up from his seat and gave his father a hug, which he tightly returned. Everything was different from what he expected. Before, he pictured it with his father begging to reconcile with him and then he would just reject him, and might even say stupid words. From his point of view about that now, it was all foolish. Every son or daughter would always have that pain in their hearts whenever they see their parents cry because that’s the point when everybody knows that it’s already too much for them. And for Richard, this was the point when he saw that his father was already at his limit. He might’ve even gone pass through the pain his father gave him. Now, it’s all too much.
“It’s alright. We can have our own version of a do-over. We’ll .. we’ll make it work, Pa.”