Is it possible to wear a smile the whole day that no matter what happened, you still have that on your face? It was Richard’s question. He’s been wearing the smile on his face since he and Maya got their air cleared up. It was one of the hardest moments in their relationship – him keeping a secret for her. It was so hard since he’s always been faithful to her from day one. Never in a million years did he envision himself being with another woman other than her.
It didn’t matter if he’s already awake by three in the morning and already cooked breakfast for the two of them. It’s all worth it. He would simply die if he simply missed out the chance to talk to her, because if he did, then they wouldn’t be okay.
As they were eating their breakfast, Maya told him about what she and Angela did yesterday. She even showed him the photo from her phone. Richard was stammering the whole time he answered. Good thing Maya didn’t notice. He was afraid that he might’ve mentioned some things that would destroy his perfect reasoning.
While Richard was measuring some part of the house, his phone rang. It was his best friend. He pressed the answer button since he was also wondering if he and Angela are all okay too, just like them and Maya.
“Bro, hindi ka maniniwala sa nangyari.” James’ psyched voice welcomed his ears. “I had to say sorry though, ginamit kita eh.”
“What are you talking about James?” Richard anxiously asked. He stepped out of their house and went to a clear area so he could hear his voice clearer.
“I went to Angela’s house last night. Good thing wala sina Tito at Tita kung hindi, hindi talaga ako makakapasok sa loob. She was really crying, man. She loathed me.” His friend said.
“Same goes for Maya. Alam mo bang gumising pa ko ng 3am para lang masiguradong maabutan ko siya?” Richard said. “So what happened?”
“Ayun, inakyat ko yung bubong nila para makapasok sa bintana niya. Nasabi na ba sa’yo ni Maya? Sinundan pala nila tayo kahapon eh. Tapos ang buong akala nila, nangangaliwa na tayo. That’s what Angela said.” James continued.
“Yeah. Maya said the same thing. Masyado daw kasing kahinahinala yung mga galaw natin. Ikaw kasi eh, sinabi mo pa kung nasaan tayo.” Richard said.
“Why me? Alam mo namang hindi ako nagsisinungaling kay Angela! Well .. most of the time but nevertheless, ikaw nga dapat ang sisihin eh. You were lying the whole time!” James defended. “Anyway, before we blame each other completely, itutuloy ko muna yung kwento ko. When I entered her room, she was really crying hard. Hindi talaga ako makalapit sa kanya. And then when she asked me kung anong ginagawa natin dun, ang sabi ko na lang, we were talking to a ring designer kasi you’re looking for an engagement ring for Maya.”
“No way.” Richard said on the other line. “I did the same thing!” He exclaimed.
“You did? O good, ibabahagi ko pa man din yung magic trick. Anyway, it worked right? Angela was so happy to find out that Maya is getting married to you.”
“Damn, I’m now starting to believe that we really think the same. Maya was really happy last night, too, when I told her that you’re the one proposing.” He sighed. “James, this .. this whole thing, it’s not lying right? We said the truth but they simply don’t know that we’re proposing to them.”
“I think we’re good. Isipin mo na lang, paano kung nalaman nila na tayo nga yung magpo-propose sa kanila? Baka may sagot na agad tayo kahit wala pang singsing. Ah, the ring’s available by Friday. Ina texted me.” James informed him.
“I got the text.” Richard replied. “So, what’s you plan?”
“Are you going to steal mine, Lim?” James teasingly asked.
“What? Of course not. I have my plan. Angela and Maya are two complete different persons. At babae ‘yon. I bet kapag nadaos na natin tong proposal, magsasabihan ‘yung dalwang ‘yon kung paano tayo nagpropose.” Richard justified.
“Riiiiight. And there you were, a couple of months back when it was Maya’s birthday, asking me what I and Angela do whenever we go out on a date.” James teased and then laughed. “I’m just messing with you man. Anyway, I was thinking of .. of putting myself in this giant cake and then nasa ibabaw yung ring, pero hindi niya makukuha kung hihilahin niya kasi hawak ko. Then lalabas ako, tapos –“
“Really? A giant cake? Bro, hindi kaya pawisan ka na paglabas mo? Ang init kaya. Do you want your engagement picture to be so sweaty? And what if she uses a knife to take the ring? O baka naman matakot lang siya kapag lumabas ka na –“
“Gee, Lim. Thanks a bunch. Thank you for ruining my engagement plan.” James butted in.
“I’m just being realistic!” Richard exclaimed. “I’m planning to take Maya out. Sa restaurant, ganon. Then I’ll ask the chef to put the ring on her dessert –“
“Paano kapag nalululon niya?” James interrupted.
“Eh paano kung hindi?” Richard countered.
“Richard, may napanood na ‘kong ganyan sa tv. Nakain nung girlfriend yung ring. Ewan ko ba kung ooperahan o ano. Start over. Don’t put it on something she’s going to eat. The ring must be worn on her ring finger and not inside her stomach. It’s not edible.”
Richard chuckled. “Alright. Start over with yours too. I don’t like what I’m seeing when I’m thinking of you inside a cake. It’s a damn proposal bro, not a circus show.”
James laughed on the other line. “I will.” Before James could hang up, he heard Richard sigh. “What’s up?”
“Are you 100% sure that Angela will say yes?” Richard asked.
“Sa dalawang taon ng pagsasama namin ni Angela, I’m still not sure. This proposal is a gamble. The question itself is already worth your life. Pero nakakapanghinayang kasi kung hindi mo itatanong. Mapupunta na lang siya dun sa listahan mo ng ‘Things I wish I did’. But it’s worth it. Asking it is so worth it, lalo na kung yung gusto mong sagot yung makukuha mo mula sa kanila.” James said. “I should go. May meeting pa ako.”
Richard breathed in deep. His best friend was right. This huge step in front of him is a gamble. His relationship with Maya is far different from James and Angela. Their four months of being together is nothing compared to James and Angela’s two years. But, Richard is contented with that. He once told his father that when you love someone, a short period of time would feel like it’s been years when you’re with a person you really love. All things will fall on their places. And for Richard, he’s willing to make this all happen. It’s not just a time for him to settle down. It’s time for him to finally be with Maya, the one that he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
Angela waved at Maya when she reached the Starbucks near Vanguard. Earlier, Angela called her up to grab some coffee after work. Maya texted Richard, of course, to inform him about it. Richard’s been in and out of the office during that week. When they got home to their condo, Richard would tell Maya that James was inviting him to go because of his engagement ring for Angela. How could she say no? Angela’s getting married!
It’s been days since they got the boys busted. Both of them really wanted to talk to each other but just couldn’t get the right time because of their tight schedules. They’ve only been texting to each other though none of them wanted to mention about the wedding of each other. All they knew is that the other one is getting married, but doesn’t know that they’re both going to get married.
The two girls called each other, making the other customers inside the shop to look at them. They were smiling completely at each other. They wanted so bad to enthuse each other with their own weddings but really couldn’t because of the boys.
“I’m so sorry, Maya. Feeling ko kasalanan ko lahat eh. Kung hindi tayo pumunta dun sa mall nung isang araw baka walang away na naganap.” Angela said.
“Nako, hayaan mo na. Everything turned out fine. May mga bagay lang talagang hindi pwedeng sabihin sa’tin.” Maya giggled. She was so close in blurting out that James is going to propose.
“Oo nga. May dahilan naman pala.” Angela replied, biting her own tongue to hold back the words she itchingly wants to say.
Maya stood up and ordered her own coffee and the two chatted about their works. As well as telling stories about their boyfriends.
“Angela, how did you and James meet?” Maya asked with a smile on her face.
The lady in front of her gave a soft laugh before answering. “Break ko kasi no’n. I went to a coffee shop near our culinary school, graduating pa lang kasi ako. Kasi nga nag-shift ako ng course kung kailan matatapos na ‘di ba? Anyway, James sat on the chair in front of mine accidentally. Akala niya ako yung ate niya. Then in the end, bago ako umalis, hiningi niya yung number ko.” Angela said.
“Ay ang sweet!” Maya exclaimed.
Angela laughed. “Akala ko nga nung una moves niya yun para makakuha ng babae. Then nung kami na, I found out na ako pala yung unang babaeng hiningan niya ng number sa gano’ng paraan.” She said. “Eh mas sweet kaya kayo ni Richard! Isipin mo, he rescued you. O ‘di ba? Parang yung sa mga Disney movies lang. Yung Prince-Princess encounters.”
Maya chuckled. “Hindi naman eh. Para kasing ang hirap.” She said. “Kasi hindi ko alam kung paano ko ibibigay ng buo yung sarili ko kung hindi ko naman hawak yung buong ako.”
Angela gave Maya a warm smile. “Pero Maya, if ever magpropose sa’yo si Richard, anong sagot mo?” She asked, biting her lower lip in anticipation.
Maya sighed. “Hindi ko alam eh.” She answered and Angela’s face fell. Patay ka, Richard! “Paanong hindi mo alam?” Angela asked.
Maya shrugged. “Hindi ko alam. Kasi .. kasi yung sitwasyon ko nga. Ang hirap kasi eh. Kung bakit kasi ang tagal bumalik nung memory ko.”
“Maya, there’s no need to be scared. I know Richard is going to love you without a hint of doubt. If he’s going to propose to you, ang ibig-sabihin lang no’n, handa ka niyang mahalin habangbuhay, without caring about your past or what baggage you have. At alam kong sigurado siya kasi hindi naman siya bibili ng engagement ring nung isang araw ‘di ba?” Angela said and went completely still when she realized that the whole secret slipped out. Crap. Freudian slip!
“H-Ha?” Maya stammered. She was about to rain Angela with questions when a guy stopped before their table. He was wearing a pink top and Maya knew for sure that this was no guy.
“Maya!! OMG! Ang tagal na nating ‘di nagkikita!!” The man said and gave Maya a hug.
“S-Sino ka?” Maya immediately asked when the man let go of the hug.
The guy gaped. “Hindi mo na ko matandaan? Oh my pink gosh, Maya. Si Emman ‘to! Bestfriend mo nung college ‘di ba? Ano nang nangyari? Akala ko pupunta ka ng Japan?”
“J-Japan?” Maya bewilderingly asked.
The guy, Emman, frantically nodded. “Oo! Ang sabi mo mag-aaral ka ng photography ‘don. Kasi ang sabi mo, sobrang ganda ‘don at marami kang makukuhanang litrato. Wait! Don’t tell me nakabalik ka na? Bakit hindi mo man lang sinasabi?” The man continued but before Maya could ask him questions, his phone rang. “I have to go na, Maya. Tinatawagan na ko ni Eds. Byieeeee!”
“Maya, kilala mo siya?” Angela asked when Emman left. Maya shook her head. “H-hindi ko siya matandaan.” She muttered. She’s so confused right now. How did that Emman knew her name? Would it be that he really knows her but she just can’t remember because of her amnesia? And what’s with the Japan thing? Was that the reason why she was out the night of her accident?
“Maya, uuna na ko. Kailangan na daw ako sa resto eh. Are you okay. Do you want me to call Richard?” Angela worriedly asked.
Maya shook her head. “Hindi na. Pupuntahan ko na rin naman siya. Palabas na rin yun ng building.” She replied and stood up, still shaken about things. Angela gave her a hug when she stood up. “Carpe diem, Maya. All you need to do is think about the present first. Wag mo nang isipin yung past or your future. What you have right now is the only thing that counts. Dadating din lahat ‘yan.” She said.
A/N : Last chapter na po ng Chances bukas. Then after a month, I’ll post the sequel 🙂