I thought Maya heard Cris and I’s whole conversation. When I got down from her room, Cris kept asking me things of what happened to Maya when she got her amnesia. I ended up telling everything to her, from how I found her unconscious in the middle of the road to the moment she left me.
My mind was still thinking about Maya. When Cris made it clear that I can go to her room, I wasted no more time. I almost ran to her room. When I unlocked the door, I saw her sleeping on her bed. I took chair and placed it beside her. I could tell that she’s been crying hard. I got up from the chair and went downstairs. I grabbed a glass of water and went up again. I knew Cris saw me but she didn’t mind why I’m acting this way.
She knew how much I love her sister.
When I got back to her room, she was still sleeping. I settled myself on the chair beside her. It’s been so long since the last time I watched her like this. I felt the urge to hunt Simon and just give him a punch on his face. I don’t care if he punches me back. I just want him to feel the pain Maya’s feeling right now, even though its nowhere close to it.
She started sobbing at one point in her sleep. I held her hand. I think she was having nightmares. Then she kept on mumbling that she hates Simon. I thought she was already conscious but her eyes are still closed. I just held her hand tighter. “Don’t cry, Maya. Everything’s fine. You don’t need to cry.” I said, hoping it would calm her down even if she’s still asleep. “Everything’s alright, Maya. Don’t worry, we’re all here for you. I’m here for you.”
Then she woke up. When she saw me, she got up and she started crying again. I couldn’t take seeing her like that so I sat on her bed and hugged her. During the times we were together, I seldom saw her cry. The worst one was when she was still at the hospital and I scolded her. She got depressed at the end and made me regret all of my actions. But I never saw her cry like this. The way she’s crying is much worse. I held her tight to comfort her. “It’s okay, Maya. Just let it all out.” I softly said. “But promise me after this, you will cry no more, okay?” She didn’t respond but after sometime, she stopped crying.
I asked her if there’s anything that she wants but she just kept on shaking her head. I even offered her if she wants me to track Simon and give him a punch on his face. I would gladly do it if she nodded but she shook her head again. I knew she would do that. She’s just too good to do harm unto others even if she’s badly hurt by them.
I offered my hand to her. Her eyes looked at me and I felt my heart swell. Maya’s eyes are usually filled with happiness, with wonder, and now she lost the shine in them. Damn you, Simon. “Go on. Let your anger out in me. If this will help in the littlest way, I’m glad I helped.” I said. She looked at it and started punching and crushing my right hand. My jaw clenched to endure the pain. I don’t care if it hurts. I made a promise to her that I’m not going anywhere and I’m not going to start breaking it now.
“Ang sakit sakit, Richard. Ang sakit .. ang sakit sakit.” She muttered as she cried hard on my shoulders again.
“Shh. I know. I know what pain feels like. I’ll be here with you, okay? I will never leave you. I’m here, Maya.” I said.
Her crying slowed down and then she went back to sleep. I lied her down on her bed again and watched her sleep as I caressed her head. I don’t want to see her cry like this. I’m used to seeing her smile everyday and these tears are just too new. I went downstairs and said to Cris that I’ll be back. I went to a flower shop nearby and bought a bouquet of sunflowers for her. It always makes her smile. And I wasn’t wrong.
Maya was in a better mood now when she saw me and Cris talking. She kept apologizing because of my hand. Yes, it’s quite in pain but it’s worth it. I’ve decided to abandon this Richard Lim I am now and go back to my old ways. Well, at least when she’s around. I need to make her happy.
“O, kape muna.” Cris said as she emerged from the kitchen and placed a tray on the table. “Maya, ayos ka na?” She asked.
I turned to Maya to watch her face as she answers. “Hmm, ayos na kahit papano.” She said. She’s not lying. I’ve always known when she is lying. She bits the inside of her lips like hoping she would not get caught lying.
I saw Cris’ eyes shift to me and gave me a meaningful look. I know she’s mocking me. Good thing I’ve told her the truth. I finally have someone who will back me up with Maya if I needed it. “Bunso, pwedeng iwan muna kita? Nagtext si Tisay, marami na daw sa nakain sa resto, kulang sila ng tao eh.” She said and my mouth almost gaped. “Nandyan naman si Richard.”
Okay, the push I was expecting came sooner than I thought. She already trusts me this much? “B-But –“
“Sige Kute.” Maya interrupted. What? This is surreal! I’m inside Maya’s house with Maya alone, and her sister thinks that I’m not going to do anything. Jesus, am I dreaming?
Cris nodded. “Richard, kausapin lang kita saglit.” She said and I stood up, bringing the ice pack with me. I followed her to the kitchen and I readied my ears for the sermon she’s going to give me. “May head start ka na ha. Eto na yung chance mong magpapogi. Ten pa ng gabi ang uwi ko. Ala-singko pa lang, mahaba pa ang oras mo.” She said that made my eyes widen. “Basta wag mong pagnanasaan si Maya –“
“Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. This going too fast.” I interrupted and I ran a hand through my hair. “Let me get this straight. Yes, thank you, thank you for giving me this time but I can’t accept it. I refuse to accept it. I don’t want to barge into her life just like this knowing that she’s still hurting. I can’t. It’s too soon. “ I said and heaved a deep breath. “You’re leaving, and me and Maya are going to spend time together. Alone. In your house. Alone! And you’re alright with it?” I asked and she only nodded. “H-How can you be alright with it? I’m a guy! And you made it clear that I only met her a few days ago! Paano ka nakakasiguradong hindi ko gawa-gawa ‘yung mga sinasabi ko kanina? What if I’m .. I’m a serial killer or something and I –“ I stopped when Cris raised a hand in front of her, commanding me to stop. Then she lifted her hand and patted my shoulder.
“I’m just testing you.” She declared.
My mouth gaped again. “Wh-What?”
“I’m just testing you.” She said as she shrugged. “I’ll be back around seven. And you’re welcome. But no, I’m not okay with this. Kung hindi lang ako kailangan dun sa resto, hindi ako aalis pero wala akong choice eh. It’s better to leave Maya with you than to leave her alone. Tignan mo, dumating ka lang, bumaba na siya, natawa na nga eh. Pero kung hindi ka siguro dumating, bukas pa ‘yan bababa.” She explained. “I know that you’re not lying. Grabe ka nga maka-defend kanina eh. Alam kong hindi mo sasaktan si Maya. Pero kailangan ko lang talagang umalis kasi kulang kami sa tao ngayon.”
“I-I’ll work there. Dito ka na lang.” I suggested.
Cris chuckled. “Sira ka ba? Ano namang alam mo dun eh puro drawing lang naman ang alam mo?” Then she took a deep breath. “Richard, alam kong may takot ka rin. Natatakot ka na gumalaw kapag nandyan siya kasi iniisip mo lagi na baka masira ‘yung opportunity mo sa kanya ngayon. Pero kung mahal ka talaga ni bunso, matutuwa pa siya’t nandyan ka eh. Kaya ang advice ko, imbes na hintayin mo ‘yung tamang oras, unti-untiin mo na. Ipaaalala mo sa kanya yung mga simpleng bagay na meron kayo noon. Alalayan mo siyang makaalala.” She said.
I nodded and sighed. A chuckle escaped from my lips. “Akala ko, pinapabakuran mo na si Maya sa’kin eh.”
She smiled. “Hindi naman.” Then she patted my shoulder again. “Nakikita kong mabuti kang tao, Richard. Tignan mo kanina, ibinibigay ko na sa’yo yung oras kasama siya, hindi mo pa kinuha. Sana, sana ikaw nga ang lalaking magpapaligaya kay bunso.” She said. “Sige na, aalis na ko. Umayos kayong dalawa dito ha.”
I nodded. “Thank you.” I said. We both went back to the bed room where Maya is sitting alone with her gaze out in the window. Cris called her and before she turned, she lifted her hand and I know she wiped her tears.
“Bunso, saglit lang ako don. Umuna na kayo ni Richard sa pagkain.” Cris said and Maya nodded. “Bye Kute. Ingat sa pagmamaneho.” She said, her tone lost the enthusiasm she has earlier.
“Richard.” Cris called me and I nodded. I knew what she meant by that. When the front door closed, there’s this awkward silence between us. I felt my heart pounding. I’m alone again with her even if I’ve been with her like this numerous times. I took a sit on the couch again and placed the ice pack on the top of my right hand.
“Richard, sorry talaga ha.” Maya’s voice said and I saw her looking at my hand. I gave her a sure smile. “I told you, I’m fine.” I assured her.
“Hindi eh, baka hindi ka makapagtrabaho bukas. Sure akong marami na kayong client ngayong sa Vanguard gawa nung sa article.” Maya said. “Kung gusto mo, magsa-sub muna ako sa’yo.” I chuckled but then stopped when she glared at me. “Bakit?” She asked.
I shook my head. “Wala, wala.” I replied. I remembered that time when she ruined the plan I was doing. She said that she can make a house too and ended up making a house with a chimney that looked like a child’s work. “It’s just that, I can’t picture you making a sketch.” Maya narrowed her eyes at me and stood up. “Hey, I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” I hurriedly said as she went to a cabinet and reached for a paper. She slumped down on back in the living room and placed the paper on the table. She reached for a pencil that’s been lying there.
Maya started drawing lines and I found myself changing my seat so that I could have a better view of what she’s doing. My eyes widened, she can really draw. After a few more seconds, she lifted her head up and showed me the paper. It was a sketch of their house with only faint lines but she really got the whole picture. “H-How?” I muttered.
“Arki ako.” Maya simply answered.
I shot my head at her. “Really?”
She proudly nodded her head. “Hindi lang halata. Mahilig kasi akong magloko sa mga sketch ko. Hindi ko naman kasi gusto ‘yung ginagawa ko. Mas gusto ko pa rin ‘yung photography.” She answered. “So, pwede mo na ‘kong i-hire?”
I shook my head. “Nah. Mas magaling pa rin ako. Lamang pa ko ng ilang kain ng bigas.” I teased and she laughed.
“Ang yabang mo! Saka kanin naman yung kinakain eh, hindi bigas!” She exclaimed and I just smiled. “Can we watch a movie?” She asked.
“Sure.” I replied. Maya turned their TV on and searched for a movie on their stacked DVDs. When she got everything in place, she sat back on the couch beside me. “Anong movie ‘yan?” I asked.
“Pretty Woman.” She simply answered. “Ang pogi kasi ni Richard Gere.”
I found myself smiling. She hasn’t changed a bit. This movie really brought a lot of memories inside my head. “So, the man in your dreams, what does he look like?” I asked as the movie starts.
She shrugged. “Ewan ko. Blurred pa rin ‘yung mukha niya eh. Tapos ‘yung boses niya, paibaiba ng pitch kaya hindi ko matandaan.” She answered. “Alam mo ba kanina sa panaginip ko, nasa isang fastfood chain kami eh. Tapos may sinabi siya tungkol sa isang ‘Sorry Agreement’. May inabot pa nga siya sa’kin na tissue paper tapos ang sabi niya pirmahan ko daw. O di ba ang cute niya?”
My heart started pounding fast. The tissue paper she’s talking about is neatly folded inside my wallet. I could easily bring it out and show it to her. But I can’t. Like I’ve told Kute, I respect her life now, I can’t just barge in out of nowhere.
“Tapos wala na, sinira na ni Simon ‘yung moment.” Maya muttered. “Argh! Wag na nga nating pag-usapan si Simon!” She exclaimed and heaved a deep breath. “Paano ka nga pala nakapunta dito?”
“I drove my car.” I said and it made her laugh.
“Richard naman eh! I mean Bakit ka pumunta dito saka paano ka nakapasok sa kwarto ko?” She asked.
“Ahh. Well, if you can remember, you called me. Then I went here. Kute let me enter to inside your room and I .. I was just in time when you woke up.” I explained, making some changes with the details.
“Talaga? Oo nga, tinawagan pala kita. Eh paano ‘yung trabaho mo?” She asked.
Okay, I don’t know how I will answer that. “Tito Louie has my back.” I lied again. After this, I might go back to Vanguard, take all my pending works and don’t sleep for the night. I texted Liza earlier saying that I can’t go back I would just have to get my things later.
“Ahh.” Maya remarked. “Richard, pwedeng magtanong?”
“You’re already asking me.” I replied.
Maya rolled her eyes at me but still smiled. “What is she like? Si ano, you know.”
I gave her nod as I pursed my lips. “Well, “ I started and took a glance at her. “She’s .. she’s the only woman that I loved. She’s the most annoying person I’ve met because she doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. And because of it, nagkabati kami ni Papa after years of avoiding him. Because of her remembered what it’s like to truly love someone. She’s my life line and when she left me, it killed me. And .. wait, bakit interesado ka masyado sa kanya?”
She shifted her seat and faced me. “Panira ka naman ng moment eh. Ang ganda na ng mga sinasabi mo eh.” She complained. “Alam mo, Richard, hindi ko talaga maisip kung bakit ka niya iniwan. Ang bait mo, tapos kung magmahal ka, binibigay mo lahat. Sana lahat na lang ng lalaki kagaya mo. Tapos yung mga katulad ni Simon, sinusunog.” I smirked. Well, in my opinion, people like Simon are something to keep. He helped me get this near to her anyway. “Anong pangalan niya?”
I went still. I never thought she will ask that. I can’t just say Maya! “Uhm, Sunshine.” The name came out. Yes, it’s Sunshine, because Maya has always been my sunshine.
She nodded and turned her head back to the screen and continued to watch the movie. “Ang pogi talaga ni Richard Gere eh.” She said with a dreamy smile.
I chuckled. “Hindi Richard Lim?” I dared to ask.
Maya’s smile disappeared like something crossed her mind. Then she turned to face me.
Crap. Did I trigger her memory?
A/N: Dobol trit! Dahan-dahan lang po sa dosage ng excitement, baka ma-hopia. Hahaha.