I spent the whole morning at the site. A condominium building is going to be built here. I just need to make sure that everything is going as planned and that the budget that was set is still fixed. Being the head of the firm is really no different from my work as an architect. I still do the things that I used to do when I worked for James. The only difference is that I have to think about my other architects and not just for myself. Being selfish is none of the options, unlike what I’m doing with Maya.
Yes, I being selfish with her, especially with the things I know. But I want to give it more time. She just met me a few days ago, after all. I know that my name still doesn’t ring any bell in her mind for now. And I also doubt the powers she was talking about. Connecting all the things I’m saying in her life is probably still at the end of her list. Though I am hoping that the things I was doing was helping her, especially bring my old self back.
I stopped by at Vanguard first before I go to the Dela Rosa’s residence. I have to check my schedule for tomorrow and to cancel any late appointments this Friday because of Luke’s prom.
“Richard, there you are. Kanina pa kita hinahanap.” Tito Louie said when he entered my office. He’s one of Papa’s trusted friends and he has become my advisor in running this firm. “Liza told me na may site visit ka so I waited for you.”
“What’s the news Tito? Is there something wrong?” I asked but based from the smile on his face, I think I don’t need to worry.
“Ryan called earlier. He said that the firm your father asked to build in New York is nearly done. Ilang linggo na lang daw, ready na para sa opening.” He said.
My eyes narrowed. “A firm? In New York? Wait. Is this an extension of Vanguard?” I asked. I really have no idea about this project.
Tito Louie nodded. “I guess Roberto didn’t tell you anything about it. He’s been planning it for years and when you came back here a year ago, saka pa lang sya nagbigay ng go sign.” He said. Well, that explains it. “You and your Papa need to fly there for the opening. Now, the only problem is it needs a CEO. I thought Roberto was going to send you there to be its head but he gave you this instead. Or if you want, you can drop your position here and run the one in the west.”
I nodded. An expansion in the States is really big. Our work will really be well known around the globe. It’s a win-win situation. I can fly there to manage it but I can’t. Not now that I have Maya back. “I think it’s best to look at the files of our finest architects, pati na sa mga executives. Parang yung ginawa niyo bago ako napili. It’s a good way to choose who’s going to run Vanguard in New York.” I suggested.
“You don’t want to run it?” Tito Louie confusedly asked.
I shook my head. “I .. I still have a lot of unfinished business here in the Philippines. If I go there now, baka lalo ko lang hindi matapos.” I said.
Tito Louie shrugged. I bet he’s thinking that I’m wasting this kind of opportunity. “Alright then, if that’s your decision. But Richard, if you changed your mind, the position is always open. Maybe you should talk to your Dad. I really think that you need to go to New York.” He said.
“I’ll keep it in mind. Thank you Tito.” I said and he nodded before leaving me alone.
“In New York huh.” I muttered. I really want to go but I just can’t. I groaned. “If I go, I’ll bring Maya with me. Then maybe we could live there and start all over.” I continued to mutter. I glanced at the wall clock near the door. It’s already three in the afternoon and I bet Maya’s already at home. I stood up and grabbed my keys.
I went back to my old condo first. I took out the box from my cabinet and grabbed five photos. I already printed the message that I’m putting along with it. I placed the photos in an envelope again and left.
It’s already half past four when I arrived at their house. I quickly placed the envelope in their mailbox. Before I could even ring the doorbell, Cris came out. “Yan ang gusto ko sa’yo Richard eh. On time ka lagi.” She said as she walked outside. She kept the gate open.
“Why? What happened?” I asked.
“Babalik na kasi ako sa resto. May dengue kasi si Bugoy, baka matagalan pa bago makabalik. Yun namang mga nag-aapply, hindi ko trip. Mga maaarte.” She said aa she opened her car door. “Ikaw na lang kaya ang i-hire ko?”
I chuckled. “I would love to but I don’t think I can handle two jobs at the same time.” I said.
“Fair, fair.” She said. “Sige na, pumasok ka na sa loob. Nasa salas si Maya, nag-eedit ata ng pictures. Ah nabanggit na rin pala ni bunso yung nangyari dun sa ankle nya. Salamat Richard.”
“I’m glad I was there.” I replied.
Cris noticed something and walked until she reached their mailbox. She took out the envelope that I just slid in and eyed it.
“Richard, pasuyo na lang nito kay Maya. Baka sa trabaho nya yan. Yung akin kasi, sa resto pinapadala lagi eh.” She said as she handed me the envelope.
I looked at the familiar object back in my hands again. “I will. What time will you be back?” I asked.
“Late.” She said and got inside her car. “Ikaw na bahala.”
I went inside the house and saw Maya slouched on the sofa. Her ankle is stretched on top of the coffee table and a laptop is on her lap. Music is playing on the background. “Hey you.” I said making her to turn her head. When she saw me, a smile emerged from her face. It felt like it happened in slow motion to me and all of the sudden, I found it hard to breathe.
“Hi Richard!” She sweetly greeted back. “Gusto sana kitang alukin ng kape kaso, alam mo na, baldado eh. Pero kung gusto mo talaga, pwede naman akong tumayo –“
“No, no, no, it’s okay, Maya. I’m good.” I quickly said before she could attempt to stand again. I sat on the couch beside her. “I heard this song before. James played it to me once.”
Maya giggled. “The Script ‘yung band. The Man Who Can’t be Moved ‘yung title. It’s for those people who are still in love with their exes and can’t find the will to move on.”
I nodded. “I know. James played it to me once. He said that I’m like the guy they’re talking about in the song. You know, because I can’t move on.” I said but I didn’t meet her gaze. “Enough of this song. Lipat natin.” I picked up the remote and eagerly pushed the next button. U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ blasted on the speakers.
“Richard.” Maya called me.
“Bakit hindi mo i-try mag-move on?” She asked.
I went still for a second then I heaved a deep breath. I wasn’t really expecting her question. “I .. I tried, but I can’t. I – I just can’t.” Ijust said.
“Bakit nga?” She continued to ask. “I want to help, Richard. I want to help you the way you helped me. Because of you, okay na ko. I’m already over Simon. Eh ikaw, ilang taon na ba siyang umalis? Hindi ko gustong makialam ha, pero tingin ko kasi, oras na para pakawalan mo siya.”
I only sighed. I wonder if she will still say that after she finds out that it’s her that I’m still holding on to. I nodded. “What do you have in mind?”
“Hmm. Maybe you should start dating again?”She suggested. “Nagtry ka na ba ulit magka-girlfriend after niya?”
“I tried dating. James set me up with these ladies that he knows. We’ll go to dinner and .. and that’s it. No more second dates.” I said and as the familiar lyrics entered my system. “Like this song says, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Maya shrugged and returned her gaze back at the screen of her laptop. “It’s that or you’re not looking close enough.” She said.
Damn, why is she giving me her cold shoulder? Is there something wrong with her? We were fine earlier but now, it’s like I did something that irritated her. Not knowing what to say, I pushed the envelope on the table towards her. “Cris told me to give this to you. Nakita niya sa mailbox niyo.”
Maya took a look at the envelope, and groaned as she put the laptop on the space beside her. She reached for it and opened it. She took out the photos I chose and read the small piece of paper I printed out. And to my surprise, she crumpled everything.
“Wha- Maya?” I just said, not wanting to be obvious. She continued to crumple all the pictures together and threw it somewhere on their kitchen. “Maya, what’s wrong?” I worriedly asked.
“Sino bang nagbibigay nito? Ayoko na please. Ayoko na.” She muttered and her voice was breaking. I decided to sit beside her and sure enough, tears are starting to form in her eyes. When I put my arm on her shoulder, she produced a chuckle, like she’s mocking. “Alam mo bang may amnesia ako, Richard? Nung umuwi ako dito sa bahay, wala akong maalala. Hindi nga ako makapaniwala na walong buwan akong nawala eh kasi blanko talaga yung memorya ko. Ang dala ko lang yung camera ko. ‘Yun lang tapos .. wala na.” She said.
I remained silent. This also happened when she woke up from the hospital when I brought her there. She was also like this when it sank to her that she couldn’t remember anything and couldn’t go home. Back then, I was still the cold hearted Richard back then. I shouted at her and then she got depressed, because of me. This time will be different. I’ll be by her side. I will never leave her. “Naiinis ako sa nagbibigay nito. Natutulungan nga ako pero lalo lang akong .. lalo lang akong naiinis. Kasi gusto ko nang bumalik lahat lahat ng nawala pero .. wala eh.” She continued.
“Shh. There’s no need to be mad about it, Maya. You just need more time.” I said.
“Richard, dalawang taon na akong naghihintay. Sa loob ng dalawang taon na ‘yon, ni wala man lang maliwanang na daan na pwede kong sundan. Lahat malabo. Kahit yung sinasabi ko sa’yong lalaki sa panaginip ko? Gustong gusto ko nang makita yung mukha niya. Kaso .. wala eh. Wala akong magawa eh. He gives me hope but at the same time he’s taking it with him everytime I open my eyes.” She said and continued to sob.
I don’t know what triggered her to be like this. Maybe those two years are just too much for her but I doubt that it’s just that. There’s something that happened, or possibly something that I did. “Don’t worry, Maya. It’ll come back. I’m sure of it.” I said as I tried to comfort her.
Maya moved under my hug and wiped her tears. “Sige na, Richard. Umuwi ka na.” She said and gave me a small smile. “Ayos lang ako dito.”
I shook my head frantically. “No, Cris told me that she’ll be back late. Ibinilin ka nya sakin.”
“Kaya ko namang mag-isa. Sige na, naaabala pa kita. Alam kong marami kang ginagawa tapos dumadagdag pa ko. Hindi mo naman kailangang pumunta dito eh. Hindi mo naman obligasyon ‘to. Tatawagan ko na lang si Kute.” She said and before I could utter a word, she grabbed her laptop again and started working.
I sighed and rubbed my head. What is wrong with her? “Fine. I’ll leave.” I said. I headed outside but regretted it as soon as I’m just a few inches before my car. I groaned loudly and got inside my car. I drove but only stopped a few blocks away from their house. I need to stay here until Cris comes back. I cursed under my breath. What have I done wrong?
A/N : Sorry! It needs to be done. I promise to bring Clarity on the next chapters about this.