I’ve been longing for this moment. This moment where Maya would be back in my arms. I never thought that I would be miserable without her. And it’s an ironic thing for me to say since I’m the one who broke up with her by cheating on her.
I met Viel when I went back to the Philippines and Maya is still in the US. She’s on the same department where I’m working and to top it all off, she’s my boss’ niece. I courted her even though I know that I still have Maya, because I seriously thought that she’s the key in getting my promotion. When we became I couple, I became closer to Mr. Giorgio Hernandez, my boss. It was nerve wrecking in meeting him for the first time but when Viel told him that I’m his boyfriend, he became nice to me. I told myself that I would use that closeness so that I can get my promotion.
Three months passed and Maya came back to the Philippines. Of course, I still went up to meet her because of the interview I had with Richard Lim. Mr. Hernandez was the one who assigned me to conduct the interview when he learned that Edselyn is sick. It was the first time when I heard him that he trusts my skills, and that I’m the best option he’s got. I really felt so proud of myself. Finally, the big boss realized the skills I have, all that’s left for me to do is to keep on impressing him.
When I saw Maya, I felt the happiness that I hadn’t felt when I was still with Viel. There’s just something in her smile that I liked so much since we were kids. I felt the luckiest man when my childhood friend became my girlfriend. But I just couldn’t tell her that I’m cheating on her. Not until I get my promotion first.
“Simon, I want to tell you something.” Viel said as she stopped me from walking. “Please don’t tell uncle about this or I’m dead.”
I nodded. “Sure. What’s up?” I asked.
“Well, I was talking to uncle over the phone last night. He’s checking up on us and you know what he said?” She asked with a smile. “Ang sabi niya, if you keep this up, baka i-promote ka na raw niya!” She said.
A huge smile spread across my lips and she was looking at me like crazy. This is the best news I’ve heard in so long. I suddenly pictured Maya, in front of me. I bet she’ll be so happy too when she learned about this news. Having thought of Viel as Maya, I leaned in and gave her a kiss on her lips. When I turned around, I saw Kute glaring at me, behind her is Maya, and I knew that she saw what just happened. I wasn’t expecting that she will see me with Viel at the airport. I just got back from covering some news and Viel was with me. Her uncle made her my partner after Eds finished the article about Richard Lim.
“Maya what are you doing here?” I asked. I really don’t know what she’s doing here. She’s not supposed to be here! She’s not supposed to see me with Viel! Kute told me that she doesn’t want to make a scene and I do understand that. But then she asked me who Viel is.
“S-Si Viel. G-Girlfriend ko.” I said. I wanted so badly to explain the whole truth but I just can’t, with Viel beside me. I can’t risk this promotion. So I told her the truth, except for the part where I’m just using Viel.
It hurts me so much to see Maya’s tears. It’s my weakness. Ever since we were kids, I would do crazy stuff whenever she cries just to make it stop. I never thought that one day I would be the reason why she would be crying. I followed her until we got into the parking lot.
“Nagtatrabaho ako! Wala na kong ginawa kundi magtrabaho! And I was expecting that you’ll be supportive! But no, all you talk about is having a vacation before I left States. Ang sabi mo, lagi na lang akong nagtatrabaho. Tignan mo nga ‘yang sarili mo! Ikaw din naman puro trabaho ang inaatupag!” I yelled back. I got it that she’s mad at me but I couldn’t contain my own anger.
“Nagtatrabaho ako Simon kasi gusto kong tulungan si Kute. Kahit kailan hindi ako naging selfish sa oras ko dahil alam ko kung kailan ako dapat tumigil. Ikaw ‘tong bawat minuto, trabaho lagi ang iniisip dahil sa ambisyon mo –“
“There’s nothing wrong with my ambition –“
“Wala ngang masama Simon! Pero dahil sa ambisyon mong yan, handa mong iwanan lahat, katulad ko. Sinnusuportahan naman kita ah! Nasa tabi mo ko through your ups and downs. Nung una akala ko kahit na lagi kang busy, kaya natin pero wala eh. Habang tumatagal, lalo ka lang nagiging busy hanggang sa nakakalimutan mo na ko. Kaya ko gusto ng bakasyon kasama ka dahil feeling ko wala na tayong oras para sa isa’t-isa. Simon, ayokong maging tayo dahil lang sa isang label. But I guess wala nang saysay ‘yon kasi naghanap ka na ng iba.”
“Maya ..” I wanted so bad to hug her tight and tell her everything is just a plan for the promotion. Am I really this selfish to the point that she couldn’t see that I’m doing everything for our future together? She cried even harder when she found out that I’ve been doing this for three months. But before I could tell her, Kute came and told me to leave. I did what she said because I know how she is when she gets mad.
“Simon, sino ‘yun?” Viel asked when I got back to her.
“Uh, just a friend. We just had a misunderstanding. Let’s go.” I said. I drove into a bar right after I drove Viel home. I got drunk and after my nth liquor, I decided to go to Maya’s house to tell her everything.
Even though my vision is blurry, I can still tell that there’s a black car parked just outside their house. It’s still a late in the afternoon so I could see that it’s a BMW. The car is all familiar. I was about to drift off to sleep when I suddenly remembered whom it is.
I saw it on the parking lot of the Shangrila Hotel.
It’s Richard Lim’s.
But because I’m drunk, my eyes automatically closed. I woke up and it’s already evening. My head’s aching so much but I can now think straight. I looked at my watch and it’s just a little past seven. I heard their gate opened and sure enough, Richard got out and got in his car. Maya was walking with him with a huge smile on her face. What the hell is this? We just broke up earlier and now she has someone who’ll replace me?!
During the following days, I kept following Richard. I would always stay inside my car as I watch him together with her. He really keeps an eye on Maya and I know that he likes her. It also came to my attention that Richard’s been dropping these envelopes inside their mailbox. He would always leave them when he goes in their house and would not tell Maya that it came from him.
There was one time when Maya placed a piece of paper inside the mailbox. When I’m sure that she’s inside, I sneaked at their mailbox and read the words she wrote. She‘s been doing it for some time and I would always get it. I don’t want Richard to read any of them. That’s why I just kept on keeping it for myself.
Sino ka ba? Saan nanggagaling ‘yung mga litratong binibigay mo?
Alam kong ikaw ‘yung lalaki sa panaginip ko. Can we meet? Please.
Alam kong ikaw lang ang taong makakapagpaalala sa’kin kung anong nangyari sa’kin two years ago.
Pwedeng magpakilala ka? Please? I’m begging. And can I ask for a favour? Pwedeng isulat mo na lang ng kamay mo yung mga cards? Baka matandaan ko pa ‘yung penmanship mo.
Can we meet?
Kung ayaw mo, could you please just tell me your name? Kahit first name lang.
Please. I want to meet you. I want to know what happened to me.
I figured out that if Maya is asking this man about her past, and she’s saying that he’s the link to her lost past, then it could only mean that this man is already with her two years ago. And the man sending those envelopes is Richard. So to sum it all up, Richard already knew Maya when she lost her memory. And it could also mean that they were in love with each other back then.
I can’t let that happen.
Since I’ve been watching Richard, I know that he has a source where he gets those photos and sure enough, one day, he’s carrying a box from his old condo unit, if I’m not mistaken, and placed it in the trunk of his car. I’m betting that it’s where all Maya’s stuff is. I followed him and parked my on the parking lot of his firm.
It’s really a convenient thing when you’re working as a journalist. You already know the dos and don’ts of a crime. I first attacked the CCTVs from behind and destroyed the wires. Then I picked the lock of Richard’s car. It was a convenient time that I did my deed. There were no security guards patrolling around. When I successfully opened it, the box was there and when I opened it, a lot of picture was inside. I quickly grabbed it and placed it inside my car. I quickly drove to my office and looked at the stash of pictures inside. They were full of landscape pictures, including Maya’s photos, others are Richard’s and most of them together, with their faces close.
There are also papers inside, and I’m betting its Richard’s handwriting. They are all unfinished. Some are short and others are long. I read the longest letter there is.
I wonder how you are. I’m terribly missing you. I could still remember everything like yesterday. Have I told you how terrified I was when I found you lying unconscious on the road near my condo? Of course I’ve told you. I was so scared to move you. I brought you to the hospital and I couldn’t seem to bring myself home until you wake up. When you first held my hand, I knew that my life would change. And it’s because of you. It was unfaithful that you were suffering from amnesia. It would’ve made everything much easier but still it didn’t stop us from falling in love.
Those days that I spent with you were the best days of my life. I’m not regretting one bit that I made you stay with me in my old condo. You helped me in so many things. You made me face my father, you made me smile, and you made a better man. I will not forget the day that you said yes when we’re riding that Ferris wheel in Enchanted Kingdom when I’m still courting you. I thought I’m already lucky when I became your boyfriend but I felt even more special when you said yes when I asked you to marry me.
Now that two years had passed, I want you to know that I’m still deeply in love with you. It tore me apart when you left me. I .. I ..
The letter was unfinished, like the others. So I’m right. Richard was the man Maya was with when she can’t remember everything. I’ve read all of the letters but there’s always a part missing – how Maya left him. The closest clue that I have is that she bumped her head and nothing more.
“Simon, do you want to get lunch?” Viel asked as she opened the door. I quickly placed everything inside the box. “What’s that box?” She asked.
“It’s .. it’s nothing.” I said but she still opened it and reached for a photo inside. She turned it around and it’s a solo photo of Maya. “Viel, it’s nothing –“
“What the hell, Simon?” She exclaimed. “Care to explain this?” She asked. She bent down to looked at the other photos and I don’t know why all of the photos she reached for are all photos of Maya. “You’re still in love with her?!” She asked. I just nodded and she threw the pictures at me. “Argh! You’re so messed up! I’m breaking up with you!” She said and stormed out of my office. I don’t really care for her right now. I still need to do something. I gathered the photos and placed them inside the box. I grabbed some and placed them inside an envelope and printed out a message on a piece of card. I sent someone to deliver the envelope to Maya and waited for her response.
That night, Maya placed a paper inside the mailbox again. I gave her my number and told her to meet up with me the next at The Fort. All that’s left for me to do is to make up my own story that is somehow similar to Richard’s story. So I based my story in his letters and added some facts about our childhood.
After meeting up with Maya, I went back to work. I have to double my efforts since Viel and I broke up. I ‘m not holding the key anymore. But I now have Maya. All that’s left for me to do is to get my promotion and I will be fulfilled. When Maya told me that she wants to meet up to talk, I felt my lips grin. I’m now so close in having her back in my arms again.
It was quite unexpected when Maya bombarded me with questions about ‘us.’ I believe she was having doubts and based from her face, I thinks she’s buying all of my answers. But then there’s one question I couldn’t answer.
“Simon, paano ako napahiwalay sa’yo two years ago? May nangyari ba sa’kin?” She asked.
“Uhm, well, t-that is an excellent question.” I answered. Damn. I really don’t know the answer to this. Good thing my phone rang, saying that my 3PM meeting is already inside. I quickly excused myself and breathed in relief.
But when I got inside my office, a man is standing before my window, his back is to me, his arms crossed. “Thank you for giving me the time to talk to you, Simon.” His voice said and he turned around. His chinky eyes are glaring at me. I should’ve known. It’s Richard Lim. “Care to explain why you’re fucking doing this?”
I shrugged. “Doing what? I’m not doing anything.” I said.
He uncrossed his arms and I could see that he’s curling his hands into a ball. “Bakit ka nagpapanggap na ako? Why are you doing this to Maya?! You already lied to her! Bakit inuulit mo pa? Hindi mo ba alam na lalo mo lang siyang sasaktan?!” He furiously asked.
I chuckled. “I told you, I’m not doing anything! I’m just telling her what happened to her two years ago. Well, my own version, of course.” I said.
“How dare you –“
“Do you really think that she would believe you? I already told her everything she wants to hear. Nasa’kin na lahat ng ebidensya, and soon, she’ll be mine again.” I said as I walked near him and gave him a punch on his face. “Admit defeat, Richard Lim. I won.”
He gripped my neck tight but I still grinned. He wouldn’t get away with this. I have CCTV cameras inside my office and I could easily ruin his reputation.
“You’re not going to win because this is not a competition! Ano bang problema mo!? Just let her go!”
I nodded though I could he’s still gripping my neck tight. “I’ll let her go. I just want to know one thing though.” I said and Richard calmed down a bit. “Paano ka iniwan ni Maya? Hindi ko kasi alam. You never finished your letters and it’s the only question I can’t answer.” I said. There’s so much anger in his eyes and I just found myself smiling. I could easily stain his name. He poised his fist to give me a punch but he stopped when the door opened.
“M-Maya..” Richard muttered as he let go of me. “I can explain please.”
“Don’t let him explain, Maya! Kitang-kita mo naman kung anong gagawin sa’kin ‘di ba?” I yelled at her, hoping that she would be at my side. “He’s just jealous because I have you! Nagagalit siya sa’kin kasi ako yung una mong minahal! Naiinggit siya kasi ang gusto niya, siya ‘yon!” I continued.
Richard turned around and faced me. “Shut up Simon! You and I both know the fucking truth! And you have no right to say those things! In God’s eyes, He knows that I’m the one whose right!”
I chuckled. “Too bad it’s not enough to save you in this situation, huh Richard? You’re still back there while I’m here, so close in having the prize.” I mocked.
“Maya’s not a prize! She’s never a prize. She’s .. she’s everything to me.” He said and turned to look at Maya again. I clutched my hands into a fist. I need to keep up my game. I’m losing Maya!
Richard started to say something to Maya and she was completely mesmerized by his words. I wanted so bad to reach for a flower vase and slam it on his head, if it wasn’t for Maya. The box is still shown near my table so I quickly reached for it to hide it. When I looked at them, Maya has her eyes closed.
“The mind forgets, but the heart remembers.” Richard said, and left the room. When Maya opened her eyes, he’s no longer there. Finally! It’s my chance!
“He left, Maya. He’s gone. I’m sorry for all the commotion –“ I was completely stunned when I felt Maya’s hand slap my cheek hard. “M-Maya ..”
“Sinungaling ka Simon! Hindi ikaw ‘yung nasa panaginip ko!” She exclaimed as her tears flow. “Nasan na lahat nung binibigay mo sa envelope?! Alam kong hindi sa’yo ‘yon! Ilabas mo na!”
“M-Maya, what are you saying? Of course it’s mine!” I stammered.
“Tumigil ka! Dapat hindi na ako nagpauto sa’yo! Ilabas mo na bago pa kita i-report sa pulis!” She continued.“Hindi ko alam kung anong nangyayari pero ang alam ko hindi ikaw ‘yon! Hindi ikaw ‘yung mahal ko! Tigilan mo na ‘tong ginagawa mo sa’kin!”
“Why is your past so important to you, Maya?! Bakit ba ayaw mo na lang makuntento sa kung anong meron ka ngayon?!” I exclaimed.
“Kasi two years ago, minahal ko ‘yung taong alam kong handa akong makasama habambuhay! At ngayon na umepal ka na naman sa buhay ko, para guluhin lahat, pinabayaan ko na naman siyang makaalis! Alam kong may dahilan ka kung bakit mo ginawa ang lahat ng ‘to pero please, Simon, sana man lang inisip mo kung anong mararamdaman ko! Hindi sapat na ginawa mo kong tanga at binulag mo ko sa katotohanan para mapasa’yo ako kasi hindi talaga ikaw ang nagmamay-ari ng puso ko.” Maya continued. “Si Richard. Siya ang lalaking alam kong magpapasaya sa’kin. At kahit na hindi ko matandaan kung siya nga ‘yung taong minahal ko no’n, alam ko ngayon, siya ‘yung taong gusto kong makasama. Mahal ko si Richard.”
A/N : Thank you po for SEY’s suggestion! Nag-iistruggle po kasi ako kung paano ko ime-maintain yung time flow nila. 🙂
Any violent reactions? Haha.