My heart is still pounding fast. This day finally came. I can’t still remember everything clearly but I have a hint of what might possibly happen two years ago. There’s no way that Simon would be the man in my dreams. I’m sure of it. He’s just trying to make me believe for who knows what reason he’s got.
Richard left. I don’t know why he did. I wanted to run after him but I have to take something from Simon first. I’m such an idiot for believing in him. I should’ve believed in Richard from the start! My heart goes out to him. My heart is screaming that Richard is the man in my dreams, the man who saved me, the man who I love.
“You think you love him, Maya? You don’t! Nagpadala ka lang naman sa sinabi niya kanina eh –“
“At sinong mahal ko? Ikaw, Simon?” I mocked a laugh. “Ikaw na niloko ako? Na niloko ulit ako ngayon para ano? Para bumalik ako sa’yo? Oo, inaamin ko, nung una naniwala ako. Pero Simon, hindi mo naman habambuhay matatago yung katotohanan!” I yelled. Tears kept falling from my eyes, not because I want to but there’s just so much anger and regret in me that they automatically flow.
“Paano ka nakakasigurado? NI hindi mo nga matandaan kung anong nangyari sa’yo eh! You almost bought my story nung nagpanggap ako. And now you’re telling me, si Richard naman? Paano kung pinagti-tripan ka lang din no’n?” Simon yelled back.
“Sigurado ako, Simon. Kasi si Richard, kahit kailan, hindi ako sinaktan.” I said and I saw that he got hit right on his face. “Hindi katulad mo na walang ginawa kundi saktan ako. Sa maliit na panahon ng pagkakakilala ko kay Richard ngayon, wala siyang ginawa kundi pasayahin ako. Wala siyang ginawa kundi samahan ako sa kung ano mang gagawin ko para makasigurado na hindi ako mapapaano. Hindi mo ba nakikita kung gaano kalaki ‘yung agwat niyo ni Richard, Simon?”
“Walang agwat, Maya. We’re even –“
“Hindi kayo pantay, Simon! Kahit ilang taon pa ang bilangin mo, hinding-hindi mo mapapantayan si Richard!” I exclaimed making him flinch. “Wala kang ibang hinangad kundi makuha ‘yang promotion mo sa trabaho. Na kahit hindi mo na binibigyang pansin ‘yung mga taong nagpapahalaga sa’yo, tingin mo nandyan pa rin sila para sa’yo. Pero Simon, mahirap eh. Mahirap magpanggap na may ‘tayo’ pa kasi hindi ko maramdaman. Hindi ko alam kung paano ‘yung tayo na wala ka.” I said. Simon just remained mum so I continued talking. “Simon, hindi ko alam kung para saan ‘tong ginagawa mo ngayon. Pero hindi tama eh. Hindi tama na magsinungaling ka. Sobra ‘tong ginawa mo. Bakit mo ba ginawa ‘to?”
He heaved a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair as he sat down on the couch inside his room. “Hindi ko rin alam, Maya eh. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I thought I could win you back.” He muttered.
“Simon naman kasi eh.” I said as I sat on the same couch but I put some distance between us. “Ano ba kasing iniisip mo?”
Simon shifted in his seat and faced me. “Maya, please let me explain first okay? Please don’t leave.” He said and I found myself nodding. “I .. I was just using Viel to .. to get my promotion.”
“HA?!” I exclaimed.
“I don’t love her, Maya. You’re still the one I love. She’s my boss’s niece and .. and she’s the closest person I could get for the promotion –“
“Simon, tanga ka ba talaga? Bakit mo naman ginawa ‘yon? Alam mo naman siguro na makakasakit ka ng tao ‘di ba?” I asked as I wiped my tears.
Simon trapped his head between his hands. “I don’t know, Maya. I .. I just don’t want to get stuck at my position here.”
I sighed and decided to calm Simon down. He’s having those thoughts again that everybody around him is expecting too much at him and he’s letting himself get pressured by it, to the point that he will do everything just to prove that he’s capable of meeting those expectations. “Ayan ka na naman, Simon eh. Nagpapadala ka na naman sa sinasabi ng iba.” I said and he lifted his head a little to look at me. I could see that he too is now crying. “Natatandaan mo ba nung bata pa tayo? Tapos kasali ka sa Mathrathon nun tapos sina Tita, paniguradong mananalo ka. Tapos nung mismong contest, nalimutan mo ‘yung sagot sa 3 times 3? Ang lakas ng iyak mo nung pag-uwi mo kasi hindi ka nanalo ‘di ba? Pero natatandaan mo pa ‘yung sinabi sa’yo ng mama mo?” I asked, hoping Simon remembered it.
He nodded as he heaved a deep breath. “She told me that it’s okay. That those mistakes I’ve made makes me a better person. Kahit ano raw ang maging achievements ko, she will always be proud kahit na sumemplang ako. Because each mistake that I make makes me a better person.” He softly said.
I nodded as I rubbed his back to calm him further. “Your mom just wants you to be whatever and whoever you will be. Yes, may expectations sya, pero hindi naman niya gusto na lagi mong ma-meet ‘yon. Your mom just wants you to know what you could aim, and not what you should aim.” I calmly explained. “May mga bagay na hindi kailangan madaliin. Kung tatakbo lang tayo palagi, paano mo maapreciate ‘yung nasa paligid mo. Life is a race, but it doesn’t mean that you should always run.”
Simon nodded and wiped his tears. “I guess na-pressure ako.” He uttered. “I’ve always wanted to be a journalist for so long and now that I’m here, I don’t know, it felt like I wanted to be on top while I’m still young.” He took a deep breath. “You know what I’m like when I’m this, right, Maya? I always grab every opportunity, good or bad, just to get what I want.” I nodded, perfectly understanding what he’s saying. “That’s why I used Viel. And when you saw us at the airport, it shattered me but I just can’t tell you what I’m doing because she’s there.”
“At ngayong sinasabi mo ‘yan sa’kin, anong tingin mo?” I asked.
“That what I did was so wrong.” He said. “Maya, I’m really sorry. I only did this whole thing because I want you back again. I don’t want you to be with another man.”
“Simon, hindi naman ako aalis eh. Kaibigan mo pa rin ako. Mahihingan mo pa rin ako ng payo o kaya kung gusto mong makipagkwentuhan, nandito lang ako.” I said. “Pero hindi ako ‘yung babaeng nakalaan sa’yo eh. Hindi natin alam kung sino, pero alam kong nandyan lang siya. Hindi mo naman kailangang magmadali eh. Darating at darating din siya.”
“Everything will be different, Maya.” He replied. “Lalo na ngayon na galit sa’kin si Richard.”
“Wala namang magbabago eh.” I sighed. “Simon, magsabi ka nga ng totoo? Si .. si Richard ba talaga ‘yung makakasagot sa mga tanong ko?” I asked.
He nodded slowly. “I believe he is.” He said and my heart just sank. “That man loves you like crazy, Maya. I hope he’ll forgive me for what I did. Kung naikwento man niya sa’yo na nanakawan siya, well, ako ‘yun.”
“Yung sa kotse niya?” I quickly asked.
Simon nodded again. “I stole a box in the trunk of his car.” He stood up and reached for something under his table. “This one.” He said and placed it in front of me. “Everything you need to know is inside that box, Maya. And I do mean everything. Richard kept every photo you took, every photo of the two of you, every shot you took, he kept it all.” He said. “Please tell Richard that I’m so sorry. Natauhan na ko. I don’t want to cause any more trouble. I’m hoping that this is a step that will make me earn your acceptance to my apology.” Simon continued while I kept my eye on the box.
I reached for it and somehow felt my heart beating fast. This box now holds everything. I placed it on my lap, afraid to open it. I looked at Simon again. “Should I open it?” I asked.
He grinned at me. “Ikaw ang bahala. But I seriously suggest na you should.” He said.
I placed my hand on the flap of the box to turn it but I stopped. I can’t do this here. “Ah, ano Simon, sa .. sa bahay ko na bubuksan.” I said and quickly stood up. “Uuna na ko.”
“Uhm, ihahatid na kita, Maya.” Simon offered.
“H-Ha? Hindi na, marami ka pang ginagawa oh.” I said and nodded at his table where stacks of paper are messily placed.
“Maya, if you’re thinking that I’m going to take you somewhere, I’m honestly saying that it’s not in my plans –“
“Hindi ko naman sinabi –“
“I thought that nothing will change, Maya? Hinahatid naman kita dati ah. I know that Richard wants you to be safe. At kahit na hindi ako ‘yung idea niya ng safe, I still need to make sure na safe ‘yung taong mahal niya, which happens to be my best friend.” He said with a smile. “And now that you’ve found the ‘him’ in your life, I’m setting you free, now. I promise, hindi na kita hahabulin.”
I smiled back. I know that the truth already slapped him on the face and brought him back to his senses. The Simon that I knew is back again. Sometimes, the best way to fix this kind of situation is just to stand beside your best friend and fulfil the promise that you will never leave each other. “Sige na nga. Tara na, Simon.”
As we were walking outside their building, I saw a familiar face walking, as she was walking towards our direction. “Viel.” I called her name, not knowing if it was right. When she looked at me, I knew I called the right name. “Uhm, hi. Ako si Maya.”
I saw her looked at me and Simon with hurt in her eyes as she nodded. “Alam ko.”
Her eyes are puffy and I think something happened between the two of them. Simon is also looking away like it’s the least position he wants to be. I grabbed the box from Simon and smiled at him, and then I turned to the lady in front of us. “Viel, I’m Simon’s best friend. I believe he wants to talk to you.” I said making him lift her head and look at Simon with hope in her eyes. “I believe you two needs to clear up something. Please don’t include me in the equation, I’m not really a part of it.” I said and smiled at them. “Bagay kayo, alam niyo ba ‘yon?” I added and they both blushed. “Simon, una na ko.”
“Wait, ihahatid pa kita, Maya. Patay ako kay Richard nito.” He said.
I chuckled. “Hindi na. Eh kahit hindi mo naman ako ihatid, patay ka pa rin kay Richard. Dyan ka na lang. Paghihintayin mo pa si Viel eh.” I said and waved at them. “Bye Simon! Bye Viel!” And before Simon could complain, I quickly left them. I turned around and saw the two are smiling at each other. Simon is really easy to fall in love. And I do believe that he already fell for Viel. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“Bunso, napadayo ka.” Kute said as I arrived at Pocholo’s. “Ano ‘yang dala mo?” She asked as she eyed the box I’m holding.
I smiled at her. “Kute, nandito daw lahat ng memories ko! At alam mo ba na si Richard ‘yung lalaki na nag-alaga sa’kin –“
“Alam ko.” Kute interrupted, her voice said.
“Alam mo?” I curiously asked.
She nodded. “Matagal ko nang alam, Maya. Nung araw na nakita natin si Simon sa airport, nung pumunta si Richard sa bahay, sinabi na niya lahat sa’kin.” She explained. “Uhm, bunso, pumunta ka muna sa office ko. May .. may package sa table para sa’yo. Galing kay Richard.”
My eyes widened. “Galing siya dito?” I excitedly asked. Kute just gave sad smile. “Pupunta muna ako sa office mo.” I said and made my way inside her office. Sure enough, there’s this thing on top of Kute’s table. On top of it is a brown envelope where my name is written outside. I opened it and retrieved a CD with a sticky note.
Whenever you’re ready.
My brows furrowed. What does he mean by that? I placed the CD on the table and unwrapped the one under the envelope. It’s looks like a frame from the outside. I gasped when I saw what’s inside.
It’s Richard’s sketch. It’s the house sketch for the renovation of their old house.
It’s the last house that he drew.
My attention was caught at the bottom of the sketch. Richard’s signature is there and beside that is my signature. I remember it clearly. It’s this one night when we were about to sleep and he just insisted that I should sign on it. I quickly left Kute’s office as I wiped my tears. I hurriedly left Pocholo’s even though I can hear Kute calling me. I hailed a cab and when the driver asked where we should go, I answered.
“Lim Visionary Vanguard.” I said.
When I got there, I took the elevator, knowing well enough what floor he’s in. I know where his office is but stopped when I saw a familiar face. I couldn’t utter her name because I can’t remember it. She lifted her head up and smiled when she saw me.
“Ma’am Maya?” Her voice said. “Ako ‘to. Si Liza. Remember me po?”
“I-Ikaw ‘yung secretary ni Richard.” I muttered and she smiled widely, making me smile back. I can finally remember! “Naku Liza, gusto ko man makipagkamustahan, hindi pa muna pwede. Nasa loob ba si Richard?” I asked. I saw her face fell. Is there something I don’t know?
The door opened and I was expecting Richard but then James came outside, with a woman so familiar too in my mind. She was carrying a little boy. Then as if magic, i uttered a name. “A-Angela.”
“Maya?” The woman called my name and hugged me. “O my God, Maya! It’s you! It’s really you! James was telling me that Richard already found you at hindi ako naniniwala. I kept insisting that we should meet but Richard doesn’t want me to. He’s afraid that I might scare you.” She giddily said. “Ah, si Angelo nga pala. Anak namin ni James. Gelo, this is your Tita Maya. Say hi.”
“Hi.” Gelo’s baby voice said. I found myself smiling because of him, and also because my memory is showing me glimpses of the adventures I had with Angela.
“Hi Gelo. Alam mo bang ang kulit kulit ng mommy mo? Kung ano-ano naiisip niyan.” I said, making Angela laugh. “I really missed you, Maya.” She said.
“Ako din. Sobra.” I truthfully said. It’s really great to have this feeling that I found my friend after she went missing inside my head. I turned to James as he was just watching us.
“Maya, nakakaalala ka na ba?” He asked.
“Medyo eh. Alam niyo, nakakainis kayo. Kung sinabi niyo na lang sana ‘yung nagyari sa’kin, edi sana walang drama-drama ngayon.” I said and James just grinned at me. “James, nasa loob ba si Richard? Kakausapin ko sana.”
James exchanged looks between her wife and to Liza, then he turned her head back at me. “I guess, hindi niya sinabi sa’yo.” He said.
My brows furrowed. “Ang alin? Anong hindi niya sinabi?”
“Uhm, Maya, Richard already left.” James said.
I nodded. “San siya pumunta? Sa condo ba niya? Sa bahay nila o dun sa luma naming condo?” I eagerly asked.
James heaved a deep breath. “Maya, Richard left. Pumunta na siya ng New York. Kakalipad lang kanina ng eroplano niya kanina.” He said. “I’m sorry but .. you’re too late.”
Tears welled up in my eyes and all of the sudden, I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t hear anything except for the sound of my heart, shattering.
A/N : Sorry po, may pinagkakaabalahan lang po ang inyong writer. Any violent reactions?