As much as I hate what I’m going to do, I have to. I should’ve just moved on. I should’ve just let Maya live her own life and not interfere like what I just did. Even if my role is big or small in her life, I’m just a part of her past. I’m the part of her life that is soon to be forgotten. I’m on that part where people just glance at me, and just reminisce what I did, not really bother to care if a chance like that could happen again.
The worse thing about all of this is that our own story was used against us, against me. Never would I think that someone would want a story like us. Yes, it sounds like it can be used for those telenovelas they are showing on TVs. It’s all too dramatic and heartbreaking. But unlike those, we don’t have a happy ending. All we have is this whole mess that still remained a mess. I thought I would do anything, yet I’m the one who gave up.
I left Maya alone, crying because of the whole argument we just had. Of all the times that we’ve been together, that’s the only time that we fought like that. I never made her cry, except for that first time that I did. I yelled at her when I was so annoyed with her. I wasn’t even aware that it was such and idiotic thing to do. She was so depressed after that, to the point that she’s not eating properly. After that, I did everything to make her smile and to completely remove sadness and tears from her vocabulary. The last time that I made her cry was during my proposal. And the next one is because of this argument.
I drove myself to a convenience store and bought some cans of beer. I made my way back home to Papa’s house and made my way to the veranda. If only these kinds of drinks can make me forget everything, especially the pain I’m feeling inside.
“Ricky, why are you drinking?” A voice said and as I suspected, Papa pulled out a chair and sat as he watched me. “May problema ba sa trabaho?”
I shook my head as I took another sip. “You know well enough that I don’t drink when my problem is about work, Pa.” I replied.
“It’s about, Maya then.” He said.
I heaved a deep breath. “Pa, would I be quitting if I leave?”
His brows furrowed. “What do you mean by leaving?”
“I’m thinking of accepting the New York job.” I said and drank some more. “Ah, where are my manners. Gusto mo ba, Pa?” I offered him a can.
He shook his head. “Son, if you’re accepting the job in New York because there’s a problem between you and Maya, then yes, you are a quitter. Ano bang problema, Richard?”
I heaved a deep breath. “I already told Maya that I’m the person she was with two years ago. I thought she would be glad to know but we just fought. Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend figured out who I am, and what our past is.Do you still remember the box inside my cabinet, Pa? The one where I’ve been keeping all of Maya’s photos?” I asked and he just nodded. “Well, I think he followed me and stole it from my car.”
“The one Liza told me?” Papa asked. “She already told me because you can now take your car home. So that’s what happened. I was wondering why you’re using my car.” He said.
I nodded. “Sorry for not telling, Pa.” I apologized. “Anyway, back to my story. So, he stole the box and he used my story against me. Nagpanggap siyang ako. He used my story and told Maya that he is the one that she loves. Apparently, Maya bought it.”
“Why didn’t you tell her na ikaw ‘yun? Na nagsinungaling lang ‘yung isa.” Papa said.
“I did, Pa. I did. Pero hindi naniwala si Maya. Mas naniwala pa siya dun kay Simon. She really thought that he was him.” I said and emptied the can I was holding and opened up another one. “And now I don’t know what to do. She’s shutting me off again.” I said. “I don’t even know what to do.”
“Don’t stop in trying to reach her. Send texts. Kasi there’s a good chance that she will read it. Eh kung tatawag ka, wala naman siyang makukuhang message ‘di ba?” My father suggested.
“I only have a few days left before I make my decision to go to New York.” I muttered.
“Ricky, wag mo munang isipin ‘yon. Just focus on Maya first.” Papa said, making me to stare at him. He’s been giving me so much advice but never did he advice something like this. He will always include our firm in his every talk but not on this one. “O, bakit ka nakatingin ng ganyan?” He asked.
I shook my head. “Well, it’s just that ..” I trailed off.
My father chuckled. “Richard, I already lost the love of my life. Though I lost your mom because there’s really nothing we could do. But in your case, you could still fight. Maya is still here. You just have to fight for her instead of getting drunk like this!” He exclaimed. “I know that you have a deadline to meet because of the firm in New York but its still days away. Pero kung gusto mo talagang umalis, lagyan mo muna ng closure ‘tong kung anong meron sa inyong dalawa.”
“Pero paano nga, Pa eh ayaw naman niya akong kausapin?” I asked.
“Give her time. Ngayon pa lang naman kayo nagkalabuan ‘di ba?” My father continued. “Kung hindi ka pa rin niya pansinin, maybe you could figure out a way to convince her.” He suggested. “I already lost the love of my life. I don’t want you to lose yours, Richard. Kaya kung gagawa ka man ng move, please think it through.”
I nodded my head. My father is right. I need to show Maya that it is I who she loves. I don’t want to just give up. But I still have my obligations. If she continues to push me out of her life, I might just well leave. I don’t want her to be hurt because of me. All I wanted is her smile. And if I’m going to be the reason why she will just cry, I will leave. I will pack my things and walk away with full of regrets but for her, I will not look back.
During the next days, I would always send messages to her number, hoping she would reply. I tried calling her, but I think that my number is blocked. I kept driving to Limelight, hoping she would be there but Emman just told me that Maya took a leave. I would then drive in front of their house, afraid to knock. I just want to see her. I was hoping that she could come outside just to put out the garbage or something, then I would talk to her. But through those days, no one went outside.
Wednesday came and I really have no choice but to do plan b. I borrowed Luke’s camera and didn’t go to work. I went back to my old condo and grabbed the CD where my proposal is stored. Then I placed the camera on the table and put my plan to work. I grabbed the CD and the sketch of our old house and placed it inside my car. I then drove to the house where I grew up. The one renovated so that I could spend my life with Maya. But it didn’t happen.
I grabbed Luke’s camera and did a tour. Then I called up all the people Maya knew – James, Angela, Jerry and Gina, Liza, Luke and the last one was my father. I told them all to introduce themselves and tell stories that might help Maya remember. After I filmed everything, I went home and grabbed my laptop.
I compiled all of the videos into one, and putting the proposal video at the end. I played everything before I burn it in a CD. I skipped most parts but watched our whole proposal video. I found myself teary eyed as I watch myself bend on one knee and ask those four magical words to her. When Maya said yes, I found myself wiping a tear that managed to escape from my eye.
Maybe this is finally the ending for us.
I stopped the video and grabbed Luke’s camera. I need to make one more video clip at the end before I end this thing. I placed the camera on the table and pressed the record button. The couple of seconds after pressing that was filled with silence. When I found my voice, I finally spoke.
“I never stopped loving you, Maya. Everybody knows that. Even if you’ve forgotten about the things we shared, I know deep down, I will always have that space in your heart. And you will always own mine.” I said. “If this thing is not enough for you to have your memory back .. then “ I sighed. “I just want you to be happy, Maya. And if happiness means me being out of the picture, then I would gladly leave.” I said and paused, hoping that Maya will feel something once she saw this video. “I love you, Maya. I love you .. so much.” I said and reached for the camera to end the record. My heart is so heavy as I finished editing the video.
Is this my way of saying goodbye?
Am I really leaving?
I made my way downstairs and saw my father on the veranda with Luke. I decided to join them and made my own coffee. “You’re having a father-son moment without your other son?” I teased as I sat down on a chair.
“Si Kuya nagtatampo agad. Tatawagin sana kita sa room mo kaso busy ka ata eh.” Luke said.
I nodded. “Yeah, well, I was .. uhm, doing something. Ah, nilagay ko na yung camera mo sa kwarto mo, Luke. Thank you.” Luke nodded.
“It’s already Thursday tomorrow, Ricky. Any luck?” Papa asked. I shook my head. He heaved a deep breath. “Well, what’s your plan?”
“I’m going to Simon’s office tomorrow. I will try to talk him out of this. And if it doesn’t work –“ I was interrupted when my phone rang. It was Tito Louie. I decided to put him on speaker phone and placed my phone at the center of the table.
“Tito.” I said.
“Richard, good evening. Uhm, I just want to ask you something.” He said.
“Ah, Louie. How’s your son Jake doing? Anong year na nga ulit siya sa medical school?”
“Roberto! I should’ve known Richard’s with you. Ayos naman si Jake. He’s on his 2nd year. Malapit nang sumunod sa yapak ng ate niya. Anyway, uhm, I just want to ask Richard kung ano nang desisyon niya sa Visionary Vanguard sa New York?” He said. Papa and Luke’s eyes quickly shifted on me. I know that they are waiting for my answer.
“Tito, please pack your bags, too.” I said. “I want you to accompany me in New York.”
“Ricky, does this mean that ..” My father trailed off.
I gave them a sad smile. “I’m going, Pa. I’m accepting the position.”
“Pero Kuya –“
“I’m guessing this is a family matter.” Tito Louie said over the phone. “Just send me a text later, Richard.” He said and the line went dead.
“Ricky, I thought I already told you –“
“I know, Pa, I know. But I don’t want to be selfish anymore. Ilang taon ko nang pinapaikot ‘yung mundo ko kay Maya. I just want to move on. Gusto kong may magawa na talaga ako this time. And not because I needed to, but because I want to.” I truthfully said. “I still don’t have any news about Maya. But if ever she talk to me, then it’ll be like a bonus. I got my job and I got her. I just couldn’t let this Vanguard run without a CEO. I need to be there, Pa.”
“Kuya, are you sure?” Luke asked.
I nodded. “I just need to do some errands tomorrow. Then I’ll leave at the afternoon. I already booked four tickets.” I said and both of them curiously looked at me. “One for Tito Louie, one for me, one for you, Pa and one for Luke.” I announced and Luke’s face beamed.
“I’m coming with you?!” He gladly asked.
I chuckled. “Of course Luke. You’re a Lim, right?”
He jumped up and down and hugged me. He must’ve been so happy. It’s his first time to leave the country. “Thank you Kuya! I need to pack my things. Ilang araw ba kami ni Dad ‘don?”
“A week or so, Luke. Good thing bakasyon mo na. Sakto lang ang pagbalik natin sa graduation mo.” Papa said. Luke continued jumped up and down again and sprinted upstairs.
“Ricky, are you sure?” Papa asked.
I nodded. “Yes, Pa.”
I got up early the next day and grabbed the package from my table. I drove to Pocholo’s and spotted Cris immediately. “O, Richard. Agang-aga ah. Anong meron?” She asked.
I heaved a deep breath. Cris knows everything that happened. She knew how Simon took our story but she just can’t convince Maya to believe in me because her sister warned her not to. “Uhm Cris, can you give this to Maya?”
Cris confusedly accepted the package and looked at me. “Ano ‘to? Saka pwede namang ikaw na lang ‘yung magbigay ah.”
I gave her a small smile. “Ayokong mag-risk. Baka itapon lang ni Maya. And I’m also here to say goodbye. I’m leaving. Sa New York na ko titira. I’ll be handling the Vanguard branch there.”
“Ha?” Cris reacted. “Teka teka, eh paano si Maya? Sumusuko ka na ba?”
“I’m not giving up, Cris. I guess I just need a break. And I believe she needs to. Nagkataon lang na may desisyon ako na ganito and I just really need to take it.” I explained. “Sana hindi ka magalit. Mahal na mahal ko si Maya. Alam kong alam mo ‘yan Cris.”
She nodded and tapped my arm. “Alam mo, Richard, ang swerte talaga sa’yo ni Maya. Ikaw yung tipo ng lalaki na hindi madaling mahanap. Iba ‘yung pagmamahal mo kay bunso eh. Sayang lang no? Yung sitwasyon nyong dalwa, lalo na ikaw, sobrang hirap. Kaya naiintindihan ko ‘tong desisyon mo. Makakarating ‘to kay Maya.” She said. “And for the record, ikaw ‘yung bet kong mapapangasawa ni bunso.”
I chuckled. “That’s good to know.” I said. “I better get going. Thank you, Cris.” I said and left. My next stop is Simon’s office. I was told that he’s downstairs to meet with someone so his assistant told me to just wait in his office. When I went in, I immediately saw the box near the couch. My anger flared again. He’s really going to pay for this.
When he got in, my anger just went up, completely passing the limit. And to top it all off, he’s denying it! Paano ka iniwan ni Maya? Hindi ko kasi alam. You never finished your letters and it’s the only question I can’t answer.” His question continued to flare my anger and I’m almost going to punch him when this particular voice stopped me.
“Itigil mo yan! Richard, anong ginagawa mo dito?” Her voice said.
“M-Maya .. “ I can’t believe that she’s here. I don’t even know why she’s here! “I can explain, please.”
“Don’t let him explain, Maya! Kitang-kita mo naman kung anong gagawin niya sa’kin ‘di ba?!” Simon exclaimed. Damn, I should’ve punched him already! “He’s just jealous because I have you! Nagagalit siya sa’kin kasi ako yung una mong minahal! Naiinggit siya kasi gusto niya sya ‘yon!”
“Shut up, Simon!” I yelled at him. “You and I both know the fucking truth! And you have no right to say those things! In God’s eyes, He knew I’m the one whose right!” I just couldn’ believe this guy!
“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.” Simon said.
“Maya’s not a prize! She’s never a prize! She’s … she’s everything to me.” I truthfully said. I was saddened when a thought crossed my mind. Maybe the reason why Maya is here is because she and Simon are now back together.
I turned to look at her and saw that she’s scared through her eyes. I never want to see this in her eyes. That’s why I think that me leaving is probably for the best. “I don’t care if you don’t believe in me, Maya, but I’ve always loved you. Your smile is already enough to start my day and our entwined hands can already make my heart beat fast. And the feel of your lips against mine is already enough to take my breath away.” I said, reminiscing those times that we shared those moments. “You’re always going to be my sunshine. Because when you left me two years ago, I felt like the sun has not risen and I’m in perpetual night.” I continued and her eyes got teary.
“Now, can I ask for a favor? Close your eyes.” I said and she did. “If you truly have feelings for another man, you’ll know it inside of your heart.” I said and my heart ached as she followed.
“The mind forgets, but the heart remembers.” I finally said. And as much as I wanted to stay and hug her, I can’t. It took all of my will to command my feet and leave.
I still have a flight to catch.
A/N : Pasensya na po kung paulit-ulit yung ibang parts. Gusto ko lang pong i-explain ‘yung sides ng bawat isa. Thank you! Where are your violent reactions?!