A/N : Play the music on the widget! 😀
Chapter 36 – Finale
It has been a month and a half since that blissful week where Maya and Richard were reunited. Maya, James and Angela stayed for a week but needs to leave because their visa application is only for that duration of time. Richard couldn’t follow them because he still needs to deal with some issues in Vanguard New York. They remained constant communication through phone or even video calls and most of the time, they would just spend it by looking at each other, not saying anything.
Maya missed him terribly. She hasn’t felt this kind of longing before but now it’s different because she can now remember every single bit of being with Richard. And it just kills her to think that they are apart. She knew Richard wants to settle down and get married, it’s also what she wants. Their marriage has been postponed for years and if Maya can just make a decision for the both of them, she’ll want to get married right away, but it seemed like time and situation are not on their side.
Richard would have to be in New York to work for the firm. Visionary Vanguard here in the Philippines is now run by Richard’s uncle, Louie. Right now, Maya is thinking about staying in New York so that she’ll be with Richard. But she’s also having doubts, especially that she’s going to leave Kute alone and she knew that she’ll refuse if Maya encourage her to move in with them. Every dream of Maya’s is here in Manila, except for one who’s in New York.
While Richard is working hard in New York, Maya worked hard too. She wants to save money so that she could go to New York again for Richard. She has also been Richard’s eyes and ears in Manila. Maya attended Luke’s graduation for him that made the young Lim and their father, Roberto, happy. Among the two, Luke was the happiest, saying that finally, his Kuya will not be sad anymore since Maya came back.
The two finally felt what long distance relationship is like. It really is hard, especially that the time zone prevents them to talk that long. The only thing that now comforts Maya is by looking at the photo album she made before that got hopefully returned to its rightful owner, and also by watching the video of Richard proposing two years ago.
It was never Maya’s intention to make Richard believe that she really want another proposal. It was already her fault why their wedding was postponed. Maya sighed as she stared at the wallpaper of her phone, which is a photo of Richard and her in Central Park. She really misses him so bad. She went inside her room and opened a drawer. An idea hit her. She’s going to send a picture of her hand to Richard, wearing the engagement ring that he gave. It’s probably the most obvious idea that would scream ‘let’s get married.’
Maya kept looking at the boxes inside the drawer but still couldn’t find the ring. “Hala, asan na kaya ‘yun?” She muttered. She went downstairs and found her sister sitting on the couch, watching TV. “Kute, nakita mo ba ‘yung singsing na binigay ni Richard?”
“Aling singsing?” Cris asked, but didn’t take her eyes off the television.
“’Yung engagement ring namin? ‘Yung suot-suot ko nung una akong nakauwi dati?” Maya asked as she sat beside her sister. “Wala kasi dun sa drawer ko. Baka nakita mo.”
Cris went still for a second but Maya didn’t seem to notice since she was busy thinking where she placed the ring. “Ano, hindi ko alam bunso eh.” She answered and Maya just nodded. “Tumawag nga pala si Emman. May trabaho daw kayo ngayong 7PM ‘di ba?”
Maya’s eyes widened and glanced at the clock. It’s already six in the evening and she still needs to get ready. “Ay! Oo nga Kute!” She exclaimed. “Magbibihis lang ako. Dadaanan ako ni Emman ng 6:30 eh. Makikitingin-tingin na lang nung singsing ha, Kute?” She said as she took the stairs without even waiting for her sister to answer.
Cris could only shook her head in amusement. Obviously, she knows something is going to happen.
The job for tonight is similar to the proposal video of Richard. They simply have to follow this couple until the guy proposes. So far, the couple ate on fancy restaurant and since the guy already told the management of the restaurant about his intention, Emman and Maya’s crew didn’t have any trouble. The only thing they need to do is to remain unnoticed by the girl.
Emman, Maya, Kyle and Ruby rode in their car as Kyle drove them to their last destination. They guy is now going to propose in this venue near a lake. “Maya, panay ang overtime mo ah.” Ruby said.
“Oo nga eh. Kasi si Richard, hindi ko alam kung babalik dito sa PIlipinas. Nag-iipon na ko para kung sakali, ako ‘yung pumunta sa New York, may panggastos ako.” She replied.
“Mahirap ba ang long distance?” Kyle asked.
Maya gave Kyle a sad smile and nodded. “Hindi ako tatanggi kasi mahirap eh. Bibihira kami magtagpo ng oras kasi pagod lagi ‘yun galing trabaho. Tapos kapag naman gising siya, ako naman ‘yung tulog. Pero kung mahal niyo naman ‘yung isa’t-isa, wala namang mahirap ‘di ba? Saka iniisip ko na sobrang worth it ng lahat kung malalagpasan namin ‘to.” She said with all the confidence she has inside.
“Ito naman, ino-on-the-spot niyo naman si Mayabels!” Emman exclaimed. “Pero teka, Maya, edi miss na miss mo na si Papa Richard?” He asked.
Maya chuckled. “Kung alam niyo lang, walang minute sa bawat araw ko na hindi ko iniisip si Richard.” She answered truthfully. They arrived shortly and the crew went to the back of the car to get their things.
“Maya, mauna ka na dun. Tignan mo kung nandun na sila sa loob. Tawagan mo na lang kami.” Ruby said. Maya nodded and grabbed her camera. She got to the venue and admired the place right away. Lights are all around the place, and a red carpet is under her feet, leading her to the center of the place. It was all romantic. And since the couple is still not here, Maya decided to took photos of the whole place.
She heard a car’s engine died down and knew right away that the couple has arrived. Maya took the phone out from her pocket and called Emman’s number, but he didn’t respond. She tried calling Kyle and Ruby but they too didn’t respond. The girl didn’t really look that shocked for someone who’s getting engaged. Maybe she knew it all along, Maya thought.
The couple stopped in the middle of the whole place and the guy looked at Maya’s direction. “Hi there.” He said.
“Ah, g-good evening po Sir.” Maya muttered back. Damn, my cover’s been blown! She glanced around her to look for the others but she’s just alone.
“It’s okay, you don’t need to be nervous.” This time, the woman spoke. “Come here.” She said and Maya took a few steps near them.
“Sige lang po, Sir. Ituloy niyo lang po –“ Maya started but abruptly stopped when she saw the ring on the girl’s finger. Her eyes went wide. “N-Nakapag-propose na po kayo?!” She exclaimed. She tried to keep a casual look but at the back of her mind, she’s starting to panic. May singsing na?! Eh hindi ko nga nakunan sa camera eh! Naku naman, Maya! Palpak ang project na ‘to!
The man chuckled, bringing Maya back from her reverie. “Yeah, I already did.” He said, making Maya’s heart stop. “About a year ago.” He said, making Maya’s mouth gape. “And now we’re already married.”
“H-Ha?” Maya muttered. The couple just smiled at her. What’s happening? “Kasal na ho kayo?” The man nodded. “Eh p-paano po ‘tong ..” She trailed off, not knowing what to say next.
“You’ll find out soon.” The woman said, and as if on cue, the whole place got dark. The only light present was the moonlight. Maya felt so nervous.
“Emman! Nasaan kayo?!” Maya yelled. She doesn’t really know how to react to what just happened, but she knew that she’s so scared to death. She was walking slowly to get out of there when the place lit up again. This time, she’s sure that she’s alone. She wanted to check if the couple already left but she’s just scared to turn around.
“Psst.” Someone muttered. Maya could only close her eyes, afraid to turn around. She’s kept on feeling that the couple was a ghost or something, and now someone is trying to get her attention. “Psst.”
“EMMAN!!” Maya yelled. She felt so cold, knowing she’s alone. She couldn’t seem to continue walking. “NASAAN BA KAYO?! PATAY KAYO SA’KIN KAPAG NAKITA KO KAYO!” She continued to yell.
Maya heard a chuckle behind her, sending goose bumps all over. She’s starting to get so creep out that if she found her strength again, she would run so fast away from this place.
“Just turn around, Maya.” She heard a familiar voice, calming her down. She knew that voice so well, but afraid to think that she’s just dreaming. She turned around and saw the man she loves. Richard is standing a few meters away from her, wearing a raglan sleeved shirt with his casual jeans, wearing a smile on his face.
“Richard?” Maya muttered. She felt like she was dreaming. She suddenly chuckled at the thought.
“What’s up?” Richard asked.
Maya continued to laugh. “Wala. Naalala ko lang kasi nung nasa New York tayo, nung una tayong nagkita? Sabi mo nananaginip ka, ‘di ba? Well, I think that it’s my turn. Ako naman ang nananaginip.” She said.
Richard chuckled and started walking to the now smiling widely, Maya. He grabbed her face and started kissing her. “I missed you so much, Maya.” He muttered while their lips are still close.
“Richard?” Maya muttered once more. Richard’s lips against hers felt so real. And now, she do think that everything is real. “You’re really here?”
The man in front of her chuckled once more. “You stole my line.” He said. “Yes. I’m here.” He said as he grabbed both of her arms and dragged her to where the red carpet leads.
“Ha? Eh paano ‘yung trabaho mo sa New York?” She asked.
Richard shrugged. “They can handle it.” He said. “Besides, I resigned.”
“HA?!” Maya continued to react. “Bat ka nagresign? Wag mong sabihing gawa ko na naman ‘yan ha. Richard, kaya natin ‘to. Pwede ka namang magtrabaho sa New York eh habang nandito ako sa PIlipinas. Magastos, oo, pero .. pero bakit ka naman nagresign?”
“Hey hey, hear me out first, okay?” Richard said with a smile. He wrapped his arms around her waist. “Well, it’s not entirely my idea. Before Vanguard was opened, Papa and Tito Louie are always away. I thought they just want to buy gifts, but it turned out that Papa was sorting some business with Tito. Papa told him to be prepared for the day where he will be Vanguard New York’s CEO. I guess, Papa already saw that I can’t withstand being away from you.”
“Sinabi ni Papa ‘yon?” Maya asked.
Richard nodded happily. “I’ve been sorting things out over the past few weeks and Tito Louie is already ready for his move. I just need to give him the go signal. Then he’ll run Vanguard New York, while I run the main office here in Manila.”
“P-Pero Richard ..” She trailed off.
He smirked and pecked a kiss on Maya’s lips. “Look, this isn’t just my decision. I want your opinion too, that’s why Tito Louie is still here.” He said. “I know for a fact that you don’t want to move to New York, yes, you might want it but you’ll feel like something’s lacking. It’s because everything we have is here. I honestly can’t live in New York knowing that you’re here and knowing that there’s some way for us to be near each other. Tito Louie’s family is mostly in the US. It’ll be easier for him to move. But the decision is still partly yours, all I want you to know is that I will always be beside you, okay?” Then he assured Maya with a smile.
Maya stared at the man in front of him and felt that he’s right. She knows that Richard’s career might be in line but she also knew him well enough to even care what others might think. He sacrificed so much for his family, for her, and she knows that the only thing she can do is to give him her life. “What’s the go signal, Richard?” She asked.
Richard smiled widely and hugged Maya, knowing that she gave him her permission. “If you can really remember, you always told me before whenever you watch my proposal video, na sana, ikaw na lang ‘yung kinuha kong cameraman ‘di ba? Well, I hired Limelight, without letting you know that it’s all a lie.” He said making Maya’s mouth gape. “Jessie and Kim are my friends from college and I told them to play the role and lead you here. This is a proposal project right? But they’re already married. So ..” He trailed off so that Maya could continue what he’s going to say.
“Wala pang nagpo-propose.” She whispered.
Richard smiled widely and nodded at her. “Wala pang nagpo-propose.” He repeated. “At ngayon, meron na.” He took a step backward and bent down on his knee. He reached for his pocket and presented a ring. “Maya dela Rosa. This ring signifies my undying love for you. Our love has been tested in so many ways but it just made me want to love you even more. After leaving me at the altar two years ago, here I am, down on my knee, willing to go through all of it again, except for the part where you ran away. This time, you cannot escape. I now know all of the important people in your life, something that the Maya two years ago cannot remember. And now that you’re whole again, I would like to offer my whole life to you, so that we could spend eternity together.” Richard said, and Maya started crying. In Richard’s hand, he’s holding the very same ring he used to propose to her two years ago, the one that Maya is searching for.
“Will you marry me?” Richard asked and Maya started nodding frantically. “Yes .. yes .. yes.. “ Maya muttered. Richard slipped the ring on her finger and hugged her tight.
“Hindi mo naman kailangan magpropose ulit eh!” Maya exclaimed as she continued to sob.
“Eh sabi mo eh.” Richard defended. “Well, that’s my go signal to Tito Louie. So I’m now staying here with you, Maya.”
“Totoo na?” She asked.
Richard nodded with a huge smile. “Totoo na. Basta ‘wag mo ulit akong tatakbuhan sa araw ng kasal natin.”
“Hindi na. Hindi na, promise!” Maya said and hugged him tight again. “I love you Richard. Mahal na mahal kita.” She whispered in his ear.
“Mahal na mahal din kita, Maya.” Richard whispered back and finally kissed her. Emman, their crew, Cris, Richard and Maya’s family and friends got out from their hiding places and started clapping to the newly engaged coulple. Richard wiped Maya’s tears and kissed her again. Then she hugged him tight as the crowed cheer for them.
And that’s how their happy ever after started.
A/N : Maraming maraming salamat po sa pagtangkilik ng Chances at ng Clarity! Thank you po for being with me in its ups and dows, especially the first few chapters of Clarity where we can all feel Richard’s agony. Another story came to an end. Sana po nagustuhan niyo!