Stay Chapter 4

Stay

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Chapter 4

Nang matapos ang tanghalian ay agad bumalik ng kuwarto si Maya.  Gustong-gusto na niyang makalayo kay Richard dahil hiyang-hiya na siya dito.  Hindi na nito magawa ang gusto nito.  Ni ang simpleng pakikipag-date sa girlfriend na si Celeste ay hindi na rin nito magawa.  Lahat ng ito ay dahil sa kanya.

Kaninang umaga ay tahimik silang umuwi ng bahay ni Richard.  Hindi nagkikibuan habang nasa sasakyan ng huli.

Matapos ang nangyari sa kanila ng nakaraang gabi ay hindi na nya alam kung ano ang gagawin niya, kung ano ang sasabihin niya.   Parang wala na siyang mukhang ihaharap dito lalong-lalo na sa girlfriend nitong si Celeste.  Ano na lang ang sasabihin nito na pagkatapos niyang hiramin ang boyfriend nito at pakasalan ay nagawa pa niyang akitin.  Yes she seduced him, siya naman talaga ang nagsimula ng lahat.  Kung hindi niya ito hinalikan ay hindi naman siya nito gagalawin.  Maraming oportunidad para pigilan niya ang pangyayari pero alam niya sa sarili niya na gusto niya, gustong-gusto niya.

Maliit pa lang siya ay crush na crush na niya ang kanyang Kuya Richard kahit sabihin pang pitong taon ang pagitan ng kanilang mga idad.  Kapitbahay nila ito before sa Cebu at dahil sa nag-iisang anak lang ito  madalas ay nasa bahay nila ito para makipaglaro o kaya naman ay alagaan silang magkapatid.

Sino ba naman ang hindi magkaka-crush dito bukod sa guwapo na ay napakatalino pa, madalas ay ito ang nagtuturo sa kanya kapag nahihirapan siya sa Math.  Ito rin ang naging tagapagtanggol niya kapag pinaiiyak siya ng mga kaklase niya dahil madalas ay tinutukso siyang patpatin at atis dahil sa dami ng pimples niya.

Aaminin niya na umiyak siya ng magpa-alam ito para manirahan na sa Manila.  Nakatapos ng Engineering si Richard at kahit sabihin pang mayaman ang angkan nito sa Cebu ay mas pinili nitong mamasukan muna sa ibang kumpanya to gain some experience at ngayon nga ay may sarili na itong kumpanya, ang Lim Aviation Services.

Noong una ay nakakauwi pa ito sa Cebu ngunit ng lumaon ay unti-unting naging madalang ang pag-uwi nito.  Ayon sa mama nito ay naging busy si Richard sa pagpapalago ng sarili nitong kumpanya.

Madalas ay nakakatanggap siya ng cards mula rito lalo na kapag may okasyon tulad ng kanyang birthday.  Lahat ng iyon ay sikretong nakatago sa kanyang tokador.

Kay Richard niya hinulma ang imahe ng kanyang ideal man.  Kaya naman ng magdalaga na siya at kahit naging marami ang kanyang manliligaw ay hindi siya nag-boboyfriend hanggang sa dumating sa buhay niya si Bart Ramirez.  Kapwa- FA niya ito sa Time Airways.  Matalino, guwapo at isa sa pinakamasugid niyang manliligaw ang huli.

“Girl aminin mo nga, tomboy ka ba?” si Emman, isa sa pinamatalik niyang kaibigan.

“Ha, hindi no!  Bakit mo naman naitanong yan?” si Maya.

“E kasi naman girl marami namang nanliligaw sa iyo tapos ni isa wala kang sinasagot.  Lalo na iyang si Bart, perfect!  Kung ako ang liligawan niyan naku bukas kasal na kami.”

Natawa si Maya.  Naaaliw talaga siya kay Emman kasi alam niyang crush na crush nito si Bart.

“Ikaw talaga.  Alam mo naman ang reason kung bakit diba.”

“Sino yung Kuya Richard mo na naman na ten years mo ng hindi nakikita.  Girl magmove-on ka na puwede ba.  Baka nga mamaya may asawa na yan hindi ka lang naimbita sa kasal.”

Kahit sabihin pang biro lang ang sinabi ni Emman, deep-inside ay nasasaktan siyang isiping baka nga may asawa na si Richard o kung hindi naman ay girlfriend.  Ang totoo, ang mga cards na natatanggap niya noon ay nawala na rin.  Nakalimutan na nga siguro siya nito.

“H-hindi naman sa ganun, gusto ko lang mag-focus sa pagiging FA ko alam mo na gusto kong maging International FA.  Isa pa alam mo naman si Papa masyadong conservative.”

“Girl hindi ka na teenager.   My God 23 years old ka na.  Maiintindihan naman siguro ng papa mo kung mag-boboyfriend ka na.  Isa pa give yourself a chance, masyado mo kasing inilagay sa pedestal ang Kuya Richard mo kaya wala ka ng nakitang maganda sa ibang lalaki.  Give Bart a chance.”

And she did, sinagot niya si Bart at naging mag-boyfriend sila hanggang mangyari ang gabing dalhin siya nito sa isang motel.

Naging isang malaking iskandalo ang nangyari lalo na ng makita pa pala sila ng kanyang Tita Amanda na lumalabas ng motel ni Bart.  Kahit anong paliwanag niya ay ayaw siyang pakinggan ng kanyang ama.  Kilala ang kanilang pamilya sa pagiging konserbatibo at hindi matanggap ng Papa niya na ang nag-iisang anak na babae nito ay naging isang pakawala.

Pinuntahan niya si Bart upang humingi ng tulong to explain to her father na walang nangyari sa kanila pero ng puntahan niya ito sa condominium nito kasama si Emman ay wala na ito.  Bigla itong naglaho na parang bula.

Mula noon ay naging malamig na ang pakikisama ng kanyang ama sa kanya.

“Mapapatawad lang kita kung makakasal ka.”  Iyun ang mga salitang narinig niya sa kanyang ama ng minsan ay subukan niya ulit itong kausapin.

Napapikit si Maya, parang sumakit na naman ang ulo niya ng maalala niya ang mga nangyari.

Nakarinig siya ng mahinang katok sa kanyang pintuan. Binuksan niya ito at nagulat siya ng makitang si Richard ang kumakatok.

“I-I’m sorry.  Gusto ko lang malaman mo na we need to pick up Celeste at 7.”

“H-ha ah e h-hindi na lang ako sasama.  Ako ng bahala kay Tita.  Go ahead with your date with Celeste.  Matagal na rin naman kayong di nakakalabas na kayo lang.”

“Are you sure?” nakakunot ang noong tanong ni Richard.

“O-o naman.  S-sige na, ako ng bahala kay Tita.” Ulit ni Maya.

“Okay.” Ang walang ganang sabi ni Richard.

Agad na sinara ni Maya ang pintuan.  Nagseselos siya, selos na selos siya.

**************

Bumalik si Richard sa kanyang kuwarto.  Gusto man niyang gibain ang pinto ng isara niya ito pero hindi niya puwedeng gawin dahil maririnig ng kanyang ina at magtataka ito.

Pasalampak siyang humiga sa kama niya.  He closed his eyes and put one of his arms on his forehead.

“Ano ba itong pinasok mo Richard?”  tanong niya sa kanyang sarili.

to be continued…

-roxygirl5-

Stay Chapter 3

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Chapter 2

8 months ago…

“Bart parang hindi ito ang daan sa pupuntahan natin.”

Hindi sumasagot si Bart at lalo namang kinabahan si Maya ng makita niyang papasok na sila sa isang motel.  Nang makapasok na ang sasakyan sa garahe ay agad bumaba si Bart at binuksan ang pinto ng kotse kung nasaan si Maya.

“Maya let’s go.”

“Hindi ako bababa!” hindi malaman ni Maya pero galit ang nararamdaman niya para kay Bart.  Niyaya siya ng boyfriend na lumabas pero hindi niya akalain na sa isang motel siya nito dadalhin.

“Maya please kung talagang mahal mo ako papayag ka.”  si Bart.  Halos isang taon na silang magkasintahan ni Maya pero hanggang simpleng halik lang ang nakukuha niya sa dalaga kaya nagpasya si Bart na dalhin ito sa isang motel hoping na hindi na ito makakatanggi pa.

“Bart kung talagang mahal mo ako hindi mo hihingin sa akin ito. “  Bumaba ng kotse si Maya  at aktong lalabas ng garahe pero agad naman siyang napigilan ni Bart.

“Ano ba Maya huwag ka namang gumawa ng gulo dito.”

“Uuwi na ako!  Kung gusto mo maghanap ka ng babaeng papayag sa gusto mo.”

Humarang si Bart sa daraanan ni Maya.  “Ok, ok uuwi na tayo ihahatid na kita.”

Tumingin lang si Maya kay Bart at parang nagdadalawang-isip na bumalik at sumakay ulit sa kotse ng huli.

“Maya please.  Ihahatid na kita.”

Tahimik lang na sumakay si Maya at ganun din naman si Bart.  Agad na pinatakbo ng huli ang kotse nito palabas ng motel.

Lingid sa kaalaman ng dalawa ay nakita sila ng Tita Amanda ni Maya dahil sa nagkaroon ng problema ang sasakyan nito sa mismong harap ng motel kung saan sila nanggaling ni Bart.

***************

Present time…

“Mukhang tinanghali kayo pareho ng gising, hindi ko kayo nakasabay sa breakfast kanina.” Si Donya Esmeralda, ang ina ni Richard.  Pansamantala itong tumigil sa bahay ni Richard dahil may ilang meetings itong kailangang puntahan sa Manila para naman sa mga businesses nito sa Cebu.

“Dito ba kayo natulog kagabi?” tanong ulit nito.

Parehong hindi sumasagot si Maya at Richard.  Napansin din ni Donya Esmeralda na parang umiiwas ang mga tingin ng mga ito sa isa’t-isa.  Humugot ito ng malalim na hininga sabay tanong ulit.  “Magkasama ba kayo sa iisang kuwarto kagabi?”

“Ma!” gulat na sabi ni Richard samantalang namula naman si Maya.

“Well, bakit hindi?  Mag-asawa naman kayo.”  Kaswal na sabi nito.  “Kahit palabas lang ang kasal ninyo, sa mata ng mga kaibigan at kakilala natin mag-asawa kayo kaya kung hindi kayo matutulog dito sa bahay siguraduhin ninyo na sa iisang kuwarto kayo maglalagi.

Hindi na alam ni Richard kung anong gagawin sa mama niya.  Talaga naman kasi kung minsan ay napaka-prangka nito.

Buti na lamang at tumunog ang telepono.

“Ricardo, si Celeste.” Si Manang Fe.

Agad na tumayo si Richard at kinuha ang telepono kay Manang Fe.

“Thank you po Manang.”

Hindi napigilan ni Maya ang hindi sumimangot ng marinig ang pangalan ni Celeste na agad namang napansin ni Donya Esmeralda.

“You’re calling my phone?…  Sorry we’re having lunch, I forgot it in my room… Dinner tonight?… Sure, sure… I”ll pick you up, say seven??… See you then, bye.”

Bumalik si Richard sa kanyang upuan.

“O Maya, bakit parang hindi yata nababawasan ang pagkain mo?” tanong ni Donya Emeralda ng mapansing parang walang ganang kumain si Maya.

“P-po… masama po kasi ang pakiramdam ko.  Medyo masakit po kasi ang katawan ko.” Gusto sanang ibalik ni Maya ang nasabi niya ngunit huli na.  Naramdaman niya ang pamumula ng mukha niya lalo na ng makita niyang nakatingin si Richard sa kanya.

“Aba iha, you need to take some medicine.” Pag-aalalang sabi nito kay Maya.

“S-sige po.  Kakain lang po ako kahit kaunti.”

Bumaling muli ito kay Richard.  “You’re going out tonight son?”

“Yes Ma.  I’m going out with Celeste.” Nakatingin pa rin si Richard kay Maya.

“Ricardo, may I remind you that people knows that you and Maya are married.  Ano na lang ang sasabihin ng mga tao kung lagi pa kayong nagkikita ni Celeste?  Pumayag yang girlfriend mo sa set-up ninyo so she also needs to obey the rules and one of the rules is hindi kayo puwedeng lumabas dalawa lalo na kung hindi ninyo kasama si Maya.”

“Ma, dinner-date lang yun.”

“Ricardo, inumpisahan mo ang kalokohang ito kaya kailangan panindigan mo!” ang mariing sabi ni Donya Esmeralda.

Wala ng nagawa si Richard kundi tumahimik.  Tama ang ina niya siya ang nag-umpisa ng lahat ng ito.

to be continued…

-roxygirl5-

Stay Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

8 months ago…

“Papa let me explain.” Kahit nararamdaman pa rin niya ang sampal na ibinigay ng ama ay binalewala niya iyun. She needs to explain her side to her father.

“At ano pa ang dapat mong ipaliwanag. Nakita ka ng Tita Amanda mo with that Bart Ramirez going out of a motel.”

“Pero pa wala pong nangyari sa amin.”

“Sinong lolokohin mo?” Isa pa sanang sampal ang dadapo sa pisngi niya kung hindi lang napigilan ng nakakabatang kapatid niya ang ama.

“Pa, hindi ko po alam na sa motel niya ako dadalhin kaya sumama ako sa kanya pero pa wala po talagang nangyari sa amin.”

“Pakakasalan ka ng Bart Ramirez na yan dahil kung hindi, pareho ko kayong mapapatay ng lalaking yun.”

“Pa please.” Umalis na ang kanyang ama.

Wala na siyang nagawa kundi ang umiyak na lamang.

*************************

The Night before…

“Maya where have you been? Kanina pa kita hinahanap.” Si Richard. He felt a little guilty for leaving her with their friends. He needed to talk to Celeste about something really important.

Hindi sumasagot si Maya. Sapo-sapo lamang nito ang ulo at umiiling.

“Maya…” ulit nito.

“What?!”

“You’re drunk.” Umupo siya sa tabi nito and started rubbing her back.

“I-I’m not drunk t-tipsy lang ako.” Hindi na alam ni Maya kung tipsy lang ba talaga siya o lalo siyang nalalasing dahil sa ginagawa ni Richard.

“Stay here. I’ll be back.”

“Iiwan mo na naman ako?” parang batang sabi ni Maya.

“Sandali lang ako. Just stay here huwag ka na uling mawawala ok.”

Tungo lang ang naisagot ni Maya.

Ilang sandali pa ay bumalik na si Richard. Inalalayan ni Richard si Mayang makatayo. Napapikit si Maya at napasandal sa dibdib nito, smelling his sexy, masculine Armani perfume. “Ang bango talaga ng lalaking ito.” Sa loob-loob niya.

“W-where are we going?” medyo nararamdaman na talaga ni Maya ang hilo.

“I got us a room.” Ang simpleng sagot nito. Napangiti si Richard ng makita niya ang panlalaki ng mga mata ni Maya.

“Don’t worry, magpapahinga ka lang hanggang kaya mo ng umuwi. Mapapagalitan tayo pareho ni mama kapag nalaman niyang pinabayaan kitang uminom.” Ngumiti ulit ito.

Nang makarating sa pintuan ng kuwarto at mabuksan ito ay lalong nagulat si Maya ng buhatin siya ni Richard. Dahan-dahan siyang inilapag nito sa kama at saka umupo sa tabi niya.

“Are you ok? Do you want anything? Coffee?” halatang-halata ang pag-aalala ni Richard para kay Maya.

Iling lamang ang naisagot niya sa lalaki. Richard has always been a gentleman kahit naman nung mga bata pa sila.

Maya placed her hands on Richard’s face and started caressing it. “Thank you.” Blame it all in the alcohol that killed all her common senses but soon she pressed her lips against his. And with a whisper that was barely audible, she told him she wanted him.

“M-Maya…”

“Richard…”

“A-are you sure?” si Richard. He wants to know.

“I am so sure to be scared.” Maya told him.

Alam ni Mayang pagkatapos ng lahat ay pagsisisihan niya ang kung ano mang damdamin ang pinakawalan niya. But she has always loved him.

Richard bent his face to kiss her. Slowly at first but it became demanding, passionate.

He started undressing her until she was naked before him. Richard stops kissing her for awhile and started admiring her, tracing his hands on Maya’s body.

“God you’re more beautiful than I imagined you would be.”

“R-richard…” Maya is on emotional wreck right now. Hindi niya alam kung pipigilan pa ba niya ang nangyayari but she started it. Kasalanan niya. Bukas na lang siya magsisi.

Richard looking on her swollen lips kissed her again and started removing his own clothes.

He went down and licked the top of her breasts repeatedly, leaving butterfly kisses as he went.

Hindi na alam ni Maya kung ano ang gagawin niya. She just closed her eyes… these are all knew to her.

Richard then traveled south and parted her legs and teasing “it” gently with his lips. When Richard thinks it’s time he finds his way to her lips and kissed her again.

Richard straddles her and gently lowers himself to her… breaking the barrier.

Maya gave a soft cry, her innocence now gone.

He leaned his forehead against her. “I’m sorry baby, if I could take the pain for you I would.”

“R-richard…”

“Shhh, just let the pain subside.” He moves in and out of her until both reached their climax. Richard collapsed on top of her.

Pareho pa silang naghahabol ng hininga ngunit ng makabawi, Richard gathered her to his side at mahigpit siyang niyakap nito.

“Sleep now baby.” Then Richard kissed her forehead.

Pagkatapos ng lahat ay tsaka naramdaman ni Maya ang pagtulo ng luha niya.

*************************

Nakaramdam si Richard na parang may kulang kaya naman nagising siya. Nang makita niyang nag-iisa lang siya sa kama ay agad siyang bumalikwas ng bangon. Hinahanap niya ang babaing kagabi lang ay kasiping niya at sigurado niyang kani-kanina lang ay kayakap niya.

Inikot niya ang mga mata sa kuwarto. Nakita niya ang sapatos nito kaya alam niyang nasa confort room lamang ito at nagbibihis. Nakahinga siya ng maluwag.

Alam niyang magiging malaki ang pagbabago sa kung ano mang relasyon meron sila.

Kinuha niya ang kanyang pantalon at nag-umpisang magbihis at dahil hindi niya makita ang kanyang polo ay pinili na lang niyang umupo sa gilid ng kama at hintayin ang paglabas ni Maya.

Nasa ganun siyang posisyon ng makita niyang lumabas si Maya at dahan-dahang sinasara ang pintuan ng banyo.

“Where do you think you’re going?” tanong ni Richard na ikinagulat naman ni Maya.

“Ahh k-kasi ano kasi.” Maya kalma lang, saway niya sa sarili.

Lalo siyang sumimangot, halatang naghihintay ng matinong sagot mula kay Maya.

“U-u-uuwi na sana a-ako.”

“Uuwi ka na and you didn’t even bother to wake me. Ano iiwan mo lang ako dito?”

“K-kasi ang himbing ng tulog mo ayaw naman kitang gisingin.”

“Maya iisang bahay lang ang uuwian natin bakit kailangan mong umuwi mag-isa?”

Lumapit si Richard kay Maya na lalo namang ikinataranta ng huli lalo pa’t walang damit-pang-itaas si Richard.

“Are you okay? Did I hurt you?” tanong ulit nito.

“U-umuwi na tayo.”

Richard leaned over and tried to kiss her.

“NO!!!” si Maya.

to be continued…

-roxygirl5-

Stay Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Nakaramdam si Maya ng pananakit ng katawan na gumising sa kanya. She tried stretching her arms kaso may kung anong pumipigil sa kanya. She slowly opened her eyes at muntikan na siyang sumigaw. Pumikit siya ulit at inisip na baka nananaginip lamang siya ngunit ng idilat niya ang mga mata niya ay yun pa rin ang nakikita niya.

Unti-unti niyang tinanggal ang pagkakayakap ng lalaki sa kanya, sabay dasal na sana ay hindi ito magising. Nang makakawala sa mga bisig nito ay muli pa niya itong tiningnan, naririnig pa niya ang mahinang hilik nito kaya naman sigurado siya na tulog na tulog pa ito.

“Guwapo ka pa rin.” Usal niya sa sarili habang tinitingnan ang lalaking kanina lamang ay yakap-yakap siya.

“Ano ka ba Maya, malaking gulo itong ginawa mo. Ang tanga-tanga mo talaga.” Saway niya sa sarili.

She grabbed his polo shirt which had been carelessly thrown over the floor at tinakip sa hubad na katawan. Tahimik niyang hinanap ang sariling damit and tiptoed her way to the bathroom.

Huminga siya ng malalim. Ngayon ay nasa harap na siya ng salamin, wala na ang Mayang napaka-ayos kagabi. Right in-front of her is a woman who just spent a satisfying night with her lover.

Lover??? Natawa siya. Ni hindi niya alam kung ano sila ng lalaking ngayon ay natutulog sa kamang inalisan niya.

Kinain siya ng selos kagabi ng makita niyang dumating ang girlfriend nito. Wala siyang karapatang maramdaman iyun pero nasasaktan siya kapag nakikita niyang nagbubulungan ang dalawa habang siya ay nasa isang sulok.

“KASALANAN MO ITONG LAHAT BART RAMIREZ, KASALANAN MO LAHAT!!!”

Pinipigilan niya ang sariling hindi maiyak. Kailangan na niyang magmadali, ayusin ang sarili at maka-alis sa lugar na yun.

Naghilamos siya upang matanggal ang natitirang make-up sa mukha at saka inayos ang buhok na nagulo.

Hinubad niya ang polo shirt na suot at isinuot ang sariling bestida. Hanggang ngayon ay nararamdaman pa niya ang sakit ng katawan.

“She just lost her virginity.”

Huminga siya ng malalim at napakagat sa labi. Pinipigilan ang napipintong pag-iyak . “Ayaw ko ng umiyak, tama na.” saway niya ulit sa sarili.

Dahan-dahan siyang lumabas ng banyo at dahan-dahan ding isinira ang pintuan nito. Pero napatalon siya ng makita niya ang lalaking kanina lamang ay tulog na tulog.

He was sitting on the edge of the bed. Nakasimangot ito, halatang galit.

“Where do you think you’re going?” tanong nito.

to be continued…

-roxygirl5-

The Guardian Angel – part 1

A/N: This is a continuation to The Guardian Angel – Prologue.

 

Author: princemackaroo

 

~*~

 

Elle, together with her father Edmund, sat at the waiting lounge. She and her mother Susie were on their way to Megamall in Ortigas when an over-speeding bus unceremoniously cut them out causing Susie to lose control over their car and slam it against a post. Elle miraculously survived the crash and much to everyone’s bewilderment, unscathed. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of her mother. She suffered a severe head trauma, a couple of broken ribs, and broken left femur and right fibula. Her chances of survival are very minimal.

I was standing at one corner, watching Elle sleep in her father’s arms. She looked so peaceful, oblivious of everything that’s happening around her.

“Everything will be okay Elle. Mommy will be okay,” Edmund whispered in Elle’s ear. The troubled expression never left his face. He’s been anxiously waiting and praying for Susie to wake up, for her to survive this. But Father has different plans for them.

“It’s time.” The good angel Simon stood by my side, looking impassively at Susie’s frail body. We both knew what he meant. I turned and looked at Elle and her father. “They’ll be fine. Father will see them through it all,” said Simon.

I looked at him and nodded my head. We may be a higher form of being and cannot feel pain the same way a human does but we know how to have compassion and love, the same way the Father does.

In a couple of seconds, loud disturbing noises came from the apparatuses that are attached to Susie. Edmund got up on his feet, looking frantic more than ever. Nurses were scampering around, followed by a doctor.

I watched through the glass window how the nurses and the doctor tried to save Susie and stabilize her dropping heart rate, all to no avail. Her heart rate continued to drop until it went flat. Susie’s soul detached from her body and she was approached by Simon.

“Come,” Simon called out to her.

Susie smiled at him and took his extended hand. She stopped momentarily in front of me and smiled. “Thank you, for saving my baby.”

“Her time has not come yet. She still has a full-life ahead of her.”

Susie nodded her head in understanding and was ushered by Simon to her now new home. I watched as they disappeared in thin air. I was about to glance back at Elle and his dad when the people inside the ICU caught my attention. Almost a minute had already lapsed but the doctor is still adamant and determined in bringing Susie back to life. He discarded the CPR equipment and tried to manually pump her chest. The nurses were already calling out his attention, asking him to stop, informing him that it is all over but he would not hear any of them. He continued to give Susie CPR. And when his strength waned down, he finally stopped. With much resignation, he turned to one of the nurse and informed them of Susie’s time of death.

I watched as the doctor hung his head low for a few seconds before he straightened up and went out of the room and approached Edmund and Elle. His vigorous efforts to save Susie and the sincere anguish he felt when he failed to save her impressed me. Even when half of mankind had gone bad and went on with their evil ways, there still are a lot of things that are admirable about them, and this is one of them.

As the doctor finally reached Edmund and Elle, only then have I noticed him closely. He was relatively tall, approx. 5’10” in height, well-built, and a Chinese who possess a pair of expressive eyes. Eyes that reminded me of someone – Richard.

With an apologetic tone and sincere sympathy, the doctor informed Edmund that Susie had passed away due to the internal injuries that she sustained. The doctor placed a hand on Edmund’s shoulder, as the latter broke down and cried over his deceased wife.

“Dr. Lim!” A nurse approached the doctor, stopping from his tracks as he was already about to leave. “Doc, kailangan niyo pong i-sign ito.”

The doctor took the papers from the staff and signed it. After handing it back, he continued to walk away and for some reason, I found myself following him. He rode the elevator, disembarked, and entered an office where his name is nicely etched on the glass door, Richard T. Lim, M.D. Neurosurgeon. And I smiled. For the first time, after the night that I left him, I saw him once more, the boy who holds a very special place in my heart.

I passed thru the door and stood before him. He was sitting on his swivel chair, leaning back with his eyes closed. One can easily sense his somber mood. This somehow tells me that he was still the same old Richard that I knew. The Richard who is compassionate, selfless, and loves helping other people, especially those in need.

“Everything okay brod?” A man, wearing a lab coat on top of a white polo, tie, slacks and leather shoes entered the room and approached Richard.

Richard opened his eyes. “Not really brod.” He sat up straight and heaved out a sigh. “I just lost a patient.”

Richard’s friend nodded his head in understanding. “I heard. But I don’t think there really is anything that could be done to save her. From what I heard, grabe daw ang injuries na na-sustain niya from the crash.”

“Yes. The injuries she sustained from the crash are what caused her to die. But still, it’s not an excuse for me not to have saved her. You should’ve seen her daughter. She was still so young. And now she’ll have to live her life without her mother by her side.”

“Brod, you know how everything happens for a reason. Besides, kung talagang oras na niya, oras na niya. You really won’t be able to do anything about that fact. Nothing we do can ever save her from her fate,” explained Richard’s friend.

“I know Ryan.” Richard let out another sigh. “Naaawa lang kasi ako sa naiwan niyang mag-ama.”

Ryan smiled at Richard, and I can tell he too was amused by Richard’s kindness and compassion. “They’re being watched over brod. They’ll get through this. Hindi naman sila bibigyan ng ganitong pagsubok ng Diyos kung hindi nila ito kaya eh.”

After a few more minutes, Ryan eventually got up on his feet. He informed Richard that he still has a couple of rounds before he call it a day. As he was making his way towards the door, Ryan turned his head and looked my way giving me a sense that he somehow knows I’m here or that he could actually feel my presence. But before I could further ponder on the possibilities, Ryan continued to walk and went on with his way.

Richard leaned back on his swivel chair and closed his eyes once more. I don’t know what’s going on in his mind but I can feel his sadness. It shows in his aura.

Without shifting from his position, he took out his mobile phone from the pocket of his pants and started dialing a number. After a couple of tries, he’s still getting the same response. He tried scrolling down on his phonebook and called a different number. After a while, a smile emerged from his lips and he started to speak.

“Hi Ma!” Richard said.

“Ricky hijo! Napatawag ka?” His mother Esmeralda asked.

“Wala naman Ma. I just missed you.”

“Ang anak ko talaga! Well I missed you too hijo!”

“How was Papa?”

“Your papa is doing fine son. Ikaw? How are you doing there? Is everything okay?”

Richard heaved out a sigh. “Okay naman Ma. Just another day in the hospital.”

“You sounded tired son. Baka hindi ka nagpapahinga ng maayos ha? Hindi naman tama yan hijo! You’re a doctor and you yourself should know that too much work isn’t good for your health! You should rest as well!” reprimanded Esmeralda.

Richard chuckled at her mother’s rant. “Ma, I’m okay. I don’t take my health for granted. I don’t overwork myself. Na-mi-miss ko lang talaga kayo ni Papa.”

“Aww.. Well I miss my unico hijo so much as well. Don’t worry son. I’ll ask your Papa na umuwi kami diyan para magbakasyon at makasama ka namin.”

Richard smiled. “That’ll be a wonderful idea Ma. I’ll look forward to it.”

“Well you definitely should!” chuckled Esmeralda. “By the way, how was Alex?”

“She’s doing fine Ma. We’re doing great.”

“That’s good to hear son. Ang gusto ko pag-uwi namin ng Papa mo, makapag-bonding naman kami niyang fiancé mo. And sana naman ay pag-usapan narin natin ang details ng wedding niyo.”

Richard let out a laugh. “Ok Ma. I’ll tell her.”

“Good. O pano son? I got to go. May pupuntahan pa kasi ako. I’ll catch up with you soon okay? Always take care of yourself ok?”

“Yes Ma, I will. You guys take care of yourselves as well. I love you.”

“I love you too son. Bye.”

After the phone call with his mom, Richard’s mood visibly changed. He’s now smiling though the hint of sadness is still there lingering in his eyes. He pressed the speaker on his desk phone and dialed an extension.

“Yes Dr. Lim?”

“Hi Liza. Do I still have any scheduled appointment?”

“Wala na po sir. You are free for the day.”

“Thank you. I’m leaving early today. Just call me for any emergency.”

“I will Doc.”

After the conversation, Richard packed his things up and went out of his office. He rode the elevator once more and this time hit the basement. As he got out, he went to his car and started driving. Am not really sure where exactly he is going but I just sat back at the backseat, contented to simply watch him, look over him just like how I used to when he was still a young kid.

He stopped by a flower shop and bought a bouquet of red roses. A couple of minutes more, we rounded a corner and entering a basement of a high rise condominium building. We boarded the lift once again and disembarked on the 20th floor. We turned left and I watch him stop in front of a unit and enter the code onto the security pad.

As we entered the unit, a nagging sense hit me. Something isn’t right. I brushed the feeling off. In a way, I know what I doing was wrong. I shouldn’t actually be loitering around and following another human who was obviously beyond my jurisdiction. By now, I should’ve been back to heaven and inquiring about my next assignment but I got too preoccupied by Richard that all I want at the moment is to catch up with him and know how and what he has become.

“Alex? Babe?” Richard called out but got no answer. He walked to the living room and found everything in place. He then walked to the kitchen and got himself a glass of water. Rinsing the glass, he placed it back on the rack. He was already on his way back to the living room when he stopped on his tracks. He turned right and started walking towards one of the bedrooms. His face had a darkened expression and only then did I start to notice the noise coming from the bedroom. Before I could react any further, Richard was already opening the door.

I may not have the ability to read minds or know everything that’s happening or that’s going to happen, but the dark, hard as stone and cold as ice expression that looms over his face and the menacing look he has in his eyes are already enough to predict the things that are running in his mind. Without thinking twice, I reached out to him, touched his shoulder and washed him with some calmness.

Reluctantly, he turned his back. With tears rolling down from his eyes, he started walking out of the unit.

 

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