Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to laineygirl.
A/N: Hindi ako makatulog after last Friday’s episode. Are they breaking up??? No…..!!! Kaya eto, sulat ang lola nyo ng gusto kong mangyari next week. Hope you’ll like it! 🙂
At the parking lot of the condo…
“Are you breaking up with me?” Richard asked Maya.
She couldn’t look at him. Deep in her heart, she knew this was the right thing to do. She loved him more than anything, there was no question about that… she loved the children too. And she cannot bear the thought that she was the cause of the ever-growing gap between him and his children.
Richard reached for her and turned her face to look at him. Maya hesitantly met his eyes. He was angry. She saw it. Almost immediately, his expression softened as he saw the sadness in Maya’s eyes. He knew she didn’t want to break up. He knew she was simply sacrificing her own happiness for his family’s sake.
He sighed. “Maya, get some rest. Bukas na natin ito pag-usapan, ok?” His hand was on the back of her head, ruffling her hair affectionately. “I’ll fetch you at the airport after your flight and we’ll have dinner.”
She nodded without saying a word.
He walked her to the condo unit.
Maya had a flight early the next day. Although she barely slept all night, she was ready by the time the service arrived to fetch her.
Inside the van, Maya’s mind was on the events that happened outside the condo unit. Richard kissed her last night. Not a peck on the cheek or a smack on the lips. A real kiss, she thought. She touched her lips, remembering how it felt. How he gathered her in his arms, pulled her close and gently laid his lips on hers. She was taken by surprise at the intensity of emotion that was in there… and in a short while, she allowed him to deepen the kiss until they were both breathless. Maya lips curled up in a smile as she was lost in that thought. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion and everything went black.
Richard woke up smiling. He finally kissed her. I suppose we were both emotional last night after that nightmare dinner. He knew Maya wanted to breakup with him, only because she cared too much for his kids. But he was having none of that. ‘We’ll work this out’, he told her afterwards.
He arrived at the breakfast table. Nikki and Luke were already there. They both tried to avoid his eyes after what happened last night.
Luke knew that his Dad really loved Maya. When he said “I love her”, he was transported back to the time when he was the one in love with Joey. He realized his dad was feeling the same thing he did before. And even if he thought Maya was not the right girl for his dad, he did not want to stand in the way of his happiness.
Nikki pouted. She liked Maya, as a friend. But as a girlfriend for her dad? No, definitely not. I don’t know what he saw in her. She was simple, too simple. Young, too young for dad. Silly, hindi sila bagay ni dad who’s a serious guy. Baka naman Dad is just lonely, at si Ate Maya lang ang nandyan kaya he enjoys her company. I can’t imagine that he really loves her…
His phone rang just as he sat down. It was Emman. He was crying hysterically.
“Sir Richard! Si Maya po!”
Richard felt his body go cold. He stood up so suddenly that the chair fell backwards. “Emman! What’s happening? What’s wrong with Maya?!”
Nikki and Luke exchanged worried glances.
“Sir… naaksidente po yung service na sinakyan nya kanina… nasa ospital na daw sya, tumawag lang po yung time airways dito sa condo. Sir Richard… hindi daw maganda ang lagay ni Maya.”
“Oh my God, no!” Richard ran out of the house and jumped into his car before Luke or Nikki could ask what was going on.
Richard drove to the hospital like a madman. So many things were going on in his mind all at the same time. His precious Maya… please God, don’t let her die. I cannot go thru this again. Please, don’t take her away from me. He impatiently wiped the tears as they came. Despite the rush hour traffic, he was there in less than 30 minutes.
They ushered him to the ICU. As he approached her bed, he felt his knees go weak as he saw all those machines and tubes.
“Mr. Lim, I’m Dr. Kho. Maya’s been in a car accident. Apparently, a truck sideswiped their van. Bumaliktad ng tatlong beses yung van na sinasakyan nya. Maya was wearing a seatbelt, which probably saved her life. But she’s badly hurt and is presently in a coma”.
Richard took a deep breath and went nearer Maya. She had cuts all over her body, a huge, angry bruise near her cheek. Her eyes were closed, not a single muscle was moving.
“She’s breathing with the help of a respirator but her vital signs are strong. She’s young and healthy. We have enough reason to be guardedly optimistic”, the doctor said gently.
“Thank you doctor”, he was able to compose himself long enough to acknowledge the young doctor.
He took Maya’s hand and kissed it, his tears wetting the plaster holding her IV in place.
“Maya, sweetheart, I’m here”, he whispered thru his tears. He touched her face gently and brushed her hair with his fingers. “You have to get better, you hear me? You have to get better!” he was trying to convince her unresponding form as he tried to convince himself as well that she was going to pull through.
At the Lim Residence…
Manang Fe gathered everyone in the dining room.
“Naaksidente si Maya. Tumaob daw yung sinasakyan nyang van. Tumawag kanina dito si Ricardo. Di daw muna sya makakauwi at hindi maganda ang lagay ni Maya”, Manang Fe couldn’t help but shed tears. Doris and Sabel quietly hugged each other.
“Nikki, anong gagawin natin?” Luke asked her sister.
“We can’t just sit here, kuya. Maybe we should go. Kuya Joma will be bringing a bag for dad to the hospital. Sumama na tayo”, Nikki replied.
“Sige Nikki, magbihis na tayo, dali”.
As the two older kids went upstairs, Manang Fe could not help but smile thru her tears. Mababait silang mga bata. Nabigla lang ata talaga sila.
At the hospital…
Richard did not leave Maya’s side all morning. He spoke to her constantly, as if she were awake and listening. He had been watching her closely, waiting for any sign that would reassure him that she was going to be okay. There was none.
Nikki got to the room ahead of Luke and Joma. She entered quietly. Richard was seated beside Maya’s bed, holding her hand. He seemed to be talking to her.
She felt tears sting her eyes as she saw Maya. She was unconscious and so many tubes were connected to her. A machine hissed regularly while another was beeping in a constant rhythm. Ate Maya, I’m so very sorry…please get better na.
When they got nearer, Nikki realized that her dad was singing to Maya… their song, Be Careful with my Heart. A lump formed in her throat as she saw her dad singing, his voice breaking and tears filled his eyes.
“Dad?”, she said softly, touching his shoulder.
Richard stood up and turned around and saw Nikki. She was crying.
Nikki took one look at her Dad and saw in an instant all the pain in his heart. She threw her arms around him.
“Daddy, I’m so sorry!”, Nikki sobbed on his chest.
He hugged her tightly and kissed her head. “It’s alright, Niks. I understand”, he said soothingly.
Luke arrived and hugged his dad too.
“Dad…”, he couldn’t say anything more and Richard nodded in understanding.
Richard turned back to Maya and stroked her hair tenderly.
“Sweetheart, we’re all praying for you. Please wake up soon”, he choked back a sob and kissed her cheek.
Maya didn’t know where she was. She remembered being kissed. And a song was playing in the background, a familiar song… a familiar voice. It was dark but she could hear the voice clearly.
It’s my favorite song, she thought. She wanted to sing along, but no sound came from her mouth. She realized it was Richard singing. She wanted to go to him, to hug and kiss him. But she didn’t know where he was. She couldn’t see him.
Maya’s eyelids fluttered slightly as Richard bent down to kiss her cheek. Richard pulled back in surprise. He thought she opened her eyes. But when he looked at her again, they were not moving. He sighed and sat down again.
“Dad, you need to eat. Let’s have lunch muna”, Luke put his arm around his dad.
Nikki added, “Oo nga Dad, you didn’t even eat breakfast pa nga eh.”
Richard smiled at them and nodded. “Ok, baba nalang tayo sa canteen for lunch.”
At the canteen…
“So dad, tell us naman what happened? Paano mo niligawan si Ate Maya na hindi namin nalaman?” Luke teased his dad, trying to make him smile.
And smile he did. Richard remembered how awkward it was at the beginning, giving her small, thoughtful gifts, looking for an excuse to have lunch or dinner together, eventually sending her flowers and formally asking her for a date.
“What, your first date was eating balut at the baywalk??? And Ate Maya lost her shoe?” Nikki laughed out loud at Richard’s stories. She realized her dad was happy with Maya. He’s been lonely for a long time, and Maya was the sunshine he needed to smile again. As much as she wanted someone older and less silly for her dad, she knew now that she was exactly the kind of person he needed.
“Sobrang comedy naman kayo ni Ate Maya, Dad!” Luke added, laughing.
“Maya’s so funny. Tapos nadapa pa sya on the way to the car. So… I took that as an opportunity to hold her hand for the first time”. Richard smiled sheepishly as he recalled how nervous he was when he did that.
“Oh my gee Dad, that’s so kilig naman!!!” Nikki squealed. “Dad, you know, I’m really mad at you for not telling us about this before. We missed out on all those kilig moments nyo ha!”
Richard smiled. Nikki and Luke seemed to have finally accepted their relationship. He breathed a sigh of relief. He knew the kids love Maya, deep down. Maya, he suddenly remembered, was still in the ICU. His smile disappeared.
“I’d better go back to check on her. Guys, umuwi na kayo with Joma. Please tell Abby and Manang Fe not to worry. Dito muna ako.”
“Ok Dad, daan lang din kami muna kay Ate Maya before we go”, Luke said as they stood up.
In Luke’s mind… Welcome to the family Ate Maya. Nakita ko naman kung gaano kayo kasaya sa isa’t isa. Thanks for making Dad happy.
In Nikki’s mind… Ate Maya, I’m sorry for how I acted. Nabigla lang talaga ako coz I thought Dad’s girlfriend was the lawyer who looks like a model so matagal ko nang iniisip na sya yun. Kaya super nagulat ako when I realized it was you. Anyway, I’m happy for you and Dad now. We love you naman talaga eh. I think Dad needs you more than you need him, though so please take care of Dad ha. I know you will.
Richard watched his children stand quietly beside Maya’s bed. They were both coming to terms with his relationship with Maya. He heart swelled, knowing that they have finally accepted her as an important part of his life.
“Abby wants so much to see you, Ate Maya. Please get well soon na ha”, Nikki told her, touching her hand.
“Pagaling ka na, Ate Maya. Mauna na kami”, Luke said as he bade her goodbye.
Nikki? Luke? Maya heard them too. They were speaking to her in a gentle tone. Di ba galit sila sa akin? she thought. Si Abby, miss na miss ko na din sya. Kelangan makabalik ako. Nasaan ba ako?
That afternoon, Richard saw her eyelids open for a moment then close again.
“Maya!! Open your eyes again, sweetheart! It’s me, your Sir Chief”, he said excitedly.
Sir Chief? Tulungan mo ako. Gusto kitang makita. Nasaan ka ba?
“Maya, open your eyes for me, please sweetheart”, he pleaded.
Maya opened her eyes.
Two weeks later, Richard helped Maya out of the car as they arrived home. Upon his insistence, Maya will stay at the guest room for the meantime. Maya didn’t protest. She knew she still needed assistance and Emman wasn’t always home. But Richard has other plans. He wasn’t letting Maya go back to the condo ever again. He smiled… He already bought a ring.
The kids ran out to meet them. Abby clung to her legs as she gingerly bended down to hug her back. Luke and Nikki smiled at her warmly.
She smiled back at them all, tears in her eyes. She couldn’t be more thankful that the kids have finally accepted her. Richard looked at her lovingly and whispered in her ear, “Welcome home, sweetheart.”