Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Fanfic_Newbie. This is a continuation to Mean to Be- parts 1-3.
A/N:Continuation po .. Salamat sa pagbasa
Di inakala ni Richard na mahihirapan siyang mag-adjust sa bagong estado sa buhay.
Noon una, para nakawalang ibon sa hawla si Richard. Subsob sa trabaho pero panay ang party Work hard. Play hard. Yan ang naging motto ni Richard. …
Pero di ito nagtagal, unti-unti niyang namiss ang stability na buhay may-asawa. Ang pag-aalaga at pagmamahal na bigay ni Maya. Ang maliliit na bagay tulad ng kape sa umaga at ang nakaayos nang damit na gagamitin niya for the day..Ang mga paalala ni Maya sa kanya na inakala niyang nagging noon ay hinahanap-hanap niya.. Pati ang travel bag niya na inaayos ni Maya at the drop of the hat for his sudden out of town trips. Ngayon lagi siya may nalilimutan kung nasa biyahe..
Dahil wala siya uuwiang pamilya, lalong naging workaholic si Richard. Pati si Stephanie, nagalit sa kanya dahil wala na itong panahon para sa kanya. Ang katotohan, iniiwasan niya si Stephanie dahil naalala niya ang pasakit na ibingay niya kay Maya.
“Ano ba Richard! Parang tao-tauhan na ba lang ako .. sisiputin mo kung kelan mo lang gusto. Palagi mo akong pinaghihintay. Mas mabuti pa noong di kayo naghiwalay ng asawa mo, lagi kang may panahon para sa akin. Hindi ako kagaya ng martir mong asawa na sa wakas ng karaon ng lakas ng loob na iwan ka.”
“Wala ako pinapangako sa iyo. Alam mong laro lang sa akin ang lahat ng ito . ikaw ang humabol at umakit sa akin”
“This is bull! I will not take this from you kahit na malakas ang physical attraction ko sa iyo at you satisfy me in bed.”
“You are free to leave Stephanie. No one is holding you back.”
One thing Richard always looked forward to are his scheduled time with Luke. Kahit na maraming trabaho. he religiously picked him up every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. He also made sure that he is present in all the events in Luke’s life .. birthdays, holidays, parent-teacher meetings, school shows. .. It was his excuse to see Maya.
Maya started her new life. She took a good look at herself and vowed to change. She let herself go when she was married to Richard, She focused on Luke and the household making sure everything was perfect.. she forgot about herself .. Now is HER time.
Maya started to exercise more, studied the fashion trends, developed her own style. She asked her parents for help to go back to school and finish her engineering degree.
She deliberately overworked herself in the morning blocking out any thought of RIchard. It was especially hard when Richard picks up Luke. She would pretend not to be eager to see him, always presenting a strong, angry front. But inside, she was like a teenager stealing glances at her crush.
At night, it was a different story, in the privacy of her own room and comfort of her own bed, she cried herself to sleep.. She misses Richard so much.
After 8 mos. of separation, Maya’s efforts were not wasted.. Richard can visibly see the changes in Maya every time she picks up Luke. She is fit, healthier, happier, relaxed and more beautiful. She is gaining her confidence back. She is slowly becoming the Maya he met in college, and even better. She is going to graduate soon and she is working as a temp at a well-known multinational company.
” What have I done to her? She did not deserve the hardship and the heartache I caused her.”
He was remorseful but what can he do, she surely will not take him back? He is doubtful that she will ever look at him the same way she did when they first met.
‘Brod, ito na annulment papers sa brown envelope. Sign it then I will give it to Atty Gee to have Maya sign it. And then you are free as a bird”
”Pakilagay mo lang diyan. I will sign it later. Weeks passed at dahan-dahang natabunan ang brown envelope.”
Two weeks to graduation..
Lingid sa kaalaman ni Maya, kinumbida ni Mrs. dela Rosa si Richard sa graduation ni Maya.
“Alam mong galit ako sa lahat ng ginawa mo sa kanya. Pero pamilya pa rin kayo. Huwag ka na lang magpapakita sa kanya. In a way, salamat na din sa iyo. Hindi siya magpupursige na matapos kung di kayo nagkagalit.”
”Salamat po Mrs. dela Rosa.”
Graduation day.. Naiiyak si Maya.
“Dapat nandito ka sa tabi ko Richard. kadamay sa hirap at ginhawa di ba..” ito ang nasa isip niya habang tumatanggap ng congratulations mula sa mga kaanak.
“Maya masaya ako para sa iyo. Ito na ang umpisa ng iyong tagumpay.Sayang.. dapat nasa tabi mo ako. “ Bulong ni Richard sa sarili habang nakatayo sa likod ng auditorium, minamasadan si Maya at ang kanyang kamag-anak at kaibigan
Napalingon si Maya kung saan nakatayo si Richard. Pahabol niyang tinitignan ang mamang papalayo.. Parang si Richard yon ah..
“Sinong hinahanap mo hija? ” Tanong ng ina niya.
“Wala po Mommy. Let’s go to dinner.”
“May job opening sa California and I am going to take it. It is a good career move for me . I am taking Luke. You can visit Luke any time.” Maya was not asking, she was telling Richard,
He looked at her face to see any emotion but all he saw was a beautiful face void of any expression. No fear. No doubt. No tears.
“What?? For Godsake. You are taking my son away from me! Hindi lang parang sa Quiapo ka pupunta. That is 14000 kms away.”
He was understandably angry.
“It is not like I can just pop in anytime. And who will take care of him while you climb the career ladder? What if you travel for work? Saan mo siya iiwan? “
“To answer your concerns, I have several relatives in the US, in California pa nga. Most of them are 2-3 blocks from the condo I bought. They all have live-in help. My parents are staying with me for 6 mos while I start my new life there. I have researched all the schools and I have a short list that I will visit with Luke during summer.”
“You see, I am not the Maya that was married to you. I have an opinion and I will voice it out. I was not born yesterday. I have already thought about the problems and I have solutions for them. The only problem I have now is you. “
“This is what I propose. You get him for the whole summer, Christmas break and spring break. You can also visit him any time.”
“Have you asked Luke’s input in all these?”
“Yes, and he is excited to come with me.”
She already bought a condo, he thought. There is no way she will change her mind.. He looked at her, pleading to reconsider but he knows that once she set her mind on something, it will not change. He owes it to her too.. to find herself; her place, and her happiness… without him.
“So when are you planning on leaving?” Richard cannot say anything but concede
Hinatid ni Richard ang kanyang mag-ina sa airport
He knelt in front of his son to give him a hug good bye. He did not expect what came out of his son’s mouth.
“Dad.. I am sorry. I chose to live with mom. It does not mean that I don’t love you. I think she will need me more than you. I see her cry every night since we moved to Lola’s condo. I pray that she will not cry anymore.”
“Luke, my son, today you become a man at 6. Take care of mom. I will visit when I can. Call me any time.” Richard’s voice broke as he hugged Luke. He did not dare look at Maya.. He only knew that she had her back turned on them pretending to look for their gate. Knowing her, she was already crying.
Richard stood up. Said a brief goodbye to Maya. He did not even wait for her answer.
She wiped her tears and turned around.. He was gone.
Maya had a very heavy heart as she entered the plane that will take her to her new life. She still loves Richard sa kabila ng mga pasakit na ibinigay sa kanya but he seem not to care about her anymore. She squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and said.. I can do it.. I have to do it. There is no other way..
Maya and Luke are now living in California and they have successfully adjusted to their new life. Maya concentrated on her career and taking care of Luke. With her parents by her side guiding and helping her, it seemed like she was moving on.. .
“James salamat talaga for the opportunity. I needed to leave the Philippines to make something of myself and you helped me attain that.”
“Naku wala yon Maya. I saw that you had the credentials for the job at madali ka namang katrabaho kaya yan nandito ka ngayon.”
James was a classmate in college at ang karibal ni Richard kay Maya. His family owned the company Maya is working for as a MRO Program director.
When James and Maya became very close, it was then that James revealed his well-guarded secret to Maya.
On a Saturday morning, Maya and James were waiting for Luke to finish his swimming lessons. May dumaan na hunk sa tapat nila. Naka-board shorts and no shirt, very tan.It was easy to see that the hunk was a regular at the pool and the gym. Halos mapatili si James sa nakita. James bit his lower lip as his eyes followed the hunk. Nagulat si Maya sa reaksyon ng kaibigan.
“James control yourself.” Nakangiting sabi ni Maya
“I cannot help it, Maya bells, ang guapo!”
She followed Richard’s career and success even though she was far from him. It was easy, he was constantly in the Technology and Business magazines and newspapers.. He was also in society articles and photos, always a new girl by his side.
Oh.. he is getting an award and he is a speaker at the MRO convention in Paris.
“James, are you attending the MRO convention in Paris? Ilan sa company natin ang invited?”
“Three, I was thinking of taking Liza and Mr. Yamaguchi.”
“Please”, Maya pleaded “Please let me attend the convention instead of Mr. Yamaguchi”
“Let me guess. Your ex will be there? “
Napangiti lang si Maya
Maya was in the process of dressing up for the awards dinner when she heard her hotel room door open and close. She stepped out of the bathroom wearing a bathrobe to check ….
“What are you doing here? This is my room!” Sabay silang nagsalita
“There must be a misunderstanding here.”
“Obviously..” Maya said
Richard called the concierge.. “I am sorry Maya all the hotels are booked because of the convention. Looks like we will be sharing this room. And for your information, this is my room.”
“No it can’t be.” … then it dawned on her… “I was wondering why they gave me a suite.. They give suites to the awardees.”
“Ok. Fine. 2 nights will not be so bad but I will complain sa management.”
“Give the kid a break Maya, I already gave her a piece of my mind”
“And, it was an honest mistake. You registered as Mrs. Lim. You did not change your name back to dela Rosa.”
She was embarrassed. Note to self: I need to get that annulment document from Atty Gee.
Richard saw that she quickly tried to hide her hand. She is still wearing her wedding ring.
Maya looked at Richard. Her heart skipped a beat.. He looked tired. He has not shaved for a day but still he looks deliciously good. He is very fit and at the top of his game. She wondered who is the flavor of the month.
Richard looked at Maya. What a delightful surprise. It has been a long time since he last saw her. She looked so innocent and fresh and o so sexy in that bath robe.
Maya was the first to get out of the reverie they both seem to be in…
“Ok.. I have to get ready for my date. I won’t be long in the bathroom I know you need to get ready too.”
“Tell me you are NOT wearing that.. Points to the revealing red dress Maya had on.. The neckline is too low, the hemline is too short, and the fabric is too clingy. You have too much makeup on; your lips are too red. You are comfortable in those stilettos?” He was shocked when Maya was finished getting ready for the dinner.
“And you look good too Richard.“
He always looked good in a tuxedo. Gone was the tired look. He is now clean shaven and looked immaculate and smelled oh soo good.
“I don’t need to explain myself to you as she proceeded to remove her wedding band.”
“I want to look attractive for my date. It has been a long time since I went out on a date and had a good time.”
“And your idea of having a good time is getting laid? Because that is what that outfit is suggesting.” Richard asked.
Maya blushed. “If that is where it leads to, why not?”
“You have changed and not for the better!!”
“Lagi na tayong mag-aaway noong mag-asawa tayo hanggang ngayon ba naman, di na tayo mag-asawa Richard.”
“So tell me.. Why were you still wearing your wedding ring?”
“Housekeeping yata” .. Saved by the bell si Maya.
“James” “Maya your date is here.” Richard said flatly
Maya went to the door to meet James
He whistled, Gave her a peck on the cheek. And in James’ signature loud and boisterous way..
“Good evening My Beautiful”
“Was that Richard?”
“Yes. Long story. Tara”
“Maya, kelan ka pa nagdamit ng ganyan, sigurado ka bang tatagal ka sa heels na yan.. In fairness.. You look lovely.”
“You hit the bulls eye… I think you are successful in making him jealous.
Richard went to the dinner alone. He was brooding the whole time. He scanned the room for Maya. She is having a good time all right but it was James who looked like enjoying the most .. His arm around her waist the whole time.
It was 10 pm when he lost sight of Maya and James. He felt defeated and so angry.
“I had her. She was my wife and I lost her.”
He entered the room absentmindedly went directly into the bathroom then he saw the offending dress hanging in the bathroom door.
He heaved a sigh of relief. “That is my Maya”. He thought She did not sleep with James.
She was sleeping and had pillows dividing the bed in two, Clearly, she did not want to sleep close to him.
He remembered Maya did not like air conditioner turned on when sleeping. She got cold easily so he turned the air conditioner on, set it to a low temperature setting and hid the additional blankets
Morning came.. pillows were on the floor, Maya’s head was nestled on Richard’s chest, his arm around her, her arms draped across his waist .. they were sharing one comforter.
She took a deep breath and smiled, eyes still closed.. She thought she was dreaming.. She love that smell. It brings back memories of her first love.
“Teka meron bang amoy sa panaginip?”
Suddenly, she opens her eyes tried to remember where she was. Bakit ang ginaw? Why is Richard beside her? Worse she was in his arms.
The early years of married life came rushing back. When everything was perfect and innocent. When she woke up to his handsome face and she felt secure.. when he loved her..
He is still asleep, she thought. She is enjoying the warmth his body was giving and the familiarity and ordinariness of the embrace. Might as well, she decided. She went back to sleep.
Unknown to her, Richard was already awake, but like her was enjoying the position they were in. He was afraid that Maya will break the embrace and get angry. Fortunately, she went back to sleep.
When she finally woke up, Richard had already ordered breakfast for them and was reading the paper.
“Good morning sleepy head.” Richard called out.
“Good morning honey.. o I mean Richard”. She blushed at her mistake
I need to check on Luke. She called Luke to check on him. He was staying with his lola.
“Is dad with you? You gave the same hotel contact info and room number?”
“Yes Luke. The hotel made a mistake.”
“Lola, yes daw po. Mom and dad are together in one room.”
Napangiti lang si Mrs dela Rosa at sinabing “Ang tadhana nga naman..”
She can only imagine her daughter’s blushing face.
She was getting ready for sightseeing. As usual she had her plans laid out.
“Richard, when are you flying out?” Maya asked for she hated touring by herself.
“Anything planned today?”
“Care to join me? I am taking a tour and will walk around the city”
They visited Basilica Sacré Coeur, the Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. They were like carefree silly kids, enjoying the sights, laughing, eating and taking pictures. At every moment, Richard would be a chivalrous guy, opening doors for Maya, asking if she needs or wants anything, even leading her by touching the small of her back or offering his arm as they walked.
They updated each other about their lives as the day progressed.. Maya was careful to say that James was a suitor. Richard told her that Stephanie has gotten married with her high school sweetheart and had a kid of her own. Richard volunteered that he had too much work to be involved with anyone.
After the whole day of touring, they returned to the hotel room. After a brief bath, she sat by the bed, Richard took his turn in the shower. He saw her massaging her feet and shoulders.. She was tired.
“Let me try..”
Richard massaged her feet then asked her to lay on her stomach and proceeded to massage her back and shoulders.
“There ah .. there pa.. ah sarap”
Next thing he heard was the steady breathing of his wife.
“And she sleeps..” Richard thought
“Richard ?” Naalimpungatan si Maya
“Go back to sleep Maya it is still early”
Pag gising niya wala na si Richard
“Di man lang nagpaalam…” She felt empty.
Then she noticed the letter taped to the mirror.
You were sound asleep. I did not have the heart to wake you up to say goodbye
Thanks for the chance to see Paris with you. I did have a good time. It reminded me of happier times with you. I owe you dinner the next time we meet, wherever that is. ”
All my successes and awards mean nothing without you and Luke by my side. The real award I got on this trip is the knowledge that my massages still never fail to relax you.”
Richard was starting to woo his wife back..