The Space Between Us – part 20

Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to krisheblacas. This is a continuation of The Space Between Us – parts 19.

Author: krisheblacas




He just got back home from work. He took a shower again to make himself presentable. He was very early at LAS and was so bothered with the view of Maya and James that morning that he forgot to eat breakfast. He only dropped off the files Engr. Yamaguchi needed and decided to take the day off. He also told Liza not to bother him with any calls unless it’s an emergency. He said that he’ll be spending the day with Abby. Well, it’s not a lie. He really is going to spend the day with Abby but they’re not going to be alone. They will be fetching Maya from training school and will be spending the day together.
(Insert Chapter 19 here)
After his talk with the kids, he had a ray of hope. Everything he saw in the morning, James and Maya sharing an intimate moment with each other. Him making Maya jealous by pretending that the woman he was talking to in the phone was Khristine instead of Rafi. All those were forgotten.
It was 9 o’clock in the morning when Richard and the kids finished their breakfast.
“Kuya, what are we going to do today? I’m bored already.” Nikki asked her brother. They have no class because the school board is having their Mid-year meeting.
“Ewan ko Niks? Ahm… Ganito nakang, Hintayin natin si Abby. Punta tayo ng mall after her class. Diba2 hours lang naman ang classes niya sa Play school?” Luke suggested.
“Sige, Kuya. But let’s ask dad’s permission muna.”
Nikki and Luke went straight ahead to their dad’s office. Richard was busy looking at something on his laptop. He was viewing some of their pictures in Baguio or rather; he was viewing her picture in Baguio. He was smiling the whole time and was so engrossed with what he was looking at that he didn’t notice Luke and Nikki standing just outside his door.
Luke was the one who entered first and then Nikki followed him. Luke called up on his dad that startled Richard and made him slam his laptop shut.
“Luke! Ginulat mo ako.” His tone wasn’t mad at all.
Luke snickered and Nikki giggled inaudibly. “Sorry dad.”
“Nahawa ka na kay Tita Maya. You’re being magulatin na din?” She laughed. “What were you looking at ba kasi?” She was wearing that wry smile of hers.
“Nothing. Ahm, is there anything you wanted to talk about?” Richard changed the topic. His kids didn’t ask him further about what he was doing before they came in.
“Dad, magpapaalam lang sana kami ni Nikki? Punta sana kami ng mall pagdating ni Abby galing Play School. Isasama naming siya. Magpapahatid lang po kami kay Kuya Joma at magpapasama kay Ate Doris para may bantay si Abby. Kung okay lang po?” Luke asked hoping to get a yes from his dad.
“Kayo nalang ni Nikki. Abby can’t join. Magpahatid lang kayo kay Joma. Ayokong mag-taxi kayo.” He said.
“Bakit hindi pwede si Abby, dad? May lakad kayo?” Luke was curious, his dad usually lets Abby go with her siblings.
“Ahm, susunduin kasi naming si Maya mamaya sa training school para ihatid sa bagong lilipatan niya. Ah… Alam niyo naman iyon si Abby, gusting malaman lahat ng detalye tungkol kay Maya.” Richard explained.
Nikki whispered to her brother, “Si Abby ba talaga ang may gusto nun?” She then straightened up. “Oh, yes dad. Mamaya na pala lilipat si Tita Maya. Dad? Aren’t we going to have a despidida for her or something?”
“Oo nga dad.” Luke agreed. “Pwede po ba kaming magpadespidida para sa kanya? Kahit dinner lang?”
“That’s a great idea. Kayo nalang bahala mag-initiate niyan ha? Just tell me what you need.” He told his kids.
“Eh, dad diba mamayang 4pm pa matatapos ang class ni Tita Maya? Ang aga mo yatang nag-ayos?” Luke curiously asked.
“Ah, ako kasi ang magsusundo kay Abby tapos ano… yayayain pa namin si Maya na mag-lunch ngayon.” He shyly said to his kids while ruffling with his things in the drawer avoiding their eyes.
“Ayos dad ah? Sige kami na po ang bahala dito mamaya. I-text mo nalang kami kung pabalik na kayo kasama si Tita Maya.” Luke smiled at his dad. Nikki agreed with her brother. “Oo nga dad, instead of going to the mall to play arcade, kuya and I will handle the groceries for tonight nalang.”
“Order nalang kayo ng maraming pagkain Niks para hindi na magluluto sila Doris at Manang Fe.” Their dad suggested.
“Ah, much better dad. But I will still go to the mall to buy ingredients. I want to bake something for Tita Maya kasi.” Nikki proudly said.
Richard couldn’t be more thankful to his kids for helping him. He really thought that his kids would be very difficult about this but they weren’t. In fact, they were very supportive.
“Sige dad, we’ll go ahead.” The kids said their goodbyes to their dad.
“Ah, guys sandali. Ahm, thank you for doing this. You don’t have to but thank you anyway.”
His kids just smiled at him and went off.
It was 30 minutes before lunch time for Maya and her co-trainees. Their class finished early so they decided to take an early lunch so that they will still have plenty of time to rest. Her stomach was grumbling. Like Richard, she wasn’t able to eat her breakfast because she was busy fixing her things before the move, or rather, was busy thinking about her Ser Chief having a phone conversation with Khristine (who was really Rafi) early in the morning.
Maya and Eds were walking towards the exit. She was like a walking zombie, hearing nothing, weak and was just looking straight ahead.
“Maya? Nakikinig ka ba? Maya? Maya!” She shook Maya’s shoulders.
“Ay, Maya!  Eds naman eh… ginulat mo ako. A-ano nga ulit yung sinabi mo?” She was startled so she stuttered while asking Eds.
“Eh ano ba kasi yang iniisip mo? Kanina ka pa tulala.” Maya just shook her head.
“Sabi ko nandun yung boss mo sa may parking area oh? Kasama si Abby.” Eds was pouting her lips, pointing it to where Richard and Abby was.
“Ha?” Maya immediately turned to the parking area to take a look. True to what Eds said, Richard was there holding Abby’s hand while their little angel was waving at her. Abby said something to her dad and Richard nodded. Abby then ran towards Maya ad gave her a big hug. Richard was tailing right behind Abby.
“Wow! Ang sarap naman nang yakap ng baby ko! Nakakawala ng gutom.” Maya is showering Abby with kisses now and Richard couldn’t help but smile at what he’s seeing. He grabbed his phone and took a snapshot of the two without them noticing it.
While Maya is hugging Abby, Richard cleared his throat.
“Mukhang nakalimutan niyo na andito ako ah?” Richard was pouting his lips trying to make a puppy dog face. Maya just smiled at him and she stood up still holding Abby.
“Napadaan po kayo Ser Chief?” She asked him casually.
“Ahm, gusto ka sana naming yayain ni Abby mag-lunch.” Richard answered.
Mag-lunch kasama siya? Nako Maya, kakayanin mob a ito? Maya thought.
“Please Tita Maya?” Abby begged, how could she say no to her baby?
“Sige na nga, baby. Alam mo naman na hindi kita matitiis diba?” Richard smiled and headed back to his car to open the back seat. Abby and Maya followed him. Abby settled in first. Maya was about to get in when Richard stopped her.
“Ah, Maya dito ka sa harapan. Tabihan mo ako.” Richard said.
Maya got confused with his offer. “Ha? Bakit po?”
Bakit nga ba Richard? He thought.
“Ah… kasi ano, may dadaanan tayo. Bibili ako ng cake para mamaya sa bahay. Hindi ko pwedeng itabi kay Abby, baka masikipan siya sa likuran. Ayoko naming ilagay dito sa harapan, baka mahulog kasi walang hahawak. Kaya… ikaw nalang ang humawak dito sa harap.”
Whew! Nice save, Richard. He thought.
Sus, akala ko pa naman gusto lang niya akong makatabi. Maya smirked.
“Ah sige po, Ser Chief.”
Richard opened the passenger seat door for her. She stopped when someone called her from behind. It was James. Maya then remembered their little act whenever they are with Richard.
“Hi Babe!” She cheerfully greeted him. James hugged her but it was Maya who initiated the peck on the cheek. Richard felt pin-pricks on his heart. He held the car’s door so tight, trying to restrain himself.
“Anong ginagawa mo dito? Akala ko ba may flight ka?” Maya’s hands were wrapped around James’ neck while his arms were wrapped around her waist. Richard looked away and James was the one who noticed it. He winked at Maya, trying to tell her that their plan was working.
“Gusto ko lang bisitain ang maganda kong girlfriend. Masama ba yon? Halika, lunch tayo?” James asked.
This sweet exchange was beginning to become very normal to them after Maya’s confession to him earlier that morning. They have been sending text messages, James saying that he’ll be the best friend Maya needs at these times. They became closer considering that they were planning the Tiger King jealous.
James looked at Richard and let go of Maya’s embrace but, he was holding her hand. “Is it okay if I borrow Maya from you Mr. Lim?” He asked. Richard just looked at Maya.
Before he could answer, Maya spoke first. “Ah, Babe ano kasi… Niyaya ako nila Abby na mag-lunch. Alam mo naman hindi ko matanggihan itong si Abby. Mas una ka pang naging Baby si Abby kesa sa’yo diba?” She smiled sweetly at him. They laughed but Richard remained silent, you can see the pained expression in his face.
Abby was playing with her iPad when James knocked on her side of the window. He waved at her and she waved back.
“Can I join you guys?” James asked Richard.
“Ah… S-sige.” Richard was stuttering. The great Richard Lim was stuttering.
Ring… Ring… Ring… It was James phone.
James was curious, the number that was calling him wasn’t registered in his phone.
“Excuse me, I have to take this.” Maya nodded.
“Hello? (silence) Yes, this is Captain James Ventura. (silence) Ahm, lunch? Now?” He looked at Maya. “Ah okay. No, today is fine. (silence) Okay I’ll meet you there. (silence) Okay, bye.” He put the phone back in his pocket.
Maya raised her brows, asking him what was that about.
“Ah, Babe may emergency lunch meeting kasi. So, I guess it will be just you and the Lims today.” James explained.
“Ganun ba? Sige mag-ingat ka sa pagmamaneho ha?”
Maya replied. Richard was trying to hide his smile. Kung sinuswerte ka nga naman. He thought.
Maya and James hugged each other which didn’t escape Richard’s eyes. James said his good byes and left.
They got in the car. Richard was smiling at Maya, evident that he was happy with James’ absence. He turned on the radio and was humming with the tune. The next sing that was playing made them both silent. They kept on glancing at each other.
Heto ka na naman kumakatok sa’king pintuan
Muling naghahanap ng makakausap
At heto naman ako nakikinig sa mga kwento mong paulit-ulit lang
Nagtitiis kahit nasasaktan
The silence was deafening, they were carefully listening to the song. they felt for it, without knowing that both of them don’t have to. In time, they will know about their true feelings for each other.
Ewan ko bakit ba hindi ka pa nadadala
Hindi ba’t kailan lang nang ika’y iwanan nya
At ewan ko nga sa’yo parang balewala ang puso ko
Ano nga bang meron siya na sa akin ay ‘di mo makita
The song was filled with pain. And they, too, are in pain. Richard was trying his best not to cry but his eyes were already teary. He was silently sniffing grabbing a tissue and was dabbing the moist out of his eyes. He was very careful not to let Maya see that he was hurt. He cranked up the volume so that no one could hear his sobs in between.
Kung ako na lang sana ang yong minahal
Di ka na muling mag-iisa
Kung ako na lang sana ang yong minahal
Di ka na muling luluha pa
Di ka na mangangailangan pang humanap ng iba
Narito ang puso ko naghihintay lamang sayo
Kung ako na lang sana…
Maya was facing the window and like Richard, she was crying now. The song made its way straight to her heart, this song was what she wanted to say to him the whole time.
Heto pa rin ako, umaasang ang puso mo
Baka sakali pang ito’y magbago
Narito lang ako kasama mo buong buhay mo
Ang kulang na lang mahalin mo rin akong lubusan
She wanted to tell him that he wouldn’t need to look for anyone else if he would just choose her. She will love him and his family unconditionally, but the line of the song kept on repeating in her mind: Ano nga bang meron siya na sa akin ay ‘di mo makita… Kung ako nalang sana…
Kung ako na lang sana ang yong minahal
Di ka na muling mag-iisa
Kung ako na lang sana ang yong minahal
Di ka na muling luluha pa
Di ka na mangangailangan pang humanap ng iba
Narito ang puso ko naghihintay lamang sayo
Kung ako na lang sana…
They arrived at the Italian Restaurant Abby loved so much. Richard quickly got out of the car to erase any trace of tears and as soon as he got out, Maya too was quickly wiping off her own tears. She was grabbing more tissue because her handkerchief was already damp.
Richard went around the other side of the car and opened the door for Abby. He also opened Maya’s door and offered his hand to help her out.
He smiled at her. “Halika na, Maya?”
Maya was hesitant, she just stared at his hand.
“Maya?” He asked again.
Maya sighed and she held his hand and got out of the car. Instead of letting go, he cuffed his hand tighter to hers while holding Abby’s hand with his other hand. She was surprised but didn’t act against it. He looked into  her eyes, she gave her a soft smile.
He sighed. This feels so right. Maya, kung ako nalang sana…
Medyo mahaba-haba ang Chapter na ito. Inspired lang? Hahaha, wrote this when I was listening to this song. Just feeling their pain. Sana nag enjoy kayo, KAPIT BISIG!

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