Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to spazzbuster. This is a continuation to After All – part 6.
Part 7: The next move
Atty Ryan is seated across the Lim Aviation Services CEO, Richard Lim. He’s busy looking at pictures taken from a brown envelope. As he browsed through the pictures of a very pregnant Maya, a crease on his forehead formed. On the other side of the table, Richard intently looks at his college buddy’s reaction. When Atty Ryan finally returned the pictures inside the envelope and looks back at his friend, Richard was quick to take this a sign to start with the purpose of their meeting this morning.
Ser Chief: So….what do you think I should do?
Atty Ryan: Well, brod, not for anything pero are you sure it’s yours?
Ser Chief: Brod, how can you even ask that?! You know Maya’s not the type to sleep around. Though I can barely remember what happened that night, I know something happened between us. Why she didn’t tell me about it is something I need to ask her. Pero I’m very sure the kid is mine!
Atty Ryan: Woah! Easy ka lang Brod. I didn’t mean to offend. I’m just considering all possibilities here before we make our move. We need to be 100% sure.
Ser Chief: Sorry, I know ..I know you didn’t mean it that way. I’m just worried for her. In her condition, she needs to be well taken care of and given the best medical assistance. The provincial health care system is just not enough for her or OUR baby.
Atty Ryan: Well, if we’re to base it on the pictures, she looks healthy naman. I’m sure hindi naman sya pinapabayaan ng family nya. Sayo narin nanggaling na according to the detective you hired, she goes to her OB-GYN appointments regularly.
Ser Chief: Yes, she does. I’ve asked the detective to make sure he sends me a picture of her when she goes to meet with the OB-GYN. In fact, he found out that next week, Maya will know if we’re going to have a boy or a girl (this thought made him smile a bit)
Atty Ryan: Next week huh? I bet you’re curious (smiles back at his buddy). Not to dampen your mood Brod pero, napansin ko lang din na karamihan sa pictures kasama ni Maya yung …Simon ba yon?
Ser Chief: (as soon as he heard Simon’s name, his expression went back to being stern) Yes, that’s Simon and he’s another reason I would like to make things legal. I know he’s a respectable man because I’ve met him before when I was still courting Maya. Pero, the mere thought of him hanging around Maya and OUR baby is giving me sleepless nights!
Atty Ryan: Well, I can’t blame you. Anything can still happen. She’s most likely feeling vulnerable right now kase wala ka. Things can change and she might actually fall for Simon since sya yung always present pag kelangan nya ng tulong.
Ser Chief: Exactly! Ayoko naman ibang ama ang kilalanin ng anak ko. That’s why I need your help.
Atty Ryan: Of course Brod, we’ll think of something. By the way, she’s on her 5th or 6th month?
Ser Chief: She will be on her 6th month next week. Kaya nga she wants to find out the sex of the baby na.
Atty Ryan: Wala na akong masabi sayo Brod, bilang na bilang mo ah!
Ser Chief: (slightly smiles) Kaya nga Brod, I’m very sure that it’s my kid and not anyone else’s. Not Simon, not anyone.
Atty Ryan: (nods) Okay Brod I get you. Pero, matanong ko lang ha, have you tried visiting her? I mean, at least attempt to show up sa San Nicolas?
Ser Chief: Actually, I used to frequent San Nicolas during her first two month there. I wanted to see for myself how she’s doing and if she’s indeed pregnant. When I found out that she’s pregnant, I so wanted to talk to her. Pero, I didn’t want to put stress on her given that she’s in a delicate condition. And then as always, things here at LAS got complicated and even at home. I had to fix things first that’s why I’m talking to you about this only now.
Atty Ryan: Since you’ve mentioned it, how are the kids taking this? Do they already know about Maya and the Baby?
Ser Chief: Well, after Maya and I broke up it was difficult for all of us. I admit I became distant and would spend less and less time at home. Nikki and Luke became cold towards me. But I knew we had to try to resolve things between us when Abby got affected. We were all afraid for a time that she will revert to her selective mutism especially after Maya stopped communicating with her. Good thing, before Abby even resorted to being quiet again, I got the chance to talk with my two older kids. Somehow, I managed to get through them and they were really sorry for what happened with Maya. They even asked me if I could still patch things up with Maya but of course, she went into hiding for some time. Only when I was sure that Nikki and Luke got my back in making Abby understand the current situation with Maya, did I call for the detective’s help.
Atty Ryan: I feel for you Brod. I know what you went through with your family and Maya wasn’t something easy. I’m just glad to know that the kids are now more open to the idea of Maya being part of your life. But I suggest you talk to them as well about having another baby in the family soon. Of course, it won’t be a walk in the park either but they are smart kids and they love you.
Ser Chief: I would like to think so. But before I do that, I need to know what I should do next about Maya and the baby. Ayokong maging illigitimate ang anak namin.
Atty Ryan: Well, according to the family code, even if you’re not married…. (looks at his friend)….YET, you can still lay claim as the father of the kid by signing his / her birth certificate as the father and allowing the baby to carry the Lim name. So, you have to be there when she gives birth.
Ser Chief: I understand. I will definitely be there when she gives birth. But do you think I should show up there now and talk to her about us?
Atty Ryan: Uhmmm…sabi mo the detective asked the OB-GYN about her condition and was told na very sensitive ang first pregnancy ni Maya. We wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her or the baby right? So I guess for now, chill ka lang muna dyan. You can also try to talk to her mom or the sister about giving support to the baby without telling Maya yet.
Ser Chief: Yeah, I guess I can do that. Pero it won’t be that easy kase I’m sure galit din sakin ang mga yon thinking na pinabyaan ko lang si Maya after ng nangyari samin.
Atty Ryan: That’s why you have to talk to them about helping out kahit man lang with the bills.
Ser Chief: Right. I don’t want Maya to worry about anything else other than delivering the baby safely.
Atty Ryan: Once the baby is out. We can take our next action. For now, yun na muna siguro ang mapapayo ko sayo. And …your kids should soon find out about Maya before they hear it from somebody else. Just my two cents Brod.
Ser Chief: (slowly nods) Thank you Brod. I will try to talk to the kids within the week.
As Atty Ryan leaves the room, Ser Chief became even more determined to help Maya in any way he can as the father of their baby. He also knows that talking to the kids about the matter will be another challenge but he’s been in misery long enough. Richard Lim is done with being sad it’s time to make things happen.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles from the LAS Executive Office, Maya sits alone by their house’s window trying to get some fresh air. This has become a habit of hers since going back to San Nicolas. The fresh air in San Nicolas proved to be good for her health and her heart. The passers-by serve as her simple source of entertainment every morning. People busy starting their day –fathers on their way to work, mothers sending their kids to school, children of various shapes and sizes with big smiles on their faces. Every time she’s left alone like this, she can’t help but wonder about the Lim household….and of course, her Ser Chief. But every time he lets herself remember them, a familiar ache would reach her heart. This is when she would shake off thoughts about the Lims and apologize to her baby while caressing her now protruding tummy.
Maya: Erase! Erase! ( shakes her head vigorously) Hep! Bawal ang negative vibes Maya, baka pumangit si Baby. Next week, makikita na kita Baby! Malalaman na ni Mama kung pink or blue ba ang ipa-paint namin sa room mo ( smiles tenderly at her tummy). Baby, hindi na magiging sad si Mama, kase darating ka na. Lagi kang magsi-smile Baby ha? Para darating din sayo ang good vibes! Kahit wala ang Daddy mo, bubusugin naman namin ikaw ng pagmamahal nila Mamang, Nanay, Kute, Kuya Cho, Papa Pards at ni Tito Simon.
Right when she says this, Simon enters the balcony with a basket of fruits.
Simon: Uy Maya! Sobrang aga naman yata nyang emote mo dyan! Pati tuloy Baby mo nagiging best actress na (he teases) Tama na nga yan! Tignan mo oh, daming padala ni Nanay ko para sa inyo dito. Lahat yan fresh mula Cavite.
Maya: Kaw talaga Simon! Puro ka biro.
Maya smiles back at him. She’s very thankful to this man for being a good friend to her despite her condition. She knows that his heart broke into a million pieces when he accidentally found out through Mamang about Maya’s pregnancy. He once courted and harboured feelings for her in the past, after all.
Despite the rumours that spread about Simon being the supposed father of her child, that didn’t change the support he gave Maya. Simon was sure of something, whether or not it’s Richard Lim who fathered the child, that man is not worthy of Maya’s love. For if the father of the baby is in his right mind, he wouldn’t have let Maya suffer this predicament alone. He partly blames himself for what happened to Maya. A thing like this could’ve been avoided if only he manned up before and proved himself more worthy. But those things are all water under the bridge. Now as a friend, he wants to support Maya the best way he can. He even offered before to be the one to escort Maya to her OB-GYN check-ups. Of course, Maya politely declined since it’s something too personal for her.
Indeed, if only she could teach her heart to love another, she would choose Simon.
(to be continued….)