Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to spazzbuster. This is a continuation to After All – part 8.
Part 9: Breaking the news
It was well past 7Pm when Atty Ryan finally found Richard in one of the booths at Horizon Bar. He was a bit taken aback when instead of complaining about him being late his buddy excitedly gave him a quick hug while flashing his winsome smile.
Ryan: Oh, brod. Are we celebrating anything? Parang masayang-masaya ka ah! I was expecting a rather different Richard Lim to be honest. Sorry nga pala if I’m a bit late, medyo malakas ang ulan sa labas eh.
Ser Chief: No worries brod. I was just a few minutes earlier. No harm done ( as he takes a shot of the glass of brandy in his hand)
Ryan: Naks. Mukhang good mood ka talaga ngayon ah! Ano bang nangyari at pinatawag mo ako ngayon? I thought we’re gonna have this meeting sa office mo a day after tomorrow pa.
Ser Chief: Brod, let’s not talk about work. We’re here to unwind. Let’s talk about something else, shall we?
Ryan: Something else? By that you mean….Maya? (smiles teasingly at his buddy)
Ser Chief: (smiles back and nods) Alam mo ba brod that today’s special?
Ryan: Bakit? Birthday ba ni Maya?
Ser Chief: Nope. But special pa rin parang birthday, pero birthday ko
This statement gained a quizzical look from Atty Ryan. Ser Chief could only give him his lop-sided smile and took his time before continuing.
Ser Chief: Kase…today we found out that Maya is going to give birth to a Baby Boy (he couldn’t help but give his friend a proud smile)
Ryan: Wow! Baby Boy huh? I guess congratulations are in order. Congrats brod for another son! (offers a toast)
Ser Chief: (gives him a toast back) Thanks brod. I’m just so happy that Maya and I are having a son. I’m pretty sure he will be one really good looking kid.
Ryan: Yon naman brod! Hahaha Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be real charmer. Sabihin na nating gwapo ka at lamang ng dalawang paligo sakin. And of course, Maya is also a charming lady. Together, you make a potent combination.
Ser Chief: You said it ( gives him another toast back)
Ryan: Pero, other than your genes, bilib na talaga ako sayo brod ( gives Richard a naughty smirk). One time big time yon ah! To think na 5 years kang walang practice, pero with Maya, sure ball agad at naka-boy ka pa! (teasing his buddy)
Ser Chief: You haven’t changed Ryan. You’re still silly ( shakes his head while smiling).
Ryan: Ikaw rin, di pa rin nagbago. Eh matinik ka parin sa girls! You’re still as deadly as ever. Hehehe But seriously, I’m happy for you brod. So, ano na plans mo? Have you told the kids?
Ser Chief: Not yet but I plan to do that over the weekend. I’m excited and anxious about how they will take the news. It’s been such a long time since I felt this.
Ryan: It’s very understandable brod. Pero the earlier they find out, the better. Oh by the way, may plan ka na ba on how you will talk to Maya’s family about giving financial support?
Ser Chief: She only has three months before giving birth to our kid. I realized na I have to take action as soon as possible. Kaya bukas na bukas I will fly to San Nicolas and talk to them. Baka si Kute muna ang kausapin ko.
Ryan: (nods) I thik that’s a good decision. Kute seems like a more logical choice. Pero, careful ka na rin kase baka masapak ka nun.
Ser Chief: I don’t think so. She may act and look tough pero based on what I’ve observed, she’s one sensitive person. By the way, I also plan to talk to Simon.
Ryan: Oh? Bakit pati si Simon? Awayin mo ba? Brod sabihin mo lang kung kelangan mo ng back-up.
Ser Chief: (raises his hand to dismiss Ryan’s idea) No need brod. We will just really have a talk. I need to understand where he stands in all of this.
Ryan: Fair enough.
After a couple of shots, both Ryan and Ser Chief went their separate ways. Ser Chief arrived at the mansion just when Luke was on his way back to his room.
Luke: Oh dad, did you go out with Tito Ryan?
Ser Chief: Hi son! Yeah, we had to talk about a few things. Ikaw? Bakit di ka pa natutulog?
Luke: Nagreview lang ako for our test next week. Wala naman kame pasok in the next two days para may time to review. Teka dad, mukhang masaya ka tonight ah? Care to share?
Ser Chief: (Surprised by Luke’s observation. He realized that he was still smiling like a fool thinking of Maya and their baby. He decided that maybe Luke is mature enough to listen to him) Ganun ba ako ka-obvious? Do you have a few minutes? (Luke nods) Let’s go to the veranda.
Luke followed his dad to the veranda. Somehow he felt light hearted seeing his dad smiling again like he used to. He knew deep in his heart that there could only be one reason for those smiles — Ate Maya. Whatever his dad’s gonna tell him tonight is something that has to do with the only woman his dad has loved since losing their mom. He promised to himself that he will just listen to his dad’s story and keep his opinion to himself unless his dad asks for it. They each found a chair and sat at the veranda. Ser Chief broke the silence.
Ser Chief: So, how’s school? You need any help?
Luke: School’s fine dad. Medyo mahirap yung ibang engineering subject pero kaya ko pa naman. How about you dad? How’s work? Medyo matagal-tagal na rin since nagka-usap tayo ng ganito.
Ser Chief: Okay naman ang LAS, we’re infact expanding again. Tama ka, it’s been a while since we had the chance to chat.
Luke: Uhmmm….dad, kamusta si Ate Maya? May balita na ba sa kanya?
Ser Chief: (looked at his son intently surprised that Luke was the one to bring up Maya) Well….you see, to be honest, what I’m about to tell you is something that will surprise you. It’s so complex that I don’t know how or where to start. Pero, I trust that you’re old enough to at least hear me out if not understand the situation.
The last line caught Luke’s attention. He felt his heart rate speed up, anxious of what his dad will tell him tonight. Ser Chief took a good look at his son, trying to read his facial expression for any sign of avoiding the discussion. When Ser Chief saw anticipation on Luke’s face, he sighed slowly and mentally told himself “This is it. It’s now or never”
Luke: What is it Dad?
Ser Chief: After Maya and I broke up, I wanted to follow your advice to give it another try and win her over. However, before I was able to do just that, I found out that she filed a leave of absence from Time Airways. They wouldn’t reveal the reason behind her leave and why she went back to San Nicolas. I tried asking her friends, including Emman, but they are just too loyal to Maya.As much as I want to show up in San Nicolas I knew she wouldn’t spare me a minute…well, not just yet. I had my back against the wall, so …..my last resort was to hire a private detective to keep track of her whereabouts.
Luke: What Dad?! But don’t you think that’s invading Ate Maya’s privacy? What if she finds out? Baka lalo lang magalit sayo yun.
Ser Chief: I know..I know, son. But I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I wanted to know how she’s doing and if she’s recovered. I also wanted to understand why she decided to stay away from all of us.
Luke: (bows his head) I’m sorry dad. If only we we’re more understanding…
Ser Chief: (pats Luke’s shoulder) Stop that Luke. We’ve talked about that. What’s important is that we’re okay and I’m doing something to get her back.
Luke: (slowly smiles) So, Dad anong sabi ng detective?
Ser Chief realizes that this is the point in their conversation where he would need to reveal Maya’s situation. He looked away for a few minutes before facing his son again.Luke brased himself for the news.
Ser Chief: He would give me updates everyday. The first two months that Maya was in Nicolas, he noticed that she looked pale and would get scolded for helping out at their eatery.
Luke: Dad, don’t tell me…Ate Maya’s sick? (his eyes were filled with worry)
Ser Chief: (raised his right hand stopping Luke from saying anything more) Relax Luke. At first, I got worried too thinking she’s sick and so I went there myself. Of course, I kept my distance. I prayed that her family would bring her to the doctor. They did eventually. But I was surprised as to what type of doctor they had Maya see. (sighs) It was an OB-GYN.
Luke: OB? Bakit dad? May problema sya sa…
Ser Chief: (shakes his head) Well, she’s not sick and I don’t see it as a problem…..
Ser Chief: She’s pregnant Luke.
Luke: (dumb founded. It took a couple of minutes before he found his tongue) Pregnant Dad? Si…sinong ama? Panong nangyari kay Ate Maya yun?
Ser Chief: (looks straight into his son’s eyes) Me. I’m the father of the baby she’s carrying.
Luke: (his heart went on an overdrive) You…you got Ate Maya pregnant?!
Ser Chief: Yes. It wasn’t planned. I got drunk because I was wallowing in misery after Maya left us. The next thing I knew, I woke up in her bed sa condo ni Emman. Pero wala na sya dun. Instead, all I saw was a letter from her asking that we move on. As it turned out, sya ang tinawagan ng bar tender using my phone and I guess she didn’t want you guys to see me in that state that’s why she brought me to the condo instead.
Luke: Dad! How could you be so careless?!
Ser Chief: I totally understand your disappointment. I’m also disappointed at myself…until now. I feel more frustrated by the fact that I let that happen. After trying to recall bits and pieces of that night, I became more sure that something special happened between me and Maya that night. But somehow, I feel that I’ve voileted Maya…. I know how she values herself worth. She’s one special woman and spending the night like that should’ve not happened to her, not in that situation. (bows his head)
Luke: (heaves a deep sigh) No wonder she wanted to forget about us. (notices his dad is looking forlorn with his head bowed) Pero, sabi mo nga Dad, tapos nay un. Nangyari na. What you need to do now is to talk to her about ….about you guys….and about the….the baby.
Ser Chief: Thanks for hearing me out son. I promise you, I will do everything I can to win her back.
Luke: I may not fully understand everything Dad. Pero, isa lang ang sigurado ako, mahal na mahal nyo ang isa’t isa. You’ve been alone taking care of us long enough. It’s time you find your own happiness. Syempre, with Ate Maya and my soon to be ….sister…. or brother ba Dad?
Ser Chief: It’s a boy Luke. You’re going to have a baby brother in 3 months. (gives a weak smile )
Luke: (smiles) Really Dad? I’m going to have a brother? Sa wakas! May kakampi na rin ako bukod sayo Dad!
Ser Chief: (teary-eyed pats his son’s shoulder) Yes son, lalaki ang magiging kapatid mo. Thank you son for growing up to be this amazing man.
Luke: Dad, you deserve to be happy. I’m only like this because you brought us up well.
The father and son shared a few moments of silence appreciating each other’s presence. All of a sudden Ser Chief felt more confident to face the challenges ahead in his pursuit to get Maya back. Seeing hid Dad’s face brighten up, Luke couldn’t help but comment.
Luke: Tama si Ate Maya (Ser Chief gave him a questioning look) Mas bagay talaga sayo ang nakangiti Dad. At ngayon pa lang sigurado na ako na gwapo ang magiging baby brother ko..syempre mana sa’ting dalawa!
Ser Chief: (his face lights up even more) I’m just happy na nasabi ko na sayo. May kasama na akong magplano ng next move.
Luke: Sure Dad. I got your back. Pero kelan natin sasabihin kila Nikki and Abby? Gusto mo Dad ako na lang magsabi?
Ser Chief: No. I will do it Luke. They have to hear it from me.
Luke: I guess you’re right Dad. So, after mong sabihin kila Nikki anong next plan mo?
Ser Chief: I’m still contemplating on things. This won’t be an easy thing. I’m sure pati family ni Maya feels bad about what I did to her. But I’m willing to pay the price kahit pa mahirap.
Luke: Don’t worry Dad. I will do my share.
Ser Chief: Having this talk with you is enough for me. Let me handle the rest son.
Just as the night ended, a plan has already formed in Luke’s mind. His dad needs all the help he can get.
(to be continued)