Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to spazzbuster. This is a continuation to After All – part 10.
A/N: Hi Everyone,
The following day, Maya woke up at 4AM. Well, to be more accurate, she wasn’t able to fall asleep the night Luke visited and so she decided to come out of her room earlier than usual. She was surprised to see her mother at the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee. Nanay Teresita gave her a warm smile and gestured for her to join her at the table.
Nanay Teresita: Good morning anak. Kamusta? Nakatulog ka ba ng maayos? Mukhang lumaki ang eyebags mo ah. Makakasama para sa anak mo ang pagpupuyat, nak.
Maya: Eh hindi nga po ako masyadong nakatulog, Nay. Sino ba naman po makakatulog ng ganito? Si Luke pumunta dito at may sinabi pa tungkol kay…sa daddy nya.
Nanay Teresita: (reaches for Maya’s hand and holds it) Nak, alam kong nag-aalala ka para sa’yo at sa anak mo. Normal yun sa isang ina. Pero, wag mong hayaang mapabayaan mo ang sarili mo sa kaka-isip. Wala naman sigurong gagawing masama si Richard. Sabi nga ni Luke, gusto nya lang pangalagaan ang magiging anak nya sa’yo.
Maya: Pero Nay, natatakot po ako. Paano kung kunin nya ang bata pagka-panganak ko? Hindi ko po yun kakayanin. ( tears welling in her eyes)
Nanay Teresita: Anu ka ba naman Maya. Wag mong isipin yan. Alam naman siguro ni Richard na importante ang pangangalaga ng isang ina sa anak nya lalu na sa mga unang taon nito. Tsaka hindi rin naman kame papayag Nak. Andito lang kame. Kung sakali mang ipagpilitan nya, maghahabla tayo. Wag ka ng masyadong mag-alala.
Maya: Naiisip ko lang po kase kung sakalaing umabot tayo sa korte, mas mapera satin sila. Paano kung ibase ng korte ang desisyon sa kung sinong pwedeng makapag-bigay ng mas magandang buhay sa bata?
Nanay Teresita: Oh, eh sino bang may sabing hindi mo kayang tustusan ang pamumuhay nyong mag-ina? May trabaho ka pa naman at hindi ka naman namin pababayaan, Nak!
Maya: Siguro ang pinakamabuti nito wag ko na lang ipagamit sa anak ko ang apelyido nila. Para wala talaga silang habol Nay.
Nanay Teresita: Nasa sayong desisyon yan anak. Kung ano man ang pasya mo, andito lang kame para sumuporta. Kaya naman wag ka ng masyadong mag-isip pa ng kung anu-ano ha?
Maya: Salamat po talaga Nay. Napakaswerte ko sa pamilya natin.
The mother and daughter shared a warm hug and smiled at each other. They decided to go on with their daily lives as if nothing has and will change. But at the back of their minds they know that it’s just a matter of time before Richard Lim himself shows up at their door. A week passed and the Lims are busily rechecking their baggages at the airport baggage chek-in counter. They will be in a week-long vacation in San Nicolas. They planned out carefully how they can win back Maya. Ser Chief was just too anxious about the prospect of finally talking to Maya again that Niks noticed.
Nikki: Dad? Are you okay? Don’t be too nervous Dad, it doesn’t suit you (she teased)
Ser Chief: Am I that obvious? Sorry. I just can’t help it. I’m excited and at the same time afraid of how Maya will take our efforts.
Luke: (pats his dad’s shoulder) Just focus on the goal Dad! We trust your charm (winks)
Abby: Kuya is right Daddy. Ikaw yata si Daddy Pogi and Daddy Bango just like what Ate Maya said! (gives a thumbs up)
Ser Chief: You’re right guys. Why should I worry when I have all of you to support me? Let’s go, the plane is waiting.
The plane going to San Nicolas touched down at 9AM that Saturday. The Lims were then picked up by the company car and brought to one of the biggest Hotel in the province where they will be staying. Once they’ve organized their stuff in their rooms, the family went to the hotel restaurant to have lunch. The kids were excitedly planning their Dad’s first attempt to woo Maya when Ser Chief saw Simon at the lobby. He excused himself and went to where Simon was.
Ser Chief: Simon? It’s really you!
Simon: (surprised) Sir…sir Richard? Ano…anong ginagawa nyo dito sa San Nicolas?
Ser Chief: Well…I’m with my kids on a vacation. Ikaw? What brings you to this hotel? Are you working here?
Simon: Ah..hindi po. Yung kaibigan ko po ang nagtatrabaho dito, may pinadala lang sa kanya ang Mama ko kaya po ako napunta dito.
Ser Chief: Oh I see (noticing Simon’s awkwardness) Ah, by the way, another reason I’m here is because of Maya.
Simon: (his expression changes upon hearing this) Dahil kay Maya? Alam nyang nandito kayo?
Ser Chief: (turns serious) No…well, not yet. We just arrived today. Actually, I also wanted to talk to you and seeing you here is just perfect. Can we talk somewhere?
Simon: Mag-usap? Si..sige po, dun na lang tayo sa Starbucks malapit lang yun dito.
Ser Chief: Good. Let me just tell my kids to go back up to their rooms (gave a quick call to Luke and then followed Simon to the café)
After being served with their choice of coffee, Ser Chief and Simon engaged in a staring match. Both realize the importance of the outcome of this talk on what the future holds. Simon couldn’t hide the truth that he feels threatened by the presence of Richard Lim. He knows very well that this middle aged man is the same one who fathered Maya’s son. Despite Maya’s unwillingness to reveal the identity of the father of her baby, he knew that it was only Ser Chief who could be responsible. On the other side of the table, Ser Chief is also lost in his thoughts. Right before him is the man with whom Maya spent years growing up with. The same man who remains to be trusted by not only Maya but the entire Dela Rosa household. He knew that at this point, he couldn’t win over Simon in a battle of getting the full trust of Maya and her family. Simon has been the constant presence and pillar of streghth during Maya’s trying times. How could he compete much less win over this guy? A sudden rush of uncertainty crept through him but he quickly crushed it remembering his kids’ all out support. There’s no sense giving up when he hasn’t even tried.
Simon: Uhm…Sir Richard, bakit nyo ako gusto maka-usap?
Ser Chief: Ah..yes.. I won’t make this talk any longer than what’s necessary. I know you’re a busy man too. So let’s just be honest with each other and lay our cards on the table, shall we? (Simon nods) I wanted to talk to you about Maya.
Simon: (clears his throat) Anong tungkol kay Maya? (the lack of “po” or “sir” didn’t go unnoticed by Ser Chief. He now knows that they’re talking as equals)
Ser Chief: I know that the baby she’s carrying is mine. I’m not sure if she has told you but before she went back to San Nicolas, something happened between us. Kaya sigurado akong ako ang ama ng bata.
Simon: Wala, wala syang nababanggit tungkol sayo. Sa totoo lang, ni hindi ka napag-uusapan ng pamilya ni Maya. Pero aaminin ko na mataggal na akong may duda na ikaw ang ama ng dinadala nya. Maprinsipyong babae si Maya at malaki ang pagpapahalaga nya sa kanyang dangal. Kaya sigurado akong hindi nya basta basta ibibigay ang sarili sa isang lalaki kung hindi naman nya ito mahal. Pero ang hindi ko maintindihan at hindi ko matanggap hanggang ngayon ay papaanong ang lalaking minahal nya ang magbibigay sa kanya ng kahihiyan at pagdurusa?
Ser Chief: I didn’t plan the things that happened between us. She knows how much I wanted to fix things in our relationship even before she filed for a leave to go back here.
Simon: Hindi pinlano? Hah! Ang ibig mong sabihin, pagkakamali pala ang nangyari sa inyo ni Maya. Kaya siguro hindi mo sya mapanagutan! Kung totoong nakita ni Maya na sincereka sa pag-aayos ng relasyon nyo, eh bakit andito sya sa San Nicolas at sinasarili ang paghihirap sa pagbubuntis nya?!
Ser Chief: You don’t get it. What I meant by “I didn’t plan” is I would’ve opted to marry her first before allowing anything to happen between us. That’s how much I respect Maya. It’s just that, that night I was….things happened which led to us spending the night. But that doesn’t mean I don’t value what happened between us. I know that she knows how much I love her. I tried to talk to her about what happened but she all of a sudden decided to run away.
Simon: At dahil isa kang CEO, busy sa trabaho, hinayaan mo lang syang magdusa mag-isa. Harapin ang panghihinayang ng pamilya nya at ang pangungutya ng buong San Nicolas! Ngayong nagkaroon ka ng bakasyon, saka mo lang naisipang tignan kung buhay pa si Maya? Hah! Mahal mo nga sya!
Ser Chief: Look, I know my mistakes. That’s why I’m here in the first place, to ask for her forgiveness. Hindi ko naman hinihingi ang permiso mo to do that. All I want to know is where you stand in all of this. I’m here to get her back in my life. Now, if you’re not gonna be part of the solution then you’re considered part of my problem. So which are you?
Simon: Hah! Iba talaga pag mayaman noh? Gusto nyo lahat masunod ang utos nyo kahit may mga patuloy na masaktan. Ibang klase ka Mr. Lim! Pati kay Maya, ginagamit mo ang pagiging businessman mo. Pero, sa mga panahong wala ka, ako ang naging sandalan ni Maya. Nakita ko kung paanong nawala ang mga ngiti sa mukha nya ng dahil sa nangyari sa inyo. Narinig ko ang mga iyak nya kapag pinagtatawanan sya ng mga kapitbahay nila dahil sa pagiging dalagang ina. Ikaw? Nasaan ka ng kelangan ka nya? Hindi ikaw ang kelangan ni Maya. At hinding hindi ako mauupo na lang habang patuloy mo syang pinahihirapan.
Ser Chief: (greeted his teeth in anger) I see. Well, may the best man win I guess (stands up and offers to shake hands with Simon) The winner takes it all.
Simon: (accepts and shakes hand with Ser Chief) All or nothing Mr. Lim.
The two men went their separate ways after that intense hand shake. Both refuse to admit defeat in their quest to get Maya’s heart. Each has his own reason, but they have the same goal. Now, who would turn out to be destined to stay by Maya’s side? If Maya’s future is at stake, who will the odds favor?
(to be continued)