Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to princemackaroo. This is a continuation to After God’s Own Heart – part 5.
“Tay! Nay! Am running as Cum Laude!” exclaimed Maya as she reached their home in Bulacan. “Talaga anak? Napakagaling mo talaga!” said by her teary-eyed mom. Tatay Arturo went to her side and put an arm on her shoulder, pulling her closer to his side and said, “Congratulations anak! We’re so proud of you!” And the three hugged each other.
“Tuwang-tuwa nga po ako Tay sa balita. Kung nakapasa lang sana ako sa UP College of Law eh di sana –“ “Nak,” Nay Teresita cut her off, “hindi ka man nakapasa dun, ok lang yun. May dalawang magagandang law schools ka naman na napasahan eh. Ok lang yun Nak. Basta ang importante, unti-unti mo ng naaabot ang mga pangarap mo.” “Tama ang nanay mo nak. Basta pagbutihin mo lang ng pagbutihin ang pag-aaral mo. Saan mang law school ka makapasok, tiyak na maabot mo ang pangarap mong maging abogado. Basta’t bukod sa pag-aaral ay wag kakalimutan ang Diyos,” reminded Tatay Arturo. “Opo Tay. Talagang gusto ko sanang doon sa UP makapag-take ng law. Pero hindi nga siguro talaga yun ang loob ng Panginoon. Ganun pa man po, masayang masaya parin po ako sa mga blessings at achievement na ibinibigay Niya sa akin,” said Maya, grinning.
Time went by swiftly and they had finally graduated from college. Maya simply attended the College graduation and decided not to attend the University graduation. For her, it will only exhaust, not only her, but both her parents as well, knowing the number of students attending the said ceremony. Richard, on the other hand, attended both. If he can have it his way, he simply wanted to attend the College graduation as well. But both his parents went against it. And he, in return, was left with no other choice but to follow them.
Maya decided to pursue law at Ateneo de Manila University, together with her friend Emman. Emman was able to pass in all 3 schools but opted to go to ADMU so he can still be with his friend Maya. James, on the other hand, passed the exams at ADMU and San Beda as well, but due to uncontrollable circumstances, can no longer pursue law.
“Babe, hindi na ako mag-aaral ng law,” said James sadly to Maya. Maya saw the hint of sadness in his voice and eyes. James had been convinced to pursue law because of Maya. Maya never insisted it on James, but James is more than willing to do anything just to be with Maya. “But why?” she asked. Letting out a sigh, “Si dad kasi. He got laid off from work. Effect ng recession. Affected ang company nila at isa nga si dad sa natanggal. Hindi naman pwede na si Ate lang ang maiiwang nag-wo-work for our family right now. I have to help them any way I can. I decided to look for a job instead so I can help my family financially.” Maya can sense the edge of bitterness in James’ voice. She knows how disappointed he is no matter how composed he may appear. “Ah ganun ba. Am so sorry to hear that. Well, how’s tito? Is he doing ok?” inquired Maya. “He’s fine but he’s depressed of course. But he’s coping up,” James said, smiling wryly. Maya giving James a comforting hug, said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be alright. Malay mo, hindi ka man maka-enroll ngayon but who knows? Maybe next sem or next year makapasok ka rin sa law school. Never lose hope. Let’s pray for it ok?” said Maya giving him an assuring smile. James’ spirit had been somewhat uplifted by Maya’s words of comfort and assurance. But deep down, he’s still dismayed with the idea that he cannot be with Maya as he planned all along. And now, with his family’s current financial crisis at hand, paranoia slowly creeps in his whole system. “Pano kung may makitang iba si Maya? Pano kung maraming umaligid sa kanya? Most students pa naman sa Ateneo aren’t only bright but wealthy as well. Ano nalang ang laban ko sa kanila? Bakit ba naman kasi ngayon pa nangyari ito sa amin. I can no longer watch over her! Well, hinding hindi ako makakapayag na mawala sa akin si Maya! Maya’s mine! She’s only mine!!” were James’ thoughts as he thinks of all possible scenarios.
As planned, Maya & Emman both entered the same law school while James applied and was accepted as a staff for Senator Sergio Osmena. Despite the fact that James is not with her in law school, she was still glad that her friend Emman is with her.
“Alam mo Emman, hindi man natin nakasama si James dito, masaya parin ako at andiyan ka. At least, may makakasama at makaka-kwentuhan ako dito sa campus,” said by a happy Maya. “I’m glad as well. At ngayon palang alam kong hindi ako maiinip dito. Ikaw ba naman ang kasama ko! Pero naaawa at nalulungkot ako for this campus,” said Emman, feigning a sad expression on his face. “Naaawa?” asked Maya, “Bakit naman?” she continued, looking totally confused with Emman’s statement. “Eh kasi naman. May nakapasok,” said Emman. “Anong nakapasok? Sinong nakapasok?” inquired Maya. Emman trying to suppress a laugh, “Dahil may nakapasok na loro with the name Maya dela Rosa!” Emman burst into laughter while Maya pouted her lips and crossed her arms across her chest. “Very funny Emman! Very funny!” said Maya trying to sound irritated. “Eh kasi naman, nakikita ko ng mabubulabog ang mundo ng Ateneo Law School!” continued Emman. “Ikaw talaga! Ang sama mo! Sige! Kala mo! Tatahimik na ako from now on! Hmp!” said Maya, giving Emman an angry squint. “Weh?? Di nga?? Gusto mo pustahan tayo?” grinned Emman. “Fine! Ikaw talaga!” retorted Maya giving Emman a light slap on his arm then finally laughed with her friend.
“Nak, pwede ka ba naming makausap ng Nanay mo?” Tatay Arturo asked of Maya. “Sige po Tay. Tapusin ko lang po ito then sunod na po ako sa inyo,” “Sige Nak. Sunod ka nalang sa sala.” After a couple of minutes, Maya, Tatay Arturo, & Nanay Teresita are all seated around the living room.
Maya was the first to speak, “Ano po bang pag-uusapan natin Tay? Nay?” “Ganito kasi anak,” said Tatay Arturo, “Nag-usap kami ng Ate Cris mo. Alam namin na responsable ka at hindi pinapabayaan ang pag-aaral. Pero kasi anak, iba na itong tinatahak mo. Ito na ang simula ng pag-abot ng mga pangarap mo. Iba na ang karera sa law school. Hangga’t maaari, gusto naming naka-focus ka lang sa pag-aaral mo. Walang ano mang distractions. Alam namin, na pinayagan ka namin noon na makipag boyfriend at makipag relasyon. Pero kasi anak, hindi mo maaalis sa amin ang mangamba. Nag-wo-worry lang kami ng nanay at ate Cris mo na baka ang pakikipag relasyon mo kay James ang maging dahilan para mahirapan ka sa law school,” explained Tatay Arturo.
Maya never saw this coming. She never thought that there will come a time when her parents would talk to her and say these things to her. All the while, she thought that everything is ok, that they are ok that she’s in a relationship, that they’re ok with James. After all the words had sank in, Maya answered, “Pero tay di ba, nakita niyo naman, hindi ko napabayaan ang pag-aaral ko? Tignan niyo, Cum Laude pa nga ako di ba? Naipakita ko naman sa inyo na kaya kong pagsabayin ang pag-aaral at pakikipag relasyon eh. Hindi naman po ako nahirapan na gawin yun,” said an already teary-eyed Maya.
It was Nanay Teresita who spoke this time, “Maya, nak, alam naman namin ng tatay mo yun. Nakita namin na hindi mo napabayaan ang pag-aaral mo. Kung tutuusin proud nga kami sa iyo nak eh. Kaso lang, gaya ng sabi ng tatay mo, iba na itong karerang tinatahak mo. Tamang nakaya mo nung nasa kolehiyo ka, kaso iba na ang pressure na ibibigay sayo ng law school. Hindi man doble, baka triple pa ang maramdaman at maranasan mong pressure. Hindi ba’t mas maganda kung wala kang ibang aalalahanin kundi ang pag-aaral mo lang? At least pag ganon, makaka focus ka ng husto. Ano mang pressure ang harapin mo, malalampasan mo rin agad agad. Mahirap kasi yung pressured ka na sa pag-aaral mo, may pressure o problema ka ring kinakaharap sa relasyon mo.”
Maya is now already crying. She cannot believe what she’s hearing. She never thought that her mom would take side with his dad and ate. She thought that her mom would understand what she’s going through. She’s convinced that she can juggle studies and her relationship with James. “Besides,” she thought to herself, “what could ever go wrong? James is a nice guy. We hardly even had an argument.” True enough, during the course of their relationship, James & Maya hardly had any argument. They only had issues before when James would occasionally get jealous or be hit by his insecurity and mood swings. But they were able to resolve them right away. She always understand him to protect their relationship.
Maya was still crying when she spoke once more, “Nay, Tay. Naiintindihan ko naman po kayo. Alam ko naman po na nag-aalala lang kayo sa akin at na-appreciate ko po yun. Pero mukhang hindi ko po magagawa ang gusto niyong hiwalayan ko si James. Hindi po ba parang unfair naman sa kanya yun? Wala naman po siyang ginagawa tas basta-basta ko na lamang siyang iiwan?” “Nak, hindi naman si James ang sinasabi naming may problema,” interjected Nay Teresita. “Opo nga nay,” cut off Maya, “Kaso syempre po, hindi rin natin maiaalis sa tao na mag-isip na baka may mali siya o may nagawa siya. Alam ko naman po na para naman sa akin itong ginagawa niyo. Pero nay, tay, sana po ay maintindihan niyo rin po ang kalagayan namin ni James. Minsan na naming napatunayan sa inyo na kaya naming pag-sabayin ang pakikipag-relasyon at pag-aaral. Alam ko na kahit anong pressure pa ang kaharapin ko sa law school, makakaya at malalampasan ko din ang lahat ng yon. Pasensya na po kayo, pero hindi ko po masusunod ang gusto niyo. Sorry po talaga. Pero sana po, wag niyo na akong pilitin pa na makipag hiwalay kay James. Hindi ko po talaga magagawa,” said Maya with finality.
“Kung iyan ang gusto mo anak, ikaw ang bahala. Ang sa amin lang ay paalala. Ang tanging gusto at hangad lang namin sa iyo ay ang maabot mo ang mga pangarap mo. Iniisip lang namin kung ano ang makakabuti sa iyo. Pero hindi ka namin pipilitin,” said Tatay Arturo giving Maya an assuring smile. “Salamat po nay, tay. Salamat po sa pang-unawa. Paki sabi narin po kay Ate Cris na hindi po siya dapat mag-worry. Kakayanin ko po ang lahat.”