Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to princemackaroo. This is a continuation of The Art of Letting Go – part 2.
A/N: Good day everyone! I know the first two chapters of this series are a bit of a tear-jerker and heartbreaking. My apologies to those whom I left broken-hearted or teary-eyed even. But most importantly, thank you all for appreciating and reading this series no matter how dramatic it seemed. Sorry if the much-awaited meeting of Richard and Maya isn’t happening just yet, so I’d like to plea for everyone’s patience about it. As I’ve mentioned in my previous comment, there’s more to their first meeting than just a simple meeting. So without further ado, here is the third instalment of this series. God bless!Ü
Maya sat down on an empty bench enjoying the atmosphere of the eco-park – cool breeze, green grass, full grown trees, children playing, laughter, chats, sweet couples and families having picnic. “Sana andito sila nanay ngayon,” Maya thought to herself. Seeing the playing children on the playground and the families happily having their picnics, Maya can’t help but long for her family back in San Nicholas. Almost in tears, “O Maya! Tama na yan! Good vibes lang dapat! Good vibes lang para di ma-block ang blessings! Tandaan mo, nandito ka para makapag relax at mag-aral ng mabuti!” After composing herself, Maya took out her mp3, a couple of her hand outs, pen, and snacks from her knapsack, placed the earphones on then started to read. She could’ve just stayed at Emman’s condo but the outdoors gives her a different sense of peace, of relaxation thus, enabling her to concentrate more. And since, finals is just around the corner, she needs all possible relaxation and concentration she can get.
Maya was a 19 year old, 3rd year BS Tourism student at UP Diliman who originated from San Nicholas Mindoro. She was the youngest daughter of Arturo dela Rosa and Teresita dela Rosa, and younger sister of Cristina Rose “Kute” dela Rose. Maya also has Mamang, her grandmother who stays with them at San Nicholas and a nephew by the name of Pocholo “Cho” dela Rosa, Cristina Rose’s son out of wedlock.
It has always been Maya’s dream to become a flight stewardess as she deems that thru this, she could provide great help to her family financially. She has always been a consistent scholar student from her elementary days to her high school days. This in turn, helped a lot with the family’s income. But when she reached her sophomore years in high school, her Tatay Arturo decided to work overseas. Against their will, her Tatay Arturo was able to win them over. He explained that he wanted both of his children to reach their dreams in life, Maya as a flight attendant, while Kute as a seafarer. He told them that he wouldn’t be able to send them both to college if they’ll just depend on the family’s current source of income, which only suffices their everyday meals. Left with no other choice, they reluctantly agreed with their tatay’s decision. Unfortunately, a year after their tatay left the country, they no longer heard anything from him – no phone calls, no letters, no update, nothing. They even tried seeking help from the agency that sent their tatay abroad, POEA, and even went to the embassy, but all to no avail. All of them, except for their Nanay Teresita, reluctantly accepted the fact that their Tatay Arturo is never coming back.
One incident occurred after the other. After the sudden silence of their Tatay Arturo, Kute, surprisingly got impregnated by his friend, Jeff Macavinta, which withheld her from pursuing her dream of becoming a seafarer. She was disappointed initially with the turn of events, but after she gave birth, all disappointment had gone. She then made a promise, not only to herself, but to her son as well, that he will be on top of her priorities and that she will try her very best to become the best mother that she can be. True to her word, Cho had always been on top of her priorities. And with the help of her family, they were able to raise Cho properly, “kapit-bisig” as they always say.
Jeff, wanting to help Cris and be a good father to his son Cho in any way he can, tried to provide financial assistance for the needs of the two. Cris, being strong-willed and proud, declined the offer. She’s willing to accept the financial support offered for Cho but it should only be for Cho alone. She doesn’t like the idea of other people providing for her needs, let alone provided by Jeff. Then Jeff came up with a proposal, a business proposal that is. He discussed his plans to Cris of opening up a small eatery to be situated at the foot of their home. Cris, seeing this as a brilliant opportunity to help her family financially and the possibility that thru this, she can help bring Maya to college, agreed with Jeff’s plans. After a couple of months, Little Pards Chibugan is born.
Maya knows that she had to strive hard to help her family. Though she’s aware that the small eatery that Kute & Jeff built provided financial stability to their family, she still wanted to help any way she can, without having to burden any of them. She then decided to apply for scholarship at different Universities. She had the idea that if she’ll be able to study in Manila, she’ll have better chances of successfully reaching her dreams. So unknown to her family, she also applied for scholarship at different Universities in Manila. Because of her consistency with her studies and the intelligence that she possess, she was not only able to pass to different Universities, prestigious universities even, but also avail of their full scholarship programs. She eventually shared the news to her family and showed them how determined she is. Just like with their Tatay Arturo, Maya’s family is reluctant in sending her away but they also know that Maya will stop at nothing until she reached her dreams. She got them to agree with her decision on two conditions, first, she needs to constantly communicate with them, and second, she needs to focus on her studies alone. They made her promise that no matter what, she will not look for additional source of income and that her needs and allowances will be provided for by her family, furthermore, no romantic attachments.
Maya did go to Manila and continued her studies there. She kept her side of the bargain. She regularly communicates with her family in San Nicholas, exhausting all possible means of communication, from phone calls or SMS to the use of skype. She also didn’t find the need to look for another source of income. Because of the success of their local eatery, she’s able to receive her allowance, not only on a regular basis, but also exceeds the agreed amount. She did and still has a number of suitors and admirers but she was able to ward them off politely. Not one was able to capture her attention, more so, persuade her to break the promise she made to her family. On the course of her stay in Manila, she really didn’t have to bother about anything but her studies.
Initially, she has been renting a small room at Katipunan. But when she met Emman, her gay friend and classmate, she was persuaded by him to transfer in his condo instead, since he’s living all by himself in his two bedroom abode. She only agreed to Emman so long as she’ll pay for the rent of the room which Emman immediately agreed to, fearing that Maya might still change her mind. Maya’s family is against it at first but after explaining everything to them, and after confirming that Emman is someone nice & trustworthy, they finally agreed.
Maya regularly goes home to San Nicholas during semestral breaks and holiday seasons. Whenever she’s at their hometown, she makes it a point to help the family with their business. From time to time, they’ll have a couple of days outing just to be able to bond with one another.
It was already 4PM. Maya already finished everything that needs to be read. She placed everything back inside her knapsack. She was about to leave when a cute, charming, little boy, clutching what seemed like a balloon on his right hand, caught her attention. Maya watched as the boy, whom she gauged is around 3 years of age, runs towards his mom. “Mommy! Mommy! Look! Look what I found!” beamed the boy to his mom. The woman inspected what his son got excited all along. When she saw that his son was clutching a deflated, dirty blue balloon, she gave her son a commanding look and said, “Matt, that’s dirty! You’re not supposed to pick up dirty things. Just throw it away. Your hands will get all dirty.” “Mommy! I want it! I want balloon!” pleaded the boy. “Matt, remember what mommy told you? Don’t pick up anything from the ground especially something dirty? That balloon is dirty. You’re not supposed to pick it up. Just throw it away, ok?” said the woman. “Mommy! I want balloon! I want balloon!” repeated the boy.
Maya can see that the boy is already on the verge of tears and at any moment, would start to have tantrums. She saw the woman shake her head then, softly ruffle the boy’s hair. Finally, the woman said, “Ok. I will just buy you a balloon, hmm? But we cannot take that balloon because it is already dirty. Look,” showing the boy how dirty the balloon is then continued, “It’s dirty and no longer able to fly. I will buy you another one,” said the woman giving the boy an assuring smile. The boy, still holding the blue balloon, looked at it for a while. Finally, he turned to his mom then finally said, “Ok mommy! I want big blue balloon!” smiling widely at her mom while demonstrating a big circle using his short arms. Maya saw the woman giggle and she herself cannot help but giggle as well with what the boy did. “Ok Matt. A big blue balloon,” said the woman, imitating her son’s actions. “Yehey! I have a balloon! I have a balloon! Yehey!” exclaimed the boy happily. As the two were about to leave, the boy just simply threw the balloon to the ground, and without giving it a second look, the two went on with their way.
Maya saw the whole thing. She found them cute but she was not happy that the balloon was not disposed off properly. Disappointed that the woman didn’t take care of placing the balloon on the proper trash bin. She then walked towards where the balloon is located so she could pick it up and dispose properly. As she picked the balloon from the ground, she suddenly felt the need to examine the balloon closely. Hard to explain but she sensed something telling her not to throw the balloon away and keep it. As she was turning it around, spreading it wide, she noticed that it isn’t the usual balloon you’d commonly see in parks, malls, and even birthday parties. It is airplane shaped. “Ang galing naman ng nakaisip at gumawa nito!” she thought to herself, admiring the ingenuity of its creator. “Kanino kaya ito? Mahal siguro ito. Sayang naman at basta nalang tinapon. Mukhang ang ganda ganda pa naman. Kung hindi lang ito ganito kadumi at kung may hangin lang ito sa loob, lalabas ang tunay na ganda nito.”
As she continued to examine the balloon, she felt something inside the balloon. Curious as to what it could be, she carefully removed the knot from the balloon and tried to peep at the small opening of the balloon. She saw a paper inside it. She took it out and noticed that it is a letter. “Huh? Bakit naman kaya may sulat sa loob ng lobo? Sino naman kaya ang sumulat nito at para kanino? Hindi kaya naiwala ito ng sumulat at hindi na naibigay sa sinulatan niya? O baka naman yung sinulatan ang nakawala at hindi na nagkaroon ng pagkakataong basahin ito? Hmmm..” Maya tried to check who the writer and supposed recipient of the letter is. Since she found nothing written on outside, she then decided to open the letter and read its contents for clues. Maya was standing still while reading the letter. Before she knew it, tears are already flowing freely down her cheeks.