This is a continuation to I’m sorry, I love you – part 10
Richard arrived Manila lunch time after travelling for almost 12 hours.
Fortunately, the flight was smooth compared to the Melbourne-Singapore leg he took the other day. On his way to Shangrila-EDSA where he was booked, he noticed a big improvement in the Manila compared to 20 years when he was still living here.
He dialed Maya’s number and was glad that it rang.
“Hello?” Maya’s voice was on the other end.
“Huh? Richard? Ah… napatawag ka?” She seemed to be uneasy by the tone of her voice. How did he get her phone number? Si Ryan talaga, hmmp! On the first week she started working with Ryan, they got along pretty well such that eventually she felt secured to open up to him about Richard. She didn’t exactly tell him about her Singapore trip and how Richard treated her but she shared about her feelings for him.
“I’m here in Manila. Where can I see you? I want to speak to you.” Richard spoke straight to the point.
“Ha? Wala ako sa Manila. I’m here in San Nicolas. Umuwi ako sa Mama ko.
I’m supposed to stay here until next week.” Was her response.
“What? Saan yang San Nicolas? I will see you there.” He flew thousands of miles to see to her and he was getting impatient with the run around that was happening to him.
“Richard, there’s no need. Since we are already on the phone talking, let’s talk now. What is it that you want to discuss?” Maya asked.
“I prefer that we talk face to face. I really need to speak to you please. I followed you all the way from India. Where is San Nicolas? I can go there if you want me to.” His voice is now almost pleading.
“Sandali lang.” There was long silence on the other end as if Maya was thinking or talking to someone else. Finally, she said. “Okay, I will be there the day after tomorrow. May kailangan lang akong tapusin dito.”
“Thank you. Please just tell me your flight details. I’d like to fetch you at the airport.”
Richard was waiting at the right most exit door of NAIA Terminal 3 where he was supposed to meet Maya. He waited for this day to see her which felt like eternity. When he saw her walking towards him, he was relieved that he would finally be able to spend time with her.
“Hi?” He greeted her as he took the bag she was carrying.
Maya initially didn’t want to let go of her bag but Richard insisted on carrying it for her. He then ushered her to his rented car.
“We’ll just have lunch at EDSA Shang. I’m booked there.” He told her while Maya remained silent.
As soon as they sat inside the car, Maya wanted to discussion to start. “So, what is it that you want us to talk about?”
“Maya, unless you want a 3rd party audience in what we’ll discuss, can you hold off for a few minutes please?” Richard replied. He reached for her hand to hold it but she turned him away by pretending read messages from her phone. From her response, he knew tough times will be ahead of him.
Richard chose the Paparazzi restaurant of EDSA Shangri-La to have lunch. They ate in silence, both waiting for the right time to speak. They were in a corner table; just by themselves.
Richard was gazing at her, trying to figure out how to start. Finally, he said.
“I wanted to apologize personally for my behavior last time.” He reached out for her hand once again. As soon as he touched her hand, his heartbeats became faster.
“It’s fine Richard. Yun lang ba? Sabi ko naman sa’yo pwede ng sa phone lang tayo mag-usap.” She forced a smile while she took her hand away.
“It won’t do… The truth is I am missing you terribly. The past few weeks that I was away, it was difficult for me.” He started to pour out what was in his heart.
“Talaga? When you miss someone, what exactly do you feel? Is it the same feeling as dependency?” She said sarcastically.
“Maya, I’m sorry. I treated you badly. It was insensitive of me to say those things to you. I realized it when I was in Australia. I don’t know where to start…”
“Well, you started well by saying I’m sorry. Although it hurt me, you were right about many things. We hardly know each other. I went there opening my heart to you and you just ripped it to pieces. Come to think of it, I should thank you.” She half-smiled.
“Maya… please… pasalitain mo naman ako.” He was pleading, his eyes very apologetic.
“Richard, hindi naman ako galit. Salamat nga mga sinabi mo sa akin. While I spent many days pining for you, I should have known that it was one-sided from the start.” She said it with sincerity from her heart.
“It was never one-sided. I like you very much. You are different. Every day that we were together, I was happy. I was happy working with you, being with you. I was a fool not to recognize that.” Although he poured these out to her, she longed for something else. She hoped he would say more. She was in pensive mode.
Tears were starting to well up in her eyes. “Do you know how I felt when I was talking to you that time. I felt so belittled. There were a few insinuations that you made. Those really hurt.”
Richard felt so guilty that he was almost in tears as well. “Maya, could you find it in your heart to forgive me?” His heart was aching for her and yet there were no right words to express himself. He was longing for her and the love that used to be in her eyes.
They both remained quiet for a while; with Maya staring at him, waiting for him to say more until finally,
“Yes, all is forgiven Richard. Let’s move on. So, if you are feeling guilty about what you did. Okay na” She touched his arm to reinforce her statement.
He held her hand and pressed it hard, not wanting to let go. “Maya… I’m really sorry.”
“It’s fine Richard. I think you’ve said everything you wanted to say so… goodbye.” Then she let go of his hand, stood up and left him.
Richard was surprised by her sudden act. He was at a loss for words and was confused. If she forgave him, why was she leaving him. He half-run to stop her. She was on the escalator at the ground floor when he caught up with her.
“Maya… why are you leaving.” His hand on holding her arm as he caught her.
She turned to face him with a serious tone. “You’ve already said you’re sorry, right? I accepted it. So, all is well, Richard.”
“But… I thought, we could start over, as in we could be together?” There was a mix of hope and panic in his tone.
Maya gave him a dry smile. “Richard, I appreciate the apology. But, it isn’t enough.” She disengaged from him and walked away.
She’s gone. For the second time, he let her walk out on him.