This is a continuation to I’m sorry, I love you – part 11
Chapter 12 –
Maya went to her condo unit as soon as she left Richard. She was crying again. She thought that after weeks of not seeing him and not talking to him, she would be fine. She wasn’t.
He has apologized and she knew that he was sincere about it. However, she needed some more. She wanted to be assured that he loves her too. She just needed three simple words, “I love you” but she didn’t hear it from him. If there was one thing she learned from her experience with him, everything must be black and white. Call it stupidity, stubbornness, immature but she needed those words. It was all she needed from him. She fell asleep with tears in her eyes.
Maya woke up with her phone ringing intermittently. She has fallen asleep for several hours. The incoming call is from an unknown number.
She picked up the call nevertheless while looking at her watch. It was 10:30 p.m. “Hello”
“Mrs. Lim?” The man on the other line asked. The mere mention of Lim brought back the memory of Richard and she felt pain in her heart once more.
“Huh? Sorry, you dialed the wrong number.” She disconnected the call. But it rang again.
“Ma’m, pasensya na po. May kilala ba kayong Richard Lim?” It was the same caller.
Maya suddenly became nervous. She was afraid that something might have happened to him.
“Yes, I know him.”
“Salamat po. So, tama po talaga itong number ko – Mrs. Lim” Again, she was referred to as Mrs. Lim. “Ay mam, pinapatawagan kasi kayo ni Sir.”
“Where is he? Bakit hindi s’ya ang tumawag sa akin?” Maya more worried about his condition than asking why she is Mrs. Lim.
“Nandito po sa lobby bar ng hotel. Pero medyo lasing na po.”
“He’s a guest of your hotel. Couldn’t you get him to his room?” Maya suggested.
“Eh, Ma’m ang sabi n’ya, kailangan daw n’yang makausap si Mrs. Lim.” The caller explained.
Maya was unsure if she is the right Mrs. Lim. Anyway, she was still worried about him. He is at the hotel and if he is really drunk and by himself, something could happen. She doesn’t how he behaves when he’s drunk. In the end, she relented and went back to the hotel.
When she arrived at the hotel, Richard was still at the bar drinking but he seemed fine.
“Hi, Maya.” He smiled the moment he saw her. He was obviously drunk.
“Richard, please stop this. Let’s go to your room. Halika na.” She convinced him to leave the bar.
“Nope. I’d like to stay here. Let’s talk.” He drank some more while one of his hands tried to pull her closer to him.
“Eh, lasing ka na. Stop this. We can talk later.” She coaxed him some more; starting to feel embarrassed by the attention they were getting from other guests.
“What’s your room number?” She asked him while signaling the waiter for the bill.
“Hmmm. I don’t know.” Richard responded as he took one more sip from his glass. Maya had to pull-out his wallet from his pocket to locate his room key.
When she opened his wallet, she was surprised to see their photo that was taken at Charminar. So, may pagka cheesy din pala itong mamang ito, she thought. But she quickly reminded herself that she shouldn’t assume too much. When the bill was brought to her, she found out that he has been drinking a lot since the time she left him. She signed-off the bill and asked help to bring him back to his room.
As soon as they arrived in his room, Richard fell asleep on his bed. Maya decided to remove his shoes and socks. He was still wearing his eyeglasses as he lay there asleep so she removed it as well. As she leaned to put covers on him, his hand suddenly moved and pulled her towards him.
“Maya, please don’t leave me. Please stay.” He shifted his body such that Maya was now laying on the bed with his heavy arm draped around her. When she tried to move, he held her tighter not wanting to let her go. She checked on him wondering if he was really asleep or pretending. He was asleep. In the end, she decided to stay. Being drunk, he seemed harmless.
She took the opportunity to scrutinize the face of the man she loves. She loves his eyes, his nose. What she loved most in his face is his lopsided smile. She poked on his right cheek, loving where his dimple is whenever he smiles. If only she can love him less, then maybe she won’t hurt when she sees him hurting too. He looked tired. Slowly, sleep overcame her.
Richard woke up few hours later with a splitting headache. He has never consumed so much alcohol in his life. When he moved, he felt a warm body close to him. It was Maya sleeping soundly beside him. He then remembered that he asked her stay with him.
He slowly got up from the bed, not wanting to disturb her sleep. He took a long cold shower to help him sober up quickly and remove the smell of alcohol in his body. When he came out of the bathroom, he felt fresher although he still had a headache. Maya was still on the bed sleeping. He paced back and forth in the room thinking of what to do when she wakes up.
In the end, he chose to go back to bed to be with her.
As he rejoined her, he gazed at the beauty that was peacefully sleeping. He marveled at her face, her neck that is fully exposed now that her hair has been cut short. Her lips were tempting as it twitched slightly while in slumber. In his thoughts, how could I hurt her. She has always been there for me, her eyes have showed it all the first time I met her. This is the same woman whom I felt protective of from the start. I wanted to take care of her even in the smallest things but when it came to what mattered most, I turned her away. It hurts so much that I might have lost her.
With a wave of emotion that he can’t control anymore, he finally admitted to himself that loves her so much that it hurts. He felt a compelling urge to kiss her so he pressed his lips gently to hers. She opened her lips instinctively in her half-asleep state; she was dreaming of Richard kissing her. He kissed her deeper. With this, Maya’s eyes fully opened. His face so close to hers, his lips millimeter to hers, she could only murmur, “Richard?”
“Maya, I’m sorry. I love you. I can’t find the right words to say how much but I love you. I’ve been in-love with you for some time now.” He felt his heart almost bursting with love for her. Tears started to drop from his eyes and fell on Maya’s face.
There was an incredulous look in Maya’s face. If she was dreaming, it was a dream that she didn’t want to wake up from. This is what she’s been waiting for, a complete admission.
“I love you. Please say that you still love me. Please say you’ll have me.” Richard’s voice was quivering; while looking into her eyes.
She couldn’t contain her emotion as well. “I love you Richard Lim.” This time, it was her turn to kiss him on the lips. It started as a slow light kiss that progressed into a passionate kiss. All the pain were gone and replaced by the love for each other. They kissed and embraced each other until their hearts content.
“Richard” Maya looked up while she still lay in his bed, cuddled in his arms.
“Why the sudden change of heart? You were so good in making me believe you didn’t care about me.” Maya asked.
“Shhh, don’t say that. You don’t know what pain I went through but I know I hurt the person I love most.” He kissed her forehead.
“But, when did you know that you were in-love with me? Sige na, I’m curious.” She pursued her interest; finding it amusing that he is now openly sharing his feelings for her.
“Alright, it started when you first went back to Manila.”
“Ha? That was the first week I was in Hyderabad.” She was shocked by his revelation.
“Yes, if you remember, you kissed me goodbye. Nagulat ako actually. After that I was restless and wanted to always talk to you.”
“Was that the reason why you called me every day, every afternoon when I was here?”
“Yes, I only planned for an audio call but after the first call I felt I’ll go crazy if I don’t hear your voice. I didn’t call you for a day only to invite you come back earlier for that tour. I’ve always felt protective of you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier? It would have saved us from all the pain?”
“You are in a relationship. I’m older and more experienced. I thought all of these will come to past. It must be just an infatuation, parang mga bata lang ba. I’ve never experienced this before. So, now whatever reservations I have, they don’t matter anymore.”Richard explained as he moved a bit to bring her face closer to his.
She kissed him once more, happiness overflowing in her heart. She hoped that he would stay this way forever, so sweet and loving. Then, she realized she must let him know something.
“Ah… Richard, did Ryan tell you something about the Hindra project?” She checked if he knew the latest development.
“What about? I am fully aware that the next site is Chennai. Why is there a change?”
“Not really a change in the next site. But, I am not going to join the Chennai site.” She declared quickly.
Richard turned to look at her directly. “What do you mean not joining?”
“I’ve accepted another consultancy assignment. I’m going to China next week.” She told him, unprepared for his reaction.
“WHAAAT?” His voice reverberated in the room.