Note: This is a continuation of Punk’d Emotional Blackmail
A/N: Ok people, we have now reached the final chapter of the series “Punk’d.” I truly am flattered by your warm responses and appreciation for this series. I never expected any of those. Thank you for appreciating this series no matter how mean & outrageous they seem. To those who laughed out loud, who cried laughing, who got pissed by the pranks, to everyone who simply took time to read, please accept my heartfelt gratitude.
Regarding the pranks played on this series, the first prank played by SC, if you wanna do it, fine. Do it at your own risk. I’ve done it before with a friend but I haven’t gone far use an indelible inked marker. Just settled myself with charcoal. Of course, expect the consequence – a slap, a shout, or a get back plan. Next, the prank played by Maya, now that will get you somewhere! Mababatas na talaga tayo pag ganun ang ginawa! haha! So please, think thrice before even thinking of doing it to someone. Third, the prank on Emotional Blackmail. Ok guys, only a deranged lunatic can ever think of such crime! (Wait, did I just say I am a deranged lunatic??) So please, don’t ever let that cross your minds! As for the final chapter of this series, it is the kind of prank that rational people do. So if you want to do any of these, I think this last one is the safest of them all. Haha! So without further ado, I give you the final spin-off for this series, Punk’d: Sundo. God bless everyone!
Richard hardly slept that night. The thought of Maya comforted by James, stroking her back as she cries on his shoulders, embracing her tightly while assuring her that everything’s going to be okay, that she doesn’t have to face this world alone, that he’ll always be there for her and the kids no matter what. Images of James and Maya looking at each other’s eyes tenderly, and James giving Maya a sweet tender kiss in between her tears occupies his mind. “Argh!! Stop it! Damn it Richard! Stop it! No! No!! No!!! That can’t happen! That will not happen! I won’t let it! Never!!”
“Oh my gee dad! What happened to you??” gasped Nikki as his father arrived at the dining table, joining them for breakfast. “Oo nga dad!” joined Luke, “Ok ka lang ba? May sakit ka ba?” he asked. “I’m fine,” answered Richard. “You don’t look okay dad,” said Abby in a sad voice. Richard smiled at Abby, touched her head, “I’m fine baby. Don’t worry about me,” he smiled. After a few seconds, Maya came emerging from the kitchen, holding a plate of pancakes. As she placed the pancakes on the table, she too noticed something amiss about Richard. “Mahal? Ok ka lang ba?” she asked worriedly as she touched his forehead to check his temperature. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. Hindi lang ako masyadong nakatulog kagabi,” explained Richard.
“Hindi ka nakatulog? Pero bakit naman mahal? May problema ba? May sumasakit ba sayo? May bumabagabag ba sayo?” asked Maya, worriedly. Richard gave her a weak smile, got her hand and planted a kiss, “I’m fine mahal. Don’t worry about me. May mga iniisip lang ako about.. Umm.. About work. Alam mo na. Stuff,” he said. Maya just stared at him for a moment checking the truth in his explanation, “Ok. Pero mahal, huwag mong masyadong ini-stress ang sarili mo sa trabaho. Tignan mo, ayan hindi ka masyadong nakatulog. Ang laki laki ng eyebags mo at mukhang haggard pa. Ay nako mahal! Hindi mo dapat inaabuso ang katawan mo. Ikaw talaga,” said Maya as she smiled sweetly at Richard. “Oo nga naman dad! Tama si mama. Kung makikita mo lang ang itsura mo sa salamin!” teased Luke which made everyone laugh.
Everything’s pretty much the same inside the Lim’s household, well, except for Richard that is. Anyone who can see him can easily tell that’s something’s amiss about him. He’s frequently having sleepless nights, always lost in his own thoughts, and unable to concentrate. Maya, the kids, his staff, and friends noticed the changes taking place in him but he always say the same thing, he’s just stressed at work, nothing more.
“Mahal? Ok ka lang bang talaga? Ito kasing mga nakakalipas na araw, napapansin ko lagi kang tulala. Tapos parang lagi kang kulang sa tulog. Hindi kaya..” trailed off Maya, trying to look hurt about the idea that his current state may be caused by his supposed condition, but Maya knew all along the reason behind his sleepless nights and lack of concentration. “Huh? May sinasabi ka ba mahal?” asked Richard, as if he was brought back to reality. Maya, letting out a sigh, “Para kasing hindi ka okay mahal. Hindi kaya ito na ang epekto ng sakit mo?” asked Maya, worry traced all over her face. “Siguro.. No! I mean. Stress lang siguro ito mahal. Pahinga lang siguro ang kailangan ko,” said Richard, giving Maya a weak smile. Maya, cupping Richard’s face, looked straight in his eyes, “Are you sure mahal? Sigurado kang walang sumasakit sayo o ano man ha?” asked Maya. Richard smiled at her, “I’m sure Mahal. Don’t worry,” he said then hugged Maya tightly. “I love you so much Mahal,” said Richard. “I love you too Mahal,” replied Maya as she hugged him back.
“This can’t be Richard! Hindi pwedeng ganito ng ganito! Argh! I was supposed to be enjoying the love and affection she’s showering me with! It’s not supposed to be like this! Think of something Richard! C’mon think!” he thought, as he paced back and forth inside his office, obviously restless about something. Finally, an idea hit him.
“Mahal, may schedule ka na ba for the whole month?” asked Richard. “Whole month? Weekly basis kasi ang dispersal ng schedule namin eh. Bakit mo naman natanong mahal?” asked Maya. “Wala naman. I just want to know what your schedule is. That way, mas makakapagplano tayo ng outing with the kids, di ba?” smiled Richard. “Hmm. Maganda yang idea mo mahal ah! Sige. As soon as makuha ko agad ang schedule ko, ibibigay ko agad sayo,” said Maya cheerfully.
“Hinding-hindi ako papayag Maya. Hinding-hindi ako papayag na mawawala ka sa paningin ko at makalapit si James sayo. I won’t let that happen. Never!” Richard thought.
And so Richard executed his plan. Whenever he has Maya’s flight schedule, he made sure that Liza books him on each and every flight as well, regardless of time and place. He didn’t let his presence known to Maya. He simply wanted to guard Maya and make sure that James is always at arm’s length. So far, James has not made any appearance, but that didn’t stop Richard from doing what he planned all along. Unknown to him, Maya already knew what he was doing and just played along with him.
“You mean to say Ma, binabantayan ka ni dad sa mga flights mo?” asked by a surprised Nikki. “Oo Nikki. Sa lahat ng flights ko. Regardless of place and time. Natatakot na baka magkita kami ni James,” said Maya. “OMG! Si dad talaga! I never thought that he is that possessive and that seloso!” chuckled Nikki. Maya laughed with Nikki as well but after a second or two, “Pero naaawa narin naman ako sa dad mo Nikki,” said Maya sadly. Nikki, heaving out a sigh, “He’s so G-R-R-R-R naman kasi! Why kasi he doesn’t want to make amin pa! He’s obviously the one who’s nahihirapan naman!” said Nikki while folding her arms and pouting her lips. “Pero Ma, don’t worry about it. I’m pretty sure he’ll eventually come back to his senses. Basta huwag ka munang susuko. What he did to you is so mean! Dad really needs to learn his lesson!” added Nikki.
Richard, sitting on his swivel chair inside his home office, lost in his thoughts once again that he didn’t notice Luke calling him. “Dad? Dad! Dad!!!” called Luke, almost like a shout. “Yes Luke?” answered Richard, obviously startled by Luke’s presence. Luke giving Richard a quizzical look, “Ok ka lang ba dad? Wala ka na naman sa sarili mo eh,” he asked. Richard half smiled, “Yes son. I’m fine. Do you need anything?” he asked. Luke not buying his dad’s alibi, “Are you sure dad? Cause you obviously don’t look fine,” said a concerned Luke. “Don’t worry about me. I’m totally fine. Do you need anything from me?” asked Richard. Luke, still not convinced by his dad’s response but decided not to pry further, “Magpapaalam lang sana ako dad. Punta kasi sana ako kila Nicholo on Friday night para sa group study, kung ok lang,” he asked. “Yes son. It’s fine with me,” replied Richard. “Thanks dad!” smiled Luke then retired to his room.
Luke knew that something’s amiss with his dad despite the latter’s denial. Decided to know the truth, he opted to ask Maya about it instead. Maya was at the kitchen when Luke approached her. “Ma? Busy ka ba?” asked Luke. “Hindi naman. Why? May kailangan ka ba sa akin?” smiled Maya. “Eh.. oo sana Ma eh. Baka pwede sana kitang makausap,” said Luke. “Yun lang pala eh. Sige. Dun nalang tayo sa veranda mag-usap,” said Maya.
At the Veranda, “Ano bang gusto mong pag-usapan natin Luke?” asked Maya. “Actually Ma, it’s about dad. May problema ba kayo ni dad Ma?” he asked. “Problema? Wala. Ok na ok kami ng dad mo. Bakit mo natanong?” asked Maya. “Eh kasi Ma. Napansin ko lang. Parang may iba kay dad eh. Lagi nalang siyang tulala. At parang hindi na siya natutulog. Pag tinatanong ko siya, lagi niyang sinasabi na ok lang siya, pero hindi eh. May mali,” explained Luke. Maya didn’t know what to say to Luke. If there’s one thing she cannot do, that is lie to the kids. Luke noticed the sudden silence of Maya and the change in her expression. “Ok ka lang ba Ma? Is there anything that you’re not telling me?” asked Luke in a concerned tone. Left with no other choice, she narrated everything to Luke, from Richard’s supposed condition to her supposed get back using James.
“What??? Seriously Ma?? Dad did that to you??” gasped Luke, still not able to comprehend that his dad can do something like this. Maya could only nod her head as confirmation. Luke, on the other hand, shook his head in disbelief. “Si dad talaga o!” he said. “So you mean to say Ma, his plan actually backfired?” asked Luke. “Eh parang ganun na nga. Ngayon kahit saan ako magpunta, lagi siyang nakabantay. Lagi niyang inaalam kung nasaan ako at kung sinong kasama ko. Hindi man niya sabihin pero alam kong selos na selos siya kay James,” explained Maya. “Dad talaga,” smiled Luke, while further shaking his head. “Eh naaawa na nga ako sa kanya eh. Alam ko namang gumaganti lang siya sa akin. Pero sabi ni Nikki, kailangan daw maturuan ng leksyon ang daddy niyo. Masyadong mean na daw kasi itong ginawa niya,” said Maya sadly. “Well, tama naman si Niks, Ma. Hindi biro itong ginawa sa iyo ni dad. It’s not even a good joke to fake terminal illness,” said Luke, matter-of-factly. The two remained silent for a moment, when Luke suddenly thought of a bright idea. “Alam ko na!” exclaimed Luke, grinning naughtily at Maya. “Ano yun?” asked Maya, startled by Luke. Luke still grinning widely at Maya, “I just have the perfect plan and perfect solution for this Ma,” he said.
Just like the previous nights, Richard still finds it hard to sleep. His paranoia just wouldn’t let him. It was already 12AM, Richard feeling the tiredness of his eyes, when suddenly, “Richard.. Richard.. Richard..” called a female voice, in a sweet haunting way.
“Richard.. Richard.. Richard..” it called again. Richard, trying to look for the source of the voice, put his glasses on and first checked on Maya. After confirming that Maya is sleeping soundly, waited to see if someone will call him again. “Richard.. Richard.. Richard..” it said, in the same haunting tone. “Who’s there?” he asked. “Richard.. Honey.. Hindi mo na ba ako naaalala?” it said. Richard, trying to act normal, “Who’s there? Nikki?? Is that you?” he asked and tried to open the door to check if someone’s outside and simply playing tricks on him, but he found none.
He went back to bed. “Richard, guni-guni mo lang yun. Wala yun. Yan ang napapala mo. Kung anu-ano kasi ang pumapasok sa isip mo eh,” he thought. He was about to lay back when, “Richard.. Honey..” it called once more. Richard, feeling chills traveling up his body, “Who’s there? Kung sino ka man, lumabas ka na,” said Richard irritably. “Richard.. Honey.. Hindi mo na ba talaga ako naaalala?” it said. Still trying to muster all courage he’s got left, “Look! I have no time for jokes! Either show yourself or you surely are going to pay for this!” said Richard, trying to sound furious although he’s already shaking inside. “Richard.. Honey.. It’s me.. Your Alex..” it said. “No! Yo-you ca-can’t be Alex!” stuttered Richard, “It can’t be! Alex is dead!” he said, as he got goose bumps all over his body. “Richard.. Honey.. It’s time..” it said hauntingly. “Wha-what do you mean it’s time?” asked Richard, obviously startled. “It’s time Honey.. I’m here for you.. Sinusundo na kita..” it said. “Wha-what?? Anong sinusundo? Wh-why? I’m not going anywhere!” said Richard, thoroughly frightened, knuckles turning white as he clutch on the edge of the comforter, trying to find refuge under it as he tries so hard to pull it up to his neck.
“Richard.. It’s time.. Kailangan mo ng sumama sa akin.. Sinusundo na kita..” it further said. “No! No!” shouted Richard. “Honey.. Sinusundo na kita.. It’s time.. Kailangan mo ng sumama sa akin.. Richard.. Richard.. Richard..” it said hauntingly, echoing inside his head. “No! No!! No!!” he shouted as he hid his face under the comforter, shaking in fright. “Mahal? Mahal? Mahal!!” called Maya, as he tried to nudge Richard. Richard almost fell from their bed as he was startled by Maya. Face drained of blood and beads of sweat all over his face. “Ano bang nangyayari sayo Mahal? Bakit ganyan itsura mo? Saka bakit ka ba nagsisisigaw jan??” asked Maya, confusion on her face. “Ma-mahal,” stuttered Richard, “Wa-wala ka bang nadinig kanina?” he asked nervously. “Narinig? Narinig kitang nagsisisigaw. Kaya nga nagising ako eh. Bakit ba kasi? At bakit putlang putla at pawis na pawis ka? May sakit ka ba?” asked Maya while trying to check his temperature. “Wa-wala naman mahal. Sige na mahal, matulog na tayo,” said Richard, still looking flushed. “Sigurado ka mahal?” asked Maya in a concerned tone. “O-oo Mahal. Ayos lang ako. Si-sige na. Matulog na ulit tayo,” he said. They both went back in bed, Richard embracing Maya ever so tightly.
The next day, as they were having breakfast, “Oh my gee dad! You look like a zombie! What happened to you??” gasped Nikki. “Hindi ka na naman ba nakatulog kagabi dad?” asked Luke. “Yes guys. I’m fine. Stressed lang ako,” said Richard. “Are you sure mahal? Baka kailangan dalin ka na namin sa doctor?” asked Maya. “No need Mahal. I am fine,” smiled Richard.
That evening, Richard finally decided to come out clean to Maya. The thought of his dead wife fetching him from the grave scared the hell out of him. “Karma ko siguro yun dahil sinabi ko na mamamatay na ako. I better set things straight to Maya,” he thought. So he asked Maya to join him in the garden to talk. As he confessed his prank to Maya, he was surprised that Maya didn’t get angry with him, in fact she was laughing at him. Bewildered by Maya’s reaction, “What???” he asked surprisingly. Maya, finding it hard to speak, “Eh kasi naman mahal! Matagal ko ng alam na niloloko mo lang ako!” she laughed. “What?? How??” he asked in confusion and surprise. Maya narrated everything to Richard, from the day that Nikki learned of his prank to Luke’s get back plan.
Richard, shaking his head in disbelief, “So it was Luke’s idea to scare the hell out of me last night,” he said. Maya, still laughing, “Oo! Eh kasi naman ikaw, mag-iisip nalang ng joke, ganun pa kasama. Kaya naisip namin na turuan ka ng leksyon. Kung hindi pa namin gawin yun, hindi ka pa aamin!” “Ok fine! It’s all my fault,” he said, managing to smile about the whole thing. “Alam mo mahal, I think we should put an end to this already. Baka mamaya kung saan pa mapunta itong lokohan nating ito,” said Richard, smiling sweetly at Maya. “Ay nako Mahal! Buti naman at naisip mo na yan! Pinahihirapan lang natin ang isa’t-isa eh! Saka matanda ka na para sa mga ganyan!” teased Maya. “Ah ganon??” warned Richard. “Joke lang mahal. Ito naman binibiro ka lang,” chuckled Maya. “Basta mahal, ititigil na natin ang mga ganyang lokohan ha?” asked Maya. “Promise,” replied Richard. “Teka lang mahal ha. May kukunin lang ako sa loob,” smiled Maya. “Ok,” smiled Richard back.
As soon as Maya is nowhere in sight, Richard’s phone beeped, “MMS? From Maya? Ano kaya ito?” he thought. As he opened the video sent to him by Maya, his eyes went wide and suddenly became furious and embarrassed at the same time, as he watched himself on the screen totally flushed and scared. “MAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!”
Oh well. As they say, old habits die hard.