A/N : Before anything else, I would like to thank Ms. Sharpie for making me a contributor here. Nagulat po ako sa laman ng email ko. Thank you po C:
These are the last chapters of my current fanfic. Enjoy!
This is a continuation of The End Where I Begin – Part 7
It was already 9PM when James arrived. Richard just left a few minutes ago. She felt relieved that she survived another night without Richard knowing what’s happening. Little did she know that this night will be the last night that she had to hide the truth.
“Salamat sa bulaklak.”, said she as they sit on the couch.
“Anything for you, sweety.”, he said.
Maya looked at the roses for a moment then she asked, “James, bakit rosas?”
“Bakit rosas yung binigay mo sa’kin eh ang dami namang klase ng bulaklak?”
“Ahh. Eh diba ‘yun naman talaga ang binibigay sa mga babae?”
“Oo. Pero anong meaning?”
“Kailangan pa bang may meaning, Maya?”
Maya looked unsatisfied with James’ answer. She suddenly remembered what Richard told her when he gave her sunflowers before.
“It’s because it’s uncommon. And it suits you, Maya. You’re not common; you’re one in a million. Sunflowers are often said to give radiance, and you always do that. You gave me hope when things are not going in my way, and you always bring a smile to my face. You’re my sunflower, Maya.” (from Seize the Day)
That’s when it hit her.
Richard is the one who she really loves. The reason why James is here is that she is trying to prove to herself that he is the person fitted for this role in her life. But now she realized that she cannot cast another person when she knew from the start that the best one is already with her.
While James was eating, Maya is just silently watching him.
“Oh? Hindi ka ba kakain?” he said.
“Hindi na, sumabay na ko kay Richard kanina.”
James looked at her for a moment. “Makikipag-break na ako kay Alex.” He said.
Maya was shocked. “Ha?”
“I said makikipag-break na ako kay Alex.”
“Maya, I have you now.”
“Teka James, hindi ba parang ang bilis naman?”
“Alin ang mabilis?”
“Ito! Lahat ‘to.”
“Hindi ito mabilis, Maya. We’re simply continuing what should have happened seven years ago.”
Seven years. Seven years, Maya. Think.
“You’re thinking again. Stop over thinking things, Maya.” He said when he noticed Maya silent.
Seven years. Seven long years.
“Oh, and could you please tell Richard about us? Sabihin mo na habang maaga pa. Masasaktan –“
“Teka James. Wala namang ‘us’ diba? Hindi pa naman ako umo-oo sa sitwasyon ah.”
“Then what do you call this? I know you’re having doubts again, but I promise you, my heart belongs to you.”
No. No! “Eh pano kung hindi ko tanggapin ‘yan?” Maya said. She herself got shocked at what James said.
“Ha? What do you mean?” He replied, equally shocked as the woman in front of him.
“James,” she sighed deeply. “may nauna na. May iba na akong tinaggap, at may iba na ring nagmamay-ari ng puso ko.”
“But – “
“I’m sorry, James.” She said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m sorry kung nagmukhang pinaasa kita these past few days. I got confused. Akala ko sign na ‘to ni Lord kung sino talaga ‘yung lalaking para sa’kin. Pero iba pala ‘yung plano Niya. Pina-realize Niya sa’kin kung sino ‘yung lalaking mahal ko. At si Richard ‘yon.”
James was gobsmacked. He can’t find the right words to say.
“I’m really sorry, James. I – “
The two of them turned around to find Luke awake.
“A-anak, ba-bakit ka nagising?” Maya stuttered. She felt nervous that her son and his father are at the same room.
“I thought I heard Papa talking po.” He said drowsily.
“Papa?” Maya and James said at the same time.
“Opo, si Tito Papa po. Si Tito Richard po.” Luke said. “Mommy? Bakit po kayo naiyak?
“Ah wala.” Maya said, trying to wipe her tears. “Na-napuwing lang si Mommy.”
“Mommy? Bakit po kayo naiyak?” now it was Niccolo who came out.
“Gawa po ba niya?” Luke pointed at James, and then the boys went near him. “Bakit niyo po pinapaiyak si mommy? Isusumbong ko po kayo kay Papa! Sinaktan niyo po si Mommy!” they madly said as they hit James’ leg. “Kung sasaktan niyo lang po si Mommy ko, umalis na po kayo!”
Maya felt pity for James at that moment. She can clearly see the man’s pain; the pain that his own sons wants him to leave.
“Uhm, boys?” James said. His voice is shaky, giving Maya a clue that he’s on the verge of crying.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He said, now his tears are escaping. “Pasensya na kung nasaktan ko ang mommy niyo. May atraso kasi ako sa mommy niyo, ngayong ko lang nagawa.” He said as he pats both the heads of his sons.
“Bakit din po kayo naiyak?” Niccolo asked.
“Eh kasi, late ko na nagawa ‘to. Dapat pala dati pa.” His heart aches more as he talks to them.
“It’s better than late than never po diba?” Luke asked.
James gave a soft chuckle. “You guys are really Maya’s kids. You’re right pero I’m seven years late boys. There are things in life that must be done sooner, kasi hindi na kasing pareho at kasing-saya ang kalalabasan ng late na ng sobra.”
Maya was trying to hold back her tears. She knew all too well that James is apologizing for being absent in his sons’ lives.
“Kung maibabalik ko nga lang yung dati, nagawa ko na. Edi sana wala akong regrets ngayon. Sana hindi namroblema yung mommy niyo dati nung maliliit pa kayo, kasi yung atraso ko, mahirap kapag wala sa mommy niyo. Ang bobo kasi ng Tito James niyo eh, ang bagal bagal pa.”
“Tito, wag na po kayong umiyak.” Niccolo said.
“Oo nga po, Tito. Kung ano man po yung ngayon niyo lang nagawa, sigurado po kaming pinatawad na kayo ni Mommy dun. Sorry nga po pala sa pagpalo kanina.” Luke said.
“Ayos lang ‘yon.” James replied. Kulang pa yung sakit na ‘yun sa sakit na dinulot ko sa inyo.
“Hindi man po kasing saya yung kinalabasan po nung late na, at least po nag-try siya diba po? Saka buti nga po may kinalabasan pa eh.” Luke continued.
“Nakikita po yung effort ng tao. Diba Luke? Yan yung turo ni Ma’am?” Niccolo proudly said.
James tears cannot stop flowing. “Eh kung sa inyo ba nangyari ‘yon, papatawarin niyo ba ako?”
Niccolo and Luke looked at each other. “Oo naman po! Kung si Lord nga po, kayang magpatawad, tao pa po kaya?” they both said.
James finally smiled. “Do you mind if I give you two a hug?”
The twins didn’t answer, they just went near James and they gave him a hug. Maya could see James savouring the moment. He later on gave them a kiss on their heads and she heard him whisper “I’m really sorry mga anak.”
“Sige po Tito, tutulog na po kami ulit. Magagalit po si Mommy eh. Goodnight po!” Niccolo said.
“Basta po Tito, wag po kayong matatakot na sumubok ulit. Kapit-bisig lang po! Goonight din po Mommy!”, the twins gave Maya a hug, then they descended to their room.
Maya continues to cry after the twins left. She also felt James’ pain. But at the same time, she was also glad that even though the message that James gave them was not direct, she knew from the bottom of her heart that he’s apologizing to them and also to her for his absence in their lives.
“James ..” Maya started.
James looked at her, tears still flowing from his eyes. “I’m really late, am I, Maya?”
Maya could only nod. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. It’s my own fault. Siguro karma ‘to kasi tinurn-down ko yung gift ni God sa’kin dati. I’m really sorry, Maya. Ang buong akala ko kasi maibabalik ko ang lahat sa dati. I thought na hindi ka pa nakakamove-on, but I was wrong. Kahit yung mga bata nakamove-on na.” James smirked for a second, and then looked at Maya. “Richard is lucky. Siya na ‘yung kinikilalang tatay ni Luke at Niccolo. I felt so much pain when I heard them call him Papa, na dapat ako ‘yun. And I know that you really love him, after you turned me down earlier. “, he chuckled.
“Eh ikaw naman kasi eh! Kung wala kang arte dati edi siguro happy family tayo!” Maya teased. She was simply trying to lift up the mood and she also couldn’t think of anymore to say.
James wiped his tears. “Ewan ko ba sa sarili ko! Hay nako Maya!” He took one deep breath. “I should go.”
“Teka James, pano .. pano kayo ni Alex?”
“I don’t know. But I’m still breaking up with her.”
“James, hindi tama ‘yan –“
“Maya, we’re not exactly in love.”
“It’s just .. it’s my Dad’s arrangement. My father wants to be close to the Lim Family for their business. Parang ginusto lang niya ‘to. I’m not really in love with Alex, and neither is she. Hanggang mag-best friends lang talaga kami. Napag-usapan na namin ‘to long ago, that’s why I told you earlier that I’m breaking up with her.”
“A-alam ni Alex ‘yung tungkol sa’kin?” Maya’s eyes grew bigger at the thought.
“No! No, she doesn’t know anything about this. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, may kailangan lang akong gawing tama. She completely understood and by the looks of it, siguro ito na ‘yung tama. Setting you guys free is the right thing to do.”
Maya’s tears are now attempting to flow again.
“Oh, tama na, Maya. Suko na ko sa pag-sungkit ng pinakamaraming luhang nailabas.” He joked.
“Eh kasi naman ikaw eh!”
“I better go.” He stood up.
“Ihahatid na kita.”
It was dark outside. Maya followed James to where he parked his car.
“So pano? This is finally goodbye.” James said. “Pero bago ang lahat, I have to give my message to you.”
“Ha? Anong message?”
He smirked. “Take care of yourself, ok? Pero hindi ko na naman kailangan mag-alala eh. Alam ko naman kasing aalagaan kayo ni Richard. He’s a good company, and I trust him. Basta take care of the heart you chose to have, Maya. And I hope na hindi mo na puputulin yung connections natin. Marami na yung birthdays nina Luke at Niccolo na kailangan kong bawian. And I have your wedding to attend to.”
“What? It’s true. Eventually, magpapakasal ka. Hindi ka naman siguro magpapakamanang.”
“Eto naman, Manang agad?”
They both laughed. “Basta, if you need my help, I’ll be here. I will be here, always.”
“Salamat James. Thank you so much.” Maya said.
James hugged Maya and gave her a kiss on her cheek.
What happened next was a blur.
James felt an agonizing pain on his right cheek like he was punched.
Wait. Nasuntok nga ako.
When he looked up, he saw Richard so mad and is screaming words.
“Ri-richard .. “ was the only word he can utter.
Maya was shocked to see Richard at the scene.
He’s not supposed to be here. He’s not supposed to be here. Why is he here?!
Little did Maya know, Richard has his own suspicions.
“Si .. si James. Siya yung . . sya yung tatay ni Luke at Niccolo.” She nervously said when he asked her a question. She was so scared, scared at the situation, scared at Richard, scared to what will happen after all of this.
And her fear happened – Richard left.
Maya tried to stop him from leaving, but he won’t budge. He left leaving Maya crying.
James quickly approached Maya who is now crying so hard.
“He left James. He left!” She said as she hugged James back.
Without a doubt, James already knew what he had to do.
“Umakyat ka na, Maya. Ako nang bahala.”
“James .. “
“Trust me, Maya.”
After Maya left, he quickly got on his Camry and started driving.
Hindi agad uuwi si Richard. He needs someplace to be alone.
James tried going to the different bars near Richard’s house, but he can’t find him. When he seems to be losing all hope when he reached the sixth bar that night, he finally saw Richard, sitting on a stool.
“Richard . .”
Richard looked at him. “Oh? What do you want James? Nasa’yo na si Maya ah. Gusto mo pa bang kunin si Alex? Damn, kunin mo na lahat! You already took my life, might as well take everything.” He replied. He’s obviously drunk.
“It’s not that, Richard. I – “, Realizing he can’t really be clear with Richard at his state, he decided to give up.
“Ano na? See? You can’t even tell me anything! Pareho talaga kayo ni Maya. Bagay talaga kayo.”
“Richard, let’s go. You’re drunk.”
“And why would I trust you? You’re the same guy who took Maya from me, for Pete’s sake! Why would I trust you?”
James only sighed. What he simply did is he left Richard, but he took a sit somewhere inside that bar and waited for him to be completely drunk until he can’t walk alone.
After another hour, Richard attempted to stand up but he stumbled. Good thing James caught him.
“Let go of me!” he screamed but his words are quite blurry.
James didn’t mind what Richard said and brought him inside his car. When Richard reached inside, he fell asleep instantly. James took him home. Alex helped him in bringing Richard inside his room.
“Nalaman na ba ni Kuya yung sa inyo ni Maya?” Alex asked when James invited her for coffee at the veranda.
“Yes. He was so furious when he learned about it.”
“And you even told Maya na wala akong alam sa inyo?”
“Yes. That’s what I told her.”
“Golly James! I’ve known your story ever since we’ve met and that’s the first reason why I brought you back here in the Philippines. I thought that you would go search for her and eventually bring her back. Pero I’m sorry, ha? I never thought that she would be my Kuya’s girlfriend.”
“It’s ok, Alex. Thank you nga pala. Kasi kahit papaano, may nagawa akong tama.”
“And how about your sons?”
“I’ve met them, but they haven’t met me. Ok na siguro ‘yon kasi may kinikilala na naman silang tatay eh.”
“Your Kuya. And speaking of your Kuya, I think I better rent a place, because I strongly think that he can kill me if he sees me tomorrow.”
“Hindi yan no. I know my brother well enough. Tititigan ka lang nyan ng masama. Then hindi ka niya kakausapin.”
“Are you positive? Sigurado kang wala akong pasa bukas?”
“Oo naman no. Saka aaminin ko na rin sa kanya ‘tong pakana lang ng tatay mo. Ewan ko ba dun, ayun tuloy, may girlfriend na ata si Simon. Nakita ko Nakita ko sa facebook nya eh kaya ang lungkot ko nung mga nagdaang araw.”
James laughed. “Don’t worry. Kung gusto mo iakyat kita ng ligaw eh!”
“Baliw ka talaga, James, kahit kailan.” She scowled.
“Matulog ka na nga Alex. And I also need to get some sleep. Kailangan kong magprepare sa mangyayari bukas.”
Richard woke up with a terrible headache. It’s been a while since he felt that kind of pain. He got up and took a shower. It was then when he remembered what had happened last night.
I should tell Alex.
He quickly went downstairs to find Alex and James having breakfast.
“Kuya! Good morning! Kamusta ang headache natin? Join us for breakfast!”, Alex said.
“Thank you Alex.”, he then shifted his gaze at James. “I’ll eat later. I’ve lost my appetite.”
Richard went to his office to work. Well, not exactly work because he cannot think of anything except for what happened last night.
“Kuya?” he looked up.
“Kape o.” Alex said as she placed a cup of coffee at his table.
“Thank you. Listen, Alex, I need to talk to you –“
“Kuya, break na kami ni James.”
“Break na kami ni –“
“Are you okay? It’s okay if you want to cry, I’m your brother after all.”
Alex gave a soft chuckle. “Kuya, it’s okay. I don’t really love him.”
“What do you exactly mean by you don’t really love him?” Richard is now confused.
“I don’t love him, Kuya. It’s as simple as that. Akala kasi namin magwo-work out kami since we’re friends and also kasi parang napagkasundo kami ng Dad niya pero hindi naman kami meant to be eh.”, Alex carefully picked out the words that she’s going to say. She doesn’t want to slip words that would just trigger Richard’s anger. She just wants his brother to be happy after all the things that he have done for her.
“Kuya, I think there are other questions that you would want to ask me.”
Richard took a deep breath. “Do .. do you know about James and Maya?”
Alex smirked. “Yes, Kuya.”
“You knew and you didn’t even tell me?” his tone raising.
“Kuya, calm down. I think they need to explain everything to you, and not me.”
“I don’ t want to talk to them –“
“Kuya, wag matigas ang ulo. Isusumbong kita kay Mama!”
“Just please do it for me, Kuya. Pakinggan mo muna si James. Then maybe, talk to Maya after.”
“Why would I kung sasabihin lang nilang sila na? No way! They would just hurt me more!”
“Kuya, wag nang makulit.” She stood up. “Ah, have I told you na binasted ni Maya si James? Kaya promise me na you wouldn’t punch James or whatsoever, ok Kuya?”
Richard remained speechless.
They didn’t work it all out?
“P – promise.”
Then Alex left with a smile on her face.
For a second, Richard saw a glimmer of hope. Then it was all gone when he remembered last night’s incident. He’s somewhat relieved that Maya and James didn’t work out, but still, Maya kept a huge secret from him.
Richard looked up when he heard a knock on the door.
“May I come in?” James asked.
Richard could only nod.
James hesitantly walked inside, while Richard returned his look at his laptop.
“Richard .. I . . I ..”
“Just go straight to the point James. I’m not allowed to hit you. Nag-promise ako kay Alex.”
James took a deep breath. Thank you Alex. “I want to apologize. For .. for barging into your life, for barging between you and Maya. Ang tanga ko kasi. Ang akala ko … ang buong akala ko kaya ko pang ibalik ang lahat sa dati. And now here I am, a man who made a big mistake, and a man who ruined a perfect couple. Yes, Maya and I were seeing each other for a couple of days but she finally turned me down last night. Lagi ka niyang iniisip, alam mo ba ‘yon? Na kahit nandun ako, ikaw pa rin ang iniisip niya.”
Richard is still not responding.
“I’m leaving.” James continued. “I’m going back to America, for good.”
This made Richard to look at him. “What about your sons? Hindi ba responsibilidad mo sila?”
James smirked. “Na .. nahuli kami ng kambal kagabi. Nagising sila kasi ang akala nila, narinig ka nilang magsalita. They even used the term Papa, pertaining to you. Nasaktan ako nung narinig ko ‘yun. Pero ngayon, alam ko nang hindi dapat ako masaktan. I was never a father to them. They only know me as their Tito. I’ll be watching them from a far. And besides, makakampante ako kasi ikaw ang soon-to-be father nila.” He teased.
“Not anymore.” Richard simply brushed it off.
“Richard. Maya dumped me because she loves you. Hindi mo ba nakikita yon? She could’ve chosen me para mabuo ang pamilya namin, pero what? She chose you. Mahal ka niya … well, that’s a point for you at mahal ka din ng anak niya, … another point each so you have a total of three points. 3-0 ang score between you and me. Ang linaw.”
“But why didn’t she told me from the start na ikaw ang tatay? That I have to let each day pass not knowing that?” he replied.
“I honestly don’t know, Richard. Maybe you should ask her. It’s time that you reconcile with her. Please excuse me; I need to book my flight.”
Richard was left still wondering at what Maya’s reason would be. Deep down, he was glad that James did confirm that they didn’t work out. It was all clear to him now. But there’s still a fog that hides Maya’s reason.
I need to talk to her.
“Kuya?” Alex entered his office with Alex.
“Are you better?”
Richard gave a smirked. “Quite.”
Alex was delighted to hear her brother’s answer. “Yes! I told you, Kuya! Uhmm, Kuya, can I ask you for a favour?”
“What is it?”
“Abby wants ice cream but I have to drive at Dad’s place today. May ino-offer kasing business proposal. So, do you mind if you and Abby go to the mall?”
“Uhm, Alex I need to –“
“Please po Tito?” Abby said.
Richard let out a sigh. “Okay Abby, pero we have to be quick okay? May pupuntahan si Tito eh.” He said. How can he turn down the little girl? And besides, it’s been a while since the two of them went out.
“Thank you po, Tito!”
Richard and Abby went to the mall, which was also the first place where he and Maya first met.
What a coincidence.
The two went on the supermarket to look for ice cream. Little did he know that his other half is also there.
“Tito Papa!!!” Richard quickly turned when he heard that. He knew by heart that there are only two kids in the world who calls him that.
“TITO PAPA!!” finally, Richard saw them. They are quickly running to him. Richard bent down to welcome them with a hug. Somehow, the twins made him feel better because he knows that soon, Tito will be removed and the word Papa would remain.
“Sinong kasama niyo?” he asked when he let go of them.
“Si Mommy po.” They both answered.
“Tito, gusto ko po ng chocolate ice cream.” Abby told Richard. Then she noticed the twins. “Hello.” She greeted.
“Hello!” Luke greeted her.
Richard turned to look at the little girl. “Abby, these are Luke and Niccolo. Remember the toy car in my office? It belongs to them.”
“Ahh. Hello! I’m Abby.”
“Let’s go look for your mom?” Richard asked.
The kids went along with Richard in search for Maya.
“Miss! May nakita po kayong kambal? Ganito lang po kaliit tapos pitong taon po?” They spotted Maya worriedly approaching people inside the mall. She’s so worried when the twins disappeared from her side.
“Mommy!” Luke shouted!
“Luke!” Maya quickly approached his boys.
“Saan ba kayo nagpunta? Eto na naman tayo eh. Sa susunod, wag na kayong aalis sa tabi ko, ha?” Maya worriedly said.
“Hello po Tita Maya.” Abby greeted her.
“ .. Abby?” Maya was confused why Abby is there, and she was shocked to see who’s with her.
“ .. Richard .. “ Maya was almost in tears when she saw him. She doesn’t even know if James did anything.
“ .. Maya.” Richard on the other hand was quite happy to see her. He now realized that James is right. She is his. She belongs to him. He simply loves him.
Richard and Maya, along with the kids, went to a fastfood chain to eat. The kids were the ones who chose it because of the little playground inside.
“Tito can I play po?” Abby asked Richard.
“Sige, but saglit lang ok? And take care.” Richard said.
“Thank you Tito!” Abby said.
“Mommy, Mommy, can we also play?” Luke asked.
“Sige na po Mommy. Pleaaase?” Niccolo added.
“Sige na, sige na. Basta stick close to Abby ok?” Maya said.
“Yehey! Thank you po Mommy!” they said.
“Ingat ha! Wag makikipag-away!” Maya said as they descended.
It was when the kids were gone when Maya realized that she and Richard are alone at the table.
“Uhmm .. Richard –“
“Can I ask you a question?” Richard interrupted.
Maya nervously nodded.
“Why didn’t you tell me that James is their father?”
“Ehh kasi …” Maya started, then she took a final breath. “Natakot ako. Natakot ako na baka pag nalaman mo, iwan mo rin ako.”
“I already told you before that I’m not going to leave you diba?” he replied immediately.
“Ehh anong nagyari kagabi? ‘Di ba, iniwan mo rin ako?”
“That’s a different story! Kung sinabi mo pa lang sa umpisa, edi sana hindi nagkaganon, we might’ve avoided all of this suffering.”
Maya remained in silence.
“Maya, sana sinabi mo na lang sa’kin. You shoul’ve trusted me –“
“Ehh wala na nga eh, tapos na. Tapos na lahat. End of story na. Kung gusto mo pa ring umalis, umalis ka na. ‘Wag ka nang tumulad kay James noon na pinaasa lang ako kasi ang sakit-sakit kapag iniiwanan ako.” She replied furiously. She’s getting annoyed in all of this. She knew that Richard would leave.
He already left me alone last night.
“Tama na Richard. Kung sisisihin mo pa ko, wag mo na lang ituloy kasi tapos na nga. Wala na rin tayo. Ikaw pa nagsabi kagabi diba?” Maya said, on the verge of tears.
“Stop.” Richard held both of her hand. “Stop, ok? I just want to know why. I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving, ever. Forget what happened last night. I’m sorry. But you know what, we’re even.”
“Yes. I assumed that you and James are having an affair while you assumed that I will just walk away if ever you told me the truth. We’re even, Maya. Pareho lang tayong assumero at assumera.” He teased.
Finally, a smile crept on Maya’s face which also brought a smile to Richard’s face.
“James explained everything to me. Ok na, I understand everything. Kaya sa susunod, sasabihin mo na ang totoo ha?” Richard said, imitating the voice Maya uses when she lectures her twins. “If you still want your story to end, I’ll accept it. You know why?”
Richard is now looking intently at Maya’s eyes.
“Because I can start a new chapter. And this chapter will be the best one yet because it will include me.”
Maya’s tears finally escaped from her eyes.
“I love you, Maya.”
“I love you too, Richard.”
Richard hugged her. It’s like it was the first time that they’ve said I love you at each other.
“Pakasal na tayo.” Richard teased.
But seriously, Maya, marry me. He thought.
“Kasal agad? Eh kakabati lang natin?” Maya teased back.
I will, Richard, I will marry you. Kahit na ilang beses mo pa itanong sa’kin ‘yan. I will always say I do.
Chapter 10 – Finale
“Oy James! Kumusta?”, Maya said when James called her that morning.
“Eto, ayos lang, trabaho pa rin.” He answered. “Eh ikaw? Wait, let me rephrase. Eh kumusta kayo ni Richard?”
Maya giggled after hearing James’ question. “Ayun, tulog na tulog pa. Ni hindi nga nagising sa alarm ko eh.”
“Wait. Are you now living together?”
“Oy! Hindi no! Nagsleep-over kasi kami dito pero dapat hindi talaga. Nagyaya kasi si Richard na dalhin sila sa bahay, para daw magkalaro si Abby saka si Luke at Niccolo. Ayun, nakatulog yung kambal dito, hindi na kami pinauwi ni Richard.” Maya explained.
James smirked. “Saan ka natulog?”
“Ha? Sa ano, dito! Sa bahay ni Richard.” Maya answered.
James chuckled. “Saang kwarto? Kaninong kwarto?” he teased.
Maya was silent.
James finally let go of the laughter he’s trying to hold back. “Oh? Natahimik ka? Hahaha. Sa kwarto ka niya natulog no? Magkatabi kayo no?”
“James naman ehhh!” Maya said quite embarrassed. “Wag ako sisihin mo! Si Richard! Saka natulog lang naman kami eh! Kasi dapat dun ako matutulog sa –“
“Maya, you don’t have to explain. Lalo ka lang nagmumukhang guilty eh!”
“Ehh kasi naman, James –“
“Don’t be embarrassed, Maya. Kayo naman nung tao eh. Imbitado ako sa kasal ha!”
Maya fell silent on the other line.
“Oh? Ano na naman to Maya?”
“Ehh. Wala naman atang kasal eh.”
“Ha? Why did you say so?”
“Ehh. Hindi naman nagpo-propose si Richard eh.”
“Maya, hindi kaya atat ka lang? I know it’s been quite some time now and all pero baka naghihintay pa ng moment si Richard.”
Maya sighed. “Siguro nga.”
“O sya, I have to go. Nangangamusta lang talaga ako. Bye Maya, take care.”
“Bye James! Ingat ka dyan sa Amerika.”
James disconnected his phone and before returning to work, he looked back at his conversation with Maya earlier.
Hay nako, Maya. Kung alam mo lang ang plano ni Richard.
After the call, Maya went back to bed to wake up Richard, but she didn’t have the heart to do so. Instead, she watched him sleep.
Maya put her hand on his face, caressing his features. She is in awe of this man. She couldn’t imagine any guy who would still continue to love her despite of all her baggage and the shenanigans she committed. She was so sure that he’s the man she wants to spend her life with. She was so sure ever since he said that he’s willing to open a new chapter to her life.
I want to marry you, Richard. What’s taking you too long to ask me?
Tama nga ba si James?
Oo, Maya, atat ka lang. Hintay-hintay lang. Patience is a virtue diba?
Richard suddenly steered from his sleep then he finally woke up. He smiled at the sight of the woman in front of him.
“Good morning, Hon.” His voice husky.
“Hon ka dyan. Good morning Chard ko!” she replied happily.
“Kakagising mo lang?”
“Hmm, medyo kanina pa. Tumawag kasi si James.”
Si James? Did he slip? May nasabi ba siya kay Maya?
“Oh, natahimik ka dyan?” Maya lie down and hugged Richard. “Selos ka?”
“N – no. Anong sabi niya?”
“Wala, nangangamusta lang naman.”
Richard was relieved. I thought nadulas na si James. He then hugged Maya tight.
“Let’s go back to sleep, Maya ko?” he asked.
Maya gave a giggle. “Ang sarap namang pakinggan nun.”
Richard kissed her head, then he closed his eyes to go back to sleep.
The lovebirds are almost in deep sleep when the twins came inside the room without even knocking.
“Daddy, Daddy!!” Luke said.
“Mommy!! Mommy!!” And Niccolo was calling her mother. The two were talking at the same time making Richard and Maya to wake up.
“Daddy!! Nagluto po kami ng breakfast!” It’s Luke.
“Opo Mommy! Tinulungan po kami ni Manang Fe! Tara na po!” Niccolo said.
“Ang babait naman ng mga batang ‘to.” Maya said. “Lumakad na kayo sa baba, susunod na kami.”
“Ok po Mommy!” Niccolo said. Then the two ran and left the room.
Richard turned to Maya. “They would usually wake up Alex first, pero since umalis na siya, tayo na ata ang napag-tripan. Manang-mana talaga sa’yo yung mga anak natin sa kakulitan.”
Maya’s heart was overwhelmed when he heard the term “anak natin.” Richard again lie down and took Maya with him, engulfing her again in a hug.
“Huy, Chard, inaantay na tayo nung mga bata.”
“Don’t mind them. I still want to sleep. With you I might add.” He said, eyes already closed.
Maya pinched his cheek. “Babalik yung mga yun kaya tara na.”
“Aww!” he was suddenly awake. “And what makes you say na babalik sila?”
“Mana rin yung mga anak natin sa’yo no. They don’t stop until they get what they want. Kaya bumangon ka na!”
Maya attempted to rise up but Richard caught her again. This time, he was looking lovingly at her eyes. “Happy anniversary.”
“Happy anniversary, Richard!” then she gave him a hug.
They were a lovely scene to look at whenever they are all together. A perfect picture, if that’s what you would call it. Maya thought that she’s the only one who wants to keep this picture. Little did she know that Richard also wants it. And he wants to keep it for the rest of his life.
Just wait, Maya. I’ll be yours, soon.
“Chard, alis na ko ha. ‘Wag mo na kong ihatid, ang dami mo pang trabaho eh.” Maya said to Richard, whose busy working in his office.
“Pasensya ka na kung hindi kita maihahatid, Maya. Last minute naman kasi ‘tong trabaho na ‘to eh.”
“O sya, wag nang mainit ang ulo. Babalikan ko na lang sina Luke at Niccolo mamaya pag-balik ko mula sa flight. Sige na.” Maya said then quickly turned to leave.
“Maya wait.” Richard said, and then he stood up from his chair and gave Maya a tight hug.
“I love you, Maya, more than you know.” He whispered to her ear.
“I love you, too Richard.” Maya was quite taken back at Richard’s sudden expression of his feelings.
Richard kissed her on her lips. Then said “Just wait.”
“Ha? Wait for what?”
He kissed her again. “Just wait. Lumakad ka na, male-late ka pa.”
“Si-sige. Babay Chard ko. Happy anniversary!”
When Richard finally saw Maya outside he shouted, “Kids! Tara na! We’re late for our schedule!”
“Good afternoon Sir! What do you like? Coffee, tea or juice?” Maya is currently on her flight. She’s extra happy today because it’s their anniversary. Somehow, all of the passengers are also smiling after they were served by her. It’s what Richard calls nakakahawa.
“Good afternoon Sir! What do you like? Coffee, tea –“
“Mommy, I want juice.” Luke said.
“Ako rin Mommy I want juice.” It was Niccolo.
Maya was shocked to see her kids on the plane. “Bakit kayo nandito? Si – sinong kasama niyo? Sinundan niyo ba si Mommy?” she asked them.
“Hindi po, Mommy. Kasama po namin si Daddy.” Said Abby.
“Ha? Ehh nasan si Richard?” Maya looked at the seats near the kids, but failed to see Richard.
“I’m here.” Maya turned around and saw Richard standing quite far from her.
“O, bakit kayo nandito?” Maya asked.
Richard started walking towards her. The other passengers were looking at them.
“I’m here to give you my gift.”
“Yes. It’s our anniversary, diba?”
“Kailangan talaga dito?”
“Yes. This couldn’t wait.” Then he stopped in front of her. “I couldn’t wait anymore.”
Maya can feel her heart beating fast. She has no clue what’s going on. At the same time, she’s also feeling shy because of the passengers inside the plane and she’s also at work.
“A-ano bang ibibigay mo?”
Richard could only smirk.
“I haven’t bought a bag Maya because I believe that my sense in fashion doesn’t work quite well in the ladies’ section. I haven’t bought you any perfume because it’ll be gone soon. I haven’t bought you any jewellery because I don’t know what you’ll like because I’m a guy.”
Maya could only laugh at what Richard said.
“So, I’m giving you something that I know you’re going to treasure forever.”
He reached for her hands.
“I’m giving you my life, and with that, I’m also giving you all the love that my heart is willing to give.”
Maya felt tears flowing from her eyes.
“I’m sorry it took too long but I want you to know that from the day that we finally reconcile, I knew that you’re the last woman I’m going to love. You’re the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
Then finally, it happened. Richard bent down on his knee and took out a blue velvet box and he opened it.
“Will you marry me, Maya?”
Richard was holding his breath after he said those words. He’s waiting for Maya’s answer. All he wants is for her to say ..
“Yes, Richard. I’ll marry you.” Maya said as she tried to stop her tears.
Richard put the ring on Maya’s finger and quickly stood up to give her an embrace.
The passengers on the plane were also delighted by Richard’s proposal so they started clapping and shouting “kiss”.
The couple could only laugh at the request. Richard cupped her face and gave Maya a long lingering kiss.
“Thank you, Richard.” Maya said after the kiss. “Thank you for barging into my life kahit na hindi maganda yung unang tagpo natin.” She teased
“It was one of my best idiot doings, Maya. I’m glad I did it. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
Richard hugged her again while the three kids also joined the hug. The perfect picture was captured during that moment, and it will always remain in their hearts forever.
The End. //
Thank you po for reading The End Where I Begin! More power EBU!