After All – Part 13

Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to spazzbuster. This is a continuation to After All – part 12.


A/N: Hi Everyone, 

 
Surprise! I got to squeeze this in my hectic schedule. I’m actually quite surprised myself how I managed to write a very long update. Hehehe Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this ;) 
 
Feedback are most welcome🙂
Author: spazzbuster
~*~

 

The night has finally come to the quiet town of San Nicolas. In the Dela Rosa residence, Kute,Lino, Mamang, Nanay Teresita are seen to scurrying around as they assist a bunch of Koreans visiting their town and has decided to try the food served at the Chibugan for dinner.

Meanwhile, Luke, Abby, and Nikki are upstairs settling their things in preparation for their overnight stay with Maya’s family. After decding that she prefers to sleep beside her former nanny, Abby left her siblings and went to the balcony looking for Maya. Despite her young age, Abby knows that her Ate Maya is a little upset with Ser Chief. And so, Abby picks up the scrap book she created for Maya from the pile of luggages hoping that showing this to her will somehow bring back the smile on her face. She finds Maya quietly seated by the balcony window looking at the stars.

Abby: Ate Maya? Okay lang po bang samahan kita dito?

Maya: (turns to look at Abby and smiles warmly) Oo naman baby. Ikaw pa, eh malakas ka sakin tsaka miss na miss na kita!

Abby: (smiles and hugs Maya) Ay, sorry baby ha? (releases Maya ang gently rubs Maya’s tummy as if talking to her baby brother) Okay ka lang ba dyan baby? Baka naipit ka ni Ate.

Maya: ( hearing these words made Maya teary-eyed) Ah baby, okay lang naman si baby boy. Gusto nga nya yung niyayakap mo sya eh. Kase nararamdaman nya ang love mo na sya agad kahit hindi mo pa sya nakikita.

Abby: Talaga po Ate Maya?! (rubs Maya’s tummy and looks at it as if talking to her brother) Loooove na love ka ni Ate Abby baby! I will be the best Ate in town! (grins widely)

Maya: Hahaha Ikaw talaga baby! Pati yan namana mo sakin (hugs Abby again and gently releases her)

Abby: Syempre po! Mana ako sa inyo. Hehehe. Ay, nga po pala Ate Maya, may naisip na po ba kayong pangalan para kay baby?

Maya: Naku eh, meron, pero pinagpipilian ko pa eh. Hindi pa ako maka-decide.

Abby: Anu-ano po ba pinagpipilian nyo? Baka po pwede akong magsuggest.

Maya: O sige, pero sekreto lang natin eto ha? Wag mo munang sasabihin kahit kanino.

Abby: (raises her right hand gesturing a promise sign) I promise Ate Maya (smiles) So ano po yung mga pinagpipilian nyo?

Maya: Ahm…tatlo sila baby. Iniisip ko pwedeng Timothy Kyle, Arthur Richmond, o kaya Nicolas Martin. Alin sa tingin mo pinaka-magandang pangalan, baby?

Abby: ( looks like really pondering on the matter)Hmmm…maganda naman po silang lahat. Pwede pong Timothy Kyle Lim, o kaya Arthur Richmond Lim, tska yung Nicolas Martin Lim! Ang hirap po pala pumili noh? Eh kung pagsama-samahin na lang po natin?

Maya: (she had to stop herself from telling Abby that her baby won’t be using Lim as his last name knowing that her former ward will just get curious as to why) Oo nga eh. Ang hirap talaga pumili baby. Pero, hayaan mo, pag-iisipan ko yan mabuti bago lumabas si baby, meron na akong name para sakanya. Sa ngayon, i-secret muna natin yan ha?

 

Abby smiles at Maya and nods her head in agreement. She then hands over the scrapbook she made feeling glad that Maya is now smiling again. Her young heart could only hope that the scrapbook will make Maya realize how much the Lim family loves her.

Maya: Oh ano to baby? Para sakin ba eto? Ang sweet mo naman! ( slowly opens the scrapbook)

Abby: Opo Ate Maya! Naalala nyo po nung gumawa tayo ng scrapbook para sa school? Gumawa rin po ako para sa inyo. Nilagay ko po yung mga pictures natin dyan, so you could always remember us.

 

Turning the pages of the scrapbook, Maya noticed the effort that Abby put in creating this for her. It was pretty obvious that Abby didn’t ask for anyone’s help in cutting the pictures or pasting the designs. Needless to say, it was a bit messy. Despite this, Maya’s heart could only swell with so much appreciation and love for Abby. She slowly turned the pages of the scrapbook. As she go over the first few pages, she saw pictures of her and abby as well as with Luke, Nikki and the people at the mansion. She suddenly felt reminiscent of her former days at the Lim mansion, mostly the good times. Abby watched with happiness as a big smile crept on Maya’s face.

However, Maya’s smile faded as she turned the last few pages of the scrapbook. There she found pictures of her and Ser Chief painstakingly arranged by Abby in such a way that it showed how happy they were as a couple. Abby noticed the change in Maya’s stance which triggered her to ask a question that Maya didn’t expect at all.

 

Abby: Ate Maya? Di ba po sabi nyo sakin, it’s bad to lie? Pwede ko po bang malaman, if you still love Daddy?

Maya: (Surprised and speechless for a few seconds.she could only look at Abby for a couple of seconds weighing things) Ah…eh…baby. Ganito kase yon….minahal ko naman talaga ang Daddy nyo. Kaya lang, ngayon kase….ano kase eh…..

Abby: You don’t love him anymore na? (sad face)

Maya: Ah…eh…hindi ko kase sigurado baby. Ang alam ko lang, hindi na mahalaga kung anong nararamdaman ko para sa kanya. Kase, alam kong iba ang mahal ng Daddy nyo.

 

Abby: (shocked) Po? Sino pong ibang mahal ni Daddy? That’s bad po di ba? Pero, sigurado po ako Ate Maya, daddy loves you sooo much!

 

Maya: (realizing that the situation got complicated) Aah…..hindi naman sa masama baby. Kase, may karapatan naman si Daddy nyo kung sinong pipiliin nyang mahalin di ba? Hindi naman natin sya pwedeng pilitin mahalin ako kung iba naman talaga ang mahal nya. Yun, yun ang masama. Kase masamang ipilit mo ang sarili mo sa taong hindi ka naman talaga love. Dapat, lahat tayo, may karapatang mahalin ang taong mahal natin (tears now stinging her eyes)

 

Abby: (reaches for Maya’s eyes and wipes the tears) Ate Maya? Don’t cry na po. Kase I don’t want to see you cry. Pati po ako naiiyak ( tears now flowing on her face) Sino po yung ibang mahal ni Daddy? I don’t like her na. Kase she’s making you sad.

 

Maya: (wipes Abby’s tears) Naku, baby, wag kang magalit sa kanya kase wala naman din sya ginawang masama. Loooove na lave lang din nya si Daddy mo. Nakaka-inggit nga ang lovestory nila eh. Kase sa kanila yung tipong walang hangganan, yung pang forever? Di ba parang yung sa mga fairytales na kinukwento ko sayo dati? (fighting back the continues flow of her tears). Naalala mo yung part na “and they lived happily ever after…” ganun baby.

 

Abby: Pero Ate Maya, kung love nya talaga si Daddy, asan sya? Why is she hurting Daddy and now hurting you po?

Maya: Ah yun ba? Kase baby, may nangyari kaya kinailangan nyang iwan si Daddy nyo. Pero, love pa rin nila ang isa’t isa hanggang ngayon. Lalu na si Daddy mo, love na love pa rin nya sya kahit malayo na sya.

 

Abby: Nasa malayo po sya? Ano pong pangalan nya? Bakit hindi sya pinakilala samin ni Daddy if he really loves her?

 

Maya: (Heaves a deep sigh and decided to throw all caution to the wind. Abby shouldn’t be feeling this way since they’re actually talking about Alex) actually, baby, nasa heaven na kase sya. Nasa heaven na ang Mommy nyo di ba? Sya yung kaisa-isang babaeng minahal at mahal ng Daddy nyo (holds Abby’s hands and tried to muster all her strength to say these with a smile on her face)

 

Abby: (confused) Si Mommy po? Pero, nasa heaven na po sya di ba? We still love her but she’s no longer with us po.

 

Maya: Oo nga baby. Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin non na hindi na rin sya mamahalin ng Daddy nyo eh. Sa totoo lang, mahaaaal na mahal pa rin sya ng Daddy nyo at saksi ako dun sa pagmamahal nya (the more their conversation lengthens, Maya’s feeling more and more burdened. She has gotta drop this topic soon or else her heart will stop beating all together)

 

Abby: But Daddy can still love Mommy even if he loves you too di ba po? Kase ako, kahit love ko po si Mommy dahil mommy ko sya, I love you too po Ate Maya. Kase parang ikaw po ang Mommy ko dito.

 

Maya: Alam ko naman baby na mahal mo ako at mahal na mahal din kita. Pero iba kase yung pagmamahal ko sayo sa pagmamahal ng Daddy mo sakin dati eh. Masyado ka pang bata para maintindihan. Sa ngayon, ang dapat siguro mong ikasaya eh yung grabeng pagmamahal ng daddy mo sa mommy mo. Kase, yung love nila pang-forever.

 

Abby: (still looking sad, bows her head) How can I be happy po, if I see you and daddy sad naman. I know that Mommy will be happier sa heaven if happy na rin si dati dito with us….with you.

 

Maya: (sighs, holds Abby’s face by the chin to make her look at Maya) Wag kang mag-alala baby. Darating yung panahon na maiintindihan mo rin ang lahat. Sa ngayon, tulungan mo na lang si Daddy mo na maging masaya kasama kayo.

 

Abby’s retort was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Simon at the balcony. Abby slowly dismissed herself and wen’t back to her siblings’ room. Luke and Nikki were taken aback by the somber look on Abby’s face. They egged her to spill the beans to them about the conversation with Maya. Their hearts sank as they came to realize the implications of Maya’s words.

Meanwhile, at the balcony, Simon was left staring at Maya’s side profile. He only received a quaint smile from her when he entered the room. He sensed that Maya had a heart to heart talk with Abby which appears to have saddened both. He didn’t want to pry afraid to offend Maya. And so, he decided to wait for Maya to settle her emotions first and tell him about it. Observing that Maya has been staring blankly outside of the window, he decided to make his presence known again.

 

Simon: Maya? Okay ka lang ba?

Maya: Ah…Simon. Pasensya na ha? Ano nga pala ang sadya mo dito?

Simon: Ano kase, aayain sana kita dun sa bagong bukas na grocery dun sa bayan bukas. May nakita kase akong mga magagandang damit pang-baby. Baka lang may magustuhan ka, samahan na kitang mamili.

 

Maya: Ha? Naku eh, andito kase sila Abby, baka hanapin nila ako pag umalis tayo bukas. Since bisita ko sila, siguro dito muna ako sa bahay habng nandito sa San Nicolas. Pwede bang sa ibang araw na lang (Simon noticed that Maya was replying as if she’s not really there. It’s pretty obvious that she’s thinking of something…or someone else)

 

Simon: (slowly sits across Maya and helds her hand. Maya surprised by the contact gave Simon a questioning look) Maya, alam ko hindi simple ang pinagdadaanan mo. Pero, siguro naman alam mo rin na hinding hindi ka namin papabayaan nila Nanay Teresita. Matagal na tayong magka-ibigan, marami na tayong pinagdaanan. Palagay ko naman, hindi kalabisan sabihin na parte na ako ng pamilya nyo. Kaya sana, sana….bigyan mo ako ng pagkakataon na mas tulungan ka pa. Bigyan mo ako ng chance na ipakita sayo na may maganda pang kinabukasan naghihintay para sayo at sa anak mo. Maya, bigyan mo ako ng chance na ipakita sayo na pwede mo akong mahalin… hindi bilang kaibigan, pero bilang katuwang sa buhay.

 

Maya: (surprised by Simon’s sudden confession) Simon? Anong ibig mong sabihin?

Simon: (sighs) Maya, alam mo naman na mahal na kita dati di ba? Mas lalo ko lang napatunayan yun nung malaman kong buntis ka at ayaw kang panagutan. Kung ang ibang tao sinabi sakin na layuan na kita, ako, mas lalo lang naramdaman ko na tamang hindi kita sukuan. Na dapat lang na naghintay ako sa panahong ito.  Dahil alam ko sa sarili ko na kahit ano pang nangyari sayo, kahit pa buntis ka at hindi ako ang ama, mahal na mahal pa rin kita. At wag na wag mong sasabihin na awa lang ang nararamdaman ko, dahil maraming pagkakataong napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na hindi simpleng awa lang ito. Gusto kong makasama ka habang-buhay, ang alagaan ka at ang magiging anak mo, ituturing ko syang parang akin, at mamahalin kita ng buong buo. Walang labis, walang kulang. Ikaw lang.

Maya: (with tears in her eyes) Siguro napakabuti kong tao nung nakaraang buhay ko, kaya binigyan ako ni Lord ng isang tunay na kaibigan na katulad mo. Minsan, pakiramdam ko Simon, hindi ako karapat dapat sa lahat ng kabutihang ipinapakita mo. Napakabait mo talaga, napakaswerte ng babaing mamahalin mo ng pang-habang buhay (this made Simon smile and tighten his hold on Maya’s hand)

Pero Simon, di ba sinabi ko na rin sayo matagal na….pagkakaibigan lang talaga ang maibibigay ko sayo? Ayaw ko naming ipilit natin dahil lang sa takot akong harapin ang pagiging magulang ng mag-isa. Unfair yun sayo. Wala kang ibang ginawa kung di ang suportahan ako sa tagal ng pagkaka-ibigan natin. Hindi magbabago ang katotohanan na parte ka na ng pamilya naming. Pero, yung hinhingi mo, parang hindi ko kayang ibigay. Sorry talaga Simon. Kung pwede lang talagang turuan ang puso, siguro mas papipiliin kitang mahalin bago pa man magkakilala kame ni…ni Mr. Lim. Kaya lang, parang may sariling utak ang puso ko eh, kahit ilang beses na akong lumuha at nasaktan, hanggang ngayon, iisa lang ang mahal nito ( points at her heart).

Simon: (sad face) Maya naman….ikaw na nagsabi, ilang beses ka ng nasaktan sa kanya. Hanggang ngayon sinasaktan ka pa rin nya. Ayaw mo bang magkaroon ng tutulong sayo para kalimutan sya? Bigyan mo lang ako ng pagkakataon, pangako, hindi ka magsisisi.

 

Maya: (shakes her head) Sana ganun lang talaga kadali. Sana talaga Simon. Para pati ang patawarin si Mr.Lim eh magawa ko na rin. Pag nangyari yon, mas madali ko ng mabubuo ang sarili ko at itaguyod kahit mag-isa ang anak ko. Kaya lang….alam mo naman na hindi nadidiktahan ang puso di ba? Gaya ng puso mo. Kahit ilang beses ko pang sabihin na kaibgan lang talaga tayo, ayaw making ng puso mo di ba? Ganun din ako. Kaya sana, sana manatili kang kaibigan ko. Kase sa buhay ko ngayon, yun ang kailangan ko.

 

Simon: (looks away for a couple of seconds trying to reign-in his emotions before looking back at Maya) Naiintindihan ko. Pero, Maya hindi pa rin ako susuko. Hanggat nakikita kitang nasasaktan ng dahil kay Richard Lim, hindi ako titigil sa panunuyo. Malay mo, dumating pa rin yung panahon na sakin ka naman titingin ng katulad ng pagtingin mo sa kanya?

Maya: (sighs) Hindi ko mapapangako yon Simon. Sa ngayon, masaya na ako sa pagkakaibigan natin. Ah..eh..sige, medyo gabi na , gusto ko na rin magpahinga. Ingat ka sa pag-uwi.

Simon: Oh sige…kita na lang tayo ulet bukas.

 

Maya leaves Simon at the balcony to go inside her room where she finds Abby fast asleep together with Luke and Nikki. While staring at the Lim kids, she could feel her heart ache. How could she make them understand that she has no room in their Dad’s heart?

===================

 

6:00 AM the clock on top of Ser Chief’s bedside table indicated. He hurriedly switched off the alarm and went straight to the bathroom to take a quick shower.He decided that he has to see Maya today. They need to settle things once and for all. There’s no point in delying the inevitable. Though he won’t admit it, he’s obviously anxious of the idea that Simon will make his move to woo Maya too. And so this morning, Ser Chief put on the polo shirt that Maya likes, his best smelling perfume, he also added extra hair wax to in fixing his hair. Looking at his reflection in the mirror for a couple of minutes, he finally gave an approving smile. He’s utterly dashing and hopefully this will help ease the tension between him and Maya. He grabs his car keys and sets on his journey to the designated meeting place. He just hopes that Nikki will be able to use her convincing power on Maya.

 

On the Dela Rosa side, the entire family along with the Lim kids are having their breakfast. Cho was telling Abby stories about his schoolmates who once bullied him but have now become his closest buddies. Kute would sometimes butt in and give advice to Cho and Abby about avoiding bullies in school. Mamang busied herself attending to the two older Lim kids, making sure that they are well fed. Nanay Teresita was the one who brought additional viand on the table. Looking at them, Maya felt like at peace once again. The emotional night just a few hours back has been overshadowed by her appreciation of the warmth she now feels even more in their household. If only she could also move on completely from the hurt that Ser Chief caused her.

Nanay Teresita: Oh, Nak, bakit hindi ka naman kumakain? Masama sayo magpaka-gutom.

Maya: Ah eh…okay naman po ako Nay. Eto nga ho oh, kukuha pa ako ng kare-kare. Ang sarap sarap talaga ng luto nyo Nay! Oh kayo, Nikki, Luke, Abby, kain lang kayo ha?

 

Luke & Nikki: (gave each other knowing looks) Yes po Ate Maya. Kayo rin po, kain lang po kayo para wag magutom si baby.

Maya: Naku, hindi ako masyado pwede kumain lalo na malapit na akong manganak. Baka kase daw manasin ako sabi ni Doktora.

Abby: Yaya….what’s manasin?

Mamang: Ay, apo, ibig sabihin non. Lumaki ang binti dahil sa sobrang taba!

Kute: Oo nga Abby. Parang si Lola Mamang…hanggang ngayon may manas! ( this earned laughter from everyone)

Mamang: Oy, oy, oy Christina Rose! Hindi ako manas noh! Healthy lang ako.

Kute: Oh sige na nga ho Mamang.

Nanay Teresita: Oh sya, tama na yan at baka kung saan pa makarating yan. Sexy tayong lahat dito.

This caused another bout of laughter from all of them. It was at this point when Nikki decided to ask for a favor from Maya. She knows that her Dad is now on his way to the agreed place. Since everyone’s in a light mood, this should be the perfect time to make her move.

 

Nikki: Uhm…Ate Maya, since Dad won’t be arriving at the hotel until this afternoon, could we ask you to go with us at Nanay Teresita and Mang Arturo’s most romantic place? (looks at Luke for back-up)

Luke: Ah, oo nga Ate Maya! Gusto kase naming ulet makapag-picture dun sa tabing ilog. Kelangan kase namin for a school project eh. Okay lang po ba?

Maya: Ha? Eh…medyo mabagal akong maglakad ha…gusto nyo kay Kute na lang kayo magpasama?

Kute: Oo nga. Ako na lang sasama sa inyo. Baka abutin kayo ng bukas sa kabagalan nyan maglakad.

Maya: Kute ha! Ang sakit mong magsalita!

Kute: Eh Maya, nagsasabi lang naman ako ng totoo. Tsaka natural lang mana yan sa buntis.

Nanay Teresita: Teka, ibig nyong sabihin mga bata, lalakarin nyo lang mula dito hanggang dun sa ilog? Mainit na mamaya ang araw, papawisan kayo ng husto.

Mamang: Oo nga naman. Mas  mabuti pa, magpasama na lang kayo kay Simon.

Maya: Ay, Mamang wag na lang. Busy kase po si Simon. Nakakahiya naman palagi na lang natin syang inaabala. Mabuti pa siguro, sumakay na lang tayo ng tricycle para iwas lakad

Nikki: Tricycle? Hmm…mas maganda nga siguro po Ate Maya. That way, we get to really experience travelling here the local way. Right Kuya and Abby?

Luke & Abby: Right! Sige po, excited na kame!

 

After breakfast, the kids quickly fixed themselves for their trip to Nanay Teresita and Mang Arturo’s most romantic place. Kute and Cho decided to join them. After an hour, they were already at the place. Cho and Abby were busily posing infront of Nikki’s phone. Luke was in a world of his own as he busied himself with taking pictures of the surrounding landscape. Maya and Kute sat on a nearby bench taking some moments to admire the place.

 

Kute: Matagal tagal na rin nung huli tayong pumunta dito. Buntis pa nga yata ako kay Cho nun ngayon naman ikaw ang buntis.

Maya: Oo nga. Ikaw kase, ayaw mo pang sumali sa fans club nila Nanay at Tatay.

Kute: Hay naku Maya ako nga’y tigilan mo dyan! Sapat ng ikaw ang President ng fansclub nila.

Maya: Hahaha ikaw naman. Pikon agad-agad?

Kute: Hindi naman sa ganun. Pero, alam mo naman di ba kung bakit? Pero, hep! Wag na nating pag-usapan yan. Kase wala namang magbabago. Ang pag-usapan natin eh ikaw. Ano bang plano mo?

Maya: Ako? Eh di ipanganak ko ng maayos etong anak ko. Magtrabaho ulit para mapag-ipunan ang kinabukasan nya. Yon.

Kute: Yun lang? Eh anong plano mo kay Sir Richard? O kay Simon? Dyan sa mga naka ni Sir Chief?

Maya: Tinging ko naman, okay lang na paminsan minsan makita ng anak ko ang mga kapatid nya. Hindi ko naman ipagkakait yon. Mababait silang mga bata. Yung tungkol naman kay Simon, nag-usap naman kame kagabi. At alam kong nakinig ka kaya mo naitanong yan. Pero, tulad nga ng nasabi ko, hindi natuturuan etong puso ko. Kaya hanggang kaibigan na lang talaga kame. Unfair kung gagamitin ko lang sya dahil sa nangyari sakin.

Kute: O..okay. Eh parang may nakakalimutan ka pang sagutin sa mga tanong ko?

Maya: Ang alin? Ano pa bang tanong mo?

Kute: Si Sir Richard…Maya, si Sir Richard.

Maya: Oh, eh ano naman tungkol sa kanya?

Kute: Hindi…si Sir Richard…andyan ( points with her lips)

Maya’s heart momentarily stopped beating.She now understands what Kute has been telling her. She dreaded seeing him again, but her instincts made her turn around and confirm that the man she’s been avoiding for months has re-appeared.

Time stood still.

Standing just a few feet away from her is Richard Lim. Looking dashing as ever in his powder blue poloshirt. When Maya and Ser Chief’s eyes met, she felt goosebumps all over her body. She had to mentally slap herself just so she could escape the trance she was being pulled in. But to no avail.

Richard Lim was out of breath having finally locked eyes with Maya after months of separation. She looked even more beautiful in his eyes with her baby bump. Motherhood becomes her. He never thought that seeing her again would make him feel a myriad of emotions all at the same time. Before he knew it, he was walking briskly towards Maya. In seconds, he had her in his arms. He took a long inhale of her scent. She felt so small against his body. Soon enough, tears started falling from his eyes. Maya couldn’t move her body. Memories of their past both good and bad came rushing back in her head like lightning. Her brain kept telling her to push Ser Chief away but somehow, her body won’t heed this command.

 

And so a few moments passed with Ser Chief hugging Maya as the latter felt numbness all over her body, leaving her unable to move. It was the voice of Nikki calling out to her dad that brought both of them to the present.

Nikki: Daddy! You’re here! (all three kids came rushing towards Maya and Ser Chief)

Slowly, Ser Chief released Maya from his embrace without breaking eye contact. Maya was left speechless but shock is written all over her face. Once released from his arms, she stepped backwards and tried to compose herself again.

Maya: Anong ginagawa mo dito?!

Ser Chief: I missed you too. I’m here to make everything right between us Maya.

Maya: Hah! Nagpapatawa ka ba?! Makaka-alis ka na Mr. Lim!

They were in this exchange when the kids caught up with them. Kute grab hold of Cho and listened to what the Lims are going to talk about. She was also caught off guard by the appearance of Ser Chief at this place. But somehow, she knew it’s to be expected. After all, all his kids stayed for the night at the Dela Rosa residence. She decided that it’s best for her to stay around given Maya’s delicate condition she doesn’t know what might happen to her sister.

Luke: Dad, you came. We stayed sa bahay nila Ate Maya kagabi. (Maya still looking angrily at Ser Chief. The kids sensed the tensed atmosphere)

Nikki: Uhm..Dad, I think we better leave you here to talk. We’ll just be staying at the parking area with Ate Kute and Cho.

Luke: Right Nikki. Let’s go Abby. Ah, Ate Christina Rose, hayaan muna po siguro natin sila mag-usap?

 

Kute: (hesitant to leave Maya alone with Richard Lim) Maya? Gusto mo bang samahan kita ( still not acknowledging Richard Lim’s presence)

Maya: (finally tearing her gaze away from Ser Chief) Sige na Kute. Kaya ko ‘to. Basta wag ka lang masyadong lalayo ha?

Kute: Sige. Samahan ko lang ang mga bata sa parking area.

Richard: Salamat Christina Rose! (Kute responded with a quick nod before turning her heel)

Just like that, the two former lovers were left alone.

So…..what now?

It was a staring match. Maya’s eyes were filled with hurt while Ser Chief’s were filled with longing. There was a defeaning silence between them as they stood face to face, finally. Ser Chief was first to speak.

Ser Chief: Maya….I missed you so much! ( attempts to hug her again, but Maya was quick to dodge him)

Maya: Hanggang dyan ka na lang Mr. Lim! Di ba sinabi ko sayo na makaka-alis ka na? Ano pang ginagawa mo dito? Kunin mo na ang mga anak mo at bumalik na kayo sa Maynila!

Ser Chief: Maya, please don’t do this. We need to talk. You know, we have to talk. Especially now that…

Maya: Especially now? Now na ano? Na nalaman mo na buntis ako? Ganun ba Mr.Lim? Well, wag ka ng mag-alala, wala akong interes maghabol sa pera mo. Kaya kong buhayin mag-isa ang anak ko. Kaya makakabalik ka na sa inyo!

Ser Chief: No! Of course that’s not what I meant! Please Maya, let’s talk…let’s talk about us?

Maya: Us? Wala namang “us” di ba? Matagal na tayong hiwalay. Wala na tayong dapat pag-usapang “us”. Kaya please lang, hanggat nakakapag-timpi pa ako, umalis ka na!

Ser Chief: Look. I know I should’ve fought for you and kept you by my side. I know that what happened between us that night was something that should’ve happened only when we’re married. I’m sorry…I’m so sorry for everything (tears now falling from his eyes)

Maya: (still trying her best to look unaffected) Sorry? So ganun lang yon? Pag nagsorry ka, akala mo okay na ang lahat? Na maibabalik pa natin yung dati? Well, I’m SORRY din Mr. Lim, pero hindi na ako katulad ng dati na madali mong mapapaniwala. Hindi na ako yung dating aligagang Maya na konting ngiti mo lang nakakalimutan na ang lahat, pati sarili nya. Nagbago na ako. Binago mo ako. Tapos na yung panahon na pinapaniwala ko ang sarili ko na mahal na mahal mo ako. Tapos na ang pagtatanga-tangahan ko ng dahil sa minahal kita ng sobra sobra (not realizing tears falling freely on her face, air barely getting through her lungs)

 

Ser Chief: Don’t call yourself that! It’s not your fault, it was mine. But I’ve realized my mistakes and …and I want to make it up to you and….to our son. Please Maya…I ask for your forgiveness?

 

Maya: Patawad? Patawad. Hah! Siguro nakukunsensya ka ngayon, kase nalaman mong buntis ako at ikaw ang ama. Natatakot kang malaman ng ANAK KO na pinabayaan mo lang sya. Wala naman akong masabi sayo pag dating sa pagiging tatay!

Ser Chief: Maya, it’s not only because of our son that I want to ask for your forgiveness. I want to be around you, around our son especially at this point in your life. Kaya sana don’t deprive me of that chance?

Maya: Eh di lumabas din ang totoo?! Kaya naisipan mong magpakita kase gusto mong makita yung bata.Siguro, nagdududa ka pa kung ikaw nga ang tatay noh? Gusto mong makita ng mga mata mo kung kamukha mo nga sya dahil kung hindi, maglalaho ka na lang parang bula!

 

Ser Chief: Hell no! Maya, please don’t be unreasonable. Don’t put words into my mouth! I know na ako ang ama ng bata. I know that you’re not the type of woman to sleep around. Hindi ko man matandaan lahat ng nangyari satin, alam ko na I fathered this child. No one else. That’s why, I want us to be a family ..again. Please Maya?

 

Maya: Family? Tayo? Hah! Para ano? Para umasa na naman ako na mamahalin mo rin ako? Na ako lang ang laman ng puso’t isip mo Mr. Lim? Well, nagkakamali ka. Hindi ko hahayaang mangyari ulet yon!

 

Ser Chief: What are you saying?  You know even long before we became official that I love you. I love you Maya!

 

Maya: Alam mo, wala ng pinatutunguhan ang usapan nating eto. Ni hindi ko nga alam bakit pa tayo nag-uusap. (heaves a deep sigh and wipes the tears from her eyes)
Ser Chief: Look. I love you. I love our son. I want us to be whole again. I’m sorry for everything, sa lahat ng pagkukulang ko. Dapat mas sinikap ko noon pa na ipaintindi sa mga bata ang sitwasyon natin. Dapat hindi ako agad sumuko na magkabalikan tayo. I’m sorry for all of those. Pero, sana you can still give me a second chance to be a better boyfriend, and a chance to become a responsible father to our son.

 

Maya: (shakes her head slowly) Hindi ka pa rin nagbabago. Akala mo isang salita mo lang mapapasunod mo na lahat, maaayos mo na ang mga pangyayari. Hindi mo talaga ako naiintindihan ano? Kaya akala mo ganun lang kadaling patawarin ka. Hah! Newsflash Ser Chief, hindi dahil sa mga bata kaya ako nakipaghiwalay ng tuluyan sayo. Hindi sila ang dahilan kung bakit nagpakalayu-layo ako sa inyo.

 

Ser Chief: Then what? Damn it! Tell me Maya! So I can fix it. How can I do something about it if you won’t tell me?

 

Maya: Hoy! Mr. Lim. Wag ka ngang makasigaw-sigaw dyan! Hindi mo ako empleyado para sigaw sigawan mo lang. Tsaka, pwede ba, wag mo akong sinisindak dahil hindi na gagana yan sakin ngayon! Kung meron mang may karapatang sumigaw at magalit sating dalawa, AKO LANG YON!

 

Ser Chief: I’m…I’m so sorry for shouting. I just, I just want to know kung paano ko maayos eto. Tell me, exactly what I’ve done so wrong so I could fix it. I want you in my life Maya, I don’t know if I could live on without you. Ikaw lang …you’re the only woman for me.

 

Hearing his last statement brought back memories of the night their baby was conceived. The all too familiar pain made its way to Maya’s heart again. She started crying more loudly and her body trembled as if she’s in physical pain. Seeing her in this state, Ser Chief tried to reach out to hold her but she slapped his hand before he got hold of her arm.

Maya: Wag mo akong hawakan! Sinungaling ka! (anger evident in her eyes) Hindi mo na ako maloloko sa mga linya mong ganyan! Alam ko na ang totoo kaya wag ka ng magkunwaring ako ang mahal mo!

 

Ser Chief: What?! Maya, ikaw lang talaga ang mahal ko. Anong ibig mong sabihin? There’s no other woman in my life but you!

 

Maya: Walang iba? Wag ka ngang magpatawa dyan Mr. Lim! Dinig na dinig ng dalawang tenga ko at hinding hindi ko makakalimutan yon. Kaya wag mo ng i-deny!

Ser Chief: You heard what? When did I ever talk about another woman? I’m not denying anything because it’s true that you’re the only woman for me. (Flabbergasted)

 

Maya had to pause realizing that their conversation has come to the part that she would rather not talk about. However, she also knows that she owes it to herself to tell Ser Chief how much he has wronged her. So she mustered all her streghth to reveal what happened that fateul night.

 

Ser Chief: Maya?! Tell me. I want to know what I did wrong. So I can show you how sorry I am. Tell me the whole truth.

Maya: O sige, since gusto mong malaman. Sasabihin ko sayo. Makinig ka Mr Lim at makinig ka ng mabuti kase hinding hindi ko na uulitin eto.

Ser Chief: I’m all ears Maya.

Maya: Nangyari yon nung…..nung gabing sinundo kita sa bar dahil lasing na lasing ka na. Naisip ko na kung iuuwi pa kita sa mansion at makikita tayo ng mga bata, baka lalu lang silang magalit sayo, satin. Kaya inuwi na lang kita sa condo. Nagkataong, wala si Emman at may pinuntahan. So, tayong dalawa lang ang nandoon.

Ser Chief: Yes, I remember that you picked me up at the bar. I remember even seating on your sofa at Emman’s condo.

 

Maya: Ganun nga. Dinala kita doon para hintaying mawala ang hang-over mo. Hahayaan na lang sana kitang makatulog sa sofa, kaso naisip ko na malamang sa hindi ka sanay doon at di ka magiging komportable. Kaya…dinala kita sa kwarto ko. Naisip ko na ikaw na lang patulugin dun at sa sofa na lang ako. Kaya lang…kaya lang…….

 

Ser Chief: Kaya lang things got out of hand and we ended up doing what we should ideally only do once we’re married.

 

Maya: (Nods slowly. The recollection still makes her feel uneasy and embarrassed) Alam kong hindi ko dapat hinayaang mangyari yon. Dahil hindi ako ganung babae. Pero, hindi ko rin maintindihan bakit nung makita kita ulet at narinig sayo na miss na miss mo na ako, parang nakalimutan ko lahat ng tamang gawin sa mga ganung sitwasyon. Hind na ako nag-isip. Sinunod ko na lang ang nararamdaman nito (points at her heart) kase nung mga sandaling yon, parang yun ang pinakatamang gawin. Pero, maling mali ako. Dahil…dahil pinapaniwala ko lang pala ang sarili ko na ako ang sinasabihan mo ng “I miss you” at “I love you” na yon.

 

Ser Chief: What? Wait. I don’t understand. Even if I don’t remember part of what happened to us that night. I’m sure I also did it out of love for you. What happened, happened because I wanted you, I love you.

 

Maya: Love? Siguro nga, pagmamahal, pero hindi para sakin. Kund di para kay…kay Alex.

 

Ser Chief: What?! ( gives her an incredulous look) What does Alex have to do with what happend to us? Maya, I don’t understand why you have to bring her in this conversation.

Maya: Dahil sya ang puno’t dulo ng lahat ng nangyayari satin. Sya ang dahilan kaya pinili kong lumayo sayo at itago ang anak natin.

Ser Chief: Maya, please leave her out of this. She’s long gone for Pete’s sake!

Maya: (gives out a sarcastic laugh and shakes her head in disbelief) Sya pa rin talaga hanggang ngayon. Halatang halata ka pa rin sa reaksyon mo. Kung nakikita mo lang sana ang sarili mo Mr. Lim. Walang dudang mahal na mahal mo pa rin si Alex. Kaya nga, nagtataka ako, anu pang ginagawa mo dito at nagpapakahirap kumbinsihin ako na mahal mo ako at dapat kitang patawarin.

 

Ser Chief: Don’t turn the tables around on me Maya! You know that she has nothing to do with this. She’s dead so how can she be involved here. Ikaw na ang mahal ko. Ikaw ang kasama ko dito that’s why if it’s possible let’s not talk about her anymore.

 

Maya: Hah! Yun nga eh, patay na sya. Wala na sya dito pero hanggang ngayon hawak pa rin nya ang puso mo! Kaya hindi mo ako mapapaniwala na ako na ang laman nyan! ( poked her finger twice on Ser Chief’s chest)

 

Ser Chief: Maya, please! Let’s talk about us instead?

Maya: Eto nga, nag-uusap tayo tungkol sa “us” na sinasabi mo. Pero parang ayaw mong makinig eh. Nabanggit ko lang si Alex, natutuliro ka na. O sige, ganito na lang. Para matapos na eto, sabihin na lang natin na….na…..habang ginagawa natin “YON” nung gabi sa condo, hindi ako ang iniisip mong katabi mo kung di si Alex! Dinig na dinig ko ng sinabi mo ang pangalan nya habang tayo ang magktabi sa kama. Hinding hindi ko makakalimutan ng sabihin mo sakin na wala ng ibang babae para sayo kundi si Alex lang. Na miss na miss mo ng gawin “yon” kasama sya! Si Alex, Mr. Richard Lim, si Alex at hindi ako ang minahal mo ng gabing yon! (finally lets fresh tears fall freely from her eyes)

 

Ser Chief: That can’t be! (shakes his head in utter disbelief of what he did) That can’t be true.

Maya: Oh yes, Mr. Lim. Yun ang totoong nangyari. Ang tanga-tanga ko na ibigay ang sarili ko sa isang lalaking hanggang ngayon eh inlove parin sa asawa nyang matagal ng patay! Nung marinig ko yon, nanliit ako. Grabe ang panliliit ko, na parang nawalan ako ng respeto sa pagkatao ko.Ngayon, sabihin mo, masisi mo ba ako kung ganito ang naging pasya ko?

 

Ser Chief: Maya…I didn’t know what I was saying that night. It must’ve been the alcohol talking. I’m so so sorry. But I didn’t mean to hurt you or to even say those things (now already crying and feeling disgusted with what he did)

 

Maya: Yun nga ang mas masakit don eh. Lasing ka, wala ka sa sarili mo. Pero sya pa rin ang iniisip mo kahit ako ang kasama mo?! Patunay lang yon na mula noon hanggang ngayon, sya lang talaga ang mahal mo. Kaya paano mo ako mapapaniwala sa sinsabi mo? Sige nga?!

 

Ser Chief: Maya, that night before I went to the bar, I visited Alex’s grave. I was desperate to find answers to my questions. Like why we have to go through those trials when all we wanted was to love each other? Just why I can’t seem to find happiness for these past years? I wanted to know how I could make things work with you. I poured my heart out to her because I know she’d listen. And I guess, in a way, she led me back to you that night. I will admit that I still miss her. But more than anything, I miss her because she’s the mother of my three kids and we were married for quite some time. We were like friends. I needed a friend after our breakup. What I might have said that night, were just by product of my frustration. I wanted to be man enough to fight for you amidst the disapproval of my kids.

 

Maya: Madaling sabihin ang mga yan. Pero, ang itanong mo sa sarili mo, bakit nung sandaling ako ang dapat laman ng isip mo, bakit si Alex parin ang sinisigaw ng puso mo?

 

Ser Chief: I dunno how else to explain this Maya. But in my heart, I know, I’m sure that I love you. What Alex and I had was something special too. But that’s all in my past and you’re not part of the past. You are my present and future. God knows, if I could undo whatever I said that night, I would, right this very minute! Maya, please believe me and give me a second chance?

 

Maya: Hindi ko alam kung darating pa ang panahon na yan. Siguro mas makabubuti satin na ganito na lang tayo. Para walang nasasaktan. Wag kang mag-alala. Alam kong mabuti kang ama,nakita ko kung paano mo patunayan kung gaano kahalaga ang tatlo mong anak. Kaya, hindi kita pipigilang makita ang anak natin. Maari mo syang bisitahin paminsan-minsan. Pero, hindi Lim ang dadalhin nyang pangalan kundi Dela Rosa. Tutal, nung gawin sya, ako lang naman talaga ang nagbuhos ng pagmamahal para sating dalawa. Tsaka ayokong maging kumplikado ang buhay ng bata sa hinaharap.

 

Ser Chief: What do you mean?! No, Maya our child will carry our family name. If you’re afraid of legalities, then let’s go ahead and make it legal, marry me!

Maya: (surprised) Ano?! So ganun lang yon? Ganun lang kadali sayo magpropose?! Hah! Ibang klase ka naman talaga Mr. Lim! Tigilan mo nga ako. Lalu mo lang pinatunayan na tama ang desisyon ko na wag gamitin ang apelyido nyo. Tapusin na natin eto, baka makunan pa ako dahil sa mga pinagsasabi mo. Uulitin ko, hindi ko ipagdadamot ang bata sayo o sa mga kapatid nya.Pero, ang ugnayan natin hanggang dun na lang. Para sa kapakanan ng bata makikilala ka nyang ama. Hayaan mo, kapag nasa edad na sya na maiintindihan nya ang sitwasyon natin, ipapaliwanag ko sa kanya kung bakit hindi tayo pwedeng magsama.

 

Ser Chief: You’re the only one saying na hindi tayo pwede magsama. I want to marry you, be with you, but you are the one declining.

 

Maya: Exactly. Yun naman talaga ang sasabihin ko sa kanya dahil yun ang totoo.

 

Ser Chief: But Maya….is there nothing I could do to change your mind?

 

Maya: Pagod na ako Mr. Lim. Gusto ko ng umuwi. Pupuntahan ko na sila Kute sa parking lot baka nag-aalala na yon at ang mga bata.

 

Ser Chief: Fine. But Maya, I will not stop earning your trust again. I won’t. I will take care of your hospital bills and everything my son needs. At least, let me do those for you.

Maya: Bahala ka.

 

She turns around and leaves the still in shock Richard Lim.

He hates himself for being a jerk that night with Maya. He’s now more than ever worried how Simon will react once he finds out that Maya declined his offer of marriage. Just how will Maya have a change of heart?

 

Things are looking more and more complicated for him. He feels lost….again.

(to be continued)

49 thoughts on “After All – Part 13

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