Note: This is a continuation of The Art of Letting Go 23.
A/N: I’d like to thank all of you who took time to read even re-read some of the chapters in this story. Also to Ms. Elsa Mendoza, no. 1 reader of my stories! Haha! Salamat ng maraming marami! God bless everyone!
Maya simply doesn’t know what to think or what to feel even. Here she stands beside the man she realized she had already fallen in love with only to learn that he can never love her as he still has his late wife in his heart. Hearing the story about the plane made her heart weep in agony. She knew from the start how much Richard loved his late wife. She already accepted that fact from the start. But what she never foresaw is falling in love with a man who can never reciprocate her love. She remained quiet the whole time. She knew, the moment she try to open her lips to speak, she may no longer control her tears from falling. She then decided to simply listen to Richard’s every word.
“Four weeks ago, Alex came up to me in a dream. I was happy to see her. Everything felt surreal, like she really is here.” With a smile on his face, he clearly recalled everything he saw in that dream.
It was a bright sunny day. Richard found himself on a beach. About ten feet away from him, he saw a familiar figure. The woman he knew all his life. The woman he used to share his life and heart with. “Alex,” he said. “Alex!” he said, this time a little louder. He then half-run to her and hugged her tight. She felt so real, felt so warm. He doesn’t know how but everything’s surreal.
“Is it really you Alex?” he asked as he search for her face. Alex simply smiled warmly at him. “It is really her,” he thought. “Kumusta ka na Chard?” she asked. “I’m fine! Ikaw kumusta ka na?” he asked. “I’m fine as well Chard. I’m happy,” she said. Richard simply smiled in return. “Tara Chard. Maglakad lakad muna tayo,” said Alex. The two walked alongside each other, by the seashore. Alex asked him to tell her the things that’s been happening in his life lately.
Without any hesitation, Richard gladly shared with Alex everything that’s happened in his life after she left. Alex listened to every word. Richard then gladly shared to her about Maya, about everything she taught him, about all the wonderful times they shared. Then, after some hesitation, he finally admitted that he was in love, truly in-love with Maya.
Richard then fell silent. A few moments later, “I’m sorry Alex.” Alex said nothing right away but simply kept walking until she finally turned to Richard and said, “Why?” “Because I’m already in love with someone else.” Alex simply smiled at him, “Chard, what we have cannot and will never be replaced by anyone. We shared something special. But our time had come to an end. We were never bound to last. The fact that you loved me is already enough for me. You need to go and fight for your own happiness.
Richard simply smiled at her. “Oh Chard,” she said as she gently touched his face, “who do you think it was that brought the balloons to her?”
As he continued on with his story, “She told me she’s already happy and at peace. I also told her that I’ve already found my happiness and peace of mind,” he chuckled for a moment then continued, “I thought she’ll get mad at me. But she has always remained the same. The same loving Alex that I knew. She said that she was happy for me. She even advised me to fight and follow my own happiness. Nakakatawa lang kasi kahit sa kabilang buhay yata, inaalala parin niya ako,” he said.
“Alam mo angel, I’m just glad that Alex had already found her own peace and happiness. And she’s right, I need to fight and follow my own happiness. That’s the reason why I needed to completely let her go. I don’t want to hold her from her own happiness and peace,” then turning to Maya, looking straight into her eyes with so much affection, tenderness, and sincerity, “neither do I want to be held up from my own happiness and peace,” he said smiling warmly at her.
Confused at what Richard was trying to say, “Anong ibig mong sabihin?” “This is the last thing that holds Alex here. And now it’s time for me to completely let her go. Bukas, this plane will be delivered to France. It’s already sold to a rich businessman. I’ve decided to have the money donated to different charities,” he explained. Then grinning back to Maya, “Not only am I able to completely let go of Alex, nakatulong pa ako sa mga charities di ba?” he said proudly.
Maya was no longer able to control her emotions. All along, she thought that Richard’s still holding on to his wife’s memories and the love he has for her. All along she thought that Richard was brandishing in her face the undying love he devoted to his late wife. Seeing him completely let go of Alex, took her by surprise. The sudden turn of event is simply overwhelming for her. Because of this, she was no longer able to control her tears from falling.
Startled, Richard immediately held Maya’s face. “Why are you crying? Are you still mad at me? Sorry na angel ko,” pleaded Richard. Maya simply smiled at him, “Ok lang ako Richard. Alam mo naman di ba? Iyakin lang talaga ang angel mo,” she said. “Ikaw talaga,” said Richard as she pulled her close for a hug. “I missed you my angel. I missed you so much,” he said as he continued to hug her tight and planted a kiss on her head. “I missed you too wormy ko,” chukled Maya.
After a couple of minutes, “Angel, dun ka na muna sa mansion tutuloy ha,” said Richard. “Ha??” replied by an utterly surprised Maya. “Yup! Sa mansion ka na muna kahit tonight lang. Na-miss kita ng sobra eh,” he said, playfully pinching Maya’s cheek. “Pinaayos ko na kay Manang yung guest room kaya ine-expect ka narin niya doon. We still have a lot of catching up to do di ba?” grinned Richard. “Hay. May magagawa pa ba ako. Alam ko din namang hindi ako mananalo sa’yo!” said Maya making the both of them laugh. Richard drove the both of them back to his mansion.
After reaching his mansion, Richard and Maya then had their dinner. Manang Fe prepared kare-kare for them. After dinner, they both went to the veranda and tried to catch up some more about everything that happened in their lives for the past 4 weeks over a cup of coffee. Richard then also mentioned to Maya that he saw her sing at the Hard Rock Café much to the latter’s embarrassment. “Nandun ka?? So nadinig mo lahat??” she asked, totally embarrassed about the whole thing. “Yes! I was there and I heard the whole thing!” grinned Richard.
“Alam mo ang daya mo! Sana nagpakita ka nalang noon!” said Maya. Richard simply laughed seeing this reaction from her. “Which reminds me, kanino mo nga ba dinedicate yung song na yun?” asked Richard expectantly. Scratching her head, “Ha? Eh.. Ano..” “Hmm.. You said you dedicate that song to a very special friend whom you haven’t seen in a while. Sino naman yun?” smiled Richard. “Ah wala yun. Wala. Kalimutan mo na.” “But I’m curious. I want to know who he was. Was it me?” grinned Richard. “Alam mo wormy, inaantok ka na siguro. Mabuti pa siguro, itulog mo nalang yan,” she said.
“But I’m not sleepy yet!” he said. “Bahala ka jan!” she said. She was already about to stand up but Richard stopped her. “Angel, dito ka muna. Ok, I’ll stop asking questions na. I’ll stop prying na,” he said, smiling reassuringly at her. Maya then remained at her seat.
A couple of minutes later, “Angel, remember the song that you played in the piano before?” Richard asked. “Oo naman! Yun lang ang kantang pinag-aralan kong mag-isa eh,” chuckled Maya. “Could you play that for me?” he asked. “Huh? Ngayon na?” “Kung ok lang sayo,” said Richard, smiling warmly at her . “Ok, sige,” she said, a bit hesitant. “Basta kanta ka din ha?” “Aba wormy! Sobra sobra na yang request mo ha!” “Minsan lang naman eh. Please?” pleaded Richard. “Kung hindi lang talaga kita bestfriend,” replied Maya.
The two then proceeded to the living room and sat themselves on the bench as she opened the fallboard of the piano and started to play the song. A couple of seconds later, the room was not only filled with the music coming from the piano but also filled with the lovely voice of Maya.
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I’m here, nothing can harm you
my words will warm and calm you
Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears.
I’m here with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you…
Say you love me every waking moment,
turn my head with talk of summertime…
Say you need me with you now and always…
Promise me that all you say is true
that’s all I ask of you
As she continued to play, she was surprised to hear Richard sing the second part of the song but she easily recovered and continued playing the song as she listen Richard sing, looking at each other’s eyes the whole time.
Let me be your shelter
let me be your light
You’re safe, No one will find you
your fears are far behind you…
All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night
and you, always beside me, to hold me and to hide me…
Then say you’ll share with me
one love, one lifetime
let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you…
anywhere you go, let me go too
Maya, that’s all I ask of you…
Surprised to hear Richard use her name instead of using the real lyrics, she simply managed to smile. As the song progressed, Maya decided to join Richard sing the rest of the song. Eyes locked on each other, with so much love, so much affection, so much tenderness, they felt the words coming straight from their hearts.
Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime…
say the word and I will follow you…
Share each day with me,
each night, each morning…
Say you love me…
You know I do…
Love me – that’s all I ask of you…
Anywhere you go let me go too
Love me – that’s all I ask of you.
As the song finally came to an end, they still have their eyes locked on each other. Richard then took both of Maya’s hands and planted a kiss. Tenderness and love reflected in his expression. Looking at her eyes once again he said with utmost affection and sincerity, “I love you Maya.”
Note: Some of the words/lines used in this chapter came from the novel Message in a Bottle and BCWMH.