Note: This is a continuation to Crazy in love – part 11.
Chapter 12 – Walang Lihim na ‘di nabubunyag
The following weekend after Maya met Richard, Mama Teresita requested Maya to return to San Nicolas. Mama Esme and Papa Roberto had returned to their hometown and had contacted Mama Teresita. So, she was planning to have family get together that Sunday.
Maya couldn’t decline the invitation and having had that conversation with Richard, she felt more confident facing his parents. She arrived San Nicolas Friday evening. After their family dinner, Maya went to her room to take a shower. Her mother followed her in room to have a conversation with her,
“Maya, ‘nak, buti naman available ka. Kumusta naman sa office mo?” Mama Tessie spoke as she sat in Maya’s bed.
“Okay lang Ma. Medyo maraming gawa this week but generally the business is doing well.” She didn’t tell her yet about meeting Richard. She wasn’t ready to handle the many questions that will surely come when her mother learns about the developments in her life.
A few minutes after Maya entered the bathroom, her mobile phone rang. It kept ringing, such that Mama Tessie felt compelled to tell her to finish her shower. “Maya, ‘nak, yung phone mo ring ng ring. Bilisan mo kaya dyan.”
“Ma, pakisagot na lang. Baka importante.” Maya’s response from behind the bathroom door.
With the permission from her daughter, Mama Tessie searched for her phone inside Maya’s bag. She went through the contents until she finally found the phone. As she took the phone out of her bag, a piece of paper dropped out of the bag as well. She saw it fall but she didn’t immediately pick up. She answered the call first.
“Hello… Hello”. She said but the caller had already disconnected. The caller probably gave up after so many rings have passed without an answer.
There was no number reflecting on the phone so she identify who called up Maya.
Anyway, she picked up the folded paper and out of curiosity, opened it. Mama Tessie was shocked with what she read. The paper was the NSO marriage certificate of Richard and Maya. She immediately walked towards Maya’s dresser and opened the left drawer. She searched at the bottom part of the drawer and saw the box hidden at the back. When she opened it, it still had the gold ring in it. She took it out and confirmed that it was the same ring she saw years ago. It was the ring – it had Richard’s name inscribed inside it.
Discovering the truth was a major shock to Maya’s mother. When Maya came out of the bathroom dressed in her pajamas, she faced her very angry and tearful mother.
“Maya, anong ibig sabihin nito” Mama Tessie asked as she held the certificate in one hand and the ring on her other hand; she was waving both in Maya’s face.
Maya equally surprised by her mother’s discovery didn’t know how to respond. She stood still with mouth open and fear in her face.
“Ma… magpapaliwanag po ako.” Maya’s voice was shaking as she started to speak.
With that opening statement, Mame Tessie got more upset as it dawned on her that her daughter had kept her a secret for 10 years.
“Maya, paano mo nagawa sa akin ‘to? Lahat ng gusto mo anak sinuportahan ko…” Mama Tessie’s voice was getting weak as she reproached her daughter.
She placed her hand in her chest when she felt a constriction in her heart. Then, slowly her body weakened and she collapsed on the floor.
Maya saw how her mother’s expression changed from anger to pain and then expressionless as she fell on the floor. She exclaimed, “Mama! Ma” as she rushed to her help her.
It was early morning when Maya was advised by their doctor that her mother was okay. She has been transferred in a room after an overnight observation. Fortunately, it was just a mild stroke. Together with their househelp Manang Fe, Maya was able to bring her immediately to the hospital. Cristina Rose has not arrived yet when the incident happened. Kute was scheduled to fly in Sunday morning from her Cebu where she is based.
By mid-day, Maya was allowed to go to her mother’s room to see her. Mama Teresita lay in the hospital bed resting but when she saw Maya, she just gave her a dismissive wave. She didn’t respond to Maya’s question when she asked if she was okay. Maya then realize that her mother was still angry with her. Maya felt very guilty over what happened to her. She started crying again as she went out of the room.
Then, Richard’s mother suddenly arrived.
“Maya, Hija, what happened to you Mom? I called up your house this morning at ang sabi ni Fe, nandito daw kayo sa hospital. Anong nangyari hija?” Mama Esme asked.
“Inatake po Tita. Buti po, mild lang.” She answered tearfully. “May kasalanan po kasi ako.”
“Hija, stop crying. I’m sure you’ll be forgiven once she’s fully recovered. Whatever it is, hindi matitiis ng ina ang isang anak.” Mama Esme consoled her. “Anyway, papasok muna ako sa loob, ha. Titingnan ko muna ang mommy mo. Dito ka lang muna. Mag-usap tayo later.”
Maya watched Mama Esme enter the room. She was thinking whether she should tell her the cause of attack. She didn’t think her mother would talk yet or even open up what she discovered yesterday. So, Maya sat outside the room waiting for Mama Esme.
After an hour, Mama Esme came out of the room with unreadable facial expression. When Maya stood to up to ask her “Ah, Tita, kumusta po si Mama?”, Mama Esme just looked straight in her eyes.
Then, she signaled with her hand for Maya to sit down while she called up someone. Maya heard her speak on the phone.
“Ricardo, where are you?” Mama Esme started; her tone cold.
“Umuwi ka sa San Nicolas ngayon. I want to speak to you.” There was a pause. “There are no buts. I want you to be at home tonight. If you have to rent a plane, I don’t care Ricardo. There is a family issue that we must talk about today.” She disconnected the call without waiting for him to respond.
Mama Esme turned around and looked at Maya intently. She overheard the whole conversation and she felt her feet and legs turned cold. Looking at Mama Esme, she was very nervous of what was to come next. She guessed that Mama Esme already found out about their secret.
“Maya, Hija, mag-usap tayo.” Mama Esme’s facial expression turned brooding which Maya didn’t expect.
“Tita.. tungkol po saan?” She asked nervously.
“Tell me anak. Anong nangyari? I will not ask anymore if you were in love with each other or not when you entered into your marriage. I know the answer to that. What I want to find out is why didn’t you tell me or your mother about this. We could have helped the two of you.”
“Kasi po, hindi ko alam at that time what to do. May pinagawayan lang po kami, tapos nag tuloy-tuloy na.”
“Tell me, after all these years, what do you feel about the whole situation? Nagka-usap na ba kayo ni Ricky? He came back to the Philippines ahead of me and his Dad.”
“Opo, Napag-usapan na namin at nag agree na magpa-annul po.” She admitted to his mother. Since she already knew, it wouldn’t make sense if would keep it a secret. They will find out anyway.
“Ah ganun ba? Ayaw mo bang ituloy ang marriage nyo? Wala na bang puwang ang anak ko dyan sa puso mo? “
“Po?” The question caught Maya off-guard. She blushed as she thought about the question.
“Hmmm. Don’t you want to fight for it Hija?” Mama Esme was trying to read Maya’s expression. She knew that it was a strange question to ask. They’ve haven’t contacted each other for 10 years so most probably, the two have forgotten each other.
“Tita, it’s been ten years. We were young then but I think both of us have matured. We have to move on po.” She didn’t respond directly to the question of Mama Esme.
“Maya, other than a mother, babae din ako. I think may konti pang natitira dyan” She was pointing at Maya’s heart. “Call me hopeless romantic so ang hula ko meron pa. At saka, you know that I’ve always wanted you to be part of our family, so hindi mo maaalis sa aking kung manghinayang ako.” Mama Esme explained.
“Thank you po, Tita. Pero, may decision na po kami.” She smiled shyly.
“Hija, I am going to talk to Richard tonight. I want you to be in our house. I am going to do something about this marriage of yours. I know you said that you want it annulled. But I am sorry to tell you, I can’t support it right now. Please don’t be mad at me but as a mother, I need to have a say in this before you terminate anything.”