This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 20.
“Maya, ‘yung doctor ni Abby, are you close friends with him?” He asked as he started the car.
Maya sighed and looked at him straight in the eyes. She knew he will find out sooner or later so she decided to tell him the truth. “Actually Richard, Joey is my boyfriend.”
“Whaaat?” Richard exclaimed that a sleeping Abby made a surprised sound in the car seat. Maya saw her shudder.
“Richard, ano ka ba kung maka what ka eh ang lakas. Nagulat tuloy ang bata.” Maya checked on Abby who resumed her sleep. It was the effect of her crying from the immunization she had earlier.
“Since when did you have a boyfriend?” It never came to his mind that Maya was committed to someone else. All along he thought she was fully concentrating on raising Abby and her school. He could hardly focus on his driving with all thoughts coming in and out of his head.
“Hmm. Not too long ago. Anyway, I think it’s none of your business that I am dating him.” She dismissed his reaction.
“Of course not. It is my business. He might potentially be the second father of Abby. What if he is not the right guy for you?” He responded. He was very upset; there’s pain in his heart. It took a lot of control and quick thinking to give her that argument.
“Richard, whether he could be the second father or whatever, I will be the judge of that and not you.” She reminded him.
That statement silenced him for the rest of the drive back to VV. If he was excited accompanying them to the clinic earlier, he came out of it felt like the world crashed on him. She having a boyfriend added complication to the already difficult task of getting her back again.
Richard barely slept that night. He thought having the joint custody was going to get him closer to her. Yes, it did but it also got him closer to pain. He was torn to pieces after discovering that the woman he loves, the mother of his child, is now in love with someone else.
For the next two weeks that followed, Richard was on the dot whenever he fetched Abby. He would see and talk briefly to Maya during those times but mostly about concerns on Abby. He would still bring her flowers though which has become a weekly ritual for him; a subtle expression of his feelings for her.
One time, he saw Joey in their house when he brought home Abby on a Sunday morning. It was the birthday of Joey’s mother and so Maya and Abby were invited to her celebration. The two men greeted each other civilly. It took a lot of effort on Richard’s part to appear calm and unaffected in his interaction with them. In reality, his heart was aching. His jealousy was killing him. He didn’t know how much he could still take in.
Unknown to Richard, Manang Fe who knows everything about what happened to their story was quietly observing her ward. She couldn’t help but give him an advice.
“Ricardo, anak.” Manang Fe called Richard. She calls him Ricardo as she got used to it since he was naughty when he was a young boy prompting her to always scold him.
“Manang Fe.” He turned to looked at his former nanny. He couldn’t hide the pain in his eyes. She knows him too well; she is like a second mother to him. It is the reason why he wanted her living with Maya and Abby. He knew she would take care of them just like how she took care of him as if she was his own.
“Alam ko nasasaktan ka. May choice ka naman. Pwedeng kang lumaban ng sabayan o magparaya ka na lang. Pag inilaban mo, at least wala kang pagsisihan sa huli. Nagawa mo lahat ng dapat mong gawin. Pero minsan anak, pag namamahal ka, hindi kailangan mahalin ka rin. Mas nakakahigit yung naisa alang-alang mo ang kaligayahan ng mahal mo.” She gave him some words of wisdom that made Richard more depressed.
“Sa tingin mo Manang, masaya si Maya ngayon?” He asked for her opinion.
“Bago pa lang ako dito Ricardo, pero sa tingin ko masaya s’ya.” It hurt some more. Richard wondered when he will become immune to the pain.
After that last visit, Richard and Maya seldom saw each other. He tried to minimize their encounter while he was trying to nurture his heart aches.
On a rainy Wednesday evening, Richard decided not to bring Abby to his condo unit but instead they just remained in their VV house. The little girl had a slight fever so it was better for them to stay indoors. Maya was in school and so he technically had Abby by himself. They played a lot in her room. Eventually, Abby got tired and fell asleep. After tucking her to bed, Richard stayed on gazing at his daughter. Since he has been spending time with her, he has never felt so domesticated. So, he had planned on moving to a house where he could provide more space for his daughter to grow and play around.
Maya came into the room and found Richard still in the nursery. She knew he was still there seeing his car parked outside the house.
“Kanina pa tulog si Abby? Wala ng sinat.” She asked while caressing the head of Abby.
She sat on the other side bed opposite to where Richard was. They both gazed lovingly at their child.
Richard suddenly uttered his appreciation to Maya. He looked at her, “Maya, thank you for keeping Abby and having the courage to bring her up on your own.” His eyes spoke the same message that came out of his mouth.
Maya smiled upon hearing his compliment. She felt the genuineness of Richard’s statement that she opened up to him. “Richard, it never occurred to me that I shouldn’t keep her. Whatever happened to us, wala naman s’yang kasalan.”
“So, when did you find out you about your condition and why didn’t you tell me?” He curiously asked.
“You were already in the U.S. at that time. ‘Yung time na na extend yung stay mo after we broke up. I didn’t see the need for you to know. Kung sinabi ko, ano kaya ang ginawa mo?” She asked in return.
“I would have made an honest woman out of you.” Richard’s quick reply. I still do, if you would have me was in his thoughts.
Maya smirked. “That’s the reason why I didn’t tell you. Richard, ayokong magpakasal dahil sa buntis ako. Ayokong ma-obliga ka. Besides…”
Richard cut her off, “Besides, you hated me so much right? You were hurting so much that you had to run away. You ran away from me. You cut off all our communication channels. Did you know that I looked for you?”
Maya nodded. She knew that he was either visiting or calling her mother to check on her whereabouts for several weeks.
Richard commenced his story. “When I came back from the U.S. after 3 weeks, I was surprised to discover that you have left the company. I went to your house the same day I found out about your resignation but you weren’t there anymore. Despite my pleadings, your mother didn’t tell me where you were. So ‘yun pala nasa Baguio ka na.”
In turn, Maya told him what happened in Baguio. “Yes, tinulungan ako ni Emman. Pinakilala n’ya ako sa isang family friend nila who needed a cashier in their restaurant. Nag-stay in ako sa kanila. Doon ko na rin natutuhan paano mag-operate ng café. I was there up to seven months of my pregnancy until nagkita kami ng Dad mo. He persuaded to me return to Manila. ”
Abby moved and let out a small cry, obviously disturbed by the two who were talking. So, they stopped talking but still remained in the room watching over her. A few minutes later, Maya offered
“Richard, you want to have coffee? Doon tayo sa lanai, if you want to stay a bit longer here.”
He smiled. It was the first time he felt like she wanted to spend time with him. “Of course. You know I love your coffee. “
Maya then called Doris to move to the nursery and stay with Abby.