This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 25.
Richard spent his Sunday morning at the gym to release all his frustrations after seeing Joey and Maya together the previous night. While he was sweating out all his pains, he seriously doubted if he could still get her back. The moves he did in the morning where all wiped out by their tryst at the lanai. At the back of his mind, he also wondered whether Maya enjoys seeing him unhappy. There have been occasion wherein she was evasive when he tries to pursue his intentions to her. She usually brings up her boyfriend when he hints about his feelings for her. By end of that day, Richard decided to just rest his heart from aches. He can only do that if he stays away from her for the meantime.
For the next two days, Richard concentrated on his work particularly those he had missed the previous week. On Wednesday, instead of going to Valle Verde, he asked their family driver to pick-up Doris and Abby. Since Mama Esmeralda wanted to see her granddaughter, Richard thought he could just send Abby to their house in Makati. It was Manang Fe who took the instructions from Richard to prepare Abby for her pick-up.
Maya, on the other hand, was looking forward to seeing Richard that Wednesday. She wanted to consult him about her case study which was due for submission on the following Saturday. She was disappointed to learn from Manang Fe that Richard wasn’t coming to their house.
Feeling restless with the thought of not seeing him that day, Maya decided to call him up on his mobile phone. “Hello, Ricky.”
“Hello Maya.” Richard was surprised to get a call from her. It was an unexpected call.
“Sabi ni Manang Fe, pupunta daw si Abby sa Bel-Air? So doon ka din later?” She asked. She is actually happy that her daughter is very much wanted by her grandparents.
“No, I’ll be here at the office. I have meetings until early evening. So, when Mom requested that Abby visit her, si Mang Lem na lang ang pinasundo ko sa kanila.” Richard explained. When he heard her voice, he felt tiny stabs in his heart. He suddenly remembered the scene he saw a few days ago.
“Ah, so are you coming over sa house later? Ikaw ba ang maghahatid sa kanila?” She asked as she didn’t want to end the conversation with him yet.
“Si Mang Lem na rin ang magbabalik sa kanila. Why?” Richard didn’t want to run into the possibility of seeing Maya yet. He was still hurting but he sensed that she wanted to see him about something.
“Ahh, Ricky may ikukunsulta sana ako sa’yo. Di ba sabi mo you can help me with my assignments? May case study kasi ako sa obligations and contracts class ko. Eh, na-analyze ko na, ready na ang report ko. But I want to have it reviewed by you. Baka kasi may na miss ako or mali.” She finally requested his help.
Richard let out a deep sighed on the other end of the line. He was at a dilemma whether to see her or not.
“Hmm, how about sending me the case material and your report via email? Basahin ko muna and then balikan kita on it. You’ll need this Saturday right?” Richard offered.
Maya was quiet for a while. She couldn’t speak because she suddenly felt a lump in her throat. She couldn’t understand why her heart sank when he asked her to send him an email instead of offering her time for discussion.
When she found her voice, she sadly said “O sige, padala ko in fifteen minutes. Thank you ha. Baka na istorbo kita.” She said goodbye and hanged up the phone.
The moment the call ended, Richard’s concentration on his work was gone. He lost interest in the paper he was reading but instead kept on watching his email for the incoming message from Maya. When it finally arrived, he quickly read the case and her report.
“Where are you?” Richard sent Maya a text message after an hour of their conversation.
“Dito sa café.” was her short reply.
“Stay there. I’m coming over.” Richard gave in to his heart’s desire.
After reading her report and sensing her tone on the phone, he felt the urgent need to see her. In the end, he couldn’t resist not seeing her that afternoon.
Maya anxiously waited for Richard to enter their café. And true enough, after thirty minutes, a serious looking Richard arrived carrying two legal books.
“Hi Ricky” She greeted him. “Sandali lang, I’ll get you coffee.” She quickly got up from her seat and proceeded to the kitchen to prepare his drink just the way he likes it.
When she came back, the two books have been opened and Richard inserted a table napkin as book marker.
“Maya, I read your report. Generally, your analysis was in the right direction. But the arguments you presented lacked additional support. May mga existing jurisprudence na d’yan sa case study mo. So, I marked them here. You can use them.” Richard pointed out the pages he was referring to.
“Thank you. Ricky. So tama talaga na pina-review ko muna sa’yo. Na discuss ko yan sa professor ko and he said something similar pero hindi ko lang na getz nuong unang discussion namin” She was smiling fully appreciating his help on her assignment.
“By the way, can I guess that your professor in this course is Atty. Clark Sarmiento?” Richard asked curiously. The case was very familiar to him and it was one of the reasons why he knew exactly how and where to get references for the case.
“How did you guess?” Maya wondered how he knew her teacher when he didn’t to go to U.P. Law.
“Ha,ha,ha. Now this makes sense. This is an actual case that we had three years back. He just changed the names of the parties but that is a real case that I handled. Guess which side I was on?”
“You were the defense counsel! You won this case right?” Maya excitedly guessed.
“Bingo!” It was one of those earlier cases he handled after his return from the U.S.; a few months before he met Maya. Richard and Atty. Sarmiento are good friends outside the court houses.
“Hmmm, maybe I should come over to your school this Saturday to meet your professor. What do you think? Is he making your life difficult?” He teased her. His somber mood earlier seemed to have waned.
“No, he is actually nice. Ang galing nga n’yang magturo. Baka pag nalaman pa no’n na magkakilala tayo bumaba ang grade ko. Alam mo na, failure by association, ang maging ending ko.” She teased him back.
“Hey, he can’t do that. Besides, you know you’ll have a good defense counsel when that happens.” He smiled assuring her that he will be supportive of her.
Since the mood has lightened, Maya then shared about her forthcoming trip in Cebu. “Actually, this Saturday, we don’t have a class. He gave us this week as reading week. So, I will be just submitting my report online. At saka Ricky, this Saturday pala I’m going to Cebu.” She sounded like she was asking permission although it wasn’t her intention.
Richard’s face suddenly turned serious. “Cebu? What are going to do there?”
“Going on vacation. I’m going with some friends. Anyway, you’ll be with Abby this weekend naman. So, I figured I could travel. I will be back Sunday evening. So, technically, one night lang ako wala sa Manila.” She didn’t mention Joey’s name as she felt uneasy to tell him that it was a vacation with Joey. She said friends because his friends are also her friends now.
After hearing her planned trip to Cebu, Richard’s facial expression turned from serious to dark as if a storm was about to surge. He couldn’t hide his annoyance.
“When you say friends, I would assume that includes Joey, right.” He looked at her directly, anger in his eyes.
“Yes” She half-smiling and half-afraid of his facial expression. Richard didn’t say anything anymore. A few minutes later, he bid her goodbye saying he needed to be back at the office for another meeting.
For the next few days, Maya didn’t hear from Richard. He didn’t call her again but she knew he was calling Manang Fe when he would check on Abigail.
Early Saturday morning, Joey called up Maya to check on her arrival in Cebu. She advised him that she was supposed to arrive after lunch. She will just take a taxi going to Waterfront hotel and they will meet up there. Joey couldn’t contain his excitement to have her join him. They were still in a conversation when Maya heard a car pull up in front of their house. So, she ended the call with him saying her cab had arrived and that she was on her way to the airport.
Maya opened the gate and was surprised it was Richard waiting outside. He was inside the car as if he was thinking about something. But he turned off the engine when he saw Maya standing right beside his window.
“Ricky, si Abby nasa park pa.” She told him. Maya was already dressed up when Joey called up earlier.
“Maya, are you ready? I’ll take you to the airport. You’re not bringing your car to park n fly right?” He offered.
“No, nagpatawag ako ng airport taxi. It should be here any moment.” She responded. She wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for him to take her to the airport.
“Maya, just get your things. I’ll take you to the airport. Besides, I need to speak to you.” He repeated his offer although it sounded more like a command. Obviously, he wasn’t in a good mood that morning.
The drive to the domestic airport was smooth. As it was a weekend, there was no traffic. However, inside the car, Maya could feel Richard icy coldness. She could feel he was angry.
“Richard… ano ‘yung sasabihin mo sa akin?” Maya broke the silence as they were nearing New Port city.
He glanced at her and saw she was looking at him intently. He swerved his car to the right side of the street and turned on his hazard lights as he put the car on complete stop.
“Maya, do you have to go to Cebu with him?” Instead of anger, Maya saw pain in Richard’s eyes. He didn’t bother mask his true feeling anymore.
Since he learned that she was going join Joey in Cebu, his mood has not returned to normal. He was extremely upset, jealous and in pain that he couldn’t contain it anymore. He didn’t want to see her again but the thought of her leaving and not being able to say his piece was also unbearable. So, he decided to see her that morning and offered to bring her to the airport. He hoped that he could talk her out of it.
“Richard, I’ve already made a commitment to Joey. He is expecting me. Anyway, one day lang naman. Tomorrow, I’ll be back.” She told him. She was getting confused again. She couldn’t find the words to describe her own feelings.
After hearing her say that, Richard restarted the car and proceeded to the airport. Moments later, they were in front of the departure bay. Before Maya left him, he had some more to say.
“Maya, if you go, there’s a possibility that I can’t have you back.” His voice was almost quivering.
“Richard, I’m sorry. I have to go. Thank you sa paghatid mo.” Maya turned around and left him. She knew what he meant but deep inside her she needed to thresh out the confusion she was feeling. There was a part of her that wanted to stay but there was also a part of her that needed to go.
Richard stood beside his car for several minutes staring at the entrance door. He hoped she would later come out of it just like what happens in movies but she didn’t. The security personnel had to ask him several times before he finally budged in his position.