Note: This is a continuation to The Rightful Owner – part 17
Maya was as heartbroken as Richard. After he left her, she tried calling him several times. Simon who later on realized the implications of his action had profusely apologized to Maya. She told him to just leave her alone while she was sorting out her own problem.
Despite her many calls to Richard, she couldn’t reach him. She went to his condo unit but he wasn’t around. She even spent a night there hoping that when he comes home, they’ll be able to talk. But, Richard didn’t go home that night which caused her more worries. So that Sunday night, Maya cried herself to sleep in Richard’s bed.
For several days that followed, she still couldn’t get hold of him. She could hardly focus on her work which was unlike her. Finally, she decided to check with James where Richard could be. She went to Time Airways’ Pasay headquarters on a Thursday morning. Although her visit to T.A. office was unexpected, she was immediately accommodated by his staff.
“Hi James.” She greeted him as she entered his room. She had sad eyes evident that something was troubling her.
“Oh Hi, Maya. What brings you here? Kumusta na?” He kissed her cheek. He was happy to see her but noticed the lackluster mood of Maya.
She smiled shyly and didn’t know how to start. Since she got into a relationship with Richard, she and James would occasionally meet at their parents’ home. They maintained a casual friendship, as if James didn’t court her before.
“Ahh, actually, medyo nahihiya ako sa’yo. Instead na sa phone, I decided na lang na pumunta dito kasi, nagbabakasali lang ako na…” She stammered but continued. “Would you know where Ricky is?”
“Huh?” James seemed surprised by her question. “Bakit? Nawawala ba si Kuya?”
“Ha? Ay hindi, ano lang, hindi ko kasi ma-contact eh. And I was in the area kaya I dropped by.” She told James. Her last statement was a lie. She purposely went there to just inquire about Richard’s whereabouts.
“Bakit ganoon? Kanina lang kausap ko. In fact, padating na s’ya dito. May visitor daw kami na kasama n’ya.” James eyed Maya carefully. It was then he realized that it was his brother that’s the cause of her sad, almost problematic facial expression.
“Maya, nag-away ba kayo ni Richard?” He turned serious.
“Hindi naman… hindi ko lang ma-contact. Anyway, since sabi mo he is coming here, siguro magkikita kami dito.” She sounded hopeful.
“Yeah, so while waiting, how about having a coffee d’yan sa tapat na coffee shop?” James offered.
“Sige, thank you.” She accepted the invitation.
“Basta ikaw, sister-in-law.” He teased her. She felt a little bit better when he referred to her as sister-in-law. She liked the idea of being an in-law to him because that meant that she and Richard are married to each other. But at that moment, the pressing issue was to see and talk to Richard.
Maya momentarily forgot her problem while she was having coffee with James. They talked about work, the marketing collaterals they did with Maya, and some other showbiz news. If James knew anything about the latest story circling about her, it didn’t show or James was good at hiding it. After an hour at the coffee shop, they decided to go back to the office. Maya would just wait for Richard there.
They were at the main lobby of the building waiting for the elevator when James suddenly asked Maya, “Okay ka lang, sis?” It was joke that made them laugh. She patted his arm in turn. They were at that scene when they heard a loud female voice calling him.
“James!!!” When they turned around, a tall, pretty lady was all smiles walking fast towards James. Behind the lady was Richard. His face was blank; expressionless.
“Raffi!” James was surprised and he met the lady with a hug. “When did you arrive?”
Before the Raffi could respond, a sound of a clearing throat was heard on the background. It was Richard who just reached their side.
“Kuya” James greeted Richard. James then remembered Maya beside him so he turned to introduce the two women. “By the way, Raffi this is Maya dela Rosa.”
“Hi Raffi” Maya greeted her. During the time James and Raffi were talking, she was actually staring at Richard who walking towards them. He looked at her with cold eyes. He just nodded to recognize her.
Raffi’s eyes lit up as if she realized something. “Oh… Maya… you must be Richard’s…” She looked at Richard and then to Maya, all smiles in her face. Maya waited for the next word she would say but Raffi was cut off by Richard.
“Alright guys, let’s do the chit-chat later. The lift is here.” He ushered Raffi first inside the elevator and turned to check on Maya. She was with James who closely followed them. Inside the elevator going up to the 12th floor of the building, everyone was quiet. And since Richard and Maya were standing beside each other, Maya gently hooked her arm on Richard’s arm. It was then he glanced at her and caught her looking at him.
When they got out of the elevator, Richard announced. “James, can you take Raffi first in your office. May pag-uusapan lang kami ni Maya sandali.” Maya’s arm still on his arm.
James looked at the two and knew they needed the time for themselves. So, he led Raffi to his room. As they walked away “”Chard, pa-order na lang ako ng breakfast ha?”
Richard replied. “Yeah, go ahead. I’ll be there shortly.”
The words of Richard initially lifted Maya’s spirits. She thought she already had the opportunity to speak to him. However, she noticed that there was something special in the way he treated Raffi that caused a tiny sting in her heart. It didn’t help that as soon as James and Raffi turned their backs, Richard disengaged from her arm.
“Let’s go to my office, Maya.” He told her and quickly proceeded to his own room. She had no choice but to follow him.
As soon as they entered his room, he faced her but stood a few feet away from her as if he needed distance from her. She could feel the coldness in his eyes. It caused her to be teary eyed.
“So, are you here for business meeting with James?” He asked.
Maya shook her head. “Ricky, where were you since Sunday? Kasi tinatawagan kita pero ang telephone mo naka off. I sent you messages and email but you weren’t responding.” She spoke gently.
“Yeah, I was away. I didn’t want to be disturbed. I was reflecting.” His icy response.
“I was worried about you.” The sadness in her tone was there. “So, ayaw mo bang marinig man lang ang paliwanag ko?” She took several steps towards him. And when she stood before him, she uttered. “Ricky, nasasaktan ako sa nangyayari sa atin.”
“Why Maya, sa tingin mo ako hindi?” He looked at her intently. He couldn’t hide the anger and pain in his eyes. Then he continued. “Ilang araw kong pinag-iisipan what did I do wrong in our relationship. I love you in the best way I know how but why wasn’t I enough? Do you know how painful it was for me to see you with that guy?”
She took another step closer to him. “Richard, ang totoo ay nagpapaalam lang si Simon noon. Hindi ko naman akalain na sasabihin nya ‘yon sa akin. At saka lahat ng nabasa mo ay puro tsismis lang.” She explained to him.
“You mean tsismis lang that you were in a relationship with him before? Please be more honest Maya.” He retorted.
“I admit, yes, dati kami noong nasa San Nicolas pa ako. But when I moved here sa Manila and got into show business, we eventually broke up.” She further explained.
Richard felt the pangs of jealousy again when she confirmed that she was in a relationship with Simon. Although, it was years ago, it still hurt knowing that she was in love with another man before and could possibly be up to the current time.
“Maya when I saw your photos together those articles, I kept telling myself that those could have been fabricated and those can be explained. However, I saw him hugging you. You didn’t resist and allowed him to do that.”
It was then Maya let out the tears she’s been holding off. “Nabigla nga kasi ako sa ginawa n’ya. Please naman sana maniwala ka. Mahal kita at dahil mahal mo ako, hiling ko lang sana ay tiwala mo.” Her hands were on his arms now as if pleading him to accept her explanation.
Richard was momentarily taken aback when she mentioned trust. He was quiet for a moment before he uttered. “Maya, I trust you but I saw what I saw and it is still hurting me.”
Maya hugged him as a final attempt to win him. “I love you very much. I’m sorry. I miss you honey.” Her tears were freely flowing in her face.
The warmth of her embrace and her tears seemed to have affected him. He placed his hands on her arm. They were like that for a while until he said but gently this time. “Maya…can you give me time? I need to think things through.”
Maya got confused with his request for time. “Anong ibig mong sabihing time?”
“I want to spend time just to be with myself. I want to think about us.”
She felt panic and fear. As far as she knows when someone in a relationship asks for time, it usually leads to a break-up.
“Ricky, ang pinag-umpisahan lang nito ay ‘yung tsimis tungkol kay Simon, bakit biglang kailangan mo na ng time? Are you saying you hindi ka naniniwala sa akin?”
“Maya, you’ve mentioned about trust earlier. I have to dig deeper on that one. I need to learn to be less jealous considering your job. Even if we managed to get over this current issue, I am not sure what is next. Paano kung maulit? I am not sure how I could take that. I’m not sure my heart is strong enough to withstand the pains of jealousy.” He bared his heart to her. She saw the hurt in his eyes but deep within her, she was also afraid that she was losing him.
She embraced him once more and kissed him lightly on the lips. There was no response from him. “Richard, how much time do you need?” Her heart was breaking.
“I don’t know.”
She felt herself torn to pieces; she was unsure if they are breaking up. “Are we breaking up?” She stammered when she asked him.
“I just need time.” Richard looked away.
Maya remained standing in front of him as she wiped away her own tears.
There was a gentle knock on a door. It was good that when it opened, she was already standing with her back to it so Raffi didn’t see her flushed faced from all the crying she did minutes earlier.
“”Chard, Ahhh, breakfast is ready sa pantry area.” Raffi said in an excited tone.
“Go ahead, Raf. I’ll follow you.” He just nodded to her.
“Alright.” Then as if it was only then she saw Maya. “Maya, see you around.” Maya quickly glanced at her and waved.
When they were alone again, Maya stared at Richard trying to gauge what he emotion he had for Raffi. She couldn’t find any but her heart was aching. Now that he asked for time, could it be that because Raffi is here? Who is she in his life?
In the end, she decided. “Ricky, uuna na ako. May taping pa ako eh.”
“Maya, take care of yourself.” Again, it hurt hearing those from him. It was like goodbye.
She hugged him once more and gave him a long, lingering, sad kiss. He responded in the same way. When they stopped, he uttered. “I love you.”
“I miss you, Ricky. I’ll wait for you. ” She responded. Then, she left him.