A/N: This is a continuation to Foolish Hearts – part 10.
strong>Chapter 11 – Roller Coaster Emo
the last person to join her family for breakfast. Since she slept late thinking of her new status with Richard, she overslept. On the other hand, Richard who also couldn’t sleep with so much happiness, was up as early at 5:00 a.m.. He helped Mamang and Inang Ising in their cooking.
As Maya sat down on the chair beside Ricky, the two gazed at each other lovingly. “Good morning Ricky. Babalik tayo sa may ilog later para sa prusisyon, then mamayang hapon will be the mass.” Maya reminded him of their itinerary.
“Good morning” He replied with a smile plastered on his face. He couldn’t help but secretly reach out for her hand under the table.
Inang Kosang, sitting on the head of the table, was keenly observing the two. With her wrinkled tiny eyes, she asked. “Kayong dalawa ba talaga ay magkaibigan lang? Hindi kayo mag-asawa or mag nobyo?” She was back on her earlier assumption.
Richard and Maya released each other’s hands that were entwined under the table. Richard was about to respond for the two of them. “Amm…ano po..”
It was Inang Ising who saved the two. “Huuu, Kaka, eh mano naman kung mag nobyo itong dalawa? Nasa hustong gulang na ang apo natin. Beinte singko na si Maya. Ikaw nga, dise otso lang ng mag-asawa.”
Mamang joined the discussion. “Oo nga Kaka, nasa edad na sila. Si Ricardo naman ay treintay singko na. Naku, sa kapanahunan natin, pag ganyan ang edad, nakasal na at may mga anak na.”
Richard almost choked on the food he was eating. He coughed and Maya quickly gave him water and massaged his back. “Okay ka lang?” She asked. Richard nodded.
“O ayan, nasamid tuloy si Richard dahil sa inyo. Pwede mag agahan na tayo?” It was Nanay Teresita who put an end to the speculative discussion on the dining table. However, she sensed that something was different with the two that morning. She would check with Maya later that day.
After breakfast, they got ready to watch the fluvial parade. Nanay Teresita saw the opportunity to ask Maya about Richard while the latter went back to the room to get his car key and phone.
“”Nak, ano sinagot mo na si Richard?” They were at the balcony on top of the staircase.
“Po?” Maya was surprised by her mother’s question. She didn’t tell her anything about Richard so she wondered how she guessed that he was courting her.
“”Nak, nagka-usap kami kahapon. Alam kong may plano syang magtapat sa iyo. Wala akong tutol sa kanya. Inobserbahan ko siya at sa pagsasalita n’ya, mukhang mabuti syang tao.” Nanay Teresita assured her daughter.
Maya together with her sister have been brought up not to keep secrets from their mother. So, Maya had no choice but to tell her the truth. “Eh, Nay, actually sinagot ko s’ya kagabi din. Basta ganoon na ang nangyari eh, hindi ko na rin napaghintay.” Maya shyly admitted to her mother.
Nanay Teresita smiled at her daughter as she embraced her. “Masaya ako para sa’yo Maya. Okay lang ‘yon, kung mahal mo na talaga ang tao bakit mo pa pipigilin di ba?” There was a hint of giddiness in her tone.
It was that scene that Richard joined the mother and daughter. “Nay Teresita… Maya should we get going?” He asked.
“Richard, alagaan mo ang anak ko ha? Wag mong sasaktan.” Nanay Teresita told him. She was looking at him intently. He understood what she meant since he told her his plans the day before.
“’Nay, wag po kayong mag-alala, iingatan ko po si Maya.” After that promise, Richard took Maya’s hand.
The fluvial parade was the highlight in their fiesta. All the statues from all the chapels from different barrios typically join the parade. It was a way of paying homage to their patron saint and all the saints that blessed their town for the whole year and a prayer that the following year will still be blessed and better.
Lino and Ysabel joined them at the riverbank and were enjoying the parade with them. There was loud music coming from the bands. The mood all over the place was festive.
Suddenly, someone came up from behind and tapped Maya’s shoulder.
“Hi baby” It was a man’s voice. Maya quickly turned around and saw it was Eric.
“Hi Eric.” She greeted him with a smile. “Ysabel, si Eric andito din.” She excitedly told her friend.
Ysabel upon seeing Eric hugged him. Then, Lino separated the two so he can shake the guy’s hand. Ysa made a face. She knew that Lino was jealous considering that Eric is very good looking and quite popular with the girls including her. Maya was no exception. Eric is Maya’s long time crush.
Then, Maya introduced Richard and Eric. “Richard… si Eric pala, kababata namin.”
“Good to meet you, brod, I’m Eric Bustamante.” He extended his hand which Richard took. They shook hands.
“Same here. I’m Richard Lim.” He smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes. There was something that didn’t feel right for him.
Lino carried on with the conversation “So, bro, buti napa-uwi ka rin. Di ba sabi mo, hindi ka uuwi?”
“Ha,ha,ha. Akala ko din. Ito kasing si Maya na kumbinse ako noong Friday. Noong hinahatid ko, sige ang pep talk about going home. Ayan tuloy na miss ko sina mommy. Baby, hindi mo ba nasabi sa kanila na nagkita tayo kahapon sa gas station?” Eric turned to Maya.
“Ay hindi na kasi gabi na sila dumating kahapon. At saka dapat talaga umuwi ka, ang tagal ka ng hindi nakikita ni Tita Ging.” She explained.
Richard while listening to their conversation was starting to feel uneasy. He wondered why Eric was calling Maya baby. It was then he wondered if they were in a relationship before or is he the one Ysa was referring to the previous day. Then, he suddenly recalled that a few months ago, the two girls were talking about someone that Maya liked. He remembered that because that was the incident got him really notice Maya.
He whispered to Maya. “So last Friday, si Eric ang naghatid sa ‘yo pauwi?” He checked as he recalled her saying she got home late that day.
“Oo, nag-offer sya kasi late na. Bakit?” Maya innocently asked.
Wala buti naman at naihatid ka n’ya. At least you were safe.” He replied but his expression was serious as he turned around and watched the parade.
Everyone gathered back at Maya’s home for lunch. Her grandmothers were busy receiving guests and neighbors to partake of food they have prepared. It was quite normal practice that everyone who drops by get invited to eat. Their eatery was open to receive visitors.
In a separate long table, Maya and her friends were all together. Lino, Ysabel, Eric and other friends were having lunch. Richard was sitting beside Maya and opposite them was Eric who was seated with Ysa on his right.
Unknown to Maya, Richard was observing her. So, it didn’t escape his attention that after she puts food on his plate, the person she would next offer the dish would be Eric. Although Maya would always check if he liked the food, he noticed that she tended to check on Eric too. She even knew Eric’s favorite food.
“Eric, nagluto pala si Mamang ng leche flan. Teka kukunin ko, ha.” Maya went to the kitchen and later came back with two plates. One was a leche flan and another was the Ube jam.
As she put down the plates, “Ayan ang favorites n’yo.” She placed the leche flan in front of Eric and the ube jam in front of Richard.
Richard and Eric simultaneously said. “Thank you.”
Ysabel reacted. “Hoy… misss, bakit sila lang ang may matamis? Paano naman kami dito?”
“Ysabel, dalawa lang ang kamay ko ‘no. Pwede ikaw na lang ang kumuha sa loob? Andoon si Inang Ising nag-aayos ng mga llanera. Sigurado ko ‘yon may pa take out mamaya.” Maya told her friend.
In the end everyone got the taste of the desserts prepared by Maya’s grandmothers. They were quite known for their ube halaya, leche flan, suman and sweet nata de coco.
After lunch, the group decided to go for Karaoke singing. Lino together with one of their friends went home to get the magic sing microphone while Eric and another friend volunteered to bring down TV set from the main house of Maya. Maya accompanied them as they went upstairs.
Richard who was left behind on the table felt stabs on his chest. It was then he realized that he was jealous. All throughout lunch, he had seen the closeness that Eric and Maya had. They were very comfortable with each other probably because they’ve been friends for many years. However, no matter how much rationalization he did, it didn’t stop his heart from aching. He didn’t like seeing her giving attention to another man, particularly to this man.
The singing went on and on as each of their friends took turns in singing. They invited Richard to sing but he declined saying he is not a singer. They couldn’t convince him. Everyone was having fun until the men started opening bottles of beer. The girls also started drinking when Ysa took out the red wine that she brought.
At that point, Richard reminded Maya that they were supposed to hear mass late afternoon. And so, while their friends were still having fun, they told them they will be out for a while and come back after the mass.
Since the chapel was nearby, they decided to just walk. As they were walking hand in hand, Richard asked Maya. “So, how long have you been friends with Eric?”
“Since mga bata pa kami. We grew up together, same school kami from elementary up to high school.” She looked at him with questioning eyes.
“So, why is he calling you baby? Kanina ko pa nadidinig na baby s’ya ng baby.” Richard seemed peeved by the use of that term.
“Ah yun? Kasi nuong bata kami we used to play bahay-bahayan. At madalas ako ang baby dahil ako ang pinakabata at maliit sa amin. Nakasanayan na lang n’ya.” She chuckled as she recalled those days.
“Ganuon? So, hindi ikaw ang nanay at sya ang tatay?” Richard turned and asked her with his eyebrow raised.
“Of course not, hindi kami ang partner, usually magkapatid ang role namin.” She eyed him closely. A fleeting thought came to her mind but she dismissed it. He can’t be jealous of Eric. The two just met today and she has not done anything that would give him a reason to be jealous of him.
“Parang sweet n’yo as friends eh.” He further commented.
“Hindi ah. Normal lang kami.” She replied as she placed her arm around his arm for the remainder of their walk. Richard didn’t say anything anymore.
After the mass, Richard seemed to have been bitten by the happy bug. At the end of the mass, he kissed Maya on the forehead saying. “This is our first mass together. We should do this weekly from now on, okay?” He was smiling from ear to ear.
Maya’s eyes shone. “Oo naman. Maraming chapel na malapit sa bahay ko sa Ortigas center.” She was glad that Richard would want to hear mass with her weekly.
“Maya, could you see yourself walking down the aisle and me waiting at the altar?” He gazed at her and then looked at the aisle.
She smiled as she visualized herself in a wedding gown. “Hmmm, yes. Pero, matagal pa ‘yon di ba. Kasi one day pa lang tayo.” She replied.
“Ah oo nga pala. Para kasing ang tagal tagal na natin. I’ve forgotten that we met only 6 months ago.” Richard took her hand and led her out of the chapel.
When they returned to the house, their friends were still there eating, singing and drinking. They found themselves joining the group. It was fortunate that Maya’s grandmothers were actually not minding their group as they were used to having them in their house. They practically saw all of them grow up so they were allowing them to have fun in their yard.
“Richard, pare, o ikaw na ang next.” Lino gave Richard a glass. When he drank it, he realized it was gin.
Maya warned him. “Ricky, umuinom ka ba? Baka mapasubo ka dyan sa mga ‘yan.”
“Don’t worry. I can hold my liquor.” He replied as he sat on an empty chair beside Lino. He expected Maya to sit beside him but instead she chose to join the other girls. Then he noticed Eric handing Maya a glass of red wine.
“Baby, aren’t you drinking? Ikaw ang hindi masyadong umiinom dito sa grupo natin. Here.” He teased her.
Maya took it and sipped from the wine but caught Richard’s eyes on her. His expression was blank.
Then someone from the group shouted, “Hoy Eric, turn mo ng kumanta.”
“Ah yes, pwede na. Nandito na si Maya na nakaka-appreciate ng kanta ko kumpara sa inyo. Puro kantiyaw ang nakukuha ko sa inyo.” After saying that Eric stood up and entered his number in the microphone for him to sing, The Reason.
I’m not a perfect person
There’s many things I wish I didn’t do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you
As Eric sang, Richard’s face remained emotionless. From the lyrics of the song, he sensed that Eric was trying to communicate something to Maya and he was annoyed deep inside. He wanted to lay claim on her but when he turned to look at her direction; she seemed to be enjoying his song.
Lino blurted out loud. “Oopps, para kanino yan?”
Eric responded in between the lyrics. “Secret” but Richard caught him give a quick glance at Maya. She wasn’t looking.
As if one song wasn’t enough, Eric sang another love song. By then, Richard confirmed that Eric was interested in Maya. He shouldn’t be bothered by that since they are already in a relationship. However, seeing Maya appreciating Eric’s singing felt like daggers piercing thru his chest. His heart was bleeding with jealousy and he couldn’t control it.
When Maya moved to sit beside him a few minutes later, he just gave her an icy stare.
Maya slid her hand on his hand to hold him. “Ricky… okay ka lang? Kanina pa kita tinitingnan from where I was seated, ayaw mo naman tumingin sa akin.” She asked in almost a whisper.
He smiled dryly. “Yes, I am okay. Don’t worry, baby.” When he uttered the word baby, Maya smelled trouble was up ahead.