A/N: This is a continuation to Foolish Hearts – part 12.
Chapter 13 – Tres Marias Tribunal
At the living room, Richard and Maya were being scrutinized by four pairs of eyes. Maya was crying softly while Richard was holding her hand, consoling her. After so much ramblings from Maya’s grandmothers a few minutes ago, they were asked to come out of Maya’s bedroom so that they could have a family meeting.
There was silence in the air as if breaking it may loosen the chaos that was just restrained a while ago. Inang Kosang was visibly upset, Inang Ising was pensive while Mamang had a mixed expression of excitement and upset. The fourth person staring seriously at them was Kute or Cristina Rose. She was the first one to discover Richard in Maya’s room. She had that incredulous expression plastered on her face.
Richard, worried over Maya’s tears, said softly. “Maya, please stop crying. We’ll be able to handle this.” He assured her.
Maya just stared at him while he wiped away her tears. She then spoke to her sister. “Kute, kailan ka dumating?” She asked trying to be appease her also upset sister.
“Kanina lang.” Kute responded while glaring at her. “Pag-pasok ko sa room ko, napansin ko agad ang mga gamit doon. So, pumunta ako sa’yo para tanungin ka. Wala si Nanay, nagsimba. So, imagine ang shock ko ng Makita kitang tulog kasama ‘yan.” She pointed at Richard then ran her fingers on her short hair.
“Eh, Kute si Richard. Richard is Kute, Cristina Rose. S’ya yung elder sister ko na kinukwento ko sa’yo.” Maya introduced the two in the midst of awkwardness. Cristina’s eyes shifted back to Richard and just nodded at him.
“Maya, galing ng timing ng introduction ‘no? Parang wala lang eksena kanina.” Kute’s sarcastic remarks.
“Eh Kute, hindi ko alam ang nangyari pero …..” Maya started to explain but was cut-off.
“Kagaya ng sabi ko, walang papanaog sa bahay na ‘to na hindi kayo nakakasal.” Inang Kosang spoke with authority.
“Kaka, ‘wag tayong padalos dalos. Hayaan muna nating magpaliwag itong dalawa.” Inang Ising calmly butted in. “Gusto kong madinig ang paliwanag nila.”
“Kaka Ising, anong paliwanag pa ang kailangan natin. Klarong klaro naman ang naabutan n’yo di ba? Magkasama sila sa kama, walang damit ‘tong lalaking ito, ano pa ang dapat isipin natin?” Mamang also joined in the discussion detailing what they saw.
“Conching!” Referring to Mamang. “Wala lang T-shirt si Richard pero nakapantalon naman at si Maya ay naka panjama naman. Kaya gusto ko silang bigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagpaliwanag.” Inang Ising insisted.
“Hindi pwedeng may nangyari sa inyong dalawa na hindi kayo mabasbasan. Sinasabi ko na nga ba, pagdating n’yo pa lang nung Sababo. Alam ko ng may relasyon kayong dalawa. Eh, bakit hindi pa kayo umamin.” Inang Kosang spoke again disregarding what her younger sister suggested.
“Inang …talaga pong nuong dumating kami mag-kaibigan pa lang kami ni Maya. Pero po later that day, sinagot na po n’ya ako so girlfriend ko na po s’ya ngayon.” Richard finally found his voice.
After he was initially shocked to be discovered in Maya’s bed, he has been calm and unrattled unlike Maya. He was even able to suggest to the elders to calm down so they can discuss it in the living room. Hence, they were all there now facing each other.
“Ah ganoon, dahil magkasintahan na kayo, pwede ng gawin kung anong gusto nyo dito sa bahay?” Mamang asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Hindi naman po sa ganuon.” Richard responded. He then shared his side of the story. “Sa pagka-alala ko po, lumabas ako ng kwarto para mag CR kagabi. Kaya po wala akong T-shirt kasi maiinit dahil nga nalasing ako sa inuman kami. Ang pwede ko lang pong rason kung bakit ako napunta sa kwarto ni Maya ay nagkamali ako ng pasok ng pinto pagbalik ko dahil po sa magkatabi lang ang pinto ng dalawang kwarto.”
The three grandmothers listened to him intently. Inang Ising looked liked she was convinced but the other two seemed to have made up their mind.
“Uulitin ko, kailangan kayong makasal” Inang Kosang was adamant.
It was Maya’s turn to speak. “Inang, wala naman pong nangyari sa amin. Yun nga po siguro ang nangyari dahil wala rin po akong paliwanag. Pero sure po ako na walang nangyari sa amin ni Ricky na kagaya ng iniiisip nyo.”
“Anong walang nangyari, di pa ba sapat ang nakita namin? O gusto n’yong maghintay tayo ng ilang buwan bago lumabas ang ebidensya? Hindi maaari! Hindi ka paparis dito kay Cristina na lumubo na lang ang tyan.” Inang Kosang argued some more at the same time pointing at Kute.
“Inang, bakit napasama naman ako sa gulo na ‘to?” Cristina complained. Obviously, her grandmothers have not forgetten her case of pregnancy out of wedlock.
“Kaya nga, dapat ay makasal na ‘tong dalawa. Ako’y hindi naman nagagalit . Ang gusto ko lang malagay sila sa tama.” Mamang supported her eldest sister.
Inang Ising who is the voice of reason commented. “Ang pagpapakasal ay hindi lang dahil sa ganitong pangyayari na naabutan natin. Dapat handa silang dalawa, hindi pilit.”
Then she turned to her eldest sister, “Kaka, ang kasalan sa panahon ngayon ay hindi ora-orada katulad noong panahon natin na mahawakan ang dulo ng daliri eh kasalan na. Iba na ang kabataan ngayon. Pag minadali natin, baka magkihiwalay rin yang dalawa eh di balewale rin ang kasal. Kasasabi lang ni Ricardo na nuong isang araw lang sila naging magkasitahan, tapos ngayon kasalan na?” She reasoned out.
Inang Kosang suddenly cried as she wasn’t convinced. “Ang lagay eh ganyang nagkasama na sila sa kwarto eh ganuon na lang? Parang agrabyado naman ang pamilya natin.” She placed her hands on head as if she was getting dizzy.
Mamang reacted. “Kaka, kalma ka lang. Ano? Tumataas na naman ba ang presyon mo?” She sounded worried.
Kute immediately went to the kitchen and came back with a glass of water. Mamang already found a fan and started fanning her sister. She also handed her some tablets.
“Naku… ang mga kabataan ngayon… nasaan na ang mga pangaral ko sa inyo.” She was wailing.
“Inang naman, wala naman pong nangyari eh.” Maya was also crying.
“Kaka, mabuti pa para maniwala ka na wala talagang nangyari na katulad ng kay Cristina ay i-check-up natin si Maya kay Dr. Leo… ‘yung OB ni Cristina.” Inang Ising finally suggested.
Maya realizing what the check-up would mean cried some more. “Sabi ng walang nangyari eh… saka ayokong mag-pa check up. Ano ba ‘to.”
Richard unable to bear the discussion anymore suddenly blurted. “Mawalang galang na po mga Inang, mahal ko po si Maya at kaya ko pong panagutan ang dapat kong panagutan. So, if you really want us get married. I agree po. I will marry her.”
“Ano?” Maya exclaimed. Then followed by, “Ayoko nga!”
It was fortunate that Nanay Teresita finally arrived after hearing mass. After a rehash of the morning scene and discussions with the grandmothers, they were able to pacify the elders. Richard’s commitment that he would marry Maya somehow calmed them down.
Maya was very upset with Richard with his declaration. In between sobs she confronted him when they were left alone in the room to talk. “Ricky, bakit mo naman sinabi na magpakasal ka sa akin. Paano ngayon ‘yan, may expectation na yung mga lola ko?”
“Maya, alangan naman hayaan ko na lang mag-iyakan kayo. Kita mo naman halos atakihin sa alta presyon ang lola mo. Paano kung may mangyari doon? Isa sa pa, gusto mong magpa-check doon sa doctor para lang mapatunayan na walang nangyari?” He argued with her.
“Syempre, ayokong magpa doctor ‘no” She was indignant. “Pero, pwede naman makuha sa paliwanag ang mga Inang. Kailangan lang ng panahon.” In reality, she doubted whether her conservative grandmothers will change their mind.
Richard moved closer to Maya and tilted her head slightly upwards so he could look into her eyes. He removed strays of hair from her face and tucked them behind her ears. “Maya, I’m sorry I accidently got into your room. But I am serious with my offer earlier, I would like to marry you kahit kung ano pang sinabi ng mga lola mo…. I love you.” His sincerity was very clear in his eyes.
He kissed her lightly. She smiled in return, no longer upset with him.
Then, she explained to him. “Ricky..mahal kita. Kaya lang hindi ako sure kung handa na akong mag-asawa. Isa pa, two days pa lang tayong mag-boyfriend tapos kasalan na? What if hindi pala tayo…?”
Maya wasn’t able to finish her sentence because he kissed her again. “Let me know when you are ready.” He turned around and left her. So, she didn’t see how his eyes became sad.
Richard and Maya left San Nicolas after lunch. With Nanay Teresita joining the family discussion and listening to Maya’s side of the story, the elders didn’t argue anymore. However, if in the morning the grandmothers seemed upset with Richard, it was different in the afternoon before they left. The three were all smiles. Inang Ising told Richard that they were glad that he was man enough to own up his mistakes and action.
While Richard was driving, Maya noticed his light mood as he kept on smiling. “Ricky parang ang saya mo. May dagdag pa bang sinabi sa’yo yung mga lola ko?” She was curious to know what took them long in their close door meeting.
Richard momentarily took his eyes off the road and responded to her. “Ang sabi ni Inang Ising, they are glad to have me as their future grandson-in-law.” He chuckled which made her more curious.
“And?… meron pa yang kasunod.”
“Pwede daw ba mag-request ng baby girl pag nakasal na tayo. Kasi ang gusto nilang kasunod na apo sa tuhod ay girl.”
“Ano? Sinabi nila ‘yun? Kaninang umaga lang eh nagagalit tapos ngayon may request ng apo. I don’t believe you.” She rolled her eyes in disbelief.
“Maya, they weren’t upset with us being together, they like me. But they are from old school so they expect that we should get married after they saw us together in bed.” At that moment, Richard was defending the elders.
“Eto na naman tayo. Yung kasalan dahil sa may nangyari na issue na yan. Wala naman talagang nangyari.” Maya said in low voice.
“Maya, you keep on saying wala namang nangyari. Are you sure wala talagang nangyari?” He grinned. It was his facial expression that made her wonder.
“Ricky… anong ibig mong sabihin?” Then, she remembered her dream and she felt herself blush. She knew that Richard saw her turning crimson.
His right hand reached out for her left hand to hold it. “O bakit nag blush ka? I just asked you if you are sure nothing really happened.” He glanced at her.
She was mum for a minute before she asked him. “Ricky…di ba sabi mo you can hold your alcohol?”
“Yes, I can hold my alcohol.” Richard’s short confirmation.
“So, ibig sabihin nuon kahit nakainom ka alam mo ang ginagawa mo kagabi.” She was beginning to suspect that last night was not an accident.
“Maya, I know where this is leading to. I was very much aware that I went out of the room to go to the CR. When I came back, I entered the room which I thought was Kute’s room. It was dark. And honestly, I didn’t see you in bed.” He replied; not taking his eyes off the road.
“Assuming you didn’t see me, pero maliit lang ang bed. Dapat naramdaman mo na may tao duon ng mahiga ka.” She turned to face him to see how he would respond to her question.
A smile emerged from his lips as he glanced at her. “That’s the reason I was asking you if you are sure if nothing happened. And because you blushed earlier, it’s a tale tail sign.” He chuckled.
“Ricky!” She exclaimed at the same time hit his upper arm. “So, yung panaginip ko kagabi…”
“What about your dream Maya?” He asked while he started to slow down to pull over the side of the road. He was grinning.
“So, yung dream ko kagabi wasn’t a dream? .. ..ikaw talaga ‘yung….” She couldn’t finish off her sentence as she tried to recall every bit of her dream. It was slowly dawning on her, it wasn’t a dream!
Richard finally stopped the car so he could face her fully. Looking very serious, he asked. “So, do you want to get married now?”