Admin Note: This is a continuation to Restless – Chapter 10.
Author’s Note: Merry CHRISTmas and a happy new year. Let us not forget the reason for this season. “For God so loved the world the He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
We Are The Reason – music by David Meece.
Chapter 11 – Drunk
During the weeks that followed, Maya made violent resolutions and promises to herself – to drive all thoughts of him by dwelling on the subject of work, play, work, and play. She made herself come to grips with her broken heart, and face the painful knowledge that he was lost to her and so is her innocence.
After a full month, she acquired an emotional balance, a blissful anesthesia towards any sort of deep feelings, and she nurtured and clung into it. She could laugh, and even perfected the art of putting on her brightest smile for her friends and acquaintances without them knowing the dull aching sense of loss she felt, and the lonely tears she cried in her private moments.
She managed to keep her emotions well hidden except to James who seems to know what she’s going through even without her telling him. He kept her occupied after work by inviting her to ceaseless round of social activities – parties, watching movies, plays, and going out on weekends. They were practically seen together, that even the industry that they’re in are abuzz with whispers that they are in a serious relationship.
Both James and Maya were aware of the curiosity that their so-called “relationship” was generating, but they just shrug and laugh it off knowing the real score between them.
On the other hand, the people around James’ social circle were doubly speculating as to who had snatch the eligible bachelor, the only son of a very rich businessman from their noses to the point that some were making subtle nuances, and whispering gossips that had an undertone of malice and disapproval.
Hana being one of them.
“I don’t understand what James saw in her.” She complained to Ghie on her cell phone, while waiting for Richard in one of the fancy restaurant in Makati.
“I think you’re jealous. I supposed, you still have a thing for James?”
“Not anymore, but it’s just that she’s totally out of James league. I heard that they’re always together in flight, and outside of work. Do you think it’s serious?”
“Possible. I heard James is going back to California soon, and who knows – He could be taking her with him, for what possible reason to go about having a girlfriend here, and leave her behind.”
“Oh no! James getting hitched?” Hana said audibly, too distraught to notice Richard’s approached on their table.
Behind her, Richard’s terse and chilly voice asked, “Who’s getting hitched?”
Hana turned around, and suddenly made excuses to Ghie before she hangs up. She stood up, and gave him a peck on his cheek “Hi Richard.”
“I only have an hour to spare as I still have a conference meeting later.”
“It’s alright. I’m just glad you’re able get off to have dinner with me.”
After the waiter took their order, Richard leaned on his seat, and asked, “So who’s getting hitched?” He was curious as to the phone conversation he overheard before he let her presence known to Hana.
“Oh that! James Ventura. It’s nothing really, hon.”
“What about him?”
“I guessed you’re too busy at work that you didn’t hear the buzz about James and his girlfriend being seen together in parties, movies, theaters and out of town. It’s been around the mill, that they’ve gotten so close, that it’s just a matter of time before they get married with James plan of going back to California soon.”
Suddenly, Richard’s entire body tensed. His eyes grim with hidden thoughts, and his face became a cynical mask.
Maya tossed and turned in her bed, too exhausted to sleep, and unable to still her restless thoughts. At dawn, she gave up trying, and watched the sky from her window changed from dark to light gray, her thoughts as dismal and bleak as the morning promises to be. She’ll probably doze off at work later due to lack of sleep.
She placed her arms above her forehead while she thought of her life that seemed to stretch like a lonely tunnel and a chasing of the wind. In her solitary time, she felt lonely and still thought of Richard, and their time together in Singapore.
All the flurry of activities with James seems to just pass by and seems to fade after a moment. Even his attention and affection couldn’t fill her restlessness, or fill the aching void inside her.
Maya bit her lip as she recalled Richard’s tender whispers to her, of wanting and yearning, but then she also remembered the bittersweet pain when he belittled her declaration that she was falling in love with him. Foolish as it may seem, but how pointlessly cruel of him to ridicule her feelings that way.
Maya sighed wearily. She was a hopeless case. No matter how hard she wracked her brains for reasons and excuses for him, it always goes back to the fact that he doesn’t love her. She had wept with shame for her lack of will and with fear for a love that she cannot control. Even after his deception, she can’t forget him. She never wanted to love anyone again if it meant being this vulnerable.
Her wallowing thoughts were interrupted when she heard a heavy scratching from outside her unit. She bolted upright, and switched on the lamp beside her side table to look at the time.
“4 o’clock in the morning. Who could possibly be making that disturbing noise in the middle of the night?” She murmured, suddenly worried that her neighbor may have forgotten to let in her cat, which normally happens in the past.
She listened quietly, and waited for it to go away, but the scratching continued on. After a while, she heard a loud knock, and a ring on her doorbell, which made her hurtle out of bed, and look for a broom to knock off whoever was behind her door.
Racing to the door, she looked at the peepholes, and saw Richard sagged against the door in what seems to be a state of drunkenness.
“Richard.” she whispered as her heart leapt, unable to move at what she’s seeing. She contemplated on whether to open the door for him or not, but in his state, he seems ready to make a scene for he practically made an obvious noise by continuously knocking at her door.
She jerked open the door, and was nearly sent off balance when Richard threw his weight and right arm over her shoulders.
“You reeked with liquor.” She accused him while she assisted him, walking awkwardly towards the sofa in the living room.
“Yeerrr right.” He agreed readily as he lay down carelessly on the sofa. “Drunk cause of yer.”
“I’ll get you some coffee.” Maya said, and started to turn towards the kitchen when he caught her arm in an amazingly strong grip, and hauled her back in the seat beside him.
“Stay, and hold my hand.”
“Don’t be silly.”
He gave her a hurt look as he reached out and captured her hand. “I missed you.”
“You’re drunk, and you don’t know what you’re saying.”
Richard nodded and silently studied her face in fascination as if searching for an answer, and while she was distracted with that, he slowly pulled her forward, until she landed on top of him. She braced her palms beside his shoulders to lever her chest off of his and stared at him in irate disbelief.
“Richard – ” She warned, trying to pull back.
“I love to hear you say my name.“ He smiled, and lifted his right hand on her nape, drawing her closer.
“Don’t” Maya said, her face only inches away from him. She gazed down at him in amusement as she waited patiently for him to let her go, knowing that his senses were confused by alcohol.
Richard continued to look at her in silence. “What is it with you that makes me want to make a fool of myself.” He lifted his head and subtly increased the pressure of his hand on her nape to draw her close.
Maya’s stiffened when she realized on what he intended to do. “Richard, let go. You’re not yourself right now.”
“Not until you kiss me first.” He demanded as he pulled her head down, and captured her lips in a scalding and drugging kiss that stole her breath away, and stunned her to immobility. His lips moved against hers in a tender yearning coaxing her to respond. “Kiss me back, Maya… please.”
Something within her sensed his lonely desperation, and helplessly that made Maya respond by softening and parting her lips against his. Suddenly, a wild sensation rocketed through her as his tongue plunged deeply and explored her mouth. When she timidly touched her tongue to his lips, he groaned and wrapped his arms around her, crushing her against his chest, kissing her wildly as if he can’t get enough of her.
After a while, he moved his lips along her cheeks, kissing her jaw, ears, and buried his face on her neck. “How could you even consider going into the arms of another man when you kiss me like that?” He whispered in a low teasing voice.
Trembling and shaken by the kiss, she’s unable to respond. She closed her eyes and pressed her flushed cheeks to his chest, half lying atop of him.
I love you. She thought as tears fell from her eyes at the overwhelming, uncontrollable emotions that she felt for him. She doesn’t want to love him. She felt awful with her shameful behavior knowing that he’s already committed to someone.
She raised her head, and reluctantly opened her eyes to meet his gaze.
“My God!” He whispered hoarsely, his eyes looking through her smoldering eyes. He continued to gazed intensely into her face, unblinking, and secretly smiled while he let his fingertips traced the delicate softness of her lips. Without warning, he stopped and his hand fell away limply beside his head. He was fast asleep.