A/N: This is a continuation to Foolish Hearts – 17.
Chapter 18 – Reality bites
Three weeks later
Richard and Ryan were in a coffee shop having a man to man talk. Ryan decided to talk to his best friend after getting some feedback from the office staff on Richard’s behavior for the last few weeks.
“Bro. may problem ka ba? Masyadong halata sa office that you are going thru something. Pwede kang mag-share.” Ryan started the conversation.
“What do you mean halata sa office?” Richard brows furrowed.
“Naku! Natatakot sa’yo ang mga tao sa office. Masyado ka raw seryoso. Madalas kang naka singhal. May maitutulong ba ko ‘pre?”
Richard sighed as if he was carrying a heavy burden. “Bro., si Maya. May problema kami. Three weeks na.” He looked down on his coffee mug. He tried to hide the sadness in his eyes as his eyes were becoming teary eyed.
“Ahh, babae. Parang last year ganito rin tayo. Iinom na lang natin ‘yan. Tingnan mo within a week okay ka na. Ganyan din nangyari last year.” Ryan consoled his friend.
“Rye, ito yung klase ng problem na hindi mare-resolve ng inuman. Kasi pag sober na ako, ganuon pa rin ang feeling ko. Masakit na talaga sa dibdib bro. Hindi ko naman s’ya maka-usap pa. I gave her time to think things over. Pero, bro ang tibay ng dibdib, hindi talaga kumokontak sa akin.”
“Wow!! Bago ‘tong linya na ito from you Ricky. So, talagang ito na siguro ang katapat mo. Eh, bakit hindi mo nga kausapin?” Ryan started probing deeper.
“Ang hirap kausapin, ayaw intindihin na mahal ko nga siya.” Richard rolled his eyes as he opened up to his friend.
“Ayain mo na lang pakasal para maniwala.” Ryan shifted in his seat as their conversation was getting more interesting.
“Bro., inaya ko na siya two days pa lang kaming magboyfriend. I’ve asked her several time, she said it is too early.”
“Ganuon? Eh bakit hindi mo daanin sa santong paspasan. Baka pag may nangyari sa inyo, pumayag na din. Then from there, madali ng ayusin yon.” Ryan brows went up and down amplifying his naughty suggestion.
Richard smirked as he remembered that night during the fiesta in San Nicolas. He shook his head. “Muntik na kaming nakasal dahil diyan when we were in San Nicolas but it didn’t work.”
“Ha? You mean dinaan mo na sa paspasan?” Ryan’s eyes widened.
“Of course not. Basta! Anyway, walang nangyari at kahit may nangyari she wouldn’t marry me. So, that suggestion is out of the question, pare.”
“Alam ko na! Pagselosin mo. Sigurado pag nagselos ‘yon babalik sa ‘yo because she can’t live with the thought na may kapalit na s’ya.” Ryan saw Richard expression changed and he was already seeing him getting upset.
“Ryan, yang selos ang pinagmulan ng lahat ng problema ko. Pinagselosan si Samantha. Lumaki ng lumaki kaya ngayon three weeks na hindi kami nag-uusap.”
“Ayayay… mahirap nga ang problema mo pare. Pagka ganyang kaselosa eh mahirap ayusin. Suggestion ko talaga, suyuin mo na lang mabuti. Pasasaan ba’t magkaka-ayos din kayo.”
“Ewan ko bro, simula ng niligawan ko si Maya sobra pagsuyo na ang ginawa ko sa kanya. But it turns out, it was enough. I don’t know what to do when it comes to her. I’ve been trying to be patient.”
“Ricky, wag kang magagalit ha. Pero pinagmamasdan ko ang facial expressions mo kanina pa, hindi ko mapigil na hindi matuwa sa’yo.” Richard brows furrowed as he gave his friend a quizzical stare.
“Ang lakas ng tama mo kay Maya. I’ve never seen you like this in the past. You are so in love with her. Pare…don’t give up… I think you will eventually settle your problem.”
The comprehensive exam was difficult as the students expected. Maya found the test extremely difficult as her mind wasn’t fully focused in her review since the last spoke with Richard.
After he left her place that evening, she cried herself to sleep every night. She would start reviewing on her materials but would end up not finishing it because she would cry. She wanted to call him up and tell him she was missing him but she was afraid of his reaction. His chilly cold stare the last time they spoke was still very fresh in her memory.
It was good that in the office, she didn’t any new program to run as her supervisor knew she was reviewing for her final exams. With that accommodation from her office, she had some extra time to review her lessons and make up for the loss time due to her crying moments.
As soon as she got out of the examination room, she immediately proceeded to the cafeteria to meet up with Ysabel. She was surprised to find Ysabel and Richard seated in one table talking. However, when she joined them, Richard stood up.
“Hi Maya.” He greeted her politely.
“Hi Ricky.” She smiled tentatively.
“I have to go girls. I’m going to proctor the next schedule of compre.” Richard left the two women staring at his back.
When Maya sat down on the vacant chair, she got a scolding from Ysabel.
“Girl, ano ka ba. Hindi pa rin naayos ang issue ni Richard? Kaiinis ka ha.”
“Hindi eh. At saka bakit sa akin ka naiinis? Tayo ang magbest friend di ba?” One of her eyebrows was raised.
“Oo magkaibigan tayo. Pero alam mo bang mahal ka nung tao. Ang lungkot kaya ng mukha ng kausap ko kanina. Parang ayaw ng umattend ng wedding ko. At pagnagkataon, wala kang partner.” Ysabel aired her concern.
“Mahal? Eh bakit umalis. Ni hindi nga ako kinausap.” Maya couldn’t help but get hurt by his cold treatment of her.
“Sino ba ang nag-umpisa ng problema? Sa tingin ko, girl, ikaw ang dapat kumausap sa kana. Pag nakawala yang si Ricky, baka magsisi ka. Minsan din girl, dapat sabunutan kita ng mag-tino ka.” Ysabel gave her last statement before she finally stood up so she can take her own final exams.
Inside the lavatory, Maya heard again the familiar voice of Samantha. Maya was inside the cubicle while Sam seemed to be talking to someone on the phone. Maya felt herself go cold from her legs to the rest of her body with what she heard Samantha say.
“Ha,ha,ha. Yes, sister. I think they broke up already.” It was Samantha’s distinct sweet voice.
“Yeah… just give me a few weeks, he will back in my arms. I know he is very much in love with her, he told me so. But, I’m willing to fight it out. I know how to play this game sister.” There was silence as if she was allowing the other party to speak.
“Uhum, yes, I met her, accidentally. Then, after Richard told me about her, ginamitan ko na lang tactics.” There was a pause, then Sam continued. “I didn’t make up a story ha…ha…ha… but I sew doubt. Parang selosa eh. It could be the reason why they broke up. Richard is not talking to me since the charity show…..Yeah… he will eventually fall, I promise you.” Maya heard Samantha giggle some more as the latter left the ladies room.
When Maya got out of the cubicle, her tears were already streaming on her face. She realized how wrong she had been and regretted all the things she said to Richard. She ran towards the exam room where she knew he would be proctoring. But when she went there, he was nowhere to be found. When she checked at the faculty lounge, she found out that Richard Lim didn’t have an assignment and in fact submitted his leave of absence for the next semester.
She immediately took out her phone from her bag to call him up. However, despite many rings, he wasn’t picking up her call. In the end, she decided to call up Liza to check where he was.
There was a strange tone in Liza when she finally got to speak to her. “Maya, hindi ka aware?”
“Aware saan? I’m just checking where could he be right now. Kailangan ko kasi siyang kausapin but he is not picking up my call.” Maya’s tone was already frantic.
“He is flying to Shanghai today. By this time, he should be in the airport kasi his flight is within 1 ½ hours. He is going there for a business trip but will also meet up with his parents. Mga two weeks siya doon.” Liza gave her details of his trip but she was surprised at what came next.
“Actually, he told me that he is thinking of moving to Shanghai. Parang gusto daw niyang mag-base duon and manage one of his parents business there. He will just come over to visit L.A.S once in a while. May alam ka ba duon?” Liza asked her.
Maya couldn’t respond to Liza’s question. There was a large lump on her throat while her eyes started to well up. Richard’s plan, if true, would mean that it was really over them. It was hurting her like hell with the thought she might not see him again. It was so painful to know she lost him and it was her fault.