A/N: This is a continuation to Foolish Hearts – part 16.
Chapter 17 – Green Monsters
Maya regretted going to PUS as soon as she parked her car. She just alighted from the vehicle when she heard a female voice call her.
“Hi Maya.” It was Samantha waving at her. She was all smiles.
Maya smiled at her dryly. “Hello Samantha.” She replied. There was no way of avoiding Samantha as she was waiting at the walkway towards the college building.
“Yun palang offer mo na to check the schedule of Richard is no longer necessary. I spoke to him last Saturday.” Sam shared with her.
“Ah, talaga?” Maya’s short reply. She was thinking whether she should tell her or not that they are talking about her boyfriend or should she even continue talking to her.
“Yes. Nakapag-usap na kami. Indeed, he already has a girlfriend. It was crazy for me to claim him when in fact we already broke up a year ago. Pero you know what, girlfriend pa lang naman. So, I think I still have a chance. After all, we were engaged for a year before we broke up. Kasalanan ko rin naman eh, so I have to bear the pain for the meantime. “ Samantha was so engrossed in her story that she didn’t notice Maya’s expression changing.
“I think I still have a chance with him. Kasi, before I left he told me that when I come back, he will be married at wala na akong babalikan. But it turns out, single pa rin siya.” Sam was unstoppable in her chattering.
Hearing the words engaged, marriage, walang babalikan made Maya very upset. It took a lot of effort to control her emotion. It took all her self-control not to blurt out to Samantha that the person she is claiming is her boyfriend. After all, she doesn’t know her real connection with him.
“Samantha, why are you sharing these all to me? Kakakilala lang natin, ah.” Maya asked Sam, sending a message the latter shouldn’t be telling her, her love story.
“Ewan ko ba, parang willing ka kasing makinig. Sometimes din kasi its easier to tell stories to a complete stranger, walang judgement, kwento lang. And that actually, gives me a chance to thinks things properly. Ganuon kasi magprocess ang utak ko, sabay sa bibig ko.” Sam continued talking.
Finally, they reached the entrance of the main building. They said their goodbyes and Maya silently uttered. “I hope I don’t meet you again.”
That night, Richard was at her condo unit, as always. They were seated in her living room.
“Sweetie, sorry about yesterday. I was a bit upset about what happened nung Valentines’ day.” He was apologizing for missing out his Sunday routine of preparing their breakfast and going to mass together.
“What can I expect? Sam is back. Baka naman kailangan n’yo uling mag-usap para maayos ang engagement n’yo. Di ba, you almost married her? ” She replied sarcastically.
Richard hands suddenly went up in the air in frustration and then ran them on his hair. “Oh god, here we go again. Are you two that close that you only listen to her story and you come to me already upset? Kailan na naman kayo nagkita?” His voice was angry.
“Kanina. It’s not my fault if you ex talks a lot about you. Obviously, you two have a different understanding of where you are. Dahil para sa kanya, you can still reconcile.” She responded in equal tone.
Richard stood up and walked back and forth as if his patience was running low.
“Maya, sa kanya yong point of view. Anyway, sige I admit, we were engaged for a year. We dated for three years. She was the one who actually brought up the marriage offer and I thought that she might be the one. She was the longest relationship that I had.”
Maya winced when she heard his admittance. She was about to say something when Richard interrupted her. He sat on the sofa beside her.
“Although she was the one who proposed and I accepted, she kept putting it off. Then, she got that offer in Europe. I knew then, we were never meant to be. Because if we were, I wouldn’t have let her go there. My pride was hurt than anything else. I also told her that when she comes back, I will already be married. I told her that so she won’t be expecting anymore from me. There Maya, I told you everything, as in everything.” Richard took a long, deep breath as he finished his explanation.
“But she thinks otherwise. And now that you mentioned about getting married before she comes back, is that the reason why you keep on telling me we can get married? Gusto mo ba akong pakasalan dahil you want to or because you just want to prove your point to her?” This time, Maya’s eyes were watery.
“What? Of course not. I have been mentioning marriage to you because I want to really marry you when the right time comes and that time is dictated by you.” He heaved another sigh of frustration.
“Maya, simple lang ito pinag-umpisahan ng discussion na ‘to. You are listening to only one of point of view. And it hurts because you don’t seem to understand my side of this story. So, I think I better leave baka lalo lang tayong magtalo if we keep on discussing this.”
Maya didn’t respond but her tears started to fall uncontrollably. When Richard her stifle her sob, he closed the distance between them and gathered her in his arms.
“Maya, I love you. Please believe that.” He looked at her tenderly. “Sweetheart, can we just have peace?” He felt her shook her head. Tears still streaming on her face. They remained in that position for a few minutes. “I love you” were words that he kept on repeating but it was like falling on deaf ears.
“Okay, I’m leaving. I’ll just wait for you to calm down.” With that last statement, Richard kissed her forehead and left her alone.
For three days, there was no communication between them. She was missing him. She was beginning to see things clearly and was realizing that her jealousy was getting out of hand. Even Ysabel scolded her for her current situation.
“Maya, ano ka ba naman? Bakit ka naman nagpa-apekto duon sa Samantha?” Ysa’s loud voice caused other people at Starbucks to look at them. They were having coffee when Maya shared her problem to her friend.
“Eh kasi naman, Ysa, nuong tinatanog ko siya about her, ayaw magkwento…parang may tinatago. Tapos, malalaman ko thru that girl pa ang buong story nila. In fairness, umamin naman nung kinomfronta ko s’ya” Maya defended herself.
“Eh ganuon naman pala eh. At saka bakit kasi iniintindi mo pa ‘yung history niya. Isipin mo naman ang age gap nyo, naturally may history na s’ya. What is more important is the future, girl.” Ysabel further explained.
Ysabel made a good point which Maya recognized. Those were similar words that came from Richard. She realized he might be correct to say she wasn’t listening to him and she is the one making their situation complicated. She decided she will be the one to call him up.
“Maya, ano okay na? Tatawagan mo na si Richard?” Ysabel probe after observing her friend seemingly making a decision in her head.
“Yes, mamaya, tatawagan ko na or better yet, I’ll just see him in his office.” She confirmed to her friend.
“That’s good. At dahil magkikita na rin lang kayo. Paki-share na lang ang good news sa kanya.” Ysabel’s face was so happy that Maya doubted her happiness was actually related to her and Richard’s issue.
“So, anong good news and yung mukha mo ay ang saya-saya.”
Ysabel excitedly declared. “Girl, magpapakasal na kami ni Lino? Abay kayo.”
“Ha?” Maya was surprised and then something dawned on her. “Ah, so ilang months na ang tiyan mo?” She was half-smiling. She assumed that it was the reason why they had suddenly are planning to get married.
“One month pa lang. The wedding is April after ng comprehensive exams.”
“Congratulations, I’m happy for you.” Maya kissed her best friend.
Maya has just parked her car at the building where Richard holds office when she saw him the area. She thought it was a good timing to see him about to leave the office. She was excited.
She was about to alight her car when she saw him turn around as if someone called him. Then, her smile was wiped off her face when Samantha’s figure emerged beside Richard. She saw them hug lightly and kissed on the cheek. After which, Richard opened the door of his car to allow the other woman take her seat beside him.
The pangs of jealousy once again bit Maya’s heart. She was prepared to make amends to him before she saw them together. But somehow, she can’t help but get jealous again seeing them together. As if it wasn’t enough that she saw them, she tried to call him to check on him.
“Hi sweetie.” Richard picked up her call within two rings.
“Hi Ricky…are you in the office?” She asked. She waited if his headlights will light up as this automatically turns on when the car’s engine starts.
“No. I am about to go out.” His short reply which made Maya’s heart thumped some more. Please don’t lie to me, she prayed.
“So, will you be coming over tonight sa bahay?” She finally asked after a few seconds of pause. She needed to steady her voice.
“I don’t think so, sweetie. I’m attending a charity event with Ryan, baka gabihin kasi kami. Papunta na ako sa event to meet him there.” After hearing his explanation, Maya couldn’t speak anymore and so she disconnected the call. She cried with the thought that he lied to her.
Richard called her up several times but she didn’t respond to his calls. She wasn’t in the right disposition to speak to him. Eventually, she saw him drive out of the parking lot with Samantha still in his car.
For the next few days, there was no communication between them. She only got a text message from him saying he was off to Singapore for 2 days for an emergency meeting with a client. And so, Maya didn’t expect him to be in her place on the following Sunday thinking that he was still out of the country. Even on skype, they didn’t connect to each other.
Sunday morning, Maya received an unexpected visitor. Since the fiesta in San Nicolas a few months back, she has not seen Eric again. And so, she was very surprised to find a smiling Eric outside her condominium unit. She was about to go to church at that time. As they’ve not seen each other for sometime, Eric ended up accompanying her the church.
They had snacks together after the mass while trying to update each other of what’s happening in their lives. The main topic of their discussion was the forthcoming wedding of Ysabel. It was purely a friendly talk although there were a few instances that Eric tried to check if she was really happy with Richard. In those instances, Maya was very straightforward with Eric that she is very much in love with her boyfriend.
They got back to her condominium building after lunch time. As they bade goodbye at the ground floor of the building, Eric hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.
“I’m happy for you Maya.” There was tenderness in Eric’s eyes that Maya quickly recognized.
“Hepp, we’re friends, okay.” Maya smiled back at him while hitting him lightly on his arm.
“Yes, I know, Baby. I accept kahit labas sa ilong.” Eric teased her. They both laughed at his statement.
When Eric finally left, Maya almost jumped in shock when Richard came out from nowhere. She quickly recovered.
“Maya, saan ka galing?” Richard’s voice was cold and his facial expression serious.
She walked towards the elevator and Richard followed suit. “I went to mass and had lunch out.” She responded. “I thought you are still in Singapore.”
“I arrived before lunch time and I came straight here from the airport. I’ve been waiting for you here at the lobby.” Richard looked at her with angry eyes.
“Do you know that that guy has interest in you?” He asked the moment her condo unit’s door closed. They haven’t even managed to sit before they started arguing.
“Yes, I know.” She responded coldly. She remembered they have not patched up and so technically, she should still be upset with him.
“You know and yet, parang ine-entertain mo pa siya?” It seemed it was Richard’s turn to be jealous. Although Maya sensed that, she kept her ground.
“Aba, teka Sir Richard. Bakit parang ako ay may kasalanan sa’yo? Eric has been my friend for many years, never naging kami. I can go out with him because he is my friend. Whereas you, kahit may girlfriend ka na nakikipagkita ka pa dyan sa ex mo na hindi pa rin nakaka move on. Akala mo di ko alam, kasama mo s’ya recently.” She answered back.
“Di ba sabi ko sa’yo , she means nothing to me.” Then, Richard paused when her words sank in his head. “Maya, are you spying on me? How did you know I was with her?” His voice an octave higher.
“Richard, I have eyes. I saw you together sa parking lot, tinawagan pa kita. Sabi mo kasama mo si Ryan. You lied to me.” She finally let out what she saw.
His eyes thinned to tiny slits. “Maya, sobra ka na, ha. That day was the charity fashion show that Ryan and I attended. We were on our way to the event and Ryan was there at the venue. I didn’t tell you about her because I knew you would be mad again. I was happy you called me up but I just had a commitment that night. Akala ko naman okay na tayo. I called you up several times. I even sent you a note about my trip, hoping that you’d take the initiative to reach out to me.” Richard explained his side.
“Well, I don’t know if I should believe you.” She was still hurting as she lashed out those words.
Richard eyes were icy and gave her a cold stare. “So, it does really seem you don’t trust me Maya. In any relationship, trust is very important. I don’t know how we can patch up this problem when we have trust issues.” The tone of his voice sent chills to her body.
She was confused and afraid of what was to happen next. She wasn’t thinking properly. “So, siguro, I am not the right girl for you?”
“Maya, I have expressed to you many times and in many ways how much you mean to me. Hindi ko masasagot ‘yang tanong mo kasi I’ve tried my best to understand you kaya nga I continue to explain to you. Maybe you need time to sort out your feelings on your own.” There was a hint of resignation in his tone as if he was giving up on her.
“Ricky… are…we…breaking up?” She stuttered.
He just looked at her still with icy eyes. “Ikaw? Hindi ko na alam kung saan ako lulugar sa’yo, eh.”
Maya just stared back at him and when she didn’t respond, Richard turned around and left her alone in her condo unit. It was then she realized she had lost him.