This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 14.
It’s been two weeks since Richard and Maya last spoke to each other. After that fateful day, Richard hasn’t heard from her again. He tried different ways to reach her but she was unreachable even by phone.
Despite that, he continued sending her his morning message. “Good morning, gorgeous.” Intermittently he also sent. “I hope you’d talk to me soon.” He never received any response from her.
When he went to her place, he discovered that she had changed her password to her security pad. When he attempted to see her in her office, she was out of town on a sales conference with one of the developers she was working with. Ethan was with her so he didn’t have any one to ask help from. He was at his wits end from missing her until he received a call from her father early morning, Friday.
After that call, Richard found himself on board a mid-day flight to San Nicolas. The flight was only 1 hour from Manila. If he had driven his car, it would take him 7 hours straight driving so he chose to just take an airplane. Going to Maya’s province, he practically dropped everything that needed attention in his office. He felt the matter with Maya was most important at that time.
Richard arrived at the Dela Rosa mansion late afternoon. Maya’s family driver fetched him at the airport. And when he alighted the van after an hour’s drive, her parents were already waiting for him at the front porch.
“Good afternoon po, Sir, Ma’m.” Richard greeted them. He automatically took Arturo’s hand and brought it to his forehead for the customary greeting and sign of respect. He did the same to her mother. The couple just looked at each other, a little surprised by his act.
“Good afternoon din Richard.” It was Maya’s mother who spoke. “Tara na sa taas ng makapag merienda tayo. Kumusta naman ang byahe mo?”
“Thank you po. Smooth naman po ang flight.” Richard followed the couple inside the house. Indeed, she belongs to a well-off family. The Dela Rosa mansion is a two story abode built in the middle of a big property surrounded by trees. According to the driver who talked a lot, they own a several hectares of planted to fruit bearing trees and other crops.
While they were having snacks at the verandah, Richard spoke to Maya’s father. “Sir, thank you for inviting me here. I really appreciate this.” He looked very sincere.
“Richard, nag-usap kami ni Maya matapos mong umalis sa condo niya. Sa ka-uusisa ko, nagsabi rin kung ano ang nangyari. Natural sa aming mga magulang na kampihan ang anak namin lalo’t may punto rin naman siya.” Papa Arturo spoke with authority.
“Sir, I’ve been trying to apologize to her but she’s been avoiding me.” Richard countered; his face evidently sad.
“Sinabi ko na sa’yo, mahirap suyuin ang anak ko. Malamang sa hindi, hindi mo alam na nakipag-kita na siya doon sa lalaking pinapares namin sa kanya. Sa pagkaka-alam namin dalawang beses na silang nag dinner sa Manila.” Papa Arturo revelation caught Richard by surprise. The pangs of jealousy bit his heart.
“Sir, we haven’t broken up. She should at least talk to me first.” Richard eyes were already in tiny slits.
It her mother who spoke next, “Kaya ka nga namin tinawagan para pumunta dito. Hindi ba humingi ka ng chance na makilala ka namin at masuyo si Maya, eto na ang pagkakataon.” She spoke in a motherly tone.
Papa Arturo continued on what he’d like Richard to know. “Richard, ang talagang plano namin ay ipakasal na si Maya sa anak ng isang compandre ko. “
“Anong pong sabi ni Maya. Is she open to the idea of getting married? Hindi po ba dapat si Maya ang magdesisyon when she wants to get married.” He clarified.
“Tama ka, dapat si Maya.” Then Papa Arturo continued that since he had been diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer, he had been worried about the future of his wife and Maya. Thinking that his cancer may progress, he wanted to see Maya settle down so someone could take care of her. He also informed Richard that they were the ones who advised Maya to choose a man who is moneyed. But, he also emphasized that what was more important is find a person that could love her for who she really is and not her inheritance.
“Sir, I’m not interested in your money. When I fell in love with your daughter, it was her and not her money. Ako rin naman, I wanted to be loved for my worth as a person.” Richard justified himself.
“Kaya nga, gusto ka namin makilala pa. Hindi dahil alam naming na may kaya ka kungdi dahil kahit ang alam ni Maya ay mekaniko ko lang at mas mababa ang estado sa buhay kesa kanya, minahal ka niya. Minahal ka ng anak namin.” It was Mama Teresita who explained further.
“Kung patatawarin at tatanggapin ka uli ni Maya, hindi kami tututol sa inyong dalawa kahit nakipag-kasundo na kami sa aming compadre.” Papa Arturo ended.
After hearing her parent’s position, Richard saw a big sign of hope. He will just have to work on getting Maya’s forgiveness. “Sir, Ma’m, I understand what you mean. Salamat po.” He smiled. It was the first time that Richard smiled since he arrived at the mansion.
“Goodluck, hijo. At saka, pwede mo ba kaming tawagin Tito Art at Tita Tess. Naaasiwa akong tawagin sir. Simple lang tayo eh.” Papa Arturo chuckled.
“Opo, Tito Art, Tita Tess.” The smile on Richard lips became wider.
The following day
Maya was having lunch by herself at the Dela Rosa mansion. She just arrived from Manila after 7 hours of driving. As promised to her parents, she would be home for the weekend. However, she didn’t tell them that she actually planned to stay for the whole week.
She was enjoying her lunch when suddenly her parents entered the dining room. She was very surprised to find Richard just behind them. Without bothering to greet her parents, she blurted. “What are you doing here?” Her brows furrowed.
“Inimbita namin si Richard, Maya.” It was her mother who answered her question. Then looked at the two men beside her. “Pa, Ricky, maupo na kayo at padadag-dagan ko lang ang mga servings dyan.”
The two men took their seats in the 6 seater dining table. They were in the small dining area since the family rarely used their big dining hall. Papa Arturo took the chair at the head of the table while Richard chose to sit beside Maya.
“Hi Maya, I missed you.” Richard said close to her ear while he settled himself beside her.
Maya glared at him. “I wish I could say the same.”
“Maya, ang manners mo.” It was her father who scolded her. It was rare for her to show that childish act but he wasn’t happy nonetheless.
Richard just smiled as he looked at her. He was just happy seeing her. “When did you arrive? Isn’t that the flight from Manila is at 1:30 pa?”
“I drove my car here. Hindi ako nag-eroplano.” She answered him in a monotone.
“You drove 7 hours and you were by yourself? Why didn’t you just take the plane?” He sounded very concerned.
Again she answered still without emotion. “I am used to driving by myself.” Then, it was her turn to ask questions, “Eh, ikaw how did you get here? Tinawagan mo si Papa?”
“I took the plane. It’s faster to get here and safer.” He responded.
“Ako ang tumawag sa kanya, Maya. Ako nag papunta sa kanya dito sa atin.” Papa Arturo provided the rest of the answer.
“Pa, paano mo na-contact si Richard when you only met him once?” She eyed her father carefully.
But it was Richard who responded. “I gave your Dad my calling card before I left your place.”
She rolled her eyes and just murmured, “so may calling card pala..”
Richard heard her. “Do you want one, para malaman mo na rin ang talagang trabaho ko.” He offered.
“Sorry, I’m not interested anymore.” She forked her food and continued eating.
“Ricky, Maya, tama na ang diskursyon nyong dalawa, mamaya na kayo mag-usap.” Mama Teresita came back with her dessert while another maid was carrying new dishes for them.
Maya was at the verandah looking at their garden. The orchids that her mother spends her most time with were in full bloom. The pool also looked inviting, so she thought she’d go swimming tomorrow morning to exercise.
Suddenly, Maya felt two arms encircling her waist. She immediately knew it was Richard because of his familiar scent. Her heart jumped with the feel of his arms around her especially after he said. “I missed you, Babe.” But she quickly remembered that she has not forgiven him.
“Babe? I’m not your babe. Hindi ba ikaw na rin nagsabi, it’s not original.” She disengaged from him and set a distance between them.
“Maya, are you still mad at me? What do I need to do so you’ll forgive me?” The sadness was back in his face.
“I don’t know Richard.” Although she didn’t leave him, she acted as if he didn’t exist beside her. She took out her phone and started playing Hay Day.
Later at dinner time, Maya didn’t join them saying she was tired and just wanted to sleep. Again, Richard failed to spend time with her.
The following day, Maya came out of her room late. As usual, she got the morning message from Richard but she ignored it. It was the reason why she didn’t leave her room early, she didn’t want to see him at the breakfast table.
However, the moment she sat on the table, she quickly realized that her effort of avoiding him was useless. She was about to take her first bite of her bread when Richard and her father came in with carrying a medium sized coleman cooler.
“Good morning, ‘nak.” Papa Arturo greeted his daughter.
“Pa, saan kayo galing at dala nyo yang cooler?” She asked.
“Galing kami sa malaking ilog, nag-fishing kami ni Richard. Ang swerte ng batang ito, siya ang maraming huli.” Papa Arturo commented as they put down the container.
Curiuos on what they got, Maya checked the contents of the coleman. She found several freshwater fish, some of them still breathing. “Hmmm, marami nga.”
“So, Babe anong gusto mong luto sa fish? Para ma-request na natin kay Manang. Kayo po Tito Art?” Richard turned to Papa Arturo when Maya just stared at him.
“Magpa sigang ka, hijo. Masarap yun at sariwa pa ang isda natin. Iwan ko muna kayo at maliligo na ako.” Then Papa Art left the two.
Alone with him, Maya made a sarcastic remark, “Feeling close ka na talaga sa Papa ko, no? So, what story are you weaving to him? I hope you are being truthful to him.”
Richard was slighted by her comments. “Maya, I told your father that I love you and I am staying here in your house until we patch things up.”
“Ah, ganoon! So, paano kung hindi kita patawarin? Sa totoo lang Richard, masakit pa rin ‘yung ginawa mo sa akin.” She replied.
“Sana lang, you listen to where I am coming from. I didn’t intend to hurt you. I just wanted to prove that you can love me. I hope maging okay na uli tayo.” He took a deep breath before he added. “But it’s an uphill battle to woo you again. I heard you had dinner twice with another guy. I’m not the jealous type Maya pero when I heard that, masakit.”
“Well, it’s my prerogative to choose whom I want to see.” She turned her back to Richard and proceeded to the swimming pool area where she planned to swim. One thing new that she discovered in Richard, he is a jealous guy although he wouldn’t admit. She started to smile.