This is a continuation of Chances 1
Author : christine24m
It was supposed to be a normal Sunday for Richard. He would usually be in front of his desk, doing drafts of houses and scribbling some new ideas that were coming out from his head. The smell of coffee would usually drive him to keep working all day and before he knew it, it will be evening again and he would return to sleep. Being busy made his life much easier. Time just pass by when he’s like that. It would keep him from thinking too much. He’s been like this every Sunday of his life – except for today.
Just the other night, he rescued a woman on the road and now, that very same person seemed to be attached to him and for some unknown reason, Richard felt responsible for her. Before the woman fell asleep again that morning, he told her that he would just go home to get some things and then he would be back. She just nodded and drifted off to sleep.
Richard knew that he can just forget what he said and just stay at his condo and do his work. Instead, he took a bath faster than he ever had, got a duffel bag and just stacked some clothes he reached for without even looking what shirt it is and his sketch pad. After that, he left again and went to the market to buy some fruits for her. When he came back to the hospital, a nurse was checking on the woman. She gave him a smile when she saw Richard entered the room with his things. He was putting in inside the cabinet when the nurse approached him.
“Sir, hawak po ito ni Ma’am nung sinugod niyo po siya kagabi sa emergency room. Baka po makatulong.” He said. He handed Richard with what looks like a bag strap but it was torn from the bag it was holding. When he turned it the other way, he saw something written.
The last letter was torn but Richard was sure that it was the letter ‘A’. It’s the only word left on the strap of bag. He was thinking that her surname was also written on it but it might be on the other torn part of the strap. He looked back and saw the woman staring out the window. She looked so lonely. Richard sighed deeply and sat on the chair beside her bed.
“Maya.” He called, testing if it was really her name. Surprisingly, the woman turned her head to him. Richard smiled with what she did. “So your name is Maya?”
The woman bit her lower lip and she nodded slowly. “Oo? Oo yata. Sorry, hindi ko talaga matandaan eh.”
Richard nodded. “It’s okay. At least we already knew your first name. Do you remember anything about yourself? Kahit ano. Your family, your .. work, your surname, your age, stuff like that.” He asked again. The woman, Maya, fell silent for awhile, her brows are knotted again. And then she shook her head and turned to him. “Wala eh. Wala talaga. Kilala mo ba ko?”
He shook his head. “No. I don’t think we’ve met before.” He said and she frowned. “I saw you lying on the road last night. You were unconscious. Dinala agad kita dito nung nakita kita.” He told her. The woman nodded. “Bakit ako unconscious? Did something happen?”
Richard shrugged. “I really don’t know. Ikaw na lang yung inabutan ko eh. Good thing I brought you here. The doctors managed to save your life.”
The woman smiled at him sadly. “Thank you. Buti ayos lang ako. Kaso .. wala talaga akong maalala eh. Paano ako makakauwi? Hindi ko alam kung saan ako nakatira. Hindi ko nga alam kung Maya ba talaga yung pangalan ko eh.”
“Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. Babalik din yan. The doctor said you have retrograde amnesia. Malakas siguro yung pagkakaumpog mo kaya ka ganyan. Your memories will come back gradually.” He explained. “Maybe your name is really Maya. You responded when I called you that.”
The woman smiled at him again. “Sige. From now on, call me Maya. Ikaw? Anong pangalan mo? Hindi ko pa kasi alam eh.”
“It’s Richard. Richard Lim.” He said and accepted Maya’s handshake that she offered. “Does your head still hurt?”
“Oo eh.” She answered briefly. “Sige na. Matulog ka na ulit.” He said and was about to stand up to get his sketch pad when Maya grabbed his arm again. “Wag mo kong iwan.” She said.
Richard chuckled. “I won’t, Maya. I just have to get my things so I can work from here. Sige na, matulog ka na.” He said. Maya nodded and then she closed her eyes and slept again. Richard just sighed as he took his sketch pad from his bag. It seemed like Anton’s final draft will be a little bit delayed.
As he was sketching another house, his gaze drifted back to Maya. She looked so tired even though she was just resting for the whole day. He shook his head and decided to put his mind into autopilot again. He realized that if he can’t make his final draft, he will do numerous sketches of houses again. He felt that he needs to prioritize again. Maya was just second to his work. He was just helping her out after all.
Later that day, the police arrived again and interviewed Maya. Dr. Manalo was also with them to aid Maya as the interview began. The police didn’t get a lot of information from her because of her amnesia. Doctor Manalo told them that Maya just needs to stay for another two days at the hospital and after that, she can finally go home. Richard just kept on sketching as they had their conversation in front of Maya. He just knew that they left when he heard the door shut.
“Richard.” Maya called him. Was it just him or her voice sounded wobbly? Richard added some more thick lines in his sketch before he looked up. He was surprised when he saw Maya with tears flowing from her eyes. She was wiping them using her hand. “Richard.” She repeated.
“Oh? What’s wrong? Masakit pa rin ba yung ulo mo?” He asked casually as he returned his gaze back to his sketch pad. When he didn’t hear any answer from her, he looked up again. “Maya, speak up. Bakit ka ba naiyak?” He asked again, his tone was quite pissed off this time. He really gets annoyed easily when someone interrupts him when he’s doing his work.
“Saan nila ako dadalhin kapag pwede na kong lumabas dito sa ospital? Hindi ako makakauwi kasi hindi ko nga alam kung saan ako nakatira eh.” She reasoned out. “I don’t know. Maybe somewhere like DSWD for children.” He coldly replied, never lifting his gaze up from the paper.
Richard was not expecting that Maya would start crying hard. She cried like a child whose candy was taken away from her. She kept muttering that she hates herself for not remembering anything and that she would rather die than being saved. “Ikaw kasi eh! Dapat pinabayaan mo na lang akong nakahandusay dun!” Maya started shouting at Richard while he just kept his head bowed down. “Dapat pinabayaan mo na lang akong mamatay kaysa sa naghihirap ako ng ganito! Hindi mo ba alam kung gaano kahirap ‘tong wala kang maalala tapos baldado ka pa? Ikaw kaya yung maging ganito? Kaysa yung wala kang pakielam –“
“Enough!” Richard shouted, slamming his sketch pad on his lap, catching Maya’s attention. “Kung pwede lang ibigay sa’kin yang amnesia mong yan, I would gladly accept it! Magiging masaya pa nga siguro ako kung magka-amnesia na lang ako at makalimutan ko lahat ng nangyari dati. How I wish I would have that opportunity to have a do-over in my life, just like what you have.” He continued, his brows were knitted together and his face was red because of anger. “Pasalamat ka pa nga kasi nailigtas pa kita! And what if you died? Ano sa tingin mo yung mararamdaman ng pamilya mo? They would be devastated that even if they said that they moved on, they would forever have that part inside of them that still couldn’t accept what just happened to you!” He furiously said. His blood was boiling. He remembered his mom as Maya kept blaming him. He knew he would search through heaven and hell just to find a way to heal her. And yet this woman would rather want to die than to live.
“If you want to die just tell the nurses here or even Dr. Manalo. I bet they have different medicines to let you die in the very least painful way.” He sighed loudly as he finished his statement. He could see that Maya just remained mum and her eyes were telling him that she was surprised at his sudden outburst. The good thing was, she stopped crying, but Richard felt like he turned everything to worse. He stood up from his seat and walked outside her room, almost slamming the door. He needs to get away from that tension. His temper was never did him any good at those times.
He walked and walked until he reached his car. Without thinking properly, he opened the driver’s seat and drove to his condo unit. He knew just the answer to calm his nerves down – he needs to keep on working.
The next day, Richard was doing his daily routine again. He just dropped by in his office to leave some drafts and to sign some documents from Liza. After that, went to James’ office to tell him that he’ll be driving off to Batangas to check a client’s house if everything was going according to plan. Before James said his goodbye, he noticed that Richard was not in his usual mood when he’s talking to him. James knew that the reason for his mood was that there’s something that’s bugging his friend’s mind. He also knew that if he was right, Richard would just brush off his concern for him – and it was the exact thing Richard did.
James just sighed as he sat on his swivel chair. Even if they were the best-est and the closest of friends, Richard still couldn’t open up his thoughts to him. He knew about Richard’s problem with his dad because Luke told him and Richard never said any word regarding it.
The day passed by without Richard noticing. It was what he was actually planning. He took his time as he drove to Batangas. When he was already at the site he stayed a little bit longer since he felt like the workers were moving too slowly for him. He was afraid that they would fall behind schedule. It became his trademark.
The materials for the house went according to his plan. Just another month to go before the house is completed. He was silently praying that they wouldn’t encounter problems that would cause of the project’s delay. When he knew everything was going according to plan, he bid his farewell to the employees and to some of the engineers that also visited the site and headed to his car and started driving back to Manila.
Along the way, it suddenly crossed his mind that he left the house plan of Anton at the hospital, with his things. He groaned and changed the direction he was heading to. He was not planning to go back there again after what had happened last night. Maya’s outburst pushed him to the limit and it’s been so long since he was like that again. On the other hand, he could also feel a pang of guilt inside him. He never really meant to shout at her like that, especially with her condition. But he just couldn’t help it. After his mom died, everything just changed, including him. I should apologize. He thought. He took a deep breath and drove silently.
Richard was feeling quite uneasy as he strode the hall of the hospital, leading to Maya’s room. Just as when he was about to open the door, someone called him.
“Sir! Sino pong bibisitahin nila?” The voice said. When Richard turned around, he noticed that it was the nurse who gave him the strap of bag with Maya’s name.
“The woman that I rescued. Si Maya.” He simply answered. Richard noticed that the nurse was somehow confused by what he said. “Why? Is there something wrong?”
“Ah Sir, nakalabas na po ng ospital si Ms. Maya. Kanina pa pong umaga.” He said.
“What?” Richard exclaimed. “Sinong nagbayad ng medical fees niya? Saka where is she staying? May amnesia siya, hindi niya alam kung saan yung bahay niya.”
The nurse reached for something in his front pocket. He handed Richard a small card. “Dyan po ata siya dinala.” Richard reached for it and saw that it was a contact number of Dr. Manalo. “Pinatuloy po muna siya ni Doc sa bahay nila. Mukha daw po kasing depressed si Ms. Maya. Siya na daw po yung mag-momonitor.” He said. “Sige po, may pupuntahan pa po akong pasyente.”
“Thank you.” Richard replied. Before he knew it, he was almost running just to get outside the hospital. He started his car and drove as he dialled Dr. Manalo’s number. He needs to see if Maya is doing just fine because if she was not, he knew he would not forgive his self.