This is a continuation of Chances 2
Author : christine24m
“What am I even doing?” Richard muttered as he turned the key of his car to cut the engine off. He hesitatingly made his way in front of the gate of Dr. Manalo’s house. He lifted his hand to push the doorbell but he pulled back for a second. “Man up, Richard.” He muttered and after an inward grown, he finally pushed the button.
While he was on his way to the doctor’s house, Richard was speaking to him on his phone. Dr. Manalo was a bit surprised when Richard called him but he still generously gave his address to Richard. He even said that they would wait for him so that he can join them on their dinner. After the call, Richard sped off not because of the doctor’s invitation but his anxiety in seeing Maya again.
Richard was standing uncomfortably outside the gates. He kept pacing back and forth as he waited for someone to open the gate. When he was about to push the button again, the gate finally opened. A lady stood opposite him wearing some sort of uniform. He immediately knew that she was the doctor’s maid.
“Good evening. Is Dr. Manalo inside?” Richard kindly asked.
The woman gave him a smile. “Ay, opo Sir. Pasok po kayo.” She said and let Richard enter. He immediately eyed the house the doctor has. He can clearly distinguish that the doctor has a modern cubic house. The house was made up of the finest materials he knew. Full-length glass windows can be seen from almost all of the sides of the house. The design is quite similar to those he already drew.
“Sir. Dito po tayo.” The maid said as she opened the front door for him. As Richard went in, he noticed that most of the furniture was new. With his observations summed up, he concluded that the house was still young.
“I see you have a thing for houses.” A man’s voice said. When Richard turned around, he saw Dr. Manalo standing not far from him. Richard just gave him a small smile and shook his hand. “I apologize for the short notice, Doc. I was not informed that Maya would be out of the hospital by this day.” Richard said.
“It’s alright, Richard. Ah, and please do call me Jerry here. Wala naman tayo sa ospital.” The doctor said. “You’re just in time for dinner.” He continued as he ushered Richard to the dining area. Richard was about to have another inspection of the place when his gaze fell to Maya. Her head is a little bit bowed down and there’s so much sadness in her face. Richard felt that guilt inside him again and it’s eating him alive. He knew all too well that he is to blame why she’s like that.
“Richard, this is my wife, Gina. She’s a teacher. And that’s our son, Kyle.” Jerry said as he pointed the woman and the little boy beside her. They were seating opposite to Maya. She made no movements even if Jerry already introduced him. He cautiously took a sit beside Maya.
“Hey, you okay?” He dared to talk to Maya but he only got a nod as a reply. He took a deep breath to control his temper. The woman was mad at him of course. He knew it was partly his fault but being in a situation like Maya’s, he really is the one to blame.
“So Richard, how did you know Maya?” Gina asked as she passed the bowl of rice to her husband. “Jerry told me that she’s a patient from the hospital.”
“I .. I sort of rescued her. I was driving home from work when I saw her unconsciously lying on the road. Sinugod ko agad siya sa ospital after I felt a pulse.” He explained as he scooped some rice that was passed to him. Instead of giving the bowl to Maya, he was the one who scooped some rice on her plate. “Eat well, okay?” He whispered.
Jerry and Gina exchange teasing glances as they witnessed what Richard just did. Maya seemed to be unaffected by what he just did since she remained silent. “Is she okay?” Richard asked Jerry.
“I honestly don’t know, Richard. Siya yung nagpumilit kaninang umaga na umalis na sa ospital. I noticed that she was quite depressed while I was checking her records. I decided that it’s best for her to stay here. Nandito naman si Doris and I could monitor her condition more closely.” The doctor explained. “Kumakain naman daw siya kanina sabi ni Doris. I don’t know why she’s not eating right now.”
Richard almost choked the food he just swallowed with what Jerry said. He knew that he might be the reason for the behaviour of hers right now. He just sighed as he looked at Maya who still hadn’t touched her food.
“Don’t take it the wrong way but I assume your house is still new?” Richard asked, changing their topic. “Ah, oo, Richard. Almost a year pa lang kami dito.” Gina happily replied. “How come you knew?”
“Well, for one, your furniture. They all seemed to be brand new.” The couple nodded like they completely understand what Richard meant. “And the house itself told me that it’s freshly built. Compared to the other houses, kakaunti pa lang yung may ganitong uri ng modern cubic house.”
“So you do have a thing for houses.” Jerry glady said. “Well, what can you say about this house?”
“The house was smartly built. Your glass walls were full-height so it would usually catch the full beam of sunlight but with the roof overhanging, it completely shields the house from the light. The elements used were also wise since it creates a strong horizontal composition. The interior was also good and it’s very child proof.” He said. He was about to add more when he noticed the couple staring at him like he was saying some weird math equations. “Ah, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to ..” he trailed off.
Jerry chuckled. “It’s alright Richard. Naaalala ko tuloy sa’yo yung architect ng bahay namin. I think he said the exact same thing you just said.”
Richard’s brows lifted up. “Really? Who is he?”
“His name is Roberto Lim, if I’m not mistaken. He was recommended by my uncle since they were friends.” Jerry answered. “Do you know him?”
Richard gave a nod with a small smile. “He’s my father. I guess we both like the idea of putting glass walls.”
“Architect ka rin, Richard?” Gina asked. Richard answered with a nod. “Wow. I guess fathers really are like sons.” Richard just gave them a small smile. It really makes him uncomfortable when the topic falls to his father and him. It’s just really unfortunate for him that his father is a well-known architect. “Where do you work, Richard?”
“I work on my friend’s firm.” He simply answered. “Aero Designs.”
“Hindi sa firm ng Dad mo? I think you’ll be known more if you work there. I’m just saying.” Jerry added.
“It’s okay. I’m not really working for fame. I’d rather see my clients happy than work coldly just for money.” He answered. “I-I apologize again. I don’t really want to talk about my father.” He immediately added. The couple nodded sensing tension in his tone.
“Please excuse me.” Maya muttered as she slowly stood up from her seat. Richard immediately assisted her since she was still limping from her leg injury. His hands fell on Maya’s opposite arms. Maya tried to brush off his hold but Richard didn’t budge. “We’ll just talk.” Richard said to the couple who were left on the table.
Richard just assisted Maya until they reached a balcony. Maya immediately sat down since her leg is giving up. Richard ran his hand through his hair and let out a deep breath. He looked at Maya and saw her face with the same look she has back on the dining table.
Maya was about to tell Richard that she needed to rest when Richard spoke. “I’m sorry.” That made Maya to look at him with her brows knitted. “Hindi mo kailangang mag-sorry. Sinabi mo lang kung ano yung point mo. Naapreciate ko naman yun eh kaya ayos lang sa’kin.” She coldly said.
“No. I’m still apologizing, Maya. I really am sorry. I should’ve said it before I left. I didn’t mean to shout at you but .. but you just don’t understand.” Richard said but Maya remained passive. “Look, I .. I had a painful experience with death. You just triggered it out from me when you blamed me for keeping you alive.” Richard kept his head bowed. Maya suddenly felt that what Richard was saying was all true as she could see it from the way he’s curling up his hands and on the way he was speaking. “I don’t know what having amnesia would be like but I know that it is hard. And I knew you trusted me because I saved you, yet I scolded you and I walked out yesterday. I’m really sorry.”
The two remained silent for a while. Maya with her head bowed down while Richard was leaning on the balcony rails. Both were being eaten up by their own guilt. Richard was about to say goodbye when Maya spoke up. “Sorry din. I snapped. Nakakafrustrate kasi eh.” She muttered.
A smile crept on Richard’s face. “Then .. I guess we should call it even? Pareho pala tayong may kasalanan eh.”
Maya happily nodded at him. “Okay. Sorry ulit.” She said. “Sorry too.” Richard said and they both laughed. Just like that, the arguments between them simmered off. “Do you want to go back inside? Hindi ka kumain eh.” He said. When Maya nodded, Richard rushed to her side to assist her in walking. Jerry and Gina both had smiles on their faces as they watched Richard and Maya come back inside again with wide grins on their faces. Richard assisted Maya to sit again and reached for one of the dishes on the table and gave it to Maya.
“So. I guess you two were okay now?” Gina inquired. Maya nodded with a smile on her face. “Hon, si Richard lang pala ang makakapagpangiti dito kay Maya eh!” She said to her husband.
Both Richard and Maya were stopped from what they were doing. Jerry nudged his wife and gave a forced laughter. “W-what my wife meant to say .. is .. uhm, si .. ikaw lang Richard yung .. yung pinagkakatiwalaan ni Maya so obviously she already told you her problems right?” Jerry managed to pull out. Richard chuckled. “I guess you can put it that way.”
“Anyway, Maya. May naaalala ka na ba?” Jerry asked. Maya shook her head. “Wala pa po eh. Ang naaalala ko lang po talaga yung .. yung nagising na lang po ako sa ospital tapos nandun si Richard.” She answered.
“You were already with Maya when she woke up?” Gina asked. Jerry was aware of what his wife was trying to dig. Richard nodded. “I was actually there since I brought her to the hospital.” He answered. “I think Maya was so scared of everything. Kahit si Jerry muntik na niyang katakutan.”
“Ikaw kaya yung gumising sa ospital tapos wala kang kakilala tapos hindi ko ko pa alam kung bakit ako nandun. Ewan ko ba kung bakit feeling ko I need to trust you.” Maya said as she munched some of her food.
“You even held Richard’s hand, remember?” Jerry butted in. Maya nodded casually while Gina squealed. All eyes were immediately on her and they were all curious. “Sorry! Naalala ko lang yung teleserye sa TV. Nakakakliig daw kasi!” She said as an excuse but she actually squealed because of Richard and Maya. She found their story romantic even if the two were not involved romantically.
“Jerry, can I please talk to you in private?” Richard asked and Jerry obliged. The two made their way to the living room where they seated opposite each other.
“I would like to say sorry. Na .. nasigawan ko kasi si Maya kagabi. Maybe that’s the reason why she was depressed. But don’t worry, I already apologized to her.” Richard said. “And I think she’s okay now.” He added as he took a glance at Maya.
“I should’ve known.” Jerry said. “Just take it easy on her, Richard. Mahirap magka-amnesia. One day you were living your normal life and then the next, you forgot everything that you know since you were still a kid. Bumalik yung mga pulis kanina, ang sabi, posible daw na nanakawan si Maya and siguro rin daw na lumaban siya kaya siya nagkaganyan. They’re still doing their investigation. Maghintay na lang daw tayo.”
Richard nodded. “Will she be alright here?”
“Of course. Wala kang dapat alalahanin.” Jerry answered. “But Richard, I strongly advise you to visit her often. Base sa nakikita ko, hindi pa kami gano’ng pinagkakatiwalaan ni Maya. She only uttered a few words since she got here pero nung dumating ka, dumaldal na bigla. I think you can help her.”
“Sure Doc.” Richard answered. “And .. can I ask for one final favour?”
“Anything.” Jerry answered.
“Maya, may I ask bakit mo sobrang pinagkakatiwalaan si Richard?” Gina asked as they continued to eat their desert.
Maya shrugged. “Hindi ko alam eh. Siguro, kasi siya na yung nagligtas sa’kin. He already saved my life and I guess he will not do anything to hurt me. Buhay ko na yung nasagip niya, so baka yun ang dahilan kung bakit pinagkakatiwalaan ko siya.”
Gina nodded. “If Richard asked you if you can live in his house, just to keep you safe, would you agree?”
“Hmm.” Maya pursed her lips. “I guess .. okay lang. Baka kasi pabigat ako dito eh.”
“O no, hindi ka pabigat dito, Maya. It’s actually fun to have someone to talk to. Siguro besides from my co-teachers.” She said and they both laugh. “Pero I agree with you. If I were on your shoes and Jerry saved me? It will be absolutely fine for me to live with him.”
Maya nodded. “Magiging pabigat siguro ako pero maglilinis na lang siguro ako sa bahay niya kapag wala siya. Magluluto, ganon. Para kahit papaano, nasusuklian ko yung pagligtas niya sa’kin, kahit paunti-unti.”
“Good. Go pack your things.” A voice said making the ladies turn their heads. Richard was leaning beside the wall that divides the dining area and the living room. His arms are crossed on his chest.
“B-bakit?” Maya asked.
“We’re going home.” He simply said.
“Home?” Maya confusedly asked. “Hindi ko nga alam yung address ko ‘di ba?”
Richard chuckled. “I know. You’re coming with me. Sa’kin ka muna titira.”
Maya’s eyes widened. Gina’s series of questions actually came to life.
“What are you waiting for, Maya? It’s getting late. Let’s go home.” He added.