A/N: This is a continuation to Ang Kwentong Kweba Version 2.0.
With hands entwined and foolish grins plastered on their faces, Richard and Maya headed back to their villa like they have all the time in the world for themselves. They were too caught up by their morning activity that they completely lost track of time and have blissfully forgotten the idea that their families would get worried once they noticed that they’re nowhere to be seen.
Lost in each other’s presence, they were startled when a couple of people called them.
“Dad! Tita Mommy!” Luke, Nikki, and Abby said in unison.
“Lolo! Lola! Ate Cris! Andito na sila dad and tita mommy!” shouted Luke.
Richard and Maya exchanged bewildered looks. As they got near the kids, they noticed the worried look on their faces. A couple of seconds more, the rest of the Lim and dela Rosa household came up to join them, wearing the same look that the children have.
“OMG Dad! Tita mommy! Where have you guys been ba? We were worried sick about you kaya! Kanina pa namin kayo hinahap but we can’t find you anywhere. We even tried calling you only to find out that your phones are left inside your room!” Nikki ranted but her voice breaks as she tries hard to fight off the tears that threaten to spill.
Maya bit her lip as guilt slowly made its way to her system. She had momentarily forgotten about them.
“I’m sorry Niks,” apologized Richard.
“Dad. Bakit naman kasi kayo umaalis nalang ng walang pasabi? Walang sino man sa amin dito ang nakakaalam kung saan kayo nagpunta. Natakot kami na baka kung ano na ang nangyari sa inyo. Kung okay pa ba kayo,” added Luke showing how sick worried they got.
Richard let out a sigh. “I’m sorry Luke. Nikki, Abby.” He looked past his kids and looked at the rest of their families, sending them his apologies to each and every one. “Sorry if we made you worried. I lost track of time. Hindi ko namalayan na we’ve been gone for so long. And sorry kung hindi ko manlang kayo nasabihan na aalis kami ni Maya. I’m really sorry.”
Maya stepped forward. “Luke, Nikki, Abby, sorry ha. Hindi namin gustong mag-alala kayo. Pasensya na talaga.
“Tita Mommy!” Abby ran to Maya and hugged her tight as tears started to fall down her cheeks. “Nag-alala po kami sa inyo. I’m glad you and dad are okay.”
Losing control, Maya’s tears fell. She hugged her tight. “I’m sorry baby. Hindi namin gustong mag-alala kayo.”
“We just got worried Tita Mommy. We just thought may dumukot na sa inyo. Akala namin may kumain na sa inyo.”
Surprised by what she heard from Abby, Maya held her by the shoulders and looked at her. “Teka baby. Dumukot? Kumain?”
Abby nodded her head. “Opo. Sabi po kasi nila Ate Sabel baka daw po dinukot na kayo ni daddy at baka daw po ginawa na kayong tanghalian. Natakot po talaga kami.”
Sabel and Doris were both squirming and fidgeting upon hearing Abby’s reasoning. They were already anxious knowing that Richard will not let this pass.
“Baby, walang mga mangangain ng tao dito. Ok ang mga tao dito. Mababait sila. Nakita mo naman di ba?” consoled Maya.
Abby simply nodded her head.
“Baby, hindi dahil nasa probinsya tayo o nasa liblib na lugar, pag-iisipan na agad natin ng hindi maganda yung mga taong nakatira doon. Hindi naman tama iyon. Tamang lagi dapat tayong nag-iingat pero mali na huhusgahan na agad natin yung mga tao base lamang sa kung saan sila nakatira. Alam mo baby, nasisiguro kong walang nangangain ng tao dito,” explained Maya further.
“Are you sure Tita Mommy?”
“Yes baby. Dahil may mga friends ako na taga dito at sila mismo ang nagsasabi na tahimik sa lugar na ito at mababait ang mga tao.”
Abby who now seemed convinced nodded her head. “Sorry Tita Mommy kung nag-isip ako ng hindi tama against sa mga tao na nakatira dito.”
“Me too Tita Mommy,” sighed Nikki. “I just freaked out with the idea na nadukot na kayo ni dad and being roasted and served as lunch! It’s just so! Ugh! It’s freaky!! Kaya pati si Abby nag-alala narin ng husto because she saw me lose control. But don’t worry Tita Mommy, next time I’ll get my facts straight first before I jump into any conclusions and freak out right away.”
“It’s okay Nikki. Sorry ulit kung hindi kami nakapag-sabi sa inyo ng daddy niyo kung saan kami pupunta. Nag-alala pa tuloy kayo ng husto sa amin,” said Maya.
“Hay nako. My apos would not have freaked out if not for the horrendous tales that Sabel and Doris shared to them. We were trying to explain to them na you guys might have just toured around and spent some quality alone time. Little did we know, kung anu-ano ng kwento ang pinagsasabi ng dalawa sa aking mga apo.” Donya Esmeralda shook her head disapprovingly.
More anxious than ever, Sabel and Doris started nudging one another and pointed fingers at each other, bickering and blaming the other for making the kids worry so.
“Ikaw kasi eh!”
“Anong ako?? Eh ikaw nga ang nagsabi na baka nadukot na sila ng masasamang –“
“Hoy Sabel! Ang sabi ko baka nadukot! Eh ikaw dinugtungan mo pa na baka na-litson na sila ser at Mrs. Chief kaya mas lalong nag-alala yung mga bata!”
“Eh kung hindi mo naman kasi sinabing baka nadukot, hindi ko naman maiisip na baka na-litson na sila.”
“Aba! At kasalanan ko pa ngayon!”
The two were still exchanging heated words, unmindful of the people around them.
Sabel and Doris jumped in surprise as they heard Richard’s command loud and clear. They bowed their heads down in embarrassment. “Sorry po ser,” they both said in unison.
Richard sighed and shook his head. He turned to the rest of the family and addressed to them. “Once again guys, I’m really sorry for making you all worried. That never was my intention. I did just want to have an alone time with Maya. I know that doesn’t change the fact that what we did was wrong. And I’m really sorry for that.”
Luke stood beside his father and tapped his shoulders. “It’s okay dad. We understand. Basta next time, give us a heads up para hindi kami mag-alala. Hindi ka naman namin pipigilan kung gusto mong solohin si Tita Mommy eh.”
Richard smiled at tapped Luke’s hand. “Thanks son.”
“Naku, ang mabuti pa, let’s all head back inside and have our lunch. Dahil sa nangyari, nagutom ako ng husto!” said Donya Esmeralda earning a laugh from everyone.
As they were about to make their way back to the villa, Richard spoke up once more. “Sige na Ma. You guys go ahead first.” Turning to Doris and Sabel, “Doris. Sabel. You two stay. I need to talk to the both of you.”
“Nako! Lagot na kayo kay ser!!” teased Joma.
“Tse! Manahimik ka na nga jan Joma!”
Everyone got back inside the villa, leaving Richard, Maya, Doris and Sabel behind.
“Mahal, mauna ka na sa loob. Kausapin ko lang itong dalawa.”
Maya smiled at him. “Ok ka lang ba mahal?”
“What do you mean?”
“Kung okay ka lang? Kung galit ka? Kung naiinis ka?”
Richard glanced at Doris and Sabel then heaved out a sigh. “I’m mad at what they did. How can they think of sharing such non-sense to our kids?”
Maya rubbed his arm in attempt to calm him. “Naiintindihan ko mahal. Pero pagsabihan mo lang sila ng mahinahon okay? I’m sure hindi naman nila sinasadya yun.Saka nagpunta tayo dito para mag-relax at mag-enjoy. Wag nating sirain yun okay?”
Richard simply answered her with a sigh.
Maya cupped his face. “Mahal. Kalma ka lang ok? Napagpaliwanagan naman na yung mga bata kaya mas naiintindihan na nila ang mga bagay bagay. Basta pagsabihan mo lang sila ng maayos at mahinahon okay?”
Richard shrugged his shoulders. “Okay. You’re the boss!” he said with a smile. “Sige na, pasok ka na sa loob. I’ll be there in a bit.” He bent down and gave her a peck on the lips.
“Home sweet home!” Nikki exclaimed as they stepped inside their house.
“Pero nami-miss ko rin ang peaceful atmosphere, the beautiful and serene surrounding, and the fresh air that Cagayan has. Sana makabalik ulit tayo doon,” said Nikki. She together with her parents, grandparents and her siblings, sat on the couch as they rested for a while.
“Iba talaga ang hangin at paligid sa probinsya. Mas sariwa at payapa, hindi tulad sa syudad,” said Esmeralda.
“Don’t you worry guys, pwede naman ulit tayong bumalik doon eh,” said Richard.
“Really dad?? Oh my gee! That would be totally awesome! Then isama ulit natin sila Lolo Arturo, Lola Tere, Ate Cris and Cho! Excited na ulit ako!!” said Nikki.
Luke feigned a look of annoyance. “If there’s anything na hindi ko nami-miss, yun ay ang kaingayan at kaartehan mo Niks! Kauuwi lang natin yun na agad ang binubungad mo sa akin.”
Nikki rolled her eyes against her brother. “Whatever kuya! Naiinggit ka lang sa akin cause I can express myself any way I wanted to unlike you, you can’t express yourself freely the way I do! So it’s not being maarte o maingay. I’m just being expressive.”
Luke rolled his eyes against her. “Whatever Niks with a capital W!”
“Hmp!” snobbed Nikki which earned a chuckle from Luke.
“Kayo talagang dalawa. Ang mabuti pa, pumunta na muna tayo sa mga kwarto natin para makapag-pahinga. Gabi narin naman na,” suggested Maya.
“Your Tita Mommy’s right guys. I think it’s already time for all of us to have our rest,” added Richard.
“You’re right Tita Mommy and dad. Inaantok narin nga ako eh,” replied Nikki.
“Me too,” chimed Abby.
Maya chuckled. “Ok, sige na mga anak. Ang mabuti pa, matulog na tayong lahat.”
The kids bid their parents and grandparents goodnight and went off to their respective rooms. Roberto and Esmeralda followed suit and went to their bedroom. Maya prepared a cup of coffee for Richard and stayed for a couple of minutes at the Verandah before finally retiring to their bedroom to sleep.
Two weeks later, everything had been going out pretty well for everyone. Maya’s pregnancy has been continuously going out pretty well. Her morning sickness had lessened and her palate is slowly returning back to normal.
The family also celebrated Nikki’s birthday. The birthday party had been a huge success with the help of Liza and Emman, both of whom arranged and prepared everything – from the program down to every single detail with the food and decors. Though they had a hard time keeping Maya off from helping them, they still managed to refuse her help and insist that she just sit back, relax, and rest.
Everything is a bliss and running perfectly fine until the morning after Nikki’s birthday celebration.
Maya woke up with her head spinning severely and bile rising up to her throat. Her hand automatically went up to her mouth and in an instant, she threw the comforter that covers her body and rushed to the toilet and immediately threw up all contents in her stomach.
As her head had leveled out and her stomach had finally settled down, she slowly stood up and went to the sink to rinse her mouth. Nature’s call, she went back to the toilet to have a leak when an unwanted sight caught her eye.
Richard’s eyes abruptly flew open as soon as he heard a terrified scream coming from his wife. He immediately checked her on her side of the bed and raked his gaze around the room but she was nowhere to be found. He immediately got out of bed and was making his way towards the bathroom when it opened revealing Maya who looked anxious and terrified.
“Mahal, what’s wrong?” Richard asked worriedly.
On the verge of crying, “Mahal.. Mahal.. Ma-may dugo. Mahal may dugo!!” She was no longer able to hold back the tears that threatened to spill and they just flowed unbidden down her cheeks.
Richard moved towards her and gathered her in his arms all the while providing her all the comfort, security, and assurance that she needed at the moment.
“I am not sure Lola Tere. When they woke up, hindi na daw maganda pakiramdam ni Tita Mommy. She got dizzy again. Dad is bringing her to the hospital now,” explained Nikki to Teresita over the phone. She together with her siblings and grandparents were all waiting by the doorway, waiting for Richard and Maya to emerge. They were all startled by the chaos that started when Richard ordered Joma to prepare the car right away.
“Hindi mo ba alam ang dahilan Nikki? Ano? Hindi mo pa nakakausap ang Tita Mommy mo? Si Richard anong sabi? Ano na bang nangyayari sa kanila,” Teresita said on the other line.
“Hindi pa po kasi sila – Oh! Lumabas na sila Lola Tere and they’re going to the hospital now.”
“Kumusta si Maya Nikki? Anong itsura niya? Nakapaglalakad ba siyang mag-isa?” asked Teresita worriedly.
“She looks a bit pale Lola Tere. Dad said not to worry and said that everything will be okay.”
“Naku paano ba ito. Hindi ako mapapakali nito eh. Teka, sino ba ang kasama ng mag-asawa? Kasama ba kayo? Sila Esmeralda?”
“Mauuna po sa hospital sila dad pero susunod din po kami nila lola agad.”
“Ok sige apo. Basta kung ano man ang balita, itawag niyo agad sa akin ha. Kailangan kong malaman agad kung ano ang lagay ng anak ko. Hindi ako matatahimik kung hindi ko alam kung ano ang talagang lagay ni Maya.”
“Okay po lola Tere. We’ll make sure to give you a timely update.
An hour past lunch time, Manang Fe received a call from Richard informing her of Maya’s conditions. He relayed to his former nanny that Maya had been feeling better now and a couple of tests confirmed that she and the baby are out of danger but they still have to stay In the hospital and wait for Maya’s OB-Gyne, who is currently out of town, to perform a full-workout on her baby and give a full assessment on what could really have caused Maya’s condition.
“Ah ganun ba Ricardo. Okay sige. Sila Teresita ba nasabihan niyo narin?”
“Opo manang. Kahit nga na-explain na namin na okay na si Maya, mapilit parin si Nanay Tere na lumuwas dito sa Manila at aalagaan at babantayan parin daw niya si Maya.”
“Ganun talaga ang mga ina Ricardo. Hindi mo na maiaalis pa sa kanila ang bagay na iyan. Hayaan niyo nalang siya, para narin sa ikapapanatag ng kalooban niya.”
“Well, I guess you’re right Manang.”
Manang Fe smiled. “Ok sige Ricardo. Ikumusta mo nalang kami kay Maya at kung may kailangan kayo, itext o itawag mo nalang sa akin para madala namin agad diyan sa inyo. Mag-iingat kayo jan. Bye.”
As Manang Fe returned the phone to its cradle, Doris and Sabel immediately rushed to her side and asked for update.
“Manang Fe, ano na pong balita? Ano pong sabi ni Ser Richard? Ano na daw po ba ang lagay ni Mrs. Chief?” asked Doris.
“Oo nga po Manang. Okay lang daw po ba si Mrs. Chief? May sakit daw po ba siya? Yung baby, okay lang daw po ba yung baby?” asked Sabel.
Manang Fe raised her hands to halt the two. “Isa-isa lang okay at mahina ang kalaban.” She took a deep breath before answering them. “Ok naman si Maya at wala siyang sakit, pati ang baby okay lang daw.”
Doris and Sabel let out a breath in relief. “Hay salamat.” They both said at the same time.
“Eh di ibig sabihin Manang hindi rin sila magtatagal doon? Uuwi narin sila agad?” asked Doris.
“Hindi pa. Sabi ni Ricardo, kailangan pa daw nilang antayin yung OB ni Maya para masigurong talagang ligtas at healthy yung baby sa sinapupunan niya.”
“Ganun po ba Manang. Eh ano daw po ba ang naging dahilan kung bakit nagkaganon si Mrs. Chief? Naging okay na siya tapos bigla bigla, ayan na naman at mukhang mas lumubha pa,” said Sabel.
“Sa ngayon, wala pang maibigay na depinidong dahilan ang mga doctor. Maaaring pagod daw o stress. Baka sakaling pag na-examine na siya ng OB niya, makapagbigay na sila ng depinidong dahilan kung bakit nagkaganyan siya.”
With a worried look on her face, “Naku BFF! Hindi kaya. . .” trailed Doris off, not able to finish whatever she was about to say.
“Hindi kaya ano Doris?”
“Ano kasi eh. . . Ano. . .”
Doris was fidgeting and uneasiness eating her up. “BFF!! Kasi tignan mo ha, bago tayo pumunta ng Cagayan, ok si Mrs. Chief. Ngayong bumalik tayo, bumalik din yung pagsusuka niya at mukhang mas lumala pa.”
“O? Eh normal lang naman sa mga buntis yun ah?”
“Sabel! Normal lang sa mga buntis ang magsusuka pero pag natigil na yun, yun na yon. Hindi naman sila nagsususuka sa loob ng siyam na buwan noh at lalong hindi ganyan,” reasoned Doris.
“Okay sige. Eh ano naman ang konek nun sa pagpunta natin sa Cagayan?”
“BFF, yun na nga. Nangyari ang lahat ng ito matapos nating makabalik mula Cagayan. Hindi kaya…”
“Hindi kaya ano Doris?? Pwede ba, tapusin mo na yang sasabihin mo!” demanded Sabel annoyingly.
“Hindi kaya namatanda si Mrs. Chief Sabel?”
“Oo BFF. Kasi naalala ko nagkaroon kami ng ganyang kapitbahay noon. Noong una binalewala lang nila ang lahat pero hindi narin nakatiis yung buntis sa hirap kaya nagpatingin narin sila sa albularyo at doon nga napag-alamang nakatuwaan siya ng dwende.”
“So sa tingin mo ay napagkatuwaan ng dwende si Mrs. Chief ganoon ba BFF?”
“Ganoon na nga BFF! Ganyang ganyan ang nangyari sa kapitbahay namin noon! Hindi ako pwedeng magkamali!”
“Teka lang BFF ha. Paano naman mangyayari yun eh magkakasama tayong lahat doon sa Cagayan? Paano naman nangyari na si Mrs. Chief lang ang namatanda? Ni hindi nga nagsusuot yun sa kung saan. Dapat nga ikaw ang mas namatanda eh!”
“Ako? Bakit naman ako??” gaped Doris.
“Eh di ba, naalala mo nung naglaro tayo ng tagu-taguan, ikaw itong nakaisip na lumayo sa grupo at magtago sa loob ng isang kweba. Kung meron mang posibleng na-matanda, mas lamang na ikaw yun.”
“Ano ka ba naman BFF! Eh ano namang malay mo, baka dapat ako na talaga yung matitipuhan ng dwende kaso ng bumalik tayong tatlo doon sa kweba, nakita nila si Mrs. Chief at nakitang mas maganda ito sa akin kaya siya ang natipuhan ng mga ito at hindi ako.”
“Aba BFF! Ngayon lang ako nakadinig ng dwendeng choosy!”
Doris glowered at Sabel in exasperation. “Ay nako Sabel! Bahala ka kung ayaw mong maniwala! Basta! Sinasabi ko sa’yo, nangyari na ang ganito sa kapitbahay namin noon! Sinasabi ko sa’yo, kung ano ang nangyari kay Mrs. Chief, ganyan din ang nangyari sa kanya noon!”
“Ay nako Doris. Kung anu-ano yang mga sinasabi mo. Naniniwala akong hindi namatanda si Maya. Malamang ay napagod lamang siya at kailangan lang ng pahinga. Siya, ako’y mag-aayos muna ng gamit at pupunta ng ospital para dalawin siya,” said Manang Fe then left the two.
After a few moment’s silence, Sabel speaks up. “Pero alam mo BFF parang tama ka.”
“O ano? Naniniwala ka na ngayon?”
Sabel scratched her head. “Bigla ko lang kasing naalala. Yung Ninang ko, may nakwento din siya sa aking ganyan eh. Noong una nga, iniisip nilang dahil sa tiktik. Nagpatingin din daw iyon sa albularyo at natipuhan nga daw ng dwende.”
“O di ba? Sabi ko sa’yo namatanda si Mrs. Chief eh!”
Sabel snapped her fingers when a realization hit her. “Nako BFF! Malamang! Namatanda siya ng lumakad sila ng sila lang ni Ser Richard.”
Doris wiggled her index finger. “Alam mo BFF tingin ko tama ka. Siguro nagpunta sila sa masukal o madilim na lugar. Baka naman nakatapak si Mrs. Chief o ano kaya ginantihan siya nito.”
“Pwede BFF! O baka naman gumawa ng kung ano mang milagro o kababalghan yung dalawa at nabulabog yung mga dwende.”
“Ano namang kababalaghan BFF? Mukha bang gumagawa ng kababalaghan yung dalawa?? Si Mrs. Chief at si Ser Richard pa? Ano ka ba!” said Doris.
“Ah basta. Ang kailangan nating pag-isipan ngayon ay kung saan tayo makakakita o makahahanap ng albularyo para mapatignan na natin agad si Mrs. Chief.”
“Tama ka jan Sabel. Sige at magtatanong tanong ako sa mga kakilala ko dito sa subdivision at baka may mga kakilala sila.”
“Ok sige. Ako naman eh sa mga naging kaklase ko at baka sakali ding may mga kakilala din sila. Sana lang ay makakita tayo agad para gumaling na agad si Mrs. Chief.”
The two went on their ways with a firm resolve to find a quack doctor as soon as possible.