A/N: This is a continuation to Heart’s True Desire – part 26.
“Seeds of doubt”
After the scene with James and Arlene, Richard and Maya returned to LBH’s main restaurant where they spent time talking with their friends as if nothing happened.
As Richard’s ex-club mates were predominantly male, their respective wives also took time to bond with each other. Together with Maya, the ladies decided to go to D’mall to shop for some souvenirs. In that shopping trip, Maya ended up buying a new pair of shorts that she thought more modest after her discovery of her husband’s tendency to be conservative.
Everything seemed to be going well for Maya until dinnertime. They have set-up dinner buffet at the beachfront, which is one of the popular attractions of their hotel. For that particular night, a live band was going to have a show. As expected, their restaurant was fully booked.
Maya was seated beside Richard when the band started. They were enjoying the night with their friends when the lead female singer started to go around for some audience interaction. The singer was looking for someone that she could sing with. There was a loud cheering from Richard’s table as the guys started pointing at each other. When the lead female singer went to their table, she took notice of Richard.
“Hi, Sir, good evening.” The singer greeted him. She was good-looking in a sexy attire.
“Hi” Richard responded as the microphone was placed in front of him.
“Sir… may naka pagsabi na ba sa inyong gwapo kayo?” The singer flirted with him. The crowd cheered on. Maya who was just beside Richard was looking at him with amused expression.
Richard replied. “Meron na rin.” He played with the singer.
“Ay si sir, okay ang confidence level. By the way sir, may I know your name and phone number?”
“It’s Richard. But for my phone number, you’ll have to ask her.” Richard pointed at Maya who was still grinning with their bantering. Their table group was laughing as they were enjoying the exchanges between Richard and the singer.
“Richard, what a nice name. Pero bakit ko naman kukunin kay Ma’m ang phone number mo?” The lead singer kept on talking to Richard. She tried to flirt some more.
Richard just smiled as he responded. “Well, she is my wife. I’m not sure if she would want me to give away my phone number.”
Upon hearing Richard response, the singer immediately stepped back and said. “Ayy… sorry… taken na pala si Sir. Sorry ma’m. Nagbibiro lang po.” Then the singer returned to the stage. Maya just smiled as she knew that it was all for fun.
“Alright, ladies and gentlemen let’s move on to our next song.” She took a piece of paper from her band-mate who whispered something in her ear. She looked at the direction where Richard and Maya were seated. “Well, well, well, our next song is actually requested by sir Richard for his lovely wife, Maya. Here it goes…”
The band started to play Now that I have you.
In the middle of the song, Richard whispered in Maya’s ear. “I love you honey.” He didn’t mind if they were in a public place.
She smiled at him. “I love you too Ricky.” They held hands while they listened to the song.
Unknown to the two, Sugar was within the area. She heard everything and her devious mind started working double time. She was very upset with what she witnessed. She decided to execute her plan that same night.
The live band continued with the show while Richard’s group stayed at the restaurant having drinks. The band was already on its second set when Auldry, their hotel manager, approached Maya to talk to her privately.
After excusing herself from Richard, Maya met their manager a few feet away from the crowd.
“Ma’m Maya, may bisita po kayo.” Auldry informed her. She seemed uneasy.
“Visitor? This evening. Lahat ng expected guests natin have arrived Auldry.” She clarified with her staff.
“Ehhh, Ma’m hindi ito kasama sa group n’yo. Bagong dating lang po. Andoon po naghinintay sa function room. Doon daw po kayo hihintayin.” Auldry added.
Maya started to walk towards the main hotel while Auldry walked beside her. “Sinong bisita ba? Bakit sa function room pa. Pwede namang hinatid mo na lang sa restaurant.” Her curious started to really get curious.
“Ma’m Maya, si Ma’m Sugar po kasi ang bisita. Kilala n’yo po ba s’ya?” Auldry stopped walking as she finally informed Maya who was waiting for her at the function room.
Maya was taken aback for a while. Then, she quickly recovered. “Oh, si Grace? I know her pero kayo, kakilala n’yo ba siya?” She asked. Her curiosity got the better of her.
“Opo. Dati na s’yang naisama ni sir Richard ng magbakasyon silang dalawa dito. Alam n’yo siguro na dating girl…” Maya cut Auldry to save her from her discomfort. Their hotel employee really seemed concerned with the sudden arrival of Sugar in their hotel.
“Auldry, I know. So, don’t worry.” She assured the other woman. She then walked towards the function room on her own. As Maya came nearer the place, she wondered why Sugar was visiting her at that time.
Although Maya felt so much love from Richard that night, she didn’t know that her faith in hr husband would be tested minutes later.
Maya knocked at the door to announce her arrival before opening the function room. When entered the room, Sugar was waiting at the far end of the place. She had a serious look on her face.
Maya walked towards her while her heart was pounding. But before she could say anything when they stood in front of each other, Sugar struck Maya’s face with her bare hand.
“You sly bitch!” Sugar’s hand produced a stinging pain on her face. Maya was so shocked that she failed to react immediately.
“I told you to keep an eye on him but instead, you decided to steal him away from me.” Sugar exclaimed and was about to hit her again but Maya was quick to hold her hand this time.
“How dare you come here and accuse me of that.” Maya hissed back. She has regained her composure as she pushed Sugar’s arm away from her.
Then, Maya kept her distance from Sugar. “I guess my husband has spoken to you and told you about us?” She glared at the other woman.
“Yes, your husband who happens to be my lover wants to break up with me. Unfortunately, I have no plans on giving him up that easily. I don’t believe that he even loves you. You’re just one of his playthings.” Sugar spoke with full contempt.
“Grace, I don’t want to argue with you about Richard. He has told you about us and I don’t want to waste my time having this discussion with you.” Maya was still in shock and hurt. However, she didn’t want to fight with Sugar. She turned around ready to leave the visitor. She didn’t want to dignify the woman’s accusation. Her heard was starting to ache.
However, Sugar wouldn’t let up. “Don’t be so sure about him Maya. How long have you been together? Married for a few months, a real couple for a month? I have been with him for four years in the States. If his grandfather didn’t force him to agree on this arranged marriage of yours, we would be engaged by now.”
Maya turned around and faced Grace again. “Yeah, but obviously, he chose to marry me and he wants to stay married to me.” She flaunted her confidence about her position in Richard’s life.
Sugar let out a sarcastic laugh. “Why? Do you really believe he loves you? Just because he showers you with flowers, kisses, and asked you to have children doesn’t necessarily mean he loves ONLY you.” Maya noticed the emphasis in the word only.
Maya’s eyes grew wide with Sugar’s statement. She got confused. She wondered how the she knew about what’s happening between them. Sugar was quick to recognize Maya’s feelings and capitalized on it.
“Are you curious why I know all these things? Because, those are not unique to you. You are not that special. He has done that to me in the past. Has he told you about us? We almost had a baby last year but we lost her. I allowed him to marry you only on the condition that he would be returning back to me. I knew all about the condition of your marriage. He told me that when he went to see me in Chicago. Do you remember that he left you right after the wedding?”
Maya’s heart pounded loudly as she processed everything that Sugar told her. While she knew that Richard love her, a part of her started to get affected by the other woman’s revelation. It was as if she swallowed her tongue so she couldn’t lash back at Sugar.
“He tells you he loves you? Well, ganoon din ang sabi niya sa akin. He intends to keep our relationship. However, I don’t want to share him with anyone. I’m done with that stage in our relationship. It’s the reason why I am here. I want you to leave him. Don’t confuse him by making himself believe he loves you. He only wants your body because you are there.” Sugar uttered more words that were hurting Maya.
Maya tried to keep her composure but deep inside she had mixed emotions. She was angry for being insulted, she was confused trying to connect Richard’s actions the past weeks and Sugar’s allegations. She was also jealous because Richard used to have a relationship with the woman in front of her and the details Sugar shared with her was too much for her that night.
“Richard is passionate man, he is quite physical as you may have discovered by now. So, bago pa kayo magka-baby which will complicate our situation. I advise you to stay away from him. He will not give me up and neither will I.” Sugar finally said. She walked towards the door.
“By the way Maya, if you want proof that we are still together, you can come and visit me in my room at Red Suites, I am at room 225. Ricky will be seeing me tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m.”
Instead of returning to the beachfront and rejoin Richard, Maya went back to their room after her meeting with Sugar. She managed to walk although she felt so weak after Sugar poured out everything to her.
As soon as Maya entered the room, her tears started to stream down her face. She was very upset and confused. Her head started to ache. She didn’t want to believe Sugar but a part of her doubted her husband. Richard had not told her what happened to his conversation with Sugar.
Then, she recalled the tone of his voice when he spoke to Sugar on the phone the other night. It was really possible that Richard still love the other woman. She remembered that he didn’t categorically answer her when she asked if he still love her. His response has always been about loving her, Maya.
She stayed in the shower for several minutes to calm herself. While she was there, she made a decision to ask Richard about Sugar. She prayed that he would answer her question satisfactorily. Otherwise, she was afraid that her doubts might compound.
Maya was already on the bed when Richard entered their room. He immediately went to her side of the bed and checked.
“Maya, why are you here? Hinintay kitang bumalik sa restaurant but you didn’t. I just left the group to check where you are.” He sounded concerned.
“Napagod na ako. So, I decided to just return to our room. Masakit na ang ulo ko.” Maya’s head was throbbing in pain. In her head, she was having an inner conversation. Would she confront him that night or wait until the morning. However, her headache was becoming unbearable.
“Alright, then, hindi na rin ako babalik doon. I’ll stay here with you.”
Richard went to the bathroom to take his shower. After thirty minutes, he lied down the bed beside Maya. He turned to his side so he could face her. When he crossed his arm on her waist and pulled her close to him, he whispered. “Are you sleeping? You want me to help you get rid of your headache?” He started caressing her tummy and she knew what that would lead to.
“Ricky… I’m tired. Let’s just go to sleep pwede?” She turned her back against Richard. At that point, she decided she would not confront him that night. Her thoughts were in disarray again.
“Okay, if you say so. Goodnight honey.” Richard moved closer to her so they could sleep in a spoon position. He didn’t sense any wrong with his wife.
Maya didn’t respond. She pretended to have slept but in reality, she was thinking how she would confront Richard the following day.