A/N: This is a continuation of Heart’s True Desire – part 27.
“We see what we believe”
Maya ordered in-room breakfast the following day. She planned on talking to him privately and at length without being disturbed by their guests. So, she just called up their hotel staff to set-up their breakfast at their room’s balcony.
All throughout breakfast, Maya spoke only few words. Richard had finally sensed that something was bothering her. She seemed distant. So, he asked.
“Hon, do you still have a headache? Are you feeling well?” He touched her hand. She immediately took her hand as if she didn’t like him touching her.
“Richard, nagka-usap na ba kayo ni Sugar about us?” She looked at him straight in the eyes. She started to question him.
“Yes, I already told her.” He sat up straight on his chair as he faced Maya.
“Kailan at anong nangyari?” She wanted more details.
“Well, what do you expect her reaction was? She was upset of course. Pero later on, she was okay. She said she could handle it.” Richard answered her question in a matter-of-fact tone. It was as if the breaking of ties with Sugar was very easy.
Maya gaped at Richard. She couldn’t believe what he just shared. It was contrary to what she experienced with Sugard the previous night.
“Ricky, are you sure she said she can handle it? What if I tell you that she is here in Boracay and that she’s out there with an intent to break us apart.” Maya saw him change his expression. It was unmistakable; there was doubt in his face.
Richard shook his head. “Maya, assuming that she is here, I don’t think she will do that.”
“Why?” Maya’s voice suddenly rose. She became upset when she felt Richard didn’t believe her.
“Because it is not her nature. She is level headed. When it comes to relationships, she let’s go when it’s time to let go. But she needs to reminded to take care of herself too. She just goes thru a phase wherein she is unaware that she could be hurting herself.” The way Richard described Sugar caused her to feel the tiny stabs in heart. She just realized how fond he was with Sugar.
“So, are you implying that I am making up a story? I met her last night.” She challenged him.
“Maya, I am not saying you are lying. Kaya lang, I’ve known her know for many years. You might have just misunderstood her.” He explained.
Maya couldn’t help but get teary eyed. After hearing how he described Sugar, she didn’t know how to tell him about the incident the previous night.
Then as if something dawned on him, he added. “Hon, nag-uusap lang tayo about her, ha. You seem very affected.”
“Because, the way you describe her tells me you care for her, Ricky. Kaya pala you told her that she needs to eat and she can’t starve herself.” She connected the telephone conversation she overheard with what Richard just told her a while ago.
Richard seemed surprise by her comment. With creases on his forehead, he asked her. “So, nadinig mo yung usapan namin the other night?”
“Yes” She admitted. “And I know that you are still contact with her and you aren’t telling me everything.”
Richard went mum for a while then asked. “What is it that I am not telling you?” This time his voice rose. “Maya, teka nga. Simpleng usapan lang ang umpisa natin kanina ah, why is this conversation turning out like this?”
Before Maya could respond, Richard added. “Are you jealous Maya? Do you doubt me? Didn’t we agree that we would trust each other?” Richard lowered his tone and it was obvious that he was trying to control his own emotion. However, his eyes couldn’t hide his own upset.
“Yes, I agreed that we should trust each other. Pero pakiramdam ko may tinatago ka sa akin!” She countered.
“Wala akong tinatago sa’yo.” He insisted. “What have I done to cause you to think this way? Haven’t I expressed enough how much I love you?” Impatience was in his tone. He looked at her seriously.
“Kasi nga, I can feel you still love her!” She blurted out.
The doubts and pain she kept was summarized in one sentence. She believed that Richard still had feelings for Sugar and she made that conclusion when he defended the other woman from her.
“Maya, that’s preposterous.” Richard instantly stood up and walked back and forth from in the balcony. He was rubbing his neck in frustration. “Saang idea mo ba kinuha ‘yan?” His voice was again an octave higher.
“Saan pa… eh di d’yan sa magaling mong girlfriend. For your information, she is here in Boracay. Pinuntahan niya ako kagabi. You can check with our staff.” She too stood up and walked out of their room.
For the rest of the morning, Maya avoided Richard like a plague. She went out swimming with the other wives although her swimming skill was very minimal. She spent most of her time with her new friends. He too spent time with his male friends.
The next time they were near each other was during lunchtime when everyone was gathered in one table. However, Maya took on her role as an operations manager of their hotel. She took over in minding their services ensuring their guest were served well during lunch. Even when Richard asked her to sit beside him and eat with them, she consciously ignored him the whole time.
Every time that she thought about him and Sugar, she was getting more distressed. It didn’t help that Richard also kept his distance from her after lunch. He actually was nowhere to be found for more than an hour. His friends were looking for him and she couldn’t say where he was.
She wondered whether he went to Red Suites to meet Sugar. The place was the resort beside LBH. She decided to sit on the lounge chair and have a foot massage from one of masseuses stationed at the beachfront of their hotel.
She wanted to release the tension and relax a bit. Then, Maya heard James voice.
“Hi Maya.” He sat on the chair opposite her.
Maya almost stood up when she saw him but the old lady working on her leg reminded her. “Mam, hindi pa po tayo tapos.”
“Ay, sorry Manang.” She settled back on her chair.
“I’m not here to start anything. Gusto ko lang mag-apologize about yesterday.” James looked very apologetic. “Hindi ko naman alam na gagawin ni Arlene yon kahapon.”
She just gave him an icy stare.
“Maya, pasensya na talaga. I’m sorry and I have thought about the whole situation. Don’t worry, I won’t bother you again.” James looked so sincere that she started to relax. Before he started courting her, he has been a good friend to her. So, in the spirit of their long friendship, she decided to let the previous day’s incident pass.
Maya started to smile. “Sige James. Thank you. So, inaasahan ko na hindi ka na mangungulit ha.”
James laughed. “Yes, Maya. Thank you din. Anyway, I’ll go. May plano ang grupo mag basketball muna.” James finally left her.
Maya followed the direction where James was headed. As she her eyes trailed him, it was then she saw Richard’s figure just a few meters away from her. She realized he saw her talking to James as his face had an angry look in it.
She recalled his instruction to her not to talk to James again. But instead of being apologetic, she just glared at Richard in return. She told herself, she wasn’t the one who approached James. It was the other way around. And more so, she didn’t care if he was angry at all. She turned her attention back to the foot massage she was having and completely ignored Richard.
Maya looked at her watch and it was 8:30 p.m. They’ve just finished dinner and the fire dance show was about to start when she saw Richard check his watch. She was seated few chairs away from him. If anyone noticed that they were not together for most of the day, their friends didn’t say anything.
Then, she saw him stand up and leave the restaurant. He was on the phone as he left their group slowly. Maya’s eyes followed him until he went to the main restaurant of their hotel. She wondered whether he was talking to Sugar and they were going to meet.
She recalled Richard telling her he wasn’t keeping any secret from her. But she also remembered Sugar telling her they were supposed to meet at 9:00 p.m. in her room that night. With her head clouded by doubt and suspicion, Maya decided to go to the Red Suites.
Maya walked inside their neighboring hotel, as if she is one of the guests there. The place was a small high-end hotel but the security wasn’t strict especially if someone entered from the beachfront entrance. So, Maya was able to get into the hotel unnoticed.
With her heart pounding, she took the stairwell going to the second floor. She was nervous because she knew she shouldn’t be there. She was afraid of what she might see and confirm that Richard was there. If he isn’t and he finds out, as she knew Sugar would tell him, he would be very angry with her. However, she needed an answer to her suspicion. Whatever the result, she would just have to take accountability for it.
She walked at the 2nd floor hallway with heavy feet. As she slowly inched her way to room 225, she prayed for strength to handle whatever she would discover. When she finally stood outside Sugar’s room, she noticed that is was slightly open by around two inches. The door latch blocked the door from totally closing. As she stood outside unsure whether to knock or open it, she heard a noise.
“Richard…” It was Sugar groaning.
Maya’s heart jumped and instinctively, she pushed the door open. She found Sugar in Richard arms. He was holding her as if they were embracing each other.
“Ricky!!” Maya’s trembling voice startled the two. Richard pushed Sugar aside as he met Maya’s pained look after catching him with Sugar in that compromising position.
“Hon…let me explain.” A panic-stricken Richard walked towards Maya.
Tears threatened to fall from her eyes and Maya struggled to keep them at bay. When he tried to hold her, she brushed his arm away. The pain was quickly replaced by anger especially when she saw Sugar smirking at her. There was a triumphant expression on her face.
“So, wala kang tinatago ha?” She turned to Richard. “Niloloko mo ba ako?”
“Honey, it’s not what you think.” He responded but Maya turned deaf ears.
“Maya…” He called out her name but she ignored him. She approached Sugar whose expression changed to mimic innocence.
When Maya stood in front of Sugar, she raised her hand and slapped the other woman’s face with all the energy she had. And as if she wasn’t satisfied, she also slapped the other side of Sugar’s face.
“Maya!!” Richard dragged her away from Sugar as the other woman fell on the bed after the twin slapping she got from her. Sugar was in shock.
“Bitawan mo ako!” Maya shouted at Richard. Then she looked at Sugar again.
“At ikaw, you bitch! You can have my husband. Binabalik ko na s’ya sa ‘yo kasama na yung sampal mo akin kagabi. I also included the interest. Mag-enjoy kayo!” She was able to wriggle out of Richard’s grip. She gave him dagger look before she finally got out the room and slammed the door as she exited.
Maya ran towards the stairwell. With tears blinding her eyes, she went to the beach. She didn’t know where she was going but she ran for a few minutes until she stumbled on fell on the sands. There, she cried uncontrollably.
It was already midnight but Maya had not returned to their room. Richard was worried sick considering her condition when she left them earlier. After Maya left, he just apologized to Sugar for the slapping incident and then quickly followed Maya.
However, when he came out of the hotel, he didn’t know which direction she went to. He checked their room but she wasn’t there. He also checked the beach but didn’t see her there. He was worried that something might have happened to her especially because the beach area was dark. For the second time, Richard searched for her.
An hour after looking for her at the beach, Richard walked back to their hotel. He had been calling her phone but it just kept on ringing. She wasn’t answering. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if something happened to her.
He decided to return to their room hoping that she had returned. When, he swiped the key card and tried to open the door, it wouldn’t open. It was then he realized that she had returned. She used the latch of the door to secure the room. It was the reason he couldn’t get inside the room. He was relieved that she was back but soon recognized he might have to sleep somewhere else.
He tried calling her again but she wouldn’t respond. He tried calling the landline but still she didn’t pick-up the phone. As a final effort, he sent her a text message.
“Hon, I know you are very angry. But please let me explain.” His message was unanswered. He resent the same message several times over but still there was no response from her.
He knocked on the door but it didn’t produce anything. His patience was running thin as well. So, for the last time, he called her up using landline. He could hear the phone ringing inside their room and then finally, the ringing stopped and he knew she lifted the receiver.
“Maya, please open the door and let me in. If not, I will ask our staff to tear down the door kahit hating gabi na.” He threatened her. He was at the edge of his sanity and that was the only way he thought he could get her to open the door. Once he gets inside the room, then he could talk to her.
Richard ear ached when Maya slammed the phone down. Then, he heard the latch clicked but she didn’t open the door. He got in using his key card.