A/N: This is a continuation to The Guardian Angel – part 1.
Richard drove around the city wanting to free his heart from the hurt and betrayal he was experiencing, but it was to no avail. His mind kept going back to the scene he had witnessed in his very own bedroom. His fiancée in the arms of not just another man, but one of his best pals, James Ventura. His grip on the steering wheel tightened further at the thought of their betrayal.
As he was driving, he spotted a bar that had just opened up for the day. He pulled his car over and drove to the parking lot. Within minutes, he was already settled inside and ordering himself a bottle of scotch.
Maya could only watch him from afar. She had already meddled too much and stayed longer around than she should. The rules are clear. She can only look after the child she was assigned to and once time is already up, she needs to go back home to report and possibly accept her new assignment. But seeing Richard again made her lose any sense of order or responsibility. She was too caught up in the moment that the only thing she wanted to do is watch him and know that he’ll eventually be okay.
For years, she had tried to get over him. And just as when she thought she really had, the unexpected turn of seeing him again proved only one thing, she has never really forgotten him. Funny how a single boy stood out from the thousands of children she had looked after over the centuries. But Richard had been special. From the moment she laid her eyes on him, she knew he was different.
“You made me a fool Alex. You made me a fool.” Richard nursed the glass in his hand. He raised it and watched the amber liquid swirl inside it. He tipped it on his lips and swallowed its content in one go. He grabbed the bottle and started pouring himself another half-full.
“Of all people. Kailangan pa talaga sa mismong kaibigan ko.” He let out a smirk before drinking his scotch. The routine went on and on until his bottle is almost empty.
“I yilly thought. .hik. .you were like my gajan a – angel. Hik. .” He shook his head and had another gulp of his drink. “Shino ba naman kashing may shabe na tso-tsoo ang gajan angel? Tsanga ka tsalaga Richard. And you even call yourshelf a doctor! Pathetic!”
He tipped and emptied his bottle on his glass. He finished everything in one gulp and when he tried to pour himself some more, nothing came out from the bottle. He peeked through the hole and slammed it on the countertop after being convinced that it indeed is already empty. He started calling for the bartender and demanded for another bottle but deeming his drunken state, the bartender refused to give him another. Richard persisted some more but the bartender stood his ground. In the end, Richard gave up altogether and decided to take his leave.
Maya watched him as he swayed towards his car. He opened the door and fought hard to lock his seatbelt in place. A few more seconds had passed and the sound of his car’s engine roared. He stepped on the accelerator and made his way out to the highway.
Maya settled on the passenger’s seat. She looked at Richard with concern and worry in her eyes. She watched him closely as he try his best to focus his hazy alcohol filled eyes. She knows she can’t do anything for him at the moment so she just helplessly watched him on the side. A couple of minutes more and she saw tears welling up his eyes.
“Richard. . .”
He tried wiping off the tears. He lifted one of his hands from the steering wheel and recklessly rubbed his eyes but it only clouded his vision further. He rubbed them insistently and closed his eyes longer. The next moment he knew, loud honking sound is heard upfront. Instinct took over him. He maneuvered his car and took a full turn of his steering wheel to the right. He tried to decelerate but it’s already too late. He lost control of his car until it slammed onto the side concrete barrier of a bridge. His car flew over the edge and dove into the river. The airbag burst open slamming his face onto it that left him unconscious. Blood started to gush out from his nose while water starts to seep inside his vehicle.
“Richard!” Seeing him unconscious had Maya in frenzy. She tried to fight off the urge to help him and follow their policies but the thought that he may not wake up in time, troubled her greatly. Images of her time with him when he was still a child flashed before her. Their happy and sweet memories together that can never be forgotten.
“Shino ba naman kashing may shabe na tso-tsoo ang gajan angel? Tsanga ka tsalaga Richard. And you even call yourshelf a doctor! Pathetic!”
She remembered him muttering those words earlier. Throwing all sense of rationality aside, she let her impulse take over and helped Richard out of the vehicle. She swam him back to shore where she tried waking him up.
His head throbbed in pain and his mind swirled restlessly. He slowly opened his eyes and hazily stared at the figure looming over him. Her bambi eyes struck him the way they did the very first time he laid eyes on them. “Maya?” He saw a glimpse of her smile before he drifted back to unconsciousness.
“Where have you been? You should’ve been back hours ago to report.” The senior angel Zenaida asked Maya as soon as she went back to heaven.
“I’m sorry. I had some place else to go,” she admitted sheepishly, unable to look at her superior’s eyes.
“You know the rules Maya. We can’t simply neglect the duties assigned to us without asking permission from Father,” Zenaida reminded kindly. She let out a sigh and informed Maya that she was being summoned. “Father wanted to speak with you.”
Maya could only close her eyes. She already saw it coming and had already tried to brace herself for the things to come. She nodded her head and made her way to the garden where Father was. Feeling contrite for her actions, she bowed her head down as she approached him.
“Why do I feel your deep sense of fear?” he asked.
“I’m sorry Father! I’m sorry!!” She started to sob as she recalled how she defied heaven’s rules and orders. “I acted on impulse again and meddled with the affairs of a man.”
Father simply looked at her kindly and smiled. “Did you now? In what way did you meddle with him?”
“I. .” She took a deep breath to calm herself down. “First, I tried to stop him from hurting anyone. And the next thing I knew, I was already helping him out of his car so he would not be left to die. I’m sorry Father! I really am!” sobbed Maya.
“Are you sorry for helping him?” Father prodded on.
“No,” she answered softly. “But I am sorry for defying your wishes.”
“What is it that you know about what I wish?” Father watched her and waited for an answer but she gave none. “I wished to be obeyed and trusted Maya. I only want my children to trust me with all their hearts and minds. Believe that I know what is best for them and that I will only give them what’s best for them.”
His words struck her to the recesses of her heart. As an angel, she should have known better than to act on impulse. Instead, she acted on her own accord without praying and asking for guidance from her Father. “I’m sorry.”
“No sin can be left unforgiven especially if you seek forgiveness with a remorseful and humble heart,” he said. “But every action has its own consequences.”
Maya closed her eyes and humbly accepted whatever consequence is found fit for her actions.
A week had already passed since the accident. Richard was still in the hospital though he only incurred minor concussion on his head and a twisted ankle. Thanks to the seatbelt strapped securely around him and the safety features his car had, he did not suffer any major injuries.
He was deep in his thoughts when the door opened and in came Alex with a basket of fruits at hand. “Hi babe!” she greeted enthusiastically.
“What are you doing here?” he asked sternly.
“I’m here to visit you. Look I brought some fruits for you.”
Richard closed his eyes and took some calming breaths to control any sudden outburst of emotion. “Alex look, I’ve already made it clear the last time. It’s already over between us.”
Alex looked at him with alarm. “Babe, you’ve got to understand. You’ve just been through something traumatic. I know this is not easy for you and –“
“Seeing my fiancée having sex with one of my best friends can really be very traumatic, don’t you think?” he asked sarcastically.
“Babe I already told you, hindi namin sinadya ang mga nangyari.” She walked towards him and tried to hold his hand but Richard simply yanked it away. “Wala kaming relasyon ni James. Things just got out of hand and before we know it. . .” she paused as her eyes started to get watery. “It just happened Richard but we never meant any of it!” Her tears started to fall down her face as she regrets every single thing that happened.
“Things don’t just happen Alex. It would never have started if either one of you went against it,” he said. Alex could only answer him with her cries. He heaved out a sigh and continued on. “Please Alex. For both our sakes, just leave.”
“Pero Richard –“
“Please,” he insisted. “If you still have some self-respect, just leave.”
Alex straightened up but still the tears won’t stop. “I’ll leave Richard. But I won’t give up on you. I won’t stop until you forgive me.” With much hesitation, she turned her back on him and went out of the room.
Richard sighed in relief and not for long, found himself pre-occupied by another being. He reached out for his crutches and went to the room next door. He approached the bed where an unconscious woman was lying. He sat on the edge and held her hand. All his worries and troubles suddenly forgotten and a smile appeared on his lips. He watched the woman sleep when all of a sudden, her eyes started fluttering and her lids slowly opened. She looked around, trying to register everything around her.
“Maya? Finally you’re awake!” Richard beamed at her and waited for her to respond.
Richard’s heart brimmed with gladness as he started to hear the same exact voice he had etched on his mind. “You’re in a hospital,” he said. “You came back. You actually came back!”
She trained her eyes on him and looked at him curiously. Her brows started to furrow as she tries to recognize the man in front of her. “Sino ka?”
Richard grinned proudly at her. “It’s me, Richard! I’m the one you looked after when I was still a kid.” He waited until she recalls and recognizes who he was but it never came. She just continued to look at him blankly. “Hindi mo na ba ako naaalala? Ako yung batang inalagaan mo Twenty-five years ago!”
“Hindi. . . Hindi kita naaalala. Wala akong naaalala.” She looked around some more and tried to think a couple of things that she can remember, but she can’t remember even a single thing. “Wala akong maalala.”
Richard frowned and worriedly looked at her.
“Si – sino ba ako? A – ano ba ang pangalan ko?” she finally asked.