A/N: This is a continuation to The Guardian Angel – part 2.
Richard brought Maya to his condo unit as soon as she was discharged from the hospital. While confined, he closely monitored her progress alongside with his bestfriend Ryan, who has a background in psychiatry. Though Maya did not really sustain any physical injuries, both Richard and Ryan suspected that she might have experienced trauma that caused for her brain to shut off her memories, effectively giving her amnesia.
Ryan had initially offered shelter for Maya, reasoned that he can take better care of her and regularly check on her development but Richard refused. Though he knows that Ryan has nothing but Maya’s best interest in mind, he simply can’t let himself trust her just to anyone else, not even to his closest and most trusted friend. If indeed Maya was the very same guardian angel he had back when he was still a child, then by all means, he needed to know what exactly happened to her.
Richard had just helped Maya to bed, willing her to rest. “Dito ka muna hangga’t hindi pa bumabalik ang memories mo. You still can’t remember anything don’t you?” Maya, bowing down, simply shook her head. Richard smiled sympathetically at her and held her hand. “It’s okay. Things like these usually take time. One day, maaalala mo rin ang lahat. But for now, magandang magpahinga ka muna.”
Maya nodded her head. She looked up and saw the sincerity in his eyes. “Thank you,” she muttered and after a few seconds, smiled.
Snippets of memories he had with her before flashed before his eyes. And before he could even control himself, he moved closer to her, pulled her in his arms and hugged her tight. “I’m so glad you came back for me. I knew you were real. I always believed.” He closed his eyes, relieved that the angel he knew he had when he was a kid was real, that she wasn’t something conjured up by his imagination. “I missed you Maya. I missed you so much.” His yearning came out spontaneously that he had no time to process everything he does and says.
Her voice filled with much uncertainty pulled him out of his stupor. He immediately pulled back and offered an apologetic smile. “I – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. . .”
“I understand,” she replied in a less-sympathetic manner. “Gusto ko lang munang magpahinga.”
‘O – of course. Of course.” He tried his best to sound casual and shrug off the sense of awkwardness that starts to invade them. “I’ll just be outside if you need anything. Don’t hesitate to approach me.” She simply gave him a nod. “Right.” He gave her another smile before getting up on his feet and walking out of the bedroom.
As Richard closed the door behind him, he cannot help but smile. He walked towards his own bedroom and lay down on his bed. With his hands at the back of his head, he started blankly into space and remembered snippets of the moments that he and Maya shared together. He may no longer remember everything they shared together but one thing is for sure, she was someone that he has never forgotten. At a very young age, he had come to learn what it is like to fall in love. Maybe it wasn’t love after all, maybe it was only infatuation. But seeing her again after all these years, he’s never been more certain. She always had a special place in his heart that no one else has ever gone close.
He reminisced every single moment that his mind remembers until it went back to the last day he ever saw her.
His tears could not stop from flowing as Maya had just told him that she already had to leave for good. “But I will never see you again, right?”
She nodded her head in confirmation. “You may never see me again, but I will always be here.” She lifted her hand and placed it on his left chest, to where his heart is.
With his small little hand, he placed it on her left chest. “Will I always be here as well?”
He never really understood what she meant. All along he thought that having her in his heart was already enough, but he was wrong. As days went by, he started to grow weary and in constant yearning for her presence and company. He starts to miss her so badly that he usually cries himself to sleep at night and call out her name.
His parents tried to comfort him until they grew tired of it all. They had him be checked by a psychologist and that’s when they started instilling in his mind that everything that happened isn’t real but are just things made up by his imagination. He tried to fight it off at first and stick to what he believed in until later on, he found himself getting confused and no longer knows what to believe in anymore. He eventually let himself believe whatever truth they wanted him to believe.
As he grew older, he became better and lived a normal life. He graduated from college, pursued a medical degree, dated a couple of women until he met Alex. Meeting Alex reminded him of someone in his past. A past that he wasn’t even sure ever existed. He loved Alex until the cheating happened. And when he thought that everything is going to crumble down, his savior came. His Maya came back.
Seeing her once again, proved everything he held on dearly to be true. The sight of her made his heart ache that nobody ever did. And that’s when everything had been clear, everything she said that night, she indeed, will always be in his heart.
It was already dinner time but Maya still hadn’t gotten out of her room. Making sure that the table is already set, Richard walked back to her bedroom. “Maya?” He tried knocking on the door but when no response is heard, he decided to open the door.
“Maya?” He peeked through the small gap and noticed that no light had been opened yet. He tried to call her again but when no response was made, he let himself in. As he was walking towards her bed, he noticed Maya slightly tossing on her bed, moaning and slightly restless. He immediately approached her, deducing that she was having a dream. “Maya! Maya!” He tried to shake her to wake her up.
She stopped in her movements and opened her eyes, looking blankly into space. It took her a couple of seconds to register where she was and when she looked on her right, she saw Richard, worriedly staring at her. “Richard?”
“Yes it’s me.” He took her hand and gently caressed her face. “Are you alright?”
“Yes. May napanaginipan lang ako,” she said in a soft voice.
“Do you still remember it? Your dream?”
Maya nodded her head. “There’s. . There’s a boy,” she started and played the dream inside of her head. “I was in his bedroom.. Putting him to sleep.”
“Do you know his name?” he asked, curious to know the details of her dream.
“No. But. . I felt a certain kind of connection with him. I don’t know. I just can’t explain it.” She started staring into space once more. “Para kasing. . I know him at malapit talaga siya sa akin.”
Richard felt his chest tighten. Though he doesn’t know who exactly she dreamt about, he cannot help but be jealous over the fact that Maya felt a certain kind of connection for the boy she just dreamt.
“Tingin mo ba may kinalaman siya sa nakaraan ko?” she asked, looking closely at Richard.
“It’s really hard to tell. Is this the first time you’ve had this kind of dream?”
She thought back. “Yes.”
Richard nodded his head and starts to give her the possibilities. “That boy could’ve been someone from your past or it could also just be a random dream,” he said. Though he wanted Maya to regain her memories back, he was also hoping that whatever it is she dreamt is just something random. “We can discuss it with Ryan tomorrow. He might be able to interpret it better for you.”
Maya gave him a nod and smiled.
“I’ve made dinner for us. Tara sa labas para makakain na tayo.”
Together they went out of the bedroom and walked towards the dining room. Richard assisted Maya in her seat and settled himself beside her. He led a prayer of thanks before placing portions of food onto Maya’s plate.
“Okay lang if hindi ka nasasarapan sa luto ko. I have fruits in the fridge if –“
“No it’s okay. Masarap naman siya eh,” she said truthfully.
“Ang tahimik mo lang kasi. I was already getting worried that you don’t like what I cooked,” he reasoned with a smile.
Maya smiled back. “Ikaw lang ba mag-isa ang nakatira dito?”
Richard nodded his head. “My parents are living in China. Mas gusto kasi ni Papa na mag-settle doon. But I prefer staying here. Dito kasi ako lumaki sa Philippines.”
“Hindi ba sila magagalit pag nalaman nilang nagpapatira ka ng taong hindi mo naman kakilala?”
Richard let out a chuckle. “I’m sure they won’t. Besides, I’m already old enough to make decisions for myself.” He wanted to stress out that he really knows her but forced himself not to, worrying that it may make things awkward again.
“Ikaw?” she asked. “I know you’ve already told me that you knew me from before, pero sabi mo nga bata ka pa noon? How can you be so sure na ako nga yun?”
Richard contemplated for an answer. “I just know. I can never be mistaken.”
“But how is that even possible?” she asked in an incredulous manner. “For sure marami nang nagbago lalo na sa physical appearance ko. But how can you be so sure na ako nga yung nakilala mo ng mga bata pa tayo?”
“Because you never changed.”
“I didn’t what?”
Richard took a deep breath. “I’ve known you all my childhood life. I guess ever since I was born you were already there for me.” He looked at Maya and said, “You were my guardian angel Maya.”
Maya simply looked curiously at him, unable to immediately process his words.
“It may seem hard to believe. Kahit nga ang parents ko hindi naniwala sa akin.” He bowed his head down and smirked. “After you left, I was so lonely, especially after everyone told me that you are not real, na imahinasyon lang kita. And I believed them. As time went by, I let myself believe them.” And with a sigh, “I just accepted the fact that you were just something made up by my imagination.”
He turned and looked at Maya once more. “But after seeing you again. . .” he said and smiled. “I knew then that those memories are not made up. That you are not made up. That you are real.”
Maya still had no words to say. Richard took her hand and held it firmly with both of his and looked deeply in her eyes. “You were my guardian angel Maya. You were the first girl that I loved. And we made a promise to each other that we will never forget each other.”
Maya pulled her hand away and starts to look at him warily and with a sense of panic. “Just stop. Please, just stop.” She averted her gaze and looked away.
“Maya.” He watched her closely and noticed her anxiousness. “I’m telling you the truth.”
“This is a mistake Richard. Hindi mo ako dapat dinala dito sa bahay mo.”
“But you have nowhere else to go.”
“I know there’s some place I can stay aside from here,” she said. “This is wrong. This is all wrong.” Her heart raced at the possibility that Richard is losing his sanity. “Hindi ko alam kung ano ang nangyari sa’yo noon o kung ano ang binabalak mo. Pero imposible ang sinasabi mo Richard. Hindi ako isang anghel.”
“But you are! You are Maya. You may not remember it now but I assure you. You are the guardian angel that I used to have.”
“Richard please,” she pleaded. “This is insane. I may have lost my memory but I haven’t lost my mind! Hindi ako isang anghel!” she pointed out.
Richard fell silent. He could only stare at her, stunned with her reaction and obey her request. Sadness starts to fill him as he realized that she cannot only remember him but she also thinks like everyone else who did not believe him. “I – I’m sorry.”
A moment of silence ensued as not one of them dared to speak up first. Then Maya took a deep breath and spoke. “Kailangan kong maghanap ng ibang matitirhan. I clearly cannot live here.”
Panic started to strike him. “No. Hindi mo kailangang lumipat pa. I told you, you can stay here.”
“I clearly can’t.” She faced him and looked in his eyes. “You are a doctor Richard. Ikaw ang mas nakakaalam kung ano ang makakabuti para sa iyo.”
“But I’m fine. I’m okay,” he said. “You’re the one who needs to be helped and looked at and I can do those.” He tried to reach for her once more. “I can help you and I can look after you.”
“This won’t work Richard.”
“It will. Trust me, it will.”
“I don’t think I can trust you in that matter,” she said flatly.
Richard’s heart sank. If she cannot trust him, then there’s nothing more left for him to try. He bowed his head down and closed his eyes. “I understand.” He looked at her with sadness but still managed to give her a reassuring smile. “I’ll. . I’ll arrange something for you then. I’ll talk to Ryan and see if his offer’s still up.”
Maya heaved out a sigh. The idea that she will only be transferred to one of his friends does not appeal to her much but she also knows that she doesn’t have much of a choice. She then realized that being with his friend is better than being around him. “Okay then. Thank you.”