Maya woke up with a start. The dream she just had left her with an overwhelming sadness. She looked to the other side of the bed, wanting comfort, but found the space empty. Then she remembered. It was no dream. She and Richard had been arguing again tonight. It was amazing how neither one of them raised their voice; and then she said something that made him stop. She bit her lip, wishing she could forget the look in his eyes before he left the room.
Nasaktan ko siya, she realized, but pride kept her from going to him. She had gotten used to him apologizing first, regardless of who was at fault, so she waited for him and had fallen asleep. He had not returned. Worried, she got up. The whole house was dark, but they kept some of the outside lights on. He was there, seated on his chair, in the special corner of the house meant for their you-and-me time. There was a dejected air in the way he was leaning on his elbows, one hand covering his eyes. Seeing him like that, Maya was filled with remorse. She went to him, bending to hug him from behind. She leaned her cheek on his back.
He did not move. She hugged him tighter. “Sweetheart…,” she pleaded. Her tears started to flow.
Richard heard the regret in her voice and gave an inward sigh. Hurt still though he was, he could not bear to hear his wife like this. He lifted his hand to rub her arm but remained quiet. Maya moved to crouch before him, resting her hands on his knees for balance.
“Ang hirap mo naman suyuin,” she gave a watery smile. He just looked at her, his eyes still sad.
“I’m sorry…” he started to say, but Maya placed her fingers quickly on his lips to shush him, shaking her head.
“Hayaan mong ako naman ang mag-sorry. Nasaktan kita, hindi ko sinasadya. Hindi kaagad ako lumapit sa’yo. Sorry kung masyado akong ma-pride,” she started to blubber, “h-hindi ko naman k-kayang mag-r-r-rent ng h-h-helicopter o m-m-mangharana, e, pero s-sana tanggapin mo ang s-s-sorry ko…,” before she could say anything more, Richard had pulled her up and sat her on his lap.
“Shhh…It’s Ok, sweetheart, I’m not mad anymore. I was just so hurt. I’m sorry too. I’m sorry…,” he held her face and tried to wipe her tears with his thumbs.
Maya shook her head again. “Hindi mo k-kailangang mag-s-s-sorry dahil ako ang nagk-ka-m-mali.”
He gathered her in his arms, placing his chin on her shoulders, rocking her gently. “Pareho tayong mali, at pareho din tayong tama. In an argument, one just has to give in, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong… please stop crying,” he begged. He continued to rock her quietly. Gradually, her sobs subsided. They stayed silent for a while, each with their own thoughts, until she turned away, conscious of her puffy eyes and runny nose, wiping them with her hands just like a child. Amazingly, Richard had a handkerchief in his pocket that he offered to her.
“May panyo ka sa bulsa?”
“Nakasanayan ko na. Pag naiisip kita, lagi akong naglalagay.”
“Sweetheart…,” her tears started afresh.
“Hey, umiiyak ka nanaman,” and this time he smiled, his gaze warm and full of love.
“Ikaw kasi, eh,” she sniffed.
He raised a brow. “O, anong ako?”
She moved to snuggled against him, resting her head on his shoulder. She caressed his arm as she spoke. “Lagi mong sinasabi na you love me more. Pero ikaw, alam mo ba kung gaano kita kamahal? Minsan iniisip ko kung sapat na ba ang mga ginagawa ko para ipaalam sa’yo yun. Lagi na lang kasing ikaw yung nagbibigay, nagpapasensya, nauunang mag-sorry…kailangan minsan ako naman ang magpakumbaba…,” she could not continue. Richard leaned suddenly to capture her lips. The kiss was gentle, sweet…lingering. When they drew apart, Maya curled her arm around his neck to keep him close. He chuckled softly, holding her tighter.
“ When we got married, I vowed to apologize even if it wasn’t me who made the mistake…”
“Alam ko, pero hindi rin tama na kumakampante na ako na ikaw lagi ang nauunang mag-sorry…,”
“Well, madalas naman ikaw yung tama. I always let my temper get the better of me.”
She sat up, linking her hands behind his neck, squeezing it a little. “Pero minsan, kahit galit ka, tama naman ang mga pananaw mo. Pinipilit ko lang ang gusto ko kahit mali.”
He leaned back, eyebrows furrowed. “Are we starting another argument?”
“Ayaw ko lang maging unfair sa’yo.”
“You’re not. Why are you so insistent?”
They eyed each other for a moment, then both burst out laughing, all traces of their samaan ng loob earlier, gone. She tapped his nose.
“Am I forgiven Mr. Lim?”
“You are, Mrs. Lim.”
She touched their heads as she hugged his neck, both of them looking up at the night sky.
“Sweetheart?” It was Maya who spoke.
“Tulog na tayo?”
He turned to look at her, their faces almost touching. “Tulog agad?’ he asked, eyes glinting mischievously.
She gaped at him. “Sweetheart, gabing-gabi na. Ano pa ba ang gusto mong gawin?” she asked, oblivious to the hint in her husband’s voice.
“Well,” he shrugged his shoulders, “we quarreled, we kissed…and now we have to make-up,” he wiggled his eyebrows.
She slapped his arm. “Ikaw talaga!”
“Ayaw mo ba?” he asked teasingly.
“Siempre gusto.” She blushed.
He scrambled to stand up, prompting a surprised Maya to do as well. He took her hand to pull her to go inside.
“Sweetheart, bakit tayo nagmamadali?”
“Eh baka mag-iba pa ang isip mo, mag-away nanaman tayo.”
She smothered a laugh. She was not going to change her mind and was already thinking of ways on how to really make it up to him tonight. Blushing again at the direction of her thoughts, she skipped ahead so she could pull her astonished husband to their bedroom.