I open the door once more to let Mateo in. However, instead of just sitting and waiting for me, I see him just staring blankly against the wall. Mary the maid is not even here. I wonder what got to her. It took a pat on the shoulder to get this staring man's attention.
"Mateo, come on," I say to him. "You can see Emma now."
As he hears my word, he is startled to see me before him. "Oh, ummm, ok," he says as he stands up.
Hesitantly, he enters the room. As he steps inside, I see him put on a smile on his face. "Good morning, Mistress Emma."
Even though I expect her to turn the story around, she does not even play the game. She finally concedes defeat that it was she who broke Mateo. Despite Mateo's happy face, she does not even smile. She just looks mortified to see him alive and well. "Oh, my god," she says to herself. "Mateo."
"Rose told me that you would be of great help in helping me recover my memories," Mateo replies awkwardly. "I hope I am not bothering you."
She looks at me. I just nod at her hesitation. Yes, Mateo does have amnesia. Yes, he does not remember everything. Just help him. That's all I could think of saying to her had he not been in the same room. I say no words, and yet she understands. She just nods back in my nod.
"Mateo, you are not bothering me," she says. "It just that…" –she breaks off as she thinks of the proper words to say– "it has been a long time since we last saw each other."
Tears are coming out of her eyes as she struggles to keep her act together. Mateo is not even perturbed. He just clears his throat and faces her. "For what, miss? You have not done anything."
"I'm sorry," she explains. "You did nothing wrong. It was I who did all the wrongs. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for my lies. I'm sorry for ruining your inheritance. I'm sorry for destroying your name."
"Mistress, I don't believe I understand," he replies. "My name might be ruined, but it is fine. I have my inheritance. I am CEO of my father's company. I'm just here because Rose said you can help me recover my memory."
"No, Mateo. I'm truly sorry. Hear it from me. It was not your fault. I'm sorry for my infidelity. I'm sorry for the kiss you saw. We were not right for each other. I wish it had not come to this."
And suddenly, his face turns upside down. It was as if a realization dawned in him. His eyes widen at what he sees in his mind. Without another word, he runs for the door and accidentally slams it on his way out. At this act, I just shake my head. Even Emma is shocked at what she saw.
"That's what become of him," I explain to her. "He can't remember. He is just a victim of your inheritance war."
"He lost his memories, did he?" she asks.
"Yes. Some sort of accident with your half-sister, Ysabel. This just proves that this war not just involves you and your family, but also the people around you that are concerned."
As much as I want to reprimand her more, Mateo needs me more. "Excuse me," I say to her. "I need to talk to Mateo."
Outside, I see him staring blankly at the wall again. Something tells me that a memory triggered within him. At least he got his memories back. I just never expected that it would be the most painful memories that would be triggered. I sit beside him to console his heart. Even though he just met me (again), he leans in as if he trusts me with his comfort.
"My father truly disgraced me, didn't he?" he says slowly. "You know, a few days ago, I thought you were speaking nonsense. I never thought that it would all be real. I was just trying to squeeze out the truth from you. But now, it's all real. I did lose my inheritance. My father did disgrace me. As much as I wanted to be a true journalist, my inheritance and my name did matter to me more. I just cannot believe that she was the reason why. It was not through my fault of my own. It was hers because she changed the story to favor her side. Rose, what is this life? Dear, god. Why? Why?"
I comb through his short hair so that he would rest soundly, but it does not do anything. I can still feel his aching heart. So, she did matter to him, at least. He may not have truly loved her, but at least he did try to make it work. "I'm here for you," I say to him. "I understand."
"I remember that kiss," he continues as he tries to stop his sobs. "I also remember what I felt. It rained that day. I ran through the rain after what had happened. She did not even try to run after me to explain herself. She just whored herself with some man. Life is cruel to her, wasn't it? Her faults come through her sickness."
Partly, I agree with him. It's just that there's something about the way he says that it vengeful. Though I hate her for what she did to him, I never considered that she deserves to be sick. It was just fate. What can I do if God chooses her to be sick?
"I can't trust Ysabel, can't I?" he says out of the blue. "She helps me acquire my inheritance in line with my parents' absence. Who's to say she has nothing to do with this?"
All of a sudden, he takes to his pocket and pulls a cut out piece of paper. I recognize the headline. It's our joint article. It was about the engagement and the economic implication such act. "I did my research on your words," he explains. "I asked some person to find the actual newspaper with our article in it. It turns out that you were right. I was part of Lucia City Times as your partner. We were writing for Lionel Chua, editor-in-chief and owner of Lucia City Times."
I know it should be my triumph that he slowly remembers, but I do not feel that emotion at all. His blankness gets to me. I know he is mortified to learn what had happened. I know his whole world turned upside down for what had happened. I couldn't even find the proper words to say to him.
"My life is in danger, isn't it?" he continues. "With our article deliberately insulting the elite, they are bound to come after us. Please, tell me. What else did we do to deserve a target at our backs."
"Investigating on the death of Rex dela Rama," I reply back. "Investigating on the inheritance problem of the RSC. We almost took down Ysabel, the source of this problem, had I been patient."
As he realizes this, he just nods. "It's far worse than I thought," he replies. "We had an attorney, didn't we? I remember that. As I put the pieces now, Ysabel is the cause of this, wasn't she? She must have murdered Rex dela Rama and attempts to claim the RSC now that their heir, Emma, is dying. And. . ." – he hesitates to continues – "she drugged us when we attempted to take her down. That caused my memory loss. You're right. I should not believe her. Do I now remember everything right?"
No more words. He remembers. He may not remember everything, but at least he knows the truth. I know his heart is aching, but hearts will heal. Now that he knows and remembers, Ysabel is going down.
And still, I pity this man. He gets the fault, and yet, he covered for her. Maybe he did love her. He had his memories back then. When he had them, I accused him of being a cheater. And, he said nothing about her infidelity. He kept his mouth shut. He claims he does not know of a man that could be the man for Emma, but he knows. He knows because he saw that kiss and it can't have been the second one. It had to be another.
It had to be the man who he is tenth in his first, fourth on his second, and his last as his second.