????????The Baby Contract????????
Over the next few days,Anne spent time with her laptop trying to created the best designs one can imagine,she tried sketch out some ideas on papers but ended up tearing almost half pages of the book,
“Am I that silly enough to always end myself up in tight corners?” She always ask herself during her feud with the paper or the laptop, Charles called the day before yesterday, telling her that the design would be needed by next week end,so the other can commence on the working.Cheryl advised she take a break but she isn’t ready to go for such advised,she has limited time and she has to utilized it properly.Ace took the new arrangement badly,his favorite aunt doesn’t have time for him anymore,he complained to his mom every time Anne asks him to go out and play with his toys.
“Ace,can you spare a little time for aunt? We can go to the water park if you want to.” She said to him over breakfast of Scrambled egg and Oatmeal,he little boy was over excited at the offer,
“Yes.” He turned to Cheryl who was having Coffee and Toast,she smiled at him,
“Mama,let’s go together.” He said beaming with joy,Cheryl shook her head slightly,
“Gotta finish some work,” Anne frowned while Ace’s face fell,
“Got a call from Wheelers yesterday,they’ve got problem with the account, so I’ll have to finish it up and sent it to them today.”
Anne took Ace to the water park, she hired a cab driver to take them there and bring them back.Ace did love it there,he played in the water while Anne sat watching him from close by, she paid for him to use the slide,
“Aunt,come up with me.” He had offered,she refused bluntly,
“Don’t wanna get myself dripping with water now.” She had told him,she got him there with another red haired plummy kid and went back to sit down.After awhile,he came to her,
“Ice cream.”Ace pointed to a little girl eating ice cream in the other edge,
” You want one??”she asked him,he nodded.Anne carried him and took him to Junk’s Joint, she headed to the ice cream corner,
“Ace,what flavor would you prefer?” She asked the young boy tugging her dress,
“He stood on his toes and pointed to the display on the glass,
” Sir…Ace wait,”the boy was now pulling her dress,
“Give me one Pistachio flavor and two Grape nuts.” She told the Ice cream man,he smiled showing a golden tooth while Anne waited to get their their order.
“Here you go ma’am.” He handed her the ice cream while she brought out a fifty dollar bill from her purse,the man smiled,
“Don’t worry,keep the change.” She held the boy’s hand and took him to an empty table,then her darting eyes came across someone else’s. Like a bolt,he started for her,she stood up immediately, took Ace who was still holding his ice cream and fled the scene while the man surged after her.
“Ma’am, your card please.” The security man at the exit door asked her,she rummage through her purse swiftly,
“There it’s.” She heaved a sigh of relief and handed the card to him,before he could take a second look,she carried the boy and left the place,they got into a new cab,since she can’t go round to meet the hired cab,
“Aunt Anne, why are we leaving soon?” The little boy asked disappointed that he didn’t spend enough time at the park,
“I’m sorry Ace,” She stopped,
I can’t tell him I’m running from someone,she thought.
“Ace,we’re going to the mall,how would you love getting some new toys?” She said to him not telling him the whole truth.
“Yes,that would be wonderful.” He clapped his hand against the cup of ice cream he was holding.
“Ma’am,where are we going to?” The cab driver asked smiling at him,
“Take us to the nearest mall.” She said with an expressionless face.
Their stay at the mall was cut short when Charles called her,since Ace didn’t make a fuss about not wanting to go home,she bundled him in the cab and they drove home with the bags of toys and other stuffs she bought.
“Why are you guys back early?” Cheryl asked them as she opened the door for them,Ace ran and hugged her showing her the things Anne bought for him.
“Mama,see what aunt bought for me.” He brought a Hotwheel Car collection, a G.I Joe toy gun and other numerous toys,Cheryl paid little attention to him but her main attention was on Anne who was looking worried and pacing to and fro the living room. When Ace left them to the room,Cheryl came to Anne, who was in the kitchen drowning herself with strong coffee,
“What happened?” Cheryl asked her,she turned to her,her eyes was teary,
“I saw him.” This three word sentence told Cheryl everything she had to know,Anne had seen Deville and it got her scared and really worked up.
“He was with her and an older woman and he saw me too,luckily I left before he came close.” She said amidst tears,Cheryl held her close.
“Anne,I’m sorry this had to happened.” Cheryl said,
“She was happy and so vibrant…… and she was so……I don’t think she even needs me,she wouldn’t want to meet her mother again.” Anne cried,Cheryl couldn’t help but consoled her,
“Anne,why don’t you go up to him,talk to him about you wanting to meet your daughter, he might allow you and would even be glad to have you back.” Cheryl advised,
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”She stood up and walked to her room while Cheryl still sat in the living room,
” There must be something I can do to help and I think I’ve figured what that is.”she stood up and went inside to meet Ace.
Deville was so angry when they came back home,
“Mom,I saw her today.” He said to his mom when they tucked Pearl to bed that night,she took him out of the room and to his,
“What did you say?” His face was void of expression,
“Yes I saw her today at the water park with her son.”
“Why dismissed you go to her?” She asked,Deville saw down,his face shows a lot of disappointment and agony his mom hasn’t seen for years,
“She left immediately she saw me.”
“She got married again mom,the boy’s her son.” Deville said disappointed at himself and Anne,
“Bloody hell,how did you know?” The security men at the gate told me and I confirmed it at the reception.
“She forgot about me,her daughter and got married again,” He tried not to cry but couldn’t suppress the feelings anymore so he allowed the tears escape his eyes,
“Mom,I’m scared for Pearl,everyday I see her grow up without her mother and she has done the best of hiding her disappointment in me for over the years,I don’t want her to hate me for not giving her her mom,I can’t stand that mom,I can’t.”
“Daddy,I don’t hate you.” Both mother and son turned and saw Pearl by the door looking at them with tears in her eyes,Deville rushed to her,
“Sunshine,I thought you’re asleep?” Deville asked her as he carried her inside,
“I had a bad dream but daddy,I don’t hate you,I love you a lot.” She said to him.She had a bad dream where she was crying about someone leaving her and she was crying and calling out to her mom but the person (a lady) didn’t turn back,so she had woken up but didn’t see her dad beside her, so she went to his room and overhead their conversation.
“Daddy,I don’t hate you.” Deville turned to his mom,
“Sunshine, tell me your dream and remember this,I know you love me a lot.” He hugged her and made her sit on his leg,she told him her dream while he kept stealing glances at his mom.
This is what I never wanted,things are getting worse than they were,he thought to himself.
“Anne,don’t worry nothing will happen to your mom and she loves you a lot to leave you.” Her Granny said,
“But why did she leave me since?” She asked and Deville turned to his mom.
Anne didn’t leave the house for the next coming days,she stayed indoor and concentrated on her work,Cheryl tried to cheer her up but to no avail,she kept stoic on been left alone,so she had no other option than to invite Charles over but didn’t tell Anne about it.
“Who’s there?” Anne asked when she came out of the room,someone was at the door,she went on and opened the door,surprised to see her boss at the door,
“Sir, come in.” She stepped aside as he made his way inside the living room,
“This is Cheryl’s work,that girl is a pain in the ass.” She muttered as he stood in the living room,she was wearing a yellow tank top and a cotton short,no makeup and her hair in a ponytail, Charles just stared at her as she walked towards him,
“Sir,make yourself comfortable while I get something from my room.” She went inside and brought her laptop while Charles sat down and waited for her.She came back,holding her laptop,
“Here’s the design.” She handed it to him and went to the kitchen to get snacks for them.She came back with a tray of French Onion Dip (which she made) and a tube of Pringle and two can of coke,she carefully kept it on the table and sat opposite him,
“This look homemade, you made it?” Charles asked her and she nodded,he took a Pringle and dipped it into the onion dip,she was still looking at him,he ate it.
“Wow,that taste good,its superb.” He savoured the taste of the Pringle in his mouth,while Anne smiled a thank you,
“Sir,here’s the design for the necklace,” she handed the laptop to him,
“This was the best I could come up with.” He wasn’t looking at the laptop but was looking at her,
“Anne,can you do me a favor?” She looked at him intently but his eyes could tell her,so she nodded,
“Can you stop calling me sir? Call me Charles,you calling me Sir, makes me feel very old.” He was now smiling,
“Okay,I’ll try.” She gave him a heartwarming smile.He studied the design for awhile and handed the laptop back to her,
“Its wonderful Anne,never seen something as intricate as that.”She smiled at his compliment, he stopped talking and stared at her as she smile,
Her smile is so dazzling and her eyes,those eyes are perfect and so…..I can’t put a name to it but her eyes are a perfect work of art of the angel that made her, he thought to himself.Anne who got suspicious of his quietness stopped smiling,
“Sir what’s the problem?” He was snapped back to his senses by her voice,
“Uhm….nothing,nothing is the problem.” He was embarrassed at himself for not able to keep himself in check whenever he’s with her,
“Okay.” She said and went back to her coke,
“I’ll send the design to Alan so they can commence work on it,make is sure you stay in touch with them for more updates and if in any case they need your guidance.” She nodded,
“Yes sir.” He turned to her in a slight frown,
“Not sir,Charles.” She smiled again and nodded,
“That’s more like it.” He left his seat and came beside her,he sat down close to her and she shifted,
“Anne,are you nervous?” He asked she shook her head,
Lie,you are,her subconscious self told her.He placed his hand on her shoulder,she flinched,
“Anne,you don’t have to be scared of me,I’ve know you for long and I want to know you more,like what your life was before you came to work for me,your past life.” He said,she shifted a little from him,
“Well sir,” he stared at her,
“I mean Charles,” he smiled,
“I don’t have a very exciting life growing up,no Santa Claus tale,nor a tooth fairy tale NLR a holiday to Wonderland or Oz.” He laughed,
‘I lost my parent’s when I was around four or five,went to different foster home then I was carted to my uncle’s house to stay.My Uncle Charlie was a very nice man,I’d remember him tucking me to bed and taking us out for lunch on Sundays but his wife Elaine was more of strict and less of nice,I had two cousins, Jeremy and Sasha. Went to high school, then to St Xavier where I studied nursing,I graduated summa cum laude after taking twenty-eight credit a four semester in a row.”
“Did you get any recognition from the Pope?” He asked her on the verge of laughing,
“No,but I did get near recognition from him,is that enough?” She asked, the both off them are now laughing.He told her about himself and his family,they discussed other things, like books they’ve read,movies they’ve seen but Anne didn’t talk about Deville or his contract nor she she talk about her daughter, Amanda of even Frank.She fed him the little details she could but not telling him the whole truth.
When they finished the Pringles, she went to the kitchen to prepare something for them to eat and he followed her.
“What are you doing?” She asked him when she turned and saw him putting on the second apron,
“Well,I’m trying to help you out or do you think I can’t cook?” She laughed,
“You cook? I don’t think the owner of Zhang’s Fine Jewelry knows the way to his kitchen talk more of cooking.” He pretend to be angry,then he smiled,
“Okay,let’s make a bet, if I cook well,I earn a kiss and a dinner with you on your account but if I don’t cook well,I’ll help clean the kitchen and a dinner with you on my account.” He stretch out his hand,
“Deal or no deal?” After contemplating on his offer, she accepted it,
“Deal.” They shook hand,
“And make sure you don’t burn down my kitchen.” She said as she left the kitchen and headed to the living room,
“I bet he can’t even put on the gas cooker,such a pity.” She said as she sat down and put on the TV clutching the TV controller in her hand.