BY BLESSING SILVER
“Oh my..is that really Maurice!?” Bella exclaimed, shifting closer to Pablo.
“Yes,” he said, grinning “this was when he was just three” he said and Bella gasped.. “Three!” She asked in awe.. The boy she was looking at in the black and white photo looked more like an five years old. “He looks like he’s five” she told him.
“I know right. Maurice was such a really chubby child when he was little.. People hærdly carry him because they’d always complain of aches after letting him off” he said and Bella laughed as she stared more closely.. She wouldn’t have believed it was really Maurice if she hadn’t noticed the striking resemblance between them, he still looked so much like himself now and when he was just three. Though he looked big and wide when he was little, the beauty could still be seen in his eyes. He was such a pretty child right from infancy.
“This is when he turned five. He got a present at school for taking first grade” he said and Bella smiled, feeling proud of the guy she has fallen so much in love with. She took the iPad from him and stared more at the picture.
“Awww.. He’s so pretty. ” Bella said as she clapped her palm and set it on her chin and Maurice father smiled…
“You like him don’t you?” He asked
“So much,” Bella said. “So very much uncle” she said.
“You’re so open,” he said “you know, I like you too” he said.
“I do. I have a daughter who’s like you, Maurice sister.. She’s studying abroad..
“Huh, Maurice never mentioned his family to me” she said “I almost thought he didn’t have a family”
“Well, we don’t always spend much time together as a family. We’ve been apart for so long” he said. “And it’s my fault”
“It happens in all families. Work separates one once in a while from his loved ones” Bella said comfortingly and Pablo grinned.
“I really like you a lot” he said and Bella blushed “You and Maurice will make a great couple”
“Just call me Dad, it’s been a while since I heard that” he said and Bella nodded.
“Who’s this?” Bella asked, turning her attention to the iPad.
“Oh.. That’s Joliet, she was sixteen here” he said.
“She’s gorgeous.. She looks exactly like you” she said..
“Maurice doesn’t look anything like you, he must’ve taken his mother’s look” she said and Pablo only laughed.
“Look.. It’s Maurice. He’s all big now” she said.
“This was his eighteenth birthday celebration. He graduated from high school during this period. They’re more picture on this” Pablo said as he swiped the phone and Bella saw how happy Maurice was. He dressed really smartly and had glasses on, at his front laid many gifts. She swiped to the next and it brought a very happy Maurice with a huge fluffy teddy bear on his arm.
“Maurice looks so happy here” she said.
“Yes, it’s his eighteenth birthday. It’s normal for anyone to he happy on their birthday, since it only comes once in a year”
“Is it really that important?” She asked.
“Of course. Don’t you know what a birthday is?” He asked
“I do” Bella quickly replied. “Oh.. It was taken in march”
“Yes, march 31st, that was the day we gave Maurice as his birth date”
“Wow.. There’s just ten days left to his next birthday” she said. “I need to get him a present”.
“You should, Maurice don’t fancy birthday parties anymore.. Especially since my wife died” Bella gasped
“His mom’s dead?” She primped and Pablo nodded, sad memories obviously flocking through his mental screen. “You didn’t know?” He asked and Bella shook her head “She drowned in the sea while trying to get Maurice. It happened five years ago”
“My goodness! I’m so sorry Mr Pablo, I had no idea”
“It’s alright dear, it’s not your fault,” he let out a mild smile and Bella returned it.
Little wonders why Maurice was always scared of big waters and why he came to the sea to cry and glared at it with so much hatred.. It had taken his mother. Her world and habitat had destroyed his happiness, would he ever forgive her?
“Want to see how she looked like?” He asked and Bella nodded as a tear crawled past her eye and she wiped it and stared at the average petite woman on the phone screen.. She had deep blue eyes and wore a floral dress and hedge heels.
“S-she’s so pretty” Bella muttered.
“That was one of the first things that attracted me to her, the other was her good heart and blessable soul. She was all I could ask for and even though she’s gone I still feel her good deeds around.. That rubbed off on me too” he said and Bella chuckled.
“Maurice is just like her, he has a good heart too” she says.
“Oh hells and dweebs! It’s past four o’clock,” Pablo cursed as he stood up “it’s past meeting time”
Bella stood up too “I’m deeply sorry dearest Bella, I was having such a wonderful time I forgot I’ve got work to do. I have to go now, I hope we can meet some other time” he said.
“Anytime dad, you can have lunch with Maurice and I when you’re free” she said.
“Thanks for the invitation, you can visit me some time too. The house sometime feels boring for this old man” he said, he grabbed his coffee cup and drained the content. “Here’s my card, call me anytime,” Bella nodded “And please take care of Maurice. Don’t mention anything about his mother to him, it holds more memories for him since he was a victim as well” he said and Bella nodded. “I won’t”
“I’ll head out now” he said. “Goodbye my dear”
“Bye dad..I’ll make sure to visit”
Bella saw him off to his car before coming back into the house and saving his number as ‘dad’
Maybe this is a chance to call Maurice, she has been itching to hear his voice all day and maybe this is an opportunity.. At least they’d have a topic to talk about, she’d tell him about his dad. She clicked on Maurice contact ID and clicked on call then waited as it rang.
Mr Pablo got into the wide company and almost immediately a guard rushed up to him and took his briefcase from him as he gist him on the day happenings.. More securities arrived and walked with him to his office as staff prostrated and greeted in respect. He responded with a wave of his hand and took the elevator with two guard rushing to meet him..
“Sir Maurice handled the staff meeting. He wrote the summary and signed up a meeting with manager Lambert from The lambs company. He wants you to meet up with him for a contract” Pablo nodded and got out of the elevator then entered the door that led to his very spacious office. “I left the paperworks for finalization” he said. Pablo walked to his chair and sunk in it..
The door suddenly burst open and Maurice walked in, looking a little red.
“Dad, why did you go to my house!” He said, once he got into the office. Pablo gave a look ‘to leave’ at the guards and they bowed and left.
“I asked why you went to my house” he asked, cutting off his father’s statement.
“She called you already. Such a quick pretty lady” he said.
“That doesn’t answer my question”
“I wanted us to have the old time father to son ride to school, fortunately I didn’t meet you at home and I had the privileged to meet Bella.. She’s such a lovable child” he said.
“How dare you?”
“You know, I’ve always told you to keep off from Diane.. That girl is up to no good for you..
“And who said your opinion matters in my life?”
“It’s a harmless advice you should go for. Bella’s such an angel, she’s so open and pure. You should really consider dating her”
“My love life is none of your goddamned business” Maurice gritted the words out.
“I’m your father Maurice. You should watch your speech sometimes”
“Your responsibility in my life ceased the day you killed mom..
“You’re still going on with that belief?” Maurice fought the tears back in. “If that’s what you think then let’s keep going on with that”
“You told me you’ll stay away from my life if I work in your company. Going to my house wasn’t part of the deal”
“I missed you son”
Maurice scoffed.. “You have no right to. You told me times without number that I’m not your son. Don’t start those acts now dad” Maurice said.
“I said those because it was true, you were adopted and at that time I just didn’t like you but now I’m regretting it. I want us to be a family again, I want all of us to be happy…
“That’ll never happen. I’m only here cos of Joliet. Don’t push me dad.. For Pete sake meddling in my life and stop acting like you care” Maurice said and walked out as he felt his tears beginning to pour out.
“Not now Blair” he shunned a worker and walked out to his car.
Pablo pounded his fist on the table and let out a small shout, his brows nearly touched and his face twitched in abrupt anger and sadness.
He couldn’t let Maurice know, even though he has to for everything to go well he just couldn’t.. He needed Maurice to keep believing Nora died because of him, it was Nora’s last wish and even though it was really hærd to keep up with, he just couldn’t let it out. At least not yet.
Yes, he hadn’t been much of a father figure to him, there had been time when he had been really rude and wicked to him but now he’s ready to amend those shreds.. For Nora and Joliet sake and for the sake of the Martinez.
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