BY BLESSING SILVER
Bella came out of the bathroom with a small towel tied up to her chest, she took out a pretty dress and her underwear. She pulled into it and applied her lip gloss then her body spray, she slipped her feet into her flops and packed up her hair in a single braid with a touch of butterfly ribbon. She stared at Maurice’s necklace lying blamelessly on the bed, she picked it up and stared at it before running her hand through it with a smile.. It was time to give it back to Maurice. She couldn’t keep on holding to it for long.
Bella took it and gently placed it in a little portfolio bag, she squeezed it slightly in her palm and walked out of the room.. She went to the backyard and pulled open the door, she saw Maurice sitting at the pool mouth with his feet stuck in them and his head stargazing.
“No one would believe you were once scared of this same pool seeing how you’re so close to it right now” Bella said beside him and he turned to her, she smiled and he returned it with a chuckle, Inhaling the waffling smell of her perfume. “I got over that fear. Thanks to someone” he responded and Bella smiled. She squat close to him, took off her flip flops and dug her bare feet into the water. Bella shivered at the water chills. She had spent most of her life in the sea and the temperature of it was more cooler than this but because she had spent days in this world too; the cold water couldn’t respond to her body.. At least not when she’s still human.
“I love it here” she said and Maurice gave her a quick glance “The star’s dazzling and visible, the air smells nice and I’m sitting so close to someone that’s so special to me” she said, keeping her gaze to the sky when she felt Maurice gaze on her. Bella knew she ought to be nervous since she was about revealing her feelings to Maurice but she wasn’t, in fact she felt more comfortable and confident. She had hidden the feelings for too long that her nerves were getting her and scre-ming at her to release it already. “Your dad told me to take care of you,” she glanced at Maurice and looked away “I really wish I can do that. Lately you’ve been acting like you’re in too much pain, I really wish I can partake in that too” Bella said.
“Why?,” he asked “because my dad said you should?” He asked, still keeping his gaze on her.
“No. Because it hurts to see you hurt, because I want you to remember that I’m always here when you need a shoulder to lean on, because you’re someone that I can bear a lot of burden for and because.. I love you” she said, gave him a quick look, smiled emotionally and looked back at the sky. “You might not have noticed it but it’s true and I don’t feel ashamed saying it.. It’s been hidden for too long” she said but Maurice was silent while his gaze did the talking.
“Yes, I got you this” Bella said taking out the small bag and straightening it. “I found it while I was taking a walk and it looked really special, I’ve always wanted to give it to you after I’ve confessed my feelings and I guess this is the right time” she stretched the bag towards him and his gaze went to it, suddenly his brows twitched and he took it from her, gently opened it and took out the necklace.. His eyes grew wide.
He kept staring at the necklace with the unforgettable inscription ‘Norita’ that was his mother name, he couldn’t have believed it if not for the inscription and the star pendant on it.. The Goldsmith had made it specially for his mother on her instructions, on her 45th birthday and it was one of her favorite jeweleries, she never took it off except when she wanted to have her bath or sleep and she had given it to him on his seventeenth birthday and had told him to keep it safe but he had lost it and now he had it again, it was as if his mother was giving him a second Chance.. He chuckled hysterically.
“Thank you,” he said, smiling at her “You’re right. It’s very special and that’s because it’s my mom’s. It fell into the sea and I couldn’t get it back. I can’t thank you enough for this.” he said and Bella nodded. He pocketed the necklace, his heart fluttering in ecstasy.
“Can I ask where you’re always going during the day, I’ve been really curious” Maurice said.
“Please don’t. I’m not ready to reveal it yet. I’ll tell you soon but just not now” she said and turned to him “You missed me didn’t you? All those times I was away and you had to eat dinner alone. You missed me didn’t you?” She asked with bright eyes and Maurice looked away, scratching the back of his head.
“Com’on be honest, you did miss me right?” She pestered with curiosity.
Maurice rubbed his temples, he shouldn’t be the one getting nervous but he was and he didn’t like it. He still had Diane.
“A little” he said and Bella frowned.
“Come-on,” she slapped his hand playfully “it can’t be that little. You really did miss me a lot, be honest”
“Um.. Maybe I did but I really can’t remember how much” he said and Bella frown deepened as she stood up from where she sat close to him.
“I feel sleepy,”
“Why? Is it because of what I said?” he asked, looking up at her.
“Do you know how much it hurts. I just openly told you I love you and I also found a very vital thing that’s yours and you say you didn’t miss me, you should’ve just lied–
“But I said–
“It doesn’t matter!,” she cut him off and pouted her l-ips “little and none means the same thing but don’t worry, even though I’m mad at you right now I still love you so much and I’ll always keep feeling that way towards you. Goodnight Maurice” she said, picked up her flops and swooped back to the house. Maurice ran a hand to his hair as he felt his l-ips twitched to a smile. Bella’s actually mad at him and.. She loves him too?? Too many confessions for one night.
Bella got ready for work and tore out a note to Maurice, she stuck it to the kitchen’s door and grabbed her work bag before moving out if the house.. It was just 6:40 when she got to patty’s store and they started the arrangement while Mira handled the dishes..
“So how’s it going with Maurice” patty asked, setting one of the chairs down and taking another to clean.
“Still the same. The new thing is I told him about my feelings last night”
“Wow. And what was his response”
“No response Pat. I couldn’t even ask for it, I was scared he’d reject me”
“Well it’s a good thing you told him about it. But his response matter as well, that’s what caps up everything” Patty said.
“Yeah, I know. I’ll try to ask about that some other time”
“You’ll do well Bel. You’re a strong girl” patty said.
“I hope so. I really hope I’ll be strong enough to live with his response”
“At least you’ll survive”
“Yeah, after it must’ve ruined my in,sides” Bella said and Patty gave her a comforting smile which she returned.
By one, the shop was already bustling with customers, Bella saw her next guest.. It was the guy from the other time, Desmond or so and she had to beg Mira to attend to him while she stayed at the back of the counter.. She heard her phone buzzed with an incoming message and she took it out, turned it on and swiped to read the message.. It was from Maurice, she read;
Still mad at me? How about I take you out for shopping tomorrow. Will that help?
She smiled at the message. But why didn’t he call, this isn’t something he should’ve texted her about.
I’ll think about it she typed back and send then stood up when she was called to attend to a customer that ajust arrived, she cut off the message app and that was when she saw 5 missed calls.. Two from Maurice and three from Raymond plus a voicemail message from Ray.
She dumped the phone into her bag and walked out of the counter to the restaurant as she grabbed a pad and pen and moved to the table where her guest was, she stopped at it and pulled in a friendly smile..
“Good day sir, wh–
The man looked up at her and she gasped lowly with twitched brows..
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