BY BLESSING SILVER
“Bella! Wheel it here” Pat yelled out to Bella who drove out of her thought and wheel the medium sized shopping trolley to where Patty stood.
“What’s wrong? You suddenly looked like you had gone far” Patty said, grabbing a bunch of spinach and some lettuce and throwing them into the trolley.
“I’m just worried about Maurice Pat,” Bella wheeled the trolley as Patty walked “He didn’t look too happy when he left for work this morning”
“Or your feelings are making you think so?” Patty asked, packing up a bag of tomatoes.
“No. Or maybe that’s it.. He did talk to me this morning and well took a satisfiable portion from his breakfast but I still feel like something isn’t right with him” she said.
“Why? He hasn’t been paying more attention to you lately?”
“He just seem somewhat distant and troubled” Bella said “I wish I knew his bothers” Bella said and moistened her lower lip.
“Over here Bel” Bella looked up and saw Patty at the other side, beckoning on Bella to move over, Bella wheeled to the carrot stand. Patty threw few bunches and some cuc-mbers.. She packed up few more veggies and they moved to the cashier to make payments.
“So what do you think?” Patty asked Bella and she shrugged. “Thank you” she collected the bags from the cashier and the receipt.
“I don’t know Patty honestly” she said and took one of the bags from Patty.
They reached the car and threw the bags at the back seat and got into the front.. “It’s normal for adult to have problems and sometime it could be really personal that they won’t want to share it with anyone but one day they pass away and boom! They’re back to normal” she said, swerving the car to the road. “You think so?” Bella asked.
“It’s something every adult go through. Don’t worry Bel, he’ll come up soon” she comforted and Bella nodded “Have you thought of a gift for Maurice’s birthday?” Patty asked and shook her head. Honestly since after yesterday’s incident Bella had hardly thought of that.. She had been too clouded with worries for Maurice that it skipped her mind. After she had told Patty about it last night, she hadn’t thought about it until now that Patricia brought it up. And it’s just nine days away.
“No. Have any idea?” She asked Patty.
“No idea” she said “Getting a present for a dude is damn hard. If it had been a girl you could’ve easily picked some really nice flowers, a perfume and a huge teddy bear but that doesn’t go for guys” Patty clicked her tongue.
“But how do you see a digital camera?” Patty asked “that’s quite an eye catcher”
“Maurice doesn’t fancy tours, he’d probably just keep the camera safe and never use it” Bella said.
“How about a nice pair of clothing. An expensive armani shirt and some match-up p-nts. Any guy would love that. What do you think?” Patty says and Bella brows rose..
“I think… It’s a perfect idea” she said and Patty smiled.
“Thanks to this brainy” she bragged and Bella chuckled.
Maybe that was a great idea. Lately Maurice had been the one getting her things and she had never given him anything, getting him some really nice clothes could pay off too.. But then there was a problem?
“I don’t have money to get those Pat. I can’t possibly ask Maurice for some to get him a present, it has to come from me but I don’t have any” Bella said, suddenly feeling gloomy again. She just couldn’t do anything for Maurice. Her face fell.
“I could lend you some. You can pay anytime you want”
“No Pat. If I’m supposed to get Maurice a present for his birthday then everything’s supposed to come from me, if you lend me money then we can’t call it a present-from-Bella” she said and Patty nodded concurrently.
“You could get a job then?”
“There are only ten days left Pat. A job won’t be that easy to get and besides the payment mightn’t come in as quickly as I want” Bella said.
“Then work with me,” Patty said and Bella looked at her. “You could assist me with the dishes or with meals and I’d pay daily”
Bella face twitched thoughtfully.
“Are you saying that so you could help me even if I work less?” She asked.
“Don’t worry Bel. I won’t be gentle, I’d pay you the same way you work”
Okay, firstly that wasn’t such a bad idea and secondly working with Pat would be more easier and better than working with someone else that she’s clueless about and besides she could use her earns to assist Maurice and maybe let him see she could be independent and supportive too. And it wasn’t such a bad idea if she assists. “So what do you say?”
“I accept. Thanks Patty”
“You’re welcome,” she said and swerved the car in front of a gate and horned “Now we’re at my house” she smiled at Bella as the gate got opened.
“I thought we we’re going to the shop” Bella prompted.
“No. I have something to give you and besides you haven’t been to my house before so this is an opportunity” Patty said. Bella awed as they drove into the spacious and big compound with the view of a mansion just before them.
“Wow Pat, you stay here?”
“I own here,” Patty corrected “And I live here” she said, parking the car in the driveway which had other cars.
“You can join me if you want to”
“But how.. I mean when did this happen? I thought you had no parent”
“I don’t. I spent some years working for a childless old couple and they were really kind to me, they left me this house to me when they relocated to Spain. I’ve lived here since then” she said.
“Wow.. It’s so huge” Bella cried.
“Yeah.. Come out from there let’s go in” she said and they got down from the car.
“But you don’t act like someone who owns a fortune, I mean you’re supposed to be–
“Bossy? Proud? Or is aggressive the word?” She asked and bella nodded “I’ve lived too much in poverty to be like that and besides there’s no gain in being that way” patty said and Bella smiled. She typed in the pin and the door to the house pulled open and they walked in.
“It’s done!” Patty said and Bella popped a chip to her mouth. “And you have to stop eating that” Patty grabbed the bowl of chips from Bella and kept it away. “I told you it stayed here all night”
“But that doesn’t mean it’s harmful” Bella said, stretching her hand to get another chip but Patty harmlessly slapped it off and Bella pouted.
They had stayed in one of the room after Bella had ‘ohhhed’, ‘ahhed’ and ‘wowed’ at every corner of the house that Patty had showed her to a point that she nearly spilled her espresso on herself, after the tour around the house which Bella called a ‘palace’ coz it was as big as the King’s palace at Tarania; even way more bigger..
They finally settled in patty’s room where she packed out some new clothes that she recently got that didn’t fit into her body, she gave the bag-full of clothes to Bella and some fancy sandals, some hair ribbons and pin and her re-loaded make up box which came along with some jewelries. Bella tried one of the clothes that she likes best on and a new pair of sandal, she packed her hair with one of the bands and discarded her other cloth aside. Patty commended her look and sat her down to teach her the proper application of make-up since Bella was new to it. She was already halfway through the make up session when she caught Bella eating the leftover potato fries that she had for dinner.. She had taken it from her and told her to stop eating it since it stayed out all night, Bella left it and she continued the tutor only for her to turn and still see Bella eating the potato fries, she had grabbed it and kept it aside and it led to a puny argument. Bella finally let it go and checked out herself in the lengthy mirror.. She nearly gasped at the figure that stared back at her from the mirror. It looked like her, she could feel it was her but yet it seems like it wasn’t.. She touched her face and saw as her reflection followed her move.. “Oh my! It’s really me” Bella cried, checking out her wh0le self and making patty laugh.
“That’s enough Bel, you’re gonna use all the time if you keep drooling at yourself”
“I wasn’t drooling” Bella defended as she sat on the bed.
“Yeah whatever,” she said “About work, your resumption time is seven A.m, you have to be punctual else the punishment goes to payment.. You’ll need to wear casuals and a bit of make up so customers don’t drool over you”
“Yes ma’am” Bella said. “But really Patty, how do you manage to stay here all alone”
“I get really lonely sometimes though but I can’t help it.. You really have to visit once in a while okay?”
“Of course. It’s too big for just you alone to stay in” Bella said, looking around the room.
“Now that’s enough stare for one day. Come-on, let’s make some veggie fritattas for dinner”
Bella followed her to the kitchen.
It was past 7:00pm when Patty drove Bella to sally estate, Bella grabbed the bags that contained the clothes Patty gave her and they said their goodbyes before Bella moved into the gate. She was stressed out by the time she got to the house and almost yelled out when she saw Maurice car in the parking lot.. She had no idea how long she spent at Patty’s, the fun was too much to think about that.
Bella lifted the bag and pulled open the house door then move in, the door screeched and she took a step forward.
“Is that you bel—
The rest of Maurice words hung in his throat and left his mouth as he saw the lady before him.. Okay, for the record she looked so much like Bella except for her packed up hair and her really pretty face but–
“It’s me Maurice”
His brows furrowed in confusion and well, some sorta surprise. “I’m sorry I came in late. I had no idea it was past seven already. I’ll keep these and help set the table..
“Bella,” he called but he wasn’t looking at her and she traced his eyes and saw it on her dress and sandal.
“Oh.. Patricia gave these to me, she got them from a boutique but it didn’t fit so she gave them to me” Bella said.
“I’ll just keep then and come help you with the rest of dinner” Bella said and walked away, leaving a trail of nice scent behind.. Maurice stared on and suddenly shook his head.. Why was he staring too much; it was like he had never seen Bella until today and.. Really why is his heart racing this hard.
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