The Baby Contract
“Ace ! Sit still.” Cheryl yelled at the three year old boy wriggling on her laps,he began to sob and ran to meet Anne, who came put to join them,she carried the little boy as he came to her.
“Don’t yell at him like that, he’s still a kid.” She carried the boy inside and they went to the kitchen. Its nearly a week they came back to the city but they haven’t settled down,Anne said it useless,after all they agent staying till forever,its a business trip. Actually, Zhang’s Fine Jewelry were opening a new branch in the city,Anne’s boss the owner of the Company, Mr Charles Zhang had asked her to accompany him since the project is still ongoing.She refused at first but obliged as time went by,its a golden opportunity to finally see her daughter Amanda. Mr Zhang, like Cheryl said has a huge crush on Anne,(who wouldn’t?) He was of a mixed race,his dad was a Chinese man who had married his American lover despite his family’s disapproval, he wanted to Americanize his family,so they moved to America over three decades ago.Charles is the first son of his parents and had two younger sibling,a boy and a girl and after a family feud with his brother, his dying father willed his best company to him,Zhang’s Fine Jewelry.He has a huge crush on Anne but couldn’t muster the courage to tell her, she was his Secretary and he doesn’t want to spoil the cordial relationship he has created with her over the years.He has bought her here with him cause he needs every of her help in the project and they’re going to stay till the project is over,Anne refused to lodge in the hotel,like she said,
“Its gonna be inappropriate lodging in the hotel withy boss.” She and Cheryl stayed in Cheryl’s old house while Charles lodged in the hotel alone.Deville’s private investigator saw Anne,Cheryl and Ace but didn’t take note of the young man walking three feet behind them,he’s the real cause to worry.
“Ace,what do you wanna do today?” Anne asked the little boy as she made him sit on the kitchen counter and she brought out a carton of milk from the refrigerator,
“I want wake,wake!” He clapped his pudgy hands,Anne shook her head.
“I don’t have wheels to cart you there boy,here is Las Vegas not Wyoming.” His face fell,Anne ruffled his hair but he folded his arms and cried,Cheryl walked inside.
“Why the tantrums?” She went to the little boy,
“Mama,I want wake.” She kissed his tears smeared face,Anne sighed and shook her head then continued with what she was doing,
“I know of a wonderful lake not so far away,why don’t we all go there tomorrow?” Ace face lit up with happiness, Anne gave an approving nod,Cheryl turned to Anne,
“Charles won’t mind right?” Anne twitched,she hates it when Cheryl calls his name in every slightest conversation.
“I don’t find that funny.” She said and went to the living room while Cheryl followed carrying Ace with her,
“I thought you like him?” Cheryl asked, Anne picked the cushion pillow and threw it at her,
“Cheryl !” She dodged it and ran to her room laughing hysterically with Ace in her arms.
The next day,the trio went to Baldwin lake,Cheryl got a cab driver who took them there,they’ve only spent two hour there when Anne’s phone rang,she checked the caller’s identity, it was her boss,Charles.
“Hello Sir, good day.” She greeted him,
“Anne,where are you now?” There was urgency in his voice, she motioned Cheryl to come and the latter did,leaving Ace by the waterside,
“Sir,I’m at the lake with Ace.” Anne replied,
“What’s it?” Cheryl asked in a whisper,Anne cover the earpiece of the phone,
“It’s Charles.” She whispered back and Cheryl smiled mischievously,
“Anne,can you come to the hotel now,it’s urgent.” Anne frowned,
Another ruin for my day, Anne thought to herself.
“Okay Sir,but is there any problem?.” Anne asked,
“A business deal just came up and I need to help me in it.” Charles said quite excited but in voice has a great urgency in it,
“Okay,give me some minutes to tidy up here,I’ll be there soon.” She assured him and hung up following a long sigh,
“That’s the longest I’ve seen you do in ages,” Cheryl remarked, she turn to her,her color was gone,
“What does he want?” She asked
“A business deal just came up and my ever annoying boss signed me up for it.” She started putting on her clothes,while Cheryl watched,
“He said he wants me to help me with it.” She was do e with her clothes,
“I think its time you remind him that you’re not a jewelry designer but a nurse.” Cheryl said,she wasn’t happy that Anne was gonna leave them here and Ace is sure gonna throw tantrums about it,
“Let’s go home.” She said sadly,Anne frowned at it,
“No.You and Ace can stay while I go meet up with him.”She said but Cheryl refused,
” Ace’s not gonna like it when you aren’t here with him.”Yes,Ace can’t stay without Anne,he’s more closer to Anne than to Cheryl who is his biological mother and Cheryl finds it funny,(“He’s just like you Anne,if I hadn’t been awake during labor,I might have said he’s you son.”she always tell Anne.)
“Ace,come on,time to go home.” His countenance change as they mentioned going home,
“No! I want wake.” He cried,Cheryl brought him closer,
“Your Aunt Anne is going home or you want her to leave you here.” He ran to Anne when he heard she was going home,
“No don’t leave me here.” She kissed him,
“Now,go meet your mama to get you dressed up.” The boy ran to Cheryl and she wore him his clothes,they all left for home while Anne went to the hotel to meet her boss.
“Mr Zhang’s room?” She said to the secretary she met,the young but bored lady went through her list,
“Room 105.” Anne turned to leave,
“Ma’am wait,let me give him a call.” She called the room number and after a brief formalities,she allowed Anne go in.Anne used the elevator and went to his room,
“Come in.” The male husky voice said as she knocked,she went in and he offered her a seat,she sat down and waited impatiently for him to yell her the reason he called her.
“Should I get you anything Anne?” He asked from the other seat,she shook her head,
“Thanks Sir but no.” He understood she was getting impatient,
“Anne,a friend of mine called early today,he said he’d just lost a contract worth ten million dollars.” Anne gasped but excitement was all over Charles face,
“How?” She asked from pity for his so called friend,
“A client came requesting for a pure carat diamond for his daughter’s necklace but he didn’t have it,so he called me up this morning whether I have such gold.” Anne listened with rapt attention,
“I placed a call to Alan immediately and he said we still have some left after the last project,so I called my friend,he placed me too the client and bam! I got the contract.” He sounded so happy and enchanted while Anne,even though she was happy with him,she was still getting impatient and sad for Charles so called friend,
“So where do I fall in all this.” She blurted but regretted it,her tone was rude but surprisingly, Charles smiled it off,
“You’re going to create the design for this Anne,” he said still smiling and somehow showing a great deal of expectation from her.
“The clients daughter’s birthday is in a month time and he wants a diamond necklace with her name on it,” he said,
“Anne,you’re the best jewelry designer I have worked with so far,” she blushed but deep down she know it wasn’t a pass compliment, this was more but she can’t figure what’s more to it.
“But sir,you know I’m not a designer,you might be giving me too much credit.” He stood up and came to her side, he sat on the arm’s chair putting his hand on her shoulder,
“I know that but I see differently, for the past five years you’ve walked for me,I’ve seen something I didn’t see in the others, you’ve a great passion to learn and you did learn very well.You’ve passion and there’s this aura of perfection in everything you do and for me,you’re the best for this work.” She just stared at him as he bluffed,cause that’s what she thought it was.
“Anne,do it as you would do for your daughter.” His last words got her nervous,
“Anne,in had my full trust in you.” He got her sweating as his hand came down to hers, she stood up abruptly,
“Sir,I’ll take my leave now.” She picked her bag and headed for the door while he stood and watch her leave,he slumped on the bed immediately she left,
“Why can’t you control yourself whenever she’s with you?” He asked himself,hugging the pillow.
Anne used the elevator on her way back,when they got to the second floor,the elevator had a bit malfunction, the lights went out and they got stucked,
“Someone help!” She cried,the other were a lady with a little girl and a young man,the man got his phone and put on the torch to illuminate the dark elevator,
“Mommy,I’m scared.” The little girl cried, Anne held herself not to cry too,she was scared of dark places too,
“Someone should call the engineer,were stuck here.” The woman yelled,the little girl continued looking at Anne who was on the verge of crying,she came to her and handed her a small Minnie Mouse towel,
“Ma,don’t worry well be out soon.” She said to Anne lovingly, Anne collected the towel and cleaned the tears that escaped her eyes.Awhile later,the mechanics came and they repaired the elevator, it was functioning again,Anne heaved a sigh of relief,
“Thank God.” She muttered to herself as she walked out of the elevator,
“Ma!” Someone called her,she turned and saw the little girl running towards her smiling,
“Next time you get scared,hold this with you and you won’t be scared anymore.” She gave Anne a doll like statue of The Virgin Mary,Anne smiled a thank you and the girl ran back to her mom while Anne stared at the statue for awhile then kept it in her bag.She walked out of the hotel amazed at the little girl’s attitude toward her and thought of her daughter,
“Wonder how my daughter is and what she looks like.” She dipped her hands into her bag and brought out a small photo of Amanda as a baby,
“She’ll be six next month.” She kissed the photo and kept it from where she got it.
Not more than ten minutes Anne left the hotel,Deville walked in,he was with another man,every girl,lady and woman present at the time he came drooled at the Greek God moving into the hotel,including the secretary,
“Mr Charles Zhang.” He told the secretary, she was still staring at him,
“Mr Charles Zhang!”He yelled,irritated at her incompetency,she came back to her senses,
” Room 105,fifth floor.”she said slightly embarrassed,Deville turned and left with the man who was still amused at how he handled the secretary who was still disappointed in herself.
When Anne got home,Ace was in the living room watching a kiddies show while Cheryl was in the kitchen, she kissed Ace and went across to the kitchen to meet her,Cheryl was humming Hotel California when Anne got there,she went to the refrigerator and poured herself a glass of water from the refrigerator, Cheryl turned,
“Oh,you’re back?” Cheryl asked,when she turned thinking it was ace but found Anne in the kitchen.Anne drank half of the water from the glass and kept it on the kitchen table,
“I’m dead tired.” Anne said wiping the heat from her forehead,
“What happened?”Cheryl asked still making her pancakes,
“Mr Charles got the contract and now he’s handing it over to me to start the designing.” She finished the water and massaged her head slightly to ease of the pounding headache that’s about to split her head,
“I thought you were going to talk to him about you being a nurse not a jewelry designer?” Cheryl asked slightly disappointed at her friend’s dull attitude,
“Yeah,I was going to,until he talked me out of it.Mtchew.” she sighed,she knows Cheryl doesn’t like it when she’s indecisive but that’s her nature.
“Is that the reason you’re tired?” Cheryl asked trying to change the topic,Anne signed again.
“We got stucked in a malfunctioning elevator and it was dark and…..” Chrrl left the pancakes and rushed to Anne,
“Where you hurt?” She asked as she carefully checked her body for a sign that she was hurt or wasn’t, Anne shrugged,
“No,I wasn’t. I met a little girl in the elevator, she was as scared as I am but boldly came over to cooed me,she gave me this after the elevator incident.” Anne rummaged her bag for the statue the little girl gave to her,she finally found it and showed it to Cheryl who was standing and listening to her friend’s experience at the hotel,oblivious of the pancakes she was making,
“Cheryl the pancakes!” Anne yelled,Cheryl ran back to the gas cooker and got the almost burnt pancakes from the cooker whilst Anne laughed hilariously,
“These burnt pancakes would be reserved for you,you bet me on that.” She said half jokingly as Anne was laughing at her,
“I think you should give it to Ace,he would love it,”
“My son isn’t going to taste that burnt offering, I’ll give it to Mr Adam’s starving cat,he would be so appreciative.” She wrapped if in a foil wrapper and kept it on the sink,
“Remind me to do that later.” Anne nodded getting wine from the refrigerator and two glasses while Cheryl carried the tray of pancakes and a carton of milk of Ace.
“No! I’m not putting on that dress.” Pearl yelled from her room,Deville who was downstairs waiting for her to be driven to school,he ran upstairs to know what’s happened,
“Sunshine,what’s the problem?” He asked as he rushed inside,her room was a mess and she was sulking on her bed with clothes scattered almost everywhere, from the closet to the bed,
“I don’t like that clothe and she isn’t letting get the one I want.” She pointed to Marisa as she complained to her dad,Deville turned to Marisa in a glare that can kill,
“Sir…. I…she wanted a leather jacket buh…….buh……… its warm outside, so I’d asked her to go for the handless one.” Marisa explained almost stammering,Deville’s stare was a killer,it can make one pee on his pants.He turned to his daughter who was still sulking,
“Sunshine..ehm..why don’t we wear what Marisa brought,” her face fell once more,she’d expected him to support her and let her have her way like always,
“Tomorrow, you can…” She stood up from the bed and left the room crying she won’t go to school again,Deville followed her,
“Sunshine, come back.” He said in a calm voice but she didn’t turn,she was crying downstairs probably to her grandma’s room,Deville thought.
“Baby come,let’s get you ready for school,you can choose your clothes yourself tomorrow.” He said in a still voice but she wasn’t listening,
“Pearl!” He yelled in a authoritative voice,she hadn’t seen her dad call her like that,it scared her so she ran to her grandma’s room before he get a hold on her.
“Pearl open this door.” He banged the door angrily
“Granny,daddy’s angry.she cried to her grandma as she his behind the older lady,the older wan went to the door and opened it,
” Where’s she?”he asked his mother as she opened the door,the look on his face was anger,he searched the room but she wasn’t seen,
“Pearl come out now.” He called,the older woman who knew where the little girl could be,went to her closet and pulled her out,she turned to Deville,
“How many times did I scold you when you refused to go to school?” She asked him,he didn’t reply,
“How many times did I spank you when you did something wrong.” He didn’t reply either,
“And now you’re scolding my granddaughter for not wanting to go to school.” With that,Deville sighed and left them and went to work,Pearl hugged the older woman,
“Granny,I want my mommy,daddy is scolding me too much.” She cried in between the hugs,
“Don’t worry Sunshine,your mommy will come to you one day.” She assured,Pearl was her whole world and its high time Deville realizes that.
Pearl and her grandma didn’t come out for dinner even though they did for lunch,they did it to Deville intentionally to let him know they’re angry at him,
“Where’s Sunshine?” He asked Millie as she served him dinner,
“She’s with your mom in her room.” The cook replied still serving him dinner,
“They had dinner already?” He asked,
“Yes but they had dinner in her room.” Millie has the habit of exaggerating every thing that happens in the house,Deville stood up not touching his meal and went to his mother’s room,Millie cursed and stomped to the kitchen.
“Pearl honey.” He knocked the door,no response.He felt the need to open the door and he did,there she was lying on her Granny’s lap while the older woman stroke her his slowly,they didn’t talk to him when he came inside.Deville giggled,his mother and his daughter are ganging up on him,he smiled at the thought,
“Sunshine,I’m sorry.” He placed him hand on her leg, she withdrew from him and curled up at her Granny’s lap,
“Sunshine,I’m so sorry.” He repeated but she showed no emotion on her face,
“The real Anne’s daughter.” He thought to himself and that thought made him laugh and the same time made him want to cry,
“Daddy’s sorry.” He held his ears and put on a pitiful face,no response. So he came close and carried her on his leg, she made a little fuss but it didn’t last when she relaxed on his lap but didn’t still say anything to him.
“I promise I won’t scold you again,” she smiled and turned to him,
“Promise?” She asked and he nodded then she hugged him,
“And you get to wear whatever you want to,daddy’s not stopping you.” He kissed his only daughter and the girl shriek with great excitement.
“And guess what?” He said,her face got abit serious,
“What? I get a free ticket to The Cinema alone with Granny.” Deville shook his head,
“Tomorrow, why don’t we go out for shopping for us,remember your birthday’s coming up next month,so I’m promising a surprise for you,you would love it.” She ran to him and hugged him so tight then she ran outside leaving her dad and her grandma alone in the room.
“Thank you.” Mrs Phina said to her son,
“I owe it to her,since I took her mom from her she deserve every happiness in this world.” He hugged her,she held onto her son,
“It gonna be alright, I swear it will.” She muttered in a quite whisper.