(My heart de-sire)
BY BLESSING SILVER
Damien rushed out of the room, running a comb throu-gh the thick strands of his short hair, he used his free hand to lock up one of the only two bu-ttons of his v-n£¢ked shi-t which must’ve re-leased itself when he was running out.
He threw the comb mindless-ly, caring less where it landed.. He rushed to the kitchen, a small room with the right kitchen equipment.. Granny was just putting the last piece of cu-pcake into the basket that had been neatly t©pped with a rosy thick cloth, when he rushed in.
“Your noise is getting too much for my old ears” she said tilting her face to give him a look and he smiled an apology to her.
“I can never get used to early duties” he said, bending to as-sist granny cover up the cu-pcakes that had been neatly arranged. “Especially with a be-d like that” he said and granny’sl-ips twitched in a smile..
“It’s a gradual step” she said and he sighed huskily, de-eply inhaling the gripping aroma of granny’s homemade cu-pcake, tem-pted to have a bite, he raised a hand in a gesture to reach out to one but pu-ll-ed it back almost immediately as if having a second thought about it. He gr@bb£d the basket handle instead.
“I’ll get going now” he said to her, k!ss!ngher both cheeks.
“Take care, okay”
“I always do granny. Wish I could get rid of this life right away” he said and granny laughed “I’ll be fine though. Bye”
He dashed off, pas-sing swiftly throu-gh the door; he got to the shady side outside his house and sighted his bike half resting on the comfortability un-der the Apple tree.. He put the cu-pcake into the bike’s basket and bent to examine the chain, it was a little loos£ned and he knew it won’t last a week before it gets completely ruined, he also noticed a small spiky metal sticking out from the ruined p@rt, it could prick him anytime if he got careless, he nee-ds to fix it before that happens or better still get a new one. Too bad he wasn’t anything close to a repairer.
He pu-ll-ed the bike away from the tree, enjoying the shade for a moment; he steadied it. The morning sun warming his skin and ma-king him feel like going back to the shade, he sighed and he hopped on the bicycle, steadying himself on it and watching his every move
He settled a feet on the pedal, using his weight to move the bicycle, seeing it’s suc¢v-mbing motion he settled the other feet sharply and drove off on the not-so-busy.
After few minutes on the road, he reached the restaurant Bobby’s Burgers, one of the most famous restaurant in town, he knew it.. He couldn’t count how many times he had eaten in it and purchased some take-homes. He twitched his nose as delicious odors of cooking food wafted the air and disturbe-d his nose.. He hungered for a bite but he kicked it aside. He parked his bike at the as-signed parking lot which was almost filled with cars.. Well, who doesn’t fancy morning yummies?.
He looked at his sp©t, glad it hadn’t been taken before his arrival, he walked to it and moved to the bench, he sat on it and put his basket on a rock close to his feet after lying a cloth on it first..
He relaxed his bag on the headrest while awaiting his first buyer..
“Look who c@m£ before me,” he heard a croaky old voice filled with mockery beside him and he tilt his head sideways to see Javier, a newspaper vendor who sold at the other side..unlike him, who had only one sp©t to sell, Javier had many.. He once told him he sold anywhere his spirit told him to, maybe it led him to the restaurant today. They were friends and Damien found him pretty amusing for his age, he was many years older than him but they flowed like friends and he appeared to be fond of him. He was glad he’d have someone to joke with today. “Bad night, huh?” He joked, giving him a light squee-ze. Damien laughed.
“Good morning to you too, Javie”
She ran a hand throu-gh her hair, her gaze swaying left and right at the tons of do¢v-ments, treatise, files and paperwork on her desk, neatly arranged at a corner, patiently waiting for her to attend to them. She ignored them for a moment, turning to pour herself a cu-p of coffee, she clung onto the cu-p gawkily as the h0t liquid poured into it, surprised it didn’t spill on her hand. She st©pped the machine and added milk to the cu-p before drawing it to herl-ips, taking in a larger p@rt of the liquid, she set it down and stared at the papers before her.. Feeling a little strength and re-adiness, she gr@bb£d a first file and started work.
She rounded up the third file, arranging the paper back in them, she set it in the cabinet, just like the first and second, she was going for the final when she heard the Ringing of the telephone, she picked it up from the cradle..
“J.T Company” she said into the phone.
“Leona, can I see you in my office?” She heard her fathers voice from the other end and su-cked in a sigh.. The morning memories coming back.
“Sure. Will be there in a sec” she answered and almost immediately the call got disconnected, she settled it back down.. Put the file aside and drained the third cu-p of coffee before setting it down carefully. She stood up and walked out of the office, tossing Hi’s to few workers that greeted her. She took the elevator up to where her dad’s office was located.. She walked out of it and down the hall, pas-sing door and pas-sageways. She reached his office, realizing that he was expecting her, she pu-ll-ed in a knock, twisted the knob and walked in.. She sighted her dad, his head bent to a monitor, obviously hearing the door open he raised his head up at her the settled.
“Come on in” he beckoned to her and she walked it, taking the empty seat in front of him. He stared at her and from the glint in his eyes she knew he had something to tell her, something he was thinking de-eply about how to pour it out to her.
She knew her dad, had spent most of her life with him, so she knew very well how to re-ad him.. It was one of her abilities, re-ading people she knew.
She waited, watching him look at her but his thought elsewhere.. She gave him time to contemplate on whatever he wanted to talk to her about.
“We’re leaving together for Kansas after work”
“Why?” She asked and her father took in a quic-k breath.
“We’re visiting the Rodriguez’s” he said and she drew in a sharp breath, hiding her annoyance, of course she knew where he was driving to.
“I’m not really familiar with the Rodriguez so why am I going with you?” She asked, trying to pl@yit cool.
“Cos I nee-d you to get to know them. You know Gregory, their son who traveled to Zealand?, well he’s back and I think you both should meet”
She kept quiet for a moment.
“We’re adults dad, if we want to meet then we’ll do so. You can’t make that decision” she said, annoyance evident in her voice.
“I alre-ady told him about you, he’ll like to meet you”
“Then let him tell me that himself! You can’t just schedule meet ups with some strangers and tell me to go. Seriously dad, I know where you’re heading to and sorry, I’m not game this time” she was about standing up, trying frantically to hide the tears gathering up in her eyes.
“I’m your father Leona! I’m doing this for the company’s benefit and for our family and if I say you’ll help then you have to!”
“Help?” She scoffed, half-sitting on the chair. “Matchma-king me up with a stranger just for your selfish reason is help?
I chose business because you called it help, sit in a chair all day staring at a computer and writing down treatise for proposal, re-ading files, hosting conference meetings and trying me best to make everything right!. I let you choose my life dad, I did everything you wanted me to do and now you’re s£nding me off to some stranger, probably expecting me to persuade him to work with you and maybe warm his be-d while doing it. I’ve done it before and up till now I can’t forgive myself for it and now you’re asking me to do it for a third time!?. Do you even care about my feelings even for a little bit, dad, do myself as a human mean something to you?” She said, giving him a long look. He stared away for a moment then faced her after a sigh.
“Look Lee, this is no time for feelings, if we don’t get this p@rtnersh!pcontract with the Rodriguez, J.T’s gradually going to drop, we owe so much as it is to the board and there’s not enough capital to back it up” he explained.
“And whose fault is that?” She asked. It was rhetorical question of course. “If you hadn’t been so careless and such a big wom-anizer then J.T won’t be in this mess, we both know that all the funds you collected in the company’s name wasn’t used on it one bit, you squandered it all on your numerous side chicks and got our family into your mess and now you want to use me as a bait to achieve your motive of su-cking for others fund!–
“Don’t you talk to me in that manner Leona, I’m your father” he said, getting up and pointing his index f!nger at her.
“Of course,” she stood up to, a faux smile on her face “And guess what, that’s my very first regret”
“I’ll forgive you for this cos I will as-sume that it all caught you by surprise but nevertheless, we’re doing this the way I want it whether you like it or not” he said, a note of finality in his tone.
“Of course,” she said sarcastically and he s-en-sed it “You’ve always been the boss of me” she said and walked away, ban-ging the door a little behind her.
She drew in a sharp breath, then blinked, trying to make the tears go back. She sniffed and stared around, hoping no one had heard the heated argument between her dad and her or seen the teary eyes she was trying to hide. She ru-bbe-d her knuckled, feeling the slight pain tugging at the joints because of how ha-rd she had ti-ght£ñed her fist, trying to suppress her father’s belligerent words.
She walked to her office and sat back on the chair, a sigh pas-sing throu-gh herl-ips, she stared at the file.. She was in no mood to work now. She gr@bb£d her bag, opened one of the drawers and took out the swipe card. She walked out, st©pping at the secretary table to tell her few things.. She walked out of the door and used the elevator to the first floor, she used the back door, not wanting to hear any questions from her colleagues.. She used the swipe card as her pas-s, only her dad had the card, about five of them that he keeps in his drawer at home, she had taken one and had kept it for herself for times like this.
She got to the park opened the car door of her BMW, she tossed her bag to the pas-s£ngers side and slid into the drivers.. She started the ignition and pu-ll-ed out of the parking lot. She opened her bag, controlling the steering wheel with her free hand, she gr@bb£d her phone from it and scrolled throu-gh the dialer, s£nd quic-k glances and the phone, she cli-cked on the contact she wanted, the first on the list and placed it on her ear, hearing it ring..
“Leona?” She heard Amy shrunken voice.
“Aw, come on Amy, don’t tell me you’re still in be-d” she said.
“Got up when your call c@m£ in. What’s up?”
“I’m out of the company for today?”
“The old man annoys you again?”
She sighed slowly “It gets worse every time”
“I guess that’s a yes to get some jazz?”
“Sure girl. Meet me at Bobby’s, will be gr-abbing a bite for lunch at the specials” she said.
“Okay. I’ll freshen up now” she said and Leona ended the call.
She couldn’t wait for tonight, she was so re-ady to dance off her worries, all her dad’s annoying offers, to completely b!ow off those steams for a while even though she might be tra-pped with no rejection choice in the end. She smiled, tapping her nails slightly on the steering wheel. She could probably get a little ti-psy so she won’t let her dad’s talk get to her heart or annoy her, she’ll just hear him talk then sleep it all off until the next day.
Her dad could rant all he wants when she gets home but now, she was going to have fun all day; just like every other teenager with normal lives even though hers wasn’t.
Leona found a place to park her car in the as-signed parking lot at Bobby’s that was filled with cars and other vehicles, a big van inclusive. She hopped down, taking her bag from the other side, she gr@bb£d her purse front and dropped it back at its former sp©t. She head to the door..
“Miss, may I interest you to some yummies”
She spared the cu-pcake guy a glance, looked away and walked into the door.. She had noticed him the very few times she visited Bobby’s and on each occasion, he had called on her. She wondered if that was how he talked to everyone that visits here. She took a table at the VIP room and ordered a hamburger and a cu-p of fruit jui-ce.
She took a large bite and chewed, gulping it down with a mouthful of the orange flavored drink.. She was on the second when Amy walked in.. From afar she knew it was her, attention going to her direction, mostly from the males.. Leona smiled a lopsided grin.. That was Amy for you, a guru at getting attention.. She had told her, she loved the stares, it made her feel like a princess. Amy had always been a fancy girl right from when she knew her. Unlike her, Amy always knew how to get what she wanted.. She was more like Leona’s role model.
Amy swayed her h!ps on purpose, letting the men drop their lowerl-ips in awe. She was dressed in a sleeveless dress, a very short and clingy one, bringing out all her endowment. She reached her with a toothy smile, her red l!pgloss glistening in the ray of sunlight that was seeping in.
“Hey girlfriend. Hope you didn’t wait for too long?” She asked, her voice loud and attention gaining. She took a seat.
“Not too long” she said.
“Good. I found a place we could relax before going to the club, it’s a mad place, good place to have a problem free mind” she said and Leona nodded.
“If that’s it, then I’m in” She said.
“I’ll just order cola and wait for you to finish up” Amy said, standing up to go to the counter, rather than beckoning to a waitress or waiter.. Leona knew she wanted the attention and she got it.
“While at it,” Leona paused opening her purse and taking out a five dollar note “pay for this for me”
“Sure,” Amy collected the money and walked away.
Leona focused on closing her purse when she noticed it.. She shifted her purse content, mostly money aside, searching for it but it wasn’t there.. Her swipe card. She was certain she had left it here after leaving JT, why wasn’t it here? She searched the purse more, still not finding it, she emptied the content on the table, her alarming eyes rolling about for it..
“It’s not here” she muttered.
Maybe she left it in her handbag but she clearly remember leaving it in her purse, she had to check it out, just to be sure. Amy walked back to the table, a cu-p of cola in her hand.
“I’ll be back, I nee-d to check out something in my car” she said and Amy nodded. She stood up and walked out of the door straight to her car.. She unlocked the door and climbe-d into her car, she gr@bb£d her bag and searched but the card wasn’t in it, she upturned the content and searched even ha-rder but it still yielded the same result.
Where could it be?
She can’t misplace it, it’s something that’s very vital.. She hopped down, it must’ve dropped when she took her purse out, She nee-ds to search around.. She closed the door an tilt her head downward, searching on the gras-s for it..
“Um excuse me, are you looking for something?”
She half looked up to see the cu-pcake guy, ignoring him, she ran her shoe throu-gh another p@rt of the gras-s.
“Is it by chance this card?” He asked and her head snapped up to him, between his index and thumb f!nger rested her swipe card, she looked at him and nodded, taking it from him when he stretched it out to her.
“Uh Thanks,” she said, feeling guilty for having ignored him initially.. He just saved her. “Where.. did you find it?”
“Over there,” he pointed to a side of the gras-s “I saw it fall from you so I picked it up. Seeing it was important, I went in to find you but I didn’t see you so I decided to wait here for you” he said and she smiled.
“It’s very important. Thank you” she said, b!tt!g at her lowerl-ip. Not knowing what to say, she opened her purse, gr@bb£d some dollar bills and stretched it to him.
“Why are you paying me?”
“Uh,” her mouth stayed open for a moment “for your wait and for keeping this for me” she said.
“Sorry miss. I can’t accept this, I did what I did out of humanity.. It’s what any good person would do.. You don’t have to pay me for it” he said and she nodded slowly.
“Uh okay. But I feel like I owe you.. Do you still have those yummies you wanted to interest me to? I’ll love to buy” she said and he smiled bashfully before nodding.
“There’s just one left but you can have it” he said, bringing his basket forward, she saw the cu-pcake in it, a red cherry resting at its t©p..
“I’ll take it. How much?” She asked.
“You can have it for a taste, then buy another time if you like it.. I know you will though cos people who eats it get add!çted to it easily”
She didn’t miss the br@g his tone carried.
“Oh really?” She asked, fascinated.
“Yes and I’ll add some mind reliever to it the next one, a pretty lady isn’t supposed to have so much worries and guess what, my cu-pcake is a good worry wiper, it never makes anyone sad after a bite” he said and her face slowly twitched to a frown, she opened her mouth to talk but no word c@m£ out of it..
“I hope to see you again miss, with a less gloomy face next time” he said.
“Leona?” Amy walked up to them “what’s been keeping you and..who is this?” She asked, frowning at him.
“Never mind I don’t nee-d to know but I wra-pped up the rest of your lunch, you can have it while I drive. Keys?” She stretched her palm and Leona handed her purse over to her, she opened it, gr@bb£d the keys and gave it back. Giving Damien a quic-k belligerent up and down eye look, she dashed off to the car..
“I do hope I enjoy your cake. I have to go now though” she said.
“Okay. Bye” Damien said, pu-lling aside.
“Come on Lee!” She heard Amy calling and she rushed over to the car and got into the pas-s£nger side..
“Sorry” she muttered to her.
Amy started the car..
“He gave you that?” She asked, referring to the wra-pped up cu-pcake.
“Yes. Looks delicious, right?”
“He wishes,” she said with a gruff. “Don’t tell me you’re going to eat that”
“I will but not now” she said, opening her bag and putting it inside.
“Ew. Then you have to take a cleanser after it, you don’t know how much germs it carries.. Seeing that dude looks, I’m sure they’re much–
“St©p it Amy, focus on the road” she sighed out.
“Kay Kay. I’ll shut up now”
Leona faced the window, thinking about the guy she just spoke with seconds ago and the words he had said to her..
How did he know that she was niggling over a problem in her mind, how did he notice her worries un-der her looks..
He must’ve said it out as a joke but somehow, she felt like talking to him again.
T. B. C
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BY BLESSING SILVER