There's a reason they're an ex. An ex should always stay an ex. They belong to the past, nowhere near my future.
I ended up giving him a fake number then flashed from the scene, ditching my earlier plan to spend my entire lunch break at the park.
It's somehow funny, though I'm somewhat mad, by the audacity of this man to even talk to me when four years ago he left me without any last word. Or last year when he met me again but there wasn't even an apology. Or regret, remorse. Nothing of that sort that signify he's impacted as bad as I was.
One adorable voice, and another is a male voice, call me when I'm lining up at a gelato shop. I turn to my back only to find Hugo with Pao sitting on his shoulders. They are smiling brightly despite the summer heat.
"I thought it's you." He is still smiling, while I try my best to conjure up an excuse to leave as fast as I can, before the last one from the three stooges join in.
"Hi," I greet them while faking a smile, "Gelato?"
That's when I curse myself for asking something stupid. Of course they're here for gelato. It's a freaking gelato shop.
"Pao earned it after finishing her swimming class just now." He winks as the little girl nods eagerly, "Papito buy me gelato!"
"Aww good job, Pao. I'll buy you one too, okay? What's your favorite flavour?" Then I realise I just did the opposite of what I aimed to do, prolonging my time here with these two.
“Oh.” Did I just cross a boundary? I quickly turn to Hugo, "I'm sorry. Is it okay if I buy her another? Is she allowed to have more?"
He chuckles, "Her Papa would throw a fit if she jumps around after bedtime but what do we care, it's summer! No school, right Pao? I'd say bring it on."
We spend an hour together playing at the playground after I treat them two scoops of gelato before parting ways to get with our day.
I never thought I'd say this but Hugo is a pretty descent guy, I'd friend him if he isn't married to my ex. Too bad he's going to the no-no list as well.
After removing my heels, I drop my entire weight on the couch. Gotta admit after two weeks living in New York, I finally have one well-spent Saturday.
Morning walk at the park, gelato with Pao and Hugo, dinner with Santiago, I'm sure if it's not for his commitment to his work he'd end my day with a real bang.
My phone lights up signalling there's a notification coming. I lazily pull that thing to my face only to read OwH has just sent me a dm on Instagram. What now?
Though I've gotta give him a point for being creative to reach out to me through social media.
Instead of tapping on the direct-message, I bring myself up on my feet and go to the kitchen. Grabbing an empty glass and a bottle of wine, I sit back on the couch to read what the devil sent.
Is this your doing 😭
I laugh instantly the moment I play the attached video; Pao is jumping on her bed and when he sternly tells her to go to sleep, she ignores him and runs out of the room. She runs so fast that in a matter of seconds she's gone behind the walls. Cheeky.
But not enough for me to reply him. So I leave it on seen, while unconsciously watch the same video a few times more. Until he sends a new one a minute later.
"Bedtime, Paola! This is not funny." The video is showing cheeky Pao hiding behind the gigantic Hugo, shirtless and looking yummy. Damnit Elle, that's somebody's husband and daddy!
"It's a bit funny, Papa. Aaa-ha-ha-ha!" I can't help but to laugh along hearing Pao making an evil laughing sound, Hugo too starts to laugh.
If I know this is gonna happen, I'd feed her another two scoops 😌
He replies me instantly; You evil woman youuu
Not as evil as you were four years ago. But hey, my main objective moving to New York is so I can start to live my life, not be bitter.
That's why I decided it's best not to reply him anymore so I go to my bedroom to remove my make up and maybe get a bath, reminding myself a past should always remain in the past. It's not worth it.
After the bath and a movie later, I realise he sent another four messages.
11.20pm: Princess Pao has finally 💤🤪
12.01am: I'm sorry I called you evil. You're far from that.
1.01am: A saint, is what you really are.
1.11am: Sorry to bother you. Good night Precious. -from papa & pao 🧑🏼👧🏼
It feels too intimate from the last message that I just have to reply: And Papito too 🧔🏻?
It was seen right at that moment as he types for a reply. It's almost 2 now, don't tell me he's been waiting for me?
Papito's away for work again 😔 why do I always marry workaholics. Others marry bad boys, I marry badass engineer & businessman 😫
Don't forget the word gorgeous ☝🏻
GORGEOUS badass engineer
😂 good night Precious.
Is he flirting with me? Nooo, it can't be.
But he rarely calls people with endearments. The whole time we're together, I'm the only one he did that. Others, he'd just call them by their name.
No. He's married. Cut it Elle, he's just being friendly. Now go to bed. Tomorrow's Sunday, one more day to waste before work day.
"Tia, can I have another gelato after swimming class?"
I can't believe that manipulative Owen is using his daughter to get me out of my nest. Because the next Saturday morning, when I'm still in bed, he sent another video through Instagram.
I play the video two more times, laughing then smiling to see her puppy eyes. Damn it. Why do you have to be Owen Harris 2.0. I'm already weak with the original version, now he's sending his miniature?
Okay. 3pm at the same gelato shop.
Then he sends another video showing how happy Pao is, looking beyond adorable in her PJs. Her blonde hair is tied into a bun on top of her head, I bet it's his Papa doing considering the amount of time he did it for me whenever I asked him to when we were still together.
I'm obviously playing a dangerous game here, unboxing all the memories I've tucked nicely in Stockholm.
See you at 3 Gorgeous 😽