A Mate and A Betrayal

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Chapter 1

Years later…


Sunrise, sunrise
Looks like mornin’ in your eyes
But the clocks held 9:15 for hours
Sunrise, sunrise
Couldn’t tempt us if it tried
Cause the afternoon’s already come and gone.

Norah Jones’ voice floated through the air making me smile. I liked the song and hearing it on the early Monday morning made my insides light. My hips swayed to the song as I inhaled the strong scent of coffee.

“Mommy”, I whipped around to face my six-year-old son, Benjamin, standing at the kitchen door trying to rub the sleep off his eyes.

‘Aww...’ I swooned at his cuteness. My baby looked adorable with his disheveled hair when he did that. My heart melted at his sight like it always did. I had nothing to compare that feeling with. I bent down hoisting him in my arms and smothered him with kisses. His happy giggles were music to my ears.

“Why didn’t you wait for Mommy?” I asked, kissing the tip of his nose.

“I smelled the bacon,” he replied in his baby voice making my heart swoon again. Ben’s ocean blue eyes crinkled with laughter as I brushed his soft light brown curls with my fingers. He loved it when I did that.

I sat him on a chair. “Did you brush your teeth, Ben?”

“I did.”

“Good.” I ruffled his hair before placing a plate of his favorite breakfast–bacon and scrambled eggs. I admired his strong sense of smell. Sometimes he could smell food from miles away. I helped myself with a serving and sat beside him, watching in satisfaction as he dug in.

He ate a lot for a normal child in his age and as long as he was healthy, I had no qualms about it. He never fussed with food. Ben was well-behaved and his skills with utensils amazed me. Abigail, my friend, taught him table manners well.

Ben’s IQ level was high and he has been put in an advanced education at such a small age. The doctors said his brain functions were like that of a ten-year-old. I watched him eat like a pro and there was something only I and my son know of.

My baby didn’t just have a high IQ and a strong sense of smell. Ben was faster than any child his age I had to forbid him from any sports activities in school. He had the strength of an adult male. He could lift heavy things with so much ease it scared the hell out of me, and he could see through the dark.

My son is special. It was a miracle he was even alive with the entire trauma, I went through when I was pregnant with him. I love him more than anything in this world. He is all I have, and he understands this well that as he’s never gone against my commands.

I would do anything and would go to any extent to protect my son.

It was time for his school. The bus would be here in half an hour. Quickly cleaning up, I led him to the bathroom. It didn’t take long before I kissed him, making sure he got on the bus.

Heading towards the bathroom, I washed away the remains of the morning breakfast from my mouth. Though I loved the coffee, I didn’t like the sweet stain it left in my mouth later.

I cleaned the mist on the mirror and looked at the foreign face that stared at me from the other side. I didn’t recognize the brown-haired girl, who stared at me with soft brown eyes. There was nothing familiar about that face.

“Who are you?” The girl in the mirror did not answer as I traced my face with the million dollar question, I asked myself every day. It was like I am looking in the mirror every day and trying to memorize my looks.

My eyes always held sadness, I couldn’t fathom. Exhaling, I braided the messy brown locks that framed my oval shaped face. The length bothered me on times like this, but I loved it long. Securing the end with an elastic band I had in one cabinet below, I pulled out the few cosmetics I owned.

Makeup was something I rarely used. It’s a time-consuming task, and it isn’t like I had someone to impress. Not that I had to dress to impress. If they can’t see the beauty in me, then, it was better they stayed away.

I walked to the built-in-closet and pulled out a plain white button-down shirt with a full sleeve and a matching pair of khaki pants. Choosing clothes for the day was easy as my choices were limited for the wardrobe.

The small wall clock ticked nine as I picked up my phone from the table where I left it for charging last night. I should stop plugging it overnight. My shift didn’t start until ten a.m. so I had time. I liked to prepare for the day at a relaxed phase. Hurrying up at the last minute was something I hated with a passion and it would only make me tense and forget things.

“Hey, Clara…” My neighbor Leila waved at me while I locked the door and I noticed Brad’s car leaving her driveway.

“Good morning, Leila,” I waved back at her, adjusting my bag as I walked. “When did you get back?”

“Oh, we arrived last night. Brad’s office called.” Her smile turned into a frown. “How is Ben?”

“He is great!” I beamed at the thought of my son.

“I can see you’re in a hurry. See you later, then.”


“Bye, Clara.”

“Bye, Leila.”

I noticed the bus just coming to a stop and ran the rest of the way, all the while waving to catch the driver’s attention. Usually, it was Mr. Harroway, who worked the morning shifts. He always waited for me if I ran late.

“Good morning, Mr. Harroway,” I greeted and occupied the free seat.

“Good day, Ms. Miller. It’s good to see you.”

“Likewise.” I smiled at him and turned my attention to the world outside.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. The rich aroma of coffee beans enveloped me as soon as I stepped into the restaurant. I greeted the cheerful couple, Wendy and Jones, who chatted animatedly with one of their regular customers and went straight to the staff room.

The restaurant owners, Wendy and Jones, were two kind-hearted people in their early sixties. If it wasn’t for them, I didn’t know what would’ve happened to us all those years ago. I was tying my apron when someone hit my butt with a high pitched “good morning”.

“Abigail, not again,” I exclaimed rolling my eyes. “You almost scared the shit out of me.”

“Oh! Chill girl. So, what did you do this weekend?” She chirped.

Abigail was one of my close friends here. She worked in the restaurant as a waitress along with me and Gigi.

“I took Ben to the park,” I replied knowing what would come next.

“Clara, for God’s sake try to live a bit. That guy Liam is all over you and you keep on rejecting him. What is wrong with him, anyway?” She exclaimed dramatically making me laugh.

“I am just not interested in him, that’s all,” I replied helping her to tie her apron.

“Girl, you are not interested in anyone. Come on, you might already have bats residing in that cave of yours’. You need to get laid,” she continued with her usual banter and I tuned her out.

No one except Wendy and Jones knew about my past. I couldn’t risk my son’s life by getting involved with anyone. Not now. I’ve come too far since that night. I steered clear of men all these years. Liam was hell-bent on making me his girlfriend.

Also, I wasn’t interested in him. If anything, I only got irritated when I saw him. To like him, I need to feel the initial attraction or at least comfortable in his presence, both of which was absent in this case.

“Clara, what are you doing here? The Loverboy is already here and demanding your presence as if he owns this place.” Gigi’s annoyed voice made me cringe at the thought of Liam here.

What is it with him? The guy never understands a word ‘no’.

With a heavy sigh, I pocketed my notepad with a pen, already regretting the encounter.

“Hello Sunshine,” Liam greeted in a cheerful tone much to my dismay.

He was a handsome guy with a tall frame, broad shoulders and a pair of mocking green eyes, an absolute charmer if you ask me. Somehow it was not enough and I am not someone to fall for the charms.

Liam wore a pair of black slacks with the grey button-down shirt. His thick blonde hair was combed back giving him an executive look. His rich cologne overwhelmed my senses when I got closer.

“Good morning, Liam. What would you like to have today?” I asked politely to our new regular customer.

“You,” he replied in a cocky tone, earning a glare from me. “Scrambled eggs and my favorite coffee,” he replied again with a smirk.

My hands were itching badly to wipe that sorry ass smirk out of his face with a nice smack. I balled my hands to control the urge. With a nod towards his direction, I turned on my heels without a verbal reply.

“He is hot,” Abigail was drooling over Liam’s physique when I waited for our chef to prepare his order. “If I were you, I would have jumped his bones already,” she commented picking her tray from the kitchen counter.

“You can jump him now for all I care,” I snorted rolling my eyes and picked the tray laid out by our chef, Williams. He gave me a wink at the mention of Liam’s name and continued to cook his masterpiece delicacies.

Abigail huffed, and I walked to Liam’s table. “Here is your order, will that be all?” I asked with a fake politeness this time, wanting him to leave soon.

“No. I want you to go the movies with me tonight. I have booked two tickets.” He waved two tickets in front of my face, which had my blood boiling.

How dare he buy a ticket without asking me? I grimaced and thought of a hundred ways of killing him. “I am not interested.” I gritted my teeth and turned to leave only to be stopped by him. He had gripped my wrist, and it felt like thousands of bugs were crawling under my skin. “Let go,” I whispered not wanting to grab attention.

“Only if you say, yes,” he replied with the same cockiness. His thumb caressed my wrist and his smile widened. To the onlookers, it would appear as two lovers quarrel with the way he was reacting.

How bad I wanted to punch his guts making him understand for once I am not interested in him. “Never,” I hissed, releasing myself from his grip. Anger bubbled inside me like red-hot lava and my hands shook.

How dare he touch me without my consent. I dashed into our changing room. I couldn’t trust myself to be in control around him anymore. “Next time, I will punch that pretty nose of his and if possible, I’ll break it,” I muttered amidst deep breaths, trying my best to calm myself down.

My skin turned reddish and a burning sensation had spread through my wrist when Abigail cleared her throat behind me.

What now?

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