It’s been longest day today, I am so tired my body feels so drained with so much responsibilities revolving around me, first marriage something that I am not ready for and then Jasmine’s death taking a turn with everything, and then the kid and Ana’s memories its just too much to handle.
I get into the bathroom have a long relaxing bath, trying to calm down my mind, I come out of the bathroom and emerge into my wardrobe changing into a pair of sweats and just fall on the centre of the bed hoping for a peaceful sleep, but I couldn’t sleep, I restlessly I kept turning and twisting on the bed, its just one face appearing in front of me Claire!
“ughh... seems like I am not going to fall asleep now” turning to the side table I look at the time and it’s 12.30. I let out a sigh and walk out to my balcony, I stand there letting the cool breeze wrap around me, I look up to the sky and the thoughts of Ana’s voice come to my mind whenever I have dreamt about her, “I am going nowhere I am always going to be by your side you need to find out why I left, I had a reason you need to find out, I still need your help”. Wake up!! Wake up!!
I can’t waste another second I need to find out everything I mutter to myself moving out my room I get into the driveway and find the location of the nearest Foster Home near the office and drive straight there, while driving “I know it’s late but I cant prolong anything anymore I need to know who that kid belongs to is it really Ana’s kid or that doll is just some coincidence, come on Alex you can do it” I say it to myself.
In half an hour’s time I reached the Foster Home, the security guy doesn’t allow me to get in after a long argument he called someone from the front desk and I see Annie walking towards me she tells the security to let me in and I follow inside, she stops halfway in the yard and turns to me,
“How can I help you sir, haven’t you seen the time it’s almost one, don’t you know people sleep at this time?” she spoke out of anger not bothering who is standing in front her because I ruined her beauty sleep.
“yeah, I am sorry I did see the time but I couldn’t hold on to things anymore I had to come here and find out something, please can you help” I look at her with pleading eyes. Alexander Knight which is me never pleads with anyone but what I wanted now was a favour and I needed it and this girl is the only hope.
She looks at me from head to toe and rolls her eyes, “yes how can I help you?”
“The little girl Claire I want to know about her parents, how she came into this NGO can you tell me about it?”
“sir, I am sorry I can’t give out information like that and second thing we do give limited information only when your adopting, but unfortunately Claire is not for adoption”
“listen it’s very important, I feel she is somehow related to me, I need to know about her, please do corporate I wont risk the details with anyone don’t worry, and why did you say she is not for adoption? Why is she here then? Don’t you want her to go to any family?” I bombarded her with a lot of question.
She let out a sigh, totally frustrated with all that I asked her, “ok, ok Mr. I’ll help, but just keep your voice down, I won’t mind you being and officer but if any kids sleep gets disturbed, I am surely throwing you out without any information” pointing her fingers towards me she spoke everything in one breath.
Woah! This girl is sure one explosive, seriously she is threatening me, like threatening The Alexander Knight, I would have not let her go for yelling at me but I have no choice, I raise my hands surrendering in the air and give her tight smile with a nod.
“please sit” she leads me towards a bench in the porch outside the mansion. We sit down and a couple of minutes passes in silence, I was waiting for her to say something but damnit! she is testing my patience I can’t control anymore; I decide to open my mouth and say something but she speaks finally
little Claire was brought to this place when she was two years old by a young lady, she was very beautiful and Claire really liked the place and was running and playing around with the other kids, Claire was brought everyday to visit us by her mom, Claire’s mom and I were friends in the university in London. She paused for some time eyes brimming with tears but suppressing it back she continued and then one day just few days before Claire could turn three, she told me that her family hated her for betraying their trust and she got her punishment for it that when she conceived for Claire she got to know she had cancer and she won’t be able to survive, she told me she never wanted Claire to grow up with her father that he wouldn’t care for her, so she handed Claire to me and told me to keep Claire and raise her until the day her real family would come in search of her, and a day after Claire’s birthday she passed away since then Claire was not up for adoption, I never really understood what my friend meant about “Her real family” Annie said and shrugged her shoulders.
I have never really known anyone much from my friend’s family nor did she tell me anything she only told me to wait for the perfect day to come, and little Claire is really the precious one here sweet and loving to everyone. And she smiled and I nodded, oh and yeah, I did not tell you’re her mom’s name, her name was...
“Anastasia,” I said before she completed. She turned and looked at and I was in tears thinking of all the pain she went through. And suddenly I was pulled out by a voice
“no, her name is Emily, I turned and blinked at her for quite a few minutes wondering if I got this whole thing wrong that I was really thinking Claire was Ana’s child.
“No, you’re lying that can’t be the name you’re telling me,” and abruptly I stand up and she scrunches her face and looks at me confused.
“officer why does it really care to you if I am telling the truth or not, I am not supposed to let out any information about any kid especially at this time but I did just because you have been nice to her, why does her story ever matter to you?”
“I feel like she is my younger sister’s daughter” I tell almost choked with my words I have never felt this way in my entire life not until I lost two precious people.
Annie looked stunned by what I said and profusely blinked at me, “umm... why do you have that feeling how can I believe you about this?”
I shrug “do you have any pictures in the log book or something that I can see or a personal picture of you and your friend?”
“actually, I don’t have one with her because I didn’t want her memories killing me each day, but she had given me a family picture when she Claire was small and said that anyone who comes to claim Claire will recognize it, i have never seen that properly till now if you want I can show you that”
A smile stretches over my lips, she walks inside the mansion and comes out after 5mins while I was restlessly walking around the porch, she comes over to me and hands over the picture, I look at it and recognize it the picture with Ana standing with her pink bunny,
“so, you’re still going to claim that Claire is related to you?”
“yes, and the girl in this picture is Anastasia my sister not Emily your bad at lying” I smirk at her
“prove it” she said
I pull out my phone and show a picture of the three of us Jade, Ana and me. “Her real family” said more in a whisper and smiled at me. “So, you must be Alexander then?” I shook my head in yes and few minutes of silence she muttered “sorry, I didn’t mean to lie about the name I just couldn’t risk Claire’s safety”
“I am glad my sister took a wise decision on leaving Claire with you, I am happy you took care of her like your own”
“here everyone is my own my mom and dad were handling this place but after they died, I took over, and I am glad I could help Ana because she was the best friend anyone could wish for” and she give a smile, she was not as bad I thought.
“are you my family?” suddenly an angelic voice came from the corridor. Annie and I spun our heads immediately and looked in the direction from where the voice came.
Claire was standing in a baby doll night dress rubbing her eyes and standing with an elephant doll in her hand. I swallowed hard not able to say anything, there was so many emotions running through my mind, how am I going to tell her the truth. Hesitatingly I walk towards her but she runs and jumps onto me clinging my neck and she pulled back and looked at me “I knew you were my family; I knew you would like me and adopt me Annie always told me that mum said someone will come looking for me and love me a lot” and she kissed my cheek.
I smiled and kissed her back, “yes you are family my princess I am your mom’s elder brother Alex and I am going to take you home to see your grandparents, would you come with me?” I asked hopefully maybe she would hate us because we were not close to her for 6years.
“yes, uncle Alex, I would love to go home” she beamed with joy and jumped in my arms, she just called me uncle Alex I just feel I don’t miss Ana anymore because I see her in Claire.
Putting Claire down on the floor to stand I turn to Annie “can I take Claire with me home forever?”
“yes, but you will have to finish few formalities, and its almost 3 in the morning, I have almost lost my sleep I have no more energy left”
“look I understand it’s the wrong time but I can’t wait any longer It’s been years already just let me take her now and I will finish the formalities in the morning, I am not going to run away anywhere you know very well who I am” I snapped at Annie even though she helped me she was testing my patience too much and The Alexander Knight never stoops down anymore.
“fine you can take her now, and I will meet in the morning at 9, Claire go get your things and leave with your uncle to your new home” Annie kisses Claire on the forehead.
After sometime Claire comes with a backpack with things packed and Annie brought the rest of the things and loaded it in the trunk of the car. Claire hopped onto the passenger seat of the car and I buckled the seat belt around her and she still was smiling at me smart kid I didn’t have to explain anything to her I think to myself.
I found her this was what Ana left back in this cruel world a beautiful angel to be with me, our family.
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