Liam seems pretty excited about staying with me as he thinks there will be monsters in my house.
What does he think that I live in some sort of haunted house? If yes, then he will be certainly disappointed.
However, I can’t feel as excited as I am supposed to because Avery’s words are still echoing in my mind forcing my heart to sink a little bit with each passing moment.
The girl you are searching for is gone. I have accepted it, now it is time that you should accept it too.
No, Avery, I will not give up on that girl... neither I will allow you to give up on her. Together we will find that girl again, who is just lost under the struggles of life.
“Buddy, was mom not feeling well today?” I ask Liam, because I know if something has happened that made Avery upset then he would have definitely picked it up.
“No.” He frowns but he looks a bit unsure.
“Is she sad?” He asks after a moment, “I don’t like it when she is sad. It makes me sad too.” He sadly pouts.
That makes two of us, kid.
I decided to drop this topic, as his young brain is able to sense the change in her but not able to comprehend it.
“Not sad, maybe she is stressed about her work.” I try to come up with a reasonable excuse, “Just like when you are not able to solve any puzzle you get stressed, right? Same way, maybe mom is also worried about something.”
“When I will meet her tomorrow, I am going to give her a big hug and a kiss.” He smiles, “Then she will not be stressed anymore.”
“Will you hug her from my side too?” I ask him hopefully. I can’t comfort her, because she will not let me, when all I want is to hold her in my arms and take away all her pain and troubles.
“Okay, but my hug will be longer than yours.” He narrows his eyes at me which brings a smile to my face.
Competing even with me? But I am gladly ready to lose throughout my life against this competitor of mine.
I don’t remember I have ever smiled this much in all these past years, how much I have smiled in these past days.
My phone chimes when a message pops on my screen as one of my men informed me that Avery hasn’t gone anywhere yet and she is still at home.
I have asked my men, who are guarding the house, not to let her out of their sight and keep me posted about everything. If she is not going to tell me, I am going to find out myself. Even though she wants me to stay away from her, but I can’t stop worrying about her, and I have to make sure she is fine.
“Do you have a cat?” Suddenly Liam asks, sounding curious.
“Do you like a cat?” I ask in return which makes him scowl.
“I have asked you first.” He crosses his arms angrily.
If you answer his question in question he gets annoyed, which I find pretty amusing.
“Yes, I do.” I nod my head, “Why are you asking this suddenly?”
“Mommy told me you used to have a cat, but now she doesn’t know if you still have it or not. I was asking her who lives with you in your house” he replies while playing with the straps of his seat. “So have you told her that I am going to stay with you? What if she doesn’t want me?”
“Her name is Frisky and I think she will love you, and you both will become friends in no time.”
This gets his attention as he looks at me happily.
All these years, I took Frisky with me wherever I went, she brought comfort to me. She was a part of my happy life, which I was holding on to during my lonely days. She proved to be a great friend which helped me to cope up with all my struggles.
I know Frisky will be a great friend to Liam too, as she has been to me in all these years.
Soon we reach my house and I flash car’s headlights four times as I stop in front of the gate. After a few moments, the gate slides open as I drive inside and glance at the rearview when the gate security quickly shuts the gate behind me.
“Cool.” Liam awe-filled voice shifts my gaze to him, “You flashed car lights and they opened the gate. If I will flash lights then they will open the gate for me too?”
“No, they know it is me that’s why they have opened,” I answer him, “But I will inform them that they should open the gate for Liam too.” I smile.
“What about my mommy?” He asks, “Ask them to open the gate for her too.”
“Okay. I will tell them to open the gate for my son and my son’s mommy, too.” I wink at him, which makes him laugh, “Happy, now?”
“Very.” He nods his head while grinning.
“Liam, careful!” I say probably for the thousandth time when he runs towards the stairs while I run behind the fast little monkey.
Right now, he is not making me feel the absence of Avery at all. I just feel like deja vu, only at that time Avery was drunk and he is not.
I never knew how much my house is dangerous until my five years old stepped into the house.
“Catch me!” He giggles loudly, enjoying the chase.
Of course, he would love the chase.
He has managed to climb only four stairs when I catch him and throw him over my shoulder.
“Alec.” He laughs and kicks his legs, “Put me down.” His squeals resonate almost throughout the house.
I push down the urge to groan when his foot hits me in the ribs.
God! He is really strong, what Avery feeds him?
“Okay, but first promise no running on the stairs.” I hold him and make direct eye contact with him, “You might get hurt, and it would hurt me too.” I softly add.
“I don’t want you to get hurt.” He wraps his arms around my neck a little too tightly, but I will be damned if I will complain, “I love you so so much.”
Emotions constrict my throat, making it difficult for me to utter a word. Swallowing, I close my eyes holding this little boy who is my world.
“I love you, too, bud.” I whisper while rubbing his back, “Your dad loves you a lot.”
“Really?” He leans back and looks at me with wide eyes, “You also love me?” He looks kind of surprised, he wasn’t expecting that.
“Yes, I do love you a lot, Liam.” I fondly look at him.
Hearing this he grins from ear to ear, but then frowns.
“But I love you more,” he says with finality while curtly nodding his head making his hair fall on his forehead.
I smile but don’t respond, because he can’t win from me in this. Because I love him and Avery more than anything in this world...even more than myself.
After killing all the monsters in my room and making my room monsters free, then only he was ready to change into his jammies. Later he falls asleep on me while watching some cartoons on my laptop.
Picking him up, I place his head on my shoulder as I check the doors and windows to make sure they are locked.
House is guarded by security day and night, and I never really bother about checking the doors and windows. But now it is different, with Liam being with me I can’t lack anywhere especially when it comes to keeping him safe.
He whines and stirs slightly, but when I rub his back he drifts back to sleep.
I have already planned to turn one of the rooms into his room, but for now, he will share my room. Maybe even after he gets his own room, he will stay with me.
Placing him on the bed, I take out his dinosaur plush toy and place it beside him. Avery told me, Frank has gifted him this toy and since Liam was two he sleeps while holding it. Especially, when he is sleeping alone he needs this toy as it makes him feel secure and comfortable.
I lie beside him while I continue to watch him sleeping. Watching his calm and peaceful face I feel like I don’t have any burden on my shoulders and this is a rare feeling for me.
My phone vibrates once indicating I have received a message.
Twisting my body slightly, I pick up my phone from my bedside table. And the moment I read the message my eyebrows pinch together in confusion and instead of texting I directly make a call.
“What is she doing?” Standing up, I move away from the bed, “And how long she has been there?” I ask keeping my voice low, not to disturb Liam’s sleep.
“She is doing nothing.” Ron, one of my trusted men, answers, “For one hour she has been just sitting in the car and staring at the house.” He sounds perplexed as even he is finding her behavior odd.
“Ron, don’t let her get out of your sight and inform me instantly if you feel anything suspicious.” I sternly order him while somewhere my heart is afraid that she might do anything stupid. I still can’t shake off the image of her when I had nearly lost her.
But then I know she will not do anything like that ever again, as she loves Liam too much to see him in pain.
“Don’t worry, Boss,” he replies, “I will keep you posted.”
Another question is added to the list of questions already occupying my mind.
What is she doing at her parents’ cabin house?
Liam tosses in bed while sleeping, as his hand search for something. His hand finds his plush toy which he clutches to himself.
Quietly, I get inside the bed and the next moment he snuggles to my side while keeping his one arm and leg on me. Lifting his head, I place his head on my arm and hold him as he sleeps completely unaware of how much comfort his presence has brought in my life.
“Good night, buddy,” I whisper while kissing his head as my mind tries to solve the biggest puzzle of my life... Avery.