This whole week was mostly spent in making financial reports of 'Stone Corporation'. No doubt the whole process of collection and analyzation of data for auditing was awfully tiresome. My neck is hurting so badly because of too much strain. There are bags under my eyes due to lack of sleep. It's not like I hate my job, but at times like this all I wanted was to curl my dead beat body in the soft comforter of my bed.
I couldn't even able to have a proper talk with Ryan about that painting accident. The most time I spend with him is either having breakfast where I am always in a rush or dinner where both of us are tired enough to talk. I have to hire Minnie, Ali's maid to do my leftover household chorus which she agreed happily. Thank God.
Delilah had started to freaking out a little bit, looks like the reality of being pregnant have just started to sink in her mind. It feels like she had just processed the whole fisaco. Well not so surprising considering the fact that for a person who is immune to children, this is honestly a whole lot to take. Because of pregnancy and added on stress with this 'partnership prospect', she became agitated, irritated as well as frustrated as well as what not, and snapped at anyone over everything. The matter got out of hand when staff members requested me to meddle and do something about her mood jobs as they are scared to even put even one foot inside her office without the fear of getting fired at the very next moment. Poor souls.
I suggested her to calm herself down to which she just shrugged her shoulders and blame it to pregnancy hormones. But I knew better than that. The real reason is she is still holding grudge about this whole 'partnership propaganda', and to support my nagging doubt, Mr. Stone called me many a times this week to ask about Deli as if she's alive because she is not answering his call which is itself is a set record. How could I tell him that she is not in support of this arrangement? At least her subconscious brain is not.
I give it a thought about confronting her to stop holding this grudge but then I changed my mind when pregnancy hormones hindered my mind. They are definitely going to complicate this whole scenario more.
Then, I came up with the solution of requesting Delilah to take some time off. I hope that in the meantime she will settle her scattered emotions and gain more self control. But Delilah proven to be a stubborn ass, refuses to listen to even one word of mine. It forced me to lend on my last resort and that is to involve Alisha in the matter-at-hand, who simply ordered Delilah to do what I'm saying and take a leave or else she will hunt down Delilah herself from any rat hole she was hiding and will forcefully abduct her. Alisha warned in a her signature high pitched voice quoting as 'she ain't kidding'. Delilah is although smart to not challenge Alisha on her promise and agreed to take leave but on the condition that she'll work from home which I again disagreed. We argued again but eventually she agreed with that puppy dog face might I add, when I warn to call Alisha again. I remember her fake cry to make me feel guilty to make me feel guilty which used to work on old Sarah but now, not anymore. As much of a good actress Ali is, Deli is bad in it that much. I have learned that much.
"Ryan breakfast is ready"
I set the bacon and chocolate pancakes with a glass of milk and a cup of chai on the dining table and slide my chair to sit.
Ryan came out of his room fully dressed in white pole shirt, navy colored trousers, black rubber soled shoes. He jet black hair is pressed nicely. Not even a single hair out of place. His nattidness sometimes sets me off. But needless to say, it's impressive to watch a 6 year old dressed tidily without any supervision.
"Hm" I didn't realise I was staring at him intently.
"Thank you" he said crisply.
My burrows confused, not understanding the reason of his gratitude.
He pointed to his plate at chocolate pancakes. His favourite.
"Oh. No problem sweety" I replied where 'sweety' slipped out of my mouth.
Ryan frowned for calling him 'sweety' but choose not to retort and look down at his plate and started chewing his food silently. That's new. I shrugged and also started finishing my breakfast. I was on my last bite when the front door open and Stella came in dressed in same white polo shirt alongwith navy blue skirt with two cute pigtails. Ali is behind her holding her cute bag. She waved at me and pointed between Ryan and Stella. I stand from my seat to hug her.
"Any progress?" She whispered close to my ear.
"Nope" I muttered lowly.
I kissed Stella on her cheeks while her whole focus was on Ryan who is now drinking his milk and watching our greeting from the rim of his glass. Ok I had enough of this.
"Ryan come and greet Ali and Stella"
Ryan looked at me perplexedly. When my gaze hardened he stand from his chair after wiping his mouth and stand beside me with head bow down. Ali nudge my shoulder at Stella whose big doe eyes are on verge of tears. I eyed Ali for help but she has different plans.
"Hey! Sweety" Ali teased Ryan. Ryan scowled at first but soon the corner of his lips tug upwards. Oh LORD! Here we go.
"Hello Aunty" Ryan scoffed. Ali's face turn red as tomato. Not to mention with anger.
God these kids.
Before they play a retortion game. I pushed Ali in my room. As soon as the door shut she turned towards me a little dramatically.
"Your son has a brain of that that...... Uh.....ugh...mmmm what's the word?"
"Genius" I give a hint.
I scratched my brain for another word his teachers might have used to describe him.
"Ah...ha Brilliant" Yes!! I got it.
She scowled at me like I'm an idiot.
I raise my hands up in fake surrender. I still have tons of words for my son.
"Cocky" Alisha voiced loudly.
Yeah. Hold up WHAT?
"I think I heard you wrong. You didn't called my son cocky. Did you?"
"Oh! Stop being a mother hen." She exclaimed.
"Okay...... ok I know you're angry that he calls you aunty. But then again what he supposed to call you then other than Aunty?"
"I specifically told him to call me Ali." She said pointedly.
"And he specifically told you to not call him Sweety" and I know now she is going to change the topic.
"Oh! that. But I am not here to banter about my arch nemesis. I'm here to talk about Delilah" See, told you. But what about Delilah?
"Nice way to deflect the conversation. But what about her?" I inquired while dropping down on my bed. Ali came sit beside me and held my hand in hers.
"I'm worried about her."
I inhaled deeply.
"Well,Me too. I'm also tensed about how she is coping with her sudden pregnancy news. I feel guilty for not having enough time to talk to her because of this unexpected exigency. After this meeting today I'll talk to her definitely." I spoke sadly.
"You think we should team up find "the sperm donor".
I nodded my head half listening to her words. But when they sink in-
"Wait!! What?" I baffled.
"What?" She eyed me with confused expression. I seriously doubt if she don't know what I am talking about.
"Sperm donor?" I asked incredulously. These words sound so strange at my tongue.
"Don't tell me you only catch that"
"No I listened to all your bullshit of finding her baby's daddy" my hand are flailing around. This is crazy. And I'm definitely not doing it.
"Good. So now all we need is to find the club where she get that hot-ass. And I know the right person we should go to. Guess who I'm talking about" she asked while wiggling her pointed eyebrows at me.
"I don't need to guess. Because I am I'm not going anywhere." I said trying to get my hand out of her grip.
"Oh! Stop being a plan pooper. Think about how relieved Delilah will be about having her baby's daddy along with her during this whole pregnancy." She suggested. "Maybe they fall in love with each other and Delilah could find her happily-ever-after." I know she wants good but this is not the right way.
"Well, I'm not going to lie that I don't want that for Delilah. But going behind her back to do is unsettling to me. We clearly have yet to discuss with Delilah regarding her thoughts about involvement the child's father in both their life or even if she want that. It's completely her decision to make and as friends we have to be her rocks." I put my thoughts out aloud.
"You're right. But I...I" Ali stops speaking her next words and looks at me warily as if she is torn. Why I haven't see this earlier? I went to her and hugged her tightly. She is reliving the same helplessness with Delilah that she feels 7 years before. With me.
Before I could utter a single word to soothe her we heard a screeching sound.
"This is stupidity?" That's the first sentence we both listen after dashing inside the living room where we have left two of our lifelines.
"I told you to not be friends with him." Ryan replied calmly that would seems odd the demand of the situation. But again it's not strange that he is always in control when it is least expected.
"And I was just talking with him" Stella emphasized the word 'talking'.
"And I told you I don't like him being near you"
"But he is not bad, Ryan. He even helped me with my math problem." Stella is getting a little irritated explaining to Ryan to make him see the reason.
"You could've ask me to do that. You know very well that I'll do it for you." Ryan is frowning deeply and I can feel the annoyance in his voice. " Why do you even ask for his help?"
Okay, whoever this boy is. It's clear Ryan is not a fan of him. Like Not at All. And I have got this strange feeling that my boy is feeling insecure from him.
"I don't. He offers himself." Stella answered defensively. Her hands are both tight fisted and face is beetroot red with anger. I haven't seen her anything like this before. This is not good.
"What's going on?" I couldn't hold my curiosity anymore even when Ali is literally pulling my arm to stop me from any interruption. It seems like my know-it-all friend is enjoying way too much all this whatever is happening.
"Nothing" they both said in unison.
"It doesn't look like nothing." Ali butted in coming out from behind me while folding her arms. She has the mask of all-business-look but oh-god if her eyes doesn't have that mischievous glint. Well Gentlemen and ladies, here comes the best actress of all time.
I give her a Not-now look but she just ignore like she always does. Nothing unusual.
Ryan has already busy himself rummaging his backpack acting completely oblivious to Ali interrogation. With his back to us, I don't know what he is looking for, when he has already packed everything.
His movement goes still at my voice. He turned around and look straight into my eyes. That's when I see the anger in his eyes. He is on the edge and is distracting himself from bursting out. What got him so worked up?
"I'm sorry. It's my mistake. Stella has nothing to do with this." He replied calmly but his eyes are saying otherwise. He then picked up his bag and went out of the door to wait for me in the car. Not soon Stella went along carrying bagpack alongwith.
He is avoiding Stella I know that, he is blaming her for something that much I can see from the accusing look he is throwing at her. But what it is?
"You think we should follow them" I asked suspiciously to my partner who is frowning which she did when she missed her favorite drama. God, did this
" Nah, they would sought it out themselves. But honestly I thought at last Mr. Righteous will break and confess his undying crush on Stella." She sighed dramatically while sitting down on the chair.
"Seriously. This is not a joke. Can't you see he is about to throw a tantrum?" I spoke harshly.
"Which he won't 'cause you hate it. And we both know he would never do anything that upsets you."
" I know" I heaved a deep sigh and sit across her.
"What is it?" she inquired.
"Your " copying sigh deep " means you are thinking something not to mention something really bad? Now speak." Sometimes it's difficult keeping your thoughts to yourself when someone has the potential of forcing your feelings out of your mouth. And that someone in my life is Ali. My silly Ali.
"C'mon spit it out? She shake my hand. Correction. Shake my whole body is right.
"Ryan is becoming more like him." I dragged the words out of my mouth and that got make Ali's whole body go stiff.
"Don't " that's the only words she mutter. There is dead silence for a while and the she pick her purse, stand from her seat all the while not meeting my eyes.
"Meet me in the car"
I nod my head thinking how to break this tension. I shouldn't have mentioned him.
I sit in the car where there is a thick tension swirling inside.
I tried to make idle conversation. But of no use. Ali is focused on driving. Stella is steadily looking outside the window. And Ryan is glaring at nothing.
After dropping Stella and Ryan at their school Ali stops in front of my office.
"Ali" I started.
"You know y-" but she interrupted midway.
"I know I should forget about it but we both know that's not easy."
"But we have to, in order to move on." I take a pause. "It's been long time." I tried to reason.
"Yeah. 7 years 1 month 4 days" she sigh loudly. "You are right. I should forget about it and move on."
Ali have both a big heart and a great memory. If she can forgive anyone for any of their sins then on the other hand she never forget about it. She heed her lessons. Sometimes, I feel like it's not healthy. Like at this time. I know it's not right of me to teach her to just let it go when I can't let it go myself.
"Don't forget about our plan" There, she flips her mood switch. Just to avoid the stress topic.
"What plan?" I pretend to act oblivious. She is not getting her way this time.
"You know it very well sweetie. Now get out my car before I kick you out myself."
"Oh! No. You won't."
"You can't." I said smugly. It's not always I got upper hand over her." Because you need me in your mission of finding 'Mr. Unknown sperm donor' plan" I air quoted.
"Glad you remembered. Now go fast so I can see meet you early."
"Just because I remembered doesn't mean I am going to do it."
She started pushing me out toward the door and yell "WE both know you will. Ok ! Bye see you at 5" She blatantly ignored my resistance and literally throw me out. How friendly. I snort.
I entered the the 'Stone Enterprises' wishing good morning everyone passing by. Delilah has told me to meet directly in the conference. And I bet she is already there, pinning Mr. Stone with her stare.
Well, that's all I heard before I hear a 'thud' and saw a fainting Delilah in the arms a man.
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