Getting back up to the office, I bump into Raphael and Erick. They both were chatting as they got into the elevator. Earlier, I had gone and looked for Raphael, but neither Erick was in his office.
“I have been looking for you,” I said as I glance at Raphael.
“We were having lunch,” Raphael said with a stern look, “It was our lunchtime.”
“Oh,” I said.
These past days I’ve been so engrossed in work, I have forgotten to eat on time. The workload was too much, and I was feeling the toll on my body. I knew I had to go back home, but I had to complete some assignments before deciding to head back and spent some time with Allorah.
I’ve been avoiding her, and Raphael and Erick knew. Even Farah felt I was irresponsible. But how could I get back? I couldn’t unless I had completed more information about Stefan and Allorah’s new guns.
“You should have called me for lunch…” I stated.
Both Erick and Raphael looked at me. Exchanging a sigh, they both stayed quiet.
“You wouldn’t have come,” Erick said after some seconds of silence.
“I would…” I mumble.
“No, when it comes to Allorah, you wouldn’t,” Raphael snap.
“He’s right, though,” Erick said as the elevator door open. “We had lunch with the squad at your house; Allorah was kind enough to cook for us. It was fun.” Erick said as he waved goodbye, and the door closed.
Raphael and I were left all alone in the elevator. He was with his eyes closed, thinking. Was it true they had lunch together?
“Is…” I stutter, but Raphael silences me.
“If you’re going to ask, Yes, we did, and no, we didn’t miss you,” Raphael said as he got down from the elevator, leaving me all alone.
The rest of the afternoon passed by in a blur. We were meeting after meeting. Revising documents and checking on the prisoners had me exhausted. By the time I could take a rest, it was past midnight.
“I shall take my leave,” Raphael said as he grabbed a stack of papers. “Tomorrow morning, we shall have our meeting with Sebastian. Now, if you excuse me, I will go home.”
Shutting the door, they left me alone in the office. Sighing loudly, I lay down on the couch. Why was I stubborn? I missed Allorah.
Groaning angrily, I grab my jacket and phone and head down. My security team sat in the lobby talking and laughing.
“Mr. Montiel?” one of my guards said, standing up.
“I will go home tonight,” I said, sad.
I could feel their eyes on me. It must surprise them I had gone home. Maybe this was a good idea. I needed a break, and I wanted to see Allorah.
The ride took us ten minutes because of the lack of traffic. It was one when I arrived at the mansion. The lights were still on in some areas. Opening the door, I walk in and find my mother in the kitchen.
“You are here?” I asked, surprised in finding her at my home.
“Where else would I be?” my mother snapped, “I can’t have her being all alone in this enormous place, can I?”
She was right, and for that, I didn’t argue.
“Have a good night,” my mother said as she passed by without giving me a second glance.
After drinking some wine, I head up. I was nervous about seeing Allorah, but I wish to be next to her just for a while. See her and look at her sleeping face. She must look better since she was recovering. Quietly as possible, I open the bedroom door. Lights were entirely off, and I could smell rose and vanilla and mix in the air. It seems she recently took a bath.
Heading towards the bathroom, I open the door and turn the light on. To my surprise, no one was in the room.
“Allorah?” I whispered.
She wasn’t in the room, and the bed barely looked in touch. Was she not sleeping in the bedroom?
I could expect her to be angry. After all, I wasn’t even here, and I had left her all alone when I promised I wouldn’t.
Taking my clothes off, I head out to look for her. This place had a lot of rooms where Allorah could be. Even the library would be a place Allorah would like.
The whole mansion was eerily quiet, not a sound. Turning around a corner, I hear a single sound resonate. Frowning, I walk over and stop. Where was that coming from?
Ignoring it, I knock door after door. But most rooms were empty. Where was Allorah?
As I turn once again, I hear the same sound. But this time, it came again and again like a minor melody.
“Did you know Allorah could play the piano?” Farah mentioned before.
Remembering that, I head towards the piano room. That was the last place I expected to find Allorah. As the same melody continued, I started running until I reached the hall. Stopping, I look inside and find Allorah seated down on the bench, with a sad look playing a melody that struck me on the chest.
I wanted to call her name but stopped when I saw her. Allorah looked pale, like if she’s been sick. Deciding to stay behind the shadows, I stare at her. Was something wrong with her?
The fact Allorah looked sick was bothering me. But I didn’t want to interrupt her. As I stood from afar watching, I felt hypnotized by her. She seemed so skilled playing the piano; it amazed me.
A sudden movement caught my attention, and I hid more behind the wall. Farah walked in barefoot and with small candlelight in her hand.
“Uh Allorah, I think it would be best if you go to bed,” Farah whispered.
Allorah seemed so engrossed that she didn’t react to Farah.
“Allorah?” Farah said as she touched Allorah’s hand.
She is halting as she touches a key that wasn’t supposed to get included. Farah looks at her and holds her hand.
“Please take some rest,” Farah repeated.
Quietly, Allorah stood up and closed the piano. She turned her head and looked out the window. The moonlight shined brightly inside the room—her white hair glimmer. There was something strange in her.
“Should we go?” Farah suddenly said as she pushed Allorah from behind.
I watch them walk out and head towards the rooms. With a sigh, I go in and see the piano.
I created this room because I used to play the piano before when my father was alive. It was a hobby I liked and had the intention that maybe someday someone would play it. And it seems I have found that someone, but was I being too much?
Approaching the piano, I take a seat and look at the musical notes. Furrowing my eyebrows, I examine the lyrics. This music note was written in a strange language. One I had never seen. Is this Allorah’s writing?
After spending some time in the piano room, I decided to go back to the bedroom. As I was about to open the door, I see Farah walking out.
“Dom?” Farah said, surprised.
“Hi,” I said, smiling.
“Why are you here?” Farah asked with a frown, “Weren’t you not coming over?”
“Yes, but I came back…” I said, lowering my gaze.
Farah didn’t say a word.
Confused at her silence, I look up.
She was with a stern look. Her arms cross over her chest.
“It would be best if you stay in another room,” Farah retorted.
“What why?” I asked, confused at her request, “This is my room.”
“And this is also Allorah’s room!” Farah hissed, “She would not wish to see you!”
Shocked to hear her words, I back away. What did she mean by that?
Noticing my reaction, Farah sighs and grabs my arm, pulling me the opposite way.
“Wait, I have my things there,” I said stubbornly.
“I will get them for you,” Farah said without looking back, “Stay here!”
Opening one room, she pushes me in and closes it. Frowning, I stare at the door. Was I being kicked out of my bedroom? Deciding to give up, I walk to the bed and lay down. Feeling the exhaustion of the sleepless night I had, I let my sleepy eyes close and fall into a deep sleep.
The following day I groan at the blindly lights coming from outside the window. My neck hurt, and my body felt tired. Sitting up, I turn and look at the time on the wall. It was past eight. It’s been a while since I’ve slept this late. Getting up, I head to the bathroom and take a relaxing bath.
As I lay on the tub, I hear a soft knock.
“Come in,” I said.
Opening the door, I see Raphael peeking inside.
“Morning,” Raphael said as he set some clothes on the stand. “Farah sent this. And your things from last night are there.”
“Why are you here?” I asked, confused. It was early in the morning, and Raphael lived in the city. So why was he here?
“I’ve been having breakfast here,” Raphael said and turned around to leave.
“What?” I asked. “Breakfast here?”
“Yes, we all do.” Raphael said, shaking his head and walking out.
Listening to the bedroom door close, I wait some more minutes and then get out.
I was changing into some black pants and a white long sleeve shirt. I decide to head down for breakfast. Looking at my phone, I notice I have two missed calls from Erick. I had a small meeting, but it would be in three hours.
Walking into the dining hall, I stop when I hear cheerful voices. What was that? As I open the double doors, I stop in shock. Everyone present looked at me, surprised. At least twelve of my men and my family sat on the tables eating happily. Moving my eyes to each of them, I stop when I notice Allorah walking out with a tray of food.
Her smiling face was disappearing the moment she sees me.
“Um, good morning, boss,” one of the men said with a forced smile.
“Morning,” I said as I debate if I should go in or not.
“Are you joining us today?” another of the men asked.
I looked like an idiot waiting for permission to sit.
“Why don’t you join us?” Farah suddenly said as she pointed towards an empty chair.
“Yes,” another person said, “Sit, boss!”
Nodding, I walk in and take a seat at the only empty chair at the end of the table.
As if nothing had happened, everyone speaks again. The entire table was full of different healthy food. I saw Raphael and Erick at the other end of the table. They completely ignored me.
“Here, you might like this,” Farah mumble as she serves me a plate full of food.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
Hearing my stomach growl, I dig in. I wanted to look to the front, but I knew I would see Allorah staring at me. Everyone must be surprised to see me here. For a moment, I felt everyone uncomfortable with my presence, but it vanished into thin air.
Hearing the surrounding chatter has me wondering since when everyone has been coming here.
“Let us help you!” I heard two voices say. Looking up, I find Erick and Raphael holding Allorah’s trays as she comes out of the kitchen. She was smiling at them. Gulping the food down, I lower my gaze and ignore them.
“Eat everyone there’s plenty,” Allorah said, making me look at her. She was smiling warmly. As I followed her movements, I see Raphael and Farah helping her.
“What are we having for lunch today?” one of my men asked cheerfully.
“Yes, we are having soup or steak?” another one asked.
I stare at all of them. It felt like I was a stranger here.
“We will see, but promise to come, right?” Allorah said, smiling.
Feeling a tug on my chest, I stop eating. How have I missed her smile? She looked lovely. Allorah was wearing a yellow long sleeve dress with a small necklace. Her hair was braided, and she was wearing makeup. It was the first time I see her wearing so much makeup. Was this my mother’s doing?
“Would you be joining us for lunch?” one of my men asked as he pulled me out of my thoughts.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
Everyone in the room went silent. Looking to the front, I see Allorah with her gaze down. Raphael and Erick were looking at me. Even my mother.
“I…” I didn’t know what to say.
“The CEO must be busy, don’t ask him that…” Allorah suddenly said.
When I looked at her, she had a smile on her face. A smile that didn’t reach her eyes. I felt a slight pang in my chest. It hurt seeing her that way.
“So don’t bother him,” Allorah whispered as she sat down and started eating.
Everyone waited for me to say something. But for the first time in my life, I was speechless. I had no words. She was right.
Everyone slowly went back to eat. After I finished, I excused myself and walked out.
“You seriously leaving like that?” Erick said as I was heading out.
Looking over my shoulder, I see Erick with a face full of anger.
“If you leave, what was the point of bringing her to hear? If you don’t care, at least tell her. That poor woman has been feeling dejected because of you!” Erick snapped.
It was a rare sight to see Erick angry. Confused, I turn around.
“With what right do you say that?” I asked. I didn’t like the tone he was using on me. He was my friend, but I wouldn’t tolerate his behavior with me.
“With all the right he has, as anyone else in this house has it,” a sudden voice said, making me turn around.
My grandfather walked in with a stern look. He looked displeased.
“Everyone here present may ask you and tell you the things honestly. Have you seen yourself lately?” my grandfather snapped.
Why was he angry with me?
“Sorry, but I don’t understand where all this is coming from,” I retorted.
“It’s coming from people who have been your family and have noticed how you been behaving,” another voice said. This time it was my mother. She had the same look like everyone else.
“Stay out of this,” I told her.
“No, I won’t. Especially when it is about Allorah. Everyone here is like this because of you!” my mother snapped. “You should be ashamed of your behavior.”
“This has nothing to do with you guys!” I growled, “You don’t know what I’m dealing with!”
“Yes we do,” my grandfather suddenly said, “But that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect the people who care for you. And the ones you said that are important for you.”
Shaking my head, I laugh. Was everyone serious right now? Were they mad because of how I was acting?
“Grandfather, I don’t mean to disrespect but could you please not meddle in this,” I said, raising my hand and massaging my temple. I could feel a slight headache forming.
“I won’t,” my grandfather said, making me groan in anger.
“Why?” I snapped loudly.
“Because we are taking Allorah away…” Raphael suddenly said as he walked with Farah.
“What?” I stutter. What did they mean they are taking Allorah away?
“What stupid shit are you saying?” I growled, “Do you hear yourself?”
“Do you, Dominique?” Raphael retorted back. “Because it doesn’t seem like you know what’s happening here.”
“Sorry to say this, brother, but right now, you are incapable of taking care of Allorah. So we all decided to take her somewhere else. This place,” Farah said, moving her hands around, “This is not good for her. She’s alone without you. And after all, you asked from her. The best would be to keep your promises, but you’re unable. So we all agree to take her somewhere else.”
Was everyone serious? I couldn’t believe it. I felt betrayed, and worst I felt wrong with myself. I knew they were right, but I couldn’t accept it.
“You can’t…” I mumble as I lower my head, “You can’t…”
“They do…” a voice said. I didn’t need to lift my head and see who it was. I already knew who this voice belong to.
“I decided, and you have no right to stop me,” Allorah said with coldness in her voice, “I think it’s the best.”
“Think?” I mumble lowly, “You think this is the best?”
Now I was angry. I was panting as I felt all the anger in my boil. Allorah was looking at me emotionless. She didn’t flinch or move. Not believing it, I scowl.
“You think this is the best!” I shouted. Allorah stood some feet away from me. Her eyes were starting to brim with tears. “You think this is the best for you or me?”
Gasping, Allorah looked away. I couldn’t lose her. I wouldn’t allow it; no one would take her.
“Tell me, Allorah, is everything I’ve done for you not enough?” I asked through gritted teeth, “Is everything I had given even my life not enough for you!”
By now, I was panting. Everyone was defensive. Allorah didn’t say a word. Scowling, I look away and then laugh.
“So all this was in vain? What the fuck do you take me for?” I snapped.
“Fucking lower your tone!” Raphael snapped back, “Don’t fucking talk to her like that!”
“Stay out of this, Raphael!” I warned him, “This has nothing to do with you!”
“IT HAS!” Raphael shouted, “It has since the moment you started behaving like a jerk! It has since the moment you leave her all alone! You don’t fucking care! All you care is for your fucking revenge!”
Feeling my eye twitch, I snapped. Moving, I quickly throw myself into Raphael and slam my punch on his face. Punch after punch until I feel arms starting to move me away from him. All I could see was red; I was angry at him; I wanted to kill him.
“FUCKING LET GO!” I shouted as I struggle from the hold of my men.
Raphael was getting up with the help of Farah and my mother.
“I swear I will kill you!” I said furiously, “I swear, I will…”
I tried to say, but then it hit me. A single slap across my face, leaving me speechless once again. Shocked by the sudden slap, I’m left confused. Who hit me?
Moving my hand to my burning cheek, I look up and find Allorah with tears in her eyes. Biting her lips, she slaps me again. Never in my life have they hit me.
“How blinded you are, Dominique.” Allorah said, chuckling softly, “I see he was right; all you know is revenge and blood. A human-like you shouldn’t even exist.”
Letting me go, I fall on my knees. I was still holding my burning cheek.
“Let’s go,” Allorah suddenly said, making me panic.
“D-Don’t…” I stutter as I reach for her hand.
“Don’t!” Allorah said as she looked down at me with disgust, “Don’t you dare touch me. Goodbye, Dominique.”
“A-Allorah!” I yelled, calling for her, as I watch her leave with my mother and everyone else.
Was she leaving me? Standing up, I follow behind her; I needed to stop her. I couldn’t lose her.
Grabbing the car door, I throw it open and kneel, hugging her thigh.
“Please, please, Allorah, don’t go!” I said as I felt the hot tears forming in my eyes.
“Mr. Montiel, please let go,” I heard my guards said as they pulled me away.
Feeling a soft hand on my shoulder, I look up. Farah was behind me. She shakes her head.
“Allorah?” I mumble as I looked at her. Allorah didn’t show any emotions. She just stared to the front. “Please say something!” I begged.
Hearing her sigh, I raised my head.
“I’m sorry, Dominique, but this is the best. Once you have a deal with your problems, we shall meet again, till then I wished not to see you. After all, I’m too busy for you.” Allorah spat like poison. She was hitting me directly in my heart.
Letting go, I feel my men drag me—the car door closing and driving away.
“Allorah…” I said as tears started sliding down my face—Farah behind me, hugging me.
My heart hurt. Why was this so hard? Was I too stupid that I didn’t know that all this would lead to consequences?
“Allorah, please don’t leave me…” I said as I cried on the ground.