The Call of a Lifetime (18+)

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The Decision

Arin

Roger agreed Stella Oswald and he would make a great couple. Even Mrs. Rose affirmed Roger's marriage news.

The news rattled me. A feeling of unsettled emotional sediments rose up. Heaving for air, like a weight was placed on my chest, I leaned back on my chair. My vision conjured up black spots upon hearing his confirmation, his words about the marriage to the heiress.

The sunken feeling in my chest deepened with every passing moment. Nothing in my life seemed permanent. Neither my mother nor any of my relationships. Everything came to an abrupt ending.

Ohh fuck! I was doing it again.

Brooding never helped me previously and it wouldn't be the solution now.

With the waves of emotions that crashed over me, I decided to end Roger's call earlier. Although his fallen voice depicted sadness, he didn't asked me for a reason nor imposed money restrictions over me.

Assuming he too had to get back with Stella for the night, I ignored his fake act. After all, I would have to be blind to ignore such a big red flag which could cover up The Oval.

Peeking at me, I saw mom's journal in the bookshelf. It was tucked away in the hope that I would read it one day. But that day never materialized. I was scared to scared to read her last words. Her last thoughts.

Thoughts and memories of hers flooded in, brimming my eyes. The last time we talked.

It was a whole year back when Doctor Thomas informed mom was not responding well to treatments and my last hopes were prayers. When a doctor suggested prayer as the last option, one could assume the gravity of the situation.

I still remembered walking into the room where she laid, light streaming through the window, warming the place and lighting her pale face.

Although she was weaker than the tree twigs in winder, she still managed to let out a weak yet reassuring smile. "My baby." Her words and her outstretched hands were clear in my memory. I held onto it, pushing the lump in my throat.

"Promise me that you will take care of yourself. You will do everything to survive. You will find your father. He is a very kind and good man."

All I could do at that moment was nod and hold back my tears. Knowing when someone was drawing their last breath and one has to be the last beacon of hope in their life, the reassurance to them that everything would be better once they sleep off. Knowing this sleep would be a never ending one. Knowing all that and still pretending, I made it look as though she was suffering from flu.

She gave me her journal and asked me to read it whenever I was ready. Whenever I missed her the most.

Tears roll down and were accompanied with a searing pain in my chest and throat, remembering our last moment. Our last interaction and the last time I saw her alive.

Pulling out of those memories was always hard. Wiping away tears which ran in the memory of those lost in the journey of life was harder.

My mom was a very good and reliable woman. She never did anything which might put me in harm's way. She was caring and independent. She was the one who taught me the value of getting proper education and a degree for job security.

Something about her words and those memories gave me the courage to pull the journal from the shelf.

Flipping through pages, I read her wild child stories. Her parents were orthodox and never liked the free minded girl that she was. I always wondered why I never met them but now I knew. A single mother and a bastard child would not have been idle for my grandparents to accept.

Mom went to college and completed her degree while working in a company. That's where she met my dad who charmed her socks off and made his way into her heart. He was a reliable man who loved her like there was no tomorrow.

But as most office romances go, she dated him in secret and upon discovering her pregnancy, she left the job.

Her later entries were about how my dad, Charles. He was quite understanding of her situation and helped her in every way possible. There was no entry of them either getting married or planning on. It also didn't refer anything about their breakup.

Final entries were once I grew up and she found less time to write as more of it was devoted on me. Mom did everything singlehandedly. She took time out of her busy schedule to attend everything I signed up for in school.


She was the best mother I could ask for.

I pulled out a couple of photos of me as a kid with mom and some man. I guess he must be Charles.

While flipping through entries I saw a photo with a letter attached to it drop out. It carried an addresses to a place in London itself. I broke the seal. It was not like my mom would mind anymore about her privacy.


'Letter'



My dearest Charles,

Hope you are doing well. I have not contacted you all this while because I wanted to raise Arin on my own. Although I was selfish in deciding that for her, I love you for supporting my decision all the way.

Charles, I am writing to tell you that I won't be in this world for long. I have stage three cancer and all the options of chemo and radiation are failing me.

Arin does not have any immediate family. You know how my parents reacted to my whole pregnancy. This won't affect them in any way.

I wanted to tell Arin about you for long but something or the other always held me back. If something happens to me and I am not in this world, please know that your daughter does not know who you are and would love to get to to know you. See the side of a caring man that I saw.

A handsome man who loved me dearly. And now a daughter, who would love for you to know her. Please don't let my selfishness ruin her memories, if she has any of you. And you, of hers.

Yours and only yours

Florence


~

I saw a small photos of baby me and the latest ones in the envelope along-with a note addressed to me


My baby boo. If you want to ever meet your father, please post this letter to him.. he will hopefully contact you.


Mom


~


I held onto my mom's journal, tugging in on my chest with my eyes warming up, remembering her and the memories she left behind.

Sleep took over without any deliberate attempt.

All I remembered was being blinded by the light which streamed from the ajar window. My clock indicated the time for me to lead myself back to the grind.

On the way, I dropped the letter in the mailbox and headed for office. Roger's news was the much needed push I wanted in my life. Although it came with a heartbreak, it jolted me off my reverie. The dream I held of us being together. Ever.

Men like Roger would never be with a woman like me. It was this realization that made my decision to not talk to him anymore, harden. Knowing well, the man talking to me was engaged was a deal breaker.

Grabbing my coffee from the stands, I headed to my cubicle.

The morning warmth streamed through the window. Empty office had a pale yellow hue. I gulped my beverage, feeling the warmth travel down my chest before comforting the pang in my stomach. Nobody said moving on would be easy but I knew in me, I was taking the first step. The right one.

The office door creaked open.

Holding on the knob was a baggy eyed Roger. He walked outside while I hopped up, acknowledging. Even his weary looks was an assault on my sight.

"We are not in the army." His hoarse voice conveyed he hasn't slept.

"Sorry, What?"

"I said we are not in the army." He scanned the newspapers laid on my desk.

"Meaning?" I still didn't get what he meant. Maybe being sleep deprived, he was hallucinated.

"You don't have to stand up to wish me good morning. We are not in the army for you to salute me." With hooded eyes, he answered.

Ahh. Always the rudest whenever we had a physical interaction.

Before my mind could deliver a comeback, he grabbed my coffee and gulped it down.

"You don't like sugar?" his face cringed.

"I do. It's one spoon."

"That's too less," the corner of his lip rose up, pressing the dimple crater.

"If you love diabetes then yes, it's less." He smiled at my retort. For a change, he didn't show anger or scorned at my wit. "Were you working late yesterday?"

I knew he was home till two in the night. Clattering plates and bubbling coffee pot made it clear.

"I came back to office late night. Couldn't sleep" he sighed, handing his head backwards.

My breath hitched in my chest. He came back after the call.

"You want me to run down and get another coffee for you?" I was surprised at my own reaction.

"No it's fine." He fished his phone and started texting before walking back into the office.

My heart went out to the workaholic boss of mine. He was working overtime and the last thing I wanted was a repeat of last year when he had to be hospitalized.

I grabbed some cash and walked to the nearest coffee shop for another latte. If he could have my coffee without sugar, he needed one real bad. Although I have decided not to attend his calls anyone, I wasn't dead inside to ignore the man's tiredness after pulling an all-nighter.

Roger still had an unseen, unspoken hold over me. I was a puppet attached to his strings, dancing to his tunes, showing concern when not needed. Caring for him and fetching coffee even when he said otherwise.

Back in my cubicle, I saw a missed call and message alter blink at me. I tossed the phone in my pant pocket and walked into Roger's office.

"Hey.. Here's your coffee." I placed the cup on his table. Pressing shut his eyes, Roger ran his hands over his face, emitting a soft growl.

"Did I order one.. I don't remember."

"No you didn't.. Which clearly means you are exhausted and need to go home."

He grabbed the life giving elixir, holding it between his palm and smelling the rich aroma. A soft smile appeared on his face while my mind ran all the conversations we had on call.

Roger seemed unaffected by my presence or gesture, continuing his stare at his laptop. My thoughts mocked me. What was I thinking would happen?

As I turned, his weak voice called me out. "Thanks." He donned a smile on his face. A tired yet beautiful smile.

All I wanted to do at that point was run to him and hold him in my embrace. But I settled for less. "No problem."

The rest of the day went smoothly.

Tired Roger was a silent one. He didn't ask for much. Only the coffee orders which kept coming every couple of hours till it was dark outside.

He exited his chamber with a coat flung on his arm towards Mrs. Rose's desk.

"My schedule for tomorrow" he asked.

"It's cleared.. it's booked for Stella." She held her head up.

Any remnants of care or concern I had for Roger were quashed with those words. My previous determination swam up.

Walking past my desk, he tilted his head towards me with a soft smile decorated on his face. Although I smiled back, it killed me on the inside to know he had plans with his fiancé tomorrow.

All my troubles would have been non existent, had I not known the caller.

Once I packed my bags and moved out, I fished my phone back. With a slow but tiresome day at the office, I didn't check my phone once.

Opening the message, my breath hit a halt.


*Message*


Babydoll, I hope you have a good morning. Missed talking to you all night..

Master

Time of message: 7:24 a.m.


~

When Roger was talking to me in the morning, he was texting me.

The elation bought forth by his message shattered when I had to remind myself of his soon to change marital status, coupled with my decision to forget about him and the calls we had.

Roger had to become a distant memory one day and for me to survive a heartbreak, I had to flush him out of my mind and heart; the place where he seemed to have snuck in.

The missed call alert blinked up. Walking out, I redialed. The ringing stopped with someone picking up.

"Hi I got a call from this number.. I must have missed it in the morning." I said.

A soft tone came through the call. "Hello my dear child. It's your father.. I received your letter."


~

A/N


Hello all you beautiful people.

Did you like this chapter? Let me know in the comments.
I love all of you for your constant comments and support on this story.

Happy reading

Love

S
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