Chapter 2: Tristan Dickinson's Life
The sound of his phone woke him up. He cursed when the loud sound didn't stop for about five minutes. He took his phone, it is his Mom calling. With a horrified face, he answered the call.
“Son, we tried our best to keep her fine but—” The voice on the other line was cut off immediately when he yelled out of despair. His Mae might not have said someone’s name but he knew for sure that it was all about his grandma.
“Then...” He paused for seconds. He gathered his voice first. “What happened to her, Mae?” In his mind, he was hoping that his grandma just suffered from a mild-stroke only, not what he was hearing in his mother’s voice—sadness and pain.
“I’m—I am so sorry, son. But your grandma just passed away earlier. We can’t tell you because we know you will go back here immediately. You will miss your only chance to study at your dream university that’s why. Please understand us, son.” The sobs could be heard on the other line.
Minutes passed between them. He couldn't find his voice after hearing the news. His grandma was the first one who cheered him up, asked for his situation, and cared for him. He grew up beside her, she taught him to be a strong and independent person. And suddenly—suddenly she was gone, without him by her side. Tears streamed down his cheeks, pain, and sadness were visible in his eyes.
“I will be home tomorrow, Mae.” His final decision made his mother gasp.
“Son! We can handle ourselves here. We’ll send your regards to your grandma’s funeral.”
“Mae, I want to be there with grandma until the last day of her burial. I can still study here when I get a chance again.”
“No. Your grandma will understand you, Harris. You have to be strong there and focus on your study. Listen to me, son.” His mother’s voice pleaded.
He cried for many minutes until he agreed to his mother. After talking to her, he let himself focus on something to keep distracted. Keeping distracted means cooking or experimenting with something to eat.
Tired and stressed, Tristan still looked out for his little bun named Mia. She was his niece which was under his custody. He’s young for having a child to take care of but no choice because his sister left Mia to him after giving birth and they had no parents anymore. His source of income was his part-time job and the money left by his parents. His sister just sent money every month as Mia’s allowance. He was mad at his sister until now because she just gave away Mia like a puppy. Her sister’s husband had a new family now so was she.
It was hard to take care of a child but enjoyable at the same time. Good things, he had Gia on his back—his best friend who was older than him.
He closed his eyes to have some rest. After looking for Mia in the mall, he got a headache due to nervousness and stress maybe. He thought that he lost her, he was scared. He drowned his body on the bed and felt the peace in his room.
He slowly opened his eyes when he heard a soft tone. He saw Mia peeking on his door, only her head could be seen. He gestured to her to come inside. With a hesitant and feared face, she walked towards him and suited herself on the edge of the bed—with her hands tightly clenched.
“What is it, little bun?” He tried to sound cool because he knew that Mia is scared right now for what she did earlier.
Mia bit her lips and her eyes began to water up. He instantly rose and wiped his niece’s tears.
“Why are you crying?” He asked even if he already knew the reason. But still, he wanted her to know that what she did was wrong.
“I am sorry, Phi. I will never do that again.” She sniffed.
“Hmm, what did you do?”
“I—I went around without your permission and talked to a stranger which is wrong. Sorry, Phi.” She said with her fingers crisscrossed.
He smiled and patted her head. “That’s good that you know it is wrong. Don’t do it again, hm? Come here, little bun.” He enveloped her in his big arms and kissed her hair.
“You’re still mad?” She asked and looked upon him.
“I am not mad. I just got scared because I thought I lost you. And I can’t imagine losing you, little bun.”
Silent fell between them after. Until he heard her snore. He slowly picked her up and tucked her into her bed.
He went back to his room only to remember the boy he encountered earlier. A small smile formed on his lips. The boy seemed annoyed because he suddenly brought up his balls on their argument. He liked how the boy’s irritated face and voice lingered on his mind. He wouldn’t mind if he encountered him again and planned to still annoy the boy with pale skin.
He woke up and realized it’s morning already. His phone stated that it’s 6 a.m. He walked outside and prepared their breakfast.
He walked inside her niece’s room and found her still sleeping. “Little bun, wake up. You need to get dressed because it’s almost time to get you to your Aunty Gia’s store.” He tickles Mia when she doesn't respond.
“Phi, it tickles! Stop it. I will wake up now.” She giggled after.
“Fix yourself and have breakfast with me. We need to hurry because I still have work.” Mia lazily nodded and went to the bathroom.
After eating the usual foods he cooked and got dressed, he walked with Mia to Gia’s store. Which is their daily routine. He would work while Mia was playing with Gia’s daughter. He worked at her store and she let her niece go with him. He had free time to look for minutes for his niece. And when he was at university, Gia was the one who took care of her.
“Still coping up?” Gia’s voice startled him. He smiled lightly and nodded. Many customers come and go because it's weekend.
“You only have one week left before school. You can tell me if you need anything. You don’t have to worry for Mia again, you know how I love her and treat her as my own.” She tapped his shoulder perhaps for assurance.
“Thank you, Gia. Without you, I don’t know what to do with Mia.”
“You can always count on me, yeah?” Gia said.
He nodded. Silently thanked that he had someone like his best friend. Small talked and chuckled ended their day of work.