"Can I have a toasted cheese and lettuce sandwich?" She asked with hopeful eyes.
"Of course," I smiled, getting off the couch,"Emma, please take those empty slushy cups."
She obediently did as asked as I took the empty popcorn packets from the couches. I then guided Emma out of the room and to the kitchen.
"Oh, perfect timing. I just finished preparing your lunch." Said Penny, indicating to the two trays of food. One had three toasted slices of lettuce and cheese sandwiches, a small bowl of grapes and a glass of apple juice.
The second tray had two toasted slices of lettuce and cheese sandwiches and a glass sippy cup with a straw filled up with orange juice.
"Thanks Penny." I smiled in gratitude.
"Of course, now let me go pick some fresh fruits for your trip. What type of sandwiches would you like me to prepare?" She asked on her way to the kitchen exit.
"Surprise me." I winked.
She chuckled, but nodded nonetheless before leaving the room, leaving Emma and I alone to our lunch.
"So Em, you and I are going to the park after lunch. How do you feel about that?" I asked.
"Yayyy!!" She excitedly exclaimed," Thanks Mommy." She beamed.
"Anything for you my Heart," I smiled," Now, let's throw these things in the bin. I'm hungry." I playfully complained, making giggles erupt and fill the empty room.
Devastation and an ache in my chest has me walking around aimlessly. Lost without direction, lost without a purpose.
What is love? I once thought I knew it, but it didn't. Where has my love gotten me?
I gave her everything in my power. I married her when everyone said I shouldn't. Trusted her every words and believed them, but all this time I was just a puppet in her play. An equipment she needed. Did she ever love me?
Those thoughts continuously played in my head as I walked to who knows where.
I have no home, no life, no one, I am hopeless and lost. I slaved away for her just to get this in return. A broken heart, a repossessed home, a wallet without a penny in sight, a man who has lost his dignity, that is if I can still be considered a man.
I never knew I would ever know how it felt to lose everything until now. How it felt to feel betrayed and hopeless beyond repair. Me, someone who had always believed in love when everyone around me told me that it was just a facade, a nuisance, but now I know. Love is evil, love is dark. Love is something my broken heart will never ever allow again. From now on, love will remain a mere fantasy in my life, an illusion that I will never wish to have ever again. Love is fire itself and I've got burnt enough from it to wish to ever experience it ever again.
That thought filled me with a passion and lit a fire in me that I had never felt before. A fire of resentment and pain. A fire that would become a wall, a defense that will allow me to keep this promise to myself.
Taking a look at my surroundings, I spotted a park almost void of any people. A good place to rest after walking for so long.
I made my way to the nearest bench and plopped down with a sigh, leaving my hands hanging to my sides in defeat as I looked up at the clear blue sky. A warm substance rolled down my cheek, before others of the same kind followed suit. Tears. I wish it were that easy.
"Okay, let's go change." I said, getting up off my chair.
"Okay!" Answered Emma excitedly, before following my lead and getting off her chair as well."Can I pick my clothes out myself, Mommy?" She asked with hopeful eyes.
I sighed but smiled," We'll see, Sweetheart."
That seemed to be a good enough reply for her because she bolted upstairs and probably to her room before I could say 'hello'.
I shook my head, before following her upstairs. I carefully made my way up the stairs, call me paranoid but I don't wanna break myself thank you very much.
I headed in the direction of her bedroom which was on the opposite side of mine. Her bedroom door was already opened, making me gasp and gawk at the mess she had created in the minute or seconds she's been in here.
"Emani Williams! What in the world are you doing? " I sternly called, making my way to the bed where a number of articles of clothing were carelessly scattered around. She looked up at me like a deer caught in headlights before she scanned the mess she had created leading to the open, walk in closet doors. Tears of shame immediately gathered in her hazel orbs before she guiltily looked up at me and apologised," I'm sorry Mommy. I didn't mean to. I promise."
I released a breath, willing myself to calm down and remember that she's only a child. These types of things are bound to happen, but at the same time, I didn't want this to be a habit.
"Remember, you have to always wait for Mommy or an adult to help you, because I can't always have such a mess in your room. Who'll clean it up?" I asked, folding my arms to my chest with a frown etched on my face.
"Okay." She guilty sniffled.
"Fine, I believe you. Next time, you'll be in trouble young lady." I sternly warned, making her profusely nod her head. Not even daring to take a glimpse at me. I barely ever reprimand her because she's mostly well behaved, but when I do, I sometimes accompany it with corner time or cutting off trips, depending on how bad it is." Let's put these back, then I'll help you choose an outfit." I softly said, walking towards her slouched body." Now, give me a hug my Sweet Baby."
She hesitantly looked up at me to make sure that I had calmed down, before slowly making her way into my arms.
"I'm so sorry, Mommy. I won't do it again, I promise." She guiltily reassured.
"Good girl. Mommy's trusting you, remember, you can never break a promise." I reminded, lifting her small head with the palm of my hand." I love you Sweetheart."
"I love you too." She said, before nuzzling her face into my lap.
"Oh goodness. What happened in here?" Came a surprised voice from the door, catching both Emma and I's attention.
"Just a fashion crisis." I winked down at Emma, making her shyly smile at me.
"Oh, okay. I'll fix it when you're done." Said Blake before realisation dawned on her face and she snapped her fingers before saying," Grace called, she said something about a file you had to complete at work."
I could see Emma's eyes lose their shine at that, probably assuming that I'd be going to work today, just after coming back from a business trip last night while she was sleeping.
"Oh, please call her back and tell her that I'll deal with it later. I have a daughter that I need to pay attention and spend time with at the moment." I smiled at Emma, gently running my hand down her soft, midnight locks." How about we go back to picking out some clothes for you, hmm?"
She excitedly nodded at me, wiping away her stray tears.
I placed my hand on her shoulder and guided her to her walk in closet. We debated on what she should wear for about a half an hour before settling on a baby blue, one shoulder tank top and blue, Jean shorts. Brown, leather strap sandals and small silver stud earrings. I then pulled her hair into a high ponytail using a white head band.
"You look so gorgeous my Angel." I complimented as I made her do a small twirl, making her giggle.
"Thank you Mommy. Now it's your turn." She excitedly chirped, taking my hand into her much smaller one before pulling me out of her room and into mine." What will you wear, Mommy?"
"Well," I began, before walking to my closet and pulling the doors open before walking in and scouting for some clothes with her at my heels," How about I wear this." I pointed to a simple, navy blue, off the shoulder sundress.
"Whoo," She said in wonder and amazement," Wear that one, Mommy." She agreed.
I chuckled, but nodded and pulled the dress of its hanger. I picked out a pair of brown, leather, ankle strap sandals and diamond stud earrings to complete my look. I quickly pulled those on as Emma went to do who knows what in my room. Using a brown hair band, I pulled my braided her into a low, side ponytail to complete my look.
I'm not much of a fan of make-up so, I settled on some lip gloss and mascara to make my eyelashes pop. We are going out after all, if it wasn't for that, I would end on the lip gloss.
"How do I look?" I asked Emma, who turned to me and gaped at me in awe.
"Wow, you look so pretty, Mommy." She said in utter awe.
"Thanks Baby." I giggled." Now we have to go, so we can get enough time at the park and for some ice-cream!" I enthusiastically chirped.
"Let's go!" Emma excitedly ordered, taking my hand and pulling me in the direction of my bedroom door.
"Slow down, Emma." I giggled, even as I followed her. Thankfully she obliged.
We made our way down the staircase and to the kitchen where Cleo, Penny and Blake were packing a couple more items into our picnic basket.
"Thank you, Ladies." I smiled in gratitude.
"You're welcome, Miss." They simultaneously replied.
"Would you like to me call Davis to take you to the park?" Asked Blake.
"No, thank you," I politely declined," I'll drive us."
"Are you sure? You only came back last night and even then you barely rested." Softly said Blake, indirectly voicing out her worries.
"It's alright, Blake. I assure you. I'll be careful." I assured.
She quietly groaned but answered," Alright! But please call if you need anything." She sternly added.
"I will." I said, partially amused at her concern. You'd swear that she's my mother if it weren't for her young face.
I took the prepared basket from the table and hung it on my arm.
"I'll see you later, Ladies." I threw behind me as Emma and I made our way to the garage.
I had multiple cars but I chose my favourite, my white Land Rover. I took the keys from the hook and walked towards the car.
"Miss Williams wait!" Came Cleo's frantic call, making me turn to her. She had my bag clutched in her hold as she rushed to get to me," You forgot your bag."
"I don't know how I forgot that. Thanks Cleo." I said, taking my bag from the panting woman.
"You're welcome, Miss." She replied, straightening up and smiling at me.
I returned the smile before unlocking the car and dropping the basket in the backseat. Cleo helped Emma into her carseat before closing the car door.
"I'll see you later." I waved as I jumped into the front seat before closing the door. I buckled up before turning on the engine. I pressed the garage remote that stayed in this car to open the large garage door. Once it opened fully, I reversed out of the garage, with Emma's singing as background music before pulling onto the road. I don't know who opened the gate for me, but thank you to them. I watched as the gate closed before taking off down the road.