Chapter 5: de Silvas
Abigail jumped to my bed.
“Ugh! I’m so sleepy! I wish Uncle and Auntie would wake up soon...”
I saw her enveloped herself with my comforter and closed her eyes.
Instead of resting, I sat in front of my table and opened my laptop.
“What are you doing? Didn’t you ask me to go home so we could rest?” She asked in a sleepy tone.
“I have things to finish,” I answered shortly.
I typed “Lucille de Silva” on my search engine and went to the images section.
Rueben texted me this name out of the blue when we aren’t even on good terms. He said it’s the name of the woman who’s in the photos with our father. He’s not sure, but he had a hunch.
“Is it related to your Youtube channel? Were there any comments about the accident of your parents? Because if they pester you about that, maybe you should take a break from uploading your covers.”
“They won’t, Abi,” I assured her. “My viewers saw them once, but I’m sure I did not mention their names on any of my videos-”
“You didn’t also mention Rueben, Aaron, and David’s full names on your uploads, but now they have a thousand followers, too,” she said.
I looked back at Abigail and smiled at her. “Because my followers consider them handsome and... hot.”
“Iw!” She exclaimed, which made me laugh.
“Just sleep, Abi. I’ll lay beside you after this, so you have to be asleep by that time.”
She made a mocking expression and buried her face in my pillows.
Abigail is my closest cousin. I grew up with my cousins; that’s why we are intimate with each other.
Uncle Lucas is the oldest of the Valmonte brothers. He’s married to Auntie Irene, the neurosurgeon. Aaron, David, and Naomi are their children. Rueben, my brother, and Aaron are both college graduates. They are now undergoing training on one of the companies of the Valmonte Group.
My father, Arthur Valmonte, is the second son, and Rueben and Sara are my siblings. I am the youngest. Sara is in her second year and is taking up BS Nursing because she wanted to become a doctor.
The youngest of the Valmonte brothers is Uncle William. He’s married to Auntie Elaine, aformer supermodel. Their children are Hannah, Abigail, and the twins Isaac and Israel. Sara and Hana do almost everything together. At the same time, we adore the twins and Naomi so much.
They all witnessed what kind of family we are, so I know how much it will pain them when my father’s idea of having an affair with that woman is accurate.
I cleared my thoughts and focused on the results on the Internet.
“Lucille de Silva (born on June 16, 1980) is an actress and a model in the Philippines. She has gained recognition for her roles in both blockbusters and independent films and her women’s rights work. She is known for her charity works and generous donations on various departments involving children.”
It’s her. The woman in the photos, it’s her.
My hands are shaking because of anger and frustration. I even unconsciously gritted my teeth, and I want to shout at someone to vent out this pain suddenly.
I leaned back and stared at her photo. Was she known for her charity works? Women’s rights works?
“Who are you kidding? You just destroyed a family,” I whispered to myself as I felt a tear rolled down my cheek. I clicked on her family information and saw that she’s married to Gabriel de Silva. They have a daughter named Belle de Silva. When I clicked her husband’s photo, a lot of campaign images loaded on my screen.
“He’s running for Mayor next year...”
I also clicked her daughter’s profile and saw that she’s just a year younger than me. We also go to the same university.
I enlarged their family picture. They all looked like they’re happy. So, what’s wrong? Why cheat with my father? Why destroy my family?
I covered my mouth so I won’t wake up Abigail because of my sobs. It felt like something sharp just stabbed my heart multiple times.
We were okay. I thought we were okay. I have the best parents I can have. So, why pretend?
Of all the things, why this?
My phone beeped, so I wiped my tears and cleared my throat.
I received a message from Rueben.
We didn’t talk for a couple of days after what happened in the hospital.
We need to talk.
“What took you so long?” I asked him when he got in the car.
“I came from the site,” he said and looked back at the passenger’s seat. “Do you have my shirt?”
I gave him the paper bag he told me to get from his bedroom. When I looked inside it, it’s full of plain shirts, maong pants, and some clean briefs. He asked Sara to prepare this for him because he knew I will not do it.
“Do you plan on abandoning us? You haven’t been home for days now,” I seriously joked.
He smirked and took off his shirt to wear a new one.
My brother and I might go through misunderstandings and fights, but I always put everything behind and forgive him once he reached out to me. Most of the time, even if it’s my fault, he will always say sorry first.
“There’s a pile of work in the office. All of the pending projects that need approval from Dad is going through another set of review. I suggested it.”
I gave it a thought.
“If the last step is getting those signed by Dad... that means he probably agreed to those. Dad is updated in every process, right? Why do you have to review it again?”
He folded his used shirt and throw it at the back seat.
“Because I have to know which one of these projects has a relation to that woman. I have to know when did this started and... for how long Dad has been fooling us all...”
I went silent. There’s a high chance that Dad met that woman while working on a project. After all, based on my research, the de Silvas have ancestral mansions and some real estate properties. They must have met in the field.
Right. I have to know, too, which moment or part in my life Dad started to pretend that he still loves Mom.
“Why are you telling me this? Back at the hospital, you are so-”
“The board is talking about my inauguration.”
“What? This early? It hasn’t been a week since the accident!”
He sighed. That’s why he’s been staying at the company for several nights?
“Auntie Irene will have the chance to take a day off on the inauguration. There... when everyone is present, Uncle Lucas will disclose what the police concluded. Auntie Irene will share her knowledge as a doctor and back up the facts and eliminate the assumptions. Our grandparents will be there, too.”
It seems like we are going to have another family reunion. But without my parents.
“Can they take it? Rueben, they’re old...” I said, worried.
“They have to.”
We ate at a restaurant before dropping me at the house.
“Make sure you’ll look good at my inauguration,” he said. Again.
“I always look good!”
I have to show up in a lot of professional people next week? I don’t have to worry, right? The whole family will be there. Definitely nothing to worry about
When I entered the house and saw the banner hanging across the living room, I stomped my feet very hard on the floor when I remembered what happened back at the mall again.
I really should’ve grabbed that heels when I left the store!