Chapter Twenty-One: His Daughter
“Are you sure?” Dusty asks me, when he drove me towards town, a few hours later. Is four in the morning, the sun hasn’t risen up. The moon up in the night sky. Luckily I sneaked out without waking up anyone. Dusty waited for me on the road, half way of arriving here, so the noise of the car won’t wake up anyone.
I leaned my head against the window, and lower my hat to cover my face.
“I have told her, that I would leave before sunrise,” I mumbled.
‘Was it a good idea to kiss her like that?’ I’m a bit irritated with myself. I bounced a little from a small pothole in the road. Dusty held the steering wheel harder, to control the car.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this, for a woman. Boss isn’t too happy to see you either,” Dusty mentions. I shrug at him.
“Well then, I’m thrilled to see him,” I bitterly spat. Dusty chuckled and licked his dry lips.
“Not the point Wolf. Your uncle wants to meet with you, he needs to speak to you about something,” he tells me. I closed my eyes.
“I’m guessing that you don’t know what about?” Dusty went silent on my question.
“Dusty?” I open my left eye, to look at him. He was in deep thought.
“If you win, the orphanage will be the little lady, but if you lose, not only she loses her home, she will lose custody of her children,” he said. Alarm bells rang in my head, making me bolt straight up.
“What?” I yelled, raising my hat up, to see Dusty better.
“Didn’t anyone told you that?” he asks, as he made a right turn. I shook my head.
“Hell no, how? That was not part of the agreement. Mrs. Morris and Mr. Don didn’t mention anything about that in the agreement. They legally can’t do that.” I defended.
“Ciel, these people have cash. They don’t care about anything, but themselves. Tell me something,” Dusty parks the car in front of a small hut, not far from the entrance of the town. He turns off the car and turns to face me. All I can feel is anger.
“Why are you doing this? Tell me directly. You’re a wanted man, and tomorrow night can be your last day on this earth. Why are you putting your life on the line for these people?” Dusty asks me.
I knew Dusty, he’s concerned, he basically raised me, has been there for me, unlike my father and my uncle. Dusty is my only real male model. He would be there when I was sick. He would be the only one attended to my wounds. He would be there to act as a real father would do. I love him as my real father. I wish my sister would experience that as well.
“I love Zara, I love her more than I love myself. Also, I love her children, as though they were my own. Does that answer your question.” I felt my cheek become a little warm at my sudden confession.
“Does she knows this?” He asks, not noticing a spark in his eyes. I shook my head.
“No, she’ll never love a man like me,” I told him, but it came out more bittersweet. Dusty stares at me for a few seconds more and then shook his head.
“About bloody time you fall in love. You never know, sometimes love comes out of nowhere.” he laughs, turning around to leave the car. I fist my hands, looking down at my lap.
’I must win this, I won’t let her loose any more of her family.”
I didn’t want to visit my old boss at the moment. So Dusty and I walk in the alleyways, a few hours later, eating hot bread and drinking hot chocolate milk. I wonder how the children and Zara are doing right now?
‘Are they playing? Are they eating? Is Zara doing fine teaching them? I left a few hours ago, and I already miss them like crazy.’
“They are doing fine,” I heard Dusty answering my thought question. I lifted my gaze to see Dusty looking up at the cloudy sky.
“How do you know what I’m thinking of?” I asked him surprised. Dusty shrug at me.
“Your face says it all,” he tells me. I went quiet, not sure what to say to him. Dusty clears his throat.
“Ah, I was meaning to ask you, that man you were with yesterday and with Zara children. Who was that man?” he asks me.
“Well, aren’t you watching my every move. That’s Zara father. He discovered who I was,” I told Dusty. Dusty stop in his tracks and turns to face me, fear shot in his old eyes.
“Well, it's my job to keep an eye on you, but what happened after the accident?” he asks. I look down at my bread.
“Right, the accident. Well, it went..” I said, thinking back what happened yesterday afternoon.
We were walking down the road, the children having fun, as I stood behind, watching them, and keeping an eye out for the police.
“What’s wrong boy?” Dean asks, noticing my acting.
‘Well, there goes playing it smoothly.’ I cleared my throat.
“Nothing, just a bit cold,” I lied to him. Dean arched a brow, looking at me strangely.
“Cold? Well, yes, it's chilly, but not as cold. I do admit, is strange walking with these children, they aren’t as bad as others rumored about,” he tells me. I gave him a long look.
“Never judge a cover of a book without reading it first, sir,” I told him. Dean nods at my words.
“To tell you the truth, I’m glad Zara met a good man, that is willing to help her raise so many children. I do tend to worry about her, ever since we lost our eldest daughter,” sadness show over his eyes.
“Do you even love Zara?” I asked bluntly at him, while we reach a small park that Zara and I came last time with my uncle. Dean looks at me surprised by my sharp question. Before he could answer, I turned towards the children.
“Be careful, don’t go too far!” I shout at the others. Lilly turns to face me.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be around,” she assured us. I nodded, as I watch Issac run with the boys, and Lilly gently walks towards the others, holding Sophy in her arms.
“Of course I love Zara, she’s my flesh and blood,” Dean answers me after the children were away from earshot.
“Then what type of father agrees to let a poor girl live in an orphanage if you love her?” I asked him, trying to understand this.
“We were broke at the time. Zara older sister was already in the most expensive school and Zara had so many health problems. We couldn’t afford both of them. The doctor told us that Zara wasn’t going to make it. So Jackie decided to give her up. She made a lie up, about Zara not being the next heir to her friends. I can’t remember much,” he explains. I went still at this new information.
“That is the stupidest excuse ever, how the hell did how come you have money now?” I asked him, trying to calm my anger down. Dean thin out his lips.
“Don’t remind me. I made investments a few years later, and some odd reason luck, or a miracle from God. Not sure which one, we became rich once again. I doubt it’s from God, since we made a terrible sin.” he lowers his head in shame.
“Then why with the cold shoulder towards your only daughter? Have you asked for forgiveness? Have you even cared about her feelings all these years?” I don’t get it.How do they choose an expensive school over their child health?
“It became like that, a bad habit, material over love. As you can see, sometimes your worst enemy is your own family. I’m not justifying our actions, but I don’t know how Zara has that gentle heart. No hatred towards us. Each year that passes, I’m not sure how to ask for forgiveness. I’m truly a coward.” He sounds remorseful.
“Knowing Zara, I am pretty sure, she’s just simply waiting for her mother and father to return to her,” I told him, patting his shoulder. He looks at me with wide eyes,
“How? We left her, the only time I was with her was when she burned her back. Did you know, Zara saved Lilly, and tried to save her older sister.”
“I know a little about that, she hasn’t told me anything. She still ashamed of showing me her back, or talk about it.” I told him.
“Ah, I see, well Zara was with my oldest daughter and Lilly at the time when the accident happens. I don’t know the details, but from what I know, Zara protected Lilly from a burning log that almost killed. As you can see on Zara’s back, that could have been Lilly’s face. Lilly lost her leg due to a hole she fell into. The fire cooked her leg, that the doctors saw little chance to save the poor leg. Lilly mother died by saving Zara and Lilly. Up to this day, Zara won’t tell us how.” he looks down in shame.
I didn’t know that fact, I wonder how did her sister save both of them? I was about to say something, but a sudden whistle catches our attention. We both turned to see the two policemen chasing someone, someone dress in black clothes. In instincts, I turned around, and call out for the children.
“Issac, Lilly, bring everyone here now!” I shout, rushing my steps towards them. I heard the police shout before I could do anything, the robber or whoever it was, crashed into me, making me fall into my front, knocking my breath and my hat off.
“Hold him down,” The police shouts. I turned around, startled as I glance at the man. A young man, no older than twenty. He looks startled as well. I was going to grab him, but he was quicker and jumped up, running away. I turned my head, to see the police in front of me. He looks down at me, a large older man, with thick black bushy hair, and green eyes. Our eyes connect, and his expression turns shocked.
“Ciel? Finally, we got you..” He was about to grab me, but the other policeman grabbed him and pulled him. Pushing him away from me.
‘Thank you, God,’ I slowly stood up, placing my hat on.
“Come on, he’s escaping!” he shouts at him.
“But I found the murderer,” the police said. That catches Dean attention. My whole world seems to stop at this moment. After they left, Dean gave me,
‘We need to speak,’ look. I swallowed hard, but nodded.
‘I need to leave before they come back,’
“Later, when the children are not around,” I mouthed at him. He nods and turns towards the children.
“Ciel, are you okay?” everyone asks concerned while they reach us. Dean clears his throat and claps his hands.
“He’s fine, who wants ice cream?” he changes the subject, now leaving me in a ditch of how to explain myself.
“Ouch boy, what happened after that?” Dusty asks as we stop in front of the old pub, not far from underground. I shrug at him.
“I told him the truth, he panicked and took his wife. Is all, I’m surprised he hasn’t taken me in,” I admit.
“There’s more to it, Ciel, what is it?” Dusty pushed again. I gave him a long look before I answered him, and without my consent, my voice broke, as well as my heart.
“He simply told me after I help Zara, to never return to the orphanage and never see his daughter again.”