A young girl sighed heavily looking at her wristwatch trying to accelerate her pace to reach her house, soon the sight of a familiar place curled her lips into a blissful smile, home is really a home. Her only comfort place.
“Finally.” She mumbled depleted. Stepping a foot inside her small bundle of peace her bright blue eyes met with the sight of her mother working in the kitchen. As per the woman’s words ‘her workplace.’
“Mom.” She let out gaining the attention of the woman who was busy with prepare a palatable meal for her family and turned only to find her daughter stalking towards her. The aged woman grinned watching her exhausted daughter slumping on the stool.
“How was your last exam?” She inquired stirring the curry undoubtedly pulling a small smile over the young girl’s face.
“It went well, thankfully. Now all I want to do is to rest the next two months without any care.” Her mother playfully wiggled her head snorting in the process.
“Bella.” A deep yet gentle voice disturbed their chat earning Bella’s attention.
“My precious daughter. How was your exam?” Bella gave him a toothy smile instantly answering him through her expressions.
“It was good, dad. How was your meeting?” Her father took a seat at the dining table.
“It got delayed till evening.” Bella nodded in acknowledgment before a tensed sigh escaped her lips.
Her father’s weary look saddened her. He looked debilitated. The excessive work has drained his energy out but the workaholic man was still striving for more work, he hadn’t slept properly for the past few weeks because of that damned tender he had been working on. She knew he was doing all this to provide better for them but at the end of the day he was a human, and she didn’t want him to work till he get sick.
“Dad. How much more will you work? Please take some rest.” She remarked wistfully, taking a seat beside him. Hearing gloominess evident in his daughter’s tone, he forcibly pulled a small smile over his lips trying to assure her. Smoothly patting her head he vocalized.
“Don’t worry, precious today I will take a lot of rest. Today’s meeting will decide the future of my company that’s why I don’t want to leave any loopholes in my presentation. And you know I have faith.” He whispered the last sentence like he was going to tell her the most prized secret.
“My company is definitely going to win this tender.” He uttered proudly broadening his chest and earning a mild chuckle from his amused daughter.
“Sure you will but you better not skip your meal, old man.” Her mother scolded the guilty man, approaching the duo. Ander shot an apologetic smile towards his wife who settled the dishes in front of the duo.
“I am sorry darling I promise you, tonight, we all will go to celebrate my success out for dinner, how is it?” He offered, making the girl smile as she nodded eagerly.
“That’s a great idea! It’s been a while since we went out.” Her parents nodded before someone unwillingly startled the fragile girl.
“I am in too.” Another joyful voice entered their ears only to find a girl jumping on a chair beside her frightened sister.
“Sarah how many times do I have to tell you to not appear like this,” Bella said palming her throbbing chest and trying to ease up her racing heart, don’t know why she was like this. But the smallest things scare her.
Her parents chortled shaking their heads finding her agitated expressions funny, while Sarah rounded her eyeballs in irritation at her sister’s fearful look.
“Can’t believe you’re older than me,” Sarah remarked mockingly earning an offended glare from the blue-eyed girl.
“You will never change. Always a scaredy-cat.” Bella gaped at her before dismally turning to her father whose expression didn’t do any justice to her. He had his lips pressed together to not laugh at his daughter. He can’t afford to further upset his already dejected daughter.
“Dad, look at her! She always disrespects me like this. I am her older sister.” She said affronted by her sister’s words. Her father shot a fake glare at his youngest daughter.
“You little vixen how many times I have to tell you to not scare your sister like this? You know she gets scared easily.” He said with a fake hard tone making Bella smile.
" Exactly--- wait what!” She was about to praise her father for taking a stand for her but jammed as soon as the realization of her father indirectly calling her a coward seeped into her mind. She looked at her father startled at his mocking.
Everyone burst out laughing at her shocked yet disgruntled expressions. Her wide blue eyes shot a murderous glare at the chortling squad before she sprinted off the chair angrily fleeing off the kitchen.
“Oh my, you both upset her. She just came back after giving her exam. You both are too much. You know she’s sensitive, right? She gets scared easily ---” Her mother had to bite back her tongue closing her eyes, earning a silent chuckle from Sarah.
“See.” She commented mischievously, Ander wiggled his head sideways before standing up from the chair as he knew he had to check up on his angry bird otherwise she will have an irate face the whole week.
“Let me make up to her.” Her father announced flickering his youngest daughter’s forehead in the process. She yelped pouting at him who skillfully ignored her cute tantrum.
“You better apologize to her as well. Because in the end, that scaredy-cat is your older sister. You need to respect her.” She nodded her head following her father only to find a sulking girl standing beside the window staring out of it.
“My daughter is angry.” Bella didn’t react to his words just stared out of the window earning a muffled titter from the old man.
“My lovely sister, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” The indignant girl still didn’t make any move to respond to the duo, Ander smiled mildly holding her dainty shoulder before turning his sulking daughter to face him.
“Sorry, princess. Forgive your father.” She looked at him blankly.
He pulled his hands up and held his ears in an apologizing manner. He looked so childish. Against her will, a small smile appeared on her lips, watching her cold facade cracking up his smile widened. He already knew his soft-hearted daughter can never stay angry at him for long. She was too delicate for that.
“Seems like I am not getting your forgiveness. Well, I bought a gift for you now how will I show you?” Her sparkling blue eyes brightened even more hearing the particular word ‘gift’ Bella always loved receiving gifts, it’s one of her weaknesses.
“Gift!” She joyfully exclaimed clasping her hands together. He nodded stalking towards the cupboard to get the source of her happiness.
“Here. A beautiful dress for my gorgeous daughter.” Her lips stretched into a gleeful grin grasping the shopping bag, she looked at her father with mixed emotions of confusion and excitement.
“I want you to wear it on your graduation day. In the next two months, your result will come out and I am hundred percent sure my daughter will succeed with great marks. So on your graduation day, I have planned to throw a huge family party to celebrate it with full merriment.” Bella stared at her father with glistening eyes and a grateful smile.
Tears burned her eyes watching the old man in front of her with utmost adoration and love, how can she ever become this much lucky to have a father like him? He’s a one in million. Isn’t he?
“And for me?” Their small moment got interrupted by a pouting girl who was looking at her father with expectancy.
“How can I forget my wild cat? Here.” Playfully ruffling her hair, he handed her a bag as well containing a similar material yet with a different design and color just as his daughter loves it.
The tall man engulfed his daughters in his arms letting out a sigh of contentment, he was blessed to witness veritable joy in his daughter’s eyes, and that’s what he ever wanted. His hard work, sleepless nights, and skipping meals were all only to give a peaceful life and future to his daughters and wife. He may not be an enormous businessman right now but he promised to prosper himself even more for his family, he had made many commitments to himself to provide his family with the best.
Day turned to night and Bella’s father went to attend the meeting, Bella and Sarah had only a four years difference with Bella being 21 and Sarah 17. Bella might be an infamous coward in the family but when it comes to loving and taking care of her sister, she can do anything. The age difference between them might be not that much but for Bella, her sister is like a baby.
Her father, Ander Hayes married Bella’s mother, Easter Hayes who was his childhood sweetheart as well, their love story wasn’t any secret from their daughters. Ander Hayes flaunts his love for his wife and never leaves the chance to tell his daughters of all the efforts he made to convince Easter in marrying him.
Ander Hayes had no family he was an adopted son of an old man who also died after his marriage to Easter. Easter only had her sister who went overseas after marriage, even though their family was extremely small but their love and support for each other were enough for them to spend a contented life ahead.
Ander was inherited an almost cascading business state from his foster father, and through his hard work, he worked leaps and bounds to build up his business to the extent that one of the largest companies wanted to have a merger with his small ones. And the tender he was working his day and night off will boost his success.
Bella exited her room to get a glass of water when her blue confused eyes narrowed turning into concerned ones, her mother was sitting on the living room couch looking tensed. She gently approached her mother gaining the woman’s attention.
“Mom what are you doing here? And this late?” She inquired worryingly making the woman shoot a soft smile to her way.
“Your father. He is still not here, it’s nearly 11 pm he never stayed out this late, and whenever he did he always informed me beforehand but today he didn’t.” Easter answered with an anxious frown gazing at the door.
“Mom, relax I will call him.” Bella tried reasoning with her mother to get rid of her worry but Easter shook her head.
“That’s the problem his phone is switched off, he never did this before. He’s not that irresponsible.” This new piece of information added suspicion in Bella’s bones as well, she bit her lower lip frowning deeply.
But the moment her gaze fixated on her mother’s apprehensive ones she decided to drop her worry for a second so she could comfort her mother. Placing her small palm over her mother’s shoulder she gave it a soft squeeze smiling mildly.
“Mom, first calm down, it’s not good for your health. I will stay here and wait for him, you go and take a rest hmm.” Easter tried protesting but after Bella’s persistence, she finally decided to go to her room.
Bella walked around the living room staring at the main door. She tried calling her father many times but as her mother said his phone was switched off, and the ticking of the clock kept on adding to her worry, her father was never this irresponsible and reckless to not inform his wife about his late comings.
She steadily took a seat on the couch before her perturbed gaze fell on the clock and another stroke of tension hit her heart, it was way too late, he never stayed out this late. Something wasn’t right and she could feel it in her.
“Jesus Christ! Dad where are you?” Her eyes rounded in fear watching the clock hitting 2 am, her father hardly stayed out till midnight but not more than that.
He had never been out this late. Her agitated heart thumped against her chest rapidly with the realization of something not being right, she gulped tightening the shawl around her shoulders in anxiety, and soon the clock hit 4 am.
Unconsciously, she rest her head on the edge of the couch resulting in her sleepy tired eyes flickering close, she was exhausted after working all day, and without realizing it, a jittery slumber was ready to embrace her.
But before it could do so she jolted up in the spot hearing a harsh beating on the door, her heart did a terrible jump as she jostled off the couch. She quaffed hardly tightening the shawl around her body, with shivering legs she approached the door only to startle as another harsh bang was thrown at the main gate.
“W-Who is it?” A scared stammer erupted her lips with hard effort.
“Mam, it’s the Police please open up.” Her fear soon got replaced with confusion and shock as she didn’t waste a second and unlatched the main door revealing a bulky man standing in front of her cladded in the cop’s suit.
“Hello, mam. Is this Mr. Hayes’ house?” She bobbed her head positively.
“Yes, it is. Any problem officer that you decided to come here at this time?” She inquired still shivering slightly.
“You are?” He questioned making her gulp down.
“I am Bellaria Hayes. Ander Hayes’ eldest daughter.” The man whose eyes looked like they were made of rock and ice instantly soften after confirming the Identity of the timid girl in front of him. He let out a heavy sigh bowing his head down.
“My condolences are with you, mam.” His uncertain confession accelerated the pace of her heart as she licked her lips shaking her head in response.
“What are you trying to say, officer?” She clutched her shawl in anticipation when the man in front of her shot her a look of sadness and dismay which didn’t fail to add to her fear.
"With heavy heart, I am grieved to inform you that, your father Ander Hayes is no more.”
So I have edited the chapter and the next will be edited too, I felt like my writing in the previous version was messy and too rash, so this time I tried to write professionally.
The book as promised will remain free till completion.
Also the update schedule will be two chapters a week. You guys have to remember I have some personal matters as well so that’s why I can’t update daily. If I ever got free time in a week then it can be three updates a week too but till now it’s only two chapters a week.
Next will be updated soon, keep on liking and commenting.
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Till the next adios.