Yet another busy work week passed. Eva was more than exhausted and was fully prepared to sleep through the weekend. She had her dinner binging onto old shows and fell asleep on the couch. Around 1 o’clock however she was woken up the sound of her phone ringing.
“Mike? Is everything alright? Why are you calling me at this hour?” She asked sounding half asleep and half alarmed. She did not get a proper reply and began to panic. A minute later she heard him rant. It was drunken appreciation call. She tried to be patient even he sobbed and whined and listened to him patiently while trying to get him to pass the phone over to the designated driver. It was nearly two when she finally got to end the call. She walked into the kitchen tiredly and filled up a large glass of water and gulped it down. She moved to place the glass back onto the counter but ended up dropping it on to the floor accidently.
“Shit.” She groaned out in frustration and cleaned up the mess hurriedly while grumbling to herself. She then dragged herself to her room and threw herself on the bed and succumbed to sleep.
Eva woke upto the sound of her alarm which she had forgotten to turn off for the weekend and forgetting that its weekend she got up from the bed to get ready for work.
“Coffee..” She mumbled to herself and began to slowly make her way into the kitchen, yawning the entire time. She was however painfully jolted fully awake when a large piece of glass that she missed to pick up last night pierced deep into her leg.
“Holy shit.” She cursed and immediately began to panic seeing the continuous flow of blood. She didn’t know if she was supposed to take the glass out on her own. She was scared that she would end up cutting some important vein or artery while doing it but more than that she was afraid to pull it out herself. She hopped out of the kitchen leaving a trail of blood behind and went in search of her phone. She called her neighbour and requested the middle aged lady to take care to the hospital. Juanna, her neighbour immediately rushed to her house and drove her to the nearest hospital.
“Daddy, come on, it’s time to pick up Mamma for breakfast.” Ace said as soon as he was done dressing up for the day.
“We’ll go after sometime, Ace. You know Eva likes to sleep in on weekends. She will grumble for hours long if we mess with her sleep. It has happened before.” Xavier said putting the newspaper he was reading aside.
“But we are always at her house by this time.” Ace complained.
“And we always get yelled at for that.”
“Not me. Only you.” Ace muttered under his breath.
“Come here, we’ll watch some cartoon for a while.” Xavier said trying his best to bond with his son.
“Okay..” Ace mumbled. Xavier picked Ace while he was trying to walk past him to sit on the couch and made him sit on his lap.
“There you, go.” Xavier said wrapping his arms around Ace’s belly and switched on the TV.
“Can we go now, Daddy?” Ace asked for the hundredth time. He was sitting more comfortably in his father’s arms. He had leaned back to the maximum and was more of laying than sitting now.
“Alright, let’s go.”
While the doctor was stitching up her wound Eva remembered that she had forgotten to lock the door in a hurry to leave. She requested Juanna to go back home to her kids and to kindly lock her house door for her. Juanna was reluctant to leave Eva alone but Eva assured she would be okay and bid her goodbye.
“And we are here.” Xavier said just as he parked his car in the driveway.
“Let’s go. Let’s go.” Ace hurriedly opened the door and hopped out of the car.
Xavier noticed the blood drops the very second he stepped his foot of the car. He saw trails of it coming from inside of the house and a surge of panic caught hold of him.
“Get back inside the car, Ace.” He ordered his son keeping his voice low.
Xavier picked Ace up and put him in the backseat. He asked Ace to remain quiet and to not get out of the car until he returned. Ace was confused at first but then began to panic.
“Shh. Don’t be scared. Daddy will be back soon, alright? Shout for me if you see someone beside me coming towards you, Okay?” Xavier said and locked the car.
Xavier, careful not to make any sound made his way into the house. With his heart beating louder than ever and his fingers seconds away from calling 911, he entered inside. He followed the blood trails while hoping that Eva was alright. The trail of blood ended at the kitchen where it was more but Eva was not to be seen there. Fully panicked now he called out for Eva putting himself in possible danger and he went around the house looking for her. He even tried calling her on her phone and was about to call 911 when he heard loud screaming coming from outside. It was Ace.
Ace was sitting inside the car scared out of his mind and praying for his Mamma and Daddy when he heard footsteps approaching from behind the car. He quickly lowered himself and sat on the floor so that the person won’t see him. As the footsteps grew louder he grew more and more scared and just as he saw a face looming into the car through the closed window of the car, he screamed his lungs out in fear.
Juanna jumped at the sound of the sudden scream and tripped on her own feet and fell on the ground. She had come back to lock the doors but upon seeing the car she had tried to peep in to see if Eva’s friend was inside. But seeing that it was empty she was about to move back and walk towards the house when the scream startled her. Soon she heard thundering footsteps coming toward her and got up immediately to stand in a defensive position.
“Who the hell are you?” Growled out enormous man now standing in front of the car protectively.
“Daddy!” Ace called out and jumped out of the car and into his father’s arms.
“Are you okay?” Xavier asked frantically checking Ace’s body for injury. Ace nodded and once satisfied with his inspection, Xavier’s glare went back to the woman in front of him.
“Are you Eva’s colleague?” Juanne asked fighting her urge to run.
“Where the hell is she? What have you done to her?” Xavier shouted at her feeling more panicked than ever noticing splotches of blood on the woman’s dress.
“Me? I didn’t do anything to her. What in the world are you talking about?” Juanne asked and then noticing the blood on the floor and her dress she suddenly realised what this was all about.
“Eva is at hospital. I took her there sometime before and came back to lock her door since she had forgotten to do it.”
“What happened to her?”
“She stepped on a piece of broken glass.”
“That woman! Wait, how can I trust you? How do I know whether or not you are lying?”
Juanna told Xavier the name of the hospital and after cross checking the facts with the hospital, Xavier apologized to the woman and also thanked her for taking Eva to hospital.
“Daddy, is Mamma hurt badly?” Ace asked while they were on their way to the hospital.
“No, Ace. She will be fine in no time.” Assured Xavier but he himself couldn’t get the sight of her blood away from his mind. There was too much blood. The fear he had gone through..
Eva was just waking up from her short sleep when Xavier came barging inside carrying Ace in his arms.
“You scared the crap out of me, Woman!” Xavier yelled at her and after placing Ace beside her on the bed, he engulfed her into his arms and held her tightly.
“It’s nothing, Xavier. Only a small wound.” Eva said consolingly. The wound wasn’t small but he didn’t have to know that. She was more concerned with how he came to know that she was here.
“Mamma.” Ace whimpered and he climbed onto Eva’s lap. He began to finally let out the tears he had been holding in and sobbed into her chest.
“Why are you crying, little one? I’m alright. I just got a small wound.” She said patting his back with a bit of struggle as she was still smothered by Xavier. Eva not knowing the full story was confused by the way they were behaving. She could justify Ace’s behaviour but she didn’t understand why Xavier was reacting this way.
“You careless, careless, woman.” Xavier kept muttering to her every now and then.
“Are you in pain?” Xavier asked pulling away after what felt like a decade to Eva.
“No. I’m not feeling the pain now. It will most likely hit later.” She said looking down at Xavier who was now checking her bandaged leg.
“Ace, I’m completely fine. Please stop crying.” She said rocking him back and forth.
“I’ll go talk to your doctor.” Xavier told to Eva.
“There is nothing to talk to the doctor, Xavier. I got a wound and had it treated. That’s the end of it. And now I can go home.”
“Home? You are not going home. You are going to stay here for you to get better.” Xavier said and Eva almost facepalmed.
“I got a cut on my leg, Xavier. I didn’t get into an accident. Stop being dramatic and help me console him.” Eva said finding it hard to handle both the Whilsons.
The nurse came in just as Xavier was about to argue and Eva focused her attention on Ace as Xavier drilled many questions at the nurse. Fifteen minutes later, Ace was all calm, Xavier was half calm and Eva was more than ready for a nap.
“Let’s go home.” Xavier said finally. He picked up Ace and placed him the floor and turned to pick up Eva.
“Woah, what are you doing?” Eva asked scooting away.
“Carrying you?” Xavier said as if she asked a dumb question.
“I can walk.” She said and Xavier narrowed his eyes at her.
“Did you already forgot about the ‘deep’ cut on your leg?” Asked Xavier who had enquired every tiny detail about the wound to the nurse.
“No, I didn’t. And I also didn’t forget about the crutch.” She said pointing at her new crutch.
“You are not well enough to use that now. You are too tired already. Don’t fight me on this.” Xavier said and was about to pick her up again but she slapped his hands away.
“We can use a wheelchair.” Eva negotiated.
“God knows where they are. All the nurses outside are busy. It would be much easier for me to just carry you.” He tried to convince but Eva still protested.
“Stop being stubborn, Angel.” He warned. Ace who was looking back and forth at them then decided to intervene.
“Mamma, please let Daddy carry you. I don’t want you to get more hurt. Please? Please?” Ace pleaded making sure to use the pout to make her give in.
“Please, Mamma?” Ace asked again before she could argue.
“Fine.” Eva huffed out and looked away. Ace looked at his Daddy and winked at him with a grin and Xavier almost laughed loudly at this but stopped himself and mouthed ‘good job’.
Eva fell asleep on the passenger seat a minute after she was seated there and hence no argument came from her as Xavier drove them to his house instead of hers. He picked her up and carried her to his room to sleep and went back downstairs to order breakfast home.
It was noon by the time Eva woke up. Knowing that she needed her sleep, Xavier had stopped himself from waking her up to have breakfast. Eva wasn’t too shocked to find herself in Xavier’s house. She was kind of getting used to this now but that doesn’t mean she was not mad.
“Xavier.” She called out loud upon not finding her crutch anywhere.
“Daddy, Mamma is awake.” Eva heard Ace say and soon saw him running into the room.
“Are you okay? Does your leg hurt? Do you want something?”
“I’m fine, little one.” She said just as Xavier same into the room carrying food for her.
“Why am I here, Xavier? I wanna go home.” Eva almost whined.
“You are not going anywhere. There is nobody there to take care of you. You’ll need help the next couple of days. What if you fall down? Or if the stitches comes off?” Xavier asked while arranging the food in front of her.
“I’ll be fine. I’m not that fragile and moreover I can always call a Mike or Anne if I need help. We have always taken care of each other when one of us got injured.” She said and started eating after murmuring a quick thank you.
“No!” Now it was Ace who objected sternly shocking Eva and Xavier.
“You have to stay here. We’ll take care of you better than them. Promise.” Ace said toning his voice down a bit.
“Ace, it’s not that I doubt your capability of taking care of me. I just prefer staying in my own house and this wound is not such a big of deal as your father is making it out to be. I’ll be totally fine.”
“No.No.No. You stay here.” Ace said stubbornly.
“Xavier.” Eva called looking at him and silently asking him to handle this.
“She will, Ace. Calm down.” Said Xavier and Eva glared at him.
“Ace, would you mind getting me a napkin?” Eva asked needing him to leave so that she could start yelling at his father.
“Be back in a minute.” Ace said and rushed out of the room.
“Xavier, this is getting ridiculous. I cannot and will not stay here. That’s the end of it.” She snapped at Xavier the moment Ace left.
“What is so wrong with staying here? Ace and I will be more at peace with you here.”
“Well, I won’t be. You are taking me home. This conversation ends here.”
“We’ll also stay there with you then. Here or there doesn’t matter as long as we are there with you.”
“Urgh! What is the matter with you? Stop being ridiculous, Xavier.”
“No, Xavier. I don’t want you to take care of me. Leave me alone, I’ll be fine.”
“I can’t do that. I can’t leave you alone.” Xavier said now sitting beside her angry form.
“Mamma!” Ace said running into the room huffing and puffing. He handed the napkin to Eva and turned towards his father.
“Daddy, we are running low on napkins. I couldn’t find them anywhere.” He complained and climbed on to the bed.
“Noted, young man.” Xavier said while helping Ace up onto the bed.
“Mamma, we’ll have lots of fun. We can watch the new Disney movie together. Bake cakes, play games, draw and watch cartoons.” Ace said sounding too excited and now Eva felt conflicted.
“You can also tell me lots and lots of bedtime stories.” He continued on blabbering before she could object.
“…….and we can also team up against Daddy on everything.” Ace finished his rambling and looked at her with a sweet smile on his face.
“Hey, remove the last one from your agenda.” Xavier told Ace who laughed at his father.
“So you are staying, aren’t you?” Xavier whispered to Eva with a smirk.
“Don’t give me that look.” Eva glared at Xavier and he stopped smirking so as to not annoy her even more.