Arthur Whilson’s POV
“Where are we going?” Claire asked fidgeting in the passenger seat.
“Well, I think it’s high time I buy a house here in New York and move in.”
“So you are leaving London for good?”
“I have no one there. I grew up there and hence I wanted to stay as long as I could there. Even when Xavier wanted to move to New York for his work I stayed back in London thinking that it was for the best but as years passed I started thinking over my decisions again. It was sometimes tiresome to travel back and forth. So before I came here this time I had already made up my mind on moving here. Xavier doesn’t know yet though. I wanted to surprise him when the time is right.”
“You are a really great father.”
“Thank you. It means a lot to hear that.” I said with sincerity and she gave me her sweet smile.
“So how do you want your new home to be?”
“Homey?” I said and we both laughed.
By evening we visited four houses but wasn’t fully impressed by any. But I knew this last house we were going to see was the better choice. Maybe the reason I didn’t like any of the house we visited was because in my mind I’m already leaning towards this last house. It was smaller than the first four but was just enough for me and hopefully for Claire to stay in. It was a little away from all the noise and rush of the city.
“This place is amazing.” Claire said looking around the house. The dealer who heard this now displayed a relieved smile on his face.
“It is. The interior is also done well. Eva wouldn’t have to work on it much. It does require some good furniture’s though.”
“So shall we decide on this one?” The dealer asked a little too eager. I raised my eyebrows at Claire who just shrugged her shoulders.
“Can you leave us both for a minute to discuss?” I asked and he nodded once before squirting away.
“What should be the decision?” I asked while hugging her from behind.
“I don’t know. It’s your choice. And let go of me. What if he comes in and sees us?”
“Let him then. What’s wrong in lovers hugging?”
“Lovers, huh? Isn’t that bit too much?” She asked tilting her head to look at me.
“We are what we want to be. Now give me your opinion on this house.”
“I already told you it amazing. The surroundings are good too.”
“Well then I guess this place is going to be my new home.” And your too when the time is right.
“Go tell the guy then. He is dying to hear that.”
“Come on then, my lady.” I said and unwrapped my arms from around her after placing a kiss on her cheek.
As expected the dealer was over the moon when we said we wanted this home. He had the owner called and we got to sign the documents the same day as he was in immediate need of money.
“Wanna come furniture shopping with me?” I asked on our way back home.
“Only if you buy me food.”
“Be ready by ten in the morning then.”
“Maybe we should take Ace with us so that Xavier and Eva can spend some time together and go on a date or something?” Claire suggested with an excited grin.
“He would ruin the surprise plan though.”
“We can tell him to keep it a secret then.”
“That kid would blurt the whole thing out if Eva asks.”
“And what’s wrong if she knows. I’m sure she would keep it a secret.”
“I wanted it to be a surprise for her too. But that’s okay. It’s been a while since they went out for a date.”
“That’s decided then. Tomorrow they are going out and we are going to go furniture shopping with Ace.” She said sounding very thrilled.
So when morning arrived Claire and I sat down to convince Ace to come with us.
“You have spent your whole vacation with your parents and school starts tomorrow and your poor grandpa misses his grandson very much. So grandpa wants to spend the entire day with you today.” I said trying to guilt trip him.
“We can all spend time together, Grandpa. Me, you, Mamma, Daddy and we can also have Claire come with us.” He said making me sigh.
“But Grandpa wants to spend time with you separately. Your Mamma and Daddy has got some work today anyway. So they won’t be able to join us. But as Claire is free today she will be able to come with us.”
“But what? Oh..I understand. You just don’t want to spend time with your Grandpa. Am I not cool anymore that you don’t want to go anywhere with me? Fine then. Forget I asked anything.” I said while acting to be sad.
“No, Grandpa. It’s not like that. You are the coolest grandpa in the universe. We can go out today. Let me put on good clothes.” He said and ran to his room.
“Did he agree?”
“He did. I had to do a little bit of convincing though.” I said while putting my arm around Claire’s shoulders.
“Grandpa, I’m ready.” Ace yelled while running towards us.
“Ready for what?” Eva asked stepping into the room and looked at him in confusion.
“Eva, dear, Claire and I are going out to do some shopping. So I thought I’d take Ace with us too as we haven’t spent much time together in days. You don’t mind do you?” I asked though already knowing the answer.
“Of course not, Dad. I know you missed him when we were away. So you can take him with you today. Claire and he will get to know more about each other too then.”
“Thank you, my dear. I really appreciate it.”
“Don’t thank me for this, Dad. You can spend time with him as much as you want to. He is your grandson.”
“And my favourite one too.”
“You only have one, Dad.” Pointed out my son scowling like usual.
“And that only one is my favourite. Any problem?”
“Make no sense but yeah whatever.” Xavier said rolling his eyes.
“Ace, you always stay with them and do not wander alone no matter what, okay?” Eva asked bending down beside Ace.
“I promise, Mamma. I won’t upset you anymore.”
“I love you. Take care and be good for Grandpa, alright?”
“Bye, Ace. Make sure to annoy your grandpa to the maximum.” Xavier advised making me slap the back of head.
“Grandpa, you have to put my car seat in your car. Or else Mamma will get angry.” Ace said folding his arms on his chest.
Ace had stopped sitting in a car seat since he was three as he hated it and would put up a huge fight if asked to sit on. So gradually we all gave in and stopped forcing him to sit on one. But unfortunately for him a month ago when Eva went to a children shop to get him some toys and stuffs she saw the car seats displayed and enquired them about the age till they have to use one as she was not aware of it before. So that day she had brought a new car seat for him and I pretty much enjoyed the whole evening listening to her scold Xavier for being ‘reckless’.
“You are right. I will get it now.”
Once his car seat was fixed and the seats belt was on, Claire and I got in the front with me and we began to drive to the mall.
“You look pretty, Claire.” Ace commented.
“Aw. Thank you, Ace.” Claire replied with a grin.
“He is so adorable.” She whispered to me and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“And mischievous too.” I pointed out.
“And we are here.” I said after parking the car. It took me a while to get Ace out of his car seat because the seat belt was stuck and as soon as he was out Claire grabbed on to his hand so that he would remain close to us.
I bought Ace smoothie and chips so that he wouldn’t be too bored while we looked for furniture. And he seems to be fine munching on to that and slowly tagged behind us.
“That couch would go along with the living room design, right?” Claire asked pointing at the black couch.
“But it’s really big though. It would take up the whole space.”
“You are right. Let’s check over there.”
Thankfully we got almost all the furniture from the same place. We do need some decor stuffs which we thought would be better to buy with Eva as she would have more ideas.
“Where is Ace?” Claire asked looking around.
“Ace? Oh my God! Where did he go now?” I asked panicked.
The next fifteen minutes we spent looking around that large shop for the little boy who recently has gained the tendency to get lost.
“I’m really freaking out right now. Maybe we should inform Xavier and Eva.” Claire suggested while trying not to cry.
“Let’s check once more. I’m sure he is around here somewhere.”
“Arthur, we have checked the whole place twice now. We should..wait..is that..is that Ace?” Claire asked pointing at the small lump seen on the middle of a bed which was for sale.
We both ran towards the bed and sure enough there laid Ace sleeping on the bed with the duvet covering him.
“He has been sleeping there for a little while.” The salesman who was standing nearby informed.
“I’m sorry if it caused you any troubles. We will pick him now. Sorry.” Claire apologised thinking we were in trouble.
“Oh no, it’s okay mam. You are Mr Whilson’s family right? I hope you got everything you wanted to buy. Please do tell us if we could help you in anyway.”
“Uh..Okay.” Claire replied warily and he soon left after taking a last glance at us.
“Ace scared the shit out of me. My hair is going turn all grey soon.” I said looking at the sleeping boy.
“You already have a few grey hair. So no big deal.” Claire replied shrugging her shoulders and then went to pick Ace up.
“Let’s go, old man.” She said and walked away while I stood still shocked at what she had said.
My hair is already turning grey?
I checked myself in the mirror and ran my hand through my hair to see if I can find any grey hair.
“Arthur? What is so much to look at in the mirror? Come on, let’s go. We still have to pay.”
“Uh..yeah.” I muttered and with a last look in the mirror I followed her.
Maybe I need to colour my hair.
“Give him to me. I’ll carry him.” I said and picked up Ace from her so that she wouldn’t get tired.
“So now that is done what should we do now?”
“I did promise you food, didn’t I? So let’s go have our lunch though it’s kind of late for that.”
“Now that you mentioned it I’m suddenly starving.”
“Let’s feed your belly then.” I said and wrapped one arm around her waist while the other was supporting Ace.
“Ace, come on wake up. We are having pizza.” I told him gently shaking his shoulder.
“Pizza?” He mumbled sleepily.
“Yes. Would you like to have some?”
“Of course yes.” He said rubbing his eyes. And despite his sleepy mood Ace managed to eat pizza like it’s his last meal.
“Ace, you didn’t tell us you were going to be napping on the bed there. We were so worried when we couldn’t find you.” I said after he was done eating his pizza.
“I’m sorry, Grandpa. I didn’t mean to fell asleep. I just wanted to lay down a bit as I was tired and you guys were near then. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay, dear. You are fine and that’s all that matters.” Claire said cupping his cheek.
Ace thankfully asked no questions about the furniture and so I guess the surprise was still on. We later went to the park and spent about an hour there and then went to get ice cream before returning back to home.
“You guys are late.” Xavier said when we reached home.
“Didn’t know we had a curfew.” I replied shrugging my shoulders.
“You don’t but I thought you would be back early but never mind what did you guys do all day?”
“We went to the mall and the park. We also had ice cream.” Ace said enthusiastically.
“So you had fun?”
“Yes! Where is Mamma?”
“She is taking a shower. She had the dinner made early today thinking that you guys would be hungry when you returned.”
“We kind of are even after all the junk food we had. What did you both do the whole day?” I asked sneakily.
“The normal stuffs. Just another day.” He shrugged and went back to his room with Ace.
Just another day, huh? That grin you are trying to hide doesn’t say so.
“He is lying right? They did have a good time, I guess.” Claire said happy with how today turned out.
“I’m just glad to see him happy and all smiling.”
For his happiness truly matters.