I heard Helena chuckle, seems like she is not convinced. “Come on, Alice… this is a joke, right?” she asked again that made me roll my eyes for the second time.
I lifted my gaze on her. “Do I look like joking, Helena?” I asked in a serious tone. From her, I diverted back my eyes to Aisle. “I am no way kidding here, Helena. Aisle's father is not a joke and I just knew it earlier today. I mean, how the hell did it happen that the man I slept with that night is my boss' son? This is ridiculous!”
“So you really are serious?”
“The hell! I am Helena… far from being serious. And to tell you right at this moment, I am clouded. My mind is blowing and I don't know what to do,” I replied, hard.
“What if… quit your job?” My jaw dropped.
I twitched my brow. “If I quit the job I have right now, then what will happen to me and Aisle? You know that if it wasn't you, I can't have my job. I can't sustain Aisle's needs… I can't give her what she wants.”
Helena looked down at Aisle before lifting her eyes back on me. “Then what are you going to do? What if he knows you? What if he finds out about Aisle? What now, Alice?” she fired away.
I pressed my eyes shut, leaning my back on the couch. I breathed in, breathed out before meeting her eyes again. “You know what, Helena, I noticed something?” I paused, “When our eyes met earlier, he seems unconcerned about my presence,” I told, reminiscing the way my boss' son acted while he's in front of me earlier.
“So, what are you trying to say?” Helena's brow twitched. “Are you saying that he didn't know you?” she added.
“I don't want to give a conclusion about the way he acts but what if? What if he didn't recognize me? Because if you were there with me earlier, you will also think the same way I am thinking now. He stared at me like he didn't know me. And to add on to that, if he ever recognized me, then he must approach me, right? But he didn't. Even though he have the time to confront me the moment I gave him those files he was asking from me. Helena, what if he didn't recognize me? What if I am just part of his past that he has easily thrown away that's why he can't even recognize me now?”
“Well…” Helena trailed, “that's really something, Alice but we can't just believe in that way. What if he's just dropping an act in front of you earlier? Then any moment from now, he will finally confront you. What are you going to do, Alice?”
I bit my lip. Thinking for an answer but there's nothing came out from me. What if Helena has said the right thing? What I am going to do?
“Are you going to tell him the truth or not? Will you let him know about Aisle or you will keep his child as a secret?”
“I d–don't know…”
Those questions that have been thrown away by Helena to me that night keep me awake, big time! The next morning, I get up from the bed like a zombie. Perhaps, a zombie is the right term to use to describe me. From those dark circles under my eyes. To my dull movement as I prepare Aisle's food for her school. Aisle and Helena even noticed how was my look while we were eating our breakfast earlier. I just lied to them but obviously, Helena didn't buy it.
“Say bye to your Mama Helena, baby.” Aisle waved her hand at her Mama Helena before I maneuvered my car away.
Aisle leaned back, crossing her arms around her chest. And then afterward, she settled her attention on her nametag, playing with the lace of it. While driving, I gradually glanced at her and noticed her unusual silence. I was used to hearing her voice filling the entire car while I am driving her to school. When the traffic light turn red, I faced her for a while.
“Why my baby is silent, huh?” I asked, tugging those strands of her hair on the back of her ear.
She lifted her head, showing me her face without her usual joy. “Mommy…” she trailed.
“Last night… I heard you and Mama Helena talking.” Using those words coming from her, I instantly feel how my body went rigid but I tried not to make it obvious in front of Aisle. When the cars in front of us started moving, I back in maneuvering the wheel again.
“What do you hear, baby?” I asked even though I already knew what would be her answer.
Of course! We don't have any topic aside from her father. Sucks! I thought she was sleeping in my lap.
“You have mentioned my daddy, Mommy. I heard you… talking about him,” Aisle announced and if I am not ready for those words, I might stop the car recklessly.
“Mommy, are you really talking about him? I thought daddy was gone just like what Mama Helena always told me when I am asking her. But if he was already gone, then why are you two talking about him last night?” My eyes that are on the road went wide as I heard her complain.
I didn't know what should I say. And I really don't know how to react to what she had just said. She's asking Helena about her father but she remained silent about that matter when she is alone with me. And why the hell Helena didn't tell me about this? That my child is asking for her father without me knowing it.
We remained silent for the rest of our path to her school and when I finally dropped Aisle, I combed my hair out of frustration. Aisle didn't bother to kiss me while I am showering her my kisses. She just bid her goodbye before she entered her school gate. I felt frustrated… frustrated about me that night. All I thought was that Aisle is already asleep so I have the guts to talk to Helena about Aisle's father. But little did I know, my daughter is faking her sleep.
My gosh! Why do I forget that Aisle has the habit of faking her sleep?
After composing myself again, I started the engine and drive to the company. On my way to the office, I was so dumbfounded. My daughter's voice keeps on flashing into my sense of hearing and I felt guilty for what I have acted earlier. She asked me about her father but what did I do? I keep my mouth shut, I didn't give her the answer she was expecting.
But what can I do? I really can't find the right words so I can explain everything. Being silent was the only option that is left to me so I did even though it will make her sad.
Ten minutes have passed before I reached the company. After I parked the car, I accidentally glanced at my wristwatch, and guess what? The time showing by the watch on me makes my feet knotted as I push myself to go to the elevator as fast as I can. Thank goodness that the elevator is empty and left alone to me. As I waiting for the elevator to open, I was cursing inside my mind. I forgot the time… I lost my focus on and now, I am f*cking late—again!
“Good morning, Alice!” my colleagues greeted me as soon as I passes their table. I didn't have the time to greet them back as I was really rushing myself so that I can immediately reach my office but as soon as I opened the door, I was nailed on the floor.
Gulping hard. Gripping tight on my bag. I looked up at the man just a few meters in front of me and when I met his eyes, my heart went wild—completely.
“G–Good morning, S–Sir,” I startled as I greet him.
He didn't say any words, instead, he drew near me and stopped when there is only a short distance between us. The way how he towered me made my knees become wobbly. His presence gives me damn bewilderment and I can't stop my heart from beating so fast like it was about to pop out from my ribcage.
“Calm down for f*cking sake, Alice!” I shouted myself inside but it was futile especially when I heard him finally speak.
“So… my dad's secretary is always late?” he asked. I immediately shook my head and was about to protest when he raised his right hand, stopping me. “Starting today,” he paused, glaring at me. “I don't want my secretary to come late or else, I will fire you. I don't care if Dad's the one who hired you. I don't care, Miss Del Angelo.” After he said those words that were almost a threat to me, he entered his office that is separated from my office by a glass wall.
I watched him in disbelief. He didn't even bother to know my reason why I came late unlike his father. Compare to his father, he is far from Mr. William. How dare he threaten me when he didn't ask for my reason. If only he knows that I need to drop first his child. If only he knows…
Instead of spoiling my day, I choose to ignore what he has just said. I focus on my work and it was past ten in the morning when I heard a buzzer from him so I immediately entered his office.
“Yes, Sir?” I asked, waiting for his order.
I heard him sigh. “Get me a cup of brewed coffee,” he commanded without even lifting his eyes at me.
Rolling my eyes, I went out of his office and headed through the pantry. There, I saw Betty who's busy sipping her hot choco. She glanced at me and smiled after she put down the cup.
“How's work, Alice?” she asked.
I shrugged. “As usual, tiring.” I poured the coffee into the cup and stirred it afterward. When my eyes caught the cookies on the basket, I picked some and put them on a plate.
“How was the new boss? He's undeniably gorgeous, right?” I winced secretly about what I've just heard from her.
“Well… the new boss is pretty okay. He's nice,” I lied and I wanted to take back what I have said. If only Betty knows how rude that boss is. I wonder if she can still call him gorgeous, yucks!
“You know what, Alice… I have heard that he's still single.”
“So what if he's single? Come on, Betty… stop talking about another guy. Your boyfriend is just there.” I pointed out Harry, who's busy at his table.
Betty rolled her eyes. “You're a killjoy, Alice. Now I know why you're still single. You don't have an eye for other guys when you should give your daughter a new father.”
I didn't answer, instead, I headed back to the office with a tray containing my boss' snacks. But when I entered inside, I was stiffened when he threw those cookies I brought together with his coffee.
“What did I tell you?” he asked, glaring at me as if I have done something really horrible.
With my trembling lips, I answered, “A brewed coffee, Sir…”
“Exactly! I told you to bring me a cup of brewed coffee. Nothing more! Did I ask for some shit?” he roared which made me close my eyes. I didn't answer, not even try to defend myself. I just took all his anger just because I brought him cookies.
“Clean up those shit and get out of my sight afterward!” he roared once again so I hurriedly picked up the broom and cleaned up the mess.
After cleaning up, I went out of his office, irritated by his attitude. Just because of those simple cookies, his rudeness totally spoiled my day.