COPYRIGHT © 2017 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
We arrived at a famous sushi restaurant owned by a renowned Japanese chef and went at the back door leading to a private Japanese style room where the cold, intimidating Luke Jansen was waiting on a cushion in a formal ‘seiza’ position.
“Grandpa Luke! How are you?! It’s been a long time!” Estela skipped to the old man, hugging and kissing his cheeks before settling herself beside him.
Estela Fay was probably the only person who could hug and kiss Luke Jansen like any other ordinary old man.
Got to say, the girl has guts.
Uncle Luke didn’t seem to mind as he nodded and gave Estela a warm smile. “It had been indeed a while. You’re still as cheery as ever I see.”
Zhander and I took our seat in front of the old man and cheery girl.
“Congratulations to the both of you for entering college,” Uncle Luke said. Though his face was expressionless, his voice was higher than usual.
I shot him a knowing smile, and chimed, “It’s all because of you, of course.”
Uncle Luke raised an eyebrow before shifting his eyes on Zhander. “Can you give Leanna and me a minute.”
Zhander probed his grandfather for a second and shot Estela a look. “Little Stela, let’s wait outside.”
Estela pouted, yet she didn’t say anything. She took Zhander’s hand, stood to her feet, and went out with Zhander in hand.
. . .
. . .
“Uncle Luke, what are you going to tell me?” I started, breaking the long silence.
It had been a while since Estela and Zhander left the room, yet he remained tight lip. I looked at him. This was the first time I saw the intimidating regal man this uneasy, though he was trying to hide it.
“How’s your first day at school?” he asked.
My eyebrow arched. “Uncle Luke, you came all the way here to ask me about my first day at school?” I crossed my arms. “What are you really going to say?”
We locked eyes in prolonged silence before he averted his gaze and took a deep breath. “I heard you bought Zoe Collin’s painting. One million, sell the painting to me.”
I blinked. Slow and hard.
“I can give you the painting as a gift. I got it for free anyway,” I said without a care.
Uncle Luke remained silent as he avoided any eye contact.
. . .
. . .
“That’s it?” I asked.
He sighed, heavier than the last. “Do you want to hear a story?”
I sat straight, ears perked, ready for the story.
“In the past . . . ,” he started, “when I was starting Jansen Conglomerate . . . I fell in love with a woman, a middle class born woman.”
He paused and shot me a side-eye. When I didn’t react, he continued, “The usual tragedy. My parents were against it and wanted me to marry a woman of important background. They threatened to disown me if I didn’t. I didn’t mind being disowned, but what I couldn’t bear to let go . . . all my hard work. My life’s work. Jansen Conglomerate, leaving it to ruins.”
Uncle Luke closed his eyes for a moment. His eyelids trembled, jaw tightened. As he opened his eyes, I never saw a face full of regret like I did now.
“So, I agreed. I married the woman and let the woman I love married another man. She had a daughter, but life was never good to them. She died together with her husband in a car accident, leaving her daughter behind. I secretly helped her daughter until her daughter married a rich man, but that also didn’t work out. The man had an affair with another married woman, and her daughter suffered depression and died not long after . . . leaving a small child behind.”
My eyelids fluttered. I didn’t know why Uncle Luke was telling me all of this. I stared at him, confused.
“The small child is Zoe Collin, and the granddaughter of the woman I love.”
“. . .”
I was lying if I said I was not shocked at the sudden revelation.
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