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.
Four years later
“How are you? Nervous?”
“Yeah, I’ve finally opened my gallery here in New Haven after a month of graduating college.”
“Relax, honey. I’m sure everyone will love your art.”
“Even if you tell me that you can’t just expect me to relax. This is New Haven. My hometown.”
“Even if it’s Americans, Asians, Europeans, everyone loves your work.”
“You’re just saying that because we’re going out.”
“I’m not. Even before I courted you, I always have said that.” He chuckled on the other side of the phone.
“Sorry, I gotta’ go. Grandpa Luke is calling me.”
I turned off my phone before he could even say anything and faced the intimidating old man.
Throughout the years, grandpa Luke was like a father to me. He was always there in times of my need. Even though we were not blood-related, he was more than family to me than my original ones.
“What are you doing outside? Come on inside. You have to greet your guests.”
I went to him before he could start lecturing me and locked my arm around his. He always liked it if I grabbed his arm, like a daughter about to be married, holding to her father’s arm.
“Where’s Leanna? Is she coming?”
I nodded and gave out my best smile to the incoming guests before answering him.
“After graduation, Cain Fay practically kidnapped her for their honeymoon. They’re going to roam around the world for a year. Can you believe that? I’m so envio––I mean, poor Leanna . . .”
I pursed my lips. Couldn’t help but be jealous of my best friend who was probably experiencing heaven and hell at the same time right about now.
Grandpa Luke sighed in response.
“Grandpa Luke, you should smile. You’re scaring my guests,” I teased.
Grandpa Luke snorted before he managed a nod.
Well, that’s enough . . . I guess.
“Ant . . . Zo-e! Ant . . . Zo-e!”
I turned and found a mesmerizing angel desperately toddled towards me with his adorable wiggling cheeks and fatty arms and legs.
I went over and carried him in my arms and showered kisses on his chubby pinkish face.
“Hey, my favorite guy. How come you’re alone? Where are your parents?”
He pointed his round fingers at the two approaching people.
“It’s good you still manage to come,” Grandpa Luke said in a mocking voice.
“Sorry grandpa~ we run in late because Zhander had to push me in the bathroom for a quick––!”
Zhander held Estela’s mouth before he nodded towards his grandfather, and politely smiled at me.
Estela glanced at Zhander with a frown on her face when the man released her mouth.
“Why did you stop me from telling the truth?”
“That’s not something they need to know.”
Estela was about to retort, but Zhander walked towards me and extended his hands.
“Come now, Zach. Don’t bother your aunt Zoe.”
Zachary extended his arms towards his father without a word.
I wanted to protest that I didn’t mind at all. I didn’t mind hugging that soft marshmallow, but holding a child while greeting the guests was a little . . .
. . . awkward.
“Congrats, Zoe! You’ve finally opened a gallery here in New Haven!” Estela hugged me tight, and before I could hug her back, she let go and roamed her gaze around.
“So, where’s your boyfie~?”
I rolled my eyes.
She never changed.
Estela got herself pregnant with Zhander’s child when we were still first year in college. So imagine our shock at that time. Well, shock because mostly it was Zhander who wanted her pregnant, and not the other way around, and because of that incident . . .
. . . well, that’s their story to tell.
Estela finished her first year and stopped for a year to give birth, so she didn’t graduate together with us.
“He won’t make it,” I replied.
Estela pouted and kissed grandpa Luke on the cheek. “Hello grandpa. Miss me?”
“How can I when we just saw each other in your house a while ago?”
“That’s a while ago,” Estela exclaimed and hopped to Zhander and her child, which made her husband frowned.
No matter how much I saw it, I still couldn’t picture Estela as a mother. She’s . . . well, she’s . . .
“Estela, how many times do I have to tell you that don’t hop.” Zhander lightly tapped Estela’s forehead, and I smiled at the warm gesture.
“Relax, will you? It’s not like I’m hopping high. The baby has a tight grip.”
. . .
. . .
“Baby? What baby?!”
I exclaimed, shifting my eyes between the two.
Estela bit her lower lip as she peeked at Zhander while the latter sighed in surrender.
“Well, it’s supposed to be a surprise but . . . I’m having my second child. Surprise!” Estela proclaimed, garnering eyes on us as she waved her hands in the air.
Grandpa Luke was stunned before he shook his head. “I need another wine.”
“Wow. Estela, congrats!” I said in a daze as I embraced her.
Then I nudged the man beside her. “Zhander, do you have any plans at all to let my best friend here graduate?” I teased and pinched little Zach’s cheeks.
Their child was so beautiful. He had Zhander’s face with Estela’s emerald eyes.
Zhander cleared his throat and just smiled.
“Don’t tell Leanna! I want her to be surprised when she gets back and find I have another baby in my arms.” Estela snickered and hugged her husband and child.
They’re so happy.
A melancholic feeling aroused in me and quickly shook it away.
“Wow! Looky! Looky~! Whose here~!” Estela nudged me while her eyes locked in one place.
I turned and was touched at the sight of him.
I went to him and flew in his embrace, not minding the bouquet of roses in his arms.
“I thought you couldn’t make it.”
“Well, that business deal was important . . . But not as important as the opening of your gallery. And I think I’d rather be here with you in this once in a lifetime event than on a boring deal I can get any time.” He grinned.
I pecked his lips and smiled.
“Thank you. You don’t know how much this means to me, Elliot.”
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