Mr Reluctant Billionaire
Mr Reluctant Billionaire
Author: maramartha
In the Beginning

"You will be fine, El," Pa starts. "After all, your ma and I never married out of love, but look at us now, so in love," he finishes with his brown eyes taking on a dreamy look.

He takes my left hand in his, squeezes it as a way to reassure me but I am far from reassured. A foreign emotion claws its way to my throat and I make a sound between a choke and a sob. Why me? Why us?

I steal a glance at Pa's face, there's no sign of laughter. Instead, I'm met with lines that have etched deep into his forehead, sunken eyes from lack of sleep and cracked lips.

The tiny mole on his nose seems to have grown bigger but I know that it is just my imagination. His shoulders are hunched, his eyes hold great wisdom, they have seen things. His movements are slower than they should be as if he has thought long and hard before deciding to move.

When did Pa become this old? He looks to be somewhere around his mid-seventies when he is ten years younger. And I wonder if they had lied when they said, Black don't crack. Because Pa has cracked or will crack soon unless I agree to this.

A weight settles on my shoulder, the idea in itself makes me shudder involuntarily. This request that he asks of me will change my life forever but I know that I will do it. I will do anything for him to be happy again.

"I'm doing this because I love you." I place a kiss on my father's forehead, towering over him with my 5'11 height, one of the qualities that earned me modelling gigs before I quit. "I hope this works out well."

"I love you too and it will. I won't set you up for this if I wasn't so sure." His eyes water a bit but he doesn't shed any tears.

I sigh deeply as I sink into the worn-down chair in this dilapidated office with chipping paints and rat-infested ceilings. If I look closely, the mould that has formed on the ceiling will have a more definite form. Sometimes, it's a map, other times, it's any shape my mind eye can conjure.

"Say hello to ma for me," I say when he stands up, "I'll swing by next week."

He sweeps his coat to one side so he can place a hand on his waist. We stare at each other but he doesn't say anything. I have not been home in days, in weeks; it reminds me too much of all we have lost.

Pa finally sighs in defeat; he can already tell that they will not be seeing me at home this weekend or next. He blows a kiss in my direction and I return it without looking him in the eyes. I am a bit angry at him and myself for the things that I cannot change.

His fragile footsteps are slow and calculated but the wooden floor still creaks under his weight. Some of the nails of the floorboards have gone missing, a little misstep and you will be slapped into oblivion by the unforgiving wood. I sigh softly, the whole place needs renovations.

At the door, Pa turns around to face me, waving lovingly at me as if to say he knows he has asked too much from me already. And I send him a smile that is the opposite of what I feel on the inside. I have to do this for them. They have already done enough.

When he is gone, I locate my black handbag on the floor, the hand me down from Ma that I have owned for three years now. My fingers brush the brown envelope and I withdraw them sharply as though it burns. I shove the file deeper into my bag, wishing this is a dream so I can wake up and declare this a nightmare. But it is not; this is real.

I make my way out to the front of this single-storey building, stopping to stare long and hard at what used to be our favourite place in the world. The letters, N PAR hangs precariously from the building. It used to be ANN PHARMA written in gold letters but the other letters have fallen off.

Pa says it is named after Ma whose full name is Annika; she is his good luck charm. When Ma had gotten tired of correcting people for mispronouncing her name, she had decided to go by Ann instead.

Only Pa can pronounce her name correctly, he says it means grace unlike my name, Elna which means beloved.

I shiver a bit as the cold evening air lashes angrily at everything in sight, pulling my coat tighter to my chest. Ignoring the catcalls that are thrown in my direction, I start the short journey to my apartment.

*   *   *

Thank you for checking out my story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating this fictional world and if you do, be kind enough to leave me a review. Enjoy!

Comments (2)
goodnovel comment avatar
maramartha
You will have to read and find out.
goodnovel comment avatar
North Mo
intrigued. I wanna know what she had to do so bad!
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