I hastened my lagging steps and the breath escaped my lungs in a quick sigh of relief as the market came into my line of vision.
I headed towards the entrance but before I could enter, I crashed into a body. I stumbled a bit but balanced myself before I could fall straight on my butt.
I craned up to gaze at the person who almost made me fall. My eyelids stretched wide seeing an otherworldly creature with full lips, large luminous eyes.
Even the way she wore her hair, with those braids wrapped around the top of her head like a crown and long shiny red curls falling around her shoulders and her back.
Her slender form was enhanced by the tight black dress. She looked painfully beautiful.
"Are you blind," She said in her shrill, harsh voice. Bitterness slithered through her as she pinned me with her sharp glaze.
"I'm sorry," I was quick to apologize. "Are you okay," I took a few steps towards her just to make sure she wasn't hurt.
Before I could reach her, she retreated a couple of steps back, creating the distance that I had eliminated. "Don't touch me," She shrieks as she makes no attempt to hide the disgust in her eyes.
Why does everyone hate me?
She shot me one last glare before walking past me. I watched as she climbed into her car and drove away. I let loose a sigh of relief.
She was ill-tempered and scared.
Shaking my head, I continued walking inside the market. Once I was inside the food section, I grabbed one of the metal shopping carts since I had a long list of items I had to shop for.
I began to trail around the market in search of the items written on the note. One by one, the empty cart began to fill with the groceries.
Forty-five minutes into the shopping, I had almost gone with the groceries. Only a few items were felt for which I had to travel into the different sections of the market.
After making the payment, I moved to the other section of the market to get the signatories. I grabbed the shampoos, body washes, and conditioners. I began to search for toilet paper which I could find on the top shelf.
My right hand flies up in an attempt to grab it but I struggle to reach up to the height. Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me.
I jumped up in fright and whirled, startled at the sudden contact. I was about to give a piece of my mind, whoever it was, but my words stuck in my throat at the sight of a large deep-set of beautiful emerald eyes.
His face was clean-shaven. His dark hair was thick and unruly combed into a fashionable style. He was enormously tall and well built. He looked between his late twenties and early thirties.
At my startled expression, he laughed and instantly faked a cough in an attempt to cover his laugh when he saw my brows pinched in a frown.
"Hey, you okay? I didn't mean to scare you," he began in a quiet voice.
"I-I'm okay," I replied with a nod of my head.
"So we meet again," My face twisted in confusion, not really understanding what he was speaking about.
Then something caught my attention. Fragrance. The same fragrance of an intoxicating mix of spice, musk, and manly. The realization dawned on me that he was the same man who saved me in the alley.
"Yes, I'm your superman," he said with a slight yet dramatic bow of his head.
"I apologize for.. whatever happened back. It was rude of me," I said with what I hope sounded like a sincere attempt to empathize.
"It's okay-" He paused before adding "-but I hope you learned it was a stupid move to walk alone in those alleys," His tone was calm yet he looked displeased.
"I know," I admitted, almost feeling embarrassed.
He held out his hand. My upper lips twitched in uncertainty. Slowly, my gaze lifted to his lips, which were curved in a pleased smile that enlarged until it activated the dimple below his eye. "Noah,"
"My name is Noah," he answered with a small chuckle and found my reaction funny.
I hesitated but nonetheless wrapped my tiny fingers around his thick and long ones. "Hope,"
Silence washes over us. Unsure whether to pull my hand from him or verbally fend his hand off, I did neither. He himself made no move to release my hand. Instead, he gazed at me for a long moment, an odd gleam in his eye.
Why is he looking at me like that?
All I wanted was to get out of there, but I didn't want to come out rude again. I had already acted ungrateful by running away from him in the alley. I won't make the same mistake again.
"My-y hand," finally, I blurted out when he showed no sign of letting my hand go.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he said, instantly letting go of my hand. He almost looked embarrassed.
"Here," he said, putting the toilet papers on the trolley.
"Thank you," I said sincerely.
I just met him today and he has already done so much for me. I don't know how I am gonna pay him back for his generosity, even though kindness is something that can't be paid for.
"Well, I'll be leaving then," he said, giving me a gleeful chuckle.
This man chuckles a lot. Of course, he does not think everyone's life is sad and meaningless like yours.
"Thank you once again," We bid goodbye and separated in our respective ways. I paid for the remaining items and paid before exiting the market.
It started getting dark outside. The atmosphere was clear and cool, the sky a beautiful pageant of yellow and orange. The street lamps emit white light.
Looks like I am in trouble again...
A sighed as I began to follow the quiet side of the wide street. I must have walked almost ten minutes when flashing headlights illuminated from behind me. I turned to see a sleek black Audi pull up right in front of me.
I personally have no knowledge about cars, but I recognized that Xavier owns the same car but in the color red. The tinted window slid down, giving me a sight of the familiar man seated in the driver's seat behind the steering brake.
"Noah" His name unconsciously stumbled from my lips.
"What are you doing here?"
"Going home?" I answered, but it came out more like a question than a statement.
"Get in," he said casually.
"It's alright," I said, slightly shaking my head, rejecting his offer.
He shut off his car engine and got off before pushing his legs in my way. "Hope, just get in. The bags are heavy," He stresses, stopping right in front of me.
Honestly speaking, both my hands and arms started to burn and slowly started to numb.
Recently, but I agreed. "O-Okay,"
His smile broadened. Not waiting a moment, he took my bags from my hand.
"You don't have to, I can manage," I protested, feeling uncomfortable.
"What kind of man would I be if I let a beautiful girl lift these heavy bags," he utters nonchalantly as he opens the back door of his expensive car, putting the bags on the shiny leather seat before closing the door shut.
Is he flirting with me?
I knew I was nowhere near beautiful, but I couldn't help flushing with his flattering yet effortlessly smooth words. Thank god it's dark, otherwise he would surely take notice of my beetroot chubby cheeks.
"I'm not handsome."
My remark made Noah swiftly turn his head in my direction. "Trust me you are," The way he said it made my heart skip a beat. He almost looked and sounded upset.
I didn't dare utter anything as I moved to the passenger seat before getting in the passenger seat. Seconds later, Noah got in the driver's seat. I gave him my address and a moment later the engine zoomed into life before moving on to the paved road.
The entire ride, I gazed outside the tinted window. I felt strangely subdued as he drove me back home. I am growing more and more despondent. Fifteen minutes later, he stopped the car right in front of the main gate.
We both got out of the car. Noah picked my bags from the backseat. "Let's go."
"Yes, these bags are heavy," he said, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.
"It's okay, I can carry it from here," I said and quickly took all the bags from him before he could protest. Honestly speaking, I didn't want him to come inside, not because I didn't like him. Because I knew Sandra and Soniya could create some drama inside.
Judging by his expression, I was sure Noah was finding my behavior weird, but fortunately he didn't press the matter. Instead, he dipped his hand in the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a card.
"Here-" He placed his card on my palm "-there's my number, call me if you want anything," I quickly nodded, wanting to leave. I was already late and if someone saw me with Noah. God knows what will happen.
"Bye," he said, his expression seriously for the first time since we met.
"Bye," I barely let out.
I shot him a smile before turning on my heel and walking inside the gate as the watchman opened it for me. I knew Noah was still there as I could feel his stares drilling a hole in the back of my head, but I didn't dare turn.
I carefully pushed the front door open, trying not to produce any sound as I didn't want to alert anyone about my arrival. The lights were off, which means Sandra and Soniya must be in their room, and as for Xavier, I'm sure she is still at the office.
I quietly shut the door behind me and began to head towards the kitchen, trying to keep my footsteps as light as possible.
I must have hardly taken five steps when my limbs froze as I heard a familiar voice. "Where are you coming from?"
"Where are you coming from?" Startled, I turned to face the voice, recognizing it was my husband.My heart skipped a beat when I saw Xavier on the sofa. I couldn't make out his face as the room was dark, but I could only see the outline of his form.What is he doing here?Wasn't he supposed to be at the party? Maybe the party was at noon. Yes, that must be it.The light was flipped on. The sudden brightness blinded me and I shielded my sensitive eyes.Xavier was settled comfortably on the couch that was at the distance of ten feet, pinning me with a withering look. A sense of power swirled around him. The man radiated power and control, even in a simple T-shirt and sweatpants.My eyes flickered at the nearly half-empty pint of vodka on the table next to him.Did something happen?Why was he drinking?"Where were you?" His voice took me out of my funk."Groceries," was all I said. His eyes traveled down my hand before returning to my face."Who was he?" His voice was calm, too calm for
Hope...The words have great significance in my life.First, it's my name.Second, because it is the only thing I have been doing for two years. HopeThe hope of getting my husband's love. Hope to have normal relationships with my in-lawsI always used to think, why my mom kept my name hope when I am hopeless. Maybe she saw me as her hope for new life and a better future, but I wasn't her hope, I was destruction. My mom lost everything she had when she got pregnant with me.Her dreams, her family, her happiness. Everything. I wasn't planning. It was a mistake that my mom made. But she didn't let me ever fall. She never complained about anything. Not once. And I'm very grateful for that.But it's not the same with Xavier though. He is bold, upfront, and blunt. He has always been a person who doesn't hesitate to vocalize what's on his mind. A part of me admires him for that, but another part doesn't, because sometimes he can be too straightforward and honest.I know I'm being selfish; I
My sense of dread and agitation filled me, replacing all the excitement I had as I started at the door. Don't be afraid, he's your husband. He won't hurt you. I just hope he doesn't get angry at my appearance in his office.Taking a deep breath, my fingers curled up into a fist. My hand flew up before hesitantly pounding my fist softly against the door. Even waiting for a minute, I heard no response from inside. My brows furrowed in confusion.Why isn't he answering?Has he gone somewhere?Just when I concluded Xavier must have gone somewhere, I heard a small "come in" from the other end. Grabbing the knob, I twist it before pushing the door open.My eyes widened as I saw the scene unfold in front of me. Xavier stood there in the room along with a woman whose brown hair ruffled all over the place. Her blood-red lipstick was smudged.She was dressed in a revealing top. Her breast almost spilling out of her dress and extra tight and small skirt as if she'd just come from some club, her
My eyes traveled to the man before, who was supposedly my husband. I'm surprised to see him out here. This is the first time in these two years he has entered my room. I never thought this day would come.Similar to before, there was no remorse in his face, and my throat tightened. Looks like he's incapable of empathy or remorse.I watched as his wandering gaze traveled down to my chest and the light of lust flared in his gaze. Realization crossed upon me about my half nudity. I instantly crossed my arms, making an attempt to conceal my nakedness from his two sets of shape gaze staring at me.Upon my action, his gaze shifted momentarily back to my face and his gaze met mine with the same lust-filled eyes that made my heart flutter.On the other hand, seeing him here unleashed the dark memories of Xavier and of that woman rapidly and clearly, which lingered like smoke after a fire as I couldn't stem the image of them flooding my mind. I felt the wound of Xavier's betrayal reopened wide
A loud and impatient knock awoke me, and I blinked groggily. A flash of irritation crossed my whole being.Which idiot is disturbing me at this moment?Covering my eyes with my hand, I buried my face into the pillow with a groan. Despite my irritation, I had no option other than to respond to whoever was continuously banging on my door like a mad person.With another frustrated groan, I shrugged out of the sheet to stand but before I could. A familiar voice shrieked from the other side of the door. "Hope, open the goddamn door,"My eyes enlarged in what felt like panic as I realized it was none other than my mother-in-law Sandra.What is she doing here at this time?Jumping from the bed, she dressed quickly and went to open the door. The instant I opened the door, I was met by Sandra, who was standing on the other side of the door. The annoyed expression on her face changed in a way evidently into harshness and acidity."What the hell were you doing?""I'm so-sorry, I didn't realize I
When I woke up, the room was dark, except for the low light of the lamp. Who turned the lamp on? Maybe Xavier did. Why am I even thinking about this? Letting out a deep breath, I rubbed my eyes briskly to remove any trace of sleep left.I tried to sit up but my movement was restricted. Confused, I turned my head to the side only to find Xavier's arm was draped across me protectively.I couldn't help but stare at him. His other hand was on his chest, his warm plump lips parted. His eyelids pinched shut. His chest rises and falls in rhythm. The aura around him was as calm and peaceful, unlike the intimidating and dominant Xavier he usually is. He looked rather at ease and at peace.A smile blossomed on my face as I remember how he held me the entire night. It was like a dream come true. A part of me still doesn't understand why he did that.Is he starting to accept me? Or maybe like a little too. I could feel the warmth of the blush as it crawled up my neck at my own thoughts.I was pro
HumiliationDeceptionGriefThere were too many human emotions running inside me even to identify all of them.I tried not to dwell on this and concentrated on something else, but I couldn't. It was like these images and emotions were permanently stuck in my mind. All the emotions running through my mind made me feel like I would go insane. It felt like a curse.My eyes fell on the phone that sat on the nightstand near the bed. Before I knew it, my legs were carrying me towards the phone.I grabbed my phone and reached into the contact list before tapping the number. Just when I thought the call would go unanswered, the ringing of the phone finally stopped and the line was finally connected."Can you meet me now?"************The phone pinged from inside my skirt's pocket notifying me that my ride had already arrived. I was about to grab my purse but my eyes flickered at the ring on my finger.This ring has always made me feel miserable one way or the other, but nothing compared to t
We did not say anything on the way back to the mansion and rode in silence, but the silence was a comfortable one, only becoming awkward when they reached the entrance of the mansion."Here, your castle has arrived, princess," he said with a dramatic tone and expression.Princess?If he only knew I was anything but a princess. I don't think any princess is treated the way I get treated. I don't think any princess is insulted on a daily basis, as I do. I don't think any princess would let anyone work on her as I do.Again, my mood turned sour as memories of everything came back to me. No, Hope... don't get there. I stopped myself before I got lost in my misery again. I can't let my problems overwhelm me.I was brought out of my reviver at the mention of my name. I drop my attention back to Noah, only to find his facial features pulled together into a concern."Oh sorry, I have a habit of spacing out", I instantly added and laughed it out, but it clearly didn't work out as his expressio