You're my daughter

 Soon the week was over and Melissa had to go back to work. She thought Mr Johnson would complain or look for her after she left but he didn't bother with her. From her colleague's she heard of how he praised the hotel staff and tipped Luke handsomely for his meticulous work.

All the talk of how well he worked with Luke made Melissa upset, she couldn't understand her own emotions, its like deep down she wanted Mark to go after her yet in real sense she was running away from him.

"Stupid Melissa how could you think such a man can chase after a poor woman like you. What happened four years ago was just an accident." She scolded herself several times trying to push the thoughts out of her mind. Though he recognized her it didn't mean he had any interest in her.

"Hey Melli you're back, how was the week?" Lisa was always cheerful and chatty. 

 The moment she saw Melissa she dropped everything rushing to hug her.

 "Melissa why did you suddenly ask for a week off yet you didn't even inform me?" She questioned pouting her mouth.

"Sorry Lisa I had some personal matter to take care of." She made an excuse not intending to inform Linda at the moment.

"What happened? To me its like you were running from something or someone." Lisa was her close friend, her best friend she knew almost everything about Melissa and her family and most definitely knew of no family emergency as she had informed the manager. 

"Well auntie was not feeling well I had go take care of her." Melissa couldn't say the real reason, she could only use her aunt as shield.

"Ooh I didn't know, I'm so sorry. How is she now?" Seeing how worried Lisa was, Mellisa felt guilty. "When I get off work I'll go to visit her."

"She's okay now you don't have to worry yourself, besides it was just a stomach discomfort. I only took a week off because I was worried Tommy won't get proper care while I'm away." She made up more lies and though the excuse was laime, Lisa didn't probe further.

 After managing to convince Lisa, they charted for awhile then went to the managers office to make an attendance report.

"Come in." The manager invited her in after knocking on the door twice.

"Morning sir, I got a message from the reception that I should report to you."

"Yes Melissa, have a sit." The manager invited still looking at the documents on his desk then handed  an envelope to her. "A guest liked our hotel decoration and asked if our designer can work in his hotel. Its a five star hotel in the capital city."

Melissa was amazed. Their were many qualified and experienced designers in the country yet the client choose her to design a five star hotel.

"Really sir, they want me to design the hotel?" Melissa still couldn't believe it. She took the appointment letter from the envelope and read it quietly.

"Why not? When you came to me proposing to change the hotel design, I didn't expect much but I gave you a chance since you were so persistent and you proved me wrong. Since then this hotel has improved tremendously."

"Thank you sir for believing in me, but this is a big hotel. I don't know if I can handle such a big project. You know this hotel is the first and only one I have worked on."

"Melissa this is a good opportunity for you to make your life better. They will pay thrice as much as the hotel pay's you and carter for your expenses. You don't do this just for your self but your son to and as your boss I have assigned you to this project, so  you leave in two days. Here is your plane ticket." To Melissa this contract was a dream come true but she was sad to leave her son and aunt for such along time.

 She took the ticket, thanked the manger and left the office.

After work, having handed over to her successor smoothly, she went to the bank then bought Tommy his favourite fruit cake at the bakery before going home.

"Tommy come, I bought your a fruit cake." She called as soon as she walked in the house.

"Thank you mum it smells nice. Its not my birthday mum why did you buy the cake?" Looking at her son, Melissa couldn't imagine not seeing him for a whole month. She has always been by his side since he was born.

 "I bought it since its your favourite baby, now eat your cake, I'll go look for grandma."

Leaving Tommy to enjoy his cake, she went to the kitchen to meet her aunt. "Oh...Melissa your back so early today." Aunt Betty chimed seeing Melissa walk in.

"I got off work early today so I can prepare for my new job. Oh aunt I'm so excited." She hugged her aunt feeling elated.

 "What so exciting and what new job are you talking about?" Betty questioned holding her at arms length wondering what had gotten into her. She had not applied for any job, how could she get one. A few day's ago she came home crying and know she was so happy, almost tearing up.

 Seeing her aunt's concerned look, Melissa giggled. "Aunt I'm not crazy, I honestly got a new job and though it's a months contract, it pays more than working in the hotel." 

 "Congratulations dear. With that money it will be easy to pay for Tommy's school." Though Melissa earned a good sum from her work it was not enough especially now that Tommy was going to school.

Melissa smiled then stepped back looking conflicted. Yes the money was good but it came with it challenges. "The down side to it is, I will have to go to the capital for a month aunt."

"Oh do you have to report soon and what about Tommy? Are you going to leave him behind?" She inquired setting the knife down stopping peeling potatoes.

"Yes aunt, it's a one month contract to design a new hotel and I'll be quite busy. Though I hate burdening you, I have to leave Tommy with you aunt." 

 "Oh no, its no burden my child. I love taking care of him." Betty reassured her. "This is a good opportunity it will open other doors dear. Don't think twice about it."

 "Thank you aunt. I don't know what I would do without you." Since her parent death, her aunt had been the only person taking care of her. The only one she could rely on. "Oh, almost forgot, here. I brought some money for you to reopen the flower stall." Opening her bag that was still dangling over shoulder, Melissa gave her the money she had taken from her bank account.

"What this?" Betty asked looking at all the money in the gray envelope. "Melissa this is your savings for Tommy's education. I can't take it, besides I still have some money in my account I can still use." She handed the envelope back but Melissa didn't take it.

"Aunt please take the money. I will earn alot from this contract also this is the least I can do after you've helped me and Tommy so much."

"Your my daughter and I love you both so much. I did what any mother could do." 

"Thank you aunt." She walked round the counter and hugged her from behind. If not for her aunt's help she didn't know how she could raise Tommy all by herself.

"Go keep Tommy company, dinner will be ready in a short while." Feeling tears well up in her eyes, she patted Melissa's hand urging her to leave.

"Okay, love you aunt." Kissing her on the cheek, Melissa went to the sitting room, sat on the carpet and watched her son play with his toys. Looking at him was like looking at Mark though he was more handsome than his father. Only if they were together, Tommy would be so happy. Seated there she couldn't help but think of how good looking Mark was though so arrogant and domineering. 

"Damn, why do I always thinking about him?" She reprimanded herself forcing him out of her mind.

"Mum are you okay?" Noticing his mother talking to herself, Tommy asked getting close to touch her forehead.

  Holding his little chubby arms, she smiled at him reassuringly. "I'm okay son, only worried since soon I will be going away for work. You have to take care of grandma for me okay." She informed him lovingly squeezing his cheek.

 "Yes mum, I will take care of grandma and promise not to trouble her." Tommy promised while nodding his head.

"My baby is so obedient. Come give mummy a hug." She embraced her son tears threatening to fall. 

 Though tommy was young on the outside, he was quite mature. Taking up the roll of the man in the house.

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