At the parking lot.
"Louie, what do you want to eat? Father will buy it for you." Sid casted a side glance to the little master occupying the passenger seat in front, as he maneuver skillfully his jeep wrangler parallel-park behind a mini van.
It was his first time in this mall. He never shop on his own much less accompany anyone nor meet anybody at malls in particular. He hated the noise and the crowd.
But he's left with no choice today. He didn't have any spare food in his truck and the little one is hungry as he didn't ate breakfast for lack of appetite. But knowing how kids are, especially Louie at his young age of four and a half, expect them to surprise you everytime if not annoy you. But his kid was never once annoying, atleast for him. He's adorable however he acts and he absolutely likes to spoil him.
"Daddy, i want meat. Cook it for me please."
Sid wasn't anticipating that. He thought they will just drop by to dine in as Louie pointed at this mall and requested to eat but refused a take-out as they passed a drive-thru chain. Well he doesn't like eating fast food himself so he indulged. But hearing his son plead he felt a little helpless. He doesn't know how to cook decent meals. But Louie seldom makes requests and he doesn't talk much so he could only yield.
"I thought you're already hungry." Sid secretly hopes his son to concede, only to see an out-of-place and barely noticeable frown in his son's handsome smooth face.
"Alright, let me help you off." Sid turned off the engine, left his seat first then turn to the other side to help his son get off the suv.
"Hold my ..." He was about to stretch out his arms to hold his son's hands when Louie actually run off on his own towards the mall entrance.
"Louie! Get back! No, wait for me!" He yelled. Sid rarely shouts but he was worried his son might trip and get hurt.
And just as he tries to catch up and entered inside the mall, from a distance he saw Louie stumbled on his knees.
He unknowingly stopped on his tracks as he saw a woman, probably in her twenties helped his son up. With a crease in his forehead he was wondering why Louie wasn't repulsive towards the woman for touching him. Louie hated being affectionate to anybody. Not even during such circumstances. But he didn't brushed off the hands that held his little arms and body up. He remained still until he heard what his son has blurted out.
Mommy? What mommy? Sid was surprised. His son was calling a stranger mommy! He was in a daze for a few seconds and came back to his senses the next as soon as he realized that the woman who was checking his son for injuries or scratches was just as bewildered as he was.
He walked past the increasing number of crowd to come to his son's side.
He peeked at the woman who was already standing in front of him with an unreadable expression on her fair-skinned round face with bare makeup. She doesn't seem to wear any makeup actually except her made brows. He find it amusing as he silently surveyed the lady and was praising her natural look especially her face which he find pleasing to the eye. She was indeed beautiful. He doesn't have a thing for beauties really as he isn't very particular with appearances, well not that he doesn't mind but he would definitely like someone with a good personality.
What? what like?! He pinches between his brows as his mind is going hay-wire forgetting his beloved son. Looking down he realized his son's eyes were completely locked to the woman.
"Mommy." He interrupted.
"Sweetie, sorry i'm ... i'm not your mother." She replied while she stoop low and pat his son's head.
"Mommy doesn't want me?"
His son responded softly with tears starting to well up in his bright, clear brown eyes.
The woman was momentarily suprised with the sudden reaction with an apparent confusion showing on her face. From confusion to sadness to worry, she was starting to panic.
Sid was amused with the obvious changes in her face completely diverting his attention away from his son. He could tell how the woman would possibly give in ... 'No way! But will she? Impossible. What am i thinking?' She would probably console his son away and excuse herself to avoid any complications.
He was still pondering on his thoughts when he heard his son sobbing profusely but the woman was quick on her reflexes and extended her hands in between Louie's arms and unconsciously lifted him up to her embrace.
"Ssshhh, sweetie, please don't cry. Hmm? Don't cry now please? Mommy's here. I'm mommy." She continued as she rests her palms on the little man's back as she lulled him and continued to stroke him while his son, still slightly trembling and feeling the warmth close to him, hugged the woman back.
Sid stood aside with his mouth slightly opened. Looking at the pair, he is somehow ... moved.
"Mommy, i'm hungry." His son hicupped, with bloodshot eyes but no longer crying. Sid wondered. His son never cries. He couldn't do anything because, he doesn't know what to do since Louie have never acted this way.
Hearing that his son was hungry he approched the both of them again.
"Let's go eat then, ok sweetie?" The woman said. From his son, she looked at him and seems in a blind. Is she asking for my help? Right. What else could it be then? He scolded himself then he reached to grabbed his son from her embrace.
"No, i want my mommy. Mommy hold me?"
The little master looks pitiful. Now Sid was the one in a blind.
Thinking about what food to feed his son and scanning through the insides of the mall from within his sight, he was about to suggest chicken meals when his son intercepted.
"I want to eat mommy's cooking."
I thought you want mine? Sid inwardly grumble as he was completely tossed aside.
"Daddy, i want to go home with mommy."
"I want to eat mommy's food."
His son repeated.
Home? What home? Take this beautiful stranger home?!