I was as shocked as a bull deprived of water after ploughing fields in strong sunlight all day!
I stared continously at Lara, who was still crying hysterically, hugging the album close to her bosom.
"You have a daughter, Lara?!!"
She nodded meekly, wiping her tears like a little girl with the back of her hands. My motherly love kicked in and without thinking anything, I pulled out handkerchief from my purse and handed it to her.
She looked at the piece of cloth and then at me and I smiled at her, encouraging her to take it, coaxing her with my sympathetic eyes.
"Here! Come here!" I made her sit on the sofa and immediately poured a glass of water for her which she drank it, her tears still flowing from her beautiful eyes.
"I won't ask anything else if you're hurting so much because of it!" I patted her back, assuring her of my words. Standing up, I attempted to leave when she stopped me by clutching the sleeves of my shirt.
I turned around to see her vulnerable and miserable form, pleading for something.
"I want to talk about it! It's been years and I can't hide the truth anymore! I am hurting everyone because of my biggest mistake!"
Hiding my own surprise after listening her gentle words, I sat down beside her, pouring myself a glass of water and gulping it down in one shot before finally looking at her.
"So why didn't you tell me! About your daughter and all!? I understand Edward hid it for me for a reason and that's why he was eager to get married to you but atleast, you should have told me the whole truth! That way I would've understood why he was marrying me for fake so desperately!"
Lara looked at me, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"Why would Edward tell you anything about my daughter!?"
"Because then I would've understood the extent of your relationship with him pretty well!?"
"But how can he tell you about her when he himself didn't know about it!"
My eyes widened in surprise.
"You didn't tell Edward yet! Why!? He deserves to know he has a child, Lara! That's unfair!"
She remained silent for minutes while I just stared at her, expecting her to say something.
"She isn't Edward's child", Lara whispered slowly, staring at the floor, too ashamed to even look at me.
"Vivian is not Edward's daughter!"
My hands flew to my mouth to stop a loud gasp. But my heart relaxed much to see that Vivian wasn't Edward's daughter.
It would be a understatement to say that my heart broke into million pieces to learn that Lara had a daughter. And it took my whole strength not to cry out loudly in front of her after she asked me all those questions about me loving Edward.
But if Vivian is not Edward's daughter then what about her blue eyes and brown curls!?
"Who is the father then!!?"
Lara stopped wiping her tears from my hanky to look at me, putting the cloth over her lap.
"Yes. Yes. Who is it?!" I snaked my head towards her mouth, too curious to know her answer but when she didn't respond, my face fell in disappointment.
We sat still in sofa for more minutes. I tapped my foot on floor in curiosity while Lara just fiddled with her fingers, maybe in nervousness.
I coughed deliberately. "It's ok. If you don't want to tell then I completely understand! Its too personal for it-"
"No. No. I will tell you everything. It's just that it's been years and I never talked to anyone about it!"
I nodded. "You can totally take your time in it! I am hell yeah fine with it!For now, how about you just tell me how did you meet... ummm... Vivian's father!?"
Lara looked spaced out for a moment, before a little smile broke out in her pretty face.
"Almost eight years ago, we both met each other in our high school! I was totally a different person back then! What you see me now is just my reincarnation after a certain bad turn of events!"
"Yes. I was a total nerd back then, with my ugly braces, pigtails, baggy clothings and a encyclopedia like books in my bag! I used to study all day and night, scoring best of the best scores in our class!"
"And then there was him in our class, always hanging out with the popular ones, and always looking cool and handosme. Though he behaved like a jerk to all the girls confessing their undying love for him, he was considerably very warm-hearted from inside and always stood up for those who bullied the weak ones and nerds like me!!"
"Oh. So that's why you fell in love with him?"
Immdiately, dark blush adorned her cheeks,"Yes! He saved me from those scary bullying guys that day when I was staying late in the library to study for my midterms! I wasn't planning to fall in love anytime soon cause I had a long list of my successful careers lying ahead of me but you can't help who you fall in love with and before I realised what was happening to me, I suddenly started to catch a glimpse of him in a class, wanting to help him anytime even if it was giving him my notes or favourite pencil and getting jealous at any other girl who he used to save from any bully and the symptoms of falling in love continued for eternity then!"
"So what happened after?!" I asked, taking one sip of my now cold coffee, my interest in her personal life increasing more and more.
"Then one day he came and proposed to me!"
"Wow! Really! Then!?"
"I was hesitating at first to accept his confession, no matter how much I began to love him until then, because I was just a boring ugly nerd nobody would even dare to look at and then there he was, one of the popular boys of our school, asking me to become his girlfriend! I refused him flatly, feeling too unworthy and undeserving for his love and concern!"
"Then! What happened after!?"
"Well he continued to follow me everwhere, accompanying me everwhere without my consent, dropping me home late at night where I used to walk on dark streets alone and he would just follow me from behind until I get home safely. He saved me seats for cricket matches of our school and sat with me on the beach to watch fireworks when nobody was willing to watch it with me! These little things made me realise he really cared for me and I couldn't get anyone like him again, and so I accepted his proposal happily!"
I poured her a glass of water and offered her to drink which she gulped down quickly.
"So, When did you two... um... do it then!?"
Lara chuckled heartily. "You mean when did we have sex!?"
I nodded, quickly looking down at the floor, blushing profusely at her bold words.
"I opened up to him, told him all my secrets of life, about my family, about my favourite food, color, drawings, books, animals, clothes and all. We grew more close to each other, it had been four months of our relationship back then!"
Lara looked at me, to gauge my facial expression which was full of curiousity and interest.
"And then one day when he visited my house, in Christmas when my parents were outside to meet with my uncles and aunts, he gave me a gift!"
I scooted closer. "What was the gift then??"
"It was a phone, my first phone ever. It's still with me, in my belongings. I was so much touched my his feelings and his affection. We had a movie marathon that day and a movie situation made us to kiss each other. After that, one thing lead to another and we ended up having unprotected sex that day! We both gave in to our feelings, without thinking of the consequences!"
"Oh so, you got pregnant then!?"
She nodded her head slowly.
"Then what did he say!?"
I saw tears pooling in the corner of her eyes again which she tried to wipe it fast, but they ended up flowing on her lap.
"Lara!? What happened!? What did he do then!??"
"He betrayed me, Emily! He bloody betrayed me!"
"Yes, he left me all alone to deal with it myself. When I came to know I was pregnant with his child, I just wanted to tell him that! I never meant to kept the baby myself as I had a long life ahead of me and if he had told me once to abort the baby, I would have done it without hesitation but-"
Suddenly she stopped in the middle to break out into heavy sobs.
I grabbed her shoulders tightly, shooking her a little to make her look at me.
"Tell me, Lara! What the fuck did that bloody jerk say?? Tell me!"
"He sai..said that I.....way just the part of his stupid bet which he made with his friends to have me laid under him in just months! And I just stood there, staring at him speaking the whole truth smugly to me, while he continued to mock me and my neediness in my face! I wasn't...." she wiped her tears once more," And I couldn't tell him I was... pregnant with his child seeing that how much he truly hated girls like me in real life!"
"Oh Lara. I am so sorry!" I pulled her in a comforting hug, while she cried loudly in my shoulders, her pain breaking my own heart apart.
"Shh! It's Okay dear. We don't need guys like him in your life, right!? We need guys like Edward who can protect your pride whenever jerks like him appear to mess up your already fucked up life!"
"No. Emily. I can't fool him anymore. I never loved him in my life! I was just greedy and desperate to be loved after getting so much pain by my own one mistake!"
"Lara! Don't say it like that! You are much better than that! I know you! Let's just go and drag that jerk's fucking ass here with his damn bloody ears and don't you worry about beating, cause I am a trained martials and I have been saving my power to beat up the crazy ass of stupid jerks like him!"
"No. Emily! We can't do that cause he isn't here anymore!"
I opened my mouth to say something but I was too shocked to see he was dead already.
"Oh dear. I am so so sorry. I didn't know he would die so early otherwise I would have stir fried his heart to feed it to monkeys and then-"
"No. No. For god's sake he is very much alive, Emily! He is just no more in this country. He left for abroad a long time ago!"
"Oh don't you worry dear! I didn't read mystery thriller novels for nothing! Tell me your high school's name and I'll ask the principal his address to track him and his rotten **** down to this country again!?"
She didn't answer, instead chose to sit still in her thoughts.
"What was the name of your highschool again!?" I aksed again, in hope that she would answer this time.
"DreamCoastal High School!"
"Oh!? DreamCoastal High School!?"
Name sounds familiar though!
I pulled out my pen and a notepad to write it down carefully in my paper.
"Since you won't tell me his name, how about you tell me some of his things!? First, what was his favourite subject?"
"Tomato, brocolli grilled sandwich!"
"That's a weired taste. Eww!"
She thought for a moment before looking intently at me. "You and Edward!"
I almost dropped my notepad, listening to her response.
Was it Jake?!?
Oh my god!
No! No! He wasn't in DreamCoastal High School, that much I remember!
Wait a minute though!
DreamCoastal High School?
Tomato brocolli grilled sandwich? Maths was his favourite!? Saved girls from being bullied? Grey colour? Friends with me and Edward??
All colour drained out of my face as my notepad fell on the floor with a soft thud and my mouth opened, closed and opened again to say something before I didn't know what to say anymore.
"Oh my shit! Don't tell me Vivian's father is Him? Him!?"
She nodded her head. "It is the truth, Emily. I am so sorry!"
"Yes. I am sorry Emily but Eric Jones is the biological father of my Vivian!"