She closed down her computer and turned it off. It was late and she was tired everyone else was already gone.
She stood up and stretched her aching muscles making a mental note to dedicate one afternoon next week for a trip to the spa for a massage therapy.
After checking to make sure she had locked up everything, she stepped out into the parking garage, the lights which were on made her feel safe as she walked to her car.
She yawned as she dug into her purse for her keys, aside from being tired she was hungry too, she had spent the last few hours locked up in her office working on the photos, she wanted to beat the 24 hour deadline the magazine had given her. Speaking of the photos, most of them had come out perfect it had even been hard for Alice to choose the one they would use as the cover but eventually they had settled the one that had a corporate touch to it, some of the photos would run alongside the story.
She smiled to herself as the events of the day played in her mind, Chard was a jerk he was the kind of man who was used to having women bowing down to him, given a chance she would deal with him thoroughly.
The sound of footsteps behind her brought her out her trance, her heart raced as she turned only to see Thomas walking right towards her.
‘You scared the shit of me?’ she said letting out a sharp breathe ‘I am sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.’
‘What do you want? Are you stalking me?’ she asked a little irritated ‘Can we talk?’
‘Talk about what Thomas, haven’t I made it clear I want nothing to do with you?’ she yelled at him
‘You have to give me another chance,’ Thomas pleaded. ‘I have changed,’ he said ‘Thomas I am not interested, forget whatever my mother said to you.’
‘This has nothing to do with your mother, I love you Mattie and I can take care of you and your child.’
She laughed, ‘I am managing just well thanks, please go back to where you came from.’
‘Are you seeing someone else? Does he even know about your child? Because not a lot of men would be willing to marry someone who already has a child’ Mattie felt the urge to hit him but she resisted it.
‘You know what,’ she began, ‘I want you to leave me alone, just vanish if you have to.’
She turned to leave but he grabbed her wrist in his hand and spun her around.
‘Fuck off,’ she snapped at him.
‘Listen to me Mattie,’ he said adding a bit more of anger to his tone,’ the sooner you realize that you and I are going to get married the better for all of us. I will give you a few days to think about this and when I get back you had better be ready to accept my proposal.’
‘Let me go you bastard, I am never getting married to you, find someone else.’
‘I could have any woman I want but my heart yearns for you. You shall be mine.’ ‘Over my dead body,’ she said before she yanked her hand back with force and he let her go.
‘You can go but be rest assured I will be back.’
She quickly jumped into her car and sped off leaving Thomas standing in the same position.
As she drove she wondered when Thomas had become so rough when he had been the sweetest person she had ever known. She had to talk to deal with this problem she had created because Mattie was not ready to marry someone like Thomas.
An hour later she pulled into her driveway, she stepped out of the car and walked up to the front door. She pulled the door open and walked in.
‘Mummy’s back,’ she called out
Trinny ran up to her and Mattie lifted her into her arms.
‘Hey Mama Bear.’
‘Hey,’ Trinny returned the greeting with a smile.
‘How was your day baby?’
‘It was good mummy, how was your day at the office?’ ‘Hectic baby, I had a busy day.’
‘Sorry,’ she gave her mother a kiss on her cheek. ‘Thanks baby, so what did you learn today?’ ‘Personal hygiene!’ she giggled,
‘Teacher Anna said we must brush our teeth every day, wash our bodies, cut our nails and wash our hands after using the toilet.’
Mattie smiled as she listened attentively to her daughter, this was her favorite time of the day, coming home every evening to listen to her daughter discuss her day and what she learnt at school. Mattie could have the worst day but immediately she got home all would be perfect in her world.
‘Welcome home auntie,’ Tess said when she walked into the room
‘Hey Tess, thanks.’
‘Yes,’ she yawned putting Trinny back on her feet ‘Should i get your food ready?’
‘Yes, let me just get to my room and change.’ ‘Okay.’
Changing into comfortable home clothes, she put her hair into a messy bun and walked back into the living room.
‘Mama Bear have you eaten?’
She sat at her table and ate while Trinny engaged her in conversations. Once she was done, she turned on the TV and took out a tub of ice cream. ‘Movie time,’ she said
Trinny sat beside her mother and Tess sat on the couch across from them. Mattie flipped through the channels on TV before settling for ‘A Gift to Remember.’
About halfway through the movie, her phone buzzed she had received a text from a strange number. She slide her thumb across the screen,
‘Hey, just checking to see if you got home safely. Thomas.’
‘WTF,’ she mumbled under breath wondering where he had gotten her number,
just then it hit her, this was all her mother’s doing she had to put an end to it.
Mattie scowled and deleted the message then she blocked it hoping he would get
He felt his heart ache as he stared at the photo on his phone in front of him, Nicole was finally married and even if he hated to admit it, she made such a beautiful bride.
He had been drawn to her since the moment he met her, she had been the only woman who had wholly captured his heart and soul, the only one he had ever considered settling down with and he had even been willing to give up this reckless life because of her. After everything Nora had put them through Chard had
hopefully thought Nicole give them a chance but she had walked out on him without looking back.
Nicole left him broken, he had spent days drinking and crying over her.
He had tried to get in touch with her- left her countless messages and called her several times but she never responded or picked his calls.
After several months of trying to get her to reason with him, he had given up and gone back to his old ways, he had vowed to never put his heart on line like that ever.
When he met Emma, he was still trying to get over Nicole, the two started off as ‘friends with benefits,’ it was all about s£x and no strings attached but when she unexpectedly got pregnant, they tried to have a normal relationship but it just didn’t work.
He later ended things with her knowing fully-well he could never give her the kind of emotional commitment she deserved.
He had been there throughout her pregnancy and he had provided for her with whatever she needed. Even though things didn’t work out with Emma, Chard was grateful that she had given him a son and had also allowed him to be a part of his life.
Being a father was challenging but nevertheless Chard loved his son a lot, he would do just about anything to see him happy and well.
‘Babe,’ Salma called, startling him from his trance.
‘Huh?’ he quickly answered
‘Dinner is ready.’
‘He is still sleeping I will feed him when he wakes up.’ ‘Okay.’
He put his phone in his pocket and headed the dining room with her.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING