FATHERLY LOVE


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5. • ACQUAINTANCES •

Russell

I gazed at Timothy from my side of the rather large table we had chosen in the Food Court. His father the mysterious Russell, had left only minutes ago to purchase Food. I however only wanted water and a salad, since I was on a low-carb diet for the next two months. Didn't want to be putting on weight in other places, besides my slight belly. Which was finally down after pushing myself at the Gym.

             'So Timothy, how is your Mother?' I asked the boy, who looked up at me.

              'She isn't with us anymore. She died the day I was born.' And my heartbeat hastened, learning something that I could bet that not much people did.

              'I'm sorry Timothy,'

              'You don't need to be sorry, we have been managing quite fine thank you." Russell's deep voice sounded beside me and my eyes widened, as my cheeks burned.

               'I'm sorry, it's just-.'

               'Please, there's no need to be.' The man added coldly and I grimaced. I was getting tired of his attitude, but calling a man Asshole in front of his child wasn't so great an idea either.

I wasn't exactly sure why I didn't turn down his offer, and I suddenly wished that I did. The last thing I wanted to do was to pry into his life, but I was a teacher and sometimes questions needed to be asked. I was not evaluating his Parental Skills, because Timothy was indeed a polite boy. Obviously he had been raised the right way. Timothy didn't miss a day of School unless he was sick, and that took mere days. He found comfort in caring for the other children, instead of bullying them. He loved reading and was mostly quiet, if not engaged in activities handed out by me. He was a good kid, in every sense of the word.

                 'My only concern is for Timothy seeing that he is my Student,' I added chastely and the Russell's gaze hardened.

                 'I guess you're right.' He added in a bored tone, and I suddenly felt the urge to get up and leave. Timothy however payed no attention to us as he began digging into his Lunch of fries and French fried, Chicken Fingers. Not realizing the thick tension that had grown, between me and his Father in such a short time.

                  'No, you were right. I shouldn't have been so inquisitive.' I turned away from him, suddenly losing my appetite altogether. I however didn't see the point in storming off upset. He owed me nothing, and it was the same on my end. But I could be civil around his Child if need be.

                  'I-' he began to speak, but I interjected immediately.

                  'Let's eat shall we?' I flashed him a bright smile and pulled my Plate closer to me, quickly raising a fork of Salad to my lips. Russell let out a frustrated huff of air, and I guess I could understand his frustration. I just couldn't comprehend why it was aimed towards me.

I didn't know how much the death of Timothy's Mother affected him, but I could tell that it still haunted him. I couldn't stamp the man as an Asshole for no valid reason, seeing that he was probably alone in this world. I didn't exactly know the feeling but it was quite clear to me, what he must have been going through even after six years. Raising Timothy on his own, and seeing her eyes everyday didn't seem easy.

                'Daddy, do you think this will make me fat?' Timothy asked and I chuckled lightly, my gaze meeting Russell's for a few fleeting moments.

                 'No son, you have a high metabolism.' He tousled Timothy's hair, and the boy resumed digging into his lunch, making little to no mess at all.

                 'I'm still a kid. I can eat all the fries I want, but when I get to Mr. James age. I'm eating lots of salad and water so I can look like him.' The boy spoke and my mouth fell to the ground.

                 'No offense Dad, but you're way too chunky,' Timothy added and I chuckled lightly, watching Russell shoot me a cold glare. I quickly cleared my throat, as Timothy dig into his fried. Again not paying any attention to what was going on.

                 'Like me? I look like a needle.' I argued chuckling and the Boy smiled.

                 'You look good to me,' Russell commented, and my cheeks blazed crimson. I turned away from him, quickly shoving a fork of Salad into my mouth. Hoping that the red in my cheeks weren't too obvious.

                  'I-, thank you.' Russell simply nodded, returning his gaze to Timothy who took small bites of Chicken.

                  'Daddy, can Mr. James come over when you make your famous Lasagna?' The boy asked and I gazed away, dreading the answer that he would give.

                  'I don't know, only if he wants to.' Our gazes locked and for a moment I got lost in his deep blue orbs.

I wasn't sure about the feeling I felt deep in my stomach, but I welcomed it. In all my years on this Earth I've never actually found myself being highly attracted to anybody. And though he was still a stranger, and I couldn't decipher my feelings towards him. I could feel the burning attraction within my bones, just fighting to be released.

                 'I would love to, but I have to go now.' I added reluctantly gazing at my watch.

I wanted to leave, but the disappointment on Timothy's face made me want to stay. Though I couldn't, because it was almost time for me to meet up with Ashley and the rest of the gang.

                 'It was really nice meeting you.' Russell added and I flashed him an awkward smile as I rose from my seat.

                 'Same here,' I spoke feeling my first genuine smile curl at my lips. I ruffled Timothy's hair then turned away from the table, feeling his eyes burn holes through my back.

••••

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