One week later.
Clara entered the elevator, she pressed the button going to the 25th story of the Sweet Delight Confectionery building owned by Susan.
The receptionist ushered her right away into Susan's office.
The moment Clara entered the door, Susan was still sitting on her swivel chair looking at the city's skyscraper towering magnificently in the city's skyline, her face was calm but deep inside she was feeling tense.
Moments like this she needs to wear a facade.
Susan rose to her feet and greeted the visitor. She didn't expect that Clara would finally track her. When she was informed by her secretary of her visitor she has no choice but to face the woman who raised her son. She looked at the woman who raised her son and the wife of her first love. "Please have a seat, Clara," she offered the sofa politely. "You f-found me..." she stammered a bit feeling nervous all of a sudden.
"Yes. After I saw the plate number of the vehicle outside the venue where the baptismal party was held, I finally located you with the help of a few people. After knowing that it was you who is the owner of the car, I realized that you must have been in contact with my son John. Since when all this started behind my back?" she glared at her, seething in anger.
Susan bit her lip as the bittersweet memories of her past come crashing into her. "I'm so sorry..."
Clara sent daggers at her husband's mistress's eyes, as the tears of pain that she kept hidden all these years flooded her vision. The pain, anger, and sadness still reside in her eyes, she was just good in hiding them so that her husband won't know about it. She discovered the affair after she hired a private investigator to follow her husband anywhere he goes.
One night when Hector come back home she smelled strange perfume on his polo shirt. Her suspicion grows until she finally decided to hire a private investigator.
When she knew of the affair, she was badly hurt, broken and in despair. She loves her husband so much and she was afraid that he will leave her, he annul their marriage and finally live together with his mistress. She doesn't want that to happen to their marriage. There are times that she wanted to confront her husband about his affair with Susan, but the fear of losing him was overwhelming and crippled her senses, weakening her resolve. She thought that Hector loves Susan more than her especially now that they were expecting their child.
So, she decided to stay silent and wait for the right time.
Just when she can no longer hide the pain and about to confront the two of them, the private investigator reported to her that Hector already stopped seeing Susan in their rented place. Then the private investigator also told her that he saw Susan left her son outside the gate of their rented house. That's when she knows that the baby outside their gate was Hector and Susan's love child.
The last time she talked to the private investigator, he informed her that Susan already left Cebu City and went to Manila.
She can still remember those dark days when she cried harder every time her husband went to work and she was holding the baby in her arms, the product of her husband's infidelity.
It would be easy to hate the baby, but the more she looked into the infant's innocent eyes, she knows that the baby had no idea what his parents have done to her. She can't blame the innocent baby and made his life a living hell just because he is the product of an illicit affair.
She can never do that.
Her conscience would not allow her to.
From that moment onward, she slowly accepted the truth that she's going to raise the child that will forever remind her of her husband's betrayal and infidelity.
The good thing is, John, grow up to become a good child, he becomes her good son and her real son Joseph become the black sheep of the family.
"I know everything that happened between you and my husband when we are still in Cebu City. I know that you and my husband conspired to leave your son outside the gate of our rented place. I know everything!" Clara furiously shouted into Susan's face. All the anger come rushing into her face, she clenched her hands in rage.
Clara immediately went to Susan's side and deliver a stinging slap on her face.
Susan was stunned, rooted on the spot unable to make a move when Clara hit her face twice. She can only cry in silence. She deserved the slap for falling in love with a married man and making another woman suffer in silence because of her foolish love and crazy attraction to Hector.
The ghost of the past finally come up with the present.
Clara stared at Susan with flaming eyes. "And what are you planning now? Do you want to lure my husband again including my son, John, to your side? Is that your intention!?" she shouted in an indignant voice.
Susan dropped her gaze on the floor. "No. I have no intention to do that. I just want my son to acknowledge me as his biological mother," she insisted.
Clara's blood was boiling to a fever pitch. She went to Susan's side and slapped her again, twice.
"Okay fine, if you want them, get them if you can! You greedy whore!" Clara sneered at her and turned on her heels heading for the door.
Clara exited the room and slammed the door on her way out of the office.
Susan caresses her face while sobbing still feeling reeling from the pain of the slap brought by Hector's wife, she was slapped brutally nearly knocking out her front teeth.
She released a deep sigh.
The nightmare of yesterday flashes in her mind. The pain of knowing that Hector can never leave his wife for her. He simply loves his wife more than her and their son. In the end, he slowly distances himself from her, putting her in a limbo of uncertainty to the point that she allowed her son to be raised by the wife of the man she loves so much.
Everything already happened in the past, she should not let things affect her present and future.
She can't blame Clara's rage. She just acted like a true wife.
Suddenly, the door to her office opened.
Mike entered the door and hurried to her mother's side after seeing her in an estate of distress and tears flowing freely from her eyes. "Mom, are you okay? What happened to you? What's happening here?" he asked worriedly.
"I'm okay, son," Susan rose to her feet and entered the bathroom. She looked at her face in the mirror, her mascara was ruined by the sheer volume of tears flooding her face. She took a deep breath and calmed herself so that she can stop crying. She inhaled and exhaled air into her lungs, soothing her turbulent emotion. She splashed water in her face and get rid of her ruined mascara.
A few minutes later, a fresh-looking Susan emerges from the bathroom.
"I'm sorry about earlier, son. I didn't mean to cause you any worry," she said.
Mike's brows drew together in confusion. "Did you have a visitor earlier before I come here?"
Susan nodded her head. "Yes, I have and it's no other than the woman who raised your brother, it's Clara," she answered.
Mike's eyes widened. "Oh my God! How did she know...and what did she do to you, Mother dear?"
"It's nothing, son. What she did to me earlier is nothing compared to what I did to her family back then. Don't worry, I'm okay now," Susan said.
"Are you sure?" Mike asked. He looked at her mother's face closely. "Why is your face looking like a red tomato?" he added in alarmed.
Susan shook her head. "It's nothing. Please stop asking questions, you can go now," she shooed him away.
"Okay fine," he said. Mike finding her mother, not in a good mood, he went to the door, he looked at her mother one last time. "If you need someone to talk to, I'm just a phone call away, Mom," he said and exited the door quietly behind him.
Susan went lowered herself on the sofa and applied mascara and light make up on her face, she needs to be ready because she will be attending a board meeting, fifteen minutes from now.
Ten minutes later, done making herself presentable and being the professional businesswoman that she is... she rose to her feet and left the room as if nothing happens.
Thanks for reading!
This chapter was dedicated for my cousin who passed away last December due to breast cancer. She's a good doctor in a small rural communities. Her husband had a mistress and that woman got pregnant with a baby girl. My cousin was afraid of losing her husband which she loves so much. She raised the baby girl as her own. The baby girl grow up into a fine young lady under her guidance and protection. The young lady loves my cousin back and considered her as her real mother.
Kind of sad, but situations like this happens in real life.
Rest In Peace cousin!
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