Perhaps the driver was able to sense the death threat I’d issued silently, as the taxi arrived only seven minutes later. Smiling happily at this fortuitous development, I slipped into the car after placing my suitcase in the trunk. Giving the Caldwell address to the male driver, I settled into the cheap and uncomfortable seat in the back.
Gazing out the window, I counted the seconds as the driver took off, explaining that my business was urgent and he would receive a large tip if he was able to make the trip last only three minutes.
Thankfully, we somehow avoided any police on the way. Perhaps they, too, were able to sense the bad mood I would be placed in if anything else got in the way of Nisha and I.
When I’d reached 147 seconds in my head, the taxi driver pulled up along the curb of a house down Elden Avenue. Seeing the house in front of me, I decided that Grace Caldwell must have used the money I’d been sending her very well.
After all, based on my own observations and calculations, this appeared to be a house worth roughly $300-400k. Rubbing my chin in appreciation of the home, my memory pulled up that she had requested the funds for the home shortly after the death of Nathan Caldwell.
I had been a bit annoyed when she’d requested it, for though it wasn’t anything beyond my capacity to provide for, there were many hassles that went along with it. I’d had to arrange a fake lottery for her to “win” the money, as well as pay off the actual lottery company to get them to agree to the farce and do the normal small-town TV advertisements that happened when someone won an amount as large as $800k.
But considering the reason she wanted to get a new home was because, with the passing of Nathan Caldwell, her original home had burned to the ground, I couldn’t refuse her. While I was at it, it would be better to allow Nisha to spend a portion of her life in a good home as well. Though this house could not compare to anything I was used to, it would still be seen as a higher-class home by the average citizen.
Paying the driver after fetching my things from the trunk, I smiled fleetingly. “You can keep the change,” I told him quietly, staring at him for a few moments.
The man’s green eyes were bulging in shock. The fare had only been $24, but I’d handed him a hundred. Not caring if there were any issues with him accepting tips or not, I dismissed the man without a second thought.
Staring up at the light-blue Craftsman-style bungalow with the rust-colored stone trim along the bottom half of the front and back of the house and the dark blue asphalt roof, I nodded my head firmly.
Considering I picked the design out myself, I have to say the team I hired then appears to have done a good job.
There was a cement walkway near a paved driveway for the residents to park which had enough room for two cars. There was only one car in the driveway, a dark green sedan that looked to be of a model three years old.
Pulling on the suitcase behind me, since it was the rolling type, I started forward, seeing that the lawn was perfectly trimmed and a healthy shade of green. Taking the two steps up onto the front porch, the classic hanging swing off to my right, I stopped in front of the entrance door.
Lifting my hand from the handle of the suitcase, I quickly settled my appearance. Any specks of dust were brushed away and my clothing was as smoothed out as I could achieve. I had taken a breath mint inside the taxi while counting the seconds, so I was perfectly prepared on that end. I pulled out my phone and switched the camera view to selfie mode and used it to ensure my appearance was as good as it was going to get.
Staring back at me was a handsome young man of twenty-one who had very pale blonde hair (nearly platinum), the type of good looks any movie-star would envy, and brilliant, bright blue eyes. My hair was short (always messy) and poofy with lots of layers no matter what I did to it. But I felt it added a mischievous and playful aura to my looks, so I didn’t mind the chaos of my hair.
Taking in a very deep breath, I put away my phone and reached out to knock on the white wooden door. While I waited for a response, I counted the amount of time I’d been waiting in the back of my head.
Six years, one month, ten days, two hours, and five—no, now six minutes.
After thirty seconds had passed, I pressed the doorbell, realizing I should have done so in the first place. Hearing the chime echo throughout the house, I ground my teeth, fighting down my impatience. If the first thing Nisha saw on my face was fury, she’d have quite a negative first impression of me. That was something I could not afford.
Instead, hearing the sounds of someone calling out that they were coming, I made sure to fix a pleasant expression on my face, turning my lips up at an angle meant to create a sensation of pleasure upon seeing it.
Charm levels are at maximum output, I chuckled inside the back of my mind. This’ll be an easy one-hit-kill.
Confident in my ability to seduce Nisha, whether she would be aware of it at first or not, I relaxed my pose a bit and fought down the urge to bite my nails while the seconds ticked away.
Come on, love. Hurry up! Your Mr. Right has literally walked up to your doorstep and wrapped himself with a big bow.
“Sorry for the wait,” a youthful, cheery voice called out clear as a bell.
My heart stopped for exactly three milliseconds.
Sucking in a sharp breath, I felt pure joy spread throughout the entirety of my body, mind, and soul.
Just her voice…. I’ve missed her so much.
Tears tried to sting my eyes and I fought to keep them at bay.
How could I call myself ‘Mr. Right’ if I turned into a sobbing puddle of mush the second she saw me?
Christ, I’m about to see her!
This realization nearly made me come undone. Forget keeping control of myself, I was going to go 178% into Overdrive Mush Mode if this kept up!
Struggling to remember that air needed to be pulled into my lungs at a steady, normal rate and then expelled, I did my damndest to ensure I didn’t start to hyperventilate with the rush of emotions washing over me like a torrential downpour.
The door opened in a manner that seemed like slow-motion to my emotionally-heightened senses.
Breathe in…now out. Right, now smile and make sure the mad obsession isn’t written all over your face. Most people don’t like stalkers, Jack, and right now you’ve got all the blaring signs of one going off full force.
Make sure you don’t drool or throw yourself to the ground when you see her and beg for her everlasting love right then and there, okay?
The much calmer and rational part of my brain reminded me sternly. Act friendly, but keep your cool.
Nodding to myself, I did notice an extra amount of moisture in my mouth. If I had actually drooled at the sight of Nisha, she’d have run away screaming.
Good plan, me, I gave a mental thumbs-up to myself. You are so smart sometimes. Really, I’m so proud.
The door was now fully opened and I caught sight of her pretty brown hair. I still remembered exactly how she looked from the last time I’d seen her when we were teenagers. Plus, Grace did send me a picture of Nisha every year, so that helped too.
Her gray eyes were filled with a curiously confused light as she stared up along the nine inches of difference in our heights, standing in the doorway.
As my gaze slowly traveled down from her face, I saw her pale skin and from the looks of things she had developed nicely (I’m 85% sure that’s a C cup! Thank you, World!), but I froze in place at the next thing I saw.
My jaw nearly came unhinged as I continued to stare at the sight in front of me in complete and utter denial.
No! No way! I refuse—!
There is no way this is true! She’s just gained weight.
The perfectly rounded baby bump stared back at me in defiance, as if mocking my entire existence and everything I’d known all my life.
That’s really a baby, right there.
It’s not my child.
Rage replaced the entirety of all the joy I’d been feeling at that moment with the swiftness of a storm. I struggled to keep even a single iota of control as I lifted my gaze to stare into Nisha’s startled and scared gray eyes.
“Who is the fucking bastard who fucked you?”
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