Chapter - 19
Parking the car, Alex soon joined Martha outside the mall. The mall was one of the largest in the city and was quite popular because of the number of residential areas close by.
Walking inside the mall, the first thing Martha did was complain like a typical mother, "If you had a girlfriend, why would I be here? Ahh... I am not getting any younger, but I still have to help my son buy clothes".
Everyone, from the employees to the customers, when heard Martha grumbling, was surprised.
'So this handsome guy is still available, the almighty sure is kind,' that was the thought most of the girls had in their mind.
'Woa... man. This chick's his mother? Bullshit... it must be a prank, no fucking way it's possible. At max, she is his older sister,' this was what the men thought. Being into a MILF was a right and duty of every boy out there, and if she was someone like Martha, then it would be a sin not to have such thoughts.
"Mom..." Alex whined but made sure no one could hear him.
"What?" Martha acted aloof of the whispers and walked forward, leaving Alex behind. Alex could only admit his defeat and follow her.
Martha brought Alex to a store and asked the employee to show them some formals for him. When the saleswoman brought them the clothes, Martha made Alex try all of them. But Martha didn't seem satisfied with it, and within a short time, a mountain of clothes piled up on the counter.
Outside the store, the women walked in rounds stealing glimpses of Alex through the glass door. Those who were already inside the store, on the other hand, didn't show any intention of leaving. They would occasionally give their suggestions to Martha. Witnessing the scene of her son's popularity, Martha was smiling ear to ear. But Alex was not the only one capturing attention. Even after wearing a casual loose shirt and pants, she made men of all ages turn their heads. A few men in the store even approached Martha wanting to exchange contacts with her but were politely refused.
While Alex and Martha were busy inside the store, a commotion broke outside. Several men dressed in black came and started to dissolve the crowd outside the store. While they flung away the men, they politely escorted the women and barricaded around the store.
"What is going on?" the store manager walked outside when he saw the crowd dissipate. Moments ago, he was on cloud nine because of the crowd outside his shop. Not wanting to be escorted outside, those inside the store stalled for time by buying stuff just to stare at Martha and Alex. Many of those who were outside were eventually going to come in and splurge their money. He was clearly dissatisfied with those men in black. But he got the same treatment, and he was also pulled to one side by one of the men.
The men in black made a path, and a lady dressed in a floral dress and a mask over her face walked inside the store giving a pleasant vibe to all those around her, totally opposite to what the men gave.
Martha also turned to look at the commotion and found a lady walk in. Since she could not recognise the woman, Martha only looked at her once and turned around to wait for Alex to come out.
"Ohh... Mrs Rutherford, what a coincidence meeting you here," the lady walked in front of Martha and said.
Martha seem to have heard this voice somewhere, "Margaret? Is that you?" Martha asked with some doubt.
The lady removed her mask, and it was indeed Margaret, "It's me. Funny meeting you here," Margaret said.
"What are you doing here?" Martha asked, 'Was it really a coincidence?' she thought.
"Nothing, just casual shopping," Margaret said as she looked around, trying to find someone. 'Even I don't know what am I doing here,' Margaret thought to herself.
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Flashback [An hour ago]
Margaret was pacing around in her room, occasionally peeking out of her window, looking towards Alex's house. She was eagerly waiting for Mr and Mrs Rutherford to leave for work so that she could talk and sort things out with Alex. But to her surprise, despite waiting for so long, only Mr Rutherford left for work today. There was no sign of Mrs Rutherford leaving with him.
'Did she leave early in the morning?' This thought occurred in her mind. She was debating with herself whether or not should she go next door when she saw Alex, accompanied by his mother, leaving for somewhere.
Don't know why, but without giving it a second thought, she grabbed her car keys and followed them. The route was much familiar to her, and when she saw them stop in front of the mall, she was pleasantly surprised. She thanked God for giving her such a great opportunity.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Coming back to the present,
Looking at Margaret, who was lost in her own thoughts, Martha felt weird, so she shook her up.
"Ahh... sorry, I was just thinking about something else..." Margaret was brought back to her senses, "What were you saying?"
"What are you doing here?" Martha asked once again.
"Why am I here? Ohh... Well... You see..." Margaret fumbled for words and looked around the shop, "You see... This shopping mall is one of the properties I own, so I regularly come here and check things out". Margaret softly said.
"You own this mall?" Martha was shocked out of her wits. There were about a hundred shops in this mall. Just the rent would be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"Yeah..." Margaret didn't want to brag in front of Martha for apparent reasons, so she decided to shift the goal post, "By the way, are you alone?" Even though she knew, Margaret asked Martha.
"No... No... Alex is with me. We are here to buy some stuff for him," Martha said, still thinking about Margaret owning this mall.
"Ohh... Where is he?" Margaret stretched her neck, trying to look for Alex.
"He is trying out a few outfits inside," Martha said, not that pleased with Margaret's eagerness over Alex.
"You..." Margaret called out to one of the employees, "Pack all the things they have tried so far. Let the manager deduct the bill from the rent, and if that does not cover all. I will pay the bill," Margaret told the employee, pointing towards the clothes Alex had tried.
"You don't need to---" Martha wanted to refuse.
"There is no formality between us, we are neighbours after all. Just consider this as my thanks for yesterday's meal, as well as my congratulatory gift for Alex," Martha cut Martha short in her refusal.
Alex, who was inside, could hear everything. He didn't want to come out and face Margaret after the event that transpired last night, but he could not possibly spend the rest of his life locked in the changing room.
"Alex, what's taking you so long?" Martha didn't want to make a big deal out of it in front of so many people, so she hurried Alex.
"Just a minute," Alex said.
When Alex came out, he was greeted by a smiling face of Margaret's.
"Look, Margaret bought all these for you, thank her properly," now that they have decided, Martha just went on with the flow.
"Thank you, Miss Cole," Alex politely said.
Margaret wanted to refute when he called her Miss Cole but held back because of Martha.
"No problem, you just work hard". Margret said with a smile all over her face and ruffled his hair.
"We should be on our way now," Martha said. She held Alex by his hand and walked out of the store with the bags.
While Martha was pulling Alex, He saw the man from that day standing silently in a corner. The man also looked at Alex and then turned his face, not giving enough importance to Alex. Sensing the disdain from that man, Alex felt even more frustrated than before.
Margaret, who saw this little exchange between the two of them, gloated. The expressions Alex portrayed on his face further confirmed her thoughts.
Martha made Alex follow her to some more shops, and after buying a few more things, Alex and Martha left.
Margaret saw the two of them leave, and she didn't even try to hide the smile on her face.
The man who saw this came up to her.
"You sure treat them differently," He asked.
"Well, I have to, hehehe..." Margaret replied mysteriously with a grin.
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