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   Chapter 4 HAPPY BIRTHDAY

FALLING IN LOVE WITH HIM By Shonihn Characters: 11803

Updated: 2019-06-30 21:47


"Where's everyone, Aunt Lizzy?" Little Hera asked as soon as Liezel opened the door-lock and they stepped into their small flat of one bedroom, one bathroom, a tiny kitchen, and a small living hall. It was a rented apartment, and they lived there for the past six months.

"Uncle Tony and Ben went out to fetch your birthday gift, Hera, " Liezel answered, setting the shopping bag on the kitchen counter. She bought the ingredients to bake a birthday cake for Hera after their visit to the Church. "Where's Aunt Jenny and Danny?" Hera questioned her again. Liezel rolled her eyes before smiling sweetly at Hera.

She turned to face little Hera before she could ask her next question. "You're one bundle of questions, sweet Hera, " she cooed, pinching Hera's chubby cheeks. "Aunt Jenny and Danny have a surprise for you, but you've to wait to know what the surprise is going to be, " she said, kissing her cheeks and walked out of the kitchen.

Liezel picked up the empty coffee cups from the table placed in front of the small couch and scowled when she saw the cigarette butts on the floor. Muttering something to herself, she cleaned the hall and washed the cups meanwhile Hera followed her everywhere, holding the hem of her long skirt.

"Why don't you bring your sketchbook and colour the pictures meanwhile I bake a cake for you?" Liezel suggested, using the towel to dry the utensils. Clapping her hands, Hera jumped in joy before she ran to fetch her art book. She came running back within a minute. "Aunt Lizzy, can I use Danny's colours, please?" Hera requested with a toothy grin. Her Aunt smiled at the adorable puppy face she made and nodded a yes.

Hera went back to the bedroom to bring the colour pencils. It was in the top row of the wooden rack, and she couldn't reach it. She dragged a stool nearby, and carefully, climbing on it she took the colours. She thought of the chocolate that she'd kept in her little fanny pack and unwrapped the chocolate bar. She ate the chocolate and giggled, covering her mouth with her palm as she saw the neat cursive handwriting.

Searching under her neatly folded clothes on the rack, she took out the first chocolate wrapper he'd given to her. Kissing the new wrapper, she hid it under her clothes along with the old one.

Hera came back to the hall with her sketchbook and colours. Liezel watched as Hera sat on the floor, bending her head and soon got lost in her world of colours. A sad smile made its way onto Lizzy's face.

'Danny is going to be upset when he knows that I let Hera use his colours.'

Her only son hated her. He preferred going out with his Aunt Jenny rather than staying with his Mom. He didn't even spend his holidays with her. He's angry with his parents because they sent him to boarding school. He blamed Hera for everything. He thought they abandoned him for Hera. Little did he know that his parents were always on the run to save their lives.

They sent him to boarding school to keep him safe. It killed Liezel not to witness her only son growing up. Even Benson hated Hera for this. They won't be able to cherish their son's precious childhood. Because they're busy hiding from the dangerous men hunting them from the day Hera came into their lives.

Liezel kept herself busy in the kitchen, but the haunting past didn't stop messing with her mind. Adding the eggs and vanilla, she started stirring in the cake flour absent-mindedly.

Everything was playing on repeat mode in front of her eyes, and the illusion clouded her sense. She saw, how they escaped from that terrifying gunshots, and how they rescued little Hera. When they managed to somehow reach home without being killed, the first thing Benson did was to tear open the envelope, pulling out its contents.

The first thing to slip out of that envelope was a copy of the birth certificate, and they came to know that the baby was six months old. There wasn't any name written to show parents' name. The baby's name was Hera Hunter, and the only other name gracing the birth certificate was, A. Hunter, the signature of Hera's legal guardian.

The envelope also contained a passport of baby Hera, and it revealed the name of the parents as Alexander Hunter and Felicity Hunter.

There also was a handwritten letter ending with that same signature. The letter said that the baby's life was in danger, and they should protect and keep it safe from the attacking enemies until he comes to take the baby's custody.

Every word in the letter spoke with so much authority that it's crystal clear the person behind those words was not an ordinary man. Anyone could sense how dangerously powerful the said person was.

Benson and Antony visited the said address the very next day only to find themselves walking straight into the death trap. They witnessed another episode of gunshots.

They couldn't differentiate between Hera's rescuers and enemies. They heard someone's rich, deadly voice, issuing orders to kill everyone who's associated with the baby. And suddenly, they were being shot from every direction.

Their only concern was to save themselves from being killed, and so they fled from that unfortunate scene without looking back.

"They came, they're here, Aunt Lizzy."

Hera's excited cry of joy jolted her out of her illusion, bringing her back to the present. She blinked several times, trying to block the unpleasant memories, and looked at the little bundle of excitement. A smile automatically filled her face.

'Oh, what an energetic child!'

"Hurry, Aunt Lizzy. I want to see my gift." Hera said, pulling Liezel by her wrist and urged her to move fast. Liezel heard the doorbell ringing again and understood the reason for Hera's impatience. "Hera, calm down, Sweety. Let me wash my hands, and I'll check the door okay, " she said, and Hera nodded her head, bobbing it up and down.

Liezel's bro

ther Antony walked in along with his wife Jenny, followed by Benson and Danny when she opened the door.

"Uncle Tony, where's my gift?" Hera ran to him and jumped into his arms, staring at him with her big eyes in great anticipation for her birthday gift. He laughed at her eagerness. "Let me wish you a happy birthday first, little Miss. Hera, " Antony said, kissing her cheeks. She giggled when he blew raspberries. He made her sit on the kitchen counter and handed her a gift.

Hera quickly unwrapped her gift and held a book with a purple colour cover, designed in sparkling glitter on either side. The book felt heavy in her small hands as she lifted it, and a questioning look formed on her face as she examined the cover. "What's this, Uncle Tony?" She asked, her nose scrunched up as she frowned.

"It's your secret journal. Do you like it?" Antony asked, stroking her cheek. Instead of answering his question, Hera asked another question. "What's a Jo, Jonra, Uncle?" She couldn't even pronounce the word correctly. Antony chuckled at the look of confusion on her angelic face. She looked even cuter.

"It's a Journal, Hera." He tried to teach her how to pronounce it correctly but sighed in defeat when she couldn't say it. "Okay, little Hera, you can call it a diary too. You can use it to write about your special days, your secrets, your wish, your dream, etc." Antony explained.

Hera's eyes filled with awe, and her tiny fingers touched every inch of the book. Surely, everyone could see that she fell in love with the book. She's very fond of shiny things, and purple was her favourite colour, after all.

"Uncle Tony, you said, I can write my secret in this book. Can I stick something in it too?" She asked with hopeful eyes, and he nodded his yes. She jumped from his lap, ran inside, and came running back within seconds only to ask Liezel a question.

"Can I use the glue, Aunt Lizzy?" Hera asked. "Yes, Sweety, you can, but be careful. Don't make a mess out of it, " she warned, but her eyes filled with visible affection. Hera giggled and disappeared with her diary. Tony followed her into the room and observed her from the door while Hera pasted the chocolate wrappers.

He went and sat next to her on the floor. "Little Hera, what are you doing, child? Why are you pasting empty chocolate wrappers in your diary?"

Hera replied with a wide grin, "they're not empty, Uncle. There's a message for me in it, " she replied and immediately covered the wrappers with her little palms when he peeked to read it. "No, you should not see, it's bad manners, Uncle Tony. It's only for me, " she said, scowling in disapproval and Antony chuckled at her reply.

"Okay, little Hera, tell me whose message, it is?" Antony asked, sounding curious and a huge smile spread on Hera's lips. Her big bright green eyes widen with joy, and her reply made Antony speechless.

"It's from my boyfriend. Don't tell anyone, Uncle Tony, he's going to marry me when I become very tall."

Antony's eyebrows rose up in surprise. "And who is that boyfriend, Hera? Do I know him? What's his name?" He asked, bending to her level. Hera covered her mouth and shook her head in a no. He whispered in her ear, "your secret is safe with me, Hera. I won't tell anyone, I promise."

Hera thought for a second and realized she didn't know his name. She forgot to ask him his name this time too.

'Silly me!'

Hera scolded herself inwardly. "You don't know him, Uncle. He's, Mr. Hunter, " she said, and Antony's playful mood disappeared along with his smile meanwhile Hera hid her diary under her clothes in the rack after pasting the empty chocolate wrappers in it.

That name "Mr. Hunter" scared him to death. But he decided to ignore the ugly past for the time being and smiled at the Angel in front of him. "Its cake cutting time, Hera. Let's join everyone, and Aunt Jenny has a surprise for you, " he said, standing up, he offered his hand to her. Hera took his hand and dragged him to the living hall.

Jenny's birthday gift made Hera happy. It was a purple princess gown. Liezel gifted her a teddy bear, and Danny gave her a new set of colour pencils but didn't wish her happy birthday.

Liezel helped Hera with cake cutting and served everyone dinner. She realized that her husband and son didn't even wish a happy birthday to Hera. Her son refused to talk to anyone and silently picked at his food. He was as stubborn as a mule for an eight-year-old boy.

Danny ignored Hera all the time, no matter how much she tried to make him talk. Liezel knew he was angry with her. After dinner, he left with Antony and Jenny refusing to stay with his parents. Benson silently offered to tidy the hall and kitchen while Liezel carried sleepy Hera to the bedroom.

"Happy birthday, Hera, " Liezel whispered as she kissed on the forehead of sleeping Hera. "You're so beautiful, Hera. Like an Angel." She ran her palm on the crown of Hera's head affectionately. "I'm sorry for keeping you away from your parents. I'm sorry for hiding the truth of your identity. Please forgive me, child, " she confessed softly, holding Hera's little hand in hers.

"You sound so full of guilt." Her husband's voice startled her. He dropped something on her lap. "I hope these papers will lift some of the burden of guilt from your chest, " Benson said.

Liezel could sense the sarcasm dripping from his every word, but decided to ignore him. She picked up the papers to check. It was fake adoption papers. It would prove that Hera was adopted by them and thus makes them her legal guardians.

They'd decided to admit Hera in the same boarding school where Danny was studying.

"I promise you, Hera. As long as I live, I'll never let any harm come to you. Good night, my child." Lizzy kissed Hera, one more time and switched the lights off thinking about tomorrow and hoping for the best.

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