I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Anthon could not hear their conversation but  it seemed that the man looked happy and excited.

"Phyllis,  where's my grandson? " Judge Ramirez excitedly asked Mr. Wayne,  as if he did not know that the child was taken illegally.

Mr. Wayne immediately gestured for one of his men to come over. "Go,  and let them come down. My cousin wants to meet my grandson."

The man instantly obeyed and went right then to fetch Jian and Anthon. 
"Mr. X' s cousin wish to meet his grandson. All of you,  please, come over."

Bryan nodded and Anthon immediately came down with the sleeping child. He calmly approached the two elderlies, wondering at the sudden change of atmosphere. Jian woke up due to the sudden shifting of his position and his eyes fell on Mr. Wayne. He already removed his bonnet and mask. Jian just stared at him while his head was leaning on Anthon's shoulder. Perhaps,  he remembered that few weeks ago,  he had meet him in Georgia.

" Baby grandson,  please come to grandpa. " Judge Ramirez stretched his arms towards Jian to take him.

Jian looked at his dad's eyes with questioning look and Anthon nodded. So,  Jian bent forward,  allowing Judge Ramirez to take him. 
Anthon, then,  recalled that this man was the judge  who officiated the wedding of Jim and Jia. And he was surprised to know that he was Jim's relative.

Judge Ramirez chuckled as he hugged the child. "Oh,  boy,  I can still remember how cute you were on your parent's wedding. If only I knew then that you were my grandson,  I couldn't have waited this long to hold you in my arms. " Judge Ramirez honestly and happily exclaimed.

He glanced up at Mr. Wayne and smiled. "How lovely is your granchild,  Phyllis!  Aren't grandchilds so fun to be with? They are even more precious to us than our children,  right? "

"I had been too busy, Vic. I never had  time to spend with them." Mr. Wayne honestly revealed.

"You miss half of your life,  Phyllis.  Happiness cannot be all gained by fame and fortune. You will not be able to bring your money down to your grave. We are already facing the sunset of our lives. It's time to gather happy memories for our younger ones to reminisce." Judge Ramirez tried to hit the empty spaces in Mr. Wayne's life.

There was sadness in his eyes as those words hit him. It was already late to turn back. He had already hurt Jim. Maybe,  he could do it with Jim's other children with Dr. Grace in the future but, unfortunately,  not with this one before him. He had  long realized already that his life was empty. That those wealth he had acquired did not give him lasting happiness at all. He had never played with a grandchild. He had never placed one in his lap while being fed.

"Baby boy,  you wanna play ball with grandpas? " Judge Ramirez asked Jian with his equally wide pair of eyes. Jian got excited as well and nodded.

Judge Ramirez turned to look for his attendant and gestured for him  to come and bring them a ball. Jian slid right away from his arms as he saw the ball. Judge Ramirez tossed it to him and he immediately ran to catch it. Soon,  it was his turn to toss the ball. He tossed it to Judge Ramirez first then the latter tossed it back to him. Then,  he tossed it to Mr. Wayne but he missed it. The latter tossed it back to him and Jian tossed it towards him again. However,  Mr. Wayne always missed the ball  that the cute creature giggled his heart out as he watched his clumsy movements.  His giggling was so contagious that the two elderlies laughed hard also. And soon their childish game was repeated many times and even shifted to some other games until the old men's knees shook and weakened.

Mr. Wayne genuinely laughed hard for the first time. He had laughed before as this same grandchild tickled him with his kisses but not as genuine as before. He had completely forgotten the burning rage within him. He had forgotten his intention to toss his ultimate trump card to take this child as a bait to catch his hiding target.

Aside from this,  he was,  likewise,  amazed at how easily a child could forget.  Few hours ago, he had been scared to death and now,  he was laughing hard like nothing happened. If only he was, instead,  the son of Dr. Grace!  Unfortunately,  he was the son of a hopeless woman who came out from the rotting and foul - smelling slum of the city. She was not only an opportunistic,  poverty - stricken offspring of the squatters,  most of all,   she was a piece of shame to his high and glamorous society.

Judge Ramirez prepared them a sumptous dinner with a special tea afterwards. He welcomed them all warmly as his special guests and not as a kidnapping team. He even boasted  about his hand - picked honey that would pair well  with his tea leaves. He made sure that everyone had his share of drink,  except Anthon. Everyone noticed how cruel he was towards him and how he was treated differently from the rest. He was openly denied a cup of his bragged tea. He obviously sided with the kidnappers!

"You know,  this is my anti - aging secret. Aside from its  immune -  boosting effect, it makes me relax well after a tiring day.You should have a lot of this,  Phyllis. "

After showing everyone how he cherished his boasted tea and honey as good sources of anti - oxidants,  he drank three cups himself. Everyone followed by drinking one cup after another in the midst of a hearty conversation . He initiated a happy and humorous topics and everyone was carried away. He also relayed to them some experiences in the court making everyone thrilled and really amazed. How brilliant and good - hearted was this man!  He really deserved his designation...

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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