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When Anthon and Jian left, Jim thought hard of a way to know the truth. He was silent through the exchanges of ideas among his dad, Kuya Nap and Jia.
" Dear, why are you silent?" Jia asked him while looking tenderly into his eyes.
Jim brushed her hair above the forehead with his fingers. She was lying down on the sofa, with her head on his lap.
"Just thinking about something." He said while he lifted up his head and took a glance at his dad whose attention was caught by him.
Mr. Wayne met his eyes. It seemed that he was ready to be confronted, just waiting for him to initiate. He understood. Nobody wanted to talk about a mistake in the past, most especially if it was about infidelity. The scene of that house in the outskirts of El Nido played in his mind. And his conversation with the caretaker was like a music in his ears.
"She lived here but she died many years ago..."
Could she be Anthon's mother? Was she her dad's concubine? Eversince he met Anthon, there was really something in him that he felt at ease with. Though he was his rival but he couldn't help being comfortable with him around. Aside from that, he was someone all of them could trust and call for help. In his heart, he was already a part of the family.
Mr. Wayne's voice broke into his train of thoughts.
"What is it son?" He asked confidently. No sense of guilt at all.
"Yes, dear. Share it with us so we can exchange our ideas." She agreed while locking her two hands at the back of his neck.
Jim responded with a blank stare at all of them, his thoughts were far away.
"Sweetheart, how will you react if you will find out that one of your parents is cheating? "
"Hmmmmn.." She paused as she was caught unprepared with this odd question.
"I don't know dear, but initially, I will feel really bad. Who would be happy with that? " Jia totally forgot about Jim's speculation about that woman who lived in that house where she was supposedly exiled.
Kuya Nap pretended to look focused on the news broadcast through the big, LED TV screen in front of them. He forgot that it was set to mute when they started conversing. He remembered everything Jim said about that woman whom Mr. Wayne kept in that remote area in El Nido.
"You have to know the truth first, son. " Mr. Wayne was giving him the hint that he was prepared for the confrontation.
"Yes, dad. You're right." Jim answered softly while turning his head towards him.
Mr. Wayne was amazed at Jim's reaction. He was so kind - hearted. He always approached any problem with an open mind and it seemed too hard to provoke him into anger. If he was another person to be done with such cruelty and wickedness, he would have not lived until now.
"Son, I know I don't deserved to be called your father. But I want you to know that I am so happy that you don't inherit the bad side of me. I am so proud now that I have an unbelievabe, kind - hearted son." Mr. Wayne said this as he stood beside him, holding one of his shoulders.
"I hope you could forgive me from all my shortcomings and all the evil things I did in the past." Mr. Wayne instantly cried loudly.
Jim was startled as well as Kuya Nap and Jia. Jia sat up right away and Kuya Nap turned off the TV. Who would have thought that his intimidating aura could have such a soft side within.
"Dad, forget it. I never keep any grudge.You know that very well. " Jim assured him, feeling guilty for his lack of temperance.
"Yes, I know. I don't deserve all your kindness. " He said in a stuttering manner as he was still loudly crying.
Jia's eyes got red with tears right away and then she cried as well.
"Jia, eversince what happened, I have never asked for your forgiveness and I have never thanked you for your kindness. I'm too ashamed to do that. I don't deserve your forgiveness. If not for you, I wouldn't have the courage to fight. While I was in the ICU, the only thing I asked God was to give me the chance to speak even just the two words, 'I'm sorry' to both of you. "
She's too overwhelmed to speak so she stood up and hug him.
More than anything, she was too happy to see this change as the fulfillment of Jim's desire to have a happy and a close - knit family.
Jim stood up as well. When Jia released him, he looked at him with teary eyes and then fell at his neck. It was when he broke into tears. Heavens knew how he longed for this moment to come.
Mr. Wayne returned the warmth of his embrace equally. He should have been the one to do this. He felt so guilty. As Jim was sobbing in his shoulder, his guilt haunted him heavily and painfully.
Back then, he had never been a father to him. He had never lifted him up into the air as a baby and giggled at his laughters afterwards. He had never held a bottle to put him into sleep nor attended his first day in school. He even had not attended any of his birthday celebrations nor light up a firecracker with him during Christmas and New Year's eve. He just didn't deserved to be called a father. With this, he slowly slid down and fell on his knees, hugging his thighs.
"I just don't know how to say sorry enough..." He said in between his sobs. "Please give me another chance. "
Jim sat down as well to hug him back. "Dad, I have long forgiven
After who knew how long, they both calmed down and sat back on the sofa. Then, Mr. Wayne saw Kuya Nap.
"Nap, please bring me to your mother's tomb tomorrow. If only it's not too late now, if only she can hear me now, I would have thanked her for raising up two wonderful sons. You both got your good traits from her. "
Kuya Nap's eyes instantly got wet at the mention of his mother. This man never seemed to notice them while they were yet staying under his roof. Though he was not rude to them, he was neither affectionate. He just seemed to ignore them as a master to his servants.