He already knew it. When his phone rang, the airport was in sight.
“What’s up?” Richard answered.
“I thought you’d like to know that your father is coming back tonight.”
“Oh, he is?” Richard did not want Guinevere to feel like she provided information he already knew. He might need her help later on.
“Yes, and he’s bringing your brother along.”
“You don’t sound surprise.”
“I am. I’m just… in shock,” Richard lied.
When Matthias refused to help him that Saturday, he thought his only chance to uncover his father’s secret was gone. Fortunately, his intel needed the money he offered and was willing to wait. Not going to forfeit the task, Richard completed the clubhouse mission and secured the information in time. Even though it only confirmed that his father was returning with his brother, Gabriel.
“That’s expected. You should get there,” Guinevere replied.
“Thanks, I will,” Richard said.
The moment Richard ended the call, he pulled into the basement parking of the airport. He drove himself that night, because he didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing. He realised that weekend that there was no one he could trust. Not even his chauffeur.
When Richard finally made his way into the airport lobby, he decided to place himself strategically at a café near the main exit. After grabbing a cup of coffee, he headed to a table with the best view and took a seat. Based on the information he had, his father was touching down around 10 p.m. He didn’t have to wait long, but he still had ample of time.
Watching people as his mind juggled on what to do after his father’s return, he saw Jodie and a girl heading toward the café. The girl was dragging a roller bag. So Jodie was either picking her up or sending her off.
Once the two had bought their drinks and strolled out, Richard decided to get another cup for himself. Right after he made the fresh purchase, he turned around and found Jodie standing behind him.
Richard knew she saw him, but she did not say anything. Instead, she walked past him and told the cashier they gave her the wrong drink.
“Hello to you too,” Richard greeted.
Jodie chuckled and shook her head, while the baristas corrected their mistake.
“That’s one way to greet someone,” Richard added.
“You’re not someone. You’re no one,” Jodie snapped.
“Whoa, what did I do?”
Finally turning to face him, Jodie gave him a don’t-you-dare look. Completely clueless, he responded with a shrug.
“Aren’t you something?” Jodie asked sarcastically.
“I’m no one but I’m some thing?”
Jodie heaved a sigh. Ignoring him, she retrieved her drink from the apologetic barista before stalking out of the café. Still confuse, Richard quickly followed.
“Wait up. What did I do wrong?”
“Seriously?” Jodie asked, as she stopped in her tracks.
“Seriously. What did I do?”
Jodie turned around and gave him a glare. “I’m being sued because of you. Don’t pretend you don’t know.”
Richard found it extremely unfair that she blamed him for the actions of his client, but he knew better than to plead his case with that fact.
“Look, I had no idea who that client was. And my father is the one who chooses the cases we take.”
“Right. And you didn’t know anything about it when he left you in charge?”
I did, Richard thought. Though it was unfair to think he had to tell Jodie about it. The two barely knew each other to begin with. If it were anyone else, he would have given up reasoning. But for some strange reason, he wanted to make it right with her.
“Why do you think Matthias had a head start on your case?” Richard asked.
Jodie did not answer.
“Matthias wouldn’t have known if I didn’t tell him,” Richard added.
The anger in Jodie’s eyes slowly receded and Richard took a step closer toward her.
“I’m not the bad guy here, OK?”
He noticed Jodie hesitate, and then she said, “Sorry. It’s hard to think straight these days.”
“All forgiven,” Richard said with a smirk.
Richard wanted to ask who the girl was, but before he could, a moving crowd caught the corner of his eye. Taking a look, he recognised a face in the group of new arrival. Jodie noticed the group too, and he heard her say, “Wayne?”
“Look who’s home,” Richard whispered to himself.
His father was walking beside his assistant and Guinevere’s fiancée was leading the way. Behind his father was a young man around his late teens and next to him was a woman. The woman looked familiar and the moment Richard realised who she was, he froze.
“You know them?” Jodie asked.
How could he not? The woman who left him alone with his unloving father – the woman he called ‘mother’ as a child – had finally returned. Richard had so many questions and as the group drew closer to the exit, he was tempted to stand his ground. They would certainly see him if he did.
“Richard?” Jodie called.
The seconds ticked down in his head. Ten, nine, eight… like a bomb about to explode. Was he ready to face the truth or was it too soon to deal with it? He could stay rooted or he could use Jodie as a shield to hide himself. Richard had to choose.