Chapter 31

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I sat there while tears fell down my cheeks.
"Mommy!!!" I heard Zack's voice and looked towards him. I quickly wiped away my tears as Jayden ran towards me with Zack in his arms. They look bright with their smiles on. They are too dazzling for my eyes. Maybe because they are different and special unlike me. There is a pounding in my chest even though I am happy to see them smiling.
"Mommy!" Zack said as Jayden put him to his feet. I stood up and took Zack in my arms.
"Zack fly! Zack fly!" He said smiling brightly.
I nodded smiling.
"Zack loves fly!" He said gesturing with his hands.
Jayden laughed.
"He is so happy! I knew he will love surfing because he is my son." Jayden said proudly.
"Did you see him surfing? He was so happy and had his hands stretched out as if he was really flying!" Jayden said all excited.
I just nodded forcing a smile. I missed Zack's first surfing because I was crying and sad about him leaving me in the future.
"Do you have a fever?" Jayden said and placed his palm on my forehead. I jumped backward.
"What are you doing?!!" I asked him shocked.
"I was just checking if you have a fever. You don't look good." He said with a worried expression.
"I am fine! I don't have a fever!" I said feeling guilty to make him worry.
"Fever?" Zack asked me looking worried.
"No, Zack. Mo... I am fine. I don't have a fever." I answered to him. I shouldn't say mommy when addressing myself. I am not his mommy!
"Are you sure that you are fine? Because you don't look like that." Jayden asked worriedly.
I looked at him. Why are these two so worried about me?!! If they keep being nice to me then it will hurt even more while leaving them!!
"I am fine. I am going to prepare lunch." I said putting Zack to his feet.
"I got it now! You are worried because you know that you won't be able to win the challenge!!" Jayden said in a teasing way.
"I really think I am gonna lose myself." I said more to myself than to him.
"What?" He asked me.
"Nothing." I said shaking my head.
"You two should play here and I will call you when lunch is done." I said and turned around.
"Mommy!!" Zack said. I didn't look back.
"Zack, mommy is going to make lunch. Let's play together until she comes back." I heard Jayden saying.
Tears fell down my cheeks.
I started sobbing as soon as entered inside.

It hurts!! It hurts so much!!! Why do they show their love to me?!! Why do they care about me?!! Why do they worry about me?!! Spoiling me like this when I know I have to leave them someday... It hurts just thinking about that day. Just thinking that their future doesn't have a place for me! If only I never met them... If only Zack didn't call me mommy... If only Jayden stayed his usual rude self to me... This love hurts more than his words ever did!! This fake family feels like a dagger in my heart! I want to escape from here before it's too late!
I wiped away my tears. I can't cry like this forever. It will be a problem if they find me crying because I know that they will worry again and I don't want them to. I hurried to the washroom and washed my face. I looked in the mirror.
"Even though it hurts, you have to repay their kindness and trust. Julia, stop being selfish and look at Zack who needs you right now." I said to myself looking in the mirror.
I sighed. I can't do this, not when it's hurting so much and when I know that I don't have any place in their lives. It's so suffocating!!! If only I could talk to Charles, he always knows how to take away my worries! I need my best friend!!!
But, for now, let's concentrate on the lunch. Winning this challenge will mean that I will be able to avoid being with them three to four times a day!! The more I stay away from them, the more I won't get hurt!

"Mommy!!!" I heard Zack's voice as I was making lunch.
"Julia!! Are you alright here?" Jayden asked entering the kitchen with Zack.
"What are you two doing here?" I asked them.
"I should be the one to ask you that. Why are you still here? I thought you will join us after making lunch." He said putting Zack to his feet.
"But, I am still making lunch." I said as Zack grabbed my legs.
"Mommy!" He said looking up at me.
"Sweetie, just wait for five minutes, food will be ready by then." I said to Zack and he nodded still hugging my legs.
"You don't have to struggle if you don't know how to cook." Jayden said playfully.
"I know how to cook." I said.
"Yeah. Yeah." Jayden said rolling his eyes.
"Can you please hold Zack? Sit at the dining table while I will bring out food." I said.
"Zack, come here." Jayden said to Zack.
Zack shook his head and buried his face in my legs.
"Zack, wait with daddy, food will be ready soon." I said to him but he didn't leave my legs.
"Not seeing you for so long must have scared him." Jayden said.
"Why? I told him that I was going to make lunch." I asked him confused.
"His mom told him that she was going to bring him a surprise and he saw her next in the hospital. He doesn't want to stay away from you." He said and I looked at Zack.
He will soon realize that I am not his mom and then leave me.
"Zack, sit at the dining table. I will bring out food now." I said turning off the gas.
"Let's go, Zack!" Jayden said taking Zack in his arms.
Zack started struggling to get down.
"Mommy!!!" He called out to me.
I took him from Jayden and he hugged me tightly.
"I will stay with you until you need me." I whispered to him.
"Zack, aren't you hungry? Sit here and I will bring out food for you." I said to Zack. He didn't say anything and just hug me tightly.
"I made food for you with so much love. Don't you want to eat it?" I said making a sad face.
"Zack eat!" Zack said immediately.
I smiled and sat him in his chair.
"You should also sit." I said to Jayden.
He took a seat next to Zack.
"What did you make?" He asked curiously.
"There is lasagna and then there are some boiled veggies, I wanted Zack to have all the nutrients. I didn't get time to make much so I just made these." I said serving food for them.
"You made lasagne!!!" Jayden said shocked.
"Yeah." I said.
He gave me that respectful look which clearly said that he is impressed.
"My mom loved to cook and I never used to enter the kitchen but when she got sick, I started making food for her and my dad. She wrote all her recipes in a diary and I used that to cook for them. She loved my cooking. I think she taught me how to cook." I said smiling at the memory.
"Tasty!!" Zack said.
"Did you like it?" I asked Zack.
"Yes!!" Zack said, his eyes shining brightly.
"Zack, who's food did you like more, I mean, did you like breakfast or lunch?" Jayden asked him.
"Lunch!!!" Zack said.
Jayden made a shocked face and then looked at the food on his plate. He tasted the lasagne and his eyes grew wide.
"It's delicious!!" He said looking at me.
"Thanks." I said and smiled.
"Quit standing there and come to eat." He said.
I nodded my head and took a seat next to Zack.

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