Chapter 12

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The door wasn’t locked when he turned the knob. As soon as he was in the house, he saw his both brothers gazing at him from their chairs as they sat on the table, without Papa, eating fried egg and mashed potato.

  “Your partners were already out from work a long time ago, so where have you been since?” asked Marco in a serious tone while studying Leonard from top to bottom.

  He didn’t answer his senior brother right away, instead he took his time to sit down comfortably down on the table on his own chair and then breathed in and out gradually, paying attention at the way Jasper was eating the last pieces of egg. After keeping Marco staring at him worriedly, waiting for an answer, he eyed his brother openly and elbowed his arm teasingly.

  “Relax; I was only at the seaside for some fresh air,” Leonard finally replied. “Why are you both eating that? Is the food already finished?”

  “Yes, there’s not much left in the store,” Marco said while Jasper remained eating quietly without mentioning a thing.

  “I’ll stop by at the market tomorrow to buy some things. I have enough money from work this week.”

 “Hmm, sure, better you go tomorrow, and you’ll need to get some fresh fruits for Papa, he was asking for it.”

  “Sure, I will. Is Papa in the bedroom?”

  Marco looked at him with a gloomy face and nodded.

  “Is something wrong?” Leonard asked already getting up from his chair by the appearance on Marco’s complexion.

  Marco grabbed his brother’s arm tightly, “He’s fine mate, but he was really upset at what happened earlier. He felt very guilty in front of you, Leonard.”

 Leonard moved away from the table and finally paced to Papa’s room, wanting to see his old man more than he’d ever wanted to.

  He tapped the door lightly, worried if his father might be deeply distressed.

  “Come in,” called out Papa’s gravelly voice from behind the door.

  As quietly as feasible, Leonard opened the door and saw his father sitting on the arm chair beside the window that overlooked the end of the coast. He walked over to him and seated himself on the floor in front of his father so that they could see each other. The stillness lingered between them for a jiffy, and then Jack spoke out, “How was your day at work?”

  Remembering the girl, he instinctively smiled but immediately ended it, not wanting his father to become aware of him being jovial.

  “It was great, Papa, thank you for asking.”

  “Why are you in such good spirits today?” Jack asked peculiarly, now watching his youngest son. “I caught how you just smiled. You’ve never smiled that way in quite a long time. I guess you’ve never done so until you hit your father the way you did today with the truth…the painful truth.”

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