45. To the Police Station

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Next day, Carol invited me for her floral shop inauguration. I decided to take Zoya with me there. It would be the perfect occasion to let my friends see her.

I reached just on time to the address Carol texted me yesterday. Grabbing Zoya's hand in one, I held the small, cute flower bouquet in my other hand that I had bought on the way for Carol.

I stepped inside Carol's shop and looked around. The smell of fresh flowers struck my nostrils and I breathed deeply to inhale more of the fragrance. Different species of flowers were displayed on their respective racks. There was an array of greenery spread over vertically on the mint green walls with the multi-color fairy lights for the decoration. On my right, at some distance there was a cash counter and two padded, rolling chairs in front of it.

Overall, the place looked colorful and eye-refreshing. I would want to live in that scented environment all day. There wasn't much crowd here, may be Carol invited only few people for her special day. I looked down beside me and saw Zoya looked uncomfortable and hesitant.

I knelt down to her level and smiled, "Are you okay, Baby?"

She nodded her head slowly.

"Don't worry. Mom is with you. I'll show you my friends today." I caressed her hair, "Don't hesitate to tell me if you wanna leave, okay?"

"Yes."

I stood upright again and saw Carol coming towards me. Forming a happy smile on my face and waved at her.

"Sanayaaa, My God! You're here." She hollered and opened her arms wide.

I laughed at her excitement. She enveloped me in a hug, "I'm so happy. Finally, my business is starting."

I patted her back, "Yeah, congratulations. You're now officially a florist."

She released me. A gleam of happiness and excitement was flickering in her eyes, "That's sounds so good...wait, who is she?"

The smile on her lips faded when her gaze fell on to the little girl who was very tightly holding my hand. Her mouth fell opened in astonishment. She looked back at me with a obvious question written on her face.

I looked at Zoya and smiled, "She...she is my daughter Zoya."

Her face contorted in confusion, "Come again?"

I repeated aloud, "She is Zoya my daughter."

She placed her both palms on her mouth dramatically and looked at me with wide eyes, "Why she's with you? What happened?"

"Nowadays, she's living with me." I moved my head down and asked Zoya, "Say hello to my friend, baby."

"Hello, Mommy's friend." Zoya greeted her hesitantly.

"Goodness. She's so cute. Is she old enough to communicate?" Carol questioned.

I slapped my forehead lightly at her stupid question, "She's three years old. She can talk quite easily."

"Really? That's new and informative." She bit her lip thoughtfully, "Anyways, Just wait okay. I don't have time to ask right now what happened. But, you can't leave this place without telling me what's going on."

"I know." I laughed.

Carol knelt down and faced Zoya, "Hi, little girl. I'm Carol, Mom's high school friend."

She offered her hand to her. Zoya shyly shook hands with Carol.

"Come with me. I show you the beautiful flowers." Carol towed her with herself.

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