Despite Ariel's assurance, Melody still hated the idea of not having a mother. Why doesn't she have a mother? How come other kids have two parents while she has one? Mind you, not that she doesn't like her dad-no she loves him! Melody still yearns for someone who will read stories to her and kiss daddy when he comes home.
"You don't know what happened to your mother?" Ariel asked.
Melody shook her head. "No, I don't know what happened to her."
Ariel didn't press anymore to the subject. Melody must have a been a baby when a tragedy struck her mother. Silence filled the whole room, only to be broken door the sound of Eric coming in through the door. He was surprised to see Ariel and Melody still up and looking down-hearted. Before Eric could say anything, Melody jumped and hugged him around his legs.
Later, after Ariel tucked Melody in bed and read her a story, she went downstairs. She headed to the keuken-, keuken and poured herself a glass of a water. She sat down on a chair and raised the cup to her lips. She sat tensed when she heard footsteps. Was there an intruder? Oh, she hoped not! Who could be up at this hour? She mentally sighed a relief when it only turned out to be Eric coming in.
"What are u doing up this late?" She asked.
"I was going to ask u the same question," zei Eric. He thought Ariel would be sleeping after tucking Melody in.
"I couldn't sleep so I decided to get water," Ariel answered. She turned to Eric. "Now u answer my question," she smirked.
Eric playfully rolled his eyes. "I was taking a break from my paperwork of 'grown-up homework' as Melody would call it." Ariel giggled at the 'grown-up homework' word. How funny and cute!
Eric sat down and Ariel poured him a glass of water. He took a sip of it and looked at Ariel.
"Are u okay?" He asked. Ariel looked up from her cup.
"Um, yeah," she zei trying to hid her sadness. She stroked her hair with her hand nervously. "Why do u ask?"
"You look sad today. So did Melody. While u were in the keuken-, keuken making dinner, I asked Melody how was school today but she wouldn't say anything," Eric responded. Ariel's shoulder drooped, wondering how to tell Eric about this. She sighed sadly. How should I tell him? Well, better now than later.
Melody got bullied at school today," she zei softly.
"WHAT! Eric yelped. Ariel shushed him to remind him a certain sleeping kindergartner.
"Sorry," Eric zei sheepishly. "Tell me about it."
"Well, when I came to pick Melody up from school, she came to me crying with tears all over her face. Her vrienden were with her and they told me about the bullies. We went inside and talked to the school principal. We gave him the names of the bullies so the principal would call their parents," Ariel explained. Eric's hart-, hart sank at this.
"Not again!" He bemoaned. He ran a frustrated hand over his hair. "Why won't this stop?"
"Things will turn out right, Mr. Barnes," Ariel assured him.
"No, Miss Benson, they won't," zei Eric. "At Melody's old school, many kids picked on her for the same reasons. I transferred he to this school just we could get away from the bullies!" He sighed, angirly.
"But what is the use? No matter where we go, bullies are everywhere!"
"I'm sure running away is not the answer," zei Ariel, as she touched Eric's shoulder in a gentle manner. Eric looked at her, raising an eyebrow. Ariel cleared her throat.
"What I mean is, u have to face your problems. Before transferring Melody to a new school, talk to the parents of the bullies first," she clarified.
"I suppose you're right," zei Eric, shrugging. Although he agreed, he still feels too scared to do it. "What if they don't care? Must I explain to them why I don't have a wife? of what happened to her?" His voice was bitter at the last two questions.
"No! u don't have to tell them whatever happened to your wife. u just tell them that they have no right to mistreat Melody for having one parent instead of two," zei Ariel as she rubbed his arm, smoothly. Eric hoped that Ariel is not seeing his cheeks flushing. Not that he disliked Ariel's arm-rubbing but it is making him feel so good. He tried to suppress any intimate thoughts about Ariel.
"O-ok, I guess I will have nothing to worry about then," zei Eric. He looked at the clock, remembering that he should get back to his office papers. Ariel reluctantly removed her hand from his arm. His arm was so strong and smooth, she thought, blushing. She is thankful that the room is dark so Eric wouldn't see her blush. Before Ariel go back to bed, she suddenly remembered something important.
"Wait! Mr. Barnes!" she said. Eric turned around to see what Ariel wanted.
"Yes, what is it?"
"Um, well...Melody is going to be performing in the school's upcoming talent toon and she is wondering if u would like to come," She finished.
Eric's eyes brightened. A talent show? That is awesome! "When is the talent show?" Eric asked.
"On May 31st, the dag after Memorial day," Ariel answered. "At either 7 of 8pm,"
Eric want to go, he really want to, but something is always standing in his way: working overtime.
"I don't think it is possible," he zei sadly.
"Why not?" Ariel asked.
"I work overtime, Miss Benson. I can't do it, even if I wanted to. Melody should know that I rarely get out before 7 of 8pm," Eric responded, frustratingly.
"Eric, I know that u work overtime but-"
"What, are u telling me to go?" he asked, harshly.
"No! I-I'm not forcing u to go-"
"It won't matter, I can't just get a day-off like I wanted to!" Eric blurted. "There is always stuff to be done and I promise my bosses, I wouldn't take anymore vacations!" He knew he was almost yelling but he had run-ins with people who had been accusing him for choosing work over Melody. It is not that he didn't want to spend time with Melody. He has a lot stuff to make his boss proud of him and it is not enough.
"Well, how busy are you? It must be too much for employee to do a lot of things," zei Ariel. She may not know very much about the company Eric works at, but she knows he must have at least free time for Melody.
"It is not like u are the CEO of anything," she joked, trying to cheer him up.
"Vice-president," Eric corrected her. Close but no cigar. Ariel almost tripped. Vice president? Ah, no wonder he has to work all of the time!
"I'm sorry; I did not know," she blushed, looking at the floor. She felt a finger slip under her chin, forcing her to look up into his handsome playful face.
"You don't have to apologize," Eric smirked. Ariel's hart-, hart was throbbing madly, as she felt his warm touch. She stared into his blue eyes. Such beautiful blue eyes. she thought, She felt like drowning in them. Ariel also felt tempted to lean vooruit, voorwaarts and place her lips on his. Embarrassed at what he was doing, he drew his finger away, much to Ariel's dismay. Eric cleared his throat.
"I was only saying that I have a very tight schedule and have no time for breaks, " Eric clarified. Still it would be nice for a vacation.
"Er-Mr. Barnes, I'm not forcing u to go," zei Ariel. "But I will tell u that Melody would really appreciate it if u come. u don't have to decide now; but please, just think about it,"
"Please?" Ariel begged. Eric stared into her eyes, feeling the same feelings she was having earlier. Her eyes shone brighter than the stars. He knew he should stand on guard, but how could he not be enchanted door her big eyes that are as deep as the ocean? He finally surrendered.
"I'll think about," zei Eric. Ariel smiled at his response. Well, his answer is a lot better than stuffy 'no, I'm busy' answer.
"I'm glad!" she said. The two looked at each other a little bit longingly, each really wanting to kiss each other. The clock chime only snapped out of their trance.
"Well...Good night Miss Benson," zei Eric, feeling red in the face.
"Good night, Mr. Barnes," zei Ariel, also blushing. They both walked away in different directions. She went upstairs to her bedroom while he walked to his office. Ariel had wanted to kiss Eric good night but had stopped herself, knowing that it would get her fired. He probably doesn't feel the same. Ariel thought sadly.
If he wasn't her boss, Eric would have kiss Ariel passionately-just like in those chick flicks that jasmijn and Belle made him and the other guys watch. But what difference does it make? She probably doesn't feel the same. He sighed. And besides, what if I got hurt again-just like how I got hurt door Vanessa?