Miguel sat in front of Xander's picture, staring at it with tears in his eyes. The burial had just been completed and he was now at home, mourning. He couldn't believe that his best friend was gone just like that, and he had no idea how he died. Who shot him was still a mystery to him. Maybe it was him, maybe he shot his best friend in his drunk state. Who knows? Either way, he regrets it.
“Xander, I want this to be a dream. I want to open my eyes and find you beside me” Miguel sniffed and shut his eyes. He opened his eyes a few seconds later but nothing changed. He wept in excruciating pain, wishing that he never let a woman come between them.
“Stop it! Just stop it okay!?” Sally rushed out and fired. Her face was swollen from crying all night and her eyes were red, she has still not gotten over the shock.
“Stop pretending like you care! Stop pretending to be remorseful! You killed him in cold blood! You shot my Xander” she broke down again, kneeling beside Miguel and staring at Xander's picture as well. Miguel didn't say a word, he just allowed tears to flow freely down his cheeks.
“You killed him. You're evil.” Sally continued to mutter, she would have been happy if Xander just left with Ariel, at least he would still be alive! Why did he have to die? That was one question she kept asking, why did he have to die?
Miguel's phone rang severally but he ignored the calls until he got fed up and decided to answer the call.
“Who the f*ck is this?!” He growled.
“Sir, I'm a nurse from the general hospital. Ariel escaped with her baby since last night. We've been trying to reach you but you haven't been picking up” the nurse said breathlessly. Miguel sprang up, his heart sinking into his stomach.
“What!?” He yelled. Sally also sprang up.
“We've informed the police but they still don't have any news about her whereabouts” the nurse said again but Miguel dropped the phone and zoomed out of the house. Sally was anxious and decided to follow him. She met him about to drive out and pleaded with him to let her come along. He agreed and she got into the car, she was extremely worried about Ariel, she did not want to lose her as well.
Miguel dashed into the hospital with fear written all over his face. He approached the reception desk and met the nurses there, they all tried to calm him down but he refused to be calm.
“Stop telling me to f*cking calm down! Where is Ariel and my baby!? How could you be so f*cking careless to let them leave? What were you all doing? What were your f*cking security men doing!?” He yelled at all of them, the other patients stopped what they were doing to watch the drama. Some police men were there, asking questions that could lead to the possible discovery of where Ariel was.
“Please sir.. please, we are doing our best to find her” one of the nurses said but that only made Miguel more angry.
“Forget it, I'll find her myself” he said and started walking out. He ignored the police men that tried to stop him. As soon as he got to his car, he called some of his men and asked them to begin the search for Ariel immediately. Sally offered to help and he permitted her. Sally left with some of Miguel's men while Miguel left to find her alone.
Three hours have passed and Miguel had not heard any news about Ariel's whereabouts, not from the police or from his men. His own search had been fruitless as well. He stopped his car in front of super market and decided to ask the people around if they had seen a young lady with a baby.
“Yes, I saw a girl carrying a baby a few hours ago, she looked tired” one woman said, giving Miguel hope.
“You did? Where did she go? Do you have any idea which route she took?” Miguel asked.
“She went that way” the woman pointed to a small pathway opposite the supermarket. Miguel thanked her and went back to his car, he took some important things and started trekking down the pathway. His car would not fit so he had to walk. After an hour of walking, he still did not find any useful information. He was exhausted and decided to sit in front of a closed shop. He called Sally but she confirmed that they have not been able to track Ariel yet.
“Why is all this happening to me?” He asked. Immediately, it started to rain and he was drenched.
“Why am I losing everything? First it was Xander, now Ariel and my child. Why all this pain? My heart is aching.. I can't bear it!” He screamed, raising his face and allowing the rain to beat him.
He almost gave up, he wanted to give up the search, accept his fate and live in agony for the rest of his miserable life. He almost stood up to go home when he looked down beside him and saw a small piece of clothing. It was the same as the one used to wrap the baby at the hospital, he was able to recognize it.
“She was here!” He had hope again.
“Ariel! Ariel! Where are you?! Please come out! Please don't hide from me!” He yelled under the rain. He wiped his face and panted.
“I can't give up” he picked up the piece of clothing and continued walking. He called out her name as he walked, and went to people's doors, knocking and asking if they had seen Ariel.
“Who are you?” The old woman asked, staring at Ariel who was wet and shivering. The old woman stared at Ariel's chest, something was moving inside the heavily wrapped bowl like structure strapped on her chest.
“What is that?” The old woman asked.
“Pl.. please let me in ma'am. My baby and I.. we'll freeze to death” Ariel requested, shivering.
She had been in several houses but they all rejected her and pushed her away. She prayed that the nice looking old lady would let her in. She wasn't worried about herself, just her little baby.
“Baby?!” The old woman gasped and allowed her in immediately. Ariel untied her baby from her chest where she wrapped her and handed her to the old woman who tried to calm the crying baby.
“Go, in there and take a bath, I'll take care of the baby” she said, showing Ariel the bathroom. Ariel rushed in and ran herself a warm bath while the old woman cleaned the little baby with a cloth and warm water, then she changed the baby's clothes to something warmer and waited for Ariel to come out.
“Wear this” she said to Ariel, handing her a big gown. Ariel wore it quickly and took her baby to feed her.
“Thank you so much ma'am. You helped me even though I'm a stranger” Ariel sniffed.
“It's okay, I couldn't let the baby freeze to death” the old woman answered.
“What is her name? The cute child”
“Alina” Ariel replied.
“Beautiful name. But, why were you in the rain? What about her father? Or any relatives” she questioned.
Ariel sighed and told the old woman half of her story. The woman felt pity for them and told her that she could stay for as long as she wants.
“If you don't mind me asking, where did you get the baby clothes?” Ariel asked.
“Oh that. My son and his wife have a little baby too, they used to live here with me” the old woman replied.
“Where are they now?”
“They moved to New York, but they still visit once in a while, or during Christmas” the woman answered and Ariel smiled. She remembered when she used to celebrate Christmas with her family until they sold and betrayed her. They were the cause of her predicament, she didn't know when she started to shed tears.
“It's okay dear, everything will be fine” the old woman comforted her and she wiped her tears.
“Thank you” she mumbled.
A few hours later, when the rain had stopped, Ariel woke up from her nap and went to check on Alina who was still sleeping peacefully. She smiled at her but her smile quickly vanished when she heard a noise outside.
“Ariel!!” The familiar voice called out. She gasped when she realized who the owner of the voice was. Miguel!
“Ariel! Where are you!?” He screamed again. The old woman came out on hearing the noise.
“Isn't that your name?” She asked.
“It's Alina's father! He's found us! He's going to kill us! He's a murderer!” Ariel said in fear and picked up her daughter.
“We have to leave! Through the back door!” Ariel said, rushing to the back.
“But where will you go?!”
“Anywhere! Thank you mama! I will never forget what you did for me” she said before opening the door and running off.