Hazel’s life has been a mess since her father’s business went bankrupt. They were living a worrie-less life before it happened. But it get worse when her father diagnosed with cancer. They were running out of money. Her father needs medical treatment and she has nothing in her bank account. She discovered too that they don’t have enough money even to pay for their bills.
She has nothing but to sell their ancestral house in Batangas. Then she met Vincent Del Tierra. The ruggedly handsome but lethal looking businessman. He’s rich. A billionaire. And even if she wasn’t willing to sell their last property, she don’t have any other choices. The father’s health was her priority.
Vincent Del Tierra desires Hazel. The first time he saw her, he knew then what he really wants. And he needs her more than having her in his bed.
He will provide her money, her mansion and everything.. if she will be willing to give him a.. child.
Hazel thought he was crazy. But everytime she was looking in his eyes.. there’s something she can’t barely explain.
Will she give in for money? Or will she strip the hidden desires.. along with the truth.. then what is the truth?
I slowly closed the door of my father’s room. He just fell asleep and I don’t want him to be disturbed again. It’s been a long night and he was complaining about his medicines.
I walked out from the hallway. I thought of going to the kitchen and get something to drink but I decided to go to the veranda and stay there for a while before I go to my room.
The cold breeze welcome my exhausted body. I went up here just after I visited my father’s office. I had seen all the unopened letters, documents and other files. I bit my lower lip and suppressed my tears.
What am I going to do now? Who am I going to ask for a help?
I liquidated all our other assets just to fill in our employees last salaries. I paid for the remaining debts and all I have now is our old house and some paper bills in my wallet. My bank account stripped to zero. I’ve decided too to close it down for good rather than having penalties because I can’t maintain the required balance.
I gasped silently. I was a teacher. A Pre-school teacher. I don’t earn that much and I bet if my salary can support my father’s expensive medication. I can’t even afford to hire a private nurse to take care of him when I go to work. Thank, God, I have Nanny Caridad with me. And she waves nothing but to help me, us. She has been working with the family before I was born. She’s almost a family.
But my problem didn’t end just like that. I have to support my father’s health. He was the only family that I have. My mother died when I was a little. She has found dead in the pool. The police said she probably drown. Probably—that’s all I could remember when I asked my father about her.
Relatives? Oh, damn. They were gone since the day my father declared bankruptcy. Even all business partners had gone with the wind. Just like that. That fast.
I still startled when I heard Nanny Caridad spoke. I cleared my throat and turned at her. I gave her a weary smile. That’s all I could afford to do.
She walked a few strides at me, “Why are you still awake? You should be in you room in this hour,” she concernly said at me.
I heaved out deep sigh. I blinked my tears back so she can’t see that my status still keep bothering me. “I..can’t sleep, Nanny..” I managed to answer.
She sighed. She’s in her mid fifties and stayed unmarried. I loved her like the way I loved my mother. Because of her, I never felt lonely even growing up without a mother by my side. My father was busy with our business but Nanny Caridad took cared of me.
“I know what’s bothering you, Hazel. You can’t hide it from me.” she said.
I faintedly smiled and stared at the dark night. “Nanny..I’m thinking of..selling this house..” I abruptly felt the pinch of pain right in my chest. There are a bunch of memories with me in this old house. And it's hard to decide and let it go.
She looked at me with surprised eyes. “But..Hazel—“
I shook my head. “I-I have nothing anymore, Nanny. I have to take care of Dad. My savings can’t support us. I can’t even afford to maintain this house, the bills and everything!”
She stared at me. I can feel how bad our situation were.
“If only I can help you..” she sadly uttered.
I held his hands. “You’re already a big help to us, Nanny. You know I can’t pay you anymore but you still chose to be with us and earn nothing. I couldn’t ask for more. If we don’t have you right now..I can’t imagine what will happen to me..”
She squeezed my hand. “The Lord is with us, Hazel. Don’t be discouraged..” she softly said to me.
I didn’t say anything rather than nodding. Yes. I prayed and asked. I know He was challenging me and I won’t give up. It’s just.. this earthly problems are so damn hard to swallow.
Tomorrow morning, I volunteered to go to the grocery and buy important goods for us. I have to buy my father’s medicines too.
While looking for the cheaper price of rice, I felt the unknown heat at my back. I turned around but only sees people who’s having their own business too.
I shrugged my shoulders and continued.
I pushed my cart and looked for another cheaper price of meat. I chose the small size of whole chicken. I budgeted my money for one week and it should not exceeded five to six hundred pesos.
When I finished, I lined up to the cashier and waited.
In my mind, I counted how much will it cost so I can save up more for my father’s medicines. I scanned my cart. I sighed and took out the loaf bread. “There you go..” I murmured.
When it was my turned, my bill went up to 565.25php. I smirked and paid the cashier. If I added the bread, the life span of my wallet will shorten.
I carried with the two large plastic bags. I walked to my old jeep and opened the passenger’s door and hop in the grocery bags. I just stop on track when someone called my name, “Yes..” I turned around. I saw a man smiling at me.
Confusion marred in between my eyesbrows. Well, he was wearing a white longsleeves tucked in his black pants. He probably in his mid thirties or so.
“Do I know you?” I asked.
“You don’t. But my boss knows you and he wants to talk to you.”
I looked around hoping to find other people or bystanders. But I saw nothing. Even the guards. “I’m sorry. But.. I think—“
“You’re Hazel Villanueva, right?” he asked formally.
My lips parted a little. Should I confirm it or not? And I choose the latter. “I’m sorry.” I turned around.
“My boss has a proposal to you, Miss Villanueva..” he added when I opened the driver’s door.
“I’m not interested!” I almost shouted.
“Please see him first. He’s been following you in the grocery..”
I stopped on my track again. I knew it! I was right. There was someone staring at me!
I don’t want to assume but.. “Are.. you a stalker?”
He smirked. “I’m not. Maybe you can ask my boss.. he’s waiting for you in his car..” he cursory nodded the direction where the car was parked.
But I stay stilled. Did he think I will follow him?
I shook my head. “No. I won’t do that. I don’t know you.” I abruptly hop in the jeep and started the engines with my shaking hands. Who are these people?
The man walked at my side and knock on my window. He was urging me to open it.
But I didn’t. The engines finally started and drive the jeep as fast as I could to leave that man. Or men..