Page 12 of Revelations (The End 5)

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“Xander is still out with his friends?” he asked as Harper shut the door.

“Yes. He hasn’t returned yet,” she said.

“What about Nia and the girls?” he asked.

“They are fine. They’re sleeping in the sitting room,” she said, and Joel nodded. She led him to the sitting room.

“You look like someone who hasn’t slept well. I wonder what you were doing all night long. And, seeing that you climbed those stairs, I’m sure you must be exhausted. I’ll go make a space for you to sleep,” she said as she turned towards the couch. Joel caught her arm.

“No, Harper. I’m not here to sleep. As a matter of fact, I’ll be heading out again now. I just wanted to tell you some things,” he said as he watched his family sleeping soundly.

She became concerned. Where was he going again?

“Well, I’m listening,” she said.

“My life has been a charade from the moment I arrived in America. It’s a long story for another day. However, I believe that coming to Chicago was the one decision I made that put me on the right path again. That’s because I met you and Xander and Nia and the kids. I was going to hold my feelings back, but then, we had to go on a long walk, and I saw your faces during every one of those days, and I had to play a fatherly role. I just couldn’t help but become attached to you all. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you. I love you all. Even if this is the last time I see all of you, I will be grateful for the fact that I had the opportunity of having another family to love again,” he said, staring into her eyes.

She laughed.

“What are you saying, Joel? It’s too early to scare someone that way. You sound like you’re about to die.”

He chuckled ruefully.

“We’ll never know, will we? I know you’re tempted to ask questions, but I’m going to ask that you don’t. Everything will unfold in time. Tell Nia and the kids I love them. I need to leave with some snack bars,” he said.

Harper watched him for a second, worry evident in her eyes.

“Is everything alright, Joel?”

“Trust me, Harper. And get me some snack bars, please.”

She shook her head as she went to the kitchen and returned with some.

“Just promise me I’ll see you again,” she said as he took the bars from her.

He didn’t reply. Instead, he kissed her long on the lips. When he pulled away, they were out of breath.

“I’ve missed that,” he said before walking back to the door.

When he went out of the apartment, he found Aaliyah sitting on the steps.

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“Let’s go,” he said as he moved past her.

“Joel,” Harper called from the door, and he turned back. “Please be safe.”

He nodded. “You too,” he said before going down the stairs with Aaliyah.

CHAPTER FIVE

Of course, they will love to...

2nd December 2021

8:28 am

Chestnut Avenue, Rosebank, New York.


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