Chapter 391: Courage
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
It was Mia’s birthday. No wonder she had asked Tanya to bake her a cake, and even said a prayer before eating it.
He had slept with Hillary right after he slept with her back then, hadn’t he?
It was all too normal that their children’s birthdays would be so close to each other’s.
She bit her lip.
It had also been her child’s birthday five days ago!
She didn’t even know where her child might be wandering lost in the world, yet here she was, celebrating Mia’s birthday?
Indescribable pain and misery made Tanya’s expression instantly change.
She stared at Mia blankly.
Mia was terribly nervous. The puzzled girl looked at Tanya and asked, “W-what’s wrong, Ms. Turner? Are you upset?”
She pushed Joel and said, “Daddy, hurry up and kiss Ms. Turner! She’ll cheer up if you do that!”
Joel didn’t know the reason for Tanya’s sudden change in behavior, but he knew that she likely held a grudge against Mia’s existence all this time.
He lowered his head and slowly said, “I’m sorry.”
He was sorry.
Five years ago, he had felt even more apologetic toward her.
If he hadn’t gotten himself drunk, become muddleheaded, and ended up sleeping with Hillary, how would he have gotten her pregnant and ended up letting her give birth to Mia?
No, to be honest, he hadn’t even known that she was pregnant.
Hillary understood him very well. She knew that he would definitely make her abort the child if he were to know, so she had secretly gone into hiding.
It wasn’t until ten months later that she had finally returned with Mia.
He had done a DNA test when he saw the child—she was indeed his daughter. As such, he could only acknowledge her. That was probably the one and only time he had acted so spinelessly.
His heart had softened when he saw the child.
It was as if the child had a lot of affinity with him.
When Tanya heard his apology, her shame and anger made her eyes redden. She was about to yell at him when Mia suddenly held her hand and said, “I’ll kiss you if Daddy won’t, Ms. Turner. Don’t be mad anymore, okay?”
Tanya lowered her head. When her eyes met Mia’s timid eyes that looked as if she was trying to please her, her fury instantly extinguished.
She had only lost her child because she hadn’t kept an eye on it. What did it have to do with Joel or Mia?
In fact, Joel didn’t even know that she had given birth to his child!
Tanya lowered her head and stared at Mia.
She was just a pitiful little girl.
Tanya suddenly said, “Wait a minute.”
She turned and went upstairs.
In addition to her own bedroom, she had also prepared another two children’s rooms on the upper floor. One was a boy’s room and the other a girl’s.
This was because she didn’t know whether her missing child was a boy or a girl.
Regardless, she would always prepare clothes for her son or daughter every year. The clothes currently in the closets were for five-year-olds, and on the bed in the girl’s room was also a gift box.
It was the birthday gift she had bought five days ago for her child.
There was also one in the boy’s room.
She picked up the gift box. Inside was an exquisite Barbie doll wearing a pink dress. Next to it were all kinds of doll clothing that one could dress up the doll with.
She touched the bedsheets and murmured silently, “I don’t know where you are, my child, but I believe you’ll be willing to make another child like yourself happy, right?”
She took the gift box and went downstairs.
Before she reached the door, she saw Mia nervously asking Joel, “Daddy, why did Ms. Turner suddenly get mad? Is it because it’s Mia’s birthday? Daddy, I won’t celebrate my birthday anymore, okay? I like Ms. Turner, I don’t want to make her mad…”
Joel stroked her hair. His voice was soft and gentle as he said, “It’s not your fault. Daddy’s the one who made Ms. Turner angry.”
Mia then said seriously, “Daddy, you should apologize to Ms. Turner if you made her mad. Are you too embarrassed to say sorry, Daddy?”
He sighed. “I’ve already told her I’m sorry, but she won’t accept my apology.”
“Then say it a few more times!”
A child’s world was very simple. For Mia, if her father had done something wrong, then he should apologize until Ms. Turner forgave him.
Joel sighed. “Okay.”
When Mia wanted to say something again, she suddenly spotted Tanya, who had just returned. Her eyes lit up and she immediately called out, “Ms. Turner!”
Tanya handed her the gift box with the Barbie and said, “Happy birthday.”
Mia’s eyes instantly became even brighter. “Thank you, Ms. Turner!”
The little girl stretched out her hands and took the Barbie doll from her.
The Barbie was half her height, so it was very heavy for the small and thin girl.
Joel reached out to carry it for her.
However, Mia ducked and said, “I can do it, Daddy!”
This was a gift from Ms. Turner. She liked it very much.
Joel nodded. Then, he looked at Tanya. He was about to speak when Tanya sneered, “You must be very busy with work, right, Mr. Smith?”
Joel was overjoyed when he heard what she said. He thought that Tanya was showing him concern, so he nodded and replied, “It’s alright.”
“Hah.” Tanya gave him a mocking smile and said, “Since it’s alright, then shouldn’t you learn how to be a qualified father, Mr. Smith?”
Joel was taken aback.
Tanya knew that there were some things she shouldn’t say in front of Mia, so she merely gave him a subtle reminder. Then, she said, “Bye, Mia.”
Mia replied softly, “Bye, Ms. Turner.”
When Joel took Mia into the car, he received a call from Hillary. When he answered, the woman said, “Joel, it’s Mia’s birthday today. Can you let me see her? I miss her. I think Mia would also want her family to be together.”
Joel’s expression turned cold. He was about to say something when Hillary spoke again. She said, “I’m Mia’s mother, after all, Joel. I really miss her. I should think that she misses me, too! You can’t stop us from meeting when we’re mother and daughter. Mia will resent you for it in the future if you do that.
“I know you hate me, but my love for Mia is true. I am the one who has been taking care of Mia ever since she was born. You should know how dependent she is on me. Joel, all I want is really just to see my daughter. I don’t have any other intentions… Please?”
Joel looked at Mia.
He suddenly asked, “Do you want to meet your mother, Mia?”
Mia’s eyes immediately flickered when she heard him.
Her mom had told her before that she had to reply that she wanted to meet her if Daddy ever asked. Otherwise, her mom would hate her very much.
But she thought of how Ms. Turner had told her not to keep things to herself, and to voice her thoughts if she had any. She had said that she could cry out if she was in pain, or cry if she wanted to…
When she thought of what Ms.. Turner had told her, the little Mia seemed to have suddenly found her courage.