Chapter 28: Dad Moments
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Alfred and Cesar stop at the end of the corridor when Alfred groans.

“I forgot to bring the keys with me.”

“Dad, you forgot your keys!!” says a voice coming from across the hall.

The four of them turn to see who said it and say, “Samantha!” They look at each other confused as to being in unison.

Samantha jogs through the hall with the keys jingling. But Mark sees her differently.

‘Wow. Look at her, so beautiful.’ Mark thinks. ‘She has beautiful hair gliding through the air like a graceful horse.’

Samantha passes Mark and he could’ve fainted.

‘Inhale. Ahw the sweet aroma of a royalty. I don’t want to exhale this, it is too darn precious of a smell. But I can’t breathe, no I can do it.’

Struggling to breathe, all of them in the hall watch him confused-looking. Alfred threw his crutch at him and hit him at his head.

“Breath, young fella.”

And Mark lets out a big exhale and says, “Ow! What was that for?”

“I dunno. You look stupid, and I just want to remove the foolishness out of you.”

Samantha is angry and says to Alfred, “Dad!! Why did you do that?”

“I’ve already said it, I don’t want to waste my breath.”

Samantha shakes his head and goes to Mark, who’s holding his head with Justin feeling the spot where he’s hit.

“Are you ok, Mark?”

Mark lifts his head high and says, “I’m ok, Samantha.” He just smiles at her and chuckles.

Samantha smiles back and says, “I’m glad you’re ok, Mark.” She then gives him a hug.

“I’m sorry my dad did that to you, Mark.”

‘Whaddahek. She hugged me hahahhaahhaha. She hugged me hahahaha. I’m the luckiest man aliiiiiveee hahahaha.’

She lets him go with a smile, picks up the crutch from the ground, and goes back to her father. She then proceeds to pinch her father real well.

“Oww, Sam.”

“That’s for hurting my friend. The next time you hurt my friends, I’m gonna hit you with the crutch with an unprejudiced rage.”

Alfred looks at her and she stares back at him.

The moment their eyes met, Alfred looked down to the ground as rage was upon her eyes

“I’m sorry, young fella.”

“It’s ok, sir. I’m fine,” says Mark with a smile.

Entering the room of Alfred, they put his luggage in his room. Slowly but surely, Cesar helps Alfred lie down on his bed.

“Thank you very many for your services, fellas. Because of that, I’ll give you these.”

Alfred grabs one of the bags and reaches into it. Pulling out, they see a wallet.

Cesar waves his hand briskly and says, “OH NO, MR. MACAPOBRE. It’s all for free.”

“If you want me to be happy, take these,” says Alfred as he shows them paper bills. “Take for yourselves five hundred pesos each.”

No one dared to take it, but Justin took the bills and distributed them to his friends. All of them received a gift except Samantha who flatly denied Alfred’s prodding.

“I don’t want it, Dad. I have everything already, I don’t need more.”

Alfred just smiles and nods.

“Ok, Samantha.” Glancing at the boys, he says, “Your basketball tournament is this month, yes?”

Cesar nods and says, “Yes, sir. Just next week.”

“WHAT!!” Mark interjects. “No one told me that the basketball tournament starts next week.”

Justin puts his hand over Mark’s shoulder and says, “We always tell you that the basketball tournament is starting the third week this month. But you are too busy studying or even playing basketball.”

“I haven’t even prepared much yet.”

Cesar puts his hand over his other shoulder and says, “We have played enough with my friends in the school.”

“But we are just learning how to shoot, we only know how to dribble and drive to the rim. I don’t even have proper stamina.”

“Don’t worry, I’m here for you two. You’ll learn everything in no time, and you both will have stamina.”

“Well, if you get into the finals, I’ll attend your games,” Alfred says. “Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” said the boys.

They then get out of the room after some talking with each other and greeting the Sniper farewell so that he can rest.

“Sam. Cesar. Would you stay here a little bit?”

“Yes, sir,” says Cesar.

“Ok, dad,” says Samantha.

Then Mark and Justin leave them behind as they close the door.

Alfred gestures them to sit by his bedside, and they do as they are asked. Alfred takes in a deep breath and lets out a big sigh.

“So when did you pursue my daughter, Cesar?” says Alfred

“Since school started, sir.”

“I don’t want my daughter to have a relationship or a boyfriend yet.”

“Yes, she told me that, sir. And I’m willing to wait for her, sir, as long as I can.”

Alfred nods, “Ok, kid. But don’t expect that you’ll be together in the end.”

“Why is that, sir? I love her so much, I have sacrificed so much for her.”

“Remember this, kid. Only God knows if you two will be together or married. I ask you to not love my daughter too much, love her sixty percent.”

“I can’t do sixty percent, sir. I want to love her one hundred percent.”

“I want you to do that because everything doesn’t make sense, everything is random. You never know what will happen.”

“Ok, sir.”

Alfred offers Cesar a bro’s handshake. As Cesar sees this, he obliges in shaking hands like they are bros for life.

As he glances at her daughter, he says, “You too, my sweet flower, don’t put too much of your heart in his pursuit of you. Put it at sixty percent. You don’t know if he’s the one for you, God only knows.”

Samantha nods and says, “Yes, dad. I’ll do what you wish.”

“I know you will, Sam. Oh, one thing.” Alfred opens up a drawer and grabs a paper and a pen. He signs it and hands it to Cesar. “Here you go, lad. God bless you.”

“Thank you, sir. God bless you too,” Cesar replies.