Linda arrived on time the following morning as Roxanne was leading the children down for breakfast. “Ms. Linda!” Archie and Benny greeted her. warmly when she arrived.
It was Linda who had babysat them when Roxanne was occupied with work abroad. To the children, Linda, like Madilyn, was their godmother.
Linda was similarly warm when she greeted,. “Long time no see, my darlings!” After hugging Archie and Benny, she turned to regard Estella, who was standing behind the boys. Estella was still a little wary of strangers.
“You must be Essie!” Linda offered her hand politely with a gentle smile. “How do you do? I’m Linda, your mommy’s assistant, and I’ll be here to care for you for the coming few days.”
Estella gazed at her mother and brothers. When they indicated she should take the hand, she slowly offered hers and shook Linda’s..
Aware of the little girl’s condition, Linda did not urge her to say anything but instead let go after shaking her hand and straightened up to look at Roxanne. “How are things at the research institute?” Roxanne asked in concern.
As soon as the online discussion simmered down, she rushed to prepare for the medical consultation. Upon recalling that Linda would be coming that day, she planned to ask her in person.
Linda smiled. “It’s almost resolved. The many suppliers who wanted to terminate their contracts had a change of heart and asked to be partners again. What do you think about that?”
Roxanne fell silent for several seconds. “Then keep the partnerships going. Those suppliers are just opportunistic parasites. We cannot hold them to very high standards.”
Because her involvement in the online discussion had risked their interests, the suppliers had asked to have their contacts. terminated. As they had no private dealings, Roxanne saw no reason to ask them for more faith in the research institute..
Businessmen are, by nature, opportunistic and self-serving. Linda was not surprised by her answer and promptly agreed to it. “I’m not sure how long I’ll be away for. I have to trouble you to look after the research institute and the children during my absence.”
Roxanne sounded apologetic. Linda shook her head. “This is my job. Besides, I’m fond of them. They are good children.” Archie and Benny nodded in agreement. They were angels in Linda’s presence.
Roxanne smiled as she caressed the children’s heads. “Be good, behave yourselves while I’m away, and don’t give her any trouble. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Mommy,” the children replied sweetly. After leaving further instructions to Linda and the children, Roxanne glanced at her watch and found it was time to go. “I’m leaving. Be good, all of you.”
Dragging her suitcase behind her, Roxannel turned to leave. At the sight of his mother’s departure, Benny could not help feeling anxious on his father’s behalf, as the latter still had not shown up.
“Mommy!” In a panicked fit of inspiration, the boy called. out to Roxanne. She stopped, confused. “What is it?” Benny gazed at his brother and then at his sister, who did not seem eager to speak.
After a moment, he said, “You left us with so many words, but do you have any for Mr. Farwell? We can pass the message!” His words jolted Roxanne to a realization. Her brows creased lightly.