Chapter 32: When Timing Matters The Most


Every day, Aria used to contact her father in the morning and have a conversation with him. This time, Tim didn't respond to Aria's call, but she assumed he would call back later when he was free, as he sometimes did. Throughout the entire day, Aria didn't receive a callback from Tim, and amidst her busy schedule, she eventually forgot about it. After work hours, Jay met up with Aria, and they spent the evening together casually. Aria didn't mention anything to Jay about her concerns regarding her father because Jay appeared to be in a cheerful mood. Similarly, Jay didn't bring up his meeting with Tim or his parents' concerns with Aria, as he believed he could explain everything at the right time, possibly after his surprise proposal. He was deeply engrossed in thoughts about his upcoming proposal to Aria and was too excited to notice the tension in her eyes.

During times like these, time often plays tricky games, and waiting for the "right time" can lead to regret for not taking action sooner. Once Aria returned home, she called Cathy to confirm whether Tim had reached out to her. Cathy replied, "No, I tried calling him at noon, but his phone was unreachable, so I planned to call him later. Is everything okay? Why do you ask?"
Aria's anxiety had been steadily building, especially given her father Tim's involvement in a dangerous line of work. The fear of not hearing from him on time had become a constant source of worry for her, which was why Tim never missed responding to Aria's calls. Now, both Aria and Cathy found themselves in a state of unease. Jay attempted to reach out to Aria via text, receiving a response that read, "I'm currently occupied; let's chat tomorrow." Concerned, Jay inquired, "What's going on?" but Aria remained silent in response to his messages. Though Jay was worried, he chose to trust Aria's words and decided to message her again the next day.
However, the following morning, Jay sent several more texts to Aria, still without a response. He anxiously checked his phone throughout his workday, and during his lunch break, he decided to call her.

Aria picked up the call and informed Jay, "Jay, Cathy and I are currently at a cafe. Can I call you back later?"

Jay, growing increasingly concerned, asked, "Is everything alright? Why aren't you at work?"

Aria reassured him, saying, "No need to worry."

Then, He inquired, "Which cafe are you at? Can I join you guys?"

In a whisper, Cathy suggested to Aria, "Let him come here too, it'll be easier." So Aria shared the name of the cafe, and Jay responded, "Alright, I'll be there as soon as I can."

black sofa chair near white wall
black sofa chair near white wall

Jay arrived at the café and peered inside, where Aria and Cathy were engaged in an intense discussion, their faces filled with worry. He approached them, took a seat, and then turned his attention to Aria, asking, "What's going on, dear? Why does the atmosphere here seem so tense?" Cathy and Aria exchanged glances, and Cathy began to explain their concerns about their missing father, Tim.

After listening to their words, Jay responded in surprise, "What do you mean by that? I spoke to him just yesterday. Are you sure he's missing? Maybe he's just busy." Cathy and Aria were shocked, and Aria questioned Jay, "Where did you meet him, and why did you meet him?"

Jay contemplated revealing everything at the right time, but in this situation, he didn't know how to convey the matter. He said, "I happened to run into him casually." Cathy, with an angry expression, demanded, "Jay, explain it clearly. No one knows where he lives, not even us. How did you find him, and what did you two talk about?"

Feeling the pressure, Jay explained the conversation between Tim and himself. Both Aria and Cathy listened silently. As Jay finished his sentences, Aria spoke with a shaky and sad voice, saying, "Why? Why did you do that?" Jay replied, "I only wanted to take our relationship to the next level, Aria. I was planning to talk to you about it." Aria interrupted, saying, "Who are you to discuss my marriage with my dad?" Jay felt a sharp pain in his heart, seeing Aria's anger and disappointment as she uttered those words. Cathy intervened, saying, "Let's not argue about that right now." Aria responded, "Just because Jay told Dad to attend my wedding and leave his gangster life, Dad might have gone to speak to Kendrick. You know how he is. What if something happens to Dad because of this?" Aria looked at Jay in fury and said "Without knowing the full story, why did you get involved? You should have talked to me at least."

Jay wanted to prove his point but remained silent, as he thought that arguing at such a vulnerable time could affect the love they had built together. To dispel the anxious and tense atmosphere, Cathy asked Jay, "Can you take us to the place where you met my dad?" Jay replied, "Yes, we can go there, but the place is a bit shady, so I'll go inside and check." Cathy said, "Alright, let's go to that place first." The three of them headed to Tim's place, where Jay had first met him. Aria didn't look at Jay or talk to him, and his heart raced with tension and anxiety. His mind was filled with many questions: What had actually happened to Tim? Why hadn't he answered the call? Was he okay? Who was Kendrick?