Chapter 16: The Riddle of Reality


Aria felt embarrassed and remained silent, but Jay noticed her discomfort and asked if she was okay. Aria forced a small smile and assured him that she was fine, but deep down she was nervous about revealing what had just happened. Jay suggested that they should report the incident to the police and asked if Aria knew the attackers.

For a moment, Aria thought of lying but decided to be honest with Jay. She valued their friendship and his honesty and didn't want to betray that trust. After taking a deep breath, Aria confessed, "They were my dad's enemies."

Jay was taken aback and asked, "What? This is the first thing you should have told me when I asked about your past." Aria remained silent, and Jay realized that she had more to share. Despite being distracted by her revelation about her father, he pulled over and took Aria's hand.

"Listen, I don't know if you're feeling nervous or scared right now, but I want you to know that I'm here to listen to you," Jay said, reassuringly.

man in white dress shirt wearing black necktie and black sunglasses
man in white dress shirt wearing black necktie and black sunglasses

Aria slowly began to open up. "I come from the Maverick family, and we're hired to do things that no one else is willing to risk. This has been a tradition passed down from my ancestors to my father. However, my dad didn't want his daughters to follow in his footsteps, so he sent us to this city. Cathy and I were together until two years ago when she got a job in a different location. My dad started to choose jobs that would help lots of people staying in shadows. He avoided big deals and hidden his identity for all these years in sake of protecting his family."

Aria added, "Some people view my dad as a hidden hero while others see him as a villain. Nonetheless, my parents were loving and supportive of me and Cathy. We always knew that there were people who would attempt to harm us to get information about our family, so we were prepared for such situations."

Jay inquired, "Do these attacks happen frequently?"

Aria replied, "No, as I mentioned earlier, most people don't know about my dad's true identity, so it has only happened three times so far."

Jay expressed concern and gently tapped Aria's hand, but she couldn't bring herself to look him in the eyes. She is not embarrassed about her family or she never gave an explanation to anyone so far but Jay was exceptional. Despite his interest in her father's details, Aria didn't want to continue the conversation and informed Jay that " Today's quota is ended, I will tell you remaining stories tomorrow. Now I am exhausted so drop me home"

After dropping Aria off at home, Jay said his goodbyes and left.

Aria, however, was mentally prepared for Jay to eventually leave her, due to a traumatic experience with her first love. Her ex-boyfriend had begun to doubt her and interrogate her every day after learning about her father's secret. This led to a huge fight and ultimately a breakup. Aria was shattered and had since struggled with trusting men, fearing that they too would choose the same path as her ex.

To be continued..

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Chapter 15: The way you shine

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Chapter 17:Why should I?