Love Me Until My Heart Stops

57: Just Ask Her For Me

Surveying the café, Roberto sighed gently, his dark eyes peeking down at his watch. It had been a long shot, Amelia had managed to get a few names of places that Gerard frequented from Ella and Eloisa and Roberto had chosen a name off of the list, something which had landed him in a small café for nearly 4 hours. He knew that it was unlikely, he wasn’t just going to stumble across the man who was due to marry his daughter, but he wanted a shot at meeting him. He doubted it would make a difference, for all he knew, Esmé had already told Gerard what a horrible man he was and the defender had already formed a negative opinion of him, but he wanted to try. He wanted to meet the girls that he had left behind all those years previous.

Staring at his watch, he spared another look towards the door, watching as it swung back open, allowing a tall man to step inside, his phone pressed to his ear. Roberto studied him for a second before he briefly turned his eyes down to the picture that his mother had given to him, a small smile appearing on his face. It had come as a surprise to him, even in the year that he had spent with Esmé, she had appeared shy and quiet, and it amazed him slightly that her fiancé was the precise opposite.

Checking the photo once more, he quietly pushed himself out of his seat, approaching the counter where the defender stood, talking to what Roberto could only assume was Esmé. “Of course I remember what you wanted, you told me less than 5 minutes ago” his voice was soft, a smile was on his face, and Roberto couldn’t help but admire it. He knew that look well. “Yes I will make sure that they take out the pickles and no, I won’t have them put mayonnaise on it, even though it makes me laugh every time” he teased, laughing softly at the reply which came from the other end. Roberto quietly shook his head. He could see why people would become so taken with Gerard. Watching him for a moment, he noticed him place his phone into his pocket before he smiled at the waitress, reeling off the order that he had been given.

Roberto shifted a little before he took a step forwards, gently tapping the other man’s arm. “Excuse me” he noted.

Gerard turned and offered the older man a smile. “Do you want an autograph or a picture?” he posed.

“Neither” Roberto replied swiftly “I was hoping that I could talk to you instead” he added.

Gerard lifted an eyebrow. “I am sort of on a schedule. Can I help you with something?” he posed.

“My name is Roberto Suarez” Roberto commented, hoping that it would spark some sort of recognition.

“Gerard Piqué” the defender replied.

Roberto sighed. “She clearly didn’t keep my name then, did she?” he mumbled.

Gerard frowned. “Who didn’t keep your name, sir? I am starting to get a little confused” he commented gently.

Roberto took a little breath before he fished his wallet out of his pocket, quickly showing off the most recent picture of his daughter that his mother had provided him with. “My daughter is Esmeralda, your fiancée” he noted.

Gerard blinked. “You’re that Roberto, Delia’s ex?” he spluttered.

Roberto nodded his head gently. “That would be me, the man who left them all behind. I was hoping that you and I could have a conversation before you get back to Esmeralda” he explained.

“Esmé” Gerard corrected, motioning for the waitress to keep his order on hold “She hates being called Esmeralda, she prefers Esmé” he noted.

Roberto nodded his head before he gestured to a table which sat away from the sporadic custom which littered the small café. “Can we have a conversation?” he posed gently “I doubt my daughter has said much about me that was pleasant and I would very much like a chance to get to know you, Gerard” he explained. He knew that it was a long shot, Gerard probably wanted nothing to do with him, but he wanted to make an effort. The defender was the man who was going to spend his life with Roberto’s youngest daughter and he wanted to ensure that he did a better job at looking after her than he ever had.

Gerard nodded. “I can give you 10 minutes, but if I don’t get back after that, Esmé will start to worry” he noted gently.

Roberto nodded and led him towards the table, ordering two coffees from the waitress who wandered past them. “You know, you’re not exactly what I was expecting when my madre told me that my daughter was engaged. I was expecting something a little more…a little less footballer” Roberto commented, his eyes studying the defender closely. He was handsome, there was little doubt about it, and it made Roberto a little curious. He knew that Esmé had grown into a beautiful young woman, he’d seen enough pictures, but he couldn’t quite wrap his head around the notion that Gerard was her type. The shy toddler he’d left behind hadn’t seemed like the type of girl that Gerard would want.

Gerard snorted. “Are you honestly in the best position to judge your daughter’s type?” he posed.

Roberto shook his head. “I guess not” he mumbled.

Gerard shook his head and leant onto his arms, his eyes narrowed on the older man. “You know she wants nothing to do with you, don’t you?” he posed.

“That’s because she thinks I forgot about her” Roberto reasoned “But I never have” he added.

Gerard scoffed. “You’ve not seen her in 26 years, Senor Suarez, you’ve not made contact with her and I don’t blame her for not wanting to get to know the man who so callously turned his back on his wife and children” he muttered.

“How old are you?” Roberto posed.

Gerard lifted his eyebrow. “29” he replied.

“I was 19 when my oldest daughter was born, 22 when my second one was and 24 when Esmé was born. I worked in a factory, trying to support a wife who had extravagant tastes and 3 daughters who I wanted to do my best for. I did a terrible thing by leaving, but by the age of 25, I was going insane. Delia wanted more from me than I could give and those girls deserved more than me, so I left, but I have never forgotten my daughters. Every year for the last 26 years I have sent birthday cards and Christmas presents and the only reason that they are not getting through to Esmé and the others is that my ex-wife is stopping them. I know what I did, I know how much I hurt them, but I didn’t forget. I could never forget” Roberto snapped, his voice a rushed and hissed whisper.

Gerard rested back in his seat, his blue eyes a little wide. “Delia stopped it?” he posed.

“When Esmé was seven, I bought her a dolls’ house that was all the rage. I received it back with a letter attached explaining to me that none of my presents or letters were ever going to get to my daughters. I tried, Gerard, I attempted to make amends, but Delia never let it happen” the older man mused.

“She was looking out for her daughters” Gerard reasoned softly.

“It was a choice that Ella, Eloisa and Esmeralda should have been able to make by themselves. Delia had no right to take that from me” Roberto replied.

Gerard was quiet for a moment before he looked up at the older man. “What do you want with me?” he posed.

“I wanted to meet you. You’re going to be my little Esmé’s husband and I wanted to meet you. I wanted to ask you to do a better job than I ever did in looking out for her. But I mostly wanted to ask you to ask her to speak to me. I know I am not her favourite person…”

“Roberto, she’s insistent” Gerard interrupted “I have asked and she insists that she doesn’t want to know” he added.

“Then tell her that you met me and that I am not the devil she seems to think I am because of what her mother has told her. Gerard, it has been 26 years and I would love a chance to meet my little girls again. Just ask her for me, and if I don’t hear anything, I will understand” he commented as he slipped a scrap of paper across the table, handing Gerard his phone number. “Make her happy for me, Gerard” he smiled softly before he wandered away.

Gerard watched after him and frowned. The topic of Esmé’s father was a sore one and he doubted it would end well when he brought it up. Esmé had always been quick to dismiss it.
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Thanks to petitmonstre, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)