2 What could go wrong?

I sighed, grabbing the bag and putting it down on the table next to her.


"Can I ask you something?"


She turned her gaze away from me and continued staring at the ground.


"Do you have any idea what's in there?"


She kept silent for a while, then gave me a small nod.


I narrowed my eyes at the bag, still skeptical about its content.


'Did Mia put some dangerous shit in there that she didn't want the cartel to know about? Is this some elaborate plan masked in the name of taking care of Lianne?'


I walked closer to her and knelt down beside her.


"Well, you see, could you be specific? Is there something edible in there? Or is it just an object of value?"


She turned her attention to me once more, her expression clearly saying that she didn't understand anything that I had asked her.


"Is it something we can put in our mouth? Like food? Or is it something useful?"


I gestured at the bag with my hands and waited for her reply.


She nodded again.


"So you know what it is?"


She nodded again, this time with a hint of happiness.


"Momma said you'd like it very much."


I smiled, reaching out for the bag and unzipping the zipper.


"What could possibly make me—"


As soon as I pulled open the zip-lock bag, a rectangular piece of paper popped out into the air.


'What the fuck?!' I gasped.


"M-mo... money?! A bag full of MONEY?!!"


Lianne jumped back at my outburst.


'What the hell are you doing?! You're acting like a child who has found a bag of candy!' I scolded myself, trying to calm myself down.


I reached into the bag and pulled out one of the bills from what I would assume was a hundred-piece stack, inspecting it closely.


It was a hundred-dollar bill.


A fucking hundred dollar note!


Making sure I counted a stack, it was indeed a hundred notes that were packed in there.


Counting each stack...


"One, two, three..."


"Twenty one, twenty two..."


"Thirty-nine, forty..."




The numbers were increasing faster than I ever imagined.


'Holy crap! That's way too much money for someone who didn't even have a job!' I thought to myself. 'And she just threw a whole load of cash in here? Did she steal this from Damian?'


"Whoahh!!! Wha... how the hell did Mia—"


I stopped counting right in the middle and stared at Lianne, who had been watching me carefully.


Her eyes were wide open, curious, probably waiting for me to finish counting so that she could tell me how much money was in there.


I took another deep breath before continuing counting the stacks.


"Forty-five, forty-six... sixty-eight, sixty-nine... ninety-seven, ninety-eight..."


I stopped again when I reached a certain number.


"Six million, nine hundred and eighty-seven thousand, thirty-two dollars and twenty cents."


Lianne started laughing, a smile plastered across her face.


"You counted all the bills?!" I asked.


She nodded excitedly.


"Yup, every single one of them as momma arranged them! Are you surprised, Uncle Ally?"


"Yes, yes, I am."


I couldn't believe that Mia would keep so many of them around.


Not only that, but they seemed to be in good condition, meaning she hadn't used them all yet.


This made me even happier since it meant that I might actually be able to afford some decent stuff and I could finally leave my current job and start working somewhere else where I'll have a flexible schedule, less stress, and most importantly, no boss breathing down my neck!


'But what am I going to buy with it?' I thought, looking down at the stack in my hand. 'Should I use it to pay for the loan I got last week? Should I save it? Buy some new clothes?'


I sighed, closing the zip-lock bag and putting it back in the crate.


"How about we get some food first?" I suggested it, smiling at Lianne. "I'm starving!"




A few catastrophic hours later,


"Uncle Ally, what's this?" Lianne asked, pointing at her plate.




I cringed at the sight of my own cooking. It looked nothing like the delicious meal I'd ordered as takeout earlier today.


Instead of pasta, all I could see was a blackened mess on the plate. The sauce that I tried to put together looked more like a burnt stew mixed in slime and meant to cause a devastating effect once consumed.


"Ugh... I should've known better," I mumbled.


Lianne giggled, poking her fork in between the cheap imitation pasta.


"Haha, Uncle Ally is so funny!" She exclaimed.


"Well, let's hope this tastes okay."


After adding a generous amount of salt and pepper, I stirred the contents of my bowl until they were evenly mixed of a deadly combo.


My stomach growled loudly as it tried to convince me to stop staring at the food on my plate and eat already.


Inch by inch, I brought it close to my mouth.


'It shouldn't be that ba— I take that back,' I thought as the first bite hit my tongue.




I reached out and slapped Lianne's fork away.


"Stop that!" I shouted.


"What? You don't want Lia to try it, Uncle Ally?" Lianne responded innocently.


I glared at her, then slowly turned back to the plate.

Swiping the food off the table, I put on a big smile as the food slid into the trash bin.


"That's wasting of Uncle's cooking, momma said not to waste food." Lianne harrumphed, filling her cheeks with air.


"I doubt your taste buds will survive if you do. Takeouts are always tastier," I told her, picking up my phone and ordering us some pizza instead.


Lianne pouted while I placed our order and waited for our delivery boy to arrive.



When he did, I handed him a few notes in a little envelope with a generous tip inside. He gave me a thumbs-up and left.


As soon as he was gone, Lianne devoured her slice of pizza like it was the best thing ever.


"Yay! It's really yummy," she exclaimed happily. "Thank you for sharing, Uncle Ally!"


I smiled at her and ate my own piece, trying to ignore the fact that it was cold.


"So, is that bag all your momma left you?" I asked once Lianne finished her second helping of pizza.


"Yeah. Momma had a lot of money too," Lianne answered. "She said you'd keep it safe for the right use."


Her eyes lit up at the memory, and she continued eating without a care in the world.


'Right use, huh?' I thought with a bitter chuckle.




Lianne yawned and rubbed her eyes.


"Do you want to go to bed now?" I offered.


"Okay!" Lianne agreed immediately.


I helped her clean up and change into one of my spare shirts as makeshift oversized pajamas, and I tucked her into my bed.


I subconsciously kissed her forehead and stood up to leave.


"Goodnight, Lianne." I whispered before leaving the room.


I walked through the hallways, thinking over everything that happened during the day.


"Mia, you surpassed my expectations; somehow you managed to raise a good girl." I murmured under my breath, unable to hold back the smile from spreading across my face.


I felt like there was a weight lifted off my shoulders when I realized that I wasn't alone anymore.


There would be no more lonely nights or sleepless days where I worried about what would happen next.


All I needed to focus on was being happy and putting the money to good use, as Mia had said.


That was the only way forward.


A disturbing thought crossed my mind.


'Where would she stay while I'm out for work?'


Then an idea struck me like lightning.


"A babysitter," I muttered to myself. 'Why didn't I think of this earlier? This would make things much easier.'


If I hired someone to watch her while I was away, I wouldn't have to worry about anything else.


And the best part was that I could choose who I wanted to hire.


Someone who would look after Lianne better than I could. Someone who loved children as much as anyone aside from me."


'What could go wrong? It'll be fine!' I convinced myself.

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