To say that my parents' death changed the course of my life is an understatement. I was 20 years old and a freshman college student specializing in foreign languages when they died in a car accident, coming to take me home for the summer break. Their arrival was supposed to be a surprise because we hadn't seen each other for almost a year. But the only surprise I received was devastating news from the policemen. All I could think of at the time, was that I didn't know how to prepare a funeral, how to manage the family business, how to live without my parents' love and support, without talking daily to them or seeing them ever again. I didn't know how to react or what to do, so I just reacted - badly - collapsing in an epic depression. I felt like pieces of my soul have were being brutally ripped out me.
The funeral was organized by our family friends, considering that I was in no condition to take care of it and because there wasn't any other family member alive. None that I knew of. I don't remember much from that day, or any other after, for that matter. I was like a vacant eyed puppet who needed people to instruct her to where or when to move. I wasn't talking or doing anything else besides staring emptily at nothing in particular. Someone hired a nurse to take care of me and basically she kept me alive, feeding me by force and doping me with sleeping pills so I would rest. That period of time was the worst ever for me. I thought that if I refused to live and just be indifferent to what had happened around me, I would stop hurting. But the pain wouldn't go away. Now I know that you just get used to it and sometimes, if you're lucky, you forget that it's there for a brief period of time.
I regret so many things that had happened after their death, but what I sigh over the most is that I've blown away my last chance of saying goodbye.
I was in that stasis for almost four months when my best friend - and the only one at the time - Daniella came and gave me a much needed and typically for her wake up call. A lot of the things she said to me were true, even if they were a bit cruel, but I guess I needed them that way. I slowly began to process everything that she told me in her visit and realized that I was acting like the spoiled child everyone thought I was and that I could and would do better. I wasn't the first and sadly wouldn't be the last person to lose loved ones. It was just harder for me because I was alone in the world, had no family and no relationship of any kind whatsoever. But the latter was my fault for being an antisocial person, and believe it or not I still am and probably always will be. I was comfortable alone and I required only occasional socialization. And when I needed that, I would have usually talked to my parents. They were two of the most intelligent and cultured people I knew. With them I could breach any subject and learn new things and when I blundered they wouldn't judge me or laugh behind my back. But they are gone now.
Three days after Daniella's visit, I put myself together bit by bit and piece by piece, packed my bags and left for college. Classes had already begun a month before and I thought was ready to try recuperate the lost time and focus on studying. Soon, I realized that doing that wasn't going to work as I just couldn't concentrate at all. That's how I begun skipping classes and started a social night life full of debauchery. A year of my life was spent drinking, partying and running in dubious circles of people. I've done almost all you can think of and many that you can't. All to take revenge at myself and at life, to try and forget. But it was in vain. I couldn't run from the feeling of hurt and emptiness, so I went back at school and started repairing what was left of myself, my life and my studies.
Looking back at those memories, I realized that in those moments, when I was such an emotional wreck, I begun to change my future from a normal, peaceful course of life - that some may call it boring - to one full of dangers and inimical 'adventures'.
A couple of months after my comeback to school, I met a guy. Evan was the very embodiment of a good guy. Or that was my impression at the time. He looked and behaved like the perfect man for a girl who wanted a peaceful and quiet life - the kind that wanted the white picket fence house and 2.5 kids. I usually go for the dark and handsome ones, especially if they project a sort of sexy bad boy image. But Evan was attractive in his own way, even if he was the complete opposite of my stereotypical type. With his fair complexion and hazel eyes, killer British accent and mouthwatering body, he was irresistible. Desperately wanting the sort of life my parents had, I accepted his advances and invitations, and he grew up on me. A lot. Little did I known that he was as far as one could get from being a good guy.
By the end of the last college year, I finally managed to catch up on all exams and received my degree with the rest of my colleagues. But I couldn't enjoy and be happy with them because a week or so before, I found out that the company my parents had arduously built, began sinking. So I knew that with the conclusion of this chapter in my life, another one more difficult and full of responsibilities was about to begin. It wasn't that I didn't feel prepared or capable of rebuilding what was left of the business and bring it at least close to its former glory, because I knew I was. My parents made sure of it by training me half my life on business management, marketing, financial accounting, strategic planning, social etiquette and many others. Beside that, I knew almost all there was to know about the company. It is as if they knew that there was a limited span of time in which they could prepare me for as many circumstances as they could.
By taking my rightful place as CEO of Empyreal Venues & Events (EVE), I also had to make another big decision. At that time, I was in a relationship with Evan for more than a year and also recently decided to move in together. But he didn't know that I was what some would call an heiress. He believed that I was just a normal middle class orphaned girl. I knew that my lying to him wasn't fair, that if I loved him like I thought I did I should have told him the truth. But every time I wanted to come clean, I would clam up and feel like bad things would come to happen. Afraid of losing him, I followed that concern and never told him. In that moment I was at a crossroad. I just kept asking myself how I would hide going to work every day. So I just had to come up with something. I told him that someone approached me with a job offering as a conference interpreter and that it was just a too great opportunity to refuse. Evan congratulated me and said that he was happy for me, but I suspected that he was faking it, and that he wasn't thrilled with the idea of me working at all and had other plans for us.
It was much later, almost after putting my company back on its feet, which by the way wasn't easy at all, that I found out the truth about Evan. I was for the first time in my life in love and blind to all that was even remotely related to Evan. Besides work, all I could think of was him. He always told me that he loved the independent successful woman that I'd become. So I guessed that the late nights spent at the office and the fact that he wasn't my very first priority at the time, because I thought that he would understand, he would think that developing myself on a professional level, was productive for me. But I guess I was wrong.
Imagine my surprise when on a night of passionate lovemaking session, a year or so after I took control of the company, he restrained me beneath him and began biting my neck several times hard enough to draw blood. You would think that someone would've come knocking on the door because of my screams but nobody came. Seeing me freaking out, he began telling me that he didn't plan for the truth to come out this way and that he kept hoping I would realize how wrong my foolish attempt at a career was. He kept babbling that he would make me his life mate, even if he didn't get to first tell me what he was so it could have been my decision to be turned and breed him many heirs. He said that he tied to wait for me, but by turning me was the only way I would recognize him as the alpha and obey him fully.
I just thought that he'd gone nuts and the sole question in my head was 'How the hell did I not see that he's got quite a few screws loose?'. Believing that he was going to kill me, I was amazed when my attempt to flee actually succeeded. Probably because in his arrogance and craziness he had no doubts that I would eventually come back to him. To his knowledge I had nowhere to go, neither money nor family to help me and all my belongings were at his place. But I did had all that, well, minus the family.
I didn't let myself break down until I got to my 'secret' apartment. So just after I made a stop at the nearest hospital to get my wounds treated and made it safely to bed, did I let myself cry to sleep.
The next morning, the first thing I planned on doing after getting to work was to make arrangements to move all my possessions to an alias and put some money In a foreign account. Call me paranoid, but better be safe than sorry. After much thinking that day, I ordered my assistant to somehow procure my stuff from Evan, call a meeting with the board council for the next day and also to contract a security detail. Besides the forcefully implemented changes in my personal life, I needed to also make ones in the company. Ready to confront the problems I was tired of, and almost sure of who was the villain that almost succeeded in ruining my parents' legacy, by stealing from it, I just needed one last confirmation, and that was their reaction at what I had to say. I got it the next day and allowed myself to kick him out of the company and press charges.
Surprisingly, ever since I left him, Evan just called a couple of times - of course I didn't answer, but other than that nothing. I kind of expected the worst, something like a psychotic stalking.
It wasn't until almost two weeks after, on a Tuesday night, that what I or anybody else in my situation would have imagined even in their most gruesome nightmares, happened.