“They’re gorgeous!” Squeals Chloe. Bending down I look at the price tag on the shoes and sigh.
“They’re also $200.” I plop down in the nearest chair.
“But their gorgeous.” She pouts.
“Gorgeous and affordable are two different things.” I flick the nonexistent dirt from under my nails.
“Anna I know you aren’t complaining about prices. Ms. I bought a $100,000 car.” She comes and tower over me. Ignoring her, I push past her and scoop up the shoes she was swooning over.
The cashier smile sweetly at me as I hand her the shoes.
“What are you doing?” Chloe hiss.
“Buying the shoes you want because I know I will never hear the end of it.” I politely hand the cashier lady two one-hundred dollar bills, two ones, and exactly sixty-eight cent. She hands over the bag which I thrust into Chloe hands and walk out the store.
“You know you didn’t have to that?” The only response I give her is a dark chuckle.
I maneuver through the crowd in the food court and make my way towards Starbucks. I order the cinnamon dolce latte and Chloe orders a cappuccino. We sit down silently and I start to enjoy my latte. After a few blissful moments Chloe speaks.
“So what bit your ass?” She asks truly concerned.
“What makes you think something did?” My eyes wander over my surrounding absentmindedly.
“Beside the fact you’re my best friend. You have a pissed off attitude.” That’s what I love about Chloe she gives it to you straight and most of the time I need it.
“The easiest question would be what’s not wrong?” My fingers run over the rim of my cup.
“Okay Anna spill. What happened?”
“My family is what happened.”I mutter. I bet she wasn’t betting on that.
“My parents are still pro Ashton.” Chloe gapes at me.
“What? Why? Don’t they know what a jerk he was?”
“My father yes. My mother not so much. Jenny can’t get over the fact that I called the wedding off. She believes since I was his soon to be wife I should have worked it out.” I pull my long hair into a ponytail.
“You can’t be serious. That asshole was stealing money from you. Plus the fact he was cheating on you with that shank.”
“Yea well my mother wants grandkids. She isn’t normally this blind to idiotic behavior but her goals blind her.” I peer at Chloe to see her turning red from anger.
“Kids? She wants you to have kids? Why can’t your successful career be enough?”
“She wants me to be the golden daughter just like Daniel is the golden son. She expects more from me and Nate because we aren’t married. Now if we get married then move over Liz and Daniel.” I pull out my cellphone.
“What on earth makes Liz better than you?”
“Liz is married with two kids and maybe another one on the way. My mother is one of those women who believe that once you are married you need to throw your career away and stay in the kitchen.” Leave it to Chloe to get stuck on that issue.
“Does she not know that you have a multimillion dollar company, and many other businesses that are flourishing? Does she even know that you are richer than them? Hell does she even know that Nate is a great lawyer.”
“Ugh Chloe were you even listening to me? None of our accomplishments mean anything if we aren’t starting a family! I love Daniel to death but he is not smarter than me. In my mother eyes posing for pictures is way more successful than having you own businesses.” Now I’m simmering with anger.
“So she wishes you had stayed with Ashton and started a family. That doesn’t explain your father.”
“My father just wants me to slow down. He believe now is the time I start enjoying my accomplishments.” She taps her chin then leans forward.
“I agree with him about you enjoying your money but I also know the plans you have for you company. So what did they do to piss you off?”
“My mother called today to see if I was coming home for thanksgiving. I hadn’t planned on it. Shit I haven’t spent the night in that house since I graduate college. So I totally wasn’t expecting that and said yea. She then asks me who I’m bringing home for them to meet. Shit hit the fan when I told her nobody. Now it seems that Nate has a girlfriend who he is bringing home. Now I’m the only one she can pick on.” That whole phone conversation pissed me off.
“Damn that’s fucked up for you. Well at least you won’t be alone, Nate and Daniel is going to be there. Plus me and Shawn are visiting my family for a week so I will be nearby.” She rubs my hands soothingly.
“Thanks Chloe. Knowing my mother she probably will have the whole neighborhood gossiping about her mate less daughter.”
“Oh fucking well. She will get over. Just bring your business plans with you so you will have something to do.” I glance at her grateful.
“Oh trust me I won’t forget them. I just feel bad for Nate because they just flew in today and not leaving till the day after thanksgiving. That’s got to be torture.”
“When are you leaving? You ready to go?” She asks standing up. I nod and throw away my cup. She links arms with me and we walk out the mall.
“I leave on the eleventh.”
“That’s only three days. I won’t be able to see you till we fly in on the twenty-second. Call me when you get there.” We embrace then go our separate ways.
A gloomy feeling comes over me as I walk towards my car. These next two weeks are going to be absolutely horrible. A shudder goes through my body as I unlock my door. My music blares through my speakers when I turn the car on and I’m thankful for the distraction. Concentrating on the lyrics all of my feeling disappears. I sing loudly inside my car. When I arrive at home I’m delighted. When mother called I had just flown in from a business meeting in Florida. So it’s safe to say I’m exhausted. As soon as I enter my home I collapse on my bed.
My phone ringing repeatedly wakes me up. Groggily I sit up and answer my phone not looking to see who it is. My voice is soft and hoarse when I speak.
“Who is it?” I call.
“Anna I know you know how to answer the phone better than that.” My mother girly voice comes on.
“Mother what are you doing calling so late?” I growl.
“It’s not late. Over there it’s five in the afternoon. What are you doing still sleep?” She counters. If only she knew I’ve been sleep a full day.
“Unlike some people I work.” I clap my hands and the lights in my room turn on.
“Anna, why do you insist on being so rude? I hope you packed some evening gowns.” Why in the hell do I need evening gowns to visit my family? Never mind it’s my mother.
“Yes of course mother.” I use my syrupy sweet voice.
“Now that’s my daughter. Everybody say hello to Anna.” I hear the difference when she switches me to speaker phone. A chorus of hello floats to my ears.
“Hey everybody.” I say sleepily.
“Mother let her go back to sleep.” Nate demands.
“Anna isn’t sleepy Nathaniel. Are you Anna?” My mother insists.
“Actually I-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” I scream as George burst inside my room.
“AAAHHH! Why are you screaming?” Demands George.
“Anna what’s the matter?” My Family asks. I’m too busy restarting my heart to answer them. When my breathing finally slows down I glower at George.
“What the hell is your problem? Haven’t you heard of knocking?” I place my free hand over my heart.
“Have you ever heard of telling your employee that you’re going to leave for two weeks? Anna do you have any idea how much we have to do before you leave?” I groan because I totally forgot about that. No wonder I hired George as my assistant
“Mother I will speak with you tomorrow when I land.” I say into the telephone.
“Really Anna you shouldn’t scream inside the telephone. Fine go on I will speak with you later.” There is no ‘I love you’ just end of our conversation.
With one more glower in George direction I stumble in the bathroom. With my eyes close I strip down and jump in the shower. I feel immediate relief as the hot water work wonders on my tense shoulders.
“George, will you pack me two weeks’ worth of clothes with some evening gowns?” I call to him over the noise of the shower running. His reply is a boyish squeal.
I wash my hair and my body countless times before I turn the water off. I reach out of the shower patting around for a towel. Finally my hand lands on one and I step out the shower feeling rejuvenated. I wrap the towel around my body and exit my bathroom. George is running madly around my room, in a frenzy looking for the ‘perfect’ outfits. Shaking my head I carefully move around him careful not to mess with any of his creations. Stepping inside my walk in closet I drop my towel and start getting dressed. I have no bra on when George comes in and push me aside so he can get to my underwear. This is the joys of having a homosexual friend, they love dressing you up. I put on a pink blouse with a high waist tan skirt and some pink pumps. Cute but still professional. When I come out the closet there are three suitcases at the door and two more opened half filled.
I merely shake my head then proceed into my study/office. Going behind my desk I take out files. I’m the owner of Creations Inc. Creations Inc consists of Art Creations, Dance Creations, Home Creation, and Food Creations. I also have a fashion magazine called Ablaze. I have the face of a model but the mind of a business tycoon. I’m respected by many people for my brilliant mind. Very few people know that I own Ablaze and I like it like that. I’m currently looking for a location to set up Hair Creation it’s going to be a big salon but I was in Florida looking to open up a club. George comes in and starts taking notes.
“George I want you to call Mindy and tell her I need some pictures of prospect locations by next Monday. Tell her to email it to me. Contact Mr. Lawson and tell him I’m interest in 98 Bakers street for my location for the night club.” I don’t glace up from the papers in front of me.
“Anna Mr. Lawson said that site wasn’t up for sale.” He says meekly.
“I don’t care. I want that place for the nightclub. No matter what the cost. When he agrees with it get my publicist Lena to spread the word. I want this nightclub to rock the whole east coast. Do you understand?” I stare him in his eyes; he nods then goes back to scribbling on his pad.
When we leave the study it’s three o’ clock in the morning. I don’t trust George to drive half sleep so I let him crash in the guest bedroom. I climb into my bed exhausted once again. I close my eyes and fall into a blissful sleep.
A couple hours later George is standing over me, shaking me awake. I stumble to the bathroom muttering curses at George. I shower and dress in a hurry. It takes me and George two trips to get all eight bags in the car. The ride is silently because I keep dosing off. When George pulls up to the airport I give him a kiss bye and strut into the building. The plane ride goes smoothly which I give credit to Tylenol because I took a dose before I boarded the plane.
I’ve been awake for thirty minutes when the plane lands. There is no one waiting for me when I arrive just the busy people in the airport. I locate all my luggage and haul it to my rental car that George called in for me in the case that no one was here to get me.
The whole way there I consider turning around and leaving. I haven’t seen my mother in two years. Of I haven’t made a trip to see her but who would. I mean why am I going to fly for six hours only to get yelled at. I pull into my parent’s circular driveway and park. I take me five minutes to talk myself into going inside. I knock three times before our maid opens the door.
She embraces me and ushers me to the living room. When I come inside the living room I see my sister sitting in the lap of her husband. I see my twin Nate talking to a beautiful girl. My mother is telling my father something. And Daniel is nowhere to be found. When I clear my throat Nate looks up and rushes to me. He gathers me in a bone crushing hug which I return. He steer me towards the girl he was talking to.
“Lily this is my sister who is also my best friend Anna. Anna this is Lily my girlfriend.” He beams at her.
“So it takes me flying all the way across the country to find out you’ve got a girlfriend? That’s real sad Nate.” I shake my head in mockery.
“Aw come on Anna. I’ve been busy and so have you. I would have told you sooner but every time you had something going on.” He defends.
“Bullshit and you know it. How many times have I drop what I was doing to see about your problems. So don’t go the whole too busy route on me.” I roll my eyes at him and turn to face Lily. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Lily.”
“It’s nice to meet you too. You’re all he ever talks about. He’s really proud of you.” She gushes. She doesn’t look like someone he works with, she looks pretty laid back. Soft and venerable. So this is Nate’s type.
My mother is watching me with a look of dissatisfaction and annoyance. Sometimes I wonder how my father can deal with sleep in the same bed as her. I always wonder why he was always on business trips, now I see why. My daddy looks at me with happy smile on his face which I return. Then without a moment warning I leap into his lap and attack him with kisses. Our laughter fills the gloomy room.
“Annalisa and Mack stop acting like two year olds.” My mother sharp voice demands. With her flowing golden hair she looks like an avenging angel.
“Jenny can it. I haven’t seen my daughter in long time forgive me if I’m excited.” My father rolls his eyes. She shoots him a disapproving glare before stomping out the room.
“So what bit her ass?” Everyone erupts in laughter but my sister who wear a frown.
“You all should be ashamed of your selves. How can you talk about mother like that?” Liz stands and glowers at us before leaving the room.
“I can’t say I missed either one of them.” So this is what coming back home feels like.
Me and Nate look at each other agreement flows between us. After catching up with my father and brother-in-law I finally excuse myself to retire to my bedroom. I past my parents room and hear my mother speaking to someone on the phone. I haven’t been home for a day and the woman is already complaining. When I enter my room I see that Lucille our maid has hauled all my stuff to my room.
I busy myself with organizing my laptop on my desk and unloading some files which I hide in my desk drawer. Lucille comes up and tells me that my brother Daniel and his wife are going to join us at dinner accompanied by a friend. I roll my eyes when she says dress semiformal.
Unzipping my Gucci suitcase which contains my dresses that George packed. I take out a simple red dress with a snug bodice and slightly flare out at the waist. A note is attached to my suitcase which I carelessly over looked. George familiar handwriting captures my attention and I open it. It simply read.
Knock them dead and leave them wanting for more. Don’t let your mother attitude make you second guess your accomplishments. If they don’t realize it I do you are exceptional.
With more courage than before I dress. With George great taste in clothes the end result of my outfit is stunning. Flipping my hair to one side I slip my phone into a little clutch that I am taking with me. As I descend the stairs I hear my family voices increase. Timidly I approach the dining room threshold and take a deep breath before answering.
Everyone glances at me and stop talking. For what I feel like won’t be the last time I feel like an outsider. But my mood brightens when I see Daniel sitting down completely untouched by my mother’s presence. When I smirk I take my seat across from Daniel but next to Nate. My eyes wander over the table before they lock with bright green ones. My breathing hitch and I tear my gaze from them.
“So Anna what took you so long?” My mother fake voice asks.
“I had to get situated in my room it’s been a long time since I been there. Forgive me for being late I hope I didn’t come across as being rude.” Her smile falters but she recovers. Before she can say something nasty Daniel speaks.
“Little sister, where have you been?” Daniel questions me.
“I’ve been everywhere Danny. Too busy to look in the mirror. Though I did see you in Vanity last month when I was in New York.” I smirk at him. We have this little contest on bother one another about our careers.
“Really tell me the truth did my face look fat in that photo?” We erupt into laughter but silence it from a look from mother.
“Danny there is no camera in the world that can make you fatter than you already are.” I tease him then take a bite of my chicken.
“Anna, why do you insist on being a hater? So how is your business doing my little tycoon?” He gazes directly at mother.
Daniel and mother relationship hasn’t been the same since my freshman year at college. When I told my mother that I was switching my major from interior design to business she freak. Let’s just say she said a lot of mean stuff which made my dad leave her for three months and Daniel to dislike her. Since then she haven’t really supported me.
“Great right now. I’m going to open up a club down in Florida. Hopefully things can get going by the end of this week.” I exclaim.
“That’s great you better give me an invite for the grand opening or we are going to have some problems. So how is Creations doing?”Daniel knew damn well my mother didn’t like discussing my greatest achievement. It made her mad when it became well known.
“Daniel will you and your sister please stop talking about business at dinner? One little company can wait until after.” She glares at me and Nate squeezes my hand reassuringly.
“Mother you know Creations Inc is more than one company. You should be happy that Anna is making something out of herself instead of living off of someone.” Danny takes a sip of his wine and I roll my eyes at him.
“Excuse me but are you Annalisa Smith?” I turn and look at the pretty blue eyed man sitting next to Daniels wife. I can’t help but drown in his beautiful smile.
“Um yeah. Who are you?” I silently pray that he isn’t a reporter.
“I’m William Hudson. So you’re the owner of Creations Inc?” He gaze never leaves my face.
“Yeah that’s me. Hold on are you William as in William of Elite software?” My eyes widen as he nods.
“Guilty. Oh I didn’t imagine that this is what you would look like. They always talk about your brilliant mind but never about your stunning looks. I would love to talk to you some time.” I feel my cheek turning red.
“Thank you William. I look forward to having a conversation with you also.” Before I can make a complete fool of myself I avert my gaze and carry a conversation Kari Daniel’s wife.
Then dinner was filled with laughter and good jokes. Besides my mother and sister sour attitudes everyone else had fun. No matter how much I occupied myself with everyone else I kept gazing at William and on several occasions he held my gaze and blood boiled. Never had I had a reaction with a man this way since Ashton. Oh this is going to be a funny holiday vacation.