Finding Love – Episode 2
She drew the cup to her lips, taking in a very long sip and gulping it like it was going to be her last drink, she stiffened for a moment, letting the feeling that followed the gulp take over.. Feeling the itch at her throat, the burns and soothing, felt so good. It was hard, ferocious; just what she wanted.. A different type of pain to wipe her worries, it felt so good. Amelia filled her cup again, urging her to go on.
“It feels more good if you take it all in one gulp” Amelia said, her voice slurping a little. She was getting drunk.
Leona nodded, drew the cup to her lip, Amelia nodded to her.
“Come on girl, trust me” she said and Leona took all the content into her mouth, shut her eyes and gulped it all down.. The burning in her throat worst than the first gulp. She made funny noises, opened her eyes and drew in a long breathe, she smiled at Amy who returned it.
“Feels really good,” she shouted, stretching her cup to her “pour me another”.
Amelia did, she took one shot herself when she sighted Jackson in the middle of the large room, looking around for someone; her. “Lee, I gotta go. Jack’s here” she said, her voice a little rough.
“Go, I’ll just stay here.. Partying” Amelia knew she was drunk but she left her anyways to meet her boyfriend..
Leona poured another cup carelessly, drink pouring on the pub table and some on her, she took it and stood up, the music was getting irresistible and crazy.. She stood by herself, swaying her hip here and there in dance moves, she raised a hand up..
“This is life, people!” She yelled, took the drink in one gulp, winced and continued her crazy dancing shaking all her body and shouting in happiness. She went to the counter and poured another drink, she felt her leg swaying as she tried to move. It was like her body were making decision of their own.. She was drunk, she knew it and since she couldn’t move, she collapsed on a seat. Sipping at her drink and looking around, the club was crazy, everyone dancing crazily, doing crazy things and having crazy fun.
From the corner of her eyes she caught Amelia and Jackson, making out on a chair.. Leona sighed and looked away, taking another sip from her drink.. Her friend was having a good time and she wasn’t going to ruin it for her, she needs to have her own fun too, all by herself. “Hey s3xy,”
She tilt her head forward to see a guy, she wanted to respond when she felt his hand on her nak3d neck, caressing it.. She pushed his palm off, alarmed and serious.
“Puff off. I’m not interested” she said.
“Trust me, no one else gonna notice you with your nerdy outfit, bitch” he said, gave her a smirk and walked away.
She sighed, looking down at herself.. She sure wasn’t dressed like a club girl but that wasn’t stopping her fun.. She grabbed her drink, pushed herself up and walked to the dance floor.. Determined to have the fullest fun.
She rested her head on the steering wheel, taking in quick breaths.. Driving all the way from the club to her house in the dim light of the early morning was a big miracle.. She had stopped to throw up twice outside praying she doesn’t drive into the hands of cops.
She had fun last night, like every teenager, she enjoyed every single moment.. Thanks to Amelia, she always knew she could count on her.. Though she didn’t see her for a long while after going to meet her boyfriend but she was the brain behind her fun..
Leona raised her head up and got down from the car, she reached the porch and pushed the door in, it gave way and she walked in, her feet moving her carelessly, she almost slipped.
“Lee!” Her mother’s alarmed voice reached her and she tilt her head to her, she was coming to where she stood. “Goodness, have you been drinking all night!?” She asked, her eyes wide open.
“Why aren’t you sleeping mom?” She asked, ignoring her mom’s question. “I didn’t hear you come in and you weren’t in your room either.. Your father told me everything honey, he came home angry. But We both know this
isn’t the way out” her Mom said, bringing back the thoughts she had fought to forget. Flashing her controlled life back in her face.
“Yeah.. But it helped me mom. At least I didn’t think about it. I didn’t even feel like me, I felt free. Just like my mates, I felt less controlled and intimidated. For once, I felt like I own myself and did whatever I wanted. I lived my life mom” Leona said, tears pricking her eyes. Her head ached a lot and she drew in a quick breath..
“Honey,” her mom wrapped her arm around her, comforting her “Don’t do this to yourself”
“I’m twenty two mom, isn’t it funny that my dad still rules my life? He chose almost all the paths I tread, I lived my life doing everything he wanted, I did them to please him, hoping that one day, he’ll stop and let me live the rest of my life. Every ruin and shame he brought to this family and JT, I did my best and covered it up, I lost my pride for it mom! I did it all hoping dad will one day care about my feelings and stop it but now I know that he wouldn’t, he’ll never stop. That’s why I’ve decided to stop, I’ll stop cleaning his mess and doing things the way he wants and from today, I’ve decided to live, if not all, most of my life” she said, she hadn’t realized that she had been crying until now.
Her mom put her hand around her..
“Why don’t you go freshen up first and get some sleep.. We’ll talk better about this tomorrow. Should I bring you some food?”
“N-no mom, I’m fine. I have a hangover, I could use some sleep. Goodnight” her mom kissed her and she went upstairs, some of her drunkenness leaving her.
She reached her room and threw her bag on the bed, she sat on her bed and took off her shoes.
“Ouch!” She yelped, placing a palm on her head, where the pain had pricked.. She opened her bag to take out some painkillers. She saw the cake, wrapped up in a clean foil paper, she took it out and stared at it, she ran hand around it..
My cupcake is a good worry wiper, it never leaves anyone sad after a bite’ his voice rang in her head. If that was real then she needed it.
She slowly unwrapped it and brought it to her lips, she took in a bite and chewed at it.. It was delicious, she realized it was strawberry flavored.. Her favorite.. A smile crossed her lips and she chewed, it was yummy and soft.. She was about taking another bite when she realized it, truly she had smiled, a genuine smile.. The guy didn’t lie, she hadn’t even realized it herself.. It was just too good. She was sure he must’ve gone to one the best bakery schools in New York, but he didn’t look like he could afford it.. Maybe he got sponsored or something.
She finished the cake and almost wished she had another, realizing she was hungry.
She took the painkiller and fell backward on her bed, not knowing when she fell asleep.
She woke up to the sound of a knock on her bedroom door, she blinked rapidly before sitting up, a deep breathe pa*ssing through both her nose and slightly parted mouth.. The knock came again.
“Come in” she said in a grumble and the door opened, her mom walked in.
“Good morning dear” she greeted and Leona yawn..
“Morning mom” she replied.
“Breakfast’s ready” she said.
“Is dad on the table?” She asked and her mom nodded, she sighed softly, getting the message, she moved closer to Leona and sat beside her. “Don’t worry about him, I’ll make sure he doesn’t trouble you while you eat”
“Do you think I should do it?” She asked her mom, a look of uncertainty in her eyes. “Even though I’ll hate myself for it later”
“That choice is yours to make honey, I just want you to think of the pros and con’s before you make it” her mom said, giving her palm a light squeeze, Leona solemnly returned the smile and nodded, her mom stood.
“Take a shower first baby, you smell like you need one” she joked and Lee smiled. She walked out.
Leona focused on completing the work she left unfinished the previous day, she finished it up and grabbed a cup of coffee.. She drained it up and started the day’s work, sending Emails and replying received ones then composing treatise after she was done with the Email.
With the remaining time, she thought about her mom’s word, she couldn’t imagine doing what she had done again.
She still remembered the first one her dad had made her do, he had promised a big project to the board and they had given him a huge capital to do it, she didn’t know how he spent it all but she knew most of it went to his sluts. He never even spent a dime of it on her mother. Her mother has always covered up for him, some times he wouldn’t give her money for her upkeep or their food, her mother of course, with her little earn as a home delivery woman, provided for it.
She had attended a chef school, she didn’t complete it but she stayed for most part and she had chose to cook for a living rather than working in her husband’s company, using the kitchen as her store and her car for the delivery. She had a help that worked for them and a*ssisted her.
She was a strong woman. Knowing her husband was cheating on her and still sticking with him.. She had called it fulfilling her wedding vow, for better for worse.. Leona didn’t think she could do that; that’s if she get married anyways. She loves her mother strong nature but on the second hand she wished she could be more open with her husband.
Leona sighed, glanced at the time and it was a minute past her closing time, she grabbed her bag and walked out.. Seeing her dad’s car still parked in the lot. He hadn’t talked about the proposal again and she had a hint he was letting her take a thorough thought over it even though to him, she didn’t have a choice. Leona jumped into her car and drove out of the parking lot, she headed home but changed direction when she
remembered that cupcake guy, she had given her word on coming again, what if he was waiting for her?
She still owed him one for finding her swipe card. And she could have one or two more of those yummy cupcakes too.
She drove to Bobby’s and pulled into the lot, she took her purse, tossed her bag back on the seat and hopped down. She walked toward the chair, the cupcake guy was there and when he noticed her she saw his eyes lit up and a smile rested on his lips.. She walked up to him with a smile.
“You seem surprised, I thought you were expecting me, or did you lie about your cake being so addictive to drag a first timer back?” She joked and his smile deepened.
“That’s a look of fulfilment.. I’m just not used to having really good looking
ladies all the time” he said and she blushed.. When last had she blushed?
She couldn’t remember.
“Are those mine?” She asked, referring to the two cupcakes resting in the basket.
He nodded “be my guest”
She sat beside him, taking him by surprise and he inhaled, catching a whiff
of her nice smelling cologne .. She took a cake and bit into it, m0aning and
smiling, she took another.
She faced him.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Yesterday, how did you notice that I was worried and sad? I thought I hid it well” She asked curiously.
“Can I tell you a secret first?” He asked and her brows furrowed before she urged him to go on “I’m a really good mind reader” he said and she gave him a straight look.. “Your face didn’t show it but your action did, your smile; I noticed the sadness beneath it and with the way you moved, like
you were being weighed down by something” he said, looking directly at her.
“Am I that transparent?” She asked softly.
“Only to really smart people like me” he said and again she note the bragging, except that it was mixed with honesty this time.
“I read people too but mine only works with the ones I’m close with, yours is.. exceptional”
“My granny says I took it from my mom, she was scared to hide anything from me, cos with a glance I’d always figure it out and make her say it” he said and she laughed.
“I can imagine” she said, taking another bite “How long have you been selling this?”
“Close to two months now,”
“You’re really good at it”
“Actually, my granny makes it, I only a*ssist her and help her sell” he said and she nodded.
“You’re granny must be super” she said “this is good”
“She brags about that every time”
“I guess this isn’t what you signed up for, you probably have some other goal.. Did your granny make you to do this, probably for a reason?” She asked, letting her own worries take over.
Damien gave her an intent look first “Granny never makes me do anything I don’t want to. It was all my idea that we do this, she was against it in the beginning but she still let me do what I want, I’m an adult and she realizes that.. She only advises me or encourage me. It’s true I have an ambition, I’ve always wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer, I just can’t fulfill it now. Selling this doesn’t cut my dream out cos no matter the barrier, even though I become a hundred years old, as long as I’m alive, I believe there’s still a chance to my dream. Life’s everything” he said, as if answering her own hearty question.
Life’s everything. The words rang in her head.
This guy looks determined, he’s not like her.. He would stick to what he wants no matter what, she still had life, which means there’s hope.. She could still achieve her dream, if not all, some; the important ones.
One thing she knows is that, her dad won’t rule her life forever. There was no limit to her dream. She really wants to share from this guy’s determination.. She wished she could encourage herself like this everyday too.
He had the same dream, just like her, he wants to be a lawyer but had to be something else cos of a circ*mstance.
She hopes she doesn’t get tired.. Of her dream and her father or end up doing something awkward to herself.
She has the money, this guy has nothing but he was still solely determined..
She wished to be like him.
She chewed on her cake mindless-ly, after the long stare she realized she was giving him.
“How much do I pay for this?”
“Your presence another day” he said and she gave him a look, her brows
“I enjoyed your company. No one has ever sat with me like this, at least not an extremely pretty girl,” he said and almost slapped herself when she had smiled, she cleared it off. “You’re addicted after all, it’s not like you have a choice” he said and she smiled at his humor. “What if I don’t like this type of payment?”
“Then it’s a bonus” he said and she returned his smile.
“Okay. I accept it”
Leona grabbed her bag and climbed down, closing the door a little more hard than she should’ve, her eyes were heavy with sleep. She reached the house and sighted her mom serving food on the table, the maid a*ssisting her. Her eyes met with her father’s and she looked away..
“Good evening Mom, dad” she greeted not sparing a glance to her dad. “You’re just in time Lee, dinner’s ready” her mother said, giving her a smile. She nodded to her Mom and turned to go freshen up when her dad’s voice stopped her.
“Have you thought about what I discussed with you?”
The question sounded more like ‘have you decided to do what you must
do. You don’t have a choice’.
“Yes” she answered briefly.
“And?” He asked then continued immediately “remember you’re doing this for our family. Think about your mom, think about JT if not me” he said and she drew in a long breathe.
‘I can never do anything on my own for you’
She nodded instead of saying her thought, like her mom had advised, she had weighed the pros and con’s and seen the realization..
She gave a glance to her mom, her eyes was on her, she knew her mother wanted her to do what her dad needed, she just couldn’t say it to her but Leona could read her, she pulled her gaze from her.
“I don’t need to think about anything. Everything needs to go your way right?” She scoffed then gulped “I’ll do it Dad” she said the words like they were heavy.
“That’s a very wise decision dear” her dad said in a victorious tone..
Obviously glad that his mess were going to be wiped soon.
“Lee dear, why don’t you go freshen up and come down for dinner, I’ll serve your food–
“There’ll be no need for that Mom,” she said, knowing her mother was trying to cheer her up and take her mind off her hard decision. “Just lost my appetite”
She added more strength to her grip, tightening her palm around the handle of her bag, she looked ahead and walked away.. .