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You are a saucy little brat. If only you tried to be a little nice to Alice, then perhaps……’
Maria closed her ears and ran out of the room before Tony could complete his statement.
She ran to the balcony and sat on the tiled floor…
‘Maria is upset because i didnt comfort her the way i comforted you last night, can you imagine?’ Tony said as he paced around the room angrily
Alice sighed ‘is that why you are angry?’ she stood up from the bed ‘you know she is a teenager so she desires a little petting. You should remember that you are both her mother and father’
‘is that why she should always insult you everytime she sees you? Is that reason enough for her to disrespect you?’
‘i didnt say that. But the fact that she hates me or disrespects me shouldnt allow you give up on your fatherly duties towards her. Last week, she asked for Jimmy choo sandals and chanel perfume, you refused buying them for her, she also complained about her insufficient allowance and you refused to do anything about it. Tony, do you think all these will make her like me? It will only make her hate me more. Like i’m stealing her father’s love from her. She has already hated me enough and anymore hatred from her could make her kill me’
‘so what are you saying? That i should still shower her with gifts and attention even after she disrespects you? I know why i’m doing this. At least, if she suffers from my lack of attention towards her, she will warm up to you and she could at least get close you. Thats a step’
Alice smiled ‘no, thats not the best step to take in issues like this. She will never warm up to me if you continue refusing her all she wants’ she placed her left hand on Tony’s chin and turned his face to her ‘lets handle this very well. Its a very serious issue. If Maria doesnt learn to get used to me before our wedding, then she might never like me again. So i want us to apply wisdom in this’
‘so what are you suggesting?’
‘i suggest we both sit her down and talk to her. Lets know what her true feelings are. Her fears. Why she resents me so much. Why she doesnt want me to be your wife. Why she is so against our relationship. We have to find out and not in a harsh way. Lets settle this amicably’
‘and what if it doesnt work?’
‘then i will talk to her myself. I know i will be able to melt her heart. Maria is a very nice girl, i know. She’s just afraid that if i come into this family, you will never pay her any attention again and you are already confirming her fears. Seeing how she takes good care of Felix and loves having him around, she is not a bad person. You cant imagine that Felix was actually crying yesterday that he wanted to stay with his big sister, and she treats him like a kid brother!’
‘i’m not oblivios of that fact. Maria loves Felix because….because….never mind but Maria is just bieng wicked and devilish for nothing sake!’
‘for her mother’s sake. She still believes her mum is alive in her heart and i think she feel pain knowing that very soon, you will remarry and forget about her mum’
‘i know Naomi, Alice, she loved me, she wanted the best for me. She would be sad knowing that i waited eleven long years before i planned on remarrying. She wouldnt have wanted me to mourn her that long and i know she must be happy wherever she is that i’m planning to remarry so where the hell is Maria getting the stupid ideas from, that her mother would be sad that another woman would be taking her place’
‘she told you that?’
‘yes she did. When i bought you that car on your birthday’
‘you see what i was saying? You would never blame her. She’s not all about you forgetting her mum. She’s afraid she might lose alot of your attention once you marry again. And even if you still give her attention, it will never be like before when she was the only family you had around’
‘why are you supporting Maria even though you know that she’s wrong?’
‘she’s not wrong, one. And two, because i understand her. I’ve tried putting myself in her shoes and i can say i understand whats she’s passing through and two, i love her. She’s now my daughter whether she likes it or not and no mother gives up on her child no matter what’ Alice said passionately
Maria frowned when she entered her room and saw Tony and Aice sitting on her bed. Alice wore a friendly smile whie Tony’s face was expressionless. She wanted t be rude but knew it wont go well.
‘what are you guys doing here?’ she asked.
‘Maria darling, morning. How was your night?’ Alice asked.
‘horrible. All thanks to you!’
Alice smiled ‘you had a nightmare?’
‘yes. And you are my night mare!’
Alice smiled again ‘Maria, i wanted to talk to….i mean your father and i wanted to have a conversation with you’
‘i dont care! I dont even want to converse with anyone now. Right now, what i want is for everyone to go to hell and burn to ashes for all i care. You all should just leave me alone!!’ Maria said rudely.
Tony stood up and spoke for the first time ‘Maria, we just need to talk to you. Please just give us a listening ear at least, today is Saturday so you…..’
‘Dad, i dont want to talk to you anymore,’ tears came to her eyes ‘i don’t want to even call you dad anymore. You’ve hurt and betrayed me. You betrayed my late mother. You are trying to replace her with someone who is not even worthy to take her place. Do you even know what today is? Do you remember what today is?’
Tony looked at her as if thinking what that day was ‘what’s happening today?’
‘you are asking me? You are asking me whats happening today? Did you even love my mum at all? You don’t even remember that today is the day she died eleven years ago!’
Tony raised a brow in surprise. It had skipped his memory. ‘yes, now i remember. So what do you want me to do about it?’
‘eh? Dad! Have you forgotten that every April 14th, we visit her grave with flowers? Have you forgotten that too?’
‘that time has passed Maria. That era is gone. We can’t continue living like this, its eleven years now. We should forget about her. Lets move on. Lets forget…..’
Maria sobbed ‘I hate you! I hate you dad, i hate you more than I’ve ever hated anyone on my life. And you, Alice, you’ve succeeded in tearing my dad and i apart. You’ve finally succeeded. Its okay, you might have won today but tomorrow, you won’t win. I assure you that, fools!’ and with that, she stormed out of the room.
Tony grunted in exasperation and sat on the bed ‘this was all your idea and now, it has bought us insults’
‘i really didn’t bargain for all this. I thought Maria would be more reasonable than this. Honestly, Tony, do you think this marriage would work? Do you think we can ever be happy with this antagonist daughter of yours? Do you think…..’
‘yes! We can be happy, with or without her’
‘hell no! We can never be happy without her’
‘we can. I’m planning to send her abroad immediately after the wedding’
Kelvin entered immediately. Alice saw that his eyes had become red and puffy, he was also pale, no longer the charming Kelvin she once knew.
On seeing Alice, he managed a smile. But on seeing Gilbert, his eyes flashed in anger. He wanted to just grab the guy and gave him heavy punches all over his face.
‘Kelvin, i really dont want to believe that all what Amy just told me is the truth’ Alice said.
‘what did she tell you?’ Kelvin asked.
‘what really are you Kelvin? An oil company worker or a fraudster?’ Alice asked.
Kelvin drew back in shock. Then he sat down close to Alice ‘i dont know what you are talking about’
Alice sighed, how was she gonna settle this now? Amy just told her he was a cheat, a liar, a fraudster, a woman batterer or whatever she could call it. But she would really want for them to end up together, but what she really wanted to understand was how Amy got together with Gilbert and why Gilbert of all people?
She spared Gilbert a glance and the guy shamelessly and secretly blew her a kiss. Then she realised Gilbert was only using Amy to get to her. And foolish Amy was really falling cheaply for his stupid plans.
She didnt want to believe all what Amy said about Kelvin. It might be true but they’ve been dating for over six years now and since, they’ve been no complaint about him so what the hell was she saying now? Could it all be a lie or could people really change overnight. She didnt know Kelvin as a fraudster, he was a straight forward guy and she respected him for that. She knew Gilbert was cunning, really cunning but could she really…..
‘Alice,’ Amy called shakingher out of her thoughts.
‘you’ve been quiet’ Amy said.
‘guess she was thinking’ Gilbert chipped in mockingly.
Alice sent him an angry gaze. He found himself lusting after her again. Gosh, how would he lose such a damsel? The only girl that made his insides on fire? He didnt care if he was regarded as lucifer but he would do everything humanly possible to get her. Whatever that would cost him, even of it means going to India to get the best charms, he would do just that.
‘dont be stupid!’ Alice snapped and he chuckled.
‘i guess the guy by your side is the one you are referring to’ he said referring to Kelvin who stood up angrily.
‘mind your language else you would really get it from me!’ Kelvin warned.
Amy stood up immediately ‘its okay. I dont want this. Alice, Kelvin, i’m sorry but the both of you have to leave now. You are doing nothing than trying to humiliate my fiance and i cant tolerate that. Alice, please, for our friendship’s sake, learb to respect Gilbert, if you want out friendship to continue but for now, you just have to leave’
Alice stood up, taken aback ‘are you asking me out? Because of this…..’
‘you heard her Alice,’ Gilbert stood up too and now, everyone was standing ‘just get lost!’
‘shut up, will you? Who even talked to you?’ Alice said angrily.
‘she is my fiancee so…..’
‘go to hell and dine with the devil, idiot! Kelvin, lets get out of here’ Alice said to Kelvin as she glanced his way. She was shocked to see tears streaming down his face as he stared at Amy. She felt sorry.
He started walking towards the door and then he stopped and turned to Amy ‘you will regret this!’ he told her firmly and left. Alice followed suit after eyeing both Gilbert and Amy…..
To Be Continued