I wiped away the tears threatening to fall down my face and tried to find the game room. I heard Kade talking with someone and attempted to follow the voices.
“Beat you again!” I heard Kade say.
I turned the corner and found Kade talking with an older gentleman.
“Lena!” Kade said jumping into my arms.
“This is Lucas. He’s my new friend.”
“Miss. Winters, pleasure to officially meet you. I am Mr. Matthews’ driver. I drove you home the other night.”
“Please call me Elena. Thank you for watching Kade,” I say while messing up Kade’s hair.
“He is a great kid. Would you like to see your room Mr. Kade,” Lucas said to Kade.
“He called me mister, sissy,” Kade said to me. Turning to Lucas he said, “yes sir. Night Lena.”
Kade followed Lucas out the door and I was alone once again.
I eventually found my room and began unpacking. Someone had already put my clothes in the closet and drawers. I only had two boxes left. I picked one of them up and sat it on my bed. I opened it and found a bunch of pictures. The first one I pulled out was when Kade was first born. My mom was holding him while my dad and I looked over from her shoulder. I was 15 when Kade was born. In my parents eyes I was the “perfect age to baby sit.” My dad was always at work and getting called out at all hours. My mom had a second shift job at the local hospital.
Once Kade was born she quit work. However, she didn’t enjoy staying at home. Once I came home from school she would leave. I have took care of Kade ever since he was born. When dad died mom used the money we received in his burial and spent the rest in her “self medication.” We had to move out of our house and into the apartment Kade and I use to live in. Every day I would come home and find new bottles in the trash. That’s when Mrs. Smith came into the picture. She always loved Kade. The first time I came home I knew Kade could not stay with my mom anymore. Every morning I got Kade ready, dropped him off at Mrs. Smith’s apartment, and rode the bus to school. That was my morning.
My afternoon was similar. After school I went to my job at the diner, rode the bus home, picked up Kade downstairs, and took care of my mom. One day I rode the bus because I left my uniform at home. I walked in the door and my mom was unresponsive. I called 911 and she was dead upon arrival. I called the diner and told them what happened. They understood my absence, said they were sorry for my loss, and told me to take as much time off that I needed. Kade was a little younger than 3 at the time and I had just turned 18 a couple weeks before making me his guardian.
I sat the picture on my dresser and wiped the tears from my eyes. I grab a couple more frames and placed them around the room. I pick up my dad’s favorite baseball cap and put in on. I really miss him. If he were still here where would we be?
Before I know it I have emptied both boxes. I lay down on the bed.
“I like that look on you.”
I quickly sit up from my bed and see Brian leaning against the door frame. I take the hat from my head and set it on my nightstand.
“It was my Dad’s.”
Brian walks over to the bed and sits down on the side of the bed.
“Are you okay,” he says looking at me concerned.
“I was just going through some boxes and found some pictures. I really miss them,” I say looking at my lap.
Brian puts his hand over mine and gently squeezes.
“I’m going to take care of you. I promise,” I hear him say.
“You haven’t even known me for a week, Brian. You don’t even know me.”
“Lena when I look at you I see a strong, beautiful woman who will put her life on hold for the sake of her loved ones. That tells me exactly what I need to know. Some people would had given up but not you. You can only be strong for so long and I want to help you,” Brian says looking at me gently.
I look up at him with tears falling down my face.
“I… I just miss them so much. I’m all alone. Kade is just four. He doesn’t understand yet. I have no one.”
Brian puts his finger under my chin and makes me look at him, “you have me.”
My walls crumble at that moment. I let the tears fall as I lean into Brian. He holds me as I cry into his chest. Eventually, my eyes began to close and fall asleep in Brian’s warm embrace.
I quickly set up and look over to see Kade.
“I want to see Mrs. Smith.”
“Okay, Kade. Let me get ready and we can go.”
I grab a change of clothes and walk into the bathroom to take a shower. Once I’m done I quickly finish getting ready and walk out of my room. I find Kade sitting in the kitchen eating.
“Brian made me breakfast.”
I smile at him and notice a note on the counter.
I had to head out to work. The company’s address is at the bottom of the page. Your appointment with the Yale representative is at 10:30. Once you are done I would love to have lunch with you. Just ask the main desk where you need to go. I already gave them instructions.
I look at the clock. It is 9:15. Kade is almost finished with his breakfast. I walk over to the counter, grab me an apple, and go over to my purse. I look in the mirror to make sure I look presentable.
“Lena lets go.”
I pick up Kade and we go over to the elevator. I push the ground floor button and wait. The doors open and I walk over to the sets of keys. I pick one up randomly and hit unlock. The light comes on in a 2016 BMW X5 M. I walk over and see a car seat in the back. I buckle Kade in it, shut the door, and go to the driver’s seat. I start the car and begin driving.
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In no time we are back at the place I once called home. I get out of the car, unbuckle Kade, and we are on our way to Mrs. Smith’s.
“Hi sweetie,” she greets me once she opens the door.
I excuse myself, thank her for watching Kade, and say by to both of them. I walk back to the car and I’m on my way to NC Records.
“Can I help you?” the blonde haired secretary asks me with a snobbish tone.
“I have an appointment.”
She scoffs and says, “name?”
She quickly stands up and walks around the desk.
“Miss. Winters, right this way please.”
Her change in attitude is evident. She brings me to the elevator pushing a button. The door open and I follow her into a room.
“Mrs. Scott will be here shortly. Can I get you anything?”
“I’m fine,” I say and she is out the door.
An hour later I have officially been enrolled in classes at Yale. Mrs. Scott helped me schedule my classes and fill out the paperwork. She seems slightly surprised when I told her I wanted to be a business major.
She had already left and I discovered I did not know how to find Brian’s office. I walk out of the room and into someone’s chest. I’m drenched in coffee and papers are scattered around the floor.
“Ma’am, I’m so sorry,” I look up and see a handsome face.
“Uh. It’s fine I should watch where I’m going.”
“I’m Jackson,” he states while he begins cleaning up his mess, “I cannot believe I just dumped coffee all over a beautiful woman.”
I blush slightly and walk over to the sink nearby and begin to clean myself up.
“Have I seen you around here before? You seem lost.”
“Oh no. Today is my first time here.”
“Oh so you’re new?”
No I’m the CEO’s fake fiancé. What exactly am I?
“I don’t work here. I just had an appointment.”
“Oh okay. What’s your name?”
“Beautiful name for a beautiful woman.”
I chuckle slightly at that comment.
“So, are you here to….”
Jackson is interrupted.
“Lena, are you here?”
I turn around and there is Brian. I have to admit, he looks amazing in a suit.
“Mr. Matthews,” I hear Jackson say beside me.
“Hello,” Brian says with a face I can’t distinguish.
“Lena are you ready for lunch?” He asks me.
“Yes. It was great meeting you Jackson”
“You too, Elena.”
I am practically drug into the nearby elevator. Once inside I rip my arm free.
“What are you doing?” I say to Brian.
“He was clearly flirting with you. I’m sorry that I didn’t want him flirting with my fiancé,” Brian snaps at me.
I never seen him like this.
“Wait, you are jealous,” I say looking at him.
“No I’m not.”
It was silent for a few seconds until, “Elena, what is all over your shirt?”
And that was the end of the conversation.
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To be continued…
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