Chapter 29: Mistake
Mia managed to get on a flight so she would be there just on time for the funeral. When she exited the airport she saw Archer waiting for her. They walked towards each other and he enveloped her in a warm hug.
“Hey. How are you holding up? Lucas called me and told me what happened. I thought it would be easier if I picked you up so you can freshen up at my place and then go to the funeral.”
“Thank you.” It was all Mia could say at the moment.
The drive to his apartment was silent. When they arrived at Lara’s house she walked straight to theía Lara. She looked so sad, so broken, you could just see how much she loved him and how incomplete she felt without her husband. Mia hugged her hoping it would have a little effect like her theía’s magical hugs. She cried and hugged Mia back, it made tears escape her eyes too. Mia held on to her till she was ready to go. Archer didn’t leave Mia’s side during the service. It was a nice farewell to her uncle Hugo. Mia’s mind wandered back to the times she spent with him. He was the one that taught her to play chess. A tear escape Mia’s eyes as she remembered how much he has thought her. After most of the relatives had left she helped clean up and searched for theía Lara to see how she was doing. Mia saw her sitting outside on the porch where Hugo used to sit. She looked lost in thought.
“Hi sweetie…” Lara answered with a hoarse voice. Mia walked over to her. She leaned against the railing as she held theía Lara’s hand while she was seated. “You know he always used to sit here and watch the sunset, he said it would remind him of Rome. He loved it there. We lived in Rome before moving here.”
“I hope he is in a better place right now where he can see all the sunsets he wants to see.” Mia said, which made Lara chuckle.
“I know he is. After what that sickness did to him, we were both ready to let go. My heart couldn’t bear to see him hurt more. He was a strong man and I will always love him, that’s why it hurt when he took his last breath.” Mia hugged her, she couldn’t find the right words to say. “I decided to go back home.” Mia looked confused at her. This was her home. She saw the confusion on Mia’s face and spoke up. “I’m going back to Greece. I grew up there. Most of my family is there. We stayed here because it was Hugo’s home and he wanted to be here. He told me multiple times that I should go back. I see why he wanted that.”
“I’m really going to miss you.” Mia said in a sad voice.
“I’ll be a phone call away.” She said as they finally let go of each other. “Take care of yourself dear. You’re stronger than you think and trust and listen your heart it knows who is worthy to be in your life and who isn’t.”
With that Mia left. She walked over to Archer’s car.
“Thank you for waiting.”
“That’s what friends are for.” While giving her a quick hug.
“I’m guessing you don’t want to go home?” she nodded. “You can stay with me till you feel ready to face your parents.”
“Thank you.” Mia replied with a weak smile. These past days were so stressful for her and she wasn’t ready to directly face her parents today.
That night she was really restless, she hardly managed to get 2 hours of sleep. The next day Mia woke up and made herself ready to face her parents. She knew they wouldn’t be home so she went straight to their office. Mia’s father’s secretary lead her to his office, both her mother and father were there. They were angry to say the least. Before anyone could say a thing Mia’s mother walked over to her and before she could comprehend what was happening she felt a sting on her cheek. Mia’s jaw clenched.
“How dare you disrespect us like that? We gave you all the luxuries you could want and when we ask you one thing in return you run away.” Her mother lashed out, Mia expected something like this would happen. She took a deep breath before speaking up.
“I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want it. I wanted my parents to spend time with me, love me. That’s all I needed. But you two never had time for me. If it was so hard for you to raise a child then you shouldn’t have had me.”
“That is enough Mia!” Her father said angrily. “Only we know what sacrifices we made to get this company to the position it has right now. We did it all for you, you insolent child.”
“If you did it all for me why were you forcing me to get married? Don’t you think I’m capable enough to manage on my own?”
“Mia this is the real world, not the tiny circle of teen drama you are living in. In the real world there are no happy endings, you need to make sacrifices if you want to achieve something. There are no prince charming’s to come to your rescue. In the real world you need all the connections you can get and exploit them if you want to be successful. There is no place for a hero here, there are only villains, because the villains know exactly what they want and they take it. We gave you that opportunity, a golden opportunity but you ran away.” Her mother said.
“Do you really think I don’t know that? You made sure that I knew that since I was a child. I never believed in fairy tales and happily ever after’s because you showed me that it doesn’t exist. I ….”
“I’ve heard enough of your nonsense.” Her father cut her off. Before he could go any further the door opened and Hayden O’Neil walked in with an evil smirk on his face, Mia wanted to punch that smirk right off. What is he doing here? Mia looked to her father and he looked calmly to Hayden. “Good you’re here. Now we can proceed.”
“Father?” Mia’s eyes darted from her mother to her father. “Why is he here?”
“I called him when my secretary informed us you were here. We have spoken and the O’Neil’s have decided to look past this if you apologize and continue with the deal.” By now Mr. and Mrs. O’Neil were also in the office. Why can’t they get over this? Why is it so important? Mia took a deep breath to prevent herself from crying in front of them and turned to the O’Neil’s. She was stronger than this. She wouldn’t cry in front of them. Mia learned a lot of things while she was away and most importantly she learned to speak up for herself. She learned how to be comfortable in her skin and she isn’t letting anyone take that away from her.
“I say this with respect. I will not marry your son. I’m not ready for marriage and I won’t force myself and him into an alliance which will make us both unhappy. I just learned to accept myself, love myself and be me. I will not give it up because I finally learned how to be happy.” she said in a calm and confident voice she didn’t know she had.
Everyone was angry with Mia, but she won’t let people dictate her life. Not anymore. Mia’s mother walked over to her, she stood right in front of Mia. “You know, you were a mistake. We weren’t ready for a child, we didn’t want it, but it was too late to abort. During your birth I had complications and I couldn’t get pregnant anymore. We wanted a son. You ruined our chance to have an heir. But we still gave you all the luxuries you could want. We never wanted you and you have proved to us that we were right. You don’t deserve everything we gave you.”
Mia stood there shocked with every word that left her mouth. Every word sliced a new wound in her heart. She never expected those words from her mother. She knew that she didn’t have the best relationship with her parents but somewhere in her heart she held the hope that they at least loved her. How can she say all that? The tears started to prick her eyes and she blinked so she wouldn’t cry in front of these people. She couldn’t take it anymore. She walked to the door. As her hand touched the handle Mia’s father spoke up.
“If you set a foot outside this office, never look back again. We will forget we have a daughter.”