Chapter fourteen (PART ONE)
Chapter 14-Part 1
As the phrase goes, “for the heartbroken, the sad, the down, and the depressed... the most beautiful rainbow and sunshine come after the worst storm.” Well I completely get this phrase and I feel I am living it right now. The dark cloud which was hovering above my head for so long, is finally retreating slowly from my life, the bright energy around me is refusing to let it linger on me and I hope it wouldn’t visit me for a long time.
It is Friday today and tomorrow is the charity ball and I am very nervous and excited at the same time, just the thought of going to the charity ball with Dominic as my date and the thought that we would be dancing obviously which means I’ll be in his arms, him holding me. These various thoughts were making me go weak in the knees.
He never fails to send me roses of different colours every day, during our many conversations I told him I loved roses and he told me he would make it a point to send me roses every day, this morning he send me pink roses.
The past few days had been quite hectic, I barely had time to even eat a proper meal, even when I was home it was spent on studying and preparing for the next day’s case at the court. The whole four days was spent running from court room to office, but luckily it turned out to be a fruitful one, because I won the case and managed to get a good settlement for my client.
My client’s name was Derek Oliver a 72 year old man, he was thrown out of his own house by his step son, and his savings were cunningly maxed out to zero by him. Being homeless he was taking shelter at the homeless shelter where I volunteer and help the administration, with whatever way I could. He looked very miserable and sad, just keeping to himself, not joining the company of others when I first met him at the shelter and I thought I would keep him company and in process try to coax him to tell me what was bothering him. So I bought two delicious Bagels and two cup of stemming coffee and sat down with him and started the conversation, as the conversation progressed, he started opening up and told me what drove him to this shelter.
With all his savings maxed out by his step son, he didn’t had the money to hire a lawyer, so I told him I’ll fight the case for him and if we win, he can pay me from whatever I could get for him as a compensation for his dire situation. Luckily for us he not only got back the house, but also his savings which was in double and a restraining order against his step son. He paid me double my fees, which I refused but he kept insisting so I accepted, thinking the extra money would go to the savings of me and Jemi’s buying our own office instead of renting.
I got a call earlier from Sebastian telling me he was just around the vicinity of my office and asked me if I could join him for lunch and since I was free and Jemi was out with Michael helping him out with the charity ball, which I would be heading towards later. I therefore agreed to have lunch with Sebastian, since the last meeting, we have exchanged very pleasant conversations and text messages over the phone between us and I really like him as a friend.
We were in a small cozy Chinese restaurant, which was just twenty minutes of walk from my office, nestled in a corner of a busy market. The place was famous for delicious varieties of dim sums; it’s been around and opened for almost 30 years now. I ordered the chicken and the prawn Dim sum and Sebastian ordered the pork and prawn dim sum.
“Are you coming to the charity ball tomorrow?” I asked as I sipped on the aromatic green tea.
“I don’t know not sure, I’ll be leaving for New Orleans in an hour for a meeting to finalize a deal and it might drag till tomorrow, let’s see I’ll try my best to make it though ,” he returned popping the dim sum with the chopstick in his mouth.
“I see, it will be nice if you can make it,” I said, as I savoured on the delicious prawn dim sum.
“Aw don’t miss me so much, I’ll try to make it,” he teased winking at me.
“Yea right like I’ll be missing you, like I have no better thing to do,” I rolled my eyes at him wiping my lips with the napkin.
“Ouch stabbed me straight in the heart,” Rolling his right hand into a fist and placing it in his heart, faking like being stabbed.
Shaking my head,” Such a drama King.” I pointed out to which he just chuckled.
As the waiter brought the bill, I quickly took the bill folder towards me and placed my card and gave it to the waiter.
“Not fair Bella; I don’t want you paying for our meal, “he retorted kneading his brows in annoyance.
“Nonsense Seb, it’s my treat and don’t worry the next meal is on you. And besides I just won a case, just think this as my victory meal, “I shrugged.
“Will if it’s like that then I won’t complain, congrats though Miss Attorney.“He smiled.
“Thank you,” I smiled.
“May be once I’m back from New Orleans I can show off my cooking skills by having you over for dinner at my pent house.” He offered grinning.
“Sure as long as I don’t die from food poisoning.” I laughed.
“Like hell you would. Once you taste the magic produced by these hands,” he lifted his palms wide open, “you will be asking for more, you might even propose me for marriage,” he smirked.
I stuck out my tongue scrunching my nose, “I don’t see myself marrying you, even if the food is to die for.”
“Wounded me again Bella,” he chuckled.
Our conversation was interrupted by the waiter bringing back my card, as I was rummaging for change in my wallet to tip the waiter. Sebastian took a hundred dollar bill, stuck it on the bill folder and the waiter bowed said a thank you and left.
Once we were outside Sebastian offered to drive me to Mic’s boutique that was where he and Jemi were waiting for me, and since he was also heading that side I obliged. He parked the car not far from the boutique and I thanked him for the ride and wished him safe journey for his trip to New Orleans.
Standing at the entrance door of the boutique, he held my gaze, “Don’t let anyone sweep you off your feet when I’m gone Bella.” I didn’t miss the hint of seriousness laced in his tone. But I brushed it off as me being absurd.
“You never know Seb, this friend of yours is ready to be swept off her feet any time by her Prince charming.” I teased.
“People say I have all the qualities to be called a Prince Charming you know,” He added bashfully smirking at me.
I rolled my eyes,” tsk tsk only it doesn’t affect me; now go otherwise you will be late.”
He just shook his head and laughed, “see you Bella and thanks for the lunch.” He pulled me into a tight hug.
I hugged him back a little awkwardly muttering, “Your welcome Seb. See you,” releasing myself from him I walked inside the boutique and went straight to Mic’s office.
I knocked on the door and it was Jemi who opened the door munching on a small box of jelly beans, I took one and popped it in my mouth,” What did I miss guys?” I walked towards the white leather sofa and sat down on it keeping my hand bag beside me.
“Nothing much, mom had already done everything, we didn’t go to the venue, we were here the whole time just putting up last finishing touches to two of my dresses which I’ll be putting up for auction,“Mic replied resting his head on the white leather chair behind the glass table, looking exhausted.
“Two? I thought you were going to design three dresses,” I pointed out feeling confused.
“Yea about that Ell, there was a last minute purchase from a buyer, instead of betting on it at the ball tomorrow, he choose to buy it now and pay it as a donation.“Jemi filled me in with the information.
“Huh? But who does that. What if someone might have paid higher than the one he had paid if it was displayed in the auction.”
“He offered such a prize that I became convinced that no one would bid that much for the dress at the auction, that I am sure of it. And of course the money would go for the charity so it’s fine. Plus he wanted his girlfriend to wear the dress at the ball so, it’s a win win for everyone,” Mic shrugged walking towards me with a hidden mischievous smile and sat on the sofa to my left.
“How much did he offer?” I asked him.
But it was Jemi who answered, who was seating in the lime green single coach opposite me, “A million dollar Ell, he just took out a check signed it and said hope you like the number, as he handed the check to Mic,” she said in an amused tone.
“A million dollar for a dress?” I gasped my eyes widen,” Oh my god!! Who is this guy. Must be stinking rich and I think he is really smitten towards his girlfriend to go to that length to get the dress, just so she could wear it to the ball. Lucky girl.” I gushed.
“Yes lucky indeed,“they said in unison, I missed the knowing look they exchanged as they said that.
“So which dress was it?“I inquired.
“The one you liked so much the long sheer net dress with white body suit underneath and the eye bulging needle work which, my seamstress and I did trapping the whole dress with the embellishments,” Mic provided with great satisfaction, proud of his creation.
“Ah I can’t help but feel a tiny bit of jealous towards that girl.” I pouted.
They eyed each other with a secretive smile like they were telepathically exchanging a message, only they both know, Mic burst out rather dramatically,” well you don’t have to be jealous because that lucky girl is you,” he clapped his hand softly.
Kneading my brows in confusion, “WHAT?”
“Your King came here early this morning while Mic and I were putting up the last finishing touches to the dresses. His exact words were, I came to purchase a dress for my Arabella for the ball, could you guys please assist me?” Said Jemi smiling all excited to get to drop the bomb.
“Ah ha”, that’s all I said; my brain was still trying to wrap around the fact that he paid an exuberant price for a dress.
“And he even asked if you had your eyes set on any of my designs, which I of course gladly obliged by telling him about the dress you loved so much. But when I told him the dress you liked was to be put up for auction at the charity, he excused himself came back after half an hour signed a million dollar check and said hope you like the number, “said an excited Mic, trying to poorly imitate Dominic’s voice at the end.
“Oh my God,” I groaned in frustration covering my face with my palms. I took a deep breath and finally managing to compose myself, I finally faced both of them who were eyeing me with patted breathe clearly waiting for my reaction, “I really need to talk to him about setting some rules about his splurging on me, my goodness we are not even exclusive and his antics are ju..Just too much. Gosh!! I feel so uncomfortable” I heaved a deep sigh.
Finally after a death good 30 seconds of silence, Jemi spoke up, her voice very steady, eyeing me seriously, “I understand Ell you are uncomfortable, but just think, he did spent the money for a good cause. It was his way of donating for the charity, the only difference was instead of donating the money directly at the auction or bidding for it, he bought the dress instead and on the process donated a million dollar for the charity; I think its fine.”
Weighting her words in a way it does seem reasonable now, “Yes come to think of it, you are right. I’ll let this one go for now, but I seriously need to tell him to tone it down on the splurging,” I retorted but feeling a little less uneasy because the said money was donated for the charity so no problem.
“And I am not complaining so is my mother. Enough with the talks, it’s time for the fitting,” Mic called out standing up.
I was finally in bed after all the activities today; I spoke to Dominic just now and thanked him for the dress. But I didn’t lecture him on the toning down part of his splurging on me; I was too exhausted for that, I thought I would tell him tomorrow when I meet him. Eyes extremely heavy I put off the bedside table lamp and sunk into deep slumber.