Chapter thirty four
Fucking New York traffic!
Of all the days I had to be stuck in a tight traffic. Her phone was still switched off and my mind was going crazy. I should have just taken the chopper instead if I did I would have already reached.
I could have called her office or Jemi but thought against it, she switched off her phone so it is highly unlikely she would come to attain the call. Why did my brain not register the fact that my lips would be stained by lipstick after that forceful kiss by that woman, I can’t even bring myself to say her name?
I heaved a deep sigh running my fingers through my hair frustratingly. I hope Arabella would let me explain and above all believe me. She delicately and cautiously paved her way into building her trust towards me and this had to happen. And given my past reputation, I have a feeling I’ll have a tough time convincing her.
“Arthur is there any other route we could take to reach Brooklyn from here.” I warily threw a quick glance out the car window where rows and rows of immobile cars were stationed outside.
“Sir we can but there is no way we will be able to divert our direction in this traffic.” Came Arthur’s prompt reply making me seethe in anger.
A raging storm of anger and frustration was slowly building inside me, that whoever crosses me today will wish they’ve never met me.
“How far is the subway from here?” I asked. I have never been on a subway but this is the only way I would be able to reach fast. So be it.
“It is roughly ten minutes from here and you will be able to get to Brooklyn in half an hour Sir.” He answered watching me through the rear-view mirror.
Tapping my fingers impatiently on my lap I contemplated what to do. Looking out the window I saw the same car that was next to mine for the past twenty minutes,” Ah, fuck it! I’ll take the subway, Arthur. Get past the traffic and I’ll meet you there.”
“Are you sure Sir.” Arthur turned and looked at me wide-eyed and open mouth. He was not discreet to show his shocked facial expression at the prospect of me riding the subway train.
“I am sure Arthur.” I stepped out of the car in the blasted heat and maneuvered my way through the cars and walked towards the direction of the subway. I rushed down the stairs through the crowd and went straight to get the metro card where a freaking long line awaited me. Fucking great! I cursed under me breathe as I stood right behind a middle-aged woman.
After what seems to have tested my patience in various ways I was finally on my way to Brooklyn, on a crowded train holding on to one of the pivotal grab standing just some few inches away from the door of the subway train where a sweaty, hairy man was breathing out his God awful stench from his mouth from behind me. It was so revolting I tried my best to hold my breath to keep myself from puking my gut out.
Riding for half an hour and two minutes I found my self-pushing through the crowded commuters and out of the subway. Fuck is this how people commute every day? I have a new found respect for people having to rely on public transports on daily basis.
Hailing a cap I, at last, reached my desired destination stepping out and paying the cab driver I walked towards her office and went inside the office building.
“Dominic?” Jemi called out in surprise as I stepped into the office.
“Hey, Jemi. Is Arabella in there.” My gaze darted towards her office door.
Checking her wristwatch,” Didn’t you meet her. She was supposed to give you a surprise by bringing lunch for you to your office. It’s already been two hours since she left.” She held my gaze in confusion.
“Shit!” I stomped my feet looking away and racking my hair in frustration.
“Is something the matter?”
Meeting her gaze,” Sorry about that.” I cleared my throat and tugged a hand in my pant pocket.
“Nah it’s fine. Come on take a seat.” She tilted her head towards the sofa. It was the one that Arabella got from John’s antique.
I followed her and sat at the edge of the sofa crossing my legs and rested my hand on the arm of the sofa facing her as she sat at the other end facing me.
Their secretary came and offered me a glass of water smiling too charmingly for my own comfort and left. I drank the whole water and set the glass on top of the center table.
“Is everything alright with you guys?”
I heaved a deep sigh,” We had a misunderstanding and before I could clarify it she cut the video call and switched off her phone.”
“She switched off her phone?” Jemi chuckled shaking her head.
“Yes,” I replied sourly.
“Dude you’re in deep shit! She must be fucking pissed with you. Anger and Ell don’t always meet each other so much, but when it does it is best we let her get settle down for a while by herself and go talk to her.” She cautioned.
“The misunderstanding is big and the more I delay, her doubts towards me would pile up further so it is paramount that I find her soon.” I returned. I am on edge and letting her take her time to settle her anger won’t be it. I rather she lashes out at me than spend my time waiting for her to cool off.
“Understandable. So how can I help?” Jemi offered.
“Maybe to try calling her up once and if she responds please ask her where she is I’ll take it from there.” I returned hoping desperately she has switched on her phone.
“Sure.” She fished out her phone from her bag and called her. Shaking her head giving me an apologetic look,” Sorry it is switched off.”
It was just far-fetched to expect she would switch on her phone. Where could an angry spitfire woman of mine go about in New York? I wondered.
“Do you think she would be with your friend Michael?” I inquired. Shit, why didn’t I think of that before?
“Mic will be returning from Milan only tonight so we have to roll that out. Hm lover boy you better settle things fast before her birthday tomorrow.” She asserted giving me a wary look.
“I know,” I muttered squeezing my brows together with my fingers closing my eyes.
“She will come around don’t worry just..” She was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone. I sat up straight thinking it was Arabella but leaned back in defeat when it wasn’t her.
“I’ll come out now, Rob.“Jemi cut the call and meet my gaze,” I am so sorry Dominic but Robin is already here we are headed towards an art exhibition.”
“It’s fine Jemi, you have been more than helpful.” We stood up and walked towards the door.
“Hey, Alex if Ell drops by in the office tell her to call me ya?” She instructed the secretary as we stepped outside.
“You know what Dominic, why don’t you take my key and let yourself in the apartment. She is bound to turn up at some point and I’ll be coming back just before midnight only. So you guys are free to maul at each other however way you want.But of course not in a violent way.” She chuckled handing me the key.
I laughed shaking my head,” I would love to take up on your offer Jemi. But I don’t think she will like it.” As much as I want to take the key, I refrain from doing it because she will find it too intrusive and might anger her more. I’ll just have to wait outside her place in the car.
“Alright lover boy. All the best. See you later?” She asked me doubtfully raising a brow.
“Of course,” I assured her. There was absolutely no doubt about it.
Once she left I crossed the road and entered an old cafe to wait for Arthur and go to her place after. I ordered a cup of black coffee and blankly looked out the window only to be disrupted by the ringing of my cell phone.
“Hello, mother,” I answered.
“Why is Monica going on and on about how you and Ceci are a couple? Son, didn’t you tell me just last month that you were seeing someone? I’m I being lied to?” My mother’s accusations flew pass the phone at me without even the proper greeting. It won’t be my mother if she didn’t get straight to the point directly without wasting any time.
Fucking shit! That woman. Anger flared up making my hand quiver as I readjusted the phone on my other ear,” Mother you are just highly misinformed there is nothing going on between us.” I stated as calmly as I could.
“That’s a relief then because as much as I love Ceci I don’t think you guys will be compatible with each other. Anyway, I just wanted to confirm that from you so I called the moment I heard it. How are you?” She casually changed the topic as if she hadn’t ambushed me just a few minutes ago.
“I am a fine mother. How was Milan?” I asked feeling a bit relaxed as I took a sip of the black coffee.
“The usual it was a good fashion week, I arrived just last night. So when are we meeting this lady of yours.” There was no missing the curiosity in her tone.
I smiled,” Soon mother.”
“I hope this soon happens one of these days?” She pointed out.
I laughed,” It will be, mother.”
“Alright waiting for it then. Take care son.”
Once my mother kept the call I tried calling her again but it was still switched off. Since Arthur informed me that he had arrived and is waiting for me outside her office, I gulped down the whole coffee, took out a $100 bill and left the cafe.
Getting inside the car I instructed Arthur to drive us to her place. Upon reaching her place I sent Arthur to find out if she was home but she wasn’t so we sat in the car waiting for her to arrive.
Goddammit!! where are you, Arabella? I lamented.
I feel numb!
I didn’t know whether I should cry or laugh at this situation I have found myself again. Do men find it fascinating to toy with me, my feelings? Do I appear that foolish?
Thank goodness I video called him upon reaching his office building. If I didn’t I won’t have come to know he was cheating on me. How domesticated of me to foolishly cook lunch for him and think of having a lunch date and bore my feelings out to him. I would have made a fool of myself again.
I am ashamed and tired of talking about my relationship dramas with my friends always, it’s like as if I am the only one who is dating. Why did I trust him? Wasn’t Richard’s betrayal enough for me not to be cautious?
Me and my pathetic trusting heart!
Even right now there is a tiny part of me hoping so much that I misunderstood him and that I should talk to him. But how many times did I do that with Richard always eager to listen and be so trusting? Jemi says Richard is spineless, but it is me who is spineless. Letting men walk all over me. Hear that eight letter magic words from them and I become blind.
The only good outcome today was at least I got to share the lunch with Jona and Sam at the hospital. They have shifted to a bigger and better hospital run by the Kings Enterprise so things are looking promising for Jona receiving the best treatment.
Dominic had called Sam asking whether I dropped by the hospital. But I gestured her with my hand to tell him I was not there. After the call ended I was so glad when Sam did not pester me into telling me why I was avoiding him.
I have been sitting in this park just outside the hospital for the past two hours blanking staring at passerby munching on a big packet of pink cotton candy. My phone still switched off, I didn’t want to talk to him. I am scared he would say things to convince me and I would fall for it. My mind has already made up that he was playing me and that I should push that little reprimanding thought out of my system that I was jumping to conclusions too soon.
Since it was getting late and the sun was already set on its horizon leaving us with the darkness. Standing up from the wrought iron bench I decided to go home and snuggle on my bed and watch Mister Bean on YouTube and spend my time in laughter. I have had enough for today. Maybe tomorrow my mind will be clearer and I would know what to do.
As I walked through the winding path towards the exit holding the half-eaten cotton candy a dark figure stepped out of the huge oak tree blocking my path and startling me.
My body went completely rigid the moment I heard that word, I glanced up to face him. The faint yellow light from the iron lamp post cast a shadow on his face thereby making his appearance eerier.
“Excuse me,” I muttered and acted like I didn’t recognize him and tried to walk past him but he stepped to the side and blocked my path.
“Let me drop you.” His voice was deep and icy steady.
I looked straight ahead not meeting his gaze,” No thank you.” I returned flatly and walked past him and this time he didn’t block my path. I quicken my steps but I heard strong footsteps following behind me coming nearer and nearer and my heart palpitating like crazy out of fright.
I tucked my other free hand into my bag for the pepper spray.The winding road I took was secluded it was just us and if he did anything it is highly unlikely people would reach on time to help me.
“Keep running from me, Carino. I know there is always that yes in that no of yours. It is always like that with you ladies isn’t it.” He laughed. A cold menacing laugh.
His vile words stopped me in my tracks and I turned to face him,” No you are wrong Nicholas. When a girl says No it means No there is no underlying hidden double meaning behind it. Get that in that vile disgusting head of yours.” I spatted pointing my finger at him.
I didn’t give him a chance to speak, I quickly turned but I didn’t fail to miss that hard gaze and the menacing smile of his that sent goosebumps throughout my body. I walked as fast as my legs could carry took a small right turn and finally reached the exit. I gave a quick glance behind to see if he followed me but he was not there.
Feeling relieved I hailed a cab and it drove me towards the safety of my place.
I stepped out of the elevator and walked towards my apartment but I had to stop in mid-way when I saw Dominic standing and leaning on the door sideways going through his phone facing my way. He was wearing a well- fitted dark navy blue suit looking devilishly handsome that always make me go weak in the knees. Don’t fall for it Arabella I subconsciously scolded my self sternly.
I contemplated whether I should just walk away quietly since he still hasn’t seen me. But thought better get it over with so I prised myself to face him and told myself not to fall for his charm which I seem to have an unhealthy attraction to.
Clearing my throat as a sort of announcing my presence I walked towards him.
He immediately pulled his body away from the door and slight his phone into his blazer pocket and faced me,” Arabella you seriously will be the death of me one day .” He sounded drained and frustrated. He walked closer to me stretching his arms to hold me but I stepped back maintaining a safe distance between us.
“Do you know I almost went crazy looking for you the whole day. Don’t ever do that to me again.” He reprimanded. Grey-blue eyes bore into me trying to bare my soul out.
I scoffed glaring at him,“You have some nerve Dominic to tell me that. Don’t waste your time here, go back to whoever you were kissing when I stupidly interrupted with my call. If it’s your conscience making you come after me. Well don’t worry about it, I am fine. You are free now, you can go.” Saying that I pushed past him knocking him slightly with my right shoulder and rummaged my bag for the key.
“You think I would cheat on you?” He asked I can feel the hurt in his tone.
Turning to face him,” Don’t ask me something you already did.” I snapped sarcastically.
“What?” He narrowed his eyes at me and came close to me standing just a mere inch from me.
“You heard me,” I crossed my arms defiantly grasping the cotton candy tightly.
He chuckled,” You are such a pain in my ass you know that Arabella, you drive me insane. I thought I would settle this in a calm way but I don’t think it will be.” No sooner he said that he scooped me into his arms tightly making me yelp.
“Put me down right now Dominic,” I hissed glaring at him and tried to wiggle my way out of his strong arms dropping the cotton candy in the process. But it was no use he was too strong for me.
" No can’t do.” Looking down at me he gave a smug smile and walked towards the elevator.
“My cotton candy.” I almost whined.
He stopped in his tracks looking down at me with an amused expression,” Don’t worry I’ll get you as much as you want later.” He chuckled and stepped into the elevator.
As the elevator took us down I glared at him,” What will my neighbors think, please put me down. You are acting like a crazy man.”
“Who made me that way sweetheart and as for your neighbors they will just see two lovers caring for each other.”
“Lovers indeed.” I scoffed.
The elevator door opened and as we stepped out we came face to face with Radnika. I wanted to act like I fainted to show the reason behind Dominic carrying me this way but it was too late we already made eye contact.
“Oh, my!” She giggled blushing slightly. Great just great!
“Hi, Radnika. I twisted my angle so Dominic was just being so kind and generous to carry me to the hospital.” I rushed through my words with burning heat of embarrassment enveloping my whole body. Dominic chuckled as I said that clearly enjoying my discomfort the nerve of him.
“Oh no, I hope it is not too serious.” She inquired worriedly making me feel guilty for lying.
“No, it is not,” I assured her.
She gave a relieved smile at me and turned her attention to Dominic,” You are so kind to do this Dominic. Please take of her, I would have accompanied you guys but I have to leave for Chicago in two hours so I am sorry.”
“It is fine Radnika don’t worry about it. I have this kind person with me.” I pinched Dominic’s cheek and gave him a fake smile and shifted my attention towards Radnika,” You have a safe flight Radnika and give my love to your daughter.”
“I will Ell, take care the both of you.” She smiled and stepped into the elevator.
The moment the elevator door closed, I glared at him,” Put me down right now Dominic or help me God I’ll make you regret your actions.”
“I didn’t know you were this feisty. I love it, wildcat indeed.” He threw his head back roaring in laughter and carried me out of the apartment towards his waiting car. I didn’t bother to say hi to Arthur, I was too embarrassed.
After an hour of silent ride with just his annoying occasional way of trying to get under my nerve by giving me a peck on my lips or nose or forehead now and then.
Much to my surprise, Arthur pulled the car in front of his office building.
Scooting down from his lap I glared at him,” You don’t need to carry me. Just lead the way I’ll follow.”
He lifted his hands in surrender chuckling,” Fine.”
Why on earth would he bring me to his office? I wondered as I stepped out of his car.