Betrayal

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Possessing a secret isn’t easy for Leia

“Whoever wishes to keep a secret should hide the fact that he possesses one,” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

~~~

As soon as Cielo steps out of the door, Leia runs towards the kitchen. She immediately grabs a bottle and starts drinking water from it. After this action, she sighs.

She moves towards the sink, washes her face, and then dries it with a towel.

It’s the truth that 70% of her mind is telling her to accept Cielo’s offer. But what about the other 30%?

She wants to talk about it with someone so badly. But the way Cielo threatened her is not allowing her to. Her mind is a mess right now. She doesn’t know how to accept all the information she just got from Cielo.

The mafia, black cobras, her mom, her dad, Cielo’s offer, and her safety.

Her head is spinning. And she wants nothing more than a nice sleep right now so that her mind can rest a little and she can do all the thinking later.

She gets up to go towards her bedroom, but suddenly her gaze falls on the clock. It’s at half-past 5. She was supposed to go to work half an hour before. And now she’s late.

She decides to go to work as there is no guarantee she’ll be able to sleep with all these thoughts. At least her mind will be on some other thing this way.

She immediately wears her shoes, ties her hair into a ponytail, and grabs her keys.

With that, she starts walking towards her workplace; a restaurant.

~~~

“Leia? Leia!” Anna yells this time.

She has been trying to gain Leia’s attention for the past 5 minutes, but Leia is so deep in thoughts it looks like she’s finding a cure for Aids.

“Yes?”

“What thing is keeping your mind today?” Anna asks with a little worry.

She knows what Leia has been going through because of her father. And it’s not helping Leia that there is no family left for her. She only has a best friend now who is soon going to shift in New York with her boyfriend.

“Nothing”, Leia says.

“Those threatening calls.....” Anna’s voice turns into a whisper.

“No! No! It’s not that,” Leia immediately says, “It’s nothing”

“So now you won’t share it even with me?” Anna asks, putting her hand on Leia’s shoulder.

“It’s something private, Anna,” Leia says in a low voice.

“Private? So now there’s something like privacy between us?”

The hurt look in Anna’s eyes makes Leia feel so bad, but still, she doesn’t want to tell her about Cielo’s visit as she’ll be putting both her and her best friend in danger.

“What I meant is that I cannot tell you here. How about we go to your place after work today?” To relieve Anna a little, she says that.

“Fine, I’ll slip in a wine bottle in my bag,” Anna says and winks.

“What are you both doing? Leia didn’t expect this from you! Don’t you know a big businessman is sitting outside waiting for his order and you are both gossiping! C’mon, make one plate of pasta more than perfect for him,” the owner’s wife who is now the new manager comes in the kitchen and starts scolding them.

“Okay, I’ll get to it”, Leia says, moving towards the stove.

“Who is it?” Anna asks in curiosity.

“It’s Mr. Bruno. A famous and rich businessman,” she tells her, “Rufus told me he’s really.....”

“You both are still struggling to get completely professional?” Anna asks.

“Just like you and me are,” Sierra replies.

Sierra has been friends with Leia and Anna for three years now. Despite the big age differences, they hang out at least once a month.

“Anna, go and work. You are trying to distract me, aren’t you? Sometimes I don’t understand that if you come here to waiter or to entertain everyone,” Sierra finally figures out Anna’s trick and scolds her.

“Yeah, say it all right now. Once I go, Leia and you’ll miss me the most,” Anna says in a careless tone.

“Ugh! Anna, why do you have to go to New York?” Sierra says in a disheartened tone.

“Don’t worry, I’ll visit a lot!” Anna says in a promising tone and moves towards the doors.

Leia, who has been hearing their conversation, sighs as she doesn’t know that if she accepts his offer then she’ll be able to visit them anytime soon or not.

~~~

“Leia! Leia!” Sierra comes running into the kitchen.

“What is it?” Leia asks, turning around.

“The businessman… the businessman really liked your pasta. He wants to meet you,” she tells her in an excited tone.

“Do I really have to meet him? I don’t have an interest in meeting any other intimidating man today,” Leia says in a bored tone.

“Any other?” Anna chips in the conversation.

“Go and get his review. Maybe he can mention you in one of his interviews and then this place will get a lot of customers”

“We already have enough customers. Speaking of that, I should get back to work,” Leia says, turning towards the stove, “And yeah, the famous businessman is surely going to mention a small restaurant in his interviews”

“Leia, go and meet him right now”, Sierra says in a final tone.

“Fine! Which table?” Leia asks with a sigh.

“The table with a man in the blue shirt”, Sierra replies and Leia starts walking towards outside.

Once she reaches outside, her eyes revolve around the whole place.

A wave of shock passes in her eyes as she sees Cielo sitting on one of the tables in a blue shirt.

She clearly remembers their first meeting, and she clearly remembers that his last name was not Bruno then.

With shivering legs, she silently walks towards his table and says in a polite but scared manner, “Good evening, sir”

Cielo raises his eyes towards her and tells her to sit on the seat beside him with the hint of his eyes. She doesn’t want any scene to happen here, so she sits.

“Leia, I am here only to remind you one thing,” He says in a low, intimidating voice.

“How do you know about my workplace?” She whisper-yells with a lot of force while weirdly moving her hands in the air, “Why did you come here!? Go right now”

“Just like I know everything about your dad,” He says in an obvious manner, “If you keep behaving like that then people will think of me as your ex who’s bothering you. Keep calm!”

“Why.... why are you here?” She says, composing herself a little.

“I am here to remind you of Omerta, Leia. You remember that, don’t you?” He asks threateningly.

“Yes, yes. I do. Now please go!” She says in a pleading tone with her finger in the door’s direction.

“Just don’t forget about Omerta”, He says, getting up and Leia follows his action.

“Leia, I have been so polite with you. Don’t make me regret that,” He warns her one last time and walks away.

Leia hopelessly sighs and starts walking towards the kitchen, but the voice of Rufus stops her.

“What did he say? Were you telling him to go?”

“No! Why would I do that?” Leia answers him in a panicked tone, “I was just... I was...... I was guiding him with the address of.... address of the hospital. He wants to do charity after having such a pleasant meal”

“He really liked food this much?” Rufus asks in a cheerful voice, “Hope he tells his rich friends about it”

“Hope so”, Leia nervously replies.

~~~

“C’mon, girl. Something is really bothering you. Tell me about it,” Anna says after taking another sip of wine.

Being friends with someone for 8 years comes with disadvantages. Just the blink of Leia’s eyes can tell Anna about her mood.

Anna has been really worried about Leia for the past few months. Anna knows each and everything Leia is facing nowadays. She really feels sad for the lonely girl, but she can give her company only to some extent. At the end of the day, Leia is going to be alone in her house with her terrible loss.

Losing someone isn’t as bad as being not sure that if you have lost the person or not.

“It’s nothing, Anna. Believe me”, Leia says after taking a big gulp.

“C’mon, tell me already,” Anna forces her.

“I can’t. I promised someone that I won’t”, Leia says with a worried expression on her face.

Leia knows better than to stay at Anna’s place for another minute. If she doesn’t go now, then she’ll be spilling everything after 10 minutes.

“It’s late. I should go then,” Leia says, getting up.

“Shut up and sit, missy. You are not going from here without telling me what’s bothering you,” Anna says and grabs her arm.

Leia sighs, sitting again, “Fine, fine. I think my mother didn’t die as my father told me........”

“And where did you get this idea from?” Anna asks, “Is she trying to contact you?”

“No! It’s just that I found dad’s diary in his computer”, Leia lies, her expressions clearly telling that she’s not telling the truth.

Maybe it’s her drunk self, or maybe it’s her honest personality.

“Okay, fine. You don’t want to share? I won’t push you anymore,” Anna says, “And it’s late now. Stay here. Joshua is out-of-town, anyway”

“Anna...... I really want to talk about it,” Leia says with her eyes down.

“Then what’s stopping you?”

“I promised him I won’t tell anyone,” Leia’s eyes get full of tears.

“Hey! Hey! It’s okay. It’s fine,” Anna says, stroking her arm.

“And for your information, best friend is just not anyone,” Anna says with a smile.

“Okay, fine. Fine! But promise that this wouldn’t get out. Nor Sierra neither Joshua.......”

Leia’s sober self would have known better than to open her mouth, but how long a drunk and sad girl can stay quiet in front of her best friend?

“Have I ever told any of your secrets to anyone?” Anna asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Today, Cielo, you remember that guy, the one we met when we were on our friend’s trip,” Leia speaks in a low voice.

“The one you......” Anna says in an unsure tone.

“Yeah that one”

~~~

“What? What!? Leia, you have to involve the police. You just have to. He could be lying for all you know,” Anna starts speaking hastily, “Let’s go to the police station right now”

“And what will I tell them? Huh? What will I say? Someone I know is running an illegal organization? Or what? It’s not like he did something bad to me. What will I report to the police? I can just silently refuse his offer. But if I involve the police, I am sure I’ll get into more trouble”

“Leia! Leia! Darling, look, he told you he kills people every day, right? He can do anything to you. Don’t you know how serious this situation is? That guy knows everything about the mafia. He can really help......”

“He’s running the organization because the law does nothing and you are telling me to involve law? And do you think the police will take me seriously if I tell them someone I know knows everything about mafias? They will think I am high”

“Okay, okay. Fine! Don’t involve the police. But we have to take someone else’s advice on this! We have to tell someone.......”

“Anna, you promised. He’ll come to my place tomorrow and I’ll tell him I don’t want him to get involved,” Leia says, rubbing his forehead with one of her hands.

“And then you’ll tell the police about black cobras.....”

“Are you insane? What... what will I tell them? Did they do anything serious about dad? No! Because powerful people are involved in his disappearance. Did they do anything about those calls? No! They told me it might be a prank instead. First, I thought they are not taking me seriously because they have more important things to deal with other than the calls. But now I know it’s because that powerful people are involved,” Leia rants in one breath.

“Leia, but.....”

“I think I should accept the offer. It’s serious. It’s my life we are talking about,” Leia says with tears again collecting in her eyes.

“Maybe your life isn’t even in danger. Maybe he’s lying,” Anna says.

“Why would he?” Leia yells, “I am already so tensed, and sharing this with you didn’t help”

“Okay, okay. I am sorry. We can talk about it in the morning. But you are refusing the offer, that’s final. Come here now,” Anna says and wraps her arms around Leia.

“What will I do now, Anna?” Leia asks in a small voice.

“You can move with me to New York, dye your hair, and change your name,” Anna says with a chuckle without humor.

~~~

Her eyes start getting irritated because of the sunrays coming directly on her face.

She slowly opens her eyes and looks around the room.

A new day! A day she has to decide something serious.

Who is she kidding? She’s just going to refuse.

Her tensed body tells her to go for a jog. She needs her nerves to calm down the most right now.

Without saying bye to Anna, she steps out of the house.

~~~

Leia enters into her house after her two hours long jog. She is a little relaxed after it and right now she wants breakfast more than anything else as she drank on an empty stomach last night and went on a jog with a slight hangover.

She walks towards the kitchen, but her phone starts ringing.

‘Who can call this early?’ She thinks and picks her phone from the TV table.

As she sees Sierra’s name on the screen, she gets nervous.

‘Hope Anna didn’t do something foolish like telling Sierra everything,’ she thinks, and with a lot of courage, she accepts the call.

“Hey! What’s up?” She tries to greet her in the most lively tone she can.

“Leia....” Sierra’s crying tone makes her feel a little dizzy.

She has never heard Sierra like this, not even when she had her miscarriage last year.

“What is it? Why are you crying?” Leia asks in a panicked tone.

“Anna... Anna”

“What, Anna? What happened to Anna? For God’s sake, tell me. What’s wrong?” Leia yells now.

“Anna has been murdered”

~~~

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