Betrayal

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Taking a decision

“Don’t make a permanent decision for your temporary emotion,”-Anonymous

~~~

It’s a room filled with chairs around an office table. There is a big white screen behind the head chair. Despite the enormous amount of chairs, a lot of men still have to stand. It’s the meeting room of Bruno’s headquarters. This is where the boss of the empire informs about the targets every week. The boss has called in a sudden meeting today, although they do meetings only on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

“Why has the boss called in a meeting, man?” Ryder slips in the seat right next to Rocco.

“The deal with Vitali got final. I think he wants to talk about that,” Rocco says.

“How did you persuade him?” Ryder asks with surprise.

“He was going to LA anyway because of that girl. So I told him that why not have just one small meeting with Vitali too,” Rocco tells Ryder.

“What happened with that girl, anyway?”

“It’s a long story, man. Will tell you after this meeting”

~~~

“So... How it’s going to work? Boss is going to make each and everyone here pretend that we all are angles who work for society’s advantage?” Ryder asks with one of his jet black eyebrows raised.

Ryder is the sexiest among the group. With his hazel eyes and million-dollar smirk, he can make any woman fall in his arms. He has some kind of aroma. Maybe that’s the reason that almost every woman in the warehouse has slept with him.

“I don’t know what’s going on in his mind”

“How did you guys know that she told her friend everything?” Ryder asks another question.

“Before coming out of her house, Cielo put a microphone behind her ear. And then the other day in the car, I took it because she’s going to a crime scene, you know. Boss planned each and everything before meeting her”

“Well, I think it’s a stupid plan. Everyone can lie to some extinct. The truth will be spilled from one’s mouth or another soon,” He says to Rocco.

“Well, we have to work with it. You know how much boss wants to figure those codes we got”

“And once he knows about them then what?” Ryder asks.

“I guess he’ll kill her. Or maybe he’ll just keep her till the day she comes to know about the truth and maybe then he’ll kill her,” Rocco answers him.

~~~

After 1 month:

“Congratulations, Leia. Now no one will accuse you of Anna’s murder. Court declared you innocent,” Sierra says with a half-smile, one of her hands on one of Leia’s shoulder.

“But that’s the thing, I am not innocent. They should have given me some punishment,” Leia says with her eyes down.

“Why are you saying that? There is no fault of yours in the whole situation,” Sierra says with tears in the corners of her eyes.

“There is! I should have-”

“And thank god, poor Joshua has been declared innocent too. Now he can finally mourn. You and he didn’t get any time to get sorrowful as you got busy with whole this police stuff,” Rufus tries to change the subject.

“I feel so bad for Josh. He’s going to propose to the love of his life and she died. She never got a chance... a chance to say yes to him,” Sierra’s voice breaks down in the end of the sentence.

“I want to go to the graveyard. I want to see Anna. I want to say goodbye,” Leia suddenly says with an emotionless face.

“Okay, I’ll take you there,” Sierra speaks, “Honey, you go look for poor Joshua. I think he’s crying in the washroom”

“No, I think his father is with him. We should give him some time. It’s not appropriate to disturb them, as I don’t even really know Joshua. I guess I’ll just come with you”

~~~

She slowly starts speaking, looking at her friend’s grave.

“Anna...” She just calls her name and starts crying with everything she has in her.

Sierra tries to take a step ahead so she can soothe her, but her husband stops her.

“She hasn’t cried for a month. We all know how sad she is, and she is finally showing some emotion. Let her cry. Let’s not interrupt her,” Rufus says to his wife.

She tries to stop herself from crying but gets failed to do so. She just starts whispering words in her heavy and crying voice.

“Anna, I am sorry, I am sorry and I am sorry. I apologize! Although I know that you wouldn’t forgive me ever as I am your murder. But still I came here with hope. I hope that you forgive me. I love you very much. I wish that I wouldn’t have gone to your house that night. I wish that I wouldn’t have told you anything. I wish that I would have taken you with me on that walk. But unfortunately, there are all just wishes,” She says and exhales a lot of air. Then she inhales and keeps quiet for a minute or two. Her condition gets a little better. But her tears do not stop.

“I’ve decided to go with Cielo, my friend. I owe this to you. I’ll take revenge for you, dear. I’ll help Cielo destroy those who killed you. I’ll not allow myself to die until I take revenge from them for your murder. May you rest in peace, friend. Don’t worry, I’ll do everything to save my life and destroy those bastards. And in a way, I’ll get my punishment too. A punishment which comprises completely changing my life,” She completes her speech and gets up from the ground.

She takes a napkin out of her handbag and rubs it on her damp face.

She turns around to see Rufus and Sierra looking at her with concern.

“I am fine,” She says, “Let’s go home”

“Honey, why don’t you drink some water first?” Rufus says and offers her a bottle of water.

She takes it from him and takes a sip or two from the bottle.

“Let’s go now”, She says and starts walking towards the exit.

~~~

“So, honey, I am not that bad of a chef, right? My cooking is great too,”, Sierra tries to start the conversation, “Do you like this chicken?”

“Hmm, it’s good”, Leia’s answer is brief.

“Honey, I was thinking that maybe we should introduce something new at the restaurant. Maybe a Scottish dish or something like that,”, Despite seeing that Leia isn’t showing any interest, Sierra takes the conversation further.

“Talking about that, I think Rufus, you should start finding a new head chef, someone who fills in my position,”, Leia says in a little voice.

“What?” Sierra says in shock, “You are thinking of quitting?”

“Yes, I’ll quit in a month. I would have quit right now, but I think I should give you a month to find someone else,”, Leia says.

“Leia! Life doesn’t stop with death. You can’t ruin your health and life even if you are going from the hardest of the time. Get stronger and get some closure-”

“Why are you thinking so negatively, Sierra? Maybe she got a better offer,”, Rufus says with a smile and looks towards Leia.

“No, that’s not the case. I think I can’t move on with my life if I keep living here. There are way too many memories in every corner of this town. That’s why I have decided to move to some other place,”, Once Leia is done with her explanation, she looks towards their faces to see their expressions.

“But Leia, where will you go? You don’t have any friends or relatives who live in some other city. All your friends are here. Your maternal grandparents are not alive anymore. How will you live in a city where you have not even 1 connection?” Sierra says each word in a calmed tone.

“That’s not true! I have friends who live in different cities. I have a friend called Rocco. Maybe I’ll go to him. And even if I decide not to go to him, I’ll go somewhere else and I am sure I’ll be fine,”, Leia says with a lot of determination which worries Sierra a little.

Rufus clears his throat and asks, “Are you certain?”

“100 percent”

“Why, what can we do if that’s your final decision”, Rufus shrugs and puts his attention towards his food.

“Leia-,” Sierra starts saying, but Leia stops her.

“Don’t try, I will not change my decision”

Sierra sighs and puts her attention towards her plate.

~~~

“Give me sauce, Maria”, Leia asks her sous-chef.

“Here”, Maria passes the sauce.

“So this is our last order?” She asks her.

“Yeah, it’s past our closing time,”, Maria tells Leia.

“What? Really? I never noticed”, Leia says and turns the flame to low.

“Well, Maria, you have been a great colleague. I’ll really miss you. Best of luck for your future life,”, Leia says in a genuine tone.

“Oh, my god! Are you quitting? Why are you talking like it’s your last day,” Maria says, surprised.

“Well, not my last day, but my last month. I am moving out of this town. And mine quitting will benefit you. Maybe you get a promotion,”, Leia says the last sentence with a smile.

“OMG, Leia! Will you talk to Rufus? Will you do this for me?” Maria says in a chirpy tone.

“Yeah, I’ll try my best for you to get this position”, Leia says and starts moving a spoon in the saucer.

“Thank you so much, Leia. And... and maybe my sister can fill in my position. She works in a restaurant nearby, but the pay isn’t that good,” Maria says, getting over-excited.

“Yeah, I’ll ask Rufus to interview her,”, Leia says and turns the flame off.

~~~

“Hey, Leia, why don’t you wait for 10 minutes and us three will go together,” Sierra says to Leia, who’s going towards the exit door.

“Okay, sure. Anyway, I need to talk to Rufus about something,”, Leia says, turning her face towards Rufus.

“Yes?”

“I think you should promote Maria and interview her sister for Maria’s position,”, Leia says the whole thing in one sentence.

“What? I thought I should promote Nancy. She has been working with us for more time than Maria,”, Rufus says with thoughtful expressions.

“Nancy still needs practice, you should definitely consider Maria,”, Leia says, “Please handle all this matter as early as possible. I want to leave this town by the end of this week”

“But you said that you are going to be here for another 1 month,”, Sierra says.

“Maximally, 1 month”, Leia elaborates.

And the place fell into silence which gets broken by Rufus, “You two can go ahead, I’ll be behind you in 5 minutes. I just have to handle one small thing”

“Okay, honey,”, Sierra says, “Let’s go Leia”

~~~

“What’s the rush?” Sierra asks once they start walking towards their houses.

“I just don’t want to be here anymore. I want to get out of here as soon as possible,”, Leia says, her eyes roaming around here and there.

“Where will you be going? You haven’t even decided where you are going and you have already resigned from your job. And anyway, do you have enough money?” She asks from Leia in a worried tone.

“I have some. Don’t worry, once I settle down there, I’ll find a job,”, Leia says.

She starts walking a little faster, so she doesn’t have to answer her friend’s questions. She doesn’t want to give her any details.

“Aren’t you going to sell the house?” Sierra asks, matching Leia’s pace.

“No, I don’t want to. I am just going to take my clothes, accessories, shoes, makeup, and health care products. I am going to leave everything else here,”, Leia says, and increases her pace a little more.

“Good! That’s mean you’ll be coming back,”, Sierra says, “Hey, why are you walking so fast?”

“Not sure I’ll be coming back”, Leia thinks in her mind, and tears start collecting in her eyes. She hurriedly rubs her eyes without making Sierra notice.

“I am sorry, is it fast for you? I’ll try to walk a little slow now,”, Leia replies and decreases her pace just a little.

~~~

“Good morning, Bruno’s office?” Leia says to someone on the phone.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Can I get an appointment with Mr. Cielo next week?”

“Ma’am, can you tell that who you are? We don’t arrange appointments just like that,”, the receptionist on the phone says.

“I am Leia Relish, Mr. Cielo knows me. In fact, he’ll be happy once you’ll tell him I want to meet him,”, Leia says with confidence, “If it is necessary, then you can consult with him first, just write my number”

“Okay, ma’am, I’ll tell you once Mr. Bruno’s assistant asks him,”

“Great!”

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