Chapter - 29 : Heart to Heart Talks !!
We were so involved in our make out that we forgot we were surrounded by people until we heard whistles, cheers and claps. As we moved a bit away from each other, a blush creeped my cheeks and I couldn’t stop smiling.
“ahem… seems like someone is deeply , madly and irrecoverably in …”
“Shut up Krissy” Drake said not letting Krystle finish her sentence
“I guess we should call it a day and get back to our accommodations else, these two would give us a show we don’t want to see” Bert winked at me as he spoke
“Ohh no, no, nothing exquisite to see , I think you have more experience with Pearl” I gave it back with the same wink making him choke his beer
“Damn Hele, you know how to give it back” Drake whispered while placing his hand at the small of my back
We got back to our beach house and enjoyed the rest of the night exploring each other and finally getting back to sleep. The next morning, we were assigned the task to get the flowers, drapes and other materials to set up the venue near the beach. Yes, Krystle wanted everything to be done by her close ones. In her words “I would marry rather in a clumsy place decorated by my loved ones than in an exquisite place decorated by random people mechanically”. We couldn’t say No and moreover it was fun. It wasn’t like she and Jeff would sit back and overlook. They were equally getting involved. Like the guys went to get the chairs and tables, lampposts and some pillars, while the girls were on duty to pick flowers, drapes, carpets, lights, gifts for the guests, ….
“be safe and drive safe” Drake whispered in my ear and placed a kiss on my forehead before driving away with the guys.
“Hele, we need to come back soon and get rest of preps done” Anne yelled
“Coming” I ran towards the car. I was in charge of driving because Pearl suggested that I was best at it.
We have rented a big truck to fit all the stuff we were going to buy or rent whichever works. Krystle had made sure to have the addresses of where to look for what and we made a move quickly.
“So Pearl, when are you going to tie the knot?” Anne asked
“Not sure. But I want to start family soon. Bert also wants the same. We both are settled as far as our career goes, my job as a professor in the university of Ghent is confirmed, Bert is taking over his fathers business and we have been dating since 2 years now.”
“Did he pop up the question yet?”
“Nopes. That’s the only thing which makes me worry. He said couple of times he sees me in his life, in his future, but that’s all, he never asked me ever. I wouldn’t even know what to do if he changes his mind and doesn’t want me anymore.”
“Pearl” my voice as calm as possible
“Girl, did you notice how he looks at you? As if you are the only girl around him and no way he is gonna dump you after coming with you so far. I am sure he might have different plans to pop up the question”
“I really hope so”
This was the first time I saw her nervous. No doubt she is head over heels in his love. When she lost her parents I have hardly seen her happy but when Bert came in her life she started smiling more, Bert made her happy and cared for her more than anyone, to be honest he cared for her more than me. He had put up with her when she was mad, hurt or annoying. He is the best thing that has happened in her life after her parents and I can understand her worry. In a way I am also sailing in the same boat.
The talks shifted to Krystle and Jeff and later to Anne and Liam. I found out that Liam is going to be the CEO soon taking over the business from his father- precisely after this trip he would step in as CEO. Anne informed that Liam doesn’t want people to see him differently, so he keeps his profile low and tries to be the real him when he is not at work. I was so happy for Anne and Krystle and also for Pearl. They were happy and seeing them happy made me happy.
We soon bought few items from the list and stopped at a local diner to have some quick bites and then got back to work. Throughout the day, I didn’t check my mobile. I knew I had to call back Goldman Inc and talk to them but somehow I was nervous and wanted to procrastinate it which is very unusual of me. After getting everything from the list we headed back to beach houses.
As I stepped out of the car, the guys came to help us pick the things from the trunk. We girls were all smiles. Placing the things in Jeffs beach house the guys came back and joined us on the beach where we decided to relax for sometime.
“Aunt Hele” I could hear Melody’s voice and soon turned towards her
“Melody” I ran towards her and lifted her in my arms
“Aunt Hele, I missed you”
She hugged me tight and I could see the girls and guys in awe looking at melody
“Where is your mumma and papa? Why are you here alone?”
“Mumma and Papa are there” she pointed her finger towards Steve and Diana who were taking quick steps towards us.
“Ohh they are here. I will just go greet them” Jeff stood up and walked towards them
“Melody go with Jeff. Your mumma might not like to see you around me. Okay”
“you are too small to understand all that. But remember, Aunt Hele will always love you” I placed a gentle kiss and let Jeff hold Melody.
I joined the girls and Drake sat next to me grasping my hands.
“You okay?” he asked to which I nodded
Soon Steve, Diana and Melody came towards us. Everyone greeted them except me. Steve came towards me
“Hele” he said
He shook his head and pulled me into a hug. “I missed you and I am glad I am here to spend some time with you”
“Is it even possible?”
“What about your family? Will they like?”
“As if I am gonna care about them. If they dislike I am gonna take the same step you took” he winked, I laughed
“Drake “ he said and walked towards him. “Thank you for taking care of my sister. You are good person” he patted Drakes shoulder
“I would always take care of her” Drake smiled
I could see Diana not very pleased with Steve, however to my surprise she didn’t utter a word and stayed silent. Good for me isn’t it.
“Ok guys, I guess we have lot of work to do as wedding is on Wednesday, so you better start with setting up the venue and taking care of the power and all. Once the pillars and other things are set, girls would tie the drapes and set the rest of the things” Krystle said and all the guys left.
“So what about us?” Pearl asked
“As of now relax and let the guys handle, we have lots of work to handle tomorrow” we nodded
“Diana where is Elaina?” Krystle asked
“She is on her way, I mean from the villa to here. She wanted to have a long shower first” Diana said looking at me
“Excuse me, I need to make an important call and would join you all in few minutes” I excused and walked towards my beach house. I sat on the steps of the entrance and taking a deep breath dialled the number they messaged.
“Hello this is Helena”
“How may I help you?”
“I received a call yesterday asking me to give a call back to this number”
“Can you just hold on for a moment till I check your details and connect you to the concerned department?”
“Hello Goldman Inc, this is Stephanie”
“Hi Stephanie, Helena this end. I got a call yesterday asking me to call back”
“Ohh Hello Helena. Do you have couple of minutes to listen to me carefully. This is something important and urgent too”
“Thank you. We know your actual date of joining is in couple of months from now.. however we have an urgent requirement due to adding up of contracts. So we wanted to know if you could may be join in couple of weeks from now”
“I know, this is all of a sudden. We just don’t want to hire someone temporarily and were thinking of asking you first. We have sent out the same messages to all the would be employees too. We can understand if you say NO but..”
“but if the temporary candidate proves himself/herself he/she would be made permanent and your date of joining may be pushed further or the worst case your offer may be terminated too”
“but this is not …”
“I know this doesn’t look fair enough, but the business works like this Helena. The market is cut throat and to succeed we sometimes have to take harsh decisions. Its not like we are taking your opportunity away, we are still giving you a chance. We have an urgent requirement and we need staff, so we wanted to ask you if you are available before hiring someone else. “
“Can I get back to you with my decision by this Friday? I really need to think about it and also have to deal with my personal issues before saying YES or NO”
“offcourse..We can wait till Friday. But if we don’t hear from you by Friday - end of the day, then I am afraid we would have to hire new candidates and about your candidature , we will let you know our decision as soon as possible”
“Thank you for your time Helena. I hope you make good decision and get back to us. Hope to talk to you soon.”
The call ended and I sat down numb. 15 days is what remains for me with Drake if I say YES. What to do, how to come out of this. Can I leave him and go. How would he feel? I brought my face into my palms and sat down.
I didn’t know how much time I spent sitting like this…
“Hele” a hand was placed on my shoulder and a gentle voice heard. I looked up and saw Mrs. Johnson
“Mrs. Johnson” she raised an eyebrow
“Mom” I hugged her
“Lets get in and we can talk” she said
We both went in and she asked me to sit in the chair in the sit out while she started making coffee, even though I offered to help her out.
“nonsense. I am the mom and I would want to do it for my child , so just sit there and wait”
She handed me my cup and sat opposite to me
“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?”
“I am laughing at my fate”
I shook my head thinking from where to start…
“Start from wherever you want” she spoke as if reading my thoughts
“I love Drake”
She smiled and I continued
“I haven’t said this to anyone not even to Pearl from whom I don’t hide anything. I really love Drake and I don’t want to leave him”
“I have to “
“You know mom, I have a job which I dreamt of and now I received a call from them asking me to join in 15 days. I need to let them know my decision by Friday. I don’t know what to do. When Drake and I started seeing each other , I never knew I would fall in Love. I always thought Love isn’t for me and all we will have is an attraction that will fade away by the time I need to make a move to NY. But I was wrong. It wasn’t attraction it was a strong bond I developed with him and now I am at the cross roads”
I looked at her and she didn’t show any emotion neither did she look upset or angry or annoyed.
“I am also worried about Drake. I am not sure how would he react if I tell him I need to leave in 15 days. I don’t want to hurt him but..”
“But what Hele?”
“what if he doesn’t feel the same as I feel. I know I am wrong in saying this, but right now I am not in a position to think properly. “
I went silent.
“Is that all Hele?”
“Tell me something Hele, I am asking you as your mom not as Drakes mom at this point”
“Do you trust Drake?”
“Do you see your future with him?” I looked at her
“as in marriage and kids and all?’’ she nodded
“Yes. I see all of that. I can never imagine any other person in my life. Its only Drake who has my heart”
“What’s more important to you at this point Hele. Your Job or Drake? Be honest”
I went silent I tried to picturise myself working at Goldman INC but my mind picturised my future with Drake, our home, two kids running in the lawn while Drake is behind them and I am in the kitchen smiling making some blueberry cheese cakes. Drake holding our daughter in his arms while our son holds Drake’s finger walking towards me. Drake gently placing a kiss on my cheek mouthing I LOVE YOU while both our kids giggle. No where in the situation did I see lavish cars or myself working even after forcibly trying. All I could see was love in Drakes and my eyes.
“Hele” moms voice brought me back to present
“What’s your answer?”
“Drake. He is what I want in my life. His love is enough for me to lead my life in a happy way.”
“But..” mom looked at me as I frowned
“If in future when there are rough times , would you regret of not taking the job and blame Drake for the same?”
“No… I would never do that, not even in my dreams. Not taking the job offer is my decision, how can I blame him”
“Then you know what to answer them Hele” she smiled
I smiled along with her, she made me see what I truly wanted and I would be always grateful to her for this.
“Hele..” I looked at her
“Drake is my son but I have raised him to be a gentleman. I can say that he loves you as much as you love him. I also know he wouldn’t intentionally hurt you. But you need to know that every couple will have to undergo ups and downs and face the challenges life throws. It is important to put up with each other when time is bad. If you can do that, listen to your heart and tell them NO. If you cannot , say an YES and move on. It might hurt you both now, but may be it would be good for both of you for future. This is an advice from me as Drakes mom” she smiled
“Mom ! I have faced lot of challenges life has thrown at me since my birth . I know I can definitely put up with your son at bad times too. But what if he doesn’t want me to stay back? I don’t want to be an imposed burden on him.”
“what are you implying Hele?”
“I want him to stop me from going. I want this decision to be mutual. I know I don’t want to go to NY. I want to chose him over my career. But I also need a confirmation from him that he too needs the same. He wants me to be in his life. He wants to have future with me.”
“Fair enough. For that to happen you need to tell him about the call”
“I will mom. But after the wedding. I still have time till Friday evening. I don’t want to ruin the mood of anyone. Promise me mom, you would also not talk about this to Drake or anyone else. I want this to be between you and me”
“I wouldn’t if that’s what you want. Now cheer up, we have to handle your Sister-in-laws wedding. And as far as I know her, at this point she would be getting mad at you for disappearing”
We both laughed and I hugged her “I love you mom. I wish I would have met you earlier and got all the amazing advices from you”
She kissed my forehead “better late than never. I love you too and you would always be my daughter no matter what happens in future. Now lets go”
I assured to clean up later in the night as we both made our way to our respective destinations.