22. Bitter truth
“I think we should start packing. Fortunately you didn’t let go of our old studio” Alex whispered from the couch, wrapped in a blanket and wearing the same pajamas since four days.
“Will you get your dirty, stinky ass off that couch for just a minute?”
“My ass are everything except dirty, I have at least a dozen girls who can testify.” The young brunette shout showing her phone to her sister.
“You’d be a little more convincing if that special girl of yours would answered at least one of your messages during those 72 hours” Alex sniffed and brought the blanket over her head, making her sister growl and got up to forcibly pushed her off the couch.
“Aiie, what the fuck is your fucking problem”
“You’re stinking. You need a shower”
“No” Asha hits her little sister with a pillow, but the latter didn’t have time to do anything that the doorbell was ringing.
“Alex...!” The young brunette heard her sister call her. Arriving at the door was Grace.
“You want to kick us out, right?” She asks, blowing her nose with a tissue, which makes the graying-haired lady wince.
“What? No. I just want to talk,” Grace said.
“What do you want from her” Asha crossed her arms and stands between Alex and the lady, refusing to leave her little sister alone with Grace.
“Believe me if I say, I don’t want any harm to your sister” She smiled and believing her, Asha opened the door wide for her.
“Okay, come in”
“Could we instead go out and talk?” They first looked at Asha to see if she agreed and after a little moment of reflection, she nodded.
“Okay. I’m going to change” Alex agreed going back in the apartment.
“You should take a shower too” Asha try to convince her sister again.
“Your sister is right. I will be in the car when you’re done.”
“Where do you want to go?” Asked Grace after Alex sat next to her in the car.
“I don’t know, anywhere” Alex nodded. Trying to make herself very small and not knowing how to behave with Ryan’s mother for a lot of reasons but mainly for the one that earned her a slap.
“Can we go shopping?” Alex looked strangely at the woman next to her and smiled politely. “That’s what I do when I’m nervous. We even go to the men’s section considering your style?”
“You’re nervous, you!?” Alex was astonished.
“Why do you look so surprised?”
“I don’t know I mean you should probably be considering, you Grace King, senator and the only child of one of the most powerful man in the state around just Alexandria Woods, yeah” Grace laughs which makes the brunette relax a little.
“If only you know”
“Those jeans will suit you perfectly you should try them” Grace stretched out to her a pair of skinny jeans.
“I thought we’re here because you need something, I can’t afford to pay anything in these shops” She smiles putting back the jeans and sitting on a chair waiting for the middle-aged woman
“You’re not paying anything, I am”
“Ehhh... No, thank you but no, I can’t accept”
“Why, I’m the one who proposed. Just consider it as your birthday present, certainly late but hey.”
“Ma’am, I can’t.” Very confused because the woman looked nothing like the Grace of 4 days ago, tempted to get out her phone and ask Albert if his daughter was bipolar or if it was just a plan to kidnap her and have her tortured in the basement of some terrifying building.
“It’s very rude to refuse a gift” Alex took the jeans halfhearted and left in the dressing room. After trying and ready to go out, her eyes fell on the label.
“In the name of my two ovaries. $207” Eyes popping out of their orbit, She tried in vain to hold back from screaming.
“All good in thee?”
“Yes, but these jeans are... they costs more than $200. That way too expensive, ma’am. Can’t we just go to another shop?” She hastened to take off the jeans in fear to damage them in any way.
“But in here they are the best article of all New York” Grace tried to convince her again.
“But let at last....”
“Shhutt... All you have to do is try everything you like ok” The woman puts her arms around Alex’s shoulders and led her to a row of overrated button-up shirts.
“I already have everything I need, brand new clothes. Albert made sure of that”
“So what do you want to buy then, shoes or anything else?”
“Take at least some jeans and some shirts.” Alex tried but really didn’t understand the woman in front of her, doing everything to put her at ease.
Everything was going on really fine with Grace, I even thought I was exaggerating and the woman was a saint until she had to put the story with Elianna back on the table. And then everything went to south, she judged Asha and criticized the way I was raised. Just one sentence and you could guess that it was also homophobic.
“I knew it, I knew you couldn’t be so nice. I slept with your son’s wife and you buy me overrated clothes? I was just wondering when it was going to happen” I scream as I leave the store followed very closely by Grace and her driver/bodyguard.
“What I’m saying has nothing to do with Ryan or Elianna. I just want to know how you can do such a thing, it’s irresponsible and very...” She pulls on my arm and turns me to face her.
“I am truly sorry for causing trouble to your family, believe me I really am. You have every right to criticize me, slap me or even throw me out but I forbid you to talk to me as if you were my mother or to judge Asha and the way she raised me you know nothing about us. No one would have done better than her” Hands going in every direction, I tried to explain myself without offending her and causing more trouble.
“I would have done better than her because no one will ever love you more than your mother” She cried with tears and a fire of rage filling her brown eyes.
“No. no one would hav...” I tried to cut her off but realizing what she just said, we were both frozen on the spot and with a whisper I ask “What?”
“Oh my God, I... I didn’t want you to find out that way. I’m sorry” She massages her forehead, her tears now flowing freely on her cheeks. She raised her head and her eyes seemed much less severe and much softer, even tender. “Listen”
“No, what do you mean by I didn’t want you to find out like that...” I laugh nervously, I’m sure this is just a big misunderstanding “Wait... find out exactly what” I ask feeling giddy.
“You’re not stupid Infinity you know what I mean” She answers looking right in my eyes.
“No I don’t know what you mean... No, I have to be ...this is just a bad dream, yes, that is it... I just need to wake up that’s all... you can’t be”
“I’m your mother. I know it’s disturbing but” I turn around and vomit on the sidewalk everything I had managed to swallow the morning.
“NO” I screaming startling her a little. Her driver approaches and asks us to get back in the car because of the attention we were drawing on us. He opened the door and Grace approached me.
“Come on, get in please and we’ll finish the conversation once...”
“No, You Are Not My Mother” I turn and run in the opposite direction. Grace shouting my name and a heavy claxon was the last things I expected before everything turned black.
I could faintly heard two people arguing, slowly I recognized Asha’s and Grace’s voices but I did not understand anything about their argument. Slowly I opened my eyes and at my bedside was Elianna holding my hand, her head against the bed. Feeling movement, the blonde raises her head and our eyes crossed.
“Hey” She smiles at me. “She’s awake” She said to get the attention of the other two who continued to argue. “Can’t you shut up for a second?” The silence finally settled in my room and the two women approached me but not without exchanging a glance that say a lot.
“Elianna, calls a doctor please” The blonde kissed me on the forehead before going out, something that surprised me considering her mother-in-law presence in the room. And suddenly everything came back to me, my argument with Grace, the reason for our argument and the claxons.
“No, I want you out of my room” I said pointing to Grace and turning my head from her touch.
“Alex” She said with a broken voice.
“All right,” she said, I could literally see that my words hurt her. But I’m not at all ready for the inevitable conversation.
Asha accompanied the woman outside and Elianna returned with her mother who asked me a few questions about my health. It was nothing serious because the driver was driving very slowly. The scans show nothing to worry about, I just have an injury at the back of the head and a few stitches on my elbows.
And if Grace was right, if I were really her daughter, it would mean that I slept with my brother’s wife. And my father, was he really my biological father, did I also share a father with Ryan. Oh my god.
Grace is not my mother. Otherwise it would mean that my whole life was a lie. Everything I thought I knew was just a story to hide the truth. And why would my father lie to me about my origins.
Grace’s wrong, she can’t be my mother.
I slept with my brother’s wife.
“Alex?” I turn to the so-called woman, Asha had gone to get me something to eat.
“I’m sorry I didn’t answer your calls. I just needed time to, you know.”
“No, don’t worry. I think you did the right thing when you didn’t answer.”
“No, no. Please don’t say that” She sits on the edge of the bed, frowning and takes my hand in hers.
“Yes, It gave me time to see clearly in all this fucking shit and I was really crazy to think it could still work” I laugh and sit up. “I’ll talk to Ryan, I’ll explain to him that it’s all my fault”
“No, what are you talking about?” She comes closer to me and strokes my face. God, I missed her. “When I got the call from Grace saying you had an accident I.” She lowers her head and breathes deeply. “I realized I had to divorce Ryan”
“What?” I ask not being able to stop my voice from raising.
“Listen, I don’t want to scare you, but I just want to be with you. It’s going to be hard, but together I’m sure it’s going to work.”
“No, you can’t divorce Ryan. We can’t do that. You have a business based on your wedding. Can you imagine the disastrous consequences? The media? We can’t do that. Are you drunk?”
“I know you scared, but you have to trust on this one. And I am not doing this just for us to be together, I am firstly doing it for myself” I look at her confused. “All my life I have done what society expected of me, what my mother and grandparents expected of me. I didn’t even want this life. When I was 11 I just wanted to be a painter, live in a completely messy apartment, and not do my dishes for days. And not be some kind of queen and married a prince charming. I’ve been doing this my whole life, now I want to do what I, Elianna, want to do. And I want you”
“I want to kiss you” My confessions makes her smile. She doesn’t even realize what we may overcome for us to be together someday that why I need to be realistic for the both of us. And there may be a chance, as tiny as it is, for her to be my sister-in-law.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” She whispered caressing my chin.
“Everything. Arrgh” I scream and tap on the bed. “Why did it have to be you? Life is not fair” Elianna stood up to kiss me, but I gently pushed her away. I know it’s crazy because my father would never have lied to me, but first I need to clarify everything with Grace because there’s this little part deep inside me, in my heart, that tells me it may be true.
I’ve dreamed a hundred times about being able to meet my mother, but I don’t know if I’m willing to accept that my mother is Grace, Ryan’s too.
“I’m going to fight for both of us Alex. I now know what I’ve to do” Elianna smiles at me and takes her bag to leave.