Being invited to that party meant the world to me. I was finally going to be at my father's home, be among his family, and the worst thing would me them not knowing who I might be.
I was thrilled to see him again and meet his wife, Lauren.
I didn't like that idea much though; the idea of meeting the woman who should have never replaced my mother; a woman that he chose over my mother a long time ago.
I had to deal with that my own way though. I had to behave as normal as possible and try to smile and converse whenever I had the chance to. All I knew from my friend Lisa was that the Johnson have got two sons: Eliot and Michael. They're high school students, probably between thirteen and fifteen years-old. It was weird to meet one's relatives in such an occasion without being introduced properly as it should be.
After all, they should know that I was their half-sister; they have to know the truth I've already known lately; they have to know that I was their half-sister, that we've got the same father, that I should have been given Johnson as a family name and not Morgan.
I liked my mother's family name, I liked when people call me by "Morgan", though.
I liked my name: Amy Morgan, I wouldn't imagine myself changing it into Johnson one day. Still that would be a big problem. Such a truth couldn't be revealed. It had to remain a secret, at least for now.
Everything is possible in one's life. All along the way to Mr. Philip Johnson's home, I didn't take my eyes off of Marvin. He was looking at me through the mirror while driving and I was enjoying these secret gazes he was sharing with me.
Surprisingly, he didn't call me that day. He was probably very busy. Nevertheless, he should have found some time for me. I know he's got a busy schedule, but I was supposed to be a part of his schedule, too. He had to devote some time for me.
After all I was the woman he pretended to love, to cherish, and to protect.
What mattered now was that I was going to see my father again and spend some time in his house surrounded by the people he knows.
Besides, this party is very important for him. He was going to celebrate a business partnership Marvin and he have done recently with a foreign business company. So I guess, it is worth celebrating.
As we arrived, my hazel eyes widened at the sight of the place where Mr. Johnson was living.
It was a big residence, like the one where Lisa lived, a large house that contained two big floors, surrounded by a flowery garden.
There were many luxurious cars parked in an area next to the house.
When Marvin pulled over the car, a man, wearing a black suit, opened up the door for Lisa and I. I smiled warmly at him and stepped toward the front door where Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were standing welcoming all the guests into the house.
Mr. Johnson was wearing a dark blue suit while his wife, she was wearing a long ivory satin dress. She's got light brown hair, brown eyes, and was gracefully pretty.
Marvin was walking next to us. Lisa was in the middle and I was on the right side while Marvin was on the left side. When we reached the front door, the hosts welcomed us cheerfully.
- "Good evening Marvin!" Mr. Johnson said out of excitement.
- "Good evening Philip, Lauren. It's nice to see you again." Marvin replied smiling warmly at both of them.
- "Good evening Marvin. Lisa, darling, you look stunning in that dress." Mrs. Johnson patted Lisa's shoulder.
- "Thank you Mrs. Johnson. You look gorgeous." Lisa smiled warmly back at the woman.
- "Thank you for coming. And this must be ..."
- "Amy ... Amy Morgan" Mr. Johnson said to his wife.
- "Ah yes Amy, Lisa's friend. Welcome to our home Amy. It's a pleasure to have you with us tonight!"
- "Thank you for your hospitality ma'am" I replied shyly.
We came into the house, to head towards a big rectangular room, I presume the living room. The house was filled with people from high society. All the guests that night came from Santa Barbara and other parts of California.
They seemed to be wealthy, as they were wearing highly pricey clothes such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Dior and Versace.
That night, I was wearing one of those luxurious brands. I didn't care much though. What I liked the most was the dress that Marvin bought me. I noticed a few quick glances every time I pass among the guests. I must say that I started to get somehow fatter than the other days ... I felt the need to eat more than before, and enjoyed tasting food in my palate again after what I have experienced lately.
I guess that my body was well-shaped in that fabulous dress, that would explain why some men were looking at me. I have to admit that Lisa was shining in her black dress, showing up her feminine curves and making her look irresistibly beautiful.
We stood first next to the big sofa talking while Marvin had to go and meet business partners around.
There were many middle-aged men and women, and some young adults. We started conversing Lisa and I when we heard a familiar voice interrupting our conversation. Lisa's eyes widened out of excitement at the sight of Eric approaching us. He suggested that we'd better go outside by the pool, so we did as he suggested where we joined some acquaintances of his up there.
Sparkling glasses of champagne were served regularly and I decided to grab one glass as everyone around were drinking champagne. I wasn't a big fun of champagne though.
As the slightly sour taste of the liquid tickled my throat, I looked around to find co-workers up here and there, also attending the party. My eyes met a few of them and I greeted Mrs. Jessica Spencer and Mr. Thornton.
I was with Lisa and Eric the whole time. From time to time, I looked around and found Marvin also looking at me, his ocean eyes searching for my hazel eyes.
Each time our eyes met, he smiled warmly at me. I could read through his eyes, he was telling me how much he missed me and loved me.
We haven't been intimate since yesterday evening. I guess that he could no longer wait for tomorrow's evening to make love to me. Neither could I.
We were in a party and couldn't allow ourselves to get excited that much. We needed to focus on the people we were conversing with and enjoy the jazzy music that filled up the space.
After some time, I followed Eric, Lisa and the few people in the group to sit by the pool. We spent some time talking about work and future projects when Lisa whispered something in my ear, like they, Eric and she, needed a moment of privacy.
I smiled at her and nodded in agreement before I watched them leaving us to go somewhere else.
I stayed with the others a little longer before I decided to go to the restroom in order to powder my nose. I was walking toward the stairs searching for the place to go to when I met Mr. Johnson passing by.
- "Ms. Morgan ... it's nice to have you here with us. Are you enjoying yourself?"
- "Yes, sir. Thank you for asking."
- "Thank you for coming. By the way ... I would like you to meet my sons ! If you please, come with me."
As I nodded in agreement, he held me by my upper arm leading the way. I felt quite excited to meet them while we were heading toward the boys near the pool and I could glimpse at Marvin who was following me with his eyes not getting why I was following Mr. Johnson.
His gaze a little bit suspicious, I presume. He seemed not to like how Mr. Johnson was holding my upper arm, but I didn't care much about what he might think of that.
- "Michael ! Eliot ! Let me introduce you to a good friend of Lisa Richardson, Ms. Amy Morgan !"
- "Hello !" the two boys said looking at me.
- "Hi ! nice to meet you"
- "Nice to meet you, too." one of the two boys said.
- "These are my sons, Amy."
Michael looked like his father a lot, same hazel eyes and fair hair, while Eliot got more traits from his mother.
I smiled back at him. It was the very first time I had met my two half-brothers. It felt so weird because for them, I meant nothing. I am just a friend of Lisa Richardson.
For me, however, it meant a lot. After we engaged in a short conversation with them, we stepped back and he insisted on showing me some paintings in the big hall.
Mr. Johnson seemed to be an art lover as he spoke about how many paintings he's got and how much he liked art.
As we came back to the big hall, there was a large painting hung into one corner. I didn't notice it when we came earlier, maybe because I was so excited to be around my "supposed to be" father.
It was one of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings: the Starry Night.
- "Do you know this painting Ms. Morgan? It's a famous one!" He asked as we stopped right in front of the painting.
- "Of course sir, it's the Starry Night by Van Gogh. Who wouldn't know this painting!? "
I replied immediately, my hazel eyes thoroughly drawn to the magic of the colors.
He smiled at me and said "I didn't know you liked Van Gogh, Ms. Morgan. Tell me what do you like about this painting?" His voice full of curiosity.
- "Well, how the colors are vividly depicted in a nightly dance. I like how the blue color dominates the space in the canvas, but at the same time how the yellow comes to remind the admirer that there is light after all, a light out of the darkness of the night. I like how Van Gogh gave some space to his imagination to fancy about the invasion of blue all over the space." I explained and waved at the movement of the colors in the painting.
- "Mmh ... I see ... so for you, the blue color is a symbol of freedom?"
- "We can perceive it at both levels ... as a prison but at the same time as a form of freedom. A freedom from the room he was entrapped in the Monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole ... it is just a way to transgress time ... travel through the blue of the moment given ... as a form of hope as long as there is life!" I said looking deeply into the blue of the painting.
- "Are you sure you're not an art student, because you sound like one!" He winked at me.
- "No, I'm not ...I'm just giving my opinion sir ..." I slightly blushed.
- "I am joking Ms. Morgan."
-" Just call me Amy " I insisted boldly.
- "Okay, Amy then. I like how you interpret the use of colors in that painting. We should talk about paintings more often than business, what do you think?"
- " As you wish sir ! I like the idea very much" I smiled warmly at him when a familiar voice interrupted our discussion.
- " Is he bothering you with his passion for Van Gogh?" Marvin teased me.
- "Not at all sir ..." I blushed.
- "I've just found someone who shares the same passion as me for Van Gogh ! Amy and I agreed on talking more about art than business, right Amy?"
Mr. Johnson winked at me.
I laughed at the way he suggested it to me. It seemed that Marvin came to check up on me. It seemed to me that he didn't appreciate how I was spending time talking with Mr. Johnson.
I didn't care what he would think right now. I was glad that I was spending some precious time with my own father.
I wouldn't let anyone ... even Marvin ... spoil that moment. I was so happy to be able to talk to my father, even for a few minutes. It meant the world to me.
I knew deep down myself that I had to tell him the truth. I knew that I had to have the guts to do it, but I was unable to speak the truth. I couldn't do it for fear of being rejected or mistrusted.
I had to tell him in the right time, in the right place, but when and where will that happen?
I barely know...
After a short time, Mr. Johnson had to dismiss himself because one of the guests called for him. Marvin and I stood where we were, in front of Van Gogh's painting.
- "I didn't know that you were very jealous, Mr. Richardson?"
I teased him.
- "Me ! Jealous? You must be mistaken Ms. Morgan !" he said looking back at the painting, avoiding to look at me.
I couldn't stop giggling at how he said that. He didn't expect me to accuse him of being jealous, because this is what seemed to me, but he denied it completely.
He kept looking at me suspiciously and didn't reply, then smiled. He was to tell me something when we got interrupted by two men who were willing to speak to him.
I left them and headed toward the pool. I was walking not so far from it contemplating the shades of blue in the light when my eyes met those of Tyler Morrison's.
I stood still and couldn't move an inch.
What the hell is he doing at Mr. Johnson's?
He was talking to some people when he saw me looking at him. He decided to come over. I didn't want to speak to him and I didn't want him to come closer to me, because each time I see him I remember how much I was naive to have believed every single word he told me then, how much I was mistaken to have thought that he would be there when I needed him the most ... and all my thoughts were driven to that horrible and unforgettable night where I was raped by my step-father.
I couldn't forget how I found Tyler with another girl that night in that restaurant. I couldn't forgive myself for having believed that young man.
No, I couldn't.
He came close to me then stopped, anticipating what I would do, as I stood still, not moving an inch.
- "Good evening Amy!" His husky voice came as a whisper.
- "Hi !" I said harshly.
- "I know that I must be the last person with whom you'd like to talk right now ... but I really want to ..." He rubbed his neck with the palm of his hand, trying to finish what he was intended to tell me.
- "What are you doing in here Tyler?"
- "I was invited by Mrs. Johnson. I work with her in her law firm." He explained.
- "I see. So now you're working for Mrs. Johnson who appears to be the wife of my boss. What a coincidence!" I let a sigh out of exasperation.
- " Yeah I am, actually, an intern at her firm. Amy ... I... I know how much you are angry at me ... and I am so sorry about what happened that night, I shouldn't have lied to you ..."
- "Stop it ! I don't want to talk about that. You're just a liar Tyler !" I waved my hand in the air to protest. I didn't want to listen to him.
- "Just listen to what I'd like to say, Amy ... please !" he said attempting to touch me.
- "Don't touch me !" I yelled before I stepped back.
I could feel the quick gazes of a few people standing not far from us when a familiar masculine voice came out of nowhere.
- "Hey! Leave her alone ! Just go away "
Mr. Johnson told Tyler in a threatening tone, then turned toward me concern in his voice,
- "Are you alright Amy?"
- "Yes ... yes ... I'm fine sir."
I replied surprised by his intervention.
- "How do you know Tyler Morrison?"
- "He was an old friend of mine ..."
- "I see. I don't like this guy though. I don't know why, but I don't like him. Anyway, would you like me to bring you a soft drink?"
he proposed kindly when Marvin showed up,
- "That guy again !" Exasperation in his voice.
- "Do you know him Marvin?"
- "Yes ... he came to my house the other day and insisted on speaking to Amy. I just don't like him! "
- " Neither do I. So, I guess we're two in this, huh?" He smirked.
- "It's no big deal Mr. Richardson I'm fine. He won't bother me again. "
I said looking at him as to warn him not to show more his anger in front of Mr. Johnson.
Anyone could suspect us. I noticed that Tyler was looking at Marvin suspiciously ... recognizing the man with whom he got into a fight the other time in the parking lot of the motel.
- " Thank you Philip, I am going to handle the situation now. I need to speak with Ms. Morgan in private !" He let the words shamelessly out of his chest.
What ! "I am going to handle the situation now. I need to speak with her in private", did he lose his mind !? It is very suspicious.
I don't want Mr. Johnson to suspect something going on with Marvin and I.
I hate you Marvin. I really do.
Mr. Johnson seemed to be a little confused and surprised, he looked at Marvin then at me, before saying,
"Okay. Of course. Amy, if you need anything just let me kow." He smiled at me.
- "Thank you sir." I smiled back at him.
Marvin waited for Mr. Johnson to leave then narrowed his eyes at me,
- "What is going on with Philip tonight? And now Tyler ?" Anger clear in his husky voice.
- "Marvin, please calm down ... everyone is staring at us! Can you speak in a quiet voice !"
I said embarrassed.
He grabbed my wrist and whispered in my ear, his tone quite threatening,
"Just follow me Amy and do not protest."
I nodded before he led me inside the house, searching for a vacant room. As we were walking into the corridor, his eyes still searching for a vacant room, I finally said.
- "Where are you taking me, Marvin ? ... You're hurting my wrist ...." My voice with tainted with self-control, but came out almost shaky, for fear of being caught by Lisa or Mr. Johnson or Tyler or even any other guest.
He didn't reply as we came into a large square hall, giving access to a few rooms. The first door Marvin opened up appeared to be a bathroom. He turned on the lights, as both of us entered in before he locked the door behind him. Then, he let go off my hand turning me to stand in front of him, making me lean my back on the wooden door.
I've never seen him in that state before, so pissed off, as he was standing just in front of me, his blue eyes turned into a deep scary blue as he kept glaring at me.
- "We can't stay here, we have to come back with the others."
I said attempting to unlock the door.
- "We're not going anywhere Amy before you tell me what is going on in here!" His husky voice full of anger and...jealousy.
- "Nothing ... believe me nothing ..." I said perplexed.
- "Don't think that I am a fool, I looked at how you were looking at him, how you liked spending time in his company!" His voice still calm as he was trying to pull himself together.
- "Are you talking about Mr. Johnson?"
- "Yes, who else huh?! Don't mess with me Amy! Don't dare mess with me!" he yelled at me, finally.
Jerk. I hate you.
I frowned at him in disbelief, at first, to quickly shake my head as everything became crystal clear to me. Still I didn't want to believe that this may be real.
No way it could be real!
- "First don't yell at me. I didn't do anything wrong, Marvin. And second, I didn't mess with you; I was just watching that painting with him. It was his idea to show me Van Gogh's painting, not mine."
- "You were flirting with him the whole time!"
- "What?! Are you insane! I wasn't flirting with him ... I can't flirt with--" I barked at him before I stopped.
I was about to say the forbidden word of the day "my father", but I couldn't transgress the red limit.
- "You can't flirt with the big boss, is that what you were about to say?"
- "Do you really think that I could cheat on you with Mr. Johnson!?"
- "It seemed to me ..."
- "It seemed to you! It seemed to you what!? Is that what you think of me Marvin?"
- "I don't know what I am thinking of right now !" he said running his hand into his hair nervously.
- "You just tell me what you're thinking of right now, Marvin?"
I yelled at him.
- "Nothing ! I mean nothing!" He yelled back.
- "No, tell me ... I want to know what you're thinking of me right this moment ... tell me !" I yelled again.
- " That you were hitting on Philip, same thing you did to me a while ago "
- "What the fuck! How dare you say that!"
I barked at him before I slapped him right in the face, without realizing what I was doing in the first place.
He didn't see that coming either.
My hands were shaking as he tried to touch me, but I jerked my arm away. We then stayed looking at each other not realizing what has just been said and done at the same time.
He seemed to regret what he just said.
He closed his eyes for a while, letting a long exhale out of his chest, before opening them up again, meeting my gaze again.
- "I am so confused. I no longer know what to think...what to believe! " His eyes begging for forgiveness.
- "Leave me alone ! Let me go out !" I cried out.
- "I didn't know why I said that Amy, don't be mad at me please... I just couldn't stand him looking at you ... You seem to be close ! I couldn't stand it that's all! You are all mine, do you get that? "
- " No I don't get it! And next time you should think before accusing me of such things Marvin! "
My voice full of anger and threat.
I felt hurt exploding all parts of my heart. I didn't believe that he could think that of me, after what I had told him on Esperanza, that I deeply and truly loved him, he just came and spat that into my face.
I was so disappointed at him.
- "Amy ... baby ... don't go ... I am so sorry ..." he said getting closer to me.
- "Leave me alone, Marvin ..."
- " This whole situation just made me out of control...!"
His eyes softened as much as his voice now.
- "I am not cheating on you, if that is what you want to know!"
- "Forgive me baby ... but you and Philip seemed so close !"
He tried to touch my arm, still ignoring my threats.
- "Let go of me Marvin, let go of my arm!" A mixture of anger and disappointment was audible in my shaky voice.
He was just standing in front of me, his hands finally reaching out my upper arms and I let him toich me after a long struggle with myself, while he tilted his head ontl my chest attempting to get me back and begging for me to forgive him, but I wouldn't do him that privilege.
I was really hurt that night by what he could think of me. He shouldn't have said that. He shouldn't have thought that of me.
How could he? How dare he think of something insane going on between Mr. Johnson and myself ?
How come ?
I didn't stop crying the whole time he touched my face searching for a way to be forgiven. I was begging him to let me go because I was feeling myself so broken, so hurt by his words.
I was attempting to go outside, but he kept his arms on me, to finally fall on his knees and wrap himself around my waist begging me to forgive him for what he just said, that he didn't mean it, that he was out of his mind, that it was anger taking control of his thoughts, that he wasn't aware of what he told me at that moment, and I ... I didn't want to listen to more of that ...
I needed to go out and breathe some fresh air ... I needed to go away ... far from him ... I wanted him to let me breathe for a while ...
- "How could you think that I could cheat on you Marvin?" My eyes full of tears.
- "Amy, I'm so sorry ... please ... forget what I just said ... I didn't mean it ..."
- "I can't ... I just can't ... you think that I could cheat on you with ..."
I stopped, looked at him in disgust, then decided to tell him the truth.
I didn't care much about what will come after that.
I no longer care.
So I proceeded with my words "with my own father!"
He looked at me thoroughly bewildered, not believing what he just heard. I could finally push him away, unlocking the door before I stormed out of the room leaving him speechless.