Not So Perfect

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8

Thomas circles the parking lot, attempting to find a spot. My palms become sweaty and my throat dry. I've been here multiple times, I know what to expect. But I haven't seen my parents in a week and I'm nervous to be in the same room as them.

When we finally find a parking space, Thomas and I make our way inside. More people arrive with us, a line forming at the entrance. We're good to go and follow everyone else in front of us.

The party hall is a huge part of the company. The tall ceilings make it appear even more spacious. And it's beautifully decorated each time. With creme colored tablecloths and a centerpiece adorning each table.

I recognize a few faces from previous parties. A lot of them are new though which is a good thing for business reasons.

Thomas pulls the chair out for me as we are seated near the middle. Because it's just us two, we got one of the smaller round tables.

My family isn't hard to miss, they sit in the same spot every year. Right by the stage along with the top investors.

There's soft music being played that is just barely loud enough amongst the chatter of people.

Thomas notices me looking at him. "Do you regret coming yet?"

I tilt my head with a grin. "Of course not," I answer sarcastically.

"Good." He laughs, knowing I'm only joking.

A waiter stops by to ask what we want to drink and to bring us some appetizers. Everyone turns their voice down to a hushed whisper. The main company owners, including my father, standing up on the stage to greet us.

After the usual introduction, they take a seat to let everyone get situated. The noise goes up once again.

Thomas socializes with the people at our table while I take the time to glance at my parents' table. I tense up when my eyes meet my sisters' boyfriends. He raises a brow, giving me a smile.

He doesn't say anything to anyone simply taking a sip of his drink. He must be taken aback that I came but doesn't show it.

The auction starts up and it's my favorite part. The money all goes to whatever charity they end up choosing and it's so refreshing to see. They all bid higher than the next, my parents participating as always.

It goes on and on until they have the highest bidder. I keep my attention on the front, occasionally glimpsing to make sure my parents can't see me. I notice that my sister is no longer sitting beside Landon. I look around, not finding her anywhere.

"Bea," Thomas says catching my attention.

I look at him, his eyes focused on something behind me. I turn around to see my sister talking to Mr. Jones, one of our neighbors. Her back is facing me but there's no way that she won't notice me. All she has to do is turn a little.

Thomas gives me a concerned look which I shrug off with a tight smile. If she does see me then so be it. I'll deal with that when it happens.

I still tense nervously, secretly hoping she doesn't turn around.

To my luck Landon walks over to her, leading her the opposite way from us. I breathe out a breath that I wasn't even aware I was holding. I'll have to thank him later for that. He seems to be my hero for tonight.

Our food arrives and I'm more than happy to dive in. However, my appetite is almost nonexistent due to being so worried over my sister seeing me. I have prepared for the worst but it doesn't mean that I'll be any less careful.

It's been a week since I made the decision to move out. My mom hasn't tried to convince me to change my mind. I was sure she wouldn't let me go that easily. Their image means everything to them.

To avoid dampening my mood I listen to Thomas talk about work.

After eating, we just sit and talk with each other. This is where most of the business talk occurs. I can already see my father discussing something with an investor. He's always looking for something new to work on.

My dad is proud of his company. He owns a big part of it which he has worked really hard for.

Thomas gets ready to stand up, leaning down a bit. "I'm interested in meeting one of the other assistants." He says, eyeing the table across from us.

I nod, "I'll be here." I assure him.

He goes to the table and I'm left alone. At this point, my boredom is hard to hide. Everyone is too busy to really notice. I lean my chin on my palm, tapping my fingers on the table.

After three cups of lemonade throughout the night, I feel like I'm gonna explode. I take a quick look at my parents' table before making my way to the bathrooms. It's in another hall, the door being right next to the stage.

I make my way in, checking my phone for the first time all night. I text Alice, pleading her to save me before I hide in here all night.

Putting my phone back in my purse, I set it on the counter. Once I'm done, I wash my hands and fix my hair. I respond to Alice a few times, wishing that I could be in a pair of sweatpants and lounging on the couch.

Thomas said we would leave soon because I still have to drive back. I'm not going complain about it because I knew what I agreed to. So I'll just wait until he's done before we leave.

With one last look in the mirror,
I get ready to leave when the door opens right as I'm about to push it open.

I stand aside, letting them walk in. My eyes are set on the floor until I a small surprised gasp. Lifting my head up to meet my mothers' blue eyes.

My mouth falls open, a similar reaction on her face. She's definitely more shocked than I am. I knew she was here obviously.

She straightens up, her brows creasing. "Beatrice?"

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