“Why is mom constantly complaining to me about you sleeping with the men she sets you up on dates with?” Her older brother, Ares, inquired. The two siblings were having their daily FaceTime calls that they’ve been doing for years now. The two siblings loved talking to each other the phone because it made them closer and allowed them to catch up with one another on current events. Even their sister Faith joined them sometimes when she wasn’t busy with her children.
“Damn. Why did she complain to you about it?” She asked.
“You know how she is when it comes to you. She needs any and everybody on her side,” He answered.
“Not just that, but why did she have to tell you about it? You’re my brother. You don’t need to know that,” She said.
“I don’t and I don’t want to know either, but now I do,” He rolled his eyes.
“Anyways, yeah I’ve been sleeping with them. They’re all jackasses anyway,” She told him.
“I know. Mom’s ideal man for you is somebody that will verbally abuse you,” He sighed.
“It really is. Three guys ago, one of them tried it until I threatened to get you involved,” She agreed.
“I remember that and I’m glad you did. One more word out of him and he would have gotten his ass beat,” He said. Ares was nobody to play with at all when it came to his four sisters. He would put someone in the hospital before they even hurt them.
“He had the nerve to snitch to mom like a little bitch,” She rolled her eyes.
“Punk ass bitch,” Ares muttered.
“Anyways, my last date ended in disaster anyway. That guy was insulting me and my weight. Not to mention that he wasn’t over his fiancée,” She explained.
“Oh yeah. Mom was upset because his mom said that you got somebody to punch him,” He said.
“No I did not,” Daphne kissed her teeth, “There was a guy there, a real sweet guy, that punched him because he was being a an ass.”
“Oh really? What last his name?” He asked.
“Samuel Zhāng,” She answered.
“The son of that million dollar company that dad wanted to partner with at some point?” He inquired.
“Dad wanted to become partners with?” She looked at him.
“Yeah. Before he died, he was planning on partnering with them, but it was halted because well...you know,” He answered.
“Wow. You gonna continue what he was planning on doing?” She asked.
“Hopefully I can. Dad saw potential in them around the time and he was right about them being some big booming business,” He explained.
“Our father was always a genius when it came to business,” She said.
“Mhm,” He agreed.
“But don’t use me as leverage for it either,” She firmly stated.
“Daphne, you know good and damn that I’m not about to do that. Dad will rise from his grave and choke the shit out of me for even thinking about it,” He pulled a face.
“I don’t know. Mom might have influenced you a little,” She joked.
“Mom influenced me to stay the hell away from her,” He muttered. Daphne cracked up at what he said. Her brother, as much as he loves their mother, avoided her like the plague. He did not like being within her presence for more than a millisecond because of how she was and Daphne couldn’t blame him.
“Anyways, if that Zhāng guy gives you any trouble, then tell him that I’ll snap him like a twig,” Ares said.
“Ares, you can’t scare off every guy I meet,” She rolled her eyes.
“Yes the hell I can,” He replied.
“No the hell you cannot,” She countered, “Ares, Sam is a great guy and you don’t have to worry about him at all. Plus we’re just friends.”
“Just friends my ass. You got that goofy look on your face,” He remarked.
“What goofy look?” Daphne questioned touching her face.
“The kind that tells me that you’re forming a crush on your lil’ friend,” He responded, doing the hand motion at the same time.
“Oh shut up!” Daphne hissed. He cracked up at her response.
“You’re so damn annoying, Ares. I can’t! I can’t!” She exclaimed.
“Love you too, lil’ sis,” He chortled.
“Are you going to Sidney’s wedding?” She asked.
“Is the devil purple?” He inquired.
“No,” She answered.
“There’s your answer. I’m not going to Fredrick’s initiation into modern day slavery,” He said.
“This fool said modern day slavery,” Daphne muttered, laughing.
“Of course I did because it’s exactly that. Modern day slavery,” He replied.
“I can’t lie that it’s exactly that, but don’t say it aloud. Sidney will get mad,” She told him.
“Oh believe me. I’m saying it out loud at the family reunion at Ma’s house,” He informed. Ma was their father’s mother who they adored very much, unlike their other grandmother.
“Lord. Then she’ll tell mom and she’ll call you,” Daphne shook her head.
“She can call, but it won’t go through,” He informed.
“And why is that?” She asked.
“She blocked on my phone,” He answered.
“Then how did she call you to complain?” She questioned.
“She called the house phone, which I still haven’t figured out how to block her number from that too,” He responded.
“Ares, you are determined to keep her out of your life and I love it,” She laughed.
“After that comment she made to my wife, I’m not about to play with her,” He said.
“I know. I wish I had that courage,” She sighed softly.
“Just block her on everything and you’ll be fine. It’s the most therapeutic thing in the world,” He said.
“I wish I could, but you know how dad was about us keeping the family together,” She responded.
“That didn’t mean that dad wanted you to continuously suffer for the rest of your life because of her. You know he would’ve supported you cutting her off for good,” Ares said.
“It’s hard, Ares. She’s our mother and I love her,” Daphne replied.
“You shouldn’t when she’s been treating you this way for years,” He told her.
“I really shouldn’t, but it is what it is,” She shrugged.
“And it doesn’t have to be. Just do me a favor and try to at least avoid her for two weeks. Two weeks without any type of contact with her so you can at least see how it feels to not have her constantly trying to put you down or run your life,” He explained.
“Two weeks? I don’t know, Ares,” She murmured hesitantly.
“Just do it for me, Daph. Just two weeks without seeing or hearing from her,” He told her.
“I’ll try it out, Ares,” She nodded.
“Good. I’ll check on you to see how it’s going,” He said.
“Does that also mean that I ignore the men she sends to my house?” She asked.
“Of course you do and I need to have a talk with her about that shit because she’s going to get you hurt one of these days doing that shit,” He replied.
“Yeah she is. Don’t want another incident like last time,” She agreed.
“Last time? What the hell happened last time?” He asked. She went silent after realizing what she just revealed to her brother. Her, Arabella, and Faith decided to keep it on the hush from Ares because he would go into attack mode instantly.
“Daphne, you better speak now or else I’m driving over there,” He threatened. She knew that he was serious with that threat because he’s done this before when she was in college.
She took in a deep breath and began spilling her guts to her older brother, “About two years ago, mom had set me up with this guy that was from this Harvard legacy family. She wanted me to marry this guy because he would boost our status and get her just about any and everywhere. He showed up at my apartment at the time and he was sweet at first, which was a surprise because they never are. We went on our date and it was nice, but when we got back to my apartment he asked if we could talk further. I was so naive at the time that I said yes and he came in.
We got to talking and he got real close to me. He started to touch my thighs and that made me highly uncomfortable. I asked him what he was doing and he told me that he couldn’t have expected me to really think that he wanted to just talk. I told him no, which seemed to upset him and he told me that the only way he would ever think of marrying me is if I had sex with him. I told him that I wasn’t going to because of his behavior and asked him to leave. He didn’t like that so-”
“Stop. Just stop, Daphne,” He firmly stated.
“It was a while ago, Ares. He’s not going to bother me again, especially after Arabllea had threatened him,” She assured him.
“Daphne, why didn’t you tell me?” He asked.
“Because I didn’t want to worry you,” She answered.
“And keeping it a secret until now wasn’t going to worry me?” He questioned.
“I’m sorry, Ares, but I wanted to just forget the whole thing. It was an awful experience for me,” She replied.
“I know it was, Daphne, but you could have at least came to me,” He said.
“I know, Ares, but I needed Faith and Arabella more than anything,” She responded.
“I understand, but it would have been nice to know at least,” He sighed.
“I’m sorry, Ares,” She mumbled.
“Don’t apologize, Daphne. You did nothing wrong at all. You confided in two people that you’re very close to and I commend you for that, but the next time, and hopefully it won’t because I’ll bust cap in somebody’s ass, tell me.”
“I will, Ares, but...”
“But?” He asked.
“...but I need to do it when I’m ready,” She answered.
“Of course. I understand. Just tell me about these things when you’re ready. Now, since I just learned of this info today, I’m giving our mother a call because this sending these men to your door thing ain’t gonna happen no more,” He informed.
“Ares,” She scrunched her eyebrows together.
“Daphne, don’t say a word. I’m going to tell her to stop sending them to your house for good because she’s not about to get you hurt or killed,” He told her, “No, ma’am.”
“Okay, Ares,” She mumbled.
“Cool. I’m gonna go ahead and go so I can call. I’ll talk to you later,” He said.
“Alright, Ares. Talk to you later,” She nodded.
“Bye, Daph,” He smiled.
“Bye, Ares,” She smiled back. The call ended and she let out a sigh. She already knew that once her brother finished talking their mother there would be hell to pay. Her mother was more than likely going to call her and insult her like the vile woman she is, which will set her back even more mentally.
As if sensing her distress, her phone lit up and Sam’s name appeared on her screen. All troubles and worries were pushed into the back of her kind as she smiled. She was glad that he called just now because she knew that she was going to go to some very dark places when it came to her mother’s vile behavior towards her.
She pressed the green accept icon and his face appeared. The handsome man was smiling.
“Hey, Daphne,” He greeted.
“Hey, Sam. How are you?” She greeted back.
“I’m doing fine. Just a little bored at home,” He replied.
“You’re bored? Why don’t you go out with your friends?” She suggested.
“They’re out on a double date. Mason dragged Elijah to one,” He answered.
“I feel bad for Elijah,” She giggled.
“Me too,” He chuckled.
“Do you want me to come over there or do you want to come over here?” She asked.
“I can come over there. Mind if I bring Dave?” He replied.
“Sure. The more, the merrier,” She beamed.
“Great. We’ll be there in a few,” He smiled.
“Okay, Sam. See you when you get here,” She said.
“You too,” He replied. The call ended and Daphne began to panic. She had to clean up before those two arrived. She did not want Sam to think so lowly of her because her house was messy.
“Cristian!” She called, “Come pick up your toys. Sam and Dave are coming over!”
After hearing Sam and Dave, the puppy hopped off the floor and went straight to the living to clean up his toys and stuff.
“It pays to have a dog that is well trained,” She thought to herself.
Once they had finished cleaning up the living room, the doorbell rang letting her know that they were here. Daphne walked over to the door and opened it.
“Hey, Sam,” She greeted.
“Hey, Daphne,” He greeted back. Dave barked his own greeting from beside his owner causing Cristian to run over and greet the large dog.
“Come in,” She said. Sam and Dave walked into the house together. Sam began looking around her home, which started to make her nervous because she didn’t know what he would say about how it was decorated.
“Your house is beautiful. Did you decorate it yourself?” He asked.
“With a little help from Arabella who just put it all together in the way I wanted it,” She answered.
“Well, you both did such a good job,” He said.
“Thank you. Can I get you two anything?” She beamed.
“A bottle of water would be nice,” He replied.
“Okay. Let me go grab that for you,” She said, “Just make yourself at home.”
“Thank you,” He nodded.
“You’re welcome,” She replied. The young homeowner walked into her kitchen to grab two cold bottles of water.
She came back into the room and handed one to him. Sam thanked her and continued to look at the pictures on her shelf.
“You and your siblings look really close in these photos,” He remarked.
“Only three of us are close to be honest,” Daphne told him.
“I’m guess that the other two don’t get along with you guys?” He inquired.
“Not at all,” She shook her head, “It’s always been me, Ares, and Faith against the world.”
“I wish I had siblings,” Sam smiled softly.
“Having siblings is nice, but when your sister constantly steals your clothes and your brother is a total menace to you, then you tend to regret it,” She joked. He chuckled softly.
“At least you don’t have to deal with that now that you’re all older,” Sam chuckled.
“Oh no. My sister will till come over to steal my clothes and my brother is still a menace to me,” Daphne replied.
“Darn and here I was giving them the benefit of the doubt,” He replied. Daphne laughed softly.
“There’s something I wanted to ask you,” Sam told her.
“What did you want to tell me, Sam?” She asked.
“I’m a little nervous about asking you this and I don’t want you to think that this is the only reason why I became friends with you in the flirts place. I’d understand if you didn’t want me to be around you again after this,” He rambled.
“It’s fine, Sam. I won’t get mad at you,” She assured him.
“You say that now, but who knows what you might think of me afterwards,” He murmured.
“I’ll still think that you’re a great guy,” She said, “Can you please tell me what you want to ask?”
“Daphne,” He started.
“Yes?” She asked.
“Will you go on a date with me this Saturday?” He questioned.
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