1. The call
I slowly walked into my office. Having another lunch in Antonio’s company drained me of my energy. I loved the guy, honestly. He was a real pro when it came to deliveries and making connections with people. Yet, he was also very opinionated and impulsive. Our heated arguments about the business were making me want to end my partnership with him. I was the boss and had the perfect idea of what I wanted my company to achieve, while Antonio was always pointing out that ‘you don’t know Italians as I do, if you want to succeed you should listen to me’.
Guess what? Anytime I listened to him, I always had problems. With everything. Anytime I listened to my gut, everything went off without a hitch within a few minutes. Ugh, and here I thought that today was going to be a good day.
“Mr. Williams?” Beatrice, my personal assistant, knocked on my door.
“Come in,” I answered, plopping myself down on the chair and glancing at the screen of my laptop. 5pm. I promised to go to the movies with Emma in an hour, but I still had a pile of emails I needed to finish. Dammit! Next time, Antonio could go to hell with his bullshit. I was tired of him.
“Your daughter called. She asked me to remind you about the movies.” Beatrice walked inside the room with a small smile on her face.
“As if I could forget about it,” I chuckled, unlocking my laptop.
“Giorgia called too.” She blushed and then took a deep breath, composing herself. “She…”
With a sigh, I focused my attention on my personal assistant. “Beatrice, I want to remind you of this little rule we had. Giorgia and I went on a few dates. We didn’t work out because of our differences. Yet, she works for me and she’s brilliant. The reason for her calls are strictly professional. So please, stop searching for some gossip… if you don’t, I’m afraid you will need to find a new job.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Williams. It won’t happen again. I swear.” She mumbled hurriedly. Then, she walked to my desk and put a stack of documents in front of me. “I sorted all the agreements, commercial offers and letters. Here.”
“Thank you so much, Beatrice. You can go now.” I reached towards the papers and just then the phone started ringing. My assistant turned around and rushed to her desk, closing the door behind her with a slam. I shook my head. She was a nice woman, but she was too curious and nosey. I wasn’t sure I would like to continue working with her.
5 minutes later, Beatrice knocked on my door again. “Mr. Williams?”
“Yes?” I just finished reading one of the commercial offers, highlighting the most interesting information so I would be able to compare all of the offers at once.
“I know you said I shouldn’t talk about your personal stuff…” She licked her lips nervously. “... but, I’m sure that, that call was personal.”
“Who was it?”
“He said his name is Dominic Watson and that… he wants to talk to you about someone named Mia.” Beatrice said slowly, watching my reaction. That was unexpected. Well, not exactly. I expected this call to happen eventually, but not after a year and especially not from her ex-boyfriend. I honestly thought Mia forgot about me already. “He gave me his phone number, but if you aren’t interested…”
“Give it to me please,” I said, smiling at her politely. One simple reminder about this girl and I felt a thousand of emotions bursting inside me. What we had was special, unforgettable, and absolutely unique. Mia was the woman of my dreams and still, I knew that I made the right decision setting her free. I wasn’t the one for her.
Beatrice walked to my desk and put a post-it note on one of the documents. She kept her eyes focused on me, watching my reaction. Rolling my eyes, I snatched the note and peered at her. “You may go now. I don’t think I’ll need your help with anything else today.”
“Can I… Can I go home?” She looked surprised. I gave her a smile, wanting nothing more than to get rid of her.
“Yes. Have a good evening, Beatrice!” I’ll need to talk to Andrea. I need a new personal assistant. This one was doing my head in too often for me to bear with her antics.
“Have a good evening, Mr. Williams.” She mumbled and headed to the door. A few minutes later, she was gone.
Standing up from my chair, I walked to the window and stared out of it at the streets of Milan. Over the past year, I fell in love with this city. I loved its narrow streets, the small restaurants run by families in second or even third generations, the cathedrals, and the museums. Though, the most important thing was my daughter’s happiness. Emma felt absolutely content here, she quickly made friends and was enjoying her life, going on dates, and hanging out with her girlfriends. Seeing her gentle smile on the lips was the best award in the world.
I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed the number Beatrice gave me. Listening to the ringing, I started wondering what the reason for Dominic’s call was. In all honesty, I had no idea what could have made him reach out to me. It didn’t make any sense because he was evidently in love with Mia when we were together. I was his rival and now he was calling me? It must be something important.
“Hello?” He finally picked up his phone.
“Hello Dominic. It’s Brody. My assistant told me you called,” I said calmly.
“I did. Apparently, it wasn’t that hard to get a hold of you.” He chuckled.
“I wasn’t hiding,” I retorted. “I just changed my number.”
“Yeah…” Dominic said and fell silent. It was weird.
“Dominic, is there a reason for your call? Is Mia alright?” I asked.
“Mia? Yes, she’s fine. We’re together, actually.” He slipped it so casually, that my lips stretched into a smile.
“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. I was sure that as soon as she was available, you would step in.” I smirked. “Okay, Dominic, I don’t have a lot of time. What was the real reason for your call? I bet you didn’t call me to inform me about your relationship with Mia.”
“The thing is that I’m hundred percent sure that I’m making a mistake right now. I shouldn’t be the one to tell you this but… She’s struggling and I don’t want to see her in this state. It bothers her, affecting her mood…” He took a deep breath. “Mia gave birth to your child, Brody. Four months ago. You have a son.”
My eyebrows shot up in surprise and my pupils widened. What the actual fuck?! It wasn’t possible! She would have contacted me if that was the truth. Wouldn’t she?
“Brody?” Dominic called out to me and I snapped out of my thoughts.
“Yeah, sorry… erm…” I was at a loss for words and it was probably the first time that ever happened to me.
“Don’t you want to see your child?” He asked, surprised.
“I have no idea what I want right now, Dominic.” I turned around and went to my desk. I sat down in my chair and started hurriedly typing.
“Ooookay,” Dominic spoke in a quiet voice. “If you make a decision…”
“I want to see Mia.” I blurted out, looking at the flights. I can be in the US in three days.
“I thought you would say that,” he muttered. “I’ll send you our address. We live together, so… I’d be very grateful if you give me heads up before your arrival.”
“I’ll need to finish a few very urgent things here tomorrow, and then I’ll take a flight to the US,” I said firmly.
“Suit yourself.” He mumbled. “Well, bye Brody. Call me when you’re here.”
“Uh huh.” I rasped, furrowing my brow. “Bye Dominic. Thank you for calling me.”
“It would have been better if you wished me luck. I’m sure as hell I just brought a fucking tsunami on myself.” He laughed bitterly and ended the call.
Never in my life had I made a decision that fast. 10 minutes after my talk with Dominic, I already had tickets to the US. It was still hard for me to believe what he said to me, but on the other hand, why would he lie about such things? More so, why bring me back into Mia’s life if they are happy together. The answer was right there. Mia and I have a son. A boy. Since the moment Emma was born, I had dreamed about having a son, an heir. With time, that was no more than just an illusion. It was something that wasn’t destined to be true. Mia made it happen.
Closing the door behind me, I felt energy rushing through my veins. I was excited and happy. I already started thinking about what I should say to Emma, explaining my sudden trip home. I wasn’t sure that she needed to know about my son yet. First, Mia and I needed to have a talk. In three days, I will see my son… Today has turned out to be absolutely fantastic!