Chapter 6: Preparation
“Wow. He’s really not joking. I thought I had at least a year or a couple of months,” I said to myself as I read the newly published article about the Valmonte Group.
It’s all about the inauguration of Rueben as the CEO of Valmonte Developments and Designs. My father’s absence caused fear among the board members that Uncle Lucas and Uncle William might not accept the responsibility because they are both busy with the other companies.
I thought when we talked about this on the car, it was just a shallow or temporary problem of the company. Seeing that they accelerated everything to be done as soon as possible, maybe my father’s absence was a significant loss to the group.
Rueben has been training for a year or two now, so I guess he has learned something from Dad and our Uncles. He’s bound to take over, though, with or without the accident. He wanted to run the family’s business, unlike Sara, who wants to enter the medical field and, of course, unlike me, who wants to turn my passion into a profession.
My phone rang, and Sara’s name flashed on the screen. I fixed my ponytail before answering her call.
“Have you read the article?” She asked.
“Yes,” I sighed.
“I don’t think I have time for this,” she said, worried.
Sara’s in her second year, and I understand why she can’t attend the event with all the things that are happening.
“I know, but Rueben will be very disappointed if we don’t appear at his inauguration,” I tried to make her realize that.
Both of them haven’t been home for weeks. They’ll only come home to unload their laundry and bring a new set of clothes. Rueben’s been staying at a hotel near the company for convenience while Sara is at the university during the day and will go to the hospital to monitor Mom and Dad at night. I volunteered for us to take turns, but she refused. I need to look after the house and manage the other minor responsibilities they have before the accident happened. With their absence, now it’s all mine.
“We? Of course, you’re going. I went when Dad told me because I turned eighteen,” Sara’s teasing me.
“That what makes it unfair! I’m just seventeen-”
“You don’t like being treated like a kid anyway, so bear this.”
I pronounced a sigh. I’m really not sure if she’s my sister or a villain in a Disney movie.
“Rueben should’ve let me enjoy this summer,” I mumbled.
Sara laughed on the other line.
My phone beeped because I received multiple chats from our family’s group chat after Sara ended the call.
Valmonte Family Group Chat
Elaine: Are you all excited about your gowns and suit? (insert emoji winking face with tongue)
Guiding us in choosing our gowns and suits for an event is one of many things that makes Auntie Elaine happy. She’s a professional model before and is now an owner of a famous clothing line both here and abroad. She’s responsible for making sure that our family will stand out in every event. She even designed Mom and Auntie Irene’s gown for the company’s anniversary celebration last year.
Aaron Vaughn: Should we pick you up, Auntie El?
Elaine: Thanks for the offer, Aaron, but I’ll be going with the girls and the twins.
Rueben Thiago: Pick up Sara and Jael, instead.
I joined the conversation.
Me: Is Naomi coming?
Aaron Vaughn: Yes.
Aaron Vaughn: What time should I pick you up?
Me: Why would you do it? Let my brother do his duties.
Iris Johannah: Ouch.
Ciara Abigail: You just got burn, @Rueben Thiago Valmonte.
David Lawrence: HAHAHA!
Rueben Thiago: I need to attend a meeting at 7 in the evening.
Me: I’ll wait then.
Rueben Thiago: Okay, hard-headed.
Me: (insert emoji face with raised eyebrow)
Samira Allisson: Can I go with you, @Aaron Vaugh Valmonte? I need to be there’s early as I can so I can review for my exams.
Aaron Vaughn: Okay. We’ll drop by at 4 in the afternoon.
Samira Allisson: Thanks.
Rueben Thiago: Uncle Lucas sent more guards there. Have you seen them already?
Samira Allisson: Yes. No need to drop by at the hospital before leaving. You’ll get stuck in traffic.
Rueben Thiago: Understood.
Me: Buy some food before picking me up, @Rueben Thiago Valmonte.
Rueben Thiago: Bye. I’m reviewing some papers.
I’m excited to meet everyone at the mansion. We will fit the gowns there and get to visit our grandparents, too. Although I’m not sure if I’ll be comfortable because that’s where my parent’s accident happened, and it’s still a mystery for all of us.
Uncle William assumed that they want to visit our grandparents as a surprise, but I don’t buy that. My parents are both busy persons. I can’t think of any possible reason for them to suddenly travel and leave the Metro when they had a lot on their schedule.
“Midnight snack? Really? I heard you snore all night,” Hana welcomed Aaron, who just woke up and is currently in his black pajamas.
Apparently, the people who have been begging us to buy midnight snacks on the group chat last night aren’t awake when Rueben and I got here at the mansion past midnight. They were all sleeping in their rooms, and only Uncle Lucas and Auntie Irene welcomed us. Even our grandparents failed to stay awake to wait for us.
“Drop by my office some time so you would know,” Aaron answered back.
I haven’t been able to sleep enough. I think I only slept for two hours, and then I found myself making some breakfast.
“They’ll be here at 10, so prepare yourselves after you eat your breakfast,” Auntie Elaine is already preparing the living room for the designers that will arrive later.
“Are we good here, or should I let them use the multi-purpose hall?” I heard her say.
I stood up and did some stretching.
“Anyone wants to join me for a jog?” I asked them.
Hana shook her head. Aaron fell asleep again on the couch. I saw Sara on the balcony when I woke up reviewing for her exams. Rueben’s still asleep, David is taking a bath, and Abi is not fully awake because I saw her staring at the fishes in the aquarium.
I took a bath and changed clothes.
I notified Auntie Elaine if she could find me the specific heels that I want and ask her a favor to pair them with a gown that will make the shoes stand out.
She said she’d be happy to do it for me.
Every time I start a conversation specifically about shoes, I always remember my experience with that arrogant guy back at the Saint Lauren luxury store.
Wow, he still gets on my nerves.