It has been five days since my run in at the station and my meeting with Amos. Being here for just the small amount of time I have been I’ve put myself on a routine.
I wake up every morning with Amos and cook breakfast. After breakfast I begin working. I’m practically Amos’ assistant. I sort his bills and make sure everything is paid and inform him of anything I fit as important. This man has so much money, yet chooses to live in this small town home. Regardless his money his decision. None of my business.
When Mel works I watch Sophia which isn’t a hassle at all.
Today is my free day so I will finally be able to dye my hair. A little change is fine right?
I stare into the bathroom mirror and think it isn’t enough. I need more than a new color. If I want to avoid him I need a new face. I bend down and search under the sink for scissors and fortunately find some.
This is it. This is what I have to do. My long curls are staring me in the face daring me to cut them off. I part my hair down the middle and hold the left side while holding scissors right below my shoulder.
Don’t pussy out.
I shut my eyes and cut. I suddenly no longer feel the tugging on my hair. I open my eyes and gasp while holding my bundle of hair in one hand and closed scissors in the other. I set the bundle on the counter and quickly grabbed the other side and did the same thing.
This is a change. Big change. I need more.
I pull some hair to the front and put my fingers on the bridge of my nose. Don’t fuck this up. Impulse is a curse.
I cut my bangs and look in the mirror and I look different.
“I like this look on you.”
I jump and look at the door where Mel stood smiling. I nod my head and look back at the mirror. “I do too.”
“Let me help you darling. You can’t dye all of this on your own.” She motions to my hair with her finger.
We spend the next two hours dying my hair thoroughly and washing it. I stand in the mirror rubbing a towel over my head and then removing it to see my short wet curls no longer the light brown they were, but red instead.
“Tia w-“ I turn to see Amos in the doorway mouth practically on the floor. “Well you sure took new identity to a whole other meaning. Get dressed we’re going to see your father.”
I nod and make my way back to the bedroom to fish out some simple clothes to see my dad in. It’s been so long. What will he think of me? Does he think I willingly cut him off? Does he hate me? I’m so nervous.
I chose a simple long sleeve sweatshirt and jeans considering I didn’t have anything nicer. I make my way down the hall towards the kitchen to see Sophia sitting at the table eating Mac and cheese.
“Hi Tia!” She says as she waves with her spoon.
“You ready?” I turn to Amos and take a deep breath and nod.
It was about a 45 minute drive into the big city where my fathers building was. It was a nostalgic feeling. I hadn’t seen my father for two years. I remember as a kid he would bring me to his office and let me play assistant.
We pull into the parking garage of the company. And I started getting nervous. “You’ll be fine.” Amos said to me.
I nod. This is it.
We get out of the car after parking and it was like muscle memory. From the lobby you get into the elevator, but only with employee access from the front desk. 27th floor fourth door on the left.
CEO Monroe. My dad.
I stand in front of his door and take a deep breath before knocking. I hear his voice inside.
“Alexis, I told you not to bother me while I’m doing this paperwork today.” His voice sounding stressed and familiar to me.
“Daddy?” I say just loud enough to hear it through the door. I hear shuffling before the office door opens.
“Dios mio Tia. It’s really you. Come here mi hija.” He drags me into a hug that brought me to tears. I missed this so much.
“I missed you so much dad. I’ve been through so much.”
“Come come. Have a seat.” He lets me and Amos in and leads us to his desk where we sit. We spend about 15 minutes catching up and talking about my mother and my sister.
“Amos I understand you wanted to speak to me.” My father finally turns his attention to my acquaintance beside me.
“Also might I say thank you, for taking my daughter in.” Amos sits forward and speaks.
“I’ve got a deal for you. Regardless of your answer Tia will continue to have her protection and place of residence with me. Anything related to her I cannot guarantee.” They lock eyes before my father sits back in his seat and interlocks his fingers.
“I’m listening.” My father’s business tone puts a smile on Amos’ face.
“Wonderful. Well your son in law without a doubt is under protection by our common enemy. Now whether or not he’s actually apart of this family or just paying for protection or paying them back I cannot tell.
But I know if we want to take down both John and Gregory, we have to work together. Let’s make an alliance. Better protection for both families and if you’ll let me I’ll train her in defense if it comes down to it. She’s already working for me. I didn’t want her with any family knowing it’s the first place they will look for her. So what do you say?”
I look back at my father still confused on the whole family and protection thing. I feel like I’m the only one at the comedy show who did get the joke and it went right over my head.
What is going on?