“Daniel, son,” my father beamed, standing up politely and shaking hands with me.
I had to say, it was a rather odd sensation that my own father chose to shake my hands and that it felt more comfortable than hugging or going in for that buddy-to-buddy slap on the back.
Walking into the restaurant felt like I was attempting to trudge through the gates of hell willingly. With my blazer tight, my shirt white and crisp, and a young face, I looked like an outsider. Like I didn’t belong in this sea of salt and peppered men and women. More so the men than the women, for I noticed as I walked over to meet my father, that some women were in their twenties while their companions were old. Think Hugh Hefner and every other woman he’s ever been with since becoming the Playboy mogul that he is now. I saw men grouped, I saw men and women grouped, but I rarely saw an all-girl group at a table. Made me wonder if this was a real gentleman’s exclusive club.
I nodded. “Richard.”
“Richard?” he said as we sat. “How formal of you.”
“You’re one to talk.”
“I took the initiative of ordering for you,” he said, ignoring my comment and snapping his fingers at a waiter. Something I knew Anna detested and probably would have grimaced at if she were here to witness it.
Out came the waiter with a tray of scotch on the rocks. I rolled my eyes. “Could I get a vodka tonic please?”
The waiter seemed momentarily frazzled and then turned to Richard. Richard tore his eyes off me and then nodded at the waiter. The waiter breathed out in what seemed like relief and walked off. Apparently, I just stepped on my father’s standing in this club.
“So,” I started once my drink came, “should we get started?”
“Well now hold on,” Richard said, holding up his hand, “can’t I chat with my son first.”
I sighed silently. Whatever my father needed to ‘chat’ about I was not in the mood for. They tended to work in his favour. He’d tell me what was wrong with my life, how to fix it, and expect me to do so upon his words being suctioned up by my ears, absorbed into my brain. The difference between back then and now was that now he didn’t have an entirely tight grip on me.
“How about we just get straight into things?”
“Oh come on, you don’t want to talk to your own father for old time’s sake?”
I narrowed my eyes a fraction. What a tactic! As if he wasn’t out of things to pull from out from under his sleeve. Okay, I’ll play along. See what he’s got to say and let him do all the talking; here’s hoping I just don’t get riled up enough to lash out.
“Alright, so talk.” I took a sip of my vodka to fuel up.
Richard smiled, oddly shaped, as if it was genuine. Shit, I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen that.
“How have you been?”
Richard waited. “Just good?”
I nodded and shrugged. “Yup.” Was this the heart to heart he was thinking of?
“You can do better than that.”
“If you’re looking for me to say something so you can disapprove or use it against me, I’m telling you now, I’m not looking for approval.”
“Ease up, Daniel. That’s not why I asked. Now go on, what’s new with you?”
Everything since I last saw you. I sighed again, loudly this time, rising my shoulders and then dropping them. “Okay, umm, I’m still working at the finance company, working my way up—” he smiled at this, letting me know he approved “—I’m living comfortably, everything’s good.”
I furrowed me brows. “What?” Hadn’t he seen Anna at my mother’s wake? I was depending on the hope that he’d assume we were together based on Anna’s presence alone, but I guess that didn’t work out. Didn’t really want to have this conversation.
“Yes, I’m seeing someone.”
“Who?” he seemed disappointed, eyes focused and a cinch forming between his brows. “It better not be that Annie girl.”
“Anna,” I corrected.
He rolled his eyes and leaned back. “Whatever. Are you still with her? Or should I say, back together for the hundredth time?” his tone mocking.
“Yes,” I simply said, my hand tensing into a fist.
“You know she’s not right for you Daniel. Why do you keep chasing after a sorry cause; she’ll drag you down—”
“Enough,” I hissed. “I don’t want you talking about the woman I love like that.”
“The woman you love?” he tilted his head, eyeing me speculatively. “You’ve never spoken about a girlfriend like that. You think you see a future with this girl? Well you’re wrong.”
I chortled. “And what? You think I have a bright future with anyone else?”
He shook his head. “Not just anyone.” Oh, I swear to God if he mentions her name— “Tanya.”
I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. In and out; in and out. Then I took one long gulp of my drink, hoping to help me out here. Shit’s about to go down and I don’t want to ruin my suit.
“Let’s skip all of this before I lose my shit, Richard. Cut to the chase. Let’s talk about what you brought me here for.”
“I’m telling you, son, she’s not right for you.”
His persistence frustrated me. “I’m going to marry her.”
Richard’s eyes widened a fraction. “You wouldn’t.”
“Not to spite you, Richard. Don’t push Tanya at me ever again.”
“That little gold digging whore isn’t worth a second of your time!” Richard spat. He scanned the room to see if anyone notice his nostrils flaring, his nose twitching and his eyes round and bloodshot.
I couldn’t deny it, it was a pretty freaky face that I just saw. “I’m calling the family lawyer to act as a mediator.” I said, standing and pushing my chair in. “Don’t contact me ever again.”
“You choose her over your own father?”
“My father? That was when I was six years old. Today you’re just a man who broke my mother’s heart and is hell-bent on destroying mine.”
I shoved out of the restaurant and looked back once, Richard was still seated and shockingly calm as watched me. I grabbed my coat and stepped out onto the street, walking along the footpath. I began hearing the click-clacking of heels on the pavement approaching and just when I thought it wasn’t for me, I heard a woman’s voice call out my name.
I turned to find the stalker-ish woman of my nightmares. “Tanya?”
She flashed her perfect white teeth and wrapped her arms around me, flinging herself into a kiss. I dropped my coat pushing her off me, her back hitting the wall and her hair attacking her face at the sudden force.
“What the fuck?” she seemed shocked, to say the least.
“The fuck are you doing?”
“Your father said you were ready to get back together with me.”
“And you believed him? I hate you Tanya. There’s no way in heaven or hell that I would ever even dream of getting back together with you. I’m with Anna. I’m marrying her. Your ship has sailed.”
Telling my father and Tanya that I was going to marry Anna, suggestively in a short amount of time, just so they could lay off was probably not my best moment. And I was hoping it wasn’t going to come and bite me on the ass in the future. It was a half-truth at least; I do want to marry Anna. Someday.
Tanya’s bottom lip shivered, her eyes began to look glassy and doubled. Then she stomped away and I crossed my fingers hoping she was going far, far away.
In some way, as I hailed a cab and rode the way home, I felt relief in the sense that I would never have to see or hear from them again. Well, my father was going to be more tricky to detach from my life; what with my mother’s will and the fact that we’re both in the money-making business, his detachment decidedly is going to be more difficult.
I was getting ready for an impromptu meet up with Paul when I heard a knock on the door. Strange considering Daniel has keys so it must’ve been a stranger. And I scare myself easily. I always try to hide myself from sight (if any!) just because I imagine scenarios where I’d be much safer if I did so. Like, if it was a hitman like in the movies that start unloading a string of bullets through the door once they hear and answer on the other side. That unreasonable irrational shit just psyche’s me out!
“Anna it’s…could you…door?” a woman’s voice pled.
Hesitantly, I opened and found a familiar face. How could I forget? The infamous Tanya come to my demise. I went to close the door but her hand shot out and stopped me.
“Wait, wait, wait,” she said. “Please?”
She appeared to have been crying, with a red nose, mouth and eyes and a slight smudge underneath them.
“What do you want Tanya?”
“I’m sorry, I just can’t live with it anymore.”
I scrunched up my face, impatient with her ambiguity. “Live with what anymore?”
She bit her lip. “Live with having had sex with Daniel while I knew he was with you. For months. And you just had to know, I’m so sorry.” She raised her hands up to cover her face and began whimpering.
In a sudden reflexive jolt, that surprised me just as much as Tanya, I started laughing.
Wattpad – Part 7, how you guys liking the story so far? Twitter, and oh my lordy, if you haven’t seen it already, scroll all the way down to April 23rd and check out ‘re-defining the term sugardaddy’!