It goes without saying that everybody lost their appetite after that performance. Daniella and Martin left the house and went straight to the office. They just wanted to find something to do and bury themselves in it for the next few hours. Watching their mothers clash in that manner was sad. Martin was personally embarrassed. Knowing what he knows about his mother and his birth, he is so ashamed of how she is handling the situation. She is building a big trap for him. When the truth eventually comes out, how would he face Mama M and Daniella? How would he face anyone? Now he has been so rude to Michael and he is probably innocent. This is just a mess and Martin was tired of it. He found it odd that he was beginning to miss the days when he was hidden. It is funny how you sometimes do not appreciate what you have until you lose it. Now he could not hide anymore. Everyone knows him and when the shame comes knocking, it will know just where he is. He had to put all of these thoughts aside and concentrate on the meeting that he had opted to join. The best he can do is to give all of himself to what is assigned to him right now. The rest will take care of itself hopefully.
Daniella literally buried herself in all the proposals that had been sent in her absence. They had all been read and a summary prepared for her, but she chose to read them all over again. ‘Due diligence’, she thought. However, it was more like she was begging the proposals to distract her and they did. The day went by and at about 4 pm, one of her reminders rang out. It was the ‘Dickinson’ alarm. A payment was supposed to go out to their ‘adopted’ child’s orphanage today. Michael had been making all the necessary payments and she had decided to take it upon herself to sort it out this month before he does. She picked up her phone and quickly made the transfer. Then it dawned on her that Michael had not said a word to her over the weekend. Well, she had not said a word to him too. But usually, he checks up on her here and there. He did not even inform her of being back home. Deep down, she knew she had messed up but how does she fix it? She decided to give herself her first break for the day and go pay him a visit. She was doing new things this month – picking bills and visiting Michael for a change.
The only other company that rivalled the beauty of the Estiamo edifice was the Saint Morgan Group (SMG). It was breathtakingly beautiful. She had not been there in a while and she just paused to take in the beauty. She was used to the Estiamo Empire, it was nice to see something else take her breath away. Everyone knew her and gave her the warm greetings that Michael gets at her company. She made straight for his office. As she was approaching his office, the P.A was in a bit of a fix. She was not sure if she should let Daniella into Michael’s office or not. But she could not tell her no. She was almost like a child of the Saint Morgan’s. She decided to just let her in and what will be will be. What is the worst that could happen?
Daniella knocked on Michael’s door and pushed it open. “Hey Michael!” She said with so much excitement. She was really happy and anyone could tell. “Hello! You must be Daniella.” Replied a lady, standing up and extending her hand towards Daniella. “Oh, I am sorry. Did I come into the wrong office?” Daniella asked surprised to see a lady in the office as opposed to Michael. She giggled and said, “No dear. You are in the right office. I am Zee, Michael’s fiancée.” Oh wow! Michael was engaged. They have just been apart for a weekend and he was engaged. He must really move on quickly. How did that happen? “Oh! Hi Zee. It is a pleasure to meet you! Here I was thinking that I could surprise him with a visit today but he found a way to surprise me.” Daniella replied attempting to be excited. Zee giggled and said innocently, “I know right! He intended to have us introduced soon. He has said a lot about you that without ever meeting you, I knew it was you the moment you walked in. You are like his best friend and I would love for us to be friends as well.” Daniella could not believe her ears. It was only just Friday a few days ago when she thought he wanted to talk about them. What if what he wanted to tell her was this? And she acted like such a fool! Michael never liked her. He wanted to tell her about Zee and she made it about herself. She wanted to beat herself up right then but she had to remain composed. “Uhm I am looking forward to it. I have never really had friends so this should be fun. Please where is Michael? I was under the impression that he was around. I would never have barged in like that if I knew he was not in.” Daniella clarified. “Oh, it is okay. He just stepped out to have a word with the finance department. He will be back soon. And about barging in, it is not a problem. I am sure it won’t repeat itself now that you know that I could be in here with him”, Zee responded cheekily. Oh, were you buying the whole her wanting to be friends with Daniella? Of course not! She knew Daniella was a threat and all she wanted was to nib that threat in the bud till she married Michael. Afterwards, she could care less. There would be an existing family alliance and her father could let her breathe about the need to marry a Saint Morgan. Daniella knew sass when she heard it. This Zee of a person was giving her a warning! Wow! Daniella could not believe that ‘her’ Michael was engaged. Zee kept on smiling at Daniella mischievously and Daniella was just lost in her thoughts for a minute.
As Daniella made a turn and was about to leave the office, Michael walked in. “Hi baby!” Zee called. “You took quite a bit and your best friend came visiting.” She said sweetly. The whole time Michael and Daniella had a staring contest going on. Both had pain in their eyes. Michael looked away first and said, “Hello Daniella. I was not expecting you today but I am glad that you are here. I would like you to meet my fiancée, Zee. And Zee, this is the famous Daniella.” He concluded walking to Zee and pecking her forehead. “You actually did not need to do an introduction. I knew it was her the moment she walked in.” Zee said nicely. Daniella literally lost her voice and words for a little bit. Michael did not even acknowledge her like he usually did. All the times that she had refused to hug him started flashing through her head. Now she really wanted him to hug her and tell her she was dreaming. How could he have hidden a whole woman from her? Okay, maybe she has been in mourning mode and he did not think it was the right time. Then when he finally wanted to tell her, she ruined it. She desperately wanted to cry but she had to be the bigger person. “Awwn Michael! I am so happy for you. Like I said earlier, I came here to surprise you but as always you have a surprise for me.” Daniella said smiling. Michael laughed and said, “I really wanted to plan how you both meet but you both just had to get ahead of me. I hope you guys get along and become friends as well.” They both echoed, “We will”. But they probably won’t. “Oh Daniella, I got the notification. You are up to some surprises today.” Michael said as he sat down at his table. “Well, I only thought it fair to help out.” Daniella said nicely. “Okay. Since you have beautiful company, it will be rude of me to keep intruding. Hopefully, you will bring Zee by to meet the rest of the Estiamo clan.” Daniella offered with a smile. “Oh it is definitely in the works. And by the way, she is a Williams.” Michael said proudly. “Wow! I have never met a Williams before. I must say again that it is a pleasure to meet you.” Daniella said to Zee who responded with a smile. Eventually, they wrapped up the light banter and Daniella left.
You have the Estiamos, the Saint Morgans and then the Williams. The Williams in terms of wealth come second to the Estiamos and Saint Morgans but they are the most aloof. Apart from their apparent wealth, nobody really knows much about them. George was never friends with Philip Williams so Daniella did not really know much about the family. Uncle Patrick on the other hand, has had a few dealings with the Williams family and maybe that is how Michael and Zee met. Daniella was just trying her best to distract herself from the pain she was feeling by trying to connect dots. It was nice to see Michael happy. Why was she so affected anyway? She had never accepted or even admitted to herself that she could like Michael in any way. So what is the big deal if he is getting married? Was he supposed to wait for her forever? She silently wished that he would wait for her. She silently wanted him to call and say it was a prank. If she knew Michael well, she knew that he did not play games like this. He was really engaged to Zee and she had possibly lost the only guy for her forever.
While Daniella was at the Saint Morgan’s, Janet Saint Morgan came by and realised that Daniella was about to find out about Zee. She did not know how Daniella would handle it so she went straight to Maria. She had not been able to tell Maria the news because she just could not face Maria. But now she had to, there was no hiding this impending disaster anymore.
The moment Daniella walked into the house, both mothers stood up. Worry was evident in their eyes. Just to be clear, Janet is not in support of this marriage between Micheal and Zee. She had always wished that he would settle with Daniella. Daniella was already a daughter to her, why not cement that relationship? Now he has gone to bring another woman into the mix and she did not like it. Daniella could sense what this was about and honestly, she did not want it. She did not want to talk about it now. If she even wanted to speak about it, she wanted just her mother with her. She can cry in front of her mother but nobody else. So she was not going to let them emotionally drain her right now. Michael is big boy and can marry whomever he pleases. “Hello mums”, Daniella said cheerfully. “Hey baby.” Maria replied smiling broadly. She knew her daughter well enough to know what she was up to. “Hi my love”, Janet replied lacking enthusiasm. “What a coincidence to see you here Aunt. I just left the SMG. It is always so beautiful to be there.” Daniella stated. “But now I need to rush upstairs to sort out a few things. I left my office early to swing by SMG, now I need to make up for the lost time. Please pardon me, I cannot spend more time with you today Aunt.” Daniella explained. “It is okay. I understand. I am used to you and Michael being so busy.” Janet said smiling and giving Daniella a hug. At that Daniella excused herself and went straight to her room to get some peace.
“Maybe she did not meet Zee.” Janet said fooled by Daniella. Maria knew better but chose to play it out with Janet. “Maybe she did not. But thank you for coming here to tell me this. I know it must not be easy for you but we are not meddling mothers. The heart wants what it wants and if they are really meant for each other, their hearts will find a way back to each other.” Maria offered. “So you are not mad at me for not telling you on time?” Janet asked feigning a puppy dog face. “Oh I am mad at you quite alright but at the same time, I understand your position.” Maria said smiling. “I will take that.” Janet responded with a weak smile. After a few aimless banter, Janet said her goodbye and went home. Maria on the other hand went to her room and rested. Her daughter needed her space and she was not about going to disturb her.
In the Saint Morgan Empire, there was absolute silence. Janet was pissed at her son and his father. Michael was pissed at himself, Zee and Daniella. Patrick was just at the receiving end of the passive aggression going on in his household. They were having dinner like strangers. “You know what, I do not get it. You have have always been an advocate for Michael marrying Daniella. You always said that you could see what he saw in Daniella. Now, you are excited about him marrying Zee Williams. Why Patrick?” Janet fired at her husband. “Mum, can you drop it?” Michael fired back at his mother. “Let it be! It is my decision. I get to decide who I want to marry and right now, I am getting married to Zee. As my mother, all I need is for you to get onboard and be the supportive mother you have always been. Can you do that for me mum?” He asked appealing to his mother. She knew her son was not happy. She might not have been able to recognise Daniella’s pain, but she could recognise her son’s pain. There was more to this rubbish that they were doing in this house and she would not have it. “I am not only a supportive mother but I am a caring mother and a perceptive one too. Michael, I do not need a soothsayer to tell me that you are hurting. I will not support what hurts my son!” Janet snapped and left the table. “Michael, what is wrong?” Patrick asked genuinely. “It is nothing Dad. Thank you for the food!” Michael said and walked away from the table as well. Patrick was left to have dinner by himself.
The truth is Patrick had a lot on his plate as well. In all honesty, he would prefer that Michael married Daniella. She was family. The Estiamos were family. She was already a daughter to him but his hands were tied. He really needed Michael to marry Zee right now. He tried to talk to Michael about it for a while but he constantly shot Patrick down. Patrick was glad when he got that call from Michael asking him to set everything up. He was grateful for whatever happened during the vacation that changed his mind. But he would be lying to himself if he said he did not know that his son was severely unhappy. He was unhappy when he called as well. Patrick did not know how to go about this. He could not tell Janet the truth because she will scatter everything. He just had to hope that everything will work out.
“Well, hello there! Are you finally ready for us to have a chat?” A man asked a properly beaten up Peter. “George! You are alive!” Peter exclaimed. “2 times is a charm my friend.” George replied smiling.
…to be continued