Heart Beat Part 11!!

He went straight for her office – George’s former office. She had kept the feel of the office with very minute changes to account for her likes. She had mentioned that she always felt so small in the office. Every time she was in there, she was reminded of the big shoes she had to fill. All he could do is try and alleviate that burden. The door was open. She had an open door policy for some hours of the day. So, he slipped into the office quietly. She was carried away reading some hundreds of paper looking document. ‘How was she doing that calmly?’ He asked himself. He approached her table and casually tapped it, standing like a model off the walk way. She laughed and said, “Well, hello my model of a brother.” “I am glad that you see the potentials”. He retorted mischievously and made to take his seat.

“So, how are you feeling today?” She asked dropping her document but definitely slipping back into busy mood. “Honestly, I do not know but I am eager to help you with the big shoes you have to fill”, he responded. “Awwwn. That is about the sweetest thing you have said to me today”, she replied smiling. “The day is still young sister”, he replied giving himself the challenge to constantly say sweet things. Is this what having a sister feels like? Or is it just having a sibling generally. Well, he would never be able to confirm that theory as he has just one sibling and it is a woman. So, yes, maybe this is what it feels like to have a beautiful sophisticated sister.

“Without you saying it, I know that you are not exactly comfortable with me dictating what you get to do. When Mr. Peter read that clause the first time, I thought it was amazing because it gave me the opportunity to get back at you. But right now, it sounds annoying. So, I am going to give you the opportunity to pick what you want. When I joined the company, daddy let me have a feel of what every department did before I settled for Operations. And he taught me something every day. I am sorry with all my heart that he is not here to do same for you but I am. So, for the next few weeks, months or however long it takes you to decide, you can move around departments and I will pass on all the gems he gave me. You are not disadvantaged because he is not here in any shape or form”, she concluded. “Wow! That was a lot of words coming out of my mouth all at a go”, she noted with a chuckle. “Thank you.” Martin said calmly. “For what?” She asked. “For being this nice and open. Every time I remember how I was the first time we met, I am honestly embarrassed. I was indeed silly.” He said contritely. She smiled at him and said, “oh well, what can I do with a silly brother this morning?” She asked playfully. “I have a meeting in about 30 minutes. I was looking through their proposal. There is some proposed merger that dad was working on before he died. I want to complete it. Would you like to tag along and make this your first project?” She asked. “Of course!” He responded excitedly.

She spent the next 30 minutes bringing him up to speed on what the merger was about and what was being proposed. His eyes lit up with each detail. He could not believe that he will be working with his big sister for some time. He was more excited about the idea than the actual details she was sharing. This should be fun.

It was an interesting day in the office and now he was done. Michael had come earlier to whisk Daniella away. And he had been smart enough to let them be this time, he thought with a mischievous smile. He could tell that Micheal definitely liked Daniella. He just was not sure if Daniella felt the same way. Sometimes, she looked like she did and other times, it looked like she could not be bothered about anything else but this company right now. These were all the thoughts that occupied him as he drove home. Well not his home, he decided to drive up his mum’s house and surprise her. Since he moved out, he has been so busy with himself and blending in with his new family, it started feeling like he had barely had time for his mama. So, he planned to spend this week up at hers and just enjoy his mother’s company.

He decided to sneak up on her. It has been a long time he did that. He decided not to park inside the compound but stroll into the compound and into the house. It was easier controlling the noise of his arrival this way. He greeted everybody on his way into the house and began tiptoeing into the main house to find his mama. As he approached her study, he saw her door was slightly open. He reached for the door and the next thing he heard was, ‘Martin can never find out the truth. I do not know where this new energy is coming from but we had a deal. I intend to keep that deal. Especially now that George is dead. What are you trying to be? The best dad that he never had? My answer remains no! And that my love is final.’

Martin stopped dead in his tracks. ‘The best dad he never had.’ ‘Martin can never find out the truth.’ ‘Especially now that George is dead.’ These sentences kept playing in his head. He wanted to ask her what exactly she meant by everything she just said, but he knew his mother better. She would come up with some ridiculous explanation. The problem was that he was no longer a child and he would not buy the explanation. He turned around and immediately headed for his room. Why did his life have to be full of unnecessary secrets? He was tired of it! Now he had to find out what new secret his mother was hiding and he was a new level of pissed this time. ‘The best father he never had.’ ‘What did hell does that mean?’ He kept asking himself.  Slamming the door behind him, he went straight for his chair and sank into it. Every day of his life just seems to be one drama after the other. Now he has a new puzzle to decode.

…to be continued

Heart Beat Part 10!!

Cecilia sat in the comfort of her sitting area pondering about how fickle life indeed was. Just the other day, she was a broke woman wandering about and thinking about what to do about her life. Just like that, she found herself entangled with the great George Estiamo. Meeting him on that faithful morning was the best thing that ever happened to her. The transformation her life underwent. Finally, she could live the life she always wanted to live. Start the businesses she always wanted to start. Money became the least of her problems. Oh she enjoyed every bit of her new life with George. Contrary to what a lot of people thought, he was quite the romantic. He paid detailed attention to all her needs and even wants. All she had to do was look in the direction of something and it was hers. Well, he had a penchant for going overboard but he also had to make up for the time he was spending with Maria and his fake daughter. Oh correction, now confirmed real daughter. It used to piss her off a lot. She went through a lot to give him an heir and he would rather spend time with them than her and her son. Well, since Daniella is truly his daughter, she has to forgive him.

Maria has always been a thorn in Cecilia’s flesh. Why does she have to be so beautiful? So put together? So classy? So chic? So sweet? Why? All of these kept George tied to her for so long. She had tried to push him to divorce Maria and marry her instead but he never wanted to hear it. Always made her feel like he could play around with her but no one dared touched the Queen Maria. She had toyed with the idea of walking up to Maria and telling her the truth. But she had also learnt that wisdom is profitable to direct. If she ever did that, George would have flung her aside for good. She could not let that happen. She had come too far to go back to the streets. The streets were not calling her name. Even if she cared little for herself, her son deserved to live the best life money could buy and George made sure he got that. What more could she ask for? What did she really need more of his presence for? She was equally really busy with her businesses that George’s money had financed. They were just fine with their sweet arrangement.

Now George is dead and Cecilia feels incredibly threatened. George never solidified her place in the family before his passing. Martin went all out to make himself known and seen after the death of his father. She could not keep him from doing that. The boy has had to live behind a curtain his whole life. She was not going to let that continue even after George’s death. But that has opened her up to the media now and the ‘extraness’ of being an Estiamo. She is constantly on tabloids these days and she is not always painted in the best light. Nobody in the Estiamo family seems to care about these things. She doubts Maria has the time to read what is written about her in blogs. But for Cecilia, this is very new. From being a secret, to being everywhere in public. The most annoying ones are the ones that try to compare her with Maria. Of course, she is not Maria and if Maria was that perfect what did George see in her? Well, if she is being honest, she really hustled to get George’s attention.  In fact, it would have been impossible without the help of someone special. Oh well! What was meant to be eventually happened and her life was better for it now.

Back to the problem, how could George leave everything to Daniella? Technically, at the time of writing his will, Martin was his only biological child. How did he still leave everything to Daniella? Does that mean that despite everything, he valued her more than Martin? In addition to that, she gets to determine what job Martin can do. Like why would he subject his heir apparent to that? It is very disrespectful. And Peter just sat there and watched him do that. She is going to have to teach Peter a lesson. But what is important now is getting her son comfortable within the Estiamo Empire. He has been carrying on this baby brother act for too long. He better not get sucked up into it. This isn’t fun, this is a competition. This is about taking what rightfully belongs to him. What does Daniella know anyway? She has made sure that Martin was groomed to be a business man. He knows it all and he is probably better equipped to run the business that Daniella is. After all, she is going to possibly get married to Michael or whatever his name is and she can move to the Saint Morgan group of things. But the Estiamo Empire belongs to Martin and that was the goal for her.

She spent a lot of time in that position hatching and plotting on how to establish her son. In the midst of it, her mind flashed to the last time, George came over. He seemed agitated, like he was worried about something. She had noticed but she had also learnt overtime to let him be when he was having a mood swing. So she had not pushed him too much about it. However, she is certain that he was not sick. He was his usual vibrant self and that was just a few days to the alleged heart attack. What actually happened that day? Through it all, she did not have access to his body or even the autopsy. She was not his wife neither was she even a recognised mistress. She was nothing. She had to stay by the sidelines and watch everything all play out until Martin lost his mind and stepped out. What if he really did not die of a heart attack? What if it was something else? What was Maria not telling her? Is it possible that Maria found out what he had done and decided to take him out? She seemed cool at the meeting the other day but such quiet women are the scariest. She would have to be careful around her. Maria can never know what her true intention is. At this point, it is hard to exactly pinpoint what she is capable of doing. For now, Cecilia will let her enjoy playing Queen Mother till she is ready to take over and no one can ever know her little secret. Not even her son.

On the other hand, Martin was just arriving at the Estiamo Company. This was his first official day. He did not have a fixed position yet but he had his own office. Daniella had told him to come around and see what goes on here. Then he could decide what department he wanted to fit into. He could see that although she had the power to assign him anything, she was trying to be considerate. She was actually trying to ensure that he was comfortable here and with what he was doing. Maybe he got himself the best big sister in the world. However, he had some questions. If at the time of dad’s death, he thought Daniella was not his daughter, why did he leave everything to her? Why does she get to choose what he is allowed to do? He had already decided that he was not going to dwell on these thoughts but they kept popping up. He really wished he had spent more time with his dad and understood him better. Maybe he would understand how his dad was thinking when he wrote that will. He does not have a problem with Daniella; he just does not understand why his father did what he did. Even in death, he gave more credence to Daniella.

… to be continued

Heart Beat 9!!

What people were ignorant about is what happened before that very day when George Estiamo supposedly ‘died’. George had been suffering from severe depression. He felt terribly guilty that he had a child with another woman and not his wife, Maria. He loved Daniella but felt bad for bringing her up in a lie. Towards the end, he started feeling like Martin should be the one getting all the attention as his true child but that would have been to Maria’s detriment and he really loved his wife. As if all of this was not already enough, he was informed of the possibility of Martin not being his biological son as well. Devastation led to the outburst Daniella got. Here he was in his underground house which only he and Peter knew about, reviewing the events that led up to this.

“Peter I have been deceived all these time”, George confessed in a sober tone after receiving the news of Martin. “Oh c’mon! You are not even certain yet”, Peter said firmly. “I need to disappear from all these. I need air, space, and time. I want to be me again. All this fortune has blinded me”, George said to Peter who was staring him down. Over time he had become so accustomed to Peter that they had become more than just Lawyer and client but friends, best friends. He knew Peter was not on the same page as he was, but he was still going to do what he wanted to do. Peter raised an eyebrow and relaxed in his chair. “What do you suggest we do Mr. Estiamo?” He asked attempting formality. George simply smiled because he knew his idea would creep Peter out but again had he not decided that he would do what he wanted to do. “I plan on disappearing, dying basically”, he said with mischief entwined with every word. Peter was alarmed and wondered why he wanted such a drastic method. Why not a simple long trip? “George is that not a bit too drastic?” He asked visibly worried. George looked at him and said he had made up his mind. He planned to investigate while underground. He knew Peter could not change his mind. He was long overdue for some sort of adventure and he had to get himself together. He went ahead to give Peter the detailed plot. He worried about the grief, but he knew they would be glad when he returned, and he would promise not to stupidly mess with them like this again. But this one time was for him.

It was all planned and manifested on the day of the board meeting. In the eye of the world, Mighty George Estiamo was dead and gone. He smiled at that as he rubbed his hands together. Thanks to Peter, there were chips planted everywhere important. He knew exactly what had been happening in his house and office. He felt the pain in his chest, and he pictured Maria’s face and the pain he was causing her. He would forever make it up to her till he eventually died. By now he knew Daniella was his flesh and blood. He was incredibly glad and relieved that it had been sorted. The day he heard that, he cried. At least his death had accomplished one thing, the true identity of his daughter, Daniella Estiamo, heir to the Estiamo fortune. He was so proud to have been blessed with her. Now the next issue was to determine the paternity of Martin George Jnr. Estiamo. He already knew that the family was becoming closely knit. He feared for Maria if Martin was not really his son. She was already knitting him a sweater. He had to move fast. He already had tabs on Cecilia to monitor her movements in his absence. Peter had given him a download of the board meeting and how Cecilia and Martin had been given new rides. He did not mind at the moment but if the story was true …

For now, the world seemed to have stopped mourning him as newspapers did not carry anything about him anymore. He planned to spend a year dead. He immediately began calculating his next moves and when he had it all figured out, he got out his phone and called Peter.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

All the way in the Saint Morgan mansion, Patrick sat down to read a newspaper while Janet made a fuss of how she should visit Maria. Patrick knew she was simply looking for some sort of gossip and to spy on Michael and Daniella. Apparently, he was so comfortable at the Estiamo’s that he had not paid them a visit since his return. He smiled as he knew what was keeping his son occupied, Daniella. They were alike when it came to taste in women. Patrick loved beautiful, classy women and Janet was the very definition of that. Although, she did not come from an extremely rich family, she carried herself like a queen and now she was the queen of the Saint Morgan palace. He had long stopped reading the newspaper but covered his face with it to prevent her channelling her energy towards him. She was blazing fire while Maria was the calmer fire. The both of them combined have always made a good and bad pair. He and George were always at the receiving end of their mischief. Now he was alone and that made him really sad.

Daniella was staring at herself in the mirror. After finding out initially that she was not an Estiamo she had doubted her looks very much. Now she ran hands over her face and appreciated the looks. She had dropped her novel to go change into something comfortable for the movie. As she went through her wardrobe, she giggled at the thought of being Mrs. Dickinson. She picked a pair of jeans and a customised polo top. Michael had got it for her, and it had ‘Empress’ imprinted on it. She cherished it but rarely wore it for obvious reasons. Today would be a good day for it. She changed into her clothes. She gave her hair a good brush and let it pour over her shoulders. She decided to look for more things he had got for her. She found a collection of simple but classy rings. She was obsessed with rings, and he knew this. Looking at everything he got her, all he ever wanted was for her to exude simplicity, be herself. She noticed a jacket she had not worn in a while and moved over to inspect it. Within its pockets she found an envelope. She got it out, opened it and found a story. Tears poured down. It was not just any story, but one she had started writing with her father on one of their special evenings. She never remembered or continued it after that day. Now she regretted it badly. She dropped the jacket, held the papers to her chest as she walked to her bedside drawer. She placed the envelope with her other stories. Emotionally she was not prepared to read the story, so she was not going to try to. Half an hour passed and all she did was stare. This was hard, and this moving on fast was harder. She said a little prayer and got up. She cleaned her face. She repeated her mantra over and over again, “it is okay. It is all okay. He is in a better place.”

As she descended the stairs, she spotted the men talking to mum. Maria noticed her daughter and whispered to Michael, “she is not okay”. Michael glanced up and concluded that as well. He moved quickly in order to receive her at the end of the stairs. She stood before Michael attempting a fake smile. He simply pulled her into a hug and whispered, “I am here for you”. She closed her eyes at that and just enjoyed the hug. Martin feeling a little jealous coughed and caught their attention. Daniella opened her eyes and smiled, breaking away from Michael and hugged Martin too saying, “my silly little brother”. After that she walked to her mum and hugged her tight. She pecked her and smiled at her looking into her eyes. Over the years, they had developed a connection and could speak through their eyes. She was trying to tell her mother that she was fine. Maria smiled and nodded while holding on to Daniella’s hand. Eventually, Daniella turned around, “I thought we all wanted to watch a movie?” She asked and Michael responded, “we are ready when you are”. He was just noticing the shirt and rings and smiled warmly. Daniella announced she was ready for the movie. Deep down she felt they were not mourning dad well enough but then what else could they do. They had cried and were still crying. It had been a hell of a week for her and a hell of two weeks for the rest. They all still dressed in black, which was not going to stop soon. They moved to the sitting area to all cuddled up and watched a movie. Daniella avoided mentioning what she had found and found a way to mingle with them. They had popcorn and hot dogs made for the movie night at home. They eventually picked some random movie. Maria sat on her seat close to the window watching them while Daniella sat in between her men. She needed no bodyguards as she was appropriately armed between them. Slowly the evening went by. Dad would not want them wallowing away, right?

to be continued …

Heart Beat Part 8!!

When they got home, Daniella had slept off which was very unusual. Michael simply carried her out of the car and stormed into the house. He responded to greetings while headed for the stairs where he met Maria. Maria felt sorry for her poor baby. She could make out the tears in her eyes and knew she had been at her father’s graveside. She simply pecked her daughter’s forehead and cleared the way for Michael but followed him to Daniella’s room. He carefully dropped her on the bed, making sure she was comfortable, and all Maria did was watch. He removed her heels and went ahead to gently peel off her jacket from her body without her waking up. He checked the air conditioners to see that they were on and covered her. He made to the door when he realised Maria was there. She simply smiled and led the way out. When they were out, Michael gently closed the door. She looked at him and said, “Michael, thank you very much. What would we do without you?” Brushing it aside he said, “It is nothing ma’am. I know if it were the other way round, she would be there 24/7 for me”. That was true and Maria knew it. She had been in the study before they returned and decided she should sleep too. She instructed Michael to rest which as well he obeyed without complaining. He went to his room and after taking off the unnecessary items, got into his bed. It was late afternoon, but no one cared. They slept the rest of the day till around 9 pm when the three of them met for dinner.  Daniella felt a lot better and even tried teasing Michael which he reciprocated without mercy and Maria enjoyed the chit-chat.

Later that night, the three of them sat in the sitting area downstairs. While Daniella and Michael each read a novel, Maria knitted. She was knitting sweaters in everyone’s favourite colour. She opted to knit a black one for Martin. It was kind of a motherly welcome gift. She suddenly remembered the trip she had talked about. “Daniella, I was thinking you need a trip. You know away from all that has happened. I see how weak you are. I understand but we have to move on from this. Sadly, we have a lot of people to be strong for even though we bear the loss. We need to get ourselves back. I know you are not even ready to move on, but we need to sweetheart. I spoke to Michael earlier on about it and he is willing to go along”, she said giving her motherly smile. Daniella looked up from her novel. She had channelled all her energy into the novel to help her block out her pain, so it took her a bit of time to reboot. The statement had got Michael’s attention too as he was now looking at Daniella. Having finally assimilated what was said she replied, “Mum you know best but give me a week more before you put anything down”, she said looking at her mum. Maria could not help but be a bit curious about what she wanted to do over the week and same thing went through Michael’s mind. “Darling what for?” she asked looking intensely at her daughter. “Oh, nothing serious. I just want to make sure Martin knows what is up before I leave”, she answered sincerely. Maria could understand that. She was not going to ask her to leave next week, she was just curious. She was tired now and dropped her knitting. She got up, hugged, and kissed them both goodnight. However, before leaving she asked them to decide where they would like to go. Immediately she left, they went back to their individual novels.

Around 1 am, Daniella closed her novel. Michael was still engrossed in his massive novel and did not feel Daniella’s eyes on him. She was studying him closely. At about 1:30 am, her evaluation came to an end and she got up. She sat on the arm of his chair which definitely got his attention. She looked at him and asked, “why did you not tell me about my father’s death at first?” He closed his novel and dropped it on the stool. He turned and recognised the pain that was always in her eyes these days. “When I saw you, I realised you knew nothing, and I did not want to ruin your peaceful moment. Sincerely, I did not even know if I was in the right place to tell you”, he replied holding her hands. “I concluded you must have had a reason. I just wanted to confirm what it was”, she stated with a forced smile. “So where are we going?” she asked in relation to the impending trip. She did not even think she was in the mood for one, but she would do it to please her mother. “I thought we could just go back to our exposed hide out and be normal”, he replied. “We can go back to being Mr. & Mrs. Dickinson”, she said causing them to laugh.

Daniella drifted off a bit with thoughts linked to her dad. “Where has Empress drifted to this time?” He asked. Empress was a name he used to call her when they were in secondary school. He had had a lot of respect for her and how she portrayed herself. It had nothing to do with the Estiamo name. She was what she was, an Empress. She smiled at him and said, “I was lost thinking about dad. I missed his burial and would never see him again”. Michael simply allowed her into his arms and rocked her back and forth. Her loss was his as well. After some time, she felt better and broke free from him. “If you continue treating me like this, I will return to being a baby”, she teased. He laughed and said, “it would be good to see you as a baby again”. She eventually got up, picked up their novels and returned it to the shelf. She was not going to allow him to take a novel to his room as she was convinced, he would not rest till he saw the last page. For this huge book, it was a long way off. Whatever attracted him to extremely big books baffled her. She went back to him and said, “race me up the stairs”. At first he just stared at her, then he laughed and resorted to smiling mischievously. She folded her hands waiting for him to get up. He got up and mockingly stretched his body. Then they got ready and raced up the stairs laughing.

Maria heard them and simply smiled in the study. They did not know she had withdrawn there. At the top of the stairs, Michael teased Daniella about being a thug and trying to turn him into one. She simply called his bluff. She hugged him and pecked him goodnight. They retired to their individual rooms in a good mood. Daniella slept without dreaming of the fight with her dad.

Later that morning, they all gathered at the dining room for breakfast with a surprise visitor, Martin Estiamo. He had requested that his presence not be announced. They were glad to see him. He gave Maria a hug and she kissed his forehead. He hugged Daniella and pecked her cheeks. Finally, he shook Michael’s hand. They settled down and began to chit-chat while Maria watched them with content. She noticed they avoided everything George related and tried to talk about normal things. They spoke about business and made feasible plans on how to carry Martin along. He also realised that Michael had a place at the company and did not mind. They finished breakfast and the table was cleared but they still continued talking. They decided to watch a movie since they were all together. Daniella only wanted this because her mood was dulling out again. She missed her father too much. She wondered how Martin was holding up. How her mother was still laughing and smiling. She knew it was hard on all of them, but they were trying to fast-track the recovery process. They did not want to dwell on it. Even though it was just the second week, they were determined to get back to life.

While that went on, Maria made a mental note to find more novels and albums known to just her and her husband. She got up without the trio noticing. She silently walked to her window and gazed down at the garden letting their voices fill her mind. She really wished George were there, but he was resting in peace now. Taking a deep breath, she drifted off reliving the trip she had had before the sad news hit her. Daniella suddenly turned to where her mum should be but was not any longer. “Where did mum go?” She asked making the others aware of Maria’s absence. Daniella got up and went into the sitting area where she found mum looking out the window at garden, lost. She walked up to her mother and held her. Maria immediately recognised her daughter’s hands and rubbed them. The men had followed Daniella. They found them together and did not bother mother and daughter. They were doing fine, and Daniella did not want the mood to go foul, at least not now. “Mum would you like to continue knitting or what would you like?” Daniella asked her mum. Maria was lost in thoughts and remembered how George used to love to take her out for drives and walks. Well, that was before they got engrossed in the Estiamo family trend. She realised that she missed their simple life.

Drifting back, she remembered what she was knitting for Martin and turned spontaneously determined to brighten her mood for her kids. Everyone was happy her mood was better. She left them and went to where she kept her knitting items last night and picked Martin’s uncompleted sweater. She went back to them and showed Martin. “This is what I have been knitting for you as a motherly gesture. I hope you would like it when I am done.”, she said smiling at him. He felt moved. His mother had never done anything special as such talk of knitting. He felt loved. He smiled at her and gave her a big hug and said, “thank you”. “Oh, it is nothing. Follow me and tell me what design you would want”, she said intending for them to go to the other sitting area and he followed her. She was beginning to acknowledge her lost husband in Martin. It might get weird if she got attached to him but what the heck? He was family. Daniella and Michael were simply witnessing the event. As if drown out of a trance, they turn to each other and smiled. They went about their business looking for what to watch. After that they settled down and continued reading their novels while everything in the Estiamo palace went on normally.

to be continued …

Heart Beat Part 7!!

As their cars passed on the road, people could not help but admire them. In the car, Daniella finally dug out her phone and saw Michael’s message amongst others. She was grateful that one of them had remembered their obligation. “Sweet Michael”, she murmured wishing he were there so she could hug him. She drifted away imagining how cool it would be when Michael is made the official head of his company. So many forms of imaginations popped up and she was so carried away that she did not realise when they reached the hotel or when her door was opened. What brought her back to earth was two hands stretched towards her. She realised one belonged to Michael and the other to Martin. She smiled and took both hands and was pulled out of the car. She giggled when she found her stamina and the men smiled at her. She then entwined her hands with that of Michael and Martin as they entered into the hotel. As usual, Michael and Daniella were teasing each other and managed to drag Martin into the teasing game. They were too busy chit-chatting that they did not notice the bows they received but walked on till they got to the hotel’s restaurant and made for the table booked by Michael.

Before they got to their table, there were stopped by a very beautiful petite woman named Janet. Not just any Janet but this was Janet Saint Morgan, mother of Michael Saint Morgan, wife to Patrick Saint Morgan and closest friend to Maria Estiamo, who was standing beside Janet. Apparently, Maria had changed her destination to meet with Janet which was an amazing coincidence. The mothers exchanged hugs and kisses with the gang leaving Janet confused as to who the new member was. She was used to seeing Daniella and Michael gallivant a lot but never with a third party. She whispered to Maria, “is that her boyfriend?” Maria immediately started laughing and Daniella got the gist. She realised that her mum had not discussed the matter of Martin with Janet and decided to fill her in. she was not going to hide her brother away. “Ma’am” drawing Janet’s attention she continued. “This is my long-hidden brother, Martin George Estiamo jnr.”, she completed pointing to Martin. Janet being a very dramatic person already had her hand over her mouth and that caused Maria to laugh. “Son?” Janet asked in shock. “Yes yes Janet. A son, the son of my late husband. Your shocked face is quite funny”, Maria responded earning her one of Janet’s straight faces. “Alright I will fill you in on everything but for now, let’s leave the gang to eat”, Maria said. The mothers said goodbye to them, and Maria dragged Janet away. If she had been left, she would have stared Martin down searching for some sort of resemblance. She knew Janet would be sceptical about this and that is why she had not mentioned it yet. There was nothing she could do anyway. George was dead. Everything had to be accepted the way it was at least till something else came up.

After lunch, the gang debated on what to do next. Daniella wanted to pay her father a visit and let him know he had been wrong. She hoped she would not bump into another child. She knew that sounded silly, but anything was possible. She informed the guys of her intention and they offered to go with her. Before her father’s death, she had always hated the thoughts of burials and cemeteries and never wanted to attend any. However, it hurt that she had not been present for her father’s burial and at least pay him the last respect. Why did mum not find her earlier? She felt like hitting her head against something but did not. While she battled those thoughts, Martin was enjoying his newly found company of friends. He was already beginning to really like his sister and thought Michael to be a really nice person. From what he could observe, Michael had been her everything for a very long time and that was sweet. She had a friend, even if just one, it was better than none which he had. He imagined them getting married and concluded that was not a bad idea. Then he wondered what would happen to the company when she got married. He sincerely hoped that it would all go well. He admitted to himself that Daniella seemed to be a competent woman and dad must have been really proud. He smiled at the thought of having an elder sister. ‘Dear Lord help me out’, he silently prayed with mischief.

Michael all the way in the third car did not know what to think exactly. For as long as he could remember, he had been the only man, except from her father, in Daniella’s life but now she had a brother. He could not help but feel a little jealous or maybe it was a lot of jealousy lurking around. If she found out she would literally flog him, but he could not help himself. He buried his head in his hands as if that would help him, but it did not. He would have to get used to it. Now he was anxiously looking forward to that trip Maria had proposed and was hoping Daniella would not drag Martin into it. It was becoming clear to Michael that he actually liked her more than the sibling relationship they had had going on, but he was a gentleman and was never going to rush it. He was not ready to ruin what they had anyway. With everyone carrying their own cross, the cars made their way to their destination.

The cars stopped in front of the cemetery and the three figures highlighted. They began to walk towards George’s graveside. When they got there, Daniella stepped forward, signalling the guys she wanted to be alone with her father and the men left her. She was lucky that something was always on her mind if not she would never stop crying. Without any effort, the tears found their way down and Michael saw that causing his heart to wince in pain. He wanted to console her, but he made no move. Daniella looked over the grave and shook her head. “Dad I really thought this was a joke. I thought they would tell me, this had been planned but you are really down there”, she stated sorrowfully. “There is something else you should know; I am your daughter. Your blood runs through my veins. I am a full-fledged Estiamo, and I hope you can hear me”, she said forcing a smile. “Truthfully, dad, I wish you were alive so I can throw a tantrum of how you hurt me, and have you trap me in a hug like you always did when we fought”, she said this slowly dropping to her knees and Martin rushed to her side. Michael felt useless and it annoyed him. He had never seen her so devastated, so he had no stored antics. Daniella looked at Martin with sorrowful teary eyes. “Martin, tell dad to get up and hug us”, she said feeling very silly, but she wanted to be hugged so badly by her father, yes he was her father. Martin offered her a hug which she accepted. He was not dad but was her brother and she could live with this. She finally got the strength to get up with Martin and he walked her to Michael where she switched to Michael’s hands. Michael gauging that she was really shaky, picked her up without asking and she did not protest. Martin smiled and concluded these two are very much meant for each other and he found that to be cool. When he got her to her car, he delivered her to the back seat where she unceremoniously laid down. After making sure she was comfortable, he shut the door. Behind him was Martin watching with keen interest. “Martin, I think your sister is really drained. I suggest we head home.” Michael stated politely and Martin was evidently worried about Daniella. He had never been really close to dad and he was barely available, but she had had him all her life. Martin found no fault in that and opted to go to his house. The drivers received instructions about their destinations, and they moved again. Martin’s car diverted after some time while the two went straight to the Estiamo’s mansion.

to be continued…