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…