Four years later…….
It had been four years since I had enrolled into university. My life had changed so much for the better mentally and physically. University had kept me busy and my mind off of my marriage life. University was my stress relief.
Instead of taking online courses, I decided to attend classes. Everyday, I took four to five classes except the weekends. I used the weekends to study and do my required reading for my classes. I was a full time student.
Adrian didn’t know about my activities at home. He was never home. I would leave a note stating my whereabouts but, honesty, they were lies. I would write that I was at the movies or walking around the neighborhood. Sometimes, I would get a phone call from Lorenzo.
On occasions, Adrian and I were suppose to go to family gatherings that only happen once a year. Adrian would excuse himself by saying that he had scheduled a meeting or had business to attend overseas. On some occasions, he would meet with his family with his secretary who I found out to be the one who was sleeping with Adrian. Her name was Mariah Winslow. In honestly, she was beautiful.
I managed to excuse myself every year saying that I was ill or I was busy with something. They told me that they understood. It was a relief for me. I wasn’t sure if they knew about his relationship with the secretary.
To be honest, I didn’t want to deal with my in-laws. They would want to talk about our marriage. Adrian would act to be loving but, he really doesn’t want anything to do with me. Also, they didn’t know about the affair.
Today, I was with Victor and Neal at their new business building that they had bought a few days ago. They wanted to start a business once they received their bachelors in business. They bought a really big space.
They walked me through the building. The place smelt a bit musty due to the place being closed for a long time. The walls were plain with dust. Some windows needed to be replaced because they were cracked. The floor was covered with dust and dirt. Overall, the building was a good size.
“Isn’t this amazing! I can’t believe that this place is ours,” Neal said with excitement. Victor gave him a hug from behind. “So am I. Soon, this place will be well known across the country,” Victor told him. They were so in love with each other.
They haven’t gotten married yet, but they were going to get married soon. “So, what kind of business are you two going to open?” I asked them. They looked at each other. “We were thinking about an organic restaurant,” they told me.
I knew it “That’s a great idea,” I told them with a smile on my face. They were great cooks. Ever since I met them, they made delicious foods. Everything was organic. Last year, we traveled to an organic farm where they grew many kinds of fruits and vegetables. Victor’s friend, Arthur owned the farm.
“Arthur is willing to help us out with the produce,” Neal told me. “I can’t wait for the restaurant to be open. I would be your very first customer,” I told them. They gave me a smile. “I know you would. You known us for a long time,” he told me.
“I expect to see your Asian style poach salmon on the menu,” I told them. They laughed a bit. “Of course. I’ll add my famous roast beef with wild mushroom sauce to the menu,” Victor told me. Victor was great with cooking savory foods.
“I can handle the desserts,” Neal said as he looked out the window. Neal was a great baker. On my birthday last year, he had baked a cake for me. His famous burnt sugar nut cake. The cake was deadly to my palette….in a good way.
“Before we open, we would like for you to do the taste test,” Victor told me. Wow…. ” Make sure that you don’t give me everything to taste on the same day. It would be too much for my stomach to handle,” I told them.
“Of course, Otherwise, we might have to roll you out,” Neal joked. “Ha ha very funny Neal,” I told him. Victor couldn’t stop laughing. “We have so much to do. We have to paint the walls, replace the tiles, get equipment, and come up with a menu,” Victor listed out.
“How are you guys going to pay for all that?” I asked them. They don’t look rich. Neal had a smile on his face. “After my grandfather passed away, he gave me his inheritance since I was the only relative living,” he told me.
“What did he do to have that much money?” I asked him. “He was a famous baker and an investor,” Neal told me. That explains it. “It’s like I’m going to continue his legacy. Most of the recipes were from him,” he told me.
In his eyes, I could see mixed emotions. One emotion stood out from the rest. “You loved him so much huh,” I said to him. He gave me a nod. “He was the one who taught me to be myself. If I don’t love myself, how do you expect to make great desserts to make people happy?” he asked me.
“You got a point,” I told him. He gave me a nod. Victor walked up to us. “It’s almost dinner time. Why don’t we eat here?” he asked us. “Are we cooking? Or are we doing take out?” I asked him. “Well, I wish we could make food but, we don’t have the equipment here. Let’s do take out. I’ll treat you guys,” Victor said.
“Sure What do you want?” Neal asked me. “I don’t know….” I wasn’t sure what I wanted to eat. “Craving for anything?” Victor asked as he looked through his phone for delivery service. “You look for dinner and I’ll look up for dessert,” Neal told Victor and took his phone out too.
“What about Chinese,” I suggested. Victor and Neal looked at each other. “I guess we are getting from Zhen Mei restaurant then,” Victor said and looked up at the menu. “I want roast pork,” Neal told him.
“I’m getting red braised pork. What about you Vera?” Victor asked me. “Since you’re treating me. I want beef chow fun, fried rice, and walnut shrimp,” I told him. He gave me a funny look. “For a small girl, you have a big appetite,” he joked.
“My brain needs food, Not my stomach,” I said to him. He laughed. “I’m going to go get some creme brûlée pie from the bakery near here that is famous for it. It come with some berry compote,” Neal said and proceeded to walk out the door.
“That sounds good,” I said to him.
They were the greatest friends who are also my guardian angels. They saved me from my marriage sanity.
“While he’s out, let’s order the food,” Victor said and dialed the number.
“That was good,” I said and licked my spoon clean of the berry compote. The dessert hit the spot in my stomach. Surprisingly, we finished everything.
“You should get going. It’s late,” Victor told me. It was 10:00 pm and raining hard outside. “Plus, you have finals to turn in soon and then graduation,” Neal reminded me. I gave him a smile. I’m almost there . “I am already done with them and have them ready to turn in,” I told them.
“Figures, You are always on top of your studies,” Victor said to me. I gave him a nod. “You’re right about the time. I really should get going,” I said to them and looked at the empty take out containers on the mat that we used to eat on.
“Do you guys want me to help clean up?” I asked them. “No. We can clean it,” Neal said and started to put the containers in an empty plastic bag. I got my bag and walked towards the door. “Thank you for dinner and congrats on the building,” I told them.
They gave me a smile “Thank you. Be careful on the way home,” Neal told me. “Of course. Don’t want to get in an accident in the rain,” I said to them. “Don’t jinx yourself,” Victor told me. I gave them a wave goodbye and walked out of the building.
Quickly I got my keys from my bag and opened the car door. Good thing I have the car with me today. I bought the car with my inheritance. I could have used the credit card that Adrian gave me but, I hate to use his fortune.
Once I got inside the car, I started the engine and slowly, got out of the parking lot. Now, I have a long slow drive to the apartment. New York City traffic was insane. It could take as long as five minutes to go down one block.
After a while, I was halfway home. I waited at an intersection. When the lights turned green, I stepped on the gas pedal. The car moved to the middle of the intersection when I heard a loud screech as if the car was skidding.
I turned my head to see a truck coming towards me.
“That is one of the easiest deals I have made.”
I sat in my seat and opened up my laptop. My schedule had been packed with business meetings to buy a property down in San Diego in order to build a new resort. I wanted everything in my new resort to be perfect.
“Lorenzo, When is my next business meeting with Cosmos Industry??” I asked him. Cosmos Industry was well known for their Italian furniture. I wanted the our new resort in San Diego to have the most beautiful and authentic feel for our costumers.
I lift my head up to see Mariah at my doorway with a cup of coffee in her hands. “I made some coffee for you,” she said and walked towards me. Mariah gave me a big smile and set my coffee cup on my desk. “Just how you like it,” she told me in a flirty manner.
I didn’t respond to her behavior and took a sip of the coffee. To be honest, I liked Valeria’s coffee better. Valeria’s coffee tasted much darker and smoother on my tongue. Mariah’s coffee tasted generic to me.
“Are we going out tonight again?” Mariah ask and sat on my desk and closed her legs. She was persistent for the past few days about us going out on dates. I was getting tired of her company surprisingly.
My whole family was right about Mariah. She wasn’t my type. She wasn’t the girl who would make me happy.
As the years went on, I realized that Mariah wasn’t the girl for me. Next thing I knew, I started to think about Valeria and our marriage. Valeria had tried to be the best wife to me. She kept bringing me breakfast every morning. She made me dinner every night but, I never ate them except that one time where my brother came over with his wife. Valeria’s cooking was delicious. She would stay up until I returned home from work.
I realized that was a jerk to her. Every day, the guilt and regret grew to the point where I did’t think that our marriage would last much longer. But, I hoped that Valeria would forgive me and we could try to work our marriage out.
I started to think about her more often. At times, I tried to call her but, the call would go straight to voicemail. I sent Lorenzo to check up on her at home. He would tell me that she was doing alright or she wasn’t at home at the moment. He would bring me notes that she had written of where she had gone.
Valeria was my type of girl. Innocent, selfless, and loyal. Her face on our wedding day was imprinted in my mind. She looked like an angel. When I looked at our wedding picture, I could drown myself in those eyes.
I put the cup back on the desk and continued to type away. “I don’t think so Mariah, I am busy,” I told her. She took a hold of my necktie and pulled me towers her. She leaned down and kissed me. I didn’t return the kiss
I pulled away from her and answered the phone.
“What is it?” I asked. All my calls went through my other secretary, Franco. “Sir. You have an important call coming through,” he told me. “Let the call go through,” I told him. “Yes sir,” he said and connect me to the caller.
“Hello Minetti Resorts, CEO Adrian Minetti speaking. How may I help you?”
“Hello Mr. Minetti This is Nurse Charlotte from the emergency room at Plaza New York Hospital,” she said to me. Plaza New York Hospital?
My gut started to twist. Something is not right . “Hello Nurse Charlotte. How may I help you? Is something wrong?” I asked her with little concern.
“Your wife, Valeria, was in an accident at an intersection by a truck. She is in serious condition and in surgery. We would like you to come here at the hospital immediately to tell you in detail of the injuries,” she told me.
For the first time, my heart stopped when I heard the news about my wife.
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