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Monday, December 24, 2012

Chapter Ten

Gabrielle smiled, looking at the fabulous chocolate chip cookies she had just removed from the oven. She enjoyed her part time job at Grace’s Corner, a diner just in the heart of Peaceville. Perhaps it was because of the atmosphere, the cafĂ© was spacious and inviting and filled with the delightful aromas. Perhaps it was because today was an especially beautiful day. Perhaps it was because she was really enjoying Peaceville College. She was simply happy. Life was good and promising to be better.
Grace’s Corner has always had regular customers, and more during tourists’ months. But when Gabrielle joined the team, more persons came in. All loved Gabrielle’s cooking and baking and some even suggesting that she increase her culinary abilities, go to a cooking school in France, perhaps opening her own diner. But that was not her dream. Her real passion was fashion designing; unknown to most, she designs her own clothes. She was taking courses in Fashion Designing and Business to help her with her future ambitions. There was a time she had another passion, another burning ambition but it was cruelly taken from her.
She shook her head. Let the past go, Gabrielle Sanchez, she told herself.
Just then the door opened and an elegant blonde entered. Gabrielle smiled automatically as she appreciated elegant dressing. The blonde went to sit at one of the tables by the window and removed her Gucci sunglasses. Gabrielle went to attend to her as the afternoon rush was over and she had little free time.
“Good Afternoon. Welcome to Grace’s-”
“I want a cup of coffee and nothing else.” The blonde said abruptly.
“Ok. But we have freshly baked croissants and chocolate chip cookies we are especially proud of.”
Kathleen looked at the little girl and replied slowly as if she were talking to a moron, “I’m not interested in anything other than a cup of coffee.”
“Fine.” Gabrielle said, smiling pleasantly and turned away, wondering why a lady dressed so beautifully would have such bad manners.
Just then, Sharon walked and breathed in deeply, smiling. She loved the aroma in Grace’s Corner. Then she noticed Kathleen scrolling through her iPhone.
“Hi, Sharon.” Kathleen smiled widely and they air-kissed. “I’ve really missed you.”
“I’ve missed you, too. You are looking really beautiful.”
“You are not looking bad yourself. Although there is some hint of annoyance I detect in your eyes.”
Sharon frowned, “It’s none other than my precious dad and brother.”
“As always.”
Gabrielle came with the coffee and smiled at Sharon, “Good afternoon, Miss Charlwood.”
“Hi Gabrielle. Give me some of your chocolate chip cookies and please call me Sharon.”
Now this is a lady with class, Gabrielle thought smiling.
“You should try them, Kathleen. They are the best I’ve ever tasted.”
“Perhaps you haven’t been to enough places.” Kathleen replied, “Besides, you know I’m allergic to chocolate.”
“Since when?”
“Since I have to maintain my perfect figure.”
Gabrielle looked at the woman she was really beginning to dislike by the second. She turned her attention back to Sharon. “What would you like with it?”
“Coffee, the way I like it.”
“Sure.” Gabrielle replied smiling and walked away.
“You know she was Peaceville’s Most Beautiful two years ago.”
Kathleen looked at Gabrielle briefly. “She looks familiar.”
“She’s Soledad’s daughter.”
“Oh.” Kathleen now understood why she didn’t like the little chit the moment she saw her. She had never liked Soledad Sanchez. “How many kids does she have by the way?”
“No. Soledad.”
“Three. The youngest won Hunk of The Year. I’ve never met the oldest though. Heard he’s a cop.”
“Typical.” Kathleen said with a hint of disdain.
“Ignore me, Sharon.” Kathleen said, “You know I don’t like Soledad and she doesn’t like me.”
“Well, if you want to get into Justin’s heart, you had better find a way to make her like you.”
“Am I that obvious I want Justin back?”
Sharon smiled, “Sweetheart, you were too obvious.”
Kathleen shrugged, “Well, I can’t help it. I really like Justin.”
“Then why did you guys break up? You never told me you know.”
Kathleen looked at Sharon, surprised. “He didn’t tell you?”
“I never asked.” Sharon said, and smiled at Gabrielle, refusing to acknowledge that Justin had in fact told her why. And that she had agreed with his decision. “Hmm, I’ve gained just 5 pounds inhaling.”
Gabrielle laughed. “Enjoy your meal.”
“I sure will.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chapter Nine

“Good job, Miguel.”
“So proud of you, men.”
“Great job, dude!”
“Hey, thanks.” Miguel replied all of his teammates, smiling. He felt so happy. He, Miguel Sanchez, following the family tradition. If you call winning the Hunk of the Year a family tradition. He opened his locker. He had just 3 minutes left to go. He had Biology next.
Biology. He hated Biology. But he wanted to be a doctor, a surgeon. In less than ten years, he would be one. All things will be good again.  His mum would be so proud of him and she would never have to work for those blasted Charlwood family again.
Anyone seeing Diana would think she was reading something really interesting. But she wasn’t. She was looking at the love of her life (at this time). Miguel Sanchez, Peaceville High’s best football player, now Peaceville’s Hunk of the Year. She had always had her eyes on Miguel since they were both thirteen years old. But Miguel always treated her like a sister. As if that was what she wanted to be.
“Hey, Di!”
“Wanda, you startled me!”
Wanda Parker, beautiful black American and Diana’s best friend, whispered mischievously, “You were sooo busy looking at the Hunk of the Year. I bet you wish you were his gift.”
“I really really like him, Wanda.”
“And he would like you…. Some day.”
The bell rang and Miguel hurriedly locked his locker. Unknown to him, two girls were watching him, one of them wishing she could tell him how she really felt about him.
Sharon looked angrily at her brother, “I want an active position in Charlwood Corp.”
Ben Charlwood looked at his little sister with annoyance, “Why don’t you go ask father? He’s the one who can do that.”
“You know you can too, Ben. I’m tired of just waking up in the morning and spending Charlwood’s money-”
“Which is the dream of every woman.”
“Well, I am not every woman, Ben. I want an active position in Charlwood Corp. It’s my birthright.”
“We both know how father feels about that, Sharon.” Ben said, sitting down and sipping his glass of gin, “Father doesn’t believe in a mere woman having anything to do in the executive positions of Charlwood Corp.”
“That is called Sexual Discrimination.”
“That is called Human Right, Sharon. Father has a right to decide who or what to employ in Charlwood Corp. He built Charlwood, darling, not you.”
“I hate you, both.”
“So emotional, just like a woman.” Ben replied and picking up his phone, motioned her out.
Sharon walked out of the office, angrily. She was sick and tired of being treated like a doormat by her father and brother. Being a woman doesn’t mean that she wasn’t capable of handling an executive position in Charlwood.
Her phone rang and after looking at the caller ID, she answered, “Hi, Kathleen…….Sure I’m free for lunch……Grace’s?........Cool, I’ll meet you there.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chapter Eight

“Hello, mum.”
“Justin, my love!”
Rose ran to hug Justin, who carried and swirled her around. By the time he put her down, she was laughing breathlessly.
“Justin, I have missed you sooo much.”
“I have missed you too, mum.” Justin replied, smiling and looked at her properly. “Wow! Mum, you look younger than I remember.”
“Healthy living, my darling. Let’s go inside. I still haven’t forgiven you for not seeing me first.”
“My sweet mum.”
“Stop flattering me, it isn’t working.” Rose said, pretending annoyance with her eyes twinkling with joy at seeing her baby.
“My darling Justin.”
Justin hugged and swirled her around too, with Soledad laughingly telling him to put her down. He put her down then put his arms around the two women. “Blessed am I amongst women.”
“Naughty boy! You haven’t changed, have you?”
“I’m so happy you are back. Your room has been prepared for you.”
Justin looked at his mum as he stopped sipping his tea, “My room?”
“Of course, sweetheart. Don’t tell me you want to stay with Richard now.”
“I’m not going to stay with dad.”
“I’m going to get my own apartment.”
Rose looked at her son horrified. “Sweetheart, there are twenty rooms in this mansion. Surely you want to be close by me, don’t you?”
“Of course I will be close by you, mum. I will be in Peaceville. But in my own apartment.”
“I don’t like that.”
“Mum, I love you. But I’m not a little child anymore. I’m twenty four years old and I want to start my life with my career and eventually a family. I cannot be living under your husband’s roof forever, mum. I want to be my own man, living in my own place.”
Rose sat closer to her son and placed her hands on his arm. “Justin, I want you to be your own man. I want the best for you. You are my son and the love for my life. I just felt that now that you are back in Peaceville, you’ll be here with me and I wouldn’t be lonely anymore. That you would start your life here and even get married and have your kids here.”
“I’m sorry, mum. I have already made up my mind. I love you, mum. Never doubt that.”
Justin kissed her on her cheek and she smiled, “Fine. I accept your decision. And speaking about getting married, guess who is in the mansion right now.”
Kathleen walked in, smiling at Justin, “Hi.”
Justin stood up, “Oh, Hi Kat. It’s been a while.”
“Five years to be precise.” Kathleen replied, “Heard you are an attorney now.”
“Heard you are a CPA. You were always good in numbers.”
“So, you remember.”
“I rarely forget things.”
“Oh, this is perfect.” Rose said, smiling dreamingly, “I am ready to start preparing for a wedding.”
“Slow down, mum. I and Kathleen are not getting married.”
Kathleen laughed, “Oh Justin. It’s really good to see you. When are you moving back here? We would have some fun.”
“Justin said he would look for an apartment instead.” Rose told her ruefully.
“Well, I’ll be glad going apartment hunting with you.”
“Thanks. I really have to leave now, mother. Have a meeting with a potential client.”
“Already? I am proud for you.” Rose said, standing up also and hugging her son.
“So, am I.” Kathleen said, “See you around, Justin.”
“Sure.” He replied and left the house.
Rose looked at Kathleen, “I don’t think you would have any problem getting Justin to settle down with you.”
“Of course, Rose. I allowed Justin to slip through my fingers before. I wouldn’t let go this time.” Kathleen said, smiling in anticipated triumph.