“Yes actually or else I get cut off. The thing is I'm trying to break out on my own so I still need my father for now. Once I have what I need, I'm gone and my father trying to control me is over,” he bit out. “It’s only until my company gets off the ground, once it happens, they are gone and I'm gone from your life. Just say yes and I’ll make your life easier,” he said bluntly.
“And if I don’t? What then?” I asked knowing there was always a catch with him.
“You will or else I’ll make your life a living hell,” he said in a severe tone.
“I'm going to have to think about it.” I hated myself for even considering it, but the tips weren’t nearly enough to get my sister into Yale.
“Okay, let’s pretend you’re thinking about it,” he said in air quotes, “and then come to me tomorrow with your answer.” His barely there beard made his chiseled face seem like he was a model. Too bad he was Lucifer in designer clothing.
“Your cell,” he extended his hand. I reached in my back pocket and gave it to him. “What the hell is this?” he laughed.
“My cell phone,” I said proudly. I couldn’t afford a smart phone and there was no shame in it.
“It looks like the one you had in high school.” His smile disappeared as he looked over it.
“So?” I looked at him bitterly. He punched in his number and handed it back to me.
“Tomorrow,” he smiled.
“We’ll see,” I bit back.
“Sure, Addie. We’ll see.”
Tomorrow was upon me. I spent the whole of last night thinking about what he said. I left my room and a sleeping Sofia and went to the bathroom. I began to sob quietly. The stress of everything was getting to me. I took the towel and bit down on it, afraid I might make a sound. Why? Why was everything so hard? I hated Daimon. I hated him and how miserable he made my life in high school. Now here he was again, ready to do the same thing to me as an adult. I kept crying, knowing he was right and that I would accept his proposition.
I took a shower, trying to wash off how dirty I felt. This was for Sofia, I kept saying to myself, as I got dressed in a pencil skirt and black pumps and a white button down. I headed down to Evans Towers in Lower Manhattan. There I stood in front of the large skyscraper. The sun reflected brightly off the all-glass exterior, making it glisten. I watched as people walked in and out of the building. My feet were cemented onto the ground, afraid to take that one last step. I was worried, nervous. Who was I going be at the end of this? I was selling myself and I knew it. It was for Sofia, I said to myself again. I headed inside and walked over to security.
“Yes,” an older man in a grey security suit said to me.
“I'm here to see Mr. Daimon Evans,” I said in a defeated voice.
“Very well. I’ll call his secretary.” He picked up his phone and dialed.
“Yes, a Ms…” he leaned in toward me.
“Ms. Addie,” I said quietly.
“Yes, a Ms. Addie is here.” He waited and nodded.
He extended his hand and let me pass through the security area. He led me to an elevator and put in a key. He turned it and the doors opened.
“Mr. Evans is upstairs,” he noted.
I walked through and watched as the elevators doors slowly closed on what was my simple life. Moving forward everything was going to be complicated and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.
I rode the elevator until it reached the top floor. The doors opened to a slick black hallway with a long grey carpet in the middle, which led to a secretary at the far end. I nervously made my way, looking around. The tall cathedral ceilings had huge skylights letting in the sun’s rays. I continued to walk while basking in the sun’s golden glow. The only sound I could hear was the sound of my heels as I walked down the carpet.
“This way, Ms. Addie,” the secretary said annoyed, probably because I took my time to get to her. She stood up from her seat and headed toward Daimon’s office. She was middle aged, but still stunning. Her blond hair was perfectly coiffed, her skirt suit was designer and so were her thick black-framed glasses. She reached for the double dark mahogany wooden doors and opened them. Daimon’s office was enormous as I slowly walked in. His secretary closed the door behind me, leaving me alone with Daimon. I stood not knowing what to do first. I looked around his office; he had floor-to-ceiling windows, which overlooked the Hudson River. He was on the phone as he sat on his leather office chair, leaning backwards. He was playing with his pen, much like he did in high school, meticulously twirling it around his fingers. His large desk was long; one end held his computer and some files.