It was Sunday morning and Sofia came to work with me. We always had a good time when we were together. But today wasn’t going to be one of those days.
“I don’t want to go,” she pouted.
“Why?” I laughed. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime. Look Sofia, I love you. But seriously, kid it’s not like you have a choice in the matter.” I stuck out my tongue at her, trying to make the conversation light and funny.
“I want to stay,” she said louder.
“And what, Sofia?” Now I had become angry with her, resentment started to spew forth. “What? Stay here? Live this wonderful life? What? Work day in and day out in here?” I could feel my blood rising. “No, Sofia! You are going to leave here and go off to Yale. So help me God, I will drag you there myself if I have to,” I spat out.
“Why are you being so stubborn?” she huffed. “Why can’t I help you? You do everything for us,” she began to cry. Seeing her tears, melted away all the bitterness I felt.
“Ah come on, Sofia, don’t you cry. Today is Sunday. It’s Addie and Sofia’s fun day,” I pleaded. I wanted to spend some more time with her, but every time we did, she would bring up school and how she wasn’t going.
“Well, it doesn’t look fun.” The moment I heard his voice, my shoulders sunk and my head fell back. Could this day get any worse?
“What is it that you want?” I asked exasperated as I turned around and saw Daimon.
“Food,” Daimon said, smiling.
“We don’t have food here,” I snapped.
“Seriously?” He sat himself down. “Hey, smaller version of Addie, can you get me a menu?” he said to Sofia. “I see you’re plenty busy today?” he looked around. Not one customer had come in today. Thanks, asshole, for the salt on the wound.
Sofia handed him a menu and stood behind me. “She looks just like you when you were in high school,” he noted.
“Stay the hell away from my little sister,” I barked.
“Catty. You’ve always been a fighter, Addie,” he chuckled.
“I'm glad I entertain you,” I grimaced.
“See, that’s the thing, Addie, you entertain the hell out of me and I don’t know why.” He peered at me like I had the answer.
“Trust me if I knew why, I would gladly change my personality to have you stop appearing in my life,” I said bitterly.
“See, a fighter,” he smiled pointing at me. “So is that why?” He asked putting the menu down and folded his arms. His muscular arms rippled through his long sleeve, light blue shirt which seemed a little too tight for him.
“What?” I asked.
“Why you’re working at Darren’s bar? Is it to pay for your sister to go to school?” He waited for my answer.
“You’re what?” Sofia shouted. “Addie, you’re not working another job are you?” she looked at me with her eyes wide. Damn! There was the fucking guilt I didn’t want her to feel.
“Go in the back,” I said calmly to her.
“Addie?” She challenged.
“Go in the back now,” I snapped, my eyes now zeroing in on Daimon as she left.
“What the fuck is your problem? What is it to you what I do? Why do you fucking care?” I screamed, questioning him. At that very moment, I was happy not one customer was in the place. He sat there, not moving an inch, as he watched me. “For fuck’s sake what do you want?” I gave up and asked.
“Sit.” He nudged his head to the seat in front of him. I sat down and waited. “I’ll pay for Sofia’s first semester, if you do me a favor,” he smiled softly.
“Which is?” I hissed.
“You hang out with me, whenever and however I want,” he said bluntly.
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“I'm in a bit of a predicament and I think your temperament is perfect for what I want,” he admitted.
“Which is what exactly?”
“Well, you act like you like me and we pretend we’re dating. You see, having a lot of money doesn’t allow you the freedom you think it does. Try as I might and you know how much of an asshole I can be, my father is insisting I marry Clara Stevens. You remember her, right?” he asked still watching my intently.
Of course, I remember her. She tormented me in high school. She claimed to love him beyond anything and that I was in the way. Clara’s family was big in real estate and owned most of the waterfront properties.
“Yes. She sounds faintly familiar,” I muttered.
“I'm glad you remember everyone but me,” he pretended to pout.
“You can’t be serious? You’re almost thirty-years-old,” I laughed. “Mommy and daddy get to choose who you marry?” I mocked.