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“Kiss and touch me like you will never do it again. This will be the last.” The very words I heard from Lenard before we finally shared the warmth of the feelings we had been holding back for dignity’s sake. My heart collapsed while my head trembled in fear and disgust. I have loved the wrong person for a long time and now I am confined here in this forbidden bed! How will I face life after this? How can I defend myself from the ‘just once’ when every time I look into his eyes, they defeat my fragile heart? How can forbidden be so challenging and irresistible?
1: Expectation gone wrong
I fixed myself, made sure that I looked as beautiful as possible. Tonight, will be the very first dinner with my big brother Lenard who stayed abroad for almost two years. I missed him so much, although social media platforms are available, he couldn’t be as available as always. I am happy because according to dad, Lenard will stay for good. The business in Asia will be taken care of by our cousin Rafael to give way for Lenard’s coming home and finally taking over the CEO position of the Zamaniego-Ross Group of Companies from dad.
“Sophie! What’s taking you so long?” Mexie knocked on my door. As usual, my little sister is the most impatient among all.
“Just go ahead, I will follow.” I yelled back, I am not sure ready yet, so I have to study myself in the mirror for one last time. Mexie didn’t answer but I heard her footsteps fade away, I smiled.
“Pretty!” I exclaimed to myself before I finally walked towards the dining area. I really intended to be late because I wanted to be noticeable when I entered. I just smiled at my madness but what can I do? I have a crush on my older brother, it's been a long time since we've been siblings. I still remember that I was 5 years old when my parents brought him home and introduced him as my new brother. We were the only siblings at that time because Mexie was not born yet. I don't know, maybe he treats me like a real sister, but part of why I fell for him is maybe because I know that he's not my real brother.
It is undeniable that he is very attractive as a man, handsome, muscular and smart when it comes to business. At a young age, Dad trained him in the business industry. He was the only hope that came into my parents' life because for Dad then, he had no hope of having a son and it was true because Mexie was a girl who was born after me. I saw that he was treated well as a real son of my parents, so I know that he treats them the same way. But if you ask me, I wish they didn't adopt him. I don't hate what he might inherit from our parents but the fact that we have the same last name is one of the things that hinders my feelings for him. One of the reasons why I chose to hide my feelings for him and promised myself that I could only give him love from a distance. I swear, I fought my feelings for him, I reminded myself again and again that he is my brother, but my heart is really naughty and doesn't know how to get along.
When I entered, our whole family was at the dining table, all of them were already sitting and seemed to be waiting, it was obvious that they were waiting for me. I looked at my brother who was sitting next to Dad. Yes, he was really the first thing I looked for and I wasn't wrong because Lenard is still very handsome. I smiled and said hi to everyone before I went to my seat, only then did Dad speak. "What took you so long? Besides, are you going somewhere? Why are you so dressed up?" Dad asked me, embarrassing me in front of Lenard. My gosh! Is my outfit too much? But what do I care about? I want to be super pretty in front of Lenard huh!
I cleared my throat before sneaking in. "Yes, Jenna was going somewhere but you suddenly said that my brother is coming, so I won't go. If I get dressed again, it will take a lot of time before I can join you for dinner. I'm sure you won't like it, right?" I smiled at my lie but there was nothing I could do. Why should I admit to them that I purposely make myself beautiful for my brother Lenard? "Oh, fine, grace the food then so we can eat. Lenard is surely hungry and tired; he needs to rest after this." Dad turned to mom who quickly obeyed and prayed thanks.
In the middle of the dinner, Dad spoke first to Lenard. “Was everything set before you came home?” I was observing the whole time, excited to hear the good news and the confirmation that Lenard will really stay for good.
“Oh yes, Dad. Everything was replenished before I left Rafael, there is nothing to worry about.” Gosh, Lenard’s voice is really so soothing in the ears. It is so calming and relaxing and I couldn't explain why!
Dad smiled first before he proudly answered. “That is so good to hear from you, son. You can now settle home. Get ready, because tomorrow will be the turnover ceremony for the position of CEO.”
Leonor just smiled and nodded to God without saying another more word. That is him. He doesn't talk a lot. He is the silent type. After a few more conversations between Dad, mom, Lenard and Mexie, dad turned his attention to me and declared. “Now that your brother is here, he'll accompany you to the university tomorrow. As I have told you, you were going to take business management in college.”
As quick as the wind, I disagreed with that. “No, no, no, no, dad. That is never happening. I am already in my first College in liberal arts, you cannot change that.” I didn't want to be upset during the dinner, but I just couldn't hold it. This has always been an argument between me and God. Why does he have to force me in the business when it is not my passion at all?
“While you were still under my roof, you lived by my rules. If you want to continue college, you do as I say.” Dad was firm, but I am firmer. If not obeying what he wants is the reason that he won't support me for college, then better not. I am really so poor when it comes to math and everything that is related to business, so why should I go there?
“Then you drop me out then.” I frowned. Business management is never happening in my life. I know that I upset God because I noticed that his face bulged in red again but thankful that Lenard is here. He is enough to control dad’s temper.
“Don't worry dad. I will speak with Sophie.” I raised my eyebrow upon hearing Lenard volunteer. Of course, even if I like him a lot, he is not enough to convince me if I say no. “Don't keep your hopes high. Even if you convince me the entire day, I won't and I will never enroll in business.” I made myself clear. It doesn't mean that if he speaks with me there will be a change with my decision.”
The good thing about my generation is that we have all the strength and the audacity to disagree with our parents, especially when it comes to our career paths. I know that my dad only wanted the best for me, but what about what I want? It is not because my family runs a business that I am obliged to do so. In these times you can run a business with your managers and so on and on. Just being the owner is enough if you know the basics and I could tell that I know the basics when it comes to our business. I am not putting myself full time in this kind of thing, I swear.
Lenard stared at me, and I was stiffened. Was I scared? I mean, was his gaze enough to scare me? I quickly withdrew my eyes from him and pretended that his gazes didn’t matter.
“I do not know why your mom gave birth to someone as hard headed as you.”
Dad exclaimed, but I didn't answer and finished my meal quickly before I excused myself. Although I wanted to please Lenard that night, the pressure that Dad was giving me ruined it. I went straight to my room, changed into my jammies and locked the door.
I hate it because I wasn't given enough time to be with Lenard's presents. I keep on telling myself that I missed him, and I will obey as much as possible, but I just couldn't. This is the hard thing if you go from this kind of family because you're being forced to this stereotyped thing. Like if you grew up in a business family, then you should live by being one. Where is the freedom to choose here? Besides, my dad is only 60 years old, which means that he is still going to live a long life monitoring the business while Lenard manages it. If not, Lenard can do it where or they can try Mexie, not me.
I reached for my Mac book and started to encode my essay. I'd better make myself productive and be prepared for my presentation in school tomorrow that upset me in front of my family. For sure they are enjoying talking about business and alike. I am always out of the picture and that is what I want when it comes to that thing.
I was in the middle of writing my essay when I heard soft knocks on the door. I quickly turned off my lamp and my MacBook and pretended that I was already asleep. However, my mobile phone beeped. It was a message, so I gently reached for it and checked. Bad thing is I pressed the read, it sure appeared ‘seen’ at the other end. “Fuck!”
2: Still a baby?!
I exclaimed in my mind. It is a message from Lenard!
Lenard: I know that you are still awake. I left your gift at your front door.
Then there was an emoji of heart after it. Because I was caught off guard, I didn't reply. Honestly, I'm so excited about the gift that he took home for me. I'd wait a few more minutes before I would quickly sneak out my door to get it.
Sophie still looks so beautiful. For two long years, not meeting her personally, I can tell that she has matured a bit by the looks, except for the attitude, because she's still arguing with her dad. If I am to be asked, I will let her choose what she wants to, but this household is still under Dad’s supervision so everyone should follow his rule. I understand that Dad has the best of intentions as to why he is pressuring Sophie to embrace the business world. This is our life, and we should live with it. Mom does not have a voice in this house. I know that she suppo
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