- 👁 18
- ⭐ 5.0
- 💬 1
When my mother died, I should have been free. Free to do exactly as I pleased. But my dreams of being free were cut short when cold hard reality slammed into me. My mother had signed over her guardianship to a complete stranger should anything ever happen to her. By the time I blinked, I had been whisked away to a boarding school in a town I had never heard of. A town I couldn't even find on google. And then I met him. Alex Van Doren was like rain on a really hot day. Cool, refreshing and welcoming. But those red eyes of his spelt trouble and if there was one thing I hated about me, it was that I knew how to find trouble. REASONS WHY ALEX VAN DOREN CAN'T BE MINE. 1) He's weak 2) He has a fiancee 3) He doesn't notice me. 4) He is my legal guardian's nephew. (You can't exactly be screwing your guardian's nephew. Can you?) 5) He's a tribrid like me.
The rain poured as we stood before the open grave. The skies above rumbled, threatening to split the earth in two.
It was as if they were angry about my mother's death. They could be angry all they wanted to. My mother was dead and she wasn't coming back. She died alone on the couch in the living room upstairs. The doctors said she was severely anaemic and that's what killed her but they didn't know my mother and neither did I.
Perhaps, all her coldness and bitterness killed her.
Now here I was, feeling guilty because try as I would, I couldn't shed a single tear for her. I couldn't even feel bad about her death. I was a horrible daughter and she was an even worse mother.
"Ms. Elora" Mariam called, placing her hands behind her. Her black dress was soaking wet and clung to her like a second skin. She looked very young for her ripe age of fifty-two. Mariam had been my nanny and my mother's housekeeper since I was born.
I looked away from the coffin that was being lowered into the ground so I could stare at Mariam. Her black hair had been slicked back into a tight ponytail that was now glistening with water from the rain. She wore a floral black dress and black boots. Her hazel eyes had darkened tremendously.
Looking at her, I could see the dark circles around her eyes and how pale her skin was. I knew that it wasn't from the cold.
Mariam was sick.
"There's someone here to see you," Mariam said.
Me? Who could possibly be looking for me? I didn't know anyone.
I sighed, glancing one last time at the coffin before following Mariam to a black limousine. A tall man with dark hair stepped out of the limo. His amber eyes studied me as he held a black umbrella open over his head. He was wearing a crisp black suit with polished black shoes. His skin looked colourful and warm for someone standing in the cold freezing rain.
"Young Elora," he chuckled softly.
"What do you want?" My voice was cold, distant and lacked emotion. It was how my mother trained me.
"I'm a friend of your mother's," he smiled sadly, looking over my head to stare at my mother's grave.
"The funeral is over. It ended thirty minutes ago," I told him, turning on my heel.
No one showed up for my mother's funeral except our security team and Mariam. Like me, my mother lived a life of isolation. She didn't know anyone but everyone knew Elora Bronson I. She was the owner of one of the top ten business conglomerates in the world and I was her only heir.
"I'm also your legal guardian now," the man stated.
I stopped in my tracks. My heart slammed against my ribcage as I turned to face him.
This man was insane.
"First of all, my mother had no friends. Secondly, you should return to the mental institution you escaped from before they do a roll call," I replied snipily.
"You're exactly like your mother but I am your legal guardian and I have the papers to prove it," he insisted.
The rain stopped falling immediately and he closed his umbrella, stepping forward. Martin and Richard rushed forward to step in front of me protectively. They growled at him. The man lifted his hands in the air as a sign of surrender. His eyes travelled to me.
I looked at him thoughtfully. It wouldn't hurt to hear him out. Besides, my mum always taught me that information was gold.
"I'll listen to him," I said, hurrying to the car with my guards at my side.
The strange man's limousine followed us to the estate where Mariam offered him tea as we lounged in the kitchen.
I examined the papers before me carefully before handing them over to my mother's lawyer, Steven.
"These are valid. They were signed by your mother herself," Steven frowned, going over the papers for the third time.
Anger bubbled up inside of me. Why would my mother sign me over to a man I didn't know?
Typical Elora Bronson I behaviour. We never spoke much anyway.
"You won't find any mistakes in them," the man chuckled, sipping his tea. "I'm Nolan," he added.
I glared at him, irritated.
There was no way I was going anywhere with him. No way.
"I'm not going to hurt you, Elora," Nolan assured me, his amber eyes softening.
What the hell? I wasn't scared of him. I had guards. Hadn't he seen any of them? They were huge men.
"I'm the headmaster of a private high school in a small town called Oakridge. That's the school you'll be attending a month from now." Nolan said with finality in his voice as if he had any say in my life.
"I'm staying here in this city. I'm going nowhere with you," I hissed, leaning forward.
"I'll pack her things," Mariam cut in, smiling uneasily.
My gaze snapped to her. What was she doing?
"What the fuck is wrong with you? You want to let a complete stranger take me?!" I raged, jumping to my feet. Mum would be disappointed if she could see me now. I was laying all my emotions bare instead of hiding them like she had taught me.
On second thoughts, fuck her.
She wasn't exactly Mother of the Year.
Mariam huffed. She came up to me and grabbed me by the elbow. I cussed at her as she dragged me out of the kitchen and to my bedroom upstairs.
"What are you doing?" I scowled at her as she slammed the bedroom door shut.
Mariam pinched the bridge of her nose, breathing in and out. "This is what is best for you," she voiced.
"Fuck you. You don't know what's best for me," I jabbed my finger into her chest, tears threatening to spill from my eyes.
I wanted to stay here, in this estate with her.
"I have cancer. You know that. I have only three months left. You're not legally an adult and you can't access your inheritance until you turn twenty-one. It's either Nolan or child protective services. You could end up in a foster home," she explained.
Mariam had been diagnosed two weeks before my mother died. I had never heard my mother cry until that night when Mariam broke the news to us. My mother barely showed any emotion. That night, however, my mother had drunk herself to sleep while Mariam and I slept in a hammock in the backyard, counting the stars.
I knew how affected Mariam was when my mother died. In a way, they had both been friends.
I couldn't help it. I thought about it hard. I was going to be alone. I just lost my mother and in a few months, I would loose Mariam too.
I relaxed a little because for a moment there, I thought Mariam was selling me out when she just didn't want me to be alone and uncared for.
But the way she had said Nolan's name…..
"Do you know him?" I asked, furrowing my brows.
A tense moment of silence followed before Mariam answered.
"I attended the school he now manages. It belonged to his grandfather. He was a student and we were friends for a brief moment." she explained, her voice was strained and high pitched.
Did he hurt her? Did they date? Did my mother attend Nolan's school? Could Nolan be my father?
I had so many questions and no answer.
"Slow down," Mariam chuckled sadly, walking into my closet and returning with a suitcase. "Don't think too much. Just roll with it,"
Roll with it.
Mariam said that a lot. Maybe it was because I loved to overthink. Sometimes, my thoughts became catastrophic. It would become so bad to the extent that I would have nightmares about it and visions or hallucinations.
"I'm fine," I muttered, collapsing on my bed and staring at the stary ceiling.
My mother's death was unexpected. One moment, she was fine and then the next, she was lying on the couch, dead.
I shook thoughts of my mother away. It wouldn't do me any good.
I would miss Mariam. She only had three months to live and it killed me to know that there was nothing I could do to help her.
"Will you come with me?" I asked, peeking at Mariam who was zipping up my suitcase.
She paused, looking up at me from where she was kneeling on the floor.
"I….I.. can't," Mariam stuttered, shaking her head. Her hands trembled as she struggled to haul my suitcase on top of my dressing table.
I rushed to her side and helped her with it.
"Will you come with me?" I repeated, placing my hand on Mariam's thin hand. My blue eyes were wide and pleading.
Mariam smiled sadly at me, her eyes quickly filled with tears. "What am I doing here anyway? I have no one but you and I would gladly spend my last three months with you"
I grinned, releasing the breath I was holding as I pulled Mariam into my arms. She was so smallish now that I towered over her but it didn't matter because Mariam O'neil was coming.
She was coming with me.
I watched trees and people pass as we drove past the quiet homes of London. This would be my last time in London for some time to come. The moment I turned eighteen, I would return or perhaps, I would travel to another country to start a new life. Alone.
"You won't miss it," Mariam chuckled, leaning in closer to me.
I looked away from the window and settled into my seat with a smile.
"How would you know?"
"Because I do," she shrugged, pulling out her phone and scrolling mindlessly through Instagram.
"I'll miss it," I argued. Mariam had a bad habit of being right all the time and I didn't like it. I didn't like it one bit.
"Let's look at it this way," Mariam sighed, her eyes never leaving her phone screen. "You never made any friends and neither did your mother. You don't have any relatives and everyone who worked at the estate was replaced every three months excep
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