Morning Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! Yesterday was filled with Chinese New Year and Super Bowl Sunday! Talk about busy. Work today will seem like a break 🙂
Roy tries to reconcile with Charisse by giving her these beautiful earings. But will she accept them?
Charisse stepped out of the cab, brushed out the wrinkles in her crimson pencil skirt and clicked towards Friedman’s in her black strappy Gucci heels. Lunch with Daddy. She’d been dreading it since she talked to him earlier. But it couldn’t be helped. She needed the money from her trust fund to back the loan.
Inside, the smell of fresh bread eased her nerves as the chatter of customers surrounded her. Daddy sat at the same table as their previous meal with Marie, and again there was a third place set. Strange, she hadn’t invited Marie.
When he saw her he stood up and smiled. He had an untouched martini in front of him. “Charisse, I’m so glad you came. I was worried you’d change your mind.”
He had his arms open for a hug. She obliged even though she didn’t want to and allowed him to kiss her cheek. When they sat down, she said, “Is Marie coming? I thought it would be just you and I.”
He waved his hand as if he were pushing aside the question. “Marie’s too busy these days working. I don’t understand you two girls. You could be traveling the world with the money in your trust funds.”
“You could be retired and traveling too. I guess we take after you.” Charisse’s tone indicated she wished there were no similarities between them, but Roy beamed as if she’d complimented him.
“I guess I’ve set a good example for you. I should be congratulating myself.”
Charisse sucked in her cheeks. “Speaking of trust funds, I’d like to talk to you about mine.”
“Later, later.” He waved the waiter over.
They ordered their lunches: a steak for him and a salad for her. He hadn’t even apologized yet. She hadn’t expected him to grovel when she walked in, but the words “I’m sorry” should’ve crossed his lips by now.
After the waiter came back with a basket of bread, Daddy took out a small jewelry box from inside his coat. Charisse sighed. He was going to try to buy her off like Marie.
He said, “I know I messed up with your salon, but I was only looking out for you. You had a pretty extreme reaction to the miscarriage and Josh leaving, and I just didn’t think you were capable of starting a business.”
Extreme? She blinked, unable to believe what she was hearing. They’d given her a blood transfusion as soon as she got to the hospital. In fact, if Marie hadn’t been at the party when she’d passed out, she wasn’t sure anyone else would’ve done anything. Josh hadn’t even gone to the hospital. “So being depressed because I lost a baby, lost a boyfriend and nearly died is extreme?”
“Well, I mean, you know, you stayed in your pajamas for a month.”
Charisse didn’t think her eyes could get any wider.
Her father must’ve sensed he said something wrong because he rushed on, “Not that I faulted you for it, not at all, but when you announced you wanted to open a hair salon, I was sure it’d be a disaster.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“Shit, I’m saying all the wrong things.”
“How about just saying you’re sorry. It’s a pretty easy word to say.”
“You’re right. You’re right. I’m sorry that Conor ended up as owner of your company because I blew it. When the third ship came in, I got some of my losses back and got this for you to make up for it. I know you’re not as flashy as Marie, but I hope you’ll like it.”
He opened the box and slid it across to her. Two gold earrings shaped like roses shone under the cafe lighting.
What had happened to their relationship? When she was a little girl, he’d understood all of her problems. Now he seemed to understand nothing.
“No thank you,” she said, sliding the box back to him. “You can return them. What I’d really like is for you to sign over my trust fund to me.”
He pushed the earrings back to her. “What do you mean? You can have the money anytime, just ask me.”
“I don’t want to ask you. I want a loan, and I don’t want you to have to cosign it.”
“Is this about your salon? Conor told me he offered it back to you. Why didn’t you take it?”
Charisse suppressed her frustration and forced herself to speak calmly. “I was an idiot not to read the contract. You betrayed me, and that hurts more than I can say, but the truth is, it’s my own fault that Conor owns my salon.”
Someone next to her cleared his throat.
Charisse stared up at a man she’d never seen before. He wore a white button-up shirt that gave a stunning contrast to his dark skin.
In an accent that Charisse didn’t recognize right away, he said, “Mr. LaRouche, I’m sorry if I’m interrupting.”
“No not at all.” Daddy stood up and shook his hand. “You’re right on time. This is my daughter Charisse, who I was telling you about. Charisse this is the captain who saved the ship lost at sea, Captain Nell.”
Uh oh! Roy is trying to set her up on a date. What will Charisse do? Come back tomorrow to find out. Be sure to sunscribe to my blog!
Peaches and Pomagranates, Evelyn