I am super nervous. When was the last time I was in a crowd? I can’t even remember. My little black dress is lying on the bed with a silver clutch beside it. A mile high silver wedge heels are beside my bed and I can’t help but remember those time when my mom would throw pointless parties just to see a reason to go shopping. We were so alike in our love for fashion at least when she was alive. I can’t even remember when last I wore heels. I have gotten so used to wearing sneakers in Canada.

My room door clicks open and I raised my head to see Sylvia.
“Here’s the water you asked for ma’am,” she said then dropped the tray on a small table by my bed before handing the glass of water to me.
“Thanks. Oh and call me Eva”I said then collected the water from her. I grabbed the small bottle of pills on the table and pop two into my mouth before drinking the whole glass of water. That should keep my nerves from snapping when I go into that crowd. I have to show them the old Minerva. I don’t want them looking at me as the traumatized girl without a mother. I hate those pitiful looks I used to get before I bolted to Canada.

“Are you okay ma um Eva?”Sylvia asked me and I smiled weakly.
“I hate parties”
“Wow. That’s the first time I have heard a girl our age say that. If this was done for me. I would be on cloud nine or even ten right now.” she squeals and I laugh softly.
“That’s better. I got a laugh out of you. Listen, Eva. All you have to do is smile and look pretty. Your dad just wants to introduce you to his friends. Oh and Mike. I googled him online last night and my God he’s gorgeous. I did hear he’s a playboy though”she mused to her self and I mentally rolled my eyes. Who has time for men? I just need to find the person who sent me that letter about my mom then I can go back to Canada and live my life in solitary. Just as I love it. For now, I have to be chief badmus’ daughter and I will make damn sure no one sees the hurt little girl that lost her mother.
“Come on Sylvia. Let’s get ready for that party. This dress does look amazing” I said and she smiled.


I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. This is the mantra I repeated in my head as I started walking downstairs. I can hear the chattering of numerous voice and I knew at once that our guests are not few. I turned to the corner leading to the stairs and I could see the group of elegantly dressed people. The women with expensive pieces of jewelry, men in a similarly expensive tux and suits and ladies in too tight dresses and makeup of different styles.

My dad’s house is the same as always looking clean and beautiful. The designer he contracted to design the house did a wonderful job. I started walking down the stairs and every eye starts to turn to me but the only pair of eyes I focused on is his. The Stranger. Oh my God, he’s here! And he’s looking squarely at me. My steps faltered but I stopped my features from reacting. With my smile set firmly but awkwardly on my face, I wonder if he knows am the girl he met yesterday. Could he be here for me? Maybe he’s not the one and my eyes are playing tricks on me. He’s wearing a nice tux but that’s not what makes him look different. Oh, it’s the glasses. Does he have an eye defect? He wasn’t wearing one yesterday though.

“Minerva! Darling” my dad yelled excitedly and I moved my focus to him. I rearranged my smile on my face as he engulfed me in his arms.
“My baby” he whispered into my left ear and I sighed. I shouldn’t be selfish. He lost both his wife and only child in the same day. I may be alive but I feel empty. I have missed him. I awkwardly pat his back.

A shadow falls over us and I looked up to see a bald-headed man with a broad grin on his face. He cleared his throat loudly and my dad steps away from me laughing.
“Forgive my manners. I have really missed her. Eva this is chief Barnabas” my dad said. The man extended his hand to me for a handshake and I cringed instinctively. Something about this man makes me break out in cold sweat. I looked at my dad who was smiling broadly. I looked back at chief Barnabas and he gestured to his hand that’s still hanging between us. I have to shake his hand but my body won’t move. This is becoming awkward. I can feel many eyes on me especially the strangers. Don’t ask me how I know he is looking at me but I feel a strange connection to this stranger.

I swallowed my fear and forced my hand toward chief Barnabas.
“Dad!” A guy walking toward us called out making dad and chief Barnabas turn to him. I breathe out a relieved sigh for the distraction.
“Michael! How are you doing son” my dad said as he shakes the hand of the good looking guy who just joined us.
” This is my daughter Minerva.” dad continued.
“Nice to meet you, Minerva. I’m Mike” he said and my mouth fell open. Mike as in the playboy Mike, Sylvia said my dad wants me to marry? I smiled weakly at him and he winked at me. He stretched his hand for a handshake and I quickly grabbed a glass of champagne from a server passing us just to avoid contact with him and any other person.

This doesn’t deter him though because this guy has the audacity to grab my shoulder and placed his lips on my cheek. I know what’s going to come next. I can feel my breath coming in short gasp. My chest started constricting and I knew am going to pass out soon. I can’t have that happen now.
“Gotta use the restroom” I forced out to the group. I fumbled in my steps as I raced out of the room. Black spots were already forming in my vision. The glass of champagne slipped out of my hand and fell to the ground at the same time that I let my eyes close.

I waited for my body to hit the cold tile floor but instead, warm hands engulfed me from behind.
“Hey. Open your eyes. Are you okay?”I heard a familiar voice say. I remember the feeling I got yesterday from being close to him and I want that desperately right now.
“Just hold on to me for a minute” I whispered. His hold tightened and my back was now resting on him. I can feel his warm chest through the many fabrics of clothing between us. My breath started coming back to normal and the pain in my chest disappeared in  few minutes. Even my drugs don’t work this fast.

I turned my face back to look at him. Our faces were so close right now. I felt that familiar electricity buzzing between us. I don’t know why but this guy feels like home. My solace. Even drugs haven’t given me the peace I feel in his arms right now and I just met him. Our eyes were still locked with his arms around me from behind.
“Who the heck are you and why do you have your arms around my daughter like that!”I heard my dad’s voice and I was almost angry at him for interrupting this moment. Almost because I can hear the anger in his voice. I saw that the Michael guy walked in with his dad and I grind my teeth. I can’t stand the conceited egotistical jerk. The stranger looked lost for words.

“Umm, sir. I am….”
“My fiance. He’s the reason I came back to the country dad. We are getting married”I heard myself interrupt the stranger as everybody’s eyes turned to me in shock including the stranger. Ooops

This should get my dad off my back till I find the information concerning my mom and run back to Canada.



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