Friday, October 30, 2015
Only a Kiss ~ Part 15
“What are you doing home?” Tilde asked, folding her arms.
Ana stammered and fought to find the words about protecting her pride and reputation. “I … um … I …”
“Anastasia, stop stuttering like a fool and tell me what’s going on,” snapped Tilde.
“I … qui … I don’t quite feel well,” said Ana, her shoulders dropping.
Tilde eyed her daughter. “Well you do look a bit pale.” Tilde shooed Ana towards the door. “Go in then, and stay in your room. I can’t have you contaminating the whole house. Have Mandra bring you some soup or something. I’ll be out all day.”
Ana nodded as she walked past up to the third floor which housed their large apartment. As Ana let herself in, her thoughts turned to Cindy whose father had bought the apartment many years ago.
Cindy and her father had actually lived in a nice suburban home, complete with large backyard and treehouse, when Ana’s mother had met them. Ana had loved that home and yard, but it didn’t take Tilde long to convince Greg they needed to live in the city where he was closer to work and didn’t have to worry about a large yard to care for, after they were married. Both Cindy and Ana had wept the day they moved from the homey house.
As Ana walked towards her room, she passed Mandra’s small room. The room that used to belong to Cindy and was smaller than Deidra’s closet. Ana smiled as she thought of Cindy’s current house she shared with Charles and couldn’t help but to feel happy for her.
Ana flung her stuff on her bed and walked directly to her laptop. She opened it and looked at her banking statement online. Her heart sank. She only had a couple hundred in her checking account and less than five hundred in her savings, not near enough to start a life in a city as pricey as San Francisco. She needed a new job and fast.
She spent the rest of the day contacting everyone she knew in the fashion business, but word of her departure from Beauxpieds had spread fast. Robin had told everyone that Ana had stolen work as she left. Even though most of Ana’s contacts didn’t believe Robin’s lies, they didn’t feel comfortable offering Ana a job either.
After the fifteenth call, Ana tossed her cell on her dresser and crawled into bed. It had been such a roller coaster of a day and now she knew she was definitely at bottom without another high in sight. But the thought that was really making her sick was the fact she had to tell her mother.
She briefly entertained the thought of pretending to go to work, but Tilde would be asking for a rent check in just a couple of days and Ana knew she didn’t have it. The minute Ana had secured the job at Beauxpieds, Tilde had started demanding rent for the room. Ana was both taken aback and insulted, but knew she’d never find another room for the price Tilde was giving her, so she stayed.
She had to tell Tilde the truth. Ana closed her eyes, knowing that she would need all her strength once Tilde’s wrath began.
“You did what?” Tilde’s voice was both high, stern, and dripped with disappointment.
Ana folded her hands on the large oak table, that was hardly ever used for dining purposes, but was still the centerpiece of the dining room. The only time it was every used was for serious discussions, making it feel more like a board room table and less of a place where loving families shared meals.
“I quit my job at Beauxpieds,” Ana stated plainly. “Robi … I mean, Tweet … was stealing my designs as her own. When I asked to speak with the design committee personally about a new shoe I had just designed and was thrilled about, she declined my request. I knew what was going to happen. I knew she was going to steal it and so I quit.”
“And did you tell the board your accusations regarding Tweet’s alleged theft?” asked Tilde, eyebrow raised.
Ana shook her head. “I’m calling them tomorrow. I wanted to let bygones be bygones, but Tweet has told every design firm in the city that I am a theft. I have no other choice.”
“You will call no one.” Tilde’s voice was low and dry.
She folded her arms and tapped her finger against her against her bicep. Ana had seen her do this many times. Tilde was forming a plan.
“Mother, please, I can handle this,” Ana said quickly.
“I’ve seen how you’ve handled it and now it’s my turn,” said Tilde.