I had to study until my eyes bleed. I had to learn and excel in everything.
I have dreams but I chose to live their dreams for me.
The pressure I felt growing up is nothing like the pressure I am feeling right now.
We are now facing bankruptcy! How and why? I am still doing my research. But it is inevitable.
We are going to lose everything and I have to deal with this before it gets worse.
"Cassandra!" from the intercom, I heard my father, the CEO called me into his office.
"I'm coming, papa." I responded in the intercom link.
"Meet us for Dinner tonight, we have something important to announce."
"Papa, I still have a lot of paper works to finish before the meeting with the Board of Directors next week. Can't it wait until Sunday?"
"No! You have been slaving yourself for weeks now. We still have not found the culprit who did this to us. Embezzling money is a crime! We have to make them pay but it cannot help us bring our company to its former glory."
"Relax Papa. No need to be overworked. I am doing this for us remember?"
"I know, prove it tonight by meeting us for dinner. I will send you the location and time.
"Can't we just have dinner here at the office?"
"No. Va a seguir mis instrucciones y no hay más discusión! Tu puedes ir."?No. You are going to follow my instruction, end of discussion! You may go.
I left the room feeling heavy. I felt useless.
I worked with this company for almost two years and I have not once doubted anyone. But it's different now.
I do not usually dress up for dinner since I do not have time for any fancy setups. But a strict instruction from my father to dress like its a ball made me wince in pain.
I hate dressing up. I am a jeans and shirt kind of girl. I may be of a rich stature but I never dressed fancy like those socialites I know.
My assistant Keri ordered the silver gown with flower embroidery and deep V-neck. It fitted me nicely and showed my curves. It was very classy and elegant and suited my black waves and honey brown eyes. My petite figure is nothing compared to runway models or celebrities, but I felt pretty when I saw myself in the mirror. Thanks to the stylist that Keri forced me to go to. I looked like the star I have been dreaming to be.
Well, that was just my long buried ultimate desire, to be an actress and singer.
"You are sunlight, and high moon, joined by the God's of fortune... " As much as I would love to finish Lea Salonga's Ms. Saigon song, I picked up my cellphone as my mother's picture was flashing on the screen.
"Hija, the driver is waiting outside your building. Please do not keep us waiting."
"I am coming Mama. My condo is just 5 minutes away from there, I could have walked."
"Nonsense! I hope you are wearing something appropriate."
"See you soon Mother." I ended the call feeling frustrated. They really do not trust my judgment.
The drive to the Italian restaurant was quick.
As I entered the hall, I felt all eyes was on me. There was a large screen playing some of my pictures and another's. But the caption was what made me freeze on the spot.
It was like I was brought into a nightmare that I cannot get out of.
"Miguel & Cassandra's Engagement Party"
I could almost taste the tears that were about to fall. I saw my parents approach me with a warning glare. They saw my expression and they know I do not like their surprise, or should I say ambush?
"Mama! Papa! What is the meaning of this?! This is absurd! How can you do this to me?!"
My mother approached me cautiously.
"Cassie honey, I'm sorry if we may have surprised you."
"Surprised is an understatement! You're trying to kill me here."
"Cassandra, just sit down and let us discuss this like adults."
I cannot contain the hurt and betrayal I was feeling. I decided to run to the washroom and cried my heart out. Thankfully, nobody followed me. Or so I thought.
As I made my way out of the washroom, I saw my father waiting for me.
With my bloodshot eyes, and ruined make up, he hugged me.
"Honey, we are sorry but Miguel's family can help us with our business. With this family merger, they promised to fund our company's debts and will bring back our family's wealth. We did not consult you as we thought you would do this for us, for our company and for our people. We knew we could always count on you."
"I get it Papa. But as much as I would like to help our company, I also have to live for my happiness. For years, I have been slaving to be a perfect daughter to work in your perfect company. But not to this. I will not sign up for a loveless marriage and especially not to that arrogant Miguel!"
"Cassandra, we need to do this. Otherwise, we will lose everything that we have worked hard for. I cannot go back to being poor. Specially, now that we are old. I want to retain the luxurious life we are now used to."
"I'm sorry Papa if you think I am being selfish. I just want to be happy. I have been giving everything I have to this company, to you and mother. But I'm sorry, I cannot do this."
"You have no say on this! Either you do this or I will disown you as my daughter!"
Those last words, simple words made my heart break. I felt like my world is breaking up into pieces. Pieces that I know I cannot mend.
The feelings of abandonment resurfaced. All my insecurities while growing up came to me like an avalanche.
I can now confirm that I will never be enough for them. I am only born for one purpose.
To serve them and their beloved company.
In Beverly Hills, California.
Richard Lance Montgomery, the handsome and famous owner and billionaire CEO of Triple M Productions, paced the hall as he waited for his fiancée.
He thought, Lindsay was taking too long. She was supposed to be at the events hall for their engagement party an hour ago. He sent her best friend Suzie to her room while he greeted some of their guests.
Growing impatient, he went up to the floor where she was staying. He opened the door to check on her. And that was when his world started to crumble down.
What he saw will forever haunt and taunt him.
He saw his girlfriend of six years and fiancée of six months, naked and in bed, kissing her best friend who never in his wildest dreams would he think to be a lesbian.
Lance was utterly stunned and so were the two girls doing orgy on the hotel bed.
Lindsay looked at him with pity.
"I'm sorry Lance, I have been fighting this for so long and now I cannot contain it. I love her. I'm sorry but the engagement is off."
Suzie just stared and hugged the crying Lindsay.
As the shock dissipated, the fury and hurt surfaced.
"You know what?! Screw you! Fu*k you both! No need to call off the engagement because I'm calling it off myself! How can you humiliate me like this?! After everything I have done for you? This is what I get!"
"Forget it! Take your filthy ass out of this hotel room! I paid for this! I paid for all of this! Get out now!"
He was fuming with rage as he left the room and went down to meet his head of security.
At the Hotel's lobby, he ordered his security team.
"Max, escort Lindsay and Suzie out of this hotel. I also want all of her things gone from my penthouse this instant! Don't ask! Just do as I say!"
Still fuming with rage, Lance got out of the building and straight to his waiting car. The driver was quick to open the door but Lance went straight to the driver's seat.
"I'll drive. Tell Max to take care of this mess and call me once its done."
After an hour of driving and ignoring the ringing cellphone, he answered his best friend's call.
"Dude where the hell are you? What happened? Your securities dragged your fiancée out of the hotel!"
"She's not my fiancée. She cheated on me with her friend! I don't want to talk about this now. I'll just go away for a while. Just take care of everything for me until I get back."
"Of course. Don't worry. You know I always got your back."
"Thanks man!" And so he turned the phone off so no one can trace where he would be going.