Lucia entered the kitchen yawning and rubbing her sleepy eyes.
“Sleeping beauty finally awakes,” her dad said, sipping coffee.
“Good morning,” she greeted as she walked to the fridge and poured herself some water.
“Morning?” Her mother asked.
“What’s the time?” Lucia’s dad looked at his watch.
“You can’t blame me. These past two weeks have been super stressful. I can’t believe some women go through this hell of wedding preparations more than once,” Lucia said, sitting down beside her father. Her mother placed a mug of coffee in front of her.
“So how far with the preparations?” her dad inquired.
“Almost everything has been sorted out. Just a few clarifications here and there. Mrs. Bourbon has been really helpful,” Sarah said.
“She has been dragging me throughout town and even across towns. It seems you two are more excited about this than I am,” Lucia pointed out and sipped her coffee.
“How’s young Bourbon?”
“He’s fine; it’s been a while since I saw him. He has been taking care of work all by himself since I bailed. I’ll call him.”
“You better,” her mother said.
About an hour later, the doorbell rang. Lucia opened the door.
“Ted!” She hugged him.
“What are you doing here? I was planning on calling you later today. You must be swamped with work. I miss you.”
“I miss you too. That is why I’m here. Since we are both worn out, why not take a break?”
“What kind of break?”
“You know the kind where you go away from home to a quiet place to rest,” he said. They both sat.
“That sounds good. How long are we talking here?”
“A week?” She glanced at him curiously.
“A whole week? Who’s going to see to our work?”
“Come on, we can work from wherever we find ourselves. What do you say?”
“I’d have to talk to my mother about this…”
“Monique dear, could you help me with this suitcase please?” Her mother called.
“Sure mum; excuse me,” Lucia said, getting up.
“It’s all right; good day, Mrs. Baker.”
“Good day, young Bourbon,” she replied.
“Where are you going with this suitcase, mum? Wait, isn’t that mine?”
“Yes it is yours.”
“And why are you borrowing my bag? Where are you off to?”
“I’m not; you are.”
“Uh huh, isn’t that why young Bourbon is here?” Lucia turned to look at Ted who smiled at her.
“What’s going on here?” Lucia asked, confused.
“Seeing how stressed out you’ve been for some time now and the fact that you two haven’t had the chance to spend some quality time together, I thought it wise to suggest to your other half that a little getaway would be good,” her mother said.
“You suggested it? Wow mum, you never cease to amaze me. Okay, so you packed my stuff?”
“Yes I did.”
“Why didn’t you let me do it myself? You don’t know what I’d like to wear.”
“Oh come on, dear; of course I do.”
“Let me check it; maybe I’ll change a few things.”
“No, you won’t; I don’t want you to mess it up.”
“What do I do if you missed something essential?”
“I’m sure young Bourbon has his master card with him, don’t you honey?” Mrs. Baker said sweetly.
“Yes I do, ma’am.”
“Go on, take it. The day’s almost over.”
“Thanks mum,” Lucia said, bending to take the bag.
“Wait, take the keys,” her mother said, giving them to her.
“What keys are these?”
“To the cute house we used to go to together for the weekend when you were young.” Lucia gaped in shock.
“It’s still there? I thought you sold it off or something.”
“Why would I do that when I know there would be needed at a time like this?” Lucia hugged her mother. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome; now get out of here.”
“It sounds like you’re driving me out of the house, mum.”
“I am; your father and I have plans.”
“I see.” Ted got up and helped Lucia with her bag.
“Let me get my purse and grab a few things. I’ll be right back.” Lucia rushed to her room.
“Thank you for this, Mrs. Baker. It was really thoughtful of you,” Ted said gratefully.
“It’s the least that I can do.”
Lucia came out of her room and kissed her mother goodbye. They drove off.
Anita entered Ted’s office. Seated behind the desk was Mrs. Bourbon.
“Mrs. Bourbon? Good to see you here. Anything you want me to help you with?”
“Sure; that’s why I’m here, dear. Who else can I count on?”
Anita smiled excitedly. Mrs. Bourbon took a pile of cards on the table and handed them to her.
“Could you distribute these to the staff here as well as those at the other office?”
“Sure; what are these?” Anita asked, opening one of them. She swallowed hard at what she saw. Mrs. Bourbon watched her quietly.
“I’m sorry; I know this must be hard to do but I really need you to do this for me. Can I trust you to do this?”
Anita closed the card and nodded.
“Good; you can return to your duties now,” she said dismissively. Anita turned to go but paused. She turned to face her.
“Is something wrong?”
“What changed?” Anita asked.
“You liked me or so I thought but I felt it was real as long as it lasted. You really believed that I was good enough for Ted. What happened?”
“You said it yourself, Anita. You were good enough but now Ted has found someone better and that person is Lucia Baker.”
“What makes her better, the fact that her family is as rich as yours?”
“Don’t be silly, Anita. I’ll never sell my son out for money. They love each other; she makes him happy. I’ve never seen Ted this content before. I’m just being his mother, supporting his choice.”
“Oh yeah, from what I hear, it seems you are the one pushing them to get married.”
“It seems you have lots of spare time on your hands to keep up with my family issues. Sure of course, their union is mutually beneficial to both families. I’m sorry it didn’t work out with you and my son.”
“And where is he by the way?”
“He’s taking a little time off with Lucia before the wedding,” Mrs. Bourbon replied. Anita nodded.
“I’m just surprised you just pushed me aside when the Baker princess appeared. If anyone else opposed me, I thought I’d at least have your support.”
“I did but the truth is I was ready to settle for you. You were as you said, good enough for Ted but that was all. You never made Ted really happy and his happiness really matters to me.”
Tears filled Anita’s eyes.
“You…settled for me?”
“I’m sorry; I know it might sound harsh but it is the truth. If you can’t handle the distribution of the invitation cards, I won’t hold it against you. I’ll find someone else to take care of it,” Mrs. Bourbon said.
“No, it’s fine; I’ll do it. I wouldn’t want to find myself redundant anytime soon. I’ll excuse myself now, Mrs. Bourbon,” Anita said and walked out.
They unlocked the door and entered the house.
“Gosh, the place is dusty,” Lucia remarked as she looked around.
“As it is to be expected. It has been a while since any of you came over,” Ted said, dropping their bags.
“This place needs cleaning if we are to live here for a whole week and I hate cleaning!” Lucia said.
“This will be fun,” Ted said.
“And I’m hungry. Do we even have groceries?” Lucia opened the fridge to find it fully stocked.
“Wow…seems my mother had this all figured out. I can’t believe she didn’t get someone to clean this place up.”
“Maybe she did. Don’t worry, this shouldn’t take too much time. Let’s get settled in and we’ll figure this out, okay?” Ted said.
“Okay.” He carried the bags to the bedroom as Lucia led the way. He dropped them.
“One week…sounds adventurous. Is this some kind of trial test to see how well we can live together?” Lucia asked.
“Maybe; but I’m happy to be here…with you.” He held her and locked her hair behind her ear. He touched her face.
“We are going to be great together. Do you believe that?” He asked softly.
“Yes I do,” She replied in a whisper. She kissed him with a smile on her face.