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"Qué estás haciendo aquí?" I ask when I recover from the shock of seeing my mother out of all the people here. How did she find me? How did she even get in here?

"This is where you live now ..." she says in Spanish. She's not fluent in English. She knows a few words, but otherwise she's struggling. And we always talked in Spanish at home – of course. "Or should I say ... work," she spits the word out so it sounds as if it's something disgusting.

"You need to leave. Now. You can't be here," I'm starting to panic, looking around the room. I don't want my mother to cause a scene and I don't want to bring any attention to us.

"I can't even visit my own daughter now?"

I'm starting to shake. This woman ... I can't even call her my mother. She isn't my mother. Maybe biologically, yes, but she doesn't act like a mother should. And showing up years after I left ... She's never, not even once, reached out to me. No phone calls, no letters, no visits. I think I'm allowed to be surprised by her sudden appearance.

Adrian is suddenly by my side. He's wearing a smile, eyeing the woman, but I can tell his smile is fake. His muscles are tense and by the way he stands so straight, with his head lifted, I find out he wants to intimidate her.

"Is there any problem, ladies?"

I don't dare to say anything. I just stare at the woman I haven't seen in years. "Are you here alone?" I ask her instead, talking in Spanish.

"Your sister was too tired to come," she responds. She eyes Adrian. "This is the kind of people you're being around now? Is this why we don't hear from you? Because we're suddenly not good enough?"

I shake my head in disbelief. "You don't hear from me? Would you even pick up the phone if I called?"

Adrian is staring at us with a confused expression, still wearing a smile. I realise we're both causing a scene. "Please, just leave. You weren't invited here anyway."

My mother stares at me in disbelief. "That's not a way to talk to me."

Adrian interferes. He points his hand in my mother's direction. "May I ask who you are?" he asks in a perfect Spanish that makes even me impressed.

"I'm Cassie's mother." She tilts her head to the side. "Who are you?"

Adrian's smile slips a little from his face as he turns to look at me. I don't say anything. I think he must have some questions, but I can't answer them right now. I'm looking for answers myself.

"I'm her boss," Adrian replies. I can hear the change in his voice. He lets his guard down a little, but not completely. As if something was still holding him back. By the way he's looking at her, I see he's trying to figure her out.

"You have to leave. Now. I'm working."

She looks around the room. "But it seems like there's a party going on and I don't want to miss it. I might meet some new people."

"These are some high-class people. You hate them, remember?" I grit out, on the verge of exploding and throwing her out myself. I don't want her here. I don't want her to jeopardize my life and my job. Because I know that she could, on purpose or not.

"Don't be so snobbish. Dear God." She takes a glass from the tray I'm holding and walks away from us. I try to go after her, but Adrian discreetly grabs my arm, relaxing his face features so he doesn't give his true feelings away. Always the master of a facade.

"How come I didn't know your mother would be here tonight?" Adrian asks. He sounds calm and collected, not at all mad or even close to being a nervous wreck like me. Maybe because he doesn't know how my mother is. Or maybe because he's good at hiding his feelings. I should learn a few things from him.

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