Chapter 8 (Part 1)

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"Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again." -

unknown

Katrina stared into the back of the driver's seat with a weird look on her face. The back of his head was more like it as the man slowly drove her away from the Rosilian manor. She would miss it, the view and everything in it. She would miss the flowers, the scents of the valley that the cold mountain breeze always brought in, the little brook at the bottom of the valley and the roses that gave the estate its name. She would miss all of it and most of all, she would miss her grandmother and her mum Alice, even her dad despite being the main reason that was behind her leaving.

"Where are you taking me, Arnold?" she thought as she observed how confident her new driver was and also, very well built for a man who was supposed to be in his late seventies. However, she did not dare to voice her thoughts aloud and not because she feared him but rather because she was curious, curious as to the instructions that had been given to him by her grandmother in secret. Of course she could always ask him but it had been her grandmother's last wish and for some reason Katrina felt like she had to appease her. After all, there was no harm in allowing her certain liberties, as long as the woman was not actively trying to stop her from achieving the present goal that she had set for herself.

Slowly, they left the long driveway. The one that had been lined by a forest of cypress trees and as they gradually drove to the gate, the main guard on that post left the phone booth to allow them out. Of course she knew what this meant. He had just received his orders and whether they were from her father or grandmother, Katrina could not tell. All that mattered was that she was out and no one seemed to be stopping her from doing what she believed to be right, right then.

As it was, Crayon city was a Highland town situated deep in the western mountains in a place that was known to be a fortress. A fortress for the rich and famous that is and like any city Urberium, there was a central business district where most of the hotels, the local government offices and many business headquarters were situated. Further than that and encircling the central business district was an outer zone where malls and shops and small businesses could be found. Beyond that was the industrial zone and finally, the city suburbs with highrises and mansionettes, the place where the city's middle and working class could call home. Further away from that, the forests encroached. Private forest that were owned and concealed the homes of the city's elite. One such place was the Rosilian manor and the place that she was now leaving. Its forests span over a thousands of hectares, a distance that would normally take about an hour to drive through to the city that was below the mountains.

Seconds turned into minutes then an hour and as the sun finally set over the blue snowy mountains the vehicle pulled into town. Darkness was coming in fast and as her driver pulled her grandmother's car into a curb, Katrina looked up to stare into the building that was above them.

"It is late," he told her. "Why don't we get you settled in now and we can do the rest tomorrow?" she had no idea what he meant by the rest, but she followed him into the hotel all the same. The walked up into the reception and he got her a room, a suite of rooms that is and one of their best courtesy of her grandmother who would not suffer her great grandchild to sleep in anything less than luxury. Not that the kid would know anyway but Katrina appreciated it nonetheless.

"Where are you taking me Arnold?" she finally asked him as he tuned to leave her rooms.

"You'll see." The old man said without turning back to look at her.

"I'll see? Ah! So you expect me to follow you blindly? " she questioned, her temper slowly rising at how this man, like the rest of her father's bodyguards, was treating her.

" I apologize Ms. Maracheli." He said this time turning around to face her. "Your grandmother asked me to take you to the bank in the morning, they will tell you everything you need to know there."

Katrina's eyes narrowed as she moved closer to study him.

"Why you? Why does it have to be you who takes me?"

"I do not know... Maybe because Mrs Maracheli trusts me." he stared back at her dauntingly as if daring her to question his loyalty.

"Fine." she turned back to her room and the bodyguard walked out. For that was what he essentially was. He did not say it, but from the way that he carried himself Katrina knew this to be true. Through his condescending attitude and the bulk of his muscles that framed his upper body, Katrina knew this to be true as no ordinary driver could be packed like that and the more she continued to think about it, the more she was convinced that there was much more at play there. Now she just had to wait for morning and when that happened, after she had dealt with the issue of her grandmother, then she would be on her merry way going wherever it was that she decided to go.

Once thing was sure though. She would not go back to the house that her father had gifted her. A wedding present or guilt offering for what he had done to her. No, she did not need a reminder of what had served as a betrayal for 'Him' who was meant to protect her had sold her and for what? Material gain? Connections that could always be forged in countless other ways? If anything that connection had now been soiled and she did not know if they blamed him or her. True it had been unfair, but for their years of friendship she had expected better from him. She could not have refused and he knew it. If at all that had been possible he would have done it as well, but he had not and now, he blamed her for it as if she had not already been feeling guilty about what had happened to Malisha. If they had known, if they had known and Malisha had been more forth coming with her family background, then maybe, maybe their families would have listened to them. Maybe Ryan would have been happy and maybe she would have met someone who could love her and take care of her like she yearned for ever since she had been old enough to understand the concept of marriage and what a wedding was.

Hadn't she always been fantasizing about her wedding day? Like every other girl she had and she got it, just not in the way that she had expected it. Truly her gown had been beautiful, the decor and the venue exquisite. The flowers and menu top tier and the guests, the cream of the nation, but she had still been sad as her groom did not want her and who could blame him when he had all but been threatened to marry her?

Her mind moved on to her friends. They had been invited as well, but they had not shown up. As fate would have it, Gina and Phoebe had blamed her for had happened between Ryan and Malisha. Maybe they were right but even, she still missed them, Malisha too despite being a world apart and living in her own fairy tale. From the pictures she had seen, her former friend had looked happy and the boy too. The son of her husband, the one that had never known him or her.

Suddenly, everything began to make sense and she shook her head as she realized how much their parents meddling had messed them up. She was not sure exactly what she was going to do, but one thing was sure, that was the fact that she needed to plan to make things right. Where she would start, that would depend on the events of the next day but still her mind was made up. She would start her business, raise her a child and if Ryan felt that he needed a divorce, then she would give it to him.

A/N

I know that it seems that I no longer put quotes at the beginning, but I will try to at a convenient time as now I am grabbing every opportunity I get to update and keep the content flowing. Thank you and happy readings.

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