Wed. May 29th, 2024

From what I could remember, Lorenzo walked into my room to check on me. He didn’t seem to know what had happened. I struggled to repeat what Dr. Dwight had told me. Once I told him, he called Adrian.

Adrian had canceled many of his meetings in London so that we could fly home in a few hours. When Adrian saw me, he didn’t do much, but he made phone calls to his family that we were going home early and go to San Francisco to make arrangements. When my phone rang, he answered the phone for me. I couldn’t really speak to anyone.

Today, we were in San Francisco to make funeral arrangements. Also, I was told that a lawyer was going to speak to me about my grandparent’s will. Apparently, my grandparents had divided much of their fortune and other items among me and my family.

“Valeria. The lawyer is here.”

I turned my head to the door to see Maria there with concern on her face. Currently, I was in our room at the Minettis in San Francisco. Slowly, I got up from the bed and walked out of the room with Maria at my side.

We walked to the living room to see Adrian and Pietro with the lawyer. Of course, Pietro managed to get the company’s lawyer present. Once I entered the room, everyone stood up and turned their attention towards me.

I gave them a small smile and walked over to Adrian. He didn’t show much emotions in his eyes. He gave me a small embrace and helped me sit down next to him. The lawyer sat down in front of us. “Hello Mrs. Minetti. My name is Sergio Roff,” he introduced to me. “Hello,” I said to him.

“First, I would like to say that I am very sorry for you loss,” Mr. Roff said to me. I forced myself to give a small smile and hold in my tears. “Thank you,” I said in a low voice. He gave me a nod and pulled out a pile of paper from his brief case. It was their will.

“According to your grandparent’s will, they have named you the beneficiary,” he said and handed me the will. The will contained much information about the distribution of their money. According to the will, they were leaving me the majority of the money. I wasn’t too surprised. Ever since my grandparents took me into their home, they cut their contact with my parents.

Looking down the will, I saw that I was to inherit $300,000. My grandfather used to own a furniture building company. He sold the company a couple years before they had brought me into their home.

I continued to look down the will. “My parents are inheriting $10,000 each and my brother is inheriting $30,000,” I said lout loud. “Yes. From my understanding, they wanted to be sure that you will be taken care of,” he told me. I gave him a nod. Oh Grandpa. Grandma.

“Does her family know about the will?” Adrian asked Mr. Roff. I was thinking the same thing. Surely, they would be notified about their death. After all, they were my mother’s parents. Mr. Roff gave him a nod. “I have to say that they weren’t too happy about the inheritance. They expected that they would inherit the majority of the money,” Mr. Roff explained to us. I let out a sigh.

“I’m not surprised.”

I continued to read the will.

In the rest of the will, my grandparents wanted to be buried together somewhere of my choosing and make the funeral arrangements. I looked at Pietro and Maria. “Do you know any places where I could bury them?” I asked them. To be honest, I had no idea about burials.

Pietro and Maria looked at each other and looked back at me. “We can bury them at The Italian Cemetery in Colma. I know that my wife and I would be bury there,” Pietro said to me. I gave them a nod. “I think that would be a nice place,” I told them.

Adrian gently took the will into his hand and looked through the pages carefully. “I’ll help make the funeral arrangements. After all, I am your husband,” he told me. I gave him a nod. This is not like him. He is just acting . He never been involved with anything in my life unless he was in front of his grandparents.

His grandparents nodded in agreement. I looked at Mr. Roff who was waiting patiently. “Is there anything else that I need to know?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said and reached into his brief case and pulled out some more documents.

“The house. According to the will, it’s to be given to you and you are to use the house in anyway you wish,” he told me and placed the documents in front of me. Adrian reached over and took the documents in his hands. The house had so many memories. I hated to see the place be sold off. Also, I didn’t want the furniture to go to the dump.

I looked at Adrian who looked at me intensely. “Maybe I’ll rent it out to a nice family. Also, I would love to have the furniture that my grandfather had built for me in New York. They built the furniture specifically for me since I had moved into their home,” I told him. He gave me a small nod and returned his attention to the will.

I guess…he is really going to help me.

Since our marriage, I could feel happiness and relief…even if it’s only for a short while.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Funeral

The Italian Cemetery was a very nice place to bury them. Adrian and I went there a few days ago to make funeral arrangements. We had to choose flower arrangements, casket design, fill out the death certificates, and other things.

The workers gave us a tour of the place as well as the chapels for the funeral. Adrian and I chose a church setting. My grandparents would be buried next to each other on the newer part of the cemetery.

Today, we were having the funeral. the caskets stood in front of the stained glass windows. The stained glass window portrayed an image of a scene from the bible. Luckily, the sun was out that the windows were shining brightly onto my grandparents peaceful faces.

“They look peaceful. Don’t they.”

I turned my head to see that Maria stood next to me. “Yes.” I looked back at my grandparents. They weren’t in any pain. Over the past few days, I convinced myself that they were okay. They were in a better place. I didn’t want them to worry about me anymore.

After a few minutes, I looked over to the entrance to see Adrian who was greeting the guest. He had been extremely helpful to me. He took time off from work to help me with the funeral and other things. He was proving himself to be a reliable husband.

We decided to have a small funeral with only a few friends. So far, Adrian’s friends had came for support. I invited my grandparent’s old friends Nikos and Theodora. They were devastated by the news and wanted to come to support me. From what I had heard, Adrian’s parents were coming too.

My parents hadn’t arrived yet.

Theodora walked up to me. “Where are your parents? Surely, they would be here before any of us.” To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer her. I hadn’t heard anything from them since I received the will. I knew that Maria had talked to them a few days ago about the funeral location.

I turned my head to the entrance.

There they are. My parents and David were finally here. I could see that someone else was with them. It was a woman who stood very close to David. Who is she?

“You should go greet them,” Maria told me softly. I let out a deep breath and walked slowly to them.

Space and time seemed to have slowed down around me. My heart thumped with every step. Slowly, noises around me died down. I couldn’t hear anyone speak. They spoke to Nikos while I approached them.

Once I was close to them, I stood there without looking, waiting for them to acknowledge my presence.

I could hear Nikos who gave his condolence to them. “Oh. Valeria is here. I’ll leave you for now. I believe that you would want to talk to her,” I heard and he walked away. It’s time Valeria. You need to say something. Here I go . I forced myself to greet them.

“Hello. Mother. Father. David.”

I didn’t look them in the eye but, I knew that they were looking down at me.

“Valeria,” I heard my father say my name. His voice held some disappointment. I didn’t know what to say to them to be honest. Slowly, I lift my head to see them. Wow. They really aged a bit since I last seen them.

My parents started to show age on their faces. I could see the wrinkles on the corners of their eyes. Father started to have freckles of gray hair on his head. Mother seemed to have dyed her hair considering that the hair was a vibrant brunette.

David….well…he became more…handsome. He had certainly grown taller and had muscle. He was well dressed for the funeral. I could tell that he was making money in his career. His eyes were the same shade of brown. Of course, his appearance didn’t compare to Adrian in a certain extent.

David gave me a small smile.

“Valeria. This is my fiancee Rosa.”

Rosa was a very beautiful woman. She had a slender built. Her face was perfect with no imperfection. She was simply perfect. She must had gotten an approval of some sort from my parents. If I were in their shoes, I would want someone beautiful to match with David.

“It’s nice to meet you. I wished we met under a different circumstance,” she said to me. I gave her a small nod. Maybe …never .

“Valeria.”

I lift my head to my left to see Adrian who stood next to me. He gave me a small smile and wrapped his arm around my waist. Instantly, I felt shivers go up my body from the touch. My face felt hot. Still, I wasn’t used to his touches.

“How are you feeling?” he asked with concern. “Alright,” I lied to him. I wasn’t alright at all with good reasons. Now that my parents were here and seeing Adrian, I really wanted to do was hide under a rock or something..

My mother looked at Adrian with curiosity. “Who are you may I ask?” my mother asked him. Adrian looked at her. “I’m Adrian Minetti. I’m Valeria’s husband,” he introduced himself. I could see surprise in my family’s eyes.

“What do you mean husband? How come we weren’t informed about the marriage? We never gave our consent for marriage,” my father said out loud that everyone turned their heads to us. I started to feel very uncomfortable. I was confused as to why he was angry about our marriage. I didn’t think that he would even care what I did or anything.

I looked at Adrian to see how he would react and respond. “We gotten married once she had turned eighteen. Therefore, she did not need your consent to marry. She is her own person.” he said. He seemed to be giving my father a glare in his eyes.

“Still… You should have asked us about the marriage,” my mother said to him. She didn’t look happy either. Adrian just stared at my parents. He seemed annoyed by them.

“Adrian.”

We turned our heads to the voice to see two more people.

“Father. Mother.”

They were Adrian’s parents. I never saw pictures of them at home but, i did see a few photos and a family portrait in Petro’s home. Adrian had gotten most of his father’s facial features except his eyes. He had gotten his eyes from his mother.

They stood next to us and looked at my parents. I could feel the tension in the air. “It has been a while,” Adrian’s father said to my parents. My parents gave them a nod. “Yes. It has been,” my father said to them.

I started to feel a bit uncomfortable that I was having trouble breathing.

I took Adrian’s hand off my waist and turned my body to him. “Excuse me. I’m going to go to the restroom quick,” I said low enough for him to hear and walked away quickly before they said a word to me.

.

Once in the restroom, I walked over to the sink and held onto the rim. I took deep breaths to try to calm myself down. This is too much. It’s too much . My parents were here with Adrian’s parents. My mind was filled with many thoughts that I couldn’t pull my thoughts together let alone clear my mind.

Next thing I knew, I heard the door open.

“Are you alright?”

I looked from the mirror to see Adrian’s mother. She looked very concerned for me. I let out a deep breath and looked at her. “I’m…I’m just not really taking things very well,” I told her honestly. She gave me a small smile and a nod.

“I am very sorry for your loss dear,” she said to me. I returned the nod. “Thank you.” She took a few steps closer. “I should Introduce myself. I am Adrian’s mother, Elisabetta,” she said to me. “It’s nice to finally meet you…um…”

“You can call me “mother.” You are married to my son after all,” she said to me. I gave her a nod. “Okay.” She walked over to me and took my hand. “Come. It’s time for the funeral to start,” she told me.

I didn’t feel nervous around. Her hands were very comforting like a mother comforting her child. Elisabetta helped me out of the restroom and into the chapel where everyone were waiting for the funeral to start. She was right by me the whole time.

I could really call her my mother.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back at home in New York

I didn’t know how much time had passed. I felt very empty inside.

Once I had gotten home, I stayed in my room and looked out of the window. Memories played through my mind. I could remember one good memory for every year that I had known them and more. I feared that I would start to forget the memories.

They are gone. They’re really gone.

I didn’t think that I would feel so alone…again.

Knock…knock….

I came out of my thoughts and looked at my door to see Lorenzo. He gave me a small smile. “Mr. Minetti would like to see you,” he told me. What does Adrian want? I got up from my seat and walked out of the room with Lorenzo.

I didn’t know what to expect.

“Mr. Minetti. Your wife is here. I’ll leave you to with privacy,” Lorenzo said and excused himself out.

Adrian was looking out of his window that had a good view of the city. Once I heard the door close behind me. I took a few steps forward until I was halfway to his desk. All I could hear was nothing. The room was soundproof.

“Do you know why I married you?” I heard him ask me with a serious tone. His voice scared me a bit but, I tried not to show my emotion. I looked up from his desk and straight at his eyes. That answer is simple . “Because our grandfathers arranged it.” I answered him. He gave me a nod on my correct answer.

“Exactly. Our grandfathers arranged our marriage.”

He walked around his desk and stood in front of me. We were two feet apart from each other. He put his hands in his pocket and looked down at me. “Nobody said that we have to like each other. Once my grandfather passes away, I’m going to get a divorce and leave you with nothing.”

Is he threatening me?

I was getting a bit angry. So many questions came into my head now. “When your grandfather passes away? You could have back away before the wedding or even when we had met on your birthday. Why didn’t you back out then?!” Anger grew by the second.

“If I had backed out before the wedding, most likely, my grandfather wouldn’t see me fit to run his company and would have fired me,” he explained to me. I was a bit shocked by his words. From what he was saying, he was using me in order to make sure that he secure his place in his grandfather’s company.

“Marriage doesn’t need love. It’s basically the joining of two people in the eye of the law. It doesn’t mean that your partner have to be there with you 24/7. A marriage certificate is a proof of marriage. A contract that two people are joined together. In a way, it’s just like business,” he explained his view to me.

Closing the gap between us, he walked up to me and leaned down to my ear to whisper some words. I felt frozen to the ground.

“Besides, I would never fall in love to a girl who is a nobody. A nobody who should have never been born and exist in this world.”

I felt the warmth get s—-d out of my body. I heard him walk past me and out the door without looking back. Slowly, I felt myself sink to the ground and onto my knees. A tear slid down to my cheek. I should have never been so surprised by his words.

I was never going to feel loved and wanted by him.

———————————————-

That was a long chapter. Sorry if it doesn’t flow well.

Make sure to comment and vote. I would love to know what you think.

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