WHAT the hell did you do?!" Don Alfonso slammed the report papers he was holding on the table in front of his youngest daughter. Nica did not attend the meeting with the company who wanted to invest in their company. A big loss for them is inevitable if they continue to lose their prospect.
"Do I seriously have to answer you?" the daughter's emotionless reply as she just stare at the paper in front of her.
"This is not a school paper that you can rend just because you do not want me to see your poor grades!" he yelled at his daughter who does nothing but failure. "Fix this or else——"
"Or else, what?" Nica frowned, her voice is in a defiant mode. She has no plan on stepping back, even though she has got the idea of what his father's next move is.
"You little brat!"
Don Alfonso's hand stopped in the air the moment his eldest daughter arrived.
"Oh, here you are, my angel in disguise," Nica sarcastically greeted her half—sister, Janice. Janice is only three months older than her.
"We are in the company, Dad, so please calm down." Janice massaged her father's back to soothe him. She look at her sister with sadness visible in her face.
Nica angrily squint at Janice who she considers a mortal enemy. Yes, she has considered her an enemy ever since their paths met. Janice and her mother are the ones she blames for why her mother disappeared so early. She feels intense anger for them, even though she knows the truth about her mother's death.
"Nica, please stop embroiling the company into your grudge against me," Janice coaxed while she is trying to calm their father.
They are living in the same roof for nine years already, but Nica have not accepted her yet. She cannot blame her, her mother had the role of a mistress although Don Alfonso was just forced. Nica's mother was wealthier and influential, and he was coerced to marry her. Though, Janice's mother was already pregnant with her when their father got married.
Nica just smirked at Janice even though her father was looking at her. She is showing him the exact attitude of hers that he has in his mind. She grew up with only her mother by her side. She thought then that her father was really always out of town because of some business.
She believed in the woven story of her mother who secretly suffered. She loved her father so much that she was even able to accept to herself that he had another family. She neglected her health and died of heart disease.
"Let's go, Dad. Let us talk about this problem once we are home." Janice led their father out of Nica's office.
Slowly, the insulting smile faded from Nica's lips and was replaced by a bitter smile. Their father was right, she was the result of a mistake and she no longer want to make an effort to make everyone like her.
Bratty and bad mannered, that is what everyone thinks of her. How could her father blame her for behaving that way? In all her life, no one loved her but her mother who, unfortunately, died early. She grabbed a paper and crushed it with a firm closed eyes. The past she is carrying up until now played inside her mind.
She was orphaned at the age of thirteen. There was no one she could call 'grandma’ and 'grandpa’ in her mother side, either. She was too young when they died. She became rebellious when it was not even a year ago that her mother died and her father brought his other family into their house. She was deeply hurt but not a soul — but hers — knows it.
Her school grades dropped and her father was often called to the guidance office. She thought she could get her father's attention that way. But she was wrong, she was always chastised and compared to Janice. There was a time when she had thought of following her mother in the afterlife but she was too afraid of committing suicide.
She felt very weak until she learned standing on her own feet. She now has only a year and she can graduate in college when she overheard the talk between her father and their lawyer.
"It is a matter of months before the Young Miss' birthday, Mr. Rodriguez." The lawyer reminded her father.
"It is her will that when your daughter reaches the right age, she will handle your company," the lawyer was referring to her mother.
Alfonso clenched his fist while his other hand squeezed his temple. He is not against the last will of his deceased wife. But his headache doubled at the thought that the youngest daughter would take over their company. She knows nothing but to be happy—go—lucky and play games with everything. His spouse owns the company but it is him who worked hard to make it grow.
"Will you not inform her about that yet?" Alfonso pointed to Nica. "You have seen how hard—headed my daughter is. I do not want her to bring that attitude at work. I need to train and teach her first concerning the right and accepted acts and on how to run the company."
When Nica heard that the lawyer agreed with her father, she quickly left her hiding place. The lawyer knows her because he is sometimes the one who fixes the trouble she was involved in. She encountered her sister and her mother in the hallway. She did not bother to even greet them. A new decision formed in her mind. She would not allow the bastard to be the 'queen’ in her mother's company.
THE days passed, and she gradually began to be used in working as their company's manager. She has the same position as Janice but they are in different departments because the department is divided into two.
"Ma'am, your father ordered me to remind you of your family dinner later."
Nica just looked at her secretary who was obviously uneasy because of her presence. She had only been in her position for five months but she feels that everyone is afraid of her. She did not insist on her desired position because she knew not everything was that easy. But she did not agree that he had no authority over their company. She even went crazy when she found out that her sister had been an employee there for a long time even though she was still a student. It was obvious that their father was preparing her to be good at business.
"Rose," Nica said the name of her secretary. She can tell that she is surprised. How can she not be? It was the first time she called her by her name and it was also in a calm voice.
"Is it okay for you to eat with me outside?" She scratched her forehead when shock and confusion registered on the secretary's face.
She feels comfortable with Rose, mayhap because she is turning old. She has always wanted her to be her friend but she always puts distance between them. It seems that she knows about her bratty attitude before she even stepped foot in the company.
"Ma'am?" confused, Rose asked her young boss.
"Ah, forget it," Nica replied with a smile and told her to leave. It was on her face that she was confused and would like to ask again, but she chose to shut her mouth. She figured she would ask why she would eat outside with her when they have a family dinner.
Nica sighed and rested her back on the chair she seats in. One of the reason why she declined the client's proposal just a week ago was because of their connection with her step sister. She found out that it was the father of Janice's suitor. She admits that it was too unprofessional of her.
"Is your great daughter not here yet?" Margaret asked Alfonso when he sat down in front of the table.
"Mom," it was Janice's way of asking her mother to behave acceptably. She used a low and tender voice. "Not now, Mom." After reprimanding her mother, Janice released a frugal smile at the young man, their guest.
They met when his father invited them to have dinner with them in their house. As usual, Nica was not with them, she always eat outside with her friends. It was a sad thing to think that she is not giving them a chance to come closer in her heart.
Alfonso awkwardly asked for pardon to their guests because his youngest daughter did not make an appearance on the dinner. The new friend did not stay for a long time because they are going out of the country tomorrow.
"I expect you to have this big project before I go back, son."
"Stop worrying about our company, Dad." Chrismith slung his arms on his father's shoulder. "Enjoy your vacation with Mom and get well soon, okay?"
"Do not neglect yourself, too, son." The woman hugged her only child the tightly. They have to leave the country for her husband to continue his treatment abroad. He had a heart complication and she and Chrismith are very worried even though it was not severe.
"C'mon, Mom! I am old enough, so do not worry about me that much." He hugged his mother back with a smile.
"Right, you are old, so I hope that when we come back from our vacation, you will introduce us to a daughter—in—law as well!" Philip joked with his son.
Chrismith just laughed at what his parents want to happen. He did not promise but he nodded at his father's wish to make him happy. He did not want to upset him like what happened last week. He sighed as he remembered the first job that had to be done.
It was the first time that his father was rejected in a project, and it made him depressed. The owner of the company himself settled the matter but his father did not want to pass just because of the company owner's gratitude.
He got no choice but to take responsibility in their company and give up his passion for singing. He left the band he formed and he blames it all on that immature woman. He knows her by name and what her nature is, her own family said it.
"You will pay for this!" Chrismith told to the picture of a woman, her face is beautiful but the arrogance cannot be unnoticed.