Updated: Oct 12, 2019
Amelia (20 years after A Little Bit of Truth)
I could sob. I might sob.
Today should be an amazing day. It’s Christmas Eve and our family, as always, gets together for festivities, food, and games. I won a case earlier that even I was sure I was going to lose. So yep, today should be the best day.
I love Christmas.
But it’s not. Oh no.
God forbid I should have a holiday this year where I’m not forced to put up with Marcus and Evelyn making out in every dark corner they can find. But also, the world’s biggest douchebag is here. A guy I can not stand with a capital middle finger and a punch in the fucking face.
“You know Kaiba Watanabe, right, Amelia?” Grandma Sylvia asks, networking as per usual.
I take Kaiba’s outstretched hand, not willing to give him the satisfaction of showing my gran exactly what I think of him.
His eyes, hooded, dark, and piercing, stare into mine, creased at the edges like his plump, arrogantly smirking lips. I once mentioned to Andrea about how odd it is that his eyes are so dark grey when he’s Japanese. That’s racist apparently, assuming somebody’s looks based on their location of birth. Especially because I hate him. But I don’t hate him because he is of Japanese origins, but because of who he is as a person! So that’s a totally unfair assessment on her part.
Everybody is so politically correct these days.
He’s an asshole and not a small one but a major one. He just happens to have nice eyes. Really nice.
“Amelia,” he rumbles, bringing my hand to his lips, his eyes holding mine purely because he knows how much I hate him. Hate him.
“Kay-bar.” I purposely say his name wrong and he almost loses his composure.
“I’ll let you two catch up.” Grandma Sylvia grins and walks away, leaving us in the quiet yet crowded room.
“Still can’t get my name right?” he mutters, dropping my hand like it’s dripping acid. At this moment I wish it were.
“It’s a stupid name,” I reply through smiling lips.
“Oh and Amelia is any better?”
“It’s better than Kalbore.”
He steps closer and hisses, “Kaiba. KAIBA. KAI---BA!”
I pat his arm. “Don’t you have any breath mints? If you’re going to breathe all over my face the least you can do is pop a breath mint onto your tongue.”
“Been thinking of my tongue have you, Mellie?” He gets closer still and I bring my wine to my lips and stare ahead at the tinsel hanging down the sides of the door. I hate tinsel. It looks so tacky.
“Been thinking about how good it will look as the centerpiece at dinner tomorrow.”
He chuckles, unoffended by our word play which bugs me because I have a special talent for getting under people’s skin and I never rile him up.
I look at him, not realising how close he is until our noses almost touch. I should have anticipated it considering I could feel his chest against my shoulder.
“Bubble,” I murmur and dig him in his ribs with the point of my elbow.
He grunts in discomfort but stays composed. “What about it?”
“Stay out of it.”
“And if I want to pop it?”
I glare at him, cutting him with my most penetrating death stare but he simply holds his pretentious, arrogant smile. “I hate you.”
“You’re not my favorite person in the world either, Mellie.”
“Then fuck off back to the shithole you rose from.”
He places his hand over his chest. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was racist, Mellie.”
“I meant Queens, you prick, not China.”
With a loud laugh, he places his hand on the small of my back and corrects, “Japan… I’m Japanese. Shall I spell it for you?”
I narrow my eyes and lean in closer. “I give no fucks.”
“Amelia,” my dad calls from over a few heads.
“Don’t lie, Amelia, we all know you’re a prissy little sorority slut at heart.”
“OH!” I fight the urge to stomp my foot as he walks away, cutting through the crowd of people as my dad approaches me from another direction.
“No,” I bark at him, startling him. “I thought this was a family thing.”
“It is, are you not enjoying yourself?”
“If it’s a family thing, why are there so many men here?”
And then when Grandma Sylvia comes toward me with another man on her arm I know exactly what this is and I just want to cry.
“Really, Gran?” I snap, and her eyes cut to the man beside her. She’s warning me to be polite and I was raised with manners, so I will be. Despite the fact she’s clearly trying to set me up. I should have figured it out three men ago! “Hi, George.”
“Hi, Amelia,” he replies, and he too kisses my hand which has me cringing at how moist he allowed his lips to be before they touched my skin. I wipe it on the side of my dress without thinking but thankfully he doesn’t see.
“I’m going now,” I snap, looking at my dad who is looking at my gran, who is looking for her next eligible bachelor. “If we’re not playing a game of Monopoly Deal then I’m not staying.”
"Amelia," Gran admonishes but I flap a hand at her.
“Did somebody say Monopoly Deal?” Evelyn cries and all heads turn our way.
“Well we can’t all play,” I reply, and they turn back, disinterested anyway.
“I’ll play with you,” Evelyn announces, finally pushing her way through. Of course, Marcus is holding tight to her hand.
“I’ll play,” George puts in, shrugging and then winking at me like I even invited him which I did not.
“Me too,” Andrea appears with a beer in hand. I wish I’d gotten a beer. I thought Gran had only stocked up on wine and champagne. “Where are we playing?”
It’s crowded so we decide to head up to my old room, the one Evelyn and I shared whenever we stayed at Gran’s together.
“What are we doing exactly?”
Oh this man is like a freaking rash, popping up out of nowhere all of the time. He’s worse than herpes. I bet he has herpes. He’s too perfect to look at, there’s got to be something physically wrong with him. It can’t be his penis, I’ve heard tales from the gossiping women in our firm. One of them dated him for a while but he got bored as he often does so he moved onto her friend.
“You’re not invited,” I reply, but Evelyn, being a gracious host like her mother and our Gran, grabs his arm and tugs him right in front of her.
“Where do I know you from?” she asks him and he just smiles down at her, towering over her by at least six inches. I swear if he convinces her to marry him instead of Marcus I will lose my…
If anybody is arrogant enough to split them up…
No. Never mind. I’m being evil.
Suddenly I don’t want to play Monopoly Deal anymore. My favorite game in the world. One I don’t get to play nearly enough because nobody ever wants to play it with me.
“I might just head off,” I call to the small group. “Suddenly I’m not feeling so well.”
“She’s just scared she’ll lose. Aren’t you, Mellie?”
I glower at the man whom I despise. “Oh I’m so going to win, make no mistake about that.”
“Like you won the Leopold case three years ago?” he calls flippantly over his shoulder.
Andrea grabs my arm to stop me from launching myself at him. “Use your words, Amelia. Use your words.”
“He’s going down.”
“Still trying to figure out where I know you from,” Evelyn mumbles from a few steps ahead as Marcus wiggles his way between his woman and the asshole. Good idea, Marcus, Kaiba is a shit. Keep him away from our beloved Evelyn.
I still can’t believe he’s here… Why must my gran put me through things like this? I’m not desperate. I’m not needing a man. I liked one man and he likes somebody else but I don’t believe it’s the be all and end all.
Not like my gran does.
The problem is a lot of the men I’ve met don’t like the fact I work so much. But it suits me just fine.
We enter my old room, baby pink with flashes of dark purple and silver. The entire carpet is a thick, plush, dark grey. My bedding is Zebra stripes with lime green on the underside. It looks great until you say it aloud and then it sounds weird.
Evelyn’s bed is opposite mine, hers is a single, complete with four posts and matching drapes. Mine’s a double because I roll around so much. I’m lethal in bed and not in the good way. I roll over and punch. It’d be funny if my second ever lover’s mother didn’t have me arrested for it. I didn’t mean to make his eye bleed.
Evelyn finds the Monopoly cards and we sit in a circle together with hardly any space between us. The asshole sits beside me much to my upset. He does these things purely to piss me off. At least he smells nice.
“I feel like a teenager again,” Andrea giggles and George beside her agrees. He’s not a bad-looking guy, he’s just not my type. He’s too… quiet. I like my men to be more confident. It’s a preference. Andrea seems to like him just fine though.
“Does everybody know how to play?” Evelyn asks and quickly explains it to Marcus and George who both say no.
“You play Monopoly Deal?” I ask Kaiba, finding it extremely difficult to believe he’s played it before. “Really? You?”
“Wait and see.”
Evelyn sends for drinks as we get into the game and before we know it we’re two games in, about twenty beers and a vodka bottle down, music is on and we’re giggling like actual teens again. I’ve won one round and nobody seems too bitter about it. Andrea won the other.
It’s nice. For a little while I forget how much I love Marcus and how much I hate Kaiba.
That is until he starts going through my things under my bed and pulls out a box of old stuff.
“Don’t do that,” I whine, reaching for the box but he pulls it away and yanks out an empty, old, but still sparkly wine bottle that I decorated with friends back in high school. “Oh my God… no.”
Evelyn laughs so hard she falls back, kicking the cards in the center everywhere.
“Give that to me!” I demand, shuffling around the teddy bear I stuck between us simply to be petty. Lord knows I’m not sitting next to him.
“I found it first!” he replies, holding it above his head as I reach for it on my knees. He stretches his arm out as far as he can to keep it away from me, forcing me to lean into him to have even a chance to grab it.
“Your boobs are in his face,” Evelyn cackles as Marcus helps her sit up.
When I feel his wet tongue against the swell of my breast I gasp and pull back, a strand of my blonde hair falls over my face and my eyes narrow with anger. “You are vile.”
“You put them against my mouth.” He smiles at me, uncaring that I’m killing him with my eyes.
Die damn it.
Evelyn yanks the bottle with a loud, “Yoink!” She raises it above her head and then declares, “Let’s play spin the bottle!”
“Let’s not…” Marcus grumbles as Andrea laughs at the hilarity of it all.
“Put it back,” I beg my cousin.
“I remember when you made this,” she giggles, placing it in the center of the circle. “She’d practice for hours getting it to spin and stop on a certain spot. It never worked.”
“I hate you.”
“You hate everybody,” Kaiba adds, pushing his hair back and out of his face as I wipe his saliva from my breast with my dress sleeve.
“Shut it, Kayla.”
“I don’t care!”
“Okay, okay, everybody calm down.” Andrea gives me a gentle tug and points to the bottle. “Why don’t you go first?”
“I’m not playing spin the bottle.”
“It’s not spin the bottle, it’s seven minutes in heaven,” Evelyn replies, wagging her eyebrows and my heart stops. It’s wrong to think it but what would happen if I got seven minutes in heaven with Marcus?
No… he’s Evelyn’s now. What is wrong with me?
“We’re too old for seven minutes in heaven.” I look around the room but nobody seems to be bothered by the idea of the game. “We should really head back to the party now,” I suggest, reaching for the bottle.
They all collectively whine when I throw it back in the box with my old junk and kick the box under my bed. I’ll be surprised if it’s not broken.
I glare at Evelyn once more for good measure and stand, straightening my dress as I go.
They follow, Evelyn hot on my heels. She links her arm through mine and on a hushed note she asks, “What’s wrong? What’s the deal with you and him?”
“You really don’t recognize him?”
She shakes her head.
I look behind me to see where he’s at but he hasn’t followed us yet. “He’s the one who accidentally tipped that entire tray of coffee all over my laptop back in Yale.”
“OH MY GOD!” she bellows, startling stragglers at the bottom of the stairs. “That’s him? I’ll kill him.”
“He ruined my entire year’s work. My thesis, everything.”
“I hate him.” When he passes us moments later we both glare at him but he simply raises his eyebrows which are so fucking perfect I hate him even more. “But he’s so nice to look at.”
“Gran’s probably looking for us, she said she needs to see me in the parlor.”
“Parlor,” I mimic, rolling my eyes. “Who says that?”
“Gran and her pompous friends.” Her thumbs blur across the screen of her phone as she replies to our gran’s text. The house is so big you have to text to find each other sometimes. “I need vodka for whatever she’s about to tell me.”
“I need another drink to brace myself for the next man she throws my way.”
“If you can call them that.”
I glance at a man when he belches louder than the music and then high-fives the man next to him.
“I’m so glad my Marcus isn’t like that,” Evelyn mutters and my hackles rise purely because she mentioned the love of my life and I’m jealous.
“Everyone lets one rip from time to time.”
“Yeah, but not like it’s so funny.”
I roll my eyes despite the fact I agree with her and then follow her into the parlor. Which is just a rich people way of saying sitting room.
“Not so fast, Mellie,” the asshat whispers, grabbing my bicep but only for a second so as to get my attention.
“What do you want?”
“Heard your firm is looking for a new partner.”
My head snaps around and his smile widens. “Don’t you dare…”
“Don’t be silly, I couldn’t go for partner, they don’t know me. But, they might stall a while if I apply and they see how brilliant I am.” His gorgeous eyes twinkle with his supremeness and I want to slap it out of him.
“Do you not get tired of your own arrogance?” I hiss, folding my arms.
He just keeps on smiling, but then he taps my wrist, forcing me to unfold my arms and before I can get an explanation for that he continues, “I’ve been speaking to your boss.”
“Nuh-uh,” I hiss. “No. No, way.”
“How do you think I got here? Your gran called all of your eligible coworkers.”
I look around the room at the few single men who have been eyeing me up all night. “I work with these people?”
At that he laughs and nudges his shoulder with mine. “Starting Monday you’ll be working with me too.”
“But… you prosecute. I defend. That’s not fair!”
When he tries to speak to me again I hold up my hand and then I hear it… the sound of Evelyn’s joyous squeal.
My world comes crashing down, my chest tightens, I can’t breathe, I can’t think.
Marcus stands and hugs her, swinging her around like a doll. Sylvia wipes tears from her eyes and Auntie Maya steps forward to congratulate them.
I take the first drink I find, his, and down it, not even asking what it is. Definitely whiskey, definitely not so tasty but it definitely hits the spot.
Then I leave because I just can’t.
Asshole follows. “Normally I’d revel in the sight of your unhappiness but—” I slap my palm into his face and push because, no. “That was unnecessary.”
I’ve been trying to get that guy to date me for two years and he asks my cousin to marry him after only six months? SIX MONTHS!
I race for the front door, grab my coat from the man who took it from me when I arrived, and then race from the house. He’s marrying her.
Stumbling slightly in my ridiculous heels that shouldn’t be worn in the snow, I pull out my phone, order an Uber, watch my digital clock hit midnight and then mutter a sarcastic, “Merry fucking Christmas.”