What You Can’t Have
“Do you need help? I can send someone to—”
I motioned Adam to stop talking. I was so swamped! Never had I felt so alive for so long! For months, all I did was volunteer at the library. It was fun, alright. But that wasn’t my scene… Well, organizing a party wasn’t, either. But here, I felt the pressure. And I so missed that!
I missed the pressure. The anxiety. Everything! God, I felt so alive!
“Seriously, I’m fine, Adam,” I reassured him.
“You sure?” he asked, reluctant. He looked around and there were number of people moving in the things I ordered for the party tonight. It was the first party that I organized so I had to go extra mile to make sure that this didn’t fail.
I was Bree Johnson, still. And failing wasn’t a part of my description.
‘Well, except for getting pregnant,’ a small part of my brain whispered. But I quickly shook the thought away. I didn’t need to worry because Adam assured me that it was no problem. He didn’t marry me for the babies… for the little Adam and little Bree…
He’s not like most guys.
I had to remind myself over and over again.
I nodded at Adam.
“Yes, just go to your work. Party starts at 8, okay?” I said and then kissed him on the lips. He was about to deepen the kiss but there were just too many people around the house. It didn’t feel very sexy to be ogled at by these strangers.
“Call me if you need anything?”
I nodded again and tapped his butt.
“Now, go work and make more money,” I told him and he shook his head while smiling at me. After Adam left, I went back to the real action and directed the people. It was so chaotic but for some reasons, I loved it! The mansion felt so alive! There were too much energy and it was the first time it felt like this. It usually felt so dull in here. But now? It was different—the good kind of different.
The caterer arrived promptly and I just went over the menu again just to make sure that everything was perfect. I didn’t want to embarrass Adam in front of his colleague. Though I couldn’t care less about what these rich people thought about me, I cared for Adam. I didn’t want to cause him any shame. He was too good for that kind of scene.
By afternoon, I was assured that everything would be perfect. I just gave them one final direction before going to my room and resting. I took a quick nap because I felt too tired. I woke up a little after 6 and I quickly began fixing myself up. I wore a black dress that ended at the middle of my thighs. It was well-fitted but I still made sure that I looked decent. My husband was a very decent man so I shouldn’t be any less.
I curled the tip of my hair and applied light make-up. I went down and was relieved that everything was going as planned.
“The guests will arrive any minute now. Is the food ready?” I asked the headwaiter for tonight. She nodded. I thanked her and then went around. Everything looked perfect. The tables were ready and the tabletops were arranged to perfection. The wines and champagne were already chilled. Some of them were from my husband’s collection and he said it was fine. Some of them cost thousands of dollars and I just had to stop myself from thinking about that absurd amount of money for a bottle of wine or else I’d ruin the night.
The guests started arriving and I welcomed them. Tonight was the celebratory party for the successful opening of the latest hotel my husband built. It was in Las Vegas and I had no idea what it looked like. It was already being built even way before Adam proposed to me and now, it was finally done.
People started swarming but still, no Adam in sight. I already asked the people to start serving food.
Where are you?
I sent a text when his number could not be reached. Adam always had his phone with him. And his other phone was with his assistant. Always. But I decided to not focus on that thought. I still had a lot of guests to entertain.
“You’re Adam’s new wife, aren’t you?” the woman asked.
I nodded. What was I supposed to say, anyway?
She looked at me from my toe up to my head as if I were some specimen under her observation. I just tilted my chin. This didn’t work on me. My parents and siblings already did worse.
‘Maybe I should send them a thank you card because if not for them, I would have crumbled under this woman’s judging gaze,’ I thought.
She looked displeased with what she saw.
“What’s your family business?”
“Both my parents are lawyers.”
“What’s the name of your firm?”
“Oh, no, they don’t have a firm. My Dad just made senior partner,” I told her casually though I knew I didn’t owe her any explanation about my family’s wealth—if ever we did possess any.
And from looking displeased, she now looked at me with disgust as if I just told her that I was a daughter of a drug dealer who raped babies in their sleep.
She wrinkled her nose and politely excused herself. I shook my head. People, really. They didn’t fail to amaze me.
This wasn’t my party but I was so thankful I thought of inviting Maya! I almost cried when I saw her!
“You’re late!” I exclaimed but kissed her cheek, nonetheless. She looked stunning in her red dress. “And look at you,” I said as I scanned her. “Dressed to impress, didn’t we?”
She cocked her eyebrows.
“You know me, always aiming to please,” she said with a laugh. “Anyway, tell Adam to introduce me to his hot billionaire friends, alright?” she said. “Where’s he, anyway?”
“He’s still not here,” I responded.
“Well, more time for the ladies then!” she chirped and then got two flutes of champagne for us. I listened to her stories but I didn’t drink much champagne. I was still the host, after all. And these people didn’t need drunkard to be added on their list of why I wasn’t suited for the Adam Walton.
I was in the midst of listening to one of Maya’s trysts when she stopped in the middle of talking.
“Look who just arrived,” she said, clearly displeased with what she was looking at. I turned around and there, I saw my husband with some brunette. I didn’t focus on the lady whose hand was touching the arm of my husband. My gaze didn’t falter even when I saw Adam laughing at whatever amusing thing the brunette had said.
“Do you know who’s that?” Maya asked.
I shook my head.
“Just text me if Adam messes with you. I’ll bring the tools to castrate him,” Maya said with stinky eye. I tried not to focus on the tone of her voice.
“Maybe she’s just a friend.”
“Friend my ass. I know a hoe when I see one. I know the moves, babe. Been there, done that, still doing it.”
I excused myself. I didn’t need Maya badmouthing Adam. I trusted Adam. He just wasn’t that kind of person. I had so much trust in him.
He was still busy talking to the brunette when I approached them. I had to call his name so that he’d notice that I was actually there. And upon seeing me, he detached the brunette from his arm and then kissed me on the lips.
“Sorry I’m late,” he said while his lips were still just an inch away from mine. “Just had to finish something and then I bumped into Lauren.” I looked at the brunette whose name was apparently Lauren. “Babe, this is Lauren, a close family friend. Lauren, this is Sabrina, my lovely wife.”
I offered my hand because I didn’t feel friendly enough to kiss her cheeks.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. I was a decent person. I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt—something my parents always taught me. Until proven guilty, everyone should be treated as innocent. Although I didn’t know if that should apply in real life—because the matters in court differ from matters in life.
Sometimes, instincts were always right.
“Likewise,” she said. “Well, anyway I should find my father. Nice to see you again, Adam,” she continued and then kissed my husband’s cheek. I didn’t want to be so distrusting but that kiss lingered longer than it should have had.
‘Get a grip, Bree,’ I reminded myself.
When she left, I tried to calm myself down. I didn’t want to fight with Adam but I feeling annoyed could not be helped. He was an hour late—and it was his party!
“Something wrong, babe?” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I quickly replied. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. “Have you eaten?”
“Well, yeah. After seeing Lauren, she invited me to dinner and I just couldn’t say no,” he said. I didn’t know what to do. He didn’t seem like he was hiding anything… But something just didn’t sit well with me. “I hope these people didn’t give you a hard time?”
I smiled. “No. I was able to handle them,” I answered blandly. I just wanted to go to my room and sleep. This night was starting to wear me off.
Adam started mingling with the guests and I was just smiling here and there. I lost the appetite to entertain. I hated being like this. I was never the jealous type. I was always sure of myself—of who I was. My family, though they criticized me heavily, made sure that I knew what I want. That was why they didn’t try to stop me when I told them about my decision to marry Adam. They just avoided me. But they respected my decision, still.
But this? This was unlike me. I was never jealous. And I didn’t want to be jealous. I hated these negative thoughts circling my head.
“Well, Adam, my little girl told me about your mini reunion earlier. I hope that didn’t rekindle any old flame,” an old guy said without even looking at me.
“Dad,” Lauren said. “His wife’s here.”
The old guy laughed and then looked at me. “Dear, I’m sure she doesn’t mind. It’s no secret that you and Adam almost got married.” And then he laughed again.
My breathing hitched and I felt my heart beating rapidly against my chest. I wanted to excuse myself but I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of seeing how affected I was.
But I was! I was affected!
Why wasn’t I aware that he almost married this Lauren?! I was his wife! Didn’t that extend the courtesy of being informed about past lovers? Especially this one who seemed still hung up on my husband?!
“Well, sir, that’s no problem. Bree knows how much I love her,” Adam said and then looked at me. He smiled at me but his forehead turned into a crease when he didn’t see me returning the smile. He quickly excused us.
Upon leaving the sight of his guests, I removed my shoes and walked towards our room. I didn’t even think of looking behind me even though I clearly heart Adam calling my name.
I stopped in front of my dresser and removed my earrings. I tried to avoid his gaze at the mirror but he looked so confused. And I hated him for that! He didn’t even think about my feelings! I felt so embarrassed that I was the only one who wasn’t informed about his past with that woman! Had I known about that before, I would have had reacted better.
But I was freaking blindsided!
I was already starting to remove my make-up when he made me face him.
“Bree, babe, what’s wrong?” he asked while his hands were caressing my cheek.
“Nothing,” I dismissed. “Go down. Your guests are waiting.”
“Do you think I care about them more than I care about you? Come on, what’s wrong, babe?”
Not saying anything, I removed his hands from my face. “Nothing,” I repeated. “I just feel drained, that’s all.”
He didn’t buy it but he let me. I told him to go down and attend to his guests but he didn’t move.
“Just go,” I tiredly said.
“Just go, Adam.”
As I watched his retreating back, my heart clenched. I hated doing this to him. I hated pushing him away. I hated fighting with him.
But I also hated this building feeling inside me.