“No,” I said. “You are poison, Diana, and I truly wish I will never again run into you. But no doubt at some time I will see you at Dad’s house, and when that happens I want you to completely ignore me, don’t even look in my direction, and I will do the same to you.”
Her face turned white with anger, and she showed her true colors. “How dare you take that tone with me. You’re all dressed up like a Queen, but you’re just a prostitute. No better than a hooker on a street corner turning tricks for cash. Don’t you forget that.”
“And what do you call a woman who tries to borrow money from said prostitute?”
Hate made her ugly. With a snarl, she lunged forward, her clawed hand stretched in front of her. I knew exactly what her intention was. She wanted to destroy. She wanted to tear my lovely lace blouse. Just like she had killed my plants and convinced me that my hair, which everyone always complimented me on, was ugly and I should dye it brown or black.
I was too fast for her. I stepped sideways, but the momentum of her lunge carried her forward relentlessly, and she crashed onto the floor with a scream. She screamed with a mixture of frustration, fury and pain.
I looked at her sprawled figure and felt sad. She had let her jealousy eat her up. I never wanted to hurt Laura so I never told on Diana even when she hurt me, but enough was enough. I never wanted to see Diana again.
I turned away and walked towards the door. She shouted at me, called me a whore and a cheap bitch, but her insults were water off a duck’s back. I didn’t care what she said or thought anymore. I did not turn back. We were finished.
Madam was standing just outside the door. She smiled grimly at me. “You go on ahead, Ma’am. Sergio is waiting outside for you. I’ll take care of her.”
“Thank you,” I said quietly, and walked outside into the clean crisp air. I had done the right thing and I felt lighter. No more pretending to be her friend. Not even to make Laura happy.Chapter 39SkyeAt eight on the dot, we arrived at the ball. There was a huge banner outside and there were people in fine clothes milling around.
I was nervous, well aware that I did not belong amongst this crowd of elites and socialites and didn’t know where to go, but a woman in a black dress stepped out of the crowd.
“Miss Morrison, I’m Tina. I’m here to escort you to your table,” she said with a smile.
She took my coat from me and handed it over at the counter to the girl minding coats. Then we walked into the grand hall. It had a stage at the far end and the middle of it was a dance floor.
The bright golden light of the room, the small orchestra by the corner of the stage, the vibrant smiles, the seemingly inexhaustible stream of champagne being passed around, proved that this was an important event indeed.
I spotted the Mayor of Boston, the founder of Reebok, and a couple of Hollywood celebrities as Tina and I walked through the room. Everyone was immaculately dressed in evening dresses and tuxedos, but many heads turned to stare at me. I guess I was the only one who wore a pantsuit to a ball. Tina led me to the main table right in front of the stage. She swiped away the place setting with my name on it, and pulled out the chair for me.
The round table which had about ten seats was already half filled with people. They looked at me curiously as I took my seat. Inside, I was close to panicking, but I smiled at them distantly and as regally as I could, as if I was a Princess from an obscure European country. It worked because they nodded and smiled back at me politely. Before they could engage me in conversation and find out I was a waitress, I turned my head and began to look around me.
I was looking for Luca.
In fact, I was so intent on my search I almost jumped when the chair beside me suddenly moved. I looked up into Luca’s mesmerizingly luminous eyes. He smiled slowly at me and my heart started to crash against my ribcage. His hair was slicked back and he looked utterly dashing in a crisp white shirt, an exquisite tuxedo and bow tie.
He took his seat and I could tell that all the others at the table had stopped their conversations and turned their heads to watch us avidly, but he didn’t even bother acknowledging anyone. His eyes were on me. My stomach did little flips and I could feel the heat rising into my cheeks at the look in his eyes.