Tossing and Turning in bed, Victoria could do nothing, while the days’s events played over and over in her head. “What am I going to do? This is such a mess!” Victoria exclaimed ,as she sat up in bed, turning on the bedside lamp. “Why can’t I forget about that guy? Why can’t I forget about the fights I’ve been having with Mom and Dad? It’s not like they were particularly bad, or even hurtful, it’s not like they were some of the worst fights we’ve ever had, we’ve had worse fights, much worse! And, it’s been over more serious things than just the kind of stuff we’ve been fighting about lately.” And, yet, the nagging doubts surrounding her run-in with Satin’s rep, the failed contract signing that ensued, and the fight fights she’d had with her parents continued to haunt Victoria, to nag her, and eat away at her little by little.
She wished she could forget about everything and fall into a blissful sleep. ‘Yeah, like that’ll happen!” She thought to herself bitterly, Full of restless energy, as she threw back the covers. Pacing her bedroom restlessly, Victoria tried to make sense of the torrent of emotions churning inside her. Unable to make sense of anything, neither her emotions, nor the disagreements she’d been having with her parents, Victoria decided to go talk to them. “Maybe they’ll have the answers I need. I hope so!” With that, Victoria grabbed her robe and quietly walked out of her room, starting to make her way to the master bedroom.
Slowly, stealthily, Victoria tiptoed to the master bedroom. Taking a deep, shuddering breath, she sent a shaky hand to knock on the door, and waited. when she didn’t hear anything, she silently entered. Deep pangs of regret pierced her heart, as she lay eyes on her parents, who lay in bed, fast asleep.
Moonlight poured in from an open window, giving the room a calming, almost ethereal glow. Vicki slowly, nervously walked to the bed, her hands shaking, and her legs beginning to feel like lead weights.
Shutting her eyes to the pain both withing and around her, she fought back bitter, self-derisive tears, yet more fell. She swallowed a lump of bitter sorrow lodged in her throat, and gently brushed a few strands of hair away from Nikki’s face, before kissing her cheek and whispering, “I love you so much Mom.”
Exhausted, she curled up at the foot of the bed and fell asleep.
The next day, as sunlight crept in, bathing th room in a warm, inviting low, Nikki slowly awoke. Turning over, expecting to see Victor asleep beside her, Nikki was surprised to find a note. Dear Nikki, I had to go to the office, to fix a problem with a deal that Neil has been working on. I’ll be back soon. Victoria has to stay there, she’s had a tough night. I’ve got my cell phone with me if you need me. Love Victor. ‘I should go check on her, she had a horrible night last night.’ Nikki thought to herself out loud, as she got out of bed and started walking to the bedroom. No sooner had she reached the foot of the bed when she saw Victoria curled up there, fast asleep. “What’s she doing here?” Nikki asked herself, surprised. Taking a closer look, Nikki realized she was clutching a family photo and her face was tear stained.
Slowly sitting down beside her, Nikki softly called her name to wake her up. Victoria bolted upright and tiredly asked, “What time is it?” “Nearly twelve thirty in the afternoon, why?” Nikki asked, eyeing her daughter concerned. Scrambling to her feet, Vicki stuttered, “I’m really late for an important meeting, that is, if it’s not already over. I have to get dressed and go now!” “Victoria, you’re not going anywhere.” “Mother, I’m fine. I can go to the office and go to my meeting, and I’ll be back before you know it.” “No you won’t.” Nikki countered, just as stubbornly. “Watch me.” “Victoria, you’re not going anywhere. Your father left a note, he wants you to stay here and rest. You had an awful night last night.” Seeing her daughter’s reluctance in her stance and the expression on her face, Nikki showed her the note. “Oh, alright, I’ll stay!” Vicki grumbled, begrudgingly agreeing. “Good.” Nikki replied with a small smile, still eyeing her intently.
After breakfast, Nikki thought they should spend some quality time together. “Why don’t we go for a walk?” “Uh, I don’t really feel like going out for a walk, maybe later.” Vicki replied, although, it was patently clear from her tone of voice and her demeanor, she had no intention of doing so. “Come on, it’ll be good for you.” Nikki gently coaxed. Not wanting to disappoint her mom, Vicki begrudgingly replied, “Okay, I’ll get my coat.”
While on their walk, Vicki turned to her mom and asked, “How do you do it?” Confused, Nikki asked, “Do what? What are you talking about?” “In a lot of ways, you’ve had such a horrible life. You’ve been taken advantage of by people who claimed to care about you, people who claimed to love you; people you trusted and loved. You raised two kids on your own. All the while you fought to hae the reputation you have.” “Wait a minute, Victoria. Fist of all, I don’t think my life’s been all that horrible. Lots of people were and are worse off than I am. And, they done much better for themselves. As for your father, you’re not giving him nearly enough credit and I don’t understand why!”
Swallowing hard as she blushed, Vicki replied, You’re right. I just meant he didn’t live with us like when I was little and you were first married. So, you had to deal with a lot on your own.” Getting back to her mother, Victoria continued. “you shouldn’t be so humble. You’re not giving yourself enough credit for your accomplishments, both personally and professionally.”
They walked along for a little while, Then, Vicki turned to her and told her, “I went ballistic when you turned down my job offer in favour of working at Jabot because I was hurt, angry and disappointed. I had a lot of projects for us to work on together. But now, looking back, I realize you did the right thing. You did what was right for you and you were happy. That’s what counts.” Trying to explain further, Victoria continued. “I was hurt because, I thought you’d rather work with the enemy, Brash&Sassy’s number one competitor than spend any more time with me than you had to. don’t know, I guess on some level, I wondered if maybe you were trying to get rid of me.”
“What?!Victoria, that’s ridiculous! My decision had nothing to do with you. I made the decision to go to work for Jabot because I wanted to see if I could make it on my own. I wasn’t sure I cold do that if I was at Newman, that’s all. It certainly didn’t have anything at all to do with wanting to get rid of you! Do you hear me?!” Nikki asked, shocked to hear this from her daughter.
Vicki nodded solemnly and continued. “Anyway, I know I don’t say this often enough, but, I couldn’t be happier for you, and I couldn’t be happier, or prouder to call you my mom. You’ve proven dreams really do come true.” She ended on a whisper, as she choked on her tears and Nikki pulled her into a tight, tearful embrace. Nikki stood there with her arms wrapped around her daughter, until they felt a strong gust of wind and agreed to go in.
As they entered the livingroom, Nikki asked, “What was all that about? Where did all that come from?” “Where did what come from?” Victoria asked, trying to play dumb. “Victoria…” “It was just some things I needed to say.” “Yeah, I’m not buying, honey.” Realizing she can’t shrug off, much less escape her heartfelt confession, nor will Nikki let her, Victoria replied. “I know I’ve made a habit of acting tough, pretending nothing fazes me…” “More like you’ve made an art form out of it. Like father, like daughter, but go ahead.” Nikki interrupted.
“Well…” Victoria’s voice trailed off as she searched for the right words to tell her mom how much she regrets past mistakes, how much she regrets hurting her and Victor the way she has. Vicki unsteadily continued. “I know I haven’t always been easy to live with, I’ve disappointed you and Dad. I know I’ve done that more and worse than anybody ever could. There’s nothing I regret more than that. But, I’ve always loved you both. I know I seldom showed it though, that’s one thing that will never change. Even when you’re both driving me nuts for one reason or another.” She ended on a lighter note, and managed a cheeky smile. Sobering she continued. “I can’t understand why I act like a little spoiled brat the way I do, or why you and Dad haven’t disowned me yet, but…” The desperation straining Victoria’s voice caught Nikki off guard and made her think what she’d been doing to try and help her daughter up to that point. ‘It’s time for a more aggressive approach! Victoria has to realize she’s not alone in this, and I have to make her see that! I’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish that! Whatever I have to do, whatever it costs me, I will not sit idly by and watch my daughter’s life crumble down around her!’ Nikki silently vowed, as ruthless determination shone in her eyes.
“Sweetheart, I don’t understand, where is all this coming from?” Nikki asked, shocked. “Why would you think we’d disown you? Your father and I would never, ever do that.” “How much time do you have?” Vicki asked, looking up at her mom, as she felt tears burn the back of her eyes. “Victoria, why do you think we’d disown you?” Nikki persisted. “How many reasons do you need? I’ve given you plenty over the years.” Vicki replied, swallowing hard, as her anguished tears began to fall. “I don’t think so. Give me some examples.” Nikki couldn’t believe what she was hearing. ‘This isn’t like Victoria at all. what is going on with her?!’ She asked herselfv frustrated. Frustrated, Vicki replied, “this isn’t getting us anywhere. Me telling you everything won’t help. It won’t help either of us. I’m through playing games. I don’t want to be psycho analysed either!”
“Sweetheart, tha’s not what I’m trying to do, I want to help.” Nikki tried to soothe her daughter. “maybe the way I go about it may be a little unorthodox, but….” She admitted. “Yeah, a little unorthodox.” Vicki echoed with a lopsided smile, “That’s putting it mildly, that’s for sure, although, you do get results, that’s what counts.” “Thanks, I think.” Nikki replied with a smile. “At least I got a smile out of you. Are you feeling better?” “Yeah, thanks, not just for listening, for everything, for always being here, even when you could’ve run away and never looked back.” Vicki answered with a smile before hugging Nikki and feeling the baby kick for hte first time.
“She doesn’t like sharing Mommy, does she?”Vicki replied, trying to lighten the moment. “I guess not.” Nikki replied chuckling. “I thought I was the only one in this house thinking I’ll have a baby girl. Your father swears it’ll be a boy, Nicholas, of course, back him up. Although, Sharon and Cassie agree with me.” “They don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re both desperate fo another male heir to corrupt. Besides, we’ve got them surrounded.” Victoria teased. “And outsmarted.” Nikki cheekily smiled and agreed. They both started laughing.
“Well, you two are certainly in a good mood.” Victor said with a smile, as he walked into the livingroom. “Hey Dad.” “Hi darling.” “Now that Dad’s home to keep you company, can I please go to the office. I’ve got tons of work to do.” Vicki asked, hoping they’d let her go. “What do you think?” Nikki asked, looking up at Victor. “Has she stayed here and rested like I wanted her to?” “Yes, she hasn’t put up much of a fight at all.” Nikki replied. “Okay, but I want you home at a decent time, alright?” Victor agreed. “Okay, Dad. See you later.” With that, she gave her parents a quick kiss on the cheek and left for the office. She got there in no time, because there wasn’t any traffic. Walking into the office, Vicki was glad to be there, away from her parents.
She started to go through her messages and mail and came across something from the G.C.P.D. “I wonder what this is?” she thought aloud, as she tore the envelope open. Her face drained of all colour, as did the rest of her when she read the letter…