Enjoy! 🙂 If you are a new reader, you can find the first entry of this story here.
Arabella spent the rest of the day wandering around the city. She had no desire to go home and she certainly was not going to go back to work. Her mother tried calling her cell phone several times. After the fifth call, Arabella turned her phone off. She was sick of her mother and did not want to see or talk to her. How could she have been seeing a man for three years without telling me? Who does she think she is? I can’t have a new father! She can’t get married! This is just disgusting! Atrocious! Revolting! She’s too old to get married again! Father would be irate! Arabella’s thoughts kept going through her head as she fumed in anger. The day quickly passed as Arabella wandered through stores, walked through the park, and sat to watch the ships come into dock for the night. It was late when Arabella decided that she had to go home. She had nowhere else to go. She hailed a cab and paid the hefty fee it took to get back home. Arabella stood outside her house and saw that the lights were on. Her mother was home. She felt the pit of anger rise in her stomach again. Somewhere in that house, her mother was flaunting the giant engagement ring she now wore. She was wearing a ring given to her by another man in the same house she shared, and raised her only child in, with her husband. Arabella wished she had somewhere else to go, but all her belongings were inside that house. She took a deep breath and headed inside.
As expected, Clara was sitting in an over sized plush chair in the grand entryway. When she saw Arabella, she jumped up and ran to her. She pulled Arabella into a hug and quickly kissed her cheek, “Arabella! I have been so worried about you! I was afraid that you wouldn’t come back. Don’t scare your mother like that ever again!” Arabella stepped out of her mother’s embrace and headed towards the staircase to go to her bedroom. “Arabella! Young lady! We need to talk about your behavior. The way you treated Ralph and I. The way you stormed out of work. And the way you were late tonight and kept your mother worrying! This is all unacceptable!” Arabella spun around and faced her mother, “UNACCEPTABLE? UNACCEPTABLE? MOTHER! Seeing a man behind your daughter’s back is unacceptable! Accepting a proposal from him without even letting her meet him is unacceptable! And then expecting her to call him her stepfather? That…THAT is UNACCEPTABLE! If anyone’s behavior here is unacceptable, it’s your’s!” Arabella turned back around and ran for the stairs. She ran up them and went right into her room, slamming the door behind her. Clara showed up in her room not even a minute later. “Arabella! Just who do you think you are? You should be happy that I have love again. Do you want me to be some bitter, sorrowful widow for the rest of my life? Don’t you want me to be happy?” Arabella rolled her eyes, “Go away mother.” “No! We are talking about this right now Arabella. You are acting like a child! A CHILD! You are 25-years-old. I expect you to act your age and maturely talk to me about this.” “I don’t have to talk to you about this!” “Oh, yes, you do. You live under my roof and don’t forget that you work at my studio.” “Fine! I’ll move out!” Clara laughed, “And go where? And do what? Everything you own is mine! I made a name out of you!” Arabella had an urge to slap her mother. She raised her hand, but Clara caught onto it and gripped it hard. “OW!” “How DARE you speak to me like you have been! You are MY daughter! I practically OWN you. You will not be telling me how I live my life and you WILL accept this marriage.” “Let go of me!” “Do I make myself clear Arabella?” “MOTHER! LET GO OF ME! YOU ARE HURTING ME!” “I said…do I make myself clear?” “FINE! YES!” Clara let go of Arabella and then straightened her dress, “Good….now, you embarrassed me at work today. We will not have that ever again.” Arabella crossed her arms tightly. “I am expecting tomorrow to be a better day for you. And Ralph is going to stop by tonight. I would like you to get to know him.” Arabella was fuming. “You will be civil to him and be a nice young lady.” “And what if I am not?” Clara pursed her lips, “I don’t know what has gotten into you! And to answer your question, if I find that you are the least bit disrespectful to Ralph, there will be severe consequences.” “Oh….really? What are you going to do, ground me? I am 25-years-old mother!” “I will figure something out and trust me, you won’t like it.” “Whatever.” “I’d watch your next move very carefully Arabella Mae.” Arabella rolled her eyes. “Go clean up. I expect you to be downstairs in an hour.” Clara left and closed the door behind her. Arabella huffed and fell down onto her bed.
To spite her mother, Arabella showed up downstairs two hours later. She looked in the formal dining room, but her mother was not there. She looked in the kitchen and the formal sitting room, but still had not found Clara. Finally, Arabella decided to go look in the study. The door was closed and she could hear her mother’s voice. “I just don’t know what I am going to do with her! She is acting like a child! She has never acted like this before! Not even right after Richard died.” “Clara, darling, I am sure she is just shocked. She didn’t even know I existed. Let me talk to her. I am sure things will be fine after that.” “I don’t know Ralph. You don’t know how stubborn she can be.” “Oh, Clara….It will be fine. Maybe I can get your mind off of this for awhile.” “Right…I doubt that. She is so stubborn!” There was some silence and then Arabella heard her mother let out a small laugh, “Oh…you were right! That did work. You are so good at that!” “Then let’s do it some more.” Arabella wanted to vomit. She knocked on the door. Clara quickly answered, “Come on in darling.” Arabella turned the doorknob and slowly walked in. She found Clara and Ralph sitting on the loveseat and holding hands. She wanted to vomit even more. “Hello darling! I am so glad you came to join us!” “Yes, I am too Arabella. I would love to get to know you. You mother has told me so much about you.” Arabella nodded. “Take a seat dear.” Arabella sat down in a chair that was conveniently placed in front of the love seat . “She certainly does look like you, Clara.” “Oh, Arabella is beautiful. She has her father’s eyes and hair. She was a beautiful child.” Ralph nodded. Arabella looked down at the ground. She couldn’t help but keep thinking about what a horrible day it had been. “Soooo Arabella….do you like working at your mother’s studio?” Arabella shrugged and mumbled, “I guess.” Clara pursed her lips and glared at Arabella. “Clara, maybe we should tell her how we met.” “I suppose we could.” “Arabella, I met your mother at a social event. One of those campaign things. I, of course, knew who she was before I met her. So, I went and talked to her and we just sort of hit it off from there.” Clara nodded. “And you have been seeing each other behind my back?” “Well, yes. Some days, I would come to her studio. Others, we would meet for lunch and such.” Arabella shook her head and mumbled, “I can’t believe this.” “Arabella, remember what I said earlier!” Clara angrily mumbled. Arabella rolled her eyes. Clara was about to speak up again, but Ralph stopped her, “Darling, why don’t you step out for a little breather and let me talk to Arabella alone. Maybe, that would help.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’ll be fine.” “Well, okay. If you insist.” Ralph kissed Clara’s hand and she got up to leave. “Remember, Arabella, if I hear anything about your attitude, there will be consequences.” “She’ll be fine, Clara. I’ll see you in a few.” Clara nodded and left the study.
Arabella sat giving Ralph her best death glare, “Don’t even think about talking to me. I am not going to call you my stepfather. I will never approve of this marriage. My mother loved my father and my father would never have wanted her to remarry.” “I understand what you are saying Arabella. And I know this must be hard for you. But, your mother and I are in love. We are going to get married and there is nothing you can do about it.” “Right, if you are expecting to live in this house, I can make your life miserable.” Arabella said. “Listen here you little brat!” Arabella’s mouth dropped open. “Your mother and I are getting married and nothing you say or do is going to stop that. And I would watch your steps because your heir to the Wetterman line could be in jeopardy. And that would be a pity because you would be left with nothing.” “HA! That could never happen! I am her only child. I am the only heir.” Ralph laughed, “Right. Because your mother has hit menopause? I am sure she still has a little chance of getting pregnant with my child.” Arabella rolled her eyes, “You’re ridiculous.” “You’re impossible.” “I get that from my mother.” “Right.” Clara knocked on the door and entered, “How is everything going in here?” “Oh, you are right, your daughter is impossible.” “Arabella!” Arabella stood up in rage, “I CAN’T STAND THIS ANYMORE! I AM NOT A CHILD! I WILL NOT HAVE A STEPFATHER! YOU WILL NOT GET MARRIED AND I WILL NEVER APPROVE OF THIS!” Arabella ran out the door and straight out of the house. Clara removed her shoes and chased after her.
Arabella ran and knew her mother was following her. For some reason, that gave her great pleasure. She knew her mother didn’t do cardio. Clara was more of a yoga and pilates girl. She had to laugh to herself when she started heading through the dark park and her mother was losing her. Maybe she was acting like a child, but there was no reason for her mother to have done what she did. She was well into the park when she heard a loud, shrill scream. Arabella stopped and turned around. It sounded like a woman’s scream. No, it sounded like her mother’s scream. Arabella looked and couldn’t see her mother anywhere. Her heart started pounding in panic. Her feet automatically started running as fast as they could go as she prayed in her head, Please, don’t let it be my mother. Let her be okay. I don’t mean what I said. She can be happy. She can get married. Please……Please…….Please……..Please. Arabella’s heart was still beating a million times a minute. She could feel and hear her heartbeat in her ears. Finally, she came upon a woman laying on the ground. Arabella’s heart stopped. She fell to the ground and looked at the woman. “MOTHER!” Clara was breathing slowly and had blood dripping off her head. “MOTHER! HELP! SOMEONE HELP!” Arabella looked around, but no one was near. She started wiping blood off her mother’s face with her shirt, “MOM! WAKE UP! PLEASE! SAY SOMETHING!” Clara didn’t move. Arabella remained panicked and started crying. She had no cell phone. Her mother had no cell phone. “Mother, I am going for help! Please! Stay alive!” Arabella took off in a dead run for the streets. She found a passerby and stopped him, “Sir! Sir, please! I need help! My mother….something happened. She must have been attacked. She is bleeding. I need an ambulance. NOW!” The man quickly took out his cell phone and called for an ambulance. “Where is she?” “In the park.” Arabella ran back to where her mother was and the man followed. They got to the area Arabella knew Clara was. She looked on the ground and saw Clara’s still wet blood, but no Clara. In a panic, she looked at the surroundings. She still didn’t see here. “SHE’S GONE! WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS SHE? MOTHER!” Arabella screamed as she fell to her knees and started bawling.
If you like this story and want to continue reading, you can find part 4 here.