Thursday, April 21st, 2022.
A girl sat on the bed and watched her foster mother pack her belongings in a suitcase. She was smarter than most children of her age and she could see that something bad was about to happen to her.
Just like on every weekday woke up at 7 am to get ready for her school, but when she went downstairs to take her breakfast, she was informed that she won’t be going to school today. Some guests were coming over and she had to stay back at home to greet them. She was not informed why she needed to stay back and greet them. And this had never happened before.
Aunt Maiko and Uncle Sora, who were her foster parents after her mother died 4 years ago, had always been good to her. They were never unjust to her and treated her like a daughter. She terribly missed her mother and she knew that no one could love her as much as her mother did. Bur her mother was gone and she was truly grateful to her foster parents for treating her so nicely.
However, right now her timid heart was beating fast and her mind was running wild. Guests were coming and she had to stay back to greet them. She could still accept that part but why was Aunt Maiko packing her clothes in a suitcase?
She had read on the internet and heard some things in school that there was a dark side of this world. There were some foster parents or step-parents who hated the child and sold her off. Just the mere thought that she was going to have the same fate as them, scared her. Or maybe they were just sending her away. She had always been an obedient child and never complained to her foster parents. Why would they then try to get rid of her or sell her off?
The smiling face of her Aunt gave her no answer and her fear grew with every passing second.
“Aunty, who is coming over?” she asked.
The packing was done and her aunt closed the suitcase. She put it by the side of the bed and sat next to her.
“Kaiya” she called softly and embraced her.
Kaiya finally felt a little at peace as her aunt hugged her with the same affection as she always had. But the next words proved her fears right.
“There are some people coming to take you to your new home.”
Tears rolled down her eyes and she clenched her fists tightly.
“You hate me?”
“No!” Aunt loosened her from her embrace and wiped her tears. “How could anyone hate our Kaiya? You are so sincere, obedient, caring and beautiful.” She said affectionately.
“Then why are you selling me off?!”
“No, we…. wait… What did you say?”
Kaiya realized her mistake but still looked sternly at her aunt. She observed the expressions her aunt wore to get a better understanding of the situation.
“Why would you think that we are selling you off?”
Her aunt asked as discomfort was clear on her face.
“Why else would you just send me off?”
“Kaiya” It looked like her aunt wanted to tell her something but then stopped.
“Go, get ready, they will be here any minute. And if it makes you feel better, the place you are going to, your mother would have liked you to be there.” She said and left the room.
Kaiya knew that it was an obvious lie. Her mother would have never just sent her off to some people. But what else she could do? Her heart eventually leaned on the words she had just heard and her thoughts calmed down a little. She really hoped that everything would turn out to be fine but the premonition that something bad was about to happen did not go away.
It was an hour later that she got called downstairs. She could hear her foster mother narrating to the guests that how nice of a child she was. She did not enter the drawing room and stood behind the door listening to the conversation that was taking place inside. Perhaps she wanted to hear the voice of people who had come to take her but all she heard was the enthusiastic words of her foster parents about her. She looked over to her right, The direction that led to the exit of the house. The thought of just running away emerged in her mind but was soon brushed off because it was just too silly. Where could a 13-year-old girl run off to in this world?
“Mother.” Her eyes got wet as she terribly missed her mother.
“Scared?” A gentle and masculine voice penetrated her ears and she sub-consciously nodded her head.
It was only after she heard him chuckle did she realize that there was someone standing there. She panicked and staggered to her left before looking up and finding a young man leaning on the door of the drawing room.
He was tall, lean and handsome, dressed in a black suit. Her eyes just stayed on him because he was better looking than any boy she had seen but some part of her mind told her that she had seen him somewhere before. He didn’t let her linger on her thoughts for long.
“Hi, I am Shazan Silverstein.” He leaned in and drew his hand to her.
Kaiya’s mind went blank when she heard his name. Now she knew where she had seen him. It was the Internet and he was someone really famous.
“Kaiya Freston” She grabbed his hand after she realized that she had left him hanging there.
However, he did not shake the hand but drew her hand up and planted a kiss on its back. It was just like how a prince would greet a princess in the movies. She just stared blankly at him and felt her cheeks warm up. He was even better than all those princes she had seen in the movies.
Kaiya did not shy way her eyes as they were captivated by the sight of him. He was handsome but there was something even more than that. His smile was gentle and amiable but soon she found what it was that captivated her. It was his eyes. They may look fine and pretty to others but what she saw in them was sadness. It was something similar to what she had always seen in her mother’s eyes but the sadness in his eyes was like a vast ocean.
Unbeknownst to her, her hand tightened its grip on him and tears welled up in her eyes.
“Hi, I am Keira Silverstein.”
She snapped out of her thoughts and let go of his hand. Her eyes caught the girl standing by the side of Shazan. She knew who she was as she had seen her with her husband on the Internet.
“Kaiya Freston” She shook the hand with her as she marveled at how these two looked even better in real life.
“Mr. Sora, we will wait outside in the car. Take your time bidding her a farewell.” Shazan said and patted Kaiya’s head.
Only now did she realize that she had forgotten something really important. They were the people who had come for her. She looked at the leaving backs of Shazan and Keira and she just couldn’t think anymore.
She saw tears welling up in her foster parent’s eyes and just stared at them.
“Kaiya.” Aunt Maiko hugged her and planted a kiss on her head. “Take care of yourself, Okay? I will miss you.”
“Hmm” She only nodded and separated from her embrace.
“Alright, I will go get your suitcase.” Uncle Sora said and rushed upstairs.
“Don’t worry my child. They will not mistreat you.” Aunty caressed her head. “You remember the words I said to you right? They are true and I really believe in them.”
Kaiya could only nod her head but she knew her mother better than anyone else. If that plane crash had not taken her life away, her mother would have never left her in care of other people.
The moment she exited her home the sight of a limousine caught her attention. The door was open and Shazan and Keira sat inside it, waiting for her. A tall and robust man in a grey suit grabbed her suitcase and politely bowed and gestured her to ride the vehicle.
Every step she took to the car raised questions in her mind and the goodbyes of her foster parents faded in her ears. Why had they come for her? What did they want from her? What was her future going to be like? Will her story also turn out to be a tragedy just like the ones she had heard and read?
She halted at the door of the car and debated one last time if she should run away. A hand appeared before her and the silly thought vanished from her mind. She offered her hand in her as he gently guided her inside the limousine.
It was spacious and a pleasant fragrance assaulted her sense. She had never sat inside a limousine before and her young and curious eyes scanned it. Every inch of it spoke of luxury.
“Here.” Keira handed her a glass of wine similar to the one she was drinking.
“I am too young to be drinking.”
“Don’t worry. It’s not something you cannot handle. You will like it.” Keira chuckled at her words and assuredly smiled.
There was just something about this couple that in their presence a person’s mind could not object them. Kaiya had understood it earlier when Shazan had easily captivated her and brushed away all the welling thoughts in her mind. And this was happening again.
She accepted the glass Keira offered and held it in her hands. The delicious smell made her salivate and she clumsily took her first sip. It was mellow and sweet and she felt refreshed just after one sip. She surprisedly looked up to Keira and nodded to her.
“See. I told you.” Keira gently smiled. “Don’t be shy. There are some fruits here as well. Just press the command buttons of the panel on your right if you need anything that’s on the menu.”
Kaiya interestedly looked at the contents of the menu and most were things she was not familiar with. However, Keira had not let her feel embarrassed and had patiently introduced everything to her. In the end, she did not try anything and only had another glass of wine she was drinking.
“Lady Keira, I have seen you both on the internet before and you are famous. But I don’t know what exactly do you two do?”
She decided to ask after her mind calmed down and she sorted out the questions to get a better understanding of this situation.
“Oh, so you have seen us on the internet before but never researched on us?” Keira giggled and asked.
“No.” Kaiya lowered her head apologetically.
She hoped that they were not offended by her question as she really didn’t know why they were both famous. She had first time seen Shazan when he had appeared on the cover of Forbes under the headline ‘The Italian Casanova’. And rest of the times was when he and his two wives appeared on her Facebook-Newsfeed.
“It’s okay. Well, my Husband is one of the most powerful men in the world and I am his queen.” Keira mischievously winked and giggled.
“Powerful as in?”
“Oh, well he’s the richest. And the rest you will come to know with time.” Keira lovingly patted her head. “You are my little sister now and part of the family.”
Kaiya saw the gentle smile on Keira’s face and understood that there were some secrets that could not be revealed but the latter words had confused her. Why was she the part of the family now?
“You guys are adopting me? Am I not too old for that?” She innocently cocked her head and inquired. Both of them looked like university students. Shazan seemed to be in his early twenties and Keira looked no older than 18 years old.
Her question made Keira laugh but she didn’t answer it.
Kaiya looked at Shazan who sat across them and had now put away the file he was reading.
“You are my fiancée, and will soon be my fourth wife.” His deep brown eyes looked straight in her eyes as he said those words.
Her mind took some time to completely register his words. Fear whispered in her heart but then something brushed it away. However, her mind was a complete mess now. Her heart thumped loudly and words came out of her mouth.
“Am I not too young for that?”
It was as if this was the question she was asking herself and not him.