As I lay in my bed, my eyes steadily focus on the white paint covering the ceiling, my mind tries to figure out how I'm going to save my hotel. Tears drain from me like water seeping from a broken vase. Memories of the rejection of my father are beating against my exterior, threatening to shatter the protective barriers of courage and self sufficiency I present to the world daily. The tears are powerful in their efforts, revealing every line...every fracture inside me, like the lines on a map. Each thread leading me back to two landmark events that caused the breakage inside me.
The first fractures lead back to when my father left me fifteen years ago at the tender age of ten. I never understood how a person, the universe predestined to love you, could carelessly abandon their commission without a second glance. Whenever I tearfully broached the topic to my mother, trying to understand his abandonment, the answer was always the same: "Entitlement and privilege breed indifference and selfishness."
Those sentiment definitely describe my father. He is a very rich man, and with that wealth, came his need to control; and the entitlement my mother venomous spoke of. My mother wasn't created to be put in her place; or be controlled like a horse with a bridle and reins attached to her, she was a free spirit, meant to run free; just like me. But her intelligence and unwillingness to be controlled, led my father into the arms of a more willing thoroughbred; a pedigree of old money; A woman taught from birth, to be seen, not heard.
So he divorced my mother, leaving her with the Hampton estate in New York but nothing more. His unwillingness to provide other provisions , was his punishment for her independence and disobedience.
My penalty, was more severe in my eyes...the loss of my father. He tried to make his emotional and physical banishment less daunting for me by doing just three things for me before disappearing from my life completely. He left me the Barron hotel in Italy in a trust , which I received on my 21st birthday; he paid for the best education that money could buy, and he taught me how to play poker. The last of which is the only reason I can still afford to run this hotel.
The next six years after he left us, were years of immense struggle. My mother worked several jobs to try keeping pace with the growing demands of the estate until it became too much. The property went into foreclosure. Someone named Ernest House bought the property, leaving us without a place to live. We moved in with Lisa and her mom in Manhattan until I turned twenty one; and then we moved to Italy to take over the Barron. "We" meaning me and Lisa, because my mother absolutely refused to step foot in this hotel.
The years of struggle took its toll on my mother; both emotionally and physically. My father's abandonment of her was a death sentence. No matter how strenuously her objections were, her heart never recovered from my father's desertion. I think she died of a broken heart. Her last words before she died was evidence of that:
"Men are pleasures not necessities. Never let a man control your future sweetheart. Be self-made, so when he decides to leave you, which is a certainty, it won't destroy you. And never, under any circumstances, marry a man who lives strictly off his family's wealth; because then the family will control him and he will seek to control you. Control, entitlement and power are the only things he will understand. Love comes last in all these things."
When I started dating, I ignored her manifesto; dismissing it as the musings of a jilted heart. I wanted to believe our misfortune, although tragic, was an isolated incident. My logic was, this calamity couldn't ring true for everyone who fell in love with a billionaire. Hell, Cinderella and Prince Charming made it work; right?
Unfortunately, my experiences with love taught me that I should've listened to my mother's declarations of the futility of loving a billionaire when she first told me. Instead, my free spirit and my stubbornness teamed up against me; overruling my prudence and common sense. I wanted to believe in the fairy tale. Which led me to the second event that contributed to my brokenness; my ex boyfriend Edward Dunn III.
He, like my father, was very rich, entitled and an irresistible charmer. He swept me off my feet and pretended to support my need for independence... all the way up until I lost my virginity to him, and agreed to marry him. Then just like that, I became a possession to be ruled and controlled.
"You should have know better..." I whisper, shaking my head at my stupidity. My tears of nostalgia become testimonies of anger, reminding me that the breakup wasn't my fault. It was the result of a little man's inability to care for, love and stay faithful to a free spirited woman . I remember explaining it to him after I found out he cheated on me.
"A free spirit is sensitive and you have to be experienced, patient and confident around such a rare entity. Not threaten or intimidated by it Edward, but move in synchrony with it. A real man, rises up to meet this challenge. Only a weak boy tries to rein it in and then cheats, like a little prick! If you were not confident or strong enough to handle it, why the hell did you waste my time?"
The memory brings a smile to my face because his embarrassment, as I yelled this to him in a crowd full of socialites at a charity event two years ago, is unforgettable and we'll worth the shunning I received afterwards by the elite.
Needless to say, Edward and I are no longer together. After that, I strictly adhered to my mother's sacred doctrine and swore off Billionaires forever...no exceptions.
"Focus Sam..." I whisper to myself, squeezing my eyes shut in rebellion against the things of the past. But the sudden sound of Lisa's urgent voice echoing through the halls of our penthouse suite, adds to my agitation,