True To Love

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CHAPTER 1

Jade’s point of view

“Jade, Jade customers are waiting,” Ray shouted.

“I’m coming, boss,” I shouted back.

Working at ‘Sunnyside Cafe’ was demanding; more customers came by every day, and I had to attend to them. My job looked very simple, but it wasn’t. I worked as a waitress at Sunnyside Cafe, and all I had to do was take meal orders from customers, take the orders to the kitchen, where my boss Ray would prepare the meals, pass them to me, and I would hand them over to the customer. Sunnyside Cafe is a little cozy cafe nestled in a charming corner of San Francisco. It was a breakfast cafe that served tea, instant coffee, and light meals like sandwiches, wraps, salad, and most often soup. It was a place where people from all walks of life gathered, seeking solace in a cup of coffee. It was also a five-minute walk away from a big company, and most of our customers were from the company. They usually arrived at the shop early in the morning for breakfast and would hurriedly eat their breakfast and head out to work. Jay and I could only rest in the evenings as we had fewer customers by that time. I worked the morning and evening shifts as Jay couldn’t find more help as the pay was low.

“Jade” Jay called

“Yes, boss,” I replied. I was done with my morning shift and was on my way home.

“I was wondering if you could come a bit early for your next shift.” Jay sounded a bit shy when asking.

“Sure, I would be here early.” I gave him a questioning look, and he totally ignored it.

“Thank you, Jade.”

Max’s point of view

“What is wrong with you, Max?” Grandma yelled

We were having the same conversation again, and I wasn’t in the mood for it.

“Grandma, I called only to check up on you and not have this conversation,” I said politely.

Grandma scoffed. I could see her face turning red, or was it my eyes?

“Are you angry, grandma?” I asked an obvious question.

“Maxwell!” She yelled

Yes, she was definitely angry.

“Yes grandma”

“Come over on Saturday.”

“If it is because of this same conversation, then I don’t… Grandma ended the call without waiting for me to finish. I stopped talking when I could no longer see her face. Grandma was stubborn and has been nagging me to get married for a year now. I could barely talk to her as every conversation was filled with talks about my marriage. I was too busy to get married; I didn’t want to lose anyone I love again; all my time was dedicated to my work; I had no friends as I pushed everyone away; and my staff knew me as a strict boss.

A knock on the door distracted me from my thoughts.

“Yes”

The familiar face of my secretary, Mrs. Anna, popped in.

“Sir, the meeting with the investors has been canceled.”

“Okay, is there a new date for the meeting?”

“Not yet, sir; they promised to get back to us.”

A smile appeared on my face. The investors were being swayed by my rivals.

“Is there any problem, sir?” My confused secretary asked

“No, there isn’t; you may go home.” I said, looking at the golden wrist watch on my wrist, that it was already 6:30. She has been waiting with me for the meeting I had with the investors by 7 p.m., and since it has been canceled, there is no need for her to stay.

“Okay, thank you, sir. Have a good night, sir,” she said with a smile on her face. She was always happy to go home to her family.

“The weather calls for a nice cup of coffee.”

Jade’s point of view

The blaring alarm clock woke me up from my afternoon nap. It was time to go back to the cafe. My life was a daily battle for survival. My mornings began with the harsh, blaring sound of the alarm clock that marked the start of another grueling day. Pulling myself out of the worn-out bed that I had slept on for years, I was ready to face the harsh realities of life again. The evening shifts were short and less tiring.

As I stood before the broken bathroom mirror, my pale face, framed by a cascade of blonde hair, bore the weight of sleepless nights and long shifts. My eyes, once bright and hopeful, were now tinged with a hint of sadness. I had always been the weakest and most fragile member of my broken family.

Looking in the mirror, the scars on my left shoulder reminded me of the cold past. I shuddered at the thought and shook my head as I tied my hair up and washed my face. The promise I had made to myself to never fall in love and to make money was the only thing keeping me going.

“Jade!” Tracy called me.

I rolled my eyes as I took my clothes ready to hit the shower. I remember locking the bedroom door, so there was no way she was going to get in. After my bath, I wore a flower print gown that was just above my knee, combed my hair, and allowed it to fall freely. I wore the only good sneaker I had and went downstairs.

“I have been calling you Jade, dear,” Tracy said as soon as she saw me come down the stairs.

“I don’t have money, Tracy,” I said, rolling my eyes as I walked to the kitchen, only to find Sam drunk as usual on the floor with empty bottles of beer lying around him. I didn’t have time to have a discussion with any of them; my priority in the kitchen was to find anything edible to eat.

“Jade dear”

“Don’t start, Tracy; I am really not in the mood.” I said I was picking up the only apple I could find in the fridge.

“For what exactly? And why do you insist on calling me Tracy?” Tracy said as she handed me a plate.

CHAPTER 2

“What else should I call you, Tracy?” I said while washing the apple, taking a bite from it and rejecting Tracy’s plate.

“Mom, of course.” Tracy was angry.

I rolled my eyes again; she was getting on my nerves.

“I will once you and your partner start acting like parents,” I said, pointing at the drunk and sleeping Sam.

“We have always acted like parents, and you know how difficult times are right now, but we are still trying our best.”

“Well, you can show me your best by getting a job and paying your bills yourself,” I said, and with that, I left the kitchen.

I didn’t hear another word from Tracy as I walked to the cafe. The cafe was just on the next street; it was a bit far, but I decided to walk instead of taking a cab so that I could save money.

Max’s point of view

I entered the cafe and sat down near the windows. The cafe was a bit busy as I waited patiently for the waitress, and the smell of coffee beans filled the air. It was my first time coming to this cafe. I have heard about the cafe from my staff, especially my secretary. This was her usual breakfast cafe that she enjoyed so much. Not only was it close to the office, but their services were great. I could feel half of the occupants in the cafe staring at me; some giggled, and I didn’t care about it. I have always been aware of my handsome features, brown hair, and blue eyes. I also had the height, the body, and, of course, the money, and wherever I go, people can’t stop but stare.

“Can I get you something?” The waitress asked

I was too busy observing the cafe and the people in it to notice her approaching me. Her voice was soft and soothing. She was clad in an orange-colored flower print gown with an apron tied around her waist. Her blonde hair complimented her face.

“Can I get you something, sir?” She asked again, interrupting my thoughts.

“Just a black coffee, please,” I replied.

She had written something in her little note before looking at me again.

“Anything else?” She asked

“No, black coffee will do.”

“Okay, sir, please give me a minute,” and with that, she left for another table, quickly took their order, and left for what I assumed was the kitchen. It took less than three minutes for my black coffee to arrive.

“Here you go, sir,” she said, carefully placing the coffee cup on the table.

“Thank you”

Jade’s point of view

Sunnyside Cafe bustled with the usual crowd. It was a busy evening as I attended to more customers. A new set of customers walked in, and I had to attend to them. Jay wasn’t around, so it was a bit slow with me and three other employees running the place. Everyone was busy either working or enjoying their meals while I was taking orders and moving from each table to the kitchen where their orders were prepared. When he arrived, walking like he owned the place, he made his way to the table by the windows, clad in an expensive blue suit and a perfume that announced his arrival. One could tell it was his first time at Sunnyside Cafe. I noticed how some of the ladies giggled while looking at him. I rolled my eyes; they were giving him too much attention. After attending to the customers that arrived before him, I finally went to take his order.

“Can I get you something?” I asked, and he looked at me for a moment, and I noticed his beautiful blue eyes.

“Can I get you something, sir?” I asked again.

“Just a black coffee,” he replied, his voice carrying a trace of melancholy.

I took out my pen to write down his order when I realized he wasn’t saying anything else.

“Anything else?” I asked

“No, black coffee will do.”

“Okay, sir, please give me a minute,” and with that, I quickly left his table for another table next to his, took their order, and left for the kitchen.

My shift ended at 9 p.m., and I waved goodbye to my colleagues and Jay, who later arrived to close the shop. I crossed my arms around my chest as I made my way home.

My house was a two-story house located in a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.

The house bore the marks of old age with faded blue paint and. a small front yard that had seen better days. An abandoned garden that struggled to contain its overgrown bushes and wilting flowers was always the first to greet anyone entering or exiting the house.

“Back to my beautiful family,” I said under my breath as I reached for the door knob, turning it’s also worn-out knob before entering the house. The smell of badly burned food filled the air.

“What the… Tracy?” I yelled, calling her name as I walked to the kitchen. The huge figure of Sam standing over the cooker with an unfinished bottle of beer told me the whole story. Most times Sam would burn food while he was drunk, and that was why Tracy quit her job so that she could look after him. I didn’t see the point of her looking after him if he was still the same.

“What the hell, Sam?” I said, moving closer to him. I noticed that the cooker was already off.

“Oh my gosh, Sam, what have you done?” Tracy walked past me with a shopping bag that carried more alcohol. She dropped the bag on one of the cabinets and went to attend to Sam, who fell on the linoleum floor.

CHAPTER 3

My life was a roller coaster ride, and it was getting hard to breathe. My parents were suffocating me, and they pretended like they didn’t know about it. I checked the shopping bag and confirmed the alcohol; there was no food item, and I wondered if this was her idea for dinner.

“Tracy, what’s for dinner?” I asked, trying to control my temper. She looked at me confused and couldn’t say anything.

“Tracy!”

“Don’t call me that; I am your mother,” she screamed.

“Okay mom,” I tried to calm her down. I wanted to know what was going on in her head.

“What are we going to eat for dinner?”

“I don’t know Jade; there’s nothing to eat, and I didn’t have any money with me. I would have gotten some items from the shop and prepared dinner. She sounded like a broken record.

“You didn’t have any money with you? How did you afford the alcohol, mom? “I shuddered at the word. I hated myself for calling her mom when she clearly didn’t deserve it.

“I don’t; yes, I got it for free; no, I saw it outside the front door and I brought it in.” She said she was trying to smile a little so that I didn’t suspect that she was lying.

I didn’t know when I laughed, and she laughed too. I realized that I was going crazy daily and soon I would end up in a hospital, and I made up my mind to leave them.

“You know what, Tracy? Enjoy yourself,” I said, smiling, and I went up the narrow wooden staircase that led to my room. The stairs were steep and creaked with each step I took.

Max’s point of view

“Damn, I needed this” I said as the hot water touched my head, running down my back and legs. The hot water cascading from the rainfall shower head above was able to calm my mind. As I looked around the spacious, marble-clad bathroom of my penthouse, the bathroom was only a part of the beauty of the penthouse, gleaming with pristine white tiles. My mind wandered back again to the cafe. I couldn’t get the waitress out of my mind. Her image lingered in my mind. She was pretty, but I had seen prettier girls who had blonde hair, and I had seen a lot of ladies with blonde hair. My fingers traced the droplets of water on the glass shower door. One thing was for sure: she was different, and I was getting tired of thinking about her, and I knew I had to clear my head and make sense of the inexplicable draw I felt towards the waitress. I decided to go to a club; it was the only place I could think of, and the music always made me relax. I stepped out of the shower and reached for the towel. I wrapped the towel around my waist and prepared to get dressed.

…The Club…

The club, located in the heart of the city, exuded an air of sophistication and exclusivity. The club’s exterior was sleek and modern, with an understated facade. A discreet entrance led guests into a world of music, lights, and luxury. The entrance was dimly lit, and the thumping bass of music from within could be heard from outside. Stepping inside, one could tell that the owner’s taste was incredible. The club had a blend of ambient and neon lighting, mesmerizing it with a spectrum of colors.

Bartenders, dressed in sharp attire and standing in a well-stocked bar, served an extensive selection of cocktails, expensive wines, and premium spirits. Plush velvet ropes cordoned off the VIP area, where private booths and bottle service awaited the guests.

Jade’s point of view

I had left the house and headed for a club; any club would do. I decided to have fun one last time before leaving the city. I already called an old friend of mine, and she was more than happy to let me stay. I would start my life again and forget all about my past, including Tracy and Sam. Those two were busy fighting when I left the house, and apparently Sam stole her money as if it were anything new.

I had boarded a cab and asked the driver to take me to the best club in the city. He looked at me surprised but started the ride. The city was beautiful, and this was the first time I was outside at night enjoying myself. In the past, I would be working myself for money either in a bar, attending to guests, or as a tour guide. I couldn’t remember the number of jobs I had to do. Most of my earnings went to Tracy for the upkeep of the house; she would use some to get alcohol for Sam and make him a more chronic drunk; they both did nothing but waste money. I worked hard for it just because I was weak, but it was going to end. I would start living for myself only. The cab stopped in front of the club, and after paying the bill, I alighted.

Max

I arrived at the club in my sleek black sports car. The vehicle was just one of the many cars I owned; being the only child and heir indeed came with its own luxury. Most times I was lonely, but I had Grandma with me. The car’s elegant design turned heads as I parked it outside the club’s entrance. The valet attendants quickly took charge of the vehicle. I wore a perfectly tailored, charcoal-gray suit that accentuated my well-built frame. I had just walked into the club, and the atmosphere was electric. The music pounded through the air, and colorful lights danced around the room. I couldn’t help but feel the energy of the place. As I made my way through the crowd, I headed for the VIP area, but then I spotted her.

Jade

I was dressed in a knee-length black dress that highlighted my slender figure with a single pearl necklace and matching earrings, and on my feet, I wore comfortable black heels. I had gotten the dress a long time ago and was only wearing it for the first time. The club was modern and sophisticated, so I made my way to the bar and ordered a drink. I was already in my fourth drink when I saw him, the handsome and tall guy at the cafe. He was clad in a gray suit, accompanied by a crisp white dress shirt and a sleek, dark tie. His shoes were polished black leather oxfords, completing the classic and elegant look that accentuated his well-built frame. One look, and I couldn’t imagine how wealthy he was. The ladies in the cafe were correct. He looked like he was heading somewhere but walked in my direction. I adjusted my gown and took another sip. I could feel the alcohol kicking in as I composed myself. He sat on the chair beside me and didn’t even look at me while he ordered a drink for himself. The night flew by, and both ordered more drinks without saying a word to each other. I felt like dancing, so I finished my drink and went to the dance floor.

Max

She went to the dance floor, and I followed her. I couldn’t say anything and only did what I usually do in a club, which is drink. I didn’t take interest in the women, but here I was running after a girl I barely knew. I danced with her on the dance floor as she didn’t mind. The night flew by; we stopped dancing and ordered more drinks. I found out her name was Jade, and we had a great time at the club. It was around 2 a.m. when we left the club and ended up in my penthouse, where we shared a night of passion.

It was 11 a.m. when I woke up alone on my king-sized bed with Jade nowhere in sight.

Four months later…

It has been four months since I met Jade. I tried my best to forget about her and concentrate on my business. I tried looking for her at the cafe but heard that she quit and left the city.

I was on my way to meet my grandma when she suddenly called me and asked to see me urgently. I arrived at her estate and entered her opulent mansion. Her maids directed me to her bedroom, and I met Grandma talking and laughing with a lady who was dressed elegantly. She was clad in a blue flowing gown and a black comfortable shoe, and her brown hair was just above her shoulders.

“There’s my favorite grandson,” Grandma said, getting up from her bed.

“Grandma,” I said excitedly. It has been a while since I saw her; it was not my fault, but she had told me not to talk to her until I was ready to get married. She avoided all my calls and traveled out. I was surprised when she called and asked me to visit her.

We hugged, and she held my hand, leading me to her bed.

“I want to introduce you to someone who would make a wonderful life partner,” Grandma said excitedly.

“Not again, Grandma.” I was really fed up with having the same conversation.

“Meet Jade Williams,” Grandma said, and the lady turned, finally revealing her face, and it was the same Jade I know. She stood up and, without a second thought, smiled at me.

“Hi, I’m Jade.”

Jade

I woke up to the smell of fresh sheets, rose fragrances, and a yellow duvet covering my naked body. The room was decorated in soothing neutral tones with large windows that offered a great view of the city. On the king-sized bed, lay Max from the cafe.

“Oh no,” I said softly. I couldn’t believe I followed him home. Was all the promise I made to myself for nothing? I remembered my previous and last relationship, an abusive relationship that broke me in all ways. I touched the scar on my shoulder and wondered how I could forget everything so quickly and be with someone else. I quickly looked for my clothes as memories from the previous night rushed in. Max was wonderful; I remembered the dance we shared at the club and the passionate night we had after. If I didn’t know better, then I would say Max was an angel. I remembered how gently he touched my skin and knew I would remember that night forever. I left his apartment without a second thought and went home.

Tracy and Sam were still asleep when I left the house, boarded a cab, and left the city. My friend Mary was more than welcoming. After a month, I looked for a job but couldn’t get one. Each job had one tasking requirement or another, and I was losing hope. I started regretting leaving my job with Sunnyside Cafe until Mary told me about a house manager job at an estate. I decided to take the job and look for the part. I took online lessons on house management, dyed my hair brown, and applied.

I worked for Ms. Shelly Parker, an old but cheerful woman. She was filled with life and treated me like her granddaughter. She often told me stories of her grandson and how she lost his parents in an accident. I really felt bad for her losing my family with all the money she had. I saw how she constantly nagged him to get married until she fell ill and asked him not to visit. She traveled for treatment and took me along with her, hiding her illness from her grandson. We arrived a few weeks ago, and I convinced her to call her grandson, which she did on the condition that I get married to him. I agreed to her condition, but I wasn’t expecting to see Max.

Max had a shocked expression when he saw me; his shocked face quickly turned to a frown.

“Hi, I’m Jade,” I said, extending my hand for a handshake.

“I am leaving Grandma,” he said, walking away.

“Max,” Grandma called him. I could see the pain in her eyes.

“I will talk to him, Grandma.” I patted her hand as I helped her get to bed and went after Max. He was in the spacious living room. I thought he had left, but he sat comfortably on the sofa.

“Max, I..I..” I was cut off by his hand in the air, signifying me to stop. He didn’t look at me.

“I have nothing to say to you,” he said, looking at me with the same frown.

“But I do.”

“Keep it to yourself,” and with that, he stood up and was about to leave.

“Hear me out first.” I held his hand, stopping him from leaving.

“I said I don’t.”

“Your Grandma is sick.” I dropped the bomb Grandma was hiding from him.

CHAPTER 5

Max

Tears escaped my eyes, and I allowed them to flow freely. My grandma was the only family I had left after my parents died, and hearing that she would join them soon made me regret not obeying her wishes. I cried my eyes out as Jade comforted me. I forgot how upset I was with her and hugged her. I had gone to grandma’s room and told her that I was ready to get married to anyone she chose for me.

I didn’t leave Grandma’s mansion and took care of her. I also spent time with Jade, and we got close; she apologized for fleeing after our night stand, and we became friends as we shared our fears and pasts with one another. I discovered how weak she was and vowed to protect her. Plans for the wedding took two months; Jade’s parents were invited, and she reunited with them.

…The Wedding…

Jade and Max’s wedding was an enchanting and intimate affair held in the lush garden of Grandma’s magnificent mansion. It was a celebration of their deepening love.

The ceremony took place beneath a beautifully decorated floral arch, with delicate white roses, lilies, and orchids adorning the structure.

Jade wore a simple yet elegant gown made of flowing silk with delicate lace detailing, hugging her figure perfectly. Her hair was adorned with a tiara of white flowers, and her face glowed with happiness. She walked down the aisle accompanied by her father, Sam; they both smiled and walked with grace and confidence, accompanied by the soothing notes of a string quartet. Sam handed Jade to Max and hugged him. He smiled at his daughter and went to sit next to his wife and grandma.

Max wore an expensive white suit to complement Jade’s white gown. He awaited her at the altar with a smile that conveyed both admiration and love. His eyes never left Jade as she approached; he was more than happy to take her hand from Sam.

The vows they exchanged were heartfelt and deeply personal, reflecting the love, growth, and strength of their relationship. They promised to support and cherish each other. As the ceremony concluded, they sealed their renewed commitment with a passionate kiss, and cheers erupted from their guests. The feeling of unity and love permeated the air, and the guests could see the love they had for each other.

The reception was an elegant affair; the guests enjoyed a delectable array of dishes prepared by a renowned chef, with the mansion’s gardens adding to the beauty of the celebration. Speeches and toasts were shared by their friends and family. Max’s business associates and friends graced the occasion, and Mary and Jade’s cafe friends and boss were also in attendance.

The day was filled with dancing and laughter as the couple and their guests celebrated a love that had transcended between two worlds. It was indeed a pure connection, symbolizing the depth of their feelings for each other.

Jade Pov

It has been a year since the wedding, and I had only one regret, and that was not meeting Max early enough in life. Max was an angel; not only did he help me overcome my past, he also helped my mom and dad—yes, I call them that now—not only did they get professional help, but they started a mini cake shop together and stayed away from alcohol. They apologized to me for all the trauma I faced because of them.

Grandma was still alive and well. After our honeymoon, we decided to stay with her, and she was so happy about it.

“Hi baby,” I said immediately. I opened his office door. I visited Sunnyside Cafe and decided to see him before going.

“Hi baby,” he said, looking at my baby bump. I frowned a bit.

“So, you only care about me again,” I said, crossing my arms.

“No, I don’t,” he replied, smiling. He gave me a kiss, and I hugged him. I love Max a lot.

“How are you doing?” I asked, breaking the hug as I made myself comfortable on one of the sofas.

“As you can see, I’m doing great,” he said, smiling.

“And how is my big baby?”

“I’m fine, dear,” I said, smiling.

Living with Max was a dream come true. Not only did he confide in me about his past, but he also moved on and was now happier than ever. We were expecting a baby girl, and Max would come home with one gift or another for the baby. We were fully prepared for her, especially Grandma, who was happy she would see her great-granddaughter before she died.

The day our little angel arrived was special. Max’s face lit up as he held her in his arms. Grandma and my parents were excited. The family was united and happy. I was the happiest. Tears filled my eyes as I remembered my journey from a waitress to a billionaire wife and now a mother.

“Don’t cry, baby,” Max said, kissing me on my forehead while he rocked the baby in his arms.

“I love you, Max,” I said with all sincerity.

“I love you too, Jade.”

By; Pamella Tori

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