To You, With Love
Chapter 12: Denial, Thy Name Is…
My dearest granddaughter,
Even if I'm older it doesn't mean that I have all the answers. Why, when I was your age, I also had trouble expressing my feelings. Being in love with your best friend and that said best friend not loving you could have a lot of complications…but this isn't about me so I should probably stop rambling Yes, even your grandmother talks nonsense at times so you better get used to it. However, I trust that your judgment and I know that whatever you do, it would work out just fine.
With all my heart,
P.S. You can always deny, you know.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Shari stuttered.
Helene pursed her lips. "Still stubborn as ever, I see." She sighed. "Rosemarie, my son may not have recognized you but I pride myself in seeing what others do not."
Before Shari could answer, Jeremy had come storming into the kitchen. "WHAT HAPPENED?" he asked, turning to Shari and shaking her by the shoulders. "What did you do to my mom? I swear, if you hurt her…"
"Take a chill pill." Shari snapped. "I just dropped a plate, okay?"
Jeremy had the audacity to blush. "Oh." He stepped back looked at his mother who was watching him in amusement. "I'll leave you two alone now. Just get back to what you've been doing." He sauntered out.
Shari rolled her eyes. "From the way he stormed in here, he assumed I'd kill you or something." She got a broom and a dust pan from one of the underside cabinets and started cleaning the broken glass. "Just because I find him annoying doesn't mean I'd take it out on you."
"Rosemarie, maybe you should tell him the truth."
She paused in frustration. "Pardon me for being disrespectful but how many times do I have to tell you I'm not this Rosemarie person?"
Helene only quirked an eyebrow. "So you breaking the plates weren't a reflex to the name?"
"And you're not really Rosemarie?"
"And you're the missing heiress to the Williams' fortune?"
Helene smiled triumphantly. Shari cursed. "You tricked me!"
"You wouldn't have said yes if it wasn't true."
Shari sighed in defeat. "Fine, Mrs. St. James, you caught me."
"Why the pretense, Rosemarie?"
"I didn't know Jeremy was Harlan." Shari said helplessly. "I only found out today when I saw you and everything went haywire. I don't know how to act around him anymore." She had always found it easy confiding to Helene.
"Jeremy misses you."
"He does not. I doubt if he even remembers me."
"Nine years is a long time." Helene looked at her from head to toe. "It's nice to see you learn to wear something that isn't in the color black, Rosemarie."
"Maybe you should stop calling me that. I'm not Rosemarie anymore, I'm Shari."
"You'll always be Rosemarie to me."
"Still…" Shari motioned her hands outside. Laughter was heard from the living room. The others were apparently having a good time. "I don't want him to know."
Helene took a step to her. "Why? You didn't do anything wrong."
"Things change, Auntie." Shari took a deep breath. "I'm not the same girl I was before. Losing my parents and taking care of Stephanie…I have a lot in my plate to deal with and it doesn't have to include him."
"Do you still love Jeremy?"
Shari pursed her lips. "I'm not sure if I love Jeremy or I'm just hanged up on Harlan. The boy I used to know has finally grown into a man that I don't recognize."
"What do you want do now?"
"Funny. Evan asked the same question."
Helene's brows furrowed. "Is Evan your…?"
"He's my best friend," Shari assured her.
"Oh." There was silence. "Would you care telling me what happened? After the accident, you just disappeared. Jeremy thought you left the country and wasn't going to come back."
"I thought about it." Shari spoke up. "But I can't leave the country since I'm still the legitimate heiress of the Williams' vast estate. I could move around though and that's what I did, taking Stephanie with me." She then proceeded to tell her what she's been doing the past few years. "…and because of Evan, I'm now working as a personal assistant for Midnight."
"And you're starting to get on Jeremy's nerves."
Shari blushed. "He was annoying."
"You put him in his place. No one has ever done that before." Helene said. "Can I ask you a question?"
Shari shrugged. "I suppose."
"What happened to the necklace he gave you?"
"I lost it."
"You lost the necklace I gave my son to give you?"
Shari bit her lip. Why can't I lie to her? "Actually, I sold it."