Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Posts tagged ‘cheating’

A Promise to Milton

Prompt: Create a piece that connects to a previous piece you’ve done, either in this challenge or before it started.
Piece I’m responding to:
NOTE: This is like an epilogue to the piece above. For background information that you will need, please read the story above first.

As I stood to leave, Dr. Maxwell called me back, “Mira, do you remember what I said in class?”
I furrowed my brow. Class had meant a week ago. I had been occupied by my thesis defense to think about much else.
“Not really,” I admitted.
“No?” repeated Dr. Maxwell raising an eyebrow.
I shook my head, “I’m sorry. I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night let alone what happened almost a week ago.”
Dr. Maxwell laughed, “Milton? Does that ring a bell?”
I thought for another minute, then groaned, “I have to read the entire second book of Paradise Lost.”
Dr. Maxwell nodded, “And because I know you love it so, I want an essay on it, on my desk, on Monday morning.”
“Do you know what a weekend is?” I asked incredulous.
“Yes, they are the days that come at the end of a week on a calendar. There’s nothing that says I cannot assign you work, nor is there any rule saying that you can’t be writing an essay on those days,” said Dr. Maxwell simply.
“Can’t you give me a break? Or at least an extension?” I exclaimed, “I just finished defending my dissertation!”
Dr. Maxwell pretended to give it some thought before answering, “No.”
“Come on! Christian! Please!” I begged, “I need sleep! I can’t read all of book two and write an essay in one night! If I do, it’ll be no good!”

Dr. Maxwell sighed, “Wednesday evening. In my office.”

“Thank you!” I exclaimed, running over to give him a hug.

He brushed his hand against my leg, “Will you be free for dinner after?”

I smiled, “Of course.”

Dr. Maxwell nodded, “Congratulations again Mira. Good luck on that essay.”

I laughed, “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”


When I got home, Valentine was stationed in front of the T.V. with a headset on and a controller in his hand. He looked as though he was in deep concentration and I suppose he was. I tiptoed by to grab some lunch, trying not to break his concentration, but I never did do quiet well.

“Hey, how’d it go?” asked Valentine.

“I’ll tell you when you’re not playing,” I answered rummaging through the fridge.

“I’m done,” said Valentine, tossing off the headset and turning off the console.

“Really? Weren’t you playing that with friends? Can you just leave them like that?” I asked doubtfully.

Valentine shrugged, “It’s just a game. How did it go?”

I shrugged, “Okay I guess. Made a total fool of myself at the start. I mean, after all I was late. And Dr. Maxwell was so furious with me.”

“Then what happened?” prompted Valentine.

“Then apparently I started seeing ghosts and recited my entire piece from memory,” I answered, closing the fridge, heading over to the stove to make a grilled cheese.

“What really?! That’s kinda scary!” exclaimed Valentine.

“Which part?” I asked.

“Well…both,” admitted Valentine.

“It was just my mom,” I said quietly.

“Oh…” said Valentine unsure how to respond.

“It’s fine…sorry for making it awkward,” I said.

We were silent for a few minutes as Valentine watched me grill the sandwich.

“Did you already eat?” I asked, flipping the sandwich.

Valentine nodded, “Yeah, I didn’t want you to have to worry about me once you got back.”

“Thanks,” I smiled, “I have a lot of work to do this weekend since I spent so much time perfecting my thesis.”

“I bet,” said Valentine dryly.

“Dr. Maxwell assigned the entire second book of Milton’s Paradise Lost plus an essay for me, due Wednesday. Plus I’ve still got a couple assignments left to complete for Monday. I’m so tired, I just want to sleep. UGH!!!!” I complained.

Valentine laughed, “Probably nothing I can—”

“I’m home!” declared my father grandly coming in.

I turned around and glared at him.

“What?!” exclaimed William.

“Don’t even pretend,” I said accusingly.

“Oh…crap…I missed it didn’t I?” asked William.

“Yeah, I’ll be upstairs,” I said taking my sandwich with me, “Writing an essay on Milton.”

“Was it any good?” I heard William ask Valentine.

“Should have gone,” was all Valentine said before I closed my door.

I pulled out my copy of Paradise Lost and began reading. It was late evening before I finished reading. I had forgotten dinner entirely, but I wasn’t that interested in food at this point. Exhaustion was hazing all abilities to function normally. I went to sleep though there was still so much to be done.


I woke up early the next morning and got straight to work. The weekend was too short for everything I had to do and before I knew it, it was Monday and I was assigned even more work. I knew I had to get to the Milton essay, but I just wasn’t feeling any motivation to write it. I sat down and started my first draft on Tuesday night. Dr. Maxwell was going to kill me for the crap I was writing.

“Here,” I said, handing Dr. Maxwell my paper in class the next day.

“I said you could give it to me in the evening,” said Dr. Maxwell looking up at me as he was setting up for class that day.

“I have classes till six thirty today,” I said, “There’s no point to hold onto it. I’m scared I’m going to crease the paper anyways.”

“Alright,” nodded Dr. Maxwell stuffing the paper into his briefcase.

I was so tired, but happy I had finally got that paper out of the way.

“Meet me in my office when you’re done your class,” whispered Dr. Maxwell.

I nodded and slumped into my seat.


“Mirabelle!” called a voice as I made my way to Dr. Maxwell’s office.

I spun around and did a double take. Why was my father at the university? And more importantly, how did he find his way to the English department.

“What?” I called back.

“I heard that you scored very high on your work,” said William, “Congratulations. I was thinking we should go out to celebrate your success and mine.”

“What did you go back to write?” I asked.

“I call it Macbeth!” said William proudly.

“Oh…I see. Well dinner tonight is not possible, I already have a commitment,” I said.

“Oh? And what would that be?” asked William.

“Dinner with my supervisor,” I said flatly.

“Who? Christian?” asked William surprised.

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“Well, why don’t we make it a family thing? Invite Natasha and Valentine and all celebrate your success together,” suggested William.

“I’ll have to talk to Christian about it,” I grumbled, leading the way.

I knocked on his door and he looked up at me in the same way he always did.

“Come in,” he said.

“I brought my dad, I hope you don’t mind,” I stated.

“I thought we were having dinner together,” said Dr. Maxwell confused.

“Yeah, so did I. My father suggested that you invite Natasha along and we all go out together,” I repeated.

“Uh…no. William, I mean no offense, but uh, I’d like to share this evening with Mirabelle. You know just between supervisor and student…I mean…” said Dr. Maxwell stumbling.

“Excuse me?” asked William raising an eyebrow.

“Okay, what I mean to say is that we have worked so hard on this and that it was an effort that only the two of us put in. Therefore, it only seems right that we share this private victory together before we share it with our families, does that make any sense?” clarified Dr. Maxwell.

Dr. Maxwell sure had a way with words.

“Alright, that sounds reasonable. How about a BBQ at our house this weekend to celebrate?” suggested William.

“Certainly,” agreed Dr. Maxwell smiling.

He rose, grabbing his coat and ushering out of his office.

“I’ll be home sorta late,” I told William, “Don’t worry about it, Christian can give me a ride home.”

William nodded, “No problem. Enjoy your dinner. Where are you taking her Christian?”

“Earls,” answered Dr. Maxwell.

William looked at him in surprise, but said nothing.


Away from prying eyes in a place where no one knew us, Dr. Maxwell finally relaxed and became his affectionate self.

“You know you spoil me,” I whispered, as we walked from the car.

“I love to see your reaction,” returned Dr. Maxwell, “Besides, this is nothing. Wait until you see what I have planned for you later.”

My jaw dropped, did he just say what I thought he said.

“Isn’t Natasha at home?” I asked.

“Who said anything about going to my place?” laughed Dr. Maxwell.

“You paid for a hotel room?” I asked.

“Of course,” said Dr. Maxwell.

“Oh Christian!” I exclaimed.

“Would you prefer the backseat of my car?” asked Dr. Maxwell.

“Well, no, but…you don’t have to spend that kind of money on me,” I said.

“I want to,” reassured Dr. Maxwell.

Dr. Maxwell had previously made reservations. That was why it was so important my father, brother and his wife, Natasha, couldn’t come along. We were seated off from the main “traffic” in a place we could enjoy our dinner in relative peace. After dinner, Dr. Maxwell drove us to Hotel Alma, situated on the university campus.

With the door safely locked behind us, Dr. Maxwell lost all restraint, pinning me to the bed and attacking my neck with his kisses.

“Christian,” I whispered softly, “Your suit’s too nice to get wrinkled, take it off will you?”

Dr. Maxwell smirked, tossing his suit jacket and tie onto a nearby chair. He undid his pants and tossed them aside as well. I reached up and helped him undo the buttons on his dress shirt and discarded that too.

“Much better,” I teased.

“Your turn,” he returned, tugging at my blouse.

I slipped it over my head as he tossed it onto his pile of clothes.


It was close to two in the morning by the time Dr. Maxwell had dropped me off. I tiptoed inside and hoped that I wasn’t disturbing anyone. My father, being the creep he was, was still sitting in his study writing.

“Why are you home so late?” he questioned.

“We got caught up in a conversation about work,” I lied.

“You’re always caught up in your work. You and Christian both,” sighed William.

“I guess that’s why he’s my supervisor,” I shrugged.

“I guess,” repeated William, “Or maybe because you belong together.”

“Excuse me what?!” I exclaimed, “Dad! You can’t just say things like that.”

“Don’t think I don’t know,” smiled William, “I’ve written plenty on human nature, I know.”

“Yours are just generalizations…I’m not just another story,” I argued.

“You know I’m right Mirabelle,” said William, “You just won’t admit it. Or maybe you can’t. There is so much to worry about I know. And I’m not condoning the fact that you are helping Christian cheat on Natasha, but as your father, I just want to see you happy.”
“Not condoning,” I laughed, “You write all about the mess of relationships. There must be some truth behind your words.”

William shrugged and gave me a small smile, “Go to bed, it’s getting late.”


Like every day and week before, time flew by faster than I expected and it was the weekend. Valentine agreed to stay home and make the place presentable while I went out grocery shopping with William for all the essentials. Dinner was to be served at six thirty, but William had asked for Dr. Maxwell and Natasha to be at the house at four for some mingling. They were never early or late. They always arrived precisely on time.

“Hey!” I exclaimed opening the door for them.

“Congratulations!” exclaimed Natasha giving me a hug, “I heard you ranked first or is that just Christian exaggerating?”

I laughed, “I don’t think they have rankings, but I scored pretty high.”

Dr. Maxwell and I exchanged a look as he passed by. Natasha didn’t notice, she headed straight for William.

“Hey, Will, heard you wrote up another piece. Macbeth is it?” called out Natasha.

“Yeah!” exclaimed William excitedly.

Bragging ensued. I didn’t care to listen. I had heard it a hundred times. Dad always threw a “party” after he published something so that he’d get praised. And Natasha was such a suck up. Or maybe she was flirting with him. Either way, she always seemed to be interested in what he was doing.

“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked dully.

Dr. Maxwell laughed, “Some things never change do they?”

Moving on

His picture framed sat on my desk as it had for two years. I couldn’t bear to look at it, but equally could not bear to have it removed. He had meant something to me once, but now he was dead and gone. Moved on with his life. He was probably somewhere in the world, happily married, enjoying a cool refreshing beer on the sunset beaches of Hawaii. I could only imagine how great his life had become as mine dwindled to nothing. I wasn’t bitter. It was for the best. But yet it hurt and I found it hard to move on.

It was late on Friday night, I had expected that all the younger employees and clerks had gone home or out to party. For that reason I loved working Friday nights, it was in fact the only evening I could work undisturbed. But tonight was different. Of course it had to be. I had looked at his picture. I had wondered about him. I had speculated on his wonderful life abroad. How could tonight be the same after all that?

“Alice? You still here?” called Maximilian, my senior partner, sticking his head in my office.

“Yes,” I returned.

“Do you have a moment?” he asked.

I nodded, clearing away my notes for my latest case.

“Done? I can file it for you if you are,” he offered.

“What’s up, Max?” I asked, cutting to the chase.

“There’s a client here to see you. I offered to take him, I know you’ve been busy as of late, but he refused. He insisted that he must see you and that it was urgent. So, if you’d like, I’ll file those for you,” recounted Maximilian.

“That would be nice, thank you,” I nodded, “Show him in. Or get a clerk to if any are still around.”

Maximilian smiled, “No, they’ve all gone off to some bar for the night.”

I returned his smile, “Then if you don’t mind.”

Maximilian nodded, I handed him the file, and he headed down the hall into the waiting room. I only had to wait for a few minutes before I heard a soft knock against the hard oak door.

“Come in,” I said.

The knocker hesitantly pushed his way in. It was him.

“Christian-I, what can I do for you?” I asked standing, though caught off guard.

“Good evening Alice, I’m sorry if this is a bad time. I was hoping you could help me with a situation,” started Christian, looking visibly distressed.

“Please, have a seat. I would offer you some coffee, but it’s a bit late for that. Can I get you something else perhaps? Water?” I offered.

Christian sat, shaking his head and played with his fingers the way he used to in high school.

“I’m sorry I never called…that I never tried after…” began Christian, licking his lips.

“Please, don’t make this more uncomfortable that this already is. What is your situation? I will do my best to assist you,” I said, cutting him short.

“Do you remember Alana?” said Christian.

“How could I forget? She was my best friend,” I returned.

I knew where this was going.

“Last month I asked her to marry me. Spent a fortune on her ring, nearly $3 million…the problem is…is that well it was a fake. When I bought it for her it was most certainly real, now some time between the purchase and my proposal, it must have been stolen. It’s the only explanation! She’s had the ring on the entire time, no one could have taken it from her finger and switched it. The only logical explanation is that it was stolen in the time I was contemplating the proposal after its purchase,” said Christian agitated.

“Who had access to the ring?” I asked, pulling out a spare notebook.

“No one,” answered Christian, “No one else knew I was going to propose. It was an impromptu kind of thing. I was just walking back to the office from lunch when it caught my eye and I though that I had to have it. That it was finally time to ask her to marry me.”

“The jeweler would have known,” I said dryly.

“Yes, well, why would he steal it?!” exclaimed Christian.

“To swindle you out of $3 million,” I stated.

“So you think he never put the real ring into the box and instead gave me the fake?” asked Christian.

“Did he put the ring in the box in front of you?” I asked.

Christian frowned, “I’m not sure. I was too hyped up on excitement to be positive about seeing him put the ring away in front of me or not.”

“Does Alana know?” I inquired.

Christian shook his head, “I don’t think she does. I don’t think she can tell the difference between genuine and imitation diamonds.”

“What’s the catch?” I sighed.

“Well she was completely oblivious until one of her coworkers pointed out that it was cheap plastic and then she lost it on me. She accused me of insulting her intelligence by claiming a piece of plastic to be a $3 million ring. I was absolutely appalled and upon re-examination was horrified that she didn’t have the ring I had purchased,” said Christian, “Do you think you can find it?”

I looked over my notes; I had some ideas, some places to start.

I shrugged, “You know it’s a Friday night right?”

“Please Alice. I’ll pay anything you ask. I’ll pay you double any price you’re accustomed to getting,” begged Christian.

“I’ll think about it. I’ll call you in the morning Christian,” I said firmly.

Christian nodded, still upset, but was powerless to do anything else. He rose, still dazed and headed out the door. I looked back down at my notes and when I looked up again found Christian lingering in the doorway.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing, I just…forgot to say good night to you,” said Christian.

I smiled, “Good night Christian.”


The next morning I headed back down to the office and found Maximilian was already working away on the case file.

“Excuse me? Did you go into my office without my permission?” I said.

“Sorry, it sounded like an interesting case,” apologized Maximilian.

“He was my ex…” I said.

“Oh…my God, I’m so sorry. Did you want to say no?” Maximilian said, thoroughly embarrassed.

I laughed, shaking my head, “No, you’re right, this is an interesting case. Tell me what you’ve found.”

“Shouldn’t you call him?” asked Maximilian raising an eyebrow.

“Brief me first,” I said.

“Ok, so I’ve called up our private detective, he’s out digging up information on Alana and Christian. Both on their relationship as well as their personal lives. Is there anything you want to add?” explained Maximilian.

“That’s it?” I asked unimpressed.

“I came in five minutes ago!” exclaimed Maximilian defensively.

“Oh, well, good job then,” I laughed.

I called Christian telling him that I would take the case; he was overjoyed.

“What do I know? Well Christian and I started dating when I was in grade 10 and he was in grade 11. He was everything you could ever hope for in a boyfriend, loving, attentive, rich,” I started, “We were always thought of as the couple most likely to succeed. Well, that clearly fell apart because on the evening of my graduation I found him in the bathroom having sex with my best friend…it…it was hard…”

Maximilian looked at me sympathetically, but said nothing to comfort me.

“That was Alana. I was more hurt by it than I was angry. I left in a cab and the next day, well…they both tried to apologize to me saying that they were drunk and didn’t know what they were doing, but I knew better. There had been no alcohol and neither of them were smart enough to smuggle any into their systems. I was in a hard spot because I was pregnant with Christian’s child. He had promised everything would be taken care of that he would be there for me and stuff, but then he and Alana-and I just told them it didn’t matter. That I would be alright by myself,” I continued, “They believed my lie. They moved on together and two months after my graduation I gave birth to a baby boy. I barely had time to acclimatize before I had to start university. But Christian kept his word and started paying child support once he received news of the birth of his child. Yeah, it was arranged through the courts and stuff, but he’s never missed a payment. He never comes to visit Valentine, but has no problem paying extravagant amounts of money…”

“Was Alana ever upset that you had Christian’s child?” asked Maximilian.

I nodded, “Alana can’t have children and Christian’s always wanted to have children…I mean they’ve discussed other options, but Alana has always been upset about artificial mean of producing a child.”

“How did Alana come off as to you? Smart? Stupid? Slut?” inquired Maximilian.

“She was decent. Not a genius, but she had a brain,” I said.

“Could she have been able to tell the difference between plastic and a diamond?” pressed Maximilian.

“Yes,” I answered, “She’s not that stupid.”

“That’s what I thought. We’ll wait for our detective to get back to us,” nodded Maximilian.


“Yes? Ok, thank you, yes, ok, thanks, bye,” said Maximilian hanging up the phone.

“Well?” I asked expectantly.

“It’s as we thought; Alana is more than she appears to be. She has been involved in no less than fourteen hundred black market sales of rare and expensive goods,” started Maximilian.

“Fourteen hundred?!” I exclaimed, dumbstruck.

Maximilian nodded, “The latest sale?”

“No way…” I said in disbelief.

“Yes,” agreed Maximilian.

“Why?” I asked, utterly confused.

“Because she needs the money to support her drug habit and husband in France,” answered Maximilian.

“Kay, hold up a sec, where the heck is our detective getting this information?! This does not sound reliable,” I interjected.

“Yeah, the drugs sounds a bit fishy,” agreed Maximilian.

“So does the husband!” I said.

“Apparently that one checks out. Our detective called up the husband in France and he confirms that Alana Conners is indeed his wife,” countered Maximilian.

“But the drugs?” I asked.

“Might be a cover,” suggested Maximilian.

I nodded slowly, “Maybe it’s time to call Christian in and ask him some questions.


“WHAT?!” exclaimed Christian, “No, show me some proof.”

“Does a facsimile work for you?” asked Maximilian.

“What’s it of?” questioned Christian.

“Her marriage certificate,” said Maximilian, handing him the fax.

Christian sank into a chair as he read the names on the certificate.

“It can’t be…I can’t believe it. Alice did you know?” said Christian, repeating himself several times.

I shook my head, “This was all news to me. Apparently, she has three kids with this guy, so that thing she told you about not being able to reproduce…that’s all a lie. You see her youngest requires some very expensive treatment for her cystic fibrosis and their family can’t afford it. What better way than to cozy up to a nice rich gentleman and sell everything he gives you and everything he owns to pay for your daughter’s treatment?”

“Oh my God…I thought…I thought that it was my staff. It was her all along? And the ring? She sold the ring?” asked Christian, still having a hard time taking it all in.

“Yeah, I’m really sorry Christian…I wouldn’t have wished this on anyone,” I apologized.

Christian lapsed into a silence.

“I’m sorry Alice for having to put you through all this,” he said at last, “Stirring up old feuds is never fun. I never should have said those things to you, never should have said good bye…I couldn’t see the good I had until I lost it…oh Alice…I’m so sorry.”

“You can stop apologizing, Christian. Valentine and I have grown accustomed to our lifestyle and you’ve always been good in supporting him in whatever he does,” I said gently.

“Do you ever think I could ever be a part of your life again?” asked Christian timidly.

I shook my head, “I’m sorry Christian. You broke my heart once, I’m not about to let it happen again. But for Valentine’s sake you can have your visitation rights back. That is, if you want them. I think he deserves to know who his father is.”

Christian nodded sadly, “I have a lot of regrets, Alice. You are one of them. I will never be able to replace the moments I’ve taken away from you and Valentine. And I can never repair what I’ve done to you. But you’re right, Valentine deserves a father and despite all that I’ve done wrong I’m determined to make things right, especially for him.”

Christian rose, heading towards the door.

“I’ll see you in court on Monday then?” I called to him.

“You’ve got it, nine A.M. sharp,” smiled Christian calling back over his shoulder, “For Valentine.”

Prompt: Write the story of the words that broke your heart.

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