Chapter 97: She Didn’t Want To See Him Now
Ayla was completely immersed in finishing her design draft.Once done, she eagerly presented it to Linda, the company’s design department director.
“Director Linda, I just completed my design.I would love for you to take a look,” she informed her as she handed the draft over.
Linda reluctantly accepted the design but didn’t bother to go over the drawings.
“I’ll put it aside for now.Boss said she would come and pick it up herself today,” she said dismissively, her tone implying an utter dislike for the employee.
Linda thought menacingly, ‘You’re a pathetic undergraduate who has nothing to prove yet.’ Ayla being hired with a competitive salary was merely because of their boss.
What irked Linda the most was how this girl quickly climbed up the ladder.
Within a few months, her designs could already compete for high-caliber fashion shows while Linda painstakingly worked for it for over half a decade.
“Alright, I see.I’ll go back to my workspace then.Let me know if there’s something I should improve on and I’d be glad to revise it,” Ayla replied politely.
She had no clue as to where Linda’s hostility was coming from.
It was never Ayla’s intention to threaten her in any way.
She was only doing her job as a designer and no matter what happened, Linda would always be the 4 director.
“Go ahead!” Linda almost shouted with annoyance.
She wanted her out of the office immediately.
There was I no sense letting her meet the boss.
Ayla stepped out of the office and proceeded to sort out some documents for work.She didn’t stay long though, since she still had afternoon classes to attend.
As she alighted from the elevator, she came face to face with an elegant woman donning a sleek beige suit.
Her queen-style handbag and tasteful makeup added to her alluring charm.
One would not think she was over 40 as her lovely face radiated a youthful glow.
Ayla managed to greet the woman, although she was still a bit intimidated by how fashionable she was.
“Wenny, what’s with the rush? Why are you leaving early? Do you want to go upstairs and have a little chat?”
Yareli Evans invited her warmly.
The kind gesture made Ayla smile but she had to decline, “I would love to but I still have a class this afternoon.I only dropped by to give my draft to Linda.”
Yareli was of Chinese descent.
Fifteen years ago, she founded the Starlight Fashion Hub in Italy.
From her humble beginnings, she exerted hard work and dedication which made the company grow significantly.
Now, it was recognized as Milan’s most prestigious fashion and design house.
“Oh, you have classes this afternoon? How about going out for lunch together? It’s still early and we can squeeze in some time,” Yareli suggested.
Her years in the business made her a good judge of character.
She could sense something good in this designer, and that was why she wanted to get to know her better.
Ayla was actually not in a hurry but she didn’t want to interfere with her boss’s work.
However, it also didn’t feel right to turn down her offer twice.
“I just don’t want to take up too much of your time.Would it be okay?” she asked politely.
Yareli shook her head, an amused smile painted on her face.
“I’ll go upstairs for a bit.You wait here,” she instructed.
Ayla finally agreed and poised to wait by the elevator just as she was told.
Once out of the building, Yareli drove to a nearby Italian restaurant together with Ayla.
She couldn’t help but be amazed when her boss ordered pasta while speaking in Italian.
“Ms.Evans, do you prefer Italian food? Have you always known how to speak Italian?” she asked curiously.
“Yes to both of your questions.I’ve been here for almost twenty years and I’ve gotten used to their way of life.”
Not wanting to alienate Ayla, Yareli smiled fondly at her and considered, “If you prefer Chinese food, I can take you to a good Chinese restaurant next time.”
“No, it’s my turn to treat you for lunch next time!”
Ayla offered happily, a wide grin stretched across her face.
The two women had a worthwhile lunch together.
She was fascinated with her boss’s countless stories from back in her day.
In the middle of their conversation, her phone rang and it was Lucas on the line.
He was inviting her out for lunch to which she replied, “I’m already having lunch with my boss.Let’s have dinner tonight instead!”
Ayla completely forgot that she was supposed to go out for lunch with Lucas today.
She offered dinner to make amends.
To her relief, Lucas agreed graciously, “Okay, I’ll pick you up after school.”
Despite the spoiled lunch date, he knew how much Yareli appreciated Ayla, so he didn’t say anything against her.
‘I hope Ayla would have a bright future under her mentorship and guidance,”he thought.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Yareli asked pointedly when Ayla hung up the phone.
“No,” Ayla shook her head.
Everything about her future was uncertain.
Repaying Lucas with love was out of the question.
“I’d rather stay with the man who loves me than lose him all my life.” Yareli spoke softly.
A touch of melancholy laced her voice and her expressive eyes turned misty.
Ayla chose to remain silent at that moment.
She didn’t know much about Yareli yet, but the sudden change in her boss’s demeanor implied a deeper story.
All she heard was that she was single and hadn’t been married.She worked hard in this foreign country alone.
‘Perhaps our sense of familiarity could be coming from being both Chinese, ‘ Ayla concluded.
Looking back, Ayla remembered when she and Yareli first met.
She braved joining a design competition then.
Yareli was impressed with her skills and that was how their acquaintance began.
With their lunch finished, Ayla went to school to attend her class.
From a distance, Yareli stared at her retreating back as her eyes welled up with tears.
It had been so long since she lost her beloved child.
Despite her efforts, no reliable news surfaced.
It pained her to think that maybe it was about time to accept that her child was dead.
It was the day of the much-awaited design exhibition of Starlight Fashion Hub.
Everything was going the way it was planned.
Lucas wouldn’t miss the special event as he wanted to be there to support Ayla.
“Lala, how do you feel? Will you be nervous?” he asked, his voice full of concern.
“I’m not nervous,” she replied confidently.
Although Ayla only had three sets of design to present, she didn’t feel stressed because Yareli gave her consideration.
With this, Linda became green with envy.
She produced five sets of design yet Ayla was the one gaining their boss’s favor.
Meanwhile, Anna and Brian made a business trip to Milan together.
“Brian, Milan is the center of fashion right now. Let’s stay here for a few more days!”
Anna gushed with a voice full of excitement.She finally convinced Brian to join her.
“Well, for the cooperation with Starlight Fashion Hub, the contract must be completely signed,” he stated with finality.
Brian had a good relationship with Yareli, and that was why she decided to entrust the Clark Group with the sole agency.
As efficient as ever, Anna confirmed, “No problem.I’ve called Ms.Evans and she already agreed.”
Anna chose to deal with these matters as much as she could.
Brian was working hard enough and she figured doing these tasks for him would help keep some weight off his shoulders.
The striking couple walked towards the fashion show together.
Lucas spotted them almost immediately.
To say he was stunned was an understatement.
‘Why are they here? What will happen if they meet her?’ he worried.
Lucas quickly returned and informed Ayla, “Lala, Brian and Anna just arrived here.Do you want to hide?”
His voice filled with urgency.
He didn’t want Ayla to see them, but it would be best if she knew what was happening.
With that, Ayla gasped in shock and shook her head repeatedly, “I don’t want to see them.”
There was no need for them to meet her.
‘’I might cause them more sadness if they saw me, ‘’ she thought painfully.
What confidence she had at the start of the event was dwindling already and she didn’t know if she could stay here any longer.
“Then I’ll take you away.”
Lucas was like her knight in shining armor at that moment, ready to rescue her when she was in trouble.
Together, they sped through the flurry of people around them and headed backstage before turning left towards the exit.
Once he was sure that no one could see them, Lucas asked, “Will you regret it?”
He turned around to get a good look on her face and see her reaction.
Perhaps she was still harboring some feelings for Brian.
Ayla didn’t speak for a long time.
She didn’t know how to answer him but she shook her head eventually.
“I don’t want to see him now,” was all she could say.
She fled the country back then and settled here so she wouldn’t have to see Brian.
What was the point of doing all that and building herself back up if she would subject herself to seeing him again?
‘’All my hard work and sacrifice would be for nothing” she reminded herself.
Shaking her out of her reverie, she heard Lucas Say, “Let’s go!”
He held her securely in his arms and guided her towards the waiting car.
“Yareli, I’m sorry I had to leave early.I wasn’t feeling well,” she informed her boss through the call.
“Wenny, it’s a pity that you can’t attend such an important event today,” Yareli said regrettably.
A lot of media and press were present at the event and it was the perfect occasion to introduce Wenny to the public.
Increased visibility would be good for her career in the future.
Ayla could hear regret in Yareli’s voice.She was also disappointed with how things turned out that night.She prepared for quite a long time for it and she wasn’t able to enjoy at all.
“I’m sorry, Ms.Evans.How about next time? I would let you be for now.I’m sure a lot of people would want to talk to you.I’ll be fine eventually, “she assured her.
After hanging up the phone, Ayla breathed a sigh of relief knowing she got away on time without Brian seeing her.
When Ayla dropped the call, Yareli turned back to Brian apologetically.
“It’s a shame that I wasn’t able to introduce you to Miss Wenny.She’s our newly-hired designer.”
“Ms.Evans, this designer that you’re talking about must be very talented,” Brian inquired with an easy smile.
His interest with women had long been gone now.
“Of course, Wenny has three amazing sets of design tonight.If you like them, you can order more sets.Miss Anna, I believe they would fit you like a glove,” Yareli said as she vouched for Wenny’s talents, her heart swelling with pride.
“Ms.Evans, your taste has always been impeccable,” Anna said with clear admiration for the woman.
“And I must say you’re getting lovelier each time, Miss Anna.Let’s go! The fashion show is about to begin.You should get the best view so please sit in front,”
Yareli eagerly said as she led the couple to the exclusive VIP section.
“If you want, you can order more sets of clothing,” Brian told Anna once they were settled in their seats.
She had only worn plain suits in the past one year.
He hadn’t bought her clothes for a long time, but he knew she deserved to be pampered.
If she liked anything from the sets now, he would make sure that she knew she could have them.
Touched by Brian’s generous gesture, Anna affectionately embraced his arms.
“Brian, you know I could care less about the clothes as long as I have you,” she said, her voice as soft as a petal.
‘Your heart, that’s all I want, ‘ she thought as a wave of sadness coursed through her.
Of course he couldn’t give her what she really wanted, but she was in no position to push him.For now, she’d just have to wait and be contented with what he could give.