As the curtain rises, Renate Orbit-Reese, the darling of the dancing world, steps onto the stage … only to collapse moments later. Her daughter Ilze, panics and in her headlong dash to follow the ambulance to the hospital, runs over a man standing in the road next to his vehicle. When the media gets hold of the story, Ilze’s private life becomes a nightmare of speculation and insinuation. In the dramatic moment when Ilze crashed into the stranger, he in turn, crashed into her heart. Somehow she must explains her feelings to her long-time partner and enter a new world where she discovers the true meaning of love. But the road to happiness is not easy. Why does a sensitive secret emerge after so many years? And how does Ilze know who to trust?
A romantic drama about wealth, beauty and celebrity status defines these characters in this book, with one woman’s broken heart as the price to pay for true love that crosses time and culture. A mother’s secret diary, which raised more questions than answers. A trusted friend’s betrayal. A sensitive secret, which emerged after many years. How would she ever escape the paparazzi? Something she was born into ...
I found myself in tears at my father’s funeral. I had this dark emptiness in my heart. All I ever wanted to be was his little girl. A soft drizzle of rain has created damp spots on my coat and left puddles around the grave. The music is melancholic. The family has been too scared to say it out loud, but I knew that finally, the bottom of the bottle had been too deep for my father to ever come back from. Cousins patted me on the back, trying to comfort me, saying that my father had died of a broken heart over my mother. They chose to believe he had never come to terms with the accident that claimed her life. I knew better. I knew it was guilt that had killed him.
‘Your mother’s getting better?’ Ben joins Ilze onstage and sits down with her on the wooden floor.
‘She doesn’t speak. A few whispers, that’s all. But they all say she’s improving—just in minute ways.’
‘Anything is possible. You just have to be patient,’ he scratches his grey beard.
Ilze looks down at her hands, not able to leave.
‘But there’s something else on my girl’s mind?’ The older hand lifts her chin gently.
She looks at him. How well does this friend know her? She grew up in front of him, was almost a father at times. As a little girl, she was always running around the sets when her mother was doing her rehearsals, and it was Ben who guarded her and kept her from trouble. Once or twice, he’d even taken the blame for something she had done.
She looks down. ‘I don’t know what to do, Ben.’
‘You know, about the incident that happened the day Mum was rushed to hospital.’
‘Yes, I know,’ he’s frowning.
‘Well, the thing is, I went to see the man. I needed to apologise to him. I felt so terrible. I didn’t know how else to deal with it. So I did, I went and apologised,’ her words are desperate.
‘You don’t have to justify yourself to me,’ his fatherly smile calms her down.
‘Benny, I went…’ She hesitates.
‘Well, I actually went back to see him again and he asked me a favour,’ big innocent eyes. ‘I went to his apartment to get him some clothes and…’
‘Why on earth would you do such a thing, angel?’
‘Because he’d asked me to! It’s just some clothes, someone had to get it.’
‘That was a bad idea. You don’t know the man. You hit him with your car.’
‘I know…’ she looks down at her hands.
‘And Chris found out about it?’
‘I don’t need to ask what his reaction was. Obviously not good,’ he rolls his eyes.
‘He is so jealous.’
‘Is there any reason for him to be jealous?’
‘What?’ She looks annoyed.
‘Maybe my angel has started to fall for this other man,’ he looks at her carefully.
‘Why would you say that?’
‘Well, the two of you must’ve hit it off well enough for him to send you to his apartment,’ he lifts his eyebrows.
‘Benny, don’t be like that. He asked a favour, that’s all. He needed some clothes. Again, that’s all,’ she says, but her words fade into nothingness as she senses a hint of truth in his words.
‘Okay. Then it’s just a favour, nothing more. We can all forget about it,’ he waves his hand.
She doesn’t look at him. It’s like he has x-ray eyes that can scan right through to her heart, sensing that hint of truth at the same time.
‘Did you talk to Rose?’ Ben asks.
‘No. She’s on Chris’s side.’
‘Chris’ side?’ He rubs his hand over his beard. ‘I didn’t know there were sides. Which side should I be on? I always just thought you and the doctor were in a relationship.’
‘It’s a bit complicated.’
‘Sounds like it. Keep me posted. I’d love to know the outcome of this one,’ he rolls his eyes at her.
‘You have to help me, Benny,’ her voice sounds nervous.
‘Me? What can I do?’ He rubs his back before getting comfortable again.
‘Tell me what to do.’
‘I can’t tell you what to do with your heart, Ilze. I would never try. Only you know how you feel, and only you know what to do about those feelings. If you love your doctor, stay away from this other man. If you like this other man, then do something about the doctor. Simple, cut and dried.’
‘Ramón,’ it comes out as only a whisper.
‘His name is Ramón Andreas.’
He starts to get up from the floor. ‘Well, thanks for telling me that, but I really just needed to know how your heart feels.’
‘I don’t even know myself, Benny. I feel lost at the moment, and each way I turn seems to be a bad choice.’
He looks back into her eyes. He gives a deep sigh and sits again. ‘Okay. Let me ask you this,’ he rubs her shoulder. ‘Is there any chance that you’re confusing these feelings with guilt?’
‘That’s what I thought at first, but then I saw a photo of a woman in his apartment. I asked him about her and he didn’t want to talk about it. But something happened inside me when I saw her. I think I felt jealous. I know I felt jealous.’
‘Oh dear,’ Ben scratches his head. ‘You feel attracted to a man who’s probably married or has a girlfriend.’
‘I don’t think that.’
‘I think that. Her photo was in his apartment. That usually has significance,’ Ben shakes his head slowly, but tries not to admonish the young woman. We have all been there before.
Poor darlings … I will not set foot in that office again after today. A desperate woman does desperate things to keep her man in line …
I couldn’t tell him what he already knew … and running from it was not the answer.
And to think a bad marriage hurts … it was not until we went our separate ways that we both discovered how hurtful it was. Someone once taught me that