“Let’s not talk about it.” Frieda took a sip of water irritably as she threw her purse aside. Aubree raised her eyebrows with a smile. “Let me guess. Did you quarrel with your brother?”
Frieda’s expression shifted slightly in silent admission. Aubree’s smile became wider at the sight. She produced an exquisite box from her purse.
“Don’t waste your energy on him. Take a look at this.” Frieda froze for a moment, puzzled, before receiving the box from her and opening it for a glimpse.
The box contained a necklace by her favorite designer that haunted her dreams. “Aubree, I…” Frieda gazed in shock at the person before her.
Aubree surveyed the other with her chin in her hand. “It’s a thank-you gift. The idea you gave me worked out well.”
Frieda’s gloom was swept away in an instant. Putting the box away, she asked about Aubree’s situation, “How are things between you and Essie?”
Aubree was all smiles upon recollecting the incident that morning. “Not bad. The kid isn’t ignoring me anymore.”
She shrugged with a chuckle before continuing. “It would have been better for her if she had behaved this sooner don’t you think? I might have been nicer to her.”
Frieda did not dare ask how she used to treat Estella, so she merely said with a smile, “As long as your relationship with Lucian has improved.”
“The most important thing is Lucian has acknowledged the improvement in my relationship with Essie,” Aubree said, casually mentioning the most important news.
Frieda was surprised at those words. “Why did you say that?”
Aubree recounted the exchange with Lucian over the phone earlier that morning. Frieda nodded eagerly. “If that’s the case, your marriage with Lucian is secured.”
Aubree nodded impassively. “So, you need not be angry anymore. When I marry Lucian, I’ll put in a good word to Old Mr. Queen for you, and he will bring you back to power.”
Frieda smiled and raised her glass of water. “In the absence of wine, this will have to do. Congratulations in advance, Aubree.” The pair clinked their glasses, then their breakfast in high spirits.
In the meantime, Archie and Benny climbed out of bed early that morning, though without the same fervent excitement as they used to at the thought of returning to school.
With Daddy and Mommy’s quarrel in such a state, Daddy will no longer let Essie come to our kindergarten. At that thought, the boys descended the stairs in low spirits.
Upon arriving downstairs, they noticed their mother was already seated at the table. “You’re up, boys. I was just about to come up and wake you.”
Roxanne smiled at the children and began to set the table. The children’s mood improved somewhat at the sight of their mother.
“Must we stay in this school, Mommy?” Benny asked instinctively after taking his seat at the dining table.
Roxanne’s hands froze at those words as she smiled helplessly at the child. “Are you not doing well at your current kindergarten?” Benny lowered his head. “We want to be with Essie.”
Roxanne’s heart twinged bitterly. She understood how the children felt. When Lucian came earlier, she wondered if she
could convince him to have Estella transfer back to her old school. Unexpectedly, her intention backfired.
Not only had she failed to have the child return, but she had also incurred Lucian’s ire to such an extent that he took her away.