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I Choose You

"It's not like I wanted to but I couldn't. Anyway, you better go now. It's getting late. It's nice to see you again."

I Choose You is a short story written by Reiu Somao-I and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme Owning Your Light

“Your engagement with Dione is now annulled.”

Macmillan’s eyes widened due to shock. He looked at his long-time fiancee, Dione Demaris who was sitting beside him. Her face was calm and composed as if she knew it already.

“What are you saying, Dad?” He asked with a hint of rage in his voice.
Dione and Macmillan’s family were all having dinner in a fancy restaurant. He thought that this was just a usual dinner that they all been doing ever since the two of them got betrothed.

The two families were in a very good business relationship. Their parents decided to marry Dione and Macmillan when they were just seven years old. Both of them accepted it as a natural thing. Although they don’t have feelings for each other, respect binds them together.

“Dione is not our real daughter.” Ceasar Demaris answered.
Macmillan looked at Dione again waiting for her confirmation. She slughtly nodded her head.

“Is this some kind of drama?”

“Son, that’s just how it is. We will continue our business ventures with the Demaris though.” His mother explained.

“This is ridiculous. Dione, we’re leaving.”

Macmillan walked away and Dione followed him after giving respects to the elders.

In the wide garden of the hotel, Macmillan was standing still while Dione was just waiting for him to speak.

“Did you know all of this all along?”

“No. I was just informed yesterday.”

Macmillan turned around to face his now ex-fiancee.

“And you just accepted it as it is?”

“Max..” her calm voice rang into his ears. She was the only one who called him Max, unlike the rest who called him Mac.

“It was unfair. They pushed us to be in this relationship then they would suddenly break it as if it was nothing.”

“That’s just how it is anyway. It doesn’t need to be me.”

“Are you seriously saying that now?”

Dione gently smiled at him while the wind blew. It was at that moment Max knew that Dione was letting him go.

The next morning, Macmillan was still in a daze about last night’s news when he suddenly had a report from Charles, his best friend, informing him that Dione was already gone.

“What do you mean gone?” A hint of irritation in his voice became too obvious.

“Dione flew away to another country. What happened? I just heard that she was sent away.”

Macmillan gritted his teeth. He immediately hung up the call and went to his parents who were eating their breakfast at the dining table.

“Were you the one who sent her away?”

“What if we did?” His father, Alexander Heathfield answered without looking at him.

“Why?”

“Because that’s the last thing she asked. Did she not tell you anything?”
Macmillan clenched his hand in fury. “Don’t you dare set me up again?”

That was the last time he talked with his parents without hostility. He was just in high school but he felt betrayed to the point that it made him twisted as he grew.

Eight years later, Macmillan was persuaded by his parents to or even forced to be engaged again with other capable and beautiful ladies but he would always end up ruining it all with his cruel and cold personality. They never melted his heart.

“Mac, there’s still no news where Dione is right now..”

Charles, Macmillan’s best friend and secretary, reported to him.

Macmillan’s cold eyes waver for a second. It was only whenever Dione was brought up that he would become human again. At least, that’s how Charles described it.

“Your meeting will start in ten minutes.”

Macmillan grew up well and even handled one of their family businesses. He completely turned it into a gold pot with his ability yet he never let anyone touch his heart. Despite being the most wanted bachelor in his circle, Macmillan never had any romantic encounters nor relationship with anyone after Dione left.

After having another rough day, Macmillan was driving his car back home when he noticed a small cafe in a narrow street. He was feeling lethargic so he decided to give it a try.

The cafe was small but humble. It has a refreshing cozy feeling. However, the place was empty, there were no customers.

He went to the counter and looked at the menu. A petite girl immediately assisted her but Macmillan felt a tug in his heart when he smelled a familiar scent coming from the barista.

He couldn’t see the face of the barista because she was wearing a cap and their height difference was quite big.

“May I take your order, sir?”

The moment Macmillan heard her voice, he grabbed her hand and the barista finally raised her head exposing her face.

Macmillan’s eyes widened. “Dione?”

“Ohh, what a coincidence. I didn’t know you were staying here in Bologna. Hello, Max.”

He really wanted to break down at that moment because he never knew that Dione was just so near.

After calming down, the two sat together while having a cup of coffee.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were here?”

Dione looked at him and smiled. “How did you know it was me? I don’t look the same, do I? I am not supposed to meet you.”

“Why?”

“Because there’s no reason to.”

“Are you really trying to cut me off? You’ve become even more cruel.”

“It’s not like I wanted to but I couldn’t. Anyway, you better go now. It’s getting late. It’s nice to see you again.”

In the end, Macmillan couldn’t do anything but he promised that he would see Dione again.

The next day, Macmillan sent word to his men to investigate Dione’s circumstances. He also assigned some people to look after her.

“Congratulations on meeting Lady Dione again.” Charles greeted.

“Too late for that. There’s something off with this, Char.”

“What do you mean?”

“Dione said that he couldn’t inform me about her going back here.”

“Maybe because of the Demaris family?”

“I’m not sure but I’ll look at it.”

“I’ll try to dig in some information too. By the way, how was the lady?”

Macmillan’s facial expression relaxed. “Well, she is…still the same. Except for the fact her hands got callous now and she became thinner.”

Before the night came, Macmillan decided to visit Dione again in that secluded cafe. Charles was with him.

The chime on the door notified Dione who was working in the counter that there were customers and it prompted her to say her welcome spiel.
“Welcome to BackAlley Cafe.”

When her eyes landed on the door, he saw Mac and Charles smiling at him. Dione walked towards them with excitement and she opened her arms signaling that she would give a hug. Macmillan was readying himself but Dione passed by him and embraced Charles instead.

“It’s nice to see you again, Charles.” She exclaimed.

“How are you doing, my lady?”

“Well, I was busy once in a while. By the way, are you two sure you can come here?”

The two gentlemen looked at each other with surprise.

“Why? What do you mean?”

“I told you, Max, I couldn’t see you.”

“Is this because of the Demaris?” Macmillan’s eyes were filled with rage.

“No. Not even your family. It’s mine.”

Macmillan and Charles were both puzzled.

“Why? Just who is your real family? Why can’t we see each other? What happened to you, Dione?”

“How about we sit down and have some coffee while we talk?”

Dione served them a cup of coffee and since the cafe was almost empty, they had a small talk.

“Well, I found the real story behind my birth when I went away eight years ago. I was not a Demaris but an illegitimate child of Detroit.”

“Detroit? The owner of that conglomerate sports company?” Charles exclaimed.

“Yes. Although they don’t officially recognize me, I am being monitored. Perhaps, even now, they already reported that a Heathcliff has visited me, my ex-fiancee.”

“Why would they monitor you if they don’t acknowledge you yet?” Macmillan asked.

“Because the patriarch, my grandfather says so. I am the only daughter of my father, his deceased favorite son. My cousins were wary of me so some of them put a tail on me.”

“Come with me, I’ll protect you.”

Dione just smiled. “Thanks but I’m living a quiet life as long as I don’t put my hands on Detroit’s business.”

“Dione, I am not asking you. I’m done playing hide and seek. Take your rightful seat.”

“Are you still rebelling?” Dione knew what Macmillan was talking about. She looked at Charles to inquire.

“The seat remained empty since you were gone, my lady.”

Dione laughed. “I can’t believe all those rumors were true. You could’ve done better, Max. I don’t have the power to support you anymore.”

“If you don’t, no one has it too. Come on, I thought we were all on this together?”

“That was when I was a Demaris. I am not anymore.”

“Dione, I don’t need a Demaris nor a Detroit, I just need you.”
She smiled.

The reason why Macmillan and Dione were a perfect match was because they complement each other. They are business partners. Macmillan was a genius in handling business while Dione was his money maker. Dione has a knack in creating good products and business proposals. She was his gold and he was her domain.

“I don’t have a knack for it anymore. I’m just a normal cafe owner now.” Dione said.

This time, Macmillan laughed. “Try to fool me, hon.”

Dione was startled and blinked her eyes in seconds. She was surprised to hear Macmillan’s endearment to her when they were still engaged.
Macmillan smirked. Charles facepalmed. Dione was flustered.

“Did you background check me?”

“Guilty.” Charles answered instead.

“This cafe is not just a cafe, no?”

She smiled. “I do clean business, Max.”

“Clean but clever. Come take your seat and I got your back on this.”

“Tempting. Really. But, I am not a Demaris nor a Detroit.”

“Then, who are you?”

“Dione, just Dione.”

“Let me correct that by tomorrow. It’ll be Dione Heathcliff.”

“You punk, who says I’ll agree? She was smiling though.

“I told you, I’m not asking. I chose you and no one else, only you.”

The next day, the whole business world was shocked to hear the breaking news.

Macmillan Heathcliff resigned as CEO of Cliff Enterprise and married Dione, his ex-fiancee. Together they created the DM Corporation.

The Detroit’s were shocked. Heathcliffs was in chaos.

DM Corporation sweeps the stocks of some major companies in the country and makes some small companies surrender to them. In just three years, DMC became a very influential company and it grew to rival major companies.

“Macmillan!! How dare you try to go against Cliff? Your own family?”

Macmillan’s father was in rage.

“I told you, the moment you took Dione away from me was the worst decision you have made. You failed to see her worth as she is, not a Demaris.”

“What is the connection of Dione in this?”

Macmillan smirked. “My wife is my trophy, my gold and my money machine.”
“How could she?!”

“I am her limbs. I am her body, her person and executioner. Aren’t we perfect? That, you failed to see.”

Before his father could speak again, Macmillan’s phone beep. He took it out from his pocket and read the message.

“I’m sorry, I need to go. Husband duty.”

“Macmillan!! You will regret not choosing your family.”

Macmillan stopped and looked back at his parents. “I chose my family, Dione. I chose the right one. But I’ll give my thanks for giving the opportunity to meet her. She’s the best gift you gave to me. Really, thank you, mom and dad.”

Read previous entries from Reiu Somao-I here at The Ugly Writers:

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