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One Year Ago Krystal

"Hey, Daddy. You look good today." I kissed his cheek properly and held on tightly to the man who gave

me the world. I had raced to be beside him as he stood up with his arms wide open. He'd told me to meet him at our favorite bistro, Avec Nous, it was a chic French bistro that we loved to dine in. Seeing mom comfortably seated beside him, I wondered if he wanted to talk about something or if he just wanted to catch up?

"You're looking happy, baby girl. What have you been doing today?" Daddy sat back down at the glasstopped table he'd chosen and gave me his full attention, but his left hand reached out to take Mom's per fectly manicured hand.

Mom just smiled at me, she was dressed in a sundress with a matching cardigan, but her outfit was a

light olive green that came down to her ankles.

I glanced at Mom and saw she had eyes on—ly for Daddy. I admired that about my parents, they had such a strong relationship. Not like any of my friends and their parents. God, they were di—vorcing left, right and center all the time. Divorce seemed to be the new fashion in Beverly Hills, it had been that way ever since I could re member.

If Daddy had been here alone, then I would probably take my time instead of cutting to the chase, but not with Mom here. She always made me feel as if I was the third wheel, as if I was the uninvited guest. So, I decided

to spit it out and tell him exactly what was on my mind.

"I need another deposit in my account, Daddy. I need a new dress for the awards ceremo—ny at school." I at tended the most prestigious high school in Santa Monica, and there was no fucking way that I was going to be wearing the same dress to another school function.

No fucking way.

My ticket to success was charm and a sweet smile for my daddy, a bit of cleavage to get out of assignments from the thirsty teachers at school, the mention of Daddy, one of the most re spected film directors in the world, got my speeding tickets in the trash every

single time. As far as the cops were concerned, the same guy kept pulling me over because he liked my cleavage, I made sure to show him, or the glimpses of my smooth, tanned, and very taut thighs. I had a thing about older guys, watching them sweat over my innocence knowing that if they even came near to me, they would be in the can. It made me feel as if I had power over everyone and anyone that I wanted all the time.

"No problem, baby." Daddy smiled at me and gestured to get the waiter's attention.

"You must be excited, Krystal.

You've almost finished with school, graduation's a few months away." Mom spoke up after they'd made their

drink and food orders. It was the first time that we'd exchanged words and the only thing she had to say was about me leaving home.


I bet she begged Daddy not to invite me to lunch too. Just so that they could spend the week—end alone.

"I am, Mom," I replied politely, a bit stung that Mom had yet again mentioned how close I was to graduat ing. Sometimes, I wondered if she had a countdown until I left, which stung like a bee. Daddy made it clear that he didn't want me to leave home, not yet. But as for her, she talked about it near ly every day.

"Homecoming is next week, and then be—fore we know it prom and final exams. Then, I'll be all done."

"Well, I know you'll be glad to have it over with and to be on your way," Mom nudged again. "But then again, if you're so busy maybe it was best that you didn't come out with us today. You could have just texted or called your father and asked him to put the money in your account. You didn't need to show up."

She sipped a glass of water and then smiled at Daddy.

I closed my eyes, glad that I'd chosen the sunglasses that made it im possible to see my eyes. The tinted glass hid the pain I tried to hide. A

quick glance over at Daddy showed that he wasn't happy about Mom's so called observation about the days until I left home or even about me joining them for lunch.

"Honey, do you want a glass of wine?" Daddy asked Mom maybe thinking that with wine, she'd calm down and go easy on me. Without it, she was clearly on edge.

I didn't care, I tried to dismiss her words out of my mind, so that I could leave as soon as possible.

Mom shook her head. "No, not today, dar—ling. I'm on a cleanse." She patted his hand and said nothing until the food came to the table at last. She must be really strict at the moment,

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