CHAPTER I: Fresh Start

"Are you sure about this, Anak?" My mom, Estella asked as I started getting ready for my flight to Manhattan, New York City.

After living being a dependent woman to my parents for a period of two decades, I finally came to a realization that I did not enjoy being pampered with expensive designer clothes, luxurious bags, shoes and accessories.

I get it, being born from a rich family means you have to enjoy all of the good things you have received but I did not, maybe when I am still younger me and my sister Illyria loves being spoiled with expensive things, having a grand birthday party and getting all we wanted without a hassle or begging our parents with our cute little puppy eyes.

Just a simple "Mommy, I want that toy" , "Daddy, I want to eat ice cream" and then bam! We got what we wanted. But that is not the case today as I decided to become an independent woman and staying with my parents will not help as I am sure they would find their ways to spoil me with everything even though I am not the Audrey three years ago who loved to be pampered with their money.

Besides, with all the memories that I had shared with the only guy that I truly cared and loved aside from dad is still being engraved in my heart and that hurts me the most. After what had happened in the past, I cannot seem to live here as it will bring only the bad memories that kept on haunting me for years. I cannot move on with my life if I will not do something about it.

Getting a plane ticket towards Manhattan and away from Philippines and away from those monsters is the best option for me to start a new life.

"Mama, I already told you I have to do this" I replied as I make my way down the staircase with my luggage in both hands and mom following behind me.

"Sweetcheeks, you know you do not have to do this. If this is about what happened years ago you do know that we have money to haunt those bastards, right? And your mom and I can support both of our daughters' needs, may it be in financial, physical or emotional. We can haunt them down if you want. Why are the two of you so stubborn to listen to me and your mom?" Dad's voice fills in my ear and I turned my gaze to dad as he walked his way towards me with a plate on his hand and a whipped cream smudged on the corner of his lips wearing his all time frowned as a sign of disapproval.

Shifting my face to the side as I feel my eyes became glazed with a glassy layer of tears. Biting my lips tightly to hide any sound that wanted to escape from my mouth, blinking the tears away I turn my face back in front to face my dad and plastered on a fake smile and stride towards his direction with the luggage still in my hands. Standing in front of my dad I realease a hold on my luggage and goes to hug my dear father, kissed his cheeks and wipe the smudge on his face.

"I know, pa. But what is the purpose of growing up if I keep on depending my dear life to you both? What would other people say about me depending on my parents at the age of twenty? I do not want them to think that I am such a spoiled brat that gets what she wants because she is rich. No daddy, I do not want that, I do not want to be like what I used to be. Maybe this is my fate and a hint to go find myself and make you and mama proud of what I will become when I already earned what I truly deserve, pa. I cannot continue receiving luxurious things without any of my sweats marked on it." I told him.

"Look at you, all grown up. I am so proud of my baby but seriously why leave the house yet why does it have to be in Manhattan and why don't you just use one of our private jets so that you will have a safe and comfortable flight?" I rolled my eyes, here we go again with his questions and him trying to convince me not to leave. I get that he does not want me to leave and start living on my own and that he is concern about my well-being but his actions can be annoying sometimes.

My dad, Thomas worry too much about his daughters. I remember when my sister Illyria leave to work as a model, she have had a hard time leaving the house due to my dad's constant begging for her to not leave. I swear he treats us as if we are still a baby that needs instant care. That is the problem, we are not a baby anymore.

"Pa, I think we both know why I have to leave the country, I know you and Mama are going to have your ways to stop me living on my own and that is the least thing I want right now. And as for me getting a normal plane ticket, it is gonna be my first step to start a new life and I do not want to use our private jet dad" I said sternly to make him drop the topic and just accept that I am going to be living independently now.

Throwing his hands up in surrender while chuckling, "Okay fine. Just be careful okay sweetcheeks? Call me if there is a problem" he said as he kissed my forhead.

🔸

The flight from the Philippines to New York was not terrible as I had expected. Taking an Economy Class Flight did not fail my experience as the accommodation was great aside from the uncomfortable seats. The moment I landed at the bottom of the steps of the airplane, I saw a car parked at the VIP parking lane with three men standing infront of it. Seeing the car and the men in a black suits made me rolled my eyes knowing Papa probably instructed them to fetch me at the airport.

I swear, no matter how many times I told him that there is no need for him to hire someone to fetch me, he never listened. I am glad that I am not in the Philippines anymore, staying close to both my parents is indeed a bad idea because even though I am in NYC Papa still found ways to spoil me.

I just hope that this decision will not end up like before and that Zac-- no! Stop thinking about that,drey! Living in a new life, remember? Leave the past and move on.

A familiar ringtone fills in my headseat interrupting me with my thoughts, I check my pocket to get my phone. "Hello?" I answered without checking the caller ID as I make my way towards the car.

"Audrey, anak? How are you? Have you landed safely? Please tell me you have landed safely without any problem" I chuckled at my mom's voice. I swear, my parents can be too much when it comes to their daughters and their safety.

"Mama, relax" I said pausing to give her time to take a deep breathe - she sometimes tend to forget to breathe when she is worried, anxious or scared- "And yes ma, I have landed safe and sound and no scratches. You do not have to worry about me okay? And please tell papa to never do what he did today again. I have already told you guys to never hire someone to fetch me. I am old enough to take care of myself without your help na po."

As I finished my sentence one of the men opened the backseat door of the car as I reached them and offered a smile of gratitude for their hardwork and loyalty to Mcfeller Family.

Sitting at the comfortable leather seat of the car, I heard mama sighing. I am already imagining her forhead forming into a frown to my choice of words and that thought made me smile. She really cannot take it when someone beat her stubbornness.

"I know, I know anak. It just feel so weird that our baby is so grown up and refusing to take any of our help anymore. You know we love you so much and we do not want anything to happen to you. What will happen to us now that you are not here to lighten the mood? I already missed your ate Illyria and now I am going to miss my baby too" she sadly said

"Ma, do not worry once I am all settled here in NYC I will come and visit you and Papa there in the Philippines. As for the meantime, I will just call you every chance I got. How does that sound?" I asked and try to convince her so that she will stop pestering me about my departure

"That sounds a good idea, anak. Please take care ha? Call me or your dad anytime if there is something wrong" she said finally giving in and not putting a fight anymore

"Yes ma, you too. Please tell Papa I love you both" tears started to form at the corner of my eyes as I ended the call. I quickly wiped it away as I don't want to regret coming to Manhattan now that I am starting my journey to have a fresh start, there is no returning back.

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