Mia Mine Ch. 09

bycliptoe©

I want to send out my thanks to all of those who have read my stories. I especially appreciate the kind and encouraging comments, and yes, even the votes. This chapter is a continuation of a growing relationship, so for a better understanding of some of the background I suggest starting from the first chapter and working through, as always this is the reader's choice.

>**< >**<

Mia had spun around so fast when she had heard her father's voice she almost yanked David to the ground as they were walking arm and arm before the intrusion. David quickly regained his balance and realized what was about to happen, and stepped between Mia and her father.

Mia was pulling back her arm to give a full arm's swing slap across her father's face. David slid in between them to make sure nothing like that could happen. No need to aggravate the already messy situation with a few cell phone videos of Mia slapping some poor, disheveled street person showing up all over the social media.

"My name is Mia, Martin has not existed for many many years." Mia took out her cell phone and punched in a speed dial number. "Hi Jessie, can you send some building security men out by the front door? My father decided to accost us out here."

Mia turned and faced her father again, her face still filled with rage.

"I know, sorry Mia, I just wanted to get your attention."

"Well you certainly have strange ways of seeking my attention. An extortion attempt, sending that email to my board members and the news media, and now accosting me at my place of business are not the best ways to get my attention."

"Once again, I'm sorry Mia, but I figured you wouldn't give me the time of day if I asked to see you."

Mia looked at the man claiming to be her father realizing he was probably right about that. It had been over 30 years since she had last seen him so it was hard for her to recognize the person standing before her. He was dirty, unshaven, smelled of both body odor and booze. His eyes were red and droopy. His posture was bent, his skin color a pasty white, barely visible under an almost complete covering of dirt. Even with so many years of hating this man, she couldn't help to feel sorry for him.

"So what is it that you really want then?" Mia demanded.

"I am dying Mia, the doctor at the free clinic told me I had probably less than six months to live. I wanted to find you and be able to see you, and to apologize. That's all I wanted."

Mia didn't know what to say. She was overcome with so many emotions, mixed and conflicting. It is so hard when you think you know how you think and feel about someone, and in an instant your perception is completely changed.

The strong handsome man that had terrorized her and her mother, and then walked out on them never offering any support, was gone. In his place was this pathetic homeless man telling her he will be dead in six months and that he was "sorry."

"It's okay guys, he is my father and will come in with us, sorry about the mix-up." Mia had to apologize to the security guards that had come down on her order.

She turned and faced her dad again, "Are you hungry?"

"I don't have much of an appetite anymore, but I could sure use a cup of coffee and maybe a half of a sandwich."

"Come into the building with us, I have to finish my meeting, but my fiancé David will show you where the food and coffee is. He can set you up in my office."

The three entered the DuoNet Tech building and rode the elevator in silence.

Mia took David's hand and gave it a squeeze. She whispered "Keep him busy at the food table for a few minutes, I have to go alert Mom about him being here." With that and a short kiss to his cheek Mia rushed off towards her office. During their walk together, Mia had run her final decision by David. He also had an important question for her. He was still in euphoric state celebrating her decisions when they were surprised by her father. Now, he had to buckle down to help the man he so fiercely wanted to punch in the nose.

"Mr. Shaw, the food is over this way," said David as he walked towards what remained of the setup Jessie had overseen.

"It's Phillips."

"Excuse me?"

"My name, its Phillips. Christine changed their names after the divorce and the move to try to make it harder for me to have any contact."

"I see, ok Mr. Phillips, you said you wanted some coffee? The pot is still on the warmer and it looks like there's some left. How do you like it?" David was doing his best to try to be nice or at least civil to this person who had created so much pain, hatred, and now problems for his love.

"Black is just fine, thanks, I think I will put a little of this lunchmeat on some bread and try to keep it all down. I am having trouble with that these days."

David watched as Mia's dad's hands trembled tremendously, making it really difficult to watch the poor soul try to make a little sandwich. He wanted to ask if he could help, but could tell his help with this was not wanted.

David helped him over to a little table that had a chair next to it so he could sit and eat, giving Mia plenty of time to warn her mom.

"Go ahead and finish up, I'll be right back."

He walked down the hall to Mia's office, to find Mia holding her mother who was shaking and crying. He walked closer to put a hand on both of their shoulders, for he could see tears in Mia' eyes as well.

"How could he? After all these years? And saying he is dying to boot? Oh man does he know how to play it." Christine was still shaking but it appeared the tears had turned into a bit of rage.

"Go ahead and bring him in here, I'll give him more than just a piece of my mind."

"Now mom, please try to calm down, I think you should go to another office and not have to confront him right now. He is a fallen man mom, there is very little left. I wouldn't doubt that he lives on the streets. It's really hard to even look at him without feeling pity."

"Ok, I don't want to cause a scene in your office, show me where you want me, but please do not take me anywhere close to that man."

Mia had Jessie take her mom into an empty office down the opposite hallway, so she wouldn't come in contact with her ex.

Mia looked at David and let out a big sigh. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, can it get any more convoluted?"

"Well you know the old saying about God not giving us any more than we can handle."

"I hope He knows I am at my very breaking point," Mia replied, "and since when did you get all religious on me?"

"It just seemed to fit somehow"

"I have to get back into the meeting. I will have Jessie keep an eye on my dad to make sure he doesn't wander around. Can you please go in and be with my mom? She is really upset and I don't want her alone right now.

I will buzz Jessie when I am ready to have you and mom join the meeting. I would like to show them my solid 'family' support when I announce my decision."

David smiled at being included as family, gave Mia a hug and kiss and gave her the old acting cliché, "break a leg."

Mia was able to get a little laugh from his choice, "I may break several, and maybe a back or two as well." She turned and walked down the hallway towards the meeting room.

Once again David enjoyed the view, and was also very proud of her. How she was dealing with everything that was happening with such poise and confidence, evident in her walk, was simply amazing. He once again thanked Kismet for giving him the chance to meet this remarkable woman.

>**< >**<

David knocked on the office door that Christine had gone to and let himself in. Christine looked a bit more composed, and managed a weak smile at his entrance.

"Mia wants to get the meeting restarted and says she will buzz Jessie to have her come and get us when she wants us in the meeting. She says she wants to show the board her family support."

"You are family now David, and I am so happy. I shudder to think where Mia would be if she had to go through all this alone. Lord knows it has been hard enough on her all these years, but now with that asshole showing up and creating all this? It's almost too much."

"She is one strong, tough lady," mused David, but he had seen the look on her face as she tried to pull herself together for the second meeting.

>**< >**<

Mia entered the meeting room to see everyone else was already seated. She could hear some talking as she opened the door, but as soon as she entered all talking stopped. She tried to look around at their faces and eyes as she walked to her seat, but no one accept Harmony returned her gaze. Marsha was busy on her laptop and didn't even look up.

"Sorry to keep you waiting, I had another personal issue to deal with. So, does anyone have anything to say or present the board?"

Seth Weisbaum, CFO stood up and looked at Mia. "Some of us were talking and feel it might be, er, best for the company for you to make the appearance of stepping down. You would still be the majority owner but would not be noted as the CEO. Your actual duties and situation would not change, just the title."

"Thank you Seth for at least offering something. I have to flatly refuse it however. I am not going to do anything for appearances. I am also not stepping down or changing my title at my own company. I have decided what I am going to do. I had four scenarios as I had said before, but I will not bore you with the ones I did not choose. I am going to break the original part of the company away from the corporation. I will take the original company as my own, and move it to the Seattle area. I will offer all those who work in this section of the company help in relocating if they wish to do so. The rest of the company I am going to sell. I will offer it to you, the board, first. If you do not wish to try to have the purchase financed, I am prepared to put it on the open market. Marsha has all the paperwork ready for either decision.

As many of the board members stood and tried to voice their disapproval, Mia hushed them with her hand.

"I gave you all plenty of time to come up with your own plan, I am not going to hear any more arguments. My plan has already been put into action." With that said, Mia buzzed Jessie, who went to bring David and Christine into the meeting room.

>**< >**<

Christine walked with David towards the meeting room, "Do you know what she is going to do?"

"Yes, well at least most of her/our plan. We were talking about it during our lunch break walk, but were interrupted before she could finish. She is going to break her original company away from the corporation and move it up to the new office in my town in the Seattle area. She is going to offer the rest to the board if they want to purchase it, or put it up on the open market if they don't. She's pretty sure they will jump at the chance. They have all been paid handsomely, and should be able to swing the financing with the company's worth and the price Mia is going to offer to them.

We were talking about something else too, but I want Mia to be with me when we tell you that part."

"Oh my! That is a big change! I am happy for you both, but I am going to miss being close to her."

Christine was obviously upset by the combination of having her ex showing back up and the thought of having Mia move away.

"We want to talk about that with you too Christine," David said as he put his arm around her as they entered the meeting room.

David could tell Mia had given the board her decision by the look on their faces as they turned to see who was entering the meeting room. Shock would be an understatement in describing the expressions he saw as he walked to where Mia was standing at the head of the table.

Mia reached for his hand, "This is my fiancé, David Jorgenson, and my Mother, Christine Shaw.

I wanted my family to be with me when I told you, I am transgendered."

The gasp in the room was synchronized as if it had been choreographed.

"I am not going to go into much more than that, if you are interested there are many fine articles on the web describing what it is and what it can mean. I wasn't going to mention anything, and had prepared myself and all of you to give the no comment, but you know what? I just don't really care anymore.

"Harmony, I would like to see you in my office right after you leave the meeting room. Once again, thank you all for being here and I need to know your answer about my offer on the purchase by noon tomorrow."

Mia locked arms with her 'family' and walked proudly out the door, leaving a very quiet board room full of people with everything, yet nothing to say.

When they arrived at Mia's office, David closed the door and Mia let out a huge sigh. He walked over to her and gave her a huge hug, feeling a bit of a tremble in her body. He pulled back enough so he could give her a kiss. The kiss lingered long enough for them to hear Christine's "ahem".

"Sorry mom, you must have a question or two."

"Mia, I really don't know what to say right now. So much has happened, so much is going to happen, and you told them all you are transgendered! When did you decide to tell them that?"

"About a breath before I actually said it. I didn't trust that bunch to keep quiet about dad's threats. You know I've had to hide it, to try to keep it quiet, be in an almost covert state for so long, it just came out. I feel so safe with David at my side, like I don't have to hide anything anymore. I don't think either one of you can totally understand what it has been like, and how it feels to have it in the open."

Before Christine or David could answer, Jessie burst into the office, "Mia you have to come now! Something is wrong with your father!"

They all ran down the hall to the office they had put Mia's dad in. They found him on the floor, his coffee spilled and the bit of sandwich strewn about his prone body. David knelt down to see if he could feel a pulse or any breathing.

"Do you have a first aid kit so I can try to resuscitate him? His breathing and pulse are both very faint. Jessie had already run to get the kit, David got out the gloves, as did Jessie.

"I took the course too," she said as she tilted his head back and checked to make sure his airway was unobstructed. She had the special breathing tube tool firmly over his mouth and leaned down to ready herself to blow into the other end. "I can do the breaths if you do the chest compressions."

They both aligned themselves and began the count, thirty compressions to two breaths. Mia had already called 911 and watched in horror as David and Jessie worked on her father. Christine walked over to comfort and hold Mia during the process. Mia was amazed to hear her mother humming the Bee Gees "Stayin Alive". Christine told her about the little trick she had learned. The one hundred times a minute timing of the chest compressions is about the same beat as the song. David heard and winked at Christine as she started humming again.

It wasn't long until the paramedics arrived and took over. Their movements practiced, professional and perfect. They had him hooked up to their portable machines and on the cart in no time flat. The assistant started getting all the information from Mia, as she gave Jessie and David kudos for a job well done. The defibrillation had brought back a steady, yet still weak pulse and breathing. They raised the cart and swiftly had him out the door and out to the truck.

Mia found out what hospital they were taking him to and began to get things together to get them to the hospital when she realized she had that 'wonderful' idea to walk this morning.

"Jessie, did you drive today?"

"Yes, do you need a ride?"

"Yes please, can you take all three of us?"

"No problem Mia, let's go!"

>**< >**<

The hospital was another scene. The emergency desk was already trying to get the paperwork straight when Mia walked in. She told them the patient was her father and she would handle all the costs. She gave them her own insurance card, her American Express and her driver's license and told them to go ahead and bill what they needed to her card, and mail the rest to her address on the license.

The four of them sat in the waiting room, on pins and needles, taking turns comforting each other. Mia's phone had been ringing from calls and buzzing from texts, but she just left it in her purse. After a while though, she remembered she had told Harmony to meet her in her office right after the meeting. She pulled out her phone and saw most of the messages and texts were from a worried Harmony.

Mia stood and walked around to stretch her legs and dialed Harmony's number.

"Hi hon, it's me, Mia."

"Oh Mia! I've been so worried. How is it going?"

"He's still in surgery, he had a heart attack and they are having to do a lot of work. They said it is going to take a few hours, so I finally remembered I was going to talk to you right after the meeting. I want you to know that I am going to try to take care of you as best I can. I am not going to leave you with that bunch. I have a couple ideas for you that when things settle down in a while I want to talk to you about.

I will call you later and try to set up a meeting, ok?"

"Ok Mia, that will be fine, I wasn't worried about me at all. I am worried about you."

"I'll be fine hon, thanks so much. I have David, my mom, and Jessie here and they are doing everything they can. I will talk to you as soon as I know what is going on."

"Thanks Mia, love you and good bye.

>**< >**<

Eventually a doctor came into the waiting room. Mia did not like the look she saw on his face. The nurse showed him over to Mia. "Ms. Shaw, I'm afraid we could not save your father. His body had been ravaged by years of abuse and neglect and could just not rebound from the heart attack. I am very sorry, we did everything in our power but it just wasn't enough."

Mia was a little numb, she thought to herself, so that is it? Just like that? She could feel David's arm around her, and her mother at her other side. The three of them just huddled like that for a while, shock, sadness, and exhaustion were starting to set in. A nurse came over to lead Mia over to the office area where she had to sign some papers. As surgery had taken several hours it was so late she would have to make the arrangements the next day, so she took the nurses advice and headed home.

Jessie took them to Mia's condo. She had offered to stay but Mia had told her she should go and get some rest as well, for it had been a long day, and there were probably going to be several long days coming up. She had told Jessie the same thing she told Harmony, not to worry, that she was going to be taken care of. She asked her to seriously give some thought to relocating with them. Mia told her she would really be needing her right hand woman a lot before, during, and after the move.

Once inside the condo after removing their jackets, they all plopped down on the couches in the living room. They were all trying to deal with what they had just been through. It was difficult for both Mia and her mom, the man had been out of their lives for over thirty years and they both had written off any emotional ties with him a long time ago. Then, the very day he appears back in their lives, he dies.

"What a day," Christine said finally breaking the silence and looking for a way to change the mood.

"Yep, one to remember or forget, I can't make up my mind." Mia looked at David and smiled after she made her halfhearted attempt at a joke, "But I think I will remember this day, for the rest of my life.

Mom, David asked me to marry him today during our walk at lunch. I said YES!"

Christine broke out in a huge smile and came running over to squeeze in between Mia and David on the sofa they were sitting on. She stretched to put her arms around the two of them. "Oh Mia! I am so happy. So when is the wedding? Oh my I have so much to do. Where will it be? Is it going to be formal? Oh God, and you're moving to Seattle..."

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bycliptoe© 11 comments/ 13792 views/ 24 favorites

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