I am Thaliana Tangi Dela Vezca, the youngest child of George Romualdo Dela Vezca, a billionaire with numerous businesses both in the Philippines and abroad. Our family is renowned because our last name consistently appears on the list of the wealthiest families in the Philippines. Moreover, my father is quite sociable; he has befriended nearly every prominent figure in this country, giving us valuable connections.
And here he is again, pressuring me once more, talking about marriage. I'm 29, yes, but marriage has never been on my mind because the truth is... I don't want to get married. I don't want a man. I'm incredibly content with my life right now, and I couldn't ask for more.
"Are you listening, Tangi?"
I don't know why marriage is deemed so important. The happiness of your life depends on you. Even if you choose to live your life without a man or children. As for me, I'm already content with my furbabies! I enjoy spending time with my pet dogs and cats in my house. But my dad insists that I get married because he wants to have a grandchild from me!
He thinks his grandchildren from my three brothers are not enough. He wants one more from me. As I've said before, I don't want to get married, and I don't even want to hear the word 'marriage.' I never dreamt of having a family or children—on second thought, I already have children: my dogs and cats.
"Dad, with the number of children I have, I can't bring them all to the US. Plus, what about my three branches of Tinatangi? I can't leave my flower shop, Dad..."
That's the name of my flower shop, Tinatangi. In love, it means, 'Special someone.'
"And actually, my second name is 'Tangi,' a Tagalog word that, in English, means 'Special,' 'Favorite,' or 'One and Only.'"
I continued to try to convince Dad. I leaned on his shoulder, but his arms remained tightly folded. He had been like this since last month.
"Come on, Tangi! I want real grandchildren! Can I talk to the children you're talking about? They'll just pee on my shoes, and their fur will be everywhere!"
"Hey, Dad! They're well-trained not to just pee anywhere! Hmp! And as for their fur? I can clean it!"
"Tangi," he said, his voice carrying a warning tone.
"A-And how about my business, Daddy..."
"Please, don't insist. Do not force me to do things I don't want to do. You already have a lot of grandchildren from Grecion, Grand, and Griz. Aren't your eight grandchildren enough for you?" I asked. I almost mentioned my furbabies again.
I wanted our talk about marriage to be over. When would my father stop? This was why I had been avoiding him since last week. I knew he would bring up this dreaded topic.
My lips pressed together when I heard him call my full name. It meant that Daddy's patience was about to run out.
But what could I do? This was me, this was my decision, and I didn't like what he wanted me to do... I was happy with my life now. One more thing, what if the man he wanted for me will just fool me?
"Tangi, you've never introduced me to any man. I want to believe that your standards are very high, but it's taking you quite a while to settle down! Can you be honest with me, are you a tomboy?"
My lips parted. This conversation wasn't going to end. I simply haven't found a boyfriend, and I'm not interested in the idea of marriage. Now, he's thinking that I prefer girls?
Dad looked at me seriously, and I backed away. Alright, Tangi, there's no time for jokes.
"Tell me, be honest with me, are you a tomboy?"
Dad's question left me stunned. I don't know what to do with my life!
"I don't think you like women. You are smart, independent, and an amazing daughter. I want you to have a good life like your brothers. Look at them; can't you see how happy they are because of their own families? I also want you to experience that. What if your mommy and I are gone? Who will take care of you when you are old?"
I swallowed hard and bowed down. He always tells me this. He says he doesn't want to leave me alone, that if I get sick, my so-called children or my pets won't be able to take care of me.
I understand, Dad, but it's not really on my mind.
"Dad, my life is fine now... I am okay," I said in a low tone.
I bit my bottom lip when I heard him let out a heavy sigh. It seemed he had run out of patience with me.
"I know nothing will happen in our conversation, Tangi. I've wasted my time again. Next week, pack your things. Whether you like it or not, you will go to the States and live there."
I looked at him in horror. What?
"D-Dad, you can't do this to me. My businesses are here... what about my dogs and cats? D-Dad, my life is meant to be here," I said to him, but his face showed no pity. He looked at me seriously.
"You've pushed me to make this decision, Tangi. I will call my secretary for your ticket," he said and pulled out his cellphone.
I stood up, unable to believe what my father wanted.
"D-Dad, I can't go. Please..."
"You may not want to, but you will because I said so. This is final, and our conversation is done," he said, and as he was about to turn his back, I called out to him.
I took a deep breath. This is my last card.
"I-I will try..." I saw his lips rise. He is happy!
"But, Dad, it's not that easy to find a man in life. Give me some time. Let me find the right man for me. I've never had a boyfriend, Dad. It's normal to be afraid to have a relationship. I don't want to be fooled by some asshole or–"
"And you think I'm going to let my only daughter get fooled? Have you forgotten who you are? You are a Dela Vezca, the only daughter of George Romualdo Dela Vezca. Any man would be afraid to hurt you because they will face my anger. And no one dares to be my enemy, Thaliana Tangi."
"But don't worry about looking for a man to marry. If you think that you might end up in the hands of a cheater, because I know a refined man who will take care of you," he said with a smile.
"W-What?! Dad, is this an arranged marriage?"
I couldn't believe him. He looked at the table, and there was a brown envelope there.
"Why didn't you tell me earlier that you just wanted me to meet a boy, Dad? We've talked about this for a long time!" I said to him.
"Because I know you very well, Tangi. I just need to make sure you agree with what I want. Do you also think I'll just let you find a man? No. I've already picked someone for you," he told me.
Oh, riches! This is one of those crazy arranged marriage things!
I took the brown envelope and opened it. Why is he so prepared?! He already has a man he wants to introduce to me!
"He's Rozzean Cyron Valleje. I've known Rozzean for a long time, Tangi. I'm sure he'll be a good husband to you. He grew up in a decent family, he has no record of cheating, he's a noble man. He was featured before in the Billionaire Bachelor Magazine. No woman was seen around him either. I haven't heard bad things about this young man, and I really admire his dedication as a CEO. I can't say enough about him."
From what I heard and saw in the sparkle in my father's eyes, it felt like he was the one who wanted to marry that Rozzean. Okay, funny. But honestly, he really likes the man to praise him this much. Wow. Just... wow.
"And what if he cheats on me, Dad? T-that he is a playboy? A f*cker? You'll not know everything about him!"
"Your words, Thaliana!" he roared.
What? If he is a CEO, a young billionaire, it is possible. My brothers had their share of relationships before they got married.
He met my gaze and folded his arms. My dad inherited a habit, so he really had a hard time with all his children. Like him, I am stubborn and headstrong.
"That won't happen, Tangi. Rozzean is a good man. I'll bet my name on that."
The confidence was so high, Mr. Dela Vezca! What did that man feed my dad, and why does he trust him like that?
"Dad, you can't blame me. He is still a stranger, and what if he fools me? What if he's a playboy like the ones I read about in novels?" I asked again.
Dad's eyebrows met, forming a line.
"Alright, to end this conversation, if he's a playboy and you prove it to me, you can do whatever you want in your life. But, Tangi, that man is not what you think he is. Rozzean is a great man."
I almost smiled because of what my father said. If I prove to him that that man is a playboy, I can do whatever I want in my life.
"Hmmm, okay, but can you give me three months before I meet this person, Dad? I just want to prepare myself," I said.
"Three months? That's a long time, Tangi," he answered.
"Dad, I am considering your choice for me. Just give me some time for myself. Three months and then—"
"No, two months are enough. Three months is too long, Tangi. I don't know what you're up to, and what if you run away? That's possible."
I got this attitude from you!
"I'll give you two months. Period. And never, ever make a move that will embarrass me and the Dela Vezca family, Tangi. I've already talked to Rozzean about you. I've talked to his parents as well, and we're actually just waiting for you."
Earlier, Dad was forcing me to get married and find a man, and now he's telling me he has already met that man's parents?!
But then he agreed to what I wanted. That means I have more reason to carry out the plan I thought of... hmm...
"So... you talked to him, and he agreed?" I asked.
"He's 33 years old, Tangi, and he also wants to find a great woman. We have also talked to his parents, and they want to see you."
Gosh. So fast.
"After two months, I will meet them. Is that okay?"
"Okay, deal," I said and held out my hand. Dad took it.
"Don't do things that will make me mad, Tangi, you know me."
I smiled. He will not be angry with what I'm going to do.
I have 60 days to investigate that man. I myself will find a way to get to know him. I will dig deeper to find a flaw in the good image he has. And when I find out for sure that he is a f*cker and is involved with other women, because that's likely. I will gather evidence to show Dad. That way, once I prove that Rozzean is a womanizer, I will be free to do what I want with my life.
To accomplish this, I must get closer to him. So close... like living in his house.
I would pretend to be poor and change my appearance to enter his house as a maid.
Thaliana Tangi will definitely win this!