"If you think you can do it, put yourself out there and make more money. I'm the homemaker. If it weren't for me, can you even single-handedly support this big family?"
Adeline Simpson, who had just returned home, overheard a shrill voice coming from her house. Her brows furrowed, and she stopped at the doorway. She could feel the tension in her house even before stepping in.
Hearing that the sound of footsteps stopped abruptly, a toadying middle-aged man's voice rose, "Helen, Adeline will be back soon. Lower your voice!"
"So? You have the guts to do it but not the backbone to admit it? Ronald, if it weren't for your misjudgment, the company wouldn't have lost three million dollars. You should think about how you are going to make up for this loss!"
"Dad!" Adeline called out. She waited until the voices in the house stopped before she walked in. She saw her father, Ronald Simpson, sitting on the couch with a frown on his face.
"Adeline, you're home!" Ronald raised his head to look at her. He smiled bitterly and asked, "Did you hear everything Helen said earlier?"
"Well, is the company in a pickle now? Judging from Aunt Helen's tone, it doesn't sound good!"
Adeline said as her eyebrows knitted in worry.
Although the family wasn't doing badly, the company's operations for the past few years had been getting worse. Ronald was often rebuked by Helen Quartley, Adeline's stepmother, because of it.
Ronald was the breadwinner in the family. After being scolded so many times, he must have felt uneasy. However, he dared not speak up with Adeline there.
Smiling, Ronald changed the topic and asked, "Have you had your dinner, Adeline? Why don't I ask Rosa to warm some food up for you? Since you're usually at school and don't come back that often, this time you can stay longer, right?"
"Dad, don't you remember? It's Independence Day tomorrow. We will have a three-day-long holiday," Adeline nudged.
"Is that so? My memory has been failing me these days. I've completely forgotten!" Ronald stood up and looked at Adeline, who was almost as tall as him. The smile on his face widened.
"Dad, if there's anything wrong with the company, you must let me know. I'll find a way to help you!"
Helen, who had returned to the living room, overheard Adeline's words and immediately said, "Find a way? What do you think you can do?"
Turning her head in Helen's direction, Adeline curled the corners of her lips a little. She softly replied, "Aunt Helen, I'm only trying to help Dad."
"Help dad? Or do you just want to take over the company?" said someone lazily. A young girl in a pink princess dress came down the stairs. She scoffed as she eyed Adeline.
"Zoey, don't talk to your sister like that!" Ronald looked at his younger daughter, Zoey Simpson, and gently chided her.
Helen sat on the sofa and mocked, "I think Zoey is right. Maybe Adeline feels threatened now that Zoey is grown up. That's why she's trying to infiltrate the company now to help so that she can take over the company."
"Aunt Helen, you worry too much! I'm a performing arts student. I won't be taking over the company."
"Am I?" Helen snorted. "Who knows? Maybe one day you'll really take over the company!"
Ronald's face darkened as he looked at how Helen and Zoey were ridiculing and mocking Adeline.
Helen stood up and said to Zoey, "Let's go, Zoey. We're not as adept as them!"
As she walked by Adeline, Helen suddenly stopped in her tracks. And she sneered, "I heard that the Lockwood family is looking for a July-born girl old enough to get married. You fit the bill, right?"