- Underneath the surface
“What?” Emma whispers besides me in shock
The whole room is quiet. Everyone is completely surprised. No one saw this coming. No one
imagined that Ava would be the founder of such a large organization.
Hell, I was married to the woman and I had no clue That leaves a lot to be fucking said about me if
I didn’t know this about Ava
‘Did you know this?” Gabe asks, eyes and mouth wide.
“No” I growl pissed that I had missed such a thing.
I watch as she pushes back her chair She stands up and Ethan stands up with her while offering
her his hand with a smile she places her hand on his and he walks her towards the stage. I
clench my jaw when he places his hand on her exposed back when he helps her up the stairs.
Once she’s there, he steps down. She gives Mary a hug before she steps up to the podium
She smiles before clearing her throat
“Hi” she chuckles nervously “For some reason it’s easier for me to address a room full of rowdy
teenagers than a room full of adults”
This earns her a couple of smiles and laughs from people.
I don’t think there is anyone here who doesn’t know me and it there is, my name is Ava Sharp
Like Mary said, the reason we are here today is to celebrate all of you for your continued help in Hope Foundation Being a teacher, you see a lot of things at school Kids with bruises inflicted by abusive patents, kids going hungry because they don’t have lunch money, kids with tattered
clothes and shoes because their parents are so poor that even coming to school is a luxury and
kids who are homeless and live on the streets” she says, hei voice captivating her audience
i have never seen the elites pay this much attention to a speech before
Seeing those children go through such hardships broke my heart, so I started helping the best way i could fetarted with one boy in my class, then another, and another Behere kurmit I hat mote dono dozen children t was helping That’s where I got the idea to build a foundation
wanted a safe haven for thein A place where they did have to worry about worth the t
being Rids I started with buiding The Hope House and God blessed me by bring in sare
“Since we began four years ago, we have expanded The Hope Houses and we are proud to say that
we have a house in every major city in the country. We have helped thousands of kids get into universities. We even have some in prestigious ones such as Harvard and Princeton. We have thousands of more under our care all ranging from a few months old to eighteen. We make sure that they don’t lack for anything and we even give the older ones allowance” She pauses before pointing to the tables at the center which were full of kids ranging from all ages.
“This foundation is to help them. To give them hope for a better future. To give them hope that it doesn’t matter where they came from, they can still make it. To back them up as they make their way through life. So from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you for the continued
support and for every single donation. I pray for more blessings upon you” she finishes and steps
away from the podium.
Claps ring from every corner of the room as people stand up to appreciate her. They continue to clap until she steps down from the stage.
Mary soon after takes the podium. “That’s all for today, please have a wonderful evening and enjoy yourselves”
I watch Ava completely mesmerized. Who would have thought that there was so much more
underneath her surface?
“Damn, never in my wildest dream did I imagine that she was the founder of the largest children’s organization” Travis mutters, his eyes darting between Ava and Letty.
Letty was still seated at their table, but Ava was talking to some kids who had been waiting for her. One of them was a young man and he looked quite familiar.
“I know right?” Gabe adds, the shocked look still plastered on his face.
It was still hard to grasp. It was like she had this whole secret life that I never knew about. I never miss a thing, yet I completely missed this whole life Ava had.
Someone drops on the seat that Christine had exited. I turn to glare at them only to find Mary seated.
“Don’t mind me, I’m just exhausted, you’re Ava’s family right?” she asks and Travis numbly nods his head.
“Perfect” She doesn’t say anything else, just picks up her tablet and begins typing something on it
“Hey” Emma begins. “Isn’t that Caleb Kingstone of Kingstone technologies? What’s he doing with
Ava? Does he know her?”
I look at where her gaze was directed. It was on the young man with Ava. No wonder he looked so
Kingstone technologies started about two years back. He is the youngest CEO and already has made a name for himself in the business world. At only twenty, he was already a success story. His techs were increasingly popular and he had earned himself a spot at the big boys table.
If I was vain, I would have been worried about him taking my number one spot as the top entrepreneur in the country. The boy was giving a lot of the other business men a run for their
“Oh yes….he is a beneficiary of the Hope Foundation. He’s an orphan and Ava took him under her wings. She’s the one who noted that he’s a tech genius. She encouraged him to start something with his talent. When he came up with the idea of having his own company, Ava backed him up. She gave him the startup capital he needed. No one believed in him back then, except for Ava. Now his company is fast growing and it’s earning him millions. As a thank you to Ava, he gave her shares in Kingstone technologies. Ava is the second largest share holder after him”
Another shocking revelation. We stare at her. Each of us trying to absorb what she just told us.
Emma interrupts the moment by snorting. “So in other words you’re saying she’s taking advantage of the kids under her care to make herself rich?”
This time I’ve had enough of her.
“Will you stop with the fucking snide remarks” I growl, hitting the table in anger.
People turn to us but mind their business when I glare at them. Emma looks at me like she’s never seen me before, but I was just so fucking sick and tired of her venomous mouth.
“Which hole have you been living?” Mary asks Emma in a sneer. “Ava doesn’t need anyone to make ber rich, the woman was a millionaire.”
“What are you talking about?” Travis asks.
Mary shrugs her shoulder. “She was rich way before she even started this foundation. It’s only that she likes to keep her things private and away from prying eyes, but I’ve calculated her assets and the woman is fucking rich. If she was to be in the ranking of the richest women in the city,
I do the math in my head. That would place her around the number five or six spot of the richest
people in the whole country. I’m still reeling from that shock when Mary speaks again.
“The thing I love about Ava is how down to earth she is. She’s so rich yet so simple. She doesn’t
dress in expensive brands, drive expensive cars or live in a huge expensive house. Looking at her
you would snub her. You would look down on her and write her off”
Fuck and isn’t that what we have done countless of times. What I have done countless of times.
Even when I bought her that range rover, I looked down on the car she chose because I thought
she couldn’t afford the latest one.
No wonder she turned the fucking range rover down. I made a fool of myself that day. Not only
that day but also on the day I told her to take the divorce alimony because I thought she would
suffer now that I wasn’t providing for her.
“What you’re saying is impossible” Emma whispers.
Among all of us, she’s the one that has looked down Ava more. That much I can fucking tell. Now
the truth was hitting her and she didn’t like that Ava was wealthier than her.
“I’m telling the truth…seriously, shouldn’t you all know this about boss lady given you’re her
family?” Mary asks frowning.
We all look down in shame. She’s right, she was family and yet we excluded her and treated her
like shit. No wonder she never told any of us of her status.
We were drowning in our shame when a commotion caught my attention.
Ava was standing head to head with Brenda. She was a socialite and an influential one. She was
the self–appointed head of the women in our social rank.