“Get out!” He screamed at me the way he had his father. I picked up my coat and my bag and I left. By the time I got outside, the limousine driver was waiting for me. I felt like my heart was breaking. I couldn’t get the picture of his face out of my mind. He was so hurt and he felt so betrayed. The worst part was, he had every right to.
As soon as Erin was gone my father came back into the room. “If you’re here to gloat, I suggest you stay away because I’m not in the mood,” I told him.
He surprised me by putting his hand on my back. Other than a handshake, I can’t remember the last time he touched me with any kind of affection. “I’m sorry, son.”
I turned and looked at him. I was searching his eyes, hoping to see some kind of real remorse there. At that moment, when my heart lay shattered in a thousand pieces, a tiny little bit was all I needed. I didn’t see anything real there. I could tell that he was trying to look like he gave a damn, but he wasn’t pulling it off. “Why did you invite her here? Why not just tell me in private?”
“Would you have believed me?” he asked.
The answer was probably not, but whose fault was that? A real father and son would be close enough to trust each other and believe the other one only has their best interest at heart. But we don’t have that kind of relationship, we never have. “Probably not. What is it that she thinks you stole from her, father?”
“The company that we own.”
He tried to look hurt, but again, I could tell it was feigned. “Of course not. I bought that company and I made it what it is today. It was a fledgling company on the verge of bankruptcy when I got ahold of it. Now it’s a thriving multi-national corporation because of me.”
“Why does she think you stole it from her?”
“I can’t explain her delusional thoughts. I do expect you to have better backgrounds done on our new employees from now on. I want whoever ran hers fired.”
“If I had run a background on her and discovered that she was the daughter of the former owner of the company I would have never hired her… and I would have never fallen…”
My father laughed, “Fallen in love? You think you’re in love with that Irish bog-trotter?”
I had never wanted to put my fist through the wall as badly as I did at that moment. I didn’t think I was in love with her, I knew that I was. I loved her like I’d never loved anyone or anything in my life. It was the only love that ever rivaled the way I felt about my mother. I turned to my father then.
“If I find out that what she thinks you did is true…”
He smirked at me. “You’ll do what?” he asked.
“You do not want to find out,” I told him. I left the house then and there was a good chance that I wouldn’t be back. I was going to find out the truth and if my father had hurt her, God help him.
Grant was knocking on my bedroom door again. “Argh! I’m fine, Grant. It’s Saturday. I can sleep in on Saturday. Leave me alone!” I wasn’t under any delusions that he was going to listen to me. I knew that Grant did what Grant wanted to do. Sometimes I loved him in spite of it and sometimes I wanted to choke him because of it. Right now was one of the latter. He pushed open the door that I knew I should have locked.
“I made pancakes.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“You have to eat.”
“I eat. I’m just not hungry right now.”
“When was the last time you ate?”
“What did you eat?”
“Geez, Grant! What are you, the food police?” He came over with the TV tray and sat it next to the bed. Then he sat down next to me. I rolled over so I wasn’t facing him. He got up and came around the foot of the bed and sat down on that side. “God, you’re annoying!”
“I know. You have to eat. You need to get out of this bed…”
“Why? Huh Grant? What do I really have to get out of this bed for? I don’t have a job. I don’t have parents. I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“You need to do it for you. This is not you and you know it. You’ll feel better if you get up and get your life back. You don’t need that job. You know that you can walk into any corporation in this city and get a job and be the most highly qualified person there. Or if you don’t want a job, take some of that money you’ve made over the past three years and never spent and go on a vacation, take a cruise… do something! You haven’t left the house in a week, every day that you let go by like this will make getting back out there that much harder.”