Friday, January 30, 2015


Here is an excerpt from Choice Affairs. Enjoy!

, I remember why Caitlyn hired a wedding planner—to keep her mother at a distance.
Which reminds me of the other unpleasant task I must deal with—my brother, Anthony.
Our original plan had been to have the rehearsal dinner at his restaurant on Lake Lanier. But as usual, he had to go and leak everything to the press.
Since he didn’t answer his phone, I left a message informing him of the change of plans. And made sure to include the fact that he was no longer invited to this evening’s affair.
Not so long after, he stormed down to my office at Choice Enterprises, barging in, acting like a stark raving fool. Of course, he wasn’t happy and clearly wanted to make sure I heard about it directly from him. Sometimes, I swear he and Susan could be siblings. They’re so much alike and so over-dramatic.
“What the hell do you mean, leaving me a message telling me you’re not only cancelling the dinner at my restaurant, but that you’re uninviting me? Me? Your best man? What in the hell is going on here, Apolo?”
“You know exactly why, Tony. Don’t play your games with me.”
“Games? You know your problem, Apolo?”
I sighed, knowing what was coming. Insolent twerp. “I’m sure you’re going to tell me. Whether I want to hear or not.”
“You think you’re above everyone else. You think you can snap your fingers and everyone bows to you or submits to your every command. You’re a rich, selfish bastard.”
“Am I now? I don’t recall hearing that pass your lips when I’ve helped you on one of your many endeavors. You had your hands out greedily, as I remember.”
“You refused to help finance the restaurant. You forced me to go to other sources.”
“I refused, Tony, because you are reckless with my money and never repay your debts. End of subject. So, now you think you’re going to sell out details of my wedding to the highest bidder? Just like Caitlyn’s mother? No, it stops now.”
“You know, Apolo, one of these days, your high and mighty attitude is going to kick you in the butt. Right when you least expect it.”
I sat back in my leather swivel chair, eyeing him closely. “Is that a threat brother?”
“Consider it a warning.”
“Then, you don’t know me as well as you think, Anthony. Two things I don’t take to are extortion and blackmail. You’d be very wise to remember that.”
“Is that a threat, Apolo?”
“Heavens, no! Just a piece of brotherly advice.”
“Someone needs to knock you down off your high horse, brother.”
“You tried once, remember?”
“So you say.”

“Anthony, I don’t have time to sit here and bicker with you. Grow up. Make something of yourself. But don’t do it on my back, or our wedding. Do we understand each other?”
I turned to face the windows, hoping he would understand that I was dismissing him. What was it with him? He’s always thought that he should get a free ride. Never once had he shown the initiative to do anything that required the least little bit of hard work. He’s always had his hand out.
After he had been kicked out of officer training, our father had at least seen the light and cut him off. But then, he only turned to me. I had helped him out with a few ventures. Things that on paper, and if he’d applied himself and worked at, would have probably turned out successfully. But he had wanted to party instead.
When he had come to me with the idea of this California-style restaurant on the banks of Lake Lanier, I had thought it was doable. But restaurants are a very risky venture. Few survive the first year, let alone the first five. That reason alone is why I've never ventured into the business myself. Anthony knew that, but hadn’t liked it when I had refused to finance his latest scheme. Which was his problem, not mine.
He was still standing behind me. I could feel him seething at being shut down. Slowly, I turned to face him and dismiss him, once and for all.
“You’re still here? Is there something else you needed to discuss, or did I not make myself clear?”
“No, I’m leaving. You know, you’re a pompous, arrogant ass, Apolo. One of these days, brother. One of these days… We’ll see who has the last laugh.”
I ignored his attempt to get a rise out of me. I knew better than to fall into his pathetic trap. Instead, I opened my laptop and watched him storm out of the room. The same way he’d come in.
Damn, meddling relatives.

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