, 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
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
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
“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
“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,
“Heavens, no! Just a
piece of brotherly advice.”
“Someone needs to
knock you down off your high horse, brother.”
“You tried once,
“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.