“Elsa? What’s happening here?” she asked as she walked closer to us.
“We’ll continue this discussion another time.” My father spat as he was about to walk past me and greet my sister. I gripped his arm unexpectedly to stop him.
“No.” I demanded. “We’re having this discussion now.”
“Elsa, you don’t want to make that decision.” He smirked. “If you think you can actually win this, then you really aren’t the daughter I’ve raised all these years.” He shoved out of my grip, leaving me in the shock of truth. My mother was comforting me as my father greeted Anna.
“Honey, it’s going to be okay.” She said as she rubbed my back. I looked at her in disbelief. I nearly snapped at her right then and there, but I forced my anger down. I wanted to save as much of it for my father as I could.
“No, and it won’t be okay until he knows to let me live my life.” I held back my tears.
“I know.” She agreed. I scoffed in response.
“Then why don’t you say anything? You’re just sitting there letting him take control of my life.”
“I know. I want you to be able to live a life of your own where you can find your own love, maybe start a family of your own, and have the job you’ve always wanted… but I also know that your father is doing what he does because he loves you.” She said. I snickered.
“He has a funny way to show it.”
“Elsa, he’s thinking about you in everything he does. He wanted to choose someone he knew would be able to support you financially, and they would be able to help you in your place as CEO when the time comes.” she revealed.
“Yet he never asked me if I even wanted to be CEO in the first place. He’s been training me to do so since I was eleven.”
“No Elsa, you wanted to be in the business.”
I looked at her with disbelief refusing to believe that information, but deep down there was a part of me that could believe it. My father managed to cut our conversation short by speaking.
“Well, we’re only here for a day, why don’t we all go out for dinner? My treat.” He offered. Anna gladly agreed as well as my mother, but I forced myself to nod knowing that I would have to endure sitting with the man who had wrecked me when he tried to build me.
I wasn’t able to enjoy the dinner that was sitting in front of me. The tension was thick between me and my father, but I avoided it by not speaking and only letting Anna speak with them… just like how it usually is. Every time I would let my eyes wander, Anna would catch my gaze and give me a sympathetic look.
“Is it me? Or has the portion sizes of these dishes getting smaller?” My mother spoke.
“No, I can barely see my steak on this plate.” my father cracked a joke.
“And this burger doesn’t taste like it used to; the meat isn’t as juicy and tender.” Anna agreed and she chomped on.
“Well, it’s not surprising I suppose. We aren’t the same Jack Astor’s we were in years ago. It doesn’t look the same on the interior either.” Mother recalled.
“Well, some of us at this table would know a thing or two about things not being how they used to; right Elsa?” father challenged me. As if the tension at the table wasn’t thick enough, it just tripled in size. My sister nearly choked on her food while my mother gave my father a look that could kill. However he ignored the both of them and challenged me with his stare.
“Some,” I began accepting his challenge. “But maybe we were just too busy with our own lives to notice a change was needed.” My mother looked down to hide a slight smile coming on her face, and my sister squeezed me knee from under the table. If anything my father became angrier then he was before for my come back.
“Elsa, come with me to the restroom. I think I just rubbed mascara in my eye.” Anna cut in before the tension between the two of us could get any worse. I agreed and the two of us walked away from the table to leave my mother to try and calm him down. When my sister and I reached the restroom, she locked the door.
“Okay, that was brilliant, but are you crazy?!” she nearly shrieked.
“I don’t know. Things will never be the same between the two of us again.” I groaned as I ran my fingers through my hair.
“You know this had to be done at some point, you fighting back for your life. I just never thought that it would be this soon.”
“Anna, it’s been at least ten years since I haven’t had a life of my own. If anything it should have happened much sooner.” My sister didn’t say anything, rather she hugged me tightly.
“I’m so proud of you.” She nearly cried. “You have him cornered.”
“I didn’t think so.”
“Oh you so do! Why do you think he offered to take us out just when your fight was about to go your way. That’s dad’s tactic, to make sure things go his way, or distracts you from the situation if they don’t.” she pointed out. That made me relax a little, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he may never accept what I’ve said to him.
“Let’s just get through this night. I don’t know how much longer I can be near him.”
“Good thing you have me.” Anna winked. “Otherwise you two would be yelling at each other until tomorrow.”
“I know.” I sighed. Just then my phone buzzed in my pocket. I took it out to see a text from Jack on the screen.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine… I think.’ I responded.
“When mom and dad leave, tell him to come over.” Anna practically demanded.
“Just… invite him. I’ll be over at Punzie’s anyway.” She smiled as she opened the door.
“It’s okay, I don’t need to see him.”
“Elsa, I think we can both agree on one thing; you need him. He’s your rock.” She said in my ear before we walked back to the table.