Dad sat there, dumbfounded. He opened his mouth and closed it like a fish out of water for a full thirty seconds, and I grinned at him.
“Well…err...are you angry?” he finally managed to get out.
I looked at him for a long time, choosing the words that would make my answer. Was I angry?
My Mom and Dad had been high school sweethearts. If there was ever a couple destined to be together, it was them. But sometimes life throws a curveball, and I often wondered whether my parents would still be together if my Mom hadn’t died.
Sometimes it was easier not knowing the answer to that question.
“No,” I finally replied. “I’m not angry. If you’re happy, I’m happy.”
I watched Dad’s face change from a tense expression to a look of pure glee, and I grinned when I saw the transformation. “She makes you happy?”
“Yes,” he nodded.
“Then you have my support, whoever she is.”
Dad got up from his desk, walked over to me and slapped me on the back. I got up as well and hugged him tightly. I wasn’t one for manly shows of affection, but the moment felt appropriate. My Dad needed support today as much as I did.
He backed away and smiled at me, and I could see tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. I felt awkward, so I chose to ignore them as Dad started talking.
“Her name is Anna. It all happened so fast. We’ve only known each other for a few months, but it seemed right. Neither of us wanted to make a big fuss about a wedding, though, so that’s why we eloped. Right after I proposed, in fact.”
“Yeah, I get it. Don’t worry, I’m not mad.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” he said. “Anyway, we’ll meet up tomorrow for dinner. She’s moving in here with her daughter and her mother. The girl is around your age. I’ve only met her briefly, but I think you’ll like her. Nice girl.”
I nodded, considering how my life would change when all this came into effect. Three more women living with us...it could be a lot of work dealing with our family suddenly expanding like this, but since I lived alone in one of the hotel’s two penthouse suites, I figured I’d be out of their hair most of the time, doing as I damn well pleased.#p#分页标题#e#
Dad and I agreed on a time for dinner in the Balmoral restaurant tomorrow, and then he sent me on my way. I was just about to walk out the door, but my mind wouldn’t let me leave without saying something else.
I looked over my shoulder to see my Dad staring out of the window at the city lights. “Dad?”
He looked at me, and in that moment, I could see the toll life had taken on my father. He looked older, tired and beat. Moreover, he looked like he needed a goddamned break.
I hesitated and finally swallowed my words. “Never mind. I’m happy for you.”
“Thank you, son.” His smile was genuine, and I returned a strained version of my own before walking out of there.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to rain on his parade, I told myself as I took the elevator to my suite. He had just gotten hitched. It wasn’t my place to warn him about the kinds of women out there. Besides, he wasn’t an idiot, so surely he wouldn’t have married the first gold-digger who came along. He’d met a lot of women like that since Mom had passed, given his position and status, and he’d never fallen for one of them before. Whoever this new wife of his was, I was sure she was a nice person.
I tried telling myself that, but still, a nagging voice in the back of my mind wouldn’t shut up. I had a bad feeling about this. I just hoped my new stepmother and stepsister weren’t like the evil women in kid’s fairytales. I didn’t need any more crazy fucking bitches in my life; I already had Candice for that.
I guess only time would tell.
“Short answer? No,” I said.
My cell phone was wedged in the crook of my neck as I helped my grandmother iron and fold a pile of clean washing. While I worked at that, I was talking to Dana, who’d just called to ask me if I was willing to forgive the real Ben and go on a date with him after he’d totally forgotten to show up on our first blind date.
“What’s the long answer?” Dana asked, sounding hopeful.
“No, no, no, no, no!” I replied.
She laughed. “Okay, okay. I get it. He stood you up. He swears it was an accident, but I guess you’re right…it doesn’t bode well for the future. I was so sure you guys would be good together, though!”
I sighed. “Oh well. At least I had an interesting night.”
“Yeah. Tell me more about this mysterious guy who pretended to be Ben!”