The Greenwood Family

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While waiting for Alex, a woman felt anxious. Alex’ decision had been difficult for both of them—but especially for her husband. Anytime they found themselves in the same room, things turned sour. It was exhausting to witness… but Mrs. Greenwood wasn’t one to give up.

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Keeping the previous confrontations in mind, she coaxed her husband to lighten his mood. A good atmosphere should minimize any possible casualties.

Rubbing her hands on his arm, she said, “Dear, it’s been two years. Nothing completely wrong has happened yet. She only has two years left. We’ll get through it like we did with the first two. Please try not to be difficult? It only hurts you both.”

“Angeline, stop making it seem like we’ll have a fight.” Mr. Greenwood sighed, remembering the same memories as his wife. He didn’t want her to be worrying about it, “That’s not even on my mind.”

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She blinked in surprise, “It’s not?”

“No.”

Angeline waited for husband to explain further but it didn’t happen. He really was a man of few words, she thought. She couldn’t help her curiosity and asked, “Then, what is it?”

“Our daughter and our company need—”

Alarm bells rang in her head. Instantly, Mrs. Greenwood went into battle mode and slammed her hands on the table, “Please, dear, tell me you’re not about to talk about our daughter’s marriage! The word ‘daughter’ and ‘company’ shouldn’t even be in the same sentence on the subject of marriage! What century are we in?”

“Honey, anything can happen at anytime. I just want to make sure—”

“Exactly but that applies to everyone—even Alex. What if she finds someone she likes during this time? And it turned out to be a boy from a simple family, hm? What are you gonna do then? Break them up?”

“Dearest, I’m not—”

“Wouldn’t it be better for her to find such a man than someone from the same social standing? Alex can perfectly take over the business alone. With the countless snakes in our side of society, I highly doubt we’ll find someone worthy of her so let’s not limit our choices based on wealth and power!”

Mr. Greenwood stayed quiet. He had no such intentions. Not anymore, at least. The last time he tried to match his daughter with someone, it ended terribly. He had silently agreed to give the final decision to the girl. After all, it was her who would be spending the rest of her days with the boy.

What he worried about was not the boy’s place in society. It was the fact that his daughter was spending the prime of her youth as a male. How on earth will she find someone then? Even if she manages to do so, what if the boy turns away once he knows he’s been deceived? Will the girl ever love again after that?

The table had become silent by the time Alex reached it. She frowned. The air surrounding her parents seemed frosty. Her mother was obviously fuming at something while her father was lost in his thoughts.

Alex cautiously sat down across from them, never taking her eyes off their faces. When her mother noticed her, Alex stared back with an arched brow.

“Oh, Alex dear, don’t wear such a face. It’s nothing for you to worry about” her mother said with a sweet smile. Alex didn’t believe her but she didn’t press further either.

“If you say so, mother” Alex relaxed in her seat then, turned to her father, “Hello, father. How was the business deal in France? Did they take your pitch?”

He picked up a glass of wine and took a sip, “Short and smooth.”

Alex smiled, “Just like how you like it.”

He winked at her which made her chuckle. Mrs. Greenwood considered it a good start. They have never been the talkative type but they do have strong opinions. Sometimes it would lead to disagreements. Since they were similar, in the end, they respect each other for voicing them out.

Angeline groaned and looked at them pointedly, “Please no business talk during dinner.”

“Alright, mom” Alex laughed. Her mother wasn’t clueless about business but family meals were pretty much the only time they can relax. Soon, their food was served. Mr. Greenwood had his usual steak. Mrs. Greenwood went for a classic, spaghetti and meatballs. Alex chose the latest addition to the menu, a baked casserole. The newest items had always her request. She liked trying new things but the one thing that doesn’t change was her dessert, a chocolate trifle—unless there was a new chocolate dessert then, she’d give that one a try.

The family ate quietly. Alex and her father felt comfortable with it but Angeline didn’t quite share the same sentiment.

As she twisted her fork, she broke the ice and asked, “Alex, how’s school? Did you make new friends?”

Alex knew what her mother really wanted to ask. Still, she answered vaguely, “Things are pretty much the same as last year, mom.”

Angeline sighed and stopped eating, “Honey, you need friends.”

“And what deceive them until graduation?” The words flew out of Alex’s mouth before she could process them. She took a big bite of the casserole to prevent herself from talking. She cursed silently. This had been exactly what she tried to prevent by avoiding Logan but he just couldn’t stay away from the topic long enough till tomorrow came.

Upon hearing her voice out similar thoughts, her father crossed his arms over the table and spoke up, “Where was that conscience when you kept your plans to yourself?”

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