Read Online Books/Novels:
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Coming SooTequila should come with a fine print label.
Jace Parker, the sexy jerk that broke my heart.
A Vegas trip with him?
Now I have a few accidental surprises I didn’t bargain for.
|Books by Author:|
Seven Years Ago…
I look at the casket before me and feel the sharp sting of guilt. Not sadness or grief, but guilt – and it’s because I don’t feel grief. I know I should. I mean, that’s the expected emotional response to the death of a parent. I’m sad, of course. But I’m not as grief-stricken as a lot of children in my position probably would be – as a lot of people, no doubt, probably think I should be. Hell, as I think I probably should be.
My father and I were never exactly close. We didn’t have the kind of relationship where he’d go throw the ball with me, give me advice about girls, or do any of the normal thing’s fathers do with their sons.
Oh, I know he loved me – in his own way. He was more concerned with preparing me for life and imparting his hard-earned wisdom than he was interested in forging a strong father-son bond. I don’t blame or hate him for it. I know he was doing the best he could. I understand that. But it didn’t give us the sort of close-knit relationship some families enjoy.
I listen to the priest droning on, his eulogy filled with religious overtones, which strikes me as odd and horribly out of place. My father was not a religious man. He was a man of reason and cold logic. He was not one given to flights of fancy, sentimentality, or notions of faith. He believed in what he could see, what he could touch, and what he could prove.
He was always that way. Though, after the death of my mother, he seemed to take an even bigger step back from me. After she died, he seemed almost obsessed with preparing me for life and teaching me to be a man, more than anything.
Glancing around at the gathered crowd, I see a lot of bored faces. I see quite a few people who are here out of a sense of obligation, rather than because they genuinely want to be. My father was well-respected in his field, but he wasn’t necessarily very well-liked. He never really had many good, close friends. Which, given the nature of our relationship, doesn’t surprise me at all.
But still, it’s nice that a good number of people came out to pay their final respects to him.
Finally, after what feels like hours, the priest wraps things up and the service is over. I stay where I am, my eyes still fixed on the casket, sorting through all of the thoughts and feelings swirling around in me. I’m still trying to process it all.
It’s strange for me to think about the fact that at twenty-eight years old, I’m an orphan. I know we all lose our parents – it’s the natural circle of life. That’s not what I’m having difficulty comprehending. I just feel a little too young to be completely on my own in this world.
No, my relationship with my father wasn’t one filled with sunshine and rainbows, but it wasn’t a bad one, either. He didn’t beat me, degrade me, or make me feel somehow unworthy. He wasn’t a bad father, necessarily. He simply kept me at an arm’s distance.
I think all of the strange feelings inside me right now are a result of the fact that he’s been such a presence in my life, that not having him here, passing on his life’s wisdom, leaves something of a void in me. And I’m not quite sure what to do with it just yet.
“Your father was a good man,” he says. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
I look into the face of Mike Herman, my father’s friend and business partner for decades. He’s pretty much a member of the family. I’ve called him ‘Uncle Mike’ since I was a kid. I’ve always liked him. There were even times I actually thought of him as more of a father figure than my own dad. Mike’s always been there for me, whenever I needed help, or even just to talk.
Together, Mike and my father owned one of the nation’s largest and most reputable real estate development firms. They have projects worth many hundreds of millions of dollars all around the world. It’s how my dad amassed his personal fortune. It’s how he gave me such a comfortable life growing up – and how he’s providing for me, now that he’s gone.
“Thanks, Mike,” I reply.
He pulls me into an embrace. I’ve never been much of a hugger, or one for a lot of physical contact – call it a product of my somewhat sterile upbringing – but I think Mike needs the physical reassurance more than I do, having just lost his best friend of the last thirty years. It’s a little stiff and awkward, but I do the best I can. and he seems to appreciate the effort.