Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 12

“OH HELL NO!” I shout and everyone turns to me. My mother gives me a guilty glance and my father matches her expression. I do not take my eyes off of Rachel for a second, not even when addressing my mother and father. “I KNOW YOU SURE AS HELL DID NOT BRING HER HERE” I boom everyone is deadly quiet. No one says a word as my voice fills the dining room. “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING HERE BUT YOU NEED TO LEAVE” I boom at her.

“Dare” my mother says and I look at her with pain, she knew what happened. I asked one thing of her that night. Don’t invite her to things I’m going to be at. Our bimonthly dinner wasn’t actually bimonthly. It was every month. I come every other month so I don’t have to eat dinner with her. I mourned her, I do not want to be anywhere near her. She comes the months I don’t, end of story.

“NO!” I shout at her. My dad doesn’t say anything because I know he knew and my mother knew this was going to happen. Thats why they both stood there and took what I said. “I ASKED YOU BOTH ONE THING THAT NIGHT” I start “THAT, THAT THING” I say and point to the girl I once knew “WAS NOT TO COME TO THINGS I WAS INVITED TO” I yell tears brimming my eyes.

“What did you call her?” My aunt Lena asks offended.

“WHAT? DID I FUCKING STUTTER?” I yell shocked with a chuckle. “I CALLED HER A THING, YOU WANNA KNOW WHY? BECAUSE SHE IS DEAD TO ME” I told her and she looks away.

“I TOLD ALL OF YOU, I NEVER WANTED TO SEE HER AGAIN AND YET DO MY EYES DECEIVE ME, HERE SHE IS” I throw my arms out in exasperation.

“Dare” Rachel whispers.

“DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE UTTER ONE WORD TO ME YOU SCANDALOUS, NO GOOD, VENOMOUS BITCH. YOU ARE FUCKING DEAD TO ME YOU HEAR?!? DEAD” I yell hoping they can feel my anger

“DARE ALANA WILLIAMS THAT IS ENOUGH” my mother says. I meet her eyes and straighten my posture.

“She leaves or I leave, make your choice. If I leave, I’m done. I won’t be coming to anymore family dinners. I will schedule another time to visit. I wouldn’t usually do this but, I’m sorry, I told you I didn’t want to see her again” I said my voice slightly breaking. “So, what’s it going to be mom?” I asked. She looks at us both back and forth before opening her mouth and hesitating.

“Don’t even bother” I said and she looks at me shocked.

“D” Tyler says sadly

“No Ty, not this time” I say and he reluctantly nods.

“I didn’t even say anything” my mom defends.

“You hesitated, that’s enough. If it were a choice between you and aunt Lena if this had happened, which it wouldn’t if it were me. I would chose you, every time WITHOUT hesitation. But you didn’t. You contemplated picking her over me, your only daughter. That wavers the trust and belief I had in you. I can’t, I’m not staying for dinner. Ope, do you want to stay or go with Gage and I?” I ask her

“I’ll go” she says standing up and setting down her glass of wine. The room is still quiet Gage grabs my hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze.

“Congrats Rachel, you took something else from me. Have a nice life” I say angrily walking out. “I’M TAKING THE FUCKING DOG” I shout and I quickly grab as much of his stuff as I can. Thank god we took Gage’s private jet so I could take him. I put his collar on him and grab any necessity he needs, his bed, his bin full of stuff, things like that. “Come on Rockwell” I say leaning down as he happily wags his tale as I clip on his leash. I’ve always been his person anyway, he’ll be happier with me. My mom always says he get depressed when I leave. Loose family dinners and I take the dog.

Anything I don’t bring I can buy another one. The tears have stopped for now as I make my way to the car. Gage gets in the driver seat while Ope gets in the back. “Load up” I command Rocky and he jumps up and lays comfortably in my lap. Gage didn’t ask questions and for that I was thankful. I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.

The car was silent, except for my sniffles. I look down to see Rocky fast asleep lightly snoring. I look out of the window my elbow leaning on the door as I rub my lips with the backs of my fingers. I can’t keep it in anymore, the tears violently come down. Sobbing in front of Gage isn’t something that I want but I can’t stop it. I feel a warm hand rest on the inside of my knee and knowing that I have Gage, Ophelia and Rocky. Knowing that they are here for me, gives me a little bit of comfort.

Tonight went to shit and I don’t know about my relationships with some of the people there but honestly I don’t care about that right now...all I want is for Gage to spend the night and to have him hold me while I sleep. Thank god I have him, I think to myself as I lay my hand on top of his, and am grateful when he gives mine a gentle squeeze and the goes back to resting it on my leg.

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