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Unspoken
Author: Sandi Lynn

Chapter 1

 

 

Henry

The Walkers. We were the perfect family to outsiders, but within the walls of our family was another story. We were a family who suffered a tragedy twenty-one years ago. A tragedy neither of my parents would ever forget. The kind of tragedy that set the course of my life. I would always feel the loss, and it would stay with me for the rest of my life. The person I felt the sorriest for was my sister, Addison. Somehow, my parents thought having her would help them, but she only reminded them of the loss we all suffered. Don’t get me wrong; they loved Addison. She was their daughter, but I knew my father could never have a bond with her like the bond he had with Abigail. Addison knew it. She felt it, and it was my job to protect her from it.

 

 

I walked into the Burger Bar and saw my best friend, Ben, sitting at a small table by the window. Walking over, I pulled out the seat across from him and sat down.

“It’s about time.” He picked up his bottle of beer.

“Sorry. I was here on time, but Kirsten called as soon as Christian pulled up, and we had another argument.”

“What about this time? By the way, I took the liberty of ordering our burgers. Your beer should be here in a second.”

“Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I have a meeting tonight and we were supposed to meet at her parents’ house to pick out wedding invitations.”

“Let me guess. You forgot?”

“I did, and now she’s all pissed off. I told her just to pick out what she liked, and she started yelling at me. She went on and on about how I don’t care about the wedding, and she knows I scheduled the meeting on purpose.”

Ben let out a laugh. “Well, you don’t care, bro.”

“I know that. I don’t give a damn about wedding invitations. I have more important things to worry about, and she’s just going to have to get used to it. I’m a very busy man and I don’t have time for such nonsense as picking out wedding invites.”

“Good luck with that.”

The waitress walked over and set my beer down in front of me.

“Your burgers will be up shortly.” She smiled.

“Is it really worth it, Henry?” he asked in a serious tone.

I sighed as I picked up my beer and took a swig.

“You’re letting your family control your life and your future. If you marry Kirsten, you’re going to be a miserable prick the rest of your life. And I’m saying this with love. Even as your wife, you will never put her first. Do you think that’s fair to her?”

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Change the subject.”

 

 

I arrived home around nine-thirty p.m. After setting my briefcase down, I unbuttoned my suitcoat and walked to the kitchen where I found Kirsten looking in my refrigerator.

“Hey. I didn’t know you were coming over tonight.”

“I wasn’t going to, but after I narrowed the invitations down to three choices, I thought you could help me pick one out. That’s if you want to,” she spoke with an attitude.

“Of course, I want to, Kirsten. I’m sorry about tonight. I completely forgot we had that planned. Things have been busy at work, and you know I’ve been working on that investment deal.” I held out my hand to her. “Now show me the three invitations you picked, and I’ll see which one I like the best.”

As she lay in my arms, I stared at her while she slept, and a million thoughts ran through my head. I was thirty years old and engaged to a woman I didn’t love and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with. My father always preached to me that having a beautiful and strong woman by your side from a good family was the key to a man’s success. Maybe that rang true for him with my mother, but for me, I hadn’t thought about settling down. I didn’t want to. But my parents had other plans for me when they introduced me to Kirsten, the daughter of a friend of theirs. A well-bred beautiful socialite that came from a good wealthy family.

I was twenty-seven at the time when my parents sat me down for a conversation. A conversation which revolved around their disapproval of my life as a bachelor. They thought it was time for me to get serious with someone and settle down by the time I turned thirty if I were to step into the position of CEO of Walker Capital. My father was thirty and married to my mother when he took over the company from my grandfather, and he expected the same from me. Ever since my sister died, I felt it was my obligation to be the perfect and obedient son. Life had already let them down and I wasn’t going to be the reason it happened again. I never got into trouble, I studied hard in school, and I graduated at the top of my class from Yale.

I’d dated a variety of women over the years. But for me it was just about the sex and having a good time. My work was my focus and running the family business was my legacy. I didn’t need a good woman by my side to do that. I wasn’t a believer in true love even though my parents seemed to have it. But did they? Or were they just good actors for the sake of the Walker name. Who the hell knew? I came from a powerful family where status meant everything.

Kirsten’s family owned a quantity of high-end department stores around the country. Higher end than Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. She was a Columbia graduate and a buyer for the company. My father met her father ten years ago at a global business event and they had been friends ever since. Since I was single and she was newly single, our parents deemed it a good idea we met. According to my parents, she was the perfect woman for me, and she would fit perfectly within our little family. But I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t been in a long time and marriage wouldn’t change that. In fact, it would only make things worse.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

Two Weeks Later

 

 

Henry

Since my fridge was empty, I was out of coffee, and my housekeeper, Delilah, was on vacation, I left the office early and stopped at the grocery store. I was almost finished shopping when I forgot to pick up some fresh spinach. So, I turned the cart around and headed back to the produce department. Between all the people in that section, a big cardboard box display filled with guacamole mix, and a cart in the middle of the aisle, I couldn’t get through.

“Excuse me,” I spoke to the woman standing there looking at the apples.

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