The Boy from New York City

Your Average Everyday Family Thanksgiving

“Are you sure we have to go have dinner at your parents?” I ask for the millionth time while we both were getting prepared.

Alexzander wraps an arm around me, turning my body to face his. “It’s Thanksgiving, Sam, not a death trap.”

I pout, trying every angle I have to convince him not to make us go. Sadly, he just laughs. “I’m a businessman; you should know it will take a lot more than that to negotiate with me.”

“You’re no fun. I mean, think about it! If you didn’t show up, the look on your dads face would be hilarious.”

He just looks at me like I’m crazy, “are we talking about the same guy? The one who blatantly said he doesn’t like you? We’re going to the dinner Sam, it won’t be that bad. Plus Sara will hopefully be there, and you like Sara.”

“True, Sara is cool. And some of your guy friends aren’t too bad either.” His face drops at the mention, making it my turn to laugh. “I didn’t even say their hot! Goodness, don’t get jealous that fast. We have a deal, I won’t break it.”

“Come on, you want to be on my dad’s good side? Be early. He really hates it when someone is late, whether it is fashionably or just late.”

“And I hate it when people tell me they don’t like me, but I don’t go around pointing that little fact out.”

“You’re also not a Leighton yet. The right to complain about anything and everything comes with the name.”

“Good to know.” I finish clipping on my shoe and follow him out to the car. Luckily tonight I convinced him to not use a driver. I figure we’re able to drive ourselves to dinner. “Could I turn on some music?” I personally am not a silence type of person; I constantly need sound to keep me sane.

“Actually, could we talk?”

I remove my hand from pressing the radio button and set it back into my lap. “Uh, yeah. We can talk. Talk about what exactly?”

“Us.” Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know that those two words aren’t the best words to hear from a significant other, even if the whole thing is fake.

“Go on,” I urge, not wanting to jump to conclusions.

“Well, the whole deal thing. Maybe we should try to not bring it up. Kind of like what you said about not having a contract. We’ll still have the deal, I’m not saying to take it away, but pretending like it’s not there. We’re not exactly doing the best at acting like a couple and this might help. If we’re not worried about breaking the deal we won’t be watching our every move, I think that would be easier.”

I shrug, “fine.”

“That’s it?”

“Was I supposed to fight you on it or something? You’re right, therefore I agree.” I tell him. I felt bad since it was obvious my small comment from before brought this on, “but you do know what we actually have to do to act like a couple, don’t you?” I ask him, raising my eyebrows.

I watch as he blinks a few times before answering, “Uh, maybe it’s just me, but it seems too soon in the relationship to do that.”

I burst out laughing, “Not that! I can’t believe your mind went straight to sex! I meant go out on dates, Alexzander. All we do is go to these parties and family dinners. When that’s not happening you’re working and I’m preparing for school. The last time we were out in public together was dress shopping. That doesn’t seem very couple-y, now does it?”

“I thought it was fine if we were just kind of a private couple..?”

I stare at Alexzander, amazed that he looked sort of nervous about where this conversation was headed. “You really never did this, did you?”

“Did what?”

“Dating, relationships, any of it. I mean, yeah this is my first relationship but at least I went on dates throughout high school.”

“When I wasn’t at school my dad was putting me to work. I’m supposed to take over the company soon, so my high school years were spent being taught how to run the business.”

“So you never dated?”

“Well, yes and no. I dated who my dad wanted me to date and for the reasons why my dad wanted me to date them. He’d even have it all planned out, all I had to do was show up.”

We pull up to the house and Alexzander turns to me once the car is turned off. “So this dating thing, how exactly does it work?”

I smile, knowing exactly what I had to do. “Alexzander Lucas Leighton, will you go out with me this Saturday?”

“Isn’t the guy supposed to ask the girl?”

“I’m going to an all-girl university majoring in Women Studies, times have changed Alexzander. Women are allowed to take the upper-hand and ask a guy out.”

“So you would be paying and everything?”

“Ha! You’re kidding right? I’m not gonna date a Leighton and not have you pay.”

“Right, you’re such a feminist Sam.”

“I am! And you still haven’t answered the question.”

“I would love to go out with you. What will we be doing?”

“Right now? We will be headed in for a dinner that I think is actually just going to be pure torture. But my boyfriend’s family is kind of strict about this stuff and like he said, we shouldn’t be late.”

Alexzander laughs and gets out of the car before walking around it and opening my door for me.

“So who all will be here?”

“Besides my parents and sister? A couple uncles and aunts here and there, my mother’s parents and I think that should be it. It really is just a family dinner.”

“You said Sara would be there.” I glare at him, wondering if he had tricked me into coming here.

“I said ‘hopefully,’ not my fault you don’t listen that well. And like I said before it will be fine, great actually. You will love my grandparents.”

I slide my arm through his and we head up to the door, “why?”

“Let’s just say that my grandmother has some pretty awesome medicine. Also, they are nothing like the rest of my family.”

Alexzander rings the doorbell and I lean a little against him. I couldn’t wait until we got home and I could slip these heels off, they were killing me. A butler opens the door to let us in. It’s weird having that again after so many years of taking care of myself. We enter the sitting room and I could tell I was instantly being judged. Every pair of eyes was focused on me and it was honestly kind of nerve-wracking.

“Um, hi?”

It was like a scene out of The Stepford Wives. Everyone looked almost exactly alike in their black suits and 50’s style dresses. Even Alexzander matched with the rest of his family. Me though? I was sporting a nice yet funky Anne Taylor dress.

I nudge Alexzander in the gut and quietly freak out of him “why didn’t you tell me there was a dress code?!”

“Uh, cause there’s not?”

“Look around!”

He looks around and then back at me, “okay, so maybe they like the same style?”

I roll my eyes and turn back to the small crowd that was still silent waiting for something. Alexzander seemed to be correct on who would be attending tonight. Though I could not put a name to the faces, their ages gave away their relation to him.
There were two sets of grandparents and it was quite obvious who was who. An older woman and man sat on one side of the room, glaring in disgust at the other old couple. They were sitting up straighter than a ruler and “Um, hello. Sorry we’re late; Alexzander was having troubles with his tie.”

Lucy steps up and starts the conversation in the room, giving Alexzander and me a break. But it didn’t matter how much she changed the subject, it always led back to me. “Barnard, huh?” Alexzander’s grandfather, James asks, “What exactly do you want to do with a degree from there?” His tone was harsh, sounding as if Barnard was not one of the best schools in the country.

There didn’t seem any harm in answering the question and so I did just that. “Ultimately I would like to start a non-profit or foundation that helps women and young girls in some way. For now though, I’d be just as content to be working side by side with Alexzander.”

His grandmother, Judith, chokes slightly on her drink. It didn’t take a genius to know that those were Henry’s parents. “What did you just say?”

I hesitate and glance over to Alexzander for help. When we were talking alone the idea of working together was his. But right here, sitting in front of his parents he looked like he wanted to abort all missions. “I love the business and I can’t imagine myself not working. I highly respect the women who are able to be a homemaker and nothing more. To raise the kids, spend time with their friends, all of it. But I’m someone who needs to be at an office to feel at peace.”

The whole room was silent as what I said sank in. I tried my hardest to not bash stay at home moms in front of the women I was around.

“And you agree with this Alex?”

Alexzander shifts nervously next to me, “It was actually my idea, father.”

His father looked more pissed off than I’ve ever seen him before. Yes, it’s not like I see Henry Leighton on a daily basis—thank god for that—but I’ve seen enough of him to know he’s not a pleasant person to be around. Today, or at least right now, he’s ten times worse than not pleasant. “Well then I guess I’ll just switch some things around. Liam has been a great assistant, don’t you think? He’d handle the company correctly.”

My eyes widen in shock. Would he actually do something that low? It’s one thing to force your son to marry before he gets the business but to take it from him just because he’s a nice guy? Seriously, if I didn’t hate Henry before, I sure do now. Everyone sat in silence, waiting in suspense for the next person to speak.

“If that’s what you believe is the best choice for the company, then go right ahead. But as you have told me many times before, don’t make any decisions when you are anything but calm and content.” I think the rest of the room was surprised at how relaxed Alexzander seemed in a situation like this. But I know it’s not his dream job so I understand that he’s not going to care that much about the business. Plus, one step toward being a better man than his father is putting family before business. And right there, that’s exactly what Alexzander did.

Even though his son didn’t react in the expected way, Henry jumped at the chance to yell at him some more. “That! That right there is why you are not the person to run this business! You don’t care. You don’t care that you’re about to lose one of the biggest businesses in the world. This should be the one and only thing you think about. Everything else comes second.”

It was those last few words that really pushed Alexzander to the edge. “It comes second because that’s the way it’s supposed to be! You have never been there for any of your family, father, and I don’t want to be like you. You’re right, I don’t want this business, I don’t want this lifestyle, I don’t want any of it. But I do want to respect my family and all the hard work they’ve done to get the business to where it is. I do want to respect the traditions and I do want to take over the business and pass it on to my own children someday. Children that I will care for and be there for when needed. I will go to their sporting events and school plays and be home for dinner and bedtime. I will be a dad, not just a father.” He tosses his napkin onto the table and stands up, “come on Sam, let’s go.”

I look around the table. Once again, all eyes were directed to me, waiting for me to leave as well. Instead I did something I probably should not have done. “No.” I say, staring at Alexzander, daring him to tell me off. “This is Thanksgiving everyone! A family can’t possible hate each other this much. Trust me; I know what it’s like to hate your family. My brother and I never got along, but on Thanksgiving it was like none of our fights happened. What’s in the past is in the past. We should be thankful for the fact that we do have friends and family to spend our lives with. So, Alexzander, sit back down this instant. Henry, don’t say another word about work or the company. And Mr. and Mrs. Leighton just don’t talk. You sound really rude when you speak. Now let’s enjoy our food and for the rest of the night forget about how we all hate each other.”

There was a moment of silence in which I was scared to death. Not only had I called my boyfriend out, but also his father and his grandparents. Not exactly the best first impression. Luckily Lucy quickly switched the conversation over to Christmas and New Year’s. Turns out that I would be meeting more of both families during the next month. It’s insane to think that there are only two holidays, one month, between me and an engagement ring.
♠ ♠ ♠
hey, look at that! She's almost engaged!! and finally gets a date!
Sorry this was a filler and took so long to get out. I've been working 60 hours a week and have had little to no time to write.
Anyways, here it is. What do you guys think's gonna happen??

Comment.Subscribe.Befriend.Promote.Message Me.Recommend Laugh.Love. Live
<3 Justrealizelife