The Broken Dynasty


Photo courtesy of Google images

The boy stared down at his plate, piled with his favorite foods, but he wasn’t hungry. That boy had a very different type of hunger that night, a hunger that doesn’t involve food. It was a candlelight dinner. He picked and poked his meal until the heat of his food leaked into the air, leaving him without a desire to eat.

“Eli?” A slender beautiful woman, with straight black hair, draped just past her shoulders, called out at the boy. Eli ignored the woman, he kept his head down and pretended he didn’t hear her.

A man who sat right beside the pretty young lady grew in annoyance. He had big broad shoulders and a fine suit on. “Excuse me,” said the man irritated. Eli recognized his father’s voice but chose not to reply. “Hey!” screamed the man.

Eli darted his piercing blue eyes across the table at his father. “Your mother,” said the man in a soft tone, “is talking to you.” Eli inverted his gaze to the lady and then back to his father. Their stone-like faces glowed in the candlelight.

“She is not my mother.” Eli’s father slammed on the table and stood up letting the brown polished chair fall behind him.

The bang of the man’s hand hitting the table and the boom of the chair hitting the marble floor caused both of them to jump in their seats. “How dare you say that!” The powerful roar of the man’s voice echoed through the mansion. “The amount of disrespect that you have been showing your mother is unacceptable!” The man’s face had turned bright red and the boy’s confidence faltered under the man’s anger.

The young lady interrupted, placing her palm on top of the man’s hand. “Thomas,” she whispered forcefully, “it’s okay.”

“No!” Thomas responded looking down at her. “Nothing about his behavior is okay.” He meets his son’s eyes with disappointment.

Eli had every right to be mad. His true mom died before he ever met her and it’s been years since Eli had a true mother figure in his life. He learned to adapt and live but always felt he had been cheated by life. It wasn’t until recently that his father, Thomas, began to form an interest in one of the employees that worked for him, her name was Eleanor.  Ever since he started seeing her, Eli began acting out. Doing things that could hurt the family business but he didn’t care because he knew that he would always be praised for his looks and money. However, his dad did not raise such a fool.

“I don’t understand how many times we have to discuss this, respect and responsibility-”

“She doesn’t respect me,” Eli blurted out, “so why should I?”

“And what makes you say that?” Eleanor asked before Thomas could interject. Eli was shaken at how confident and bold the lady spoke. He had never seen her so brave. “Is it because I won’t let you be a part of the family business? Is that what this is about?” He didn’t say a word, his lips quivered ever so slightly. His eyes glistened in the soft glow of the candlelight until he blinked letting a single tear fall from his cheek. “Aw, that’s it, isn’t it?” She smirked at his crying face.

“Eli,” Thomas spoke in a soft tone, “we’ve been through this many times, you’re simply not ready.” Eli felt a sense of emptiness. Somewhere deep inside he knew it was true even though he’d been hiding it all these years.

“He will never be ready,” Eleanor added coldly. “Perhaps, if he wanted it more he would act like it.”

Eli stared at Eleanor in anger. How little she knew and how entitled she was brought Eli to spill in rage.

“You know nothing!” Eli announced directly at her, his voice dragging through the large dining room filled with fine carpet and expensive furniture. Eleanor grabbed her glass and took a slight sip of her fine wine. She stared longingly at the fireplace that burned brightly. “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” He shrieked. She recoiled and found his eyes. “You have no idea how much I’ve wanted this since I was little! The only way that father believed to truly be a part of the family was to be a part of the family dynasty! And- and now you took that from me. Only because you think it’s okay to take advantage of my dad and the company.”

“Elijah enough!” shouted Thomas in hopes to clean up the mess that he has started.

“No!” Eli snapped back at his father. “Stop trying to control me!”

“Don’t you think I ever wanted to make my own dad proud? Huh?” he screamed at Eleanor waiting for an answer. “Don’t you think I ever wanted to be a part of the family dynasty? You can’t keep getting away with controlling my life!” he cried. “You have no room to say whether I should or shouldn’t be a part of the business. Just because my dad likes you doesn’t mean you are right, you are no one in comparison to the rest of my dad’s employees. All you do is deliver him coffee. You don’t know what’s best for the company!”

“I know enough that you are too naive and irresponsible even to own something as simple as a car! How are you supposed to own a business?” replied Eleanor.

“I am everything that you are not!” answered Eli.

“I SAID ENOUGH!” Thomas screamed, catching both of their attention. Eli had forgotten for a second that his father was still present and heard everything he had said. He didn’t regret a single thing he had said but regretted saying it in front of his father, not because he was ashamed of it but because he knew that his father doesn’t take anything lightly. “Don’t you ever raise your voice at her, she’s a part of the family!”

“I don’t even know who she is,” Eli claimed.

“I’m your mother!” she argued.

“You are supposed to be!” The words echoed through Thomas’s head as he realized how wrong he was. He had seen a side to his son that he hadn’t seen in years. He had pain in his eyes, real raw heart-breaking pain, not the one he uses to get what he wants but the one he hides from everyone. Eli realized just by the look on both of their faces that he showed his broken side. The side of himself that he was the most ashamed of. “But of course, you will never be that to me because you are the farthest thing to a mother. You are a gold digger and I see right past you.”

“You don’t get it, do you? You have everything here.” Thomas opened his arms to show the opulent room around them. “You have food on the table that you refuse to eat just because you don’t get what you want. All I do is worry and protect and do what’s best for this family and all I get back is a spoiled little kid.”

“You are the one that raised me and I’m not scared of you!” Eli barked back.

“Well, you should be, because I’m so tired of you acting like you pay everything around here. You do nothing and somehow you get everything handed to you. I’m not sure why you choose to spit it out and ask for more but I’m exhausted trying to keep up with your standards!”

He left Eli speechless like a deer in headlights. Frozen to his core, mouth hanging open. He had never been yelled at like this before in his 19 years of living.

“Okay, whatever,” Eli said with his head hanging low staring at his full plate. He knew it was true but would never admit it. He acted like he learned nothing.

“Get out of my house.” the man ordered. Eli’s head whipped up so shocked at what he had heard.

“What?” he stuttered not knowing if he heard correctly.

“You heard me,” he replied coldly, “get out of my house.”

“W-what? Y-you can’t do that.” Eli claimed with a nervous laugh, not sure if he was being serious.

“Ah, but of course, I can.”

“No,” he yapped back. This didn’t change his father’s mind so Eli decided to approach it differently, “but I’m your son.” He said trying to cause guilt among him.

Thomas saw right through him. “You are so delusional if you think I’m going to keep up with this behavior,” Thomas answered rightfully.

Eli nervously glanced at Eleanor as if she was going to help his situation. She sipped her wine with not a worry in the world. He looked back at his father who stood above him. He began panicking at the thought of losing all he had. He felt his throat closing into itself. His breath shortened. He couldn’t accept the truth. He always got what he wanted. He studied the room around him as if looking for the answer on the brick walls. His blood ran cold in terror. He took one last glance at his uneaten meal and then at his parents. He quickly removed himself from the dining table.

In his room, he packed a bag filled with clothes and jewelry. He cried saying his goodbyes to the staff that he relied on cooking and cleaning for him. He began his new life filled with fear, all by himself.

As he drove through the rural areas, Eli saw people living in small, simple homes. He quickly ran through the little money he had saved, and he found himself homeless and alone. As he wandered the streets, cold and hungry, Eli realized the error of his ways. He wished he could go back and change his spoiled, entitled behavior, but it was too late. But as time went on, Eli began to learn how to cook, clean, and take care of himself. He discovered that he didn’t need his parents’ money to be happy, and he found gratitude in the simple things in life. He found himself grateful for the warmth of the sun on his face and the taste of a juicy apple. Eventually, he even found joy in the quiet solitude of living alone. Eli realized that even in his darkest moments, he could find gratitude and happiness.