Summer break is normally a happy occasion. No school, unlimited free time, and fun. None of which was in store for sixteen-year-old Zoey Taylor daughter of CEO giant Ross Taylor and renowned painter Maria Anatoli. Her parents were in a terribly tense relationship that was about to crack.
Zoey had just got home from the local mall and was going to grab a snack before the big dinner with grandma and grandpa who were flying into town. Zoey was shocked as she saw her mother and father angrily glaring at each other. Maria turned to her daughter and tried to dry her eyes. It was the first time Zoey had seen them in the same room in months and something didn't seem right. Maria was teary eyed and hammered, starting off into space and her father was standing over the sink staring out the window.
“Are you okay?”
“Fine,” her father said softly, clutching a bra that was too small for her or her mother. Awkwardly she tried to change the tone of the room, deciding to ask about the person who brought her joy.
“Where is Toni?” Zoey asked, referring to her nanny, caregiver and all around favorite person. Her mothers head snapped up like a whip. A look of disgust washing over her face.
“We do not talk about that little hussy” she spat taking a swig of her drink.
“Maria” her husband said pointedly.
“Shut up Ross!” She screamed storming from the room leaving Zoey and her father alone. Neither spoke for a moment.
“Please set the table, Grandma and grandpa will be here soon” he said starting to leave. Zoey rolled her eyes Lori would have a fit if she was called grandma.
“You mean Papa and Lori”
“Zoe please not today” Her father said accounting like a deflating balloon. Zoey huffed. Slowly she set the table and heard yelling from up stairs. Her mothers voice carried.
“You're a whore!” her mother screamed furiously. Zoey was about to go see what all the fuss was about when an alarm went off. The chicken in the oven was done and the pots on the stove were salvageable. Quickly Zoey plated the food, sneaking in a few bites before she grabbed her phone and made a mad dash for the living room couch. The arguing had stopped; her father had disappeared into his office and her mother stayed up the stairs.
An hour passed before the loud generic sound of the doorbell earned their attention. Zoey raced for the don't jumping into her grandpa's arms.
“Hi papa, don't you look beautiful” she said, hugging her grandmother.
“You're so sweet” she said, squeezing her as they walked inside following her to the table. “Where are you parents”
“I'll go get them, '' Zoey said, running up the stairs only to have the door open and stop her in her tracks. Her mother stood with puffy eyes that were hidden beneath a layer of fresh makeup. As they returned to the table her father was there chatting up her grandfather. Awkwardly Zoey took a seat serving herself. It was halfway through dinner when Lori looked at Ross and said in a pointed manner.
“Im surprised she stayed considering”
“Considering what” snapped Ross with a pointed look at his wife who was staring back in surprise. Maria hadn’t told her mother a thing she had been too embarrassed.
“Angelica told me her daughters pregnant with your kid” Ross stared back with a loss of words.
“Mom please” Maria said, earning a sharp look from her mother.
“If he thinks I’m going to sit here and play nice while he’s off siring little heathens then he’s wrong!” She snapped slamming down the Utensils as she turned her attention onto Ross.
“You're a good for nothing little man whore,” Lori spat, shaking her head as she continued her rant.
“You need to be castrated like a dog in heat”
“How dare you” Ross said getting to his feet in anger.
“How dare I, did she tell you she’s a minor only a year old then Zoey”
“No, she is not”
“Yes she is all the makeup lies, ask Zoey what school she goes to” Lori said looking at Zoey who was trying to disappear. “She goes to my school” Zoey whispered, realizing the gravity of what had happened.
“I want you and your things out of my family home,” Lori said angrily as her daughter went to speak.
“Silence Maria, if you don’t like you can go with him!” Lori said, grabbing her bag off the ground pushing past her husband and out the door.
“I’m sorry baby girl,” He said, kissing Maria’s forehead.
“You better get a good lawyer,” Papa said walking around to Zoey.
“You be safe my little angel”
As the four closed behind her grandparents chaos unfolded. Her mother Maria flew into a fit of rage chucking a full glass of wine at his head she screamed “Get out you, pedophilla!”
“You heated my mother, get you shit and get out!”
“Maria it's not like that”
“Oh it's like that you got here pregnant in my house, get the fuck out, now!” Mr. Taylor froze as Maria picked up their wedding picture smashing it against the ground. Shards of glass splattered about dangerously.
“If you want some dignity you better leave now” Maria growls viciously picking up another plate.
“Please let me explain”
“I said get out!”
“No this is my home” Ross said putting his fit down.
“You don't get shit, remember you wanted a prenatal” Maria said mocking his voice as Zoey tried to quite slip away from the dining room table a piece of garlic breed in her hand.
“Zoe, it's not what there -” Her father tried to tell his daughter.
“Dont you dare talk to my daughter get out now or I'm calling the police”
“And telling them what?”
“That you force a minor to have sex with you so she could keep her employment”
“That's not what happened!”
“Either way you're a whore and I want you out of my house” Maria screamed hitting him with the plate which sparked a real fist fight. The smaller fraud woman was agile and ruthless, biting and scratching as her husband picked her up, tossing her off him.
“I said get out you son of a bitch!” Maria said, jumping onto his back which caused Mr.Taylor to shove her off. Unintentionally slamming her into the nervy shelf. Things toppled to the ground around the now limo woman.
“Dad just go!'' Zoey screamed running to her mom. Her father stated in disbelief. Angrily he stormed off into the kitchen. Zoey helped her mother to her feet and tried to console her. No more than five minute later her father returned, raving mad. He began to unload all his anger.
“What gives you the right to tell me what to do!” Maria had enough of his shit and in her dizzy state she grabbed a wine glass and slammed it against his head. A flurry of food flew about as Ross charged his wife spamming her into the dinning room table. The two wrestled on the ground as police came through the front door. A neighbor had called 911. Zoey stood off in the corner as they hauled away her father who was screaming. Her mother lay on the floor limp.
The cops took away her father on domestic charges and the ambulance hauled away her mother leaving her alone in the big house waiting for her grandparents all the while wondering how a family get-together could go so wrong. It was just another reason to hate summer vacation and family dinners.