Cynthia Chen

Family Feud

"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."

Closing her book, Adrian Kensington looked about her secluded corner of Hyde Park staring pensively into the soft pond before her. A week….it had been a full week after she had uncovered the truth. It had been quite a shock to say the very least. To hear from some stranger, a person who wasn’t acquainted with him at all, that her….ugh! She didn’t want to even think of him. The offensive discovery had resulted in a daily trip to the nearest park from her family estate. A place not disturbed by tourists, or populated by the many teens that seemed to find traveling in packs amusing.

A sudden wind blew sending a myriad of debris skittering across the pond like leaves in October. Adrian blew out a heavy breath, tucking a loose strand of auburn hair behind a delicately arched ear. A twig snapped, breaking the calming silence. She had been so engrossed in her own thoughts that the noise almost went unwarranted. Her head snapped up to see…him, Alex Park. He stood just a few feet away, behind the good-sized granite slab bench. It was a wall, but to protect him or her, Adrian didn’t know.
“What do you want Park?” The remark was colder then she intended. He winced and ran an impatient hand through his thick pitch black hair.
“I came to…apologize?” The voice that she remembered so well smooth and decidedly masculine held a hint of hasty uncertainty.
“Is that a question or a statement?” Her voice was hard.
“You’re not going to make this easy for me are you?” Alex’s voice, although resigned held a certain amount of confidence, a quality she had admired about him.
“No, you’ve got two minutes.” There was finality to Adrian’s voice that surprised even her.
“I-…I know we’re from slightly disagreeable families-”
“Understatement if I ever heard one.” He gave her a meaningful look and she quieted, waiting for him to continue.
“Alright, they’re the two most successful companies, infamous for their incessant antagonism towards each other. Is that what you want to hear, that our families hate each other? Does it really matter that much to you?”
There seemed to be a scant morsel of want. A piece of her that wished for continuation of their former relationship, but her wretched stubbornness wouldn’t allow for this. Pride and ego, the seemingly universal flaw of human nature was blinding her.
“And it….slipped my mind to mention before recently that I’m family of the Park Foundation-”
“Park,” He shot her a narrowed look and she reiterated grudgingly, “Alex, you didn’t tell me, I found out on my own.” He shrugged as if it were all the same. This small careless movement ticked her off. How could it not matter? He hadn’t told her. She had had to find out by her own means.
“But that doesn’t mean I was any less of myself…I’m still the same person. Just because I’m now the Park’s son doesn’t make me a different person, right?” He finished carefully.
“No, you’re a liar and a bloody idiot. What right do you have to withhold that type of information from me? I told you mine…I said right from the start when you asked that I was a Kensington!” Throughout the exchange, her passive countenance had morphed into a frown, and a guarded stiffness emerged. She felt her notorious temper rising. It settled heavy on her chest like a storm off the horizon, just waiting to break.
“I was afraid you’d back off, just like your doing now!” He rounded the granite bench a pleading look adorned his perfectly chiseled features.
“Well maybe if you tried you would have found out!” Adrian rose, brushing dirt from her jeans. Alex reached for her arm but upon feeling his imploring grasp she ripped it away.
“Wait….hold on. Just give me a minute, Adrian.” He made to come after her.
“No, I already gave you that…two to be exact. I’m leaving now and you’re not following me.” She picked up her book and took off into the direction of her estate. Not daring to throw a backward glance for she might just end up forgiving….forgetting the lying offense he previously committed.
Adrian’s grip on her book tightened her knuckles pale. Stopping at a light she almost forgot to stop and look, almost haphazardly running across.
Approaching her large house the intimidating metal gate opened for her. Upon her admittance Adrian ran in all the way up to her room. Out of breath she roughly pulled open the carved mahogany door. Adrian slammed it behind her sharply with a strangled noise cringing as a crash rang loudly throughout her room. Turning, Adrian’s eyes widened as she viewed the damage.
A large mirror that had previously hung on the door had fallen, breaking into multiple shards. The pieces littered the floor. Previously owned by some relative, it had been given to her on some family occasion or other. Looking down she saw herself among the broken shards. Her face distorted and shattered along with the glass. Adrian turned away from it…she hadn’t looked too hot recently anyways.
Adrian sighed resignedly and picked her way through the sharp pieces to settle on her bed. Turning her head, she viewed the family photo, her face reflecting back at her in the glass. It seemed so perfect, three kids clothed in their finest dress, a mom, and a dad. But she knew in reality they weren’t. Imperfection defined humans, so why couldn’t it apply to families as well? Was it ethical to despise a person for the mere fact that someone else did?  
Rather reluctantly she pulled out her cell and pressed one for speed dial.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.