Marrying the Wrong Twin

By: Nicole Casey

Terry balked slightly and looked at me.

“Oh…did you need me tomorrow?” she asked. My brow furrowed at the question but Terry rushed on to explain.

“It’s Saturday. I-I can come in if you need me,” she rushed on quickly. “It’s just that it’s my youngest’s birthday on Sunday and there are fifty people coming. It’s prep work but if you need me for a few hours…”

I raised my hand to get her to stop talking and shook my head sheepishly.

“I completely lost track of the days,” I confessed, laughing shortly. “No, I don’t need you here tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend.”

Terry eyed me uncertainly and didn’t move.

“Are you sure I can’t get you something before I go?”

“I’m fine, Terry. Thanks though.”

She nodded and reluctantly spun away, leaving me alone in the office to resume my duties.

On cue, my stomach growled and I groaned to myself.

I’d put the idea in my own head and now I had no one but myself to blame for being hungry.

Flopping back in the chair, I considered my food options, turning slowly to stare out at the fading sunlight on the Los Angeles horizon.

I hated the city with every fiber of my being. What was I still doing here?

It was a conversation I often had with myself but not one that ever granted me a genuine answer.

For almost ten years I’d been caught in this endless loop of wanting to run and resigning to my fate.

It was clear which side was winning.

My cell vibrated on my desk, shattering the reverie which threatened to overcome me. There was no point in playing the “what if” game with myself. I had already given in to the life my parents had plotted for me. I was a full and willing participant now, no matter what I lied and told myself when I was alone.

That was why it was so difficult to take a break from work, to face the emotions I’d tried so hard to stifle despite my outward appearance. The nights were long and lonely and I had no one, not one soul in the world to cry upon.

I hardened my jaw. I didn’t need anyone. I had work.

I snatched up the iPhone XS Max from the glass desk and answered it before I could change my mind. She’d just keep calling until I did.

“Asha Preston.”

“Clearly, darling,” my mother sighed. “You do not need to answer the phone like that when you know I’m the one calling.”

“What is it, Mother?” I was in no mood to discuss decorum with her.

“Your father and I are downstairs. You will join us for dinner.”

It wasn’t a request and I bristled.

“I’m swamped with work, Mother. Another night.”

“It is not up for negotiation, Asha. This is a business meeting.”

Well that was hardly a shock. I couldn’t think of the last time I’d sat down to a “family” dinner. Even the holidays were littered with associates and subtle talks of stocks and marketing.

Had there ever been a time when “family” dinners meant anything other than mergers and acquisitions of sorts?

“I didn’t think that it was anything but a business meeting, Mother. That doesn’t discount the fact that—”


She’d handed the phone off to my father. Typical Collette behavior. She couldn’t even see through a two-minute conversation with me.


I could hear him cringe through the phone. Sometimes I think he longed for the days when I called him “Daddy” but those weren’t apt to make a comeback any time soon. Both James and Collette had hurt me too deeply for me to forgive in this lifetime.

“Darling, this is an important matter. Will you please join us downstairs? The limo is waiting. We have reservations,” my father explained.

“If it was so important, why didn’t you make an appointment?” I demanded but as I spoke, my stomach protested again.

“It is rather last minute, I’m afraid. Will you please join us, Asha?”

I couldn’t bring myself to refuse, not because I didn’t want to but because I was starving.

Anyway, what was one more dinner with my parents? It wasn’t anything I hadn’t endured a thousand times in the past.

No, I’d become the dutiful daughter they’d always wanted, the heir to their kingdom, honors graduate and working at JRP just as they had always expected.

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