The Boy Who Can Taste Color Ch. 4
Where we learn what Travis has been keeping secret through the holidays
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“I’m on scholastic dismissal this semester,” Travis said casually, as he reached for a roll.
They had convened in the formal dining room. The table was long enough for a dozen people, but the five of them sat at one end. so Fred Bennett took his usual seat at the head of the table, Holden’s mom Claire at his right, with Travis next to her. Holden and Jenny sat together, Jenny across from Travis and Holden across from his mom. The introduction of Jenny to his parents had been awkward—they had both been in the family room when he and Jenny had returned inside, freezing and ready for some of Tonya’s hot chocolate. They had both greeted her warmly, and no one gave him a hard time for inviting her to dinner, so that was something.
But that was before Travis’s bombshell.
The first thing Holden heard was the clatter of silverware against the good china. Then he looked up at his parents’ faces. Neither one had spoken yet, but their expressions were a blur of disbelief, anger, frustration, and disappointment. Travis was their golden boy. He was the star athlete, the guy who dated all the pretty girls, the one who made his father proud. He was the one who would take over Fred Bennett’s business, marry the daughter of one of the city’s wealthy families, and through these things, expand the Bennett empire. He would raise successful and beautiful children who would repeat the cycle all over again for generations to come.
But his announcement had caused that solid foundation to shift. Their golden boy had tarnished in seconds. He had a flaw, a crack in the perfect veneer. He would bring everlasting shame to their entire family—or at least, that’s what a stranger might deduce from the horrified faces both parents displayed.
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