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Anatoly's father, Miguel's grandfather, had been one of the richest and most corrupt business barons the world had ever known. But with his obsession to rule the world, Anatoly's father physically and emotionally ignored Anatoly while at the same time placing unrealistic expectations on Anatoly to 'follow him into the 'family' business'.
When Anatoly reached adulthood and had his own sons, his father's warped view of fatherhood was passed on to yet another generation of Brushnikovs through Miguel and his brother Thomas. Under no real fault of his own, Anatoly was destined to repeat the same mistakes and inflict the same childhood traumas on Miguel and his brother as he had endured himself under his own father.
Without spoiling the story, the below dialogue is between Anatoly, Miguel's father; Thomas, Miguel's brother; and Miguel.
Isabella, Miguel's mother, plays a minor role in this particular scene.
Here is the scene. The family is in their opulent dining room, surrounded by servants, eating dinner right after Miguel had run away to the city and then was retrieved by his father's Gestapo-like army. Miguel had not spoken a word to the family in weeks and this was not the first time he had run away. Miguel's brother Thomas attempts to 'stir the family pot' at the dinner table by asking Miguel where he had been. Anatoly attempts to intervene.“So, Miguel, where did you go today?” Thomas asked.
plate with green beans and mashed potatoes. Anatoly glared at Thomas with a look that needed no
explanation; Thomas, do not start something with your brother! Uncomfortable with any conflict
whatsoever, Isabella wiped the corner of her mouth with her napkin, removing a small portion of
food and a large glob of bright red lipstick. She peered at her husband nervously, hoping that he
would stop Thomas from going any further with Miguel.
Anatoly laughed at Thomas’s lame attempt at sincerity and then replied, “Where Miguel went today is between him and…his parents.”
Then to prove to Thomas that he had the situation under control, Anatoly looked at Miguel and asked, “Miguel, where did you go today?”
Miguel did not appear to hear his father. He continued to build a white and green mountain out of mashed potatoes and green beans.
"Miguel, I asked you a question!” Anatoly stated in a most stern voice, but then he
immediately backed off with more of a plea to the boy, “Please answer me, Miguel.”
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