The description/summary is subject to change. Cast pics will go up in a few days. This is a rough copy so just don’t mind me if any typos. If I didn’t post, I would probably have just left it sitting. I have at least three stories I’m working on but here goes....
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
I was going to lose everything. In a singular moment, I stood to lose 35 years of blood, sweat and sleepless nights as I listlessly gazed down at contracts, portfolios, and spreadsheets of numbers I couldn’t crunch. There was little else left to do. David came into the cramped office -momentarily disrupting the freefall of a headspace I was reeling from- in a tan sports coat, trim looking with loafered feet walking across the thick, quilt-like carpet. His footfalls were eerily silent given how stagnant and thick the atmosphere felt, like a malevolent creature latently anticipating for any sound to traverse the barrier. Playwright, his wiry glasses hung loose and low on the bridge of his nose, he looked as though he smelled like top shelf cognac or whatever a self-proclaimed thespian smelled like. He was an aficionado of things- old things, lost things- things like myself at the moment. He was a hell of a Jack-Of-All-Trades kind of man and sure as hell, he made a lousy accountant.
“How’s this possible?” I looked at him sternly, lasering through the bullshit he would no doubt try to sweet mouth to me. “And save it, I’m not in the mood for being patronized either.” In truth, my father was a very smart man. The only lapse in judgment I could begrudge him of was falling into bed with this man. Of course, the ties through infancy were a strong bond enough but sitting here for about an hour and half with him, I had the beginning feeling of lying like pelt across his floor- he left me feeling uneasy under his thumb, under his stare. I had known him for a good part of six years now but it was almost like a sobering splash of cold water to the face now that I had the rude awaking of something short of having my life pulled out from under me all but entirely.
My father’s company stood to lose everything, correction it was in the early folds of losing everything- paycuts, budget cuts, downsizing, liquidation you name it with corporate raiders yapping at its hind- last August the VP, on the heels of the post humus power shift, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to salvage the core of the company.
I sat quietly seething, my clenched fists sweaty and lost in a world of their own. At this point, it all really didn’t matter. He was gone. So nothing really mattered.
“I’ll sell,” I found myself saying doing my utmost best to keep the beast at bay. But it was gnawing these days in the confines of my headspace and I couldn’t even find it in me to be strong- to try harder. Try harder, the tears were hot and ready, my sinuses congested and face full, I couldn’t tell how many times I’d heard that fucking line. The line that had it all wrapped up in its insinuated good gesture of encouragement- just a poorly clandestine gimmick for saying: Tess, you are a fuck up.
“Get Jim on the phone, tell him I’m ready.”
The ensuing fight would’ve been futile, the other shareholders were wavering, falling away like harvested wheat under the pressure and fear of which I could not blame them for feeling. They had families to feed and I wasn’t strong or experienced enough to colloquially take the bull by the horns. So here I was sitting nice and neat looking like little black girl lost and staring at the Wolf incognito in Perry Ellis. He had a skinny, mercerized Bresciani ankle draped across his knee looking equally lecherous as the naked truth strewn across his table.
He waited, his quiet almost remorseful or apologetic to the state that I was in.
I put a hand up, staying any contradiction he might offer. “It’s been on the table for months now, I really don’t want to pull up the boot straps and hold a sit out when I’ve got readily over fift-six employees to think of who’ve invested their entire lives into my father’s dream. I couldn’t live with myself let alone look at myself in the mirror, because compared to them I’ve little to offer on the chopping block.” Who the hell was I convincing but the layer of dust on the collection of books back there. “I’m a big girl Dave, and I’m telling you this is what I want.”
He stilled, drinking in the moment between either of us speaking. He removed his glasses, folded them neatly then held them between his hands poignantly as he began to level with me. “Look, I understand that you are upset-“
“Really,” I interjected. “Upset is a fraction of how I’m feeling right now. Try fucking livid, David!” The tension rose and rested between us as I left the rest unsaid, he was to blame in this too. Daddy B wasn’t together for the last five years and we both knew it. He was a friend, confident, and financial adviser and he shit faced that. David had been greedy and reckless, something dad should’ve obviously seen over the many years of knowing him but my father was generous in that way. Generous, slow to anger and forgiving- which only made him naïve and prey for men such as David Keith.
Anyone with half a brain would’ve sold last August when we all were suspecting Keiting & Jennings was ripe to go completely under. The board knew it, Jack knew it and I all but told him to fuck off. I was grief stricken and out of line, which I’ve been understandably forgiven of. Hell, that didn’t save me face at the Fourth of July cookout.
But now I thought about how inexcusable and selfish of myself but thankful nonetheless in still knowing the offer Jim had campaigned vigilantly for was still here albeit three quarters of the offer it’d been. It was on the tip of the blade and wouldn’t be there for much longer I suspected. It was time to make a decision, for me to slap on the big girl panties and take responsibility for once in my life.
“Tess,” he spoke in that rich, cognac-y tone. “Ok,” he passed a hand through his salt-and-pepper-well-tapered ‘do. “Do it if you must, if the board still stands behind it. I’ll level with you though my girl, Rich would stand his ground. But he’s not here-“
“And you don’t get to speak for him,” I finished.
We were at some kind of mental impasse when it came to my father. Always was. We both chewed on it then reluctantly accepted the gravity of my decision without a word. He simply shook his head in understanding then continued to make some order of the strewn paperwork. “I’ll draw up the paperwork that I have on file for your father.”
“Thank you.” It was the most civility that I could offer him, even though the blatant disgust for him was etched across my face. After a year like mine, I don’t think I had the luxury of weighing any kind of civility, I was just tired of being a doormat.