Duplicitous; the word left a bitter taste in his mouth that all the finest whiskey in the world could not wash out. He was not duplicitous, he was a businessman, an entrepreneur he thought to himself as he calmly folded the business section of the newspaper and slid it across the solid mahogany table; to land in the chrome-plated trash basket. Papers should stick to what they know best, reporting the news and not feature articles about business reviews, calling he him a shark in a suit. He smiled at that image well the corporate world was an unruly ocean and he was a shark, a shark in a suit.
His leather executive chair creaked slightly as he reached with a well-manicured hand for a button on the intercom that signaled his P.A.
“Sir?” A female voice inquired.
“Can you find out for me how much the Resonance Times is worth, annual profit projections, and readership numbers…..oh! And its key board members.”
“Sir it will take a mome__”
“I will have a file on Resonance Times with my morning coffee, thank you very much.” He said dismissing his P.A. He would teach them, calling him a duplicitous businessman, oh they would learn he could be far worse than duplicitous, he was a shark in suit, their words, well little fishes musn’t swim with sharks.
He hadn’t gotten to where he was by letting people write bad reviews about him. He had the president’s private number on speed dial, considering he had almost single-handedly bankrolled the president’s campaign; the least the president could do was pick up when he called him; that was power.
Growing up his father constantly said to him “One cannot earn respect by standing around with one’s hands in one’s pockets” and each word was punctuated with a smack to the back of the head. It didn’t hurt much, physically, but the humiliation of it brought a sting of hot tears to the eyes, and boys were never supposed to cry. He learnt his lesson and he learnt it well, after several chastising.
Respect is earned not by standing with your hands in your pockets but by being able to put your hands in other people’s pockets. No, nothing as crass as being a common pickpocket even if you were skilled like the Artful Dodger, oh no, they dipped they own hands into their pockets and gave you all they and even called you “Sir” while they were doing it. That was respect.
His father the sentimental old fool, had given him the best education money could buy, and an exposure to the modern world of luxury that he had no longer been content to go back and settle in the countryside, to live the simple communal village life. His father was the chief and being his father’s only son he was heir to the chieftaincy, but how could he, with his modern overseas education, waste his business acumen sitting on a leopard skin throne, that reeked of cow dung, addressing people whose language he could no longer speak fluently, though he could speak perfect English. An old English teacher once had said to him, “If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine, I am speaking to a native European” the whole class clapped because the teacher gave out compliments as would a miser who carefully counted from his hoard, before picking the least valued coin, to give away.
The day he came back from his studies abroad and told his father that he no longer wanted to succeed him as chief was the day he broke his father’s heart. But his heart was set, he wanted to live in the big city where the bright lights shone brighter than dreams, turning night into day and no one ever seemed to sleep because money just like power never sleeps.
He had two sons now, hopefully X with a little tough love and mentoring could one day takeover his empire, and the other one could follow the footsteps of his grandfather and take over a different empire all together, that would be perfect and perhaps his father would forgive him finally for walking away from culture.
After a soft knock the frosted glass door to his office swung open silently on well-oiled hinges and his PA walked in carrying a silver tray with a single china mug of steaming hot coffee. She placed the tray on his desk and as if by magic conjured a folder marked The Resonance Times from beneath the tray and placed it squarely beside the tray.
He smiled like a benign shark, all teeth, a shark in a suit.
“That will be all thanks”
My #Blogbattle themed Duplicitous
This is a continuation of an ongoing series of stories which are linked in various sometimes not so obvious ways, I recommend you catch up by reading giving feedback if you would be so kind: