“What if I had it all wrong?” The strolling, young fellow in a silly-looking, almost childish pastel blue suit with sparkling, purple, glitter cufflinks, clutched his ivory-white hand around his umbrella and pressed his fingertips firmly against the wooden handle. He let out a little sigh while biting his lower lip, working out a cigarette from his unbuttoned chest pocket to calm his mind. The rain drops that had reached his eyelashes after flowing downwards his forehead in small, small rivers were no nuisance to his already bad eyesight, although he felt the migraine from his fever killing his focus. After turning around the second corner, he accelerated his pace and suddenly, the strolling had turned into sprinting. The cream colored umbrella that was slowing him down had been thrown away in the gutter. It lay there in a lousy fashion with its steel wires broken. “Yes! I must’ve had it all wrong!”
“But sir, remember what you said last time? That if the meeting gets postponed any further, the company will withdraw the contract?” a woman’s voice echoed. A pale, grey-skinned man in his fifties with a stiff look on his face lifted his rough hand covered by brown moles and visible veins to adjust the position of his black, wire-framed spectacles that reflected the tiring persistence in his eyes. This was a nervous habit of his. “Well,” he started. The young rookie-secretariat woman standing in the doorway did also wear well-known special brand glasses. She stared dreadfully at the left ear of her sitting boss as she didn’t want their eyes to meet, even though she stood several feet away from his seat. Her body was shivering. She then turned to the ghost-like faces of the other employees around the crescent-shaped wooden table. They all sat there with their hands and knees trembling like leaves. Yes, the boss’s (or should I perhaps dub him Mister Smith?) nervousness was always contagious.
“It is for starters not decided whether the development of a new shopping mall will be accepted and sponsored by the company or not. And second, if the company denies our request of The Capital Square, we will just have to use Betty Garden,” he said without looking at the young secretariat. “Why take the effort of buying new field when you’ve already got several square miles of property ready?” the delicate voice of a youngster cut through the stiff atmosphere. “Excuse me?” “Hi, daddy,” he replied with confidence. “Is that you, Gregory? How dare you embarrass me in this kind of inappropriate clothing right in front of my own subordinates? And where is my umbrella?” the grey-skinned man grunted without turning to the doorway, which was the source of the sound.
“Charlie didn’t make it.” Young Gregory had the tendency of dubbing his father’s belongings with nicknames, no matter what kind of item it was. “Charlie didn’t make it through the rain. Ironical, isn’t it?” He let out an inane grin. All the other employees, except the secretariat, laughed delightfully along with the freshman. “Who exactly is this young gentleman? A newcomer?” the secretariat asked. “Do I look like I’m employed at this place?” Gregory replied while grinning at the lady beside him (who couldn’t be much older than him anyway). “But, oh well, I am a kind of a novice at my father’s business but I don’t work here or anything,” Gregory said. “Get out of my sight, boy,” Smith roared while pointing his index finger at the youngster. “I thought you had a fever. You are supposed to stay at home and never, no matter what reason, interrupt my meetings-“ “Are you listening to what I’m saying?” The pinky rose red cheeks and the childish look had suddenly vanished from the boy’s face. Smith took his glasses off, stood up and frowned at the boy. He stared into the stern eyes of his son and realized that this was serious. “I’m calling for a twenty-minute-recess.”
“So,” Smith began with a single-use-cup of espresso in his left hand. “Would you care to elaborate what you said back in the office?” followed by a brief moment of silence. “I trusted you,” Gregory said without looking up. “You promised that you wouldn’t lay a finger on Betty Garden.” “No, I never promised anythi-“ “Yes, you did. I was a fool to believe in those cheap words you served me; about how likely it was that your company would find other places to put that damned shopping mall of yours, about how simple buying new property is, about how Johnson’s Field was more than enough for that cursed project!” Gregory could barely catch the glimpse of his father adjusting his spectacles through the corners of his eyes that were overflowing with bitter tears. “Things are difficult these days, my boy,” Smith said. “Johnson’s Field is of British soil. We can’t do anything with it, even though we’ve purchased most of it.” The words echoed inside Gregory’s head. The migraine was terrorizing his brains and his ears were ringing. “Do you have the slightest idea of what Betty Garden is to me? What Betty Garden is to mother and what Betty Garden is to Melissa and Jacquin?” “I beg you that you please give those you mentioned peace, m’boy. They’re not in this world anymore-“ “You’re not giving them any peace by smashing Betty Garden to bits and building some useless, lame shopping mall there, you know!” Gregory slammed his hands at the table and muttered something to himself. “I beg that you please refrain from using coarse language in my-“ “No! Betty Garden,” he cried. “I was born in Betty Garden. So were Melissa and Jacquin. You proposed to mother in Betty Garden and you married her there!” “It is no easy decision,” his father said after another moment of silence. “It’s too late now, isn’t it? I knew something was fishy when we had that conversation,” Gregory said with a sudden calmness. “You thought you could do anything you desired just because I’m going to college for a couple of years,” he continued. “This is madness.”