After my somewhat impetuous decision and announcement to Joey about selling up I have been giving it serious consideration. An impasse has been reached in my life, and many perhaps unwelcome or unpopular decisions must be made to move forward. As much I enjoy running my clubs, I have come to the point where I no longer have the motivation needed to keep going. Life is too short and fleeting to spend 50 hours or more a week working. I want to enjoy walks on the beach, lazy days relaxing in a spa, wearing my pyjamas all day if I feel like it. Maybe taking up a hobby like gardening or painting, perhaps even archery again. It was one of my passions back in my boarding school days.
“What’s this I hear about you selling up?” Richard asks bursting through my office door. I see someone can’t keep his own water.
“So you’ve been talking to Joey.”
“So it is true?” He asks, sitting down on one of the leather chairs in front of my desk.
“Yes, it is.”
“And what do you intend to do with yourself?” What is this the Spanish Inquisition, he may be my older brother, but that doesn’t give him the right to come waltzing into my office to interrogate me.
“I have no idea yet. Something, nothing, everything.”
“That doesn’t sound like a well thought out plan, Olivia. Are you sure you don’t just need to take a little time off?”
“To you maybe Richard it sounds like utter lunacy, but I have thought about this, and no time off is not the answer. All this would still be here, the stress, the long hours, the opposition every time I embark on a new venture. I’m tired of it all.”
“You sound like you’re running away from life.” He comments, reaching into his jacket pocket.
“No, no smoking in here.”
“Fine.” He says, sliding the cigarette case back into his pocket.
“And no I’m not running away from life, I’m going to grab life by the balls and live it the way that makes me happy.”
“Do you even know what that is?”
“I know two things it is, and no Richard I don’t care what dad thinks or Esther or anyone else for that matter, not anymore. If we love each other and want to be together, no-one is going to stop us.” He sighs, Richard has never openly disapproved of my feelings for Joey and Pearse, but deep down I know he thinks it is wrong. He’s not a conservative person by any means, but even he has lines he won’t cross.
“It’s your life, Olivia, just don’t do anything too hasty that you’ll live to regret.”
“I’d rather regret doing it Richard than regret not doing it at all.”
“Ugh, that is such a cliché.” He starts fidgeting, adjusting his tie, fiddling with the buttons on his jacket, tapping his foot.
“Go ahead one cigarette but smoke it out the window.” In an instant, he leaps from the chair and practically runs to the window a cigarette already in his hand before he gets there. Lighting up he takes a long drag, holds it for a split second then blows a long continuous cloud of smoke out the window. A look of satisfaction on his face. I know that feeling all too well, though mine is from the loving warmth of a glass of gin. Oh gin how I do miss thee, let me count the ways. From the satisfying crack sound of the seal on a new bottle breaking to the clink of ice on glass and finally the warm feeling as you run down my throat. Heavenly. Two more drags and the cigarette is gone. He sighs stubs the cigarette out on the outside window sill and places the butt on a carved wooden coaster sitting on my desk.
“Better now?” I ask as he sits back down again, his facial muscles look less tense, his shoulders more relaxed.
“So you wanna buy two nightclubs, a strip club and a half-finished wine bar?” He laughs and replies.
“Not on your Nelly.”