The Uncalibrated Game
The turnaround events of the Roger’s case wasn’t good. We all dived in headstrong but emerged as if we were the ones who did the crime. What was worst was the media scrutiny. Although Roger’s attempt to get Brandon’s past to the tabloids was successful, even we were not protected from the encore of press feasting on the carcass of our lives in the open.
Everything that we tried in a span of these past few months seemed to all be in vain. Luck had given up its blessings on us and whatever strategy we had at getting Brandon to admit he was a bad father and an ex CEO seemed to backfire.
At this session of the court, Roger seemed defeated. His shoulders dropped from their usual stance and his sunken eyes were the reflection of sleepless nights where he ended up tossing and turning on the bed. Before Roger could move to his place with the lawyers, my hand coiled around his, pulling him away from them.
“You want to say something babydoll?” he asked.
“I..l don’t..” words were to be pulled out for their reluctance to emerge like a shy kid at a party. Unable to meet his gaze, my vision lingered on the worn down marble flooring. “What I want to say is that don’t get your hopes high. It’s..”
Roger tipping my chin up. “Don’t worry. I know when I am about to lose. But I have you and that’s all I ever wanted.”
He trotted away, leaving me in the aftermath of his fake console. I knew deep down, Roger loved the company and even the thought of leaving it for Brandon to take over was killing him. Only now, he was preparing to do so in reality.
Falling back in my seating, I looked around for Dad and Malcom who seemed to be missing from the arena. With the judge walking in, the audience rose up. Moments later, the bloodbath of verbal arguments and evidences to malign character began again.
It wasn’t the first time this was happening and it wasn’t the last. Over a period of past months, this was the usual we all witnessed. Only deviation from the same would catch us by surprise and those were only a few.
Xavier who walked in, dropped beside me. My elbow nudged him. “Where were you?”
He shrugged and his hand gestured a cigarette break but I knew long enough to know when he was lying. True to his form, upon my head tilt for the truth, he winked like it wasn’t a big deal to miss the merged company’s decision day.
“You are such a bad liar,” I said to him, ignoring his face.
He chuckled softly into his hand and leaned forward, sighing. “Any progress from the usual?”
My side nod gave the answer. Spoken words in the court were less with the verbal arguments ahead of us, loud enough to distract.
“I don’t know what we will do now. Brandon’s guy seems to be reeling in like Roger is the culprit.”
With his hand tapped over mine, Xavier looked forward. “Things have a way of working out..”
My eyes rolled on the insides. “How. Please explain.”
After a brief pause, Xavier fished his phone and tapped over his keypads, swishing a text. It was so fast the whole process, that I wasn’t sure of the addressee. The gavel banged, pulling us out from our discussion to look over to Brandon’s lawyer who scanned some documents in his hands. He stood stuttering in his words, before tossing a look at Roger and his crew.
“What’s happening? Did we miss something?” I asked. That question wasn’t directed for anyone but me.
My mind rattled questions about Brandon’s stuttering attorney. What happened to the man who seemed to take shots after shots with his words at Roger?
The gavel banged again, silencing the mutterings of the court room. I looked over to Xavier who sat in place as if there wasn’t anything different about the situation now than a while back.
Clutching his hand, I squeezed the life out of his digits in a hope of getting him to confess. “Tell me what it is? You know something don’t you?”
Xavier pointed to the judge who banged his gavel harder to silence the crowd. His stern hardened voice was a scolding for all who talked. The room fell back to its former state, yet a few backgrounds mutterings were ignored by the judge whose hand turned pages after pages, reading something.
When his head tossed up, the entire place stood still as if his gaze held us all in a state of trance. Drawing a deep breath, the judge narrowed his gaze towards both parties sitting in front.
“In the light of the new events, I am dismissing this case. Roger Murphy shall remain the CEO of Murphy enterprises.”
Many of Murphy’s employees stood from their chairs and clapped, holding onto each other with the wave of congratulating running wild in the wind. Our team couldn’t believe those words either. I remained glued to my seat, unable to process the words I heard.
Did the case get dismissed in favor of Roger? Did we win? How did this happen?
Mrs. Rose who sat behind me embraced me while I felt the air escape from lungs. I was still in shock to process the information. Only when she jerked my body, did I felt a semblance of connection to reality. “We won Arin. We won!”
My state of being was unexplainable. Knowing well our chances of losing were high, I stood still like a tree, unable to move or process the decision. Xavier moved over to Roger, doing their round of hugs and handshakes. Both of them turned to me at the same time.
While Roger mirrored my expression of shock and surprise, Xavier only gave me a tight nod. Upon approaching them, Roger pulled me into his chest, muttering words none of which were registered in my mind. My focus was on Xavier, my thoughts went over every single detail and pinged back to the time he sent the text and the decision were made.
“I will talk to you in a moment,” placing my hand over Roger, I moved a step back. He held me closer like he wasn’t fine with letting me go.
“If you want time to process over what happened then I have news for you. Even I need to do the same.”
Somehow, I was sure that he was as much in dark as me. “Don’t you think it’s a little convenient to just win? Just like that Brandon decided to withdraw the case which for years he wanted so badly to win.”
With my lingering question, Roger’s eyes widened. He took me to a side, away from out lawyers, all of whom were clearly in a mood for celebration
“I had my doubts but I thought it was the way we were fighting,” running his hand over the back of his neck before loosening his toe, he looked over the now empty place. “You think someone or something made this happen?”
I nodded vigorously. “Yes indeed. I think Xavier knows something. I don’t know how but it’s my gut feeling.”
Searching the place, we registered Xavier’s absence. Before we could walk out, our lawyers got their statements verified, the words they will tell the world outside through the media. Hand in hand, Roger and I walked behind the team that would go down in history as the dream team which successfully made a huge tug of war between a father and son go away.
Camera flashed and microphones pointed in our directions were first addressed by the team. They took all questions upon them, answering with patience and understanding. Only when the last of the questions were placed, the ones about how do we feel about the victory, did Roger step ahead.
His hand still remained intertwined with mine. Somewhere amidst all the troubled and heartbreak, I had a man who loved me dearly with a passion I always hoped and dreamed for. Giving his hand a little squeeze, I saw Roger’s side look for teasing his as he answered.
“I am really happy with the outcome. The team did great, with their arguments and everything. Most importantly, I am glad to still have reins of my company.”
The message was short and sweet. It was a perfect to wrap up the years of struggle and days of sleeplessness. Although neither the media nor the people would ever know of the real struggled of Roger as a kid, his trust issues and the losses he faced since childhood, they were blessed to witness a man who, after all this emerged stronger.
With our security directing us towards the parked car, we both descended down the stairs of the courthouse. Both our heads turned one last time to see the place where a few months ago, we both stood like two nervous balls, praying for a win. Today, those prayers materialized.
The press still questioned us upon our descent. Many were the repeat of, “what plans next” or “when will we get married?” for which Roger turned and smiled.
“Don’t worry you all will be invited,” he gestured to everyone, making them laugh.
Before we could launch inside the car, a particular question stood out. “Ms. Oswald, will you and Xavier take over now that your father had resigned as the CEO?”
My steps halted at the question, head tiled to the man who held the microphone and a smirk on his face. With phones chiming on every other hand, the questions seemed to grow louder. Inside the car, the driver pulled up the windows but the muffled words and the screen taps were still audible.
“Why do you think your father resigned?”
Did you enjoy this chapter? Let me know in the comments..
Also, these are the last few chapters of the book. Yes, sadly the story of Arin and Roger is coming to an end..
As much as I am sad about their departure, I am glad for having every one of my reader who read and commented on this book and made me feel as if I was a star writer. I loved the way you all appreciated Arin’s persona and eyerolled at Roger’s stupidity and tossed down words of appreciation when the got together.
They will love for you to check out my other work too * wink wink*
The King Killer is a novel on Mexican Mafia kingdom and the story of three brothers and their lives and love spread in a three part book. Its hot, its thrilling and it had intense emotions for everyone to read and enjoy.
Hope you all would give it a chance too, like all other work of mine :)
See you on the other side of another page of another book..