With immense anger, he punched the bonnet of the aged Toyota Camry that had seen him through the toughest times of his life in the big apple. It was the first car he had ever owned. He had worked tirelessly before college while his peers went off to canvals, touring Europe and backpacking through Peru. The being of the semester had gone on well until his father was fired from the energy plant cause of his age. If there was a man out there who was devoted to his all work, it was Damian O’Brien his father. He was not a very rich man in fact he struggled day and night to put food on the table and to make sure his family lacked for nothing. He remembered the story he told him about his mother, of the day he fell in love.
The two of them had fallen hard and in a matter of months the forty year olds had gotten married and by the end of the year they were pregnant but unfortunately due to his mother’s age the pregnancy was high risk and in the end, it cost her life. Leaving his father with a newborn to raise on his own and a broken heart. Despite the sorrow, his father had worked through it and raised him to be a decent man. The day his father lost his job at the plant disrupted their future. With his job gone his father struggled to keep him in college and in the end Ryan had to drop out.
Ryan started working at the Burn Out bar one of the hottest bars in Sitka to make some more money. He sang in the evening and soon patrons started turning out every night just to see him. One night Ryan got a chance to meet one who claimed to be a talent manager from New York. Shortly after his show, Ryan was leaving when he was stopped by the man. The two of them talk and in the end, Jeffery Stone sold the music career to him. Mind made up Ryan decided to leave for New York.
Years later here he was still struggling to make it big in the city that was not showing any mercy at all. He never thought it would be easy but it was still not getting him anywhere. He couldn’t even help out his dad with the mortgage, if it continued like this the bank back home was bound to take their home. And here he was yet again losing another gig to Jay D. Jeffrey had landed him the gig at the night club last week only to arrive for the performance and be told that the club manager had decided to go with Jay D. Ryan hated the guy ever since he arrived in New York the upcoming artist had it out for him, always trying to steal his gig and once again he had succeeded.
“Calm down kid. At least we still have the club party coming up this Saturday and they are giving us two grand. It’s double what we could have made here. Calm, calm”
Ryan compelled himself to calm down, he desperately needed the money to help his father pay off the mortgage or else there home was going to be ceased.
“It will work out, I can feel it. Your time is coming, come on let’s go get some burgers”, Jeffery consoled the young man. Pushing his hand through his golden locks in frustration he got his car keys and drove them to the nearest deli.
Catherine Pierre walked out of Pierre towers the headquarters of Pierre logistics in the US. Thinking of how far she had brought her father’s dream. She had grown and built what used to be one logistics company to a group of companies, dubbing in different industries and she was the overseer of everything, CEO and chairwoman of the Pierre group. To say that she was her Father’s Daughter would be an understatement. All her life Catherine had looked up to him, aspired to be great just like he was. Kind hearted, hardworking and a family oriented man that was her father. But unfortunately for her father and mother society didn’t let them have a break, the fact that they were black, they also constantly gossiped about them, ridiculing her mother who they claimed couldn’t bare him a real heir since the only child she bore him was girl. This had members questioning who was going take over his company if something were to happen to him.
It was a cold Saturday evening when her parents left for a prestigious business awards ceremony where her father was going to be honored as the businessman of the decade. She could still remember that evening clearly like it was yesterday. She had just arrived from the port, seeing to an important shipment that was heading to Rio. Her mother welcomed her with a kiss on the cheek as her father engulfed them both in his big warm arms.
“My precious girls, Henry Pierre breathed content with the life the maker had granted him. Carrying them both off the marbles floor in a big hug. “Oh dear Marie you have gained weight”, he exclaimed putting them down.
“Oh come on that’s a lie Henry her”. Her mom chided playfully slapping him on the shoulder.
“Come on Crystal tell your mother that am not lying my back almost broke in two”, he said a mischievous smile creeping onto his lips. Her parents always called her by her middle name.
“Oh Come on you two break it off, I love you both and mom you’re perfect”.
“You know I love you Mar, you’re my life and I couldn’t have it any other way”, Henry said kissing his mother.
“Gross Catherine”, said say running off to the sitting room.
“We love you”, they both said
“I love you too but you guys are too gross for me, she shouted from the living room. But do have a great time and I promise next time I will accompany you”. Catherine uttered wanting to have a rest from the negative comments and questioning of how she could manage her father’s company.
It was late in the night when the cops drove into the estate only to deliver the worst news she could ever get in her life. Her parents had met an accident on their way back and both were pronounced dead when they reached the hospital. Catherine would never forget that night, she ran out of the house as if she could stop them from leaving. Their joy filled faces of that evening vivid in her mind. She wished she could have stopped them from leaving.
After the will was read some board members weren’t happy that she was going to take over as CEO. They planned to take what was hers but luckily she was informed early. And secretly she bought out all those who were opposed to her being the CEO. Accumulating majority shares of eighty to twenty she took over as her father’s heir and as CEO of the company. With her cunning business nick, the rest of the board and executives respected her. And with her new position, the first order of business was to expand her father’s company to all parts of the world.
Ten years later and here she was leading a thriving business from their US headquarters in New York and because the business was great they were the leading courier and logistics company in the world for the last decade. Shame on all the gossipers who thought she couldn’t make it. Time had been kind to her, she was even featured in Forbes richest women.
Exhausted from a long’s day’s work she got in the awaiting Austin Martin, her chauffeur driving straight to the Mediterranean styled mansion she now called home. One of the reasons she left France was because of the memories. The memories of the happy blessed family she had lost. Downing a glass of water from her fridge. She notices Niander the head of her household staff, apart from her and security most of her household staff lived off the property.
“Should I serve your food?
“No it’s okay I will just get up later and get something to eat. You can go back to sleep”.
“Okay but you should eat your food at the right. It’s only health. I worry about you”, the Jamaican older woman said.
“Thank you Nia and I will remember to always eat at the right time”. Catherine said with a tired smile before walking upstairs to her bedroom.
Miles away Ryan O’Brien stormed out of the club, his long legs connecting with the old tyres of the Toyota Camry in anger.
“Calm down Ryan”.
“This is the tenth gig that Jay has snatched away from me. I can’t take it no more”, he said through greeted teeth.
“Calm down man, it was a mistake. The club manager mixed up the dates but I have talked to him and his agreed to book you and only you for Valentine’s Day special. And since the mistake was theirs he is willing to throw in some extra notes, so calm down”, Jeffery uttered his phone interrupting his next sentence. Stepping aside he answered the call.
Ryan couldn’t stand there as the weasel’s voice played in the background. He got in his car and drove away. Knuckles turning white due to the pressure he was putting on the starting wheel. Twenty minutes later he entered his apartment complex. The sad epitome of the lower middle class. The water facets of the place were leaky and the heating system worse. He never thought life would be this bad for him in New York and to top it off his career was going nowhere. It was true he had the voice and lyrics but without a proper team and management, he was not going to make it very far. He could barely afford to pay for studio time and that why he only had five songs on his demo. But in truth, he had over twenty songs in his book. Luckily the live shows in the bars and parties were bringing in enough for him to survive in New York.
Opening his half empty fridge, he poured himself a glass of orange juice before slumping in his sofa. He closed his eyes dreading to once again call his father for help and yet the whole reason he moved to New York was to help him with the mortgage and bills. To make sure he retired soon. Sometimes he contemplated going back but everyone in town would call him a failure. Sighing in frustration he threw his head back on the couch, closing his eyes his father’s face flashed before his eyes. His phone went off just as he was heading to the bathroom. Grabbing his flip phone already knowing who was calling.
“Jeffery, what do you want, I have a headache?
“Just hear me out Ryan, I have great news. I was talking to an old friend of mine and guess what, I just landed you a gig this coming Saturday at the five seasons. An old couple is celebrating their thirtieth anniversary and you my friend will be the entertainment”.
That got Ryan stopping in his tracks. “Are you serious?
“Better believe it mate, you will be performing at the anniversary of the chairman of Niltech industries. They are paying two grand just get ready and prepare something special you never know we may catch the eye of someone important”.
“Okay, talk soon”. Ryan couldn’t stop grinning, happy that he would be able to send his father a considerable sum of money that month.
A new day dawned and Catherine stormed through her lobby distaste evident on her face. Employees greeted her and immediately rushed out of her way as her PA and sectary were hot on her heel.
“You have a meeting with Hunter Corps at eleven, and the board of directors request your audience in Paris on Monday.
“Zander”. Catherine bellowed to her PA
“And you were right about the Vanderol shipments”. Zander uttered as they got to her office floor.
“Karen move my meeting with Kenneth Hunter to two in the evening, Catherine said walking in to her office and taking a seat. Zander approached her glass desk neatly depositing a folder of photos and documents on the glass table. When and where were these taken?
“In France before the vessel embarked.
“Damn it I told him not to mess with my business. Catherine exclaimed as the folder went flying across the room. A knock came at her door. Yes Karen?
“Am sorry ma’am Mrs Smith dropped this off yesterday”, Karen said handing her a white envelope.
“Mrs. Smith, Catherine questioned before realization dawned on her, a frown immediately forming on her face. Don’t tell me.........”
“Yes ma’am your friend Sandra dropped it off yesterday and demanded your presence at her parents’ anniversary”.
“That conniving bitch. Catherine shout in frustration. God is this morning going to get any worse. Taking deep breaths she settled in her chair crossing her legs. Okay first things first. Karen I need you to reschedule the meeting with the board of directors to Tuesday instead of Monday and push my meeting with Kenneth Hunter to next Monday”. Catherine finished and before Karen could walk away,
“Call Melanie and tell her to meet me at the tea shop at two”.
“Yes ma’am”. Karen said closing the door behind her.
“Call Emil Vanderol and tell him to meet me at the port in two hours. And oh tell him not to test my patience”, Catherine said moving to her closet coming out with a pair of sneakers. Sitting her round bottom on the coffee table she replaced her strapped sandals with the sneakers just as Zander got off the phone.
Getting off the phone Zander turned to his boss, “He said he will meet us there”.
“Good let’s go”, Catherine said taking her phone as Zander grabbed her hand bag. When they reached the lobby everyone automatically flee her path. They all knew what happened when she put on those sneakers and usually someone was definitely get what was coming to them and it was known to be the worst.
They drove to the port her security detail following her coupled with some of her clearing officers. They arrived at the port and every one was assembled.
“Sorry to take you all from your work today. But this is an inspection of containers 356 through to 358. We are checking every item in those containers very well. We have two hours. Get to it”, she shouted and they divided themselves in groups and headed in search of the containers. Catherine stood under the umbrella as her people tore through the containers. Thirsty minutes later one of the employees ran towards them
“We found this in one of the container”, he said handing her a bag of white substance.
“Dammit, she uttered walking towards the said container. Check some more of those refrigerator”. Catherine said just as the others came to find her
“Ma’am you have to see this. She walked to the container where weapons had been discovered. I told this bastard not to mess with my business”. Catherine exclaimed cursing a mountain. Calming her self she told her people to place the containers on the open ground as the waited for the Vanderol.
Soon enough three SUVs pulled up on the grounds. Catherine sat on a beach chair as one of her security guys held an umbrella above her head. She had told Zander to go ahead back to the office. She never wanted innocent people to get hurt because of her and if the police found them here he would also be in danger.
“Catherine”, Emil Vanderol said in greeting.
“Placing her caned soda down. Emil, she answered standing to her feet. Why in the world do you want to ruin my business?
“Come on Cathy”, Emil tried to say but he was cut off when Catherine fired shoots in the air.
“I told you to keep your business with me clean. But you had to go and mess with me. I can also turn bad Emil and you know damn well that I have nothing to lose”. At that point both sides had withdrawn their guns, Catherine’s side having an advantage since she had a hitman hidden above in the containers.
Emil signaled for his men to put their guns away. “Am sorry about this, it will never happen again”.
“Bull shit, I have worked with men the likes of you and this is bound to happen again. So am giving you twelve hours to clear all your goods illegally and legal off my premises and warehouses. This is where our business ends”, Catherine said in finality. Placing the gun in the hands of one of her security guards before walking off to her awaiting Mercedes Eclass. She arrived back at Pierre tower just as the employees were leaving for the day. Putting on her heels she sent off Karen. A few minutes later she informed Zander that they were leaving. Climbing onto the elevator they rode it to the first floor, but as she was crossing the lobby two familiar detectives walked through her doors. Stopping her in her tracks, she looked at the Latino man standing before her. She still couldn’t believe she dated the cop before her.
“Sanchez what the hell do you want?
“Good evening Cathy”, he replied with a fond smile on his lips. It still sadden her that at one point they were together but it was all under pretense, at least on his side. She had gotten with him when he was undercover in her company trying to nab a mob boss who was using one of her warehouses to store his firearms without her knowledge. In the end he was able to gather all the evidence needed to put the man behind bar but not after getting one of her warehouses burnt to the ground in the cross fire. Lucky enough the court found her innocent but the whole scenario came with a lot backlash from the board members and the customers.
She worked tirelessly to clean the image of her company and also tighten up security at her ports and warehouses. In the end her work paid off her company was not only great again but it also sored to greater heights. And after all the public scrutiny Sanchez still had the guts to tell her that what they had was real. But with the lies and betray Catherine couldn’t even stand to look at him. They broke up and that was the last she heard of the man that once played her body like a Spanish guitar unlocking the passion and desire hidden in every curve of her.
“I will advise you to tread lightly. You don’t want my trouble. Catherine said impatiently. Now what the hell do you want?
“It’s about Vanderol. We know his using you company to smuggle guns and drugs in to the country”.
“I had my suspicions and I confirmed them today. I him gave twelve hours to get his business off my property”.