Chapter 1: Pieces
"We've gathered here today to remember a man of fairness, a man of unrivaled kindness and spirit when it came to his friends and family alike,"
I closed my eyes and shook my head slowly.
"Malcolm Robinson was a man of great ambition and always wanted the best for those around him and even though he knew that he wouldn't always be able to deliver on the promises he made, the fact that he would do everything in his power to make them come true is a far cry from what most men would do,"
I saw that she was barely able to hold her emotions together.
"He...was also my husband," she sobbed.
Knowing that she was going to lose control of herself, I stepped up before taking her hand. After nodding slowly, she took her seat as I stepped up to speak.
"I didn't know Malcolm as long as many of you but he was one of the closest friends I've had in my life...he helped me through a lot of difficult times and he always managed to bring out the warmer side of me, even if he was a little bit of a pest at times,"
The crowd had a collective chuckle at my comment.
"All jokes aside, he was always a man who tried to see the good in others...even if they themselves were blind to it and he gave me a chance to work for him...it never once felt as if I was underneath him,"
My fist clenched as the memories came flashing back but I took a deep breath and steadied my thoughts; I couldn't afford to break as his daughter did only a few moments ago.
"He would never speak to anyone who worked for him as if they were only a means to an end...he befriended each and every one of us and it wasn't long before I too began to feel as if I were part of the family..."
A few tears began to go down my blank face but I ignored the stares.
"To many of you he was much more than just a man...to me, he was my best friend and the person who gave me a chance to turn my life around...may he rest in peace,"
I prepared to leave the podium, but I immediately turned back upon remembering some words he spoke to me.
"Malcolm was never the kind of guy who let anything get him down...so don't cry for him because you all know he'd prefer everyone to be having fun,"
The crowd seemed a lot more lively once I said those words. Satisfied with what I said, I made my way back to my seat.
"Thanks for the speech Max,"
"...As best I can," she replied.
"The merger is turning into more of a takeover...and there isn't anyone eligible to lead the company because no one knows it as well as he did," I replied.
"That much I know...but that's not what bothers me...I know who killed him,"
"I did...but he was able to pay bail and get out clean,"
"When you're an Iverson in this city, not to mention having the backing of a huge company like Clarence Brokers? I'm not surprised that he got away with it,"
"It's disgusting how the law allows scum like that to roam the streets and others get thrown in jail for things as stupid as jaywalking," she said.
"I agree whole-heartedly,"
"...I don't want to go to France,"
"There's no family who can take care of him while you're away?" I asked.
"He only has a cousin here...and I don't want to burden her," she continued.
"If you leave him with her, I'll make sure to check up on them often and help out where I can,"
"I know what it's like to move around a lot...I don't think he'll adjust to life over there very well, especially since all of his friends are here," I explained.
"Thanks uncle Max,"
"...I got into some trouble at school,"
"There was a girl that kept bullying me...I ended up in a fight with her,"
"Stay there, I'm on my way,"
"Niece got into a fight at school, gotta go speak to the principal," I replied.
"Thank you for coming Mr. Solomon,"
"Not a problem, so why have I been called?" I replied.
"Violence is not something that is tolerated here and disciplinary measures must be taken,"
"Nancy Arnolds," interjected Justine.
"I know the way I raised Justine and I know that she would never hit someone unless she had a reason to retaliate, it's the very philosophy that we follow and adhere to...so when you tell me that she fought someone, I can only conclude that she did so in retaliation," I said.
"According to Nancy, she was the aggressor,"
"Did you already make her apologize to Nancy's parents?" I asked.
"That's the next order of business,"
"You can think about that when you're on suspension," screamed the mother.
"Not so fast, do you think we're letting you get away with this that easily?"
"You're a very well paid lawyer Mr. Arnolds, I'm sure you'll have no problems taking care of your short tempered daughter," I retorted.
"Nancy's been on my niece's case for the past few months and I'm getting sick and tired of having to come into this place to sing the same song so I'll say this once and only once,"
"She hit me from behind...and once when I was trying to get my bearings back," she replied.
"And the bruise on the leg?"
"Two of her friends,"
"Threw them to the ground; they were just followers so I didn't think I had to hit them,"
"That's my girl!"
"I don't tell you this enough...but I'm very proud of you,"
"And she would be so happy that you're raising me the right way!"
"I'm fine aunt Gianna,"
"Handled it as best I could; those Arnolds are seriously a pain in the ass," I mumbled.
"It was them again?" she asked in disbelief.
"With the amount of rage I'm about to pour onto Arthur's wife? It's safer if you drive,"
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