- Well the first thing to know about Sam if you ask me, is that he’s an A-class sonofabitch… But isn’t that why we love him? Lol.
I hope y’all enjoy this new episode. Keep the comments coming. And please do share with your friends, contacts and followers on social media.
Its entirely up to y’all if this revolution is gonna be televised *wink*
12:51:45 PM Sat 16 Mar 2013
Chanice was on a scholarship. She was an orphan. And a Finance major.
She had vision, and was very intelligent and calculated, Samantha informed me sounding like a starstruck groupie. And she (Chanice) was going to make it big in the corporate world someday. Samantha seemed pretty sure of this.
And I was pretty sure Chanice had picked the means to that end. Only she had picked wrongly…
‘You really are going to go through with this, aren’t you?’ Samantha asked for the umpteenth time. I had told her I’d like a little tête-a-tête with Chanice and she was right to feel distrustful. My daughter knew enough to know I never rolled over on my back if there wasn’t higher ground to gain.
‘First you leave work to come see me in school. And then you let me drive your Jag. And now you want to speak with Chanice… You didn’t even comment on her being black. What’s going on with you dad?’
‘Hey hey! Where did that come from? About me not commenting on Chanice’s race. You think I’m prejudiced against people of colour? You think I’m racist?’
‘Well Mom thought so’ she said offhandedly with a shrug.
‘Well according to her none of the black employees at the company have been promoted in the ten years you’ve been Vice-President…’
‘Adrienne said that to you?’
She shrugged again.
I was dumbfounded. With every passing second it dawned on me how alienated Adrienne and I had been in marriage. More strangers than roommates.
I was no racist. I had no prejudice against black people or any other race. She should know that, right?
‘And you Samantha?’ I asked. ‘What do you think?’
She held my gaze for a moment and then said: ‘You’re a cynic dad. To the point of being sadistic sometimes. There’s something wrong with everything and everyone save yourself…
‘There are many ways to read into that. And there are many things people can perceive you to be, not necessarily because its who you are, but because its who they see…’ It was a deep answer, wise and knowing. And I ruminated over it.
‘You think I can change Sam?’
‘Well its never too late to try…’
And then I asked her: ‘Do you want me to change?’
She thought about that for an instant. ‘You’re not perfect dad, but I still find it in me to love you. The decision to change is a decision you’d have to make on your own…’
‘Well I did come here because I wanted to talk about your mother.’
‘I’ve managed to make it all about me, right?’
‘Nah, it’s fine. Believe it or not, I’m glad all of this happened.’
‘And this convo you’re going to have with Chanice… Can I trust you to be civil dad?’
‘Can I trust you to trust me Samantha?’
She answered immediately: ‘Yes dad. I trust you.’
‘Okay’ I said and heaved a sigh. ‘I’m going to tell you something now Samantha. And its going to be something you wouldn’t want to hear, but I need to you to promise to at least give it a try.’
‘What is it dad?’
She held my gaze for a long time, muling over her options, puzzling over my request, and finally conceded: ‘I promise…’
‘Good’ I said and outlined the plan to her…
Chanice was all business as she walked into the restaurant. And she was a vision too, dressed in a yellow crêpe dress that showed off her long neck and shoulders. The hem hanging just above her thighs, high enough to highlight how far the shear butter of her skin rolled down to her long legs.
She wore her hair in a loose bun that went around her nape to hang off her left shoulder, framing her cameo of a face with its full lips, slightly-aquiline nose and light hazel-brown eyes that shone from across the room.
She spotted me and made her way over to my table, creating a ripple effect as she walked. The men did fall like dominoes. And she moved like she hadn’t a care in the world, her hair bopping to every click of her heels, an aura of practiced aloofness about her. Chanice was a performer who knew her stage. For people like her motivation and inspiration were one and the same thing. I know this because we are alike in that way.
She was here to broker a deal… Unfortunately for her, so was I.
We are business people.
‘Good morning Mr. Cohen’ she greeted as she slid in the sit opposite me.
‘Hey Chanice’ I hurled back goodnaturedly, smile in place.
‘You sleep well?’ She asked.
‘Hmmm…’ I was a bit puzzled by her inquiry.
‘Well I imagine after making the kind of discovery you had about your daughter that you probably would have been unsettled. Samantha tells me you are very traditional…’ Damn she was good! Sure wasted no time getting on the ice.
‘I see… What else did Samantha tell you about me?’ I asked.
‘Well nothing I hadn’t already read in Forbes magazine. You’re an excellent businessman. An over-achiever. You know what you want and you go for it… It’d be nice though to hear from the horse’s mouth who exactly Sam Cohen is…’
Samantha had always tried to distance herself from the Sam Cohen in Fortune 500 and on the cover of business magazines. Just like her mother, Samantha had always felt like she’d competed with my job for my attention, and that she’d lost. I don’t think she’d have ever discussed my business with Chanice or any one else for that matter. Chanice was lying. And I knew this because it was something I did often with investors and clients I needed to get off on good fitting with. Something I called the “ego massage.” It was oversight for Chanice not have considered that a con cannot con a con.
A waiter came and took our orders.
‘What else did Samantha tell you about me?’
‘Well you know, the usual family stuff…’ She replied noncomittally and shrugged. The lady stalled faster than a first-generation Chinese experiment car, but my determination matched her deflection.
‘So who is Chanice?’
‘I supposed you’d have asked that of Samantha…’ Her smile got so wide I imagined it’d be painful.
‘Well I’d like to learn about the lady who’s involved with my daughter from –as you put it –the horse’s mouth…’
‘I wish I could say I’d be returning the courtesy Sam, but you did refuse to tell me anything about yourself.’
‘I’m not the one on the spot Chanice’ I stated flatly, noting that she wasted no time in getting chummy. Apparently we were both now on a first-name acquaintance.
‘On the spot? I had no idea I was “on the spot”‘
I didn’t respond.
‘Listen Sam’ she continued, ‘I’m in love with your daughter, and though I can understand your misgivings and I can see why you don’t like me, shouldn’t you at least try to get to know me? For Samantha’s sake at least’ she finished, holding my gaze. Oh, she was a viper alright!
I thought about that for a moment and replied carefully: ‘You know since we are cutting to the chase, I’d like to state categorically that I like you, only just not for my daughter…’
She nodded absently.
‘You see Samantha has been through a lot and I don’t want to see her hurt.’
‘And I’m not going to hurt her Sam. I promise…’
I smiled at this. ‘You know we have a lot in common Chanice’ I continued. ‘And I feel like I know you…
‘Just like me, I believe you know what you want and you go for it. And I respect that. However I don’t believe Samantha is the prize here. For you she’s only a means to an end, so why don’t we cut the bullshit.’
‘I love your daughter Sam’ she reiterated.
‘And yet you still sit’ I observed with a wicked smile.
She became still. And just then the waiter arrived with our food.
I’d also ordered for red wine even though it was just ten in the morning. A $250 bottle of Batard Montrachet.
‘Isn’t it a bit too early for that?’ Chanice noted dryly.
I ignored the question and said to her instead: ‘I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse Chanice… Except of course you want to play coy, but I trust you are too smart and decisive to trifle with opportunity…’ I let my words linger and sink in.
‘So I’d like I to propose a toast… To friendship, new beginnings and new alliances…’
She watched me warily. ‘What is this “opportunity” you are offering…’ She demanded finally.
‘Patience…’ I said with a smile. ‘Now eat.’
After our plates were swiped and what was left of the bottle of wine was glinting ruby-red in our glasses, I said to Chanice: ‘I want to you to come work for me…’
‘It’s Mr. Cohen!’ I corrected, reaching into the breast pocket of my shirt for a cheque, which I slid across the table to her. ‘Here’s a cheque of five hundred thousand dollars’ I said and she literally swooned at the figures.
She looked up from the cheque to me, her eyes mooned in shock. Disbelief etched on her face.
‘It’s a lot of money Chanice. And its yours… You’re only going to do one small thing for me in return… Stay away from my daughter.’
‘Mr. Cohen I–‘
I held up my hand. ‘Don’t say a word. You either take the cheque and walk away or you leave it on the table…
‘The offer lasts for the next five seconds. Starting now… One, two, three, four…’
She rose. ‘The offer of a job still stands right?’ She asked.
‘Fine then. Goodbye Mr. Cohen’ she said, turned on her heels and walked away.
She had taken the cheque with her.
Samantha rose too from where she’d sat at the far end of the room, watching Chanice and I.
I could feel the intensity of her gaze from across the room, expectant, a question in the arch of her brow.
I shook my head slowly. And she got the message.
She sat back down and buried her face on the table where she sat.
She would cry now, but her broken heart would mend eventually.
Chanice on the other hand had no idea what was coming her way.
The second thing to know about Sam Cohen is this: when he hits he hits hard…
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