Untouched books crowded his shelves, shiny leather spines and faded first editions, meticulously dusted and never read.
But the rows of books, in a well furnished room certainly projected an image of respectability. Ryan mentally scoffed at the props, before he slowly exited Dorian’s study, leaning heavily on his cane. Despite the comforts of cars and lifts in each building he inhabited or visited, these days travelling left him tired and aching in his knees. But the matter of his legacy was too important to be left to aides or executives.
Arriving on the ground floor, he ambled towards the receiving room where his grandson would seek him out after learning of his visit. In his septuagenarian years, he’d already experienced life’s unpredictability through the unexpected loss of his son and couldn’t leave anything to chance anymore. Dorian’s arrival broke his musings, as the raven haired youth exchanged perfunctory pleasantries as he settled on the opposite couch.
“What brings you here, grandpa? I would have visited Adler Estate next month.” Ryan took a deep breath, as he gathered his resolve.
“Next month, at the Executives Meet, certain administrative changes will be announced.” Dorian found it odd that his grandfather would come all the way to his house in the city, just to relay a piece of news that could be stated over the phone. Moreover, his deputy hadn’t mentioned any meetings which would precipitate such changes.
“It takes years of hard-work, ingenuity and patience to build a successful business; that has not only made a name for itself but something that only few lucky ones can create: legacy.” The young director nodded sagely.
“In the last two years, we’ve suffered some losses, as you know. But the most damaging has been the hit to our name.” Here, the piercing grey eyes of the founder and former CEO gazed steadily at the frowning lad opposite him. “It was just some accounts, grandpa. We’ll recover in the next financial year, don’t worry,” Dorian reassured confidently.
Ryan interlocked his fingers to hide the tremors, as he gazed at the abstract painting hanging on the wall behind the raven head. Not only did his grandson not realise their precarious position with the global financial instability shadowing their sector, but he believed that his half-arsed initiatives for repair would yield results in the long run. And in his arrogance, he’d transferred and fired, in some cases, those who’d thought of voicing their opinions.
“You’ve felt entitled to bask in the glory of the Adler name since joining the company, courtesy of being born into the family. I admit,” Ryan smiled ruefully, “that your mother and I were lenient with you after the tragedy, but our kindness has hindered, not helped your cause.”
“But- but grandpa, I.. I-“
“I think it’s not too late to learn the ropes of leadership and climb the ladder of success to regain your position in a few years. So, you can join the Baltimore branch as an intern. Atleast for a few months, subjected to your performance.”
“And what? Sort posts and fetch coffee?” Dorian snorted in disbelief, crossing his arms. But the elder simply gave a smile as he pushed himself up off the couch. “Yes. And in the meanwhile, read those books you’ve displayed in your study to impress your admirers. It’s to your own benefit that you be able quote from them, instead of just reciting their titles.”
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday. The line was- Untouched books crowded his shelves, shiny leather spines and faded first editions, meticulously dusted and never read.
© 2020, Cozy Quiet Corner.