Loving The Enemy

By: Jordan Silver


I watched as she pored over the papers and saw the moment she accepted the truth. “Thank you.” Defeated, that’s the word that rang through my head when she passed the folder back before she stood from the visitor’s chair in front of my desk and turned for the door. There was a sick lump in my throat as I watched her walk away for what might be the last time.

“Emily…” I started to call out but it was too late; she was gone. I sat in my chair for another five minutes questioning the feelings that plagued me. Why should I care? It’s not like she was a little kid. She was a grown woman of twenty-four. Supposedly she had a college degree, so she could go out and get a job like everyone else. It’s what I had to do.

Still, I didn’t like that look of dejection on her face as she left. And what’s more, I think I’m going to miss her coming after me like a nut every evening before I was allowed to leave and go about my business. I wonder why she always chose this time of day to show up here. No matter, it’s over.

I loosened my tie as I made my way out of the office and headed down to the underground parking garage where my car and driver would be waiting. I’m supposed to be on my way to a social get together tonight but after that little snafu I wasn’t exactly in the mood anymore.

The shit was beginning to bother me. It’s been quite some time since I let shit get to me, and there was no need for it in this situation. It’s not like I strong-armed her dad into selling me his company. If I hadn’t someone else would’ve. He’d chosen me because as he’d said, he knew I wouldn’t let it go down to the ground. Or tear it apart like some had wanted to.

How the fuck did I get in the middle of this shit? This wasn’t the first business I’d bought out when it was in its dying throes, though it might be the biggest fish I’d caught. Usually, after I signed on the dotted line I never had much dealings with the previous owners. Then again, none of them had ever taken their life just days after signing the deal.





2





Emily





“So it’s legit, you saw it? What are we going to do?” I fought back fear and nausea as I watched my mother fall back against her chaise lounge. Any minute now she’d be reaching for the smelling salts and whimpering about her headaches and all the other ailments that has been plaguing her since dad left us.

I wanted to call her out on her selfishness but thought better of it. Dad had always spoiled her and catered to her every whim. She wouldn’t know the first thing about taking care of herself, so it was up to me now. The problem is, I can barely take care of myself.

It’s funny, but people don’t seem to know, once you’ve been at the top and lose it, there’s no one there willing to lift you up when you hit bottom. Your friends find it beneath you to need a helping hand, and your enemies, those pariah who’ve been waiting for you to fail, are only too happy to rub it in as they step over your floundering carcass.

I ran through our savings in my head. We had enough for this month’s bills, but next month was another story. How can this be happening? We’d fired the gardener, the cook and the housekeeper. Mom had her last salon appointment a few days ago and I was gearing up to tell her that it would be her last. There was food in the pantry, at least I’d made sure of that, but even there I’d had to skimp.

I hid her credit cards until I could break the news to her that we were really and truly broke but couldn’t bring myself to cut them in half as I should. I’d already sold dad’s car and mom’s so we were down to just one between the two of us, but most of that money had gone to pay off some bills and the staff that had been with us since before I was born.

Shit! Thinking of the way I’d had to let them go when the economy was in the tank was a hard pill to swallow, but there was no hope for it. We couldn’t afford to pay them any longer, and the way things stood we’d probably lose the house.

A month ago none of this would’ve seemed remotely possible. I had the world at my feet, moved in the best circles in the highest echelons of society and didn’t have the first clue how much any of the many bills that flowed through here were. I never worried myself with such things, I didn’t have to. Was that part of the problem? Should I have been looking over my dad’s shoulder to make sure my future was secure? Who does that?

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