|A Door was Left Open (standard:romance, 4529 words)|
|Author: Sfbaywriter||Added: Feb 11 2002||Views/Reads: 1842/1194||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|We don't always know what we really want until something happens that shakes up what we think is real.|
Jake walked through the kitchen into his living room and onto the deck overlooking the bay. It was a beautiful sunny day, the bay sparking in the brilliant sun. Jake looked out observing the hundreds of white sails drifting across the water. He briefly wondered why he had never pursued his love for sailing. Before he had given any serious thought, he was back inside, retreating, into his bedroom. He opened the door to his large closet, studied his display of suits and shoes. Although he had many to choose from, and most would have invested some time considering the occasion and it's importance, he reached out and grabbed the one nearest to him. Quickly he selected a shirt, white, tie, red, and shoes, black. He dressed quickly, brushed his hair, adjusted his tie, and was on his way to the garage. Within minutes he was on the street heading for the church. He gave a brief thought to lowering the roof on his Boxter since it was an unusually warm August day in San Francisco, but the thought passed quickly. As he was driving, his thoughts turned to Charlie Sands. He had not through about Charlie very much since he had heard of the accident a few days before. Charlie was the person that he always spoke about, the man who taught him to become a hard-nosed, dynamic, energetic, no nonsense leader. The man he told others was the most important influence in his life. Despite his admiration for Charlie, Jake felt no sense of loss or sadness. His initial reaction was more clinical than emotional. In order to make it to the funeral, Jake had to cancel his quarterly analysis briefing in New York City. He considered skipping the funeral, but he actually hated having to endure days of uninformed and repetitive conversations. He came to recognize everyone would understand his desire to attend Charlie's funeral, so he was able to cancel the trip and stay home. He felt like he had given himself a vacation by deciding to skip the trip. Jake expected to see many people at the funeral. As CEO of the one of the largest and fastest growing Software Companies, Charlie was highly visible and well known. Some considered him ruthless, others untrustworthy and calculating. Jake knew someone as successful as Charlie would always have his share of detractors, but given his position in the Valley, Jake expected a large turnout. He arrived about 30 minutes ahead of time. "Get there first. Surprise them. Never let anyone think you are predictable". Charlie had preached to him over and over. So like any other business meeting, Jake made sure he arrived earlier than most. Upon entering the church, he noticed the first few pews were tied off. He assumed they were reserved for family and close friends. Jake realized he knew nothing about Charlie's family or other associates even though he had known Charlie for 15 years. Nor, Jake realized had the subject of friends, family, or lovers ever been a topic of their conversations. All of their conversations were always about business, never about any personal things. Their political discussions centered on issues that impacted their businesses. Jake knew very little about the rest of Charlie's life. Walking down the center isle of the church, Jake wondered why this was not evident to him before. He took a seat in the fourth row by himself. He watched as people entered the church. He acknowledged a number of people he knew. Within a few minutes Dan Jacobs entered the church. Jake stood up and waved, Dan raised his arm slightly, nodded and waved back. Dan walked down the aisle and took a seat next to Jake. Dan was the CFO for Charlie's company. Jake, Charlie, and Dan had played golf at the Olympic Club once a month for the past 5 years. Jake and Dan talked for a few minutes and agreed that they would meet at a bar after the service to continue their conversations. Before long, the funeral started and Jake noticed, while the church had indeed filled up, the first few pews were empty. Looking around the church, Jake wondered how someone so successful and well known had no close family or friends. Then, the eulogy speaker made his way to the podium. Jake recognized him as a board member of Charlie's company. The speaker spoke of Charlie's success as s businessman, how dynamic and creative he was. His ability to quickly understand issues and find solutions or approaches to deal with them. How impressive he was as an executive. Then he finished. Jake and Dan left quickly once the services had concluded. Neither one planned to go the burial. They walked to a local bar down the street. Click here to read the rest of this story (323 more lines)
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