(So many things have been altered to bring this to the page, forgive me if it seems simplistic or glaring, it was the only way I would be permitted to write about it. Also dealing with big important expensive things makes me cry. Like everything does.)
Caleb's independent board is all but dismantled, thanks to a huge undertaking on my part to offend, disturb and anger each one of them, independently.
They didn't like the fact that I am using de facto household budget logic here, that I pointed out they sign their name on things quarterly, making decisions at random but mostly following the herd and for that they are collecting big fat paychecks.
I slipped in four different caveats and finally Caleb caught the last one, having missed the previous three. It said, "And if Bridget wants to buy all the golden sheep in the land in order to spin their fleece into chains which will hang from the necks of any musicians she encounters on her trips to the New York studio, she will have carte blanche to do so."
They ALL initialled that and Caleb yelled WHAT THE FUCK? so loudly in the boathouse that I heard him from my kitchen, over the sound of the time machine, sans hearing aids, no less.
I texted him immediately. I KNOW RIGHT?
So he called a meeting.
I'm pretty sure you could hear him tearing strips off people. Confirming what I had been telling him all along. All five who initialed the release? Relieved of their positions. Two remaining who did not see these forms but seemed to be so easily charmed? Reassigned back to the legal team where they belong. This isn't a company, this is a family and if he ever listened to me he would keep his fucking money in the bank where it belongs, instead of paying people so he could talk about his board and his capital and his ventures and his seeds. I'm so fucking done with this shit. I've never SEEN so many people waste so much time on so little work.
After things calmed down, after the room was cleared, Caleb turned to me, hands on the table.
Tell me what you're thinking, he demanded.
I'm wondering how in the hell you've done so well for yourself without ever paying attention to what's going on around you. I'm wondering how much you threw away.
He burst out laughing. You should be counting how much I'm going to save now that the board will be dissolved.
Depends. Is it a finder's fee? And the board was supposed to be dissolved last winter, you lazy fuck.
I'll ignore the namecalling because your addendums were hilarious. And you're possibly the best money manager I've ever utilized.
Do you use them all?
Only the really pretty one. His eyes flashed and he came over to where I stood, at the other end of the table. He put his head down against mine, pressing his cheek against my temple.
I'm sorry, Bridget. I'm sorry for trying to hurt you, I'm sorry for not softening things. I'm sorry for not being my brother's keeper. You've been instrumental in directing this project and I need to pay better attention. I need to listen to you. I need you to help me.
Three things, Diabhal. Firstly this project is my family and secondly, I already decided I'm not going to believe you. Cole was a lot of things to me but I know damn well he loved me and you can't take that from me. Thirdly, stick the money in the bank and leave it there. Stop trying to stretch everything. Stop risking, stop wasting.
I wouldn't dream of it. Forgive me. His lips are against my forehead.
I want to go. Let's pack up. I step back and his eyes swim back into focus.
Breakfast? (He is desperate to spend more time.)
Only if it's in paper. (McDonalds. Five minutes to order, ten minutes to eat.)
He walks back down to the other end of the table to collect his things. I pick up my bag, stuff my phone and my doodle-covered papers into it and walk out. I take the elevator down alone and stand on the sidewalk, breathing the hot stale air of the city, realizing I really surprised myself in not being intimidated by people who are supposed to be so much smarter than I. Relief makes me burst into tears.
Skateboard Jesus slowly rolls past me and he says, What have you learned this morning?
So many things I can't list them all.
Good for you. You make Jesus proud.
No, I made Bridget proud.
Same thing, he says and he picks up speed, disappearing into the crowd.