After a moment of silence, I goaded him to continue. “And…?”
“I think it’s a great deal, but I want to alter it a little.”
“If it’s such a great deal already then why would you want to alter it?”
“Because a great deal can always become greater,” Andrew said in his usual glib fashion. The guy had words for days, especially for someone who claimed not to read much.
“Ok then,” I said. “What alterations do you propose?”
“I’ll go in the fifty million, but I want thirty-five percent.”
I couldn’t help laughing out loud.
Andrew stopped and stared at me. “Did I say something funny?”
He had a dead serious look on his face.
I stopped and turned back towards him. “Well, twenty-two percent to thirty-five percent is a huge hike. Why would I want to do that?”
“Well, because you need my investment to really get this company off the ground. It’s kind of funny, but you are a billionaire. Why would you even need money to invest?”
“Well, most of that money is tied into the cosmetics empire my wife’s family built. It’s the goose that lays the golden eggs. We don’t mess with that.”
“So none of the money is fluid?”
I groaned quietly. Was I going to have to stand here and dispute my financial status with this fool? Only a moron used his own money to invest into a large business. If it went belly up, then you were out on your ass. That was the risk that investors took, but that was also the perks of doing none of the work and reaping huge benefits. Putting your own money in and running the machine—that was a terrifying gamble for anyone.
I looked him right in the eye. “I’ll give you thirty. That is my final offer. Take it or leave it.”
With that, I started walking away towards my ball.
“That is a deal,” Andrew said.
“Great,” I said. “There’s your ball.”
Andrew’s last shot had landed about forty yards shorter than mine. It gave me a bit of pride that I was consistently out driving him. Every guy loved to hit the long ball. It was part of the male pride ego.
Andrew got into position and started making his shot.
I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket, but I had it on silent so it wouldn’t ring. It was probably the office; I’d get it later. I told them never to call me during this time. Most of the best business deals out there were made on the golf course. Didn’t those imbeciles know that?
Andrew used his wedge and hit a nicely played shot that got him up on the green close to the hole. It almost went in. I was going to have to get a bit more serious or I was going to lose this game. And I hated to lose…at anything.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” Andrew cheered and then went into his little victory dance that resembled a drunken cha-cha.
“It’s not over yet,” I said. “I can still take you out.”
We started walking towards my ball so I could show this jerk how it was done and my phone started buzzing again. Frustrated I pulled the phone from my pocket while I had a minute between shots.
It was Leia. I pushed ignore and started to put the phone back in my pocket when I saw I had a voicemail.
She hardly ever left voicemails. I pulled it up and listened to it briefly.
“Ted! I’m in labor. It’s really happening! I’m on my way to the hospital. Sharp Memorial. Please head there as soon as you can!”
Leia’s voice was full of pain and she appeared to be trying to breathe smoothly and not succeeding. In the background I could hear women’s voices, most likely Penny and one of the other idiot friends she hung out with. The three of them were going baby clothes shopping or something stupid that day.
“Everything OK?” Andrew asked.
I smiled and put the phone back in my pocket.
“Yeah, it’s all good.”
I found my ball and grabbed my putter. Carefully lining up the shot I got into position. Leia kept sticking in my mind though. I knew I should go be with her and play the role of supportive husband, but as far as she knew I was on the golf course and I hit a dead spot where I had no reception. I didn’t get her message for a few hours and of course I rushed right over to be with my wife.
At least that was the story I’d give her—if I gave her one at all.
I was starting to get very fed up with her. She’d been moody as hell since getting knocked up and she’d gotten very big and felt like crap. It was all making her whiney as hell. So the past several months I’d spent as little time at home as possible, all under the guise of working on the business. The business as of late was more of a hobby than anything, but I hoped something cool came of it. It would be awesome to have my own company and get a bit of pride back. I saw the way people looked at me, like I was some kind of kept man. It was infuriating. And now they would know what I was all about.