The conference room was filled with the murmur of voices; some approving, some disapproving as a single file of interns and junior managers stood by. Some of them were fumbling while presenting their work; others were sweating profusely despite the air conditioning of the building.
“Get to the point !” barked one senior executive who had taken one look around the entire table; pausing at the end to stare at a woman, and voiced out what they all were thinking. A babysitting shit fest.
The woman at the end seemed unconcerned about the on goings. She was used to this. Unending days of endless meetings. Ramblings. Some productive, others not so much.
Today was one such instance. Her father had managed to convince her to ask the juniors at work and hear out their ideas for the upcoming meetings. “Including everyone for a productive workplace” were some of his words. She liked to think it was just babysitting them. Apparently so did the rest.
As she focused on around the table she saw what she had exactly expected. Over eager, over achieving kids pretending to know more than they do; surrounded by a bunch of people who seemed to have forgotten that they started out in exactly the same place as these kids. Predictable.
She took in the entire room before shifting her gaze to the view outside. The sky was clear, a rare sight. “That will be all” she declared, cutting of an intern before rising up and walking over to the glass facade. It took a moment for everyone to grasp the situation before they began filing out.
Yes. She was cold. And rude. It didn’t bother her. She needed some time alone before immersing herself in another one of those monotonous talks. It was a perfect day outside. Perfect for a walk in the park. Perfect to sit and do nothing. Perfect to paint. Her fingers twitched at the thought.
Yes. She was the ruthless CEO of a vast business empire built by her father. And no, it was not handed to her despite what people assumed. She and the business grew side by side. It was her father’s dream for him and her.
Father and Daughter. Unbeatable team.
So naturally when she finished high school, despite knowing what she wanted to do; her choice was already made. She loved art, the beauty and dual nature of simple and complex is what attracted her towards it, in the first place. But her father had plans. It seemed that after her mother passed away, she had taken her place in the ‘Dream Team’. Business is what she was taught from the beginning. And that’s what she continued to learn; simply because it pleased her dad.
And she excelled. Naturally.
But, years of studying at Harvard Business School, and working her way up in their own company had done nothing to diminish the craving that she had felt the first day she had picked up a paint brush. So she created an alter ego. The smart, shrewd business woman of the Upper East Side was replaced by a young carefree painter who simply sat on the streets during the weekend painting for people who loved her art. It made her happy.
Not that her father knew. And she preferred the secret life. No complications. She wasn’t a coward. She just loved her father dearly, and seeing him happy brought her joy as well. She just had to ignore the steel and glass rooms and subdued discussions with boring and uninteresting people who seemed to judge her for who she appeared to take on the role as. A privileged self entitled bitch.
“Your father is ready for the meeting Ma’am”, murmured a low male voice, startling her train of thought. She turned and locked eyes with the man before inclining her head; a sign of confirmation.
Another endless day. Another tedious hour. Maybe she could let her alter ego deal with it and not think much about it. Maybe she would paint about it tonight. Lucky she lived alone.
With a long wistful look at the street and the people down below, she braced herself for another colourless hour before striding in her father’s cabin.
“Gentleman, a pleasure to meet you. Now let’s get started …..”
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