He hadn’t seen his path until he was right in the thicket of all that he gained and all that he would soon lose.
Sun belted against his suit jacket charging him up. He hadn’t slept. His coffee was bitter today. That suited him just fine. People left the elevator. He entered. The doors shut them out as he rose up. His life was made of people’s hands. Jim, Marie, and the other three hundred he employed. His office was in the centre. Total glass. He had nothing to hide. Everyone knew about his work and yet not really. They saw him in his office. He could see the glazed eyes of the filers and the determined ones projected by the interns. Behind this glass no one could touch him, and no one could truly see what he was working on. His mum called him twice a day, his therapist thrice.
Papers piled on his desk. He went through them. They had sat there for a while. They would be dusty if not for the cleaners. Three months had gone by and he had found better use of his time. In fact his trophy from his clubs golfing tournament was terribly glossy in the light. He smirked. His email account went off. 40 unread messages. All read URGENT in the subject line. He received an email from Viktor himself.
The deal hadn’t gone through accordingly.
He searched for the last few papers.
Here they are, he thought.
He punched them into the calculator, it was like a needle jabbed him in each arm with every tapped number. They didn’t add up. He tightened his tie. It wasn’t loose. A migraine peeled through his eyes forming blue dots. He didn’t have time. Not for any of it. He looked at his glass of water and didn’t drink it. He pushed back a hard deep breath and phoned his secretary. She came in. She left. She brought with her files, files that he supposed wouldn’t add up. Greg tapped on his door inviting him to lunch. He said, not now. Greg left. He had cold arms, or was they hot? It kept changing. He called Eloise. She didn’t answer. He called her home. She said she didn’t know where Blake had gone, they were divorced, and she said why the hell should she know anyhow. She hung up.
The first time he had gone to prison was as a boy and his Dad wanted to show him where the bad people go. He looked him in the eye and said, if you’re bad, I’ll bring you back and leave you here. He didn’t know why he thought of this as he walked into the cell, but as he stared at his own son, in the eye, he said, this is where bad people go, I will never let you end up here. There was no sun in prison but the shadow of the moon lit his cell. Shadows of metal bars made lines, all pointing towards him.
He didn’t know who forged his signature. Where the money went. Why the deal had been put into action. Blake did and Blake was on a boat. Blake was on a boat signing Henry on every paper. Every paper but one, his divorce papers. Eloise knew but was paid off, and none of Henry’s employees testified that it wasn’t Henrys signature.
But it wasn’t and six months later he was out, Blake was in, and Henry showed his son what a real bad person looked like, and it wasn’t him. Even though no one believed, in the end fact overruled public perception. Or at least just this once. Complacency was at fault to some degree. But how easily good can be tainted by lies and rumour and sometimes, although it isn’t nice or good or great you need to call these people out on it and say that isn’t me, I am good despite that piece of paper your forging as my name, as me Henry, the person, I cannot be forged because my goodness is my truth and your bad will, your lies are yours.