Money is power.
Terry was reading his first self-help book on financial freedom and so far he wasn’t impressed. He wasn’t disappointed either; just indifferent. Numb. He had wondered what these kinds of book contained and checked out one from the library.
His father had run a Fortune 500 company and Terry knew intimately how deep in the mud he waddled, especially during hostile takeovers. He knew because his father hoped he had a successor in him and so kept nothing from him. He also knew because their home saw their fair share of grown men crying and pleading for mercy as they were forced under by his father’s company.
If the Truth must be suffocated that the well may not be occluded, then by all means, please silence it! Who cares anyway; they’re too busy being relativist.
The words belonged in a diary he kept and in a poem he had written of money at a time. In his experience, when people stood in the way of his father and the exercise of what he called ‘his superior financial intelligence’, they became martyrs of the day and faded away with the years.
Working now at a law firm, he was aware of just how much of a disappointment he was to his father. A few decades had gone by and his father’s bones were now brittle. The breath his weakened body drew was sad evidence of a life that may very well had been a mere existence. His father’s bank accounts were still overflowing but these days, when he went to see him at the Home that took care of him, there was such emptiness in his eyes. Mother left him years ago because ‘he cared more about the money than he did her’. Her words, but he knew them to be true; for he too was to his father, only a figure to take his place when he was gone. Terry never really felt like his father’s son, and his unwillingness to forgive him for walking out—to pursue his desire, no less—only served to prove the point.
You had served it well, and it scorned your faithfulness.
You gave everything to keep it safe in your arms; and it scorched you from the inside out and stripped you of your worth.
These lines he added to the poem he had written all those years back as he sat with the shadow of a man that was his father. As he got up to leave, Terry was stopped in his tracks by his father’s words—the first he said to him in so long: There is a fine line between intelligence and avarice. Be wary.
He was looking out the window, and when he turned to face him, a tear stole away from his eyes and ran down his wrinkled face.