Chapter Two - Jack
The best part of my day was looking at the faces of my employees. I was undoubtedly enhancing their lives, and continuing to do that enhanced mine. I wanted working at Precken, Inc. to be an experience, instead of just a job. So far, I was succeeding at it and the world had taken notice. The world had also taken notice of all the other things that I never wanted it to.
I guess it was safe to say that for a majority of the people that I knew, Jack Gold had somewhat of a double personality. He was a different person in the office, and completely the opposite when it came to love.
“Sir,” Rita butt her head inside my office. “Your mother is on the line.”
I rolled my eyes. My mother. Don’t get me wrong. I loved her to death. I mean, the woman did give birth to me. But she was also going to be the end of me if she didn’t stop her nonsense.
“What?” I said firmly, bringing the phone to my ear and leaning back in my chair. “Have you killed Dad yet?”
“No,” she sang. “No. I would never do such a thing. You know that, Jack.”
Her response to that question made me feel like she’d actually considered it an option. Killing Dad would end of all her troubles, which basically meant her marriage.
“You think I could hire someone to do it for me?” She said sheepishly.
“Mother,” I straightened my silk tie and placed an elbow over my desk. “I’ve got a busy day ahead. Do you need my help with anything?”
“Let me guess,” I started. “You need someone to pick up his shit from the street.”
I said that because last week, my father had admitted to have been cheating on her and she pretended like she wasn’t affected by it. Literally not affected by it at all. I should’ve known it was an act. No wife would deal with finding out that her husband cheated by going on brunch with her girlfriends and pretending like nothing changed. Maybe that brunch did the trick with all the alcohol that was involved. Dad told me later that when she returned home, she marched straight to his closet and pulled everything out, tossed it on the ground before taking it to the balcony and showering the street with all his clothes.
“No, his stuff is still sitting neatly inside his closet,” she said, almost apologetically. “Don’t worry.”
“So, are you going to tell me what you need my help with before I have to hang up on you because I actually have real shit to deal with today?”
I didn’t always talk to my parents that way. This was completely unlike me. But the way they’d both been behaving recently had me thinking if they were more pathetic than Vicky. My soon-to-be ex girlfriend, Vicky.
It had been dumb of me to even call her my girlfriend in the first place but she’d insisted. She’d been in a rush to make us official. Classic gold-digger move. I obviously knew that she was one, but I’d chosen to ignore it. As someone who had created a significant amount of wealth for himself by the age of 37, I did have common sense. But sometimes that common sense would be taken over by the sheer desire to stop hunting for different pussies every time I wanted to put myself into warm and wet holes. I never told Vicky that I loved her. But she’d used that word to describe how she felt about me. It was after I fucked her the second time, if I remembered correctly.
That’s when I should’ve ended it. Without a mess. Or much of a mess, because knowing her, she was a lot like my mother. Which meant that she wouldn’t let go of things easily.
Now, most of her things were at my penthouse in Upper Manhattan. I hadn’t even realized when she’d moved it all there. Not that I’d cared. Who has got the time to look into any of that? But this was also how I’d always get taken advantage of, and the thing that was bugging me the most was that she’d texted me this morning to ask if I could spend the evening with her and her friend, Emma. I hadn’t responded yet but I knew what my response was going to be.
“I think I should move in with you for a little bit, Jack.”
My mom’s words caused me to spit the coffee out of the mouth and watch the little droplets ruin a contract that had been siting in front of me.
“Move in with me… why?”
I genuinely meant to ask why. That wasn’t my way of saying that she couldn’t stay with me.
“If it’s not okay with you-”
“Mom,” I cut her off. “I stayed with you for a long time until I was ready to move out. I owe you.”
Okay, I kind of knew where I got this double personality thing from. It might have been genetic, because my mother was a crazy individual in general but to her sons, she was the best mother she could be. That’s why I loved her regardless of all the nonsense that she’d pulled over the years. Like barging into my brother’s room when he was 14 and shoving a bunch of condoms in his face with his girlfriend laying right next to him on the bed.
Sure, some might argue that it was the right thing to do, but Karina Gold just didn’t care about what anyone thought of her.
I knew exactly what was going through her mind at the moment. She was offended that I’d said I owed her, because kids never owe their parents anything. Especially ones that have been paying for their parents’ lifestyles because they’ve made something of themselves. “You don’t owe me anything. I’m your mother for fuck’s sake. I appreciate that you’re letting me move in with you even though you might be a little hesitant but I promise you it won’t be for more than a week. I just need to buy a place… or at least rent a condo after I leave your father.”
Alright, they were finally separating. Bravo!
“Yes, you can come over anytime,” I said. “I’m just happy that you’re doing what’s best for you. And this is not me taking any sides or anything. I love the two of you equally.”
“You came out of my vagina, son,” she snapped. “Mine. Not his. You’ve got to pick a side and you have to pick mine.”
“That…,” I started, rubbing my forehead and wishing that I hadn’t just heard my mother casually mention her vagina like that, “was mildly disturbing.”
She started giving me some random justification for being gross when my cell phone buzzed again. It was Vicky.
I couldn’t block her from my life until she was done taking her stuff back. Maybe giving her what she wanted this weekend wouldn’t kill me if my mother was around to entertain her and this friend of hers who was visiting for the weekend.
“Hey mom,” I narrowed my eyes while I read Vicky’s text asking me what time I was going to be available to see her back at my penthouse. “Are you coming over this evening?”
“I could,” she grumbled. “The sooner I move away from your father, the better.”
Perfect. I asked her to get to my place before 7 p.m., just before my almost ex and her friend showed up.
“I’ll see you soon, my little J,” she said before hanging up. There was some tension in the air and it had nothing to do with her split with my father, which had been long overdue. Seriously, I couldn’t have been happier that she was moving out. At least that meant I wouldn’t have to endure conversations about them wanting to pull each other’s hair out. I wouldn’t have to hear about how my mother had been analyzing long hairs on the carpet of his office, trying to figure out who they belonged to. This marriage had been driving them both crazy and it was certainly doing the same to me and my brother, Kenny.
Kenny Gold, the name that almost always made me uncomfortable.
He was three years older than me. The adopted son of the Gold family. Mom didn’t think she could have children when she convinced Dad that they should adopt. My parents loved him to death, and to me, he was the best older brother I could’ve asked for.
But damn did high school change everything. Kenny proved to everyone that nature probably trumps nurture. We were both brought up the same way, grew up doing the same things, ate the same distorted pancakes that our mother cooked for us. And yet, I wanted to make something of myself, had my eye on the prize from the very beginning, whereas he looked for ways to escape in the form of drugs.
Even though he was the older son, Mom called me to ask if she could move in. I bet it hurt her to think that living with Kenny wasn’t an option. At 40 years old, he was barely able to support himself and refused to accept any help from me, which I appreciated after dealing with countless gold-diggers. Kenny was my weakness. A brother that I had but didn’t have at the same time.
I stared into the blank black screen of my cell phone, furrowed my eyebrows while wondering if I should call him. The whole point of having a sibling was being able to share your thoughts with them about the two people you had in common — your parents. But I wasn’t going to be able to do that with him.
“Rita!” I yelled, letting out a sigh. I needed to stop thinking about how big of a fuck up my brother was. That was the path I didn’t want to take right now, also because my day was about to get progressively worse.
I was going to have to see Vicky. My mother was about to move in with me. This evening had disaster written all over it.
“Sir?” She said, walking in with her strands sticking out of her otherwise perfect looking bun. Rita was one to always look impeccable, but the fact that anything was out of place meant she was juggling a lot at the moment.
“If you’re busy,” I said, holding up my palm.
“No,” she shook her head and adjusted her black-rimmed glasses. “I’ve got the time.”
Rita was hot, in a hot secretary kind of way. That high bun, black hair, and the nerdy glasses almost made her look like a porn star playing the role of my personal assistant. But I wasn’t attracted to her despite her gorgeous looks. She was too much of a plain Jane for me. Too robotic. Almost too normal.
Maybe that’s what my problem was. I needed someone normal. I needed to change my type.
“I need you to arrange for this evening,” I said, clearing my throat. “My mother is moving in with me.”