How could love go so bad?
It all started when her father introduced the young maiden to his business colleague, the CEO of “BLP Solutions Inc.” It wasn’t love at first sight, but soon the couple began to appreciate each others’ strengths and weaknesses as they worked together on small projects.
She wasn’t the prettiest thing he’d ever seen, but she was smart and inspired loyalty in customers, employees and management. At times she could be argumentative, even aggressive – but it was only because she was younger and needed experience. The CEO knew that given time and the humility born of a few failures, she would be a superb senior executive.
He tended to drink more at lunch than she was comfortable with. Some mornings he came to work disheveled and stinking of different perfumes – but everybody in the company loved him anyway and so did she. The CEO might be a rogue and occasionally an embarrassment when he got caught using the company funds for personal expenses, but no one could question his drive or the success that he achieved and shared freely with everyone around him.
Yes, the CEO was a crook who raided shareholder equity regularly, but no one could say he was a selfish crook.
He sensed that she would say “yes” if he asked, so he called the BLP family for a cruise on the company yacht, “Titanic”. When the mood was right, he took her alone to the front, got down on one knee, showed her the little box with the senior executive salary and company driver, and – after pausing for a wee sip of Johnny Walker green label – said, “Dearest, Will you… Will you be in my inner Cabinet?”
Holding his hand she looked down at her man and smiled.
She knew it would never be a romantic love with the stars shining all the time, but it would be comfortable and secure. Together they could reach greater heights. And, she knew that when the proper time was at hand, the man would surrender everything to her as would be her right.
“Yes, my darling. I will. Do you promise to always be gentle with me?”
The CEO replied, “Always, my love. I will always treat you with love and respect.”
Like all new couples no matter their future – for a time they were happy, even joyful. It worked well when they were together. Business thrived and her efforts could not be discounted. Profits and company salaries increased almost exponentially in the good times. The CEO’s personal wealth and overseas bank accounts swelled so much that in later years he could toss US$150,000 at a cricket charity without blinking an eye.
For a time it worked, but then…
After 14 years the divorce was acrimonious and destructive. She was seen with facial bruises, he had a black eye – the result of a tussle over who would be company CEO. Stinking of whisky and drunk with his regained position, the CEO staggered into the streets and railed against her to anyone who would listen.
She remained dignified and quietly prepared for the future when she would return.
Thousands of once loyal employees and customers chose sides or deserted the company entirely. The divorce court disaster continues to this day.
But once in a while, all who knew them when they were a team think back to that glorious night so long ago when, for a time, their love might have been real.
Our sincere thanks to BFP reader “TC” for this smashing PhotoShop creation we first published in 2007.