Somebody to Love
Somebody to Love
Author: Elaine Elizalde

Chapter One

Looking down below from his eighty-six storey building provided him a bird’s eye view of downtown Boston. Skyscrapers stood side by side triumphantly creating vast scenery that can provoke insatiable eyes to experience a bit of envy to the man who was part of such a milieu. He continued to stare, as if examining every part of the city center and drawing them to him, possessing them, leaving a mark of his brilliance for having been able to come out victorious in an industry his father once dominated. A knock was heard and even though he heard it, he did not turn to acknowledge the person who was to enter. After all, there was only one person who was allowed to directly knock and enter his office without further ado.

“Leave them at the table, Renata,” he said.

He had a profound voice, which was unmistakably cultured and aristocratic. With his back on her, the woman whom he acknowledged as Renata gently placed the fastened folder of documents to the rose wood table. She was a plump woman of nearly fifty years and she had a kind, almost pretty face. As Renata took a step backwards to excuse herself, it was hard not to notice her beloved employer’s magnificent bearing. He was a tall man of thirty-eight years, with dark brown hair that was cleanly cut to the point of respectability and assurance that radiated his superiority among other men in the corporate world. He had strong, broad shoulders which generated his dominance over people who are known to be his employees. As Renata reviewed these features without seeing her employer’s face, somehow it gave her a feeling of melancholy and pride for she was one of the few people who have had the privilege of truly knowing the illustrious Jared Addison Rickford – President / CEO and only child of the founder and Chairman of the well-renowned Rickford Hotels International.

“Do you have anything more to say Renata?” he asked without looking at her.

She was trained to deliver news as frankly as possible without hesitating whether it was either good or bad. But this morning, she did not feel at ease at the knowledge of what she was to tell him. Composing herself, she decided to continue.

“Ms. Weinberg just called.” Renata could already sense her employer’s irritation in the way he stiffened and placed his hands inside his pockets. Pretending she did not spot this, she carried on.  “She wanted me to remind you about your lunch meeting at the Ambrosia on Huntington. Twelve o’clock sharp.” For a while Renata thought he would not say anything. Not until he pulled both his hands from his pockets did she realize that he was going to issue some orders, but she did not anticipate his next remark.  

“The last time I checked you were still on my payroll.” This time he turned his head just enough to take a glimpse of her and then returned to his former position even before Renata could glance at him. “My apologies Mr. Rickford. I was just relaying message”, she immediately said without hesitation. Her apology was met without any rancor.

His tone of voice was moderate but there was no mistaking for the annoyance it bore. It was what she expected.

“Do tell Ms. Weinberg that I am canceling our appointment”.

It was an order and Renata saw it coming. This was not the first time it happened. No man or woman in their right minds would want to dictate things to a man like Jared Rickford.

Men and women who has had the privilege of working for him knew he was a man of utmost control. Wall Street respects him that way, some of them are frightened of his cold demeanor and ruthlessness and they all know when they have stepped over the line. Renata was absolutely sure that the woman named Ms. Weinberg didn’t know this. How can she? She was merely the man’s source of pastime and of course…amusement. Not anymore, Renata thought glumly. Women come and go in her employer’s life. Eleven years of service, still she had not seen him involved with just even one ‘respectable’ woman. Eleven years of service, and still she can only count the times she had seen him smile or laugh. The man’s only emotion ever so seen was stoicism, self-control, and a cold hard stare when angered. As of now, the woman who can crumble this man’s defenses has not yet been born, or he perhaps he hasn’t encountered her yet.

“Yes, Mr. Rickford”, she said.

As she turned on her heel to walk towards the door, she cannot help but pity him. He maybe wealthy like King Midas himself but she was also certain, he had never felt the happiness and contentment a man like him was worthy of.

Born from a distinguished Boston family, Jared Addison Rickford has everything. Because of the fact that he was the only child and heir to his father’s wealth, he was trained to be the best in whatever he did. After his mother’s death when he was just eight years old, his father took over the role of a mother and a father. He was educated in the best schools, he was taught how to breed horses, and above all else…his father taught him how to manage. He was sent to Eton College in Britain by his 13th year, and was admitted to Harvard at 18, and went to enlist in the army at 22 after graduating with flying colors. By the time he was twenty-seven, right after his 4-year active service in Afghanistan and South Korea, his father ushered him directly to office as his junior vice-president. When he reached twenty-nine, he was elected as the new president of Rickford Hotels International giving him all access to the business his father once controlled and was now expecting him to control as well. He was a young man with a brain of a sixty-five-year-old business mogul, and he never had a life.

Nine years after his installation, looking through his rosewood desk, moving his eyes around the elegant sophistication of his enormous office, Jared was oblivious about everything else. He spent thirty-seven years of his life in a routine, of cascading to the reputation of being a Rickford, and making it more sparkling than ever while he – the man who was the primary source of its success for the last ten years was starting to get bored with all of it. He may be complaining but what he could not grasp was why he cannot bring himself to a decision about his god-awful life. Despite these reflections, he would not substitute this for the world. And he knew the reason of his uncertainty. He worked hard for this. He earned each and every corner of the office he was presently occupying, not to mention his father’s respect. There was no doubt the old man was hard as granite. And when his mother died, he was left to succumb to the dictatorial manner he ran his estate. Damn the man for being so difficult and domineering. But he could not help damning himself more for putting through the old man’s control over him. He is not angry. He cannot deny the fact that the old man molded him to be the best he can be. No one can argue about that. It was obvious. His father expected the best from him, and he got every bit of it. But sometimes, especially now that he is approaching his thirty-eighth year, his old man again started demanding things from him. Things Jared never has thought of. Things, he never even envisioned himself having. And what was worse was that he was absolutely certain that the old man will never stop demanding these things until he gets it.

He glanced at the grandfather clock he once purchased in an antique shop in downtown Boston with his first salary. Fifteen past nine. He needed to get going if he did not want to be late for his meeting with his old man. His father never valued tardiness as a word found in any vocabulary. In the industry they were in, to be late is a crime worthy of immeasurable consequences. He never valued this, but always finds himself practicing it. He picked up his iPhone from the rack, and strode out of the office. He was unmindful of the glances his employees were giving him as he made his way towards the elevators. He was indeed a magnificent man. His strides were of great bearing; his whole physique seemed to belong to military royalty. Their glances were merely out of curiosity. Although majority of them see him everyday, they could still not explain the way their hearts flutter whenever they lay eyes on him. He was a man of few words and he intrigued people. He was mysterious. And very few people have had the chance to talk to him face to face. He was distant, aloof, and incomprehensible but he exuded a different kind of confidence, which penetrates every single soul who sees him making their heads turn to satisfy the curiosity he unconsciously roused in them.

The moment he entered the elevator and inclined his head to glance at the cubicles, all he saw was that his employees were busy working.

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