Writing Prompt: He feigned surprise.

Good morning all. I slept well, had crazy dreams and am ready to start this Wednesday. So let’s neither dilly nor dally. Time to start the morning writing prompt. Set those timers and let’s go.

I thought this was a birthday party, but it very quickly turned into something else. Odd. Well, not terribly odd. I often have an idea in my head when I start writing a prompt and then it shifts. I just didn’t expect a hostile retirement.

Wednesday, October 6th: He feigned surprise.

He feigned surprise.  The party he knew was Marnie’s doing and he knew that she would be disappointed if it didn’t come off the way she pictured it in her head.  So he pretended he knew nothing of the surprise party.  He pretended he hadn’t known for months.  He pretended he was happy to have the party thrown in his honor.  He pretended he was happy to see the people gathered there.

To suit the crowd he even feigned joy at the prospect of retirement. 

As though his leaving was something he planned.

He knew the rules though.  The company needed to look as though it was a smooth transfer.  To voice complaints would not look good.  If those doubts came from him, then they might damage the reputation of the company and bring doubt onto those who were replacing him.

Alex had a flash of a genuine smile as yet another person wished him well as he started this new phase of his life.  When they went to replace him, it took three new employees to take over the tasks he did alone.  Three people.  He wondered if each of them was making the same salary.  It amused him that he was, if not irreplaceable, at least harder to replace than the company thought.

For now it was necessary to appear gracious to the company who was dismissing him.  After all each year he worked for them he accrued shares in the company.  Stock that served as his annual bonus.  This morning the paper work was finalized and the company acquired its largest client ever.  Signing them to the company was his greatest achievement and one he worked hard on, even after he learned of his forced retirement. 

He was praised for being a company man through and through and for being a team player. 

Their comments made his ears ache.  However when word went public in the morning, the value of his shares would rise tremendously.  He had no illusons of the partnership lasting.  Those now steering the company ship were taking it in a different direction.  He knew it was one the client would be unhappy with and because of it left a clause in their contract.  One their lawyer, a long time friend of his, knew about.  While he didn’t tell anyone of his planned leave, or the company’s private plans, Calvin was thourough in his reading of the contracts.  His lifted eyebrow let Alex know the clause was read and understood. 

No word of it was mentioned.

Once shares rose, Alex planned to cash in his shares and sell everything associated with the company.  He would walk away clean from them. It was the thought that sustained him through the cake and the non-alcoholic fruit punch.  It was the thought that had him smiling as he shook hands and left the building for the last time.  The next morning, things went exactly as he planned.  Word of the new client went out before word of his retirement spread.  Stocks rose.  He sold all of his off to a market that greedily gobbled them up.  Two days later, the stocks dipped as word of his retirement spread and the market grew uneasy as it watched his untried replacements.  He hadn’t expected the dip and took that as his own personal bonus.

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