Toshio slowly opens his eyes from behind his desk. The seventeenth-floor office looked over a few landmarks. The production facility across the street, Sanyo Main. On certain days, the 71-year-old CEO could see the Suwa shrine. Today was overcast, sadly. Turning his attention to the tablet on his desk, his finger slid up the screen, hour by hour today, Tuesday, the 31st.
He felt his eyes narrow a bit but quickly let it go. The tablet scrolled slowly to the next appointment: Reo, proxy, L. He knew what it meant, he simply didn’t want to deal with it. No, that’s not right, a voice talked for him in his head. It wasn’t his, but it might as well be. Toshio wanted to deal with it, but he didn’t know how to. He didn’t have the capability, and even patience can only go so far.
He let the tablet screen fade off and, on cue, two short raps came from the thick glass doors in front of him. “Yes.” He answered, and the door swing open silently, enough for the man to pass through and let it close.
Reo was the spitting image of Toshio at 28. He wondered if his son styled himself based on that. He never really knew whether to be proud or saddened that he hadn’t wanted to fashion himself his own man, or rather, his own style. His suits were impeccable though. Toshio supposed styles jumped a generation.
“Father,” the man bows slightly from the door. Toshio motions with a crook of his hand that Reo should come closer, towards the two chairs in front of the large glass desk. His father smelled him before the other man could ever get close – it wasn’t overpowering, but Reo’s cologne was the only thing he ever really let himself indulge in. Reo waits at one of the chairs until his father takes a seat himself, sitting and flipping open a leather-bound cover for his own tablet. His fingers move deftly along the glass screen, flicking two fingers out towards his father’s tablet – requesting access to display.
Toshio mused a bit at this, it took a personal trainer two straight years to teach him how to do the simplest things on these. Then again, his father didn’t adapt to cell phones. He presses ‘accept’ on the tablet.
“I will keep the report short, if you like. SMI is requesting your intervention as their demand for magnesium is exceeding their current budget. I took the liberty of requesting a larger shipment from America for next month..”
Reo continues, his father nodding. The group had grown exponentially under his, and even Reo’s guidance. Satake Metals, Engineering, Manufacturing, they all grew like branches from a mighty trunk, roots squirreling their way into other developing countries, India, China, even the seemingly impenetrable United States. Wheat was plentiful, and their machines could do that just as well as rice here or anywhere else.
“On the tablet, are the five items we’ve discussed today, all they need is your signature,” Reo holds his hand out, palm up. No gloves. That would drive me insane. Glancing down at the tablet, he picks up an inkless stylus, signing off on the degrees and setting it to the side. Ink and paper, how quaint, they must think, Toshio thought.
The notifications on the elder’s tablet disappear and Reo’s cover snaps shut like a thick book, despite how thin it is. Toshio rises from his chair and his son only follows after, bowing to his father before turning and walking to the door.
The man freezes, staring at the twin glass doors in front of him for a moment before turning, gaze down. “Yes?” he answers.
He steps quietly towards the floor-to-ceiling windows and makes a fist, gripping his wrist with his other hand. She never did rid him of that, did she?
“It’s the end of the month.” He said, curtly.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his son flinch a bit, wanting to pull the tablet back out but hesitating.
“Take the checkbook, the card, and.. one-hundred twenty thousand, cash. Hana will have them in her desk outside.”
Toshio didn’t turn, but heard the scuff of shoes and the whoosh of the door opening behind him, his son departing his office.
Reo digs his fingers into the leather of his tablet case, turning to his father’s secretary, Hana, who – even though she couldn’t have heard the conversation, is already laying the items he needs out on the desk in front of her. A relatively new checkbook register, and a chipped debit card, worn across the top. Reo gathers them up and pauses for a moment, he looks at Hana, who isn’t looking at him.
He inhales slowly through his nose and tilts his head back, looking up at the ceiling for a moment, exhaling in a low, long, “Hmmm.” Fine. “He requested cash, as well. 120,000.”
She nods and turns to the cabinet behind her, pulling open a panel revealing a small safe. Reo didn’t know the code, nor did he care – whatever was in that safe was not petty cash. He made sure his accountants made sure every unit of currency was accounted for in the group. If it was petty cash, it would be in the records. And this.. quote unquote matter, he thought, is not something that should be anywhere near the Satake Group’s accounting records. At least Father knew that.
Reo pulls out his phone and calls his own assistant, turning towards the coat rack and his briefcase on the floor. “It’s me, I forg.. haven’t made any preparations for my trip to Tokyo. Yes, the end of the month.” He hefts his briefcase onto her desk and pops open the clasps as she starts placing wrapped stacks of 10,000y notes side by side. “The train?!” he hisses into his phone as Hana cringes a bit, placing the last of the cash in Reo’s briefcase. “I’m not about to spend ten hou— yes, a flight. Now.”
The case snaps closed as he thumbs the tumbler’s code and starts pulling on his coat. “A 2:45? Yes. Do it, I’ll eat the travel expense. I should have remembered anyway. Good.” His thumb mashes end as he slides his arms through his suit jacket, buttoning it up and flicking his wrist out to check his watch.
Almost 2:00pm, the hands under the cracked glass dial read. Reo didn’t trust a taxi this close, father’s driver could get there and back before father wanted to be driven home. He turns to Hana. “Call his driver, I’ll only need him for an hour.”
The assistant nods and picks up the phone as Reo turn towards the elevators, a frigid scowl setting in on his normally neutral face.
- a recovering disaster? / twitter: @rgdrac
apologies for everything about me, it might get better.
updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)
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