Note: Sorry for the lack of screenshots. This chapter is mostly meant to move the plot.
“Say what???!!” I squealed. Oh plum! It was incredulous I was shrilling like an over excited school girl.
I couldn’t believe it! Aunt Rebecca wanted to hold an art exhibition, with me! My jaws dropped in disbelief. Aunt Rebecca was an acclaimed artist, one of the rare few that got recognition, and wealth in their lifetime. It was incredible she would pick me as her collaborative partner.
Somehow, it made me felt two inches tall. I felt self-conscious, something I never used to feel. I knew my artworks were excellent, I had absolute confidence in them. But I never felt they could hold a candle to hers. And there I would be, having my paintings displayed side by side with my aunt’s.
“Gosh Toby!” She patted my shoulder. “You got to have MORE confidence over your work. Believe me, I didn’t choose you just because you’re my nephew!”
It would be my introduction to the moneyed patrons, the elites that wouldn’t blink an eye forking huge wads of cash over an art piece they fancied.
Everything had got to be perfect.
I was practically spending every waking hour in the studio, putting a 100% into every painting. It was one plum of a week I swear. I was churning out one painting over another, discarding those I felt weren’t good enough. Everyday I came home tired and with paint dripping down my clothes. But I didn’t care.
I couldn’t let this opportunity of a lifetime slip. Everything else can wait.
Please help yourselves to the drinks… My voice trailed off as I looked in mortification at the sight of the bar. Effing plum! There was no drinks! Bob-freaking-Pancakes had broken the bottles, and dozed off on the bench. Holy Plumbob! I didn’t pay him to wreck havoc and sleep.
As if on cue, Aunt Rebecca ushered the guests back in. They didn’t need to see this mess.
I called for the security to throw the Pancakes out. I wanted his exit to be as humiliating as possible. Perhaps as a last hurrah for myself. I really wanted to have a huge freak out. Everything had gone well until rotten Pancakes decided to ruin it for me. My introduction to the wealthy clients would be a party pooper..?
“Please let me handle it.” I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. Delia? What could she do?
“I just need you to believe me. One time.” She asserted. I saw confidence in her eyes.
“Drinks will be coming in five!” She chirped to the guests.
Delia was a natural at the bar. I could see she fascinated everyone, so much that they willingly ignore the Pancakes fiasco. The guests adored her. In fact, everybody adored her. They leaving with smiles on their faces, complimenting about my paintings, my aunt’s paintings, and the drinks… She saved the day.
Acquiring SimLife Goggles turned out to be one of my best bets. Back then I was already extremely confident that was a unicorn. Virtual Reality was a new thing, and I thought it could be phenomenal. And it did go supernova. Now every reputable publication was singing my praises. And that really shut Nick Alto up, once and for all. With some help from the Landgraabs, he was delivered a swift kick off the Board. I felt triumphant.
Though I had one question yet to be answered. But that wasn’t important anymore. Retirement was my next plan. A long overdue one in fact. It was shelved to make sure Simbook would be in good hands. After me, and long after me. But after picking a very promising successor (a fine young man he was!), I had my last concern checked off the list.
I had been long enough in this business to understand. With every leadership change comes replacements.