He had been chairman for such a long time he was truly considered part of the furniture. For years and years he had carefully navigated the ship that is the corporation with steady hand in a way so that neither share holders nor employees really ever had anything to complain about. OK, he had made losses some years, and even been forced to lay off people, but at all times those backlashes had been smaller than those of the competition. Admittedly they had never been the most successful either, but plodding along in the middle.

Now he was sitting there. At 72 he felt that he had done what he could for himself and the company. He thought back on his life, his rise from working in the mail room to becoming the president and then chairman. He thought of his wife, his beloved wife, who passed away three years ago from a sudden heart attack. And they had both always thought that he would be the one to pass away first, being the elder and also working much harder. Maybe a diet consisting of lots of coffee and gin and tonics actually wasn't that bad for you? Or maybe it was genetics. Well, nobody would be able to tell. He also thought of his three children, his two sons and his beloved daughter, all of them now estranged and far away. That came as a shock to him when his wife died and he realised that the only link they really had was her. And then just... gone.

But now he was going to do something for his children and grand children. Something that would really make them well off. He phoned a stock broker on his cell phone and asked him to buy the competitions' stocks and at the same time short the stocks in his company. Naturally the broker account wasn't in his name, and the cell phone was one of those anonymous pre-paid. How fortunate, he thought that all these terrorist activities still hadn't made them impossible to get hold of. Once he placed the calls he put the phone in an envelope and walked outside and placed it in the post out tray.

Back in the boardroom he opened his briefcase. He took out a bunch of papers and looked at the numbers. It was all there exactly as he had planned. Not that there was any truth to the claims, but he knew that perception is more important than the truth. If he hadn't realized that long ago he would have been finished as a chairman. So now he sat there with the balance sheets in front of him. His fake balance sheets. Sheets that made it look as if he had been defrauding the company for many years. Something that would leave a big stain on his reputation, something that might even get rid of that portrait on the wall, the one he hated, because it made his nose look bigger than it actually was. Having prepared the papers he took the gun out of his briefcase, released the safety, put the barrel in his mouth and pressed the trigger just as he could start tasting the cold metal.

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