“I will be selling the clubhouse,” he said.
The room full of press were eagerly waiting for him to continue. They held their tongues as the photographers continued to flash away.
“I will be selling the clubhouse to one chosen individual. That is all,” he ended.
The lack of information sent the journalist bursting into a frenzy of questions, questions he ignored as he casually strolled out of the room. Taking his spot on the podium was his assistant, who immediately promised to provide all needed information. That information did not include the commonly asked question of why.
Days after the press conference, every member of the elite clubhouse signed a special form to express their interest in buying over. Some included business proposals while some offered a hefty price, but none of those made any difference. The owner, who was also the president of Greengrass Global, a well-known property developer, did not seem interested in selling his clubhouse to the highest bidder. He was more interested in the right one.
So a month later, there were five; five members of the clubhouse sitting in a small, private, empty lounge on a quiet Wednesday evening. None of them spoke, as they found no trouble in occupying themselves and ignoring their competitors. The silence between them comfortably lingered, as they waited for the main door to open.
Sitting closest to the door was Richard. Richard was a 26-year-old heir to his father’s world-renown law firm despite having failed the bar exam twice. It seemed like he was more interested in fashion, as he was dressed ready for a catwalk. Richard paid no attention to the world around him as he tapped away at his phone, chatting with a girl he just met the day before.
A few feet away from Richard was Guinevere. She was seated by the empty bar, with her legs crossed, body upright, and her long hair falling perfectly down her red dress. 27-year-old Guinevere had been the talk of the town as her recent engagement had graced the covers of magazines. She was now the fiancée of the young CEO of a large bank, but their happy engagement was merely a façade of a business deal. Her family was in the insurance business and marrying a banker was insurance worth buying.
Leaning against the bar and clearly not interested in Guinevere was Matthias. Unlike Richard, Matthias graduated with a double degree in law and business. His overly formal attire reflected who he was, a shareholder of Greengrass Global and a man ready to own the clubhouse at his young age of 26. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he clearly had plenty of silver spoons now.
Back against Matthias in an armchair was Jodie. Jodie was an entrepreneur, and a very popular one for that matter. She started her publishing business at the age of 19 and six years later, she became the owner of the world’s biggest publishing house that has produced more bestsellers than any other. Creativity was her forte, not dresses and flirtatious eyes.
And then, there was Zach. Zach was the oddball in the group. He was not successful nor did he grow up in a well to do family. His old and faded suit depicted a recently unemployed 28-year-old, and it was a fact. Zach could have never stepped into the clubhouse if not for the lucky draw that won him a one-month free membership. Hence he felt very out of place, even though the other four did a good job at ignoring him. Zach is where this story will start.
As Zach thought about the little money in his bank account, he wondered how much he should pay if he was chosen to buy the place. Would a hundred dollars be enough? Zach knew that was all he could spare. He could have paid more if the company he had worked for did not go bankrupt. But even so, what he had to offer could not compete with the rest. He did not know who his competitors were before that day but he knew who these people were long before, and comparing himself to them except for rich boy Richard, he felt ashamed. And the more he thought about it, the worse he felt.
Zach knew that silence was not his best friend, as silence always had a way of making him feel bad about himself. When the world quieted down for him, the voices in his head would stir up conflict. No, he was no schizophrenic. Zach was simply struggling with himself and somehow he knew he was not alone. Despite being the only ‘loser’ in the room, he was not the only ‘loser’ in the world outside the clubhouse. That was as optimistic as he could be. With the wait for the owner’s assistant to make an appearance expanding the moment of silence around him, Zach had the strangest urge to start a conversation. But who should he talk to? Which of the four would actually spare him a few words?
Zach could not stand the silence any longer. Zach needed to choose one.
(For the chapter list, visit here.)