Richard could not wait for his father to return. He wanted to rid himself of the temporary position as soon as possible. Nothing about the new responsibility thrilled him and having to attend meetings on the weekend did not make it any more appealing. Unfortunately, after the impromptu meeting on Sunday, his assistant informed him that his father was extending his stay. Until when, his assistant did not know.
Grunting at the news before bed, Richard wondered what his father was doing. He had no clue as to where he was and why he had left. What was so important? Richard drew blank on all his questions. When he finally decided he had enough, his phone made an unexpected ring.
“Did you dial the wrong number?” Richard answered, surprised that Matthias had called him.
“No. Are you free for breakfast tomorrow?”
“I have a couple of questions.”
“We’ll talk tomorrow. How does the café near our university sound for you?”
“What makes you think I would agree?”
“I don’t think, I know. See you then,” Matthias ended the call confidently.
Out of sheer spite, Richard was tempted to not show up. But since it was the first time Matthias had called him, he decided to close an eye. He was also curious about the questions, and Richard never let his curiosity starve.
The following morning, Richard had his chauffeur drive him. Just as they arrived, Richard spotted Matthias entering the café. He waited for Matthias to settle down by the window, before heading in himself.
“Good morning,” Richard said, as he walked over.
“Hey,” Matthias greeted. “What do you want to eat?”
“Anything is fine. I’m not picky,” Richard lied.
Matthias waved a waitress over and ordered the breakfast of the day for the two of them.
“So, what questions do you have? I’m sure it’s urgent,” Richard said.
“Is it about Jodie? Cause I didn’t tell her.”
“Good thing you didn’t.”
“But you said-”
“I know what I said. I was wrong.”
“Oh, must hurt to be wrong,” Richard poked.
“It hurt a lot. Anyway, I have questions about the Wilhelm Group Scholarship Fund. You were a recipient, right?”
“I guess,” Richard replied. He wasn’t sure of it himself. There was an offer letter, but he never applied for it. They just handed it to him and his father accepted on his behalf.
“Yea. Honestly, I don’t know much about it.”
“You bragged about it a lot, though.”
“I did? Well…” Richard trailed off. Despite his reply, he did remember bragging about it. It was the only accomplishment he had at that time.
“Do you know how they select candidates?”
“No. Why are you asking?”
“My sister was offered the scholarship.”
“Isn’t that good news?”
“No. Not when you found her information and mine in your father’s office. It feels like a set up,” Matthias said, lowering his voice.
“What does a law firm have to do with a scholarship fund?” Richard asked.
Richard did not know what to say. Even if it was a strange coincidence, there was nothing he knew that could help Matthias.
“Never mind,” Matthias added with a sigh.
“I can help find out. Snoop around a little,” Richard suggested.
“It’ll be too late then. I’ll just have to take a risk.”
Breakfast continued on silently. Matthias was distracted and Richard did not see the need to jab at his worries. When Richard was almost done with his waffles, he turned around to call a waitress over. Just as he did, he saw two men walk in. One was his father’s assistant and the other looked rather familiar.
“I’m sorry to have to meet you like this. Mr Lee is in a hurry to settle things,” his father’s assistant said.
“Don’t worry about it. Once he and his wife sign the papers, I’ll personally see to it that his request is met,” the other man replied,
Richard was not sure if his ears had heard right. Straining them, Richard needed to make sure he wasn’t imagining the conversation.
“Great! I’ll let Mr Lee know so he can fly back with his family immediately.”
“Good. I’ll need Gabriel when we transfer the investment to him.”
Were they talking about his father? Who was Gabriel? Did his father have another family somewhere else? Question after question filled his head. Richard was in a daze until Matthias asked, “Isn’t that Wayne?”
Matthias pointed at the pair that had just exited the café, before adding, “Guinevere’s fiancé?”
“Yea, it looks like him,” Richard managed a reply.
Richard needed to gather his thoughts in order to piece together what he had just heard, but it seemed like no one wanted to give him the space he needed. When Matthias headed to pay the bill, Richard received a call from his own assistant.
“You don’t have to attend the meeting today,” his assistant informed.
“The meeting regarding the publishing house? Why not?” Richard asked. As much as he did not want to be a part of it, it was the only way to find out more.
“Your father says you can sit out on this one.”
“I don’t know. I thought you would be happy.”
“I’m not. I need to attend the meeting.”
“Your father says you don’t have to. Best to obey his wishes.”
Richard wanted to give a snapping remark about the way his father worked, but quickly held his tongue. Being pulled out of Jodie’s case meant he would not be able to help her. Richard did not know what to do.
A part of him wanted to rush to the firm and force his unwanted presence into the boardroom, but another part of him wanted to meet up with Wayne to find out more about his father. One was certainly more pressing than the other, and Richard had to choose.