“Anderson!” Jamal yelled.
“Yes, sir?” He asked as he walked into his office.
“Please prepare the manor’s staff for tonight's annual ‘Anla Gala Charity Event’, I need everyone to be in tip-top shape. I have some very important people coming tonight. Someone who could really help Ferinian Corp.”
“You mean the mob who you’ve been borrowing money from? I thought you were more prosper than that.” Anderson snarked.
“You are in no position to criticize me! I’m doing what’s best for Ferinian Corp, and my family. Do what I pay you to do and make sure Camille is ready, I had her stylist set out a gown for tonight's gala.” Jamal picked up his phone and began dialing a number.
“Sure sir, sure.” Anderson walked out.
That night's gala was truly amazing. There was a perfectly catered food station, expensive wines, and a band. Only the most superior evening for the most superior charity gala.
“Camille! Honey!” Jamal yelled.
“Coming darling!” She gracefully strutted down the stairs in a very prosperous and elegant gown. As if she was a princess.
“The guests will be arriving momentarily. You look wonderful.” Jamal quickly kissed her on the cheek.
“Alejandro and his associates will also be attending?” Camille asked.
“Yes.” He responded.
“Splendid, have you seen Jane-Anne?” She asked.
“She’s with the nannies right now. We will get her later on, 9pm ish.”
“Okay. I just miss her sometimes." Camille quickly stopped talking and smiled as she heard a knock at the door. The guests began to arrive one by one.
The evening was very pleasant. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time, drinking expensive wines, eating fancy foods, and helping ‘charity’.
“Camille, see Alejandro anywhere?” Jamal asked.
“No, but someone handed this to me. I think it’s from Alejandro?” She handed him a note, it looked like it was written just now, or sometime before.
“It says, ‘West Wing Fountain, 10 minutes’, we should go.”
“Yes. He will see us walking there and follow.” They proceeded to link arms and walk to the west wing, there was an indoor fountain dedicated to Jamal’s father there.
“It’s been 10 minutes… where is he?”
"Here.” Alejandro walked in with a small group of men behind him.
“Alejandro, pleasure to see you once again.”
“Let's skip the pleasantries. How much do you need?” Alejandro asked.
“$350,000, we will pay it all back once Ferinian Corp-” Alejandro stopped him and started laughing out loud.
“How?! You’re already in debt with me! How will you pay all this back?”
“Do you really think this is a charity event, Alejandro? Do you know me at all? I’ve invited some of the biggest donors in Mississippi! Some of them are giving $5,000,000 to the ‘orphans of Mississippi’. Pathetic. I need you now because we need to purchase a couple things that can’t be shown on our records, your money and power can help ensure that.” Alejandro and his men looked at each other and smiled.
“Profound idea. Much respect towards you and your wife. Wonderful work, I’m going now. You know your deadline.” Alejandro handed Camille an envelope, and walked off with his men.
“Jamal?” Camille said.
“I know I seem like I’m all in, but I am still skeptical. We are borrowing money from some of the most dangerous people in Mississippi, for our financial benefit. We are also stealing from orphans, I feel like we are heartless and conniving! Are you sure that we are doing what’s best for Ferinian Corp? More importantly, Jane-Anne?”
“For the last time, I’m doing this for my company!” Jamal yelled, he began to walk off back to the party, but he whispered under his breath, “My family is always protected. They don’t need me as much as my company.”
The party ended shortly after. Guests began to leave and the nannies returned with Jane-Anne.
“Mommy! Hello!” Jane-Anne hugged Camille as they exchanged pleasantries, then Jamal rushed down the stairs yelling into his phone.
“Not now, Jane-Anne.” He walked past without looking at her. Tears began to fall and she rushed to her room.
“Janie?” Camille sighed.
“Mrs. Anla? You should tend to your daughter. I shall deal with Mr. Anla, yes?” Anderson said.
“Yes, please. Thank you, Anderson.”
“No problem.” Anderson stormed off and made it into the kitchen with Jamal. He smacked the phone out of his hand and slapped him in the face.
“What the heck, Anderson!” Jamal yelled,
“What the heck are you thinking! Blowing off your seven year old daughter for some business imbecile! You claim that you are doing what is best for your family! You’re not! You’re doing what’s best for your company! Family will always be in the back corner for you, sir. You are truly a conniving sconderul.”
“You are in no position to judge me!” Jamal yelled back.
“Yes, I am. I want to show you what the future will be like, when you're gone.”
“What the heck are you yapping about, Anderson?”
“I didn’t think you needed this yet, but it seems more appropriate than ever.” Anderson closed his eyes and grabbed Jamal’s arm.
“Anderson! Anderson! Release me!” Jamal exclaimed, all the sudden, Anderson’s eyes turned red, bright red like a rose, “What the-”.
“Tulevik, liigu aega, liikuda ülespoole, vaata aeg tulla!” They opened their eyes. Nothing seemed to happen.
“Anderson! What the heck did you just do! Summon a demon?!” Jamal exclaimed.
“No sir, look around.” Jamal and Anderson glanced around. They were in Jamal’s kitchen. There was a picture of an older woman over the dining table. Mid 40’s? She had a man next to her, and 5 children below. The kitchen looked almost completely different, except for the same island near the stove.
“Are we in… my kitchen?” Jamal asked.
“Seems that way, sir.”
“Anderson, what’s happening?”
“You weren’t seeing reason in my words. I tried to explain that family is more important than Ferinian Corp. Now, you are going to see what I mean. We are… 40 or so years later in the future. We will see what life is like when you’re… well dead.” Jamal started laughing.
“Are you like, and angel? No-no! A demon! Wait a moment, I’m dreaming! That’s the only way to conclude it!”
“Sir, you're not dreaming.” Anderson let out a chuckle.
“Then how the heck am I dead if I’m standing here?!”
“This is 40 years in the future, sir. Now be quiet! Someone’s entering.”
“Wha-” before he could finish with another idiotic remark, an old woman entered. She looked 80 or something years old. It was, Camille.
“Camille?” Jamal said.
“She can’t hear or see you, sir.” Camille walked over to the fridge and took out a water, then stared at the picture over the dining table.
“Why is she here?” Jamal asked.
“Not sure.” Anderson replied.
“Who even is the girl in the picture?”
“I think it’s Jane-Anne?” Anderson responded.
“My Jane-Anne! Wow.”
“Quiet! Someone else is coming!” There entered the girl in the picture. They were right, it was Jane-Anne. She was wearing a pants suit and glasses. Business woman casual.
“Mother.” Jane-Anne said.
“Janie.” Awkward silence arose between them.
“Why are you in my home?” Jane-Anne asked.
“The kid’s left their Ipads at my home. Came to drop them off.” Camille said.
“Okay. I must go”
“Why are you in a rush? What’s going on?”
“Mother, must you be so noisy! I have a meeting” Jane-Anne snarked.
“Are you meeting with him again?! I forbid you!” Camille yelled.
“You are in no position to boss me around anymore! Get the heck out, Mother!”
“Fine, you are just as vile as your father used to be.” Camille stomped out as did Jane-Anne .
“Sir, what do you think?” Asked Anderson.
“Wow, my Jane-Anne is one superb business woman!”
“That is truly all you noticed, she just had a giant fight with her mother and blatantly disrespected her.” Anderson rolled his eyes.
“She is doing what’s best for Ferinian Corp, like her father. Her mother was in the way.” Jamal smiled with a proud look on his face.
“Whatever, I wonder who she is meeting with?”
“Not sure, can’t you transport us there?” Jamal asked.
“Oh right, I’m magic.” Anderson chuckled.
“Ugh, be quiet. Let’s just go.”
“Right then.” Anderson grasped Jamal’s arm firmly.
“Vervoer!” They both looked around and noticed they were in Jane-Anne’s office. It was giant. It had a jacuzzi, even a sofa and television.
“Oh, wow.” Anderson said.
“Holy moly, wow Janie.” Jamal clapped his hands, “Respect. This is definitely Jane-Anne casual.”
“Be quiet the meeting is beginning.” The Venezuelan man entered the room, this wasn’t just any Venezulan man, it was Alejandro..
“Mr. Alejandro Labrador! Pleasure. I’m Jane-Anne Anla.”
“Alejandro?! My Alejandro!?” Jamal yelled.
“Please, just call me Alejandro…” He slowly shut the door and Jane-Anne shut the blinds, they looked at each other and made sure nobody was watching.
“What’s going on?” Jamal whispered to Anderson.
“I assume you have my money now? Don’t be like your Papa...” Alejandro asked.
“No I don’t…” Jane-Anne looked at the floor.
“What?!” He pulled a gun out and pointed at Jane-Anne.
“Oh my god!” Jamal whispered to Anderson.
“¡Parada! Por favor, su dinero llegará pronto! ¡Necesito más tiempo!” Jane-Anne said.
“I think it can translate… she said ‘Stop! Please your money will arrive soon enough! I need more time!’ I’m guessing.” Anderson said.
“You know spanish!? Jane-Anne does too?!” Jamal exclaimed.
“There’s a lot you don’t know.” They quickly focused their attention back to Alejandro and Jane-Anne.
“Qué harás para compensar todo el dinero que me debes?!” Alejandro said.
“He said… ‘What will you do to make up all the money you owe me?!’ It was very fast and unclear.” Anderson said.
“When my Dad gave me his company he taught me this trick to make profits. I plan a charity gala, invite some of the biggest donors in Mississippi, make up and promote a cause that everyone is raving about, and use the profits to pay back anyone, or use it for the company. Recently, I’ve been inviting donor’s not just from Mississippi, but from around the country. We’ve been receiving millions of dollars from each event we throw. I’m just doing what’s best for Ferinian Corp.” Jane-Anne said. Alejandro lowered the gun and clapped.
“Fine, but this better work.”
“Trust me, my dad was in the same business as I am now with you, he never fails. Gracias.” Jane-Anne sat down as Alejandro walked out. Jane-Anne let out a deep sigh, and began working again.
“Do you comprehend what just happened!?” Anderson yelled..
“My daughter is a better business woman than me, crap! I got to up my game!”
“Jamal, your only daughter just risked her life for Ferinian Corp. She risked never being able to see her kids grow up, be there for her 50th anniversary! She almost just died, and she is a horrible business woman if she is getting caught up in the same illegal and defiant things you are.”
“You’re… right? Wow I just said that. She almost died… and I talked about business?” Jamal looked at his feet, awkwardly.
“You’re starting to get it.”
“I guess? Or-or maybe she is just in business with the wrong kind of people, like me! I can try and send her a-”
“Oh my goodness! She is in the wrong kind of business with people, just like you! We established this! You taught her stupid charity trick before you died. Now she remembers you as a con artist and a colluded ego-maniac!” Anderson was quite right. Jamal looked around, he was puzzled. He didn’t think about this before.
“Can I see the day of my funeral?” Jamal asked.
“Sir… are you sure?”
“Entirely. I want to see how I’m truly remembered.”
“Well, sir… Sure. One moment.”
“Oh god!” Jamal exclaimed.
“Vervoer!” Anderson yelled.
“I will never get used to that…” they glimpsed around their next destination. A graveyard. It looked relatively nice though. There stood Jane-Anne, and Camille.
“Where is everyone else?”
“These are the only people that should matter to you, sir.”
“Wait… let's move closer, they are talking.” Jamal grabbed Anderson's arm and walked closer to hear them.
“I cannot believe he is gone.” Camille said as she wiped tears.
“He should’ve been more firm to Alejandro, he didn’t pay him back.”
“Janie! He was your father, and he was murdered by your boss's associates. And all you're talking about is money! Shameful daughter!” Camille slapped her in the face.
“Mother! What did that man ever do for me!? Blow me off his whole darn life! The one good thing he did was give me his company before he died. Actually, the only good thing he ever did for me was die!”
“How can you say that! He loved you!” Camille tried to slap her again, but Jane-Anne grabbed her hand before she could.
“Alejandro murdered him because he never paid him back. Father showed me no such love, thank god he’s gone!”
“Alejandro shouldn’t have murdered him!!” Camille yelled, “I’m going to the cops.”
“You can’t stop me!”
“I will pay you $10,000,000 to keep your damn mouth shut and leave the country!” Camille and Jane-Anne looked at each other. Jamal’s mouth practically fell.
“$10,000,00?” Camille asked.
“Yes. It’s what father would’ve wanted me to do.”
“No it isn’t. But I will take it.” They shook hands and she walked away.
“Wow. They think that’s what I would’ve wanted her to do? That’s how I’m remembered? A two person funeral full of pointless bickering? My daughter isn’t even mourning me.” Tears began to fall from Jamal’s face.
“You are finally seeing reason.” Anderson smiled.
“I will change my ways.” Jamal said.
“I want to see my daughter grow up. I don’t want her to hate me when I pass away. I don’t want her to work for the people who killed me, and have to pay the mob back. I want to see her first day of school, her prom even. Oh my goodness, and Camille, I must put more time into Camille. She deserves my full attention. We are married, not bloody business partners! I will put Ferinian Corp in the background for a while, I will still work but not as much.”
“Yes. You’re ready.”
“To go home.” Anderson closed his eyes.
“Uh oh, magic Anderson is back.”
“Kingitus, kodu, tagasi sinna, kus me olime!” They returned back into Jamal’s original kitchen.
“Thank you, Anderson.”
“No problem, sir. Now go get your family back!”
“Okay!” Jamal ran into the living room to find Camille, “Camille!” Jamal yelled.
“Jam-” before she could finish, he ran over to her and hugged her.
“I’m so happy to see you, love.”
“Jamal, what’s this all about?” Camille asked.
“I just love you. Also, we are going on a family vacation to Jamaica! I am also giving the money we got at the charity event to the orphans! I will also be paying Alejandro back and never doing business with them again.”
“Truly!” They hugged each other, tightly. Jamal was beaming with excitement. He longed for Camille’s embrace.
“Now, I’m going to go make things right with my daughter.” Jamal released Camille and ran up the stairs. He rushed into Jane-Anne’s room.
“Daddy?” Jane-Anne said.
“Janie!” Jamal hugged her.
“Daddy? Why are you so excited?” Jane-Anne asked.
“I just want to say that I’m sorry for blowing you off earlier. It was stupid and a bad thing to do. To make up for it, we are having our first ever Daddy-daughter-day tomorrow! We will go get ice cream, and play so many fun games!”
“Yay!” She exclaimed.
“Also, I’m not a very smart man. Never do what I do. I made some bad choices and done some stupid stuff that I regret. In the future, I’m going to hand my company to you, but I need you to promise me you will put family first. Always.”
“Uh… sure daddy? You're weird.” They laughed together as he tucked her into bed.
Two weeks passed, the last thing Jamal had to take care of was Alejandro.
“Anderson!” Jamal yelled.
“Yes, sir?” Anderson asked as he walked in.
“I was going to just pay Alejandro back, but I want to do the right thing more.”
“What is that, sir?” Anderson asked.
“Call the authorities, tell them about a man named Alejandro Labrador. He lives at 67 Birch Avenue. Tell them I was one of Alejandro's associates and I would gladly provide them with information they need to the contrary.”
“Sir, you could go to prison for this…” Anderson said.
“I’m aware. But I want to set an example for my daughter.”
“Okay, sir. You are doing the right thing. Alejandro is a much wanted mob boss who needs to be put behind bars.”
“Whatever does happen, just know: I owe you my life, Anderson. You helped me see reason and realize my life was practically dedicated to Ferinian Corp. Now, I’ve been more focused on family rather than my business.”
“Thank you sir. I will go call now.”
“No, thank you…” Jamal looked at his picture of Jane-Anne and Camille on his desk and thought to himself, ‘I know what I’m doing is right’.