Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 213 - Schmoozing[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:01]
Aaron was surprised but pleased that Keeley seemed to be making herself at home at his place. She had texted him of her own volition three days in a row now. Making suggestions for ways to make his place seem homier (like the hammock), berating him for his lack of cookware, and sending him pictures of his cat.
On Wednesday night he received a picture of Molly and Dinah curled up next to each other with the caption \'I think Dinah finally won her over.\' Apparently Molly had been wary of her for the past two days.
\'It\'s good that they get along since they\'re going to be roommates for a while\' he replied.
The way she was texting him so freely…it reminded him of high school, long before they dated. Whenever anything remotely interesting happened or she thought of something funny or anything in between, Keeley would text him. She was doing the same thing now.
Why? She wasn\'t like that with him anymore. She was typically much more restrained even if she wasn\'t directly telling him to get lost.
She wasn\'t like this even a few weeks ago at the wedding. What had changed her mind? Was she actually wearing down because he was helping her out yet again?
Aaron was sorely tempted to end his trip early and go back to ask her in person so he could see her face and more accurately gauge her response. Unfortunately, he needed these people\'s help to overthrow his father.
The Canadians had the ability to help drive up the stock prices even higher when the peak season hit next year. He couldn\'t offend them by leaving early.
His least favorite part of the business world had always been schmoozing people. Aaron was not a natural schmoozer because people typically annoyed him. Unfortunately it was a vital skill.
He had to pretend to be interested in their lives. It was something he was taught from a young age. Research their interests beforehand to have a common topic of conversation. Remember the names of their spouses, children, and pets. Ask them about things they mentioned the last time you met with them.
Years ago Aaron got into the habit of writing things down about people the moment he left their sight so he could use it for future reference. It was part of how he became so successful in his first life. Alistair\'s teachings weren\'t completely useless.
The problem was that he allowed his son absolutely no individuality because he was trying to create a perfect successor. A miniature version of himself that would parrot all of his beliefs.
It horrified him to think about now, but Aaron probably would have done the same thing to his lost child because he didn\'t know any better at the time. Knowing how important people\'s dreams could be to them now he could never do what his father did.
Not that he would ever get the chance. He would die childless, just like in his first life.
If Jeremy Ward ended up working for him again someday Aaron would hand his legacy over to him in a heartbeat. If it did happen, it wouldn\'t be for a long time. Jeremy had barely passed his first birthday. What a strange thought!
He had been a reliable protégé, taking everything Aaron said about business seriously. He started working for Hale Investments after five years in a less prominent financial institution and had graduated from Princeton.
Jeremy was young, hungry, and eager to prove himself. He was much like Aaron had been before meeting Keeley—business obsessed. Perhaps he took him under his wing because he saw his younger self in the man.
Aaron had been the CEO for nearly ten years when they crossed paths for the first time. He was a member of the analyst department but the head was so impressed that he wanted to promote him. The problem was that there were no open managerial positions.
The head analyst came to Aaron and told him about the dilemma, asking if he would meet the young man and advise him on what to do. Jeremy was twenty-six but looked much younger so people tended to overlook him until they realized what a brilliant mind he had.
Aaron was no exception; he was terribly underwhelmed when they first met until Jeremy began offering an insightful analysis on a current stock market trend that was causing concern for many investment firms. In fact, it was exactly what he had been thinking about the matter.
Right off the bat, instinct told him that this kid would go places if given the chance. So that was exactly what he did. When Jeremy was first offered the position of personal assistant to the CEO, he turned it down, saying he preferred being involved with the numbers.
It impressed Aaron so much that he decided to tell him the real reason for his offer. He wanted to train him to be his replacement someday. The kid had been shocked, to say the least.
So many things had changed in this life. Would Jeremy? He didn\'t think so. Thus far the only things about the world at large that were different were things he personally had a hand in. He didn\'t meet Jeremy until 2038; it was doubtful that anything he did would prevent the kid from getting his degree and coming to work at Hale Investments.
Although…Cameron was the head of the analyst department now. Would he see the same potential that the previous head had?
Speaking of Cameron, what kind of life had he originally led? Aaron met Aiden in his first life, albeit not until 2020, but he hadn\'t met Cameron at all. Had he still worked in the financial sector? Did he end up meeting Jennica anyway or would he have married someone else?
It was an interesting question. With an MBA from Harvard it was highly likely he would have made it to Wall Street eventually. Jennica would have been in New York even if Keeley hadn\'t. But would they have met? New York was a huge city. The likelihood of two specific people meeting was small.
There was no doubt in Aaron\'s mind that what he had done benefitted both Cameron and Aiden. They both had solid jobs and women they loved. They were happy. If they were able to be happy because Aaron had been reborn…why couldn\'t he?