“Tristan seem to have vanished from the face of the earth…”
“Kidanapped and held captive… ”
“37 year old”
Scarlett read the news aloud, leaving his mind in a turmoil. It was one thing to think about his life from inside the frame. But, to hear in so many words from another person and confirm the reality, left him reeling in despair and nauseous.
Yes, he was the Tristan Chase, the multi millionaire who appeared to have vanished from the face of the earth and whose trail the police was following. He was the Tristan Chase who demanded too much from his employees, be it about the placement of the cherry on the dessert, the time of the meeting, the angle of the paperweight on his desk, or the time his employees reported and number of breaks they took, he wanted things to be the way he wanted. He called it business acumen and people management, the rest of the world called it- well, called it by so many names. He heard everything, but never paused to think why. He knew the right way, the perfect way. Anything that does not fit the bill, his bill, was instantly removed. Untill, nothing was the way he wanted. He had fired people when they stuttered. Little did he know that it was not lack of confidence; it was fear and terror of losing their job on the mere account displeasing him. He wanted everyday to be the same, but with higher productivity and better results with each passing day. Little did he understand that there was a reason behind the tilted axis of the earth. He was the Tristan Chase who used people for his selfish objectives and refused to honour theirs if it did not fit his motives. He laughed at sentiments, tears and bleeding hearts. He was that man who believed he could buy the moon, if he wished so. (Ahhh…its been so long that he has seen the moon.)
After the year long introspection, he knew exactly what kind of a person he was. He was actually surprised that there were people searching for him. Gratitude seemed like a good feeling. When was the last time he meant a thank you, rather than uttering it as a formality, as a business etiquette. “One day, I will tell them, how much it means to me… For not forgetting me, inspite of the hate and hurt, even if it was just a social obligation to file a case, one day I will return your favour…” So many one days… Will that day ever come?
He was also worried if his people were worrying the McClaire family over his case of absconding or kidnapping. They had suffered enough because of him, he didnt want them to endure anymore. Protective. Concern. Tristan was naming the new feelings in his heart. Who was responsible for his character? His parents were benovelent people. They went to church, believed that humans were afterall humans, puppets of the God Almighty. They had given him everything he desired, brought him up as a man capable of scaling any heights, strong and tenacious. Then, when had he become the stubborn asshole, uncompromising freak, and the unforgiving bastard, forever taking and never giving? When did he become so inhuman?
Tristan wondered what his parents thought about him. Michael and Diana Chase had only one son. Were they ashamed of him? Did they think they should have had one more son? He always thought he had made them proud. He had never really listened when his father tried to advise him on how to deal with people. He had called his father outdated, teased him over losing the edge of doing business. What important lessons had he missed?
How were they, anyway? Were they worried? His father had a bad knee after an accident. Was he still taking the stairs one at a time? Tristan had never asked. Though he saw, and took the elevator all the time, and avoided all situations that could be difficult for his father, he never asked. His father would have liked it. His mother, Diana, had always wanted to kiss him goodbye whenever they met. Its been years since he allowed her to do that. What he wouldn’t give to feel her warmth around him…
He was changing. Tristan felt it himself inside every square inch of the painting, inside each stroke of the paint brush. He was no longer the Tristan Chase. He was just another man, with vulnerabities and insecurities, who depended on others to live and love. Tristan Chase was no God, just a mortal man who had committed grave mistakes. It was maddening to think about all that he had done. He could not change anything. But did he have a future to correct them? Will he be given a second chance? Mentally he told Sophia, Allan McClaire’s mother, “You know, when you cursed me, I thought… no, cut that. Hmm… I understand what you are trying to tell me…I mean…I know I fucked up… I… I mean… You know that I am sorry right? I mean.. I know I did some unforgivable things, everything short of murder, I mean.. What I want to say is…” Tristan just sighed. A lifetime will not be enough to finish saying everything he felt.
“I am sorry. Please, please… Please grant me a second chance. I promise, I ll make it count. A second chance? Even half a second chance?”
He longed to live as the new Tristan Chase; the one with a heart and compassion. Trust Scarlett to finally dig out that one different name, his own name… And unleash a storm in his already disturbed heart. Only if she knew…