Life, according to Ben, was whatever you made it. He loved his family, but made damn sure that he rose above them no matter the cost. He didn’t bat an eye when we bought his father’s company, broke it apart, and sold it for profit. He didn’t stop work to attend his mother’s funeral, because she wouldn’t know if he was there or not, and time meant money. Every wealthy person knows that time is a very valuable commodity.
Everything in Ben’s life was planned, strategized, monetized, and all about him. Women came and went and he didn’t care. He used them – they used him. That is the way the world works. Decide on what you want, then go get it and don’t stop until you do.
The problem with Ben, and others like him, was that they lived in a sheltered bubbled world through which they viewed everyone else. If you were not in their bubble, you had no personal value outside of being a pawn in their games.
Ben was quite smart, so throughout Ben’s life he had formed what could only be termed as mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals outside of his personal bubble. They would be seen golfing, dining, hobnobbing at social events. To the outside world, they were friends, but the players knew their roles. And they played them well. Until…
All bubbles burst eventually. For Ben, that time came when he played a game and lost. Ben had never truly lost before. Sure, it looked that way to the outside world, but that’s because they didn’t know what he knew. Ten million lost? Ten million deduction in taxes. Lawsuit? Ben had partners to handle that. Those were all simple games compared to the one he entered on a whim. Unchecked ego, too many players wanting to make their own bubbles, all that was needed was a pin. His new game was a stark contrast to the others, but he was sure he could not lose.