‘One does not simply possess wealth;
It possesses him.’
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Ever since he was a child, reading had always been young Grimsley Sinclair’s favorite pastime. Any chance he had, any time at all that he was allowed in between schooling and social events with the family he would spend within their manor’s library. The vast, antique-styled room was stocked full of countless books from various time periods and of various genres. His parents had never been the scholar types, so they spent little to no time within its walls. They did throw any books that they somehow obtained in its direction, though, never to be touched by their hands again. Therefore, they did contribute to its selection somewhat with more modern novels as well as newer and up-to-date educational references, but, the majority of the library’s contents consisted of classic literature. His grandfather had been an avid reader, and the shelves of the place were lined with items hand-picked by himself; it was his own personal collection.
Grimsley never met his grandfather for the man passed before he was born, but he had always believed that the two of them would have gotten along exceptionally well. After all, Kenneth Sinclair was the single member of his family that shared this interest with him. With that in mind, the young heir had believed that the previous head of the family couldn’t have been all that hateful of a man… nothing like his living relatives. It was a true shame that he hand’t lived for just a few more decades. If he had, Grimsley imaged that the two of them would have held endless conversations, discussions on the literature that they were both so fond of. Sadly, this was a wish that would never be granted.
While his grandfather may have not been around anymore, his beloved collection was, and the young Sinclair had vowed to treat it as his own and appreciate every last drop of discovery and wonder that could be drained out of it.
When he was younger, Winston was always by his side when in the library. At first the older man had read to him because little Grimsley was unable to do so himself at the time. When he grew a bit older and became somewhat literate, Winston began sorting through the books and picked out items that he believed to be within the young heir’s comprehension. This generally meant fantasies and fairy tales, which wondered the boy just as much as it would any child his age. As he grew even older and his reading abilities sharpened, he began choosing the books himself and reading on his own— with Winston’s approval of whatever it was he picked up, of course. The man would inform him of what exactly it was and why he believed it to be above his capabilities or interest and should be held off, though, versus simply telling him no. Grimsley would simply nod and go to find something else. Despite the brat he was at the time, he was always surprisingly obedient with his butler. This was most likely because Winston was very gentle and soft spoken when handling the young heir; generally he was much kinder than all of the other adults in Grimsley’s life, and in a way the boy admired him for that.
While this may been true, at one point in time he began heavily questioning Winston’s advising, even with his explanations. Grimsley had always simply agreed with his butler, trusting that the man knew best with no rebuttal involved… But the young heir had reached the age where children began to challenge what they were told and be somewhat rebellious, so he would be having no more of that. To be frank, the man’s briefings on the books and why he wished for the boy to not read them had been just that: brief. He never did say much on the subjects because he knew that Grimsley would obey him without question… or at least had. He caught onto this somewhere along the line and it upset him because he believed Winston to be treating him like a child, as if he was not old or mature enough to be worthy of a full explanation. Being at a age cocky age where he ignorantly thought himself to be capable of just about anything, of course this upset Grimsley.
And so, try as he might, Winston absolutely could not convince the young heir to listen to him. The harder he tried, the more stubborn the boy became. Eventually, Winston began to give in. Honestly at this point, he wasn’t even telling Grimsley no because he believed him to be incapable of reading whatever it was he was picking up. The Sinclair scion’s reading abilities were prime and truthfully it was highly likely that he could handle anything at all within the library’s collection. Winston was telling him no simply because he doubted that these books would hold his attention, that they would soon loose their appeal and bore him. The butler even tried explaining this theory to him directly, but the boy was incredibly stubborn and his words were to no avail. Eventually with enough arguing, the man eventually gave up and Grimsley got his way. After this the butler decided that the young heir truly no longer required— or desired— his assistance, and so he stopped escorting him to the library altogether from then on out, leaving young Grimsley to do and read as he pleased.
And that was just what the boy did. He was now free to choose anything at all out of all of the literature available, so of course he began looking into all of the material he’d been kept from, starting with the very genre that he’d used for debating against Winston: reference books. His grandfather had been the scholar type, always looking to learn and teach himself new things. Because of this, the Sinclair’s library contained numerous educational references on various fields and subjects. Grimsley had never been one to enjoy schooling. He’d always found it dreadfully boring and exhausting… aside from literature class, that is. Grimsley’s first appeal to these books had been the idea that perhaps if we was reading the information instead of being taught aloud that he might actually find it interesting. Maybe then he could learn everything on his own and get ahead in his studies. Then he wouldn’t have to listen to the babbling of his teachers because he’d be excused from lectures! That would show Winston what he was capable of!
Despite how positively grand and self-satisfying Grimsley’s little ploy had sounded, as irony would have it, had completely backfired. Try and try as he might, whether he be skimming or staring down every word with such intensity that he would not have been shocked if the paper suddenly burst into flames, the boy was pitifully and hopelessly bored. Winston really had known best in the end. If it wasn’t fiction, then he simply wasn’t interested.
Needless to day, the young her was a little upset that he’d been proven wrong. While Winston didn’t necessarily have to know just how right he had been, Grimsley’s hard head refused to soften on the matter. He continued looking through these books, searching through every inch of that library’s shelves in hopes that he would find something educational that he actually enjoyed. Maybe he just hadn’t found the right subject. Somewhere there had to be a matter that would hold his interest entirely, and he was determined find it.
In a way, he had been right. Young Grimsley did find a sort of reference that ended up completely fascinating him, but with a bit of a catch. It wasn’t entirely truthful. Then again, maybe it was! It was a mystery, and it was that curious aspect of the topic that appealed so heavily to the boy. What it was he had found was a quaint mixture of fiction and science: mythology. It was like a step up from the fantasies he’d adored so greatly at a younger age: they were more mature, with real-world aspects and statistics added in so that seemed… well, believable. Yet at the same time, there was no real fact to it. No hard evidence or proof, but instead the wonder of whether such things actually could exist undiscovered somewhere out in the world. Technically it was educational in it’s own away, and that way was one that the boy had actually appreciated and enjoyed, and would continue to for years to come.
Being incredibly fond of this new found subject, naturally they were the only books that Grimsley gave any attention to. Much to his surprise and delight, he found that the library held a vast amount of them. They ranged from various cultures and regions, featuring a different collection of creatures and myths for each one. Some spoke of mysterious Pokemon, others of even stranger creatures that were too humanoid or simply so peculiar that they couldn’t be classified as just that. The young heir read all of them, flying through the pages of every entry with immense fascination until he found that there was nothing new left. He’d learned all that his grandfather’s collection had to offer on the matter. At this point he began rereading, going back through the one’s that he’d found particularly interesting several times to lock the information into place. Over and over and over again he went through them, and before he knew it, the boy had became a walking reference himself.
As much as he had loved the subject… he could only read through them so many times before there was truly nothing left to be gained from them. Having studied their pages so frequently that he had truly memorized their information. Grimsley soon started to grow bored with them. In reality though, mythology still remained the most interesting thing in the library, and so he continued to only give his attention to that subject alone despite how dull the books themselves had become. He’d gone through all of the whimsical tales as a child, and the damned non fiction at been tossed to the side to never to be touched by him again. He’d read it all. There was nothing new left.
Well… actually there was one more type of literature remaining that he’d yet to touch… but…
Reference books hand’t been the only items that Winston had shooed him away from. It just happened to be the category that Grimsley had used to argue against him, because he hand’t agreed with what the older man was telling him. The remaining genre, though… the young heir had actually kept weary of it due to what he’d been told. When he was a child and first laid his hands on one, it had been only because he was eager and it was the closest thing to him. There was no real appeal to the thing. The cover had displayed no illustration or bright hues for him to be drawn to. It was entirely one color, a shade that was on the duller side. The spine of the book displayed a somewhat decorative pattern out of a metallic-like material, along with the title and name of author in a small font. Of course, at the time he couldn’t actually read the title for himself or any of the words within, so he had not a clue of what it contained. Who knew what was inside? It could very well be the most delightful tale that his little ears would ever hear! So with that hope in mind, off to Winston with the book in hand he went.
When young Grimsley handed his butler the item, it took the man only a very short glance at it before giving the boy a solid shake of the head and telling him to put it back. The heir seemed un-phased, in no way bothered by being told no at that age. He simply returned the book from where he had found it and grabbed the next closest thing, repeating the process until successfully locating a story that Winston would agree to read to him. Children are dreadfully forgetfully, though, so it comes as no surprise that the boy would pick up books of a type that he’d once been sent away from. The next time that he tried this particular genre was several years down the line, Grimsley of course being much older and more matured. Winston recognized his somewhat higher understanding of things, and by this point the man had began giving him the brief descriptions on anything that he was turned away from. When handed the dull covered book the second time, he remained silent for a moment. He seemed to be at a loss for words, knowing that he’d have to give the child an explanation, but not sure of what exactly to say. Eventually he did speak up though, saying after his small session of stalling that ‘It’s just very… dramatic. Unnecessarily… dramatic.”
As incredibly brief and somewhat vague as the explanation may have been, it had stuck to Grimsley for all these years sense then for… certain reasons. As the Sinclair scion grew older and wiser, his eyes truly opened to just what kind of people aristocrats were… particularly his own family. Their ways were incredibly cruel and arrogant, mocking and manipulative towards… well, everyone. The rich slander each other, treating everything as a competition of belongings and power. Greed is plentiful. Nothing is ever good enough. There can always be more, things can always be bigger and better and will be made as such so that they may establish their importance to those around them and show everyone just how powerful they are. Image was everything and friendship seemed to be only a myth. His parents could be chatting and laughing merrily with another couple of socialites one night, but the next morning they’d be picking the said individuals they were conversing with apart piece by piece, mercilessly assessing and criticizing them in any and every way that they could find. The were just very… snide and dishonest.
It wasn’t just towards other families that they acted this way, either, but to their own blood as well. The sibling rivalry between Grimsley’s father and uncle was the best example. Desmond Sinclair is the older brother, and it is because of this that he’s the head of the family and rightful owner of Sinclair Industries. Marcus Sinclair, as the younger brother, has always been bitterly jealous of this fact. He secretly despises his older sibling and is constantly bad talking and insulting his actions behind his back. Of course, he wouldn’t dare say such things to his face. He was too much of a coward to get his frustration out in that way, so instead, he sent a hefty amount of it towards the heir of the company instead. Grimsley was a child, after all, so of course he had no trouble insulting him directly.
It went lower than just that, though. What made it even worse was that the man made sure to get his children to join in on this petty behavior as well. The young are naive. They believe anything they hear or are told without a second thought, especially from their parents. For the most part, they overheard their mother and father’s conversations and picked up on the hate they were spewing for themselves, at least this was the case for the young twins, Helena and Sherry. Actually, it was just one of his children that Marcus spoke to himself on the matter, but that one was all he needed: Connor, the eldest and only son.
If Marcus was the oldest of the two brothers and head of the family, that would have made young Connor the heir beneath him. His father made that fact very known to the boy. Grimsley’s younger cousin could have easily assessed this himself and formed his own negative opinion of the rightful heir with no help from Marcus, but the man pushed the issue onto him so heavily that he developed a hatred and jealousy of Grimsley that was every bit has strong as his father’s towards his own brother. He was constantly picking fights and causing trouble for Grimsley because of it, often prompting Helena and Sherry to join him.
As if the cruelty of his relatives wasn’t enough, there was also the constant judgement and nitpicking of his parents. As the scion of the Sinclair’s, they did not rest in trying to mold and shape him into exactly what they believed he should be, to be a perfect heir. There was no impressing them. Young Grimsley simply did his best to perform the basics of what he was told. If he stepped out of line in even the slightest, regardless of what it was or if it was an accident, the lecture and scolding he would get over it… He dreaded them.
With the antics and treatment of his parents, relatives, and even his grandmother being the irritable old lady she was, drama was something that was very plentiful in young Grimsley’s life indeed.
With everything in his own life that he had to put up with, why would he want to add even more by reading dramatic books? That’s what the boy had always told himself. He’d stuck to that moral for years and heavily believed in. Yet… even so, as Grimsley continued to reread and reread the same books over and over again, he found himself sneaking glances at the darker, more sinister looking books that he’d been avoiding so strictly. The more time that passed, the longer he’s stares at the things grew to be.
Eventually… the boy dropped all restraint. He gave in and picked one of them up.
He paid no attention to the cover. He’d been staring at just that for what seemed like ages, and there really was nothing to them. When he picked the book up, jumped right in and opened it, eager yet hesitant all at the same time. What he saw on the first page alone took him off guard. There was no cheery message of dedication from the author, or a collection of sources from whence information was gathered like he was used to seeing, but something else, something different. Resting upon it was only a small arrangement of words, one single sentence… A little statement…
Of course, Grimsley read the said message, and he was puzzled. After all, one only understands the message of these quotes after they’ve read the through the book itself. Before that, it’s vague and seems to hold no true meaning, almost like gibberish. It’s a combination of words you’ve to know the whole definition or power of. They’re blatant and confusing… and the young heir was indeed confused. He didn’t understand the meaning of this statement whatsoever… and if there was thing that Grimsley disliked, it was the unknown.
He hated mystery. He wished to know anything and everything that he could with no holes involved. It was this wish for understanding that made him a curious person. So naturally, he was curious about this quote. He wanted to know just what it meant. He wanted to understand it…. and it was this desire that drove him to continue onward from that first page and into the unknown of this genre he knew nothing about.
And so… he read that book until the end, and surprisingly, he’d found it incredibly intriguing. He’d discovered what the quote meant. He found out that it was a reference to the plot, a foreshadow for the events that were to come. He also found out that the drama that he’d been warned about was there…. But it was nothing like he had expected it to be. Sure, in Grimsley’s life there was the cruelty from his relatives and the high expectations and constant judgement of his parents… but what was within that book had been so much different. It had been… darker, without a doubt worse then the things he went through himself.
The story had started out normal and… well, happy. Everything was well and all of the characters were in good spirits, but eventually it took a sharp turn. Utter misfortune was bestowed upon them. Very cruel events occurred… separation, poverty, hunger… and even death. They were unthinkable circumstances that had never before been presented to young Grimsley in any form. All of the literature he’d read prior had either been incredibly cheery or educational and held no plot at all. This, though… this was a brand new experience. It differed so heavily from what he was used to, to what he knew… and he loved it.
This type of book that Grimsley read on a whim became perhaps his most beloved genre. He went on the read more and more sinister looking books past that first one. The more Grimsley read, the longer the list of tragedies became. Disease… corruption… torture… treason and betrayal… There were so many things that could go wrong.
There were so many terrible fates.
Knowing all of this, the heir began to feel that perhaps his problems weren’t all that bad after all. Maybe he was overreacting? Compared to what happened to the characters of these books, his ordeals were nothing. They were so different and extreme compared to his own life, and that’s what he loved about these books. They truly threw him into worlds like nothing he’d ever seen before and knew nothing about, and despite how horrible and tragic these worlds were, it thrilled him to read about them. This was because he could be safely be subjected to their misery as a reader. He wasn’t a character in the book and therefore it couldn’t hurt him. He was a reader, it was a book. It was fiction. Fiction is fake, a made up story. His life was nothing like it, and his life would never be anything like it.
Reading these books were the only way that he’d ever be exposed to such things.
It didn’t happen in real life, after all.
It was just fiction.
Words like fate and destiny are thrown around so very often because just how heavily do one’s choices and actions really effect their life? Do you really choose your own lifestyle? How can that be when you don’t even choose the circumstances of your own birth? The conditions of the world around you and the stability or your family when your born are completely out of your hands. You can be thrown into poverty and be suffering from the start, or you can be thrown into wealth and be sucking on a silver spoon from the moment your born. You don’t pick, It just happens. You didn’t choose that situation.
You don’t choose any situations in your life. They’re already laid out for you.
You’re not the author. You’re not a reader. You’re a character, and what happens to you is completely out of your control.
Young Grimsley Sinclair adored these gruesome tales because they were nothing like his own life. It was something new, something different and unknown.
Never did he think his life would be anything like them.
But if life is a book, then just as every book’s story has its sudden turning point, so would the story of his life.
The chapter began one morning with the young heir being awoken by one of the maids entering his room to clean. It was a bit of an odd sight for one of them to do so this early, but besides that he thought nothing of it. It was just relived that it wasn’t his parents— not yet, anyways. He’d been commuting with them to the company every day from dawn until dusk for the last couple of weeks. They’d come in at an ungodly hour and rouse him out of bed and off to the business district they went, no returning until the sun had already set. Needless to say, the entire process had worn Grimsley out completely. He was exhausted constantly. Seeing this maid instead of his parents just meant that he could hopefully get another hour or so of rest in after she was finished.
The ravenette remained under his silky sheets as the women did her cleaning, facing towards her as he lay in his bed and eyeing her in silence. It wasn’t as if his chamber was actually dirty. It was cleaned daily after all, so there wasn’t exactly much for her to do. Really the women was just dusting and grabbing any laundry he may have, so she woudn’t take very long to finish Grimsley peered at her as she shuffled along the walls of his room with a duster, running it over any shelves, frames, or knickknacks that he had displayed. The women made her way around the entire perimeter of the room, then abandoned the duster and moved to one of the windows. Here, she patted down the dense, velvet-like curtains that were draped in front of the glass to remove any dust they may have. Grimsley hated the sunlight, so the curtains in his room were very thick. The things were like carpets, really, so she kept at this task for quite some time. Eventually she finished, backing away and patting her hands together in a brushing motion. The women then fetches a cloth from her apron and approaches the curtains again. This time, she grabbed them and pulled them aside to reveal the window— and an extremely large amount of sunlight, much more than would be expected of the early morning hours.
Shocked and partially blinded by the sudden burst of light, Grimsley jolts up in his bed with a small gasp, still keeping his eyes on the maid. The women takes notice of the sound behind her and turns to face him with a start. She drops the curtain in the process and stares through the small amount of light left in the room. When she finally notices the heir sitting up on his bed, her eyes widen substantially.
“A-ah, young Master!” The women stutters, seeming very surprised by the sight of him. She fidgets uncomfortably. “Please do pardon me. I didn’t know you were still in here…”
…Didn’t know he was…?
“What time is it?” Grimsley asks flatly, paying no mind to her statement of apology.
“About half past two in the afternoon, sir.” She replies. The boy squints at her, utterly confused by her response. The maid meets his gaze with an expression that lets off the notion that she’s just as puzzled as he is, but then suddenly her face brightens up.
“Oh! You’re wondering why you were able to sleep in, aren’t you?” She pauses to hum a short, gleeful tune. “Well! Your father has a very important series of closed meetings today, meaning that even you are not permitted to attend them, so you get the day off, sir. Did the lord and mistress not inform you of this?”
“Is that so…” Grimsley mumbled, more to himself than to the maid. He let out a somewhat exhausted sigh, bringing a hand up to rub his sleepy eyes. No, his parents did not inform him of that, but It would have been nice if they had… very nice. Perhaps he shouldn’t complain. It was kind of a sweet surprise. He still couldn’t help but feel a little agitated at the lack of information he’d be given, though. Grimsley was always in a sour mood when he woke up, so him being so easily peeved by something so trivial was nothing out of the ordinary.
“Please excuse me once again, young Master. I’ll take my leave now. Sorry for the distrubance.”
The maid bows and then does as she says, gathering her cleaning items and swiftly exiting the room, softly shutting the door behind her. At the close of it, the ravenette yawns and plops his head back down onto his pillow. Even knowing that the day had already reached the afternoon hours, that didn’t eliminate how dreadfully tired he still felt. The boy slithers back under his blankets, letting out a content exhale at their warm feel. He closes his eyes, planning to only rest them for a short bit, but it doesn’t take long until his exhaustion overtakes him and he drifts entirely to sleep…
The next time that Grimsley awoke was not out of choice, but because of a severe dryness in his throat had disturbed his unconscious breathing and woke him. He rises up in his bed with a low groan. He rubs his eyes ans stifled a small yawn, which sent a clenching ache to his throat and pressed the issue of his thirst. He’d been sleeping for what seemed like an entire day, not eating or drinking anything at all within the period, so of course he’d be parched.
He rose out of his bed and shuffled out of his room and into the hall to find that it was just as dark as his room was, telling him that the sun had whet down. He really had slept for the entire day. Why had no one forced him out of bed? He’d assumed his mother would eventually came and woke him, but she hadn’t not once, not even for dinner. Were they treating him by letting him sleep longer, or had they not called for him simply because they hadn’t cared to? He didn’t know.
The boy continued to ask himself several questions along these lines as he made his way through the hallways for the upper part of the manor and towards the front stairs, where he’d planned on descending and making his way to the kitchen to get a glass of water. His thoughts were interrupted when he finally found himself in the long corridor that overlooked the foyer of the first floor, though. What broke his train of thought was the sound of distant shouting, coming from the other side of the corridor. He stopped in his tracts, making a puzzled face. Who would be arguing at this hour? Any yelling was done by his parents, but it was always directed at him or towards the staff. The staff had already retired for the day by this time, and he was right here, so… what could they be shouting about…?
It was definitely odd, and Grimsley was definitely curious. So, he continued down the corridor, but instead of turning down the front stairs as he’d originally planned, he walked straight past them and to the other side of the floor where all of his parent’s personal rooms were located. It was an area he never really found himself in. He might not even be allowed in it, actually… He couldn’t remember. It had been too long since he last tried to enter it. Either way, he didn’t care. This little event was too out of the ordinary for him to ignore. He was capable of being quiet and ease dropping without alerting them. No one had to know he was even there.
Grimsley silently tiptoed throughout the wing of the manor that he was substantially less familiar with. The halls of the two sides of the top floor reflected each other, therefore he was capable of making his way through them. As for what lied behind each door he pasted, he couldn’t tell you. The main thing that was guiding him was the the sound of the shouting, which was growing louder the further he got in. At this volume, it was definite that his parents were the source of the noise, namely the shrill voice of his mother. He still couldn’t make out what they were saying, though, so he traveled deeper until reaching a large set of elegant double-doors, which he remembered to lead to his parent’s bedroom. Here the words became audible. The ravenette placed his head close to the doors, remained still and listened.
“I really cannotcomprehend this, Desmond. I psychically cannot.”
“I’ve already explained it thoroughly, Dahlia. Several times. You just can’t accept it.”
“No, I can’t accept it! How?! How could you let something like this happen?!”
“Did you even read the documents? My God, you didn’t even look at them, did you?”
“I’m not supposed to read them! The legal team is!”
“Well did they?! That’s what you pay them to do! To prevent this!”
“…No? …You didn’t… give them the documents to evaluate…?”
“…Why?! Desmond, why would do such a thing?! Do you know how dangerous that is?! Well! You definitely do now, don’t you?! I can’t believe this! I can’t believe you! What would make you think-“
“I’ve done these operations with him countless timesbefore, Dahlia! For years! He’s a longtime associate! We were practically partners, for Arecus sake! How was I supposed to know he’d suddenly pull something like this?! Why would I think that?!”
“Not anything like this! Nothing this significant! Nothing this… consequential! This was a big deal, Marcus! Too good to be true, right? That’s what you told me! Ironic, isn’t it?!”
"But what, Desmond?"
"…But I trusted him, Goddamn it!”
“…Well that’s what trusting people gets you, darling. Now you know first hand.”
"…Now we all know.”
“Not just the industries?”
“Everything, my dear. All of it.”
“His men will be here in the morning. All of our belongings will be out of the estate by noon.”
Before Grimsley could even fully absorb and process what he’d just heard, his body seemed to react on its own. The young Sinclair found himself grabbing the handle of the door he’d been hiding behind and shoving it open with great force, sending it flying into the wall with a echoing thud. The sound took his parents completely off guard, causing them both to jump and simply stare at their son, muted by shock. Grimsley hadn’t even meant to do it. He may not have even realized he did it. It just happened, his arms doing so without any real command from him. He stood in the doorway, breathing heavily as his mind took a moment to catch up with his body.
“…What… did you just say?”
His mother and father stood in front of him in silence, their minds not quite caught with what had just happened yet. His mother was the first to regain composure, at first blinking hurriedly in his direction. Her expression then turned to a much sterner one, much like her casual face when speaking with her son, but she seemed even angrier than that. She took a few steps towards him and opened her mouth to shout.
“Grimsley Ezlon Sinclair, what do you think you’re doing?! Were you ease dropping?! How dare you!”
He ignored her completely, keeping his eyes locked solely on his father. Desmond Sinclair held his son’s piercing stare, his expression somewhat stern, yet calm all at the same time. It was nothing compared to Katrina’s furious state. She began to shout once more, but Grimsley cut her short.
“What did you just say?’ He asked his father once more, louder this time.
His mother was absolutely outraged. Grimsley behaving this way was unthinkable. For him to lash out at and then ignore his mother? Any other time, he would have to have a death wish to do so. This wasn’t any other time, though. His casual instincts had been halted completely, but that wouldn’t stop her from reacting the way she did.
“Who do you think-“
“I think I have a right to know!”
That time, Grimsley yelled. He yelled loud enough to silence his mother and truly grab the attention of his father. Dahlia may have been quiet, but she stood panting with rage. She remained like this for a long moment before opening her mouth to attempt addressing her son again, but was cut short a second time, not by Grimsley, but by her husband.
“Dahlia.” The man spoke one single word, voice rigid. The mistress simply turned her head at first, as if protesting his demand for her attention, but it didn’t take long for her to take a step backwards to fully face her spouse. The man rose to his feet from the grand leather chair that he had been resting in and held her gaze. The two said nothing, only locked eyes with one another. Their stares apparently did all of the talking, for eventually Grimsley’s mother broke stride. She turned and walked to the door, stopping beside her son in the doorway not to touch him or try to scold him again, but to turn her head back and look to her husband once more.
“Alright, but you did this, so your explaining yourself. Not just to him, but to everyone. Go wake Cecilia. We’re taking a trip down the street.”
With that, the woman took her leave. Grimsley and his father exchanged a single glance, and then they followed behind her. They woke his grandmother— who was not happy in any sense to be disturbed at this hour— and exited the manor to make their walk down the street to a similar estate a few properties over where his his uncle, aunt, and their four children held residence. None of them were exactly thrilled with being awoken, either, but for it to be this late in the night, they knew that something was awry and rose without much protest. The twins were the only ones left sleeping. They’d receive a gentler explanation from their parents in the morning… well, as gentle as it could be told, anyways. There really was no putting what Desmond was about to tell everyone delicately. He led all of the adults and teens of the Sinclair family to gather around a discussion table in one of the vast study rooms, and told his story.
Marketing was a greedy industry, and it was a very risky business to operate. One had to be smart and one had to be cautious. The balance of a company is very frail and delicate. Because of this, for a businessman to try to operate alone was not an uncommon thing by any means. It was the safe approach. But… it was also a very common thing for those businessmen to be unsatisfied with their profit, despite how hefty the numbers may be to the average citizen. But a businessman convinces himself that he can do better, that he needs to do better.
There’s only so much they can do on their own, though, so they turn to the help of others of their kind to form partnerships. This means two important people from separate but related companies join together for a certain ploy or process to make more money. They both reap the benefits of their endeavor and walk away with and even amount of profit… if done fairly. In these situations, some men are known to become competitive, to perhaps see their business partner as a rival, someone who they wish to surpass and be more successful than. Or, some people may just be greedy. They don’t care about their ‘partner’ in anyway, so it gives them no strife trick and mislead that said partner so that they come out with all of the benefits, not just half of it.
For the most part, partnerships were a healthy thing. They expanded companies, exposing executives to new people and new materials, and of course made the company more money. Desmond Sinclair had several affiliates. Without a lot of them, the Sinclair Industries would be no where near as successful and powerful. This was what happened when the businessman was cautious with what he was doing, not taking huge risks or walking into situations blindly. Desmond always had been cautions when it came to these matters
There was one partnership that had been in play for quite a long time, a couple of years. Grimsley’s father worked with this man countless times throughout these couple of years, the two of them constantly assisting and bringing benefits to one another. There was at one point along the line where Desmond began to count this man as a friend instead of a business partner, though… As time passed, he began to feel more and more comfortable with the man. He began to trust him, and slowly but surely, his vigilance with him and their business schemes began to slip.
This man… obviously hadn’t felt the same way about Desmond. He sure was a greatat acting like he did, though. Grimsley’s father believed the man cared for him in return just as he did, but he did not. This man did take notice of how Desmond was becoming more and more less lenient with him, less cautious around him and with their ploys.
He saw an opportunity, and he took it.
The man invited Marcus to join him in a new ploy… a huge ploy, one what would raise income by nearly a fourth. Needless to say, Grimsley’s father was foolishly all aboard without a doubt in the world, and he was extremely excited about the benefits that would come from this upcoming scheme. He was suddenly a very cheerful man. He began constantly taking his son to work with him, attending and throwing more social events, and even telling the staff that they’d soon be receiving a pay raise. He never gave anyone details about the deal. He never even looked at them himself. He was too awestruck by the the money involved
They were truly too good to be true.
The man, knowing that Marcus had dropped his guard and would pay no attention to his documented conditions of the ploy included something very, very different from the standard guidelines within them He would not be splitting the earnings, oh no. He wouldn’t be splitting any of it. He’d be taking.
The documents listed that Desmond Sinclair would hereby agree to hand over all rightful possession of Sinclair Industries along with his two properties and everything that the estates on them held.
And Desmond signed it. Right on the dotted line. Without reading single word of it, and with not an ounce of suspicion.
And that was it. Because of one man’s foolish stupidity, he and his nine family members would lose everything dear to them when the morning came.
The rest of that night had been miserable. It had seemed to drag out endlessly, the minutes feeling like hours. One would argue that this perhaps was a good thing… to feel like you had more time, but when you’re left to only your dark thoughts of what is soon to come, part of you wished that time would actually move faster. None of them did any real sleeping. Their thoughts kept them awake. Their fears, their sorrow…these things made sure that they would be getting no rest. It was as if they were livestock in line to be slaughtered. They knew their fate, and they excepted it because there was nothing that they could do to fight it. They simply sat in waiting within their dark stalls, knowing that sometime soon the butcher would come for them, just as they knew that sun would eventually rise.
That torturous night did come to an end. Dawn arrived and the Sinclair’s made their last rounds of the two manors that had served as their homes for so long. They said their goodbyes with them, going from room to room and reminiscing in any joyous events that may have happened within them in the past. They all did this for as long as they possibly could, reliving countless bittersweet memories up until the very second that the front doorbell was rung. It was in that moment that the Sinclair’s did something all together for the first time ever, together as a family…
They all simultaneously froze in their tracks, and their hearts sank.
Countless truck fulls of men had arrived and had escorted them out of their homes— No… off of the property and onto the street. Here, they all stood together and watched as the men with the ‘moving’ trucks began to strip the estates bare. The furniture and appliances they wheeled out no longer belonged to them. They only belongings they had left were the few small things each individual Sinclair had decided to be sentimental enough and light enough for them to carry with them. For some it was photos, or maybe jewelry or letters from passed relatives. For Grimsley it had been Duchess. She meant everything to him. The little Purrloin had been his precious companion for so very long… She’d always kept him company no matter what, and Arceus was he going to need that company… out here. The boy desperately wanted her company at that very moment actually, but he’d be a fool to risk these men seeing her. The Purrloin was a rare specimen, viewed as some sort of jewel or collector’s item to most people and not an actual living creature. All they saw to her was a price tag. That’s all these men would see upon noticing her sparkling fur. She’d be nothing more than an item in their eyes. A belonging… And all of these belongings were no longer theirs. They would take her. He knew they would, and so safely and secretly within her Poké Ball she stayed.
Grimsley found himself very… blank as they all and watched the moving men. He kept his eyes trained out them just as his family did, but it was like he wasn’t really seeing them. It wasn’t seeing anything, nor was he thinking or hearing anything. The boy just simply… stood there. He wasn’t even entirely aware that he was doing it. Arceus knew how long he’d remained like this. Arceus knew how long he and his family had been standing there. He definitely didn’t know. At that moment, young Grimsley appeared very emotionless. His face displayed no true expression and he seemed very… hallow. He was dazed, completely unaware of the of the things going on around him, that is until a thundering shout sounded in his direction.
“Grimsley! Come on, boy. We’re leaving now.”
He was brought back into reality with a jolt at the sound of his father’s voice. He turned to face where the sound had came from to see his father facing him a little further up the street. The rest of his family were all walking in his direction. The man looked to his son with cold, hateful eyes, impatiently awaiting for Grimsley to follow the crowd.
The ravenette held his father’s gaze for a minute, expression still blank and showing no real emotion. He then leisurely turned his head back to face the furniture men, almost as if disregarding Desmond completely.
“Go ahead. I’m… going to watch a bit longer.”
His father shrugged, letting out a short, somewhat agitated exhale.
“Suit yourself. I’m not going to stand around and watch them make a fool of me.”
Perhaps that was what he had been blocking out previously: his father… Because the moment Grimsley was pulled from his empty thoughts and tuned back with his surroundings, one of the first things he hears is a dose of his father’s ignorance, and it disgusted him.
“You made a fool of yourself…” He muttered under his breath.
Grimsley eyes widened in surprise, momentarily believing the sound his father had just made to be in response the what they boy has just said… But, he’d nearly whispered that. There was no way he’d heard him. Grimsley whipped his head around to face Desmond once again to see him staring not back at him, but down at something he held in his hand with a very sullen expression on his face.
“Good luck charm?” He spoke to himself. “This thing has brought us nothing but misfortune. It’s worthless!” As he shouted that last word, Grimsley’s father turned to draw back his arm and threw the item that he’d been speaking town to in his son’s direction, sending it flying over the boy’s head and into the nearby grass. Grimsley looked to the area that the item had been thrown towards wide-eyed. He blinked hurriedly, somewhat puzzled, then took a few step closer to the nearby grass, where he was fairly sure the thrown item had landed. He scanned the ground for a few moments, and then suddenly caught glimpse of a small gleam. He approached and bent down to inspect it, finding a coin on the ground. He picked it up and examined it closer. It was golden, one side displaying a Poké Ball, and the other… the Sinclair family crest.
This was… the heirloom passed down throughout the history of the company, wasn’t it? The coin had originally been the first amount of profit the Sinclair Industries had even made years upon centuries ago. It had been melted down and modified to not be currency, but instead a charm that each president of the company had kept with them for good luck.
…Why would his father toss away something like this?
Grimsley observed the coin, rolling it between his fingers as he pondered this question. Technically, his father wasn’t the president anymore, now was he? So technically he had no right to it. But to just throw it to the wind like that as if it were trash? Obviously he hadn’t cared very much for it. Perhaps it had been unlucky to him for that reason…
The ravenette rose to his feet, still keeping his eyes locked on the coin. He rolled it onto his thumb, then flipped it up to the air a single time. It came back down and landed directly into his palm.
This had been meant to be his one day… He had been the next in line for the company, and therefore the next in line for this coin. Since his father had tossed it, that basically meant that he had passed it on, right? Sure, he may not have been a president, but now… no one was… It would not be breaking tradition for him to claim it for himself in that case, right?
Grimsley made a fist, wrapping his fingers around the coin and clenching it as tightly as he could. A small hint of a smile pulled at the boy’s lips.
Well then that’s just what he’d do. Maybe it would serve him better than it had his father. He could only hope so.
He opened up his hand to look down at the item one more time, then tucked it away within one of his pockets. After securing it, he decided to turn his attention back to the manor and the moving men once again. He’d told his father that he’d wished to stay and watch them for a bit longer, but honestly he saw no real point in doing so. Grimsley had stayed because he did not want to be around his father at the moment… he needed to cool down a little bit, to simply sit and think for awhile and clear his head.
But where was he supposed to do that…?
Grimsley had never been an outdoorsy type. None of the Sinclair’s were. They preferred the comfort and convenience of the indoors. Because of this, the boy had never really been outside. He’d never had the urge to come out of the manor and go for a walk through the city. Sometimes he’d walk to school, but besides that, everywhere he went within the city had been via car. Castelia was a huge place, and honestly, he knew little to nothing about it. The only areas he was familiar with were the neighborhood he was currently standing in and the business district. Aside from that, he was completely lost. Maybe it was about time he explored his city a little?
…Well, there wasn’t exactly any other option, was there?
Grimsley let out a hardy sigh at this realization, and started walking, deciding to go down the street the opposite direction that his father had went. He wasn’t sure where he was going, but if memory served him right, heading this this way would take you to the front of the city where the harbor was. He’d been to the ocean before, going to parties that took place on ships with his parents. He’d never actually walked on the beach or been in the water, though, and he knew nothing about the port areas… So maybe that would be a good place for him to go.
Grimsley followed that idea, walking the straight stretch of road for what felt like a couple of hours until he did indeed reach the front of the city. The boy made his way through the more lively and populated area, then found himself among the piers and directly in front of the ocean. He walked along the coast until locating an area that wasn’t heavily populated by ship workers or other citizens. He found a nice quiet bench to rest on in an area separated from the busy piers and boardwalks. Grimsley sat himself down and looked out over the ocean, making himself as comfortable on that bench as he could, and then began to silently assess everything that had just happened in his life.
Grimsley sat there and thought for a few hours. He thought about his father, and of how much of a fool he was. How ignorant he was and how much he didn’t seem to care much for what he’d done. How any remorse he felt for the fall of their fortune was on how it was effect him. He thought of how much he despised his father because of this.
He thought about how much his life really was like a book… how it had suddenly taken such a tragic turn. While he was reading those tragic tales, he’d gotten a warning of what was going to happen to the characters from the quote… But with his life, this real life, where had his quote been? His warning? Why couldn’t they had some warning? Why did such a thing have to happen so suddenly? If only his father had shared more information with his family. Maybe then someone would have caught that something was very wrong with the plan and it could have been halted before it was too late. If only his father wasn’t such a fool. Everything was his fault. His entire family had to suffer because of him, and he didn’t even care.
Grimsley continued to think and argue with himself for several hours. About how angry he was about his father, about how he actually felt bad for his relatives even though they’d never felt for him in such a way, about how he wondered if he’d ever see Winston again… so many things swarmed his head until at one point the boy noticed that the sun had become very low and that evening was upon him.
At the sight of the yellowing sky, the boy rose to his feet with a deep sigh. He then began walking in the direction from whence he first came. While it hadn’t exactly made him feel any better, Grimsley did get his head cleared somewhat. That was what he had set off down here to do in first place, after all. Now that it was done with, getting back with his family by nightfall would be wonder-
…Get back… with… ?
At the thought of his family, something occurred to the boy that was so shocking to himself that he halted dead in his tracks.
This morning… when they were all watching the men remove the furniture… he’d been in a complete daze… but they… had been… talking behind him… He hadn’t heard a word they said…
Grimsley realized that…
“I… Don’t know where they are…”
Grimsley’s sudden realization knocked him so off guard that he couldn’t even manage to make it back to the bench before reality finally hit full force. He instead collapsed, staggering backwards to plop down on the harsh pavement right where he stood.
This morning, he’d completely blocked them out while they were discussing where they were going to take refuge from now on. Why had no one told him directly? Had they assumed that he was listening? They thought that he’d heard them… but he hadn’t… Because he was ignoring them… That was just… his way of handling everything that had happened, though… Mentally isolating himself… from everything… He couldn’t help it… It just… happened… and now…
As Grimsley absorbed these thoughts, he sat on the pavement with his legs bent up. He stared at his knees with his mouth hanging open, letting out several shaky and haggard pants. He felt his hands and arms began to shake, and he was sweating profusely. He was panicking. He was panicking as he realized that he had just lost his family… He was panicking as he realized he was alone…
He was panicking at the thought that he truly had nothing left.
“…What am I supposed to do…?”
Maybe someone had actually told him where they were going. Maybe he had actually heard them say it and he just couldn’t remember… If he searched hard enough through his memory he could find it. He had to find it… He had to find something, think of something, anything. He didn’t want to be without them. He wanted the comfort of another person around him… someone to talk with him, even coddle him a little… to tell him that everything was going to be alright. He… He’d never wanted that kind of attention before… But right now, he felt like a child. Defenseless… and scared…
Grimsley placed his hands firmly to his to his face, his slender fingers caging his eyes. He then shook his head somewhat violently from side to side, trying to shake off these miserable thoughts. He needed to get his mind in order. He needed to think, ponderjust where they could have gone. Where did people in this situation go? They went to shelters, right? He knew that, but… he had no idea where any were. Castelia was enormous… there were probably countless places like that… they could be in any one of them. Maybe they were still wandering the streets, gathered in an alley somewhere? They definitely wouldn’t be in some shabby motel… They had no money at all. It wasn’t as if there was anyone out there who would help them by bringing them into their home, either. His family had been cruel to everyone… And even if some people had happened tooffered them, his father would have probably turned it down… whether or not his family would have agreed with him. Because that would be hurting his pride. It didn’t matter. No one would offer them that, because his family had no friend—
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a splitting pain throbbed throughout Grimsley’s head. He let out a sharp grunt in response to it, wincing and sliding his hands up to grope his skull. It felt like someone had quickly scraped his brain with a knife. He gasped as the sensation happened a second time. It felt just as severe as the first, but this time… and image flashed in his head. The image of a familiar face… with gentle green eyes, framed by strands of brown curls. Their lips move, and Grimsley can hear a voice in his mind.
In the rush of everything that had happened… It never even occurred to him… Plus it felt like so long since they’d last seen each other… Still…
His family… didn’t have any real friends… but he did.
Maybe… he didn’t have to be alone after all.
The searing sensation in Grimsley’s head quickly subsided. The boy stood himself up off of the ground, and without another thought, he took off towards the way that he’d first came.
By the time Grimsley returned to the wealthy residential area at the back of the city, the sun had completely set and everything was dark. Thankfully, the moon was fairly bright upon this night, and this area had ample amount of streetlights, so he was able to guide himself just fine. When the boy reached… what had been his manor, he couldn’t help but halt and stare at it. Although its actual appearance had not changed since the last time he’d seen earlier that the day, the place felt different, almost to a creepy extent. Maybe it was the feeling of knowing that it was not hi anymore that gave it that air, or knowing that within it, the rooms had been stripped completely bare and the estates were empty. Whatever it was, it made Grimsley uncomfortable, and either way, that estate wasn’t the one he’d returned to this area for… but the neighboring one, instead.
The ravenette walked right along the sidewalk to the next property over. He approached the gate and found himself staring at this estate just as intensely… The estate of his best friend. Grimsley still didn’t feel entirely comfortable with what he was about to do. Before all of… this had happened, when his father had gotten very excited about the partnership scheme that backfired and decided to have Grimsley come to the company everyday from dawn until dusk, for a period of a few weeks, the boy had had no energy and no time for anything besides that. During nearly this entire period, Grimsley wondered if his friend had constantly tried visiting him and was repeatedly turned away by a maid or his mother, being told that he was. It had always been unavailable. He was always with his father, and any time that he hadn’t been, he was resting. Grimsley had seemingly ignored Arti for nearly a month, yet here he about to attempt sneaking into his room and informing him of this new situation…
But… Hereally had no other options at this point.. This was the only plan he had. As much as he hated to admit it, he needed help, and… he desperately wanted company… Some form of comfort.Arti was the only person he could turn to right now.
Eventually, the young Sinclair was able gather his nerves and fully convince himself to enter the de Miel grounds. He really felt that he was in the wrong with this, but was somehow able to find the power to press himself on. Grimsley made a beeline to the side of the manor where Arti’s room rested… where a balcony connected to his room protruded from. He located it easily, swiftly making his way to rest again the very conveniently placed tree that lied beside that balcony. The tree itself was convenient, yes, but Grimsley was definitely not the most sporty teenager, so finding the strength and balance to climb it was going to be quite the challenge.
This boy was determined, though. He would climb up there, and after numerous attempts, he did manage to reach thetree’s high branches, from which he could easily leap onto the balcony itself. Upon successfully reaching the this point, Grimsley took a short moment to catch his breath, then approached the pair of sliding doors that could be found on the balcony, leading into his friend’s room. Upon closer inspection, he found that they were opened slightly. Extremely grateful for this fact, he takes the opportunity to wedge himself within doorway and peer within the dark space that rested on the other side, half of his body being hit by casting moonlight while a thick shadow lay across the rest. He didn’t dare let himself in, or even call out. That risked having someone besides Arti hearing him… Plus, he didn’t quite think he had the nerve to.
Grimsley was one who had always been a noble, capable of asserting himself into any situation if he so desired. His position in this world had given him the utmost poise… but that position was gone, and as it’d vanished, so had the attitude he’d once possessed. His former nerve was nowhere to be found. All he could do has stand silently in that doorway, peering into the darkness of the room beyond and pray that somewhere within it, a pair of warm green eyes whose gaze he knew all too well would find their way over to his figure.