Game of the Planners 6
Published by Luis Smietanka at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 Luis Smietanka
Thomas held his phone to his ear to place the call to Jack’s office. He waited for the person on the other end of the line to pick it up and she duly did.
“Good morning. My name is Masha and how may I help you?” she spoke eloquently.
“Is this Mr. Jack’s office, the law firm?” Thomas sounded rattled as he paced to and fro in his office.
“Yes it is, but may I ask who this is and what this is about?” she asked kindly.
“I need to fix an appointment with him immediately”, Thomas sounded loud before keeping the tone of his voice low.
“I’m sorry sir, but Mr. Jack is out of Cologne for some personal reasons and I’m not entirely certain of when he would be back”, she informed the stressed man on the other end of the line. “He might be back in a few days”.
Thomas let down the phone from his ear while he could hear the lady’s voice continue to speak and ask if he was on the line. He couldn’t believe his luck as he shook his head fervently, and rammed his phone hard against the wall. His pulse raced madly and his eyes ached from the little night sleep he had after finding out the man he had beaten and made a mess of in his hotel the previous night was a lawyer, and a darn good one at that.
He stared at the smashed phone, recalling every bit of the incidence as it occurred. He thought of the provocation from Julian taunting his club and the fact the man just didn’t know when to stop.
“I shouldn’t have hit him”, he thought. “I should have just gotten the punk tossed out of the hotel”, he regretted.
He couldn’t stand another trial for violence. He had tried his best to keep away from the court room but for some reason that pains him, he just keeps finding himself going back in there. He couldn’t wait a few more days when Julian would definitely be compiling evidences and a good case against him. He loosened his thigh and yanked it off completely. He looked around the room as beads of sweat covered every part of his body.
He couldn’t breathe properly as he struggled to get back to his seat. He wondered where Julian was and what he was doing if it wasn’t compiling a convincing case against him for the last night’s altercation. He knew he didn’t have the luxury of time or even the guts to allow the man head to court where his name, reputation and business would eventually get dragged in the mud and cause him much more trouble.
He didn’t want it to go past the office room where he hoped to solve it by making an appointment with Jack and his firm entirely. His lawyers had told him he might be in the deep unless he settles out of court, but things weren’t looking good. The man whom he had hoped to reach was out of town. His luck was out and running through fast.
Thomas could feel his hand shaking. He could imagine the entire thing getting blown hard and out of proportion. He had hit the guy in the face which left a bad bruise and definitely kicked him in the ribs, but only because he kept speaking ill about Bayern Munich. It was one of the things he never jokes with and Julian had kept on doing it after he came in to calm the situation down upon the other occupants’ request.
He could remember Julian narrating the entire episode and saying he was only glad his team beat the shit out of the losers called Bayern before going on to use some really provocative and insulting words towards the club. He titled his head backwards and closed his eyes. He wanted a way out but none looked him in the face at the moment except one.
The one choice he always had, but had come to feel like a norm for him whenever he was in trouble. He had taken the same route for years over and over and again and the man had bailed him out when there was fire on his roof. Thomas couldn’t believe he had to go bother the old man once more. It wasn’t his days in school when he was young where he got away with causing problems and injuring other kids while his father cleaned the mess.
The man had always found a way to deal with the messes and keep him clean.
“It looks like I’m coming to you father”, Thomas sighed.
While Thomas was waiting for Jack to come back Cologne, Jack and his men went to visit the Munich prison where they were keeping Andy. Andy had been the man who directly dealt the damage to Jack’s face twenty-one years ago. Jack and Alex sat in the waiting room, while the prisoner would be brought from his cell. He had never been in a prison yard before, but he had seen worse, so it slightly felt familiar.
While waiting, they engaged in a quick chat.
“Have you ever been in a prison yard before?” Jack asked.
Alex took his time to reply; “No Sir and you?”
“Same as me, but I hope we wouldn’t have to see each other in here”, Jack added.
“Hahaha… I will definitely love to work for you again in prison if something of such comes”, Alex remained unwavering in his loyalty. “I’m certain the only reason I would be in a prison environment would be doing for you some kind of mission”.
Jack simply stared at him. “You should trust my plans Alex and I know you’re a talented lawyer and you trust nothing can turn my moves and plans against me while I make use of the law perfectly”.
Alex nodded; “I know sir”, he said. “You use the law in ways others would only dream to do, in bid to get what you want”.
His words off flattery brought no burst of pride within Jack.
“I have always wanted to ask you some questions, may i?” Alex sought permission.
“Go ahead, speak!” Jack asked of the man.
Alex cleared his throat.
“I learnt of the deal you had with Mr. Kent and how you were able to maneuver into getting the three difficult tasks done”, He began by saying while Jack listened. “I know you sorted the three which old Mr. Kent himself couldn’t, but I would like to know how you dealt the most difficult two”.
Jack kept mute.
“I’m talking about his rival Mrs. Sandra who he hadn’t been able to overthrow as his enemy for years and you brought down with the lengthy fights with her companies for twenty years, only for you to solve it in one hour”, he looked dazzled and amazed.
The tale itself was dazzling. The fight to become the number one law firm in Manchester had gone on for long and Jack performed nothing short of a miracle.
“I know Julia assisted you in getting Robin but we still don’t know how you made the others work”, he sighed. “I mean, even Julia as well as the others in the office want to know, especially about Mrs. Sandra”.
Jack shook his head gently. “Well, you seem to know too much already”.
“I’m sorry Sir”, Alex apologized.
“What exactly did you hear?” Jack sought to find out.
Alex looked nervous. He coughed gently before proceeding.
“I overheard from Marsha that one morning, you called Mr. Kent and asked him to pick you up from home, and you drove with him to Sandra’s Law Firm, where you left Mr. Kent in the car and walked into the building”, he paused. “Within fifty minutes and a few, you exited the building and got into the car telling him to take you home and that every single law firm owned by Sandra wouldn’t open again from the following day”.
Jack paid proper attention.
“I heard you told Mr. Kent not to ask you how you did it and that you had just completed the first part of your deal with the man”, Alex smiled.
Jack nodded. “It is exactly what happened”, he acknowledged.
Alex looked petrified. “What exactly happened within that hour between you and Mrs. Sandra?”
“I will let you in on what you should know once this case with Andy is done”, Jack assured the eager man. “It will be your next task, so keep calm and wait, it is almost near and I promise to tell you”.
Andy finally came out, with chains around his wrists and ankles. He looked pale, slightly malnourished, but with the same face he always had right from when he was a kid. Jack could never forget the fact that gave him so many nightmares. He braced himself for the approaching man. He looked at them worryingly before standing before the bench opposite of Jack and Alex.
“Who are you? Why do you want to meet with me?” he queried them without trust.
It was expected and they both had come prepared for his questions.
Alex spoke first; “Mr. Andy, I’d advise you to calm yourself and have a sit with us while we discuss the business that brought us here, which is the crime you committed two years ago”.
He looked mummified. “What?” he asked.
“We are here to help you, and this is Mr. Jack, my boss”, Alex introduced properly. “He is here to assist you in getting out of this shit hole”.
He looked pretty surprised. “i… I don’t understand”, he said.
“I’m Alex and I am a lawyer, and Mr. Jack here is my boss, and we happened to read your file and found some anomaly regarding your case which might exonerate you”, Alex spoke at length.
His attention was theirs from there.
“The court happened not to mention certain things on the day you got convicted and sent to five years in prison and we believe this new evidence can help you walk out of here as a free man”, Alex sol it to him completely.
He looked from Alex to Jack and then back.
“Who sent you?” he asked. “Did my family put you up to this? Did they hire you?”
He looked at them in a sketchy manner. The man had been in prison long enough to know nothing goes for nothing in the real world.
“No, we simply want to help”, Alex assured him.
Jack remained silent as he watched the proceedings of their meeting.
“And, what do you want in return?” he finally laid out his suspicions.
“We want nothing from you Mr. Andy rather than for you to gain your freedom”, they assured him.
He gasped, being unable to believe it. “Really? You mean nothing at all? No stupid payback or dangerous debt scheme?”
They both nodded.
“Yes, we simply want to help you”, Alex continued. “We’re a new law firm in Germany and cases like yours as pro-bono would help bolster our rise and reputation as well as help bring in more traffic to our cause”.
He looked pretty excited already.
“With you as our starting point, we hope more people will see how good we are and more families will come to us to represent them with our top quality lawyers, especially the families who haven’t gotten a fair trial and judgment like you”, Alex was selling it out to the man and doing a great job.
Andy sat down hurryingly. He was eager to learn of what they had in store for him. The man knew he was guilty of what they had charged him for, but he had seen a lifeline and he would ride it into the sunset hopefully. Jack had a better look into his eyes as he sat down. He had a deep stare into the face of the man he had thought of for years.
“I agree… I must tell you something though, I killed the guy”, Andy confessed. “And I did it in front of hundreds of people and I did so by beating him and hitting him without stopping even after the referee had asked me to stop”.
Andy continued, ”I hit him harder every time with his hands up and now that I think about it, I was edgy on that day and angry too without really caring”, he confessed. “I later heard the following morning from the hospital that the guy died”.
Jack had a question for him. ‘Why did you continue to hit him even after you already won the match I believe?”
“You have to understand I’m a professional boxer and I wouldn’t have hit an opponent if he already asked to quit the way I did the guy”, he bowed his head. “I would simply have hugged him and celebrated with my hands up, but… “.
“But what?” Alex cut in.
“He walked to me and whispered some words into my ear”, he gulped some sour feeling down his throat.
And continued, “Candy is so sweet, she sucked my “little brother” every night when we were together, I hope she does the same for you too”.
“I knew that he wanted to provoke me so I could not focus on fighting and being on my game, but still I could not control myself, the game happened just 2 months before my wedding with Candy”, he sighed.
“Oh, this guy is your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend?’ Alex noted.
“Yes, and he actually was my friend too, but he treated Candy so bad all the time and I loved her, so … “, he was about narrating further when Jack held up his hand to interrupt him.
“Okay we get the picture but, is that the only time you acted as such in your official games”, Andy continued the inquisition.
“Yes, I boxed professionally since I was 16 years old, and all through my boxing career and life outside of here, I had thirty-seven games with no issues but that alone got me riled up”, he responded to the best of his knowledge.
Jack and Alex nodded gently. “Yes, we know that too and it is our reason for being here and why we want to get you out”, Alex assured him. “We have what we need to get you out right there”.
“My lawyer didn’t see that as something useful and he was pretty good, so, no way that is going to stand… “, Andy raised his brow in doubt.
“Andy, at the point in time when the man came to air his nasty words in your ear, a camera recording from a fan picked it up and it can be tabled”, Alex smiled. “The recording is sound and clear enough to make use of next month, after we request for the judge to re-open the case”.
Alex leaned back a bit.
“The fan with the camera happened to be a fan of the man you killed which was why he kept the evidence away but with some persuasion, we will get it and be able to use it as evidence”, he continued. “All you need is to trust Mr. Jack and I here and let us help you”.
Andy gasped in disbelief. “Oh my God! I cannot believe this”.
Their session finally ended with him with a warm handshake from Andy in appreciation before being led back to his cell. Jack kept silent till they got to the car where Alex turned to him to speak of his surprise of the man’s thoughtfulness.
“I’m still surprised you had this all figured out from years ago when you manipulated that same game in order to get him into prison, and now you’re here to help him”, with a tone of absolute surprise. “I remember asking you in Manchester then why you did it and you said I didn’t need to know yet but when we are in Germany”.
‘Is it the right now?” the question finally popped out.
-“What do you want to know Alex?” he asked back.
“I will like to know the reason why you got him into prison two years ago and you’re now here to get him out”, he asked.
He knew Alex wasn’t going to let it go unless he gave the response.
He informed him two years ago, Andy and Thomas were very close friends. The both of them were very successful in their own way. Thomas had the support from his wealthy father and was becoming a very famous and successful business man in Cologne. Andy on the other hand at that time was an unbeatable boxer.
“I needed a way to get them apart else it would have been much more difficult to take them down that way”, he explained with a sigh. “I needed them apart when I come to Germany”.
He explained the necessity to separate them before he made his next move.
“But how did you know they still weren’t going to keep in touch?” Alex pointed out.
“Thomas is the guy who always cares about his reputation, so he wouldn’t want to get involved with a con Andy”, Jack spoke with certainty. “They are not friends anymore last I checked, and Thomas only visited once, which was the first month Andy got put in here”.
Alex nodded. He got the clearer picture now.
“Once we get Andy out of here, we will be giving him a good reason to bite back at Thomas”, Jack took a moment to breathe, downing some gulps of water. “We will also be monitoring them closely, which I believe is a good plan, or what do you think?”
Alex couldn’t have thought of a better way to make the things work. He saw the plan as perfect.
“You’re truly an intelligent man”, Alex praised him.
He would keep Alex waiting, while the next step unfolds naturally. He glanced at his watch and looked around the prison gate where they were discussing.
“Call Robert and ask him to prepare to be in Germany to defend Andy next month”, he ordered.
Alex looked at him with worry. ‘I know you asked Robert to be the one to make the recording that day, but I don’t believe the Cameroonian is vital to our plan and more so, you need him there in Manchester where there is a lot to be done”.
He was talking about Robin and the various threats they were faced with and Jack knew it. He sighed and nodded gently.
“You’re right”, he began with. “I didn’t think Robin will become an enemy of mine back then when I thought I owned Manchester and I definitely did not see Julia going over to his side but everything will be alright”.
“You seem pretty confident” Alex noted.
“I have a little surprise for Robin when Robert leaves Manchester. In fact, Robert is far more essential to my bigger plans than an ordinary cameraman here in Germany, so watch and let him do his job!” Jack sounded cocky.
Alex ignited the car and drove back to Cologne.
Jack returned from the prison of Munich in his black Maybach. He was well aware of Thomas’s intent to meet with him but he would make the man wait in anxiety for as long as possible. He wanted him to completely lose his cool and flare up as he would normally do. He wanted him hanging on the ropes of his madness.
He had informed Julian to make the man’s life miserable to the point he would desperately be in need of Jack’s help. The plan was to frustrate him and make him bite his nails badly with no source of help from anywhere for him. He wanted the timing of his intervention which would be at the last minute to turn out perfect.
Jack figured Thomas owes him that much after all.
“Keep steady and rive slowly”, he said to his driver who was running ahead. “We’re not in hurry to arrive Cologne too soon while I still have the intention to enjoy the beauty Germany offers”.
“Yes Mr. Jack”, his driver responded.
Jack sighed in relief, and let his back into the seat. He calmed his nerves with a glass of wine, and kicked off his shoes to enjoy the journey. The day looked beautiful and his heart wasn’t thumping aloud. His plans were falling into place like a jigsaw puzzle and he needn’t worry about anything. He would simply relax, stay calm and let things happen as they should.
He arrived in Cologne knowing Thomas was hell bent on seeing him. He bothered himself not to respond to the man’s call. He had someone else in mind whom he hoped to meet with. He took the note Kim had handed to him with her cellphone scribbled on it and dialed her cell as he got into his room.
“Hi Kim, do you remember me? I’m your brother’s boss”, he said.
She sounded pretty excited. “Mr. James? I’ve been waiting for your call”.
“I’m sorry, but how are you doing and how is school?” he asked.
“I’m very good, thanks, but I was hoping on getting to know more about my brother from you”, she spoke in excitement.
He wondered why she really wanted to know about him.
“I believe the time we spoke, you mentioned you were in search of a better part time job, yes?” he voiced into the receiver.
“Yes sir, I was hoping on getting some student job after my final exams so I can fund my trip to visit my brother which I’m certain my parents won’t give me but it hasn’t been so easy”, she explained.
Kim wondered if he intended to help her acquire one.
“That’s thoughtful of you”, he commended her. “How about you come to see me in Cologne tomorrow and I might have a job offer on ground for you”.
He heard her shriek in joy.
“Your brother also happens to be here at the moment and you can meet with him too”, Jack added the interesting part.
“Are you serious? He is in Cologne? I will be there”, she promised. “I will leave home right away”.
“No, hang on Kim”, he halted her. “It is late right now and I’d advise you wait until tomorrow while your brother would still be here to see you”.
Her eagerness couldn’t be calmed and she made it known. She would run as fast as her legs can carry her to the train station, and arrive there by 8:20p.m.
“I’ve been waiting for the past seventeen years and I cannot wait any longer”, she had said to him and it quenched any hopes he had of convincing her to stay put till morning.
A heavy downpour began and he made it known to her with a tone of love and regret. “It is raining”.
“It isn’t raining here”, she giggled. “I hope to see you both soon”, she said before hanging up.
He was going to warn her about the rain but she had ended the call. Deep within, his heart yearned for her and he knew it.
Jack hurried out of the room after picking the keys to his Rolls Royce. The rain hammered down continually upon the roof of his car as he driving to the train station without asking his driver to take him. He was dead worried his little sister would arrive at the train station before him and he didn’t want her stranded and cold.
He had taken the one umbrella he could find, assuming she would have an umbrella with her as well. The drive wasn’t smooth, with traffic and annoying drivers halting his movement. His phone kept on ringing without end from an unknown caller but he ignored it. He was certain it would be Thomas and he wasn’t naturally one who picks calls while he was behind the wheel, so he left it unattended to.
Thomas paced in his living room, feeling worried as hell knowing in two days he would be meeting the judge for his case with Julian. Melissa slept on the sofa and watched her husband become a nervous wreck about how he was going to explain about his violent behavior with Julian in his hotel. It would without doubt bring his family’s reputation through the mud in Germany and cause a down slide in their various businesses if it gets out.
He tried Jack’s line once more but the man didn’t pick, and it angered him so much he tossed it into the opposite couch as he continued his pacing around the room.
“Who the hell does he think he is!?” he yelled in anger. “Does he not know who I am?”
“Honey, relax, he is a busy man and might not be with his phone right now”, Melissa tried calming him down. “Why not go to his office tomorrow to check him up?”
“Are you kidding me? I’ve been there several times and all I get is nothing but flimsy excuses about him not being in or he went out”, he fumed.
Melissa remained speechless. She knew no other words to say to console the man.
“Even my father dare not treat me the way this fool is”, he angered up some more. “I will kick him and his company out of this city! Especially the Julian guy”.
Melissa sat up to show she was listening to his rants.
“They think they can come to Cologne and do what they want or what!’ he ranted some more in anger.
“Honey, I’ll advise you act cautiously with him because you still don’t know what kind of man he is”, she warned,
“And you know?” he raised his brow.
She nodded. “The little I heard from my boss and other people in our law company tells me he is a really powerful and well-connected man from Manchester and he came here just a year ago and took control of the biggest law firms in Cologne”.
Thomas lessened the frown from his face.
“He owns the number one law group in Cologne at the moment and it affected my company’s ranking when he moved here”, she narrated further. “He is very famous in England, so you must tread carefully with him”.
Thomas looked rather perplexed. ‘Why haven’t I heard of him before? In England, I know of Kent alone and he is a wealthy guy with whom my father is friends from times past and his influence in Manchester ranks above all”.
She had no response for him.
Jack arrived at the train station before Kim. He sat inside a cafeteria, waiting for his little sister to arrive. He could feel his anxiety levels raise as he tapped him feet on the ground nervously. She should arrive from Cleve soon and he was sure. He checks his phone and decided to ring back the unknown caller from earlier.
A lady picked it up; “Hello”, Melissa said.
Jack couldn’t forget her voice even if he wanted to. He recognized it immediately. He was a bit surprised and it was obvious in his first word in response.
“Sorry I couldn’t receive your calls earlier, I was driving and may I know who I’m speaking with?” he hoped to feign ignorance at the end of his sentence.
“Oh, sorry, my husband was calling and not me. He just stepped out for a cigarette I think”, she apologized. “Give me a minute to get him on the phone because he has been anxious to speak with you”.
“Okay, no problem Meliss…. ”, Jack shook his head as he bit his tongue and refused to spill the last letter. It was a moment he almost lost it.
A few seconds later, the equally familiar voice rang aloud in his ear. “Yes, hi, I’m Thomas and you must be Jack”.
“Yes, I am”, Jack responded.
“Okay, Jack I’m having… “, Thomas was about to ram on when he got interjected.
“You will address me as Mr. Jack”, Jack ordered.
“What, oh, sorry… Mr. Jack”, Thomas sounded irritated by the fact he just got belittled. He meant to yell “Fuck You Jack!”, but kept the words to himself. “I’m having a big problem right now with a man working for you by the name Julian and I was hoping we could meet to sort things out”.
Thomas waited for a response.
“I was thinking we could have a cup of coffee tomorrow in my house to clear the misunderstanding”, he continued, trying his best to keep his calm.
“Tomorrow, 2p.m prompt in my office”, Jack briefly replied.
His manner of response had gotten to Thomas, who couldn’t hold it any longer.
“I’ll be there as asked with the presumption you know all that happened and will be giving your assistance”, He rocked his boat too far into the sea unknowingly.
“I never said I was going to render any assistance to you, did I now Mr. Thomas?” Jack asked.
“I’m sorry, but you asked me to wait for you three days ago and I’ve been making the fruitless trips to your office every day since and now you’re giving the impression you aren’t going to help me”, he sounded tensed.
Jack paused for a brief period. He could hear the man’s breath aloud. “Yes, I did agree to talk with you, but I made no promise to you about anything”.
Thomas folded his hand around his phone tightly in anger.
“Okay, I will be there as agreed tomorrow in hopes you will be in… “, he meant to complete his sentence when he heard the beeping sound indicating a dropped call.
He couldn’t take it anymore. He tossed the phone in anger into the corner of the room. The scattering sound of the phone into different pieces aired around the room, startling Melissa.
“Whoever the fuck do you think you are!?” he yelled. “You don’t know me. You have no idea who you’re messing with”, he spoke to himself.
Melissa was dead scared. She had never seen him lose his cool before. He had put up a perfect at of a gentleman with no traces of his temper before their wedding. She couldn’t believe the vile and hateful look on his face because his pride was dealt a blow. She couldn’t believe she had been living with someone so bad tempered as he began kicking against the furniture and vases, and destroying the objects he could vent his anger against.
If only he knew it was exactly the kind of response Jack had hoped to invoke in the man. He knew him too well and had suspected Melissa was in the same room with him during the call. He knew the man couldn’t keep his true colors hidden for far too long, provided he gets the needed push. Every word uttered had been to test his patience and it worked like magic as Thomas went on a rampage to destroy everything his hands could grab.
Jack had played his card right and the plan was falling in place just as he wanted.
—-to be continued—-
He spent almost 10 years planning a revenge list on the seven people who had destroyed his face for a same reason in the past, everything was perfect, the revenge plans of the young and intelligent lawyer were extremely sophisticated, however when everything was ready, he suddenly realized that the plan he was working on was actually the final step of another person's plan. Will Jack be smart enough to rule the game against those who are standing in the dark and silently affecting his thoughts and actions? What would he do when his enemies who were set to be taken revenge on was planned by another person, and Jack would have to change his moves to take control back those who were in shadow and influencing his thoughts. The game of intelligent planners in manipulating people, who is more adventurous and smarter to beat the others?