Ambition

Paul was getting ready for a night out on the town when his phone rang.

“Paul Darby,” he said in his most authoritative voice.

“Paul. It’s Andrew Weston here,” the voice on the other end of the phone replied. “Sorry to call you on a Friday evening, but I have some rather bad news for you.

We’re letting you go, Paul. The Executive has decided to move in different direction…”

The voice continued to talk but Paul did not hear it.

Paul was standing in the dark, his phone still in his hand, when Kim, his girlfriend, arrived. She looked gorgeous.

“Paul,” she said, “what’s going on? Why aren’t you ready?”

Paul didn’t move.

“Paul?” Kim said a little less certainly.

Paul slowly turned his head towards her.

Has he been crying, Kim wondered, but she instantly dismissed the idea. Paul was tough. Paul was confident. Paul was motivated. Paul had ambition. He wasn’t the kind of guy to sit in the dark crying.

“What is it Paul, what’s happened?”

“I – I’ve had some rather bad news babe,” he answered.

Paul’s voice was so uncertain, so troubled: listening to it made Kim feel uncomfortable.

“I’ve been sacked,” Paul stifled a sob as he said this. “I’ve never been sacked.”

“Oh, is that all,” Kim laughed. “I’ll buy you a drink and you can tell me all about it.”

Paul stood over Kim and Kim could see that he was full of fire.

“What do you know?” Paul yelled. “What do you know about anything? You’ve never worked a day in your life.”

Kim’s back straightened.

“Listen buddy,” she retorted, “as far as I can recall, you’ve never worked that hard either. You were always ambitious, but you got everything you ever wanted. Perhaps it’s time you woke up to yourself. The world doesn’t run on cocktails and charisma, you know.”

Paul clenched and unclenched his fists.

“Kim,” he said coldly, “I think I’m going to have to let you go. I’ve decided to move in a different direction.”

Kim had never seen Paul so conflicted before. She was filled with pity at the sight of this man of confidence brought low. She wanted to reach out to him, but she realised that there was something strangely farsighted about his words: Paul needed to move in a different direction.

And Kim knew that she would not follow him.

Ambition

Matthew Dalton

Joined June 2008

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