“Timing’s everything, right everyone?” Glen raised his glass of Cabernet, and the six of us lifted ours in agreement. A deal was made – exactly what Glen, a senior partner at my consulting firm, did better than anyone else. Over dinner he had enchanted buyers and sellers, calmed their fears, made the impossible possible. How? Not with oozing charm or slick suits and a slicker tongue.
Glen was not an overtly handsome guy. In his early fifties, he was a teddy bear type, big hugs, chuckles and an incredibly memory for your child’s age or your favorite movie. He could bring people together, and over dinners with endless hysterical stories from his global travels, he made everyone comfortable, connected. And his closing line about timing was my sign to say, “I think we all know how to proceed. I’ll have the revised contracts to you in the morning.”
Glen was the vision, the energy. I was the signatures on dotted lines. We made a great team.
After we bid good night to our enchanted clients, Glen took my arm, “It’s too early to turn in. Just a little walk. I’ll show you the Latin Quarter.”
We turned left at the Pont Neuf, strolling next to the Seine glistening from a full September moon. I had been in Paris once before, a cranky pre-teen more interested in what tshirt to buy than in the glorious relevance around each corner. Glen loved Paris, knew the history and had his own hilarious memories to entwine.
I was in my thirties, delighted to have been selected as his right hand account director. He envisioned the deals. I cemented them. We were both smart and admired each other for it. We made each other laugh. I was proud I could get a full belly laugh out of Glen. Not many people could. I think he cherished that ability as much as my ability to craft the contracts he concocted from thin are.
We settled at a bar with a few bistro tables set outside. We sat next to each other, not across the table, sipping wine and watching the diminishing night life pass by. A breeze caused me to shiver slightly, and Glen put his arm around my shoulders, pulling me in close to him. For the first time, I felt a spark pass between us. I stood up, rattled.
“I’ve got the contract to fix, so time to head home.” He laid some Euros on the table, and we headed back the way we came. He put his suit jacket over my shoulders. “Maybe someday you’ll come back with Steve?”
“That will be in years. The kids are just so little. No time or money for Paris,” I replied.
“Laura wants us to come for Christmas.”
“That would be lovely,” I replied as we reached my hotel.
“Timing’s everything,” Glenn said. “But tonight, maybe, I wish the timing had been better.”
“Me, too. Good night, Glen,” I handed him his jacket.