Stubborn Beauty

The diplomas from Harvard and Wharton hung over the sleek, expensive desk where Mark Gillroy kept his most prized possessions, including a picture of his mother. At thirty-two years old he had achieved much in the eyes of others; nothing to himself.

The belief was that education was the answer; all it took was hard work and perseverance to achieve. He knew better; it only took money. New lies had to be created to preserve the world of existing lies on which his life had been founded. The cycle was viscous, never ending.

As he rolled the Dunhill cigarette between his thumb and fingers, staring absent-mindedly out the window with the stunning view of Central Park, he made a decision. He reached for the table in front of him, pausing as his phone rang. It was Steve, his old roomate and broker. The SEC investigation was over, it seemed.

“Sorry, Steve-O. I can’t bear the words,”said Mark quietly, reaching past the phone for the beautiful gun.

He placed the barrel lightly into his mouth and pulled the trigger.

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