“You finally want the full story?” Robin asks.
“Take it right back, I know it wasn’t one decision. And I guess we’ve all used you as the scapegoat for our feelings, stepping in to where we all felt Blue should be so publically. We’ve vilified you. I mean sometimes you deserved it, like suggesting cheaper suppliers.” Ocean says.
“I’ll start at the beginning.” Robin sighs.
“Can I record you? I might be able to get it to Blue. He’s pretty mad at you and while its good for him to have feelings right now, he’s locked his emotions away so much but long term it isn’t good for him to hate you.” Ocean says.
“Yeah go ahead. Just don’t let anyone from here hear it. There is a lot I’m not proud of.” Robin says.
“I would never.” Ocean says meaning it.
“So around the time Blue left I dumped Ella. She was fine about it and it felt pretty mutual. It wasn’t going to work with me going back to school. Winter break I went home to my parents, I didn’t want to be here without Blue and my mom wanted me home. Blue leaving affected her too.” Robin says.
“They saw her a few weeks ago. Gervais wanted to be sure to say goodbye, knowing she’d worry.” Ocean says.
“That’s good. That’s really good. I’m sad he didn’t even try and see me but seeing mom is the next best thing.” Robin says.
“So you went home for winter break.” Ocean says.
“And I talked through job offers with my parents. I didn’t want to work for Jeremy and my interest in programming and design was waning, I was at a crossroads. At the same time Ella was calling frequently, telling me how she and Nick were not managing the business, your mom was great but without the parlor she wasn’t that interested. Clara was gone and had been pushed out, Abby was tired and Arnold, Mike and Claud had farms to run.” Robin says.
“Mom was stressed. Nick and Ella totally regressed. I didn’t know Ella was on at you. The person we hired quit. It was a mess and we were all in limbo over Blue.” Ocean says.
“Right and my dad pointed out there was an opportunity to take. He and mom had encouraged me to take business outside my major and I added an accounting class and marketing my last semester. Over spring break I came here and met with everyone about a job and whilst the business was growing the management infrastructure wasn’t. I gave my pitch and was taken on in the soup division. Ollie was desperate to get back to a more creative role and was welcoming. Everyone was.” Robin says.
“I was told it differently. You came down and demanded a role, you were better than just the IT guy. Super arrogant.” Ocean says.
“I was prepared. I had pitches, I knew from Ella where the weaknesses were and I pushed to grow into a role that would fill them. I knew everyone was missing Blue. I was missing Blue and I didn’t think he would mind. I figured if he came back we would work something out. So I graduated, came back and got to work. And I started seeing Ella again and she was pushy. Pushy to me, pushing me in front of her dad trying to get him to promote me, saying she couldn’t have a husband without a management job. I went along with it. I wasn’t stepping on anyone or taking over. I swear I wasn’t.” Robin says.
“I get that, I can totally see Ella doing that, she was always pushing you first time round. I was just a kid but I remember she wanted more from you always. But you say you would have stepped aside for Blue, I know that changed. I heard that you insisted when you became general manager that you couldn’t be replaced by Blue.” Ocean says.
“Initially I was prepared to step aside. Later on I absolutely did take steps to safeguard my job if he did come back. I didn’t have a trust fund to fall back on like the others and if I got fired it would be hard for me to move on somewhere. I know you all hated me for that but I had to think of me. Ella and I were serious and I knew she’s leave me if I lost my job. It’s not even like Blue would have wanted the job I did. I tried so hard to run things the way he would want but I was always I his shadow, even though he was never the management type. He’s an artist.” Robin says.
“It felt so mercenary to everyone. We all cut you off at that point, or rather just after when Nick got screwed over.” Ocean says.
“Maybe I was. I dumped Ella again after the Nick thing, I was asked to take over his role and I did, I thought it was temporary. I’m actually pretty good at what I do and the company has grown year on year. I was ostracized by you guys and Arnold thought Ella had dumped me, and that if I was promoted again she might take me back. I knew she was behind putting that stuff online of Nick and making sure Arnold saw it. I know she set him up. It was over with us completely.” Robin says.
“But she was pregnant.” Ocean says.
“I had no idea. Absolutely no idea. She left work and I thought it was because of me. I took on her role, it was too much I pitched myself as CEO and bringing in a new team and Claud, Arnold and Abby went for it. Absolutely I was building my career on Blue’s loss. I know that and I know how it looked but I had lost you guys and I wanted to impress my parents. I wanted to be a success. Blue wasn’t here, he couldn’t do it, someone had to. I kept people in work, I kept everything going.” Robin says.
“It just felt so cold. It looked like you took every advantage you could.” Ocean says.
“I know and it was. It was business. Fuck I made him a shit ton of money. I worked so many deals. And I hated every freaking moment.” Robin says.
“What?” Ocean asks.
“I hated being CEO, I was good at it but it wasn’t fun for me. I kept coming up with stupid and offensive ideas and Gervais would veto them but not fire me. Ella started getting aggressive with me, pushing for me to quit to let Mike take over as they were married. I wasn’t budging. Why the fuck should she get her way. She’d moved on so fast, Arnold loved Mike. Abby was dead. Blue wasn’t coming back.” Robin says.
“Ella had your baby.” Ocean says.
“Ella had my baby. I didn’t know. I honestly believed she’d been seeing Mike behind my back.” Robin sighs.
“He would never do that.” Ocean says.
“He did what he did to Tad and Larry. He fucked your mom over with the parlor and her place in the company.” Robin says.
“What?” Ocean asks.
“Your mom and Blue wanted the parlor, Mike wanted the diner. Arnold didn’t care as the ice-cream was selling enough retail. Blue was made to feel he didn’t have a vote and Mike was the one who pushed on Saul’s behalf to Claud. I didn’t find that out until years later. Your mom and Marsha have done fine. Your mom is the only one who still talks to me.” Robin says.
“Mike was such a good guy and he kept up with me until he married Ella and then I was invisible. You’re right we always saw him as the good guy but he was as flawed as the rest of us and maybe he and Ella overlapped with you. I can see her having backup plans. Maybe they weren’t dating but she might have been cooking for him and just popping in. I could see that.” Ocean says.
“Sounds like you’ve forgiven me.” Robin says.
“Maybe. Maybe Gervais and I were blinded by our love for Blue. You did keep the company going and you did face the scandals and we have just fucked you over.” Ocean says.
“Sorry to interrupt. Could I get a drink?” Garrett asks coming in.
“Sure, I am not a good host.” Robin laughs and the three go into the kitchen and get drinks.
“So when did you know the kid was yours? Robin dumped his girlfriend, she didn’t tell him she was pregnant but married someone else.” Ocean says and Garrett sits sipping his drink wide eyed.
“The first time I saw him. Looked the spit of my middle sister when she was a baby. I’m pretty feminine looking and so was the baby. I asked her and she denied it. I did the math and instructed a lawyer. It took a long time to even get the paternity test done. And now I’m not working continuing with the legal action for access is going to be hard.” Robin says.
“I knew you wouldn’t dump your kid. What a fucking bitch.” Ocean says.
“Arnold thinks I should let it lie, let Ella live her life and give up.” Robin says.
“Liberty has no idea. She didn’t know it was yours.” Ocean says.
“Ella has always been her daddy’s girl. Liberty would never have supported her.” Robin says.
“I wouldn’t count on that. She knows now and she won’t take sides between Nick and Ella.” Ocean says.
“So you guessed you were going to be fired because of these people?” Garrett asks.
“Yeah, I didn’t expect what actually went down. I was bummed when it happened and I laughed so much when I got home. Arnold just a supplier, Nick having to manage that, no Gervais as a voice of reason. Holy shit the business is fucked and I am out before it goes down the drain.” Robin says with a small grin.
“I love your game. Are you going to sell it?” Garrett asks.
“What game?” Ocean asks.
“Cheer camp. It’s a fun thing I wrote, game aimed at girls. Been doing it in my spare time for a while.” Robin says.
“Will Jeremy help?” Ocean asks.
“Do you remember Brian, he was Nick’s best friend, dated Larry, worked with Gervais?” Robin asks.
“Yeah, cheated on Larry, caused drama with that creep Norm.” Ocean says.
“He has recently launched a game company, he’s been writing phone games for years and had a couple of hits. We keep in touch and he wants me on board. I’m considering it. It’s the only local option.” Robin says.
“You have offers?” Garrett asks.
“Yeah, I have some huge salary offers but they are all hours away. And that would make the access fight more complex.” Robin says.
“Just like Will. Spence would help with money.” Ocean says.
“No he won’t.” Robin sighs he’s already asked.
“Well look at it this way, you lost your job to Ella’s brother, who got it because Ella’s mother bought up the majority stock in the company. That looks very bad on Ella.” Ocean says and Robin giggles.
“Come on enough gloom, let me show you my game.” Robin says.
“We have to go do some shopping. Please come to dinner tomorrow. It is at Spence and Andy’s, I will bribe Andy with sweet treats to let you attend.” Ocean says.
“Yeah you can’t be alone. If they won’t have you we’ll have our own dinner at Ocean’s house.” Garrett says.
“Exactly. I have eggs, fruit and veggies. It won’t be traditional but it will be good.” Ocean grins.
“What should I bring? I don’t have much.” Robin asks.
“Some beer would be good. And nice juice.” Ocean says brightly.
“Deal. Ocean I was a good big brother to you, before you dropped me.” Robin says.
“Yeah you were and I will absolutely write a positive statement for you. Also if your lawyer is good could you recommend them to Will? He doesn’t know which way is up right now.” Ocean says.
“For sure. I will call him, please let him know it is safe to take a call from me.” Robin says.
“I’ll make sure Blue hears all this.” Ocean says switching off the recording.
“Thanks kid. You grew up just like him.” Robin says.
“Thank-you that is what I was aiming for. With less drama.” Ocean grins.