The blue BMW pulled up to the reception area of an exclusive country club, a five foot nine, blonde haired, thin and extremely attractive lady gets out of the driver's seat, she hands the keys to a parking attendant as she confidently strides into the club wearing a white power suit.
She enters the lounge area, in the corner is Antonia, an Italian shipping merchant. Antonia looks up from her news paper, stands up, herself, 5 foot 5, wearing a two piece pin stripped business suit. She Stands up and extends her hand to Portia, whom then shakes it and greet each other with a hug before sitting down.
Both sit down and Portia gets down to business straight away 'You certainly are squeezing Shylock' , Smirks Portia 'your plan has worked, ' you mean our plan' interrupts Antonia. Portia continues ' The longer she can't develop the warehouse on the docks the more it costs her money, how it hurts her. The threat of a court order stopping her development plans will cost her so much, you certainly have added some stress lines to her face' laughs Portia.
'Obviously! , as her lawyer I have been adding to her stress by, well let's just say exaggerating the whole complexities of a legal battle like this and how much it could cost her, and affect the resale value, so I didn't suggest but as we guessed, she has offered a payment in cash for your objection to go away!'.
Both break out into huge smiles 'Excellent, how much!' grins Antonia. Portia continues 'so, I said to her Shylock!, are you sure, and maybe she could be open to blackmail' Portia then let out a laugh 'the fat bitch, goes, putting on a voice impersonating Ruth Shylock -she's blackmailing me now and wants to ruin me, if I knew of her interests there, I would of walked away from the business deal, and said to offer $20,000'.
Antonia laughed at Portia's impersonation 'So I told her, I'd make contact with you, so on Friday afternoon before she finished up for her Sabbath, I marched into her office, said you laughed at the offer and wanted $100,000, she nearly had a heart attack, she was nearly in tears, she demanded that I go back to you and say that $20000 was max and more than a fair offer. I left her stew late on Saturday, she doesn't do anything, not even answer her phone, so I tried ringing it a few times to taunt her. Anyways late on Saturday she eventually answered.'
A waiter comes along and takes their order of iced tea. Portia then continues 'So I told her, you laughed at me and then hung up. I told her, eventually I got through to you and I managed to agree with a meeting with you with we are at now.'
The waiter comes back with the iced teas and both clink glasses 'So what price are you going to tell her'. Portia grins widely 'well, I will tell her I negotiated it down to $60,000, she'll pay!'.
'It will hurt her, to pay me that money for nothing!, I would love to be there, to see the pain in her face as she counts out the money to pass over to me, I'd love to personally go over and collect it, force her to count it in front of me, then blow cigar smoke in her face'.
'Ha Ha, laughs Portia 'She says you are nothing more than a bully and anti-Semite!'
'You bully her just as much as I do and you are just as anti-Semitic', responds Antonia as she takes a big sip of her tea.
'Well I didn't beat her up and break her glasses' replies Portia, 'You really humiliated her at the Business Network ball'.
Antonia leans forward ' I merely pushed her and her thick glasses fell off, quite a few people enjoyed it, I try to entertain'
Antonia takes another sip of her tea 'her little princess is still seeing my cousin, poor girl bitches about Shylock the whole time, she hasn't told her about who her boyfriend is, she's afraid to'.
'mmmmmmmmmm' states Portia ' I think we can use this to our advantage, perhaps it's time I tried to befriend the little Princess, she's the one thing that Shylock loves, and I don't believe her little princess daughter feels the same way on her over protective mummy!'.
Antonia laughs, 'so are you suggesting kidnapping the princess!'.
'No, no not at all!, why do that, though she would of course pay a ransom, that is without doubt, but I think there is a way we can use this relationship to perhaps extract more money from Shylock, I guess I need to get a little friendlier to the Princess and perhaps sway her thinking!'
'Sounds like you have been thinking about this', states Antonia.
'Oh I have, I now need to make sure the little Princess, says nothing to mummy!, I'll terrify her'.
Ruth Shylock was sitting at her PC, Jessica was sitting beside her, board silly while Shylock was looking through investment spreadsheets her eyes squinting hard as she struggled to read small print. 'I want to go on lunch' moaned Jessica, 'these figures can wait'.
Ruth adjusted her glasses on her nose and continued reading 'Portia, will soon be here, it's important you are here for this, let you see the type of people we have to deal with, anti-Semitic bullies. Despite what you think, very little has changed over the years, there are still people who want to hurt us for what we are'.
Jessica rolls her eyes up to Heaven, 'great, so I am going to be hated more, already no one here really talks to me, if you let me have my desk on the office floor, maybe I could make friends'.
Ruth takes her glasses off her face and rubs her tired eyes 'Someday this business is yours, it's important that you sit with me and see how it operates. If you think by having your desk out in the common area, you would not be hated, maybe not as much but still there are some I suspect are not so forthcoming to be friends with our people. It's people like Antonia, whom makes it a risk for me to wear my Kippah in public or for both of us to wear our Star of David chains'.
At that, Ruth's office door bursts open and Portia marches in with little consideration for what Ruth was doing, this she done all the time, which showed contempt and lack of respect for Ruth. She also addressed Ruth by her surname.
Portia, completely ignores Jessica and stands over Ruth looking down at her, while Ruth cranes her head upwards.
She doesn't greet Ruth. 'Shylock, I had a very tense meeting with Antonia, she was adamant to squeeze $100,000 from you, anyways, it got heated, I had to threaten her how you could extract the money back from her by other means and that it would end up costing her more'.
Ruth adjusted her glasses on her nose and looked over at Jessica who was completely bored with the entire affair. She looked back up at Portia, whom was using a tone like she was talking down to her'.
Her neck was beginning to pain from looking upwards, 'sit down Portia, I will have a creak in my neck'.
'No!' bluntly states Portia 'Anyways, after much deliberation and arguing a sum of $60,000 in cash was agreed. Ruth frowns and rubs the back of her neck. Jessica stands up and gives her mother a neck massage to help ease her pain.
'$60,000' whines Ruth, of my hard earned money, she beats me, humiliates me and now blackmails me'.
Portia, struggled to keep the grin off her face, she was enjoying the torment. ' A legal case could of lasted a long time, cost you more, Antonia is no fool, she has quite a legal team, they done their homework, she could of even walked out and increased the amount, only I had some bargaining chips, I saved you a minimum of $40,000, this is the best outcome possible'.
Jessica then finished her massage, Ruth then caved and stood up, Portia was delighted and seen this as her having the upper hand. Despite this, Portia was taller than Shylock and she still had to look up
'Saved me $40,000, I am eventually going to have to address how this bully treats me!, taking money from me like apples from a tree, '
'Well' suggested Portia, 'you could always beat her up!'
'Don't mock me Portia!, you know well, I am fat and out of shape, even if I could I would not revert to such low behaviour, beat her up!, and what if I did, next thing I would be targeted by a mob, I don't pay you to come up with unrealistic solutions as well as mock and disrespect me.
'Well Shylock!', your choices are you pay the money and this ends, you don't pay the money and you risk losing a fortune on your investment, whether I mock and disrespect you is not the issue here, it's are you going to pay or not, she has you over a barrel Shylock!. At this Portia goes around the desk and sits in Ruth's seat.
Ruth lets out a grunt in disbelief, 'Your smugness, astonishes me, I only hope you treated Antonia, to less respect than you show me. I'll pay the money but I'll need guarantees this ends'.
'Shylock, pay the money and it's over!, she wants it by Friday evening.
'Of course she does, when I can't pay when it's the Sabbath, maybe next time you'll negotiate a fair date for me but who cares about been fair to me, I won't have the Sabbath broken for anyone, I shall pay on Friday, I will get the money put in the trunk of my limo, she can take it out of the trunk, but I will not get out of the car and I will not talk to her, I will bring both my limo's and an extra car for security, I can't answer my phone or conduct any business during this period, where does she want to meet'.
'You will meet her at the 5th pier 8pm'.
'Fine' moans Shylock as she walks towards a window and looks out 'I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose it's a price I pay for been different'
Portia stands up, runs her hands through Jessica's hair 'I love your hair, such beauty, have you had lunch Jessica, let me buy you some, am sure a business meeting like this is a scary experience, I should of warned Shylock that it might be a bit much for you but Shylock calls the shots'.
'Shylock!, you refer to me as Shylock to my daughter, I am her mother, not some heartless stranger!'. Shylock continued to look out the window.
'I would love to go on lunch with you, thanks very much Portia' smiled Jessica. Brilliant, I'll see you at reception in 5 minutes; I just want to use the bathroom. She stands up and walks out of the office, letting off a huge smile. She opens her cell phone and types in '$$$$$, Friday , making a new friend ;)
'Jessica, I don't trust her' warns Ruth. 'All this time she has ignored you, looked down on you in the office and now she is buying you lunch!, you see how she treats me, and you!, I was hoping you would pray with me before lunch.
Jessica, let off a sigh 'I'm going for lunch'.
Before Ruth could say anything Jessica was out the door. Ruth then made her way to an oak cabinet, pulled out a prayer shawl and placed a Kippah on her head, she opened up a prayer book and prayed , she thought of the suffering of her people in the past and how it was still happening, she wiped some tears from her eyes.
3 days later 8pm three Lincoln limo's Pulled into Pier 5, Ruth sat nervously in the first limo, with tinted windows. A few moments later , a Range Rover and Mercedes Benz park beside the Limos. Antonia steps out of the Range Rover. The trunk of the middle Limo opens and the driver hands her a bag of money. She quickly counts it and gets in the Range Rover, smiling to herself as the Range Rover sped away, smiling to herself thinking that was the easiest money she ever made.
In the first Limo, Ruth watched the transaction with sad eyes, she looked across at her daughter whom was a million miles away. As the cars sped away, she opened her prayer book and began to pray.