Chapter Ten

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Business was starting to pick up. In a few short weeks we made a couple thousand dollars doing odd jobs. All the cheques were deposited into a bank account Darrell and his dad had opened, which for some reason I did not have access to. My initial reaction was how most people would react. I felt it was a little sneaky to go behind my back and open up an account where one partner doesn't have access.  

Mr. Channing told me I was just being paranoid and they would eventually add me to the account. He said it was just easier for a father and son to open up a business account. The fact that it was coming from Mr. Channing did nothing to reassure me. The man was a manipulator; I had watched him manipulate others countless times and then brag to us afterwards about his abilities. I decided to let it go and allow him to think he had pulled the wool over my eyes. That way, he would be unaware that I was still watching him and his son closely.  

Aside from the bank account issue and the apartment issue, there were many other personality conflicts that were difficult to ignore. For starters, Darrell was the most selfish and inconsiderate person I had ever met. A prime example of this was when we were at a nightclub once and Darrell received a call on his cell phone. Rather than going somewhere quiet to take the call, Darrell demanded the DJ turn the music down so he could hear. I guess it was just how he was raised; he did not care about anyone but himself - an impossible trait to deal with in a business partnership.  

Over a short amount of time, the rift between us began to grow. There was also a lot of tension on the jobs; we hardly spoke to each other at all. When we did, it was a lot of arguing and ego clashing. Darrell had it in his mind that he was this big shot boss and I was his employee. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I was more like the boss, and Darrell was my employee, but I never thought of it in terms of that. It was a partnership, albeit an inherently flawed partnership. We were like two generals, and neither one of us wanted to submit to the other. 

At the end of each long day, we would come home and not say a word to each other. 

One night, while Darrell was in the shower, I went into his room and looked for the bank statement for the company account. His room was filthy; there were clothes and papers all over the floor, and he had dirty dishes lying around that looked like they had been there for weeks. I found a stack of mail underneath his futon bed and found what I was looking for. Immediately, I noticed large cash withdrawals and several other charges coming from the company account.  

I waited until he came out of the shower before I confronted him. The whole time, my contempt grew. When he came out, I exploded on him. 

"Darrell, what is this?" I demanded as I held up the bank statement. 

"What are you talking about, dude?" he asked, obviously playing dumb. 

"Explain to me why I'm paying for you to eat out at fast food restaurants, get haircuts, and pay for your cell phone bill? I have yet to see a dime of the money that we earned and you're out spending it like it's your own personal expense account." 

"Those are all business expenses. I needed a haircut to look professional, I need to eat to do the physical work, and I need a cell phone to stay in touch."  

I wasn't sure if these were excuses he had just came up with or if they were justifications which he believed to be true.  

"The phone is for company use only and you're using it for your own personal use. You can't expect me to pay for that."  

"It's a company expense, we can just write it off." 

"What are you talking about? Do you even know what that means?" I asked, confused. 

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