Zöe read Ryan's message again, taking in each word before diving into the attachment he sent.
"I have to confess I've been less than honest with you. This weekend has made me realize that if we are going to have a path forward, a way forward (if that makes any sense at all) then I have to come clean.
First of all, I don't exactly work for Cop-co. Yes, I draw a salary of $1 a year, and, yes, I travel around attending conferences, meeting people, gauging the market, but that's not really me.
I don't so much work for Cop-co as am Cop-co. I own the company 100%. It's mine. I hire people to run the day to day operations but in the end Cop-co is me. Yes, I'm the guy the press calls the "reclusive owner" of a billion dollar software company.
So, there it is.
The usual story is that I'm dismissed as a dweeb or a functionary until people realize I own the company and their attitude changes. I hate that. That has been my life.
Until I met you.
Zöe, it's difficult for me to explain what you mean to me, so I'm going to attach all the emails I wrote to you but deleted. Yes, I did that. I wrote a bunch of stuff but didn't have the guts, the confidence, to send it to you. Yeah, and I'm the same guy who cut the Japan deal. Go figure.
Here it is, starting at the beginning."
Zöe read the attachment starting with:
"I'm sorry I stood you up last night."
Zöe read it all. Every word. Twice.
She cried a few times, laughed a few times but at the end she sat there in her apartment, Foxie by her side, and descended into thought.
Thought gave way to fatigue giving way to sleep ... sleep ... sleep ...