When I first got to know of Terence, he was at the peak of his life. Soon to be the heir of a very large public listed company in Malaysia, he had his life cut out for him.
Whether he was going to work or not, he was going to live a comfortable life.
He drove the flashiest BMWs, frequented the VIP areas of the coolest clubs and being a guy, spent money on every gadget his heart desired. Terence knew how to enjoy money.Guys like that appear on the radar quite quickly for some of the hottest girls in the night life circuit.
One girl took notice, her name was Amanda and she was by any means one of the hottest girls that any guy would ever lay their eyes on.
She could walk from the South Court to the North Court of MidValley and at least 10 guys to turn their heads and look at her... she was as hot as this.
Amanda was ambitious.
She knew exactly what she wanted in life and it wasn't a flourishing career up the corporate ladder, it was security... financial security to be exact and she saw that in Terence.
Terence wasn't perfect and as a person had his own set of flaws like any other man, but it didn't matter... the bank account that his family came with was enough to make up for it and to be fair... there's no cry no foul for Amanda liking that part of him.
Donald Trump's beautiful wife was one asked if she would have fallen for Donald Trump if he wasn't rich.
"Do you think Donald would fall for me if I weren't beautiful?"Which hit the point exactly.
Amanda whether with her beauty or charm or personality managed to eventually hook Terence.
Months into the relationship, Amanda got pregnant.
Terence's high profile family struggled to deal with the problem.
They at one point considered having an abortion but Amanda would refuse anything less than a marriage so that the baby had a proper home to stay with.
Tied with Terence's mistake, Terence decided to go ahead with the marriage and eventually got the support of his parents. Some people wonder whether it was Amanda's plan all along to get Terence to marry her to tie him down.... but that is a question nobody but Amanda will know how to answer.
A few years later into the marriage, a crisis hit Terence's family business.... the 1997 financial crisis to be exact. Just before 1997, many Malaysian companies were on an expansion path with the KLSE being one of the highest traded markets in the world in terms of volume.
To expand, you need money and when you're a huge public listed company, getting banks to lend you money isn't too much of a problem.Now once you've decided that you want to borrow money to grow your business, the next question lies on the Cost of Borrowing or simply... the interest rate.
The interest rate in Malaysia is relatively higher than the interest rate from the many developed countries overseas so many local companies borrowed in USD from overseas banks, Terence's family business was no different.
When the financial crisis hit, the ringgit depreciated from RM2.5 to USD1.00 to something like RM5-6 to USD1.00.
That means if you borrowed RM100,000,000 before the crisis, that figure inflated to RM200,000,000 after the crisis. Terence's family business tanked overnight and his father was declared a bankrupt.Terence's life was quick to change. He no longer spent as much as he did and he went out to find a job. Amanda too had to find one.
Fortunately for Terence, he was smart and he went to a good university so finding a job wasn't too much of a problem for him. Amanda too had graduated with a degree but working wasn't really quite her thing, she found herself in a bit of a fix.
Just two years later, Terence caught Amanda cheating on him with an older man. He was dumbfounded and depressed.
What the hell was going on that this woman he had a baby boy with had to be cheating on him with an older man.
Some say... it was because of the financial security that wealthier older man had... some say... love is blind.
They eventually filed for divorce. Terence kept the only child they had and Amanda went on to marry the older man to live the life of a socialite.
The story of Terence and Amanda got me thinking about one thing... about the ups and downs of life.
It is inevitable that in anyone's life, especially where business is involved, there will be ups, there will be downs. Richard Branson's successful Virgin Atlantic airlines had almost failed once but today stands tall with a fleet of aircraft and a brand name to die for.
Closer to home, I have met many rich businessmen with wealth in the millions. Many of which have told me how they had succeeded, then failed... then picked themselves up to succeed again.
People will always have their ups and downs (and don't get me wrong.. ups and downs need not be measured simply with dollar signs).
I feel that right now I may perhaps on a small scale be experiencing my 'UP' or at least on the way "UP". One day... I may very well face my down. Things can and will go wrong.
Hence, the girl I will eventually end up with need not be really pretty.
She need not be cute. She need not be hot. She need not be sexy.
The one thing she needs to be though is strong and committed.
Strong enough to give me her strength when I am down... and committed enough to sit with me through the storm.