The letter could not have come at a better time.
Four years of college, a degree in sociology, now all that was missing, was a job. I reflected on this as I made my way to the interview. I was near the coast, so was careful not to miss the entrance to the private road as per the instructions. I continued on for about 2 miles. After I drove around some sand dunes that caused a curve in the road, I saw the cottage. I parked my van, went up to the porch and knocked on the door. I noticed that the porch light had been left on. Since no one answered, I knocked again. The door opened. A very attractive woman appeared at the entrance. Do come in, she said, I was expecting your arrival. As she spoke I detected a slight european accent. She carried herself well and appeared rather regal, aristocratic if you will.
I am Ms Absinthe Rothschild, she said, and I presume you are Mr. Jonathan McTavish. Yes I am, I said. As I entered the cottage a rich aroma of coffee filled the room. I could not help but notice a vase filled with daisies, as she led me to a very attractive wooden oak table where she had set out a very distinctive silver coffee set. Every piece was laden with gold underlining. She served the coffee, as if it was a ceremony, every movement a full extension of the arms and fingers. She placed the setting before me and I paused while she poured hers, then took a drink. It was strong coffee, rich and full of aroma. She must have noticed and said, it is the best coffee that I have ever tasted. It comes from the middle east and yes, it is a bit pungent. She took a sip, then placed the cup back on the saucer, placed the saucer and cup back on the table all while remaining erectly sitted in her chair. I felt clumsly and awkward. I never knew that drinking a cup of coffee encompassed such eloquence. She produced a comforting, warm and friendly smile, then said, I supposed you are wondering why I asked you here today. Yes, I said.
I am the daughter of a very weathly man. And it was here where I grew up with my father and my mother. My mother was a very nurturing and caring women. But became very frail after giving birth to me. Although my mother never discouraged my father from marrying again, she made one request. Before she died, she made my father promise that I would always be provided for. I am now the only heiress to his immense wealth. However, the reason I asked you here today is not because of my wealth. It is rather complicated, and I would much rather tell you a little about myself, before I tell you what it is that I wish to ask of you. Please, do go on, I said.
I was l8 at the time and was sitting on the porch at this very cottage and looking out to the sea. I was very surprised when I noticed a young man swimming in the water near the shore. No one had ever ventured out this far because this is private property. I could not take my eyes off of him as he swam to and fro in the water. He soon noticed me and motioned me out to him.