“He wants to meet next week,” she continued. “In Sydney. I don’t know what to do.”
“Well,” Kimberly said, “You have two options, you can look at this incident logically and conclude that the man is probably a sociopath looking for his next piece of meat. Or,” she let out a deep sigh. “Or you can trust your gut, which I’m assuming you’ve already decided to do.”
“The latter. Now will you come with me? I don’t want to go alone.” Carol stood to make more coffee, it was getting late and they still had a lot to cover.
“I don’t have anyone else Kimberly.” She continued. “Who knows what this could be about. I need someone I can trust.”
“Well,” she said. “I agree, you can’t go by yourself. That’s for certain. As for me going with you. My father would lose his mind.”
“Oh don’t worry about him.”
“Because I’ll cover it,” she said casually, taking a sip of another coffee. “I’ll have a word to your therapist then tell Chris I’m taking you on a spa retreat or something.”
“He hates you. He’d never agree to that.”
“That’s part of the fun, isn’t it? He’s a brilliant man, they both were, and that’s probably why they made so much money in the end. But brilliance and intelligence are never all encompassing, your father has his flaws dear. Everyone does.”
Kimberly couldn’t imagine a world where this was a good idea, but she couldn’t help herself. She was a twenty-three-year old University drop out. Not because she was stupid, or incapable of doing the work, she simply hadn’t found any pleasure in being told precisely how to think. Nor did she intend on giving her father the satisfaction of parading around his recently graduated daughter at one of his stupid board lunches. She had no idea what she wanted out of life and that was the problem. She over thought everything and tolerated nothing. To her, the world was faulty and she was stuck. Not knowing her next move. Perhaps this was what she needed.
“Ok,” she said. “I’ll go. But don’t worry about talking to him, I will.”
Carol stood with excitement, “Oh fantastic,” She shrilled. “I’m so excited, I mean, not working is wonderful but it can get terribly boring sometimes.”
“So what’s next? Do you have a plan?”
“Not really, I suppose we book flights and a hotel then go from there.”
“No plan? Great idea.”
“Don’t be rude,” Carol said laughing and standing once again. “It will be fine. Now about next week.”
Kimberly followed her Aunt back down the hall and into her office.
“I will need you here on Tuesday,” she continued. “Perhaps earlier if it suits you. I feel as though it would be wise to let your father know after we’ve checked into our hotel.”
“Yes,” she said, taking a seat behind the enormous desk in the centre of the room. “There’s really not a lot he can do once we’re there. You’re an adult. It will be fine.”
Kimberly watched as her Aunts grinned one moment, and the next, Carol was steadying her shaking hands. She couldn’t quite decide what to think, or say. Though she had heard that the best adventures do occur on a whim.
They conversed a little longer until eventually Kimberly said goodbye. They were standing at the front door when the shrill of Carol’s phone echoed down the hall. She half-run to answer it.
“Ms Henderson,” she was met with an unfamiliar man’s voice.
“Please, call me Carol.”
“Ok, Carol,” he said, “There’s been a change of plans.”
“I believe my son talked to you recently. I also believe Timothy didn’t quite explain things properly. I will you email you updated details about our meeting. We will need you here earlier than expected.”
“Oh,” she said, “Well that’s ok. Could you tell me what’s going on? Richard was hardly the secretive type and I just can’t imagine – “
Carol was cut short as the line fell dead. Whoever he was, he certainly didn’t have very respectable manners. At the very least, he could have given her some context of the situation. Perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps out of stupidity, Carol decided to trust the strangers.
After explaining the elusive call, Carol reassured Kimberly and watched her coast back down the drive. It was late – almost 11pm. She decided to call it a night.
To be continued…
©Copyright Celsie Richardson 2016