Geraldine was a self-made woman who had grown to be quite wealthy at the peak of her professional career. Her husband, Don, had come from money – like old school Parliament family money. So, I wasn’t surprised when we rolled up to a gate and drove about half a mile to the “Englander Estate”.
And an estate it was…
We entered through the main door and were greeted by two men – one who took our coats and one who escorted us to the “lounge” where everyone had gathered. Geraldine was a classy lady – she wore a simple black dress with a low cut back and a huge pink diamond necklace. She knew who I was right away and threw her arms around me, kissing each of my cheeks, “Lauren! Oh it’s been too long! The last time I say you, you were in diapers. What a wonderful, young woman you’ve grown into!”
“Thanks.” I shrugged, rubbing my cheeks for lipstick.
“Have you been enjoying your time in Ireland?” she asked, handing me a glass of champagne.
“Yeah, yeah,” I said, swigging it back, “it’s been really great. If it weren’t for the weather I would totally live here.”
“Oh,” she smiled, “you learn to love it. The rain grows on you after a while so much so that you wonder how you ever lived without it.”
She began to go on about the Lord Mayor and his wife arriving and I looked around for my mother to help me escape but with no luck. Eventually Geraldine linked her arm with mine and said, “Come, come! Let me introduce you to my family. Do you ride? Oh, you must go riding tomorrow!”
She rambled on about her horses, introducing me to her husband Don who, upon hearing my goal was to become a writer, proceeded to tell me how the written word has failed Americans and the only hope for the literary community was the restoration of classic British literature.
Halfway through the conversation, I found myself in need of a drink and in an attempt to catch the champagne waiter, lost my balance and fell into the arms of the most beautiful man I had ever seen.
“Nice catch,” I sighed, blinking furiously.
“Haha,” he laughed, “I hope I can be there for your next trip.” he said with the Irish-English accent every girl dreams will one day come their way…