“Cyn this is Pat Dermody. Your resort administration has directed me to your home, and I’ve been ringing the doorbell but no answer. Are you inside or out walking? They could not find you at the administrative center.”
Cynthia laughed. She was pleased to hear Pat’s voice. Pat had been her bowling partner for several years before Pat’s husband was transferred to another city and they’d lost touch. It was good to hear from her again.
“Pat it’s so good to hear from you after all these years. It was kind of you and George to make the effort to fly in for Steve’s funeral and I’m sorry I couldn’t spend much time greeting you at that time because of everything that needed to be attended to. It will take me fifteen minutes to walk back to the resort. I hope you can wait.”
Pat spoke. “Where are you, I’ll come and pick you up.”
“OK, I’m down at the promenade and there’s a coffee shop there I usually attend most days in the morning. I’ll stand out on the street so you can easily see me because parking is impossible anywhere around here. The parking stations are a ten-minute walk to the beach.”
Pat laughed. “I’m on the way. See you soon!”
Pat stopped to pick up her friend and traffic behind honked their horns in an impatient symphony as Cynthia got in. Both women laughed.
Back at Cynthia’s unit at the resort Pat parked in the visitor parking space and both headed for the unit. Pat whistled in surprise as she took in the spacious and inviting layout of the unit.
“I have three bedrooms and two bathrooms so if you’d like to stay, I’d be very happy indeed. We have a lot of catching up to do. Where’s George?”
“That man is well beyond retirement age but still doesn’t understand that and is off on a business trip. I went to your old place in the city and found your son Graham living there now. He told me you’d moved away from the city and were living here. You changed your mobile phone number too, so I had to get the new number from him because when I phoned on the old number to catch up a total stranger wondered who I was and why I was calling.”
Cynthia laughed. “Sorry about that. I’ve been in a fog since Steve died and have not informed all our friends of the new address and phone number. So, you are still in business. When will George consider retiring?”
“Well, I was in contact with him this morning and he told me this was his last trip. He’s slowing down Cyn and now feels he needs to face reality. When I told him where you were now, he asked me to investigate the possibility of a place for us here if it looks appealing. He’s checked out resorts in other places and would like to compare. I’d like to look at some units here and go over the financial side with you. I could certainly live in a place like this. It’s super luxury and I bet it costs you a bucket of money.”
“Well, you would certainly need to be wealthy Pat but the services you get for your money are amazing. I’ve been grieving so much at the loss of Steve that I’ve failed to appreciate just how well off I am here. The downside of course is the family are an hour’s trip away from here. I miss all the friends we had in the city too and have not made much of an effort to make friends here. I’m so glad you’re here as you and George were like family to us, and we hated it when you had to make that transfer away from us for work. Incidentally, did you know the unit next to me is empty? They have just finished a full refurbishment and it will soon be on the market. Do you have your suitcase with you? Bring it in and I’ll show you to your guest room.”
Pat lingered to do a quick appraisal through windows of the empty unit next to Cynthia’s unit then retrieved her suitcase and returned as Cynthia held the door open for her to enter.
“Do you think administration would let me look over that unit next door Cyn? I’ll take some photos and share them with George on Messenger.”
Cynthia reached for her mobile phone and punched in the number for administration and talked with the receptionist. She put her phone down after disconnecting and faced her friend.
“Pat someone will be coming with a key in half an hour. Contractors still must make a couple of minor adjustments, but they are showing the unit for sale so are happy to do a walk through with you.”
Pat took a series of still photographs of the inspected unit and then on impulse decided to make some videos while the salesperson gave an overview of additional benefits available to residents including use of the resorts fleet of mobile electric vehicles for those who needed them temporarily. Cynthia watched it all hopefully. It would be wonderful if Pat and George decided to make this their retirement location. They’d have so much in common and could do day trips around the hinterland rain forest Cynthia had not yet explored. Perhaps they could join the local bowls club. She was a bit rusty at the sport now, but practice could bring back her skills.
After the inspection Pat and Cynthia were driven to the administrative block where the salesperson gave an in-depth report on the financial implications of residency. Cynthia looked at her friends face as the financials were discussed to gauge whether her friend found the finances identified would be possible for her friends to manage, but Pat gave no indication of her thoughts.
After they returned to Cynthia’s unit Pat messaged her husband George to tell him she was uploading a lot of pictures and gave a summary of her visit with administration along with the financials. It was only then Cynthia saw her friend was more than capable of moving should George like what he’d been told about the place.
As the two women enjoyed an evening catching up on old times George phoned. He was heading their way to look the place over for himself. Did Cynthia have enough room to accommodate him too? Pat was quick to reassure him there was more than enough room.
Next day Cynthia decided to miss her daily trip to the coffee shop as George’s arrival time was uncertain. He arrived at lunch time and insisted on taking Pat and Cynthia to a restaurant as he fancied Italian food and had discovered through the internet there was a place further inland from the beach settlement that held possibilities.
They had an enjoyable meal and returned to the resort where George headed for administration to ask for an inspection of his own. So, the two women once again did the grand tour of the unit next door and administration took them to see some other units for sale as well. George concluded that there was no essential difference in any of them so they may as well consider the one beside Cynthia. George and Pat went into a huddle for the rest of the afternoon as they considered the other resorts George had visited and compared them with this opportunity.
Finally, they came to an agreement and went to find Cynthia sitting at the back porch reading “After Grief.” by author Dr Sabastian Simpson. She was approaching the book with a much more positive mind frame because of the visit of her friends. She put the iPad down hopefully as they approached.
George spoke. “Cyn you chose well, this place is amazing and we are well able to deal with the finances. Our children are scattered around the world following their careers now so there’s nothing to hold us in our present location so we will sell up and move here. I hope our coming here will not disturb your peaceful life as we still have a bit of get up and go to us. I’ll go and pay the reserve deposit to administration tomorrow then Pat and I will return home and begin winding up operations at home. I’ll be glad to make the move into retirement as business trips take a lot out of me now.”
Pat laughed. “It’s about time you came to your senses George!” George pretended to be offended and they all laughed.
“It will be lovely to have you next door!”
Cynthia realized having George next door would probably remind her Steve was no longer with her but while continuing to miss him very much it would be wonderful to share time with old friends. Perhaps they could entice some of their other friends now at retirement age to make the transition to resort living here? The best way to entice them would be to invite them one by one for a vacation here at the resort and show them all the things they could enjoy. Cyn resolved to make contact with them all again when Pat and George returned home. For the first time in months, she began to have positive thoughts about life and its possibilities.
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