Colourful shades light up the bright roof tops within the deep blue sky of the Caribbean, the weather is the hottest it has ever been for years. There has hardly been any birds because of the heat, the trees have turned from deep green to a cosy brown, looking over the roof tops again, seeing the exotic villas of pinks and yellows. Only the idle rich can afford such luxury, that was me, for the first time in my life, I can say, I now have it all.
It all started when I finally finished my piece of writing, for the first time I had hoped to get it on the stage in time. It was the last straw to get some money to pay all of the bills I had in arrears. I walked along the promenade, it was cold and crisp and looked at everyone’s happy faces, the laughs, the chats and then I ended up in a small shop selling everything. I decided for the last time to do my fair share of gambling. It wasn’t much as I headed towards the counter, a cheerful face greeted me,
“Hello there! Just the one?”
“Yes” I replied.
I wasn’t in a mood for conversation, I just wanted to buy my lot and get out of there, and I had already posted my script, hoping for them to choose my work, for I knew it was the best.
That was in cold Brighton, it was still tourist season, and my flat was just as cold as I couldn’t afford to heat it too regularly. It grew colder the more I stayed out until I could not take it any longer and returned back to my flat. In the room where I left it, the tea was cold, the old brown rug lay on the floor in the living room, full of stains, the washing up was piling up, I was too busy working and had no time to do any housework. I put the radio on for light entertainment, but wasn’t in the mood to listen attentively to it. I started browsing through an old magazine I found and grew bored of the whole affair, sitting down in my old comfy chair, drinking cold tea, and looking out of the window at the grey sea and the wind blowing this way and that. I fell asleep.
I was soon awoken by the door bell, and got up to answer it. Standing in the door way was the post man holding a parcel ready for me to sign for.
“A parcel for Ms Brodie?”
“Yes, that’s me, what is it?”
“Just sign here and I’ll be on my way”
“Fine, will that do?”
He didn’t stay very long, no time for long chats, I looked out and saw he was already in his van driving off.
I put the parcel on the kitchen table and got a knife to open it. There was a letter inside, I read it out aloud:
I am writing to you to say, that you have won the first prize of a luxury villa in the Caribbean. Enclosed are the keys and a map. Please get in touch with me where I will give you full details on what you must do.
I looked at the letter, thinking it to be a practical joke and read it again. It seemed true, so, maybe I have won a luxury villa, but where in the Caribbean? It didn’t say. Well, she did point out that I should get in touch with her. Which I did.
The next day I was on the bus heading towards the office of Julia Strepskewska to find out if all of this was real. I couldn’t really picture myself in the Caribbean, all kinds of questions were in my mind, I didn't have time to think.
I arrived at a beautiful livened office block, took the lift to the sixth floor and was greeted by a slim dark woman, probably in her late 20’s.
“Hello and welcome to Strictly Yours, how may I help you?”
I took my letter from my bag and handed it to her
“I have come to claim a prize, am I in the right place?”
“Of course you are, I will take this to Julia… do have a seat”
I sat in their waiting area, it was nice, a large pot plant in the corner by the window, and the chairs were embossed with a peculiar design that I wasn’t familiar with. I took a magazine from the table, it wasn’t in English but still continued browsing the pages. I must have been waiting for long while before anyone came out, then I grew worried that all this was a setup, a prank to see how I would react. I remained seated, waiting.
The time was 11:00 am, I arrived at the place at 09:30 am. Surely, I thought, it shouldn’t take this long to check the letter, they had the letter, what was stopping them from taking my winnings and run. I waited patiently for them. Eventually, they both came out and I saw her for the first time, she greeted me as if she hadn’t seen me for a long time.
“Jeanette Brodie! My name is Julia…I am so sorry for the long delay…we wanted to make sure the facts were correct”
“You know how it is…look I have to do a few more minor adjustments and then we can let you be on your way”
“What kind of adjustments, I came here for you to give me a few details”
“And that I will do”
“Then what is the hold up?”
“I’ll be right with you in few moments...just bare with us, please, all will be revealed.”
She was off in another direction, the receptionist went back to her desk and looking at me rather timidly. I didn’t know what she expected me to do, so I stared back at her and smiled.
Julia returned back as she said she would, with another tall young man by her side, he too was smiling, all of these people smiling and not letting me know what was going, started to make me feel nervous. He came towards me with his hand out,
“Jeanette Brodie! Hello, I want to congratulate you in person…glad you came…we were so looking forward to meeting you…if you would like to come with me and Julia, and we take you out of your misery”.
“Are you going to tell me what this is all about, because so far, I don’t know what is going on?”
“All in good time, my dear, all in good time.”
I followed them along the corridor through some double doors up an escalator and finally in to a large room filled with streamers of many colours. There were a few more people and a camera man. A large bottle of champagne lay on a table filled with glasses. I began to think, it must be true, it is finally happening to me.
Julia looked at me and smiled,
“This is where I can now fully congratulate you on becoming the first winner of our competition, which comprises of a villa in the Caribbean and £100, 000, 000 spending money. You are free to do whatever you choose”.
She held out her hand with a cheque, I accepted it, the streamers were displayed, the cork of champagne bottles were spurted out, while the cameraman was zooming on me and my winnings.
It had been a few years since I decided to make this place my home for good. It took a lot of convincing but I finally did it. I sold my cold old flat in Brighton. I heard from the script masters who were going to turn my story into a day time drama, and had further news that it was going to be a film block buster. I couldn’t be happier, as I lay on the sun lounge, of the Caribbean, escaped from a dark world on to this paradise isle.
Now, all I do is wake up, drink iced tea, bathe in the warm blue sea and when I come home, start work on my next blockbuster.
This was my dream.