Drama Inspirational Romance

“I will help you if you promise me just two things.” Since this was part of an email, Chris didn’t expect an immediate answer. “If you promise you will be completely honest with me and trust me, I will help you.” Chris hated liars and if he was expected to help the young woman, trust was essential. Chris had no evil in his sole. He would not betray the woman or cheat her; even though a rather large fortune would be at hand. He clicked send and the letter went into cyber-space.

Two days passed until a little number one appeared in the icon of his email account. Reba sent a detailed reply assuring Chris of her honesty, but he sensed she did not yet fully trust him. Reba told a story a mystery writer could turn into a best seller.

Her parents were murdered about four years ago and did not have a will. Being intestate put their fortune into the hands of the UK probate system. It took the court four years to decide Reba, the only child should be the beneficiary of the estate. Reba’s only uncle thought he should be the recipient of the estate, not Reba and made a lot of noise about what he would do to the young woman. Reba did indeed need help, but Chris could do nothing until a bond of trust was established.

Chris didn’t think of the next two months as courting the woman. He just wrote often and she replied just as often. Trust can only be built over time. She needed time to know Chris thus gaining confidence, not only in his attitude, but in his honesty as well.

The little number one appeared in his email icon. The usual greeting was there and finally… her trust was offered. Reba had every reason to not trust Chris. He was a stranger. The only way they knew each other was through their emails, plus a few photos. Reba’s skin color was irrelevant and mixed blood, but her height shocked Chris. Reba had Chris’ six foot one inch frame by a good six inches. He thought, ‘Never again will I need to reach anything from the top shelf.’ Once Chris got over his shock, he took in her beautiful features. She was beautiful and was not lanky like so many extra tall people. Reba has a body like a Greek goddess and the face of a heavenly angel. Chris was not to old to still notice such things. At seventy, he wasn’t over the hill yet.

His reply outlined a plan to keep Reba safe from her evil uncle and at the same time, gain control of the fortune her parents left her. Chris assured the young woman he had researched all aspects of the plan and could think of no other way to accomplish both goals.

Reba was to assign Chris as the sole beneficiary of the inheritance. The uncle would thus stop threatening his niece. Since Chris had no intention of robbing the woman, the inheritance would be safe. In his past life, Chris handled large sums of money for his clients and understood how and where to invest the cash. He hit the send key.

A reply popped into his inbox almost immediately begging for some kind of assurance that he was honest and trustworthy. Chris sent a lengthy description of his past credentials, plus several examples of clients he had helped. He told of Ben, a former client, who came to a seminar one Wednesday evening. He hung around after the meeting concluded and let it be known at private conference was requested. Ben had three quarters of a million sitting in a bank account and needed help to invest it without the IRS raping him of over half of the small fortune. During the year, Chris helped Ben buy ten investment properties and pay cash for them. After a period of seasoning the loans, a cash out refinance actually took more out than Ben put into the deals. Multiply that times ten and Ben closed out the year one hundred fifty thousand dollars more than he started with. The second year Chris repeated the process, but with the wife’s name on the deeds. That second year ended with one million one hundred thousand dollars of tax free money in Ben’s bank account. Yes, Chris was more than capable of investing Reba’s fortune properly. He hit the send key.

The reply once again came quickly. “Your letter is well noted. I will go to the court tomorrow and complete the papers making you the beneficiary of my inheritance.” Chris thought, ‘What in the Hell have I gotten myself into? All I did was offer a stranger a little help. Now I’ll be forced to fight the second revolutionary war with the Brits. I hope she is worth it.’

Two day later the war started. Mrs Lessor of The Crown Court of London wanted some identification and a fee of three hundred pounds sterling. Then she wanted more identification. Back and forth it went until Chris got upset at the obvious stalling tactic and put his foot down. The Crown court caved and accepted the transfer of the beneficiary. There were doubts about this being some kind of elaborate con, but he gave the girl his word. Chris requested full disclosure of all fees and requirements to gain control of the inheritance. The request was politely ignored…, four times!

Next a lawyer for the court held out his hand and demanded a rather large amount of pound notes for legal fees. He stated that since there were no provisions and no Will, the inheritance must be held until the fee was paid, then it would be released into Chris’ new checking account in a London bank. That turned out to be a blatant lie. Chris bit his tongue and kept quite about the fee and the lie.

Another lawyer came out of the woodwork and proclaimed himself to be the deceased father’s attorney with unpaid legal fees which must be paid before the inheritance would be released. An attached document for services rendered was included. Chris being on a fixed income with very little savings had to save what he could for a few months before paying that fee. More doubts emerged. Chris would wake up in a cold sweat wondering if it was real or a sophisticated scam. A little voice inside his head kept reminding Chris about his promise of help to the young woman. In the past, Chris was renowned as a man who kept his promise. He never gave up on anything in his life, so Chris pressed on. Emails Reba sent were warmly accepted. She never said much, but slowly Chris realized the young woman was falling in love with him. About this time a letter confirmed it. She asked if she could move in and live with Chris. An affirmative rely was sent. The next day reflecting back on his reply, Chris realized she was what he really wanted. Being a packaged deal, he set forth with a new improved zeal.

Chris always forwarded all emails he received to Reba. Time passed. The UK Government did not get in a hurry to do anything concerning the inheritance. With each email Chris forwarded, Reba’s depression grew and her heart sank further into a pit of despair. Chris vowed to not hide anything from Reba; no matter how terrible was the news. He tried to cheer her up with encouraging quotes from people like Robert Heinlein, “Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”, or “Yield to temptation…it may not pass your way again!”

Norman Vincent Peale,”If you think are wrong, you are correct. If you think you are right, you are correct. Be careful what you think.” The quotes helped but not much. What could Chris expect? The young woman lost her pitiful part-time job. A priest took her in and provided room and board. The price was much to high though. Reba had to literally fight him off one night to avoid being raped. She never told Chris how she survived the next days or nights. Chris suspected she slept on a park bench or the cold ground. A nun from another church came to her rescue and offered Reba sanctuary. Chris felt terrible because he couldn’t help her with even the basic needs a young woman requires. After about six weeks the nun went to Rome, Italy for some kind or religious thing.

Thinking he was finished with the fees and lies of the UK Government, the tax collector payed Chris a digital visit. An exit tax was to be paid and it was a whopper. Two more months passed before he could even think about paying the tax. With the assurance the tax was the final fee, Chris avoided paying his rent and utilities that last month to generate enough money to satisfy the lowly tax collector. The agent, Jefferson Taylor was a pure smart ass and Chris did not like him or his attitude. He sent Reba to talk to Jessie Norman the head of the agency about his employee. In several ways it was a successful meeting. A new agent was assigned to the case. Mr. Frank was polite and apologized profusely for the previous agents action. Mr. Norman also commented on how polite, well mannered, and easy going Reba was during their meeting. Chris’ intuition about Reba was proving to be spot on. Mr Norman also proclaimed Reba as his wife, because that is how she introduced herself. It made Chris feel proud to be known as the husband of this young woman.

Several days after the exit tax was paid, Chris got an email from William Dupre. He is in charge of the banks position with the inheritance. He was the first person who contacted Chris way back when this project first started. Thinking back, Chris couldn’t believe the war had been ongoing for almost a year and half. Mr. Dupre proclaimed the war was over and the cash portion of the inheritance was available for Chris to use it and do whatever he desired with the money. It was in a checking account and Mr. Dupre included a link to the account along with user name and password. Chris immediately logged in and sure enough the cash was there, but there was a problem. Chris wrote Mr. Dupre; asking what was wrong. After several days, Mr. Dupre replied informing Chris the checking account was dormant and a fee of two thousand five hundred thirty pounds must be paid to activate the account. Chris was furious. Dupre told a bold faced lie. Reba was asked to talk to the president of the bank about that idiot telling such a lie. Two days later one Justine Powell sent an email. He apologized for Dupre’s actions and chastised Chris for daring to ask for his help. Simply put, it was pay the fee and shut up.

Before Chris could move forward with his plan, a new passport would be needed. The old one had expired. So Chris made an appointment with the US embassy in the country’s capital city and waited the six weeks for a new travel document. Reba was constantly begging for a little money for food and her famine needs. For a wealthy young lady, she was desperate for even the basic necessities. As terrible as Chris felt, his bank account was as empty as her pantry. He didn’t know how she was surviving. Reba made it plain, she would not sell her body. She would not lower herself to such behavior no matter how hungry she became.

The day after the new passport arrived Chris was on big bird headed to his home state of Georgia. His daughter agreed to let him stay with her for a few weeks or longer, if needed. The day after that six hour flight, Chris was on the family computer looking for money. He filled out lots of forms, applying for a short term loan. A personal, short term loan offered many benefits. Since Chris had not used his credit for about twelve years, he knew the score would be low. There were many lenders who would give an unsecured loan with a low score. Well, maybe not many, but there were several who advertised unsecured loans with terms Chris could live with. After all a loan would only be needed for a matter of weeks, not years.

Wednesday morning of the following week a phone call gave Chris what he wanted. It was a five thousand dollar loan at twelve per cent interest for twenty four months. To Chris’ surprise the money was deposited into his US checking account shortly after lunch.

It took five days after the money was sent to London before a central bank cleared it into the bank’s account. Since the bank doesn’t get in a hurry to give away money, they stalled another three days before activating his account.

Chris got busy. A one way ticket for Reba was purchased. He also made a deal to purchase a forty five foot sailboat located several states north of his current location. Chris talked his daughter into taking him up there just in time to meet Reba at the local airport.

Reba was easy to locate in the crowded airport. Easily spotted because she stood a head higher than anyone around her. Chris started pondering how to greet this woman he had helped. Should he shake her hand first or what? Chris was nervous and showed it. He thought, ‘Reba has been introducing herself as my wife for many months now. So I’ll greet her as a man usually greets his wife.

Reba’s eyes fell upon Chris and took the decision away from him. She dropped her luggage and rushed to her husband.

Reba said, “I didn’t think this day would ever arrive. Thank you for staying the course.”

She grabbed Chris and showered him with kisses. Her hands were around him; pulling her husband close to her. Chris felt her body pressed close to him. All doubts about this young woman was abolished. She was worth all the hardship and money it had cost him to arrive at this moment in time. Chris didn't know what to say, so he blurted out.

"Wait until you see the boat I got for us."

Reba replied, "Wait until I get you alone on that boat."

February 05, 2021 12:16

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