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Adventure Romance

You’ve got a letter”, exclaimed Danielle, “from a solicitor!”

I cannot understand why. I haven’t done anything wrong; I thought as I gingerly opened the envelope. To my great surprise Aunt Hilda had passed away and left me ten million pounds in her will, but there was a catch. I didn’t know I had an Aunt Hilda; in fact, I didn’t know of any rich people in my family.

Danielle, my fiance, was naturally excited. “So, what’s the catch?”

“I have to live on the streets for a full month.”

“Choose July.”

“It has to be January”, I said realizing the challenge. “In Reykjavik”

“Iceland!”

I nodded and said, “And, I can only take £100.”

Danielle pondered a while before continuing with, “We’re doing OK, we don’t really need the money. Who gets the money if you fail?

“Merchant Bankers Association.”

Danielle giggled, “surely that’s a made-up association.”

“Hmm, she clearly had an unusual sense of humor.”

“Why couldn’t she give it to a worthy cause, like the dogs home or children’s welfare?” Deliberated Danielle.

January was only six months away, and there was so much to do. There was getting the warmest possible clothes and waterproof sleeping bag, learn some Icelandic, along with visa’s and return flights. I must be out of my mind to consider it, could I actually do it, beg and survive on the streets of Iceland. For ten million pounds I had to try.

Before I knew it, I was sat on the plane ready for take-off. The last six months had flown by, despite me dreading January, which was now only a couple of days away. I looked out the window and watched the sun rise as it slowly illuminated the British countryside. Danielle held my hand tightly as the aeroplane took off. She never liked flying.

After only a couple hours the plane was descending to land. I looked out and saw it was still dark? Does Iceland have any sunlight in winter? Realizing winter daytime was a few hours, a bigger realization smacked me; this was going to be even worse than I thought. The full force of the Icelandic chill hit me as I disembarked the plane.  “Goodness, it’s freezing”. Although the airport was well lit it was surrounded by the dark night”

“I suppose that’s why they call it Iceland”, responded Danielle. “It’s not until tomorrow night and we’ll find a quiet suburban area for you to sleep”, she said reassuringly.

“Shouldn’t I be in the city center? That where beggars usually go.”

* * * * *

Here I was. It was late evening of New Year’s Eve, I was sat heavily wrapped up in a sleeping bag, wearing multi layers of clothes. The usually quiet suburban street, which had a mere splattering of detached houses, had a little buzz about it. There was New Year excitement, as hordes of party goers made their way into the city center.

It was cold. It was freezing. I was trying to wrap up warm as I could for the night, when I heard a voice, “Mr Peter Webber.”

“Uhm, yes”, I replied. I looked up to an oldish fat man well wrapped up. His big glasses almost dominated his clean-shaven face, with thin graying hair.

He said, “Hello I represent ‘Dizzy, Giddy and Silly solicitors.’ I’m just checking you’re here.” Then he added, “Your wife…erm…Danielle has been asking a lot of questions.”

“Under the circumstances, she a right to know?”

He nodded and said, “Good luck” as he left.

The next few hours seemed to drag like an eternity, until I saw fireworks to mark the start of 2022. The locals celebrated the brand-new year; whilst I watched, cold, hungry and tired. I looked up at the star-studded sky, dominated by the half moon, with a dazzling display of the aurora borealis. How I wished that I share this with Danielle, in different circumstances. Eventually, I drifted to an uneasy sleep.

The next morning, I was pleasantly awoken by a woman in her early thirties. She was heavily wrapped up in a thick black coat, and from under her black bobble hat flowed shoulder length dark brown hair. She looked at me with her green eyes and said, “How’s my favorite web designer?”

“Danielle”, I smiled.

“I’ve brought you some breakfast" she said as she handed me a hot sandwich wrapped in foil. Oh, I was just what I wanted.

“Are you allowed to help me in this way?"

“I’ve read the rules, through and through”. She leaned forward and kissed me and whispered “I’ll be back at lunch time”. As the sun rose it started to snow and the wind picked up a little. One night down, another thirty-one long nights to go. The minutes dragged slower. I doubt I can make a week, never mind a month.

At lunchtime Danielle persuaded me to try one more night, as she was convinced that the weather would improve. Maybe I’ll acclimatize, I’ve heard scientists in the Antarctic do. I could feel the cold biting my already frost-bitten fingers and toes. I kept thinking of the ten million pounds in a feeble attempt to keep going.

To think that I could be warm at home, or in a cosy hotel room; like where Danielle is. Thinking warm thoughts worked for a while, but not as effective as thinking about Danielle. The irony is that I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, but not this way, from this angle.

At teatime Danielle brought some hot fish and chips and a large thermos flask of coffee. She also informed me that she would be a little late with my breakfast in the morning, as she wanted to check something with the solicitors.

That night was the worse night of my life, so far; despite the drop in the wind. The drizzling snow was melting, making me damp and cold. I looked up and saw only falling flakes. I drank the last of the coffee in an effort to keep warm. I was falling asleep, but would I wake up.

“Pete" I heard the gentle voice of my beloved. I tried to open my eyes, which wasn't easy as they were frozen over. “I’ve brought your breakfast". I struggled to sit up. Hot bacon, egg and tomatoes. Fantastic.

 I couldn’t believe I’d made it through the night. Two down, thirty more to do. “Guess what I’ve bought", teased Danielle.

“I could do with some dry blankets."

“I’ve bought this camper van; do you like it? Its lovely and warm.”

“What’s wrong with the hotel?”

“In her will, your aunt meant to put you’re ‘to sleep rough on the streets', but she didn’t. She missed the word ‘rough’ out"

“So?”

“If you sleep in the camper van, you’re technically sleeping on the streets. I checked.”

“Every day you give me more reasons to love you.”

In the camper van it was warm, I sat cuddled up to Danielle with a coffee. It was heaven.

“That money is as good as ours. Would you mind if we gave a million to the dogs home, and a million to the homeless?”

Danielle smiled.

December 18, 2020 22:33

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1 comment

Michael Hayes
09:56 Jan 12, 2021

This story uses the same characters as a previous story 'forbidden liaisons'.

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