Shopaholic Takes Manhattan

Page 43

“The bridegroom?” says Luke incredulously. “You mean the pale-faced nonentity called Tom?”

“Yes, him.” I look up and give a reluctant half-giggle as I see Luke’s expression. “Did you meet him, then?”

“I met him just now. And his very unlovely wife. Quite a pair.” He takes a sip of champagne and leans back on his elbows. “By the way — she looked rather taken aback to meet me. Almost… gobsmacked, one might say. As did most of the guests.” He gives me a quizzical look. “Anything I should know?”

“Erm…” I clear my throat. “Erm… not really. Nothing important.”

“I thought as much,” says Luke. “So the bridesmaid who cried out, ‘Oh my God, he exists!’ when I walked in. She’s presumably…”

“Mad,” I say without moving my head.

“Right.” He nods. “Just checking.”

He reaches out for my hand, and I let him take it. For a while we sit in silence. A bird is wheeling round and round overhead, and in the distance I can hear the band playing “Lady in Red.”

“Becky, I’m sorry I was late.” His voice is suddenly grave. “There was really nothing I could do. I gave a lot of people a lot of grief, believe me.”

“I’m sure you did.” I exhale sharply. “You couldn’t help it. Just one of those things.”

For a while longer we’re both silent.

“Good champagne,” says Luke eventually, and takes a sip.

“Yes,” I say. “It’s… very nice. Nice and… dry…” I break off and rub my face, trying to hide how nervous I am.

There’s part of me that wants to sit here, making small talk for as long as we can. But another part is thinking, what’s the point in putting it off any longer? There’s only one thing I want to know. I feel a spasm of nerves in my stomach, but somehow force myself to take a deep breath and turn to him.

“So. How did your meetings in Zurich go? How’s the… the new deal coming along?”

I’m trying to stay calm and collected — but I can feel my lips starting to tremble, and my hands are twisting themselves into knots.

“Becky…” says Luke. He stares into his glass for a moment, then puts it down. “There’s something I need to tell you. I’m moving to New York.”

I feel cold and heavy. So this is the end to a completely disastrous day. Luke’s leaving me. It’s the end. It’s all over.

“Right,” I manage, and give a careless shrug. “I see. Well — OK.”

There’s silence — and I force myself to look up. The love in Luke’s dark eyes hits me like a thunderbolt.

“And I’m really, really hoping…” He takes both my hands and squeezes them tight. “… that you’ll come with me.”


Head Office Preston House 354 Kingsway London WC2 4TH

Ms. Rebecca Bloomwood

Flat 2

4 Burney Rd.

London SW6 8FD

17 September 2000

Dear Rebecca Bloomwood:

Thank you for your letter of 15 September.

I am glad that you are looking forward to flying with us and have already recommended us highly to all your friends. I agree that word-of-mouth business is invaluable for a company such as ours and may well send our revenues “rocketing.”

Unfortunately this does not, as you suggest, qualify you for “a special little thank-you” regarding luggage. Regal Airlines is unable to increase your luggage allowance beyond the standard 20 kg. Any excess weight will be subject to a charge; I enclose an explanatory leaflet.

Please enjoy your flight.

Mary Stevens

Customer Care Manager


7 Camel Square

Liverpool L1 5NP

Ms. Rebecca Bloomwood

Flat 2

4 Burney Rd.

London SW6 8FD

19 September 2000



Dear Ms. Bloomwood:

We are delighted to announce that you have been given an increase to your credit limit. Your new credit limit of £10,000 is available for you to spend immediately and will be shown on your next statement.

You can use your new credit limit to do many things. Pay for a holiday, a car, even transfer balances from other cards!

However, we realize that some customers do not wish to take advantage of increased credit limits. If you would prefer your credit limit to remain at its original level, please call one of our Customer Satisfaction Representatives, or return the form below.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Hunt

Customer Satisfaction Manager

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