Shopaholic Takes Manhattan

Page 44


NEW YORK! I’m going to New York! New York!

Everything is transformed. This is why Luke has been so secretive. We had a lovely long chat at the wedding, and Luke explained everything to me, and suddenly it all made sense. It turns out he’s opening up a new office of Brandon Communications in New York, in partnership with some advertising supremo called Michael Ellis who is based in Washington. And Luke’s going to go over there and head it up. He said he’s been wanting to ask me all along to come with him — but he knew I wouldn’t want to give up my career just to trail along with him. So — this is the best bit — he’s been speaking to some contacts in television, and he reckons I’ll be able to get a job as a financial expert on an American TV show! In fact, he says I’ll get “snapped up” because Americans love British accents. Apparently one producer has already practically offered me a job just from seeing a tape Luke sent him. Isn’t that great?

The reason he didn’t say anything before was he didn’t want to raise my hopes before things started looking definite. But now, apparently, all the investors are on board, and everyone’s really positive, and they’re hoping to finalize the deal as soon as possible. Michael Ellis’s agency advertises for most of the big financial players — and he’s already been talking to them all about the new company. So there are loads of potential clients out there for Luke, and that’s before he’s even started.

And guess what? We’re going over there in three days’ time! Hooray! Luke’s going to have meetings with some of his backers — and I’m going to have some interviews with TV people and explore the city. God, it’s exciting. In just seventy-two hours, I’ll be there. In the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. The—


Oh shit. I snap to attention and hastily smile brightly. I’m sitting on the set of Morning Coffee, doing my usual phone-in, and Jane from Lincoln has been explaining over the line that she wants to buy a property but doesn’t know which kind of mortgage to take out.

Oh, for goodness’ sake. How many times have I explained the difference between repayment plans and endowment policies? You know, sometimes this job can be so interesting, hearing about people and their problems and trying to help them. But other times — to be honest — it’s just as boring as Successful Saving ever was. I mean, mortgages again? I feel like yelling, “Didn’t you watch last week’s show?”

“Well, Jane!” I say, stifling a yawn. “You’re right to be concerned about redemption penalties.”

As I speak, my mind begins to drift again toward New York. Just think. We’ll have an apartment in Manhattan. In some amazing Upper East Side condo — or maybe somewhere really cool in Greenwich Village. Yes! It’s just going to be perfect.

To be honest, I hadn’t thought of Luke and me living together for… well, for ages. I reckon if we’d stayed in London, perhaps we wouldn’t have. I mean, it’s quite a big step, isn’t it? But as Luke said, this is the chance of a lifetime for both of us. It’s a whole new beginning. It’s yellow taxicabs and skyscrapers, and Woody Allen and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The weird thing is that although I’ve never actually been to New York, I already feel an affinity toward it. Like for example, I adore sushi — and that was invented in New York, wasn’t it? And I always watch Friends, unless I’m going out that night. And Cheers. (Except now I come to think of it, that’s Boston. Still, it’s the same thing, really.)

“So really, Jane, whatever you’re buying,” I say dreamily, “be it a… a Fifth Avenue duplex… or an East Village walk-up… you must maximize the potential of your dollar. Which means…”

I stop as I see both Emma and Rory staring at me strangely.

“Becky, Jane is planning to buy a semidetached house in Skegness,” says Emma.

“And surely it’s pounds?” says Rory, looking around, as though for support. “Isn’t it?”

“Yes, well,” I say hurriedly. “Obviously, I was just using those as examples. The principles apply wherever you’re buying. London, New York, Skegness…”

“And on that international note, I’m afraid we’ll have to finish,” says Emma. “Hope that helped you, Jane, and thanks once again to Becky Bloomwood, our financial expert… do you have time for a last word, Becky?”

“The same message as ever,” I say, smiling warmly into the camera. “Look after your money…”

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