Rachel’s first trip to England didn’t go as planned. A week before the trip, her horse threw her as she was attempting to jump it over a low hedge. The horse was fine, fortunately, but Rachel broke her leg. It was a compound fracture, and she would be on crutches for months, needing regular hospital treatment. A three month visit to England was out of the question.
Rachel’s boss, Cory, was not pleased. He had been planning this trip for months and needed Rachel there with him as he intended her to help set up their system in the company they had bought out last year. It was time RMI used their integrated system.
Rachel was devastated that she couldn’t go to England. She had been looking forward to the trip and hoped to visit some relatives at weekends, who coincidentally lived not far from Oxford, where they would be going. Also she was looking forward to some social time with Cory. She had fancied him for years, but he always was so very remote at work. How unfair was this accident!
Cory cancelled Rachel’s ticket after speaking to Robert, director of RMI in England, who said he had a very able assistant who should be able to pick up the system very quickly. There should be no need for Rachel to come in person as she could talk Janice through any problems that might arise. Cory agreed that it was too short notice to find a suitable replacement, and no-one else in the company had Rachel’s expertise anyway.
Cory arrived at Heathrow on a rainy day in April. He looked for Robert in the arrivals area, but he was no-where to be seen. He made his way to Costa Coffee, where they had agreed to meet if there were any delay. There was no sign of Robert, but a pretty blonde in a black suit was sitting at a table holding up a piece of white cardboard labeled ‘Robert Metcalfe Industries’. He approached her and introduced himself. “I’m Cory Carter, and you must be Janice, right?”
Janice nodded coyly. “Robert couldn’t make it. There was a major problem in the factory he had to deal with. He sent me instead. He said it would be a good chance for us to get to know each other, on the journey back to Oxfordshire. I hope you don’t mind?”
“Not at all”, said Cory. “I can’t think of a better person I would like to share an hour or so’s journey along the M40 with! I’m sure we’ll get along swell, honey.”
Cory knew now why he had never married before. He was waiting for a girl like this to come along, a pure English rose. He was smitten already. Then he spotted the ring on her wedding finger. He was obviously too late.
Meanwhile, back in L.A., Rachel was making plans. She had some holiday days due and decided she would take some when her leg was a bit better, between hospital appointments. She would surprise Cory and get a flight over to England as soon as she could. If she booked the flight there to arrive on a Friday afternoon, he would never even know she was missing from work. She could even stay with her relatives, perhaps. She would just turn up at RMI on Monday morning. That would impress Cory, wouldn’t it?
thefirstline.com prompt for Creative Writing March homework (not submitted) but adapted for my serial “The Cottage“