THE PROPOSAL (part 14) Chapter 2: Hope and Charity
Hope, loved having her given name back. It was like an old familiar friend. She had only started using her middle name because one of her cousins started calling her Hopie. Then it became Hopie Taylor after Ron Howards child character in the old Andy Griffith show.
When the nickname spilled over into her school, she announced she was now Kelly. She dreaded when her cousin or someone else would tag her with the nickname: “Smelly Kelly” but it never happened.
Now she was just Hope and it felt really good.
While she was in London, she spent time in the evenings with Bea, the Uber driver who had given her the guided tour of London when Hope first got to England. The two had become very close friends but Hope never let on about the life she led during her days in London.
She learned that Bea’s real name was Charity and that she only drove for Uber until she could get another job in banking. She was an Investment Banker in the European Union but after the Brexit vote she lost her job along with several other people. While the final exit from the UK was in flux, she was having a hard time finding a job at the position and salary she had achieve.
She said she didn’t really drive Uber for the money, she just did it to stay busy. She was good at financial planning and had accumulated a comfortable portfolio of investments and savings. But she missed the life of high finance.
When she told Hope her real name she said. “I decided to use my middle name Beatrice and go by Bea for obvious reasons. Fancy entrusting a fortune with a lass named Charity.” Hope couldn’t help but laugh with her.
Hope confessed she had done the same thing and both women had already become accustomed to using their real, given names.
The night after her meeting with Mr. Fate and Mr. Destiny she asked if she could take a few days and think about all that had happened.
Both men encouraged her but Mr. Fate said: “Please don’t take too long.”
Hope thought his admonition seemed a little ominous.
She called Charity and asked if she would “Fancy going on a little holiday?”
Charity enthusiastically agreed. When she asked: “Where are we going?” Hope said. “Meet me at Victoria Station and you’ll find out.”
Hope and Charity on Holiday
“A mystery.” Charity said: “I love it. Where do I meet you?”
“Is there a Starbucks? Hope asked.
Charity laughed and said. “Yes, there is a Starbucks, we just love American tourists. I’ll meet you there.”
When Charity got there, she found Hope already waiting.
“Ok, I can’t stand the suspense, where are we going?”
“Track Twelve,” Hope wryly answered.
“We’re going east? I already checked the board,” Charity said.
“We have a change in Gillingham.” Hope said.
Charity lit up with excitement. “Canterbury?” Then she started to recite an ancient.
“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, the droughte
of Marche hath perced to the roote.”
Hope joined in and they both recited:
“and bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour.”
Both women burst into laughter knowing they had both memorized the original Old English version of the prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in their youth and loved it.
Charity instantly went into tour guide mode and asked her friend: Where do you want to go first?”
“Do you really have to ask? Hope answered.
“Canterbury Cathedral it is then.”
With that they spent a little over and hour and a half as the inner city gave way to the suburbs which gave way to the beautiful green English countryside. For Hope it was a very welcome break from all she had just gone through.
Previous Installments of The Proposal
- The Proposal (Part 13): The Changing of the Guard
- The Proposal (Part 12): A Secure Connection
- The Proposal (Part 11): Where It All Began
- The Proposal (part 10): Secrets of Ancient Soldiers
- The Proposal (Part 9)
- The Proposal (Part 8)
- The Proposal (Part 7)
- The Proposal (Part 6): Listening to Destiny and Fate
- The Proposal (Part 5): Twist of Fate
- The Proposal (Part 4): Destiny’s Place
- The Proposal (Part 3): Close Shave with Mr. Destiny
- The Proposal (Part 2): Continued in London
- The Proposal (Part 1): A Short Story Mystery