Chapter 9 – The first meeting

A month after Sylvia’s funeral, I decided the time had come. I wanted to get it over with so I could get on with my life. Ever since I had made the promise to Sylvia it had been looming over my head like a black cloud. I had all the necessary information to contact Michael Walters, but after much thought, I decided the best approach would be to confront him unannounced.

His office was located on the 14th floor of a modern downtown building. I decided to go there around 11:00 a.m.. I thought I could be fairly sure he would be there at that time and, if not, I would simply go back later.

I arrived at the general reception area and was directed to his private secretary after assuring the receptionist that I needed to see him about a personal matter. His secretary was a very pretty, young, blond woman who exuded efficiency. The man obviously had high standards, which I had already deduced by the beautiful mahogany furniture that adorned his outer office.

When questioned about my intentions toward her employer I assured the woman, with what I hoped was a confident smile, that I had an important private matter to discuss with him. After giving me a doubtful look and taking note of my name, she disappeared into his office. She returned quickly to say that he would be able to see me for a minute, emphasizing the word “minute”.

I straightened my shoulders and lifted my chin, hoping to portray a confidence I was far from feeling. Actually, I was so nervous my stomach was starting to feel queasy and I had a sudden horrible thought that I would have to make a dash to the nearest washroom. By the time I was finally told I would be admitted into his inner realm, I was teetering on the brink of all-out panic and was almost ready to turn tail and run. Instead, I took a deep breath, straightened my shoulders, and braced myself to meet the mysterious bum/father.

As I walked into the office, he lifted his head, stood, and extended his hand toward me and said with a polite smile, “Miss Andrews”.

I automatically returned the handshake but I discovered I was unable to speak. Sylvia was right. He was handsome, in a very GQ type of way, dressed in a dark grey suit and perfectly coordinated tie. Personally, GQ had never really appealed to me, but it was difficult not to be impressed. He was quite tall, over six feet, and strangely, it occurred to me Sylvia must have looked like a pixie standing next to him. He had dark, neatly trimmed hair and a dazzling smile. But it was his eyes that made me temporarily speechless. They were long-lashed and a striking shade of green. I was fortunate enough to see those eyes every day, except they belonged to a young child. Melissa’s eyes.