Eddie, a twelve year old boy from San Francisco lives with his father Edward in London. There Edward D. Wilton IV. meets his fiancée Edwina who is desperately keen on getting married to him. She just got divorced from her husband Victor, a Scottish entrepreneur and lobbyist of the Liberal party in England. Edward, a very wealthy and powerful American businessman, managed to get sole custody of his son Eddie by scheming and using the legal system in America. He sees in Edwina a future fulltime nanny for his son who suffers the strict regime of his step mother day by day. In the posh London surroundings of Knightsbridge, the noble Queen’s Club, the boarding school and the country house in Scotland, Eddie has to obey Edwina’s snobby protocol. He misses his mother terribly who lives in California dependent on alcohol and class ‘A’ drugs. She can only see her son very rarely and under total control of the mighty father.
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Liczba stron: 112
This is a work of fiction.Names, characters, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
A Liberal TemptationDelilah JCopyright: © 2014 Delilah Jpublished by: epubli GmbH, Berlinwww.epubli.deISBN 978-3-7375-2865-8
Delilah Jc/o pellybay films GmbHAn der Alster 1820099 Hamburg-Germany
Layout and Production2014, by Anita Böningwww.typo-im-fluss.de
Coverlayout2014, by Nicole Lakawww.nima-typografik.de
Cover photoGetty Images
Photo Delilah JKai Krellenbergwww.kaikrellenberg.de
Used Fonts Marcelle ScriptNew Century Schoolbook LT
Printing and Bindingwww.esf-print.de
For Massi and Charlie
Mi par d’udire ancora,
O scosa in mezzo ai fior,
La voce sua talora,
I PESCATORI DI PERLE by Georges Bizet – Enrico Caruso
I’m looking out of the black tinted windows of the 4 x 4. We are turning into the estate near Perth in the South of Scotland.
“We’re there!”, my stepbrother Henry shouts.
“Isn’t that fantastic!” I can hear Edwina saying; She’s my stepmother.
We are in February and it is bitterly cold here in Scotland. Even at home in London it was freezing. It feels like spring will be far away. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Felix from school. He and his mum are coming here tomorrow, to Swanley-on-Tay. Henry and Theodore came with us. My other stepbrother Richard had to go back to boarding school. His half term holidays have already ended. Also Daisy is coming tomorrow with her grandmother Miranda—Edwina’s best friend.
We drive up the long path past the cottage and the fisherman’s house until we finally reach the manor house. My labrador, Biscuit, is totally happy being released from the car after seven hours drive in a cage. For the last two years we have come here in almost every single holiday and I have to go for fishing, shooting. I have to obey to Edwina’s rules because about two years ago my father met her at a dinner party in Queen’s Club, London. I am twelve years old and a bit clumsy; so the others say. I’m very tall for my age. My father Edward IV, is also very tall. He lives in London and in San Francisco and he’s got companies all over the globe. Often he’s travelling for a long time. I stay with Edwina or with one of the many nannies that I’ve had over the past years. They changed more often than I usually changed my underpants—often only after a few days because they say I was so difficult. I still have nannies now mostly chosen and controlled by Edwina.
All of Edwina’s three sons are in boarding school and I will be too after the summer holidays. She thinks that’ll be good for me even though I have difficulties staying overnight at a friends house for a sleepover. I rather stay at home. Yes, home ... where is home?
“Hello, how nice to see you!” Edwina waves to the entrance hall where Maria Clara our Brasilian housekeeper has just appeared on the door step. It’s late afternoon and fog covers the wide meadows and the river Tay. The doorbell rings. Jock, the ghillie, enters the scene.
“Come in quickly, Jock.”He grabs Edwina, takes her in his arms. They go into one of the living rooms with fire places where Maria Clara already lit the fire.
“Here you are ... finally, Edwina! I missed you!” Jock presses her tight on his chest.
“Be careful—the boys are here,” I can hear Edwina whispering.
“What would you like to drink? I’ll have a glass of champagne ... Maria Clara.”
“A beer for me!” Jock has a round and friendly face. He’ll probably take us for fishing tomorrow. That’s his job basically.
For me it is too cold and the salmon and trout we catch have to be thrown back into the river. We are not allowed to keep them as they are in mating season. But we have to catch them because this is the favourite game over here—for those who can afford it. That’s what we do every single day when we are here and later in the year we go hunting and shoot game. I don’t like doing that at all but I have to so I can be prepared to become a real man—an alpha male—just like my father.
“Let’s empty the car,” Theodore says to me.
I kind of like my stepbrothers but I enjoy much more spending time with my friend Felix. I trot out in the cold
and Theodore, Henry and I take the luggage out of the car. Theodore is almost 20 years old. He just finished his ‘A’- levels and wants to study politics.
I hear a spiky scream from one of the living rooms. Edwina is lying on the floor, Jock leaning over her. An empty bottle of champagne is rolling towards me. Edwina’s legs are spread wide open and I can see her knickers. Jock’s hand is moving inside her shirt touching her flat boobies. I’m shocked and drop everything I hold in my hands. The supermarket shopping falls on the floor. Glass smashes on the hard surface of the tiles. A bottle of wine, a jam jar, the yogurt and the contents all intermingle on the antique Isfahan carpet on which I’m standing right in this moment.
“I’m sorry, so terribly sorry”, I stammer and don’t know how to make unhappen what I just had seen ...
“Miranda, how lovely to hear you! What time will you arrive—you and Daisy? We are all so much looking forward seeing you! I’ll pick you up from the station”. I’m pleased about my very best friend’s call. She’s also bringing her granddaughter, Daisy. They are on their way to visit us in our manor house in Scotland as they have so many times in the past.
She is a real lady in her mid sixties, a former teacher at one of the most prestigious girls-only schools in England for a short time—then she went on long journeys with her husband George, God bless him. He died 20 years ago on a diplomatic mission. She proudly tells her story saying.
“I know the good life big time”, Miranda usually reports of her past day’s glory. “Housekeepers, butlers, gardeners ... you know, Edwina, I still cannot believe how I am able to survive without these privileges in my little doll’s house in Holland Park. It’s just terrible! George left me his far to small pension. We used to have everything we desired, you know. His extraordinary income in the English bank account and don’t forget—for certain missions George was paid in the Cayman Islands. Yes, I had an exciting life with George who went for breakfast with the American ambassador and for lunch he hurried to meet the Royal family. I enjoyed life at home looking after Sofie, well, I was a diplomat’s wife and that’s what I will be forever, my dear.”
She was always by my side and saw in her the mother I always missed. Miranda is a tiny delicate lady who always dresses properly—actually accurately—to the rules of the protocol of course. Being around the Royal family painted her life even though she only lived the glamour second hand. Even George was only the man in the third row watching the play from a distance. Surprisingly enough that he was considered in the end to serve with MI5—the British secret services. Not for long as he was discovered on a secret mission and shot in front of Sofie’s eyes while having his five o’clock tea in the salon of their country house in Oxfordshire. Only Sofie and the trophy deer on the wall—proudly shot by George himself—could have witnessed his death. And as the deer was stuffed and Sofie under shock and distress—nobody really could reconstruct what happened. They both could not be interrogated—not Sofie and not the deer. She was depressed even those days, the poor thing. It was difficult for her coping with the loss of their luxurious standard of living which they used to enjoy in India and China. These days she works in the office of the Liberals in London. She copy prints, files, files and copy prints—another file please; for 1.400 pounds sterling per month.
Life isn’t easy for Miranda’s daughter or for Daisy. My ex husband got her daughter the job. He has got an endless and useful network of contacts.
“Come on boys! Pancakes are ready!” I shout from the entrance hall towards the second floor. No one can hear me.
No answer. The house is huge with high ceilings and thick walls. I’m sure the boys are wearing headphones.
Jock stands in the doorframe. “Is my breakfast ready, my love?” he asks me.
I freeze. He drove home late last night, mainly because of the boys. His car has not been on our grounds all night long. Did they even realise? “Jock ... how nice. I’m sure you want to pick up the boys for fishing? That’s great, isn’t it, Eddie?”
“Yes, yes ...”, he replies mumbling. Looking at the floor he is searching for words. Oh God, what a relief it will be when he finally goes to boarding school. A two hour drive from London and he will be back home every three weeks. Lots of sports and fresh air will do him good.
The morning fog makes its way over the river. We watch the endless view, the river, the meadows, the on the other side of the river Tay. Here at the end of the world. Here I’ve spent the best years of my life. Alone—while Victor travelled to market his politicians. Alone—while the boys were in boarding school. Most of our friends use their manor houses during the holidays or sometimes at weekends when a bank holiday gives an extra day to relax and the children wouldn’t be at school and nobody goes to the office. Hardly any guests at the dinner parties as we are so far away from London. Four hundred and fifty miles up north which means seven hours by car. And I spent my time alone up here in Scotland instead of being a Sloane Ranger. I could have gone to the theatre with my friends, played tennis in Queen’s Club or be in the party committee of a breast cancer charity.
“Let’s go!” I hear Jock calling the boys.
“Do I really have to ...”, Eddie mumbles.
“Of course, it does you good. Your father will be proud
of you. Come on, hurry up!” I interrupt him.
He is getting so much on my nerves with his stammering, his learning difficulties and his unwillingness for anything. Soon I will be on my way to San Francisco. Finally when all kids are back to boarding schools after this holiday I will be in my future husband’s arms: Edward D. Wilton IV— Eddie’s father!
Like a jester dressed, in a silly gown,
something evil came to town,
at the darkest hour, in the dead of night,
all who'd listen gathered round.
From the uninspired from the tortured sounds …
LADY MACBETH, written by John Lees, Barclay James Harvest
“Yes, I’m listening. What did you just say honey? I can’t understand you. Bad line. Sure I’m in the office. Listen, I haven’t got time. I’m gonna be in a meeting in a minute. Let’s catch up later.” I hang up.
My office is close to San Francisco airport. My private jet charter business is booming as never before and my turnover raised about 130 per cent each year since the Taliban attack. It’s been a successful 9/11 for me! I look out the window and inhale the smell of kerosene deep into my lungs. In about an hour I will meet my lawyer for lunch. Oh yeah, soon I will make Edwina become Mrs. Edward D. Wilton IV! But hang on ... I’ll need some time for preparation. Four months until the wedding—that’s not long.
I met Edwina at that dinner party in Queen’s Club in London. She sat next to me at the table. The first question I ask any woman is: “How many doctors do you have?”
“What kind of question is that?” she asked me and laughed. “Two of course, a GP and well you know—one for these women things.” She blushed.
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