“As yer first task as manager, ya can make me a cup o’ coffee.” he ordered. Already having been briefed about the ingredients that went into his special coffee, she grabbed a bottle of vodka off the bar and hurried into the kitchen. When she returned, she noticed him engrossed in reading the front page of a tabloid. She set the cup on the table beside him. “Ya can dust off those Grammies if yer done. ” he ordered, gesturing at the shelf, before turning his attention back to the tabloid. She began to move towards the shelf behind him, stealing a glance over his shoulder at the front page which read- A winter wonderland for Mrs. Fletcher. She opened the curtains slowly to let in some light and couldn’t help staring out at the Fletchers’ place across the street with its white snow covered lawns and equally snowy roof. The artificial snow had started to melt away, but the snow machines atop the roof were doing their job- showering everything with snowflakes. Mr. Fletcher had boasted to reporters about creating this makeshift winter wonderland overnight after his beloved wife complained about the heat. “Could ya shut those curtains please? I can’t stand that snowy eyesore! ” she heard the grumpy rock star complain. “It’s a symbol o’ love. I think it’s sweet.” Ina, who’d been in awe of the rich romantic’s gesture, replied, refusing to shut the curtains. “Hogwash! He’s just doin that for publicity! A real romantic would take his wife off to Switzerland…probably romance her atop those snow-capped mountains….brush off the snowflakes off her hair……cover her with a jacket if she got too cold an’ carry er inside an’ maybe make love in the glow of the fireplace o’ their lil log cabin at the foot o’ the Swiss alps….” he began to ramble like a true romantic, getting lost in his own poetic words an’ not realizing that his coffee was gettin cold. She listened in awe. “….Ya know….not this! This artificial snow….it’s not what a woman like er deserves.” he muttered, before lighting a cigarette. “Oh…my…God! I knew it! ” she exclaimed with a grin, as if she’d uncovered a great secret. “Knew what? ” he asked, his voice muffled by the lit cigarette in his mouth and his eyebrow raised at her in confusion. “Ya have history with er, dontcha? With Mrs. Fletcher? I’ve seen the way ya looked at er at the hotel. Not in that lustful manner that ya usually reserve for yer groupies….But a lovestruck look, like ya were pinin for er or somethin, ya know? ” she deduced. “I’m right…aren’t I? Ya were lovers, weren’t ya? Could I just bum a cig? I feel like I deserve it.” she asked, beaming with pride, before she reached out for his pack of cigarettes. “Oi! Hands off! Yer uncle squeezed his fat arse in ere yesterday. Warned me I’d better not let any o’ my vices rub off on ya or yer mum would have my neck!” he revealed, pushing her hand aside. “Withholdin information an’ ciggies? Gosh! Yer no fun at all! ” she complained ,with a frown. “Anyway…as part o’ my managerial duties, I’m s’possed to remind ya that yer s’possed to perform at a fundraiser tonight….so, I’ll see ya….an’ maybe we’ll talk about ya an’ Mrs. Fletcher? ” she finally decided, preparing to get out her notepad in case he changed his mind about opening up about his past. “Just close the curtains an’ leave.” he muttered, continuing to smoke.


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