The Legacy

Melrose was astonished when his rich uncle Bertie died and left him an envelope containing a brief note, a hand-written, gilt-edged voucher, and a personal telephone number marked “call to confirm”.
“Train tickets?” Cathy scoffed.  “The guy was a millionaire. Why not leave you money, or a house?  What could we possible want with train tickets?”
“It’s not just a train, Cathy, it’s the Orient Express. Four weeks, two passengers. We’re talking historic, high-class, once-in-a-lifetime elegance!  And by the way, no one ever rides for four weeks!”
“Including us, Mel. Cash it in. How much do you think you could get?  Several thousand pounds?  It might help pay for our down payment.”
Melrose didn’t dare tell her that the price of these impossible-to-get tickets would not only pay their down payment, it would pay for the entire three-bedroom two-bath corner flat. In cash. With enough left over for a fairy-tale wedding, instead of the civil ceremony they’d planned.
Uncle Bertie had never been fixated on money for its own sake. He believed in style, in quality, in what he called “the life of the connoisseur”. Cathy probably didn’t even know how to spell connoisseur. She believed in home, family, holidays in Brighton, saving for retirement. Melrose felt guilty pigeonholing her like that. Cathy was a good person. She’d been kind to him when the love of his life, Vanessa, left him to devote her life to art.
Vanessa. Now there was a woman who would appreciate the fabled Orient Express. The dazzling art deco, the Lalique glass inlays, the mother-of-pearl and teak walls, the damask silk hangings. Melrose imagined Vanessa’s hazel-blue eyes widening as he showed her their suite. All that lavish art would be lost on Cathy.  “Don’t waste your life on the ordinary.” Bertie’s note had said. Melrose felt his head spinning. Cathy would make a wonderful wife. But four weeks on the train might win Vanessa back.
Vanessa’s paintings at the Tate, Cathy’s gentle sweetness. Stay with the safe or gamble on the extraordinary? The rose-covered cottage or the Orient Express?
Melrose breathed deeply. He had decided.
 
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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Oh Fuji, it has to be Vanessa! Bertie’s note ‘Don’t waste your life on the ordinary’ seals it for me. Cathy will be upset but she will get over losing Melrose and find someone who shares her outlook on life. Melrose was never that person. I loved this story so much and it left me wanting more!
Years ago, I bought tickets for a day trip on the Orient Express for my mum and dad. It was a thank you for being so supportive of me when I really needed it. They have both passed but I’m so glad I did it. They absolutely loved their day. I hope, one day, I too might experience it.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

I love this story Fuji, how haven’t I seen it on here before. Personally I think he should ditch both of them and take someone more deserving. Vanessa left him for her art, but Cathy is never going to make him happy either!

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