When In Florence…

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On cold, bitter days, such as the day it was when I first met her, business can be pretty bad. This isn’t wholly surprising for my occupation, which is a car salesman. Winter is the slowest sales season for us- no one really wants to be walking around the car lot when it’s cold and windy and raining. Summer and spring are our best months when it gets warmer and approaches Memorial Day. It’s about then that people decide they need a change, which is where we come in. We talk all the necessary bullshit and use the appropriate jargon and BAM! The new car is sold, good and ready to go. I work for Morgenstern Motors, a company that started out here in New Jersey but then spread out across New England and the East Coast and is fast becoming a nationwide company. Lloyd Morgenstern started the company in the seventies, and within the decade, he had two other sales yards in Trenton. By the late eighties, he had businesses up and down the East Coast and today, nearly forty years later, Morgenstern Motors is a nationally recognized conglomerate. Not bad for a kid who was straight out of business school and selling second-hand cars. Not only does Morgenstern Motors sell second-hand cars, we also sell brand new cars. We try to accommodate for all lifestyles and classes. We have the cheaper models and second-hand vehicles for the new, student drivers and working class families. Then there are the basic brand new cars for those approaching the middle-class line. We have mini-vans and trucks for the soccer moms and larger families, and then we have the slightly flashier brand new cars, for those who have a bit of extra money to spend but don’t want to seem like they’re rubbing it in everyone’s faces. These types are what we refer to as the ‘subtle rich’ the people who would have been ‘old money’ back in the day. My personal favourites are the people who are out to show off. They flash the cash and spend big. They buy the flashiest, most ostentatious cars imaginable to prove to everyone that they are richer and better than you. These people are my definitely favourite types. Usually, they are rich kids, fresh out of college with daddy’s money to spend. ‘New money’ or ‘nouveau riche’ as it were. They haven’t done their research so all we have to do is use big words, show off the flashy leather interiors and BAM! A Lexus has just been sold to some nineteen-year-old kid. I make my money off those kids. Those kids who spend daddy’s money are paying for my lifestyle. On the day I met her, it was damp and cold and a bitter wind was blowing. Business was pretty slow so I was playing around on the internet in the office, sitting directly underneath the heat-pump. I’m the general manager for the first Trenton branch of Morgenstern Motors, and because business was slow that day, I had sent one of the other guys home and now it was just me and Peter hanging around the office. Peter was the new guy, straight out of High School and eager to please and prove to everyone that he has what it takes to be the next big salesman. There was nothing to do, so I sent Peter out back to clean the interior of the new cars and make sure everything was fine with them. While Peter was out back and I was messing about on the computer, a young woman and a teenage girl came onto the car yard. They had a look around for a bit, checking out some of the cheaper models of cars we had and talking between themselves. ankara travesti I watched them from my desk, through the large plate glass window that looked out to the car lot. The slightly older of the two women was beautiful. She was a goddess. You can tell by the way people are dressed as to what sort of cars they will buy, and these women were dressed very nicely. The younger of the two women, the teenager, was dressed in a nice pair of jeans and woollen long sleeve top. The older of the two was wearing a tight pair of jeans, a plain white top that was slightly sheer, and an orange blazer. I suspect that on someone who was paler and fairer of skin, the orange blazer would have looked tawdry or tacky, but on this particular woman, with her beautiful dark skin and coloring, it was perfect. She wore plain jewellery; plain pearl studs in each ear, a thick silver chain necklace and two gold bangles on each wrist. The shoes she was wearing were plain black heels. She was dressed very simply and plainly, but she was presentable and well dressed. I guessed that while she was not poor, she was not rich either. She was middle class with perhaps a little money to spare. I stood up from my desk, buttoned my suit jacket up and ventured outside to speak to the two young women. “Hello,” I greeted the two women. They both looked up from the car they were inspecting and the slightly older of the two women smiled at me, a beautiful, confident smile. “Looking to purchase a car are we?” I asked. Orange blazer smiled at me again and then spoke.“Yes,” she answered. “My niece needs a new car.” She had quite a thick accent and I guessed her to be African, though what part of the Continent she was from I didn’t know. But mixed in with her African accent was quite a strong British accent. She was, I guessed, to be what would be referred to as Afro-Caribbean. “Excellent,” I said. “What were you after?” I showed the two women around the car lot, showing them different types of cars that fitted their brief. I found out more about them as I tried to sell them a car. Florence was the older of the two women and was the main caregiver of her niece Clementine, whose mother was ill. I admired this beautiful young woman for taking her niece in and raising her on her own. It can’t have been easy when you’ve got an ill sister and young niece, and you’re not that much older than your niece, but she had done a good job, by all accounts. The young girl standing in front of me was polite, friendly and intelligent. I found Florence very endearing. I wanted to find out more about her. I wanted to learn all about her. I wanted to learn her. I was entranced by this women. She was amazing. After a few hours test driving different cars and seeing what would best meet Clementine’s needs, a small dark green hatchback was chosen. It was from the upper end of second hand, it wasn’t a gas guzzler, it was a smooth ride and easy to manage, seeing as Clementine was a new driver and fresh out of driving school. I slapped a sold sticker across the front windscreen of the car and escorted Florence and Clementine into my office where we discussed payment plans and I got the appropriate forms for them to fill out and did a credit check on Florence, which she passed. Once all the paperwork had been seen to, I gave Florence the name and number of the local mechanic that we work with, in case travesti ankara she wanted any additional mechanical check-ups done. I handed over ownership of the car and the two women were on their way. I returned to my desk utterly smitten with Florence. She was beautiful. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I filed some of the paperwork and flicked back through Florence’s personal details. I saw that she lived on the outskirts of town. I then concocted a plan to perhaps visit Florence and Clementine and check up on them in the guise of seeing if the car was fine and they were happy with it and then seeing where things led with me and Florence. But I couldn’t do this straight away- that would perhaps seem too suspicious or overly eager on my part. I decided that I would wait a week. After a week, I would visit Florence, check up on her and the car and then see where things went from there. For the seven days leading up to my proposed visit, whenever I had a free moment, I found myself reading through Florence’s details and memorizing them. She was twenty-nine years old, born in Ghana but she held British citizenship and American residency. She was a personal assistant for a CEO of a private hospital and was well educated. I memorized both her cell phone and home telephone numbers, and I was very tempted to ring her and ask if everything was fine with the car. For three days I thought about doing this, but each time I told myself no, I couldn’t do that. On the beginning of the fourth day, I decided to ring Florence. After dialing the number and waiting for an answer, I suddenly realised how foolish and futile this potentially was. I was about to hang up when I heard a click on the other end and the voicemail message. Thank God , I thought. I left a quick message, of which I asked if everything was okay with the new car, and if they had any questions or issues they could contact us and we could help them solve any problems. Neither Florence nor Clementine rang me back after I left a message, which was probably a good thing seen as it could potentially disrupt my planned visit to their house, later on that week. I normally didn’t go and check up on customers and make house calls, but I was very, very taken with Florence. I wanted to see her again, I wanted to speak to her and I wanted to find out everything about her. I wanted to see where it could go. This woman was so beautiful and charming and smart, and I was very smitten with her. On the seventh day, after a painful week-long wait, I decided that I would go on the charm offensive. On my way home from work, I purchased a large bunch of flowers from the local florist and made the drive to the outskirts of town, where Florence and her niece lived. I was worried that Florence wouldn’t be too thrilled that I had studied her details and found where she lived, which was why I had the flowers in hand, as a sort of peace offering, in that event. I found her house and saw lights on, which was a good indication that someone was home. I parked out on the street, psyched myself up, grabbed the flowers and walked up the path to Florence’s house. I knocked on the door and waited. After a few moments of shuffling around and muffled noises on the other side of the door, it was opened and Florence stood there in all her glory. She was wearing a long, straight black skirt that skimmed just past her knees, ankara travestiler stockings, and a plain red long-sleeve top. Again the bright colour of this top was doing wonders for her skin tone. She looked amazing. Her black hair was piled on top of her head in a large bun and I could see a few pins and clips flick in the light when she moved her head. “Hello?” she asked, an odd, questioning look crossing her face. “Hi, Florence,” I started. “I’m Matt Hubbard from Morgenstern Motors, I sold you the car last week and I just wanted to make sure that everything was okay with the car and there were no issues.” “Thank you very much,” Florence answered, smiling her beautiful smile. If I was smitten before I was even more so now. “The car is fine. Clementine wants to spend every waking minute in her new car.” I presented Florence with the bunch of flowers. She beamed at me in response and blushed. “Thank you,” she said. “They’re beautiful.” “Is this a bad time?” I asked, using the flowers as my segue to perhaps gain an invitation inside. “Not at all. In fact, I was just about to settle down for the evening and watch a movie. Would you care to join me for some wine and cheese?”she asked, moving aside and motioning me inside. Success , I thought smugly. A good movie or book and a wine and cheese platter were rather a weakness of mine, so I gladly accepted the invitation. Things were going good. She hadn’t rejected me or slammed the door in my face, so my hopes started to soar a little. I came in off the doorstep and Florence took my coat and hung it up on the rack near the front door. She took me through into the lounge and told me to make myself comfortable. “I’ll get a vase for the flowers,” she said. “They’re beautiful, thank you, Matt.” While Florence was looking for a vase, I took the time to look around the living room and the rest of the house. The house was quite small, it being just on the one level, but it was all open-plan and well laid out. It may have been small, but it was cozy and warm, and I instantly felt very comfortable and at ease. The white walls were modestly decorated, but what decorations and pictures were there were very nice. Most of the photographs on the wall and coffee table were black and white, and on closer inspection I found them to be older members of Florence’s family and obviously taken back in Ghana. There was a lovely, large painting above the TV stand of an African sunset. Scattered around the living room and dining area were a few other pieces of African artwork and sculptures. On the floor was a large red and orange rug that had been weaved a very intricate looking way. It was different to the standard Persian or European rugs and carpets that most people buy from the store and have in their homes. There were wooden sculptures of giraffes and zebras and ornamental vases and pots of differing shapes and sizes as well. All in all, it was a beautiful house, very comforting and homely feeling. “That was a nightmare to get through customs,” Florence said, laughing as she came into the living room with the vase of flowers, which she placed in the centre of the small round dining table. I had been crouching down and feeling the rug and I felt myself go red when I realised that she had caught me feeling up her home decor . “It’s very beautiful,” I said, rising back up to my full height, which was a rather average 5’7. “Thank you,” she said. “It belonged to my grandparents. It was given to them on their wedding day in 1955. They were both eighteen years old at the time and madly in love.” Florence smiled warmly and with longing, her brown eyes lit up when she spoke of her family.

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