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Better Late – 12

“Do you think a woman in her 40’s living alone there would be safe?
“It depends upon what she wants to be safe FROM. She would not be safe from solitude, long winters, bad weather and things like that. She would be safe from interruptions, noise, pollution, excessive activity and ugly surroundings.”

“Is the boat I saw in the background pictures included in the price? Is the price negotiable for cash?
“Those are two questions and it’s not totally clear if you are asking if the price on the property is negotiable or if the sailboat can be bought with the island. The whole answer is that Sabbatical (the boat) is not for sale at any price. For Sequester Island, I will consider any serious offer I get, and I’ll decide what I will or will not accept.

“I hope you don’t mind my questions, sir, but I am honestly interested in your property and wish to learn all I can about it before I can proceed.”
“Of course you should investigate thoroughly, because it is more than just a big investment, it would represent a total change in the way you live and the routines that you were raised with.

“I don’t know why you are thinking about this property, and I will be honest… I doubt very much that it would be suitable and comfortable for you. However, if you wish to experience it in person, please get back to me.”

Shaynah sat back in her chair. She didn’t know what to think. It was the first time she’d ever heard anyone advise a potential customer not to buy the product. She thought that David Goodman was either a fool or an honest man like none she’d ever known. It was late on a warm summer evening, and Shaynah felt drawn to the outdoors. She put on her comfortable walking shoes and stepped out her front door onto the grand porch. The instant she emerged she was greeted by Bess and Morey Himmelfarb who were passing on their evening walk. Shaynah smiled her response and descended toward the sidewalk. Before she reached the end of her own walkway she was again greeted, this time by Rhona Greenspan who was watering her lush lawn next door.

The attention of neighbours rankled Shaynah. She wanted to be alone with her thoughts, and the intrusions emphasised her urge to live a more serene life in a more remote place. Shaynah decided to avoid additional friendly neighbours. She pressed the remote in her purse and the electric door rolled up and away. Shaynah stepped into her Lexus and backed out onto the quiet, tree-lined street.

The summer night had grown dark, and Shaynah drove out of the quiet, luxurious residential district toward the bright lights of downtown. This was a new experience for her, to be out in the secular night alone, in the heart of the city’s nightlife. Young people streamed along the sidewalks, flirting, window-shopping, and ducking in and out of fast food places to eat or drink. Shaynah turned off the glaring, busy main drag down a quieter downtown street. Parked cars lined both sides of the street, and characters of all kinds strolled the sidewalks or occupied outdoor tables in cafés, bars, and clubs that clustered along the sidewalks.

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