Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)
TITLE: Caribbean Sky
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On the cruise liner Caribbean Sky
Sailing from Miami
On July 4th 2006
For a 14 day cruise
RSVP: April 16th 2006
Cherie read the card again. “Michael, I can’t believe it. Your grandfather has out done himself this year.”
“Every year you say no. Please, let’s go this time.”
“Cheri, you know how I feel about the Morgan money. It will belong to my father. I’m the grandson who wants to work hard and support his wife.”
“I respect that but this is just a family reunion.”
“I don’t know, Cheri. I don’t want to make it a habit.”
“Honey, we have been married five years. I’ve only met your parents and you’ve never asked them for anything.” Cheri wrapped her arms around her husband. “Please Michael, just this once. You could do with a break. Look at it as a second honeymoon.”
“Okay, Cheri. Just this once.”
The fourth of July arrived too fast for Michael. He chewed on his lip and released Cheri’s hand so he could wipe his own. They crossed the dock to where his mother, Marianne waited. What if they don’t like Cheri? What if she doesn’t like my family?
“Hi, Mother. You remember Cheri? ”
“Of course, I do. Cheri, you look fabulous. Married to Michael suits you.” She winked and kissed Cheri’s cheek.
Michael scanned the dock. “Where’s Dad?”
“John’s already on board with Grandpa. They’re checking everything is in order…you know how they are, Michael.”
Michael removed a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his forehead. “Yes, I do. Look um…is everyone here?”
“You’re the last to arrive. There are fifteen of us including you two. We should board before we melt. The weather forecast indicates a hot few days of sailing.”
John and Grandpa were waiting at the top of the gangplank alongside the Captain.
“Grandpa, this is my wife Cheri.”
Grandpa playfully elbowed his son. “John, you didn’t tell me you had such a beautiful daughter-in-law.”
"I'm pleased to finally meet you...Grandpa." Cheri smiled and accepted his hug. She moved on. "Hello, John."
At Michael’s gentle prodding, Cheri followed his mother.
“Cheri, I’m so glad you talked Michael into coming this year. I thought at first you were preventing him from coming...until he sent me that note last Christmas.”
“Pardon, what note?”
“Didn’t he tell you? I’m sorry, I thought you knew. He wanted to be removed from his grandfather’s will. I knew then it was Michael’s stubborn nature.”
Her mother-in-law pushed opened a door which found them in a pink sitting-room. Cheri suddenly faced a group of unfamiliar women. Their elegance overwhelmed her and made her feel suddenly uncomfortable in her new $59 hibiscus patterned sleeveless frock.
They looked her up and down but their faces were void of any expression. “Well, you must be Cheri,” the younger of them finally spoke. “I’m Joanne, Michael’s cousin. Welcome aboard.” She smiled and offered Cheri a pink lemonade.
They were all chatting at once until Marianne clapped her hands. “Come now ladies, we need to get settled and change for lunch. Cheri, I’ll show you to your suite.”
Michael guided Cheri to the railing where they watched Miami slip from view. He turned and smiled at Cheri. “I’m glad everyone loves you.” He took her hand and kissed it. “We better get to lunch, but I just wanted to say I’m glad we came.”
They entered the dining room together. Cheri sat beside Marianne and opposite Michael. After they had all been seated, Grandpa stood. “Thank you all for coming, especially my grandson and his beautiful wife, Cheri. I want to share something before our trip begins.” He cleared his throat. “At Michael request, I have altered my will. However, and with his father’s blessing, Michael is to take over Morgan Enterprises.”
Everyone applauded. Michael and Cheri stared at each other. John leaned closer to his son. “It makes sense. You have a gift that I don’t possess.”
“Dad, Morgan Enterprises should be yours—I won’t accept it.”
Grandpa moved round the table and crouched between John and Michael. “Michael, you have the ability and skill to run Morgan Enterprises. Your father has the experience to look after the family finances. We’re family and we need to do this together.” He left Michael and Cheri to think over. They had fourteen days to get used to it.
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