Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
- TITLE: Cuff Links
By Valarie Sullivan
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“I don’t understand you, Carol!” He fumed as he yanked the hotel drapes back. The curtains gave way to a spectacular view of the swimming pool. Blue water sparkled in the bright sun, framed by elegant trees and bright flowers. “How could you forget my cufflinks?”
“Sorry, Hun!” Carol called from the bathroom. “It was an honest mistake!”
“Carol I made every accommodation for you.” Guy crossed his arms. “I made sure that the airplane ride was a great experience in spite of your fear of flying. I got you the finest hotel we could afford. Carted all your luggage into the room for you. Your only job was to see to it that I was presentable.”
“And you will be, dear. Just wear one of your other dress shirts, I packed you three.”
“No, it has to be ‘The Shirt’.” Guy flapped the curtain in annoyance. “How could you forget them? I’ll guarantee you didn’t forget anything of yours!”
“Don’t be such a baby.” The toilet flushed and Carol walked out straightening her blouse. “This is so exciting! We are tourists in Sydney, Australia! I forgot my toothbrush.”
“A toothbrush! That is nothing! ‘The Shirt’ requires those cufflinks. You know that my presentation is very important for our business! I had the ‘Shirt’ especially made for our company; it fits perfectly and says who I am.” Guy refused to back down. How could she be so careless?
“We could go buy some more cuff links.” Carol suggested. “They could be Australian somethings. That will really set off your shirt!”
“They were especially made to go with that shirt!” Guy was frustrated and angry.
“Honey, if it was that important to you, why didn’t you pack it yourself?” Carol picked up her purse and rummaged through it.
Guy had no argument for that.
“What are we going to do first?” Lipstick in hand, she approached the mirror over the dresser. “I’d like to go to the wine tasting festival and then see the opera house by the bay. What was that called again?”
“Wine? Opera? Are you kidding?” Guy couldn’t believe it. “You know that I want to see the Aborigines!”
Carol looked at him in the reflection of the mirror. “You wouldn’t want people coming into your backyard, pointing fingers and shoving cameras in your face.” She said tightly. “Why do you want to do it to them? Besides, there is more to Australia than Aborigines and Pioneers. There is culture. Refinement.”
“That shows how much you know about Australia.” Guy was triumphant. “They have tourist spots of the history of this country and they have stuff about the native peoples here.”
Carol gave him a kiss. “You need to put on cologne if you’re not going to shower.”
She walked back to the bathroom.
“How about we compromise?” She called out. “We go taste a little wine, first, then to one of your ‘tourist spots’. Then tomorrow, after your presentation, we go snorkeling!”
That didn’t sound too bad. “Okay.” Guy agreed. “As long as we don’t go to the opera.”
Carol came out of the bathroom with a bottle of spray cologne. “Can we at least go look at it?”
“I guess.” Guy grimaced as some of the spray got in his face.
Carol returned the bottle to the bathroom. She was quiet for a moment. Then said loudly, “Let’s make a deal. If I find your cuff links for you, will you go to the art museum?”
“If you find those cuff links, Carol, I’ll do anything you want!”
She emerged from the bathroom with a big grin and her hand behind her back. “Really?”
He sighed. “Yes.”
Carol triumphantly held out her hand. In the palm were two gold cuff links.
“We are going to the opera!”
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