Blame it on Paris

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Chapter 2

Anelise was making notes for the thesis proposal that she would be writing this summer and had to have it turned into her professor after the final, and she just wasn’t pleased with it. She wanted more, but didn’t know what. When she was explaining it to Professor Andrews, she felt it was lacking something, some excitement or passion, some spark to really light her soul on fire. Professor Andrews said what she had was really good and would make a good final project. But Anelise just didn’t want good, she wanted amazing and awe inspiring. She sighed again as she went and got a glass of sweet tea, the one she allowed herself per day. If she didn’t limit herself, the weight loss she had worked so hard for would be doomed.

She took a long drink from her glass and was thankful that her room mate and best friend, Leslie was out having Sunday Brunch with her ridiculously wealthy family for some Great Aunt’s birthday and the apartment was quiet so she could stew in peace. She walked around the room, trying to clear her head and buckle back down to study for the rest of her finals when her phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number, but saw it was Chicago based and thought it could be the neighbor that her parents said might call with an interesting proposal and decided to answer it.

“Hello?” She answered.

“Um Hello. May I speak with Anelise please?” She heard a deep baritone voice ask, making goosebumps pop out all over her body.

“This is, how can I help you?”

“My name is Michael Whitlock. Your parents gave me your number, I am their neighbor,” the deep voice explained.

“Oh yes, they mentioned that you might be calling with a proposal. What can I do for you?” She answered.

“Well, here it is. I know this is completely out of left field, but I am in one hell of a bind. Your parents mentioned that you liked kids and this might be something you are interested in. My nanny quit yesterday and is eloping,” he started.

“Well that’s awfully romantic,” she said with a smile.

He chuckled, “I agree, but the problem is I am leaving for three months for work and she was supposed to come with us and watch my son, Ollie, while I work. Is that something you might be interested in? I will pay you really well.”

She bit her lip, thinking that the money might be good, depending on the pay. She really enjoyed shopping with Leslie now that she lost so much weight.

“Well, I’m not sure...I’m going to be writing my Master’s thesis…” She started.

“I know. Your parents told me and this might be of interest to you. My work is sending me to London for the summer. You would get days off to explore and do research for your paper,” Michael explained.

Analise took in a sharp breath at hearing the news, “Seriously?!”

“Yes, we leave in 13 days and I will be paying you $1500 per week. All room and food is covered by my company, but I’m not going to sugar coat it. I will be working A LOT and you would be responsible for Ollie well into the night some days,” he explained, hoping that he was enticing her and not turning her off to the idea.

Being in London for three months? Earning a shit ton of money while watching one child? She would be making so much, she could quit the coffee shop and not go back next semester!

“Are you still there?” She heard him ask, not realizing how long she had been silent for.

“Oh my gosh, I’m sorry! Yes, I’m still here and yes I’ll do it!” She replied excitedly.

“Really?!” Michael, asked, feeling a huge weight being lifted off his shoulders.

“Yes. I know it’s not ideal that I can’t really meet you or your son before we go. But this really sounds like a good arrangement for us both, especially if my parents gave you my number. And I could quit my current job with the money you are offering,” she said, feeling giddy.

“Oh my god, THANK YOU!! I can’t tell you how much this means to me!” He all but yelled into the phone, punching the air with his fist several times.

They talked for several minutes about what she would be required to do and about Ollie, who sounded like a really great little boy.

“Would you mind if I took Ollie to some of the museums while we are there?” She asked cautiously.

“You want to do educational things with my child? How could I possibly say no to that?” Michael chuckled, making her blush realizing that it was a silly question.

“Give me your email. I will get you a ticket to Chicago then we can all go to London together. A long flight will be a good chance for us to get to know each other. Oh shit, you do have a passport right?” He suddenly said.

“I do have one, so I am set. Yeah, a ticket to Chicago is fine. I will meet you at the airport,” she said.

“Do you want to come on Friday night and stay with your parents?” He asked, knowing they haven’t seen each other in quite a while with her taking summer courses and working.

“No!” She almost yelled, “No um, I need Friday to get things in order. Can you just get an early flight Saturday morning? I don’t care how early it is.”

He was a little shocked that she didn’t want to see her parents, but didn’t argue with her. “That’s fine. I will get everything started and email you all the info.”

They talked a few more minutes, then hung up. Anelise was going to explode with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell Leslie what had just happened! She was going to spend the summer in London!! She had always wanted to go there and now she was going to be there for three months! The dates were perfect with school ending and starting again and with the schedule he was telling her. She would have at least one weekend day off for herself. Plus anytime Ollie was sleeping was her time to write, research or whatever she needed. An idea suddenly hit her and she ran to the table and opened a new document and words started pouring out of her. She sent off a new email to Professor Andrews, grinning like a mad woman two hours later when Leslie came home and saw her.

“Why are you grinning like the cat who ate the canary? Finally tell your parents off? Oh and my mom is so pissed you weren’t there!” Leslie came in and threw her purse to the couch.

Analise rolled her eyes, “Not yet, but listen!!” She launched into the story of her day and watched her best friends eyes get wide.

“So let me get this straight, your parents gave your number to their neighbor who needs a nanny for the summer and you are now going to be spending the summer In England while writing your thesis AND getting paid to do it?” Leslie asked.

She nodded excitedly, “And you said this neighbor has a sexy voice?” Leslie asked, “Fuck Ani! You are going to have a kick ass summer! I’m so jealous!” Ani was dancing around their apartment excitedly.

Leslie pouted, “You are going to make me go to garden parties and charity events all by myself!”

“I’m sure your mom and sisters will be gentle,” she replied knowing full well that Naomi Rothchild would treat her daughter like the amazing young woman she was regardless of whether Anelise was there or not. The Rothchild’s were old money in Tennessee and as rich as they were, Naomi and Johnathon Rothchild were very down to earth and expected their children, all five of them, to be good stewards of the community and the family name. And since they became friends their freshman year at Vanderbilt, Anelise and Leslie have been thick as thieves and all the Rothchild’s welcomed her with open arms. They really were good people.

Leslie huffed, “We’ll see! So you leave the Saturday after Finals? Friday night is party night?”

She nodded, “Yes, but I can’t get too crazy, I have to be up early for my flight to Chicago!”

Leslie snickered, “Not going back Friday to stay with Mommy and Daddy dearest?”

Ani threw a pillow at her, “Hardly! This actually gives me an excuse to not see them before I graduate in December. Hopefully by then I will have a job and will have another excuse to not go back there.”

“Ani, you will have to talk to them about how you feel at some point. They are going to notice you have lost about 40 pounds since they saw you 18 months ago. You are smoking hot and they are going to see how much you changed!” Leslie reasoned.

“I know Lulu, but I am just not ready to say ‘Hey you guys smothered the fuck out of me and coddled me and I had no idea how to function in the real world. So thanks!’” Ani said, “Oh and just to add insult to injury, I could say to them, ‘oh and my best friend who you think is not good enough for me is the greatest person I know and treats me with kindness and respect! Her family is amazing and treat me better than you do!’”

Leslie grinned, “Blame it on my mom, she can take the fall from my upbringing and for corrupting you!”

Ani grinned back, “Bless your mom! Now let’s do an exercise video, then get sushi for dinner!”

Leslie groaned, “I’m sorry that I ever showed you the damn program! Although if you are buying sushi, I’ll suffer through!”

They laughed and went to change.

--

Michael hung up thanking god that the young woman was willing to do this and he could stop worrying on that front. He immediately got on his computer and found an early flight from Nashville to Chicago for her to get on. She would land two hours before they were set to board for London. He called the office manager of his company and explained the name changes and got that all squared away so he really was set to leave.

He sat back and watched his beautiful son playing on the floor with his blocks and smiled, thinking about how much he loved him. Then Anelise’s voice crept back into his mind and thought how pretty it was, having an almost musical quality to it. He wasn’t going to overthink it, but he really wanted to know why she didn’t want to see her parents. There was more to that story and he wanted to see why the shy bookworm in the photos next door would not want to see her family. He whipped out his phone and texted his best friend, Craig, who was going to London with him, ‘got a new nanny; neighbor’s daughter- all set!’

‘Hell yeah man! One less thing to worry about before we leave! Cheers!-as the locals say’

Laughing, Michael got up, picked up his son, threw him in the air and went to play outside now that his work was done for the moment.

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