A Touch of Passion

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Chapter 2

Nina Curtis moved into her new apartment. Soon after a neighbour named Samuel Maxwell moved in next door. He was in his late sixties, neat and trim and well-dressed. Some people wear a smile but this man was the smile, everything about him was a soft and understated joy as he greeted people. Nina had a kind of alluring beauty, her dark skin was completely flawless, her hair was caramel brown and shoulder length, she had pierced dark brown eyes and a figure of a perfect hourglass. She was intelligent, spoke eloquently and knowledgeable. Every evening after supper, she would sit and chat with Samuel. One evening he looked at her and said,

“You are such a beautiful young lady, tell me about you, what are the plans you have for your future?”

She smiled and softly said, “I’m an accountant but I would like to own my own business one day.”

Samuel Maxwell’s face lit up like a light bulb.

“I’m in the real estate business.”

“Really Samuel?”

“Yes, I have buildings all over Kingston and St. Ann.” His tone was cheerful.

“Like any other business, it has negatives and positives but it’s a lucrative business, once you know how to manage. One of the most important things in real estate is location. Kingston would be a good place for you to invest. It’s our first capital and has some of the country’s historic sites that offer an insightful look into our past.”

” Okay Samuel, name me one.” He looked at her questioningly, then continued.

“Devon House is one such, it was built in 1881 and was the former residence of George Stiebel our first black millionaire, now it’s the home of the world-famous Devon House ice-cream.”

However, from that day forward, all they talked about was real estate. He taught her everything about the real estate business. Nina listened keenly and absorbed every bit of information. She couldn’t be more interested. He assured her that there was a big housing shortage in the country and that it was a good opportunity for someone to invest in.

From that moment on Nina looked at Kingston with different eyes. Visualizing beautiful rental houses on vacant lots. That night in Nina’s room she was unable to fall asleep. She sat up in the bed for most of the night, her heart pounding away. She couldn’t stop envisioning herself owning such a business. This had become her dream.

She was excited, just thinking about it but where would she get the money? hard to say, it was frustrating yet still, she was filled with joyful energy. She could see her dreams but she had no money to at least make a start.

To invest in a business like that would be one of the best decisions one could ever make, she needed to let her dreams come through.

The following day during Nina’s lunch break she went to the bank to get some information on how to acquire a loan. She walked up to the receptionist, an older lady in her early forties sitting behind her desk.

“I would like to speak to your loan officer, please.” The older lady looked her over and with a low soft voice, she replied.

“I’m afraid they are unavailable presently, can someone else help?”

“Sure, thank you.” said Nina

Approximately ten minutes later she was in the office of Arnold Burrows, the assistance bank manager. He was a pleasant looking grey-haired man, well dressed and looking neat in his suit, well attired for the position he held.

“What can I do for you today?” Arnold asked.

“I’m interested in acquiring a building and I’m looking for finance.” she said slowly.

He looked at Nina, smiled and said. “You’ve come to the right place. Do you have a specific location in mind?”

Nina explained to him her business idea.

“That’s interesting. How much are you interested in borrowing?”

“Six million dollars.”

“Do you have an account with us?”

“I’m sorry I don’t.” Mr. Burrows leant back in his chair and looked straight at Nina’s while tapping his fingers on the desk. He said.

“Ms. Curtis, you will have to open an account with us and you will need to lodge at least ten thousand dollars every month to be qualified for a loan of that magnitude, besides you needing physical collateral.”

That was a big turn -off for Nina. Without any further delay she thanked him for his time and left. Deep in thought conversing with herself as she hurried on her way out feeling disappointed. If she could afford to deposit that amount of money every week, she honestly would not need to borrow a loan.

The loan officer at the second bank, after she explained her reasons for being there, said.

“I’ ll be glad to assist you Miss Curtis, but you are going to have to put up some kind of asset as collateral.”

Nina’s thoughts went back to the piece of land her mother had left her, but she didn’t have the title yet and it would take some time for the paper -work to be done. Without further hesitation she got up out of her seat, feeling disappointed but still filled with much expectations of finding favor with someone soon.

“Thank you very much for your time.”

“Thank you for coming Ms Curtis. I’m looking forward to hearing from you very soon.”

“Bye Mr. Blake, enjoy the rest of your day.”

“Thank you, have a wonderful day yourself.”

At the third bank Nina was brought to the office of Michael Charles, one of the bank managers, a handsome gentleman in his early thirties. As soon as Nina entered the office, he stopped what he was doing, lifted his head and looked towards her. He was pleasant looking, with high cheekbones, deep brown eyes and tanned skin. He introduced himself, greeted her, and asked.

“How can I be of assistance to you, Miss Curtis?” Nina was filled with much enthusiasm, she smiled at Mr. Charles and spoke with confidence.

“I’m considering going into the real estate business, and I’m interested in obtaining a loan.” she replied.

He gave her an affable smile.

“That’s what we do, what kind of real estate were you considering?”

“I’m thinking of buying and rebuilding old houses, for re-sales and rentals.”

“Very fascinating.”

“What kind of assets do you have for collateral?”

“I have a piece of land that I inherited from my mother.”

“Do you have the title?”

“Sure, but it’s not in my name yet.” Immediately Nina reached down into her bag and pulled out a folder. She pulled out the land title and attached to it was the letter that her mother signed and had notarized by a justice of the peace, turning over the land to her.

He looked at it, smiled and said, “Wonderful.”

She felt good.

“I’m sorry I have to go now. I have another engagement, but I would love for us to get together for dinner later and talk some more about this. Would you care to join me?”

“Absolutely, that would be great.”

“I’ll pick you up at seven o’clock” he said

She wrote her address on a piece of paper and handed it to him.

“Thank you very much; I really do appreciate your time.”

“You’re welcome, and I’m looking forward to seeing you this evening.”

Immediately after Nina exited the office, mesmerized by Nina’s beauty. Michael rushed to a small window across from his desk, overlooking the busy street. There he stood and watched her enter her car, then slid into the swiftly moving line of traffic, until it disappeared from sight. He sighed and went back to his chair and sat down.

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