Muskoka, Friday. One P.M.
By design, Steve quit work early on his model cottage, his deep seven digit construction project at the north end of Lake Joseph. He had poured his heart, soul, and most of his future father in law’s five million dollar loan into the enterprise, hoping to make it the center-piece of his new business. On a cliff facing south and with three hundred feet of beautiful shoreline, the cottage was positioned to offer sensational views from every window. He planned to rent it, completely furnished, to someone who would agree to allow him to show it, inside and out on reasonable notice, to prospective clients.
He cleaned up the work site, stowed his tools, then jumped into his Boston Whaler and raced, full throttle, the eight mile length of Lake Joseph. The ride was exhilarating. Virtually alone on the lake, the Whaler carved an almost perfect V-shaped wake on the lake’s glassy smooth surface. The deciduous trees lining the lake were in almost full autumn color. He slowed to a crawl passing through the Port Sandfield cut, then resumed maximum speed eastward and parallel to the south shore of Lake Rosseau. He turned south into the Indian River, and docked at the Port Carling Marina fifteen minutes later. He tied the boat securely, fastened the tonneau cover, then ran to his green 1995 Ford Ranger pick-up. After a brief check in his bag to confirm he had brought his toothbrush, he jumped in and headed for Toronto. He smiled at the heavy northbound weekend traffic while his truck was nearly alone in the southbound lanes.
Two hours later, a slow drive past the wrought iron gates to one of Toronto’s most expensive homes brought another smile to his face, not out of pride, but because he was doing it in his dilapidated green Ford truck. He parked, grabbed his bag, and headed for the front door.
Christine, dressed to kill in her knee-length form fitting emerald green dress, opened the door and met him with a tight hug and tongue probing kiss. “I missed you, Monteith,” she groaned. “I’m wet already.”
Steve glanced at his watch. “We’re late. We can deal with your problem or catch the first act. We can’t do both.”
“Okay, get your ass dressed. We’ll do it later,” she said with a fake pout.
“Why did you want me to pick you up here?”
“I’m baby sitting the dogs. Dad’s in Los Angeles for the weekend.”
Mama Mia at the Royal Alex Theater was sensational. A late dinner at 360, a revolving restaurant above the eleven hundred foot level on the CN Tower, was like desert.
Christine fondled her wine glass and frowned. “Don’t you think it’s time you got a new car?” she asked.
Steve laughed. He detested, but tolerated her obsession with status. “I don’t even have an old one. I have a truck.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Sure I do. The queen of Toronto is embarrassed to be seen motoring around in a pick up truck.”
“Don’t you think it’s a little tacky?”
“Would you love me more if I drove a Rolls Royce?”
She reached for his hand and winked. “It’s not possible for me to love you any more than I do, even if you picked me up in a bicycle. Now take me home and solve my problem. I’m still wet.”