The Beach House

I looked out over the pool to a pristine beach not one hundred steps below the chlorinated water. To the left, I saw trees and a stone fence, to the right, more palm trees and the same stone fence. Both fences transitioned into a jagged rock wall that defined the perimeter of the private beach. I couldn't see the neighbors on either side. It was perfect.

I heard the real estate agent exit the sliding glass door. She was a heavy-set woman, impeccably dressed, with a phony happy sales attitude. I didn't care for her much. She wore a bit too much perfume and always thought she knew what was best for me. Of course, I didn't really care for anyone so she was at a disadvantage to begin with.

"I'll take it." I said without turning to look at her. I heard her high heels stop on the rock patio.

"You haven't really looked at the house, Mr. Tomlinson." There she goes trying to control my thoughts again. I was only interested in the privacy. This place blocked out the rest of the world. It would be my private little slice of heaven. The house was devoid of furniture which was a good thing. It meant it was already vacant and I could close the deal quickly.

"Make the offer Mrs. Johnson. Full asking price." I raised my hand in hopes she would see that I had already made my decision. This was the fourth place I looked at and the first to meet my original qualifications. If she had just listened, she could have sold it this morning and not wasted half my day.

"Are you sure? I am quite confident we can negotiate it down ten, maybe twenty percent." God, I am glad she doesn't work for me. I would fire the bitch on the spot. What part of "make the offer" didn't she understand? I wanted the property and didn't want to deal with anyone any longer than absolutely necessary. I turned to her.

"Make the offer. Full asking price." I made it sound a bit ominous. Why did I have to repeat myself? I hated the need for agents. She stepped back a bit and reached into her purse for her phone.

"Of... of course, Mr. Tomlinson." She fumbled her phone, and it almost dropped to the stone patio. "I'll have the papers drawn up immediately. They will want ten percent in earnest money." She was back to her business self. "Would you like me to bring the paperwork to you tomorrow morning?" Like I wanted to see this woman first thing in the morning or ever again for that matter.

"A Monica Rose will call you and complete the purchase." I started walking back through the house toward my car. I wasn't interested in a conversation or politely accompanying her out. Happily, I chose not to ride with Johnson so I hopped in my car and sped off.

I entered the hotel at the rear entrance. I don't have to feign niceties to the staff that way. I needed to get my new house livable as soon as possible. I expected to close by end of next week. I had enough lawyers on the payroll to make sure that it would go smoothly. I would need furniture and all the other necessities to make it home. I called up one of the few people in the world I respected.

"Monica, its Dale Tomlinson." Monica handles things for me. She doesn't discuss options and try to help. She just does.

"Mr. Tomlinson, what can I do for you?" Yes, that's what I like to hear. No bullshit niceties. Just business.

"I am purchasing a beachfront home and need it furnished and move-in ready as soon as possible." Watch her work.

"This week, sir." She sounded a bit hesitant. Not like her at all.

"That is what 'as soon as possible means.' " I usually didn't have to repeat myself to her.

"Of course sir! Address?" I could almost see her writing it down as I regurgitated it. I told her to talk with Mrs. Johnson to finalize the sale and to access the property.

"Style?" I told her it would be classic comfort. I intended to spend a lot of time there. I don't think it was an actual style, but Monica had a wonderful way of interpreting my needs.

"Budget?" Whatever it takes. I didn't want to limit her creativity. I was going to actually live there.

"I will get a flight out tomorrow." She was fast. That's why I liked her. I don't think she cared for me personally, but that was unimportant. I knew she liked my business, and she charged me well for her speed. Fine with me; I can always make more money. It's time that is at a premium. What's funny is that I have only met her in person a couple of times. Now I just call her with what I want and it's done. I couldn't think of a more perfect arrangement. I hung up the phone—no need for goodbyes.

It took three weeks to occupy the house. Damn owners were out of country, and I had to wait till they returned. They should have made arrangements for a possible sale before they left. Assholes pretty much ruined a week of my life. I really hate people. On the other hand, Monica was wonderful as always. The house was move-in ready. I was sure it cost me an arm and a leg, but it was worth it. Even the kitchen and bar were stocked. I only had to transfer my personal effects, and I was home.

I wasn't sure why she had put a pool table in the rec room. I never have guests so it won't get any use. I guess it was just there to take up the large space available. The pool had way too many lounge chairs, but I guess it gave the area a more lived in look. The beach itself was exactly as I envisioned. One lounger under a giant umbrella. This is why I bought the place. I aimed to spend a good portion of my life lying in that chair, reading books and letting the gentle waves wash away the rest of the world. This was paradise as far as I was concerned.

I walked down to the sand, and sure enough, the waves were playing a symphony on the bordering breaker rocks. Civilization was drowned out. The adjoining beaches were completely blocked from view so I could expect zero interruptions. I was so pleased, I decided not to go back up. I stripped to my boxers and lined the lounger up for maximum shade time. I loved the beach, the waves, and the warmth. I could do without the sun. It was way too bright and made me sweat. I lay back and let the sound of the waves roll over my body. This was by far the best purchase I had ever made. It wasn't long before I was sound asleep. It was just that peaceful.

The damn sun woke me about two hours later. It began to roast my feet by the time I had pulled myself from dreamland. There has to be an umbrella that tracks the sun. I vowed to find one as I snapped my knees up to cool my feet. There is always something in this universe that likes to screw with my well-being. Today, it was the sun.

I returned inside and fired up my laptop. It was time to review my trades. I had inherited a huge bond portfolio just before the 2008 crash. My grandmother, the only person I ever enjoyed being around, had conservatively purchased munis, federal and triple A corporate bonds. She purchased them from selling off my grandfather's position in a highly profitable internet firm at his death. She was a lovely woman whose passing I took hard. Having lost my parents early in life, Grandma was my rock and my soul. As the bonds matured and the munis were called, I dumped the money into the stock market. My timing couldn't have been better. When everyone was selling, I was buying. I grew a $100 million portfolio into a half billion dollar empire with me as the emperor.

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