Annie’s colleagues didn’t like her. She was stern, they said; she never smiled. Yet with me, she was fine. She invited me to dinner, after work one Friday night.
“What the…!” I said when I saw where she lived.
She nodded, a hint of a smile. “That’s what my family said too. Then painted gloom for the day the cliff crumbles.”
“But it will,” I said. This stretch of coastline was rapidly collapsing.
Again, she nodded. Then she whispered conspiratorially. “Don’t let on, but this isn’t my only home. I have a… chalet… in the Italian lakes. It earns me a tidy income let out for vacations and invested. And in two years I retire… then let the sea take this shabby old shack. I shall be where the sea can’t reach me.”
Based on a true story.