iam’s father had a habit of dating ‘much younger’ women. This had been the case with his mother; his father Rory had been forty four when Liam was born; his mother twenty. Liam’s mother had walked out on them when he was a year old claiming the age difference; his father’s unreasonable demands; namely ‘conjugal rights’ and the stress of being a mother was too much for her. She walked out receiving a substantial divorce settlement and never looked back.
Liam’s father was the chief executive officer of a multinational company and as such never had a shortage of young ladies. The episode with Constance (Liam’s mother) had made Rory more acutely aware of gold diggers, and as soon as any young woman tried to get her claws into him; he walked away.
That was until he met Cassandra. He always claimed it was fate they met. His car wouldn’t start and he had a meeting in a city in the north so he decided to catch a train. He’d be there in three hours. Cassandra had just had her bag stolen and was in a very disturbed state as it contained all her money, bank cards and her passport. Rory by this time was fifty four; Liam ten and Cassandra twenty nine.
Cassandra wasn’t like Rory’s other women. She was pretty with fashionable blonde highlights in her hair; but not a dolly bird. She had a degree in history. As far as Rory was concerned; the best thing about her was; she didn’t have a clue who he was or how much money he had. They spent the rest of her time in the country dating. He had helped sort out her problems, had arranged a hotel for her, unbeknown to her, he had paid for the whole stay in an upgraded room. When she eventually had her bank sort everything out she was only billed for a standard room, Rory had the hotel advise her it was a goodwill gesture on their part as she had such a distressing arrival.
Rory was her hero and Cassandra fell in love. Rory was handsome in a distinguished sort of way. His black hair greying at the temples; his body well cared for. Tall; elegant, genteel. When Cassandra returned home they stayed in contact. Just after New Year Rory paid Cassandra a visit and was pleasantly surprised at how well her family received him; there being such an age difference. They were simply glad this elegant stranger had taken the time to help a young woman who in a foreign country was in a rather large mess. Rory proposed on the visit, Cassandra accepted.
Cassandra didn’t have any children and nor did she want any. Liam was a pest of the highest order and from the get go saw her as public enemy number one. The atmosphere in the house was stressed whenever they were in the same room. Cassandra for her part did try, for Rory’s sake. Liam for his part had no intention of and wanted this interloper out of the way as soon as possible. He played many mean tricks on her including pretending to have drowned in the swimming pool and made her life a living hell until at eighteen he went off to university and their life quietened.
Cassandra and Rory had their fair share of ups and downs. Rory refused to retire and then just before his sixty seventh birthday he suffered a heart attack at the office. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Cassandra’s world fell apart. Liam came home for the funeral and as he had been well provided for by his father he left without a backward glance. Cassandra didn’t see him again for another seven years.
Late one evening Cassandra had been finishing off her accounts when she heard a key go in the front door. Panic stricken she grabbed a paperweight off her desk and ran out into the hall.