Later that evening I packed all my belongings. “Time for a career change and a new identity, Annie. But before a long drive, how about some chicken for your dinner?”
The dog wagged her tail. Walking into the kitchen, I poured out some kibbles and chicken and went into the bedroom where I picked up my luggage and Annie’s bed and headed out to my sturdy black SUV.
“What do you think about Madera, California, Annie? It’s in the Central Valley. We could rent a home with some land where you can run around, maybe settle down for a while. Perhaps we could buy a winery.”
I walked into the real estate office of Johnson and Sons and stepped up to the front desk.
“May I help you?” the young receptionist said.
“Yes, I’ve been on your site on the internet and saw that there is a farm for lease on Ave 36. I’d like to lease it, please.”
“You haven’t seen it, have you?”
“I just got into town, so no, I haven’t seen the property.”
“Let me get an agent for you.”
“Fine, thank you.”
“So, you’re interested in the Michaels Farm?” the agent said, standing up from behind her desk.
“Yes, I am. How much are the deposit and first months?”
“Well,” said the redhead with a beehive hairdo and red lipstick, “it will be a two-thousand-dollar deposit and the lease is two-thousand a month. Are you still interested?”
“Yes, thank you, ahh…”
“Sorry, my name is Amber Cherry.”
“Do you take cash?”
“Cash, I’ve never taken cash before.”
“Is that a problem?” I was getting tired of this back and forth with Lady Cherry and the beehive. “As I said, I just got into town. I want to put my money in a local bank.”
“What did you do, rob a bank?”
“No, not exactly…” I said with a Mona Lisa smile. “When can I have the keys?”
“Wow, that’s the fastest deal I’ve ever made.”
“Can I have the keys now? My dog is in the car waiting, and we’re awfully tired. Just drove in from Austin.”
“Can I ask how you heard about the place?”
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