Fez had suffered a massive heart attack. When the paramedics arrived, they told Emberlyn there was nothing she or anybody else could have done. Like Mr. Carrington, Fez was now with the angels.
She was not quite twenty-three and once again, a widow.
Getting help from George, Fez’s accountant, she started planning for his funeral. George had a copy of Fez’s will and hesitantly told Emberlyn that his previous will had never been amended, despite numerous pleas.
“Next week,” was what Fez always said when George mentioned it. “I’m going to make sure everything is taken care of. There’s time.”
But time ran out for Fez. Everything he owned would go to his former wife. His office building, his home and all of his assets would go to her. Emberlyn would be left with only the expense account that he had set up for her.
She wasn’t thinking about that, though. She was thinking about what kind of burial this wonderful man should have. George told her that Fez had secured two plots many years ago and the tombstone was already in place. It had his name and the name of his former wife. Below theirs’ was his beloved daughters’ name.
She asked George whether she should have the tombstone removed and replaced. “There’s no question that his former wife would most likely not want her final resting place to be beside a man to whom she was no longer married, don’t you suppose?” she asked.
George reminded her that she would not have a say about decisions, up to and including where and how he was buried because not only had Fez never changed his will…he had never changed his medical proxy. “His former wife can do whatever she wishes. She might opt to sell the plots, have the tombstone removed and have Fez cremated,” he said.
It was clear that Emberlyn could do nothing but what she could do was contact his former wife to let her know that Fez had died. At some point she of course, would be reached to receive her inheritance but Emberlyn thought she might want to pay her respects at his service.
Emberlyn made the decision to call his former wife. A few days later, she and her husband flew into town. She was cordial but not overly friendly to Emberlyn and made her intentions clear. Everything would be sold and converted to cash.
That of course would leave Emberlyn homeless, just as she had been when Mr. Carrington died. Although it was agreed that she could occupy the house until it was sold in exchange for making sure it was show ready, it was implied that she should secure another residence as soon as possible. Accomplishing that was a dim prospect, due to her lack of funds, but Fez’s former wife seemed unsympathetic.
George suggested that she try to find a job. The only job experience that Emberlyn ever had was as an exotic dancer. There was every possibility that Mr. Richards would give her a job but dancing for a living was what she had tried to escape and she wasn’t sure she wanted to put herself back into that world.
The next day, the doorbell rang. Emberlyn answered and a man introduced himself as Dan Healy. “Mrs. Zabinsky?” he asked. Emberlyn was somewhat taken aback and said “yes. Can I help you?” He said “you called yesterday about having your property appraised but I must say, you sounded much older on the phone.” Emberlyn said “I believe it was the former Mrs. Zabinsky who called.”
Healy, a little embarrassed, said “beg your pardon, ma’am. Should I wait and talk to her?”
“No,” Emberlyn said. “I will be happy to show you around.” As they walked from room to room, she started thinking. “I could do this. Answer a call, meet someone at a house, look around, get them to sign on the dotted line and then collect a big paycheck. How difficult could that be?”
Not knowing just how the business worked and the education that was required, she casually asked the agent if they needed any help.
“As it happens,” the agent said “the old man is looking for a secretary.” Emberlyn said “oh, I don’t have any skills in that field.” The agent looked at her and said “I wouldn’t worry too much about that. He just mainly wants somebody to answer the phone, remind him of appointments and…”
“And what?” asked Emberlyn. “Look pretty,” he said with a laugh. “You should call and ask for an interview.”
“Okay,” Emberlyn said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t catch the agency you are with.”
Healy handed her his business card and said, “Stark Realty.”
To be continued_______________