Chapter 9

Cindy loaded the fancy shopping bags into the back seat of her new candy apple red BMW. Her feet ached. She couldn’t wait to get home and sit in a warm bubble bath. Looking at the car, she praised God silently for Ramon’s new job. It was a little cloak and daggerish, but it was good money. He was even paid a hefty signing bonus for taking on some extra work.

This meant that he had been on the road nonstop for the past two weeks, calling in only here and there. She felt sorry for him and wanted him home, but the money coming in for a change was nice. Ramon had been out of work for months and had obliterated his GI resources. The new job was motivating him in a way she had never seen.

In no time, he had promised, she could go part-time over at the youth center. She could volunteer her time, but she wouldn’t need to work. He gave her five thousand dollars to go shopping and told her to get rid of the shabby clothes. He was planning on moving up in the company and all of the executives and their wives dressed first class.

“Five thousand dollars!” she had exclaimed, at first. She’d never handled that much cash in a lump sum.

“It’s all yours, baby,” was Ramon’s confident reply.

“I’m not kidding. I want you to get decked out. Do your hair, polish your nails; the works. This weekend, I’m rolling into town and we’re going to a party in Richmond Heights, where the president of the company lives. We have to look like we belong there.”

“Richmond Heights?” she asked.

“Yeah babe, Richmond Heights. Don’t worry. Within a year we’ll have our own pad in the Heights.”

Cindy smiled. Wishful thinking, she thought. Richmond Heights was the swankiest neighborhood in that part of town. From what Cindy knew, no house in that neighborhood sold for less than one million dollars.

The McBrides lived there. All of the other top professionals and business people lived there. People like her and Ramon were really not welcome. Todd McBride had once thought that he could woo her with its charms. But he was just a young snot; Michael’s best friend to top it off, and it wasn’t his money anyway.

Listening to Ramon talk, she allowed herself to fantasize about the Heights for a moment. She quickly dismissed the thought, but had to admit that mulling over living in Richmond Heights was better than worrying about what brand of peanut butter had coupons out that week.

Now, as she slipped onto the cool, leather seats and spied the bags filled with her new designer clothing, shoes, cosmetics and perfume, five thousand dollars seemed like chump change. She hadn’t even been able to buy any accessories for that money.