Walking alone in the suburban was not as demanding as the prospect that lay ahead of her. Olivia was going to attend to what she felt, as the first real responsibility that had come her way. Her mother had deemed all the offers and finally decided to buy the house that lay just close to the city outskirts and now, it was Olivia who was going to check out the supposedly white mansion.
As she rounded the last corner of the street, she came to a halt. On either sides of a great banyan tree stood two beautiful mansions like she had never witnessed before. ‘Mansion’ was an understatement for the two seemingly spectacular buildings that were demanding all her attention. The duo were casting a whitish glow to the entire locality.
The contract manager had promised to be present just as she arrived, but there wasn’t a single soul around. The mansion to the left seemed to fit the description her mother had been relentlessly speaking about all morning. Now, driven by curiosity, she floated to the front gates that lay open.
The house was so humongous that she felt she might get lost if she ventured alone, so she decided to stay back at the entrance. She let her mind wander along the beautiful garden that surrounded the mansion, the mango leaves were fluttering, birds were chirping and the sweet fragrance of roses were playing in her nose. Just as she began enjoying the orchards, someone entered through the front gate.
Olivia had never expected the contract manager to be a boy of nearly her age. He looked close to eighteen and as he approached her, he was flashing a brilliant smile that lit his face just as much as the white mansion.
“Thank you for being on time.” She mumbled as he came closer.
“I am really sorry for keeping you waiting, I am Kevin.” He said, smiling and extending his slender arms. Olivia clutched his palm and shook it gently, “I am Olivia, now can we get on to the business. I am dying to explore the house.”
“Yeah sure, follow me.”
The way he show-cased the house was every bit as boring as it could be, but Olivia was finding the boy to be much too charming. She couldn’t help but keep staring at him as he grinned and ranted on about this and that. She had long since lost interest in the mansion and her eyes were always on Kevin. He didn’t seemed to mind her stare and looked on it, as if it was what he went through every day. Finally they sat down, back where they had started.
“So, what do you think about the house?” he asked her. “Fabulous!” she said without thinking.
“I guess you liked the chandelier in the dining hall the most, didn’t you?”
“Yes, absolutely. How do you know?” she echoed, her thoughts seemed clouded.
The boy laughed out loud. “What?” she demanded. “It’s just that the house doesn’t have a chandelier.” He said between fits of laughter. Even as she was ashamed of the way she was behaving, she was mystified by the beauty of the boy.
Olivia tried to collect her thoughts just as Kevin’s phone rang. “Just a sec.” he said and moved away from her view to attend the call.
As she wondered about the weird way things have been proceeding lately, a car came to a screeching halt right at the doorsteps of the veranda. A man in his mid-thirties stepped out in a flash and half- ran half- walked to her.
He said, “Hello ma’am, I am Kevin, the contract manager and I will be leading your house tour, sorry for arriving late. By the way, I am glad I found you here, this is not the mansion I was talking about, it is the other one, you see.”