The summer break gave Timothy some time to think over his future. He had gained excellent marks up till now and had no doubt of his academic success in his final year, but then what? One thing was decided, whatever his future held for him he wanted to face it with Lucy by his side.



If only choosing a career was as easy as choosing a wife. He sighed to himself and ran through the options in his mind again. There were many different careers open to him, but none appealed.  The one thing he really enjoyed was his business, but working there after four years at University seemed a waste of his education. He wondered what his Dad would say if he was still around. Timothy had idolised his father, Ernest and his love of owning and working in his own business had come from him.



It made him proud to carrying on the Wintersmith tradition of aptitude at business and to build on the business empire his father had started.



Sighing, he pulled himself out of bed and dressed. It might be the summer holidays, but he still had a business to run. Wintersmith Furniture Discounts had been expanding under Timothy’s management and he had built a little office to one side of the shop floor.


Today he had his regular meeting with Antonio, the representative of the family business that now owned half of Furniture Discounts. After going through the accounts together and discussing various matters of business Antonio remarked “You are very quiet today, a lot on your mind?”Timothy, who had been staring into space, brought his thoughts back to the present and replied “Yes, I am trying to work out where my future lies. None of the careers open to me, interest me.”



Antonio studied Timothy’s face for a minute before asking “A nine to five job isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, what do you see yourself doing?” Timothy considered for a moment “I love working here, I love the feel of getting a customer to buy when a moment before they had only come in to browse. I love watching the business thrive and grow as I make decisions.” replied Timothy his eyes sparkling.



Antonio smiled and replied “Yes you do have a talent, that’s for sure. In fact it hasn’t gone unnoticed. As I have told you, our family has many and varied interests I am sure we could find a niche for a man of your talent, what do you say?”



Timothy’s face showed his surprise “That’s very kind” he replied.  

Antonio continued “I will talk to my father, they would expect you to work up from the bottom, but I am sure a man of your talents would quickly progress.  What’s most important to us is loyalty; we reward those who are loyal to us.” Timothy nodded understandingly “Of course, a business can’t run without it.”


His talk with Antonio lightened Timothy’s heart and he returned home that evening much happier. He knew Antonio’s family indeed owned or part owned a lot of the businesses in this area, if they were willing to take him on, there was no knowing where he might end up.


A few days later Timothy took Lucy to the new restaurant that had just opened.



Timothy had told Lucy he wanted to come and see what the competition for his restaurant was like and suggested that they both dress up for the occasion. Over dinner he told Lucy of his conversation with Antonio, Lucy was surprised to hear Timothy say the normal University careers didn’t suit him, but she trusted in his judgement. If he thought Antonio was offering him a real opportunity, she wouldn’t stand in his way and so she replied “Well that’s great, I am so glad Antonio has recognised your talent.” Timothy took Lucy’s hand and smiled back at her “You are so amazing, you know that, I can always count on your support.” And he took a deep breath and fumbled in his pocket and continued



“In fact I want to be able to always have your support and love” and producing a ring he asked “Lucy will you marry me?”



Although Lucy had been half expecting a declaration for some time, she hadn’t even considered it tonight. She had accepted Timothy’s story that they were checking out the competition. Her face turned from a look of surprise to a huge smile, the tears glistening in her eyes.



“Yes, oh yes, of course I will.” Lucy put out her hand for Timothy to slide on the ring, and after glancing at it sparkling in the light she hugged Timothy tight.