The Property Manager: You'll never rent again...

 

The Property Manager

 

N.S. THOMPSON

 

© Copyright, all rights reserved, NS THOMPSON 2014.

16/05/05

A nice new journal with a red leather cover. I like the smell. The pages feel sharp to the touch and have a scent of their own. Off-white parchment. Unlined. I’m an old fashioned fellow. I like to write with a pen. A good quality one so that the ink rolls smoothly onto the pages, without scratching like cheap plastic ones do. 

Computers are so impersonal.  Technology has stripped away the soul of humanity. The internet is a dirty, melting pot of perverts and whores fucking each other without even touching. Where’s the caressing, tasting, drinking in the perfume of lust? It sickens me really. Touch typing with one hand and masturbating with the other. How romantic. Part of the joy of sex is the hunting, the seduction and then the prize. The net is an excellent source of information and communication but like everything it’s been abused by the basest of us.

 

And that is why I bought myself this journal. A thing of beauty.  I dedicate it to Grace. These words written by my hand will document, and tell the story of my seduction of a ravishing red-head called Grace Templar. Hence the red leather. By the time I get to the last page, I will have captured her heart.  There is no other outcome. That is how the story will end.

 

17/05/05 Monday

Dearest Grace,

You walked into my office today and something happened to me. Do you believe in love at first sight? I never have until today. You are an attractive woman but not in a conventional Barbie-dolly way. You’ve got an amazing aura. It’s kind of pale orange as if your red hair and lips don’t quite stop but seep out like a pretty shadow around you.   You came to me looking for a house. I will find you a perfect one so don’t worry about that. The one in Panorama Drive is not it, though. I took you there for an inspection this afternoon and although you filled in a rental application form and I sensed that you really liked it, I am going to deny your application. Don’t be cross with me but I am going to give it to the couple from Canberra. They have no children and I’m worried about your youngest son with that staircase.

What’s his name, I wonder? You only put the ages on the application form, not their names. It must be hard bringing up three boys on your own. But I could feel your strength today. You’ve been hurt. I can see that in your eyes. They are bright and look like emeralds but there is just a hint of sadness. They do seem like nice kids. You’ve obviously done a good job there. I wonder how you came to be a single mother. Widowed? Divorced?  It’s not my place to ask. I’m sure you’ll open up and tell me all about it one day.

Anyway, back to the house. It’s not right but I do have the perfect house for you. I didn’t mention it today because I want you to want this house in Birch Park Road and I thought that if I showed you Panorama St for three hundred a week and then denied your application, you’d be grateful to jump at the chance to move to the house in Birch Park Road. It’s a little more expensive and I knew you didn’t want to go over the three hundred mark but trust me - I’ve been in the property management game for long enough to be able to perfectly match-make a tenant with a house. So my dear, I will call you on your mobile number tomorrow and we’ll arrange for you to see the house. You will love it.

I was unable to work all afternoon, distracted by the memory of you. I went to the news-agency and bought the most expensive journal. Consider it my serenade to you and when the day comes that I know you feel the same way that I do, I will present it to you.

 

18/05/05 Tuesday

6:35 a.m

Dear Grace,

Nervously anticipating seeing you again today and have my fingers crossed that you adore the house. It’s a perfect set-up for you. Close enough to town but far enough away to give it a rural feel. It’s a big block of land and you don’t have any visible neighbours. With three boys that will all be good, as they have plenty of outside space to play and no people close by to tell them to keep quiet. The kids can walk to the local school or ride their bikes but I think your two eldest are thirteen and sixteen so they’ll be going on the bus to Maiden Vale I guess. The bus stop isn’t that far away either.  Your application yesterday tells me that you’ve landed a job at the local medical centre. Congrats. You’re lucky to land a job straight away in a town of your choice.  I guess Doctor Maher sees that you are fabulous, as I do. I don’t go to him myself. I go to someone in Boowah, although I’m never sick much. I shouldn’t say it, but Maher is commonly referred to as Doctor Death around these parts. I think that’s just because so many of his patients are elderly and are ready to move on any way. I don’t think he accelerates that but if 80% of your patients are over eighty, you’re going to lose them pretty regularly, hence the reputation.

Anyway, I’m babbling. I’ll call you this morning and hopefully meet you at the office. Till then.

 

Later /night

Oh God, I am so relieved that you fell immediately in love with the place in Birch Park because you looked so crestfallen when I told you that you’d missed out on the other house. You were obviously keen, coming in as soon as I’d unlocked the door.

You seemed quite overwhelmed by the size of the house and its wonderfully warm ambience. The kitchen is, as you said, a chef’s dream. You didn’t elaborate and tell me whether you like cooking. I’m an excellent cook and love Italian food. You aren’t one of those really skinny women who eat like rabbits. You’re a healthy, curvy little package, aren’t you? I hope to wine and dine you in fine style some day.

 

I couldn’t really tell how you are feeling about me. You were very chatty and friendly but I guess at the moment you have to be nice to me because the ball is in my court as to whether I approve your application or not. The owners are overseas and have left me with absolute power over the choice of tenant. But don’t worry Ms Templar, because I do approve you and approve of you. I look forward to letting you know tomorrow so you can organize your furniture to come up from the city. I think you’ll be really happy here in Babylon. We’re a friendly little village and there’s a nice sense of community. You’ll appreciate that after city-dwelling. You were in Bondi, weren’t you?

I still can’t get the image out of my mind of your face as I opened the front door. It was priceless. Your jaw hit the floor. I knew you’d react that way because it is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve rented for a long time and you, my dear are one of the loveliest tenants I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I know you’re sweating on my decision tonight but fear not – the house is yours. I’ll go there by myself tomorrow, after giving you the good news and finish the inspection- report. There are a few little things I need to ready for you. I think you’ll be a much more reliable tenant than the last silly girls who lived here.

 

Night. Night. 

 

19/05/05 Wednesday

 

I am furious. Those fucking Moorebanks! Excuse the language but there is no other word for them. I should never have let the house in Rose Hill to them. I knew they’d screw us over and trash the place. $2400 is what they owe and they’ve done a runner. I could probably find them if I hung around the methadone clinic. The principal of our office, Ron Fisher, insisted that we take them on as tenants because he felt sorry for them and said they were turning over a new leaf. Once a junkie, always a junkie, I say. They have been the town trash for years now, and so against my better judgement I went ahead and rented it to them. Admittedly it’s a pretty basic, little, brick veneer property but - the filth! I’m biting my tongue at work but I’d love to tell Ron to go down there and clean the place himself!!!!

I’m sorry. It just irks me when this happens because the buck stops with me. The owners blame me. It happens more than you can imagine. But people can be so deceptive when applying for a rental property. When you ring references etc they could well be anyone. But Gracie, your application was legitimate because I checked you out thoroughly.

On a lighter note, you were so thrilled when you popped into the office and I told you the house was yours. I thought you were going to hug me there for a moment. We’ll get the lease ready for you to sign on Friday and then the keys are yours and you officially become my tenant. I’ve explained all that already.

I’m thinking about you a lot. You are so …I guess the word is…effervescent. You’ll be a breath of fresh air in this town.

I was married once, for quite a few years until our marriage began to rot and fester. She became like a slimy leech that was sucking the life out of me. But we won’t go there. No kids. Thank goodness. I do like kids and I worry about the rising number of single parent families. Children, especially boys need a father or at least a father-figure. I look forward to one day being that for your boys. I love to kick a football around. The country air is so much better for them.

 

You had the beach at Bondi but the hordes of tourists - all those dirty, smelly backpackers would have annoyed me. Here we have beautiful forestry, clean air and a beautiful range of seasons. In winter we get snow....if only for a day or so. You don’t get that at Bondi, heh? Autumn is a rusty, fiery joy and spring a festival of colour…tulips. Summer can get a bit stifling but picnics at gorgeous hidden little water holes can be delightful. I can imagine you sprawled out on rug with your russet hair like a halo around your head. The kids splashing in the distance. I’ll feed you strawberries and then kiss your lips to share the sweet taste. God, how I will love you and protect you.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just get you settled into your new home. I put a bunch of flowers in a vase in the kitchen for you with a little note saying welcome. I hope you appreciate them. The house is spotless and the lawn freshly mown.

The master bedroom is large and set away from the kids’ rooms. Do you like having those sliding doors onto the terrace? It’s nice to open the doors and feel like you’re sort of in the garden. Your en-suite looks out over the state forest so you don’t even need curtains in there. As I pointed out to you during the inspection the people who live behind you have alpacas and their paddock adjoins your place so really the only people who can see into any of your back windows are the alpacas. But of course they aren’t people are they?

You have your own private water-hole, hidden down the back of the property. It’s secluded and looks like the setting for a Norman Lindsay painting.

I’ll see you on Friday and go through the lease with you. It’s all pretty straightforward.

It’s dinnertime and I’m cooking up a spaghetti bolognaise. Wish you were here to share it with me.

It’s a lonely life I have led. I was born in London and spent my early childhood growing up in a little rocky sea-side town near Devon.  I was an only child and my father died when I was quite young. My mother was fabulous but I’ve always envied those around me who have big families. She moved us to Australia when I was twelve. I didn’t take to that very well. It was so hot and the flies were filthy. The other schoolkids made fun of my accent and used to call my mother an English whore.

I don’t know why. Perhaps because she had enormous breasts. I don’t recall ever seeing her with a male friend, ever. There was another Englishman who lived in the next door flat of our first place in Sydney and I knew he had some romantic ideas about Mum because he would bring her flowers and call her the English Rose. But nothing ever came from it because I remember her thinking he had bad teeth and a sordid past. He certainly never made it over the threshold of our tiny flat.

 

I have some nice friends here in town, but they’re all couples which sometimes makes me feel a little uncomfortable. You’ll like them, though. I suppose they are more like acquaintances than friends because I don’t socialize much.

 

You can probably relate to my situation. In fact I think it’s even worse for single mothers. They have an unfair reputation for being desperate and happy to take up with anyone. I know you’re not that way because you ooze such confidence and independence.

 

So, goodnight and I’ll get back to writing a letter to the owners of the place the Moorebanks’ destroyed. You have no idea how some people can live. Cats and dogs inside; garbage waist high and dirty nappies that the animals have feasted on. You get the picture. What a nightmare I have ahead of me to get it rentable again.

 

21/05/05 Friday

 

Woke up early and went for a jog. I’ve been a bit slack of late. Too busy at work. The receptionist is sick and so naturally Ron and Karen point all the mundane paperwork my way because being SALESPEOPLE they are far too important. They have this superior attitude because in their eyes they deal with real people while I deal with losers who can’t buy their own homes. They get a commission and I’m on a salary. They drive better cars and… well they are just generally pompous. So my morning runs have suffered because I have to go to the office an hour earlier than usual. I get edgy and irritable if I’m not exercising regularly.

I generally run about eight kilometres. That’s from my place which is near town, down past the primary school along the road parallel to the railway line. I cross at the station crossing and run up the hill past the large Manor House and then I sweat past the new estate where your place is and curve about one of the cul-de-sacs and trace my steps home. It’s just long enough to give the cardiac boost but not enough to exhaust me.

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