I braved the storm and headed to the city’s east side, where the highflyers and fancy folks lived. Her father was a highflyer of the highest order. A captain of industry and leader among leaders, at least that is what most people thought of him.
I knew better. He thought no one was going to be good enough for his little girl. Maybe, he was right, as most of the kids she brought home before were spoiled little brats that never had to work for anything.
I was his chauffeur’s kid and had helped my dad with the family’s cars since I could walk. I knew those cars inside out, almost as well as my father. When I became old enough to obtain a chauffeur’s license, I started driving for the family.
I grew up with Emma Sands and drove her on many dates. To Emma, I was just one of those always just the driver until one night when one of her dates stood her up. Jokingly, I volunteered to go in his place. She said yes. After that, we became more than a family member and employee and started seeing her when her father was out of town. We both knew he would never permit her to see a lowly chauffer’s son.
Eventually, her father found out, as we were not as careful as we should have been. Her father was furious, and my father decided to resign in disgrace. I talked him out of it—I resigned.
Time to tell Emma I decided to leave. I knocked on the front door.
Emma greeted me, and I knew the second I saw her that I couldn’t leave. We kissed just as her father walked in.
“Dad.” Emma turned toward her father, somewhat embarrassed as I stepped back from her, still holding her hand.
“Emma, I told you to stay away from him.” He pointed at me, his hands shaking with rage.
“Sir!” I took a deep breath and stood face to face with him.
“I’ve known you for decades. I grew up here on the estate, drove every car you have, and even fixed many of them. As far as I know, I’ve never done anything to bring you shame or displeasure—until now, it seems. Emma and I grew up together. You watched us. She has always done what you asked her to do., all the fancy schools, and parties where you thought it was proper and she would meet the right guy. The guy you approved of for her. But...,” I hesitated a second, catching my breath and thinking for a second. “She’s well past the age you can tell what to do. She’s made up her mind, and she’s leaving with me.”
We stood together holding hands, Emma not leaving my side.
Brighton Sands, captain of Industry, then said something I wasn’t expecting. “Yes, she is. She can go, and you’re more than welcome here anytime.”
He stuck out his hand. I reached for it, unsure what was happening.
He grinned. “You passed the test. You stood up to me and told me to go to hell. You’ll do just fine.”