Some people would say that with a name like Michael London and a burning ambition to climb to the top in my financial career it was destiny that brought me to this city. In fact, as I stand here in my office with its spectacular views of Canary Wharf I have to admit that they are right. It was Destiny brought me here.
Five years ago, a life in London was the last thing on my mind. I lived in Singapore and had a high flying job where my secretary escorted me almost everywhere. Not only did she escort me everywhere, but she was my right arm when it came to booking tickets, hailing a cab or even getting a single cup of black coffee. I was the numbers genius and she managed every other detail of my existence.
This explains why I was in such a panic when I got a call on my flight to London before my first major meeting with potential investors apologizing for the rotten timing, but she felt rotten and there was no way she could drag herself out of bed to meet me at London Gatwick.
Blame the look of terror on my face, or maybe the fact that I could not hide the alarm in my voice, but when I finally looked up from my phone that I had been staring at in disbelief the woman sitting in the aisle next to me in first class was starring at me with a funny little smile on her face. (Also, the airhostess was standing next to me with an unrequested scotch on the rocks saying “We thought you might like this Mr London”).
Suddenly, I was not only panicking that my trip to London was a going to be a catastrophe and that my heavily relied upon escort slash secretary might be out of commission for a while, but also I found myself thinking that the gorgeous woman with the cutest dimple in the world would think I’m a jerk.
So I raised my glass to her and said,”London is looking like a wash out I’m afraid.”
She smiled, and asked “Why’s that?”.
So I launched into it. First my secretary could not meet me at the airport; I was so hopeless with transportation plans, phone calls, diaries or taking notes that the idea of finding Canary Wharf felt like Mission Impossible; a swanky dinner was planned for later and my secretary was meant to escort me and I would end up looking like some sad businessman who could not get a date to save my life. Also, I needed that feminine touch to take the edge off my nervousness.
After I had poured my heart out I found that she was chuckling and for a second I thought I had done the wrong thing letting a stranger into my confidence. Then she stuck her hand out.
She said, “You don’t know this yet Mr London, but you just got yourself the sympathies and service of the best personal assistant in London. The name’s Destiny Anderson.”
Destiny Anderson had been on that flight as she was on holiday from her all consuming job solving daily crises for her boss, the head of a US Fortune 500 company. This Angel of Mercy spent a week making sure I never had a single worry from the minute I had told her my story to the minute I boarded my flight at London Gatwick to travel back home to Singapore. Not only did she manage all of the boring details, but she also escorted me to the swanky dinner.
In all of London there was no woman more beautiful than Destiny that night and I knew that leaving her behind would be heartbreaking.
Sadly, there was no replacing my original secretary. She was sometimes grumpy first thing in the morning and sometimes she gave me a kick up the butt when I needed it, but she was irreplaceable.
Much as I had fallen for beautiful Destiny, taking her to Singapore to work as my newsecretary was out of the question.
Luckily getting her to move to London with me when my fund was up and running was fairly easy since I offered her what I like to think of as the dream role of being my wife.
It happened after she had escorted me to the party. She made sure that I got to my hotel room in Canary Wharf safe and sound and before I knew it I was asking her if she would consider escorting me to Paris, as I had always wanted to honeymoon there.
Cheesy I know, but I was giddy with success, a few too many gin & tonics and of course, love at the time.