Dear Miss Chambers,
I understand from my son, Roy Milne, that you are unable to afford to go on the field trip that is a vital part of the Coastal Environmental Module of the course you both participate in and that, because of your facial disfigurement and speech difficulty, you are unable to find employment to help pay for the excursion and you forthrightly rejected the professor's veiled suggestion of using sex as a means of obtaining the money. As I am sure you know, Roy also has a disability in that he has an artificial foot and a knee slightly out of line with his legs, the result of being caught in an illegal man-trap intended to catch deer when he was seven years old. The fact that he walks with a limp and cannot take part in normal sports activities has made him somewhat reclusive and he believes you have a similar problem.
With my business and the compensation he received for the loss of his foot, we/he can easily afford the £450 for the field trip, and we are prepared to offer you the means to fund yours, not as a charitable gift, which Roy suspects you wouldn't accept, but by offering you a job. You will not have to liaise with the general public and sex will not be involved.
A few weeks ago, Roy took possession of a cottage in the village of Bidwell, eight miles from the university. Structurally the cottage is sound but the interior decoration has been sadly neglected for many years when the previous owner became too old and infirm to do it herself and didn't see the necessity of doing it for the few years she had left. Roy has a balance problem when he has to stretch and work over his head and the quotes we received from professional decorators were astronomical, we, therefore, are prepared to offer you the job of helping him clean and paint the interior and are prepared to pay you at minimum wage rate. I know payment for the field trip has to be in by the end of next week and even if you worked night and day, you would never earn enough in that time so if you are prepared to take on the task, I will advance you the money against your future pay; a risk on my part too but my son believes we can trust you to fulfil your obligations.
I'm sure you have little or no experience in this work but my two brothers will give you advice and assistance. One is a banker but is a keen Do-It-Yourself enthusiast and has totally remodelled his home and the other, an electrician. He advised us that much of the wiring is old and for safety reasons, should be renewed, work that will need to be done before painting is started. Again he is prepared to offer help and advice and is qualified to do the connections. The work will obviously take months to complete and you could have a job well into the summer university break if you decide to take it and I am sure you can arrange a suitable schedule with Roy that will allow you and he to complete your university work.
Should you wish to take up our offer, please contact Roy tomorrow and we can arrange a meeting at the cottage to show you the work and discuss the terms.
He cc'd it to his son.
Eric read and reread the email before hitting the send button. In truth he hoped sex would be involved and Roy would form a relationship with the girl, a girl he had spoken of a number of times but never hinted of any personal involvement with her, or any other girl. "Since he turned eighteen, only two girls have shown an interest in him but they were more interested in his money than him as a person and after the fiasco when a girl persuaded him to buy two tickets for a concert and then stood him up and took another boy instead, he's turned his back on girls. From the little he's said about her, this one might be different. I hope so," Eric mused.
Claire also read and reread the email many times. At first sight it seemed too good to be true. "The salutation and valediction as well as the length of the email suggests Eric Milne is a rather old fashioned man more used to writing letters than sending emails so perhaps he has old fashioned principles and actually means it when he says 'no sex', not like Professor Armstrong who, I'm sure, could have arranged a bursary for me if I agreed to sleep with him. It would have only been a one-night thing anyway because he cannot stand the sight of my face and only looks at my tits when he talks to me, not that I am over endowed in that department. I guess he heard that I am still a virgin and wanted to pop another student's cherry. Roy's not shown much interest in me either, not since the project we did at college four years ago but at least he uses my proper name and doesn't call me 'catface' like many of the students. He too has the same name-calling problem because of his limp and unnatural gait they've named him 'hoppy' although for both of us, there's less of it now we are older. Do they really want a decorator? I did a little at home during my college years but only putting emulsion paint on the walls and gloss on the doors. It may all be an excuse to get us together especially as he doesn't have a girlfriend, at least I haven't heard of one. Still if I am to get a decent grade for this module and a good overall grade, I need to go on the field trip and what if sex is involved? At least it will be with a boy of my age and not the lecherous old tutor and from what little I know of Roy, I'm sure it won't be forced on me."
Prematurely born while on a camping trip and away from a hospital with only a young neighbour to help during the difficult birth, one side of Claire's head became distorted resulting in elongated facial features on one side and the right eye being slightly, but noticeably, higher than the left. Surgery reduced the distortion but her face would never be normal and invariably she tried to hide that side of her face by covering it with a one-sided hairstyle. With many of her class-mates mocking her appearance, she believed she'd never have a boyfriend and whenever possible kept in the background away from others and applied herself to her work. Rebecca, her artificially blonde roommate, barely tolerated her and frequently boasted about her boyfriends and wanted Claire to leave the room when she brought one 'home' but didn't count on her stubbornness. "If you want to bring a boy here for sex, fine, but I won't be leaving," Claire told her forcefully. They only did it once in her presence.
In the lecture hall the following day, Roy sat alongside her but after nodding a short greeting, they sat silently whilst the Professor spoke and gave his presentation and it wasn't until they were leaving did she quietly agree to see what the work entailed. Suddenly Roy's face lit up in a smile of pleasure and suggested they meet after the afternoon's session. Claire asked about the work but he replied that it would be better to see the state of the place and he could explain what needed to be done. Karen, also on the course and a close friend of Rebecca's and who probably did improve her grades by having sex with the tutor, seeing them sitting and talking together, made a snide remark to the boy alongside her, "The two cripples are getting together, perhaps it we could merge the two, we'd get one decent body." The remark, of course, upset Claire but she brightened when Roy gave her hand a squeeze. Fortunately Karen didn't notice them leave in Roy's car.
They parked alongside a skip already half full of carpets and other rubbish Roy had cleared from the house. "We bought it with the furniture and everything as the son left it when the old lady died and thought I could make use of the stuff but a lot of it is well passed its useful life." Inside Claire noted the smoke blackened ceilings from the open fireplace, the peeling wallpaper and the general grime, except that in a few places, an area of the wall had been cleaned to show the underlying paintwork or the surface beneath the paper. "It's going to take many hours of work to make the essential rooms liveable, Claire, but I want to move in as soon as I can because it is so much closer to the university than my home and I want to be more independent from the family. There are three bedrooms upstairs and one bathroom and a separate toilet. Downstairs we have the kitchen, dining room, lounge and another toilet with a utility room tacked on the back. Everything seems to work in the kitchen and bathroom but Uncle Andrew, he's the electrician, says we ought to replace the boiler and heaters before we do much else because they are old and inefficient and only just about safe. He'll come over at the weekend and help plan the wiring system. What do you think? Are you willing to help me with this project?"
Before she could reply, Eric arrived and introduced himself before repeating the question. Knowing she really didn't have a choice if she wished to go on the trip but uncertain as to her ability or if she wanted to commit herself to the project indefinitely, during the day she'd thought about and anticipated the question and mentally prepared an answer. "If you pay me £5 an hour, which is a little below minimum rate because I am totally unskilled at this type of work, for the fee of £450 I will agree to work for 90 hours and at the end of that time, we should have found our work and personal limitations. We can then make a more informed assessment of my usefulness and give both you and I the option of terminating the agreement. If at the end of that time and the work is not finished, as I'm sure it won't be, we can extend the agreement if we wish to. I presume you will provide suitable clothes and the materials to do the work."
.... There is more of this story ...