Diversify, of course – the internet was rich with answers and oh so knowing. All he had to do was open an incognito window (as he didn’t feel like keeping this particular search in his browser’s history) and type into the searchbox “how to invest a million”, and he was showered with results, ranging from acronym paradise with SRPs and PRTs and VFDs, to plain insults, offering “no-brainer” strategies for doing something that surely needed more brain.

Fraser wasn’t built for this, and so he pushed what other’s might call “a good problem to have” but he’d call conundrum as far away as he could, one day at a time, finding himself doing unthinkable acts, like ironing laundry and volunteering to mow lawn in the shared backyard garden.

Not a small portion of his mind was also occupied with the girl who had said yes to his reckless act of self-sabotage and accepted his dinner invitation. She had an unusual name – Kirsty – and seemed to know awful a lot about cheeses for someone that hated them so much. She had also found Fraser’s indifference to the subject absolutely infuriating, so Fraser had promised to look into the matter more seriously and in that order, entirely puzzled, one morning Fraser found a box of assorted cheeses in his mailbox. It came with a card: Here’s your homework – K.

His phone rang as he was nibbling on a particularly pungent and extremely salty piece of blue that he kept flushing down with a sordid sugary drink that had come for free with a takeaway order. Both on their own were intolerable, but when mixed together, he couldn’t decide which one was worse. With the back of his hand, he slid the answer icon on the phone towards talk and then tapped on the speakerphone icon.

“Hello. Is this mister Finch?” a nasal nose voice sounding like it was about to attempt to sell to him something, inquired from the phone. Fraser had half a mind dropping the call straight away, if only his manners would allow. Plus, the cold callers most of the time did not know his name. So he gave a bland “yes”.

“Hello, mister Finch. I am calling from Second Bank of First. Just to verify, could you please tell me the first line of your home address?”

SBF was Fraser’s bank. It wasn’t a very good bank and the only reason he had been tolerating them was because they generally left him in peace. Fraser reflexively took another slice of the blue cheese, frowned at the instant salt swamp in his mouth, and gave the clerk his street address.

“Thank you very much, sir… We were wondering if we could invite you to a dinner, sir.”

A what? “A dinner?” Since when did banks went to dinners with—

“Yes, sir… Would tomorrow evening suit?”

Fraser thoughtfully threw a look around his flat. He had taken two weeks off work, as he hadn’t felt like working very much, with the conundrum hanging over his head and all. And there could only be one reason why SBF would want to talk to him. So it would be, both, a distraction and a way to tackle the issue. Also, free dinner. Fraser didn’t care right now what they said about free dinners.

“Yes, tomorrow is fine.”

“We will send a limousine to pick you up. Thank you very much, sir.” The clerk hung up.

Leaning back on his couch, Fraser took a sip of the lemonade and immediately spit it back into the can.