Chrissie Fersen

Chrissie Fersen (1978 - ?)

Chrissie was the name that all but Michael got used to, right from her earliest days. She was baptised Christina Sarah Fersen, but once her grandmother had abbreviated it to 'Chrissie' the name stuck. Michael wrongly felt it was his father who had given her the name, and so he always chose to use the fuller version.

A happy and carefree child, Chrissie adored her elder brother, and followed him around wherever she could. She called him 'Eddie', her grandmother 'Terry', and her grandfather 'Pops' – which was a little unfortunate in the circumstances. Edward believes she simply heard her grandmother calling him by that name, so she copied her. Edward was also never let into the family secret. Michael was addressed as 'Dad' by Chrissie – but she rarely used the word.

She never felt encouraged to get close to her legal father, but she would spend hours with her grandparents, snuggling up to Teresa-Louise for bedtime stories, or listening to John Fersen telling her adventures of the Wild West. A fertile imagination was being nurtured. She was only ten years old when John Fersen died in 1988, but she clung to Teresa-Louise at the funeral, assuring her that 'Pops has promised he'll see us again'.

Her later attempts to write her own stories were dismissed by Michael Fersen as ‘fanciful claptrap’, and as a teenager she started to avoid his company. While brother Eddie had followed his father’s advice and gone to Colgate to qualify in business, Chrissie decided to buck the trend, and elected to major in Native American Studies at the same university. The course was not what she expected though, and she dropped out after a year, secretly moving in with Teresa-Louise to try and prevent her father from finding out. Chrissie continued the pretence for three months, all the while carrying out her own research into local history for a long-held desire to write a novel.

The inevitable happened, and Michael had a furious row with his rebellious but stubborn daughter. He had just purchased a unit in Glasgow, Scotland, and was about to spend several months there overseeing the latest expansion of Fersen Marine. It seemed like a good opportunity to try and influence Chrissie in a new way – and so took her with him. To his surprise, she became enthusiastic about the idea, and so father, son and daughter flew to the UK together as a family for the first time in 1998.  Chrissie was delighted to have the opportunity to ‘spread her wings’ and sample life in another country. She spent nearly three months in the UK, and was happy to travel beyond Glasgow to Edinburgh and to London.  Teresa-Louise joined her there for a month, and together they visited Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford and Bath (among other places), before briefly joining the male members of the family once again in Glasgow.

At the new unit Chrissie was introduced to Robert Carnegie, an engineer and son of the former owners.  Robert was 28 (8 years her senior), and later to become her fiancé, but at this stage there was no initial attraction. Michael appointed him Head of Personnel at the administrative headquarters of Fersen Marine in Manhattan, NY.  At the same time, Edward took up the equivalent post in Glasgow. When Chrissie returned to the States she almost immediately joined the staff of a provincial magazine (Tablo-ID) based in Manhattan, but was traumatised when she narrowly missed death in the terrorist attack of 9/11. Most of her colleagues died in the atrocity.

After another period of recovery spending time with her grandmother, Teresa-Louise suggested to Michael that he might find her a place working at Fersen Marine in the Manhattan office. After her father had paid for her to take a short secretarial course, Chrissie settled in as the Personal Assistant to Robert Carnegie, but the relationship got off to a bad start when she spilt coffee over his pants on day one. Romance blossomed later, and both were to enjoy the challenge of keeping the relationship secret from Michael.

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