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She used her parent’s inheritance to buy a plane ticket with no return date.

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She did well: she would never again cross the ocean that separated her from a miserable childhood.

The first few years were tough in the capital of the world. In the afternoons she attended The School of Art and during the mornings she worked cleaning rooms in a five-star hotel. 

At the School they soon realized her innate aesthetic sensibility and her tireless capacity for work.

Her demanding teachers stimulated and directed her talent, and she devoted all her resources to developing a sharp visionary ability to anticipate market trends. After finishing her studies, she found a job without the limits of a schedule in a prestigious auction house. 

There she served coffees and distributed correspondence, but she also learned a lot by observing how the mechanism of the business of Art worked, often governed by capricious rules. 

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From time to time, her boss, a rough and arrogant man, seemed to listen to some of her suggestions. 

The salary was low, but she knew how to live with the essentials and invest the results of her efforts in more studies, more work, and the perfection of her instincts. 

Her first work of art was acquired in the Latin Quarter, a painting on a copper sheet from a Cuban exile painter who lived poorly by selling his drawings outdoors. 

The extraordinary vitality of the brushstroke and the very modern combination of textures with colors did not go unnoticed by her. 

A year later she sold the work for twenty times more expensive than what she had paid for it. 

She learned to master the business of buying and selling art and her savings tripled. 

She left the auction house, abandoned her study in the suburbs, and moved downtown. 

That was the beginning of it all.

And now here she was five years later, and twenty minutes short of opening her first art gallery. 

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She took a sip of champagne to dilute the memories of the past. 

She deserved to enjoy what she had achieved.

Her assistant came over to pick up the cup and to point out that it was time to open the doors. She nodded while taking one last look at the pieces of art around her. 

They were all magnificent. 

 A single feeling of pride and an exultant sense of accomplishment subdued the nerves inside her. 

A smile curled her lips. 

She was prepared. 

Tonight was her big night. 

She was shining.