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“So, how are you feeling?” said Dr Chandler but in a very Jewish mother intonation. “Hey if you can do Sigmund Freud I can do Gertrude Berg.” She said triumphantly.
I blinked repeatedly, “I’m actually surprised that you know who Gertrude Berg is, and by the way your delivery was flawless.” I exclaimed.
She chuckled and said “I actually have a couple of her albums. They may be the only ones in Utah.”
I had to chuckle at that, she was probably right. I hadn’t seen a Synagogue or a yarmulke since I left the Valley. Of course I hadn’t seen many other ethnicities either; Just the one Sikh man, who ran the Laundromat in the village. I worked hard to learn a Punjabi greeting “Khejali”. He was absolutely floored, and very touched. It impressed my Mom as well.
“Seriously though” she asked, “How are you feeling?”
I took an internal inventory and replied, “Better, I was starting to think no one really cared what happened to me, except for you. I think I’m beginning to feel more like I was.” I smiled; it occurred to me that I really liked this woman, even though she had discovered my secret. Throw a little humor and respect at me and I’ll do almost anything I’m asked. She had a great witty mind and I enjoyed her company.
“Can I invite you to lunch?” I asked.
“Well a girl has to eat.” She griined.
Just as she says that I see the monitor. There’s an IM from Cheryl waiting.
I told Dr. Chandler that I needed to read this.
“Dear Duncan, I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. I called her attorney, he was on vacation but he’s flying to Utah to see what can be done. I don’t know all the details but she had made arrangements for you to come and live with us if something happened. I spoke with Dan and I know you have as well. Hang on a little longer Honey, the cavalry is on the way. Love, Aunt Cheryl”
I don’t know why but that set off the water works again but it didn’t take long for me to get back under control.
“Shall we?” I asked.
“Certainly;” The Doc replied.
As we passed the desk I told the Librarian “Sarah Hold my calls. I’m taking this hot babe to lunch.” She just about exploded she laughed so hard. Then I asked, “Have you seen Jerry, the boy that I brought in this morning?”
She managed to stop laughing long enough to tell me that he ran off to the mini-café with some other boys because they have pizza today.
I looked at the Doc and she said, “That’s a good sign.”
So I held out my elbow and she slipped her arm in the crook and off we went.
“So what are you in the mood to eat? Chicken maybe? They make a nice Kiev here.” The Doc inquired.
“Feh, I vas tinking maybe a nice slice of brisket a little kreplach and maybe a blini; and a Babka for after maybe.” I said in my best old Jewish guy voice.
She didn’t miss a beat “Oy Murray would it kill you maybe for once in your life to try something new?”
At this point I was laughing so hard I could barely walk straight. I said when I was finally able, “You realize we’re doing Mel Brooks and Madeline Kahn. Geez, I’m even wearing slippers and carrying a shopping bag, Oy gevalt!”
More laughter; “If you were only twenty years older.” She said.
“And straight,” I said watching the words hang there in front of me.
“Well there is that” she nodded.
“You know?” I asked.
“Well there have been a few clues; you eyeball every nice looking boy and young man that goes by but you don’t seem to notice any of the pretty girls. How long have you known?” she asked.
I wasn’t sure what to say. “I didn’t really it’s sort of a new thing and I’ve had all I can do just staying semi sane. It was way down the list of stuff to think about.”
She smiled at me and said,” I understand, let’s go into it a little more when we have a private session.” And just like that the cloud of awkward floated away and we got to enjoy lunch. For the record I had the cube steak.
After lunch I returned to the library. I had to undergo a little interrogation from Sarah but she was nice and I really did have a good time. I showed her some of the pictures my mother had carried. When I got back to the cubicle I put the first flash drive in the computer. It was every picture my Mom had ever taken. Some were of me and some were of places or people I didn’t recognize. Just a very few were of my Dad. I was surprised to find I didn’t get super emotional about them but maybe the events of the day had worn out my cry button.
I checked out the second drive. When I plugged it in I clicked explore and a little notice popped up. : To view contents scroll down and enter password: “Password” I said to myself. “If this was Mom’s it can only be one word. She had read a book called “Between the Bridge and the river”, by Craig Ferguson. He was a late night TV “Douche” (his description). He was the host of “the Late late Show” He had a robot skeleton sidekick called Geoff Peterson. He could go from pedantic drivel to Rhodes scholar in a heartbeat. I watched a few times with Mom, she would allow it if there was a good guest on. He was genuinely funny and very intelligent. The network would force these guests on him that were just there to plug a movie and he would talk to them about almost anything else. But then he had guests like Salman Rushdie and Stephen Frye and they would talk about amazing stuff. Anyway the French word for Grapefruit came up in the book and it made Mom giggle every time she thought of it.
So I typed in “Pamplemousse” into the little box and Voila. Okay so I had to Google the word to make sure I spelled it right.
The screen cleared and the first Item read “Cover Letter” so I clicked on it. It was just that; a cover letter from an attorney named Ken Bayard. It read Dear Moira; I have compiled your holdings and investments per your instructions. I have also included the trust agreement. I have sent the password you chose by separate means. I didn’t think it would fit but the drive accepted it.
I have divested all residential real estate from your portfolio and working with Tom Stewart your F/A, we have put together a fairly recession proof package. The net worth of which currently exceeds Three and one half Million U.S. Dollars; Most of which is controlled by the trust and will be exempt from inheritance tax.
It went into a lot of details mentioning monthly allowance and living expenses up to maturity when I would be expected to take charge of the trust on my own. The only condition I had to meet was to get a degree. Nothing specific just find something I want to do and get the appropriate degree and be happy and live well. I scanned through the rest of the letter and found this.
In the event that you are unable to act for Duncan, as your executor I will act in his behalf and see that the terms of the trust are invoked. Specifically that he will by prior agreement be placed with one Daniel D. McCann and his spouse Cheryl A. McCann until your son reaches majority. The McCann’s may make demands on the trust for expenses including tuition and medical treatment and other items delineated in the trust agreement. Your residence will be liquidated and the proceeds will be distributed to satisfy any creditors and the balance will be paid to the McCann family in gratitude.
As Duncan is the only beneficiary of said trust he may review it with me or the designated financial analyst as the situation warrants.
It went on quite a bit about details. The other documents were the actual trust document which was about two million pages and individual statements of deposits and investments. The very last document was a letter from my Mom to me.
Dearest Duncan, if you are reading this it means that I am no longer available to care for you. I can’t begin to explain how much that thought hurts me. You have been the world to me and the thought of leaving you before you can take care of yourself is devastating to me. Please know how much I love you and hope that you are safe with Dan and Cheryl. They are some of the finest people I have ever met, and that is why I chose them to be your guardians. You should seriously consider allowing them to adopt you. It will bring you a connection to a warm and loving family that I have always craved for both of us.
I have always enjoyed your wit and intellect, even when you were picking on my “big old purse” as you call it. When you find it show it to Uncle Dan and remember our history lessons about poor old Ethelred the unready and Hastings and your Manga Cartoons. Be brave my little man and don’t forget to Comb your mustache. I love you with all my heart, Mommy
After reading that I was torn, I was so happy that she was able to tell me how much love her heart held for me and so terribly sad that I couldn’t tell her how I felt. When I had finished reading and reacting I looked at the time, it was two-thirty on the dot. Ten minutes later the phone on the desk rang. I answered and said “Hello?” A man’s voice spoke, “Hi Duncan, I’m in the Emergency room where will I find you?” My heart raced “I’m in the library just follow the green stripe on the floor!” I said excitedly. He disconnected and I leaned forward and put my head on the desk. “Is this for real or am I going to wake up in that fishbowl cell in thirty seconds.