Holy Water
By
RettaMichaels
The Queen of Gay Romance”

Holy Water


Sitting in the back of the class, I heard a plaintive whining voice once again ask me if I knew the answer to the equation she was pointing at the board. I stood by my seat and upon giving the problem a glance gave a proper answer.


I sat back down and upon placing my chin on my hands, fell back into a peaceful slumber of a day dream about Josh Winters who sat two rows forward.


Josh, to me, was a fantasy who walked amongst us in my high school. 3BH is what I called him. Blonde Built Beautiful and Hung. Yes, I knew his endowment as I had fortunately found myself in his gym class.


He turned, "Rat? Are you throwing the party this weekend?"


"Yeah."


"Can anyone come?"


"Only you Josh. It's a private party. I'm keeping the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door from Friday until Sunday. You'll be allowed to leave about 10pm Sunday night."


His eyes bulged out, "HUH?"


I blinked a few times, "Uh, sorry Dude, what did you say again?"


He smiled real big, "You were talking about a 'Do Not Disturb' sign for our party."


"Oh ok. If you want..."


He blinked a few times and grinned broader, "What will we do at our party?"


"Whatever you want. You're the one who wants to come. I'll come too just to make it fair."


He leaned over, "Are we gonna be nude?"


"THe room has a jacuzzi. I hope you're nude!"


"Are you gonna be?"


"I sleep nude. That way you're the early bird and you can get the worm."


"Dude, you're drunk!"


Just then, the bell rang and I leaned forward, "Room 318... La Quinta Suites. It's the honeymoon suite. You show if you're not scared!"


He looked offended, "I've never been scared of anything!"


I nodded, "6pm. Tell you're parents you're staying over with me for the weekend."


He walked with me, "Ok!"


I went out to my car with him following. When I got there, I turned and he bumped into me. He leaned in and said, "I hope you have enough lube to handle all this."


"I'll have lube and Anal-Eze. You’ve gotta handle some also."


He looked surprised and I nodded, "You'll love it."


He gave me a look, "I've wanted you for a long time."


"You look like you're kissing me all over this parking lot. I hope you're serious because several girls have out their phones."


He kissed me deep, "Your rep goes up with mine!"


"Dude, I'm not the one worried about it!"


He smiled real big, "Fuck 'em. We've got two weeks left of school!"


He walked off and I got in my car. Before I could back out, Heather was at my window banging on it. I slid it down, "Yeah?"


"Did I just see what I thought I saw?"


I gave her a look, "Yeah, why?"


"You and he are together?"


"Girl, we've been together for over a year! Didn't you know that?"


She looked shocked, "NO!"


I shook my head, "I don't know where you've been but we've been together and we're going to the same college. With some luck, we'll find a house together there in three weeks when we make the trip up to look around."


She looked even more shocked, "My GAWD!"


"Girl, you need to let me out of here. The triplets are on their way over!"


She smiled, "You need to lighten up on them!"


"They've been cunts to me from day one in 1st grade!"


"They think you're hot!"


"I know otherwise. The only one I want to be hot for is Josh."


They got there and Mandy said, "We saw you and Josh making out!"


Heather turned, "They've been together for a year."


I said, "A year, three months, and 12 days... but who's counting?"


They all looked shocked and Heather smiled, "Didn't you guys know!"


I said, "Sorry to burst your bubbles, but Josh and I chose to not let it out. He's just decided that he's going open with it and that's fine with me. After all, we're moving in together in 3 weeks."


Britney sneered, "Who's the man and who's the woman?"


I rolled my eyes, "Girl, he's the man and I'm the man. It's not like breeder sex! Look it up on the internet!"


"I HAVE!"


"Did you learn something new?"


"It's disgusting!"


I gave a smirk, "Girl, I doubt if you could keep a man happy anyway! I was hoping you'd learned something to help you get over being the bridesmaid all the time!"


She looked pissed and pulled out her key. I gave her a look, "Bitch, the second you go for the scratch, I'm going for the beat down! If you think I won't, I promise you that sewn in hair is getting thrown to Heather for her collection! And if you think I won't snatch and grab, you don't know how a real queen fights! I think you're pissed because you wanted him and just learned you couldn't have him."


Murphy said, "She wanted you! She's got your pictures all over her bedroom walls!"


I rolled my eyes, "Britney, when I need a surrogate, we'll talk. You can say you're having my baby when the turkey baster does the job."


Mandy looked shocked, "I will NOT!"


"Ok, but you didn't deny having my pictures up all over your walls. I find it rather interesting because Josh doesn't even have that!"


"I've loved you longer!"


"Girl, I'm gay. My suggestion is to get over there to John who's wanted you since pre-school... or so he says."


She looked shocked, "Really!"


I pulled my phone and dialed. When he answered, he said, "You and Josh have really screwed up! About 10 people saw you two kissing!"


"I have you on speakerphone. The triplets and Heather are out here with me. Britney just learned I'm gay and that you have had the hots for her. She's rather disbelieving and needs someone to hold her while she gets over ripping all my pictures down in her bedroom. Do you think you could spend some time holding her in her bedroom?"


His voice suddenly got a smile to it, 'YEAH!"


"Dude, don't sound so happy about it. She'll probably fill a trash basket with all the shreds of my pictures! You just remember that what mine will fill, yours will also!"


"I'm not gonna screw it up!"


"Dude, I didn't screw it up! Whom I love and whom she loves aren't the same!"


"I'm heading that way!"


"Ok. You ask real nice and I bet you could father her next baby!"


He laughed and I said, "Just remember I get the first with the turkey baster... If not, you've gotta name it Rat!"


I rang off and said, "Girl, my advice is to get yourself a magnifying glass and a jeweler."


"Why?"


"Uh, his family jewels are that small???"


She smiled real big, "I think not!"


"Ok, but you just remember that I told you they were that small because they weren't hidden by a massive cock of any sort!"


She laughed, "He doesn't need that with me!"


I nodded, "Oh yeah, you're into watching gay porn!"


They all laughed and she smiled real big, "If you weren't so cute, I'd hate you!"


"You just remember who introduced you to the love of your life!"


John ran up full speed. I said, "If he'd ran like that in football, we'd went to state!"


Everyone laughed and he came running up. I said, "Dude, I'm signing you up for the high heel Olympics!"


He shot me a look and I nodded, "When you're laying in her arms and staring up at the ceiling, I'll be staring down at you!"


They laughed and I said, "Now, I need to go get strawberries, whipped topping, and all the groceries to make it good sex! You two just remember the rubbers. You might get a rubber band to keep it on."


He looked shocked and I said, "I wasn’t talking to you! She's into gay porn... You'll be a star!"


They really laughed and he shook his head, "No one knew about you two!"


"Heather here knew. It just goes to show that when someone knows who can keep their mouth shut, they show they could've been a friend to everyone all along! Thankfully, I chose well!"


Heather beamed and John said, "I wouldn't have told!"


I rolled my eyes, "John..."


My phone rang, "Hello?"


Josh said, "I'm out of football practice early. Could you come back and get me?"


"I'm still out on the parking lot dealing with people about that kiss."


"I'll be right there."


"They're finding it hard to believe that we've been together for a year, three months, and twelve days."


"Thirteen days!" He said giggling.


"Ok. Get here!"


I rang off and said, "Everyone, I stand corrected. He says it's 13 days. I think he's thinking about when he bought the card and thinks I should've known because I helped pick it out that it was for me!"


Everyone giggled and Josh came running up. I popped the hatch and he put in his gear. He said, "Last day of soccer practice. The coach isn't going to make us go to graduation."


John went over to be by Britney, and Josh came over and gave me a kiss. "Did you miss me?"


"They've been keeping me company. Sure, a few of them's eyes are bugging out, but that's to be expected."


John said, "I think it's cool!"


I nodded, "I do too... She's got sex toys with my name on them and you're about to find out what they feel like!"


Everyone really laughed and Britney smiled real big, "I do not!"


I rolled my eyes, "Girl, do you know how I know you have vibrators???"


She looked shocked, "How!"


"Look at the claws on your middle fingers! Everyone knows that if there's claws, there's a need for batteries!"


She looked embarrassed and I nodded, "See John, you're gonna smell a Rat!"


I turned, and gave a kiss kiss to Heather, and turned, "Everyone he and I have to go shopping. You have a wonderful weekend."


We got in the car and I drove. He said, "You're as full of shit as a Christmas goose!


"Heather came over and I started with a little lie about how long we've been together. THEN, the triplets came over and got told. That caused a minor meltdown with Britney which got John out and them two put together, so that was good."


"Where are we going?"


"To the grocery store. We're getting strawberries, whipped topping, chocolate pudding, and everything we want for an enjoyable weekend."


"Pizza!"


I did that slow turn of my head, "Uh, this is to eat off each other's bodies. I promise you that if you wrap that hot piece of pizza around anything of mine, I'm going to return that warm hot feeling by shoving jalapenos up your ass! One of us will eat that off of the other and probably wonder what that fleshiness is because the skin's off my cock. I promise you that the jalapenos won't be eaten until you're finished. As you're gagging, I'm going to be applying superglue to make sure the retching doesn't dislodge anything!"


He laughed real loud, "Ok. I'd better say that we'll order out for pizza and leave it away from each other's bodies!"


I smiled, "So a blowjob isn't out of the question?"


He laughed real loud, "No, it's not out of the question. It's just that you're way more forward than I am discussing things like that!"


"Believe me, there are parts of me which are cheering and other parts of me which are having heart failure from what's coming out of my mouth!"


He laughed again, "Then why are you doing it?"


"Well, the dick said, "Blowjob! Check to see if he's for sure about that!", so the mouth and brain said, "Ooh great! Check because you're not giving a thing if you're not getting one!". The ears are going, "Oh my God! You said it! I can't believe you said it!"."


He laughed again, "I can't believe you did either, but I'm glad to know I'll be getting one!"


"First of all, we're trimming the bush and everything down south. You get to trim me and I get to trim you. That way, we're getting to know each other's body parts without having to do anything intimate with them at first."


"Ok. I know I've stared at you before and think you're hot!"


"Likewise."


We got to Walmart and went in. Together, we went shopping and got everything including cherry pie filling, some popcorn for the movies we'd be watching, some Doritos nachos sauce and everything to make game day nachos. Then, we got some things to make firehouse burger.

At first, he wasn't sure about the firehouse burgers. Here's what they are basically.

First of all, you have to have an oblong slow cooker. Then, you take 8 angus burgers... The ones in the boxes which are premade with onions and other ingredients are the best. If not, you'll need dehydrated onions... a small 2 or 3 ounce spice container of those. After that, you'll need an 8 ounce package of shredded colby cheese, a 16 oz. can of Hormel chili, and a bottle of real good barbecue sauce. Lastly, Baco's.

What you do is you lay in 8 of those burger patties. Then, you shake the minced onions in on it. Then, you pour the barbecue sauce, cover with the cheese, and then top with the chili. Top with the Baco's

(I've mixed 1 pound of pork sausage in with my meat and made patties. I put sweet garlic, the minced onions, and everything on into that mix and did it that way.)

What you end up with is some really good burgers which have cooked real slow and taken on the flavor of everything. When you serve them, you put them on real nice rolls and top with the sauce. There should be enough cheese sauce to cover nachos on the side... (I put chili & cheese Fritos and cover with the sauce. It's real good.)


When he heard about them, he smiled real big, "MAN, you know how to cook good!"


"There are a lot of those slow cooker meals we can make at college."


He gave me a look, "Where are you going to college?"


"The same as you... Yale."


"Really!"


"Yeah. I didn't do it on purpose. I chose Yale Law because I wasn't sure if Harvard Law, Dartmouth, or Yale would satisfy what I wanted.

On a whim, I decided to make an application for Yale, as well as the others. They approved me and Mr. Tucker said that you'd been accepted also."


He nodded, "You DO realize with us being accepted, we're probably the only two from our entire state which got scholarships!"


"Really?"


"It's tough like you wouldn't believe to get in!"


"Did they do the interview with you over Skype too?"


"Yeah."


"I hated that."


He nodded, "I thought it was tacky."


"I won't complain now that I know it's just us from our state, but man I didn't know that going in!"


"You had to have gotten really good grades."


"Yeah. I worked hard and I volunteered a lot at the library, nursing homes, and the senior center."


"Really? I used my Boy Scouts, my experience with the sand bagging with the floods, and the riverside clean up."


"That'd be cool too!"


He smiled, "How many letters of recommendation did you get?"


"Gobs. The advantage I had was I didn't have to run around to get them... Most of the women on the library's board are all Yale grads."


"Really!"


I nodded, "It's funny because the guys on the board are all Harvard grads and finding a Dartmouth grad was nearly impossible!"


"Judge Mary."


"I got a letter from her too! I didn't ask, but she offered it up!"


He smiled real big, "My Dad spoke with her at the court house."


"I'm going to ask a question and you can decide if you want to do it or not..."


"Ok."


"The second week of June, I'm going up to buy a house. I already lied and told everyone we were moving in together, but I would like it if you would do that."


"Ok! That'd be great!"


"My parents already know about me."


"How'd that go?"


I took a deep breath, "My Dad told me that I'm dead to him."


He looked shocked, "FUCK!"


"Mom and both sets of grandparents all said they knew already. My older brother won't speak with me and my sister thinks I'm doing it for the attention... Needless to say, she approves, but she's ostracizing me for other reasons!"


He laughed, "MAN!"


"All the sports we've done didn't matter one bit to my Dad. As long as I was a chip off the old block, he was cool with it. And when I chose to be honest, he was raising hell and taking no prisoners.

In regards to my brother, he thinks it's sick, disgusting, and called a bunch of names. Then, he said he won't be back for holidays because of it.

Mom wouldn't put up with it. She told him that he'd be at the house on Christmas and get his gift card in an envelope and eat with the family, or she'd use the gift card for other things and he'd be ass out."


"Did he show?"


"Yeah. He showed, didn't speak with anyone unless it was impossible to do so otherwise, and left when the clock struck 4pm.. Mom says that he won't speak with her anymore over it."


"JEEZ!!!"


"Here's a tidbit of information. My money I'm spending for the house and my time in college is in a trust fund."


"Ok. Mine is too."


"My Dad tried to get that stopped. Unfortunately for him, he got told the tax penalties were enough that he needed to seriously reconsider everything.

My Grandfather got told and he went to my Dad and told him, "Do it and I'll see you're arrested for fraud."... and had it planned that would be what happened. Also, Gramps had a meeting with everyone at the last family reunion and told them that if they wanted to butt heads with me over it, that he'd see to it they'd be excluded from their Will line by line.

My brother seems to think Gramps is a liar because he told Gramps to try and he'd contest the Will! Well, Gramps got him removed."


"MAN! Mine was easy compared to yours!"


"Here's the benefit of everything and then, I'll tell you the bad."


"Ok."


"Right after I told everyone, I had to go to work at the library. When I got there, I was a mess and told Miss June what had happened and why I was upset. She had me start working in the office with her and got me into library administration and the business side of it.

Grandma and she are real good friends and Grandma filled her in on the rest. Miss June took me under her wing and we got me applied to all the colleges I wanted to apply. Gramps has made it clear that he'll get me whatever I need should anything happen with the funding.

My other Grandparents, Mom's parents are really supportive. He's been great about it and we've spent a lot of time working on strategy to get me into the college of my choice. He's the one who worked with me on the interview skills and answers."


"Cool! Now, what's the bad?"


"Mom's filing for divorce in July."


"Why July?"


"She wants me up there getting the house bought and furnished. Then, she wants me to trade this car off on a new one and then, she's filing. She says she wants me protected so that if it goes bad, she can win it in divorce court and give it right back to me."


"Would he do that?"


"He can't! His own Dad is ready to pounce as soon as he goes for the screw over!"


"That's just terrible!"


"Here's what I know. Dad and Mom had the trust funds set up for us to receive as soon as we turned 18 years old. Dad wanted to change that and got hammered by the judge.

The judge asked why and Dad tried telling him that my decisions weren't smart. The Judge then asked what he was referring and let Dad go on on and on about everything and then pointed at him and said, "Sir, you're a liar! Step back, because I'm about to ask your son as to why you're doing it. I already know the reason and as soon as he confirms what I've heard outside of this courtroom, I'm going to rule against you and order that you stay away from that money!"

Dad attempted to say that it was a revokable trust and the Judge said, "Sir, if you revoke it after I've ruled against you, you had best be be on the run outside of this country because I promise you that my first phone call will be to the IRS and my second will be to get that plane turned back around!"

Needless to say, what the judge did was he got it safeguarded so that HE had to be able to sign behind Dad on that and the day I turned 18, it went into my name."


"How'd that go?"


"Dad started saying that I had no home to live in and to get home and get my things out. The judge nodded and said, "Son, he's going to jail. You're allowed to live in that house until the day you graduate. The second he forces you out, I'll have him thrown up on charges which will ruin his reputation!"

Dad wanted to argue that point and the judge said, "Sir, step into my courtroom! If you think I'll play fools with you, you're about to discover how serious I'll get!" Then, he called Dad's attorney for him and said, "Get to my courtroom. Your client is about to buy himself 20 years!".

Needless to say, Dad got away from the money and that's when Mom said she's done."


"That's just terrible!"


"I'm not going to tell you that it wasn't dysfunctional prior to that. It's never been good."


He nodded, "I've heard a lot of things. I'm sorry that he wasn't nicer."


"Here's the thing about it... My brother and my sister were the golden children in my Dad's eyes."


"Why?"


"Here's the deal... and I'll tell you I heard this in an argument and Mom really cried. He accused her of screwing around on him and that I wasn't his. He TRIED to say that she lied to him in order to get pregnant."


"What an asshole!"


"Here's what I'll say and then, you'll know how it really was... Mom was really upset. I'll tell you she left that night and she was ready to divorce him then.

What solved that was my Grandfather heard what he'd said and brought over a video tape made at the Christmas before I was born. In it, Dad was talking about going home and making a baby.

Then, Gramps said, "I'll tell her it's to be used in the divorce. You go ahead and run that DNA on him and when you're found to be his Daddy, I'm takin' you out behind the woodshed and takin' an axe and beating you with the thing! If you DO NOT think I'll aim low so you sing high you dumbass, you don't know what I'm thinking right now!"

Well, they got back together and each time he wanted to say something stupid, she'd dial the phone and tell him to call Grandpa and tell him that stuff, and then, repeat the conversation to her attorney...and then to his. He got the jest real quick that the topic wasn't fodder for his amusement any longer.

Now, what I'll tell you is this...Both Dan and Diane got attention poured on them by him, but when it came to me, I got told to get away from him and to get over and be with Mom."


"What an asshole!"


I gave a nod, "When I got into sports, Mom came to the games religiously. He'd come if we were good and were going into the playoffs. If we did, he'd be around me just long enough to get attention for it like he actually supported me. Mom caught onto him doing that and laid into him one night by telling him that the steak dinner was off and that we would be going to eat pizza like we did all the other times. She said, "That's the routine, and that's what we do. If you want to be a part of his life, you be there week in and week out. Don't you get his hopes up just to dash them because I'll call you out on it the second you do!"."


"What did he say!"


"He told her to shut up and got away from me."


He shook his head, "What do you think about that?"


"No love lost. It had to be there in order for it to happen." I paused, "Here's what I really think... Between you and I, far too many people know the truth. A lot of people are saying that he's ruined the family business and won't do business with him if he's running the place."


"How'd he get the furniture store and funeral home if your grandparents didn't operate it?"


"My Great Uncle operated it. He never married and it's said that he was gay. I don't know, but he operated it up to the point of giving it over to Dad, and making Dad intern to get it for 5 years. After that, he got a percentage of the proceeds up until his passing and then, Dad got everything.

What I think is this... Mom's already got someone whom she's been attracted to for quite some time."


"Who's that?"


"Mr. Grant down at the pharmacy at the hospital."


"OH! He's real cool!"


"I really like him. He's treated her like gold as far back as I can remember. He's told her he's wished she'd made a better choice and for a while, she's told him to give it some time and she'd make better. He'd nod and say, "I'm waiting!", and he has."


"Man!"


"Here's what else I think... and you can take this to the bank. I think that the second Mom finally files for divorce and gets it, Gramps is going to have a meeting with Dad and tell him the farming property and the bank are no longer going to be split with him and that his share will go to us kids.

Gramps has complained a long time about Dan and Diane not being around to work it in order to get a thing."


"Why does it matter?"


"It's a family legacy. Everything in these parts was once owned by our family. Gramps got everything because it boiled down to he and his brother.

When you go back further, the shoe company, the street cars and the power company, the bus system, and the coal, ice, quarry, and the stone company were all ours...and still are in some way or fashion."


"I knew there was a lot of money in your family... and that it's old money. Dad said that he's surprised there's no one in law. Now I see you're heading that direction!"


"Here's why. Gramps has spent millions with lawyers and accountants through the years. Time and time again, he's said that he should've went into law in order to operate everything, but didn't."


"Why not?"


"Here's why. You have to go back and then, you'll see that the second he got out of high school, he was drafted to go to Korea. He went."


"Why didn't he go to college?"


"He wanted to be a farmer and farm the land."


"Oh!"


"My Great Uncle Benny was the businessman. He went for the furniture store and the mortuary because that's what appealed to him. It was low key and he could sell furniture and sideline in the other."


"It's strange. I don't put the two together."


"Years and years ago, the man who made your casket also made your furniture. He had the choice hardwoods, and he had the broadcloth needed in the silks, satins, and the padding."


"OH!"


"I could build any of it. I've been there and know enough that it's fascinating to me, but I won't work beside my Dad in a damned thing!"


"I don't blame you!"


"Here's what I think... and this is a real rough guess... I think my Dad dated my Mom for one reason and that was her looks. She chose him because of the family's money, and thought she'd have a better life. She might've, but Dad's an asshole and I hear that's changed since I've been alive."


"Because he thinks she screwed around."


"Yeah, but she didn't."


"I don't think she did. I think she's waited it out to make sure you got everything you needed and then, she's heading out too."


"Yeah."


"A lot of women do that...who are from the old school. A lot of them choose to stick it out because of the retirement and all that. Nowadays, IF they get married, it's rare. However, if they do, they usually don't plan strategically and get to that 10 year point...which is dumb."


"I agree."


We finished and took everything to the car. He asked, "What does your Mom think about you doing this?"


"She doesn't know. What she knows is that if I've got pressures, I go to the motel and stay for the weekend."


"Why?"


"Peace and quiet. If I study at the dining room table, it gets disturbed. If I'm at the motel, it doesn't."


"Do you guys own that too?"


"Yeah, we own it all out there! That was a part of one of the farms and got broke off when the new highway went through."


"MAN!"


"The industrial park is ours. The business park is ours. The employment office is ours leased to the state. The strip mall is ours. And the gas station, the McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, Long John Silvers, and the iHop are all ours. Across the highway, we've got the two car dealerships, the tractor and implement place, and the strip mall with the AutoZone and everything in it."


"Why didn't you shop for all this at your family's grocery store!"


"I don't get a discount one there! Besides, I don't think they'd had everything we've gotten here..."


We went to the La Quinta and parked. I went in and said, "I'm taking 318."


Mary smiled, "Ok hon!"


"I'll call Mom from the room and tell her that I've got finals next week and need to study." I motioned over, "Josh is staying with me this weekend, and the 'Do Not Disturb' will be on the door. He's got a lot of the same classes as me, so we're making sure we get through it."

I took a breath, "Everyone knows at the library, nursing home, and senior center already. For all intents and purposes, I'm finished there because of graduation and all that."


She nodded, "It's getting hectic for you!"


"Yeah. It'll settle down in time to speed back up for college."


She laughed, "I don't envy you one bit!"


I gave her a hug, "Later, I'll check everything and see how it's going. At that time, I'll make us up a pitcher of orange juice and take up some breakfast rolls."


She nodded, "Ok dear!"


We went up and he said, "This is the first time I've been in here except for the back side out there where the convention center is located.". He smiled, "You guys have it made because everyone wants the Proms to be here!"


"The day they decided to stop holding the formal dinners at the school, this got franchised. Gramps said that if the school wanted to be tightwads, we'd be happy to capitalize upon it. Since then, we've not just had those proms, but we've had gobs of class reunions, wedding receptions, and lots of dinners and meetings for a lot of our other endeavors.

If you really want to know, the scout dinner won't be held here and neither will anything else which won't support gays. Gramps refuses those personally and they know the reason. That's why those are held at the banquet hall at the church."


"Which isn't as big."


"Right."


He smiled real big, "It's interesting the way things go! I didn't know all this about your family, but I knew a lot. Now I see what you're doing and you're aligning yourself to be in control of it all."


"There's no choice! Dan and Diane aren't going to come back here!"


"Why not!"


"Both of them look at this as hicksville junction. Dan won't leave the city and doesn't need to because there's enough owned there that he's kept away."


"Really? What's there?"


I pulled at my shirt and pants. "The factory is ours."


"MAN! I had no idea! I love everything they make!"


"It's all an offshoot of the shoe factory."


"What happened to it?"


"All that got transferred overseas. People wanted to condemn our family for getting rid of the jobs, but they don't realize the regulations for clean air, and everything involved with making the rubbers and the plastics weren't going to pass them."


"OH!"


"When the regulations push something off shore, it won't ever come back. The factories have been moved twice now and won't leave Singapore and Malaysia. They work too cheap to even think about bringing anything back.

Dan's got the factory there, but even those items are all partially made overseas."


"Why?"


"Here's why...As soon as I tell you, it'll make sense.

In order to manufacture materials, printed materials, blends, and all that, you've got to have dyes. Once again, the regulations for clean air and water prohibit all those from being made here."


"OH!"


"Now, here's where it gets funky. They manufacture, make, and cut everything over there. Even then, a lot of pre-sewing, and stitching gets done over there.

What you get here is a lot of different things all wrapped in plastic and taken from cargo containers from ships. They get laid out like they would be if they were made here and then, it goes down an assembly line where it's sewn and the tag gets put in which states that it's assembled here... not made here.

Because it's assembled here, a lot of different things all get brought in and made here. You see a lot of different brands you don't associate with our company being made and you see a lot of different articles of clothing being sewn together there and put out the door."


"I never knew all that!"


"Dan's good at it because it's nothing. Everyone else does the work and he sits around and makes sure it's all making money. That's his job in a nutshell and he's great at it... Ask him what is really required and you'll get a dumb stare because he couldn't tell you a single thing!"


He laughed, "Really???"


"Gramps and Granny took me for a vacation a few years ago. We went and spent 7 weeks touring and learning everything. He was offered the trip and heard that it was going to be with me and that it'd be that long and balked. Needless to say, I know what gets done there and where it's cheapest."


"Is it all done there? Or can it be made cheaper elsewhere?"


"Here's the deal. He's turned down a lot of really lucrative items, and Granny has had to step in and tell him to get it made."


"Like what?"


"Book bags, computer bags, cell phone covers, soft sided luggage, some of the newer style quilted coats, fleece throws, printed fleeces, and all the outdoor items which have material in their padding or seat instead of the plastic."


"MAN! You know more about it than anyone!"


"Here's why...And when you hear what I've got to say, you're going to freak!" I paused, and said, "Listen, for you to hear this, I want a commitment from you. You tell me you'll be here and we'll be together for the duration and that you'll work with me as a life partner and I'll go into all that.

I know it's premature, and I know it's a big choice, so if you want, I'll shut up and leave it alone. You forget there's more and we'll be happy."


He stepped over, and hugged me. When he leaned back, we kissed. He said, "You're my walking fantasy. Ever since I've been able to notice little boys, it was you. Now that there's the possibility, I'm not giving you up. In my mind, we've been together already because I was waiting to see if it was possible."


"Why didn't you ask!"


He teared up, "Because I was too shy! The second you'd turned out straight and started to make fun of me and ruined my reputation, I'd probably killed myself!"


I shook my head, "Josh, the reason it's happened now is because we've only got two weeks left of school. I figured that I could live with the ridicule and heckling, so I decided to go for broke at that time.

Now, I realize it's a mess, and that my family background is a mess, but I wanted you to know all this up front. The mere thought of you not wanting me because you found out all this after we'd gotten together, would've been overwhelming."


"Yeah."


"It's the same for me. I can remember you forever, it seems."


He smiled and hugged me again, "Do you want to eat some pizza?"


I smiled, "Yeah, but we need to go pick it up. We sorta forgot the RedBox movies."


"Oh!"


"And no, we don't own those!"


He laughed and said, "I'm surprised!"


"If you ever hear of a good idea like that, let me know."


"Ok!"


He gave me a look, "You never did say what your sister does!"


"She marries well and divorces better!"


He laughed real loud, "MAN!"


"She's 27 years old and has been married 3 times. I think it's because they realize she's a bitch and have to bail out. Of course, Daddy's little princess never says it's her fault! After 3, even Dad said she needs to stay on the horse a bit longer! I smiled and told Dad, "They keep throwing her! I tell you horses and snakes don't mix!"."


He laughed really loud, "Oh my God!"


"Yeah, Dad smiled for two seconds and then realized I was calling her a snake, or was it a horse?"


I dialed Mom, "Hello?"


"It's me. I have a couple of things to tell you."


"You're staying at the motel!"


"Yeah. That's one, but I'll be in 318."


"That's fine. We don't have any honeymooners this weekend."


"You sort've do. He's here!"


"Who?"


"Me. Josh Winters and I are now together."


"Oh really?"


"Yeah. He'll be staying the weekend. After graduation, we'll be driving up and looking for a house together. He's going to Yale Law also."


"Great, that worked out!"


"Yeah, it did!"


"Did you know that?"


"I got told he was going when I got notification I'd been approved. Needless to say, it was a surprise!"


"You two can help each other study!"


"Yeah. We've already discussed all that. I think it'll be real neat."


"Is he coming back this way to practice?"


"Yes. I'm not sure if it's in with his Dad, but it'll be here."


"Wonderful! I know you've been attracted to him for quite some time!"


"Yeah. And to hear he's equally as attracted all these years is interesting!"


She giggled, "I understand!"


"Follow your heart!"


She said, "Oh, I will!"


"Well, we've got to go to RedBox, and then get some pizza."


"Let them make it for you this time!"


"Why?"


"You stepping back into the kitchen all the time can't be fun!"


"It makes for better pizza!"


She laughed, "You two have a great weekend!"


"I'll tell you the same thing."


"I'm going to be getting ready for Memorial Day at the nursing home."


"Tell them my heart's with them."


"I will!"


"I love you!"


"I love you too hon!"


I rang off and he nodded, "She sounds cool!"


"She's my buddy. It's a shame, but I'm super happy for her if she gets together with Mr. Grant."


"Do you think she will?"


"Here's what I think. I think Dad will fight it for a year and then, will give up when he thinks she's not going to take anything. Of course, he doesn't realize she's taking everything she's entitled and he can't stop it."


"What's that?"


"Social security and those earnings."


"OH!"


"Once you're married for 10 years, you're entitled to your spouse's Social Security. You get a share, he or she gets a share and that's how it is."


We went out and drove to Lil Caesars. We went in and Lisa smiled, "Hey!"


"Hi! I'm needing to make us some pizza pizza!"


She laughed, "You're supposed to let me make them!"


"Girl, you're too busy! The day I can't step behind and make them, is the day I've got two broken arms and legs!"


I went back and asked Josh, "What do you want on yours?"


"Whatever you want."


"Ok..."


I started putting everything on got them in the oven. She smiled, "So what are you doing this weekend?"


"It depends which story you hear. If anyone asks, he and I are studying. That's the story they're getting told.

If you're family, and a few chosen friends, the real story is he and I have put it together into a relationship and are spending the weekend together."


She looked shocked, "Really!"


"Yeah."


"Cool! I'm happy you've finally gotten someone!"


"Thanks."


Josh smiled real big and I said, "My Mom knows and basically, that's it so far."


We went out and got the RedBox movies. When we went back, we ate and then got on the internet to look at houses.


He said, "MAN! Would you look at that one!!!"


"Hold up a minute, that one was A LOT less in these other pictures!"


He blinked, "You looked at that one?"


"Yeah! It was a Standard Oil executive's house! There's five houses with that one! You can land a helicopter in the yard right there, and they're not showing everything!"


He smiled, "I'd say you know it!"


"It's not been remodeled since he inherited it in 1943! I was thinking that he inherited from his grandparents, but then I learned that he and his Grandfather have the same name, so it was pretty easy to hand it down to him."


"Yeah. Both names are the same on the deed! No inheritance taxes!"


"Right!"


I pulled it up and he said, "You're right! This one shows a lot more than that one!"


"It's only 23 miles away. That sounds like a lot, but it isn't. The fun thing about it is it's only like 55 miles to New York City the other direction so we'd have entertainment and nightlife if we wanted."


"What does this place need?"


"Nothing! That's what's strange about it. All that furniture and everything goes with it!"


"Why would we need a place that big?"


"Here's why. Like it or not, I think we'll meet another 4 or 6 people and can offer to share expenses with them as well as rides back and forth. They could share everything with us and we could lighten the work load of doing everything.

My trust fund would cover that and there'd be enough for me to pay the utilities and everything plus keep the food on the table."


"Good, because I'm sure not going to have that much!"


"I understand. I'm just saying that it'd be a real good investment. I was tempted to go into that one island, but getting a grand piano out of a boat or onto one would be ridiculous!"


He smiled real big, "Yeah!"


"This one has it. It's a Bosendorfer, one of the best they make, and it's been there since they built the place in 1913. I'm sure it's in need of a tune up, but we'll be needing to get everything and have all that anyway.

Now, here's what I think. I think that when I go to trade my car in, I'll get a 4 wheel drive car so that we've got that and we could make sure we get back and forth to school for sure. Besides, if it snows hard enough that we can't make it, they won't be having school."


He gave me a look, "Are you wanting to keep it together forever and for always?"


"Yeah."


"Good!"


I leaned over and kissed him. He pulled me in and we went into a long make out session. When we came up for air, it was to strip and make out some more. One thing led to another and we were in a 69... and when we came, we made out some more and went in and took a bath together. It wasn't long before we went to bed.


Saturday morning, we woke up in each others arms. I got up and used the restroom and then, he came in beside me. He said, "You're so good looking nude. I hate to put clothes on you, but we didn't get anything for breakfast!"


I smiled, "Thanks. I'd hate to put clothes on you too, but if I have to, you have to also."


He gave me a look, "What about school clothes?"


"Here's what I think. It's going to sound judgmental, but we've got orientation the week before everyone else starts. I'm thinking about waiting and wearing jeans and a Polo shirt as it's pretty safe. Then, if it's more formal, we can go buy everything and if it's not, we can have what we know works."


He nodded, "I hear they're really formal."


"They probably are. It's a step up from high school, so we probably need to have our A game ready!"


We got dressed and went out for breakfast. After that, we went to Grandpa and Grandma's house. Grandma seemed surprised, "Well Good Morning!"


"Good Morning Grandma. Good Morning to you too Grandpa!"


He smiled, "Good Morning! What brings you here so early!"


"This is Josh Winters. He and I are going to be together. He's going to Yale also, so you know it's real neat for us."


He seemed surprised and winked at Josh, "How'd you find one so smart?"


"By guess and by gosh, he found me!"


He laughed, "That's the best way to do it! Convince them that they found you!"


We laughed and I sat down, "Gramps, I think we've pretty much decided upon Sasco Point. Of course, we're going to look at it 2 weeks after graduation, but I'd like to know if you would handle the transaction."


"How much?"


"Well, that's the problem. One says one thing and another say the other. If it's a reduction of 36%, I'll go with the other!"


He laughed, "Let me look at it again! There's got to be something wrong with it!"


We looked and compared and he frowned, and picked up the telephone. Soon, he was on the phone and talking with the real estate person.

When he got off, he said, "It's been reduced! This man said that it's been on the market for over 6 months, so they're wanting to take offers! I asked what the rock bottom they'd take and he said $14 million is the lowest that they'll go."


I stared in shock. "Are you sure?"


He nodded, "Now, are you sure?"


"Yeah!"


"Ok. I'll call him back and will tell him it's being bought by your trust fund."


"Make sure Dad can't get it!"


"He won't. It's in your name now and there's nothing he can do about it."


He leaned forward, "I'm putting a bunch more into your name. This farm, the bank, and all the businesses out at the junction will be in your name.

I have to give Diane that strip mall, and Dan the shoe factory, but that's only fair."


I asked, "Why not give her the mall in the city? That's the one she wanted!"


He nodded, "That's what I meant. I got confused."


I nodded, "You nearly had me in heart failure!"


He laughed real loud and said, "The business park and everything out there will keep you in real good income."


I nodded, "I want to talk with you about a few investments."


"What are those?"


"Warehouses. That area down there between the two interstates. I think because it's so close to the airport and is between the two, that we could build those curtain wall warehouses and put smaller offices out front. As long as we have loading docks, we could clean up.

Now, in regards to all that, here's what else I think. I think if we do them the favor of having forklifts and manlifts already there which are leased to us, they'd be given a year's lease in return for signing long term leases on that stuff."


He smiled, "How much will one of those warehouses cost?"


"Well, it's the cost of clearing the land and compacting it. Then, it's concrete flooring and putting heat tubes in that while it's being poured. That way, we can have 50 of them and do build to suit on whatever else they want in there."


"That'd be a sizable investment!"


"Yeah, but I'm betting it's not more than a million each on the things. Now, putting streets in which will handle the heavy trucks and traffic would be a lot, but we could zig zag a real nice parkway from one interstate to the other interstate and do real nice."


He nodded, "You get me the plans. Basically it'd be you investing your own money, but I want to see what you're meaning."


"They're basically buildings which are 200 by 400. Here's what I mean..."


I showed him and he said, "Oh,I've seen those!"


"The new Sam's Club, and that shopping center in Columbia is built that way."


He nodded, "Yeah! And I'm amazed at how fast they go up!"


"I think that with us ordering so many of them that we should get a big reduction in price."


"I think that you need to have a bunch which are bigger."


"Going bigger would be building buildings the size of super Walmarts... 200' by 400'. And I think that we need to offer insulated panels which are for freezer or cooler spaces... Maybe 2 or 4 of them out of that 50."


"I think you need to have those panels at the ready for however many say they need that in those spaces!"


I nodded, "I agree, but I think we need to offer security and surveillance. All that could be built in and be offered by us. It's not much of an offering because all it takes is a bunch of cameras and someone manning that room and a couple of guys in a truck going to check on who it is and why they're there."


He nodded, "I'll approve it. You get buildings back behind those which are 6 acres and 10 acres under roof. I think you're going to need them. You might even offer one which is 20 acres under roof to see if you can fill the rest of that space back there with some!"


"What I'm going to do is I'm going to get this to Mr. Krewson so he can draw it up. I think with some luck, we can be leasing in September or October."


Grandma asked, "That soon?"


I nodded, "Grandma, it's fast construction. You'd be amazed at how fast they do things! We can have the sewage lines down the middle of the street as well as all the utilities with junction boxes that are covered with landscaping like they did out in the middle of the drive going up to the hospital."


She looked surprised, "Oh, that's beautiful!"


Gramps said, "That's real smart, but you give everyone a real good sidewalk along there and bus stops because they'll need it."


I nodded, "I will. I'm also going to have pads out there so that the electricity will already be to them for lights should they want them. If they don't, the landscaping around them will obscure them."


He nodded, "Good. Now, let's let that be and talk about something else..."


"Ok."


"Your Mama's already had a talk with us about them getting divorced. You failed to tell me he's not kept up his end of the bargain with you!"


"It's not changed. Nothing's changed with him. He leaves at 7am and doesn't get home until 7pm and doesn't come home at all on nights that he has funeral visitations.

He's stopped going to church with us and Mom doesn't even bother asking him if he's going any longer. She DOES make up his meals for dinner, but if he doesn't eat it, it goes into my lunch the next day."


He made a face, "I'd like to know who he plans on leaving it to when he passes!"


"He's said he'll sell it before he gives it to me!"


Grandma sounded outraged, "What a fool!"


"Grandma, as I see it, he'll be in a grave sooner than all of us because he's working himself into one the way he is with his temper."


She looked at Grandpa, "Well, you got your answer!"


He nodded and said, "I'll have a talk with him. I'm telling him now that if he contests the divorce, he's doing everyone a disservice. It's hard to be loved when you have no room in your heart to receive it and don't know what it is when it's time to return it!"


I interrupted, "Grandpa, I'm still being told she screwed around on him even though the DNA says otherwise. More often than not, if I see him in the morning, I get called names and most of the time, it's a little bastard."


Grandma said, "You get over there and you speak with him!"


Grandpa nodded, "I'm about to head over there. Garret, you be prepared for an apology. It's been long overdue."


"You have my cell number Grandpa, but don't count on him giving one. He's had a lot of unkind things to say about you guys also."


Grandma looked shocked and Grandpa nearly yelled, "What's he been saying!"


"On Easter, he went into a big long diatribe about how everyone should mind their own business and let him do what he damned well pleases. Then, he started in on me about all I ever wanted was money and that whenever he brings it up, he gets taken to court.

He went into his opinion of who's doing what to whom between you two and the judge and then, said that he imagines that I'm blowing the judge in his chambers."


They looked shocked and I pulled out my cell phone and played the conversation. He was yelling so loud that it was very clear. They looked even more shocked and I said, "I left it alone. For me, it's about over. In two weeks, I'll be graduated. In a month, I'll be in New England getting started with that portion of my life.

I figure that when I get back from up there, I'll know enough law that each time he says something, I'll take him back into court and we'll run it in front of the judge one more time with me getting awarded judgments for what we know are falsehoods.

What's upsetting is there are some people out there who don't know about all this who probably believe him. That's when it hurts me because you know as well as me that they're thinking the worst and not hearing that he's wrong and lying."


Grandpa stalked out and I went out. I hugged him and said, "I didn't want this to blow up between you guys."


He hugged me, "It's been a long time coming. It's not you."


I went back in the house and said, "Grandma, I think I need to be there to protect him. Dad's never smart when it comes to all this drama."


She picked up the phone, "No. You stay out of it. I'm making a few calls myself!"


She started making calls and pointed, "You go tell your Mom that everything we feared is happening. She's going to need to be protected should he decide he's going home. Lord knows he's a fool!"


I nodded, "Ok."


I turned, "Come on Josh!"


We went out and got in my car. He asked, "Is it like this always?"


"No. It's always like this around some big event. Give it a holiday and it blows up. They know he won't show for my Graduation and they're trying to head it off at the pass so I'm not embarrassed. What they don't know is I don't want him there because him name calling is going to create a scene in front of them, my Mom's parents, and the rest of the family.

I doubt if my brother and sister are there, but you never know... Grandpa and Grandma might make it a condition that they get handed what they've got coming afterward, so they'll be there."


"MAN!"


We got to the house and I said, "Good, she's not home!"


"Where would she be?"


"Probably grocery shopping or something like that."


I dialed and Mom answered, "Hello?"


"I'm at the house to protect you. Grandpa is over having it out with Dad."


"Oh dear!"


"I'd stay away. That way, if he gets in a snit, he's got to deal with it all by his lonesome instead of venting on us."


"What brought this on?"


"Grandpa and Grandma told me today they're going to go ahead and give me everything they're giving me. Then, they told me what they're giving Dan and Diane and then, I got told I'd probably be getting everything from Dad. That's when I told them what he said about selling it first. Needless to say, Grandpa told me that I had failed to tell them about things not improving. That's when I told them that I'd given up on that and he's rarely home and when he is, it's him calling me names in the morning."


"Yes, and I've had it!"


They told me you've told them about getting a divorce. I'm all for it."


"They are also... now!"


"Well, I'm more worried about Grandpa than I am us. He doesn't realize Dad's irrational when it comes to his anger!"


"I'll get over there."


"No. Grandma is making calls. She's probably called the VFW and is rolling all of them out! Lord knows all of them showing up at the funeral home is gonna be scary! Most of them don't want to see one until they day they don't have to see it alive!"


She giggled, "I'm getting my hair done. I've got to stop by the store and then, I'll be home."


"Ok. Get your toes done too!"


She laughed, "NO!"


"Awe, come on... YOu haven't tried pea green or chartreuse!"


She laughed and I saw Josh smiling real big. I rang off and said, "She's getting her hair done and then, going by the store."


I heard the siren and said, "Oh Lord! I hope that's not over at the funeral home! Ambulances at the funeral home have next of kin thinking someone's come back to life and they've gotta kill 'em again!"


He laughed, "You're not right!"


I smiled, "Here's what's hilarious. We had one once who hid all his money in his suit. I guess there was a lot of old old coins and no one paid attention to after the old gent got cremated. Then, Dad got everything back including the coins.

When he gave them back to the family, they were sick because they'd looked high and low for the money in the house and had realized he'd taken it with him and that's all they'd gotten!"


"OH MAN!"


"I think it's hilarious! They probably got told that they'd get everything after his death. He just didn't tell them what form it'd be in!"


He laughed and my phone rang, "Hello?"


Grandpa said, "Get to the hospital. The dumbass had a heart attack!"


"He has one???"


He chuckled, "They're saying that!"


"If they get a reading, I'll believe it. Until then, you just tell them that's the richter scale showing it's about to blow!"


"I think it's serious! We need to behave."


"Ok, I'll be there. He'll probably tell them that he doesn't want me to visit as I'm no kin of his."


"You be there! I'll tell them he's obviously had a brain hemorrhage!"


I laughed, "It's doubtful he's got one of those too!"


He really laughed, "Get there!"


"I'm probably gonna beat you there! I'm about to pull into the Emergency entrance now!"


"Where's your mother?"


"Getting the hair on her toes done."


He laughed real loud and Josh really laughed. I smiled, "At least, that's how I heard it!"


He kept giggling, "In that case, we need to let them finish!"


"Yeah, undone hair down there is never nice! It looks like pompoms on slippers if they have open toes sandals on!"


He laughed again. "Give her a call!"


I rang off and Josh said, "You're terrible!"


I rang Mom and she answered, "Hello?"


"I know you're getting the hair on your toes done and all, but I've gotta tell you that they just rushed Dad to the hospital having a heart attack."


"WHAT!"


"Yeah. I'm here at the Emergency room and they've yet to get here."


"I'm on my way!"


"Tell them to do those up in spirals. That way, when you're walking, it looks like you've got springs on. That ought to get everyone's attention!"


She giggled, "YOu behave!"


"If you do it straight out with a curl upwards, it looks like you've got elf boots on!"


She laughed, "I'll be there!"


"Drive sane..."


"I will!"


I rang off and he laughed, "You're a joker!"


"That came about from me seeing my Grandpa who is her Dad's feet once. I swear the man looked like he had on fuzzy socks!"


He laughed, and I said, "I told her that she probably inherited that from him and she looked down. That's when we got to laughing and it was terrible!"


He got to giggling,and we went in. The nurse gave us a look and I said, "Garret Marshall. My Dad's coming in as a heart attack patient. You might want to call in the troops."


She nodded, "Ok!"


She got on her phone and started making calls. I heard the ambulance arrive and we stepped out of the way.

When they brought him in, he recognized me and handed me his billfold, phone, keys, and said, "Call your Mom!"


"She's on her way."


He grimaced from the pain and they took him into the room. I went in and the nurse said, "You need to stand here out of the way. I'm going to need his information."


"Ok."


I got in and got his driver's license, and handed it to her. "There you are."


She wrote it down and they were working on him. Then, they yelled something blue and she said, "Oh dear, let's go out here. His heart's stopped beating."


The loudspeaker started playing chimes and saying, "Code Blue Emergency Room... Code Blue Emergency Room."


She asked, "Is he allergic to anything?"


I said, "Uh, prunes, but don't give him any of that right now! It'd probably kill him!"


She gave me a bulge eyed look, "Oh, we won't!"


She got more information and then, Mom came in hurrying. I said, "We can't go in there. He's having a Code Blue."


She looked shocked, and I handed her his billfold. She stared at it and I said, "He gave it to me when they wheeled him in. He didn't put up a fight, so you know he was delirious!"


Josh looked away and Mom shook her head, "You need to behave!"


"I try, but they keep slipping out! You need to tell that woman if he's allergic to anything."


"Did you tell her he's not?"


"No. I told her Prunes..."


She gave me a look and asked calmly, "What made you say that?"


"He eats them and makes all those terrible smells. You know that's not right!"


She smiled real big and Josh let out with a giggle. She smiled at Josh, "It's good to finally meet you! I'm his Mom!"


Josh said, "Josh Winters."


She smiled, "I know. I've heard about Josh Winters enough I feel like I know you!"


He smiled, "My family has heard about him enough they know his also!"


It wasn't long before Doctor Allen came in and went on into the Emergency Room. I pointed, "That's Dr. Allen. He's the doctor."


Josh smiled, "Yeah..."


Mom said, "How long have they had him in there?"


"Well, let's see... The nurse asked me a lot of questions and then, she asked me where you were. I told them the long version about Grandpa having baboon feet and that they had to do removal on you and all that... so that took a bit.

Then, she wanted to know if there was any personal information on Dad and then, I just left everything out about him having hemorrhoids and us being doubtful to whether he was heartless or if it was a genetic anomaly. And then, she tried to convince me that it was his heart and I told her I doubted it and she said, "NO, it's his heart!" and I said, "No, I don't want to play cards... The last time I played solitaire, I ended up nude!" and she gave me that look like you're giving me. Then, I said, "Ok, we'll play rummy... You go to the liquor store and get 3 fifths and we'll play rummy. The last time I played Gin Hearts it was terrible the folks at the nursing home probably won't let me in anymore!"


She smiled, and looked at Josh, "How long have they had him in there!"


Josh smiled, "About 20 minutes."


I gave him a look, "Are you sure? I thought it was longer than that!"


He smiled, "You need to leave her alone!"


Grandma and Grandpa came rushing in. I said, "Oh Lord, he's had soup for lunch. He used his mustache as a strainer again!"


Mom saw Gramps and smiled real big, "Dad, get over here. You've got alphabets in your mustache!"


I said, "You misspelled... Morph! It's Marph!"


Josh got to giggling and took off. Gramps smiled at me, "You cracked him up!"


Mom said, "What happened?"


Gramps said, "He got to yelling and calling me names. Then, he sat down and didn't look well. That's when he told me, "You need to go, I'm having heart pains!"


I dialed 911 and then, I dialed Rat."


The doctor came out and didn't look good at all. I took Mom's hand and he came over, "He didn't make it."


I gave a nod, "Ok... I'll call Bill at the funeral home. He'll come and get him."


Josh came back and saw the doctor and came over. Mom and Gramps didn't say anything. Grandma dabbed her eyes with her kerchief and I said, "I'll call Dan and Diane. Thank you Doctor."


He said, "If there's anything I can do, please let me know."


"Sure..."


We went home and I drove Mom's car... Josh drove mine. Grandpa and Grandma came in and I had to leave a message for Dan. Diane answered and was her charming self...She answered, "What the hell ya want you little shit!"


"Dad's dead."


"WHAT!"


"Dad just had a heart attack and died."


"Oh dear God! What's Mom doing?"


"She's not said anything. She's walking around and not saying a thing."


"Well, she's probably put him in his grave!"


"Bitch, shut the fuck up! If you must know, he was at work and she never said half the fuckin' things she should've said to him.

Now that the gloves are off, I'll say them! So you wait and I'll slap your fuckin' teeth down your throat when I see you! You respect her or it's on! You got me?"


"Fuck you!"


"Your dick isn't big enough BUD!"


I rang off and Mom was staring at me. I said, "That girl and I are stepping behind the garage when she gets here! When we walk out, she'll need medical attention for the broken jaw she's gonna grace us with to achieve silence!"


Ten minutes later, Dan called, "What the hell did you say to Diane?"


"I'm slappin' her in her cocksucker when she gets here! If you want some, you step up!

The bitch had balls enough to say that it was Mom's fault! Now, if that's how you feel, step up and get what the fuck she's getting!"


He was quiet, and then said, "Rat, this is a trying time for all of us. We don't need you adding to the drama."


"Then you keep YOUR hand across her mouth because if she says shit like that again, I'm bringing one from the deep south and delivering it with the knockout punch I've been waiting to give! I'm sure you've not told her that she's been adding to the drama, so you take that shit to her!"


I hung up on him and said, "Mom, make that two trips to the garage. I've had it and won't tolerate another second of them aiming off at you!"


She nodded, "I'm calling and telling them they're not welcome if they want to be that way!"


Grandma said, "I'll call and tell them that I'm well aware of what they just said and that my next call will be to our attorney!" She turned to Grandpa, "Make your calls!"


Gramps gave her a look like, "Ooh boy!" and pulled his phone and dialed. Mom gave me a look and said, "I'm going upstairs. Try to be nice to them when they get here."


"I'll try. But you know it won't work!"


"Try!"


She went upstairs and apparently Grandma got hold of Dan. Josh gave me a look and motioned for me to go to the kitchen. I went and he said, "I'm here for you. Don't get physical. It sounds like everyone's had enough."


"Yeah. It's been a long time coming."


About half an hour later, Mom came down with a black suit and everything. She said, "Take this to the funeral home and tell Bill to handle everything."


"Ok."


Josh and I went. When we got in the car, he said, "Your Mom's not cried one tear."


"She won't. The love's been lost for so long that it won't return."


I dialed Mr. Grant, "Hello?"


"This is Rat."


"Hi Rat!"


"My Dad just passed away. Be close because Mom's going to need you."


"Where's she?"


"She's home. My Grandparents are there and I'm on my way to the funeral home."


"Oh dear. Are you ok?"


"Yeah. I'm fine. I want you as a step father if you'll promise to love her. She's been without love so long that you don't have to wait... Lord knows she needs someone who's good for her."


"I've been hoping!"


"Well, you be there for her. It's going to be a mess. My brother and sister will be doing all they can to be hateful towards us."


"I hope they won't."


"They've already started. Diane had nerve enough to blame Mom for him having a heart attack. Little does she know that he was arguing with Grandpa at the time, so Mom was nowhere near."


"She actually said that???"


"Yeah. She and Dan chose sides a long time ago when Dad was accusing Mom of having your child."


"WHAT!"


"The DNA came back that I'm his, but he kept on her like he refused to believe it... That's been what drove a wedge between them."


"Jesus!"


"Be there for her. I've got to go to school and get an education in order to run everything."


"I hope you get it."


"I got it today. They're signing everything over."


"Oh man! Don't take a thing until you've got your education. I wondered why they had that prescription filled."


"What prescription?"


"Your Grandfather has cancer...or so I think."


"Oh man!"


"Don't let that out. I'm not supposed to divulge things like that."


"I'm not saying a thing. I appreciate the heads up because it tells me a lot now."


"Let me make a few calls. I'll know more."


"I appreciate it."


I rang off and Josh said, "I'm sorry."


"Me too. It's tough that I've got to mourn him when I care less that my Dad's dead."


"I'm here."


"Thanks."


My phone rang, "Hello?"


Dan said, "I hope you know that I'm taking them to court."


"Dan, do what you gotta do, but don't let me hear you say a thing again. I've go too much to deal with and would rather flush and be gone with you! Goodbye."


I rang off and Josh said, "MAN!"


"I'm fresh out of give-a-fucks with them. Now it's time for the gloves to be off and that just told me that Grandma and Grandpa just told him they're not giving him a thing."


"WHOA! Really!"


"Grandma probably just told him that she's having security pack his office and deliver it to his house. That's been mentioned several times previously."


"MAN!"


"Legally, they can do that because nothing's been given over yet. He's been promised, but they've go right to change their minds all the way up to their deaths."


"It's gonna be a mess, isn't it?"


"I've gotta tell them to get a video done where they're saying what everyone's getting and exactly why. Them having witnesses and a video will make it irrefutable."


"WHo gets the furniture store and funeral home now that your Dad's dead?"


"Mom. She'll have Bill run it and will probably go in on the furniture side and do things. She's said for a long time that he wasn't doing things right. So, she'll probably make changes."


"What's he not doing right?"


"Here's the way it goes... The markup on furniture is ridiculous. Whatever you see it marked for is probably four times what it actually got bought for wholesale. Usually, the sofas are between $200 and $350... Recliners are right at $79 wholesale. Some are cheaper and others are $99, but nothing is higher than that."


"MAN!"


"Dad wouldn't throw any sales. He said that everyone shopped there and it was like shooting fish in a barrel, so he wasn't ever going to have a sale.

Mom said he needed to have sales to stir up interest. She said it got people in the store and whether or not they bought anything, they knew what was available."


"Right."


"Well, he wouldn't. There were a lot of things he wouldn't do."


We pulled in and parked. I went into the office and Merriam was crying. She hugged me and I said, "Mom sent this down and said for Bill to handle everything."


"Oh dear. What's going to happen now?"


"Bill's gonna run everything. Mom's not getting rid of a thing."


She nodded, and asked, "Is she getting it?"


"If she's not, I hope who the hell he Willed it to buries him!"


"He said he'd sell it before you got it!"


"Don’t worry. If he'd asked me, I'd told him there's more money in law."


She made a face, "You could be respectful!"


"Merriam, I probably could. And I probably could've been raised not hearing the words he's said to me all my life. Let's just say that he had his opinions and carried them like they mattered. And I have my opinions, and I know that the man WAS my biological Dad no matter how he tried to allude people to believing otherwise.

Now, that's a matter of court records. They were left unsealed so that the court, God, and everyone could see he was lying through his teeth when he said I wasn't his kid."


She made a face, "Well she WAS having an affair!"


"Can you prove that? If so, have your attorney deliver that proof to our family attorney. Until then, consider this your last day. I'll hire someone else to do the job you were doing.

If you bring anything other than proof to anyone, you'd best know that I'll sue you until there's nothing left to take. Then, I'm going after your reputation you seem to think you can take so easily from others!

Now, there's the door. I'll stay until Bill arrives with his body."


She stared and I said, "Unlike you, I'll stand behind the new owner all the way to her grave! You're standing at a man's grave and I really hope he reaches out and signs your paychecks, but don't ask my Mom to do it when you can't keep a civil tongue in your head about her!"


She scrunched up her face and went to slap me. I blocked it and pointed, "Leave. I'm calling the Sheriff now. There's surveillance in that corner which will attest that you just did what you did. I know because that's on the computer at our house."


She looked, "Well, he loved ME!"


"I imagine he did. I know that Mom saw very little of his love in the past 18 years!"


I pulled my phone and dialed 911. When I got them on the line, I said, "Please have Merriam Walker removed from this funeral home. Her services are no longer needed and she's already attempted to strike me once."


"I've got someone on their way."


"Thank you."


Josh said, "Ma'am, I'm witness to the fact that you just tried hitting him. He's told you to leave, so please do." He gave me a look, "I'm also a witness to what you just said and need to tell you that if you give proof there was an affair, he's within his rights to sue you and ask that you be arrested as adultery is a felony in this state."


She left out the door and I said, "Let her go. She'll be back. She forgot her purse and needs to give off her keys to the buildings before she's gone."


He gave me a look, "Did you suspect that she was having an affair with him?"


"No. And I doubt if my Mom did either."


I went over and got on the computer and pulled up the video. I said, "Watch this..." and pulled up the volume. It played everything and I emailed it to both Dan and Diane. Then, I sent myself a copy and another to my cell phone.


She came in and I said, "Wait until I get the keys. I've just emailed myself proof of what happened here and need you to know that copies were mailed out to myself and two others."


My phone rang. "Hello?"


Dan said, "What's this shit???"


"Merriam and Dad apparently had an affair. I'm sure if I pulled up the video, I could find it. Instead, I'll tell you that's the proof where she said it with her own mouth."


"Give me a second...I'm watching this!"


"Dan, maybe he threw out about Mom having an affair because he was feeling guilty. I know Mom didn't, but Merriam sure is bragging it up!"


He said, "CALL THE SHERIFF! SHE TRIED TO HIT YOU!"


"They're already called."


"Good block by the way... I can't believe she did that OR said that!" He spoke lower, "Did you email that to Diane?"


"Yeah."


"Good. I can't believe he's been doing that, but I sure heard it!"


Dan, he never came home. I assumed he had visitations and funerals, but I guess he was staying and screwing her."


She came over and snatched her purse, "I don't have to stay here and put up with this!"

"No, you don't, but the re-keying charge will be sent to you if you don't leave that key!"

"You'll speak to my lawyer!"

"If I do, I'll tell him what I really think about a scandalous bitch!"

She looked like I slapped her. Immediately, I knew. I said, "Dan, I need to get off here. I just realized who her daughter is and we've got a sister."

"HUH?"


"While Dad's accusing Mom of screwing around, he was screwing Merriam. He was accusing me of not being his, but I just realized Merriam’s got a daughter named Mandy. And I'm willing to bet you that Mandy is Dad's."

"Oh Jesus!"

"If he didn't make provisions for her in his Will, there's nothing going to be done! And if he removed me...his biological son in order to what he had with this homewrecking tramp, I've got serious issues!"

"He didn't. Mom would've changed her Will, but Dad wouldn't."


"Dan, get off Mom's ass! Do you know what? There's absolutely no proof she screwed around. And there's absolutely no proof I'm anyone elses, but there's DNA proof I'm his."

"He hated you because you're gay!"

"And if I'd been straight, I'd been fuckin' HIS daughter!"


He sounded shocked, "Really?"


"SHE has a bedroom wallpapered with pictures of me!!! I wonder how that goes over!"

"Ooh!"

"Yeah, we know Dad didn't go tuck her in because he'd seen my smiling face there!"

He laughed and I said, "The Sheriff's here. I need to get off this phone!"

I rang off and said, "Sheriff, she's been terminated. She attempted to hit me and I blocked it, but I want her charged and removed."

"Where's your Dad?"


"He died this afternoon. Now if you'd like Mom's permission, I think it can be arranged!"

"You might do that!"

I pointed, "Get the keys to this building from her while I call." I looked over, "Merriam, do you have anything to say before I make this call and tell Mom? You know when she knows all my Grandparents know. And you know when they know...."

I turned to Josh, "It totally slipped my mind that they gave everything over to me this morning! I was going to threaten what they could do!!!"


I smiled, "Merriam, face it. I've got all my Grandparent's properties now. Guess who will run you out of town on a rail??? Needless to say, if it's ours, you'll be shut off!

I'll keep your utilities on until Mandy's graduation, because I like her, but the next day at noon, don't be surprised if you see someone undoing the power to your house."


"YOU WOULDN'T DARE!"

"Woman, no apologies means I don't give that fuck! You contact your attorney and I'll make it so that while you're waiting for the lawsuit to find basis and grounds in court, you're living mighty uncomfortable!

Phone... shut off. Power... shut off. Banking at our bank... shut off. And yes, I'll request the information to see if you were paid anything to screw him. If you were, don't tell your lawyer that you're a scandalous bitch, but a scandalous whore!"


She went to slap me and the Sheriff yelled, "HEY!"

She yelled, "FUCKIN' FAG!"

I pointed, "Sheriff, get her out of here. She's just pissed that the owner she was fuckin' is dead and this one has no desire to get her in his bed!"


He smiled, "Ma'am, come on out here. I think if you were going to contact your attorney, he'd already be here."


I interrupted, "She knows when she calls her attorney, it'll be Dad's which is a conflict of interest!"

Josh said, "That leaves the only other attorney which is my Dad who has his son witnessing everything she's done and said! It'd look terrible for her case if her attorney's son got on the stand and refuted everything she was claiming!"


He smiled real big, "Yeah!"

As I was talking, I was going through the security server. I said, "Uh, Merriam? I think that when you speak with your attorney, you need to tell him there's video proof of you initiating the sexual contact between you and my Dad. Now, you might not have proof, but I do."

The Sheriff looked shocked and said, "I want a copy of that!"

I cocked my head, "Nah, if you get a court order, you can! Until then, you have to watch. Shall I put it on replay?"


He realized he'd been caught. He said, "Ma'am, we need to get you out of here. I just realized he's got the proof needed to prove you did attempt to strike him!"

I said, "You may have a copy of that!"

Bill came in and I said, "Here's Dad's things. Mom wants you to handle it and handle everything until further notice."

He nodded, "I've got to call in an embalmer from Columbia. It's unethical to work on someone you know."

"Ok. Do what's needed. They've got pre-need plans in the computer here."


He nodded, "How are you doing?"


"I'm doing fine. We're trying to get Merriam to put it together enough to get one foot in front of the other to get out of here, but hey... if she left as easy as she banged my Dad, she'd been gone half an hour ago!"


He smiled real big and she yelled, "I don't have to take this you son of a bitch!"

I turned and looked at her, "Sheriff, if it required dragging her by her feet on her face, you get the whore out of here! Dad might've gave her tips, but I'm sure as hell not!"
I pointed, "Merriam, all services and businesses from our family now have closed doors when you visit. If I discover anyone's gave you service, it'll be grounds for their immediately dismissal!

You want to call my Mom a bitch with the same mouth which gave my Dad head??? You gargle first, cunt!"


I nodded, "Sheriff, you need to move on that. I'm picking up the phone and getting my Mom, and Grandparents here...as well as their attorneys...and as well as this funeral home's!"

I dialed Mom, "Hello?"


"Is Grandma and Grandpa still there?"


"Yeah."

"I need you three down here. I know it's hard, but I need your attorney, and I need to call the funeral home's attorney so that you all know what's been happening."

"What’s happening?"


"Well, Merriam’s fired and is now leaving with the Sheriff."

"What? Why?"


"Well, if you want to know the truth, I think that if you'd turned it on Dad and told him that he wasn't faithful and had another child, you'd been right. She's already admitted to as much, so I've got that on video.

Needless to say, she's staying to hear the names I've got to call after she's attempted to hit me. Now, she's escalating the name calling and I think it's time to get attorneys involved."

She sounded livid, "I'm on my way!"

I said, "Merriam, Mom's madder than hell. Needless to say, she's on her way. I think when she gets proof that you admitted to screwing around with him and I show her it was actually true... She's going to tell her attorney to level off and show you no mercy with the home wrecker lawsuit.

You know it's founded. I know it's founded. The Sheriff’s watched it being founded. And I've got a witness whose own ears heard you admit it!"


The Sheriff said, "Here's the key."

Bill said, "There's two. She parks in the garage, so we need that garage door opener also."


She turned and glared at him and he said, "Hey, that stuff didn't work with me! I told you then that I wasn't holding what you tried against you, but it seems you went and fried bigger fish. Now his family knows and you've done your damage!

When I have to testify, you'd best know that I'll tell what happened that day and how I turned you down."

She yelled, "Yeah, you're a fag too!"

I said, "Sheriff, she's gotta leave!"

He nodded and she said, "You were probably suckin' Larry's dick!"

I said, "He'd had to knock you off in order to do it! With the amount of suction you apply, I doubt if that was possible! Now get the fuck out of here HOOVER!"


The Sheriff drug her out and I turned to Bill, "I apologize you were drug into this."

He shook his head, "I told your Dad when it happened, and I now know how he handled it. I'm sorry."

"Hey, it wasn't you!"

He smiled, "No. I've got a better man at home!"

"That's all it takes. Mine's standing there, so don't think I've got an issue with it!"

He nodded, "I didn't mean that your Dad was lesser than my Dirk. I meant that she wasn't man enough!"

I nodded, "I'm glad to know that Dirk is yours. He's been nothing but nice to me."

Josh said, "Me too."


He smiled, "All these years, I've kept that to myself. Your Dad made fun of me until I lied and told him I had a war wound which wouldn't let me perform."
He nodded, "I know it's going to be hard, but look at the books for this place. She's had a lot of money besides what your Dad has been giving her. I think she's been stealing from the furniture store."

"I'll get the books audited."

Josh said, "I'll call Mom. She can do that."

I nodded, "Please do."


I went around and hugged Bill. I know you and Dad were quasi-friends."


He hugged me, "He was my employer. Yeah, I liked him as he was likeable, but I knew if my secret were out, he'd fired me in a heartbeat."


"It won't happen now. All I expect is that when you walk out that door, you find us someone equally as good and loyal as yourself. Good help is hard to find and I know we're going to need several people to fill your shoes."

"We need another hearse. And we need another limo. That hearse can't seem to get anywhere without needing a part."


I nodded, "Give me a moment and I'll have one ordered."

He put his hand upon mine, "Let me handle it. They give good deals if you know how to ask."

I nodded, "Here's what you do... Get us a funeral coach, a first contact coach, a flower car, and two six door limos. I'd prefer we go with Mercedes because they're changing Cadillac so often that our 20 years makes them appear dated."

He stared, "Our Cadillac is nearly 30 years!"

I closed my eyes, "Let's get all brand new of those. I think if we order now it'll take six weeks. If you need a hearse until then, get one leased and tell them we need it immediately.

Also, get two six doors because if I hear my sister say an unkind word to my Mom, I'm gonna slug the bitch! She can have her's and Mom can have her's and I'll ride with Mom and Dan can ride with his ego for all I care."


He nodded, "Let me over there."

Mom came in with Grandma and Grandpa. She said, "I've got Lon on his way."

Josh looked surprised, "That's Dad! I've got Mom on her way!"

Mom looked surprised, "Why?"


I said, "Bill said he thinks that Merriam was embezzling from the furniture store accounts."

Bill said, "Ma'am, I know he was giving Merriam money a lot, but even HE said that he didn't know how she could afford a Lincoln. Well, he'd leave and she'd get out the furniture store book and would write a check and would leave.
I told him and he said, "Well, I'm not seeing it!"


I didn't get into those books, but I know she did it a lot."

Mom went over and got out the books and said, "Oh Jesus!"

I asked, "Is there enough in the funeral home accounts to get hearses?"


"Yes."

"We need some."

She gave me a look, "Is it 20 years old already?"


"Thirty."

She looked shocked, "My GOD!"

I said, "Bill's repairing it to the point he said it's needing parts all the time. I've told him to go with Mercedes since Cadillac is discontinuing that body."

Mom asked, "What are they going to?"


"That small body style."


She shook her head no, "Go with the Mercedes."


Bill nodded, "He's wanting two six door limos, a flower car, a first contact car, and the hearse. Is that right?"


Mom asked, "What's a first contact car?"


I said, "When it goes to the hospital to pick up a body, they take that instead of the hearse. It keeps miles off the hearse."


She nodded and turned to him, "Get three limos. I want you having something for pall bearers. When you bill for that, you only bill for the one one time, not multiple times. We can afford it."


She looked at Grandpa, "I'm making changes. He had this place so bound up with billing them multiple times, even I couldn't figure out how he was doing it!"

Gramps looked shocked, "HOW!"

I said, "It makes sense, it's just illogical. First of all, if you measure mileage from the beginning to the end of the day, you'd have what he got overall.

What he did was he got too technical and measured when he picked them up at their house. Or if he went to a church, he measured from the time he left here to the church. Then, if they came here, he measured from the house to here. From here to the grave yard, and from the graveyard to where they were going and then back to here empty.

All in all it was a mess, but he broke it down too much. Had it been me, I'd started the day and kept books on the mileage roster in the car which I want going over to ipad."

Mom nodded, "Good."

I turned to Bill, "On an ipad, it can come in here and go right to the computer and be printed out for itemization."

He nodded, "Ok."

I said, "Don't charge them mileage going to pick up the body. That's just a common courtesy he billed them."

Gramps looked outraged and I nodded, "Gramps, it's nuts!"

He said, "MY GOD!"

Mom said, "I'm getting it all changed. We've disagreed, but he's told us to butt out of everything, so I did out of respect to him. Now I'm making the changes!"

He said, "Make sure Rat gets his education!"

I nodded, "I will."


Mom said, "Show me this video."

I pulled it up and she looked horrified. "SHE TRIED TO HIT YOU!... Nice block by the way."


Josh giggle and I smiled real big. Mom smiled, "What's that grin for???”


Dan said the exact same words in the same way!"


Josh laughed, "He did!"


Mom smiled, "Well, that bitch!"

I said, "Mom, don't go back into the computer because you'll see there's proof."

She looked shocked, "Here???"


I nodded, "She tried to come onto Bill years ago."

Mom said, "Well, THAT didn't work!" She turned, "You tell Dirk I know and there's nothing held against you at all. Rat and Josh are a couple and will be forever."


He looked shocked and she said, "Oh come on! Do you think that when you're buying groceries that I've not seen you? It didn't take but once for me to figure out you two were living together!"

He said, "We mean to be discrete."

She nodded, "For your reputation, it's best. However, if you wanted to shout it from the mountain tops, it wouldn't matter to me. I'd MUCH RATHER see men couples celebrating their 30th, 40th, and 50th anniversaries in the paper than seeing unwed mothers having babies!"


I said, "Mom, Mandy... Merriam’s daughter is Dad's."


She looked shocked and Gramps nearly fell over. "HUH?"


"I made the accusation and she never denied it. Like it or not, she looked shocked at something I said and I instantly saw Mandy... and knew that she was Dad's and Merriam’s."

Mom gave a look to Gramps, "What does that do with everything?"


Gramps shook his head, "It shouldn't do a thing unless he's changed his Will."

I said, "He hasn't. It's here in the file cabinet. That's the first thing I did when I pulled out the pre-need burial plan."


Mom nodded, "We need to see if there's anything he's done legal for the girl. I'm about to have her Mom arrested for embezzlement!"

I dialed the Sheriff, "Hello?"


"I know you might still be outside or you might not, but she needs to be told not to leave the county as you're going to be arresting her for embezzlement."

"Oh really?"


"We've got the accountant on the way as well as the attorneys. Mom's already found things which show she's been siphoning off funds from the furniture store."


"All I need is permission to make the arrest and it'll be done."

"Do that. I'll give the phone to Mom and she can second it."


I turned and said, "He needs permission to make the embezzlement arrest and he'll do it."

She nodded, and took the phone. Real fast, Gramps said, "Get on the phone with the banker and tell him to freeze her accounts. If you don't, she could have it halfway around the world."


I said, "I need that number."

He gave it to me and said, "That calls Walter's office directly."

I dialed and it rang. When it was answered, I said, "Walter, this is Rat."

"Why are you calling this number!"

I need to ask you to freeze Merriam’s accounts. She's been embezzling from the accounts."

"It's going to take someone a lot more powerful than the likes of you! The day I take orders from you is the day I'll quit!"

"Uh, I'm heading down there with Gramps. You have your second in command pulled up because I want your resignation. Do you hear?"

He hung up on me. I turned, "Gramps, he's not taking orders from the likes of me. The day he's told he needs to, he'll quit."

Gramps looked shocked and I nodded, "We need to go pay the man a visit!"

He turned to Grandma, "You stay here. He, Josh, and I are going to the bank!"


We left Mom the keys and I said, "Don't hot rod it. Grandma and you in that car is plain scary!"

SHe laughed, "I didn't bring my racing helmet... Did you Mom?"


Grandma laughed, "No, it did that one thing with my hair the last time!"

Grandpa laughed, "Get a move on. You harassing them makes my supper cold!"


We went out and Gramps gave me the keys. "You drive and pick yourself up a nice car!"

"We are. We're waiting until we get to Connecticut. We need 4 wheel drive cars for the winter up there."


Gramps nodded, "Josh, make him spend some money. He's got a whole bank full!"


We drove over to the bank and went in. Walter saw me and said, "I'd leave if I were you!"... His voice trailed off because he saw Grandpa. He said, "Oh. What brings your visit Daniel!"

Grandpa said, "You just spoke with your new owner like he was dirt. I believe you said that if you have to work for him, you'd quit. Well, he's here seeking your resignation!"


He looked shocked and I went over to Skip's office. Skip looked over and I said, "As fast as Walter can clean out his desk, I'm going to need you to step up into his position. If you can't or won't work for me, I'll need your resignation."


He looked surprised, "I have no problem at all working for you!"

"That's good to hear. Gramps is getting Walter's resignation now. If he fails to get it, I'm firing the man."


I went back over and Walter was writing out a handwritten letter of resignation. I said, "Gramps, Skip will be stepping in. He says he can work for me fine."


"Tell him you're going to need some bank drafts for you some cars."

I went over and said, "Skip?"


"Yes?"


"Gramps said that I need to get some bank drafts for Josh and I to buy some cars. Now, you can lease them through the bank with me being the CEO and Josh being Co-CEO, or whatever, but that's how I'd do it."


He nodded, "What will my new title be?"


"President. The board holds the titles of COO and CFO... By the way, I need our accountants to check behind our accountant about the embezzlement at the furniture store and the funeral home."

"Merriam?"


"Yes."

He nodded, "Your Dad will have to give permission."

"He died this morning. Mom's giving permission with me asking."


"Ok. I'll get her told. We'll need the books brought in."

"Don't freeze those accounts. We've got to buy some cars for it also. Just freeze her's."

"Give me a moment and I'll have that done..." He gave me a look, "Don't suspect Bill. I know he's never done a thing like that."

"It never crossed my mind."

He nodded, "Your Dad dying has opened Pandora's box with a lot of the slimy things he's done."

I nodded, "I'm aware of some already. Don't feel like you're telling me much because he's done about everything I can imagine."


He said, "There's four."

"Four illegitimate ones, or four kids total?"


He stared, "Four affairs with seven kids between them. If you've caught Merriam, you've got one."

I sat down and looked skyward, "I'm sorry, but that just sat my ass down!"


Josh said, "I'm here. I think the triplets know about each other."


Skip said, "I'm sorry. I thought you knew!"

"Is he supporting them?"


"Each is paid $100 grand a year. He's came in and gotten money put into their accounts and that's what that is for."

"From the funeral home account, or where?"


"I'm not sure."

I took a deep breath, "I need to see. And I need Gramps told and I need to call Mom."

I dialed Dan's number, "Hello?"


"Uh, I hope you're heading this way... I need you."

"What's going on Bud?"


"Come to the bank. If I told you now, you'd be punching your steering wheel."

"He's broke?"


"No. He's got four affairs and supporting seven illegitimate kids."


"WHAT!"

"Josh said he thinks the triplets are his. That means all of them know about each other as do their Moms."

"There were triplets???"


"No. Merriam had Mandy. Then, there's Britney. And then, here's Murphy. Whoever their Moms are...are who they are."

"Oh fuck! That means that I've probably been fuckin' my sister! Murphy's older sister Janet!"

"I hope you used protection dude... That's just scary!"

He laughed, "Diane's gonna never let me hear the end of this!"

"There's two more. Who's to say she's not married one!"


"No. Her marrying anyone from town would be too common for her. Besides, if they're not a millionaire, she finds no attraction in them."


"Oh well, it's probably with them and we've got to deal with that mess."

"How much is he paying them?"


"$100 grand a year each."

"MAN!"

"Mom's not been told yet. She's been told about Merriam, and Mandy, but nothing else."

"OH man... You know this is fucked up, right?"


"Dan, all the secrets are coming out. We're going to weather this storm, but it's going to be a mess."

"I swear I knew nothing!"

"If you did, that'd been rather gross! What's messed up is Mandy obviously doesn't know because she's had pictures of me all over her room from what I hear!"


"Ooh man!"

"Don't ask me how or why, but she's always taken photos of me and I've been naive to think that she's been doing it to everyone."

He laughed, "No, when girls take pictures of boys, it means they like them!"

"Well, Thank God I didn't like her in return!"


He said, "I'll be there in about 5 (minutes)... I'm just entering town."

"Ok."

I rang off and said, "Dan's on his way in. He's at the edge of the city limits."

Skip said, "I'm sorry you had to find out from me."

"No. I want to know things like this. I'd rather us knowing than being shocked."

Josh said, "If you can't tell him, tell me and I'll get him told. It's terrible, but the day started with him laughing and joking and has drug him down to this..."

I nodded, "We'll pick it back up. I know it can't be fun for you either."

I went in and said, "Gramps?"


"Yeah?"


"Sit down... I've learned some more."


"What's that?"


"He's got seven illegitimate kids and four mistresses. It started before I was born because Dan had one as a girlfriend.
I've told Dan who the girls are. So far, we know five. There's another two and they're probably siblings to the others."

He looked ill, "My God, he took after my Uncle with that cheating stuff!" He paused, "Your Great Great Uncle was a mail delivery man. Back then, if you got the mail once a week, you were lucky. He sometimes got it to you once a month because he stopped and paid visits all along his route.

When he was shot and killed, it was said quietly that he'd fathered over sixty kids."

"MAN!"

"Mom and Dad paid out lots of money quietly. The women would come and tell their tale of sorrow and they'd pay them to support the kids. That was in the depression and you know times were tough."

"Jesus! I hope they kept records!"

He smiled, "It was a big enough scandal, they just ducked their head in shame and hoped that no one knew much."

"Well, Dan's not gonna be that way. He can't seem to get beyond the one whom is his illegitimate sister!"

He looked shocked, "Oh man!"

"He knows now, so maybe he'll take a dip in another gene pool."

Josh and Walter laughed and Gramps shook his head smiling. He said, "Let me see what we need to do. We might need to tell your Mom."

"I'm not telling her more until after the funeral. If we do, she'll refuse him a funeral." I looked at Walter, "You know people want to judge me for being gay, but at least I'm not dealing with this mess!"

Gramps shook his head no, "No. Josh and you are fine. We're going to get you two hitched and then, you'll be good the rest of your days."


Walter made a face and I asked, "Are you finished with that?"


"Yes."

"Let's get you paid all the way up to today and get you on out of here. You might go ask for a box to get your personal items."


He went out and Gramps nodded, "Had I not seen that with my own eyes, I'd not believed you. He's always treated me with respect and your Daddy also. Now I'm seeing a side of him that I don't like."

Josh said, "Sir, we're going to have to have business on top of our law. It's boggling my mind everything he's got to control."

Gramps said, "I'm gonna teach that. It's easy if you split up your time to handling it on different days. You let them run it and you step in if they can't. Until then, you pay them to do their jobs and have meetings once a month.

Together, you two will wield a whole lot of power here in these parts. The industrial park and the business park were both put in so that we could control the power in this town.

If you let in a huge conglomerate, they tend to stay where they are. If you let in a smaller company where the head comes in and takes your power in this area, you're left standing off to the side wondering what happened.

With us, we never cede power because we've got all the utilities and power hereabouts in these parts. We don't have the cable company, but we do the phone and internet. I think we could buy that cable company really easy because they don't make enough to amount to a hill of beans."


I nodded, "Let's make an offer on that. I'd rather we have it than not."

I turned to Josh, "When we have it, we've got all the utilities. If a new utility should happen like fiber, we can operate it through that... which I think we should do already."

He nodded, "It'd take ripping up the streets and putting those down again."

Gramps gave me a look and I said, "Gramps, all that infrastructure is getting old. Either we do it piecemeal or we do it at once. A part of having power is being responsible with it and making sure no one wants anything different.

We can package the telephone, cell, cable, and internet as one bundle and get more by having it all interconnected as one package. We can move the cable into our offices and have those guys moved into our group of utility men."

He nodded, "I hadn't thought about that! I agree!"

"It's going to take new boxes for everywhere. And while we've got everything ripped up, I think we need to offer those who are on septic systems a tie-in free of charge."

He nodded, "Yeah, I hadn't thought about that. It'll be expensive, but we've got the money."


"Our advantage is we can do all that and replace with all new and do it in such a way that we replace everything all at once with the new electronic stuff under ground so that we're not having to replace telephone poles and everything all the time.”

“It'll get water in it.”

“I think if we put it in PVC pipe, the electrical, phone and everything can all go in through the same line.”

“Let me ask. It sounds like we'll be spending some money.”

“It's gotta be done. I would rather us do it once and do it right and not have to worry about it for another hundred years than us continually having to go out and replace it.

Besides, it'll clear up the water and will save everyone money with calcium deposits in their appliances. That savings alone will be a lot at the motel.”

He looked surprised and I nodded, “Look at the hot water out there sometime and see what we're putting through the heating lines under the floor. That ought to be enough to scare the daylights out of you!”


I want to see that!”

Dan came in and I hugged him. He smelled good. I asked, “What's that cologne?”


Black by Valentino.”

“It smells good on you.”


He smiled, “Thanks.”


I motioned, “Meet Josh. He's your new brother-in-law. We'll be getting married as soon as we can.”

He looked surprised and gave a huge smile, “Really?”


Yeah. You can stand up on my side if you want. Gramps will be sitting down unless he's doing a jig because he got rid of me!”

He smiled and gave Gramps a look, “I didn't know about all these illegitimate ones! I believed Dad because I didn't think he had reason to lie! Now I'm learning he was nothing but a liar!”


Gramps motioned, “Apologize to him and your Mom and I'll keep you on down there. You and your sister have made his life a living hell over your believing your Dad. He's not had a brother growing up over it and he's not had a sister either.

With Diane's marriages, I'm telling her the money he's been giving her has shut off. Rat sure won't give it with the way she's spoken to him and I'm not going to do it with the way she's spoken with your Mom.

That nonsense shut down with his death!

Like it or not, playing sides has ended. If you wish, you go stand beside the casket at the graveyard and I'll shove you in with the brand of love you've shown toward your own blood.

I'll tell you that when Danny said it at first, I held my breath. But having your own wife PROVE your own son is your own blood when you've been as illicit as he had, that's enough to send him on into hell in my book! Now, we've go a mess to clean up and I'm right good and tired of it!”

Dan nodded, “I'm sorry Rat.”

I nodded, “That's ok. We're going to work through it. How I'm dealing with it is you're your own person with me and Diane's her own person. You've always spoke kinder words, but she's just the most hateful person I've ever dealt with.

Well, I'm not going to deal with her about it any longer. She can hear once and then, I'm done. If she believes, she'll apologize. If she doesn't, she can support her own damned self and never look this way again.

She got given what she wanted... That mall. You should know as well as me the second she got it, she'd had it sold and ran as long as she could've with the money and then, boo-hooed about how unfair she's been treated.
If I had the money she's went through and the line of dicks she's swallowed to get it, I'd been...”

Gramps said, “Hey.... hey... hey.... I don't need to hear all that!”

“Ok, think it then!”


He smiled real big and Dan outright laughed. Josh really smiled and said, “That's Rat when he's on a tear! He'll let you know what everyone's thinking!”

I rolled my eyes, “I'd ask you to name times I've done it, but you'd probably get embarrassing with it!”


Everyone laughed and I said, “Walter, turn the keys over to Skip on your way out. I've got business to do and babysitting someone who doesn't like me isn't one of them.

I'm fair, but I'll not tolerate YOU saying the likes of me when they're working for me. You said you'd quit rather than working for me, so be it... Now you've gotta move over and go elsewhere because I'm holding true to the family rather than people in it. Maybe if you had, you'd seen it to retirement. Lord knows you were close enough.”


I turned to Dan, “I need to get the accountant here to auditing these books and those books.”

My phone rang, “Hello?”


Mom said, “I have a problem.”

“What's that?”


Well, he's tried getting everything in Mercedes, and they're telling us that it's going to take 3 months.”

“Ok.”

“Well Bill's not sure that he'll be able to get the hearse to run. He said he heard a pop when he went to get your Dad's body and now the check engine light it on.”


Ok, see if they've got a really really new black hearse and then check to see if there are some really really new six door limos. Then ask him if there's a really new tall top van in either Ford or GM which matches the hearse and limos.

Tell him that if it's a GM hearse, I want a GM set of limos and van. And if it's a Ford hearse, I want Ford limos and van.”

“There's a new Cadillac hearse here for $ 79,000, and they've got two limos which are two years old for $61,000 each.”

“Where are they at?”


Pottstown, Pennsylvania.”

“Ooh, if we fly there, we can have them back in time for the funeral. It'll be a long drive, but we can do it.”

“I'll call.”

I rang off and turned to Gramps, “We need a van which is the biggest they've got in black with gray seats. We need it loaded.”

He motioned, “Call the dealership for that.”

“Give me that number.”


He shook his head, “You're going to have to remember these...”

“I'm programming them in as I get them. Perhaps when we're heading out, we can get those to me.”


Talk with your brother. He can go out with you and Josh. Your Mom needs to be here.”

Dan said, “You drive the hearse. Those things creep me out!”

“Dude! It's nothing but a car!... Well, a pretty fancy station wagon! You'd drive an SUV, wouldn't you?”


Not if a body's been in it!”

“Ok, I'm not gonna debate it. One of these days, you'll realize someone's been in your old lady too, but he's no longer there!”

Gramps said, “HEY!”


I smiled, “Man, I can't say nothing around you!”


He smiled, “You sure ought to keep some of that inside!”

“If I do, it explodes like a shit volcano. You don't want to see that happen! It's better I let it out a little at a time!”


They laughed and he really smiled. I turned, “Sorry Dan, no one's been in your old lady!” I winked and he laughed.


Gramps said, “I can't take you anywhere!”


I believe I drove!”


Yeah, and you need to get a nice car!”

“I am! I think both of us are gonna get real nice cars!”

“Get something sporty!”

“I did!”

He stared, “That's nothin' but a dump!”

I smiled, “I think it's cool!”

“Get somethin' you don't have to suck your knee caps in order to ride in the thing. The last time I rode with you, I couldn't believe you had me sittin' on the ground!”

“Ok, I'll see if they make a taller convertible. When they ask me why I spent so much, I'll tell them.... “You wouldn't believe what my Grandpa says about my cars!”... And then, I'll hear the man go 'cha-ching' because I spent so much!”


Gramps nodded, “You do that. I hope it's comfortable because you've got one spine and you need to sleep at night instead of being all bunched up because of a car.”

“I'll take you shopping with us.”

He turned to Josh, “You make him get a convertible that's not so low!”


Josh nodded, “I'm trying to think of one now.”

Dan said, “A Bentley Speed is a convertible!”

I nodded, “There we go!”

Josh really smiled and I said, “Well, Josh smiled, so you know that's a good one!”


Dan really laughed and Gramps said, “Bentley, weren't they the same as a Rolls Royce?”


Dan said, “Yeah, but they were bought out by Volkswagen.”

Gramps nodded, “I'm sure it's still a good car.” He turned, “You get yourselves some of those.”


I turned to Josh, “You look online.”

“Ok!”

We got back to the funeral home and went in. A woman was sitting at the desk and Mom was on the phone in at Dad's desk. Josh went over and kissed her and said, “Mom, this is Rat. Rat, this is Mom.”

I went over and shook her hand and she hugged me. She smiled, “Welcome to the family!”

I nodded, “Thanks!”

She motioned, “His Dad will be in shortly. He had to go to the Judge.”


I nodded and saw Dan in hugging Mom. Mom said, “Rat!”


Yeah Mom!”

I went in and she said, “If you take a normal jet to Pottstown, you'll have 14 hours of layovers. If you call Brian Fitzpatrick, you'll meet him out at the airport and he'll fly you there in time to pick them up and drive home tomorrow.

You'll have to stay over, so get your brother and you some rooms someplace and get plenty of rest as it's a 14 hour drive without stops for food and gas.

There's tolls on those roads, so you'll need plenty of change.”

Ok.”

She gave me a look, “Don't ride your brother because he's uncomfortable around hearses. I think your Dad left him in one by himself when he was younger.”

“Ok.”

I shot Dan a look. He said, “I didn't say anything! She knows these things about us!”

I nodded, “Ok. I won't make you sleep in the hearse and drive it to the graveyard!”

He gave me a look and I said, “That's not riding you! That's playing a joke when we're drunk! Needless to say, you'd not been much fun getting drunk!”


He gave me a look, “How often have you been drunk and driving?”


I always pick a sober driver. Sometimes I'm the sober driver. And yes, we have fun!”

He nodded and Mom said, “He's told me about everything. He's responsible even though it doesn't sound like it.”


I nodded, “No one got hurt, or died. A lot of stupid stuff got done like going outside to make nude snow angels and getting locked out!”

He laughed real loud and Josh said, “I heard about that! You spent the rest of the night in the hot tub!”

“Yeah, and it's not as fun as you'd think it sounded.”

I looked up, “Ok, we're going to fly to Pottstown as soon as I can get Brian on the phone with us.”

Dan nodded, “Ok, Brian's cool.”

I nodded, “He got the worst frostbite that night.”


He looked shocked and Mom smiled, “They were in Aspen. I hear they did nude candlelight skiing and some other things nude!”

I nodded, “It was fun. Getting up the hill without the ski lift running wasn't so fun because the snow mobile driver kept going too fast, but that's what you get when you have someone who's an idiot as your designated driver.”


They laughed and I dialed Brian. In no time at all, we were ready to head to the airport. Gramps came and said, “Your Grandmother said I have to go chaperone!”

“Ok, you're the designated driver!”


He gave me a look and I said, “It's a joke Gramps...”


Everyone laughed except Gramps, and I said, “I suppose back in your day you never did anything stupid.”


He said, “Oh, I did stupid stuff in my day and got caught because of idiots!”

I nodded, “Yeah, you gotta watch out for the idiots. Did I ever tell you about the time we went nude rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon?”


Gramps gave me a look, “Did you ever keep your clothes on?”


Yeah. You have to when you're getting in the boat and getting out when there's people around. However there was this one time when we thought no one was around and were surprised by a bunch of people coming down the side on burros.
Did I ever tell you what I really think of burros and the people who kick burro shit over the side of the Grand Canyon?”


They really laughed and I said, “Needless to say, we got in the boats quick and went further down and got washed off. You should've been with us Gramps! You'd had a blast!”

“Nah, my days of nude floating are over.”

“Grandma's are good for that!”

He smiled, “One of these days you're going to have one who reminds you why you're lucky to be alive at my age.”

“Ok. I'll remember that.”


We got to the airport and Brian met us. He saw Dan with us and said, “Hey Dan!”

Dan smiled, “How's that frostbite doing!”

“It's healed. Did he tell you that he pierced my nipple because he told me that since it was numb from the cold it wouldn't hurt?”


I said, “No, I told him we had an idiot getaway driver though!”


Everyone laughed and Brian said, “Now, that wasn't my fault. If you hadn't bought a racing snowmobile with a touchy throttle you'd been able to stay on!”


It seemed fine when I drove it to the plane to get the spare set of keys after we hot wired it!”


Everyone laughed and Gramps said, “So you snowmobile ride through Aspen in the nude?”


No, when they wrote it up in the paper, they said all I was wearing was a smile! So I had something on!”


Everyone really laughed and we got airborne. Brian said, “We'll be there in two hours.”

Josh said, “Man, I can't believe how fast a jet saves time!”

“We'll use it when we go to Connecticut. However, we might land in New York City since it would be better for us to get cars there.”

We looked at Bentley Speeds and I asked Josh, “Would you get the convertible and I'll get the Flying Spur?”


Sure!”

“That way, we've got one of each. We can drive with another couple of people in the back of mine and they won't be so cramped.”

He nodded, “Ok. What's the difference?”


Both have the same engine and 4 wheel drive. It's just that mine's a hard top and yours is a convertible. Mine's the full size and yours is the medium.”

He nodded, “Sure!”

We configured and Dan watched. Gramps got interested and soon, he was saying, “Make me one!”

I smiled, “What colors do you want Gramps?”


That two tone blue.”

I nodded, “That's nice also. I liked the brown over tan.”

Dan said, “I think that'll be hot in the summer time.”

“In the summer, we'll be driving in his with the top down.”

He nodded, “I think they've screwed up not having a full size convertible like Rolls Royce.”

I nodded, “Yeah, but Royces aren't 4 wheel drive. I'd gladly went for a drophead, but think that we need the 4 wheel drive more.”

He pointed, “Then why don't you get him the Royce and you the Mulliner?”


I nodded, “That's an idea!” I turned, “Are you up for that?”


Josh nodded, “SURE!”

I smiled and he winked at me. We looked and quickly got him one configured. Gramps said, “Configure me one of those!”. So we worked on him one also.


He looked at me, “Son, you configure you one also and I'll get it. Then, you get yourself a four wheel drive you want in the winter. Don't settle just because you've got one for the winter and one for the summer. You two will be having different schedules at some point in time.”


I nodded, “Ok. Mine will be white with blue. I'll have white seats with blue piping and a blue roof.”

When we landed, we were met at the airport with the two limos and the hearse. I signed all the paperwork and we decided to eat at Chilis and then went tot he hotel.


On Sunday, we went to Denny's for breakfast and then drove until we needed lunch and fuel. We stopped at a Red Lobster and then got fuel. Back on the road and we stopped at rest stops and got fuel agai. We ate at a Steak N Shake. Within two hours we were home.


Rather than pulling on in, I had them take the cars to the car wash where we could wash off the road grime.


When we got to the funeral home, Bill was having a viewing, so we parked in the garage and got on home.


At the house, Mom looked terrible. I immediately asked, “What happened!!!”

“Diane showed up. She didn't take it so good that her Daddy had an affair.”

“FOUR affairs! And seven illegitimate kids!”


Mom looked shocked, “How do you know this?”


Someone who knows told me.”

I pulled my phone, and dialed Ed, the Sheriff, “Hello?”


I need you to come by our house. Mom's been beaten up by Diane.”

“WHAT?”


Ed, this will probably be the first funeral where family is packing heat to put another in the grave. You find the bitch and you get her arrested. I'll get the restraining order and we'll keep her away from us the rest of our lives.”


I'm on my way!”

Mom said, “Don't cause any trouble!”

“Fuck that!”

Dan said, “Mom, would you let a stranger come into your home and do this? NO! Don't let someone who is supposed to love you do it either!

What would you do if she did this to either one of the grandmas? Would you protect her then? Well, we're protecting YOU!”


Mom started crying, “She stole my wedding rings off my finger!”

I stared in shock and said, “Dan, find her. If I find her, you're not going to need bail money because I plan on offin' the bitch!”


He gave me a look, “You're not the only one! I can't believe she'd do this!”

When Ed got there, I said, “She stole Mom's wedding rings off her finger. You get an APB out on the bitch and you let me know where she is. I'll throw the stick of dynamite and you pick up the pieces and arrest them! I have NEVER been so pissed in my life!”


He went in and the way Mom looked shocked him. He immediately said, “We need to get you to a hospital!”

She shook her head, “I'll be ok. I gave as good as I got, but I tripped over the footstool and that's when she got me down on the floor and wouldn't let me up.”


He asked, “What kind of car is she driving?”


Mom shrugged, “I don't know. She came in the front door before I knew she was here.”


I dialed the funeral home. Bill answered, “Hello?”


DO me a favor and lock my Dad's body in the vault.”

“Why?”


Diane's been here and has beaten up Mom.”

“She's here right now!”

I said, “Ed, she's at the funeral home right now.”

He ran out the door and Dan and I followed. Dan said, “I'm SO PISSED!”

“Dan, like it or not, Dad caused this. He pitted lies against us and Diane's now lashing out. You know the truth, so you're not having issues, but Diane's went off the deep end.”


Dan shook his head, “But I would've never laid a hand on MOM!!! And what's that... stealing her wedding rings??? What the fuck!!!”

I pulled up and blocked her car in. I said, “This is her car. I'm blocking it in.”

The Sheriff already had her handcuffed. They were walking out the office door. He said, “She's apparently looking for something. The files are all a wreck!”

I said, “Check her pockets and her purse for Mom's wedding rings. Those are enough to make that a felony. You get them photographed and get those back to Mom.”

Diane spat at me, and I said, “Uh Sheriff, that's another assault. I'm not pulling those charges!”


She said, “Ah, fuck you! You illegitimate piece of shit!”

Dan said, “Diane, you're wrong. There ARE illegitimate kids, but they're with the four women whom Dad had affairs with. Janet is one of Dad's illegitimate daughters.... and who set me up with her???”


She looked shocked, “WHAT!”

Dan nodded, “Murphy is another... Four women, seven kids. We know five of them.”

She looked shocked, “Then Jeff and John are his!!!”


Immediately, she looked sorrowful and started to cry hard. I went over and hugged her and said, “Listen, I'm his. The blood proves it. They're not and you're holding lies he told against Mom and me.

Dan's begged for forgiveness and gotten it. You need to and you need to learn before you judge.
There's video in there which proves I'm not lying. He had sex in that office with Merriam...

She looked shocked, “Oh my God!”


Dan said, “He's not lying. I sent you the video to your phone!”

She said, “I don't know how to work that!”

I turned to Ed. “Let's see if she'll ask Mom for forgiveness and Mom will forgive. We need to be a family more than we need bullshit.”

Diane yelled, “She hit me!”

“And you beat the fuck out of her and stole her wedding rings!!! Do you realize that's assault and because it's associated with a theft, that's a minimum of 20 years??? You'd BEST ask for forgiveness because you're next husband will be a woman!”


I'm not a fuckin' fag! You are!!!”

I stepped back, “Ed, process her. I could give a shit less now. You've got charges from me, so press them. The second you find Mom's rings, on her, in her car, or purse, you press charges on that theft... and because she trespassed here, that's another charge.. and vandalized this place??? That's another charge...”


He nodded, and Dan said, “Diane, you're way out there! You need to grow the fuck up and you need to realize shit's gotten real and you're on a trip to prison! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT???”


She scrunched her face, “At least I didn't fuck my own sister!!!”

I smiled, “And your illegitimate brother wouldn't have you...”

“None of them were rich enough!”

“So that makes you a high dollar whore! The difference is the amount of money??? Well ask Bertha if you get a nickle in there! She'll slap you across the cell!” I winked, “Ed, you might want to put her in with Bertha at the jail. Then, she'll get a taste of what she's been missing when it's riding her tongue!”


I walked off and into the office. I dialed Mom and said, “She's torn apart the office looking for the Will.”

“I've got it!”

“Well, the file with your pre-need is laying over here and all the other files are thrown all over the place.”


Oh my God!”

“I'm going to start working on this. It's going to be a mess.”


Did he get my wedding rings?”


Mom, don't pull the charges. I'm not.”

“What did she do to you?”


She went back to the illegitimate thing and spat on me. That's assault and is enough to show she's got a problem.

She now knows who the illegitimate ones are and that Dad is the one who had the affairs. She was told if she'd apologize, she'd be welcomed back in and then got stupid again.

Well, I'm done. She's got a restraining order from me as soon as I can get it filed.”

“Me too!”

“Don't pull it. She'll be in jail and told not to be around us. I think they'll serve her while she's in jail.”

“Ok.” She started crying, “I wish things had been better!”

“They're about to be. Sometimes, it takes a rough patch to realize it's good when it gets good.”

“Lord don't we know it!”

Well, your rough patch is over. Mr. Grant is waiting!”

She chuckled, “I wish I'd gotten divorced a long time ago so that he and I could've been together!”

“You know, I wish you had also. Then, the ties that bound Dad would've been released and all of them would've learned they weren't the only affair!”

“Ooh, I hadn't thought of that!”

What's hilarious is this... I'm going to play this like a fiddle. I don't think the kids know it. In fact, I don't think the women know about each other.”

“Why do you think that?”


John and Mandy are about to get in a relationship. Does that sound like they know?”


Oh my God!”

“Dan's been with Janet! Does that sound like she knew?”


OH MY GOD!!!”

“And Mandy had the hots for me... Now I'll tell you I've always thought that John was good looking, but Jeff his brother sizzles. Fortunately, I knew he was straight, so that wasn't happening.”

She giggled. “That's interesting, but you've got to tell them!”

“They'll think I'm hateful as hell.”

Dan came in shaking his head, “She's a dumb bitch! She's got assault on law enforcement now!”


I stared in shock, “What'd she do???”


She headbutted him! He found the rings around her neck on her necklace and she tried to bite and headbutted him!!!”

Mom sounded like she was shocked, “Oh my God!”

I said, “Mom, you need to get to the hospital. Neither of us should've left you and I apologize.”

“No. I need you there.”

“I'll get this cleaned up.”

Dan said, “I'm helping too Mom! This is a disaster!”

She said, “Ok, I love you two! Well, I love her too, but I can't let this continue.”


I agreed, “No one wants you to. We understand.”


I rang off and looked at Dan, “Uh, I had no clue that Jeff and John were involved.”

He nodded, “They're Britney's brothers.”

“I never even knew that... You'd be amazed at the times I've told John not to fuck with Britney because she's one of the hateful triplets. And you'd be amazed at the times he's agreed!”

He laughed, “Jeff's cool.”

“Jeff's so good looking that he was my first crush!”

He looked shocked, “Really?”


He's the reason I came out of the closet to Mom! She saw me staring at him one day and she asked, “Why are you looking at that boy?” and I said, “He's hot!”.

Well, she started that talk of, “You can tell me anything.” and I told her. That was fine and then, Dad got told and it was a mess.”

He shook his head, “You know, he was a bastard to you, right?”


Yeah. Some girls want a boy just like Dad. Well, if I went for one like that, it'd be in a ring!”


He laughed, “How are we going to tell them?”


Here's what I'll do... I'm going to make calls and tell Britney and John that we learned that Dad had affairs and that Mandy is one of them. That way, they can be aware that we're onto knowing about the one, but not knowing about the others... Then, I can tell John that we learned about who else was involved and that he needs to break it off with Mandy and not go for Janet or Murphy.”

He chuckled, “I'll tell Jeff the same thing!”

“This is ridiculous that we we've got to do all this. Fortunately, we've got the proof in the payments.”

He shook his head, “Ok. How are we going to straighten this up?”


First of all, we've got to pray that all these papers have their names upon them. If they don't, we're so screwed it's pitiful!” I pointed, “Try picking up the files with as much in them as we can keep. Then, check to make sure what's in them belongs in there. We don't need someone's information getting in someone else's file.”


We did and still had a LOT of paperwork. He'd call a name and I'd file it. Then, we were down to four pieces which didn't have any information.


I said, “Here's what we can do... Those have dates upon them. Fortunately, we've got the accounting books we can look at to see who paid on those days.”

“GOOD!”

I hugged him, “Thanks!”

He smiled, “Thank you! This would've taken me all night!”

I laughed, “It would've taken ME all night!”


He laughed, “Brother, you're fine in my book! And yeah, I think Josh is perfect for you!”


He is!”

“So tell me about your house? You kept calling it by name, and Gramps knew about it, but I don't.”


Oh, I'm sorry! It's beautiful!”

I hurried and got it pulled up and pointed, “I want a big screen there. That way, we can look up and see their information over their heads!”

He laughed, and then said, “Tell me about it?”


It's on sale!”

He really laughed and I said, “Seriously. Over here, it's $21 million. Over here, it's $14. That's a full 1/3 off!”


He really laughed, “My God, that's beautiful, but it's expensive!”

“Get this... North of New York City, it's the largest privately owned strip of beach.”

“MAN!”

“You're going to think I'm just here to spend money, but I want to put wrought iron railings up on that wall. That way, should anyone with little kids come, they're not falling off or getting hurt.”

He nodded, “I love it. DO you realize that's all ancient?”


Yeah, we're going up and checking to see what needs redone. I'm imagining those beds there will need to be redone because those don't look like they've been changed since the 1950's.”

“Yeah, those linens aren't new, but nothing in that house is new!”

“A lot of the furniture is going to have to be taken and restored. I love it, but here's what I know about that old furniture.

Grandma and Grandpa's dining room outfit was glued like that and that's why it fell apart....Age will do that. Well, all of this is that way. I think the second we start using it, it's going to fall apart.

What's crazy is that boat house and that little house there look brand new!”

“So does that beach there!”


I'm changing the color of that sand on that beach. That's red sand someone brought from some quarry. We need white sand.”

“That'll be expensive.”

“Yeah, but I saw someplace where they did that to the beaches in North Carolina, or South Carolina... They imported white sand from Aruba and said it was so much per ton.”

“MAN! Do you realize how many ton that will be?”


Yeah, it's going to be that big there with 50 pound bags of sand stacked two high and then divided by 20. I imagine I ought to rent one of those roller conveyors so that the truck won't cut ruts in the yard.”


He pointed, “Put reds and greens all along there in flowers. I think if you do yellows on the house side looking out at the ocean, with those greens, it'll make the ocean look more blue.”

“That's cool!”

“It's using colors to trick your eyes into thinking somethings more vivid.”

“I want hostas all along those walkways with that red mulch.”

He shook his head, “I think you're going to need a groundskeeper.”

“Nah. All we need is a ZTR mower with a bagger and us doing it every couple of weeks.

I can do it after sending him to get something to eat. Then, when he gets home, I'm rewarded with something good to eat and us being able to sit and stare at the ocean while eating...”

I pointed, “We need to lime the yard and beach.”

“Why?”


Sand fleas. If you use lime, the powder will get into their little lungs and kill them.”

“Really?”


Yeah, it's that way with a lot of outdoor bugs.”

I pointed, “Dan?”


Yeah?”


Give me your honest opinion... Let's say that I get that wrought iron fence put up there, do you think I should have posts which have lanterns in them and plant hangars off them? Or do you think that's trying to be a park too much?”


I think it'll look good. I'd have long rectangular window baskets hanging off the railings too. It'd really give color.”

He pointed, “I'd get rid of those bushes. They're nothing but trouble.”

“I agree... bag worms.”

“Yeah, and I'm surprised they're not loaded.”

“They've probably got a groundskeeper who spends a lot of time spraying.”


You'll need to keep him on. You can afford it.”


He put his hand upon my arm, “You need to get Josh a card and tell him it's his to use for whatever he wants. He doesn't have the money you do, so don't think he does...”

“Ok.”

“When he's got his own card, it'll give him independence. Let him spend it however he pleases and don't say a thing about it.”

“Ok.”

He arched a brow, “I'm telling you from experience... Money has been the biggest sources of problems in my life.”

“Really?”


When you've got it, you take it for granted. When you don't, you don't. A lot of people don't have it and then, I become friends with them and all goes well until I say something about them not buying. That's when they get away from me.”

“Ok.”

“I'll tell you now that Janet and I probably would've been married if I'd followed that advice, myself. Instead, I said something and she let me have it with both barrels about not having the money I do!”

“Well, you could apologize and make up!”

He smiled, “No. I need to thank my lucky stars and find someone else!”

“Ok... Let's see... I suppose rather than dating the children, Dad's broke in four women for you!”

He laughed real loud, “That's so wrong, sick, and funny!”

I put my hand upon his, “Gramps told me that he had an uncle who was worse.”

“REALLY!”

“Yeah, the guy was a mail man and I guess he delivered his package to a lot of them. From what I hear, Great Grandma and Grandpa paid over 60 women money to support kids.”

“My GOD!”

“He got killed when someone discovered he delivered more than letters!”

“Serves him right!”

“Really, it's almost a perfect gig! Back then, guys worked from sun up to sun down and women were left home alone. He'd come around and one thing led to another and he's delivering his package!”


He laughed, “That's terrible! I would've used buckshot just to get both of them!”


I would've used a flame thrower and then went back to the field!”


He laughed, “You're terrible, but that'd serve them right!”

I waved my hand, “I wonder how many of these have been insurance fraud?”


Oh, I don't know.”


Sometimes you just gotta wonder. I mean, when word gets out, you know it's going to hit the fan in those homes.”

“Yeah!”

“Personally, I'll tell you this... The triplets have been super hateful to me all my life.”

“Really?”


Yeah, and then, I find out the biggest bitch of them all had the hots for me! THEN, what do I do? I know that John's had the hots for Mandy and I'm like,”Ok, I'll call John!”.”


Ooh. Now, what's funny about that....HEY!!! There's a girl for you!!!”

“Who?”


Heather!”

“What's she look like?”


She's sweet. She's in need of a makeover, but if you look at her face and body rather than the hair, you'll see she's nice.”

He smiled, “What's wrong with her hair?”


Well, without me getting too gay about it, she's got that Bette Midler thing going prior to making it to superstar status... or Bernadette Peters.”

He smiled real big,”You know I like girls with red hair, don't you?”


Well, she's more auburn than red. But it's red enough to make you happy.”


I dialed, “Hello?”


Hey Girl!”

“Oh my God! I heard about your Dad!”

“Yeah, it's sad...not!”


She chuckled, “Are you ok?”


Yeah. It was his heart... not mine.”


She giggled, and I said, “Listen, I've got someone for you to meet.”

“Who?”


Have you seen my brother?”


Yeah! He's FINE!”

“Well, we got to talking and Girl, there's gobs of information I've gotta spill!”

“Really, what?”


Well, guess what! My Dad was having affairs with four women and you'll never guess who they are!”

“Murphy and Janet's Mom.”

“How'd you know!”

“I saw them kissing once.”

“Did you tell them?”


No!”

“Well, you should've. Dan and Janet were dating and didn't know it!”

“Why should that matter???” And then it hit her, “OH MY GOD!”

“Yeah... Murphy, Janet, Jeff, John, Britney, Mandy, and who else did I miss?”


Nicole.”

“All of them are sorta siblings.”

“OH MY GOD! He was having sex with all them?”


Yeah. Now, how am I gonna tell John so that he and Mandy aren't getting together.”

“They're not. She said he had a small dick.”

“HUH? He's packin'!”

“She said it was small.”

“Girl, I've seen that dick in the shower and he's got probably 8 inches! If that's small, what the fuck is she using for a dildo???”


She laughed real loud and Dan really laughed. I said, “Sorry, I got carried away. I just know that she's an idiot.”


She said, “So when do we get to meet?”


Let's take it to Sonic and meet there.”

“It's 10:30 and I've got school tomorrow.”

“It's that late already?”


Yeah. You didn't know?”


No. My sister trashed the funeral home and we've been cleaning the office. Now she's in jail and Dan and I have been talking and got into the subject of someone who would be safe for him to date that he wouldn't call sis later!”

She laughed, “Oh man, can you imagine!”

“Yeah, it sucks, but that's what our Dad ….and their Moms did to us.”

She said, “Ok, meet me at Sonic... No, they'll be shut. Meet me at McDonald's.”

“Ok. I'll buy!”

She laughed, “It's your family's. I'd HOPE you'd buy!”

“It got given to me yesterday prior to my Dad dying.”

“Oh, I'm sorry!”

“It wasn't him doing the giving, trust that!”


We rang off and drove to McDonald's. When we got there, I said, “Hurry. Eat two Big Macs before she gets here!”

“Why?”


So you can say you've already eaten and you're full!”

He smiled, “HUH?”


That's what girls do! The first lie is 'I haven't eaten a thing all day!' and then, the second is 'I couldn't possibly eat another bite!'.
First of all, if they've not eaten, they'd be eating then. Second of all, if they're eating, they could inhale a refrigerator! Third of all, when they say '
I couldn't possibly eat another bite.' Go to the bathroom and see if she's not licking her fingers when you get back!”


He laughed, “You're onto them!”

“Guys will lie. We know we lie. We'll tell you we'll lie. And then, we don't understand when a girl says that shit that she's lying!”


Heather walked in and her face lit up. I said, “Girl, is that new?”


This old thing? No.”

“Ok, I'll hide this tag.”


She looked shocked and looked. Dan laughed real loud and I smiled, “Gotcha!”


She smiled, “That wasn't nice!”


I hugged her and said, “Heather, meet Dan. Dan meet Heather.”

He kissed her hand and I gave him a look... “Would you like anything to eat?”


He said, “No, I'm stuffed.”

“Good. I'll get a sundae. Would you like something Heather?”


She smiled, “I'll take a fruit cup.”

“They don't make them in Large. Do you want two?”


She looked shocked at me and Dan rolled his eyes and said through clenched teeth, “She said one!”


Ok, you're sounding hungry. Are you sure you don't want two Big Macs?”


He gave me a look, “NO!”

“Ok, I'll get a fish to go with my sundae.”

The girl smiled real big and got everything for me. The manager came out and said, “Here's how you do that!”

He got it so it was nothing and I said, “Thanks Tim.”


He nodded, “I've gotta. Your family owns it.”

“I own it now. It's in the family trust that I just received.”


He looked shocked, and said, “Congratulations!”

“Thanks.”


We got our food and I said, “Kids, you talk and get to know each other. Your eyes say it to his eyes already sayin' it.” I paused and looked around, “Anyone opposed? No, the eyes (ayes) have it! Relationship is passed by the majority.”


They laughed and I went out and dialed Josh, “Hello?”


How's it going stud?”


He laughed, “My Mom said the books are ALL messed up! She said your Dad was paying them a LOT!”

“What about the furniture store?”


She stole a bunch. Everything's the same. His signature on the checks isn't his. She wrote the checks, cashed them, and endorsed them and that signature of her name is the same as the front!”


I'm glad she's finding everything... Guess what?”


What?”


Dan and Heather are getting together.”


Really?”


Yeah. I just hooked them up. She's the only one whose Mom didn't screw my Dad!”

He laughed, “Oh man!”

“Dan said he likes you... So that's good.”

“What did your Mom call Dad about?”


Diane showed up and beat Mom up.”

“WHAT!”

“We got there right after she'd left apparently. Mom's hair was all screwed up and she's got a black eye.... And get this... She stole Mom's wedding rings off her fingers!”

“WHAT!”

“Yeah. It's nuts.”

“Did they catch her?”


Yeah. She went to the funeral home and tore through the files looking for the Will. What she didn't know was Mom has it at the house. Needless to say, Dan and I had to refile everything and when I was thinking I was about 8, it was 10:30!”

“Oh man! That had to be a mess!”

“It's all on video.”

“Are you going to school tomorrow?”


I have to. It's finals week and I either take the tests or fail!”

“That sucks!”

“I don't know what they're going to do about the funeral on Tuesday, but I've got to show to that or the entire town will talk!”


I'd go and make them give me make up tests.”

We rang off and I got home. Mom had taken her shower and gotten into her night gown and robe. I gave her a hug and she whimpered. I quickly let her go and said, “You need to go to the hospital!”

“No. I'm just stiff and sore. I fell over that foot stool.”

I shook my head and she said, “Now, I don't want to hear anything, but I'm asking that she be allowed to attend the funeral.”

“With a gag?”


No. Ed said that they'll keep her away and the moment she starts anything, they'll get her out of there.”

“By then, it could be too late! You know she'll start something!”

She gave me a look, “I have to let her have a chance. That way, no one can say that I didn't and she can't say I didn't to anyone else.”

“Ok, but I'll tell you now that Dan's fed up with her and so am I. She spit on me at the funeral home. I told Ed that even if you dropped charges, I wouldn't. THEN, she headbutted Ed, so that's a whole new charge.”

She looked shocked, “He never told me that!”

“Dan was out there and witnessed it. By that time, I was inside.”

She shook her head, “I never heard about this... Where's Dan?”


I introduced him to Heather. They're having a date at McDonald's.”

“McDonald's!!!”

“It was 10:30 by the time we called her. I thought it was around 8pm and it wasn't.”

She smiled, “Do you think they'll hit it off?”


Yeah, both of them have eyes for each other.”


I motioned, “I've got to go to bed. It's a school day tomorrow whether I like it or not.”

“No. You don't have to go!”

“It's finals! If I don't go, I'll fail! Now, I'll miss for his funeral, but they'll have to make that up for me and I don't want to make them go too far out of their way for me.”

“The funeral is at 2pm. You could go in the morning and then get out for that, but you'll have to wear your suit to school.”

“Ok. I'll do that.”

She said, “I'll have Dan here with me, so we'll be fine.”

“Mom, I spoke with Josh and he told me his mom is finding all sorts of things wrong. Apparently, Dad was paying them from the funeral home account and/or something.”

“Really? I kept track of all those!”

“I think he was putting some things on the accounting books which weren't labeled right. The checks which correlate state they were something different.”


She looked shocked, “My GOD!”


I hugged her, “I know it's a mess, but you keep trudging forward. Mr. Grant is out there waiting for you in the future and he will love you honestly.”

“Yeah. If he'll have me!”

“MOM!” I put her at arms length, “You straighten that up! You're a catcher and he's the glove! You two go hand in hand!”


She smiled and shook her head, “You come up with these sayings!”

“It's true! Do you know how many guys have said, “Man, your Mom's a knockout!” and then, they get the hell away from me??? Well, they do!”

She smiled, “Ok, I just don't feel attractive right now.”

“Soak in the jacuzzi and get rid of the stiff and sore.”

“I did. I still feel stiff and sore.”

“Then take two aspirins and let them do the work. You'll relax when you sleep and they'll do the rest.”

“I hope!”

I pulled my phone, “I'm calling Dan and telling him that if he's near the ball fieldm or on any bases, he needs to put the bat away and get home!”


She laughed, “He'd better not be!”

“Do you know how hard it is to think of a girl who isn't involved in this??? I mean, Heather's the only one and then, when I told him about her, he was like, “I really like girls with red hair!” and I said, “Well, it's auburn.” and he was like “CALL HER!”, so I did and then, when she heard it was him, she was like, 'He's FINE!” and then, when he saw her, you could tell...”

She smiled, “Let's hope! He needs to settle down.”

“We got close today and yesterday. I think he realizes he's been led down the wrong path and is making amends... Diane on the other hand... She won't learn.”


Ed's getting me back my wedding rings. He said he wants to use them for the Grand Jury, and show them that they were indeed stolen.”


I shook my head, “She's a bitch. I'm sorry, but you just don't do things like that!”

“The entire time she was doing it, she was like, “You said I could have them when you die. Well die already!”


I stared at her, “Mom, did you give a statement?”


Yeah. I did.”

I nodded, “Good. Her having that assault on law enforcement upon her record is going to get her worse in prison. They'll put her on the side where they put people who kill and rape.”

She looked shocked, “Really?”


Thieves get one part as do drug dealers. Those are what they deem victimless crimes.

When you put a victim through something or kill someone, or rape them, that's a whole other thing. You being a victim is one thing. Her focusing upon law enforcement is another. Her spitting upon me is another, but not that bad in the court's eyes.... but all three are assaults.”


She nodded, and I saw in her eyes she was having second thoughts. I said, “Don't think it! I will NOT pull my charges upon her! If she was a stranger and came in this house and beat you up and stole those rings from you, would you feel sorry for her? No! So don't let that get in the way! It's emotional stuff and she crossed the line!”

“I know. It's just that I wish she didn't have to go.”

“I wish she'd apologized like Dan and got her act together!”


She nodded, “I do too.”

“Well, she made her decision, and like Dad, she's thinking it'll work in her favor to split the family. Well, she doesn't realize that was the end of the road with him and now it's onward and upward to better things.
Perhaps when she hears you're with someone who actually loves you, she'll realize what Dad was doing wasn't loving anyone including himself. And perhaps when she's Brunhilda's bitch in there, she won't be so apt to judge me for being gay!”

She shook her head, “You behave!”

“I hope when Brunhilda knocks her flying across the cell, she yells, “Who's your Mama now!”.”


She laughed, “You're nuts!”

“It got you to giggling, so that's good!”

She hugged me, “Get on to bed.”

“I've gotta call that brother of mine.”


I dialed Dan, “Hello?”


If you're at the ballfield, you put the bat away and go home! There's no bases out tonight!”


He laughed, “You hush up! We're just sitting here talking!”

“It's Sunday and she's got finals. When she sees those grades, she's going to go... “You let a man do what to those grades???”.”

“We're hitting it off great.”

“Good. Here's something that will knock your dick in the dirt... Mom's going to let them bring Diane to the funeral.”

“HUH?”


Yeah... Like we need a side show of someone in a straight jacket screaming!”

“What's she thinking!”

“She's her baby girl and she needs to be fair to everyone...”

“Oh Jesus!”


Well, that's the story on that. Tell Heather good night and you get to be there for Mom until I'm out of school.”

“Ok.”

I rang off and texted Josh 'Good Night' and went to bed.


Monday,


I woke up and Mom had oatmeal, bacon, waffles, and syrup. I ate and gave her a kiss and said, “Thanks. I know you didn't have to get up so early to fix me anything.”

“It's your finals. I know you need to have good grades.”

“Thanks.”

I went out dialing Josh, “Hello?”


Do you want to meet me at the parking lot?”


Sure. I'm heading that way now.”

“I'll be there. I'm getting in the car now.”

I rang off and drove. When I got there, I found his car and parked. On the way out of the car, I saw Mandy and her doubles headed my way. Out of nowhere, Heather swooped in, 'Hey Brother-in-law!'.”

“You two took a trip to Vegas???”


She smiled, “No, but I know he's the one!”

About then, I got slapped, and Heather jumped in. I said, “What the hell!”


That's for firing my Mom!”

I stared, “Did your Mom tell you that she was fuckin' my Dad? And did she tell you that YOU'RE my illegitimate sister???”


She looked shocked, “WHAT!”

“So when you get to slappin' someone, you slap the bitch who gave you birth and tell her she's a ho' from me!”


She charged at me and Mr. Foster came running. “Hey, what's this about!”

“She just found out that her Mom was one of my Dad's 'ho's on the side. And yes, I used ho' because the bitches were all getting over $100 grand a year to be that strange piece of pus-say!”

I nodded, “So she's upset that I fired her Mom who failed to tell her that she's my illegitimate sister and that her twins here are all my illegitimate sisters also!”

THEY all looked shocked and I nodded, “Yeah, while I'm recovering from the way my Dad treated me, you all realize that he COULD HAVE been faithful to my Mom but wasn't!

Seven illegitimate kids with four women... You figure it out... One, two, three, and Nicole's Mom too!”


They all looked shocked and Britney said, “You're lying!”

I shook my head, and Josh said, “There are checks for $100 grand each all over the place! If he's lyin', I'm dyin' because I've seen them!”


Mr. Foster said, “Let's get in to school and calm down!”

I nodded, “Sis, you're a slugger alright!”

She gave me a look and I could tell she was hurt. I said, “Girl, just be thankful I'm gay because we'd hooked up and had broken hearts over that asshole called my Dad!”

She asked, “Is it really true?”


Yeah. I saw video.”

She looked shocked, “What?”


Well, when your Mom got arrested...”

“WHAT!”

“Yeah, she tried hitting me too. I blocked it and then, called the Sheriff. That's when we learned she's been stealing from the furniture store account and is going up on embezzlement charges.

Anyway, I watched the video and on Friday afternoon, sex happened. And yes, there's proof everywhere he's been paying the women a lot of money.”

I hugged her and said, “Listen, it's not my intention to hurt your feelings. Everyone's holding me accountable for a lot of things and it's not my doings.

My own DAD accused my Mom of screwing around and said I wasn't his. When we proved I was, I should've turned it on him and asked him if he was faithful... Lord knows he wasn't!”

“So there's DNA proving you're his?”


Yeah, and it'll prove you are too if you want that.”


I let go of her and broke the hug. “Sis, let's get your head back in this and let's get these tests taken.”


She smiled at me, “Ok!”

“Don't mess with Jeff or John. Neither of them are good candidates because they're Dad's too.”

She looked shocked, “Then why'd you tell us to go for it!”

Josh said, “He didn't know! I was there when he found out!”


She looked shocked, “OH MAN!”

“Girl, dealing with him dying and all that has been terrible. There's more drama happening that at Sundance Film Festival!”

We went in and John came stalking over. “What's this shit!”


I rolled my eyes and said, “You're one of my Dad's too.”


What the hell!”


Josh said, “I can see it with you standing like that!”

Heather said, “Me too!”

I said, “Mandy, I hate to break it to you, but you tellin' him that his dick is too little is ridiculous! I've seen that thing in the shower at gym class and will tell you that he's got straight guys running from him!
Now, I'll tell you that had he dropped the soap... He'd been got!”


John smiled real big, “You stay away from me with what YOU got!”


Let's just say that if Jeff got what we got, no one's starvin' with all the meat we're deliverin'!”


He smiled, “I'm not saying anything. I've suspected my Mom was doing things with someone for a while.”

“Well, now you know.”


We sat down and John said, “Jeff's gonna be so pissed!”

“Why?”


He was planning on asking out Nicole!”

“Ooh, he likes chicks with mustaches?”


Josh started laughing, and John smiled, “He thinks she's hot!”

“Well, tell him to drill a different well. That one's tappin' into the family gene pool!”

He shook his head, “You know this is wrong, don't you?”


Yeah. But no one was meant to be hurt like this, but we are.”


He nodded, and Murphy stalked over, “You know, you could've kept it quiet!”

“Maybe... and Janet and Dan could've probably had babies together. You know they dated, right?”


She looked shocked, “She said he popped her cherry!”

“Sis, they probably did. I hope he used galoshes! Sometimes rubbers aren't big enough!”


Everyone laughed and she looked shocked, “That's sick!”

“Hey, they didn't know! It seems everyone's attracted to everyone else in this family!”

She scrunched her nose and I said, “That's ok. You be the odd woman out!”

She smiled, “Well, you're the odd man out!”

“Josh saved me from dying a virgin!”


John said, “Ooh, don't get started on that!”

I smiled, “Yeah, you know your weekend's gonna suck when you call your family's no tell motel and discover your gay son's getting laid in the honeymoon suite and you're ass out with the mistress!”


Everyone laughed and PA system announced that we were to meet in the auditorium. I said, “Ok Sibs, let's get breakfast bars and energy drinks and get there! We're all brains, so let's show them it's not a fluke!”


Murphy came over, “You know about me, don't you?”


Girl, I'm not telling a thing!”

“Thanks.”

“Your eyes told me. I just hope you don't get your heart broke.”

She sighed, “It is... She's straight.”

“You're going to college, right?”


Yeah....” She looked shocked, “Uh, is there still going to be a scholarship for us? The funeral home was giving it out.”

“Yeah. That's all money put into a foundation. I'll put more money in and will make sure you've got money to spend.”

“Thanks.”

“You just do us up proud! Where are you going?”


Stamford.”

“Really? That's not far from where our house is located.”

“What?”


We're buying a house in Fairfield which is on Sasco Point. It's about 15 miles from Stamford!”


Josh looked surprised, “Really!”

“Yeah. It's 23 from Yale and 15 from Stamford. Needless to say, she'd not be far from college if she wanted to stay!”

He nodded, “Sure!”

She looked perplexed and I said, “Hon, we've got 5 houses on the property. I'm not letting anyone stay in the boat house because I plan on making noise with jet skis and a boat, but you're welcome to stay in the others.”


She looked at Josh, “Is this for real?”


Josh nodded, “You can't stay in the garage either. We'll be using it and making noise in the basement of it too.”


I pulled up the photos on my iPad and slid it over, “That's the slideshow.”


She watched and her mouth went into an 0. She watched some more and she looked at me, “It's beautiful!”

“We're going up the second week of June as I want to do some things to it and Josh wants to do some things to it also.”

I turned to Josh, “Remind me to get you a card from the bank.”

I dialed and Skip answered, “Hello?”


I need Josh a card on my account. Make it unlimited and tell them I need it here expedited delivery.”


I'll make a call now. A companion card?”


Yes. With his name on it... Josh Winters.”

Josh said, “Joshua...”

Skip said, “I heard.”

“Thanks Skip.”


I rang off and said, “There, that's done. You use it like it's yours and don't ask me if you can spend anything... Just use it.”

He nodded, “Thanks.”

“Babe, we're getting married. It's all going to be joint anyway, so we might as well get used to it.”


He smiled and nodded. Murphy smiled, “Do you think I'll find someone?”


I'm sure there's a bunch up there! If you don't find one at Stamford, I bet you will when we go to New York City.”

She smiled, “I've been planning on going there.”

“Us too!”

She shook her head, “I can't believe you're buying a house for that much!”

“It's more than a third off... It's like they were throwing a sale!”


They laughed and the Principal called everyone to order. We got to stay there and they administered the tests. By lunch, we were given a special lunch where the entire senior class got to eat at the same time.

Mr. Pickett came over, “Rat, you're to be excused at lunch tomorrow.”

“Ok.”

“You know I would've let you make these up, don't you?”


I don't want everyone to go out of their way for me. I know finals are important, so I made the effort.”


He nodded, “These are your skills tests. Finals are later in the week.”

“Just the same... I don't want you guys to have to go out of your way too much. It's not fair to everyone else.”


We ate and then, we went back in and took more tests until the end of the day.

Afterward, we went out and Britney's Mom was there and madder than hell. She said, “Listen up you son of a bitch!”

I held up my hand, “Talk to the hand bitch. The second your cheatin' ass wants to call my Mom a bitch for not knowin' her man was fuckin' the likes of YOU, you talk to the hand!”

She slapped it and I said, “Assault” and looked at my hand and asked it, “First degree???” and made like my hand was talking back to me, “Yup, first degree!”


I said, “The hand says assault. That video camera there, there, and there will attest to it that you are NOT a student which means you're trespassing. That on top of the assault should have the bells ringing and the doors being locked whether you have a rifle or not. It's called domestic terrorism on a school owned property.

Now, in regards to me talking about you to your daughter and putting out information you didn't think was anyone's business. The second you did it for money, it became everyone's business. It makes you a professional ho'... got that???

Now, I might've refrained, but here's what I'll tell you.... beatch!!! There's not going to be any payoffs to make you go away. You got the pay offs already and I'll be damned if I keep what you and my Dad did a secret.

Sue me and I'll show the canceled checks, the video tapes, the proof and throw DNA out there and ask you to PROVE your daughter isn't HIS... and your sons AREN'T HIS!

Like it or not, you lay with a dog and you've got fleas. If anyone has a problem, it should be my Mom suing you... So she's no bitch. You are, but you're a lot of things... Like it?”

“FUCK YOU!”

“Sorry, I'm not my Dad.”

“AND YOU'RE NOT HIS!”

“Bullshit! That's sue-able on behalf of me. Can you prove that without a shadow of a doubt? I can... The DNA didn't lie and the test didn't either... My Dad??? He lied so fuckin' much he's getting me paid from all you bitches!”


I walked off and dialed Ed, “Hello?”


Britney's Mom... Just slapped my hand. Get assault papers drawn up and get the video from the school's parking lot. I'm too busy getting to my attorney's office to sue the bitch to get that done through the school.”

“Ok... She came on school property and hit you?”


Yeah. She's pissed because I put all of their business out about them having the affairs with my Dad.”

“OOH!”

“It's no grounds for hitting me.”


No. I'll get it going.”


You tell the bitch that I COULD be a prick and make it so that she doesn't get to watch her daughter and son graduate. I'm not and yeah, she had two kids that close together.”

“I was just thinking that myself!”

“Three kids by the same man over an 8 year stretch. The thing there is six of us are graduating the same year... go figure when he was fertile!”


He laughed, “You're too funny!”

“There's two things there which are just amazing... One is the eggs were hatching like you wouldn't believe and the second is that he never wrapped it!”


He laughed real loud, “No!”

Josh came running up, “Are you ok?”


Yeah.”

I said, “Ed, get that going. Word's getting around about what happened.”


I rang off, “Britney and John's Mom decided she was going to attack me. Point that to Britney because how dare I speak about her Mom and embarrass her!

Well, the woman got an ear full of truths and shown that I won't back the fuck off! Now she's got to face my attorney because I'm heading for what she thinks she can prove... NOT!”


What's that?”


She said that because my Dad said it, I'm illegitimate! Well, she's got that to prove. I can prove one thing...I've got his DNA to put their blood up against and show that they're his!”


He shook his head no, “They might not be. They might be her husband's, or they might be someone else's. All you know is the odds are up there that she's been unfaithful.”

“Ok. I'm wrong on that. It'd surprise me that John wasn't his because even I see it now.”

“Yeah, you two have the same eyes and forehead. And your jaws are the same but your chins aren't.”

I nodded, “I'm gonna wear a lawyer out on this shit. People think that because I piss them off, they can lob that out there and it'll hurt me. It's like having a thumb cut off when you were five and someone calling you stumpy.... Well, after all this time, if you're still being hurt by something you can't help, you need to be getting over it.

In my case, the people who loved me defended me against the abusive bastard and THEY are still trying to do his bidding for him!

Now, here's what pisses me off about that... THEY want to say that my Mom was unfaithful when he was screwing around well before that??? Who the fuck does the math around here!!!”


He smiled, “I understand!”

“Ok, I've gotta go. We're having a funeral visitation starting at 4pm and I've got to get to an attorney. Mom's gonna have a conniption if I'm not there and she thinks I'm being late, so I've got to hustle.”


I'll be there and let her know you've got business to tend to.”

“Thanks. Stop by the bank and see if he's got your card!”

“I will!”

We left and my phone rang, “Hello?”


John said, “Dude, I'm sorry! I didn't know she was going to do that!”

“Britney did it.... I know who's responsible. She was standing right there with her. When I started lobbing missiles back and telling her all I know and all the proof, Britney got the fuck away!

Now John, I'm telling you now that I'm suing the woman. She thinks that because my DAD said that I'm illegitimate, that it must be true. Well, I'm dragging her into court so that she can be shown that I'm pissed off and tired of hearing lies about my legitimacy.

He was the father 100%. He sure as hell spawned a lot of eggs, and we know that. And if you think that he wasn't shagging the hell out of your Mom, you figure out how you two were born in the same year and Jeff was that far ahead.”


I hadn't thought about that!”

“Our year was a very active year. I'd say he did his best to get everyone pregnant. What's fuckin' funny is he made it so that he'd look like a hypocrite standing there going, “My Baby!” and pointing when one of us walked across the stage!”

He laughed, “You're cynical, but I like it!”

“In regards to her hitting me, Ed, the Sheriff is getting video and taking my statement later. I've got to get to the attorney's office and then get to the funeral home for visitation.”

“I'll be there. I'm not sure if they will, but I'm gonna be there because I want to be there for you.”

“Thanks. It means a lot to me.”


No problem. I know you'd do the same for me.”

Where are you going to college?”


Vassar.”

“Cool! You'll be seeing us!”

“I know you're going to Yale.”

“We're living in Fairfield on Sasco Point. It's about 50 miles away, but Murphy's gonna be at Stamford and will most likely be living at our compound.”

“Really?”


Yeah, she's blown away by the size of it.”

“Who's she gonna see? I know she's not seeing anyone now.”

“I can't tell you. All I know is she's saving herself for someone in college. I DO know that it's cool that we'll be around each other and all having good times together.”

“Yeah, that'll be good!”

“What's wrong, you sound down?”

“It's just drama drama drama at my house. Mom favors Britney and Britney's already told her that we're friends.”


So you get treated bad because of it?”


Yeah.”

“Damn dude! Did you tell your Mom that her friends are all daughters of the rest of the ho's he's been fuckin'?”


He laughed, “NO! I didn't know that until today!”

“Here's what pisses me off. All these years, I've called them the triplets because of how hateful they've been toward me. As it turns out, my Dad was bankrolling it because he's been paying all of them for the sex!”

“How much?”


At least $100 grand a year... all of them. We're still learning how much because the accountant is into the books to see how much Mandy's mom embezzled.”

“How'd she embezzle the money?”


My Dad was taking the money from the books on the funeral home side to pay for everyone he was having sex with. Well, she'd get something from him and then, she'd get into the books on the furniture side and would write herself checks from it and would go cash them!”

“WHAT!”

“Yeah. It's illegal as hell, but she was getting it off. Do you think that she had him over the barrel? Yeah, I do... I mean, she could go to my Mom the second she got arrested and tell her everything!
Well, Mom knows now. Not only does Mom know, I know and I'm not allowing anyone to get power over this family by blackmailing us. Before that happens, I'll blow the lid off it and will expose everyone for everything.

Now, you're an innocent victim in it like me and my Mom and brother. In regards to the women... Nah, they knew what they were doing and I think Merriam knew about all of them, so she made sure she was paid.

Well, the problem there is I have the video. She can attempt to say she was told it was ok, but I can prove otherwise. At least on the occasion of Friday when she blew him in his office, there was no conversation in regards to her being allowed to take the money from the account.”

“You saw that!”

“Yeah. I saw three of the women in there having sex with them... And yeah, your Mom was one of them.”

“OH MAN!”

“So if she wants to say she didn't, she needs to stop giving lap dances with and taking her underwear off prior to riding the bologney pony!”


He laughed, “You know that's gross, right!”

“Hey, what pissed me off was when Mandy tried saying you had a small dick! I was like, “Whoa, hold up there! If that's small, what the fuck's she using for a dildo!!!

He laughed real loud and I said, “John, I'm not holding a thing against anyone except the mothers. They might want to attempt to tell my Mom that she was cheating, but your Mom was cheating with my Dad right after Mom had Dan... And yeah, I think that when Mom was pregnant, he went out and got another fling on the side and got them knocked up too.”

“Do you think that's how it happened?”


Here's what I know... Mom COULD HAVE had an affair on the side and did what she was accused. Well, there's no proof and the proof he thought he had disappeared when the DNA said otherwise.

I don't think she had the affair because I just don't see it. She's put up with far too much for far too long.”

“Why?”


Well, truth be known, she was going to file for divorce in July. She was waiting for me to get graduated and settled, then she was going to get divorced.

What happened instead was Gramps and Grandma gave us what we were going to inherit Saturday morning rather than when they die.”

“Why?”


Because they want to retire and be out of all of that. AND, I think they want me to know that I'm getting the most because I'm going to need the money to go to school.

Well, I got it and immediately decided I'm going to invest in a chunk of land which is between the two interstates.”

“What are you doing there?”


Do you know those warehouses which are nothing but Walmart buildings?”


Yeah?”


Well, I'm putting up 50 of them. The small ones will be 2 acres under roof. The medium ones will be 6 acres under roof. The larger ones will be 10 acres under roof and Gramps wants me to try some at 20 acres.”

“I'd get rid of the ones which are 6 and put 10. That way, they've got to rent the bigger amount to footage whether they like it or not.”

“Cool! That's a good idea!”

“Thanks!”

“John, listen, if you need money, or you ever need a job, let me know. It's doubtful that I ever support any of the Moms again, but I know you're not responsible and won't hold it against me either.”

“What are you getting?”


Aside from the mall in St. Louis, and aside from the clothing factory and the shoe company, I'm getting it all.”

“MAN! Why you?”


Here's why... My sister's on her way to prison.”

“What'd she do?”


She beat up my Mom and she spit upon me. Then, she headbutted the Sheriff when he was trying to get the rings off her necklace that she stole from Mom's finger after beating her up.”

“WHAT!”

“Yeah. Now get this... She's always said she wouldn't come back to this town and then shows up as soon as Dad's dead.

When she can't get what she wants, she goes to the house and beats Mom up. Mom fought back but fell over a foot stool and landed hard. Diane got on her and beat the hell out of her. Then, when she was down, she stole Mom's wedding rings from her hand.”

“THAT BITCH!”

I nodded, “My words exactly... Now get this... She went right to the funeral home and looked for the Will. Mom has it and Diane tore the place apart looking for it. We got there and the Sheriff did too. He got her arrested and then, while coming out, she said a lot and then spat on me. I told the Sheriff to get her arrested for that also and then, to look for the rings. While looking for them, he got headbutted.”

He looked shocked, “Has she lost her fuckin' mind!!!”

“Dude, you don't know her. She's been a wildcat since she got away from here. She got money from Mom and Dad when she got married and then, divorced the guy within a year and made something like $3 million from the divorce.

Well, that went pretty quick and she got with another guy who was loaded. He'd just received an inheritance and in order for them to get married, he had to build a house. Well, they moved into it after they got married, so that made it marital property.”

“Oh man... She took it!”

“Yeah... It's a $6 million dollar house. Of course, that needed furniture and he got given a little man cave to decorate while she got the rest.

Well, I guess she was such a honeymoonzilla that he hated her guts real fast. One thing led to another and she told him if he didn't like the way things were to get the hell out! He did and biff bam boom, she's got the lawyer barring him from entering and had the house sold before the divorce ever finalized. He got $200,000 of it and she got the rest.”

“FUCK!”

“Oh, that's not the best one! The last one was a poor guy who got a lawsuit settlement. She met him in the attorney's office and figured out that he was getting something like $17 million after everything.”

“Damn! What happened to him?”


That fire thing on the Ford pickup trucks. His wife and kids were in one and the cruise control stuck which caught it on fire. She panicked and wrecked. By then, the fire was well out of control under the hood and when they wrecked, it split open everything that hadn't burned and of course, oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid will burn.

The problem there was it was a helluva wreck. Some say the kids were already dead from smoke inhalation, but I think they probably died in the fire. I mean smoke inhalation before or after an accident is pretty much smoke inhalation either way... but a jury will sure as hell imagine lots of different scenarios and none of the are about Ford being innocent!”

He laughed, “NO!”


Needless to say, there was $300 million in that and he finally saw $82 million after the lawyers got their cut.”

“DAMN!”

“Guess who got half of that just to get her the hell away from him! Yeah, she made that man's life a living hell the second he said 'I Do' without a pre-nuptual agreement.

Needless to say, in less than 8 years, she's had nearly $50 million go through her fingers and doesn't have too much to show for it. She THINKS she can get out of shit and I'm sorry, but the Sheriff doesn't get contributions from her, he gets them from everything we own... And when I say that she needs arrested with good cause, she gets arrested.

Well, Mom's not gonna back off. I'm not backing off, and her actions against the Sheriff won't get her off. After all, there's video and there's my brother's eye witness testimony.”


I got to the funeral home and said, “Dude, I need to ring off.”

“Ok, I'll be there.”

I went in and Mom gave me a hug. She had enough makeup on to cover everything except the inner eye. I said, “Come here and let me spray your eyes.”


She gave me a look, “No!”

“Ok. That's where it shows.”

“I want it to show! If people think I put this much makeup on normally, they're nuts!”

“Well, I've stirred a hornet's nest.”

She smiled, “NAH!!! I've just been called about every name and had phone calls all day!”


Did you tell them that if they'd kept their legs together, they'd not be called a ho by me?”


She looked shocked and laughed real loud, “Oh my God!”

“Britney, Jeff, and John's Mom attacked me out at the school after school. She's getting arrested as Ed's getting the video.”

She looked shocked, “WHAT!”

I shook my hand, “Mom, I told her to talk to the hand and she slapped it. That's an attack and is enough to get her arrested.”

“But she really came out there?”


Yeah. It was a mess, but I launched into calling her every brand and model of ho except homemade!”


She laughed, “What happened?”


Here's what happened. I told her that IF you'd screwed around in order to have me, what happened to the reason for her to have Jeff? I mean the only reason I can come up with is that you were pregnant with Dan and Dad went out and found a ho. And yes, it's a ho when you're paying $100 grand a year for the piece!”

She looked shocked, “I hadn't thought about that!”

“Well, she wanted to say I was illegitimate, and I told her I'd speak with an attorney because I had proof and asked her if she did... Or if that was another one of Dad's lies she believed.

The problem there is this... When she wants to go that route, I'm going the route of having her prove the kids are Dad's.”

“I don't think it's legal.”

“Mom.... Fraud is damned illegal! Now, I'll tell you the man's laying in a box and I can tell you that SHE was blackmailing him to go to you for that money. He paid, but did he get proof???

Well, I want proof. If I don't get proof, all of them get a charge of fraud and no, you don't have to have sex with someone to get the fraud charge. You just have to be coercing him to believe he's paying for kids which aren't his... So they're damned if they do, damned if they don't! At least we'll have proof, but I'll tell you now that John's every bit his and everyone can see it.... By the way, he'll be here tonight.”


She gave me a look and I nodded, “It's for me. He wants to build a friendship and I'll welcome it. We've been friends before this blew up and we'll be friends after it settles.

In regards to Murphy, we've offered her a place to stay at the compound up there because she's going to Stamford and it's only 12 miles awaym or 15...”


Really?”


Yeah, and don't worry about her. She's dealing with her own little identity crisis and I know about it.”


What's that?”


She's a lesbian.”

“OH!”

“What's cool about it is I think I'm the first person she's told and don't judge her over it.”

“How'd she tell you?”


Just call it a hunch, but I saw it in her eyes. Immediately, I knew and we started talking a conversation that sounded like one thing and meant another.

Then, she asked me if I knew and I told her I did. In all of that, we offered her a place to stay at the compound and she's cool with it.”

“Is Josh?”


Yeah. He readily agreed. He even suggested that we not let her use the garage because I mentioned not letting her use the boat house since we'll be making noise in those real early some days.”

She gave me a look, “What's this place like that you're getting?”


I showed you the place. It's the one on the point! It's got 17 bedrooms in the house and then, there's the other four houses on the property.”

“That great big place???”


Yeah. It's 20 acres.”

“MY GOD! I thought you were wanting a little place!”

“No. I want a place where we can have like a dorm. That way we can sit around and talk and get these concepts down. Then, we'll pull each other through and will have our own little think tank to go to when we have difficult cases later on in life.”


She nodded, “Interesting!”

“I've got the money.”

“I know you do. It's just that I thought you weren't going to spend it!”

“I'm spending it as an investment. Don't think that when we're done that one of those people we've got in that group won't ask to buy it!”


She smiled, “OH!”

It's an investment. I think it'll pay us to live there.”


She laughed, “I want to see it!”

“Ok. You're welcome up. Josh and I are going to have to have some help decorating because it's old.”

“I know that!”

“Here's what I'm going to tell you... Inside, that wallpaper is ancient. I'm going to tell you and him that I want nothing done to it except you two taking hypodermic needles and getting glue into where it's coming loose. Then, we'll have it painted with clear so that it's give some gloss and not a real high shiny gloss, but sprucing it up so that it's not looking so dusty.

Now, the carpets are probably gonna come apart. I think they were probably put down in the 40's, so we're going to have to replace those. I want to use the colors in the wallpaper and I want that persimmon color to come out into the bedspreads or the pillows or something.”

She nodded, “You're getting everything with that, right?”


Yeah, but a bunch of it will go into storage.”

“Why?”


Remember Grandma and Grandpa's dining room outfit and what happened to the glue? That's what I think will happen when we want to use any of it. Fortunately, we're in a time when they've got a lot of arts and crafts stuff in furniture stores.”

She smiled, “Yeah... Do you want to order some?”


I'd love to order it all, but I want to look and see what we need.”

“I'd order it all and then, you'll have it if they stop making some of it.”

“I'll send you a full list. Then, we'll have it all.”

She nodded, “I think that's the best way. He might not like it, but he'll understand when it's all good quality furniture.”


Just then, the door opened and Dan came in. He looked tired, but I smiled, “Hey dude! You gonna stay up all night talking again?”


He gave me a look and I sighed, “What am I gonna do with you?”


He gave a smirk, “You're the one who introduced us!”

“I'll introduce you to the next one in the morning so you can make a connection in the afternoon!”


There won't be a next one. She's the one.”

“She's the one at 5 o'clock in the morning! She wore your ass out!”

Mom chuckled, “He came in at 3:20!”

I gave a nod, “See what you did, you kept Mom up worrying!”


Mom laughed, “I couldn't sleep!”

“Drugs... We gotta get Mom stoned!”

They laughed real loud and Mom shook her head, “See how he is!”


Dan laughed, “Yeah! He runs with it!”

I said, “Ok, we might have women wanting to slap me tonight because their secret's out. And we might have men in here wanting to siphon the video out of us which gets them out of a marriage affordable.”

Mom gave me a look and I nodded, “Now's a prime time to set up a dating service! We can introduce them to each other's husbands and make out like bandits!”


Mom smiled real big, “You behave!”


I tell you... sometimes these ideas work!”


Dan laughed, “And sometimes they don't!”

“That's when you give percentages. It sounds better when you give your percentage as small.”

Josh and his Mom and Dad came in. He looked over and I could tell he'd been crying. I went over, “What's going on?”


He gave me a look, and started crying again. He walked out and I followed. He really let loose and I hugged him. When he got his breath, he said, “My Mom and Dad are getting a divorce.”

“Ok... Was it another woman?”


No. My Dad's not screwing around...”

“Ok, your Mom likin' women now?”


He got to giggling, “NO!”

“You had me worried. They seemed to be pretty together with it in there and you were the one crying.”

“I wanted them to stay together.”

“Hon, sometimes things aren't meant to stay together that were good together... Take an Oreo cookie... How would you get your tongue in if both sides stay together. I tell you it'd be pretty difficult.

And what about the cap on a soda on a hot sunny day when you're dyin' of thirst? What would happen if that decided it was gonna stick around and not part ways? Hmm?

And what about the lid on a bottle of lube? What would happen.... Well, I'll tell you what would happen... You'd not part the seas of my ass Moses because that shit's not happening!”


He got to laughing and I said, “Some things are meant to do their good and then part... Sorta like the leaves on a table. You get no Thanksgiving because it'd be like sittin' at the kiddie table all the time!”


He got to laughing and I nodded, “You have to think about these things... I've thought about them! Banana peel... how can you have a pratfall without the peel parting the banana? Monkeys just sittin' around at people walking and not falling... Life would be boring, so you've gotta think about the monkeys... They just stare at the bananas and throw them, but with people not tripping on whole bananas, life's boring for the monkeys...”


He smiled real big. “You know you can cheer me up!”

“You tell your Dad and Mom we're going to be starting a dating service. Lots of exes in the futures of our friends at school. All we have to do is hook them up with each other's exes and charge them fees.”


He gave me a look, “NO!”

“Ok... Someone's going home with Dad!”


He got to giggling. “You behave!”

“Mom said that when I told her she needed to get drugs and stoned!”


He gave me a look, “You said that to your Mom?”


Yeah, she knows it!” I gave him a look, “Do you know that my brother talked to Heather until 3:20 am and now, he says she's the one?”

“Huh?”


I know... I was thinking that he had to test drive it first, but he's ready to go for the lifetime warranty!”


They've got to date longer than that!”


Well, I would THINK so! I mean what's the sense of dating if he's gonna get married before they date... I mean, McDonald's isn't that romantic!”


He smiled, “You and I are getting married off our first date.”

“That's because I'm easy and impressionable... and my bottle of lube dried up!”


He laughed, and his Dad came out. I said, “Waffles....”

His Dad smiled and Josh laughed real loud. I said, “Waffles. Waffles are the best thing to follow Belgian. There's Chocolate, Horse, and Sheperd, but what's the first thing in the morning that you want... Waffles.... Well, you'd say piss, but that'd be after belching!”


He laughed and his Dad laughed. I smiled, “Word association. You think the first thing that comes into your head and say it.... That's my courtroom strategy. Then, I get them to thinking and agreeing with me. That's when I say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, my client didn't do that...” That's when he's over there with tears running down his face looking all sad and not like the killer he is...”

They laughed and I nodded, “That's how you get the jury on your side. They're waiting for the word of the day and you get to the last day of the trial and you say, “innocent... Not peppermint, but innocent... It's like millicent, efferdent, and efficient. It's not efficient to waste the rest of this man's life by sticking him with peppermint. He's not needing a breath mint, he's needing understanding, rainbows, and little rose petals from the sky... No, I'm not high, I'm just thinking about things with efferdent failing... Old people...fingers on glasses.... kids stuck to walls....”

They got to laughing and I said, “That's how you do it... You get them to seeing mental pictures and laughing. Then you say, “Innocent!”, and walk off..


His Dad smiled, “You're nuts... You do know that, right?”


Yeah, but not certifiable... They say I'm mutt nuts... The day they give me a certificate saying, “You ARE insane!”, I'll say, “Define Insane!”


They laughed and I nodded... He said, “I heard you've told that woman she's a ho' so many different ways that it's not even funny!”

“Oh hell.. Did she hire you?”


No. Someone was there and heard you!”

I nodded, “Ok, she's a ho... She's not the heigh... she's the ho.”

They laughed real loud and he kept laughing. “I'm going to have to remember that!”


I nodded, “I've got proof. You might remember that if some of the husbands want to come to you.”

“Ok!”

“I'm not going to give it away voluntarily. It's gonna take a subpoena... Hundreds would work too...!!!”

They laughed and I smiled, “Hundreds of subpoenas... It sounds like a congressional hearing!”


They really laughed and he said to Josh, “I'm sorry you're upset.”

Josh said, “I'm better now. I talked with Rat and he's got a funny way of looking at things.”

He looked at me, “What did you say to make him feel better?”


That some things aren't meant to stay together... Oreos, bananas and peels...and a few other things...”

He smiled, “I hadn't thought of that!”

“I understand. My Mom and Dad were planning on getting a divorce... Well, Mom was planning on divorcing him. I'm not sure he planned it, but then again if you look at his actions for the last 24 years, he's planned on getting a divorce!”

He nodded, and the clock chimed. I said, “Ok, we've got to man our battle stations. Remember, if we're overcome by ho's, we must not surrender! You say heave and I'll say ho! We'll get them to sing along and then, I'll leave the hos out the side door. They'll think it's time for the end of second act and we'll be fine.”


He was smiling and I turned to Josh, “If the heave doesn' work, you come in with the heigh-ho song and we'll try that. If they won't sing, I'll get out a box of S ho S pads and we'll get them to cleaning bathrooms. You lock the door and I'll slam it!
Then, what I'll do when they try to get out, I'll ask them in a high falsetto, “Is it spotless?” and then, they'll have to look. You know how hos are... None are spotless... They'll attack that one and we'll get them to doin' away with each other because they'll think it's a competition. We'll keep doing that and then, right before we let the last one out, we'll throw in a priest... You know priests and ho's never see eye to eye... We'll have to hold the door really tight because that's gonna be a heckuva fight... Three dead hos and a priest and a ho.... Well, we could save time and throw the priest in before we throw in the hos... No, that wouldn't be fair to the hos...”


They got to laughing and Josh really giggled. His Dad said, “You're something else!”

“I try!”

We went in and John came over real fast. He said, “I have to leave. Mom's been calling!”

I nodded, “Ok. You tell her I invited a priest, a Baptist minister, a rabbi, and a...uh...uh... what's that one.... oh shoot, he'll think I didn't pay attention!”


He smiled real big and Josh got to laughing. I thumped my forehead and asked, “Did I just give myself a dot? I don't want that man to thinking I'm trying to outrank him or anything!”


They got to laughing and Mom came over, “I can hear you clear over there!”


Sorry!”

She smiled, “That man over there is a Methodist minister. You need to behave!”

“No Methodists today... Hoes and Methodists... Nah, that's not a good mix.. Get him out of here!”


They laughed and Mom looked shocked, “I can't believe you!”

“I thought YOU were the one who said to me one day... No hoes at the Methodist church... And then, you went into that thing you do about not being a good mix!”


She smiled, “I didn't teach you that!”

“Ok, so you're saying they're a good mix??? I mean, we're gonna have good amount of hoes to go around.”

She smiled, and said through clenched teeth, “You behave!”

“Oh Lord, this is gonna be boring!”


They laughed and I said, “You know there's a lot of flowers here. Did you order some?”


No I didn't order any!”

“So these are leftovers from earlier?”


She smiled, “NO!”

“Ok, you don't have to work so hard to convince me... I'll see if they're plastic... We might need to work on that.”

She took me by the arm and I said, “Guys, sorry, but you know how these beatings go....”


They laughed and I went over and stood by her. She said quietly, “There's one right there.”

“Oh... So you called me over so I'd play whack-a-ho! You need to get me a hammer!”


She smiled and I went over...and put my hand on her back, “Good evening...”

She gave me a look which scalded my morning juice for the next three mornings. Then, she said through clenched teeth, “GET YOUR FUCKIN' HAND OFF ME!”

“Holy water.... Mother of Jesus... You're a wild one tonight! There's a Methodist minister.... Mom says hoes and Methodist ministers are a good mix...”


Mom swooped in, “YOU GET OVER HERE!”


Dan took out of the room laughing followed by Josh's Dad. Mom gave me a look and I said, “Crosses... We need crosses for these bitches!”


Mom said, “You behave!”. She was smiling and I said, “You know... at the 18th year, that's $1.8 million that bitch got.... You think she'd use a fuckin' pair of tweezers to get that nose hair!”


Mom rolled her eyes and I walked back over, “Listen bitch... It's no secret you're on the dole. You might not like me but with the money you and the others got out of that man, you'd think you could be nicer!”

“I've THOUGHT I was nice enough to you!”

“Nah, when I'm the one who could effectively run your ass out of town on a rail, you be ULTRA nice to me! He might've not had the power to shut your utilities off, but play me and I'll see you're not just in the dark, you're up to your neck in shit!

Now, that's how I play... You might've thought you were one of one, but let me tell you that if it was so damned good, he'd not needed an army of ho's like Santa's call!”

She gave me a look and I nodded, “Maybe you were Tuesday? It seemed that's when he had you scheduled...”

“I don't know what you're talking about!”

“The video.... I believe you were bent over like this.... Did that refresh your memory?”


She gave me a look and nodded over at Mom, “If SHE could've satisfied him, he'd stayed at home!”

“Like you could!!!! Don't forget there were three others and he had to have hauled his ass home to get some... Mom doesn't pay calls to a funeral home's back office to give ANYONE sex! She married that man and he damned sure could've drug it on home!”
I pointed, “No one's paying tonight. Your visits over... Get your sorry ass out of town because the lights, water, and gas just got canceled. That's the parting gift you get... Take the show on the road and see if you can make it sell in Davenport!”


She threw her head back and walked out. Mom gave me a smile, “Vicious!”


By the time I get through with this, I'll have a doctorate thesis on the proper handling of hoes and arrows!”


She smiled and Grandma came in. She walked up to me, “What did you say to that woman! She's crying her eyes out!”

“Oh hell Grandma... She didn't get a good cry in because I intercepted the connection.... Did you ever play operator with Grandpa?”


She smiled, “NO!”

“You should've... by the time you get to dialing Oh! It's pretty good!”


Mom swooped in, “Leave her alone!”

Grandma smiled and Mom said to Grandma, “She never made it over to me... He wrapped her up and shipped her out.”


Grandma nodded, “Good!”

I nodded, “Let me know when I need to take another one down... I'm getting pretty good at it!”

I went out and found Dan, “You know, you're supposed to HELP!”


He smiled, “You're hilarious!”

“Oh hell, I'm juggling faster than Ringing and Barnes and Noble or whatever!”


They laughed and John shook his head, “Holy Water!!!”

They all laughed again and Josh's Dad smiled real big, “Kid, the look on your face when she said that was priceless!”


I shook my head, “At first, I thought she was possessed! Then, I remembered seeing her bent over the desk and thought, “Oh hell no! She wore bikini underwear!”


They really laughed and I motioned, “We need to get back in there. Mom's gonna think we abandoned her with Grandma!”

I went back in and both Grandmas were by Mom. I went over, “Grandma!”, and gave her a kiss. She asked, “I hear you've been up to no good!”

“Gossip... I bet if you stood down there, they'd change it to me being a hero! You know how that rumor mill is... you can't get any traction and all the rest stand around and talk!”


She smiled, “And you're quite the gentleman!”

“Well of course, I show them the way out if they need it!”


Mom smiled real big and Grandma laughed. She nodded, “You just stand here by me!”

“Ok. Did you order any of these flowers?”


No.”

“I know I didn't. Mom says she didn't. And you said you didn't... Someone's been busy... They can't be authentic.”


She smiled, “I'm sure they are!”


Mom chuckled, “You need to send out Thank You cards.”

“Ok... I'll do that! You get to lick the stamps.”


She giggled, “We used to make a game out of addressing envelopes and licking stamps!”

I nodded, “Yeah.”

Dan, Josh, and his Dad came in. Josh came over and I said, “Grandma, I'd like for you to meet Josh. Josh, this is Mom's Mom my Grandma.”

He turned on the charm and Grandma totally blew him off. She went over and stood by Dan. I gave Mom a look and she looked worried. I said, “Uh, I'm not running out on you. I've just gotta get out of here and kick the shit out something.”

Grandma said, “Your Grandfather is out front. Go talk with him.”

“Ok Grandma.”

Josh and I went out and I took a deep breath. I turned, “I apologize. As you see, Diane got her ways from my Grandmother who SAID she accepts me, but you see otherwise.
What pisses me off is Mom will cover for her like you wouldn't believe later. Well, it won't work this time... She's gonna apologize and then get an ear full!”

He put his hand upon my arm, “It's ok!”

“No, it's not! It's bullshit!”


Gramps came over, “Bullshit?”


I sighed, “Grandma did her bullshit again. She SAYS she accepts, but just ignored him rather than meeting him. I'm sorry, but that was the end of the line with me.”

My Mom's Dad came over, “Rat, it's not about you at this time.”

I stared... “Oh ok... Then traipse your ass in and stand by Mom for a change! You might've not liked the bastard, but she's been dealing with the hoes the man's fucked all day and so have I.

When it comes to me smiling again and plastering one on because I've been rudely treated, you remember it's not about me... Ok? Now, you're wasting my time... I'll go back into the den of bitches to deal with some! Lord knows YOU won't!”


I went in and got about 10 feet before he said, “Listen you little shit, I don't have to take any lip off you or anyone else!”

“If you are denying I have an opinion, then fuck you! And yeah, that's an opinion because I'm quite done with having people ignore that I've got emotions which you think should be belittled.

Now, out of my face, or get flipped here old man! You'll stand up to me, but will you defend your daughter? Let me know when you start because you've YET to start! He's over in that casket. I'm sure he'll listen to your opinion... It'd be a first if you started.”

He squinted his eyes and said, “You listen and you listen good, when I gave her away at the end of that aisle when she got married, that was the end of my opinions!”

I blinked, “So your heart shut off? Or did you really care? Man, get your ass out of here! I'll stand by her... I don't think you would know what to do if the directions were written in braille!”


Mom came back and she looked ready to cry. “Daddy, is that what this has been about???” She looked at him and said, “I can't believe you! I know it's not what this is about... You sure defended Patty! But then again, you leave 'em at the end of the aisle and stop all that...”

He gave her a look and Mom nodded, “He'll be beside me. You go on... The next time you want to lay a hand on my son, you remember one thing... You stopped all that shit when you got to the end of the aisle...”

He went to hit her and I shoved. Then, I followed and shoved him again with his chest. The guys opened the door and I said, “Get your ass out that door before I throw you out! You'll never be so big that you'll raise a hand to her in this life in front of me you fuckin' dog!

Now, you get your ass on down to the Legion and you talk it up how you were a real man and raised your hand to a daughter who called you on bullshit!

Then, you tell them that your Grandson's a fag and put the beat to your ass on hold! And the second you wanna come back and have me take it off hold, I'll finish that ass beatin'. You got me?

Perhaps you never learned that a coward raises a hand to women... But I sure as hell did! Maybe it's time for you to learn, because the next time you think you can do it in my presence or I hear about it, I'll rip them motherfuckers off and beat you to death with them old man!”


Shut up cocksucker!”

“Well, that took the ass beating off hold old man!”

Josh and Gramps grabbed me and Grandpa reached in and slugged me. I did an up kick and knocked him out. Everyone looked shocked and I said, “The next time you two wanna grab someone, you make sure the bastard he's wanting to beat down can't reach in too! Now, call the piece of filth an ambulance... I'm calling my lawyer!”


I went inside and walked through to the office. Dan saw me and hurried in, “What's happening?”


I hope I killed the bastard. The next time I ask for help and you're not there, I'm commencing to beating your ass. You got me?”


He looked shocked. “WHAT!”

“Grandpa Joe just about slapped the shit out of Mom. You didn't happen to see that because Grandma hustled over to your side because Josh DARE spoke to her!

Well, you know what? If you wanna play sides on the family, you play sides... but you'd best know that you cross me out again and I'll permanently cross you out!

Now, excuse me, but our attorney isn't here and I'm gonna make the call to find out why not... And if he tells me it's not his job, I'm going to tell him it's NEVER his job again! I just went to beat that fucker down and they grabbed me. That's when the he-man reached in and slugged me and got kicked the fuck out!”


Oh man... It's always drama!”

“With his family and the lies, yeah... It's always drama. Them fuckers said they approved of me... or so I was told. Mom lies for them and makes excuses. Needless to say, I believed her and now you see how it is really.

Now I learn that one got beat and the other didn't in that house... And because Mom married Dad, she didn't get any further attention from Joe... Go figure that out!

And then, when she called him on it, he wants to raise a hand to hit her? Oh hell no!

So, you missed out. But I'll never count on you again. If you're there, you be there. If you're not... well, I'll know you're not and won't count on you.”


Dan looked sorry, “I'm sorry Rat. I didn't know I was getting played.”

“Well, that's the way shit goes. We now know we are... And when it comes to Mom making excuses, I'm going to be blunt cold with how I choose to hear them anymore. When it comes to them, she can save her breath. I don't want to hear it anymore.”

I held up a finger, “However, if you take Heather to that couple, you do so with me telling Heather how they are beforehand so that she can smile and tell them that she's my friend and see how they turn on her.”


He gave me a look, “That's not fair!”

“Not fair? Fair is this... You tell someone they're homophobic assholes who live in a land of pretend. They pretend to love their daughter until it's time to defend her and then, there's an excuse.

Well, think about that... If they're nice to their own daughter when things are good and aren't when things aren't... or they ignore her pain... are they really good? Or are they fake and sell outs...

That man goes to the Legion and relives wars and heroics I've long questioned. First of all, I can't find that his battalion was ever stationed anywhere around where he says they fought. Second of all, the battles I've seen and the footage don't show anything or mention them... and believe me they mention them down to the obscure.

So when you're young and you're looking and studying to find where your Grandpa was great so that you can believe in him, you tend to get a little disappointed.

When I asked Mom, she said he probably got confused... I guess it's pretty easy to confuse the truth when you're drunk on your ass in a legion, but wouldn't they call him on it?”


They usually do and then, they talk behind the guy's back.”

I nodded, “Well, I'm done with them. That's a hard thing to say because I'll tell you now that I'm drawing a line in the sand and you'll see me come down hard.”

“What does that mean?”


Me or them... You decide. Don't invite me to your wedding if you're inviting them... I'll stay the fuck gone. I don't need pieces of filth around me, I wipe and flush! And the second you wanna tell me that you're above the age of 21 and can make up your own mind on it, please remember I'm the same way... I can make up my mind to cut you loose.”

He stared, “Mom's not going to like it.”

“Mom's getting told the same thing. Now, if that's telling you how hard and cold I'll be about it, dare me... because you've not seen me do a complete freeze out.... banking...shut.... all these businesses... shut... utilities...shut... get the fuck out, I can do without you and you've got me pissed by making your decision.

Now, that man loves her so much that he's gonna slap her down over calling him on favoritism???? Let's see if she stands by him. I'm drawing the line.

Now, excuse me, I'm calling the attorney to see where the fuck he is!”


I dialed the phone by stabbing he numbers with my finger. When it got answered, I said, “Listen, this is Rat Martin. I believe you were told we needed you and now, there's problems. If you're not showing, you're fired. You get our files to Mr. Winters and he'll be our attorney.”

“It wasn't real clear that I was to be there!”

“It's clear now... You're fired. Get the files over to Mr. Winters.”


I put the phone in the cradle and went out. When I got over to Josh's Dad, I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Our attorney is getting all of our files to you. He's been fired.”

He arched a brow, “Really?”


He was told to be here. I just called and was told that it wasn't clear that he was needed. How much more clear can one be when they're telling you to be there and that we'll cover the hours billed just to make sure we're covered? Well... if that's not understood. He's now understanding that I've fired him and told him to get the files to you.”

“Ok.”

Start with getting a restraining order on my Grandfather for me and for Mom. I'll get the video, but you get it. If she calls you off, please tell her you're sorry and that your orders are to shut her off from everything and to get her utilities shut off and for her to get out of town and out of our lives.”

He stared and I nodded, “I'm done taking lies on behalf of them. Josh went to meet my Grandma and got snubbed... That's after Mom's lied on their behalf and filled me full of shit by telling me they approve.

If they do, what the hell was that? Needless to say, I'm playing hard and I'm playing cold.. I wouldn't take that shit off a stranger and I won't take it off family. And I wouldn't take the lie off a stranger and I won't off family anymore... Mom or not.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

“When this family is a family, I'll loosen on the threats. Until then, I could care less the emotional side of it. If I'm to be hurt, they can hurt too.”


Ok.”

We went back out and Grandma came up to me and poked my chest. I said, “Earl... get the video tape and handle it accordingly.” I stared at her and said, “Grandma, the next time I'll speak to you will be after this life is over. Don't speak about me because you'll be sued. And don't speak to me because the restraining order violation will get you put in jail.”


She looked shocked and I nodded, “Have a good life... You snubbed Josh, so deal with it.”


I turned and walked off. Mom gave me a look and I said, “Stand on the side you want, but if it's that side, don't ever speak to me again. I'll have you shut down and ran out of this town before I'm finished.”

She looked shocked and I nodded, “I'm done with liars. You've lied all you can to keep them up. Well, let them fall to where they may, but I'm done... And yes, they're gonna be ran out.”


DON'T!”

I walked away and said, “Earl, let her know I'm not taking prisoners. I'll go get my things and will move them to the hotel.”

He looked shocked and I nodded, and walked up front. “Ladies and Gentlemen, you all have a wonderful evening. I won't be abused and lied to any longer!”

I walked out the side and to my car. When I got home, I packed and Mom came in, “You wanna talk?”


I stood and stared, “I'm not gonna play anymore games. You lied about them to me, and I went and put Josh in the line of fire because I trusted you. Well, that was embarrassing enough that I'll cut you loose with them and anyone who wants to stand on their side.

Dan got told that I don't care what the function is in the future, that if they're invited, you do NOT invite me! If you play that trick and invite us both, I'll play the trick and call and have your utilities shut down with them here. You'll not get that off twice.

Abuse and lies.... that's what it's been. Abuse from Dad's side and lies from yours. I'm done.

You love and you try to protect by lying... From now on, you let a spade be a spade and a piece of shit be a piece of shit... And yes, I'll be the hateful one... They don't need protected from me, they'll figure it out.

Now, our attorney's been fired. You can keep him on, but he was told to be there tonight and wasn't. If he bills for tonight, I'll take his license at the state house because he's been fired and I made that call on the recorded line just to make sure his dismissal was recorded.”

She stared, “Rat, there's a lot of things with my Dad...”

“Mom, let's cut to the chase. Can I tell you what I think?”


Yes.”

“He's a liar. He's a drunk liar. He's not even a GOOD drunk liar. He's an embarrassment.

When he's at the lodge, he lies about wars and battles that he wasn't in... Prove to me that he's been in those battles and I'll admit I'm wrong. I've studied battles to the most minute detail to prove I'm wrong and he's not been there.

Now, here's how far I've went... I've went on blogs and I've tracked movements of that battalion and he was in it. He was in it when he said he was in it, but they never made it that far. In fact, I was told they weren't anything for that front line, but they were for supplies on the back side and didn't even take those to the front.

Now, if he'd said that and told me how dangerous those ordinances were and all that, I'd worshiped that man just the same. But to lie and say he's flown planes and did all that front fighting and killing people.... Sorry, but in the day and age when the internet can refute it and prove someone to be liar, it's not good to ruin someone's belief in you.

Then there's you and the actions of being a buffer. Had you told me they're bigots, I'd known that. Instead, I want to proudly introduce Josh and low and behold, Grandma goes across the room and wouldn't even speak! THEN, the old man has nerve enough to call me a cocksucker??? Well, they're dead... I'll catch them on the other side. I hope they can get into senior housing because what they've got here is shut down.”

She gave me a look and I said, “Mom, you defend you and yours and stand beside someone who will defend you and yous. He showed his hand tonight and I was polite and told him the ass whoopin' would be put on hold, but I'd take it off hold if he wanted it. That's when I got called a cocksucker and hold wasn't an option.

Well, Josh and Gramps pulled me back and that fucker sucker punched me and got kicked in his jaw for his effort. Rule one is to leave everything available in battle. Rule two is that when you're unable to use some, use others... let them know it's battle.

Rule three is to tell those who are confused to choose sides. If they won't stand beside you, they're enemy... Treat them like enemy so there's no more confusion for anyone.

If that's where you are, have a good life. I'll shut everything down and I'll live in the hotel. If that's where Dan heads, the same... except don't think for a second that bank will ever lend his company another dime...”

She gave me a look, “Sit down here.”

“I will if it's not a lie.”


She looked hurt and I said, “Be hurt all you want. I've been hurt by the lies enough already that what you're getting is blow by... No more will be allowed.”

“SIT DOWN!”


I sat and she said, “He was cruel. The older I got, the more cruel he became. I didn't get whipped until I turned 13 and then, the whippings became beatings.

The rules were many. Finally, my only way out was getting married. Your Dad knew the way it was and stood up for me... He saw me get drug out of his car because we were something like 30 seconds late. And that night was the night your Dad let him know that he'd kill him if he so much as laid a hand on me again.

Of course, Daddy said he'd have him in jail and the Sheriff told Daddy he needed to go sit in his car because that'd be his regular ride if he wanted to mess with your Daddy or his family in this town again.

Unlike you, Mama learned what it was like when the grocery store shut off service... and then everything else shut down without notice. Daddy tried to shut dates down and I decided that we'd elope when I turned 18...

Mama shut all that down and told Daddy that he needed to realize they were in a no-win situation. That's when Daddy got told that he was gonna be laid off at work and it was because they were threatening shutting down everything to that plant if he was kept employed there.

Needless to say, all that was my fault. He came home and when I got home, I got one of the worst beatings I ever took. That's when I got out and didn't run to your Dad, I ran to the Sheriff... That's when Daddy got himself beaten in the back of the police car and in the cell of the jail, and told that he'd stay there for three months and would be let out IF the wedding happened. IF it didn't, they'd find the charges needed for him to be taken away forever.

When he got out, it was to go straight to the house and get ready for the wedding and to get to the church. In fact, the Sheriff at the time escorted him to the church because if he'd went a different direction, he'd been taken back to the jail house.

After the wedding, your Daddy and a group of his friends beat the hell out of Daddy and told him that's what an ass beating felt like coming from them. And that he was to never forget it. Well, he didn't. And I became nothing to the man.

Mom pretty much stayed neutral all the way up to me having Diane. She criticized everything I did and tried to rewrite history by saying she never gave us baths in metal tubs in the kitchen. Well, there are photos of us getting those baths, so I beg to differ.

After that, I kept my distance and then, Dan was born. That's when your Dad started to not come home and I needed help. I couldn't go to his parents because they tried to tell me that he was working that hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I finally told them that I'd believe it when I stopped hearing about him taking people out to dinner.

When he did come home after that, I got accused of flirting, cheating, and being loose and immoral. I took it and I wish I hadn't. There would've been a lot less wasted time, but I was afraid he'd get the kids.”

She sighed, “I don't know what changed, but I know what changed... We went to Thanksgiving and Dan told everyone what he wanted for Christmas was his Daddy home. Your Dad tried to laugh it off and I said, “Yeah, it would be nice to have Daddy home... I've not seen him one night since Labor Day weekend!” and that's when your Grandpa yelled, “WHAT!”, and I said, “Oh, I forgot... he's too busy putting a roof over our heads and food on the table...Well, if he's not home by Christmas, he'll be divorced by Easter! I've heard abandonment is six months or more being gone and he's sure up to that point!”

Well, he got the chewing of all chewings by his Dad. I knew because he came home and wanted to get snide and say I was loose and all that. That's when I said, “Here, you watch the kids... I'll go out for dinner with men every night and we'll see who's what! Now, are you NOT out for dinner with women??? If not, let me get those bills... and let me get the people who've seen you and you call them liars!”. That's when I went over and sat at the table and said, “The grounds for divorce are that I call them in. You have nothing to use against me and the second you pull a man who has said that he's been with me, you'd best make damned sure I can't prove you unfit as a father. These kids don't know Daddy because Daddy's being everything to everyone else!”

That's when he started being there and turning on the charm and I thought I had him back. Then, I got pregnant with you and he showed up gone... When he did come home, it was the same old song and dance and hateful shit.

Well, little did I know that the kids were so impressionable that they took what he said as gospel. I don't know when they thought I had the time, but with a new baby and them being home and me being there every night, there was no time!”

I nodded, “Mom, no more lies. You've got a good start and I've stuck it out with you. I'm done hearing about your Dad and Mom... Call it what you will, but you don't have to suck shit in order to raise us anymore.

I'm not gonna smile at the heroics and say Grandpa's good when he's terrible... As I see it, one's as bad as the other and the power of goodbye is pretty damned amazing...

You've laid your truth at my feet and I love you, but I love me more. Lie to me again about them and that means you've been around them... it's that simple.

If I learn you've went around them, you'll know because I'm doing what I said I'd do... you're out. Yes, I know how to not answer phones... that's why caller id was created. Yes, I know how to shut off the rest of the utilities. Now, that's where I'm at. I'm protecting me and myself.”

She hugged me, “Ok. I'm sorry!”

“If the old man sues, hell hath no fury even if he's in a nursing home... They'll have to use generator power until he's out of this region because my contract for mutual aid will be that they don't supply to anyone or anything where he's located.

Like it or not, we've got too many tornadoes and storms where everyone's affected but us. I'll shut that down and we'll advertise that we don't need that help because we've put all our utilities underground for that express purpose.”

“Really???”


It was discussed yesterday at Grandpa and Grandma's house. We're buying out the cable company and putting fiber in. In order to do that, we have to dig up the streets, so we're going to replace all the utilities so they're underground and all brand new.

Yeah, it's going to cost a lot, but I'm looking at the savings and am looking at the time savings because we're putting master buss fuses out at the sidewalk so that our guys aren't risking going up to a burning house to disconnect the power anymore.”

She nodded, “Good!”

“Don't think I've been unfair to just you. Dan's been called on the carpet because he wasn't there several times tonight.”

She nodded, “He's kicked himself over it. He WANTS to be your brother, but I don't think he knows how.”

“Mom, I don't know how either. I've been independent so long that I've learned to get in and do it without counting on someone else.”

“Tell him that!”

“I know Josh and Gramps meant well by trying to pull me away from fighting, but they made it so that he could sucker punch me. THAT was NOT cool!

They learned that I'll take someone out with my feet and they learned that just as soon as I was released, I was done dealing with them. Josh and I will make up, but if he said that's it, I'd say, “Yeah, that's it... Have a great life.” And would move on.”

She gave me a look, “Sometimes you can't.”

“Yeah, and sometimes life's more about what you CAN DO! Now, like it or not, I'm gonna serve a dose of wake up...

Had you went into that funeral home and had you sent someone with a camera and had you had someone with a camera at the motel rooms, and had you told that person to say, “Smile... the divorce lawyer's loving this!”, he'd seen that you were done and getting ammo.

And you know what? Like it or not, a mistress isn't going to raise a child from a home she's broke up. And a philanderer isn't going to raise a child or take one when he knows it's going to cut into his opportunity to get some.

You might've not thought about that, but I also realize it was different times and women now have more smarts how to deal with assholes.”

I paused, “What I'll tell you is this... Mr. Grant loves you. I know that and you ought to know that the man's been waiting.”

She smiled and nodded, “Hon, he and I dated in high school. I didn't marry him or date him because he told me that I'd have to wait until he got out of college. I wasn't about to wait another second because I knew that Daddy would kill me with the next beating.”

I took my phone, “Excuse me...”


Ed came on and I said, “Do me this favor. You get that restraining order on my Grandfather so that it means anywhere and any place I own... and Mom owns.”

“Ok.”

“Be prepared for the Legion to be donated a building which sits upon land that I own. I'll do it for the tax write offs and they'll accept because I'm paying their phone, internet, electricity, cable, and gas....”

“Ooh!”

“War is using what you have available. If he's such a valuable member, they'll refuse... but I'm thinking that they'll realize the benefits outweigh the liabilities when it comes down to it.

Now Ed, I'll tell you this... A bigot I can deal with. A cowardly bigot.... well, I'll go in amongst the bigots there and tell them that cowardly bigot is a coward and why I call him that.

That man raised a hand to my Mom tonight and that's what set all that in motion. He didn't get to hit her, but the second he ever does, I'll be there to kill the bastard and will do it in front of you if need be.

There's a few things you don't do in this life... You don't piss off your God, Country, and Mama... You might not piss off your hooker and your barber and your undertaker either... and yes, we stopped providing hookers at the undertakers!”


He laughed... “Ok!”

“From the sounds of it, they've pissed off our family once before. Only this time I'm not giving on the repercussions of their actions. They gave in the last time, but I have nothing to gain by doing so... “

“I wasn't aware of it happening once before.”

“It was before Mom and Dad got married. The Sheriff then was aware that my Grandfather was abusing my Mom and was put him in the jail only to be let out so they could be married.

Well, she's a bigot... and yeah, I can live and let live with a bigot, but I can't when the bigot is hiding behind a cowardly bigot. Let that one stand face to face man to man and put the ass beating on me he thinks I'll have to have and I'll show him he's got an ass beating coming from eons ago!”

“I'm getting the restraining order put on them both. She's since made threats.”

“Ok. Thanks for giving me the heads up. You do your job because I'm making it so that everything I've said I'd do is now in effect. The utility companies will be there momentarily.”


Ok.”

I rang off and dialed the power company. As soon as I got an answer, I gave the go ahead and told them to cut the cable also. He said he couldn't and I said, “Listen, if the fuckers wanna cry over their cable being cut by you, I promise you that I'll own them by the time the lawsuit is filed... not in court, but filed!”


He laughed, “Ok!”


I said, “They're coming onto your crew of guys... and yes, take the water meter and the gas meter OUT. And take that electric meter OUT... We're not giving that house ANY service again no matter who owns it. And yes, I'll tell the real estate agencies that because I don't want them to leave and think they'll get a damned dime for that house!”


Ooh man they've pissed you off!”

“Oh yeah... But they won't again... All goods and services in this region are done...to anyone who wants to aid and abet them. That means if they go to a different town which we give aid, we'll refuse that aid contract in the future unless they're a rider on it.”

“MAN!”

“You be looking at getting everything underground here. We're going to get fiber and we'll be putting in all new utilities underground. With the storms we have and the wind storms and tornadoes, I'm done replacing all that. It's not going to be damaged if it's underground.”

“I like the sound of that!”

The good thing is there's enough money to do it.... But when you do it, you get the fuse boxes in the sidewalks out front so we're not having to go near a house which is burning.”

“Ok! I'll get all that ordered!”

“Good goin'.”

I rang off and said, “Now that's handled.”

She gave me a grim look and I shrugged, “Mom, let me tell you something... If a stranger did to me what they've done to me and you, I'd consider that person an enemy.

Yeah, they gave favors. Yeah, they gave you life, and yeah, there's been good times and bad, but you know what? At a point in time, without the emotions and without the family name and all that... if they pulled that stuff as so-called friends or strangers, they'd be told they weren't being friends and we'd not accept those actions from strangers.

Needless to say, that's the stress test... If you wouldn't accept it from friends or stranger, and you will family, that's emotional blackmail and you need to cut that out.

Now, cut it out with me if you think I'm being unfair and I'll stand back and hold true to my word... I'll stand and watch and the second you go to them, everything that happened to them will happen here.

That's the line I draw... Stand on your own and I'm proud of you. Stand beside me and I'll fight beside you. But cross me and I'll cross you off as easily as that.”

“Without bridges you never return.”

“Who the hell wants to return to that??? The second you need their help, you call me and I'll be here! But when I do, you be prepared to get brought up there to live because I'm laying waste to whomever caused you the problem!

Now, I told you that I wouldn't let a thing slide with Diane and I won't.... Don't ask me and you won't be disappointed when it doesn't happen. You wouldn't ask the Sheriff, so don't ask me.”

She nodded, “I understand! But they're getting older!”

“Mom, I've gotta pack. No means no and that's the word I'm giving. Go help them and know that no meant no and that's the word I'll give you.”


I stood up and shook my head, “Emotional blackmailing bullshit!”


You're very conditional!”

“And I wasn't raised that way???” I stared at her.... Brother and sister... so fuckin' emotionally distant and sided with a liar that all the way up to he's fallen and proven to be a liar, they can't see the truth for the bullshit!

When Dan gets video.... He's suddenly seeing the light??? Well, guess what, I think he's there because I now own his company and he's trying to hold onto anything he can. He knows his bitch of a sister's sold herself down the road to prison, so he's gonna stand there and hope...

Well, hope requires actions... Tonight, he failed me and not once, but twice. He got told my lines in the sand. Yeah, I think he'll sneak Heather over and that'll end that relationship because she'll mention being friends with me and that's when she'll get shunned by that bigoted old woman!

When that happens, Dan's gotta answer for his reasoning for supporting shit like them! When she sees he'll do it, and cross me out, she'll send his ass packing. IF she doesn't and I ever find out... Well, she'll be with him on his new endeavor in life... Trying to find a new job in a new location because it won't be here and it won't be in the city!

Now, I'm drawing lines... And yeah, you know what? If it's a line here and a line there, and a line there... I've got the line behind me which hasn't been used yet but the three are battlefronts. The second I have to use the one behind me, I'll do it as I leave...

Don't think for one second I can't phone all this in and don't think for one second I can't lay waste and shut the whole fuckin' place down! The place was a wasteland before our family settled it and it can be once again when this family gets crossed!

Now, let me know what you're doing... If it's that side, I've got phone calls to make. No, you can't use the hotel. And no, it'll be a candlelit service at the funeral home and will be into the future.”

She stared and sighed, “You leave me no choice!”

“There's two choices that I see... Do it without me AND THEM, or leave this town and don't look back! There's always choices you don't want to do, but hey... I'm drawing battle lines against my own family... I can do it, so you can too! Lord knows I've done it all my life, so it's nothing new! And yes, you raised me that way!”

She looked hurt and I said, “Had you had the balls to divorce him the second he started that back up, you'd been at an advantage. The judge would've gotten told, “No, I don't want him, he's a bastard!”.

Then, your attorney would've called up DNA, and proven him to be an idiot. Then, your attorney would've had his balls over the chopping block and shown what an abusive asshole he'd been.

Yeah, he might've threatened not paying child support, but with the refusal of his licensing to operate businesses and a funeral director's license, he'd been fucked!

YOU let that happen. Hey, I supported you and I stood there beside you, but you want to align elsewhere... Do it!”


I nodded, “I've got finals and I've got these tests tomorrow. At the end of the week, I've got 9 days I can be absent until the end of the year. They allow for a max of 10, so I've got one to spare... I'll be in Connecticut and will mail for my diploma...

Don't use a thing of mine and don't go in anything of mine. I don't need your business and don't want it if that's the way it'll be. Don't think that saying you're sorry will cut it when I'm gone because you've got to go back years to start with apologies to get to current.”

She started crying, “I'm sorry!”

I went over and hugged her and she said, “I can't live without you!”

“Don't push because I'll make it happen! That's emotional blackmail and I'm done with it!”

I dialed Ed, “Hello?”


My sister doesn't come to the funeral tomorrow. Mom might tell you yes, but there'd best be a damned restraining order filed on my behalf also... I've not lifted mine to say she could be that close, so don't think I will.

My Mother and I have had one helluvan argument over me being disregarded in things and I'm now standing beside her telling that I'll accept or reject shit. She doesn't speak for me, so don't think she will ever again.”

“Ok.”

“I apologize for the confusion, but I'm done being abused and lied to... Diane's an abuser and won't ever get that help she needs.”

“I agree.”

“I apologize for all the headaches with this situation, but you're appreciated for being there.”

“You're welcome. I know it's tough.”

“Find my brother and tell him to get his ass home. I'm calling him and telling him the same. THEN, I'm calling his girlfriend and telling her that HIM threatening her future isn't respecting her. HE might think her tending to his neediness is love, but I'll tell you now that women get sick of tending to a man's neediness pretty fuckin' quick.”

He laughed, “Yeah!”

“Well, he's pressing that button like it's calling for a lifeline... I'm about to tell him to grow the fuck up and respect himself and others! If I've gotta be the patriarch, dammit, I'll be the one who calls it all down!”


He laughed, “Ok. I'm understanding better!”

“I understand why Gramps wanted retired out from this shit! It's old after only two days!”


He laughed, “He let things go too much!”

“Yeah, and I'll tell them to stop being a drag on humanity!”


He laughed real loud, “More need to do it!”

“I understand.”

I rang off and Mom smiled, “Ok. Call your brother. I'm in complete agreement there!”

I dialed Dan, “Hello?”


Bring it on home.”

“Why?”


Because she's got classes tomorrow and you being up that late is making her be less productive for herself and her future! Now, if you want to respect her, you get it on home... IF you don't, I'll call her parents and lend them the shotgun!”

“I'll be home when I get there.”

“Uh, Mom might put up with that answer, but if you're in a business of mine, and I find you there, I'm having you arrested. In fact, I'm having the Sheriff look for you so that he can ask if you've got someone there underage and you're contributing to the delinquency of a minor. THEN, I'm going to have him ask her if her parents are aware where she is. IF she's let her parents know and they condone that you're screwing up her chances for grades which lead to a college, I'm going to ask him to make needed arrests. If that's to you, her, and them, so be it.

You see, when you're a representative of my company, you'll do all you can to uphold ALL people. Not just for your own purposes, but everyone. If you think that's upholding her, I bet she'd gotten better results on the tests had she not been home last night at the hour she was drug in.

Furthermore, I'm going to as Ed to ask them as to why they have no grounds set for dating hours for their daughter and what happens if those are violated. Then, you as a matter of punishment should be asked to stay away because YOU aren't supporting her for her betterment, but for your own needs.”

“You should mind your own.”

“Listen to this call when I call the Sheriff and not BAN you from any business of mine and tell you that you are now fired. You don't represent my company with that bullshit and I distance everything from you. Good night!”


I dialed Heather's phone, “Hello?”


If you're in a business of mine, you're now banned from any and all businesses. If I have the Sheriff find you there, you two will be arrested.

He is now fired. He is now going to pay with his freedom when the Sheriff finds you. What he's doing is contributing to the delinquency of a minor and I'm calling the Sheriff to make the call to see if your parents approve of you dating these hours. If they say no, is that kidnapping? Well, he's above the age and you're below it. Legally, that's a gray area and he can be arrested for such.

If I turn against him, you now see how I'll turn and seek his arrest. My own business is representing my own companies. If he's violating the law and making it seem suspect, he's got to answer to me...which his smart ass comments just got him fired.

My advice is to get away from any and all businesses of mine. You won't make it to school if you're arrested. Yes, this isn't aimed at you, but it's aimed at responsibility and who is the legal adult there.

Now, he's gotta find a job. Think about that because he's driving a company car and as soon as it's parked, I'm having it towed back and he will be charged for the cost of those keys if he fails to turn them over when he collects his final paycheck.

I'll see you tomorrow. I hope you know what this has cost him. Good night.”


I rang off and dialed Ed. He got on it. Then, I rang off and turned to Mom, “Mind my own... He'll find out how far I step off in his ass with that comment!”


She gave me a look, “You're on touchy ground.”

“Have a good night.”

I went upstairs and packed. When I went downstairs, she said, “You made the mess. I see you won't stick around to clean it up!”

“Ok. I'll stick around. When he walks in, I'll beat him senseless! First for the comment, and then, for making my business look like it's condoning that action.

After that, we'll throw lawsuits... Me having basis, and him because of the physical results. Both of us will win, mine will be monetarily and to keep him away from any and all, and his will be monetarily with scars.”

“You'll go to jail.”

“Mom, perhaps you need to know the law a little better. When there's no weapon involved, it goes down to a closed fist and an open one or a slap. Open... misdemeanor. Closed... felony. Misdemeanor equals $25 fine. Felony equals jail time. Ask yourself if I know the law that good if I can break his jaw with a shoulder, elbow, headbutt, kick, or knee... It's amazing how you can interpret a law isn't it!” I nodded, “I'll wait. By all means I'll wait.”


She came in and said, “You're getting hard.”


Hard is a way to do business. First of all, you make sure the troops know who is in charge. Truman versus McArthur. When the troops are in control, it's coup d'etat. You fire that one and you get someone who knows who is in charge. It might not be popular, but it sure as hell maintains the structure.”


I'm not your structure.”

“You are, it's external. I'm yours also. If I can't vent to you, I'll never do it again...” I picked up my bags and she said, “I'm trying to raise you with a heart.”

“Mom you're not getting it! In this, there's no room for a heart! Ask yourself if you could have used more money, and then ask if $7.2 million plus is a bit excessive for zippers.”

“Mistakes got made. We're burying them.”

“And the lawsuits begin. And the sexual harassment in the workplace threats begin. HE let it happen. HE'S responsible. HE'S dead, so the business carries the weight of defending his actions.

Courts will state she's guilty as hell, but HE was the one in authority and should've said no. He didn't, therefore the business pays.

Your only recourse of action to defend his actions is to state they were hired prostitutes and show the pay as services for hire. That's it. If you have no proof and they have no proof, but they took the money, it's messy, but it put the burden on the victim and you have a whole different scenario.

With Merriam, she's going to try to state that he gave her permission. From what I've seen, she's a lying sack of filth. She didn't do it for the funeral home because she knew he paid too close attention... And I THINK, that if he knew about the furniture store account, she'd blackmailed him and told him, “Go ahead, send me to jail. I'll tell everything I know and will make it blow back on you!”

Well, I'm not gonna be blackmailed. We've already dealt enough with it that it's getting the burden off you and onto him. They look at the accusations he made about you and then, they hear how he played games on you at home. THEN, it's making everyone a victim of his.

That's what we've got legally. Me, I'll never play into that blackmail because... A:) I'm not guilty., B:) The second they want to throw that I'm gay out there like Grandfather did tonight, or Grandmother did, or a bunch of them have, I strike back.

Why? Because I don't have a thing to feel bad about. It's not a character flaw, it's the way I am.. If they're ho's, so be it, face it and be the best ho they can be!

Now, that's how I'm dealing. You might prefer to swim in the cesspool of shit and let someone drag you down, but I'm letting them know that the second they wanna play shark, I'm gonna play piranha and gut them out and leave the damage to be eaten by the others. It's lethal, but hey... we're not guilty!”


You need to let him be buried with some dignity and pride.”

I gave her a look, “Good night... Ask yourself if you got that in the last 18 years and if I got it. He masterfully played our own family against us and you're supporting it.

I'll be there, but I'm not shutting up. Victims have rights and you might choose to be silent, but I'm not.”

I went out the door and backed out. Dan pulled up and blocked my way with his car. He got out and wanted to act the tough guy.

I opened the door and he shoved me. I kicked and then charged with slaps, elbows, and knees.

When he was down, I said, “The keys to that car.”

“No!”

I pulled my phone and said, “I'm getting the Sheriff here. I do believe it's a part of your employment and you're no longer an employee. That is now a 15 year prison term called GTA... Grand theft auto. Let's see if you refuse in front of the law.

He threw the keys and I chuckled, “What a fuckin' idiot.. That's another 10 years... It's tampering with a motor vehicle.”


I dialed Ed and said, “I need a tow truck here. You tell the driver I don't care how it gets towed because I'm taking the damages out of his final paycheck...

When he wants to report that he's been assaulted, ask him if I did it with closed or open fist. If he says closed, I'll kill him with the first closed fist of this fight!”

“DON'T!”

“Ed, bring your statute book with you. When he's read those laws he's violated tonight, tell him how much he would've received. THEN, tell him how responsible I am as the owner of that company he represents and it being done in the car owned by the company.”

“OH!”

“Yeah. I'll have my attorney here telling him how much I'd receive for damage to corporate identity and all that... We'll see who learns a little about the law.”


I rang off and dialed back, “I did ask for a tow truck, right?”


Yeah.”

“Ask the tow truck driver if it helps or doesn't if the doors are locked. I'm about to make it so he can't get his things out... unless it hinders the driver.”

“I'd leave it open.”

“Ok.”

I rang off and pointed, “You might want to get your things out of that car. The tow bill will reflect the distance and the cost it took to get those keys replaced...including any and all re-keying fees to the building down there.

Your final check won't go to you until those costs are paid. If you fail to get it in a year, I'll take you to court and I'll make it rather public as to how much you attempted to damage the company.”


I shook my head, “It's amazing to me how little you knew or cared about that company. In fact, it's amazing to me how you screwed up the opportunity you were given by refusing the trip to Asia.”

“I didn't want to go.”

“Your refusal is what got me given everything and you just the shoe factory and the clothing factory. They gave it because they figured that if you weren't going to show your company any respect, they'd make sure that you didn't get a chance to do it to the rest.

It was a parable... Bird in hand... Let bird go and receive the world... You squeezed... What a dumb ass!”


They weren't going to give it anyway! You've always been the favorite!”

“Bullshit! They were giving it equally to you and me. Then, you demonstrated you couldn't let shit go and they gave it on over. THEN, you got stupid in front of Grandpa and you got told I was getting the factory!

I know how shit went! Don't dare think you'll spin it to be the victim and them to be liars, I'll break your fuckin' jaw!”

Out of the darkness, I heard Ed's voice. “I heard it and know how it's went. He's forgetting there's proof and people who know the opposite who are society in this town.

Diane was to never have received anything. She attacked your Mother verbally years ago. Then, she attacked them and told them they were fools over your lineage.

Dan kept his tongue, so he got everything split 50/50 with Diane getting the mall because it's unprofitable and her receiving something would keep her from contesting the will.

After Dan pulled what he did about the trip to Asia, your Grandfather was heartbroken. He said that he was giving it five years and if Dan hadn't made the effort in 5 years, he wasn't going to give him anything but the plant.”

He walked up and said, “Dan, you spin it how you feel best, but I'll tell you now that the second you do and you dare want to attempt to come back into this county, I'll make sure your stay is too long to fathom.

You pissing off your brother is the icing on a fucked up life. I'd take a real good look inwardly and ask myself what I wanted to accomplish and then ask if you've worked toward it.

Him keeping you employed there caused a lot of raised eyebrows. Then, I hear he's fired you over some more screwed up decisions and I've gotta shake my head.”

I said, “You know, starting today, I forgave and tried to forget. I was happy I had a brother and was willing to let shit go.

THEN, I started getting bullshit dished in nice little packages and presents. He sees my Grandmother not just disrespect Josh, but she totally snubbed him. I faced it and there's no one who has my back like I thought he would.

Several times, that happened. And when my Grandfather was going to hit Mom, he was entertaining Grandmother.

Needless to say, I had ME to depend on long enough that I depended on me and took it on outside. Was he there? No. He was still inside entertaining someone who just doesn't matter...”


Dan said, “She matters!”

From the front porch, Mom's voice said, “Daniel, you and I need to talk.”


Dan took off and I gave a nod, “Mom's gonna lay into him and let him know a lot of history. I don't know how long she's been there, but she knows he doesn't know a bunch that happened, so he'll be schooled.”

He smiled, “You're too nice.”

“I have to do it so it's legal.”

He gave me a look, “Listen, the second I arrest you, I've lost my mind. You employ hundreds if not thousands of people here and me to wage war against you isn't going to happen.”

“I appreciate it, but I had hoped that he would handle things while I was gone to school.”

“Have your Mom do it. She's more responsible.”

“I think she and Mr. Grant will be seeing each other. He's liked her for years.”

“It's been rumored that's who was your Dad.”

“I wish! No, the DNA came back that my Dad was my Dad.”

“And Grant's the one who does the DNA tests.”


I looked surprised, “Really?”


He gave a nod, “I think there's a lot your Mom didn't say, but I don't blame her. Your Dad was fun to be around, but vicious to his women...And yes, I knew about them.”

“It happens throughout the family in generations. My Gramps said that his great uncle was bad enough that he made Dad look light. They paid off 60 women he'd had affairs with.”

He cocked his head, “Really?”


He was a mail carrier and got killed by a husband after he discovered him with his wife. You might look it up, but I know Gramps talked about it the other day.”

“I'll look it up.”

“It was in the depression. They didn't keep track of whom they paid which I would've.”

“I would've also...”

“Now you know that a lot of older people are probably relatives and don't know it. They'd be Grandpa and Grandma's age.”

“Interesting!”

“Here's a peculiar fact. All of us are attracted to each other. Dan dated and screwed around with Janet. I was attracted like hell to Jeff, but he's straight. John and Mandy nearly dated until she told him his dick was too short... which I think is ridiculous.”

“Why?”


The one thing I can say in this family is we've got the dicks. John and I had shower together and people joked that we had mules, horse, bulls, and everything else in the family tree. All I'll say is he's gotta be packing about 8 inches and for her to say that's too small, I asked what the hell she was using as a dildo!”

He laughed real loud, “Yeah! But you guys came by it honestly. I think that's why your Dad was able to get the women he got was because word was out about him.”

“Yeah. It's bad to say, but all that video showed him and I know he was workin' with a piece of meat.”


He shook his head, “You shouldn't have had to see that.”

“He wasn't shy about knowing the video was there. It was common knowledge it was there and yet, if it were me, I'd been erasing it at the end of every day. He didn't bother.”


Dan came out and said, “I'm supposed to go find those keys.”

“Use my car and turn the headlights that direction. The other thing I'd say is to use the yard sweeper and hope you pick them up in it... Just don't use the mower.”


He went to the garage and I said, “Only drunks mow grass this late!”

Ed laughed, “Or husbands who can't stand their wives... There's one across the county who mows and gets called about. I've learned he can't stand his wife and mows to be away from her.”

“I suppose she's not given him permission to get divorced?”

He laughed real loud, “No! And she won't! Her Daddy's the rich farmer he works for, and she knows who wears the pants.... Daddy.”

“Ridiculous!”

“You can say that because you've got the money to get away from someone. Some don't.”

I nodded, “I understand. Just the same, you've got to beware of the cage you're being trapped in!”

“He's from a poor family who got lucky and got a scholarship. They met at college and it was thought she'd be an old maid and he was gay. Low and behold, he fell in love with her money and she used it as bait to get him.”


I shook my head, “Is her Daddy gay?”


He gave me a look, “I don't think so!”

“Who gave the scholarship for him to go???”


He smiled real big, “I'm not sure. I hadn't thought about it! I had supposed that it was his grades.”

“What does he do on the nights he's not mowing? Maybe she expects sex on those nights and he's staying out for that reason... People play a lot of games. What appears to be a trap might be an arrangement.”


He smiled real big, “You have a way of looking through things!”

“I arranged Danny to get with Heather because I knew she'd be loyal to me as a friend. He's fallen for her because she's got red hair and doesn't understand that I'm gonna play it so that she's the best thing he's ever met!”

He smiled real big, “Interesting!”

“It's also knowing about people and knowing how they are. John is someone I've got to watch because he was really depressed tonight and that's because his Mom favors his sister and treats him like dirt. Jeff's gone and I think there's no love at home for him.

He's going to Vassar and cheered up when he knew that we'd be about 50 miles away and would be seeing him on weekends. I think I'll help him out and make it so that he's dealing with more of a split deck in New York.”

“How?”


Well, here's what I think.... I know he's on scholarship like we are.”

“Who gave them to you?”


We earned them from grades. Either Josh or I will be the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. If he's not one, I'll be it and he'll be the other.”

“Interesting.”

“With John, he had really good grades... Well, Murphy had good enough grades she's going to Stamford on scholarship.”

He looked surprised, “Really?”


I'd say that brains and smarts ran good on both sides, but Dad's side especially.”

He looked away, “I had someone who was a good friend that I went to school with who got to go. His Mom worked in the office for a state representative and got his appointment that way. He's now a Lieutenant General.

“Cool! You didn't do bad!”

He smiled, “I know. It's just that we all didn't get what we wanted. I'd done anything to get an appointment like that!”

I nodded, “I'd've turned it down. The life for gays there would've been shit, so I'd not gone.”


He nodded, “I think he was... I'm not sure.”


Really?”


He looked serious, “Here's what I know... He had a girlfriend in junior high who was a total tramp. They were together, but it was common knowledge they weren't having sex, but she was with everyone else.

There were several times that he and I were close, but I just didn't have the nerve to see.”

“Why?”


It was a different day and time.”

I nodded, “I understand. It's a different day and time still. Everyone knew about me, but I still wouldn't go out with anyone because it'd be hell with the people who would make fun.

It's two weeks from the end of school and Josh and I finally admitted what we've felt for school for years. We threw caution to the wind and admitted it.

As it turned out, his parents knew he liked me and Mom knew I liked him. When we finally got together and told our parents, it was like they said, “Well, it's about time!”.”

He laughed, “I think his Dad is about to come out of the closet.”

“Really?”


They're about to get divorced. I heard because the paperwork got filed.”

“Josh just got told today.”

He looked surprised, “Really? It's been filed for two weeks!”

They're still living together, but that's about to change.”


He nodded, “There've been rumors that Lon has been going to Columbia to the dirty book store and picking up tricks.”

“Hmm, he needs to be careful.”

“You don't mind?”


It makes no difference to me at all. He's my attorney and he's hired based upon his job performance and nothing else. She's hired based upon her job performance and nothing else. Both are excellent, so that's what matters to me.”


If he tells you, put in a word for me.”

I nodded, “Ok! I'll do that!”

He smiled, “You're the first person I've told. I came close with that one in high school and have been kicking myself ever since.”

“Here's what you need to understand. With your job, people could talk, but they can't take your benefits or any of that because it's set for the rest of your life once you work one day.”

“One year now. They changed it.”

“I think that's bullshit, but I also know that they need to get with the times and make it so that significant others can get that should someone die. That one state trooper who got killed didn't protect his guy.”

He nodded, “That's why I will make someone drive on to the off ramp instead of pulling them over on the interstate. I've had four cars totaled because people have hit them out there. One came too close, once. Since then, I've had them go to the off ramp.”

“I'd say that'd still be risky.”

“It is, but it's better because there's a lot less traffic.”

Dan came back and said, “I think I've got them.”

He pulled on in the garage with the mower and came out. He said, “Mom asked me to ask you if you'll give me another chance.”

“Danny, listen... I'll do it under one condition... That you date her with hours... On weeknights until school is out, it's 10pm. On weekends, it's midnight.”

“Mom said 9pm.”

“Ok, do that, but you court her family too. They need to feel like they're getting to know you!

Now, here's what I'll tell you and you listen like it's your fuckin' future... In July, we're going to go to Asia for six weeks. We're doing that so that she is with you and Josh is with me. Grandma and Grandpa will probably go and maybe Mom.

At that time, we're going to tour those factories and we're going to see things be made. You're going to learn more about everything than you'll ever remember, but you'll learn things which will surprise the hell out of you.

At that time, you're going to see me ask questions and learn more because as I've thought about the way things were made, I've had questions.

When I ask questions, you be there because they really respect people who take the time to come and learn about how things are manufactured.... and you tend to get better deals because they will help you order things so they're stronger and made better.
You might not think about it, but I'll tell you now that one little suggestion might cost us all of a fraction of a cent, but it makes that article of clothing last two more years.”

“Really?”


Look at Levis and then, look at Wrangler and then look at some of the others.... Levis have the grommets and those pockets don't tear. Wrangler has the extra thread and those won't tear.

They both have quality built in, but you won't know they're made on the same lines as some of the ultra cheap. It's just done with different material, thread, thread count, and stitch count.

They patent those and what you're buying is probably not close to being the best. It's probably low low grade simply because you've not shown them respect by showing up.

As I said, when you show, they respect you. When you don't, they say, “Fuck him!”, and then, you get screwed.
Why? Because of this simple fact... If you're not there, the guy who shows gets the treatment. That means you are seen as investing your time, so they know you care.

When you care, they'll be there making your items like it matters....” I paused and said, “Here's how it is.... and then, you'll know.”


I pointed, “Out at the pizza restaurant, if you want a pizza built right, you show up and you have her seeing that you're there. She'll make it up special so that you know you're getting a lot of good stuff on it.

If you don't, you'll get the one who is an anonymous face in a box that goes out and they just don't give a shit whether you get all the ingredients or not.

That is the same over there. They see you, you get the goods. They don't see you, you get the worse. You pay the same either way...”

I took a breath, “Shirts... Those are made in the Philippines.... And yeah, they're gorgeous people.”


He smiled, “I don't think so...”

“Well, I do! I'll tell you that's a weakness of mine, but I can stare at Josh's ass and be fine.”

I took another breath, “Just the same, if I were single, I'd be there... I'll tell you walking through there is a walking hard-on for me!”

They laughed and I said, “Shirts... Those people saved our asses on shirts. I don't know what you did, but I'll tell you we went and got shown what you'd ordered and then shown what was wrong. After that, we got that quilting done on those sweatshirts and it cost us all of four cents and now is a trademark of ours.”

He nodded, “Yeah!”

“When we go back, I'll spend an entire day sitting with them and designing shirts. I've got a lot of ideas and I want to see if we can get them built.”

“Like what?”


They quilt them, but can they do our logo in that quilting in the middle of the backs??? And can they do diamond, checkers, stripes, and triangle quilting?

I'll tell you now that I'm full of questions because I know it's not costing us that much more and we'll have stores full of those and everyone will want them all.”

Ed said, “I'm anxious to see them all! I love those quilted ones!”

I said, “Turn around. I want to show Danny what I want in a shirt.”

Ed turned and I said, “Up here on the back, I want a sweatshirt with a different color for the yoke. Down here, I want wrist cuffs in different colors... and I'm thinking about making them circle cuffs rather than flat.”

“What's the difference?”


Circle is a circle of that material and sewn instead of flat. Flat is just a flat bottom. Then, there's none and just sewn...

Up here on the hood, I want reverse colors... If that cuff and yoke are a color, I want the inside to be those colors.”

“Why?”


I stared, “School colors... Team colors. Cheerleader hoodies... Name it and we can have it. It'll up the sales and we'll have that as a specialty.

Another specialty I want is us to trademark New York City Boy... NYCB, NYCBoy... and New York City Girl, NYCG, and NYCGirl.”

He gave me a look and I nodded, “Do that with cities. LABoy, LAGirl.... It's like NYFD, NYPD... but with them playing for the colors of it...

Here's an example... Two tone pink and ash... for girls. Do baby blue or royal blue and ash for boys... Make it special. Give them a bunch and see if it goes over.

Start in those stores and do us a favor of calling a few directors and see if we can get product placement in some of the upcoming Marvel hits.”

He gave me a look, “That'll cost a lot!”

I rolled my eyes, “It'll sell a lot! But you do this... Rather than cord pulls, you get neon shoestring pulls in those and have those as the colors. Then, tie them in knots and it makes it special.

All this doesn't cost more. You pay set price for that shirt.... And yes, I want to get some acid stone in these fleece and quilt them with different colors for stitching and have different dinosaurs or whatever for kids... We can do it with Harley, Kiss, Aerosmith, and other licensed groups for adults...”

I took a deep breath, “I get too wound up about this stuff. It gets my brain to burning the midnight oil and I'll never sleep tonight because it's gonna have me thinking of more stuff.

The key to it is this... You had no idea what the parts of a shirt are. Your job is to look them up online and see what they are and then look and see what you can imagine different.

What I'll tell you is this... We go for softer fleece because new fleece takes about four washings to be broke in. With ours, we feel soft right from the beginning and have the reputation of being everyone's favorite... because of the feel.

They know it and they sell a bunch, so they give us that even though it's harder to work with.”


He gave me a look, “Really?”


You'll get told all this. You'll see stuff made which will totally amaze you and you'll want it all. I'll tell you there are some things I want to try with our colors so that we're different and having the industry chase us.”

“Like what?”


Ok, you've heard of tie dye and spin dye, but there's a double dye which looks like acid, but isn't... it's real carefully done with a robot that sprays dye on and lets it soak in and just appear to be something you don't expect.

Here's one which is a blue with a darker blue.”

He looked and I showed him my phone. “You can't see it but you can if you pay attention. Here's one with red on white. You can see it a lot better.”

“OH! I can! That's cool!”

“Imagine logos done that way... Our logo, NYCB, NYCG, LAB, LAG, and in different colors like neon green over neon yellow and so on and so forth...

What it does is it makes us different. I want so many of these options that we're setting a trend for a lot of years to come right from the beginning because everyone's gonna want more than one.
That's when you get trends... People see someone else with a different color on and they go, “Oh cool! I like that one too!”

The plus of it is we have a rainbow to choose from gray over white, and a lot of different things...

Our plus is we're ahead of everyone and we can use that robot to do school logos, names, and hidden licensed logos in that so that it's looking like someone washed that sweat in a different color, but you know it's professional because that's a logo.”

They smiled and I nodded, “I've worked on this a bunch. It's just about drove me nuts because I can see so much... And yeah, I've wondered about multiples on that dye because some logos are different colors like Google, Yahoo, eBay, and Moutain Dew, and so on and so forth...”

Dan smiled real big, “I know you're passionate about this because you're going 90 miles an hour!”

I nodded, “Here's another thing... Whatever you do, do NOT have reds looking like gunshot blasts. It looks cool, but it won't get worn more than once by someone when they hear, “Oh, you had your period and it's rather high this month!”.”

They laughed real loud and I nodded, “Worn once, and thrown away. However, if you have it so that it's neon yellow or looking like cyborg blood, that'd be cool.”


Ed said, “You're smart about this! I would've thought kids would go for it until you said that and I thought, “OOH! Big waste of money!”


I nodded, “The ideas are endless. Earlier tonight I was thinking about Mediterranean Blue and neon pea green.... and yeah, I'm all for giving some country names except for maybe Turkey... but I think Israel, Spain, Italy, Germany, or Ireland would go real good for people from those countries over here.... It's a heritage... and yeah, we could see if they'll do the three colors red and white on blue or whatever.”


Ed laughed, “You're good with this because I could see all of those!”

I nodded, “That's the sign of a good trend. When you're so far ahead that everyone wants your items, you've got the customers lined up for everywhere.... Brands, stores, and everyone wants in...”


Dan smiled real big, “We're going to have to have a lot of this made up and have a huge show.”

“When you do... I want us seeing if we can get a mirror look and having a Mercedes logo, Rolls Royce logo, and a bunch of others... I think we can do it with black and silver inside the lines with maybe some white highlights to signify light hitting.”

Ed laughed, “Man, you're going on this!”

I held up my phone, “I'm recording now. I know I'll be up chattering away, but you'll understand when you see them that these are different collections... we'll move from one to another to another to stay ahead of the pack and run it for several years before we do something different with them... and... yeah... We could do wolves, owls, dolphins, and different things people like to collect.... trees with deer, Worlds Greatest Grandma... Mom... and maybe a shirt with a sonogram of a fetus and have 'Expecting' over it somehow.... or we might have a fetus holding an ipad or with sunglasses on, or whatever...”

I shook my head, “Get us with our brand names on them. Do a star up here and have Chucks, or whatever.”

Dan nodded, “Ok!”

I smiled, “They'll handle all this... When they see all the designs and graphics I've got, they'll be amazed. We'll play to all people in all aspects...”


I nodded, “Well, I've got to get to bed. If I don't, I'll be up all night.”


Ed laughed, “I'll see you tomorrow!”

“Thanks Ed!”

I turned to Dan, “Thank the man. He was out here to arrest you!”


Dan said, “Thanks Ed!”

Ed laughed, “Danny, you'll figure it out!”


Dan moved his car and I got in mine. I'd just about made it to the motel when my phone rang. I expected Josh, or possibly Mom, or Dan, but it was John, “Hello?”


Rat, would you come and get me?”


Where are you?”


My house... Well, I'm walking along the road.”

“Sure. I'm headed that way.”

I turned and drove over and found him walking about a mile from their house. He got in and I said, “Problems?”


Yeah. Mom's nuts, and Brit's a bitch!”

“You should've brought school clothes.”

“I had no time. I needed to get out now.”

“I'll lend you some of mine. Did you forget anything else... Billfold, or anything?”


Nothing I'm going back for!”

“Ok. You'll stay with me at the motel.”


You're not staying at home?”


Let's just say that in order for me to be me, I need to be away from Mom's. There's too much emotional stuff going on.”

“Tell me about it!”

We got to the motel and I got a double room suite. I said, “It's a two bedroom suite. You'll be fine.”


We went up and I laid out my clothes. My phone rang and I answered. Mom said, “You ok?”


Yeah, I had to pick up John as it's nuts at his house. I've got a two bedroom suite at the motel.”

“Is he ok?”


No. He didn't get clothes and doesn't want to go back to get any... I'll lend him some of mine, but that's what's happening.”

“Remember, it's noon tomorrow.”

“Yeah. I'll be there.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I rang off and he said, “Care to talk about it?”


It's a bunch of emotional blackmail as well as years and years of abuse. She's wanting to ignore some and voice others. I'm wanting to expose everything.

Right now, over at my Grandparent's house, the utilities are being shut off. My order is that no matter what, those won't be turned on again. That way, no one will buy the house and give them a place to live with the utilities in their name.

My aunt is that person. She didn't experience it, so she doesn't see problems. She was Daddy's little girl, so she thinks all was well.

Well, Mom got the beatings from the man and was made to feel like she had to get out and be married right away to my Dad. She did, jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

The life we've led with my Dad has been terrible. Accusations simply because he's said it's true, but facts which prove his words were lies. It's to the point that one bitch tonight wanted to attempt to shove his truths at me to justify her fuckin' around with him!

SHE said that Mom wouldn't satisfy him... Well, my throwback was this... When the fuck was he home??? He had four women paying them $400 grand a year.”

“My Mom said she never got money.”

I pulled my phone and dialed Lon, “Hello?”


Tomorrow morning hand deliver copies of canceled checked to John's Mom to me... I want the endorsements front and back.”

“Ok...”

“She said she wasn't paid.”

“HUH?””


That's what John just said. I know for a fact she was because I went back to the date the check was written and then went to the following Thursday which was their usual meeting. She got it at that time...And I bet if I go to the bank's surveillance footage, I can pull up when she took it to the bank and pull up what account she deposited it into.”

“Do that. I have a feeling she'll probably want to say you're slandering her for defamation of character.”

“Ok. But when I show that video of her receiving that check, I'm showing how she bit her finger while laying back across the desk and taking a pounding sexually!”


He chuckled, “I want access to all of those.”

“The password is Martinsville. It'll always be Martinsville. It's our town and will stay that way!” I paused, “Uh listen, can you talk off the record for a moment?”


Yeah.”

“I've been told by someone other than Josh that you're most likely going to come out of the closet. Is that correct?”


He was quiet, and I said, “Lon, listen... I've already told that person you were hired because you're the best attorney and that's it. I also told that person your wife was hired because she's the best accountant and I want her on all our books no matter what.

When I heard this, I said then and there that no matter what, those are the qualifications I wanted. Nothing more, nothing less. Who you sleep with or don't is none of my concern because it doesn't affect your work, or the actions in a courtroom.

Now, the reason I'm asking is because I was asked to put word in by someone because he's too shy.”

“Who?”


Ed.”

“Really?”


Yeah. We had a long long talk tonight and I'll tell you that I like the man and think he's loyal as the day is long. I think he's waited in hopes that someone would come along who would make him happy. When he heard there might be a possibility, he asked if I'd discuss it with you.”

“Ok....”

“Now that's your decision. I know you're nervous, but please don't ever think that'll be grounds to dismiss you because I won't ever do that to anyone.”

“It's why we're getting divorced. Yes. She and I have agreed to part as friends and I won't embarrass her or Josh.”

“You being happy is no embarrassment to anyone. I'll stand beside you 100%.”


Thanks.”

“Now, I did what I said I'd do. You two do it however you wish. If you want to keep it discrete, that'll be fine. If you want to shout it from the mountain tops, that'll be fine too.... I don't think there are any mountain tops around here, but there's a mole hill or two.”


He laughed, “I appreciate your talking with me about this. I don't think I would've had the strength to bring it up with you.”

“Courage... Strength is living day to day with the feelings inside and making it to tomorrow. Courage is having the honesty to admit it. You've got me on your side now and don't let anyone let you think otherwise.”

“I won't. And I think Ed's a damned decent man. I'll talk with him tomorrow.”

“If you want me to be there to break the ice... I'll bring a bucket and some bottles of beer. Drinking hot beer after funerals gives me gas something fierce...and I don't think there will be a lack of ice on the hearts of some of the attendees!”


Son, let me tell you something... You have a way about you which makes people laugh their asses off! You saying earlier that you say the first thing that comes into your mind has me laughing about that 'HOLY WATER!'....” He laughed. I think everyone was like, “OH NO! And you....” He laughed real loud and said, “.... and you handled it like a true champion!” He got to laughing again and said, “That situation there will have those of us who saw it laughing for years!”


I chuckled, “You know, she did sound satanic!”


He laughed, “Yeah! It's just hilarious that you went there!”

“I really thought I'd go over and be nice. Then, that happened and I was like, “Ooeee sister!”


He laughed, “Yeah!”

We rang off and John was smiling real big, “Yeah, that was hilarious!”

I gave him a look, “John, I know you're on scholarship and want to make it good for you. The way I look at it, we're all in this together. Some of us view it as embarrassing and beneath them, and others don't.”

He nodded, “Thanks. I hope you won't hold what Mom and Britney do against me.”

“I'm not. And I hope you don't hold what I do against me!”

He nodded, “I understand.”

“You need to be proud of yourself that you got into Vassar. It's a very prestigious school and it's going to get you far.”

“I wanted into Harvard, but they wouldn't do it.”

I stared, “Why not?”


I don't know.”

I pulled my phone. Lon answered, “Hello?”


Do me a favor and make a call to Harvard in the morning and see if they'll take a cash paying student.”

“Who? You?”


No. John. They wouldn't take him on scholarship, but I'll pay for it if they'll take a cash student.”

“Why didn't they take him?”


I don't know, but I know that they'll take a cash paying student. For that matter, if they won't, call Yale and see if they will as a second plan.”

“Ok.”

“He's got the scholarship to Vassar, but Harvard was his first choice. I know when it's not your first choice, you tend to regret hopping through the hoops. That's why I wouldn't let go of that hope for Josh.”

He had a smile to his voice, “And I know he's ecstatic because you were his first choice also.”

“Well, I'm gonna do this... If they'll take cash, I'm gonna put the money into the account so that he's able to go for as long as he wants. However, if he doesn't make it work for him, it'll be there to build as a scholarship in our family's name.

On top of that, I'm going to give him an allowance of $100 grand a year. I know it's a lot,but it's not... By the time he uses it for incidentals, taxes, and all that, it'll be something around $450 a week. When you figure that he'll probably want to rent a place, he's got rent, bills, and about $450 a month to spend on food, or whatever.”

“Ok, I'll work on that.”

“Thanks. I know this is way late, but I want to have it handled.”


We rang off and I pointed, “I'm going to bed now. Get some sleep as we'll be getting up early to get breakfast.”

He nodded, “Thanks.”

“No problem. Murphy's getting the same, and the others will also if that's what they choose.” I gave him a look, “John, make it work for you. I know there's a lot of junk in the way, but I want a relationship like we're brothers.”

He gave a nod, “I want that too.” He paused, “You know, Mom never told us a thing. We were led to believe that our Dad didn't want us and took off. Little did I know that she knew the truth and wouldn't tell us. You don't know how long I wanted a Dad.”

He got misty eyed and I nodded, “I know how long. I had one and he wouldn't accept me for a wide variety of reasons.

It's interesting because I know the operation of the funeral home because of two people... Mom and Bill. When Dad would be at a conference...” I paused, “Remind me to check to see if they were really conferences, or not. He might've been taking one or another of them on vacations.”

He stared, “Mom had to go away once a year. It's always in the fall.”

“They're quarterly. I wanted to go because I saw the brochures and never got to go.”

“What are they like?”


Ooh, it's rather spooky if you think about it, but not. You go and they have different speakers and presentations. Then, you have a big hall filled with casket, embalming machine, hearse sales, and on and on... I do know there's an urn thing we need to get for the hearse, but I'd like to get a retort (oven where bodies are cremated) or two.”

He asked, “What's that?”


The oven where people are cremated.”

“Why two?”


Here's why... When you think of one, you think of the big one everyone puts bodies in.

What you don't think about are the ones which are used for children, pets, and smaller people. Those don't require as much, but there's still quite a need for them.

A lot of people who are particularly fond of their pets want them cremated so they've got the ashes. In order to do that, veterinarians have to take them to a human crematorium and have them done... or they take them to one which is smaller like what I want us to get.”


He nodded, “I've never thought of that!”

“We need a columbarium, which is the place where people can put the cremains in the urns or in the boxes which are sealed in plastic. Those have to be affordable because people who usually choose the cremation are doing it for financial reasons instead of other mostly.”

“What's the price difference?”


For us, the price is $2500 for cremation and a minimum of $7000 if you have the grave. If we choose the grave, it's $8000 because we have a variety of churches which have grave yards locally which will do it for free.

Even though it's free, don't think we profit. You have to pay for opening and closing of the grave which is $840 right now, and you've got to pay for the vault which is $700 for the cheapest and $1000 for one which is the best.”

Which do you choose?”


The $1000 one. It's sealed and has a real nice bronze plaque on it which gives the person's name and dates. The cheaper one doesn't and it doesn't seal real good.”


He made a face and said, “That'd scare me.”

I shook my head, “I grew up around it, so it doesn't scare me. It's a part of living everyone has to face, so we handle that.

Now, I'll tell you this... Because we do things better, we get most of the business.”

“How do you do it better?”


I went over and sat down. “First of all, we finance the funerals with really really low financing. The other guys will tell you to show up with the money and they'll hold that body for you while you get it... for a low low price of $90 a day.”

He looked shocked. “WHAT!”

“You've got up to 1 month before they bury the body anyway and then take you to court and get the judgment against you so that you pay it from your wages like child support.

What I disagree with in that is this... If you make a call and tell them to come get the body, you're opening yourself up to liabilities financially which are a lot.”

“Yeah.”

“What I disagree with is this... They put $7500 down for that funeral service where you didn't get to choose a thing. That means they put that body in the cheapest casket, in the cheapest grave and do the least they can do for it.
I'll tell you now that price is all of around $2 grand. That casket cost $750. The embalming wasn't much. The prep wasn't much. You know the price of the grave and you know the price of the vault... and the incidentals like opening and closing a grave. Needless to say, there's closer to $1700 in it, but there's the filing fees associated with the court, so that's where I get the $2 grand.”

“I didn't know all this!”

“For that $7500 you're gonna pay, that's paid weekly through your paycheck and is some pretty steep interest on that amount. I think that if you're going to do that, you might as well do a low cost funeral option and charge that interest which is about as steep as credit card interest.”

“MAN!”

I nodded, “John, in everything I own, I have made it a point of learning how to operate it all by myself so that if it was thrown to me, I took it and ran with it.

To be a funeral director, you have to get a license which isn't much. However to be an embalmer, you have to go to school longer. I believe it's 2 years now.

What we do is we have Bill who is our embalmer. For every person, he gets paid a flat fee of $900. From that, he pays his own retirement and social security. He does all the prep work and we throw the funeral and pay for all the rest... the funeral home, the hearse, the limo, and everything with operation of all those.

It takes us 17 funerals to break even for the year. Because we've got things built up, we have that handled by March or mid March at the latest. After that, it's all profit.... Most of that was given to the women.”

“JEEZ!”

“$400 grand a year from what I know. It might've been more to your Mom since she had three kids by him.”

“And she says she didn't have a thing to do with him!”

I closed my eyes, “Trust me, I could pull up the video, but I won't. Let's just say that she's lying and I'll used canceled checks and have Lon use the video if it's necessary.

Believe me this... If she wants to take it to court, she'll lose. She'll have to get all the different pieces of video thrown out and she'll have to get all the checks she was given thrown out, and then, she'll have to get all the witness testimony thrown out of the people who saw her there.

I'll tell you now that Bill saw all of them. Ed knew about all of them. I'm sure Merriam knew about all of them. And I'm betting others did also.

That's the evidence we have. I'll tell you now that I can look at you and see my Dad. People look at us and see similarities, so I know it's true.

With the girls, I can't say I see a thing. Murphy has some traits, but I think she looks more like my Grandmother in ways, so it's interesting.”

“What's up with Murphy?”


She's a lesbian.”


He looked shocked, “OH MAN!”

“Don't say a thing. If it gets out, I know who told because I'm not saying a thing and Josh won't either. I'm telling you because I think you were attracted to her.”

“Yeah, she's a babe!”


Well, now you know... and now you know why she's saying she's waiting until college to get someone.”

He nodded, “Man, that's a waste!”

“Not to her girlfriend it isn't!”


He smiled, “It's funny, but I see why people are attracted to you. You're so damned funny you draw people to you!”

I nodded, “And I hid it, but people knew. And yeah, I find it interesting that we're all attracted to each other because I thought Jeff was the best looking guy I'd ever met until Josh. And if Jeff had been gay, we'd been together a long time ago.”

He laughed, “I find that funny!”

“It's cool because when I look at him, I can see Dad.”

“Yeah. I thought that when I looked at him in the casket! I thought, “Man, that looks like Jeff in about 40 years!”


I nodded, “What I think's crazy is all of us got the dicks Dad had.”

“Really?”


Dad had a rumor going around about him which attracted the women in like flies... and that was the size of his dick. And with him looking like Jeff when he was younger, I bet he DID have them all wanting him!”

He laughed, “You have it bad for him!”

“I did. Then, I got a broken heart when I learned he was straight and liked girls, so I saw Josh and lusted after him.”

“Josh has it going on because he's blond.”

“I call it 3BH... blond, built, beautiful, and hung!”

He laughed, and I said, “You know, here's what I think is unfair. For gay guys, we get to see our people we lust after in the showers after gym. Straight guys don't get that. Straight guys get to hug and kiss publicly and walk holding hands, but gays can't.”

“You and Josh kiss publicly!”

“Yeah, and that shocked even me that he did that. I'm not upset he did, it just shocked me.”

“Yeah!”

“Who are you hot for?”


Well, Jenny Reed, but she won't date me because we're not Lutheran.”

I stared, “Interesting... It's not like you couldn't convert!”


He smiled, “I hadn't thought of that!”

“Ask her if that's her only hold up first! I'd hate to see you converting just to get with her and then see she got together with someone else!”


He laughed, “That's my luck!”

I shrugged, “Ask! If you won't, I will!”


He smiled, “I will!”

I nodded, “I'm gonna go take a shower and call Josh.”

I went in and dialed Josh, “Hello?”


Hey Babe!”

“How are you!”

“I'm at the motel.”

“Why?”


Too much drama at home.”

“What's going on?”


More of the same. It's just that I've had to be pretty hateful in order to deal with family.”

“Like who?”


Dan and my Mom's parents.”

“Uh oh, what did they do?”


Nothing more. It's just that I found out some more things and decided I'm cutting the ties which bind. In doing so, I'm making it so that we're done with them.

In regards to Dan, he got lippy and I slapped the hell out of him. He's since apologized, but he now knows that if he wants to take it to that limit, I'll go right after him and make it so that he thinks of others first.”


Is this in regards to the funeral home?”


Some. And then, he went and kept Heather out. I called and he wanted to get sarcastic. Then, I called her and told her I was about to step in and make sure they'd never be allowed to use a place I owned again period.

After that, she got taken home and then, he wanted to come at me. I slapped the hell out of him and Ed stood there and watched. Then, Mom called Dan in so that Ed wouldn't arrest him.”

“Arrest him for what?”


Keeping a minor out past curfew. Doing it without her parents' permission. Doing it in my company vehicle. And risking not just his reputation but the reputation of my company. Needless to say, he's back to working for me, but he was fired there for a bit.”

He laughed, “You need to watch that!”

“I've got John here with me. They had a big blow up at their house because he went to the funeral home. On top of that, I think his Mom is going to try to file a lawsuit which states that I've ruined her reputation and am slandering her.”

“Ooh, does she know what the word means??? She did that to herself already!”

“You and I know that, but she apparently has to learn it.”

“Dad will teach them a thing or two about law. He's said he's seen enough that it's just sickening!”

“Yeah, and John wanted to see it. I was tempted, but didn't.”

“You ought to. It would stop a lot of that stuff.”


I'll think about it. It could start up a whole bunch of other stuff...namely showing pornography to someone underage if he's underage.”

“OH MAN! I hadn't thought of that!”


Now you know what I face. I can tell people I've seen it as I'm an owner in the business. And I can show it to our attorney or Ed, because he's in law enforcement. You saw things because you're my partner, but showing others just can't be done.”

“I'm glad you told me. That would've been bad!”

I rang off, got my shower, and went to bed.


Tuesday...


On Tuesday, I got up and got John up. He got his shower and got dressed in my clothes. Everything fit him good, but it was sort've interesting seeing him dressed as me!


We went to breakfast, and then went to school. There, his Mom was on school property. I dialed Ed and got him alerted. Then, I dialed Lon and got him on his way.

Real fast, Principal Pickett was out the door and came over, “Gentlemen! Let's get on inside!”

“Thanks.”

We went in and John's Mom yelled a bunch of things at me. I said, “Mr. Pickett, I hope your video has sound. I have my phone recording the audio, so you know I'm taking it serious.”


He nodded, “No sound to our video.”


He turned, “What was that about John?”


He told Mr. Pickett and Mr. Pickett asked, “He stayed with you at the motel?”


At the motel in his own bedroom. We DO have 2 bedroom suites.”


He shook his head, “I wasn't implying anything. I just wanted to make sure he was safe and sound there.”

“He's safe and sound. We have video in the hallways, and plenty of security so that no one gets in at night. They have to go to the front door and be let in and led to that room by the help after midnight. Prior to midnight, they do a sweep and make sure everyone's in their rooms and all is quiet. It's not a party motel.”

He nodded, “I've been there many times.... in the convention center.”


I nodded, “And we appreciate the business.”


He smiled, “Well, get on to class.”

We went out and there was Lon. I said, “Here's the recording. Mr. Pickett has the video.”


He nodded, “Did everything go ok?”


Yeah.”


I'll get that harassment stopped. Two can play the game of harassing someone... I'll do it legally.”


Let the attorneys in the area know that the second she files any form of lawsuit, they need to be advised we're going to counter sue for the full amount of all my businesses' combined appraisal in this country. If she wants to try to take down their reputation, I'll let her see what it's like to buy them.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

Ed came in, “Sorry, I had to deal with her and ask her what she was doing here.”

I turned, “Lon, would you like to take Ed and deal with this? We need to get to the auditorium for our testing.”


He nodded, “Sure!”

I turned to Ed, “Just so that you're aware, I did speak with him on that issue and it is a go!”

Ed looked surprised, “Oh ok!”

Lon smiled, “He did!”

I said, “Guys, get me back my phone because I'll probably need it.”


Lon said, “I'll get Ed to get a copy of it and I've got a copy also.”


We went to the auditorium. On the way, John said, “You're not backing down!”

I turned, “Real quick, are you under 18?”


No.”

“Good. That's the only point she had me on legally. If you were under 18, I would've been contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

He nodded, “No. She told me to get out. Notice that she didn't say a thing to me!”

“GO back and ask Ed to take you to your house and get your things. When you do, put your phone on record or video record. That way, you've got proof beside him that all went well and nothing was done or damaged. If yours is, or has been, you have proof it was that way while there, and she's responsible for it's care while under her custody... You can sue on that.”


He smiled, “Ok.”

I went in and went over to Josh. Britney came over and I said, “Josh, put your phone on record. That way, we've got proof of what's said.”

He hurried and did it. Britney came over and said, “I hope you know that you're gonna be sued and you'll lose.”

I smiled, “Hmm, she has to find an attorney first. Then, she's got to convince a court of law that the evidence we've got...namely video tapes, canceled checks which I've got in my custody after being returned after bank processing, and bank records which has not only proof it was her, but the video associating it with what was stated.

Go further and she's got to prove it wasn't her in the video doing said sexual acts, and going to said conventions with him as his liaison and staying in the same hotel rooms with him.

When she proves it wasn't her, and you're not her children with him, then you've got a case won.

Now, do I have sexual acts she performed on digital files? Yeah. How many? Well, we installed it five years ago and there's that many on a weekly basis every Thursday afternoon.

Ask me if I've watched them all, and I'll tell you that it only took once for me to see it was her. However, I WILL turn all those over to my attorney which will ask in deposition why she was paid $1.8 million per child and she'll have to admit that she had them with him which is admitting the affair took place which IS a felony in this state.

Now, when another crime is committed while committing another felony, it's all under the same sentencing guidelines, but it IS compounded to double that term. So if it's blackmail, fraud, or prostitution, I'd say one is gonna be pretty bad, and the others will be pretty terrible.
When she wants to sue for the slander, I hope she can withstand the scrutiny of having a lot of hardship in her life. You think about that because the second the lawsuit DOES get filed, I'll make the calls which get every light, drop of water, scrap of trash, and everything I own shut down for her. She's living here at my permission, but that can stop... Just check and see if I can't!”


She looked shocked and I nodded, “Britney, you pass messages good. In the future, if you'd like to attempt to intimidate a witness in her lawsuit, you stand to risk the penalties in the courtroom beside her. Josh here is a witness of you doing it, so don't think there's not audio being recorded... because there is. My attorney has the other recording of her when we entered this building.”

She gave me a look, “You need to shut up about her!”

“Being a whore??? I believe she's gotten enough of my family's money to demonstrate that fact! Don't think I'll shut up until a court gags me to do so! Until then, I'll freely let anyone know loud and proud!” I pointed, “Dare me to go up on stage and make the announcement now??? It's no problems for me. My Dad's laying dead who did the deed and spread his seed.”

“My Mom says you're a liar!”

“A liar??? In regards to which thing??? I can prove she was there. Can she prove she wasn't??? I can prove she took the money, can she not? I can prove over 250 times there was a sexual act performed, can she not??? And I can use his DNA to prove otherwise, can she prove not???

All it takes is for me to get the call made that I want more DNA taken from his body and it'll be taken... nail clippings, hair clippings, skin scrapings, and whatever. In fact, I'll make that call now.”


I turned to see Heather on her way and said, “Britney, Heather's on her way. I'd get gone.”

Heather walked up, “What's going on?”

“She's working as an agent of her Mother and trying to threaten me. It's not working, but it is pissing me off!”


Heather nodded, “Brit', I'd get away from him. His attorney is in the building from your stunt earlier. I heard his attorney is getting restraining orders on a bunch of people and asking how it affects him going to school with some of those affected.

If you're seen harassing and threatening, that's enough to get you expelled. All he needs are two witnesses. He's got Josh and me.”

Darrin Whitley turned and said, “He's got me as a witness too. I've heard enough that if I were in the jury box, I'd ask if he was filing a lawsuit against them in return.”

“The second they file, my counter suit gets filed. The damages we discussed are the combined appraisal of all of our businesses combined. If her Mom wants to attempt to ruin their reputations, then she can buy them when the judgment gets handed down.”


He whistled, “Whew, that's not gonna be easy!”

“They've forgotten who they're going up against. Now that I know, I'm fighting with everything I've got. I hope they've got the dream team because I certainly do!... As well as the evidence.”


Britney stalked off and Darrin laughed, “Man!”

I high fived him and asked, “Where are you going to college?”


Columbia.”

“Cool! We'll be up there on weekends as we're both going to Yale.”

He looked surprised, “Really?”


Yeah. John's got a scholarship to Vassar, but we're checking to see if he can get into Harvard, or Yale as a cash student.”

He looked strange, “Uh, you're aware they're family, right?”


Yeah, he's one of my steps... And he got kicked out last night for voicing support.”

He looked shocked, “MAN!”

“I'm fair. He's not a problem, so we're not gonna hate unless we're being hated upon.”

He nodded, “Still, West Haven is quite a ways away.”

“We've got an estate bought in Fairfield on Sesco Point. Murphy's staying there as she's going to Stamford which is 15 miles away. And we're driving the 23 in to Yale. From there, it's only a max of 50 miles to the city.”


He smiled, “Cool! Are you pledging?”


I'm pledging the rest of my life with him!”


He smiled real big, “I meant to any fraternities!”

“Uh, if I need my ass spanked, I'll ask him. If he wants us to pledge, we will, but I'm not keen on it... but that doesn't mean we won't. It just means that we don't have to as we've got a bigger house!”


He laughed real loud, “There ya go!”


Josh said, “You're welcome to come up also.”

Heather sat in the seat next to me and said, “How'd it go last night?”


I slapped the hell out of him!”

She looked shocked and I said, “Sis, here's what he was told. He was told that you have curfews. At 10pm... and Mom said 9pm... he's gotta have you in to your house. On weekends, it's 12am, but I think Mom said something different.

In order to stay working for me, he has to abide by those rules. If he doesn't, he's risking the reputation of our business, and I won't have that.

Now, in July, he's got to take a trip to Asia. You're invited, but it's a working trip to learn everything about clothing manufacture and apparel. Josh will be invited to go with me, but we're also inviting Mom and chartering a jet to go so that we've got plenty of space to bring back samples and things we've bought.”

She looked surprised and I nodded, “If you two aren't engaged, you'll be in a separate room. Josh and I will be married by then, so we get to shag until the bed collapses!”


They laughed and Darrin smiled real big, “You're nuts!”

“Dude! Do you know what it's like???”

He smiled, “Uh, no, I'm straight.”

“Ok, I won't say what I thought first...”

He smiled and Josh laughed, “HOLY WATER!”


I smiled, and everyone laughed. I shook my head, “No, he's not a priest!”

Darrin smiled real big, “You're too damned funny!”


I turned to Heather, “You didn't tell me that Nicole's Mom is possessed by Satan!”

She laughed real loud, “Oh no, what'd she do!”

I put my hand on her back like this and she said, “Get your fuckin' hands off me!” just like that!”

She looked surprised and everyone laughed. I nodded, “Needless to say, all my help ran out laughing and they left me alone with her. Well, she wasn't crying in there. She was hateful!

Then, when she'd viewed Dad, she left and out front, I guess she really lost it and that was that.”


She smiled, “I hear you knocked your Grandfather out!”

I rolled my eyes and said, “First of all, he's an asshole. Second of all, he threatened to hit my Mom, and I shoved him to the door and out it. That's when he and I argued and I was gonna kick his ass.
Josh and my Gramps pulled me back and my Grandfather sucker punched me right here.”

She looked and I nodded, “Cast iron... This jaw isn't glass.. Call me old sparky, but you could light a match off this jaw!”


She smiled real big and I nodded, “So there I was...gettin' sucker punched while they were holding my arms, so I kicked. Low and behold, one connected with his glass jaw and knocked him out!

Well, biff bam boom, that irked the hell out of me, so I found drama in my soul and went up and made the announcement I was getting out of there.”


They were giggling and Josh said, “I think drama has been in your soul for year!”

I rolled my eyes, “Yeah, but this is a different kind of drama... That drama was last year's model. This drama is the new and improved formula!”

They laughed and I asked, “Are they never gonna get these tests going??? I've already gotta go pee and I swear I watched my fluids last night for this very purpose! I used those smaller shot glasses and everything!”


They all laughed and I said, “Tipsy... Tipsy toes, tipsy on her heels, tipsy all the way to the bank! Yup, that's the one Britney's trying to say I don't know what I'm talking about!”


They really laughed and I said, “Darrin, did I mention for the low low price of failin' to get the hell out of here, you could date that one???”


He smiled real big, “You make a poor case!”

“Poor case is the one she'll have trying to say that her kids aren't my Dad's. If you look at Mandy, you see my Grandma. If you look at Britney, you see some of Grandma and some of Dad minus the mustache. However, if you want to see her mustache, look at the crop failure John has and put it over... You'll see Dad staring back at you with imitation sun streaks.”


They were giggling and Darrin asked, “Where's John?”


His Mom threw him out. He's taking the Sheriff to the house and getting his things before they're damaged.... You know how it is when someone ruins your Fleshlight!”

The laughed and Heather asked, “What's a Fleshlight?”


Uh... Ask my brother. He'll be happy to tell you.”

“It must be something nasty.”

“Uh... If you make him throw his away before the wedding, I'm handing your Dad the shotgun myself!”


They laughed and she said, “I'm gonna Google it.”


I smiled real big, “Why is it I feel the need for the restroom real strong right now?”


I got up and we guys all got to the door before she let out with the 'OH MY GOD!'.


They really laughed and Darrin smiled real big, “At least you know things are going to happen!”

“She's so friggin' naïve sometimes, I don't know how she got this far!”


They really laughed and we got to the restroom. Inside, I took a urinal, Josh did, and Darrin did. I looked over and Darrin was all up in lookin' south. He caught me and I winked... Josh saw me and gave me a look like, “What the hell!”, and I said, “Dude, when you have to reel out the cock, firemen look! They swear it takes a truck to haul around a hose like that, but I'll tell them you manage just fine!”

He smiled real big, “You're so full of it!”

“I was... but now I've shat!”


They laughed and I went over to the mirror and did an air comb of my hair. I nodded and did my Fonzie impression with double thumbs up. “AYE!”

We went out and Principal Pickett said, “You guys need to get to the auditorium!”

“We had to go! We were waiting and waiting, and when I'm waiting, the meter's running... (I put on a Brooklyn accent) and when it goes full, I gotta go!”


He smiled, “I hope all went well!”


It did... One of these days, I worry that it won't and then, you know what happens then.... retention. That's when it gets dangerous! Danger is a word I don't like in a bathroom... You know??? Light a match and the fumes ignite! Without the hose in working order... you have issues!”


We got to the auditorium and sat back down. Heather didn't wait, “Please don't tell me he has one of THOSE!”

“He doesn't... He won't spend the $75 bucks for one. He got an imitation one off eBay from China for $3... but it wouldn't work... The rice kept falling out and Mom kept finding rice and going, “What in the WORLD!” and I said, “Mom, it's that rice thing Dan bought.”. Needless to say, Mom thought it was a hot handle holder made of silicone and put it by the stove! After that, it disappeared, so Dan probably got it... If not, Dad did, but I know THAT didn't happen because it would've saved him boat loads of money!”


They were all laughing and Principal Pickett asked, “Rat, are you finished? I've learned more than I want to know as I heard you clear up here!”

He smiled real big and everyone laughed. I smiled, “When you see my brother, just ask... That's all I gotta say!”


Everyone laughed again and he said, “Everyone, we're holding these tests today and tomorrow. This afternoon will be a free period for the Senior class out on the lawn and where there aren't any classes being held.

You're allowed to go to the library and you're allowed to go to the guidance center and to the gymnasium without passes also.”


We got to taking the tests and finished. Then, we went to the dining room and Josh said, “I'm going to the funeral with you! If it's free, I'm taking that opportunity!”

“Cool! You need to get your suit on!”


There's time.”


John came in and I saw he'd been crying. I motioned and he got over. He gave me a look and I said, “Sit right here!”

He said, “I didn't get most of the things I should've. She said that everything was suddenly hers!”

I nodded, “Do you have video of birthday parties, Christmas, or the times you received them?”


He looked surprised, “YEAH!”

I nodded, “Admit it as evidence, or show Ed. You could get it sooner, but you could get a perjury charge if you wanted to see if she'd lie about it then. Her giving false information to an Officer of the Law wouldn't go well, but it could get you everything now.”


He nodded and I said, “It's free time this afternoon. We took tests, and will finish them tomorrow. After that, it's finals.”


He nodded and I pointed, “Josh is going to the funeral. You're welcome to come also if you want.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

Darrin came over, “Rat, do you have a moment?”


Yeah, I'll be right there!”

Josh gave me a look and I said, “I'll be right back!”

I went out and over to Darrin, “Yeah Darrin?”


He said, “Don't let anyone know...”

“Dude, I'm letting Josh know. He's already being jealous thinking that I was looking at you!”

He nodded, “Ok, Josh is cool, but no one else.”

“That's fine.”

He gave me a look, “I hope I find someone at school, but I'm worried about being outed.”

“Dude, here's what you do... You work for the best grades you can get and get transferred on into Yale! You know as well as me it's the toughest of the toughest and there's always some who can't cut it. If you're there showing you didn't just make it, but you excelled, they'll want you.”

He smiled, “Ok!”

“We've got ample space, so that should be a no-brainer.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

I turned and said, “I gotta get in here. We'll talk later.”

We went in and Josh gave me a look which scathed. I sat down and said, “Dear, are you finished dining???”


He gave me a look, “Yeah, I've lost my appetite!”


I'm sure that when you hear what the conversation was about you'll become ravenous again!”

He smiled, “Ok.”

I said, “Everyone, I'll see you tomorrow. You have a wonderful afternoon.”

John got up and I said, “Bud, give us a moment. You'll know eventually, but I gave my word I wouldn't let anyone else know except Josh.”

He nodded, “Ok.”

We went out and Josh said, “That was rude!”

I rolled my eyes, “Babe, give me a moment of understanding... Ok?”


Ok.”

“When we went to the restroom, I looked over and Darrin was all up in lookin' at your cock. He saw that I saw and he just called me out to let me know that he's gay and hopes that I won't tell anyone. I told him I'm not keeping it from you, but wouldn't tell anyone else.”

He gave me a look, “Really?”


Yeah... So when you think I'm being unfaithful with the eyes, you're getting the hell scoped out of your package.”


That's surprising!”

“Well, that's what it was about. Now you know and I told you that you'd become ravenous!”


He smiled, “I was worried.”

“Now, here's what else we talked about... He's worried he'll be outed or worse. I told him if that's the case, he should study to get the best grades he can because Yale will be expelling some due to not being serious, so he could come on up.”

He nodded, “And by then, we'll have some he can fall for...”

“Yeah.”

He nodded, “Ok.”

“See, I'm faithful and loyal and observant too!”


He smiled, “I can hardly wait until we're done with school and can live together.”

“Me too.”

Josh's phone rang, and I turned to John. He came over and I said, “Sorry, but when I tell you it was that one thing in regards to Darrin, you'll know what I was having to keep quiet.”

“That he's gay.”

I looked at him and he shrugged, “Everyone knows it... Maybe you don't, but he's not keeping it very quiet.”

“How do you know?”


He's DarkHorse69 on the chats... If he wanted it kept quiet, he'd turn off his camera!”


So you're on gay chats?”


He gave me a look, “Uh... Sometimes I go there.”

I gave him a look, “Are you coming out?”


I'd say I lean toward bi.”

“Bi how much?”


He smiled, “If you could arrange that with Darrin, I'd be there!”

“You know that just made it look like I just told you what he swore me to secrecy upon. My advice is to chat with him and let him know that you know who he is and that you want him! However, I'll tell you now he's going into law and unless you're in the same school, that's not gonna fly.”

Josh got off the phone and I said, “Babe?”


He said, “We're going to Fairfield this weekend. The owners of the house want to close as soon as possible, so we've got to go up and sign papers. Your Mom, mine, Dad, us, and whomever will have to go.”

I nodded, “Do me a favor and call your Dad and see if he's done with my phone? Me being without it is like difficult!”


He smiled, “Ok!”

I turned and said to John, “You run in and tell Darrin that if he's got some time this weekend, that we're going to Fairfield. That way, we can rent a van and get up there. I know I'm gonna have to have Grandma and Grandpa there too.”

“Ok!”

“I'll wait... but hurry! And get his number for me because I don't have it!”

He smiled, “Ok!”

He ran off and Josh got off the phone, “Dad said he'll have it when you get there.”


Ok... Now, here's what I'm sorta blown away by...”

He gave me a look, “About what?”


Did you know prior to us talking that Darrin was gay, or rumored to be gay?”


NO!”

“Get this... I told John that I couldn't tell him.”

“I know, I was here!”

“Well, John said it was probably about Darrin being gay.”

He looked shocked, “How'd he know!!!”

“Get this... There's a chat room someplace and Darrin's on it as DarkHorse69.”

He stared, “Ok, and John's on it why?”


Because he's bi, but said that if it was for Darrin, he'd come all the way out of the closet.”


He looked shocked, “HUH?”


I'm standing here a frazzle because this has blown up in my face! I can't tell Darrin because he'll think that I told John and John knows because he saw him on a friggin' chat room and didn't do anything about it!”

“How did he know it was Darrin?”


Darrin doesn't shut down his camera on his laptop!!!”

He looked shocked, “OH MAN!”

I nodded, “Now you know what I know. I'm having John invite Darrin up this weekend, but you know I've gotta invite Gramps and Grandma.”

He nodded, “That's gonna be a crowd on that jet.”


I nodded, “Do we rent a limo or a Sprinter limo?”


Sprinter limos are party limos, aren't they?”


Yeah, but even though they say a limo is a 10 passenger, we're looking at 11 or 12.”

“MAN!”

I nodded, “Babe, if we could get our Royces, and the Bent' we'd have room for 12 in all three...”

He shook his head, “Your Grandpa's not gonna do that until Graduation night. I think it's terrible because we'll have to drive them from here to there, but that's how he wants to do it.”

I nodded, “Ok, so rent a limo???”


He shrugged, “It's either that or tell a bunch of people they can't come.”

I shook my head no, “It's beyond that. What I won't do is I won't invite Murphy because I'm not having her bring her Mom on the same plane as Mom.”

He nodded, “I agree there!”

John came running back, “He'll ask!”

He smiled real big and Josh said, “John, if you two are sharing a room at the house, you two are going to be clear on the other end so that we've got privacy from each other.”

I smiled, “What he's trying to say is he gets freaky and makes noise so he doesn't want you yelling to ask if everything's ok!”

Josh was smiling and I nodded. John really smiled and sighed, “You know, I'm glad it's working out this way. You don't know how I've thought about him.”

Josh smiled, “It's meant to be when it comes together like this.”


John nodded, and said, “I need to put his number into my phone!”

“You could call when you're chatting and talk with him...”

He gave me a look, “That would probably scare him off.”


I nodded, “Well, I'm not gonna go on there. Josh would want to be there with me and then, it'd lead to kinky things and someone's gonna yell or throw money, or deliver pizza or be the ice cream man and get out the sprinkles, or something!”


Josh smiled real big, “YOU did all that!”


I smiled, “I said SOMEONE... you just gave that away!”


They laughed and I said, “John, here's the keys to my car. If I have to ride without him, I'm not going!”


He said, “Ok, I'm supposed to meet Ed back at the house.”

“Ok, don't get into any trouble. Just point at your phone and let her know you're recording. That way, you'll be protected.”

“Thanks!”


It's not a problem!”


Josh and I got into his car and began the drive to his house. He asked, “Are you ok?”


I'm just thinking...”

“About what?”


Give me a second and I'll answer that.”

“Ok.”

“I need to use your phone... I'll tell you it bugs me that I don't have my phone!”

He laughed, “I know!”

I dialed Heather. “Hello?”


It's me using Josh's phone.”

“OH!”


Girly girl, I need you to do some spying for me.”

“On who?”


Well, here's the deal... We know that John's not gonna get a thing from his Mom for graduation, but is Britney?”


I imagine.”

“A car?”


Ooh, I don't know.”

“I need to find out if the sibs are getting cars for graduation. I know my Dad promised me one, but he's not here. What I don't know is if he promised their Mom's that he'd get them one and now isn't delivering.”

“Man, that's tough. It'd have to be me asking their Moms!”

“Nah, you could ask them in such a way like saying, “Rat's gonna get John a car for graduation because he knows John's Mom isn't gonna get him anything now that he's allied with Rat... Boy, I sure know what I'm not getting!” … And then see what they say.”

“Ok! That sounds like a plan!”

“Thanks!”

I rang off and Josh smiled, “You're getting them cars?”


Yeah. My Dad might've been a bastard to me, but that doesn't mean that I've gotta be. Yeah, Brit isn't my favorite person, but she's gotta play the cards she's dealt and make the alliances she can. She thinks she's getting more from doing it this way, so I'll show her that doesn't matter.

Now, Heather's getting a car from me now that I can afford it. She doesn't know it, but that's because I know that she'll do anything for me and has... What else I know is her family really can't afford anything, so I'll step in and get that for her.”

He nodded, “That's cool.”

“Hon, you have a lifetime of things coming from me. You're getting a Rolls Royce from my Grandparents for chrissake.”

“And divorce papers from my parents.”

“Yeah, but there's some things you don't know.”

“Like what?”


You already said that they've waited until you graduated. So how long has it been this way?”


I'm not sure. I thought everything was great between them!”

“I'd say they hid it well. Now, one of them wasn't happy because happily married people just don't get divorced!”

“I'd say it's my Mom.”

I sighed, “Well, we don't know. It could be both and they just decided to end it.”


I wish I'd been told differently.”

“Maybe they panicked and did it this way because they figured you'd be spending a lot of time with me and they wouldn't have the time to tell you another time?”


I don't know.”


The phone rang and he answered it. Real fast, he handed it to me and I asked, “Hello?”

Heather said, “Well, I got the triplets all at the same time. I started talking and Britney told me to leave. Murphy said that she'd leave because Britney wasn't gonna do that to people. Then, Mandy said she's leave also.

That's when I said, “Brit, I thought I'd spill something and now I won't. Just the same, I want to see the look on your face when you hear that Rat's getting John a car for graduation.”

Well, she looked like she was totally shocked and then asked if you two were fucking! That's when I told her that your Dad had promised you a car for graduation and you weren't certain if he'd promised their Moms to get cars for them and that you were gonna make it up to John.

That's when Murphy and Mandy said that THEY sure weren't getting a car! And Brit said, “Me neither. I've gotta hold my breath to see if I can even go to college! Mom said that I could have my college paid when she won the lawsuit, but it sure doesn't sound like that's gonna happen now!”.”


Ok, That's what I wanted to know. Now, what color of car would you get if you were gonna get a new one for graduation?”


Red... A red convertible. Something reasonable because gas isn't free and insurance isn't cheap!”


Ok. I have to ask these things because girls are different than boys. Boys would say they wanted the most expensive European super car and not give one damn how they were gonna pay for it later. Girls are more practical.”

“Girls know that if they don't mind their p's and q's, they'll end up walking and the car will sit just because they can't afford it!”

“I hear that!”

I rang off and said, “You heard what was said, what do you think?”


Here's what I think. She just told you that she can't afford a car, but you're getting it for her anyway. Now, unless you're getting her insurance, gas, and paying for the maintenance upon it, you're getting something which isn't practical.”

“We can get maintenance done for them out here at the car dealership. I don't know why my Dad was having Bill do maintenance on the hearse, but he was.

What I think is I'll do this... I'll get the trips white convertibles with red interior and Heather and John red convertibles.”

“Make sure you get them the same thing, otherwise you're showing favoritism.”

“Ok, I'll get John and the trips the same thing, but Heather's getting the best of the best. She's been a friend to me forever.”

“What kind are you getting them?”


I was thinking about those BMW 650i xDrive Convertibles. Those are cute and nice.”

“I think they're about $120 grand after everything.”

“Yeah, they're not cheap, but they'll last forever.”

“You'll have to pay for the SiriusXM, or give them a card.”

“I'm gonna pay for the insurance through our insurance agent. Then, I'm gonna pay for the fuel and license by having a debit card through the bank. I could pay for the SiriusXM through that card also.”

“You'll have to order everything.”

“It sucks that GM only has the Corvette as a convertible.”

“They have the Camaro.”

“Oh man, let's do that!”

He smiled, “It's not four wheel drive.”

I rolled my eyes, “You know what? I'm just giving them $120 grand to get whatever car they want. If there's money leftover, they get to spend it on whatever.

For Heather, I'll give her $250 grand. That way, she's getting what she wants and is being practical.”

I dialed the bank, and got Skip, “Hello?”


It's me. Listen, here's what I need. I need seven different cards with $120 grand on them. Then, I need one with $250 grand on it.”

“How soon?”


How soon can you get it?”


I can do it right away. If you'd like, I could give it to you at the funeral.”

“Call me away if I'm up front. I need to know which one has the $250 on it because that's going to someone different.”

“Josh didn't pick up his card yesterday.”

“Bring it also. I'll make sure he has it.... And Skip?”


Yeah?”


If you have a hole punch, put holes in the upper corner where the mag stripe isn't.”

“It's chipped now.”

Ok, bring me one of those also, but put holes in them because this is going on my key ring.”

“All of them?”


No. Just mine. They can do what they want with theirs.”

“It has to be a gift if you give it to someone.”

“Leave it in my name and make those useable by whomever. With the taxes I'm paying, I'll pay the taxes and make it so they can use them without being doubly taxed. That's ridiculous!”


Ok.”

I rang off and said, “You didn't get your card yesterday.”

“I forgot.”

I dialed Skip back, “Hello?”


Do me a favor. Call Harvard and Yale and see if they'll take cash students for this fall. If Harvard will, I want one for up there.”

“Lon already has done that.”

“Ok. That's for John. He wanted to go to Harvard and didn't get a scholarship. Vassar gave him the scholarship, but you might see if Yale will do that.”


They will.”

“Let me get with him and see.”

“Ok. I think that's what Lon was going to discuss with you.”

I rang off and shook my head, “You know, one phone call can lead to me working myself to death!”

He laughed, and we pulled into their house. We got out and went in. Lon was there and said, “Oh good! I have to discuss some things with you!”

“I need my phone. Me being without that is about to run me ragged!”


He smiled, “I bet!”

I dialed Darrin, “Hello?”


Listen, I don't know if you know it or not, but John already knew.”

“You told him?”


NO! Just listen! Apparently you're on a chat site.”

“Oh man!”

“Yeah, you never shut off your camera and everyone saw it was you.”


WHAT!”

“John was on there and said that if it were possible, he'd gladly hook up with you, but he's too shy.”


REALLY!!!”

“Yeah, so if you're interested, I'll tell you now that he's deciding to go to Yale if you will.”

“Hell yeah!”

“Dude, if I pay for you to go to Yale, you're gonna have to throw me some good grades because this is getting expensive to get you two laid!”


He laughed, “Ok!”

“Well, here's the deal. I don't know what you're doing this weekend, but we're flying up to close on this estate. If you want, you can fly up with us and John. I think we'll probably stay over as we're going to be taking measurements and all that.”

“Really?”


It's in Fairfield, Connecticut... at a place called Sesco Point. If you go there on Google Earth, you'll see it and you'll see the mammoth house and all the different outbuildings.”

“Hang on, let me look.”

He apparently got it pulled up and asked, “This one with the gray roof?”


Yeah, but that one to the left there is still on the estate. Then, there's the boat house, the garage, and the guest house. All in all, there's an 1/8th of a mile of ocean front there.”

“MAN!”

“Here's the issue... so you need to be aware you might be hauling sand with us.”

“What's that?”


That sand they used for that little beach is red. I want white. Therefore, we're going to have to buy bagged white sand and haul in a bunch of tons of it.

Now, I'll rent the machinery which is like a power wheelbarrow, but you guys have to lay down plywood and use that so that we can get the beach to being white.

After that, we'll get some jet skis and a boat and we'll have that, but I want it to be a fun place. The deal there is we're going to have jet ski trailers which will need stacked or put on end, so you'll have to help lift and then, we'll get those put someplace where they're safe and so is the boat.

The key there is this... We have to know when high tide is and where low tide is and try to get concrete put in so that the sand is up and the concrete is down and we're not getting that sand sucked out by the wave action.”

“OH!”


It's complex. I'll have the railing installed and we'll have a groundskeeper, but I want us having a fire pit installed so we're able to sit and visit there and have fires in the fire pit.”

“That'll be nice!”

“We're going to do all we can to make it nice because I'm getting it for a steal. The real estate market isn't up yet, but we should be able to sell it when we're finished with it for what the full value is.

Another thing I've GOT to do is I want a 75 foot tall flag pole there instead of the 30 foot flag pole. If they give me too much grief, I'll apply for a permit to build an outbuilding which looks like a light house and put a 30 foot tall flag pole on top of it!”


He laughed, “I supposed where there's a will, there's a way!”

I can see a taller flag pole there. I know it's going to require us having a jackhammer come in and get that base taken up and a deeper one put in, but that'll give us reason to put in power to get lights out there which shine up on it. I imagine we could make that into a seating area with flowers and everything around it too, so that'll be neat.”

He laughed, “Yeah, you might want to get one of those computerized flag poles which raise and lower it and pull the flag in and furl it automatically.”

“I'll have to look into it for us and for our places here!” I paused, “Now, here's the deal... I'm ordering a package from VisualApex.com which will get us a theater. That kit for the 140” is something like $800 for everything including shipping and handling.”

“Really?”


Yeah. And I'm ordering the furniture from our furniture store here, so we'll have arts and crafts furniture throughout. I want recliners in that theater so that everyone will be able to enjoy themselves.”


I saw Josh was about done, so I said, “Listen, see if you can go. I've still gotta get the limo reserved for this weekend, but that's what we'll be doing.”


Ok!”

I rang off and Lon smiled, “What's going on?”


Well, John and Darrin are going to be going to Yale with us. Murphy is going to Stamford, and she'll probably find someone.

Other than that, we'll be trying to get some of our fellow students to have study groups so we're into it and staying focused.”

He nodded, “Skip said you're wanting Josh to have a card.”

“Yes. If we're going to be married, I want him having a card like me so that he never feels like he's got to ask me for money, but it's there for him to spend also.”

“I need to suggest to you to have a pre-nupt.”


I stared, and he said, “It's protecting you. I'm your attorney and I'd be remiss if I didn't advise you to have one.”

Ok, but you bring it up to him. I don't want to dwell on negativity.”


He nodded, “I understand, but it's insurance.”

“Then get us an insurance policy where he's covered upon my death and I'm covered upon his. That's how long I want this to last, not until it's a piece of paper.”


I'll get it drawn up and discussed with him. I understand what you're wanting and as his father, I'm thankful you're thinking that way. As your attorney, I've got to advise you to protect yourself and get that done.”


Josh came in during this conversation and said, “I'll sign it. I want him protected too, but I know what he wants and I do also.”

I nodded, “Let's do it so it's fair...should it happen. If it should split up within the first five years, let's do a million a year. After the fifth year, it's 5 million a year until year 10. After year 10 to year 20, it's $10 million a year and after year 20, it's 50% of everything we've acquired while we've been married... Not what I received with the Martin trust.

In the eventuality of my demise, the Martin Trust will be managed by my Mom until her demise.

If he and I have kids, it goes to them in percentages. They can draw off 10% of the liquid funds per year, but should the fund be unable to pay that, they don't get a thing until the fund it brought back up to $250 million.”

Lon gave me a look, “What is it now?”


It's over half a billion. I'm drawing it down because we're going to be building down at the city. I'll be putting in a bunch of things there. I've been thinking about it more and more and want us to have fast food and gasoline at that off ramp going into the park.

I think we might have a business park there, and I think we might have some nightlife like possibly a concert venue.”

He nodded, “Ok. Get an architect on that?”

“Yes, but get an architect who doesn't want a percentage. I'm not giving the place away!”

He nodded, “Ok.”


“You might get someone in to assay the land and make sure the boundaries are clearly defined. While you're doing that, I want a ground water study done with a well casing drilled so that we know what's going on. There's a city landfill on the other side of that one hill and I want to make sure nothing's leaching our direction.”

“OH!”

I nodded, “If we're able to show that we've been testing the ground water and it's clean all the way up to problems, we've got baseline and proof. I'm not saying they're being unsafe, I'm saying that it's a rubber membrane and those could rip or tear over time.... After all, there's trash on top of it which could puncture.”

He nodded, “Ok.”

“They've supposed to went super safe. They're trying to do it in strata so they can get the methane out of it, but I'm not sure how that has went. All I know is they SAY there's a safety zone, but I've not seen anything in their plans except for it being a former quarry which got a rubber membrane.”


He nodded, “I'd like to see all the information you've gotten.”

“Sure!”

“What is it you're wanting to put down there?”


Warehouses. Small, medium, large, and refrigerated. All in all, there's 1700 acres. 1100 on one side of the interstate between the interstates, and 600 on the other.

There's a levee beside the Missouri River which is right on the other side of that levee. I want a flood wall built all the way down to bedrock which has a berm so that the levee protection district has their part there and we've got ours. That way, should their levee break, were not flooded out in a 'whoops we didn't know that would happen' incident!”

He smiled, “Ok.”

“What I'll say now is this... we're going to have a parkway meandering up through it to the other interstate. The off ramps are there, but they go to nothing. They know we're going to do something, but they don't know what.”

“That's good!”

“It wasn't us. It was planned that way prior to our purchasing all that ground. I'm just going to make it better by putting in a parkway instead of a four lane. A parkway allows us to get traffic separated and it allows for green spaces and sidewalks which are protected from the street by more grassy berms.”

He smiled, “Street racers are going to love it!”

“They might, but if they get off that street, they'll be met by security which will be asking them what they're doing there and that they're in a private area.”


I'd do that at the entrance with a guard shack and a scan to enter feature.”

“That'd be fine, but truckers going to those warehouses would hate our guts!”

He nodded, “You'd still know who was in there and who wasn't.”

“I'll have to think about a design which is fair. I'm wanting fast food and gasoline there, so it'd have to be after that and protected by gates and fencing or a bermed earthen hill which is landscaped by the parking lot.”

He gave me a look and I nodded, “Here's why... Bermed earth and landscaping catches all the trash which blows. Let's say that someone in that gas station buys something in a bag and then discards it on the parking lot. I want it caught in that landscaping so that THE LOT PERSON is responsible for picking it up, not someone down the street! And I want that fast food responsible for it's own and so on and so forth.

The object is to make it inviting and beautiful so that everyone wants to work there. If it looks like the dump which is up and over the hill, we're going to have issues.

Our advantage is it's the last chance in the county to get beer, cigarettes, and gasoline before they go over the river into the next county which is 2% higher on their taxes.”

“Oh!”

“Here's what I want. I want places which are franchised steak and ale, and upscale sit down dining like Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, Longhorn, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and such. Each can have their own theming out in the parking lot, but on the other side of that landscaping up on the slope is a whole different world.”

He smiled, “That's interesting. I didn't realize it'd already been done here!”

“It's been done here, but we didn't leave enough room for some really good ones.”

“Like what?”


Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, Chili's, Outback, Texas Roadhouse, and a sports bar which isn't a Hooters.”

“A lot of those serve alcohol already.”

“Yeah, and I'm a bit worried about blocking off that because I was planning on spacing those through so that we got cross traffic flow between the two interstates.”

He nodded, “Now I see what you're meaning.”

“It's more of a triple tier thing. You've got the parkway and then, you've got the restaurants and then, the business park and the warehouses. I supposed we could have factories in there also, but I'm still working on it in my mind.

What I know is our proximity to the airport there is close enough that we're at an advantage. It's four miles, but four miles in any other direction is blighted area, so we're at the advantage.”


He nodded, “I'm seeing it better. I know the area and have wondered who owned it, but you've got a LOT of land! I could see big box stores in there also!”


If they want to come, that'd be great. However, I think they'll want the land where the gas is going and there's no way I'll give that up for someone to pay me lease money when I can earn that much per day with gasoline.”


He looked surprised and I nodded, “With a big box store like that, you're charging them about $15,000 a month for the lease. It's good because one year usually pays for the building, one for the concrete work, and one for the asphalt on the parking lot. After that, you've got 17 years on the lease which is all profit.”


He smiled, “See, I never knew about all that!”

“I've studied it like it's my major in college. I wanted to know it forwards, backwards, and like the back of my hand so that when it happened, I'd not be stuck going 'DUH'!”


He smiled, “I'd say you know it!”

“It's unique and different. Our industrial park and business park out here was built and explained to me in detail. I love the concepts, but I'm well aware that after 5pm, that's a no man's land. It's dead and we're stuck paying electricity for streets which never get driven upon. With this down there, I want us having 24 hours and I want us having those berms so that should one go out of business, we're not blighting the neighborhood until we've got it replaced.”

He smiled real big, “I like that! I hadn't thought about it being that simple to protect a neighborhood!”

“Here's my original plan and why I want it. If that levee breaches, that water's going to pour through there like you wouldn't believe.”

He nodded, “Yeah.”

“Our flood wall is a measure of defense, but that water could spill in and hit it and go up and over it. I want those berms there to protect us as another measure of defense. If they're there, we're able to protect those buildings and businesses.

The main thing there is that back road will be warehouses. Those berms will be there to protect other warehouses should one blow. I'm not saying it'll happen, but you don't know what someone will put in one. They had one in Canada which blew because they stored fireworks in the thing and no one knew. If we have that happen, I want that berm putting that shockwave upward so that there's protection.”

He smiled, “You're thinking of all possible problems!”

“Here's why... When it's planned and built in, it's cheap. Yeah, it's costing more than flat ground which has to be mown, but the landscaping pays for itself in lack of maintenance or mowing. What I won't do is I won't put evergreens because what looks good today, won't look good in 5 years if it's allowed to go. Those take pruning and they take spraying and all that.”

He smiled real big, “Yeah.”

Josh asked, “Are you ready to go?”


Yeah.”

We went and got to the funeral home. There, Josh's Mom, Emily, was... We both went in and gave her hugs and then went in and gave Mom hugs in the office.


Mom said, “You're late, but I already know you were talking business!”

I smiled, “Yeah!”

She smiled, “At least it's on your brain.”. Then, she pointed, “I want you to see all this...”


Over on the edge of the desk was a pile of paperwork. I began looking and asked, “Is this itemized?”

She said, “No, not yet.”

I nodded, “I want it itemized and a cover sheet. Britney, Jeff, and John's Mom is planning on suing me for slander, so I want that able to be presented in a nice little package complete with video on DVD showing she was here and what was happening as well as her receiving these checks.

All the rest of them won't sue. They know we know and they're staying away.”

I looked up at her, “I'm happy Nicole's Mom thought enough of him to come pay her respects. At least she did it... I DO THINK she thought she was the only one. And, I think that she bought into the lies he told.

What I'll state is this... Dare let anyone take it to court, and I'll make it so that no one wants to mess with it because it'll be a mud slinging match.”

She gave me a look, “And mud will be slung at me.”

“Mom, I don't think you're seeing it. You're thinking and buying into his lies.

YOU are thinking that they'll say, “Oh, she screwed around.”. Well, let them say that! THEY were the one screwing around and you've got my DNA which proves otherwise.

Now, I'll freely grill them on that and throw charges. They're failing to understand you do NOT get charges if you're staying at home, raising a kid you had WITH a man who is the one out screwing around! However, If you're the one out getting caught on video tape, taking payments, and having kids by that man who is unfaithful, YOU are the one in the wrong!

It happens to be a felony, and it happens to be prostitution, and it happens to be fraud if those kids aren't his! I know for a fact that some of them are because the girls look like Grandma and John looks like me and a mix...

Other than that, I'm working around you and trying to protect you.”

She gave me a look, “How?”


Well, it's hard. I'm viewing them as step-siblings. They are, but they're not.”

She nodded, “They are, but it's a mess.”

“Yeah, and John's basically disowned by his Mom because he showed up here and is staying close to me. He stay at the motel with me last night and is wearing my clothes today.

Right now, he's driving my car and had to go back to his house because she refused to give him some things which were given to him as presents birthday and Christmas! Well, I told him that if there's proof through video, to use it and get it. IF she won't, sue for full value and then throw on damages and punitive damages for the mere thought of going that low.”

She was looking horrified and I nodded, “It's went into a civil war with little battles and big battles. There's a whole lot of things happening, and I'm trying to make it so that it's known, it's not embarrassing, and it's having us come together.

Now, I've not went low with them, but if she files the lawsuit, I'll freeze her out of this town. I think Britney understands that I'll use everything we've got as evidence, and I think she's now seeing that what was promised by her Mom isn't going to happen.”

“What was she promised?”


I don't know what she was promised. From the sounds of it, her Mom thinks that there isn't proof. Well, I've let everyone know there's proof in all sorts of ways.”
I pointed at the checks. “I'm taking those to the bank and I'm pulling up video of them depositing them or cashing them. Yeah, their names are on the back, but I want further proof which locks them all the way into those lies should they be told.

Now, what I've told them is this... PROVE they weren't here. PROVE they weren't given these checks. PROVE the sex didn't happen. And, PROVE everything he told them was the truth!

The burden of proof is on them. The second the lawsuit gets filed, we deliver this proof to their lawyer along with the lawsuit which is our counter suit. THEN, he knows he's not getting out of this with an apology, but he's got a loser on his hands and she didn't tell him all the information we're now showing.

Personally, I think it's posturing. I think she's embarrassed and I think that I show this information, she'll slither away and we can begin rebuilding.

You're thinking he tore us down. He didn't. I'm standing and I'm slugging it out. He tore the marriage apart, but hey, if you're not used to that, you haven't lived in the house with me!”

She nodded, “Yeah, and I'm sorry.”

“Mom, the wrong one's apologizing! He's laying in there and he's gave me enough information and evidence we're not taking anything anymore.

An idiot goes into it like him. I'm sorry for calling names, but that woman last night wanted to throw that SHE was satisfying him and you weren't!!! I told the bitch that HE had to come home because YOU weren't traipsing down here to get sex, that's what ho's do!

Well, like it or not, you're not in the wrong here. What happened and whether he was satisfied or not, that's his issue... Had he been a man and stood up and said that he was gonna need to be divorced because multiple partners was what it took to please him, THEN, I can see he was in the right had you refused. I know for a fact he never brought that shit home because he kept it hidden!”


Josh was smiling and Mom was shaking her head. Josh said, “Hon, you're preaching to the choir!”

“Ok... Let's sing something! I can think of all sorts of songs which have ho in them!” I started singing “Whole lot of love! (The Who)” as Ho Lotta Love and they started laughing.


Mom said, “Don't feel like you're fighting it on your own or you've got to protect me.”

I shook my head, “I do. There are situations which will happen that I have to back away from and think strategically. For example, this weekend, I've got John going up and Darrin as well as Heather and Dan, and Grandma and Grandpa, You, Lon and Emily, and Josh and I...” I looked over at Josh, “Is that covering it?”


Yeah.”

I looked at her, “Murphy will be living there also. Me asking Murphy and risking her Mom being on that plane with us isn't going to happen. She can come up later and I'll gladly have her Mom there because she's been rather quiet about it all.”


Mom nodded, “I know her. It's bad to say, but when I grocery shop, she's always been there and when you were babies, we used to talk about the babies together.”

I nodded, “How does it make you feel?”


Betrayed.” She looked away, and then back at me, “It's hard. I'm hoping that me being nice let her know that's what he had at home. I don't get how someone can look me in the eye and be nice in return. I don't know if she thought that I KNEW that he was doing this, but I didn't.”
She looked angry and said, “Rat, I sat in there this morning and had an argument with the man's body and let him know exactly how I felt and everything I thought through the years... And you know what? I got just as much out of him as I did all these years... Nothing!”


I nodded and came around and hugged her, “I know! People don't understand why I've yet to shed a tear... I look at tears as a little toy box locked away and it's empty. All those got shed years ago and replaced with the anger, resentment, and outrage over everything he's said and done since then.

I suppose HE thought that it was going to bug me that he'd reject me for being gay... Like that was going to matter! Hell, it hurt worse that he couldn't accept me as being his!”



She hugged me, “Yeah. I know! And I've broke down twice. Each time, I gave myself hell because I thought, “You're holding onto a dream which was a nightmare! He didn't care!”.”


I know.”

Josh said, “I'm glad you two are talking. It's answering a whole lot of questions I had in the back of my mind.”

Mom nodded, “It's sad Josh. It's been sad for years.

What he and I are to each other is real. He's been open with me and I've been open with him. He's withstood a whole lot he shouldn't have had to withstand, and he did it for me. He's my rock, and knowing that he's hurt like he has isn't helping, but I understand.

Last night, he came out fighting for me one more time. I know he was doing it for me and I know why... It's because he's done that over and over through the years.

He's ready to begin his life and he wants me happy. I understand because I want the same for him. It's interesting because we got all this at the same time and it's taking us clearing away wreckage in order to do so, but we're doing it and we're gaining a lot.”

I nodded, “Now, I'm going to ask you for a few moments so I can explain a few things.”

Josh nodded, “I'll be out here.”

“Thanks Babe.”

He went out and I said, “I want nail clippings, some hair, and skin samples so that we've got DNA proof should it be requested later. I think lawyers are going to think that because he's in the ground, that it's not able to be retrieved. I want to shock them and say, “Oh, well, that's all here and it was retrieved with multiple witnesses and sealed, so take what you want to prove us wrong!”.”

She nodded, “Ok. I hadn't thought of that, but get it.”

I nodded, “Give me a few minutes because I want Ed here, Lon here, and Judge Matthews here. That gets us respected witnesses who will attest and be formidable in a court of law should they need to be cross examined.”

She smiled, “Ever the tactician!”

“We have to fight wars as they come. If we're prepared, they'll know that we were thorough.”


She took the phone and dialed Judge Matthews. She explained what we needed and he said he would be here shortly.

She motioned, “I want Josh, John, and anyone else who wants to be a witness to sign on that line. I don't want them to think that just because they were someone who couldn't be swayed on a stand, that we showed favoritism.”

“Ok.”

She gave me a look, “I'm proud of you. I've heard how you've had to be and it's not made me one bit happy, but you're standing firm.”

“It's just mud... I feel like it's hard getting through and no one's getting out clean. At the end, it'll wash off and we'll be clean. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, a little rain must fall, and we've got MUD!”


She smiled real big, “You came up with that on your own, I know!”

“One day, the sun will shine and we'll have clay! With clay, we make terra cotta pipe and make the rain go elsewhere! We'll make brick and we'll build sturdy.... I'm making lemonade out of my mud!”


She laughed, and then got serious. “Let me call some attorneys. I want them seeing that we've got it and will share. That way, they're aware and can stop them by telling them that they're aware we've collected evidence and have plenty.”

“I'm using it for further proof. We've got my DNA sample, but I want one analyzed and blueprinted so it's on record. That way, should one of the sibs want to check to see, we'll have it on hand and ready.”

She nodded, “It's sad, but it's needed. At least we're thinking now instead of later.”

I saw Lon come in and motioned for him to come on in. He came in and I said, “We're gathering people in to witness that we're collecting hair, fingernail, and tissue samples from Dad's body.

I want you to send it to be blueprinted and made available to everyone so that should they question it, they'll know that we thought in advance.”

He nodded, “Who are you calling in?”


I want Ed here, you, and Judge Matthews. Mom said to let anyone who wants to witness it, but she wants other attorneys so that they're aware what we're doing and why.”


Mom said, “Lon, over here is proof he's seen. Josh has seen it, but I want you safeguarding this.”

I said, “I want copies and cover sheets. That way, if someone wants to say I'm lying, I'll whip it out and hand them a copy immediately. If that doesn't shut them up, we'll deal with it harsher after that.”


He nodded, “Get me copies of those videos.”

I nodded, “We're going to work on that. You're failing to understand that we've got something like 40 terrabytes of hard drives in that server back there.”


He looked shocked, “Why?”


Mom said, “Each and every funeral service is recorded. Every hour this building is sitting here, it's recorded. We do it for billing, and we do it for proof for all sorts of things.”
She motioned, “He suggested it and all those video heads got put in. It's to the point now that we don't even pay attention to them being there... which is obvious because his Dad sure didn't attempt to hide a thing!”

He nodded, “Can we edit it down to when he was doing things sexually?”


Mom said, “You're welcome to do all that, but if you're billing us by your hours doing it, I'll point at it and tell whomever to do it and bill their clients.

He's got enough proof pulled over into a file that no one can contest it. It's bad to say, but if we go back three years, any jury or judge will get the idea.”


I nodded, “What I'll do is go back three years and then go back to the beginning and pull up a year's worth there. THEN, I can testify that we began saving data at that point and that's proof it was happening then and has continued. THEN, if it has to go into court, we'll pull a date at random and show that it's there also.

What will be good is if it's a jury trial, each and every one of those jurors will know that not only do we catch stuff like that, but we've got proof and videos of the funerals. Then, they'll know it's for protections as well as convenience.”

He asked, “Do you pull off copies of the funerals?”


Mom rolled her eyes, “It's an extra fee which will be included with me operating it.”

She pointed, “Lon, here's one advantage of it... We scan in photos people bring in and we show them as a slide show.

There've been times when people have lost everything due to fire, flood, or whatever. They've came to us wondering if perhaps we happened to save that and we pull it off and get it to them right then and there. You don't know how good it feels to give someone back their memories.”

He nodded, “I'm going to ask you to pull me up a copy of a funeral. It's of a girl who was killed that no one's been arrested yet for the murder. I want to see if some of the suspects were there, or at the visitation, and how they were acting.”


I turned to Mom, “He doesn't have to say a thing... It's Cara.”


Mom nodded, “We've got more than that with that one. There's DNA and swabs from everywhere in our files.”

She looked at Lon, “Whoever killed her was sloppy. They did the autopsy and they got evidence, but we received that body with enough evidence still on her that it was a mess.”

She went over and got the file drawer open and said, “You're looking for multiple killers. I'm not saying what I think publicly, but it was a sex party. There was four different people there that night because we've got that many different DNA profiles.”

He looked shocked and Mom said, “Rat knew I was called in to help down here. He came along and we were shocked.”

I asked, “Do you know what they do in an autopsy?”

He nodded, “Yeah.”

“Well, we have to repair that damage and wash their hair and get them made presentable. It takes work and we went that extra mile because I thought they would've gotten that and investigated it.”

He looked upset and sat down, “I wasn't told.”. He looked over at me, “Do you think Ed knows?”


Not if the pathologist didn't make it plain in his report. He has to go up to a point and then, he's got to stop. With us, it's in our paperwork that we have that right to hold onto evidence should we think it's warranted.

There are several different ones in there and we've sat on them. I don't know if Dad didn't ask around, or what, but you're now learning that we've got some.”


Mom added, “We've got the proof it was taken and we've got proof of how the body arrived when we got it for processing. AND, we've got proof how it looked for viewing and funeral.”


He nodded, “Interesting!”

Mom said, “We don't edit. You're going to see everything. Some of that, you'll see him upset and you'll see me upset... but you'll see everything.”


He nodded, “I understand. I'm just wondering if I'll be able to watch it...”

I gave him a look, “Something made you ask. It's probably a sense of justice and she's probably here asking that you do it... Perhaps Dad is making deals with his maker to do some good deeds and work through us, but now you're aware and it's interesting how things go.”


He smiled, “Yeah!”

Judge Matthews walked in and I said, “Well, let's do this.”


I went over and shook the Judge's hand. He nodded, “Son, normally, it's in a case where we're worried about whether the person is an unknown. In this case, I support it because it's been known by many for a long time. You're inheriting a legacy of this sort've behavior.”

I nodded, “Yeah, I've been told. It's something in the family tree, but I'll trim those branches so they're not killing us off.”

“It's hard to trim what's in the past.”

“It is, but I'm not going to be a slave to it. I'll expose it to sunshine and will get in some fresh air. Danny's not gonna screw around. He's got who he wants and the second I discover he's doing it or thinking about doing it, I'll beat him down like the rabid dog he's become.” I shook my head, “It won't happen.”


He gave me a look, and I said, “Sir, in my heart of hearts, I know she didn't. She might've thought it, but there's a helluva difference between thinking it and doing.”


Your Daddy said...”

“Sir, my fuckin' Father is a Goddam liar. Now if you want to go there, you remember who the hell gets you elected!!! I'll buy up every fuckin' newspaper and new outlet in these parts just to SEE you don't make it on the ballot!

Now, you protect her and you crucify the dead! Head out that door and you'll have nowhere to live and a helluva rough row to hoe!”


He stared and I arched my brow, “Think I can't??? Look at her parents and you see how you'll live. They've got no power or utilities today and WON'T ever have them again in that house.

Their best fuckin' chance in these parts is to live in federal senior housing because that's the only place I can't touch. However, they'll play hell using my businesses because it's trespassing from the restraining order I SHOULD HAVE filed. Ignore it and we'll expose what you've LACKED to do all the way up to the election!”


He said, “Simmer down young one!”

I took a deep breath, “Falsifying paperwork and testifying to it in a court of law is a felony. Know the character of the individuals before you hop on that bandwagon.”

I motioned, “Come in here and you'll see some of my Dad's greatest hits. I don't have to show you the sex recorded on thousands of hours of video, I've got the checks written, the documented gifts and Christmas gifts. Then, there's the hideaway receipts of all the tryst vacations he's taken... dinners for two in those locations, and gifts and rings bought.

They ALL thought they were the only one. He lied. They all bore him children because HE LIED. And she couldn't keep him satisfied??? When the fuck was he home???

I was there living in that house. I was there wondering when my Dad would come home. I was there, and you know what??? It's damned uncomfortable when you've got everyone wearing hats at your pity party.

Well, I'll go put a fuckin' party hat on the bastard now because that's how much I'll miss the prick! He wasn't there. When he was there, he didn't give a fuck. When he WAS THERE, he accused me of not being his, and then, he wanted to hold it against me that I was gay??? Jesus, when wasn't he holding something against me???

SO, when you blame someone... You point the finger at the fuckin' corpse laying in there because YOU SIR … RIGHT NOW have spent more quality time than I ever did with that man!”


He gave me a look and I nodded, “Hate runs deep when you know it's not true. Had it been true, I'd claimed it and I'd smeared the man with the fact that it TOOK A MAN to lay the seed to sire me! Lord knows he was layin' pipe enough to operate the sewage plant for the life he was leading!”


Gramps voice said, “Ned, get to doing what you're here for... If I hear another word, we'll have it out about WHO you really are!!! I paid your Mama money so that you could LIVE!”

The Judge gave a look and I nodded, “As I said, I'll trim those branches. Don't fuck with this family because we'll take you to the woodshed with that bullshit!”


Ed said, “Your honor, walk out that door and I'll have you arrested before you make it a block. You might not like what you're hearing, but the acorn didn't fall far from the tree. With the extra women in your life, I'm surprised you don't have the seven children his Daddy does outside of the marriage!

It's hard being the ethical standard for an area when you're living the part. And challenge me to prove it and I'll be glad to show you dash cam footage!”


He walked over, “Insurance is bought at a price in this town. He's cashin' in policies and he's taking no prisoners. He's now asking you to help... Are you going to do that???”


Mom said, “Rat, stop the bullshit. Make the calls and let the man see your power DOES shut off! Let him hear his wife ask him what he's done and then use those videos to let him see how someone topples.”

I said, “I'm gonna go in here. He's holding onto that seat until I'm out of law school and then, he'll support me while I run for the office. If he doesn't, I'll get in by exposing everything.”


I turned, “Ed, pray tell that it's in my 'no tell' motel!!!”

Ed nodded, and I said, “Ok, video there also. The noose has 13 coils... Woody Guthrie sang it... didn't he?”


Gramps chuckled and said, “He sure did! I'd forgotten that!”

I turned, “Your honor, Lon has some evidence on some cases he'd like to present you for some warrants. The DNA is already collected. You support him for Prosecuting Attorney on that come the next election. You hear?”


He asked, “On what cases?”


Mom said, “Cara's murder for one. Then, there's Agatha Shipley's murder which our Coroner ruled as natural causes.”

He gave her a look and I said, “In our paperwork, we're entitled by law to collect evidence if we think there's been a crime. We've collected the evidence, on seven. You've heard two...”


He looked surprised, “Get that to me!”

Ed asked, “What this about Cara's murder?”


Ed, when they do an autopsy, they run evidence and sometimes get busy doing something else. OR, if a county is too poor, they just don't get it to the Prosecuting Attorney because they know a trial will bankrupt that county. OR, they DO turn it over and if the accused can lawyer up with a good lawyer, the P. A. will let the charges dangle until that person does something which is irrefutable. That's when the other charges drop in hopes they take the (plea) bargain.
We can collect that evidence, but we can't run it... Unless there's someone we know who can do that.

Now, Mom is friends with Mr. Grant, your honor... Nothing more yet. However, if I have my say about it, you now know who I want as the person to do her right.

Everyone here knows I'm not quiet about my opinions. My opinions of my Dad are many, but one thing he didn't do was do my Mom right... in any, way, shape, or form. A man stands by his commitments...if he's a man. A cad... Well, it seems we've got them in this family tree alright!”

Gramps nodded, “Yeah, and we're workin' on that!”

Dan came in with Heather. I looked over and said, “Ok, I want everyone's name who are present so that if we need them called in to testify, we've got them.”


Dan asked, “What's going on?”


We're getting fingernail, hair, and tissue samples from Dad and having them mapped genetically and for the DNA. That way, when I hold mine up and it matches, it becomes irrefutable who my Father is... AND, when they want proof who is everyone's Dad, all of our siblings can have theirs ran to prove it also.”

He nodded, “Good, I'm glad this is being done.”

I nodded and closed my eyes, “Everyone, Danny was there also. He's heard how Mom was treated and he bought into the lies my Dad told. Ask him how many hours Dad invested in him and you'll hear it was damned few.”


Dan gave me a look and I gave a wink, “The good Judge here bought into Dad's lies and came too close to seeing the rest of his career in these parts go up in smoke. Mom wanted me to do it. She now understands that without insurance, we don't get what we want later.
Gentlemen, a dynasty doesn't get built without some tending. You get those who are loyal, close, and those who want something closer. Then, if someone wants to attempt to thwart that power, you either make them go away by using that power, or you let them know you could've and you use that power at a later date through bargain.

The good judge here is going to wait until I'm out of law school and then, he'll support me to step up on the bench. If, at that time, he doesn't hold to that agreement, he'll regret that I've got the ability to crack that whip.”

I turned, “Danny, find out who owns the media in these parts. You're getting one, Josh is getting one, and I'm getting one. We'll do the same with the newspapers and we'll have the cable company.

Altogether, we'll have that tied up so that should we need to use it, we can control who goes into office and who just can't seem to get a political ad ran... but CAN get things ran which discredits them.”

Dan nodded, “Ok!”

Josh was smiling real big and I said, “Folks, I'm already tired of how this day has gone and I'm not even heard the preacher lie and tell what a good man he was... Well, he might've been to other people, but I'll tell you now that he was supposed to have gotten word to the right sources to get that evidence to them. I just don't see the Prosecuting Attorney here, and you know... I didn't see him here last evening!”

I nodded, “Lon, you run with it. Josh will be there to run the firm soon enough. Lord knows he could probably pass the bar with what he's learned from you already.”


He nodded, “Yeah.”

The Judge said, “Then have him try! He can do it!”


I nodded, “Yes, he could. It's entirely up to him, but it's possible. If Lon wins the election, we might have to do that.”


He nodded, “Oh, he'll win!”

I winked, “Let's not get the cart before the horse... There are things which could come out in an election which might sway voters.”

Lon looked slapped and I shook my head, “Lon, I'm not referring to a thing about you. Us lobbing this evidence for you to run on it could come back to bite us if the man wants to deny we had anything to do with the evidence... OR, he could totally ignore it exists and not want to go with it.

Then, it'd take a special prosecutor and we'd be stuck with a lame duck until the election. Look at the election rules and you'll see that a Prosecuting Attorney can't be removed from office with a recall vote.”


They looked shocked and the Judge gave me a look, “Really???”


I nodded, “Those laws are a mess. Some people can't be removed from office with a recall vote because when they made the law about those, they didn't have those positions. And when they created those positions, they didn't put it in that they could be removed because those were traditionally appointed and it was assumed that a new Governor would remove them. THEN, different counties started putting in that they wanted those positions elected in and it got that changed, but didn't get the other changed. Needless to say, it'd take another vote on those job descriptions to be changed over to being removed by a special vote.”


He shook his head, “I wasn't aware of that! But now that you mention it, it makes sense!”

Gramps said, “It needs to be changed.”

“It should, but you'll have opposition all the way up to the Governor's office because you're taking away his right to appoint people into those positions in some counties!”

He looked surprised, “OH, I forgot that!”

I nodded, “It's a mess. It's election law and it's all sorts of loophole law in effect. There needs to be a Constitutional Convention to redo the laws of this state and then, it needs to be voted upon by the house and handed to the voters to ratify in one bulk offering. THEN, the only way you could get everyone to support it including the sitting Governor is to make it go into effect when that man's term is over.”


Gramps smiled real big, “You know how it's done!”

I nodded, “I do. And it takes us having a larger base to get one of us into that office. Danny, if he played his cards right could be that man, but he's gotta understand that there's a lot of politicking to be done and Heather needs to know she's gotta be on for that from the beginning.”


She smiled, “Cool!”

Mom jumped on it, “Hon, we'll work on things with you.”

I said, “Everyone, lets go in and get this done. Josh, you hold your phone to get the video of it happening up close so that we can have it with all the other video.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

I said, “Folks, we're going to use these little scissors and that tiny vacuum there. You all see it's empty, and I'll use this alcohol wipe to make sure there's no other DNA in it.

What we use this little vacuum for is to make sure there's no errant hairs, or anything on the corpse after we do the makeup and their hair.

Sometimes to present a body, we've got to trim their hair, nose hair, ear hair, and the like. All those little trimmings become unsightly if they're seen, so we use the vacuum.

After each use, we run it through the dishwasher and wipe it out prior to putting it in and taking it out. THEN, prior to each use, we wipe it again with a fresh alcohol swab so that we're not cross contaminating the bodies.

I'm going into details here so that everyone doesn't suspect that we collected that other DNA with blemish. We do everything the right way and we use latex gloves and everything sterile so that what we do collect stays good.”


Mom said, “There's a lot of video of us doing it when we've done it. We didn't have cell phones with video originally, so we had to use the small discs in the video camera. Those are in those files also.”


I nodded, “Yeah. I forgot about that. It's been a while.”


We went in and I put on the gloves and cut while Mom held the vacuum. When the hairs were taken, we put those in a Zip-Lock bag, and then, the fingernail clippings, and then, the tissue scrapings from several locations.

When we were finished, I said, “Everyone, that's how simple it was. When you see Cara's video, you're going to see how her body was when we collected it from the Pathologist's office in Columbia. Nowhere on that paperwork is anything about the semen found all over her.”


Ed looked shocked, “WHAT!”

I nodded and closed my eyes. Ed, her clothes had it on them, but her body had it upon it everywhere. It shows clearly that she wasn't dressed when that happened.

Now, take your guess because we took those samples and then used the ultraviolet lamp so that it could be seen better. It was everywhere.”

Mom said, “Men, he's telling you the truth. I'm usually pretty stoic when I'm working with a body, but this situation had me crying numerous times.”
She gave a nod, “That little man worked like a trooper because he wanted to get the evidence to make whoever did it to her pay.”

I said, “Everyone, prior to that, I wasn't too much interested in the law. After that, I'd study it like everything mattered that I be in law, but in all the specialties so that I could be many things to our family. If anyone wants to question our reasons, you've just heard why we do it.”


Lon said, “No one's going to question it. Any defense attorney who would question it is in this room.”

I nodded, and said, “Thanks for everything.”


I took a deep breath and said, “Ok. I need to ask a question...”

Everyone looked over and I said, “While I was collecting those samples, it had never occurred to me that my exhaling might be getting sucked into that chamber. Do you think that would contaminate the samples?”


Gramps said, “Oh my! I hadn't thought of that!”


Judge Matthews said, “Here's what I'll say about that. Your DNA is already in the database, so I think if it was seen that you were the person collecting the sample, and it came up on their findings, they'd rule you out in that manner.”

I turned to the other attorneys, “How would you guys use it if that was found? Would it be something you'd pounce upon?”


One smiled real big, “If you're the one collecting and you're on the stand saying you were the one who collected it, the jury or the judge would find us a fool for trying that!

First of all, it'd contaminate every piece of evidence we're working with! People exhale while collecting evidence and if that minute particle got on that swab, and it affected it, we're in a world of hurt all over the place.”
He smiled real big, “Until you mentioned it, I don't think any of us had thought of it! And I don't think any of us has dealt with any DNA proof which has ever come up with that question.”
He shook his head, “Personally, I wouldn't go there in questioning. It's too easily explained away. That person we're defending has to explain why his evidence was there, and we go to different lengths to attempt to do so.”

Mom said, “Men, if anyone wants to sue him for slander, you let them know we've got the evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
She motioned, “You're here to be told that there is video everywhere here and it's stored on a server here, and in another server in Illinois which collects what we collect.”
She motioned, “Larry wasn't discrete. I didn't know, but it was easily learned. There are stacks of proof in our office of checks written to the women, and credit card receipts when he was taking them with him on trips.”

I motioned, “Folks, it's like this... I'm letting you see all the evidence and photocopy it so that IF they choose to come, you're not getting yourselves into a bad situation.”


Andrew Lehvings said, “One's already came to me. I'd like to see that evidence because she's told me there's none.”


I nodded, “Come with me.”


We went into the office and I said, “Sit there... I've got files by the women involved. I won't ask you which one, I'll show you all of them and then, you'll know I'm not trying to sway you at all... Except to show you what you're going up against if you go for it.”


He nodded, “Ok.”

I opened the file and said, “For the past three years. I'm going to the beginning and I'm going to collect more so that it can be demonstrated that it's all the way through on those days.

Each woman had their own day. If he wanted some outside of those times, he only had to go to his secretary who has since been fired by me...”


I showed the videos and snippets. Then, I said, “There's the video of each taking the checks we've got over there which are endorsed and processed.”

I showed the video and said, “If they want to say sex never happened, you now know otherwise. If you want to say they never took money, you now know otherwise. And if they want to say they never had children with him, you ask to have DNA ran and I'll gladly show you otherwise.”

He shook his head no, “No, I've seen enough I'm going to tell her that what she's stated you're slandering her with is easily proven by the evidence you've shown me.

Furthermore, I'll state this... prior to entering this building, I saw the signs posted which states the premises is under surveillance. Therefore, for her to state she wasn't aware, she HAD to be aware by the number of times she entered this building!”
He shook his head, “For her to state anything, she'd have to be illiterate which you could prove she wasn't by asking her to read a sentence with those words in it while she was up on the stand.”

He gave me a smirk, “Kid, some of the things you've said are hilarious! I'd heard some of it this morning while I was out eating breakfast, and then, when I heard what you'd said when firing her, I was rolling my eyes because I thought, “Ooh women, he was madder than hell at you!”.”


I said, “You'll probably get her for the embezzlement charges. We're auditing the books now because of all the money she's taken, but there's proof of that in here as well.”

“Let me see.”

I said, “Here's her writing a check... Notice no Dad... Well, I'll let you watch because you're going to see two things here.”

“What's that?”


First of all that green with the brown binder is the funeral home's accounting ledger. That brown with the brown is the furniture store's ledger and check book.”

He looked shocked, “Did she have permission to do that?”


The check is over there. If you'll notice, the signature isn't Dad's even though it's his name. It's her's to her, and the endorsement on the back is her's also.

When the trial happens, we'll have the signature card from the bank there showing she wasn't authorized to write checks on that account. Now, for the funeral home, she was... but the furniture store was Dad, Mom, Me...if an emergency happened and both Mom and Dad were incapacitated... and the Manager of the store... Jim Branch.”


He nodded, “She's admitted to me that Amanda is your Dad's. She attempted to say it was an indiscretion a long time ago prior to her being employed here and that he gave her the job so that she could support and raise her daughter.”

“Here's what I'll say to that. You tell Mandy that if she needs an education, I'll provide it. She's getting a new car from me for graduation.”

“Why?”


My Dad promised me a car for graduation. Yeah, I know that we own the Chevy dealer, but I got a Corvette for my 16th birthday, so I expected to get another.

What I don't know is if they were promised anything. For that matter, I don't even know if they knew about him.

What I know is that I want a relationship with the children. I could care less about meeting or being around their mothers, but the kids didn't do anything to me or to Mom.”

He nodded, “I understand.”

“What I'll say is this... They're getting $120 grand for a car. I'm putting it on a card at the bank and then, I'm giving it to them. They can do what they want with it, but if no car is bought, we've got a problem. However, what they do with the rest is their issue because I'm not telling them to do a thing with it other than getting a car.

And yes, if they want to get a car at the Chevy dealer, I'll get it for them using my discount.”

He nodded, “Ok, that sounds fair.”

“And before you ask, Miriam’s not getting a thing from me except challenged to try to get unemployment. Another thing, because she didn't apologize for calling my Mom a bitch, the day after graduation, any money which doesn't cover her utility bills will be refunded as soon as all of them are cut to her house.

You tell her I said that I'm not being like I am to my Mom's parents...and never reconnecting the utilities... So you tell her that she has to sell the house and no one else gets to put utilities into their name and then let her live there. If I discover they have, I'll pull all utilities and they'll play hell getting them reconnected because I'll Will it that it's allowed the day after my 250th birthday. That way, it'll never happen.”


He gave me a surprised look, “You mean that, don't you!”

“She threw it out there and could've apologized. AND, she could've apologized to my Mom for doing what she did here.
My Dad might've gotten her pregnant, but she's lied about everything else. Had she NOT been screwing with him and initiating that sexual contact, I'd tended to believe it was workplace sexual harassment. It might've been, but it was her doing it in my eyes. He sure wasn't going in and initiating it.”

“Maybe that was their thing.”

“And maybe it made her look guilty as hell!” I nodded, “You represent her. You get a jury to believe that and you play those games. You've got a client who is going to have more problems than worrying about suing me when she's got no power or anything else connected to that house.
For your information, we're buying the cable company. That means nothing in this town in regards to utilities goes through me. And soon, that means that nothing in regards to media goes outside of this family.

When you've got the money, you tighten the noose. In her case, it's a noose because she failed to apologize one, and then, she lied about me, my Mom, and my Dad.”


I pointed up, “I don't give a shit what you do. The second I have to answer to the lawsuit you file, I'll show her, the court, and the Missouri Bar that you knew fully well you didn't have a case and took it just to get the money from your client. You sure as hell will never see me settle!”


He looked surprised and I nodded, “It runs 24/7/365 all the way through this place. You might get the one here subpoenaed, but you'll never get the one in Illinois subpoenaed because it's in a protected federally contracted facility. When you're sharp, you see who the government is using as their off-site servers and you use them. That way, you know the power will never fail!”


He smiled, “Cool!”

“Don't fuck with what you can't beat. I'm not using this to intimidate you, I'm using this to tell your client she's got no fuckin' chance and needs to get to looking for another place to live... hopefully where there's no men she'll lure into the trap!”

“He might've been the one to initiate it initially.”

“He might've, but do you have proof? If you do, go for it. I've got proof she did!.... And yes, the second you make it to court, I'm going to petition the court to remind them that adultery is a felonious crime in this state! Then, I'm going to ask that she be arrested and tried with the proof I supply. And THEN, I'm going to sue her for workplace sexual harassment and show the arbitration panel that she DID initiate it here and see if my Dad's estate can be awarded damages that way. And THEN, I'm going to authorize she be sued for the rest of her estate to be sold and used to repay this company and the furniture company for the money she embezzled.

So you take it and run with it. You know what you've got heading your direction.”


He nodded, “I don't think she's got a leg to stand upon.”

“If she gets probation on that embezzlement charge, I'll be there to ask the court to make sure she's repaying every last cent before she's released. And then, I'm attaching liens on every speck of her property.” I paused, “Hold up, I'll have him file that this afternoon.”


He laughed, “Man!”

“Let me think of other ways to bring about her displeasure and you'll see it happening. Her daughter has what she needs coming from me without any hindrances except that she's to buy a car with it. Should it be used to buy a house elsewhere for her Mom, she can do that, but this is NOT, NEVER WILL, and CERTAINLY is not a settlement offer. If you wish to make it look that way, I'll use that video up there to show you're not just a liar, but a former lawyer damned quick!”


He nodded, “I'm not!”

“I'm not doing it outside of our bank. Should they take the money off the card and go elsewhere with it, that's their prerogative. However, I'm not putting the card into their name because I'm told they'll have to pay gift taxes. I've already paid enough taxes on that money, so it doesn't need to be taxed twice. However, if you'd like to turn that into the IRS, it's your client who will pay, not me...” I pointed up and nodded.


He smiled real big, “Ok!”

“You were made to come into this office to see that video so that you could be aware it has sound in this room, that office, and elsewhere in the chapel. We don't record in the restrooms, but we DO record in where the bodies are prepared... as proof that they were done correctly and within proper standards.”


Are they naked?”


Have you ever seen someone clothed being embalmed???”


No.”

“There's your answer. We have to prove when they come in there were bed sores, bruises, skin tears, and so on and so forth. If anyone wants to question if we did it to someone, we've got proof.”

He nodded, “I hadn't thought of that!”

“Here's how we do it... Even if a court subpoenaed the video, we'd not edit it. Why? Because we're giving unadultered proof that we're not hiding a thing. If THEY want to put black boxes over areas, they can, but we won't.”

He nodded, “I'm glad I was told. I'm finding this interesting because I never knew any of this previously.”

“We're thorough. Soon, we'll be cremating bodies here, and in those, you want to make damned sure there's video proof. Some people want to say that wasn't Grandma you burned, but we can prove it was.”


He nodded, “How soon on that?”

“Well, I'd make the call, but it might hold up Dad's funeral. Although he'd probably say 'fuck it, make the call', I'll tell him he's fucked too many things already!”


He laughed real loud, “Yeah!”

“I'm ordering two. One for bigger people and one for smaller people and pets.”

“Really?”


Some people want it, but they balk at the $600 price tag they're charged by having to take it to the city to be done. They don't realize there's 200 miles of charges in that fee on top of the $50 fee for a pet. However, there is an additional fee for the receptacle outside of the box.”

“What if someone's pet were a horse?”


Uh, we'll have the larger one. Bake time is an hour per 100 pounds, so I'd say Trigger would probably done in about 6 hours...Hooves probably would never get done.”


He smiled, “You're pretty cynical about things!”

I closed my eyes, “I'd tell you my bio, but you'd get to crying and then we'd have a rusty lawyer. Lord knows you'd rust!”


He smiled, “How do you know!”

“Most things requiring batteries rust when they get wet. You're not made from silicone, so you're no dildo!”


He laughed real loud, “Oh my God!”


I smiled, “Tell your client that she'll have to pay your fee a different way than she...” I did quotation marks “...earned...money during her employment here with us.
And yes, tell her it's the happiest place on earth since she's no longer working here. Tell her if she doubts that, you tell her I've yet to shed a tear over her being gone.”


He laughed, “Ok!”

I stood up, “Ok, all the messages to Merriam are done. She's one of four and I strongly suspect we'll have another one of the ho's trying to file a lawsuit before this is over.”

“Which one?”


Britney, Jeff, and John's Mom.... With three kids from my Dad over a 7 year period and sex weekly, I'd say she doesn't have an ounce of evidence and thinks all of her kids were sired by immaculate conception... Or at least her lawyer will be told so.”


He laughed, and pointed, “Is she on there?”


Yeah. Weekly. And don't ask me what he did when it was that time of month because they still showed... After all, it was nearly $2 grand a week they were earning!”


He looked shocked and I smiled, “You tell Merriam that besides the money she earned, embezzled, and just plain stole, you tell her there was well over $2 million she received from the man.”
I pointed, “It's a fuckin' shame because I'm attaching liens and am going for the full extent of what she stole... She didn't need the money, she was doing it out of spite!”

“How much did she earn working here?”


That chair in there makes $50 grand a year. She deals with the public, she takes payments, she makes appointments for pre-need meetings, and she is our face inside this building when my Dad was outside fuckin' someone.

Now, that's not all he did... The man had to have his Lion's Club Meetings on Tuesdays, Optimists on Mondays, and Demolays once a month.... Oh, there was the Chamber of Commerce and some other things also.”

Which you'll be a member...”

“When I get out of college. Mom might be a member in the meanwhile.”


He nodded, “That'd be good.”

“We need to get my brother in all that as we're going to run him for Governor in about 6 years.”


OH!”

“The Democrat Ticket. If he chooses to be a Republican, he'll never get support from me.”

“Why?”


Ask a Republican to pay a woman a decent wage and they'll sneer. Ask them to support a gay person in anything, and they'll die coughing from the wad of phloem they just swallowed. Ask them to donate to charitable causes which aren't publicity stunts and they'll give you a look like you've got to be insane. And then, ask them to go to lunch where it's not screwing the taxpayer, and they'll say they'd rather starve.

What they won't do is they won't give you the shirt off their back because their boyfriend in the closet is still holding the hangar it's supposed to go on, and then ask them to make sure that plane they're riding in with their prostitute girlfriend isn't being sponsored by something like the Red Cross. We all know why they go by Red Cross flights... it's because if someone knew it was a Republican flying in that plane down in Nicaragua, they'd blow the fucker out of the sky.”


He smiled, “There's that cynicism!”


That cynicism is a gay man knowing that when it comes to being fucked by a Republican, he can't even get a reach around... Their hands are in too many pockets!”


He really laughed, and I nodded, “Ok, I'm done. I've got to get in there and see how many people showed that I could care less if I speak with!”


He really chuckled, and I led him out of the office.

Back in the chapel, Mom gave me a look. I gave a nod and went over. “Merriam was planning on filing a lawsuit. He now knows it's futile. AND, he now knows that the second he convinces her otherwise, I'll show our video of him being shown the evidence to the state board which authorizes his license.”


Good!”

“I find it interesting how she can feel justified after all she's done. You'd think she'd have some decency.”


She thinks she's entitled hon. I'm sure in her little world, she's made it all acceptable.”


I saw Skip come in and said, “I need to speak with him.”

She smiled and he came over and gave her a hug, and asked, “How are you holding up?”


She nodded, “I'm doing well. It's rough, but I'm not dwelling on it.”


He nodded, “I need to discuss some things with Rat. Excuse me.”


We went into the office and he said, “Here are the cards. This one is the one which is the larger amount, and this one is Joshua's card.”

I nodded, “Thank you.”


I put them in my card pocket in my suit jacket and said, “Merriam was planning on filing a lawsuit. Here's the proof we have so far, and she's thinking she's entitled to the money she's stolen!”


I'm sorry the bank didn't catch it. They should've been up on the security better.”

“I'd tell you that in the future, you're to tell them to check signatures against the signature card, but that'd probably be a mess with these cards here!”

He nodded, “You need to work with them and have them change the pin for those cards. Currently, they're all set to your pin.”


If they change them, does it change my pin?”


No. They're all separate accounts.”

“Good. I'll get on that.”


He nodded, and I said, “Skip, watch that attorney there. Something's not on the up and up with him. His eyes were all over the place when I spoke with him.”

“He was having lunch with your Mom's parents earlier.”


I gave a nod, “I'll handle it.”


I walked over and shook the man's hand, “Garrett Martin. And you are?”


Suing you.”

I nodded, “Then your time allowed here just ran out. You file the lawsuit, and I'll handle things momentarily.”


I whistled, and everyone turned, “Listen everyone, he's suing me on behalf of my Mom's parents! Ed, I need him removed and I need his name and address! It seems he won't give it. He needs to know that I will handle it accordingly.”


I turned, “Sir, IF it makes it to court, I promise you a legal ass whoopin' the likes of which you've never had previously. YOU as well as my Grandparents are trespassed from my businesses, doing business with my businesses, and will be shut off from doing business with my businesses. I hope you realize it just went personal.”

“You can't do that!”

“Sir, ask around and you'll see I own every utility in this area. They might be under corporate names, but check the ownership and you'll see my happy smiling face when you search.

Pissing me off, pisses off the companies I own. They might be a public entity, but they're also privately owned.

YOU advise your clients the best place for them is in senior housing. It's federally owned and I can't do a thing about them there. If you THINK I won't shut down a nursing home chasing them there, you think otherwise. They'll find themselves out on the street because that business suddenly found it in their best interests to stay upon my good side.

My Grandfather might've thought he could abuse my Mom continually, but he damned well better learn that I'm now her protector and will stand in front of her when he wishes to raise a hand. There's video with audio here, there, over there, and all the way to the door. There's surveillance out there, and yes, it shows him getting kicked, but it also shows him throwing that sucker punch which was after calling me a fag.

You're entitled to file your lawsuit. I hope you've got grounds and I hope you understand that once I've won, I'm issuing the statement which has you no longer welcome here.... He who does business with you won't do business with me.”

He looked shocked and I nodded, “When you come in from the dark side, you let me know. Until then, Ed will have your name and I'll have your utilities shut down... I believe my banker will suddenly cease to want to business with you also.”


Skip came over, “Mr. Alsup!”

The attorney looked at Skip, “You do his bidding!!!”

Skip gave a nod, “He owns the bank! Why wouldn't I???”


The man looked shocked and I said, “Sir, know your enemy before you make him your enemy. It's advisable to tell my Grandparents their options and that the lawsuit are futile.

They had one option and that was to be nice to my partner and my Mom. Instead, they snubbed my partner, and he raised his hand to my Mom. Fortunately, he got ejected by me prior to him connecting because I'd hate to think what would've happened had he actually struck her!” I pointed, “And yes, there's video of that. And yes, there's audio and video both. And yes, you passed two signs which stated this building is under audio and video surveillance to get in here.”


Ed said, “It's legal. It's video to the front door and audio and video inside which is allowable because he's a private businessman.”


He said, “I'll check on that!”

I held out my hand, “Mr. Alsup...”

He looked at it and turned and walked out. I turned to Skip, “Shut his accounts.” I turned to Lon, “Lon? Make the calls to get his utilities shut and I'll get a memo letting all of our businesses know they're no longer doing business with him.”


He nodded, and I said, “Attack this family at your own peril. That's the motto these dumb motherfuckers need to know!”

Just then, Dirk came in the door. I went over and gave him a hug and he smiled real big. “How are you!”


I'm doing well, and yourself?”


Bill told me that you are supportive?”


We are. Don't feel like you're in hiding with us.”

He smiled real big, “I won't, but we've still got to be tasteful.”


I nodded, “I understand.”


We went in and Mom hurried over and gave him a hug. Josh gave me a look and I motioned him over with my head. He came over and Mom turned, “Dirk, this is Josh, Rat's partner. Josh, this is Dirk. He's Bill's partner.”


Josh suddenly nodded, “It's a pleasure to formally meet you! You've been wonderful to me through the years, but now we know each other on this level.”

Dirk smiled and I said, “Josh and I have gone to school together for years and finally got over being afraid. Now, we're together and both want a lifetime together.”


Dirk said, “It takes work. Working together, working individually, and working tirelessly and ceaselessly.”

I nodded, “We're getting everything put together.”

Mom said, “Dirk, I need to see if you'll give us a weekend of your time.”

He gave Mom a look and Mom said, “The boys have bought a wonderful home in Connecticut together for their time in college. They're going to need your help.”


I said, “There's a lot going on out on the grounds. It's fronted by the Long Island Sound, and is 20 acres with five different styled buildings upon it... You name it and it's happening... all the way down to the beach being stone and then, red sand.”


He frowned, “It sounds like a compound.”

I nodded and Josh said, “Originally, it was owned by a President of Standard Oil. Then, it went through successive inheritors all the way up to us buying it this weekend.

The last person invested some time, but the original house wasn't touched. He built the boat house, the pool house, and the garage. The caretaker's house is from the 40's, and the original house is from the 1910's.”


I said, “There's a sea wall, but there's gobs of huge stones placed there. I'd like them gone, but I don't want it thought as open beach.”


He nodded, “Can I suggest a few things right off the top of my head?”


Sure.”

He turned to Mom, “Hydro power. You own out to a certain point and then, it's public domain. If you're taking power from the waves, you're essentially doing what those stones are doing on the beach.”

I nodded, “Ok. But we want to have it so that we can get a boat in there, and wave runners.”


He nodded, “You will. If you've got a buoy line, you're declaring it yours and whoever is inside them is trespassing and whoever is out knows where they belong.”


I said, “We need wrought iron fencing up on that wall. The yard goes right to it and then, it falls about four feet to those rocks.”

Josh said, “We're wanting children eventually and want to make sure that whomever brings their kids doesn't have a bad memory.” He motioned, “He wants a fire pit and a pit with the flag as it's centerpiece.”


I said, “I want a 75' tall flag. Currently, there's a 30' tall one, but I want it way up there.”


Mom said, “You guys discuss this, I need to get over here.”


Dirk smiled, “How about I go with you this weekend and getting a better image.”


Sasco Point. If you can't remember anything else, it's Sasco Point.... Don't give me no sass co point!”


They laughed and I nodded, “It's beautiful. It needs help inside and out. I want a white beach. If you can't give me white sand, give me white concrete. It'll look the same far away.”


He looked horrified and I nodded, “White sand goes gray when it's wet. If you have to put a patio down there and steps down, I don't care...I want something usable besides those rocks and would rather have those rocks serving as markers along a walk which is big enough to drive a golf cart on.”


He nodded, “It sounds like it's beautiful.”


Josh turned to me, “Let's wait until this weekend.”

I nodded, “Sure. I apologize, but I'm anxious about making it right and living in it.”


We walked and Josh gave me a look. I led him out on the front porch. “Yes?”


He doesn't want to do it. I think it's the part of him doing it out of obligation to your family, but the distance is scaring him.”


If he could do the plan and get people who would do it so that it's done fast.”


He nodded, “I know what you want, but I think he's scared.”

I nodded, “We'll talk with him.”

He smiled, “Here comes John.”

I looked over and John pulled up with the top down and his sunglasses on looking like he belonged in the car. I chuckled, “He's lovin' it!”


John got out and came over smiling. “I love that car!”

I nodded, “It's nice, isn't it!”

He nodded, and added, “Jeff's coming to the funeral.”

“Ok.”

“Britney might if she's able to ditch Mom.”


I laughed, “Things better?”


Jeff can't believe what's happened! He's asked me, “Is it true?”, and I say, “Yeah.”, and then, he was like, “Are they hating us?”, and I said, “No! They're not liking Mom one bit, but who can blame them!”, and then, he said, “Why's Brit' being a bitch?” and I said, “When isn't she!”.”


We laughed and he shook his head, “Jeff's ok. He's more worried about what you guys are thinking.”


I nodded, “We're not worried. That's the thing!”


He leaned in, “Thanks for Darrin.”

I smiled, “He was just as excited.”

His eyes lit up, “I know! That's what's surprising me!”


Dan came over, “Hey guys!”

I turned, “Hey! Jeff's gonna be here.”

Dan nodded, “Cool!”


Heather said, “Brit's supposed to be coming. Are you going to be ok with that?”


Yeah. As long as her fangs are in because it's daylight, I'm fine!”


She smiled real big and the guys laughed. I said, “While I've got you here...I'll give you this.”

I gave her the card and she looked at it. I handed John his and said, “I was going to buy everyone convertibles, but it got to be a headache. Rather than doing that, I decided to get you cards with money on them.

The deal breaker is this... If you don't buy a car, you have to sign the card into your name and pay the 30% gift taxes on the money.”

Heather asked, “How much is on there?”


$120 grand for your car. You don't have to spend that much, but I'd like it if you bought a nice car.”

She looked shocked and John was like, “WHAT!”


I nodded, “Brit gets one also. She's my Dad's child and she's getting one too. Heather's getting one because she's been my friend forever. She's also got some extra on her's so that if she wants to buy an education, she may.”


She gave me a look, “Is that why card's a different color than his?”


Probably Skip got them for me and he got Josh his, and then, he got all these, then yours. He probably got them different colors so that he'd know whose was what.”


Josh said, “Guys, you've got to change the pin on them. He'll make the call and will put in his pin and then, you'll have to add your own pin to change it.”

She hugged me and asked, “You put way more. I know your eyes.”

“Yeah.”


She smiled, “Thanks.”

“Girly girl, you get your education. He'll wait.”

She nodded, “I'm getting a pharmacological license.”

I nodded and looked at Dan, “You ok?”


Yeah!”

I turned, “Guys, Dan and I are going to go talk. Excuse us.”

Dan followed and we went into the family area. I hugged him and said, “Bud, you didn't fool anyone out there. Now what's on your mind?”


He hugged me, “All that should be from us. You think of things that I wouldn't have.”


Dad promised a car when I graduated. I got them one because I wasn't sure if they'd been promised or not. Just the same, Heather's got $250 on her's because she's been there for me through thick and thin.”

“I know. She's told me some things.”


Just remember that she's got an education and Pharmacy school isn't easy.”

“I know.”

He smiled, “Rat, you're like the older brother even though I'm older.”

“It's all the responsibility. Lord knows I'm tired of it already.”

“Gramps said it was tiresome.”


It is. I'm putting Mom in charge of it while I'm in college, but she'll get vacations from it.”

“She'll be fine with it.”


We went back out and I turned to John, “You have a choice. You can either go to Harvard, or go to Yale. If you go to Yale, you'll be going with Darrin. If you go to Harvard, you're stepping out on an opportunity.”

“I'm going to Yale. He's who I want.”


I nodded, “There's Jeff and Britney.”

Dan asked, “Where?”


Behind the Priest's van. Why he needs a Nissan van that size, I'll never know. He must have a mobile confessional in there!”


They laughed and Josh said, “I thought you were going to get crude for a second.”

“Candy bar machine is included... “Say 20 Hail Marys with this Almond Joy... It's got nuts, Mounds don't!”


Everyone laughed and I went out and greeted him with a handshake, “Father! How are you today!”

“Wonderful! How are you?”


Full of shit, piss and vinegar, and just up to no good... You know how it goes!”


He laughed real loud, “At least you know what it is!”

“Yes sir... I want to talk with you about a donation from our family.”

He gave me a look, “Sure.”

“I want a stained glass window in memory of our family. I don't want a pane. My Dad was a pain. I want a whole story we can sponsor.”

“Those are expensive.”

“Well, I know one is $100 grand. Give us one of the bigger ones for $250, but don't say a thing to my Mom until after it's done. Then, we'll let her see it...”

“Sure!”

“When I die, I'll leave you enough to build a Cathedral. You've gotta wait because only the good die young.”


He smiled real big, “By then, there won't be so much of those things in your life!”

“Probably not... However, I want to talk with you a moment.”

Sure!”

I took a deep breath... “Listen, we're going to start cremations here. There's no columbarium to put the ashes if someone should want to put them in a spot. What I'll do is I'll donate one if you'll allot space in the cemetery.”

He made a face and I said, “We're going to have a different one for the non-Catholics, don't worry.”


He nodded, “What do you want?”


Well, here's what I'll do... If you've ever seen one, it's little nooks all over the place. They're nice, but if you look down a wall, it's nooked (crooked) as hell!”


He laughed, “Ok!”


I nodded, “Here's what I want... You think on it, but I know the little bronze plaques are something ridiculous wholesale.”

“Really?”


Yeah, and if you knew what was involved in making one, you'd slap a sister!”


He laughed real loud, and I continued, “Bronze...it's the final frontier.... First of all, you have to have a mold.”

He nodded, “Yeah.”

“You take a blank and then, you put the letters you want and dates. Then, you put the blank on and you cast the clay around it. It gets the impressions of everything and then, you pull out the blank, the letters, and then, you cast the thing.

If you take old shell casings from out at the firing range and melt them down, you've got the bronze.”


OH!”

“Ask the police for them and I think you'll get permission... Tell them you're opening a priestaria or something.”


He smiled real big, “You're full of it alright!”

“I told you!!! Add just a bit of vinegar and you've got a smile... add the rest and you've got me!”

He laughed, “Ok.”

“Here's the deal... If you've ever made lead sinkers, you've made what it takes to cast bronze.”

He nodded, “I hadn't thought of that!”

“One hour in an afternoon per month for who died that month, and you get the $300 per plaque. Put $200 into a fund to support the chapel and put $100 into whatever you want it to go in...”

“How big are we talking?”


Allot me a space which is 200 feet wide and 400 feet long. I'd like it if it were set at an angle so that it's in amongst trees and then, we'll have it tall tall... probably four stories tall with a balcony and a huge tall window at the end for light and two banks of 15 feet tall nooks one down and the second up on the balcony. In the middle, we're going to have a fountain and seating areas sunk down so that they're circular and all of that flooring area will be marble.”

He looked shocked, “Really?”


The walls will be marble up, but I want those balconies looking like they're really old world classical and heavy timber. They won't be, they'll be carved stone, but I want it to look like it's been there forever even though it's not....

On the outside, we'll have that stone looking block. How we'll make it look old old is we'll have flying buttresses out and a super steep roof on it which is insulated and has a slate roof on it so it looks authentic... You get to have the spires which I'll put pointed caps, but you can put the statues of the saints... I'll put Christ up on the end on a big cross so it's obvious it's a religious building. If you want Mary on the other end in an alcove, that'd be nice also... You could have a little water garden with a set of doors on each side.”


He nodded, “It sounds wonderful!”

“Let's get an architect on it. I'll pay for everything, but you make your money by selling those nooks for $200 each and the plaques for $300... There should be a good $10 million coming from the building, so you'll have $2 million for your causes, and $8 million from sales and plaques. Then again, if you want to charge a million for those saints going up there, and sponsorship of the windows and statuary in the gardens, that'd be a lot too.”


He nodded, “Yes.”

I put my hand on his arm, “Outside, along the sides, we could have little seating areas. We could have what looks like open books which have nooks there. In there, we could have bronze statues which are depictions of Bible stories. You could sell sponsorship to the benches, sell sponsorship to the bronzes, and have the nooks in the walls behind them.”

He looked at me, “Would that work?”


Father, here's what I'm going to say... Are you aware at how much funerals cost?”


I know they're expensive.”

“Cheap ones go for $7,000. From there, you can take it up to $25,000 here.

Our cremation services will be around $2,500. I'm saying that much because we're giving the nicest reusable casket and they'll get visitations and funerals like everyone else. The difference is everything afterward.
If you'd like we could put another $500 on for a place in the wall and have that plaque already bought and paid for from this end.”

He looked surprised, “Sure!”

I nodded, “Now, here's where the catch is...”

He gave me a look and I nodded, “They don't have to have a nook in order to have our service. They can go with the cheapest, and not have anything at all and put them in the furnace for $1000.

For that, they get nothing but the ashes in a cardboard box with the label on it and dates of life and death.”


That's the price difference?”


Yes. That's the cheapest and we can't go cheaper.”


He nodded, “I think we're going to start going with that as a service!” He gave me a look, “We pay for a lot of indigents funerals.”

I asked, “Let me get this right... You're paying for them?”


Yes.”

“Are they having funerals, or is it just burial rites?”


For a large part, it's burial rites.”


I sighed, “Here's what we'll do. If you're not having a funeral, let's get it to you for $750. That way, Mom will know I gave you a cut rate and we'll make it so that we're handling those. I can't go cheaper because of a few things...”

“What are those?”


Well, there's filing fees, possible autopsy costs, costs associated with going and coming back from getting those bodies in Columbia...at the hospitals... and so on and so forth.”


He nodded, “Oh ok!”

“Here's what you need to figure... For each sheet of paper, it's about $50 to handle and process the thing. Some of them, we're having to pay $15 a sheet to get a 3 page death report from a hospital.”


Really!”

I nodded, “It's ridiculous. You'd think with how much they raised them, they're paying for that new hospital from just those fees.”

“They raised everything.”

“It wasn't that way when you guys owned the hospital!”

“We lost a lot of money operating that hospital.”


You tell them the next time they want to sell a hospital like that, I want to buy it. For what they had in pink marble, I could've parted it out and built the interior of this for nothing.”


He looked surprised, “Oh man yeah!”

I nodded, “Now you know the way I want it to look. I want it shiny and marble. We need to have heat in it because I want it inviting enough that if someone wanted to come and have meetings in a meeting room or hold a conference, or have a meeting, a movie, or whatever...We'd be able to have it.”

“A movie?”


Can you imagine having seats set up and watching the Passion of Christ in there on Good Friday??? I think people would pay to see it!”

He nodded, “I hadn't thought about that!”

“Out in Hollywood, they have movies on the side of one of their mausoleums. It's built like a big cathedral, and they set chairs up and invite people in to not feel afraid of the dead... Basically, they open it up like a memorial park and that's how it's treated.”

“Ours looks rather shabby.”

“Poor design. I think if we put money into it, it'll change, but it's got to have someone who will take an active interest in it and not be afraid to take leadership and tell the committee that something different has to be done.

What I see here, Father, is this... If you wanted, we could tear down the maintenance shed and put it in the basement of this columbarium. They'd have more room, you'd have a heating bill which would be the same. And you'd have ground source heating and cooling which would get it deemed a green building.”

He gave me a look, “I don't know if they'd go for it.”


Want to dare me to be a prick??? I bet if I went to the Cardinal in the city with a new design and a piece of land and told him that the one you've got sucks... and showed him photos that it sucked... He'd have me permission granted for you to have your new design.”


He smiled, “Probably, but the committee here would fight me on it.”

“Not if the Cardinal orders it!”


What do you get out of it?”

“Well, in about 6 years, my brother is running for Governor. I think if we had the Cardinal supporting him, we'd have half that battle won. With my money, we'd have the other, but it takes guidance and it takes planning.

Now, I'm not doing this for political support. You're getting this without any of that. It's just that I'm telling you that it's rare that someone comes into the arena who doesn't owe anyone... With our money, he won't because I'll slap the hell out of the hand he reaches to get a contribution!”

He nodded, “Interesting!”

“I would, but I'm gay. The chances of me ever getting to run in this day and age...in this state... are between slim and none. In this state, you've gotta have the smile, the wife, the baby, and the look. He's got it, but you know there's a lot going on behind the scenes. With him, it's me and that's it.”

He nodded, “Yeah.”


Well, let me get to work on things. We'll work on this, but you tell those guys that I want a meeting with them on Thursday night. We're going to have a sit down heart to heart and we're going to see what it takes to make them tick and see if they can be swayed over to giving support.”

He smiled real big, “Ok!”

“You wear those black sweats and that collar. I want you appearing to be like them except you've got to stay in the colors. I'll dress down too and we'll meet them on their level.”

We went in and I hugged Jeff. Then, I hugged Britney and thanked her for coming.


I said, “Guys, come on out here.”

We went out and I handed them their cards. I said, “Guys, I'll make this short and sweet. On those cards is $120 grand. It's not a settlement offer and it's not anything other than a gift.

If I take it out of my name and put it into yours, it's a gift that you'll pay 30% taxes on. However, if I leave the card in my name and you change it to your pin, the money is mine and you're spending it.

The reason you're getting it is pure and simple. The odds that you're my Dad's is mighty high. He offered me a car upon graduation, but I don't know if he did you guys or not.”

Jeff said, “He didn't.”

I nodded, “Well, you're getting it now. I'm treating everyone like siblings and we're moving forward from this train wreck.

Now, you might agree, or you might agree to disagree, but I don't care... The only stipulation I'm putting on that money is you buy a new car. If you want a discount from the Chevy dealer, I'll get you one, but it has to be a new car and then, what you do with the rest is your business.

Brit, if you want an education, let me know. John's going to Yale and I'm buying. You can go where you want and I'll get that.”

Jeff asked, “Can I?”


Yeah. Clown college starts real soon!”

He smiled real big, “Asshole!”. He gave me a big hug and said, “You know, if I'd known....”

“I know. We didn't and it's strange, isn't it?”


He nodded, “Yeah.”


I leaned over and touched foreheads with him. “Jeff, he didn't love his own kids, no one was getting any....except our Moms. And then, no one was getting anything more than what the others were getting.
For him, it was a very weird world. I'd like to say otherwise, but for him, he equated love with sex.”

He nodded, “Dan said the same thing a long time ago.”

“Isn't it interesting that we came to the same conclusion about the man without talking... I could show you videos of hundreds of hours of the man having sex if not thousands of hours. Not one of them got told they were loved and not a one of us kids got told we were loved.

He hid in denial and he denied he hid. I was denied even though it was proven I was his. You guys were denied and it could probably be proven you're his. All the women can be denied, but I can prove otherwise.

So, go fuckin' figure. He's laying in there, and all of us will attest to that, but if he were alive, he'd deny deny deny.”


Everyone laughed and I said one last thing. “Guys, I'm going to state something and then, you figure it out.

My Grandfather is a good judge of people. Without stating a thing, he held onto everything in the Martin trust. What I mean is he didn't let my Dad run a thing except what businesses my Dad wanted to operate. Now, did he see something all those years ago which made him reconsider? I don't know. He won't ever tell because it's telling something unfavorable about this family.

What I do know is he gave me control of the trust on Saturday prior to Dad dying. Then, he learned Mom was going to divorce Dad and went over here to let Dad know a thing or two of what he thought.

Dad ended up keeling over instead. I have a feeling it was because he knew the gig was up! Once the gig was up, all the women he'd been telling they were the only one would suddenly want to replace Mom. It'd be damned inconvenient if there were suddenly four vying for the position when they were all thinking they were the only contenders.... wouldn't it!”

They laughed and I nodded. “He's a player... was a player... and this was his final act... To snub my Mom by having all the women here crying their eyes out and supposedly, no one knowing a thing.
Well, I think in his arrogance, he let the cat out of the bag by having the video installed. It let me know all the idiosyncrasies. It told me how he ticked and it told me that he had more tricks up his sleeve than a magician. Ultimately, in it's own weird and twisted way, it let me know that he was a denying fool who denied everything, admitted nothing, and was guilty as hell.”

I looked around, “Everyone, when you're guilty, you deny and you get really insecure. Our parents did all that, and yet, we're standing here.

Through this, Mom's apologized to us for staying as long as she did. She really didn't know, but he was abusing the hell out of her with the accusations.

All through this, I've had people tell me their opinions. And, all through this, I've held my tongue none. You see, when someone gives an opinion and can't handle yours... fuck 'em. You're entitled, and they're entitled, but don't play a game doing it.

So far, Mandy's Mom has me down on her worse than any. She worked here and believed she was the only one.... She says.

Now, I'm sorry, but if I'm asked to leave work in the afternoons several days a week, I'm gonna wonder why I'm kept one day and none other.

Well, he had sex in the afternoon those days and she was one. They were the others and then, he had club meetings, appointments, funerals, and whatever the rest of the time.

What's damned funny is people are so respectful that when they see a sign which states someone's out to lunch, they believe it. Little did they know that 'out to lunch' sign meant he was in the office locked in with whomever having sex.

Like it or not, I find it damned ironic that he played Mom as he did. Had she been loved more, she'd been feeling like she wanted to come here, and would've probably walked in on his secret. Instead, he abused and she hated him enough to stay away.

Now women want to throw barbs, slurs, and tear her down because they believe his lies. One bitch last night had nerve enough to say that Mom never satisfied him. My reply was, “When was he home???”... And then, I let her know that while she was thinking she was the only one, she wasn't. And while she was playing up so smug, she was the affair and like it or not, had she been good enough and satisfied him, he'd probably came home and told Mom he wanted a divorce. Instead, he played it out to the end.

I'm gonna end this with saying one thing... There's a board game out there which is his life to a tee... Sorry! You run your little men around and you fuck everyone over. The object is to get all your little men in before everyone else at whatever the cost.

Well, that's all fine and dandy, but what happens when one or more of the players quits??? Who's the winner then??? The one who doesn't want to be abused anymore? The one who thinks they're at an advantage by being a part of the abuser's game? Or the abuser who suddenly feels victimized because the second the one ends the turmoil, it leaves him wide open to have to contend with all the others.

Usually, everyone plays the game to the completion. One feels empowered and the rest don't feel a thing. They leave and they say it was a game, but all it was.. was wasted time.

Well, we're here together and I'm thankful we are standing and being what he could've never admitted to being apart … we're being here admitting we've got a direction and it's a new start.

All in all, like it or not, we've got the same blood flowing through our veins... some of him, and some of them.”

I took a deep breath, “I'm not holding a thing against anyone's Moms except Merriam. She worked here and could've done a lot of things different, but she didn't have to steal. Like it or not, that error in her character came out.

Perhaps she figured that when she was discovered, she'd use the trump up her sleeve... What she knew about everyone else. OR, she figured that because she was the only one... that when Mom divorced him, or he divorced her, she'd be in like Flynn and he'd not know the difference.

What I guess she didn't count upon was him dying and...”

I paused, “Excuse me everyone... I want to see something. She was here and it was Saturday. She wasn't here prior to him dying, so I want to see why she was here.”

Jeff asked, “Do you think she heard and wanted to be here to try to cover up what she'd done?”


I don't know. She sure as hell was here to open the can of worms! She's the one who tried to slap me and admitted that Mandy was his...”

Dan said, “You're right! When you sent me that video, I was so blown away that when I saw her try to hit you, it took all my oars out of the water!”


Jeff looked surprised, “She tried to hit you!!!”

I nodded, and Josh said, “Yeah, he did a perfect block and it was a huge dramatic scene.”


Dan said, “It's all on video.”

I said, “Guys, if you want proof, I've got proof. I think we're all pretty sure it's true, so let's move forward.”


Brit said, “I want to see the proof!”


I nodded, “Guys, Brit's gotta see proof. She'll be grossed out, but I'm not holding back a thing.”. I paused, “Are you above 18?”


She looked insulted, “YEAH!”

Jeff smiled, “She is. She just turned 3 weeks ago.”

I chuckled, “You know, it's damned amazing they didn't meet up in the delivery room! That would've been a fright!”

Dan laughed, “You're terrible!”

I said, “Guys, I've got a funny little story to tell you... Mom grocery shops. Apparently, Murphy and Janet's Mom does her shopping at the same time.

Well, what's hilarious is Mom's shopping with me in the cart. And Murphy's in the other cart... and Mom's not knowing the truth, so she's cooing at Murphy and they're comparing notes like nothing's wrong.

What gets me is the balls the woman had and how close Mom was to the truth at that time!!!”

Jeff smiled, “And Dan was dating Janet for a long time!”


I smiled and Dan said, “I didn't know!”

I nodded, “Guys, don't get on him about that. I could say some things which are embarrassing, but I won't.”

Brit smiled, “Like Mandy having the hots for you!”

I nodded, “Yeah, but Brit, Mandy's a bitch... You know she said things about John which just aren't true.”

Josh said, “Yeah...”

John smiled, and Jeff asked, “What'd she say?”


John said, “That my dick was small...”

Jeff looked shocked, “You showed her your DICK???”


I said, “Jeff, he's gay... Do you think she saw his dick???”


Jeff looked shocked, “Oh man!”

I smiled, “Here's the deal. Guys look in the showers. I'll admit I looked and saw Josh and John as well as a lot of other guys.

Yeah, I compared and from that, I knew she was lying.

What's hilarious is this... A lot of guys probably knew immediately she was a lying bitch because John's dick is one of the three which scared people in our gym class!”

Everyone laughed and Brit rolled her eyes, “Like I want to hear this!”

I said, “Ok, Brit's feeling uncomfortable... I'll go show her video of her Mom and Dad having sex... Like that's NOT going to make her uncomfortable!!!”

She looked shocked, “GROSS!”

“Girl, how the hell did you think I'd prove it without showing you everything???”

She looked embarrassed, “I didn't think it'd be THAT!!!”

“Well, I've got checks, and there's things where they went to different conventions and things like that, but the proof is there.”

She looked shocked, “YOU WATCHED???”


Girl, I didn't give points for performance, but I did watch long enough to see who they were!”


Jeff said, “I would've. I mean, if I'm learning of affairs and it's all there on the video, I'd be wanting to know who the hell they were!”

I said, “Jeff, me being told I wasn't his for so long and then having to PROVE I was... I was pissed because he was denying everyone except Dan and Diane.

Now, if you must know, I'll tell you this... I didn't go searching those videos until I'd been told by our banker there were four and seven kids.”


Brit looked like she was doing a count. I said, “Nicole, Murphy, Janet, you, Mandy, Jeff, John, Dan, Diane, and Me.... Ten good shots... He could field two basketball teams, have a football team with a spare, and a lot of other things... “

She gave me a look, “You know, you're crude!”

“I'm refined crude... it's called gas. If I don't let it out, I explode. You're just wishin' you'd thought of some of the witty shit I've put out!”


Everyone laughed and Josh said, “HOLY WATER!”

I smiled and Dan and Heather really laughed. Jeff smiled, “What's that?”


I said, “Nicole's Mom came to the visitation last night. I tried to be nice and went over and touched the woman. Little did I know she has a touch of Satan in her family tree... because she said, “GET YOUR FUCKIN' HANDS OFF ME!!!” like she was possessed.

Well, when I'm nervous, the first thing I think is the first thing out of my mouth!”

He started laughing and Dan said, “He's always been like that. He gets nervous and it's funny because he says something and then starts muttering! Well, last night he said that and then started in by telling her she's a wild one and it was so hilarious a bunch of us had to get out of the room real quick!”

Jeff said, “I would've too!”

I said, “Yeah, I'm doing the dance with the devil and look around and everyone's running for the door! I was like, “Oh great!”


Everyone laughed and Jeff shook his head and put his hand on the back of my neck. He gave me a look, “Rat, you took on the cobra... She was a substitute teacher who everyone hated to have. When she showed up, you knew it was a bad day.”

“Why'd she stop teaching?”


She slapped the hell out of a student!” He looked at Dan, “What was his name?”


Dan smiled, “Eric Miles. He says he still has whiplash from her hitting him!”

I smiled, “What did he do??? You know Eric's about brain dead, right?”


They laughed real hard and Jeff said, “Janet was super vane. She'd brush her hair in class, do her makeup, and everything.
Well, she had out her mirror and Eric said, “Let me see that for a minute!”, so she did!

Well, old lady Miller had a skirt on and Eric laid the mirror on the floor and she walked by. Eric said, “Yup, those are some balls! He's wearin' a kilt!”.”


Everyone really laughed and Jeff said, “The slap heard around the world. It knocked him out of the desk he was sitting in and he hurried and grabbed the mirror and launched it at Dan. Well, Dan missed and I caught it. Then, old lady Miller thought I was involved in the plot to look up her skirt, so she was pissed at me.

Rather than take the beating, I ran out of the room and went to the office. Had she wrote me up, I'd took it, but she went down dragging Eric with her. When she got there, the Principal saw he'd been slapped and Eric told him that she'd did it.

Of course, he was acting like he was shell shocked and had a twitch, so the Principal was really worried.”

We were all laughing hysterically and Jeff shook his head, “The Principal pointed and she was fired. If we'd known it was that easy, I'd did it clear back in 3rd grade!”


Dan said, “She'd killed you!”

Jeff smiled, “No, I'd put Eric up to it then! I'm smarter than that!”


Everyone laughed and I saw Nicole and her Mom walk up the sidewalk. I said, “Ok... uh... let's do a systems check.... I've got my Nuclear Accelerator Backpack, Particle thrower.... Oooh, oh... Guys, I need that Holy Water! Dan, get to the priest. Tell him I need some tinkle!”


Everyone laughed real loud and I opened the door. “Good afternoon!”

She gave me a look which scathed. I said, “And may you enjoy your stay!”


Nicole gave me a look and I said, “Uh Nicole, I need to speak with you for a moment.”

She nervously said, “I can't!”

Jeff stepped up, “Mrs. Miller, is it possible Nicole has a word with us?”


She growled out, “NO!”

I said, “Ma'am, that scared the gum off the sidewalk. I saw it sort've crawl away... But you know what? I know it didn't knock the hardon off my Dad. You're staring at his kids... as well as your own with him.

Now, if you'd like, we can be hateful, but that doesn't get anyone anywhere. We all know, and it doesn't make too much of a difference because we understand he was just a man and we're just his kids.

Personally, I'd like to get along. If we can't, that'd be problematic, but hey... you apparently want to hold a grudge like I give that fuck!”

She gave me a look and I said, “Slap me and I'll block faster than Jackie Chan's got movies!” I turned, “Do I say DVDs? Or movies?”


She said, “Listen here you little shit. You might think you're funny, but I don't!”

“I find myself hilarious at times. At other times, I gargle with the shit you put out like it's the start of my day and then find it wasn't that bad... You seem to hold it against me that I'm gay. And you seemed to believe him so much that you wanted to say some hateful shit aimed towards my Mom last night, but hey... I could say hateful things too... Wanna hear? Or do you wanna lay that shit down and step away from it?

I'm willing to be nice. I won't be a fool, but I'll be nice. If I can't have nice in return, I'll play with what you've gotta deliver and show you that it didn't phase one fuckin' bit.
You see, there's a man in that casket who played women sexually... You think you're the only one... or maybe you're in denial like he was. There were four and there's seven kids besides the three he had with my Mom. You want to say he wasn't satisfied, why the fuck did he keep coming back for more!”


Who says he's yours!”

Dan said, “The court. Do you need us to challenge you in court to prove Nicole's his??? We've got the DNA proof... Do you? Or are you trying to hide that?”


She gave him a look and I said, “Dan, why'd you have to go and piss her off? Her eyes just turned from blue to orange to white to that red again!”


I heard laughing behind me and I said, “It starts with that head bobble and then, it goes to that slow creeking twist around and then, it's pea soup surprise... I hate surprises!”


She cracked a smile and said, “Nicole, see what he wants. I've got to go check on my eyes!”


I said, “Left one... The other didn't get hot enough to do anything.”


She went in and Nicole smiled at me, “You're living dangerous.”

“You know, my Dad climbed up on that, so I know it's possible to charm her!”


She laughed, “You idiot!”


Everyone was laughing and I said, “Sis, here's a card. In order to use it, you've got to change the pin. It's got $120 grand on it.”

She gave a surprised look, “WHAT!”

I nodded, “That's from me to you. I don't know if you were promised a car for graduation, but you've got to get a car with it. What you do with the rest is your issue, not mine. However, if you want to use our discount at the Chevy dealer, let me know and I'll get it for you.”

She looked shocked,”Really???”


Yeah... I want us to be close... All of us.”

She nodded, and said, “She's moving away.”

“That's fine. You've always got a place here with us.”


She asked, “She won't say it's true.”

“It is... I've got more than enough evidence.”


She looked at the card, and then back at me, “Is everyone getting one?”


You, me, Brit, John, Jeff, Mandy, Janet, Murphy, Dan, and Diane.”

She looked surprised, “MAN!”

I nodded, “Are you going to college?”


I can't. There's no money.”


I nodded, “You're welcome to go where you want. I'll pay.”

She looked surprised, “Really!”

I nodded, “Yeah. You're blood. I'll cover you.”


She hugged me, “Thanks!”

I nodded, “All these people are your extended family. Josh and I are a couple and Heather and Dan are a couple. And you'll learn that John and Darrin are a couple.”

She batted her eyes, “Why are all the good ones gay?”


I put my hand on her shoulder, “Here's my theory on that... We see each other in the shower in gym... They say that if you drop the soap... Well, I'll tell you it's the style point in HOW you drop the soap!”


Everyone laughed and she really smiled, “You're nuts!”

I winked, “Sis, you've gotta understand a few things... Everyone's seen that swan dive. They've seen the 'oops! I dropped the soap!'... Some even do that wink afterwards which gives a point, but if they smile, it takes one off.

Me... I hold my nose and do that dive backwards so it looks like I'm scuba diving. After that, they just say I'm a dizzy bitch!”


Everyone laughed and I said, “Now, I've gotta go in... Mom's not gonna be as nice as me.”

She gave a worried look and I said, “If you should see Murphy, tell her that I have one of these for Janet and her also.”

I went in and Mrs. Miller was waiting. I said, “Find out where she wants to go to college and get back with me.”

She gave me a look, and gave a quick nod, “Ok!”


My Dad was the prick. I'm the one who is the glue. I put things back together.”


She nodded, “Good.”

I gave her a look, “I'm going to say something and please don't take this the wrong way. You're the only one who showed up. Merriam worked here and is going to prison for embezzling, but Mandy's his too.”

She looked shocked, “Really?”


I nodded, “Mandy's not here yet. I'm surprised, but with what Merriam did, she's probably been told a lot of hateful things.”

She gave me a look, “I didn't know there were so many.”

“Mom didn't either. She thought she was the only one and he was just that hateful to her. While he was accusing her of being unfaithful, he was the one doing it. Now she's apologizing because she thinks that had she known, she'd left that much sooner.

You see, his gig was up... Like it or not, she was filing for divorce and I think that stress is what killed him.”

She gave me a look, “Why do you think that?”


Because had she been out of the picture, all of you guys who'd been led to believe you were the only one would've stepped forward.”

“I wouldn't have! I'm married! What he and I had was what he and I had. My husband and I tried for seven years to have a child and then, I learned it was possible to have one with him.”


Then why didn't you stop?”


She gave me a look, “Sometimes you need what you don't get at home.”


Apparently, that was him too. He had her and he fucked it up. But if you hear Dan tell it, he was an uncaring bastard to he and Diane also... And never came home when they were little either.

What I don't get is why he accused Mom of having the affair.”

“He said he caught her in bed with someone....”

I nodded, “I'm going to say this... And you please understand something.... I love my Mom and I'll stand beside her all day, but I know my Dad's ego and I know that if he'd caught her with someone, she'd been thrown out.

Now, I'll tell you that my Grandfather over there showed video of Dad bragging it up that he was gonna go home and make a baby with her. He did, the DNA is proof of that, and we're going to have more DNA just to prove it wasn't a fluke.”