Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The last of Chapter 2 of OT

Clarifying what I have drains the this pick up from the post before last...
I couldn’t believe it. “My mother called you?”

“Me,” said Tone. “Looking for you. I told her you were out of the country.”


“Day before yesterday.”

Suddenly, I was thinking I should’ve gone to see her the second I got back.

“She leave a number?”

Tone nodded, still too even.

“What’d she say to you, Tone?”

“Jake, I don’t want to add to any problems -- .”

“What did she say to you?”

“She just asked why you were here. And I told her, to be with me. And she...she sighed and said, Well, that’s typical for Jake; always letting people drag him down. Then she gave me her number and address and -- .”

“I know the address,” I said. “And I’m goin’ straight over there.”

“She’s moved, Jake,” said Matt. “Here’s her new – .”

“She sold her condo? She loved that fuckin’ place.”

“Just telling you what she told us.”

I’d finished my meal so slid off the stool. “I’m gonna get dressed and go see her, now.” Matt gave me a slip of paper with a phone number and address on it. I recognized it. “This is south side.”

Matt just shrugged. Of course he wouldn’t know; he hadn’t been here long enough. But my mother was one of those snooty types who lived where there were acceptable people around, and the Southside was spotty, at best.

I went around the counter, took Tone by the arm and guided him into the bedroom with me. I closed the door behind us and sat him on the bed, then I kneeled before him and looked hard into his eyes.

“What else did my mother say to you?”

He looked away. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Okay. I won’t make you. But keep something in mind, Tone. I ain’t seen that bitch since she let my father kick me out of her home. So what she knows about me and how I work is nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Anything she says to you about me, is total bullshit.”

He cast me his patented sideways glance and said, “But she’s right. You wouldn’t be here except for me.”

“You’re right. I wouldn’t.” His eyes began to hurt, but then I added, “I’d be back in jail, or still living in Gramma’s house and trying to figure out how to make a livin’. And I’d have a record instead of exoneration. I couldn’t have gone to work with Uncle Ari. I’d never have met my brothers and sisters or Mira or cousins. I wouldn’t be alive, Tone. I’d be existin’, but I wouldn’t be alive. And I wouldn’t have you.”

He rolled his eyes and looked away. “Dammit, Jake – now I feel like an asshole.”

“You are one, bitch.” I leaned my chin against his chest. “But keeps something else in mind – my mother could break the heart of a marine drill sergeant in a nano-second. Believe me, I’d rather go back to prison than go over to her place, right now.”

“Then don’t.”

“I have to. Something’s goin’ on with my uncle Owen and she’s part of it. And I need to know what she’s up to, and the only way to find out is a face-to-face.”

“Should I stock up on the alcohol?”

I nodded. “Beer, please. No, fuck it – Tequila.”

“I’ll get some mixers and invite Aron over. We’ll have nice queeny get-together.”

“Cool.” He got up and headed for the door, but I held onto his hand and asked, “Will you tell me everything she said to you, tonight?”

He gripped my hand and said, “I’ll tell you now.” He took in a deep breath. “She figured out how wrong she was, doing what she did to you. And she’s sorry. And wants to make amends.”

“What’s so awful about that?”

“I’s just...I didn’t believe a word of it. She sounded like she was reading from a prepared text. And I thought I was being a real shit for thinking that.”

“You weren’t,” I said.

He cast me a quick smile and left the room. He hadn’t told me anything worth ripping him up, so he was still hiding it from me. Shit.

I sat on the floor, shaken. I’d come damn close to asking Tone to go with me to see her, and now I was glad I hadn’t. I mean, I’ve never been able to tell when my mom’s being straight with me or working her way round on something. She was like this blind spot. Even when she called and tried to make me agree to start ex-gay therapy, I’d felt like she really meant well by it and was just being crazy and all that. I’d never thought of her as someone who was capable of lying. But Tone’d sensed it straight off, and it spooked me. Made me wonder if I’d be able to tell what she was really after.

Well...there’s only one way to find out. I got up and got dressed and headed over to the insurance company where she worked. I wanted a nice calm professional environment around us, as a buffer, I guess.

Only it turned out she hadn’t worked there in over two years.

Man...I did have a lot to catch up on, with her.

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