Chapter 17 - Inheritence
4:14 PM | Author: Jeff
Jay recommended a small coffee shop in town, which sported a nice alfresco area, it had turned out to be a hell of a fine day and neither Jay nor Tom felt like being indoors. Tom continued to tell stories of what a great man Pops had been, and Jay soaked up every word.
Since Pops had gotten sick, a deep fear had begun to take a hold of Jay, a fear like he had never known. At first Jay had felt as though he was a boy again, sitting in the darkness, dreading the sound of Hanks slurred drunken voice, which would announce another round of beatings, but the fear had grown deeper, more powerful than Hank could ever induce.
Every night Jay’s dreams were filled with images of Pop’s demise, in his dreams he saw, his grandfather die, he saw Pop’s strong powerful body, rapidly withering into a living skeleton, a skeleton that cried out Jays name in pain, whose eyes burnt holes into Jays heart as he stood and watched, impotent with fear, the transition from strength to decay, from life to death, occurred so fast it was almost like some cheap special effect in a B horror flick. Jay hung on Toms every word, for in his stories Pops was the Pops of old, a giant of a man, immune to all those things that destroyed regular men, immune to cancer, in Toms stories Jay found his first peace since Pops had been diagnosed terminal.
They ordered more coffee.
“So Jay, I know it probably seems too soon to ask, but, what are you planning to do from here on out?” Jay could see genuine concern in Toms face.
“I really don’t know” answered Jay, in truth he had never even given his future a thought, since Pop s had gotten sick Jay’s thoughts were consumed between his past and present.
“Well your grandfather, has prepared enough money for you to do most anything you want, he has left you a trust fund to the tune of one hundred and fifty grand and change”
Jay’s eyes widened, ‘where the hell did Pop’s get one hundred and fifty grand?’ “How….” Began Jay, but Tom cut him off.
“Your grandmothers life insurance constituted most of it Jay” Tom lit another cigarette, “The only condition Henry left, in regards to the money was that it was put into something constructive, as such he asked me to authorize any idea you have about spending the money until you are twenty five or older” Tom stared at Jay, his expression grave, anticipating an outburst of some sort but none came, Jay was visibly shocked, but some how, to Toms surprise Jay seemed to understand his grandfathers reasoning.
“Yeah, Pops always said that young men were the reason why old men had gray hair” said Jay, a smile on his face, he hadn’t smiled in weeks, but somehow being with Tom seemed to bring Pops back to life, a tear ran down Jay’s cheek.
“He used to tell us the same thing during the war.” Tom smiled too and drew deep on his camel. “It’s not that he doesn’t trust you Jay, he does.” Tom paused “He did… He told me some wonderful things about you Jay, and now that I’ve met you I begin to see what he meant. Henry just wanted you to have a clear direction in your mind when you used this money, he knew that once you found your path you’d excel.” Tom told Jay a version of the truth that Henry had thought best, truth was Henry had grown worried about Jay, since he had gotten sick, he’d seen a change in Jay that reminded him of a scared nine year old boy who’ opened the door to him years ago, Henry knew he was dying and wasn’t sure how Jay would take it.
“Jay, I’ll be in the states for another few weeks then I got to get back to Japan”
Tom handed Jay his business card.
“If you ever need me for any reason just call”
“Thanks Tom.” Jay could see the worry in Tom’s eyes.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m fine, I mean I will be fine once I get his head in order, still pretty rattled, but that’s normal right.” Jay’s voice betrayed him, he sounded anything but fine, he sounded distant and unsure.
“I know you’ll be fine Jay, you’re a good man and you remind me a hell of a lot of you grandfather, and that’s saying something.”
Jay smiled at this.
Tom stubbed out his smoke and threw a twenty on the table, I have to get going Jay, got quite a few stacks of paper work to get through, you’ll be alright?”
“Yeah, no problem Tom, thanks again for coming.”
Tom smiled; they shook hands as he left, Jay remained and ordered more coffee, truth was Jay was far from fine.
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