tab A simple phone call can change someone's life...forever. When Susan called me that day, on March 28th, 2010, I had no idea what was in store for me.
tab "Jack. It's me." It was strange hearing her voice again. Over three months, I hadn't even gotten an email from her. So I knew it must've been something big.
tab "Something wrong?" She didn't answer for a second, and then,
tab "It's my dad. He's gone...he's gone completely mad."
tab I guess, the least I can say is that I was surprised.
tab "Mad? What are you talking about?"
tab "I don't know how to explain it," she said urgently, "but it's like...like he just became obsessed with helping me." I laughed.
tab "Well, I don't see anything wrong with that."
tab "Even if...what he was doing was illegal?" I choked on my words then, regretting my flippant attitude.
tab "No...I guess not." More awkward silence, and finally, I swallowed and asked,
tab "What's he up to? I mean, your dad."
tab "I'll tell you when I figure out," she said.
tab "You mean...you haven't?
tab "Money is pouring in. He hasn't said anything, but I know he's up to something."
tab "And he's giving this money to you?"
tab "Yeah." She sounded kind of distressed about it, like she was torn between taking the money because she wanted it, or giving it back because it was the right thing to do. "He's really sorry for what he did, and he's just trying to make me happy. But I know it's wrong. Like what I did. What I did was wrong." Her saying that just brought me back to Christmas. All the anxiety, everything bad that happened to her, I just thought it had ended then. But now, it was coming back to haunt me, just seven days before Easter.
tab Easter...Maybe I could use that to change the general tune.
tab "Well, maybe I can make things up for you." I was thinking on the spot, so therefore, I wasn't thinking very brightly. "Why don't you come over to my apartment for Easter? It would be nice, you taking a break from your usual angst-filled life." I could tell she wasn't sure by her voice, but she was polite enough to say,
tab "I'll think about it." She paused, and then quickly added,
tab "And please don't tell anyone anout what I said. I don't want to have my father scarred like I was. I know how it feels."
tab "I won't. Promise." And the conversation was done. At least, it was for now.
tab "Was that Susan on the phone?" I jumped, and turned around to the voice. Sarah had been listening in on the whole conversation!
tab "Oh, yeah."
tab "Something happening to her?" I paused for a second, and thought of my answer.
tab "Something's..." I began slowly, "alway's happening to her." Thankfully, Sarah wasn't one to press very far, and simply took it with a nod.
tab When were things going to go back to normal? When was I going to be able to talk to my wife with a straight face, with out lying to her, with out feeling guilty about what I said?
tab I stared at the wall, looking at the ketchup bled through pocket I had ripped off my suit and posted on the wall. Happiness. That was why I had put it up there, three months earlier, to remind me of the happiness I had with Susan years before. To remind me that there was always time for happiness, even in bad situations.
tab 'Finding happiness in bad times', I thought to my self. Cute. Really cute, Jack.
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