Call us right now

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
This short story has been rattling around my head for months. I see these advertisements on television most every day about all the evil product companies and how you can sue them and the smiling attorney on the television can help.

The story is about one such television attorney who also happens to be a sociopath.

Submitted: June 28, 2013

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Submitted: June 28, 2013

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Disclaimer
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
 
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Edward Stewart Laveque grew up in a little town in Vermont in 1968 to parents that separated on his 10th birthday. This moment would shape the rest of his life.  He had just come home from school with a top grade on a school project. He worked on the project most of the semester and was excited to bring it home to show his parents.  It was a Friday and the teacher wanted to give the grades to the kids before the weekend.  
 
The kids in small school knew Edward, but he never was too friendly with any of them.  There were some he hung out with out of convenience.  He enjoyed the time he spent by himself more.  He always thought the kids were afraid of him.  He was big for his age and very good in gym and performed well on the local baseball and football teams.  His fearless attitude helped him gain a name for himself with the local coaches.  
 
When he competed in a sport, the opponents did not win easily or at all if he had anything to do with it.  There was a local kid who once picked on one of Edwards few friends and he stepped in to defend him.  The resulting fight became legend at the small elementary school.  Edward fought until he couldn't stand.  The other kid won the fight but never bothered anyone in the neighborhood again.  
 
Today was his birthday and he would not let anything ruin it.  His mother had given him the one present he wanted before school.  It was a Red Sox replica home jersey with the number 14 on the back.  Jim Rice was the man and he was Edward's idol.  Before he ever saw Rice, he heard about all the plays and at bats he completed.  The radio was Edwards constant companion when the games weren't on television.  He carried that little radio everywhere and went through batteries more than his mother thought was possible.  She would save some batteries from other devices they had in the house for him to use to listen to the games.  His father controlled the only television in the home and he was not a baseball fan.
 
Edward did not play left field like Rice; he played Jerry Remy's position at second base. However, Rice could do no wrong at the plate.  Only four years into his long and storied career, Jim Rice was having the perfect season that Edward heard almost every night during the summer crackling through that little 2 inch speaker.  Edward was so exited to get his jersey before school.
 
He knew no one else had this shirt.  He didn't know that his mother had put the shirt on layaway four months ago to be able to pay for it and pick it up for his birthday.  His father had already left for work before he got up.  It didn't matter; even if he was here, he would have ruined the moment and probably the surprise.  
 
Edward sat eating his breakfast talking with his mother while she helped feed his 3 year old sister Kristin.  On this day he looked at his sister with a comfortable disinterest.  She would not ruin his day today with her needy whiny voice which never seemed to stop.  He was the center of attention today.  It was his day.
 
On the bus ride to school he had all the wonderful conversations about the game last night with a lot of boasting about the shirt and how well Rice played.  He also made side glances at the always beautiful Tina.  She was the love of his life in the fourth grade.  The way she flipped back her hair and was constantly applying bubblegum lip gloss that smelled like double bubble transfixed him.  It was the most stimulating part of his day.
 
The school day was largely uneventful except for the presentation of the class project.  He worked very hard on this and was excited to finally bring it home.  His mother helped by getting as many different post cards of Fenway Park from different angles so he had something to work with while he created the miniature model of the historic ballpark.  Project time became his favorite time of day while in class.  He got to think and talk about baseball with the teacher's permission and encouragement.
 
He was given an applause for the presentation of his project.  He received an A for his efforts and the praise of the teacher.  At the end of the day he took the project home.  Since his bus ride home was not full, he was comfortable that the project would not be sat on by someone or that it would be broken.
 
He got off the bus looking like a founding member of Red Sox Nation with the Red Sox hat, the new Red Sox white jersey and the replica model of Fenway Park in his hands.  He called out to his mom as he got closer to the house, but no one came to the door.  It was then he noticed his father's car in the driveway and wondered what was up.  He is never home in the afternoon.
 
As he opened the front door he heard his mother crying.  
 
"MOM!" He yelled, "Are you OK?"  
 
There was no answer, but the crying continued from the kitchen.  He put the project down in the corner of the living room and moved towards the kitchen.  Edward stopped when he heard movement upstairs and at first thought it was his little sister, but the sounds were too heavy to be made by her.  He then knew it must be his father.  
 
Why was he upstairs while his mom was in the kitchen crying? he thought angrily.  Did he ruin things again with his temper?  Although his father never hit anyone in the family it was his disdain and cold words that left the family feeling small and insignificant.  His mother would say that "He had a lot on his mind and did not mean what he said".  After the first few times Edward believed her, but this past year it had gotten more frequent.  He came to the conclusion on his own that his dad was just a dick, plain and simple.  He never was able to understand why he always tried to get his approval when he knew any attempts would be ignored.
 
He listened to his friends talk about their parents and found that his father's actions were better than a few but worse than most.  Some parents were perfect.  They helped out and were at every game and just generally nice.  Others berated their kids in front of anybody who cared to listen.  His father never did either of those to the extent that people noticed or remembered.  He was an all around swell guy in public and at the bar with his buddies and never raised his voice to anyone in the family when the spot light was on him.  The problem was the amount of times he did anything with us in public.  There was no joy or happiness when he was around us.  He simply existed in his own selfish world.  He never helped us out or was there when needed.  He berated my mother every chance he got.  She took it and never complained.  She would cry and then all would be well again.
 
Edward heard him move towards the dark stairs to the second floor and saw his big feet before he saw him as he descended.  The old stairs creaked and resisted the large man's assault with the large work boots he always wore on his smelly feet.  Each step seemed like a monumental effort as he came down.  Despite the feelings Edward had about his father, he cheerfully asked why he was home.  
 
His father looked through him and said he was getting some things.  No "happy birthday guy or how's it going little man".  Edward let it go because it was no different than it had ever been. 
 
He asked his father why mom was crying.  The man stopped what he was doing and said, "This is adult stuff, doesn't concern you, got it?".  Looking down at me in a 'stop talking to me' stare.
 
"Ok dad" was all the boy said.  
 
He moved past him before Edward added, "Hey dad, thanks for the present" and he puffed out his chest and pointed both hands to show the jersey he wore proudly.  
 
He looked at him before saying, "I didn't, Oh y-yeah sure kid" in a disinterested voice.  
 
Not taking the hint, the boy kept going, "Dad, do you want to see my class project?  It's really cool and I got an A on it and..." 
 
He spun around, glared and spit out "LEAVE ME ALONE and LET ME BE!".  
 
Edward looked down and apologized quietly but did not move.  His father took a moment to look at the boy before saying sorry, but had to go and left without another word.  He noticed his dad was carrying the bag he uses for overnight trips.  He did not know this would be the last time he ever saw his dad.
 
Edward watched him leave before turning to see why mom was crying.  He went into the kitchen and cheerfully greeted his mother with a hug and a smile.  She wiped away the tears quickly before smiling an empty smile.  
 
"Hi my love" she breathed.  "How was your day?"
 
"It was good mom; why are you crying?" he asked carefully.  
 
"Your father and I were having an argument, Eddie; that's all." she stated flatly.  
 
"Can I tell you about my day?", he asked.  
 
"Why don't we wait until later, Ok?", she pleaded.  
 
"Ok mom" he replied.
 
That was the last day he remembered being a son to anyone.  Her ability to care for him and his baby sister were forever damaged that day.  Her descent into the bottle brought about a terrible time for his little family.  There were days she didn't come out of her room and his baby sister would spend the day crying in her soiled diaper for up to a day at a time.  He wanted nothing to do with home and spent more and more time hanging out in town with people who existed to get drunk or high.  He got into many fights and learned how to hurt people and found he enjoyed it.
 
Some years later Edward followed that same kid he had that legendary fight with while walking home from a house party. He had been drinking and was wired.  This was his normal outlet for the growing pains he felt after the death of his mother and the dull existence he was living. He beat the kid so badly the boy almost died.  He saw the kid while at the same party and he had annoyed him.  There was nothing he could put a finger on.  
 
Edward thought the empty part of town and the darkness of the night would hide the confrontation from potential witnesses.  Planning an attack was something he did well.  Most people did not have the ability to carry out a premeditated attack without doing so under duress. This duress caused mistakes and might get him caught.  He did not bother with the fear that other people had.  He simply looked at his goal and planned for the outcome.  It seemed simple to him, but not to most others as he soon realized.
 
He approached the boy quickly and quietly from across the street away from the street light.  The speed of his attack left the other boy stunned and covering his face as Edward slammed his head into the curb until his hands slipped with the blood that coated them.  He ran to a park nearby and found a fountain to wipe his hands off and ditched his clothes for some he took while at the house party and walked home.  He expected to be arrested the next day when he found out the boy didn't die.  That boy never ratted on him. A nameless gang of kids were roaming the streets looking for victims.  Or so the story was told.  Police were never conclusive about who was involved.  He believed the kid told of the gang to make it seem that only a group of kids could have done this to him.  It worked for Edward.
 
That was close to 30 years ago.  I still do not believe it was me who experienced those moments or emotions.  My recollection of things that happened that day my father left are clear as they were all those years ago.  It is a badly written after school drama that plays out in my head when I allow myself to wander.  This is the only memory where I actually felt the emotions of pain and fear and loss.  No events in my life since then have created such pain.  
 
I look at people around me and wonder what it must be like to have those emotional feelings.  Why must people walk around with fear and pain about their choices or how people feel about them.  To me it is a huge waste time.  Is was a freeing moment for me when I first realized I did not care about what people thought about me.  If I wanted something and knew I had to take advantage of someone to get it, I would do so without feeling any sense of regret or remorse.
 
I lay awake at night thinking about my interactions with people and how they affected me.  Those nights allowed me to come to terms with the fact that I was different than most people.  I did not know the extent of the differences  until high school.  
 
My high school experiences gave me more of the training I needed about the sheepish people around me.  Being fearless and virtually without a pain threshold made me the ideal football player.  My 6'3" frame coupled with an athletic build shaped me into a formidable running back and punt returner.  I didn't suffer from any pre-game jitters nor did I worry about making mistakes.  I knew what was expected and did it without question.  I was a coaches wet dream.  Dreams, however can turn to nightmares as one coach discovered.  
 
An assistant coach crossed my path during a playoff game in my sophomore year.  He was riding me because I was not a 'team player'.  I later found out he had an agenda for parent friends of his.  It did not matter that I was the leading scorer and was one of the best players on the team.  I had no one who stood up for me or came to my games.  Not that is would have mattered anyway if they were there.  No one in his life since his mother, at least up to age ten, cared what happened to him.  Both of my parents were gone; one dead and the other should have been.  
 
Just before this particular game the coach came up to me and tried to rattle me by getting in my face and threatening to bench me if I did not start acting like a team player.  He went ballistic when I smiled at him and said "yes coach, whatever you say coach".  
 
I knew what he was doing.  It had nothing to do with me being a team player.  This made me more determined to screw him when I saw an opportunity.  It happened in overtime during the same game.  I was laughing about something on the sideline before heading in to the game. He got in my face and told me to sit down; that I was done.  I started to protest when the main coach called me over to go over a play.  I smiled as I went by him.  He took the effort to shoulder bump me on my way by. I thought this was a stupid and childish move on his part since I was taller, stronger and had my shoulder pads on.  This guy had to go, I thought.  How would I do this and not get in too much trouble?  After some moments of thoughts it hit me what would be the perfect play.  I knew any normal person would not have been able to pull it off, but then I was starting to believe I wasn't normal.
 
I got out to the huddle before moving to my position behind the line of scrimmage.  The next play I was handed the ball and before I moved, I quickly glanced over at the sidelines until I saw that coach, we made eye contact, then I bolted towards the other teams goal line in the opposite direction sprinting the whole way.
 
Since I was running towards the other teams goal line, the other team did not try to stop me.  No one did.  The stands were silent as I went across the goal line and tossed the ball to one of the officials before walking towards our team's sideline.  The cheers and boos from our fans I ignored as I thought, stay focused, play it out.  The head coach ran over and asked if I was insane.  I calmly replied, "I quit coach" and started walking off the field.  
 
I knew he would not let me get far before asking "Why the hell would you do that, son!?"
 
I turned to face the coach and in front of the whole team replied in a loud enough voice for everyone to hear, "because Coach Smith over there threatened to bench me if I did not give him a blow job after the game!".  The faces of the team and the coaches after I said those carefully chosen words were priceless.  I wish I had a camera.  Coach Smith started to charge me calling me a 'little shit' and I turned to him and thought about letting him attack me to make it look better, but I decked him instead.  He went down in a crumbled heap without a sound.  I looked down at him for a second trying no to smile before I looked at the head coach and said, "If he even looks in my direction ever again, I will end him, the fucking pervert!".  Smith was fired from the team and the school and would never coach again.  
 
I was asked to finish the game after the athletic director came over from the stands to the sidelines and approved of me staying in the game.  The situation was fully investigated the following week and as expected, I was cleared of any wrong doing. Go me. 
 
Since we were down one touchdown thanks to me, on our next possession, I was handed the ball and ran in for six points, plus we made the extra point to tie the game.  I asked to play line backer on the next series to make up for the touchdown against us.  The coaches looked dumbfounded, but agreed.  The other team passed the ball and I intercepted it and ran the ball close enough to field goal range before being brought down.  We had a good field goal kicker and decided to try the three pointer which he made.  Everybody cheered and almost forgot the play I made and the scene I caused with the coach.  Human nature is amazing I thought as the team hoisted me on their shoulders and carried me off the field.
 
Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed the win, but I enjoyed screwing the coach more.  I learned two important lessons.  First was the I was very convincing with my lies playing my part perfectly and second that I was capable of serious physical feats of strength and endurance when necessary. 
 
I looked out the window of my apartment before I got out of bed.  A lot has happened since I was ten, I thought.  I never did get to tell my mother about my day.  Nor did we have any cake or any other presents.  My sister and I went to live with relatives of my mother in town but they were innkeepers more than parents or even relatives.  I never saw my father again.  These relatives did not give me the support my mother had provided.  I was on my own and all activities in this new family revolved around others; not me.  My sister was younger, so she was able to make some transition, but she never really found her identity.  I found mine.
 
It was the weekend and I hated going to work on my day off, but there was more that needed to be done on the latest commercial.  Things did not flow and people would not be sufficiently moved to call.  That would not work.
 
I owned a company called Creative Concepts, Inc.  It was slowly becoming a reputable lawyer's advertising company.  Who would have thought after that wonderful birthday thirty years ago, that I would find my calling.  
 
My faith in human nature has changed to one of wolf to sheep and I am the wolf. Events since then only strengthened my loathing of any emotional attachments or friendships. My philosophy of life started to take shape.  I saw my mother as a sheep who was exploited by my father.  She allowed him to walk all over her.  That would not happen to me.  I am a wolf.  The idea of being one of the sheep made me ill.  Working as I do in the morally grey area of marketing as an adult, I am now at ease with the manipulation and creative lying that most if not all people are weak to resist.
 
I have learned that the most creative of all manipulations has occurred legally with the passage of each new law that takes a little more of our freedom.  Isn't it ironic that I think about the abuse of power society has allowed by the very institutions that were entrusted to protect their liberties.  I see politicians as wolves as well.  The idea of lying to people and making promises to get into positions of power was too messy, however.  I preferred the more stealth approach.
 
I am by no means a patriot or a caring adult, but I would not be doing my job and building my base of experience if I did not stay up to date with the current state of political correctness and instant gratification that we have been taught to expect.  Everyone is a taker and everyone is a consumer, but I am an exploiter.  As soon as i realized this, I was able to plan my future. 
 
I obtained BS degree from a local college.  My tragic upbringing was the excuse I used to take advantage of all the public money to pay for school and keep a little money in my pocket.  I applied to and was accepted to small law school after I graduated, based largely on my essay about my childhood and my hope that I can make a difference in family law someday.  Total bullshit, but it worked.  Sheep.  Becoming a lawyer made sense since I saw most lawyers as manipulators of the truth.  This was an area that I needed to learn more about.   It was not an IVY league school, but I knew it wouldn't matter for what I wanted.  Although the money was not as plentiful, I was able to get more public funds for my post graduate studies.  The last thing I wanted was the government student loans following me around for the rest of my life.  
 
The amount of reading and material I was required to master was harder than anything I had ever attempted.  The typical party hard coed's were so interesting to watch, like little animal experiments,  as they tried to balance getting laid or high with getting their work done.  I spent many long hours in the library totally focused on my goal, oblivious to these rats scurrying around exposing themselves to each other and to the world providing further evidence of the weakness they exhibited.  
 
On those rare occasions I took some time off, I would befriend some wealthy clueless frat boy I saw that needed some company on his weekend trip to the cape.  They were eager to take me along as their wing man, since I was fearless in my happy hour conversations and could boast with the best of them.  The homesteads I visited weren't just houses, they were compounds.  The money they were raised with was awe inspiring.  I wanted their stuff; their houses and cars.  Their life.
 
When I graduated, I savored my new found knowledge and enhanced abilities in public speaking and debate.  I was comfortable and confident in front of large group's before attending, but now I had the knowledge to persuade these same group's to my way of thinking.  I was ready.
 
I  pulled up to the nondescript building that was home to Creative Concepts, Inc.  My place occupied the two offices on the third floor.  Being the weekend, I had the run of the place as I ascended the elevator to the third floor.  The place smelled of cleaning liquid and burnt hair.  Damn cleaning crew never cleans the freaking vacuum bags.  One immigrant worker faced my wrath one day when he didn't do what I expected.  I told him I would make sure he lost his job and would have trouble finding work again.  My temper has gotten me into situations that required some ingenious thinking over the years.  Sheep get into trouble.  Wolves cause trouble.  I stay out of trouble.
 
I entered my office and opened all the windows before making a pot of coffee.  As I waited, I checked my email and looked over the results of my current campaign.  It was promising.  For every commercial run, there was a spike of calls for my customer.  Each spike meant more money for me.  Luckily this business had very little overhead after the initial equipment purchases and lease agreement for the office.
 
I had six other employees that did everything else a typical office needed.  The most important of these being the office manager.  She was a task master who made sure all the day to day details were taken care of.  I did not have the time nor the interest in dealing with the daily crap.  I knew none of the employees would want me to take an interest.  
 
Four of the other employees rotated a schedule of being on call around the clock each week.  Because the amount of calls at any given time was minimal, the calls worked out more evenly during the entire day then one would think.  The answering system I was using was bought at an auction from one of the many failed companies that litter the country in today's economy.  It was state of the art and still had a warranty.  I loved getting expensive things cheaply.  It was a rush being able to barter with people for the price of their goods.  
 
Each of the four employees worked from home which allowed me the privacy I wanted but more importantly allowed them the flexibility to work strange hours without having to drive at night or during bad weather.  Less potential lawsuits for accidents while going to or coming from the job.  I also installed software that knew when each person was on a call and if calls were being ignored or forgotten.  All notes were taken on the server software and backed up locally before being transmitted to the customer on a hourly basis.  Big brother was alive and well in my company.  Once each employee got over the fact they were being monitored, they forgot all about the tracking software.
 
Payment from the customer was received each week in the form of an automatic deposit into the company account.  It was all very slick and required little supervision.  Easy money.  No cash ever exchanged hands which meant there was never any cash in the office.  Over the years that fact helped keep myself and my staff safe from would be thieves who hit other business in and around this building.  I still carried a gun, however.  This fact became a problem later. 
 
 
My part in the creative process is that of the actor and savior.  I play the all knowing all caring attorney who will solve everyone's problems and shower the sheep/poor victims with buckets of money after suing the pants off whatever company or product I am demonizing at the moment.  
 
My law degree gives a perfect cover for my little venture since I could honestly say I am an attorney and don't just play one on TV.  I am glad I did not decide to get into the 'real' part of the lawyer business since that would have taken too much of my time and effort.  Let my lawyer customers take their time and effort and pay me for my trusting ambulance chasing attorney character.
 
As you may have already guessed, I am the rather annoying but certainly memorable face you see at three in the morning on the major cable television stations and during all times of the day of the lesser known stations telling you in very somber terms with dramatic background music that you have been screwed and are all victims; sheep.  But I am here to fix it.  Call us right now and all your problems, both financial and personal, will be taken care of.  Trust me sheep. I am the Wolf.
 
I first heard of this racket ten years ago while I was selling insurance to old farts in Florida.  I was getting bored listening to all their freaking stories about their fears, medical problems and the nonstop praises and pictures of their grandchildren.  Just shoot me now!  I needed something new and this seemed to be more exciting than what I was doing at the moment.  I don't know if I was bored or saw an opportunity to make more money.  Being an attorney in Florida did not appeal to me. The only reason I moved there was for the weather.  The thought of spending time in strip malls looking for potential customers was not my idea of a career. Selling insurance to old people seemed to me to be the right thing for me to do.
 
My manipulations and conversations with the old people certainly paid well.  I was always a top earner in the insurance office I worked.  And I looked good in a suit.  Old people trust a good suit.  It was the repetition that was getting to me.  The non stop visits to these homes never ceased to bore me.  God it sucks to be old.  If this is what it's like, maybe I'll go out in a blaze of glory using suicide by cop as my exit.  It had to be better then this existence.
 
I crossed paths with an old colleague of mine from law school while I was in Florida.  He had a racket exploiting a hotline he created for accident victims.  He told me about the amount of money he made by simply scaring his clients and appealing to their greed.  He was not a visionary like me, however.  The local reach of his ads were fine to meet his need and greed, but not mine.
 
My needs were bigger than his.  I started researching ambulance chasing commercials as a potential business model and was intrigued. So began my career as a famous television ambulance chaser.
 
I took the leap and moved to Colorado because it had more lenient laws regarding attorney advertisements.  I studied and took the state bar to practice law in the state and put out my shingle.  The covered the boilerplate text that was required at the bottom of every television ad.  Since passing the bar did not really cost anything other than my time, it seemed like a good investment.  Though I did not do any advertising for myself, I started calling large law firms to do their advertising.
 
I found a small hungry production company that would work for next to nothing to get steady work.  My first ad used a hired actor to play the part of the lawyer and it was not very convincing.  After spending a lot of time with actor trying to make him sound more credible, the guy behind the camera said that I should try it.
 
After firing the actor, I tried my first commercial and it was a hit.  Wow; I was an actor.  The more commercials I did, the more bold I became.  
 
That was ten years ago and I am now pulling in close to 1 million dollars per month.  The majority was profit for me.  Most of the money went into many different bank accounts for my comfortable retirement.  The remainder went for the apartment, the car, toys, the occasional hooker or girl who was not a hooker but acted like one; they were more fun, and the infrequent vacation when I was bored.  My life was good.
 
I had just gotten off the phone with the production guy about the proof video for the recent commercial when I heard the outer door of the office open.  I cursed because I always forgot to lock it when I was here alone.  In my line of work I had to be careful so I removed the pistol and placed it to the side of my computer monitor out of site of anyone near my desk.  It was a registered gun because I could not afford to have my wonderful cleaning crew or anyone else find it and inform the police.  Those little mistakes would bring down a perfect plan.  I was a planner and problem solver.  As it so happened the one member of the cleaning crew that I yelled at in the past looked through my desk to steal something and found the gun.  He was quick to call the police after informing his crew boss.  Since the gun was registered, nothing happened.
 
My displeasure with the worker who found the gun was expressed in my tracking him down one night a few months after I had him fired and beating him into a coma before leaving him for dead outside the back of a downtown bar.  I am a problem solver and planner, but occasionally I hold a grudge.  The police are still looking for the man responsible.  Too bad.
 
I heard the "hello?" and froze.  I hadn't listened to that voice in thirty years.  "Hello, out back", was all I said as I tensed for the person to come through the door to my office.  The person that entered was a large man in his late sixties who had skin of leather and the face of too many years of drinking and smoking.
 
He extended his wrinkled hand and said "Hello son, how are you?"  
 
"I am not your son, and I am fine, thank you.", I said, not taking his hand.  
 
"Oh yes you are my son and I can prove it", he replied without any hesitation.  
 
"Whether or not you can prove it is of no interest or concern to me. Please leave the way you came; I am busy", I replied looking back to my computer screen.
 
"Ok, I can see this is going to be difficult, so I will get to the point.  I need your help", he stated as if they had been talking and knew each other as close as any normal father and son.  
 
"Nope, I won't help you and I will ask you to leave one more time", my temper rising.  
 
"Your sister needs you", his voice stayed even.  
 
"What do you know of Kristin?", I replied.  Kristin and I lost contact after I graduated college.  She was a lost sole who never had the drive or the backbone that I possessed.  She was a sheep. 
 
I continued, "You left when I was ten; exactly ten if you remember, so don't tell me my sister needs me! And get the fuck out of my office before I throw you out!" I glared up from my desk. 
 
"Why are you so hostile to me?  You who is wealthy and can afford anything he desires" his shocked and condescending tone falling on my cold and uncaring ears.  He was trying to be a wolf, I thought as I looked through this old man in front of me.  Could this pathetic shell actually be my former pack leader; my reason for having the broken emotions I possess.  He is not like me.  Not entirely.
 
"You call me out as a rich guy, then mock me and yet still approach me as a wounded father who needs help for his daughter.  What scam are you running old man?"  I growled.  
 
"Your sister has been injured in a car accident and needs your help to get the money she deserves for better treatment", he said reverting back to the wounded father. 
 
I could tell he has seen my commercials, I could not help smirking.  "I don't know what I can do", I said.  Then added, "I don't practice law.  My clients do".  
 
"You know the system", he replied.
 
"I'll grant you that", I said.  "How bad is she?", I asked.  
 
"She is in a coma, and no one knows if its permanent", he said as if he were discussing directions with a stranger.  He's trying to be a wolf, I thought.  I don't know what his angle is, but he is more of a scumbag than I imagined.
 
"And what do you get out of this once my sister gets what she or should I say you deserve?" I inquired.  
 
Ignoring the dig, he said, "I have decided to make amends with the things I have done in my life and will spend the rest of my time being their for your sister."
 
That's it, I thought.  She is his retirement. Her misfortune will be his fortune.  The money she gets will go to fund his retirement.  God, was I really the son of this human waste?
 
I gave the typical amount of delay before answering to show I was weighing my options and nodded. I decided to play along until I could deal with my father once and for all.  If I could almost beat a man to death for trying to get me in trouble with the police, I would have no problem ending this relationship.
 
 
After getting the information from the old man about the whereabouts of my sister, the old man left.  How the hell did he get the money to travel here, he wondered.  It didn't matter.  I called the hospital where Kristin was housed,  then found a ticket online for the next week that flew into the Albany airport.  I left the office shortly after dealing the old man.  
 
I lost my incentive to work after seeing him and dealing with the thoughts and emotions I didn't know still existed in me.  Damn him.  It was early afternoon and I logged in to the Baseball app for the out of market Red Sox game that I knew would be playing now.  Summer was a wonderful time for Baseball. 
 
That is one activity that I enjoy to this day.  It's nice to see Remy and Rice and even Eckersley on the TV talking about the team they called home so many years ago.  The game did not hold as much interest for me today as it may have before seeing that old asshole.
 
It's funny that I have had little or no feeling about my sister.  When she and I parted, I did not shed a tear or worry about her in the least.  I think it should be sad but it was just a fact for me.  It bothered me more that my father was trying to use her after all these years to cushion his landing into hell.
 
As much as I could feel, I knew it was not right.  I took the next few days to go over my options and carefully inspect the pros and cons of assisting him into the great beyond.  I need to see Kristin for myself first and find out what happened.  All the time I spent selling the services of the modern day ambulance chasing tort lawyers had taught me a thing or too about research before action.
 
As the plane descended into Albany International Airport it didn't surprise me that not much had changed since I left so many years earlier.  This part of the country was not a worthy destination point for many new families or businesses.  That was fine with me.  It meant I had less traffic and idiot drivers to deal with on my journey to Vermont.
 
The one thing I looked forward to was a Red Sox game in person while I was here.  The drive down to Boston was a few hours and would be a nice diversion.  I visited Fenway many times while in college and law school, but I had not journeyed back for many years.
 
Since there was no place that appealed to me in Bennington, I continued up to Manchester to stay at the Equinox.  I made sure to get a condo out back since I wanted a kitchen and accessories should I want to cook while I stayed.  I gave myself a week to establish the who, what, where, and why of my sister's situation.  If I can't find anything out by the end of the week, I will head back and turn the whole deal over to one of the sharks that I call a customer.  Only then will I turn my attention to my beloved father.
 
I ordered room service to the condo in the morning.  I thought about going out to the breakfast place I remembered for some great pancakes, but could not get myself out of bed.  Much easier to call and get everything I needed sent to my door.  
 
Breakfast was adequate, but nothing special.  No atmosphere since I ate in the condo.  I was in my rental car headed south an hour after the food was delivered.  It was a beautiful summer morning and I had the window down listening to a local radio station while thinking about where to go first.
 
I knew the accident was in Bennington County, so I should stop at the State Police barracks at some point during the day to get the specifics of the crash.  Since it was morning and the idea of being in a police station did not sit well with me, I would save that treat for after lunch.  I headed directly the the rehabilitation home in North Bennington.  
 
The rehabilitation home was more like a home than a hospital; at least on the outside.  After finding my bearings and walking towards her room I looked around and I could not help but think that this is where the sheep go to die when there is no where else to put them.  Not me buddy.
 
I saw the room number as I approached.  I looked in at a small room with two beds; both occupied.  Both occupants looked like they were in a coma and both female.  Shit, I could play Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, but I think the nurse might disapprove.   I have not seen my sister in almost twenty years.  She could be black for all I know.  I smiled to myself. Too funny for my own good.
 
I moved over to the nurses station just down the hall and asked which bed was Kristin's.  "The one closest to the window" she said 
 
"Thanks, I replied as I turned and went back into the room.  
 
My time spent at Kristin's bedside consisted of a brief look at the cards and pictures that surrounded her bed.  I wondered where they came from.  Who did she know.  I did not care enough to read the cards.  Just curious, I guess. Next I made a determined effort to see her face as the teenager I remembered from so long ago.  Here was a virtual stranger in front of me.  Another few minutes and I was on my way.  Too nice a day to waste in a room with people who can't and won't appreciate it.  
 
My next stop was the scene of the accident.  The old man said she was travelling north on Route 7A when a car tried to pass her on a corner and forced her car off the road into a tree.  The other car was not identified and the police has not been able to find the car or the person driving it.  Since the police were calling it an accident, the effort to find this other car was not extensive.  
 
I pulled off the road by the spot she went off the road.  It was odd that the person passing would do so on a curve considering the lack of traffic and the straight lanes on either side of the curve in the road.  Why would this driver wait until the curve to pass her?
 
It has been six months and nothing additional was added or changed to the official report filed from the scene.  My visit to the area's finest may be a fools errand, and it was sure to have some tense moments for me, but I think I owed it to my sister.  That's not true, I owed it to myself.  She would never thank me nor would we laugh over my discomfort talking to them.  It was for me; it has always been for me.  And that's ok.
 
Midway between Bennington and Manchester is the bedroom community of Shaftsbury.  There was nothing especially memorable about the place from my youth other than Lake Shaftsbury which I swam a few times while in school.  I pulled off Route 7 onto the road to the police barracks.  I debated making a u turn and leaving the way I came, but thought against it.
 
The drive up to the flat bland building was quick and the parking lot was empty.  Not much happened in Shaftsbury, or Vermont for that matter.  I walked in the door and immediately felt uneasy.  I know I was there inquiring about my sister, but past actions taught me to stay on my guard around the police.  Their nature required them to question everything and everyone.  I have been lucky that our paths have not crossed during my times of frustration and anger.  I have always been careful and covered my tracks.
 
The area just inside the front door was small with a bench seat on one wall and a receptionists window on the opposite.  Behind the window was a young woman talking to a trooper.  The trooper looked familiar but I couldn't place the face.  He looked up and locked eyes with me.
 
"Eddie?", the trooper asked with surprise.  
 
Oh shit, "Y-Yes", I replied weakly.  
 
"Eddie Laveque, God Damn it!, It's Tom Borroughs"  he replied.  
 
Wow the quarterback from long ago.  Once I left school I never looked back.  I had no interest in keeping up with my previous life.  I knew many adults my age had discovered Facebook recently and were able to reconnect with the people they grew up with and lost track of over the years.
 
I thought this social network craze was such as waste of time.  I did not even have a Facebook account.  Facebook was created for people that cared about what other people thought and measured their accomplishments against those of others.  I knew what I wanted and did not care who had it or did not have it.  Everyone today was on the grid and stayed in touch with people they cared about.  I never voluntarily joined the grid and the only person I cared about was with me every day of my life.  Keep it simple or be stupid.
 
Tom disappeared for a second, then came out the side door into the waiting room and embraced me in a bear hug.  He was smaller than me but had a vice grip hug.  My memories of him came back.  He was a good guy that I never had trouble with.  The times I spent with him were a nice diversion during my school football career.  
 
"How you doing Tom?", I asked with a smile as sincere as I could manage.  
 
"Good, Eddie, Good" he smiled.  "What brings you here after all these years?" he asked asked lightly.  
 
"I came here about my sister, Tom", I replied with a somber tone in my voice.  
 
His face turned serious. "I'm sorry Eddie; I was one of the responding officers just after it happened".  He continued, "But that was over six months ago. Your father stopped in after it happened to ask about the specifics and we updated him.  He said he would let you know, so we did not try to contact you."  What the hell was my father doing showing up after the accident when I haven't seen him for the majority of my life.  
 
"Yeah, my father and I had a less than heartfelt reunion that other day" I said looking down as I spoke.  "Has he lived around here since I left?", I asked as innocently as I could.  
 
I could see Tom searching my face as I spoke.  I could not help thinking that he could see my thoughts.  God I hated that.  I always felt uneasy around them even when I didn't do anything. 
 
"Yeah", he replied, "He gave us his address and phone number and told us he moved back to the area two years ago trying to reconnect with his family."  I thought better of asking for my father's address. 
 
"So, Tom, was it an accident?" I asked to get back on track.
 
"It looked like an accident, Eddie."  He said thoughtfully.  "It still bothers me we never found the other car or driver, though".
 
"I went out to the scene and it seems strange the other car would use the corner to try a pass", I said continuing to probe the trooper's memory.
 
"Yea, it is strange, but there were no other circumstances to view it as more than a stupid careless accident", he said looking at me more closely.  "Do you have something for me that may make me change my mind?", his eyebrows narrowed as his eyes showed his peaked interest.
 
"Nooo, no, Tom, nothing like that.  It is just tragic for my sister."  I replied trying to remove the interest he helped to create in the trooper. 
 
"Thanks for your time and it was great to see you Tom"  I said finishing quickly.
 
"It was great to see you also Eddie. You take care", he said cheerfully.
 
"You also, Tom", I waved as I walked out the door.
 
I made a mental note to check my fathers address.  I do not trust him.  My father has an agenda and I need to find out what it is before I move on him.  I headed back to the hotel.
 
I pulled out my computer when I got back to the condo and looked up tickets for the next Red Sox game.  I would head down tomorrow early afternoon for the 7:10 first pitch.  Not many things make me feel giddy these days.  After printing the ticket off the Hotel printer, I was feeling good.  Nothing to do for the rest of the day.  
 
I called the old man and decided to get this out of the way.  He suggested we meet at a hole in the wall bar just up the road from where I was staying just after first pitch of tonight's game.  I agreed.  
 
I showed up before him.  I don't like being in a location that I am not familiar.  This is especially true because he recommended it.  The bar was not really a hole in the wall.  The building was worse then some of the other buildings around it.  Manchester was funny.  It looked like one big outdoor outlet store.  Not much of the character left in the downtown area.  The old homes that abutted the Hotel looked nice and reminded visitors why so many people liked to drive the old highway up from Bennington.  It was a beautiful drive.
 
The downtown area was meant for shopping and not much else.  Since I was not here to shop, I was not impressed.  I took a table opposite the door near the back and ordered a beer.  The table had an easy view of the game.  I took some time to lip read the pregame show and sipped my beer before the old man arrived.  Not many other people were in the bar. That was a good thing.  I do not know how he would act and I did not want a scene.
 
The old man came in and found me immediately.  He shuffled over and sat down in the only seat that blocked my view of the television.  I looked blankly at him for a moment, then motioned to the other chair next to him.
 
"What?" he said as I motioned for him to move. 
 
"Move" was all I said and stared unblinking through him.
 
"Why!?", He replied annoyed.  
 
"Because I am watching the game".  I replied evenly.
 
He smirked, "That's right, you like baseball, don't you", he said in a reminiscing tone that was moving in a direction that he would not like.
 
He continued, "Red Sox, right?  Yea, you got the jersey on your birthday", He chuckled.
 
"Look old man", I spit through clenched teeth, "I am NOT here to reminisce with you about my childhood!  You abandoned us.  All of us ON MY BIRTHDAY you scumbag!", my voice quivered slightly.  This annoyed me and I forced myself to calm down.  He would not get the best of me.
 
"Yes I did", he said in a matter of fact tone  with his hands positioned palms towards him in surrender.  "I am sorry about that, but we are here to talk about your sister and not the past".
 
"Talk", was all I said as I took a sip of beer to keep myself looking and acting normal.
 
"I have a proposition for you", he said starting to outline his purpose for the meeting.  "This may make you a few bucks for your time." He finished.
 
I kept looking at him without responding.  
 
He continued, "I plan on filing a medical malpractice suit against the hospital because of her current condition.  Death would have been better for her considering the fact she will be in a coma for the rest of her life, probably."  He tried to remain sincere and not excited about the prospect of a windfall of cash for him.
 
I saw this and wanted to reach across the table and simply strangle him.  It would be so easy, but I must bide my time and be patient.  He has his time coming.  The vultures are circling and he doesn't even know it.
 
"What can I do?", I said evenly without emotion.
 
"You can help me get in contact with the right law firm that can get me, I mean Kristin, the money she deserves.", he said licking his lips. "Can I get a drink?" he asked meekly.  
 
"I don't care what you do old man", I replied, then thought why he asked and said "Oh, you want ME to pay for it; is that it?"  He nodded quickly.
 
"Whatever" I said disgustedly.
 
He ordered a two Tanqueray's on the rocks.  Funny that this "hardcore" big man ordered a drink that used to be called "mother's milk" when it was introduced in England.  Freakin' pussy I thought.
 
After taking the first drink in two gulps, he paused and then continued, "Ah, good..., Ok, I know you have the contacts and that is why I need your help."
 
I now knew the direction I would take.  I had this greedy useless human waste groveling at my feet for cash to continue purchasing his early death from booze and cigarettes.  I started, "Well, since she is still alive, you will not, I mean her relatives, that is you, will not get the maximum amount of money possible.", I paused to see his reaction.  I watched as the old man looked down, then sat back and took out a cigarette and lit it before responding.
 
I continued before he could start, "Her death would be a greater hardship on her relatives and more damaging to the doctor or hospital being accused.  The insurance company would settle more quickly with less questions to make the issue go away.", I finished.  The hook was set. 
 
He started then stopped.  He got up and went to the bathroom without a word.  Shit probably has a hard-on at the prospect of increased cash in his hands.  I debated getting up and leaving him with the bill, but I figured he would make a scene if I did.  This would create a memory for the bartender that could be recalled if the need arose.
 
I took out a roll of bills and peeled off two twenties, got up and moved towards the bar when he failed to show after a few minutes.  I paid the bartender directly because I new if I left the money on the table, he would steal any tip I left.
 
I told the bartender the old man could have another drink on my tab as I walked out.
 
Bastard knew my number.  Besides, my work was done.  I would never give him any contact information I had with some of the law firms I do business with.  They are my business contacts.  Dear old dad would not get one digit of their phone number or one letter of their name.
 
I went back to the condo and pulled up the ball game then called in room service. I was in for the night.  The food arrived which I consumed with a couple of beers while I watched the game.  It was a good game.  I hope tomorrows will be as good since I will be watching it live.
 
The drive to Boston was nice.  It was overcast on the way down, but never rained.  Finding a parking spot close to the ballpark was easy and I made my way to Yawkey Way.  The massive memorabilia shop opposite the ballpark was my first destination.  I found what I was looking for a moved across the street to the bar for a late lunch before going to wait in line for the gates to open.
 
The entrance to the park was as I remembered it.  I can't think of anything that stood out as different from my memories.  It was very nice to see the owners so set on keeping the tradition and feel of the park in keeping with it's place as a historic monument.
 
I took my seat behind the Sox dugout.  On one side of me was a woman who had no idea about baseball, but who agreed to come with her boyfriend to prove her interest in him.  The boyfriend gave me the once over and looked like the jealous type.  I sized him up quickly.  Not a problem.  On the other side were an older couple that had season tickets and loved the Red Sox more than they loved each other.  Not problem here either.  It would be a nice comfortable game.
 
Midway into the 7th inning, after "Sweet Caroline" played for the billionth time since the song became a Fenway tradition, I received the expected phone call from the rehabilitation home.  The doctor on call told me that my sister had passed away an hour before.  I did not react.  I had just seen her the day before and now she was gone.  The game dropped into the background as a I walked away from the action into the tunnel to hear what the doctor was telling me.  
 
"How did she die?", was all I asked.  
 
The doctor did not answer me.  He told me there was an inquiry scheduled for next week and as soon as the results were completed and a report submitted, he would call.
 
"Wow, you don't know how she died?" was all I asked in an awed tone.  
 
"No, Mr. Laveque, we don't know how she died.  There does not seem to be any outside influence and her vital signs for the past week were weak but stable." he reported in a monotone defensive voice.  
 
"Ok, doctor, thanks, you have my number", I said and hung up.
 
Now things were more simple.  I do not need to go back to that place again and could close the book on my sister.  My father was now the focus.  Stay focused.
 
I decided to confirm what I knew and called the home back to ask if there had been any vi


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