“So your dad,” Tia said as she struggled to get her voice, “your son-in-law,” she said to Nana, “he was the- this, this… one of the ex-pats that left the US for Canada? He was a ‘Climate Claimant’ I gather?”
“A what?” Jenny asked.
“That’s the name from up north, I’ve been told,” she added, staring at Nana, “that they gave to the people who left the States with as much convertible liquidity as they could, soon after climate change and the destabilization from that started to hit, when those with the resources but little faith in how things were being done here left to go north.”
“Yeah,” said Nana, “That’s Tony DiNapoli to a T. Bright guy, made a lot of money in financial derivatives and software investing. Made a real killing in Korean companies; got in a few years before South Korea bought out North Korea and got huge returns on that, just after Alejandro hit Brooklyn.
“He was so smart, he was the only guy on his block in Brooklyn to have full insurance and got something from them. And then he moved to the Bronx for a few years, rather than rebuild where his old place was; if he’d gone back where he lived with Klara they’d have had title to a reef today. Had a lot of money, and he knew where to put it in a hurry.”
“So, you weren’t born in Buffalo, Jenny?” Tia asked.
“Uh, no,” she answered.
“Well,” said Nana, “he comes here with Klara and Jenny, lived with us right here for a while, doing a lot of trading from one holding to another right at the kitchen table while Jenny’s running around without clothes on.”
“We weren’t poor,” Jenny interjected. “It wasn’t like he didn’t care for us.”
“Oh yeah?” Nana interjected. “How come when he runs off to Canada, he leaves you behind with me?”
“Okay, at that point we ran out of money,” Jenny grumbled…
“And you where how old?” Tia asked.
“About two. Yeah, it was close to my second birthday.”
“And he never tried to reach out to you?”
“Klara and Tony had a lot of fights before he left,” said Nana. “She claimed he moved all his money into Canadian outlets to keep her away from his money.”
“But, if this was about the time we’re talking about,” Tia felt her way forward, “weren’t Canadian banking trusts doing a lot better then than American ones?”
“Oh sure,” said Nana, “yeah, supposedly. I heard news about how Chinese hackers tried to take it out on us after Korea reunified, and maybe some of the Arab-Israeli Cyber War hit a few nodes that also made it hard to keep people in touch with their money, but if you want the truth, he could have tried harder. She said she couldn’t move north, but if he really asked her, she might have said yes.”
“I see,” said Tia. “And your daughter Klara; what is she doing now?”
“Damned if I know. She kept losing jobs every few months since Tony went north, and one time she went looking for work and didn’t come back. I tried to get to the bottom of that, but by then police protection was more of a subscription service than a public duty, so by the end of the sixty day period after I reported her gone, nothing more could be done, and by then I was too busy raising Jenny.”
“So no one in Buffalo is looking for her?”
“Russell is,” Jenny interjected.
“Every so often, as part of deal and why I’m snitching, when he gets a moment, Russell hits a few leads to see if anything pans out.”
Nana blinked a few times and blurted, “And you never said anything to me?”
“Nana, I’m seeing Russell on the side, and I’m not exactly open about this. I mean, I , I, if everyone knew that we, I…”
Jenny didn’t recall telling her legs to move her over to Nana; she just did. She just put her arms around her and started to cry, and Nana cried with her.
“I shouldn’t be seeing him, I know,” said Jenny between sobs. “I can’t, he’s bad business, and if the crew finds out I see him… but he may… I want my mom…”
And Jenny stopped caring what Tia might find out from that moment forward as she blurted small bits between sobs…
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan