Jenny just stared at her father, trying to determine whether he had told her the truth.
“You wanted us both to come here,” she replied, slowly.
“Yes,” he replied, staring directly into her eyes.
“But we never left Buffalo. Why?”
“Your mother. I would get her on the cell, and the arguments we had before I left would continue. I think when things went to hell, she took it bad, very badly. Some people, they don’t realize that when things change, they need to change with it, and she just didn’t want to. Part of her, she kept thinking that this was all just a bad day, and that it would all go back to normal tomorrow, and when tomorrow was no better, she got worse.”
Jenny said nothing as she took another sip from her drink.
He continued, “She couldn’t, maybe she wouldn’t see that things were not going to stay the same, and they would never go back to where they had been. Iowa wasn’t going to grow any more corn, New York wasn’t going to be the city everyone wanted to move to, none of that was what it had been. It was over, done, all of that, and she didn’t want to accept that.”
“So are you telling me that you did reach out to us?”
“Regularly. As often as I could. Even when the border started to close, I tried to call and write her. You don’t want to know how much I paid an Israeli hacking ring to route calls and email through ghost nodes to get her to talk to me.”
“And all the time you tried to call us,” Jenny asked, “what were you doing while we were back in Buffalo?”
“I continued to invest, build up a fortune. Northwest passage shipping, Brazilian reclamation REITs, everywhere I could get the biggest return for every dollar sunk into it; I tried to make sure that when you both came, that you would never want anything when you got here.”
“Just invest? The whole time?”
“You’re trying to ask me something,” he replied as he leaned forward.
“Okay, yes. It would really suck if while you were waiting, we found out you got lonely and found someone to ‘spend some time with’ here before we turned up.”
He slowly sat back in his chair and took a long drink from his snifter. “Fair question,” he replied. “And if I asked you to trust me, would you?”
Jenny just stared at him, sizing him up again.
“I suppose the big question here is, how much do you trust me?”
“You could say that, yeah,” Jenny replied.
“And do I have a reason not to trust my daughter, the pirate?”
Jenny went back to staring at him…
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan