My severance package was generous, just like Linda said it would be. Mr. Silver compensated me $2500.00 for the occupancy rate, $10,500 was my severance and $7000 up front for taking the assignment in Alabama. Linda provided me with a credit card to pay for my living expenses while I lived and worked at the property in Three Notch. Of course I banked half of the money and the rest I used to pay off some bills, buy some new clothes, get the Ford Windstar tuned up and checked out for my long drive and spoiled my parents with money and gifts.
“Tommie, what’s all this for girl, what you do, hit the lottery or something?” (said Bud).
“No dad. You know I don’t play no lottery, you and ma play it enough for all three of us, and then some.”
“Well something then girl, you done did something to get all this money and stuff you handing to me and Emma like you one of them cash machines they got at the bank.”
“ATM machine daddy, the bank got ATM machines.”
“Yeah, them machines that give you money, you know what I’m talkin about Tommie.”
“Yeah, Yeah Bud, I know what you talking about. Can’t I just be nice to you and your wife without you being so suspicious?” “I love you and ma, I just want to do something nice for you guys. I’m being sent on an assignment for my boss and the money is part of my salary for agreeing to take the assignment out of state.”
“Out of state you say, where you going?”
“Down south daddy, Linda and Mort sending your baby girl down south.” (I stared at his face to see his reaction).
“Do your mamma know about this Tommie?” (he replied in a soft voice).
“Not yet daddy.”
“Well when you planning to tell her girl – when you go tell your mamma that you going south?”
“When she get home daddy.”
“Go fetch me a Budweiser from the fridge please.”
I sat at my parents dining room table and watched my father slowly sip his beer from the can sitting in his lazy-boy recliner, in the corner near the window of the living room. Bud sat there silent and gazed out the window without saying another word to me after I got up and brought him his drink of choice. I sat in silence. Scared to interrupt his solitude. Scared to ask him what was he thinking about. Scared to remind him that I was still there – at the house – sitting at his dining room table – waiting for my mom, his wife, to come home.
To be continued on: Saturday, 2/06/2016