Mischief is up and away

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Dream, Humanity
Tags: , , , , ,
Jeremy and Jonathan Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jeremy and Jonathan
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

DISCLAIMER:  This is a story of fiction. Characters are not based on existing people. Similarities to living or historic characters are purely incidental. The location is not based on a true nursing home. The book mentioned in the story does not exist to date.

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On my grandfather’s 68th birthday, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. His health got worse on a monthly basis. Despite that he wanted to go on a last round-the-world-trip with me. My parents, successful with their own finance company briefly checked the less expensive nursing homes and sent my grandfather to 3 Acres Refuge as they couldn’t be bothered with taking care of him.

It was obvious, that he didn’t want to be ‘deported’ to a nursing home. He had always followed his own eccentric dreams. He always took care not to hurt anyone; whereas his son and his daughter-in-law – my parents – didn’t stop at anything to get what they wanted. The first thing they did when deporting him to the nursing home: they placed him under disability. I was shocked – this was my grandfather, my hero! He was more father to me than my own father could have ever been.

I visited him every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3 Acres Refuge. The nursing home was in the outskirts of town, and it took me 20 minutes to get there. I didn’t mind the ride – I was 16 and didn’t give a damn about what my classmates or my parents said. My grandfather was cool and always willing to listen to my ramblings – as I was always listening to his.

He failed to understand why his only son had placed him under disability. “It’s so pathetic; apparently they just want my money, the sooner, the better. They are so well off, and still… Warren was always keen on money and Estelle…” I could just agree, my parents were that way – incredibly greedy. I wanted to travel round the world with my grandfather – instead I had to return home every day, to a home that didn’t in the least feel like home.

In computer classes at school I researched the term ‘placing under disability’. The results were depressing. To undo the harm done I would have needed not only money but also an adult by my side to contract a psychiatric expert to check my grandfather’s mental health and to hire a lawyer. I had nobody. My parents always considered me a mischievous nuisance – they clearly were my adversaries in this case.

I told my grandfather about the necessity of another psychological assessment. We needed an expert’s opinion on his mental health. He listened attentively and nodded. Then I told him, that we would also need to be represented by a lawyer to get the disability stuff undone. My grandfather sighed. It seemed unlikely to get a lawyer without being in the means to pay his fees.

When I returned to my grandfather, he had company. He greeted me a smile. “This is Theresa Cunningham, she is our new psychologist.” She seemed nice, a blonde in her late twenties, wearing decently tinted glasses and tiny golden earrings, a rose-coloured costume and – rose coloured sneakers. We chatted for a while, and then she had to leave. Grandfather elaborated our journey. Oh how I would have loved to pack my stuff right there and then.

When I left 3 Acres Refuge, I bumped into Theresa Cunningham. I just had to ask her what she thought about my grandfather. “What do you think about his mental health? He is his usual self; he knows what he is doing. It is incredible that they could place him under disability, don’t you think?!” She looked into my eyes and – her phone started ringing. She answered it, shrugged and waved goodbye.

Four months later, my grandfather still was in the nursing home. Theresa Cunningham apparently wasn’t fully convinced that my grandfather had lost his marbles. She had brought in a lawyer who owed her a favour. Jonathan Reeves visited my grandfather several times a week, making plans to get the money back. In all these months, my parents hadn’t visited him even once.

Jonathan Reeves, who didn’t ask for a fee – he did everything for the good cause and he and my grandfather had become friends – decided to pay my parents a long overdue visit. He didn’t bother to make an appointment. He was quite aware that they wouldn’t have accepted a scheduled meeting. He went there, convinced their secretary that it was a case of life or death. They had to listen. “Mr. and Mrs. Beresford, I am here on behalf of Mr. Wallace Beresford. The rather dubious case of placing him under disability has raised some attention.”

“He’s completely lost it!” my mother exclaimed hotly. “Imagine – he is fatally ill and wants to go on a round-the-world tour! He wouldn’t even survive the first week!”

My father took the same line: “He wants to throw out all his money for this ridiculous plan! He is sick, he is weak, and he even convinced our now 16-year-old son to be part of this charade!”

When Jonathan Reeves returned to my grandfather, I was already there. The lawyer shook his head incredulously. “These two are impossible! They are stubborn, have no faith in anything but themselves, and at least Mrs. Beresford would like to see you dead rather now than tomorrow.” He was right, even later I seldom met people who were as cold-hearted as my parents.

I could hardly believe my ears as my grandfather and Jonathan Reeves started to elaborate their plan to reinstate my grandfather’s ‘freedom’. “Time is of the essence.” They both agreed on this. Then they sent me home. “No need for you to know the details. We cannot risk your safety. And things might get dirty. Whenever one of us gets in touch with you – you need to do as we say immediately. Understood?” I did not really understand, nodded anyway – prepared to do whatever they told me.

Three weeks later, my grandfather died. The leukaemia had taken its toll. Jonathan Reeves called me. “Are you ready?!” I was ready. I took the bus to the address he had given me. I rang the doorbell. He answered the door himself, asked me to follow him to his office. He offered me sparkling water and explained what was to come.

“Two days ago, your grandfather’s mental health was confirmed in court, he could get access to all his resources, made his will, and became your guardian. Your parents lost tutelage due to their dubious behaviour.”

I was dumbfounded, took a big gulp of the water that still sparkled.

“Now to your grandfather’s will: My grandson and ward, Jeremy Beresford, is to receive 3.4 million Euros on his 18th birthday. Until then he will receive 5,000 Euros per month to be used for transportation, food, and whatever he needs on his around the round-the-world tour. This tour is to be followed as agreed upon. In case that I die before his 18th birthday, my friend and lawyer, Jonathan Reeves, will be his guardian. As friend and guardian he is to receive 5,000 Euros per month until Jeremy’s 18th birthday. Afterwards, he will receive 4,000 Euros per month.”

Jonathan handed me the document. It was signed by my grandfather, two psychologists as witnesses, one of them Dr. Theresa Cunningham who had by then earned a lot of respect from the community’s point of view, as well as by Jonathan’s partner, David Eccles. “You just need to sign and off we go. Your parents are still on their business trip – as usual playing hard to reach. Until they are back, the time to appeal is over.”

What can I tell you? I signed and we started grandfather’s around-the-world tour – without him, yet completely according to his wishes. Jonathan and I became friends, despite his being twelve years my senior.

When my parents returned from their business trip, I was gone. The accounts they had hoped to get their hands on were depleted. We – or better said Jonathan – had transferred the money to different accounts at another bank. They were furious, tried to find me, hiring the best investigators – to no avail. Everything my grandfather and Jonathan Reeves had achieved was legal. They couldn’t get to me in any sense any more. I was finally free.

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You now certainly ask yourselves, why I told you this story. May I introduce myself: I am Professor Jeremy Beresford. You know me for my non-fiction book “Reasons For Greed – How to treat obsessed persons”. Throughout my journey with Jonathan, I not only looked and heard – I watched, listened and comprehended. Jonathan and I were more than just tourists, we tried to get the picture, we communicated, we learned. After our tour, I wrote my thesis, and was accepted at a renowned university. I mastered and specialised in errant behaviours, and – for the last 20 years –frequently testified in courts as an expert on this topic.

My grandfather was right, he used to tell me: “If you want something, make it happen!” His last good deed was to set me free; and despite his death he guided me to become a better person than my father – his son – ever was. Throughout Jonathan’s and my journey I realised that I desperately wanted to make the world a better place, to support humanity

I am glad that I could finally tell my story. It is not part of my published biography.

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Ruth Viridis inspired me to write this short story. Thank you so much, Ruth!  🙂

This is how it came to pass:

2013-12-29
Ruth sent me a message ‘Mischief is on its way’ – not meant as a title, whereas…’  I replied: ‘Sounds good! This will be the next title!’

2014-01-07
Told Ruth she could name the why, who and how of the story.

2014-01-11
Ruth modified the title and sent a basic idea.  I started writing.

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