On the ride back to town, Gage stared silently out the passenger side window. There were new houses, a school, a mall, a water tower, and an Arby’s restaurant. Finally he spoke.
“I can’t believe in a matter of a few minutes we can go from quiet solitude in nature, to being right in the middle of daytime rush hour traffic. I bet this city has changed a lot of the years. Wow, look at that big stone tower on the hill. Cool. Tell me about the people who gave you the condo, if you would?” He said and asked all in one breath.
” That stone tower is part of the Henry Plummer estate. He was a big part of the history of the clinic and this city. Charlie and Will said the best investment they ever made in the clinic was hiring Henry Plummer. I’ll tell you more about him later, and I’ll take you up to his tower and home when we have more time.The garden area is just spectacular. It is another magical area of this city.” I explained.
“The couple I worked for were really awesome. The husband suffered a traumatic brain injury. His wife became ill with cancer, so they came here to get the best care available. They had no living relatives when they passed, so they left one side of the condo for me. They sold the other side for a large amount of money. It is 100 % handicap accessible, all the latest inventions and gadgets for someone with a TBI. They wrote the estate into their will, stipulating that I could live on my side for the rest of my life. The other part of the agreement was when I sold the condo, or passed away, the money would go to medical research and education, namely the traumatic brain injury wing named in their honor.” I told him.
“That’s an awesome story. You have had an exciting life so far. I’m sorry, I need to answer my phone, ok?” He said as he was already answering it.
“My mom wants to meet you for lunch in the hotel restaurant. Are you feeling better now? She also said I am not allowed to come. I don’t know why. She’s been acting really weird lately. I think the radiation or chemotherapy is going to her head.” He said
“Sure. I would love to meet her. Yes, I am feeling much better now. I don’t know what happened to me, I just got zapped for a minute. I’ll go get a table and you run up to your room and get her. Take your time.” I replied
Half an hour later, Patricia was standing in front of me. She was a thin, frail looking woman, but very pretty even though she wasn’t wearing any make-up at all. We sat and made small talk. She ordered a glass of chardonnay, and I ordered a margarita on the rocks with extra salt. She said she wasn’t hungry, and I agreed, but we ordered a quesadilla appetizer anyway.
“I hope you don’t think it too strange for me to have such a liking for your son. I want you know it is totally innocent and a strict friendship we are forming. Our connection is based on my small amount of knowledge and experience in the history of your family that he seems so inclined to learn about.” I said, blushing a little bit
“Oh God, he’s a grown man. He can do what he wan, but he is still my baby. I have heard some stories about my family over the years, but most of what I know I have read in a single book.” She answered quickly.
“Oh, I thought maybe that’s why you didn’t want him to join us for lunch. I just don’t want you to have the wrong impression of me, or my intentions of hanging out with your son everyday.” I said simply.
“No.No. It’s way more important than that. I don’t know how much he has told you. Gage is my only child, and the last relative on both sides of our family. I have one brother, but his health is so bad, he will probably be dead before me. Here’s the problem. I told Gage we were coming here for me to get treatment for cancer. The type of cancer I have is not going to respond to treatment. I can feel it eating me from the inside getting more aggressive everyday. I just didn’t know how to tell him. He lost his dad, and his grandparents, and now he will lose me. He doesn’t have anybody. We have two dogs at home. He loves those dogs.” She said as tears welled up in her eyes
Then she continued, “I have a very large inheritance for him, but he doesn’t know about it. His dad and I thought it best if Gage grew up earning his way in life, and we didn’t want him slacking because we had money. I guess there are a lot of things that need to get straightened out in a short amount of time. I feel like he trusts you, and I do too. I know it’s weird, but it’s just the way I feel.”
“Don’t think twice about it. That’s exactly the way I live my life. It hasn’t let me down yet. Intuition is key. I felt it the minute Gage first spoke to me. I am being honest with you about our relationship. He is a smart, polite, attractive young man, but I have no interest in being more than friends with him. He is a kid to me, but I try to treat him like the adult he really is.” I said to her
” Now, about the money. How do you feel about handling it for a few years until he is slowly broken into the idea of being wealthy?” she asked straight to the point.
“I can handle it, but how much money are we talking about?” I had to ask.
“Approximately $20 million. ” she said straight-faced
“Wow. That is a huge inheritance for someone who doesn’t have a clue. I can understand your concerns. When do you plan to tell him you are not receiving treatment?” I asked
“I need to tell him tonight. We don’t have much time together left, I feel pain inside my bones, it gets stronger by the day. Maybe a month more to live, probably less if I can be totally honest. ” She said quite plainly
“I’m so sorry, Patricia. I don’t know what to say. I’ll help anyway I can. I took Gage to Ivy Lodge today. We never made it to the house though. I started to feel ill, and then I saw a for sale by owner sign by the creek.” I told her
“Buy it.” Patricia said to me “I’ll call my attorney tonight and ask her to fly out as soon as she can. I already put the Colorado property up for sale. Gage doesn’t know about this either. I’ll leave it up to you when you feel is the right time to let him handle the money. I think its best to give him smaller amounts at a time and see how he chooses to invest it. If he starts wasting or making bad decisions, donate it to medical research. I am already donating the estate, so you don’t have to worry about that part.”she added
“I hope everything goes well tonight when you tell him. I ‘ll be thinking about both of you.” I said as I got up from my seat and gave her a hug.”Will you tell Gage I’ll pick him up tomorrow at 10 am at the coffee shop? We’ll go out to the Lodge and talk with the owners. Will you answer one question for me?” I asked
“I’ll try” she answered.
“What was your plan if you hadn’t met me to handle the inheritance?” I asked.
“I was going to give all but 2 million dollars to medical research and education. I figured a couple million couldn’t ruin a kid, but 20 million was too much too soon.” she answered.
“Good call . I think you made the right choice. I hope you can find peace and enjoy what time you have left with your son. He’s a good kid, and he will find his way. I think it’s amazing that you are putting this much faith and trust in a complete stranger, I won’t let you down.” I said to her
“Oh, I know you won’t. Charlie came to me in a dream last night and told me he knows you and your girls. I don’t have any concerns you won’t do what you are meant to do.” She said with the first smile of our meeting.