Hank Grady

7.1 2Hank Grady

by DarkJade

Cleveland Ohio

A Graveyard

Hank Grady, a 70 something year old man, stands at the back of a group of people attending an outside burial service.

His hair once blond, now silver, he’s wearing a long grey wool coat, and a soft black scarf.

Forty five of Susan’s closest friends had shown up to her service.

Wow, I never realized she knew so many people.

After being trapped in that marriage for some 22 years, where she basically wasn’t able to have friends, or her husband Budd would find someway to use it against her… And the beatings would begin again.

Of course if I knew that was going on all those years, I would have intervened.

Or would I have…

Anyway, it’s hard to believe that in the last five years of her life, those precious five years after she finally left Budd, she was able to make as many friends as all this.

But she was nice.

Hank reaches up and presses a few of his fingers against the soft black scarf around his neck.

In all the years I’ve lived in Cleveland, I can’t say I’ve ever worn a scarf…

But as soon as I arrived here today, Susan’s Granddaughter, Margarette, ran up and handed it to me.

I never had any kids of my own… No time.

I spent 40 some odd years in the Health Insurance game.

It wasn’t all that exciting but… it was a living.

And I’ve been married not three, but four times.

But they’re all gone now.

Not dead… Well… One of them did pass from the Big C last year.

Betty.

But what I mean is, they’re no longer in my life.

Which is strange… As I still love each of them as I did when we spent time together.

Life is strange.

Or maybe not.

Maybe I’m the odd one.

The services come to an end, and people slowly depart, some of them shaking Hank’s hand as they pass.

He notes Susan’s Grandchildren getting into a family car with her eldest son, Bob.

Bob waves.

Hank waves back.

Once all have left, Hank wanders over to the grave site where his Sister Susan has been lowered into, and buried.

He looks down at the ground, looking at the tombstone plate cement slab on the ground.

Here Lays Susan Bella Grady

Daughter of Joe and Barbi Grady

Mother of Bob, and Justin Grady

Grandmother of Margarette, Bethany, and Chelsey Grady

Sister of Hank Grady

1946-2013

Strange that she passed before me.

Sometimes I wonder if I just happened to get lucky on the gene pool side of things.

Hank turns and walks towards a convertible car.

I mean, sure I’ve had my share of health issues… but here I am… and she is not.

Hank reaches into his right hand jacket pocket, and brings out a pair of keys.

As he reaches to stick them in the convertible’s door, he stops.

I don’t own a convertible.

Ten Minutes Later

Hank’s Brown Sedan

Hank is sitting at a green light.

HONK!

The car behind him’s horn wakes him from his daze, he steps slowly on the gas, and continues onto a freeway on ramp.

I’ve probably driven on this freeway 10,000 times… It passes right by Bob’s house.

And yet I’ve probably spent a total of four or five times with Susan’s Grand Kids.

I mean… They’re not my Grand Kids… But I am their Grand Uncle… If there is such a thing.

What’s so great about selling insurance, that I didn’t make room in my life to see those kids.

Or Bob or Justin for that matter.

Justin…

I think he’s still in rehab.

All that drinking…

I imagine those boys got there share of beatings from Budd as well…

If I only knew…

I still probably wouldn’t have done anything.

They weren’t my kids… Right? That’s a nice lame excuse I used for 40 years.

I think I’m done with that lame excuse.

Hank picks up his cell phone and dials Bob.

“Hi Bob… It’s your Uncle Hank… Yeah… Yeah.”

Hank pulls into a driveway of a small home, gets out, and goes into the house… Still talking to Bob as he goes.

“Listen, Bob… What are the chances I can pull Margarette, Bethany, and Chelsey out of school tomorrow… Take them to a park… And maybe lunch… Or a movie?” asks Hank as he takes off his long coat, and turns on his t.v.

“I’m retired now, my schedule is open… I’d like to see them… Then maybe you and Elizabeth for dinner afterwards.”

“Yeah… Yeah… Sounds good… I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning then… Yeah… Love you too.”

Hank takes a beer out of the fridge, and sits in front of the t.v.

“I need to sell this house,” he speaks as he turns the t.v. onto the golf channel.

DarkJade-

 

 

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