Honestly, what other book was I gonna put up here today?? Hee hee.
So, IT’S A TRUST THING releases, as you know, on 11.1.19. Nell Newbery had an idyllic childhood up until the age of 16, when her father was arrested, tried, and convicted of running a pyramid scheme for people who had invested with him. Life as she knew it changed forever the moment he was taken away in handcuffs from their apartment.
Nell has lived her life since then out of the pubic eye, despite the hordes of journalists and paparazzi who follow her, dying to get a sound bit or a compromising position photograph. She’s cut off all contact with her felonious father and hasn’t visited him once while he’s been incarcerated. But he’s been begging her to visit him of late. The 15th anniversary of the date he was imprisoned is looming and Nell thinks he wants to involve her in a plan to garner him early release. Since she won’t speak to him, her dad emails her. This little snippet is just one of the messages that Nell has been deleting as they arrive. I think her anger shines through in this scene.
That done, I finally checked my in-box. Much of my day-today operations were conducted electronically through email, direct message, and via my website. Some days, if I was busy with something, I’d have dozens of notifications to contend with before I knew it. Staying ahead of the mail was an important facet in keeping my day moving smoothly and my stomach unknotted.
As I opened the application and waited for the messages to load onto my screen, I sipped at the bottled water I’d gotten with lunch. A quick eye stroll down the list of waiting-to-be-read notices and the water suddenly choked at the back of my throat.
I checked the return web address, blinked, then checked it again.
It couldn’t be; it had been over a year since I’d heard anything.
One more check. Yup. It was. The return address was from a government-dot-org account.
My father had sent me an email.
Or more importantly, what did he want, because surely this wasn’t a hi, how are you doing, missive. My father wasn’t wired that way. Every email was usually a request to do something for him.
Speak in his favor at an upcoming parole hearing.
Write a letter to the Governor asking for clemency or to have his sentence reduced.
Get together with his lawyers to discuss how they could finagle him a new trial, claiming the government had railroaded him.
I never bothered to call them.
My father, I’d finally come to realize when I was in college, was a user. Out for himself and himself alone. He’d never asked once about my mother – his wife – when he emailed me. Not once in all these years. Since she’d fallen apart after his arrest and subsequent incarceration, he figured she wasn’t useful to him any longer.
The woman had stood by him, valiantly, bravely, believing in him until the verdict was handed down, and even after that. By virtue of their marriage, though, her reputation was ruined, a side effect of loving the man and sticking by him. All her friends had turned their backs on her. The philanthropic committees and boards she’d sat on removed her from their ranks. Even her family disowned her, blaming her for marrying a man who would bring ridicule and shame upon their good name.
Suffice it to say when they’d disowned her, it had filtered down to include me, the Devil’s spawn. The difference between my mother and I was I didn’t care that her family had rejected me because of who my father was. My mother did, though. She was devastated when everyone she loved turned on her. So much so, she’d disassociated from the world and wound up committed. It was grossly unfair. Her husband was the criminal, not her. The only crime she’d committed was in loving and trusting the man.
I hadn’t seen nor spoken to my father since the day he was escorted out of a federal courtroom to begin his sentence.
He’d gotten my email address from one of his lawyers. Thankfully, none of them had my private cell number and I didn’t have a personal landline so they couldn’t reach out to me. My calls at the office were screened by the receptionist I shared with Ella and Danny, and I avoided them whenever they called.
This missive now staring at me was the first time in over a year he’d made contact.
He knew the anniversary of his imprisonment was a time the media dredged the whole sordid affair up again, vomiting all the details to the public. For the tenth anniversary a cable news magazine had dedicated a one-hour program to it titled, When Greed Ruled the World. My father probably thought now was a good time to strike with another request for early release, or some other legal maneuver. Since his name was going to be publicly front and center again, why not try to garner some sympathy; some empathy for himself? I did a quick calculation and came up with his age: sixty-eight. He’d claim to be an old man, repentant in his ways.
What a crock.
Any measure of daughterly affection or familial obligation died when he’d tossed my mother aside.
She was the one who had my loyalty and love. For her, I’d go to bat and do anything to make her life easier.
My father? Yeah, not so much.
My finger hit the delete key.
Intrigued? I hope so. Remember, you can preorder it now, here; It’s a Trust Thing. Or, if you subscribe to KU, you can download it on 11.1.19.
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Until next time ~ Peg