CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and THIRTY-EIGHT
The lawyer’s name was William Bearber.
The phone rang and William picked it up. He spoke for a moment.
“They are here,” William said.
“They?” Bernie asked.
“He brought his son,” William said.
Bernie groaned which caused William to chuckle.
“The son’s worse than the father,” William said under his breath.
“And the father’s been to prison,” Bernie said.
William gave a slight nod. The men waited a few more minutes before the receptionist let two men into the office. The father had a full head of white hair. The son had the smooth face of a teenager, brought by an easy life, plastic surgery, and Botox.
Catching sight of Bernie, the father stopped short at the door. The son looked at his father and then, unable to squint, he gave Bernie an open eyed, gaping look. The son immediately dismissed Bernie as an old man. The son pulled out a seat at the table for his father. The father paused for a moment before moving to sit the chair offered by the son. The son sat next to his father.
“You asked us to be here,” the son said. He turned over his wrist. “We only have ten minutes. If you could get to the point.”
“We’re calling in your loan,” William, Bernie’s lawyer, said.
The father sucked in a breath. The son glanced and leaned back in his chair.
“You know who I am?” the son asked with a sniff.
“Do you know who I am?” Bernie replied in Hebrew.
The son’s eyes jerked to Bernie. After giving him another open eyed fish look, the son turned to look at his father.
“This. . .” the son said.
His father nodded.
“You may not be aware of this but I am the father of Seth O’Malley,” Bernie said, in clear English.
“No,” the father said. “No. No. That’s not possible. He is Catholic!”
“I was his father when you asked for a loan to buy those buildings around his little apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen,” Bernie said. “I am his father still. In fact, it’s his money you borrowed all those years ago to buy those buildings.”
“Our annual assessment of your financial situation has determined that you are unable to pay on the loan,” William said. “We’re requesting either full payment on the loan or possession of the buildings as stipulated in our agreement.”
“You promised that you would never do this!” the father said.
“I said it would take a lot for me to call in this loan,” Bernie said. “I held on when you went to prison. But throwing people out of their homes in the middle of winter while a deadly pandemic is killing people left and right? That kind of cruelty is. . .”
Bernie shook his head. Switching to old German, he said, “worthy of the Nazis you are in bed with.”
Unable to translate the language, the son looked at his father. The father gave Bernie a rueful shake of his head.
“It is perfectly legal,” the son said with a trace of righteous indignation.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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