I walked out of the lawyer's office, into the bitter cold of January, the New York city traffic zooming by, oblivious to the cars honking and hub of the crowded sidewalks. My mind was reeling, tired at the same time, as if both could be possible? "What on earth was he thinking that crazy old hoot." I said to noone, this was NY anyway, nobody cared if someone talked to themselves on a snowy day.
I found a Starbucks and immediately went in, in spite of the weather there were tables left. I ordered a latte, extra whipped cream and sat down pulling out my cell phone.
"Karina, listen to this you wont believe what just happened." I called my girlfriend, Karina Olmes, she was off duty today as an RNA. I met her when there was nowhere to sit on the subway and offered her my seat, noticing how pretty her hips looked in her white starched uniform.
"I dont know what happened?" Karina was just waking from a rare nap from her flat in Lower East Side.
"I just got out of a lawyer's office, my grandfather left me an inheritance." He just got to the point, he wasnt one for idle talk, he was a sales rep for Costco, time counted. He frowned harder as he took out the papers from his black brief case and laid them out on the table. The fireplace behind him danced and crackled with warmth and his extra whipped cream was waking him up now.
"Okay, i got an inheritance, a house, property, money, enough for us to retire on for awhile but there are conditions to the will. First, i have to go to Europe, where my grandfather grew up during the war, i have to go and see where he lived and how he lived. I have to be able to prove i was there." He said to her. "but there is more. I also have to look up someone - a rival apparently, a soldier who went to war with him. The Soldier was a benedict arnold, he turned against the troop, and got away with it, murder and abandoning his troops. he is still alive apparently. He was younger back then as well. " I explained the whole event as best as I could, Karina was now waking up. I could hear her breathing hard while she was trying to absorb the atrocity of this horrible account of war actions.
"Are you kidding me? A trip to Europe is one thing, looking up some benedict arnold from the war is another, how much are we talking about here Larson?" Karenia asked him, starting to raise her level of anxiety through her dry voice, she needed coffee now, and started to get up and go towards her kitchen to make some. Outside the window of her flat the sky darkened, snow promised for the day, she shivered now.
"I know, it all sounds crazy, i checked out the guy and even have an address, my grandfather wants Justice done for his actions, i have proof too. Look, we need to meet and discuss things privately, i am at Starbucks right now." Larson proceeded to put his papers away now, he didnt want anyone seeing anything. He clicked the tiny lock and had his case under his arms, got up to leave now, Karenia's flat was not far, he would be there in fifteen minutes. She was off duty for two days so they could talk and make plans, for their future, for his grandfather, and for the troops that got jested and handed over during a time when they should have been saved and cared for.
Larson felt sad, suddenly, and the feeling felt like a blanket around him, now his mind was taken down the path of the 2nd World War, where his grandfather had served as an artillery man on the front lines, risking his life, living in mud and dirt and rat infested caves to fight the enemy. Jack Astor was his side by side partner, and this man had traitored them out, sold them to the enemy where they got attacked, only 3 of them survived that horrible day, his grandfather had been one of them. And lost an arm in the process after taking bullets. Larsen was not happy about these conditions, and rather surprised at all that he had been given any inheritance from Mark Redditt, his grandfather and he had not been all that close. He knew he had been injured in the war, and later given a purple heart, but he never knew about the treason, his parents never discussed it either.
Later, he shivered at Karena's flat, smiling at her tiny figure and wondered how she could work so hard as a nurse and be so petite, but she was strong, and giving, and she loved her career.
"Well, i guess you dont have a choice but to face this man who betrayed your grandfather, the thing is, what if he doesnt talk to us and how do we get the police to believe us? We dont even speak Hungarian." She scrunched in deep thought as she shared her feelings about the situation, the wind howling against her window.
Karena pulled her sweater around her tighter, but she wasnt shivering from the cold, her mind was on the war, and was picturing a grotesque dark event about that day. The German Allies bombed Hungary, Larson got up and held her from behind snuggling against her small back, he wanted to protect her.
"I know this isnt going to be easy, we can hire a translator once we get there. I have documents the lawyer gave me to prove what happened, my grandfather also kept a diary. We can go to the police and the deal with that once we get there. I think it's the right thing to do, and they all need the peace and closure now. The public has a right to know what happened that day." He breathed out, taking the brandy glass Karenia offered him, her delicate hands trembling a little.
"How terrible to have been sold out like that, and nobody knew a thing, he was a good liar, but a traitor." Karenia spoke harshly, angered at what happened. "Your grandfather was hurt badly that day too, he lost an arm, it could have been so much worse - yes, i will be with you all the way." She placed her hands on his shoulders, the love between them strong, and he took her hands and kissed them, passionately then......