Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chapter 38

We finally got piled back in and were able to get back on the road.  "We're going to have to go by Gramps' place."


"Uh ... so ... you know Cutter."

"Know him?  No, not really know him.  Know of him?  Yeah.  Everyone in school knew Cutter.  He was a legend in his own mind and was regularly listed on the principal's most wanted list."

It took five seconds for what I said to sink in and he barked a laugh.  "Cutter can be a mess and that's a fact.  If he hadn't been such a good football player he probably would have been expelled after some of those stunts."

"Yeah.  But it was really bad when he broke his leg like that.  I didn't see the game but it was all over school how those guys dog piled him to hurt him on purpose."

"Yeah.  He still limps sometimes and will for the rest of his life.  Destroyed his college football potential."

"He seems pretty upbeat."

"He wasn't at the time.  He hid it pretty good outside the family but even I could see it when it was just the family around despite being in the middle of my own crapstorm."

"Uh ... "  But I stopped and sighed figuring that if it was my business Sawyer would eventually tell me.

Sawyer picked up on it and said, "You're wondering about Davis."

"Well yeah.  Was it me or what?"

"Kay-Lee ..."

"Oh ... so it's me, me as in it wasn't just a byproduct of me but was really me."

"Did that just make any sense?"

"Probably not.  Just explain why it was me."

"Everybody in the family was pushing Davis to be the one to marry you."


"I ... what?" he asked trying to turn his thoughts on a dime.

"Ew.  Davis gives me funny vibes.  I'm glad it was you ... gladder all the time."

He reached his hand over and put it on mine.  "Really?"

"Yeah.  But if he didn't want to and now he doesn't have to what is up with him acting so weird.  It's not like I was going to reach out and contaminate him or anything."

"Uncle Mark is riding him really hard about it."

"That doesn't make any sense.  Your Uncle Mark doesn't really like me."

"Don't take it personally.  Uncle Mark and Old Man Baffa used to really get into it.  Uncle Mark used to date his daughter years ago."

"Wait ... Mr. Baffa was married?"

"Er ... no."

"Oh."  Unable to figure out a polite way to ask the obvious I finally just said, "Is she alive?  And if so why wasn't she the one to inherit or whatever?"

"She's alive.  But she hates the Baffa name, all the Baffas that ever lived, and all it and they stand for and blah, blah, blah.  She's crazier than her father ever was.  She tried to have Old Man Baffa committed about five years ago after not having anything to do with him for over 20 years just because he didn't recognize her when they were standing in the same line at the bank.  The lack of contact for so long was the only thing that saved him from the VA crazy farm.  Lawyers got involved and it was messy and the woman got cut out, cut off, and in a big snit she made a huge production of signing away any future rights or proceeds the to yada, yada, yada.  Don't worry, she can't take your home away."

I shook my head.  "I'm not worried about that.  She can't take you away so it's no biggie.  I was just wondering ..."

"What did you say?"

"Huh?  When?"

"Just now."

"Uh ..."

"Is that really how you feel?"

"Well ... yeah.  I mean the house is important sure but I wouldn't have it except for you and ... I mean ... we're married right?  I ..."  I said quietly, "I know it's the house that got us together but I'd do something to make sure you and I had a place to stay that wasn't the street.  I could get a job and help and ..."  Then getting quieter still, "Unless ... I mean ..."

"Don't even," he said.  "I got you now Kay-Lee."  I looked over and he was grinning.  A big, fat, really stupid grin.  "Yeah, the house is important but something could happen like a fire or some kinda disaster but you're right ... we're a team now and no one can break us.  Right?"

"Right," I told him wishing I felt as comfortably goofy with what he was saying as he did.  I'd let my fear show and that was never a good thing.  To distract him from what I'd said I told him, "Actually it is just strange to imagine I've got someone out there that I am related to."

"Don't Kay-Lee.  I wasn't kidding about that woman being as crazy, if not crazier, than Old Man Baffa was.  If you really want to know about her you can ask Uncle Mark but be prepared to get blasted."

"Are the Baffas that bad?"

"Naw.  I actually kinda remember your Aunt Pet.  She used to make caramel apples for the Fall Festival at church and her kids were Delly's age, I guess are their age I mean.  If ... hmmm ... look if you really want to know about your aunt I'll take you to Delly's.  Your aunt was her Sunday School teacher for a couple of years I think or maybe she was just an adult volunteer with the youth group, I can't remember exactly.  I just remember Delly crying and crying when your aunt died."

It was just strange on top of more strange for the day.  Every time I turned around it seemed I was finding something out about my family - a family I didn't really know - that others think of as so common knowledge that it slips out and in dribs and drabs and no one is surprised but me.

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