Saturday, October 11, 2014

Chapter 46


A woman stood in the yard bellowing, "I'm telling you the girl is disabled and therefore the marriage is what they call nul and void because she can't give consent.  And if you don't like that one, the marriage is nul and void because she was tricked."

Now I don't usually get bent out of shape because people think that I'm as slow as my body.  And I also don't want to make a big deal of it because of my friends from SLD at school.  But something about the way that woman was talking immediately set my teeth on edge.  Especially after I got a load of the look on Sawyer's face.

I got out of the truck and marched indignantly - well as much as I can march - over to Sawyer's side and just stood there and stared that woman in the face.  When she opened her mouth I talked over the top of her and said, "I assume you are the daughter of Jacob Baffa?  The one that tried to commit elder abuse against him?  The one who then gave up all legal rights to Jacob Baffa's estate?"

Her mouth started opening and closing like a fish out of water.  "Allow me to introduce myself ... Cousin.  My name is Kay-Lee Baffa Hartford."

Another woman stepped forward and said, "My mother may have given up her right to the estate but I didn't."

I snapped right back, "That's right, you didn't have to because your mother did it for you.  Your grandfather, my great uncle, took the papers your mother signed to a probate lawyer and had them verified then appropriately filed.  Your mother said - in writing - that she gave up her share of any estate, blah, blah, blah for the entirety of her life as well as the entirety of the lives of any of her heirs with all the where to's and here for's you could want ... which apparently means you are out of luck.  Uncle Jacob ..."  The name felt strange on my tongue.  "... was nothing if not a thorough man.  He has everything locked down tight so things play out exactly as he wished them to.  I can give you the name of the law firm if you have any questions and you can make an appointment with the judge or whatever since the probate has already been settled and filed."

"Now listen here ..."

"No.  You listen here.  Your mother is trying to pull the same stunt she pulled with her father by bringing in the issue of mental capacity.  Well in point of fact I think it is her mental capacity that should be brought into question.  And yours too if you think you can pull this bit of fraud off.  And if it comes down to a court case I can guarantee you I will cut you off at the knees.  Since you apparently knew of my existence and just left me in the foster care system ... and don't think I don't recognize you because I do as you got into that fight with a couple of the teachers during a PTA meeting and I can get lots of depositions and whatever it takes to bring your character and mental capacity into question too if you want to go that route."

Now they were both breathing like a couple of wide mouth bass thrown up on the bank of the river.

"Now you get one thing straight.  WE ... meaning my husband and I ... do not want trouble.  WE ... meaning my husband and I ... are trying, wanting, and endeavoring to do the right and lawful thing and stay as far away from trouble as we can.  WE ... meaning my husband and I ... have done a lot of serious work to rehabilitate this house and property that Uncle Jacob hadn't been able to take care of due to his own failing health.  The house - such as it is - has been cleaned top to bottom.  The yard and surrounding property has been picked up, mowed, and trimmed.  The next project as soon as time and money allows is to rehabilitate the barn to replace some of the siding and some of the sheet metal roofing.  And WE ... meaning my husband and I ... are getting sick and tired of the poor sheriff deputies having to traipse all the way out here simply because some people can't keep their nose and their grubby paws out of other people's business.  Now I am asking you nicely to leave us alone and to leave this property so both we and everyone else can get back to work.  Not everyone has time to waste on windmills and lost causes and loose screws."

It took about twenty more minutes before things calmed back down and we saw the last unwelcomed visitor leave.  Jeannie and Linda just looked at me wide eyed as we unloaded the truck so they could go home.  All the while I was trying really hard to be polite but it was getting harder and harder every time I saw Linda glance at me and almost start laughing.

They finally left and I still hadn't done much more that growl single syllable answers.  As soon as the girls left I slapped a hand over my mouth and ran inside to the bathroom.

"Kay-Lee?!"

It took a while to stop hurling but eventually I did but all I could think was to lean against Sawyer and say, "Please don't be sorry.  Please don't be sorry.  I can't help it if I have crazy relatives.  I didn't even know I had relatives much less that they are crazy."

I wrapped my arms around him and he snorted and picked me up off the bathroom floor and carried me to the sofa.  "You want something to drink?"

I shook my head.  "Everything is still in reverse.  Sawyer seriously ... I didn't know you'd be marrying into a crazy family."

He chuckled again and said, "Well I did.  Old Man Baffa was nuts for years.  His daughter is at least as bad and so apparently is that woman that claims to be her daughter."

"And so is her daughter's daughter.  Grade A, in your face, prima donna, full on snit if she doesn't get her way, crazy.  I didn't realize who she was until I got a full on look at her face.  She's Shallaylee Duncan's mom ... oh my gawd I am never going to town again ... never ... never ever."

"Whoa there."

"Not whoa there.  Shallaylee is ... there's just no good way to say this.  Oh my gawd!  I'm related to her?!!"

"Kay-Lee," Sawyer said in a reasonable voice.  "If you don't stop panicking and start explaining I'm going to be the one that is crazy."

It was his tone more than anything that stopped my ears from ringing and my heart from trying to come out of my chest.  "I'll explain but first you have to agree that it is not my fault that my family is crazy.  I wish I could add a stipulation that says you can't hold family against me."

"Only if I get to have the same stipulation."

I finally looked at his face and he wasn't mad or anything else.  He wasn't jumping around happy but he wasn't mad which was all I cared about for the moment.

"So you're ok that I have crazy relatives?"

He snorted.  "I might not want to have dinner with them every Sunday but their crazy isn't your fault.  Besides ..."

"Besides what?"

"I never had anyone to march in and start giving someone what for like that.  It was kinda cool."

"Excuse me?"

"Seriously.  Not even Gramps ever did that.  He would stand there like a rock and everyone knew how he felt but he never went all Momma Bear.  Gotta tell you ... that's hot."

"Uh ..."

Well it didn't seem to matter that just a few minutes ago he had seen me puking, we wound up upstairs.

---------------

"You don't feel tricked do you?" Sawyer asked afterwards.

"I don't see how.  I came up here on my own."

"I don't mean that, I mean ... well ... about us getting married.  Do you feel tricked?  Like that woman said?"

"Of course not.  Goodness, we worked that all out before we even got to the Justice of the Peace.  We've got stipulations."

I felt Sawyer relax and then he fell asleep.  That's when I noticed we could have both used a shower and that I'd need to change the sheets before bed time.  I squeezed out of the bed, got dressed, and went downstairs to put away the food and to start some of the frozen pineapple I had bought on the dehydrator.

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