Reconnecting with My Sister Pt. 02
Chapter 7 – Mission Impossible
Trish’s point of view…
Once again, I am driving up the mountain in my mom’s Porsche to see Uncle Steve. This time my mood is anything but happy and carefree. I fear I may find a dead body. Mom and I battled in front of him, about him and then that bitch Linda cheats on him. He won’t or can’t answer his phone and nobody has heard from him in two days, when we were last up there. I am sick with worry about Steve.
As I pull up to the house, I’m shocked. I start to cry. Pounded into the front lawn is a stake. Hanging from the stake is a sign, “For sale, motivated to sell quick.” There is a local number and it is a local real estate agent.
I speed dial mom, she answers, I am crying, “He’s gone. Steve’s house is for sale and he’s gone. I ruined everything.”
I am a sobbing mess of human flesh and find myself on the ground, unable to stand.
Mom is clear-headed and calm, “Steve makes a list of everything. Look for scratch pads. Use a pencil to make a rubbing impression, you know, lightly wave a pencil on the paper and the writing will be white. Just hope he writes hard enough so you can read it. Also try to find his computer and look at Word, email, and his browsing history. Call me when you know something.” She hangs up.
I am a detective now. It turns out to be incredibly easy. He isn’t trying to hide his tracks. Why not? There is a list of things to do. Sell the house, trip to New York. Late tomorrow he takes a flight to Paris for two days, Amsterdam for three days, Madrid for two days, and finally Rome. Browser history shows searches for brothels or escort services in each city. His phone is on his desk and I can see he made calls to each place. Checking email, I see receipt for a Last Will and Testament. It has instructions to sign and put in his safe.
I check the safe and there is the Will on top, signed, naming mom and me as his beneficiaries.
Back to list, concentrate on tomorrow. Say goodbye to a restaurant, a bar, a nightclub, then see a Yankee game before heading out of the country. I start printing everything off. Will leaves everything to mom and me. The lawyer asks if he is sure about liquating the house, he says yes, nobody wants to live there anyway. It’s all too easy to see why he is doing this. We broke his heart. All he did was want to help.
I try to puke but it’s just dry heaves, nothing comes up and now I feel worse. I know this has almost everything to do with me. I killed my uncle. I break into tears. I am crying so hard I can’t call mom. Lucky me, she calls me back. I am breathing hard, trying not to get sick, and feeling bad for the way things are. There isn’t a thing we can do. We have no money.
Mom is very direct with me, “You have one minute to summarize all you know.”
I try my best, “Tomorrow he says goodbye to a few favorite places in NYC, then go to a Yankee game. Tomorrow night he flies to a series of romantic cities for a week where he will meet whores. There is nothing else after seven days. He just wrote a Will – he leaves everything to us.”
Mom says two words, “Conference Linda.”
I look up Linda’s number and call.
Someone answers the phone, but it isn’t Linda, “Oh thank God you called Steve. Linda has been sick because of what happened. She’s filming right now. Your number was the only one I was to answer. She really loves you.”
I reply, “That’s a great story lady. Who the fuck are you?”
The confused girl says, “You are not Steve. What’s going on here?”
Mom is mad but calm, “Look, I’m Steve’s sister. My daughter and I had a fight with him two days ago. Later that day he saw the story about Linda, and they had a short conversation before he turns off his phone. Today my daughter drives to his house and finds no Steve but a for sale sign. We then find out he is making a farewell tour in New York tomorrow. After that, it is seven days overseas with whores and escorts. Nothing exists after that other than his Will.”
Mom is hyperventilating now, “If we don’t catch him tomorrow none of us will ever see him again.”
Tammy says, “My name is Tammy, I’m Linda’s personal assistant. We can’t allow this to happen. She is already devastated, if he kills himself … oh my, no, that will not be good. It’s already late tonight. Shit, that doesn’t give me enough time. No, I can do this. Ok. Ok. I need to go. Um. Go to the airport. I need you there regardless of how I do this. I will send you more instructions. Text me your license plate number. You want the private plane entrance. If you can’t find it, I will get you instructions. I will call you when I get more info. Bye.” She hangs up.
I say to mom, “You are on the way to the airport, I will pick you up in a while. Bye.”
An hour later I get a call from Linda, she is in tears, “I am sorry. I am so sorry.”
I say to Linda, “I got fifty pages of intelligence printed out. I’m on my way to an airport and between mom and me I suspect we have $40 dollars cash. I can’t bursa escort save Steve without your help. Are you in or out?”
Linda pops up, “I’ll do anything for him. I really love him. I only got a few words from Tammy. It sounds bad. She is stealing a corporate jet, two pilots, and a ton of fuel. I will call your mom, give her the directions and then meet you at the airport. Tammy and I are in a limo now on our way to the airport with a film crew. Drive safe, we will find him one way or another. I promise. See you on the plane.”
Why does she have a film crew?
Chapter 9 – The Search
Because of traffic, we will get to the airport shortly after they do. They have a one-hour flight still, I have no need to drive fast and unsafe. I still do. I can’t help it. I am scared and without Linda, I am helpless to save him. They love each other, he doesn’t love me. No, he does love me, he proved it a few days ago. It’s different though. He can marry Linda and not me. She cheated on him. For two days!
It is an excruciatingly long ride home. I worry about where I stand with mom. How will Linda respond to us? How will she respond to me fucking him? Does she know? Does mom care? Yes, she does. Why?
No wonder he took off, his life is a royal mess right now. Do we want this on film? No. I pull up to our apartment building and mom is waiting outside for me. She jumps in and I speed off. Immediately she tells me, “Slow down.” Moms!
Mom has a million questions. I reach behind and pull out the file. She turns on the reading lamp and starts drawing her own conclusions.
The only comment she says is, “It sounds like a week of sex and drinking before …”
Mom cried the last fifteen minutes to the airport. We see Linda’s plane land. It has that familiar channel logo on the tail. Security told us where to park and where to go. As soon as the plane’s engines turn off they are refueling. This will be a quick turn-around. The pilot opens the doors and Linda shoots out of the plane and towards us.
As she nears she is unsure of herself. She has a lot to do with the situation we are in, but she knows we are partially responsible as well. I think she is afraid of us.
I break the impasse, “Look, we all contributed to this mess. We can sit here and fight each other, or we can work together to get the best boyfriend, brother, and uncle in the world. He came back to offer mom and I some help. You love him. Collectively all we did was drive him away. I know where he’ll be tomorrow, and then which cities for the next week. After that …” I can’t say anything more.
Linda is strong, “We will find him tomorrow. We know where he will be. Let’s go, I want to see the paperwork you have once we are in the air.”
As soon as we are in the plane, the door shuts, and we start to taxi. Like a rocket, we take off and are in the air.
The pilot comes on the intercom, “We have a tailwind helping us tonight and all engines are full throttle. I will have you in New York ahead of schedule. Have a nice flight. Oh yea, all that crap about stay in your seats, don’t smoke and be nice to each other. Have a nice flight and thank you for flying with Food Network.”
I don’t know why but I look at mom and she is in shock as well. I burst out laughing. Mom followed and then Linda. We needed that.
Linda starts in a commanding voice, “Ok, I NEED to see the paperwork. Tammy brought food, you need to eat. In traumatic events, people forget to eat. If you can sleep, do so.”
Linda spent an hour devouring every bit of data. She has tears running down her face. They are filming her, she is oblivious to it.
I ask the cameraman, “Why are you filming this?”
Mark answers, “Linda is a celebrity. Much of what the public sees is from trash magazines. This is a human-interest story. One of our stars is obviously in love, and after screwing it up with Steve she wants him back. If things go well, we will have footage for a show someday. Otherwise, this will end up being a two-second clip showing she is human and sensitive.”
A second guy starts filming and Mark asks, “What makes Steve unique? What binds you three? All we were told is Linda needs to find her boyfriend and to follow here everywhere. Do whatever is needed to help. I don’t even know who you are. Why did we pick you up?”
I notice mom and Linda have stopped and are listening to me.
I feel strong, “Growing up I was a nobody with confidence issues. I was chubby and nothing special to look at. Boys would not spend a moment looking at me. Home life was hard, we struggled. Uncle Steve came home for holidays. He made sure I got everything on my wish list. Somehow, he sensed that I was unhappy as a young twelve-year-old girl.
“He started calling home every month and makes sure I get a turn to talk. When I turned 16, he got me a cell phone. He called me the first and third Thursday of every month. We could now talk about anything. I made him uncomfortable many times, but I think he gave bursa escort bayan me honest answers. I got tips on boys, working out, diet, makeup, hair, clothing and anything else that popped into my head. He made me confident. As my body grew he was the same. I was prepared for guys now and I like my life. This fall, college starts. I can’t wait to meet men and have fun.”
Mom spoke next, “I don’t take charity, I work for what I get. My problem is that I’m not good at anything. He quit a great paying job to come back home. He built a spectacular home, but I was too proud to live there. Then I got jealous of Linda. The most I can do is snuggle with him. More than even sex, I love being in the arms of a man with his arms held around me. Nobody comes close to Steve and Linda is going to take that away. I can’t compete with her beauty.”
Linda is next, “On a lark, I catered a party for Steve’s sister at his place. He had no idea who I was. He treated me better than any employer ever has. He broke all the rules of catering and for a personal chef. He had me go swimming with them, eat with them, and then party in the evening with them while he did the dishes. I had fun for the first time ever catering. He’s quite a guy.
“For the last few weeks, we enjoyed riding our horses together, hiking in the woods, drinking wine at night. He never pushed for sex. He seemed confident in himself, he was worried about there being more than sex. He saw the online article and was matter of fact that I can make my own choices and he wished me well. Then he hung up and drank himself into oblivion.”
Linda is crying, and it is painful to watch.
One of the camera crew looks uncomfortable and looks like he wants to console her but doesn’t know how. I point at him to stay. I get up and sit next to Linda. I pull her into me and hold her in my arms. She is wailing in pain. She loves him more than I thought.
The rest of the flight is quiet. Even the crew seems concerned now. The plane lands and a party van is waiting for us. Even Linda looks surprised. The two pilots and the stewardess get in the van followed by the film crew. We slowly board the bus. The bus driver asks, “Where to?”
Tammy provides the name and address of the restaurant.
The pilot, Jim, explains, “After hearing your story, we want to help. If he gets to Yankee stadium you will need lots of eyes.” He can’t look at me now, he looks at the floor. “I may have passed on the story to the New York office. All production and programming are running from the backup studio in LA. Everyone else in New York has a picture of Steve and is on their way to the stadium.”
All three of us are at a loss for words.
Jim tries to cheer us up, “Look, Linda has two of the top ten shows on the network. She is a national celebrity. If this works out it will be front page news and a special on the network. This could be huge … if it works out. They aren’t helping because they care about your love life, they see the massive free advertising.”
It’s 10:00 and we pull up to the restaurant, a steakhouse. Linda goes in and is immediately recognized. They are falling all over themselves to help her. She shows them a picture of Steve.
Linda asks, “Have you seen this man today?”
The first guy yells out, “Oh Steve. Great customer, all the wait staff loves him and the lucky woman with him. I liked Rita the best, she had class. He was here for breakfast a few hours ago. I’m going to miss that guy. He’s leaving the country.”
We quickly leave, Tammy gives the name and address of the bar to the driver. It’s 10:50, we enter the bar. It’s a lovely place, classy. We go up to the bar and a scantily clad woman asks for our order. I flash Steve’s picture.
Barmaid says, “Hey, that’s Steve. Oh, he’s a cute one. Super nice guy, tips well. He wasn’t his normal happy self today. He had four whiskeys which is strange for him. He leaves me a $500 tip and tells me to take care of myself, find a guy that will treat me well, and good bye, he won’t be back, he’s leaving the country.” She is in tears. “I hope he finds what he is looking for, he sure seemed unhappy.”
We run out and Tammy provides the name and address of the nightclub. It’s noon by the time we get there. Same old thing. They instantly recognize Steve and they have nothing but good memories. He isn’t there. Next stop, Yankee Stadium.
Linda buys seats for us, so we can get in and immediately the group spreads out and starts searching. We contact security. Linda is a celebrity, so we go to the security office up behind the owner’s suite. They want us to stay put and scan monitor feeds while they assist in the search. There are only a few relatives of the owner around, so they allow us to share the owner’s skybox suite. Suites, especially owner suites have lots of food. We dig in.
The relatives have seen thousands of baseball games, they have never met a Food Channel celebrity. They ask why we are here and we explain the whole story. End of the escort bursa second inning, no sign of Steve yet. They look about as sad as I do. We scan the monitors. The innings are counting. Top of the 7th, I am getting scared now. It is now hitting home that we may not find him. He could have been in the washroom, getting a beer, or getting food as our searches walk past his area.
Top of the eighth inning, we are all a mess now, crying. Unable to say what we know is true. One of the husbands excuses himself during the inning. He came back in the room like he won the lottery. They call the guy out on strikes and now it’s middle of the eighth. The man grabs us three and brings us to the big window, it’s a fantastic sight. Why are we here?
A picture of Steve is up on the big video screen.
The ballpark announcer says over the PA system, “We have a lost boyfriend. If anyone knows where this man is seating, please contact security immediately. Thank you.”
After a few moments, the picture is gone, and stats are back up on the board. The older gentleman takes us by the hand over to security. They start yelling “Section 23!”
Two golf carts show up, he joins the camera crew and us as he tells them, “Section 23, quickly, before he runs away.”
Oh shit. He just might do that!
We speed away in two extended golf carts. We pull up to section 23 and everyone is pointing at a guy with his head down and between his knees.
Dan’s point of view from the TV broadcast booth … (Yeah, you know this isn’t going to end well)
I hear in my earpiece, “We are staying here, no commercial. Camera 3 in section 23. That hot babe from Food Network channel, Linda Miller, is here searching for her real boyfriend she cheated on. Go with it.”
I say, “Sorry for the quick change in plans, there’s a situation developing in the stadium. You all know that gorgeous woman there on the screen. Oh my, look at those other two women. Wow, they are just as nice. Yesterday she finished a two-day romp in a motel room with a new guy and now she is hunting down her real boyfriend. She wants him back. As you can see, he is trying to hide but 200 people are pointing at him. She is screaming at him to come with her.
“Ok, he’s getting up. She cheated on him and wow – he looks to be taking a lot of verbal abuse. Odd. Something more is going on here. I just got a note that he was planning on leaving the country. Ok, they are talking. No, she is yelling at him. Oh damn!” The stadium does a collective “ouch!” “This is on the jumbotron so 100,000 people here just saw the cute young one kick the dude in the shins. As he was falling forward Linda showed off her MMA skills and decks him hard, knocking him to the ground.
“Damn, she hit him good. He is on his ass stunned. Hey, wait a minute. He is moving but is he … Mark, zoom in.” The TV zooms in on the couple. “Holy shit, he is on one knee. Is he proposing to her?”
In my earpiece I hear, “Yes he is.”
I continue, “Yes, reports are that moments after being whacked by his girlfriend, he is indeed proposing, and look at that ring, WOW, that is a hell of a rock. She is sobbing hysterically, he is waiting for an answer. Dammit Linda, you just beat him silly, give the man an answer. Don’t make him wait. Ahh, she is nodding her head yes. He jumps to his feet and as you can see they are hugging and kissing each other. He now hugs and kisses each of the other women. Ok, that inning was brought to you by …”
Chapter 10 – Caught
Steve’s point of view …
Linda is looking at me stunned.
I ask again with a deep clear voice, “Linda, will you marry me?”
Donna nudges Linda, “Say yes.”
Linda screams, “YES!”
She then jumps into my arms. The stadium erupts with a cheer. As I swing her around, I see us up on the big jumbotron. We stop to wave at the camera and I give Linda a huge kiss on the lips that melts her and half the stadium.
We go back up to the owner’s suite. Once up there I give Paul, my buddy, a hug for his help.
Everyone up there is happy and congratulating Linda and me. My thanks to Paul raises a few eyebrows.
I stand in the middle of the room and speak loud enough for all to hear, “This is my buddy, Paul. He’s part owner of the team and helped me set this whole thing up. My neighbor, a local real estate agent, your studio, the Yankees, my favorite restaurant, bar, and nightclub, all played parts. You met a lot of people that are important to me. I wanted them to all have a part, so they could meet you … if you came. I must say, I had my doubts.”
Donna steps up to me and slaps my face, “That’s for what you put us through. We thought you were going to …”
She lunges at me for a hug which I return emotionally.
Paul grabs his wife and announces, “A few blocks from here I have reservations and people are waiting. We should get going. I need everyone in a cart.”
We get in the same extended golf carts and drive to a nearby Italian restaurant. They have a large banquet room set up for us. I meet the pilot and Tammy who were a huge help and the girls all meet my New York friends. We have a big dinner and then it is back to the airport for a flight home.