Evil Inheritance-Episode 2
The next morning as usual, Spencer and Cal met at the corner of Hicks and Cranberry to walk to school.
“How’s your mom?” Cal asked.
“Not good. We’re really worried. She’s doing a job on herself with all the vodka.”
“Is she eating more?”
“No. Crackers and a cheese is like a feast.”
“I can’t figure it out. Mom’s a nurse and seen it all. Why would Dad’s death make her lose it completely?”
“Because it was so sudden?” Cal suggested. “Didn’t he have a physical like the week before?”
“Two weeks before, and passed with flying colors. He even bragged about it. I remember mom commenting how great his blood pressure was. I’ve gotta find out more. Mom’s kept us totally in the dark.”
Ahead, a group of middle schoolers stopped at the corner and waited for them.
“Your adoring fans,” Spencer said.
Cal chuckled, jogged ahead and was immediately surrounded. In their league championship, he was the team’s high scorer and attracted a lot of attention. Colleges were already building recruiting files. No student in the history of Columbia-Prospect Academy had achieved such notoriety…a national caliber athlete with top grades.
Spencer stood to the side shaking his head in amazement. He couldn’t believe he was watching the same kid he’d befriended in nursery school, the energetic, friendly 4-year-old who’d lost his two front teeth. They’d been inseparable since day one, both basketball fanatics, but Cal became so skilled, Spencer quickly fell behind, and eventually dropped out of organized competition…not that he cared that much. He was the more intellectual of the two and loved his classes, especially History and English Literature, but Cal was no slouch either. His mother was a teacher from Jamaica and his father was a professor at NYU.
As they approached school, Cal turned to Spencer. “So, how you going to find out about your dad?”
“I’ll speak to his doctor first. Dr. Gettler was my Dad’s internist for like twenty years.”
“Yeah, you know him?”
“Shit yeah! he’s a friend of my Dad’s. Teaches at NYU Med School. He’s Michelle’s uncle.”
“Yup. A really cool guy. Ask Michelle to get you two together.”
“Thanks, man. I will.”
“Hey, and Spencer…”
“Let me tag along, okay? It’ll give some quality time with Michelle.”
“Great,” Spencer said, but felt the opposite. He wanted to discuss his father in private…and maybe find out who Michelle was really interested in. Two hours later they met face to face in the hall..
“Spencer, hi! Cal told me you wanted to see me.” He was caught off guard…wondered if his friend had made any headway.
“I wanted to ask a favor.”
“Really?” Michelle said beaming.
“Yes. I’m trying to find out more about my Dad’s heart attack, and wondered if I could speak to your uncle.”
Michelle’s smile faded…then brightened. “Actually, I’m having dinner with him tonight near his hospital. Why don’t you join us?”
“Wow, that sounds perfect.” He wondered if he should ask about Cal, but didn’t bother. Luckily, there was a post-season basketball meeting that night.
Michelle had errands after school so they agreed to meet at Kenton’s Tavern on 35th Street at 7:00. Spencer cut his last class to get ready. His first stop was Sal’s Barber Shop…Sal couldn’t believe his eyes. Spencer waved to and from school, but hadn’t crossed the threshold in years. “This has gotta be about a girl, right?” Sal asked.
“Maybe,” Spencer mumbled.
“Come on. You can be straight with me. I’m not telling anybody.”
“Okay, yes, and I heard my hair looks like shit.”
“A lttle scraggly that’s all. You got nice hair.”
“I don’t want you to go crazy.”
Sal circled pulling and poking. “I’d leave the front long and trim the rest.”
“Go for it. I’m in a hurry.”
“Sounds like a really hot date.”
“Something like that.”
Sal pinned on an apron and was done in 15 minutes. “Fast enough?”
“Did you actually cut anything?”
“Of course,” Sal protested. “Look at the floor.”
“Awesome!” Spencer said, handing over an extra tip.
“Let’s make it less than a year next time.” Sal said with a smile, “and good luck on the date.”
Spencer gave Sal a thumbs up, then sprinted home and wiggled into his skinny jeans and a tee shirt. There was no way he wanted to be late. He wasn’t sure what to expect from the doctor, but at least he wanted to look decent for Michelle. Read Episode 3.