NOT OUR CLASS – Chapter 4

mansion

Chapter 4 – Separation

Michael Joseph Morgan, MJ to the world wiped his mouth with a napkin and reached out for the pile of documents delivered to a breakfast table wheeled into his bedroom each morning. His wife Anna sat propped up in bed watching the breakfast show.

“Ah Anna you’ll be interested in this one.”

Anna Morgan burst out of bed and joined her husband at the mobile table shutting down the huge TV screen with the remote as she settled

MJ read the document while Anna listened intently. Occasionally she’d comment in her Polish English accent.

That was a story in itself. MJ was the son of a Dublin man who’d travelled deck class to America seeking his fortune. MJ’s father had convinced Mary Noonan the evening before in a pub meeting to join him in the adventure and she agreed provided they were married. So the local priest who just happened to be in the pub at that time married them on the spot and was rewarded adequately for working overtime as MJ’s father put it.

So MJ had grown up in the oil fields of the south where his father was employed, because of his height, build and skill with machinery. As foreman his job was to keep men in line and working hard and he did it with whatever means were at his disposal.

At age fourteen MJ was as tall as his father and just as skilled in the trade. But he had an advantage over his father. That was a strategic mind and the will to follow through. He began wheeling and dealing in the trade and slowly acquired wealth and political skills. Anna’s father also worked the oil fields and MJ discerned in her the same kind of ambition and hardness that leads one to power. They married in spite of the anger of parents on both sides of the cultural divide and forged a powerful alliance that surprisingly included love and respect for each other. But having experienced poverty as they grew up they were determined to stay on top of the heap and walk over anyone getting in their way.

They’d been considering their only child Rebecca Morgan and her present situation. She must be taught a lesson but as she was a Morgan and they’d no other children there was the matter of succession to consider. Who’d inherit their wealth and carry on the Morgan tradition? They’d decided to place that responsibility on their granddaughter Trudy so her long term future had to be planned.

The document they were reading was a report on the movements and situation of Rebecca provided by a private investigator employed solely for that purpose. Rebecca’s boss at the hair salon was paid to extract information on Rebecca’s home situation and there was a lot of information available as Rebecca used the salon to broadcast her home grievances. Where she went and what she did outside the home was there in minute detail. The same document provided minute details of Jed Carter and his extended family situation.

“Good, good!” MJ rubbed his hands excitedly and turned to Anna, “What’s the next move?”

“Plan A,” said Anna beginning to eat her breakfast and nodding thoughtfully.

So it was that the day after the explosion at home Rebecca was subdued and working hard to keep her mind off her situation. She was glad the old woman had finally agreed to stay on and was most solicitous of her welfare and apologetic before leaving for work that morning.

A well-dressed man entered the salon and gave a nod to Rebecca’s boss who nodded back in acknowledgement. She went to the door and turned the sign to CLOSED.

“We’ll finish these two and then close up for a while,” she said to the surprised Rebecca.

“I’m going out, you can handle our last client she said as she opened the door and left the salon.

Instead of occupying a chair the man pulled documents out of his briefcase. “You are to sign these!” he said.

Rebecca exploded with rage. “Jed Carter put you up this didn’t he? Well there’s no way I’m going to sign anything just because he wants to get rid of me.”

“Read it and sign,” said the man coldly.

Rebecca read the documents carefully and gasped in surprise!

“Where is this place?” She said uncertainly.

The man extracted a map from his briefcase and pointed to a spot circled there. “Crestville,” she murmured. Then reading the document again, “Sunrise Lane.”

“Almost the end of the line and far enough away you won’t be discovered for a while, and rent on the salon has been paid for a year while you get yourself organized. The house is furnished and the salon has all that’s needed in the trade. Sign the documents and you get $10,000 to start you off.”

Rebecca put her head back and roared with laughter. “This has the Morgan touch to it!”

She looked at the man for confirmation but he pushed the pen into her hand and she signed the documents which he witnessed handing her a copy. Then handing her a bundle of money he left.

Rebecca sat for a while planning her next move. Then having decided on her course of action she rushed home. The only thing she’d take from there was Trudy. Jed’s Mother was surprised when Rebecca came puffing up the stairs to their apartment.

“Where’s Trudy, I’d forgotten her dental appointment?” Rebecca smiled pleasantly at the old lady.

“But she’s at pre-school today remember? I’ll go and get her and take her to the appointment so you can go back to work. Are you sure it’s today?

“I guess I’m a little confused, no don’t worry. I’ve taken off work and will pick her up myself. Sorry to have caused confusion.”

The old woman nodded uncertainly but remembering the unpleasantness of the evening before decided the confusion was probably delayed reaction.

“See you this evening then,” she nodded pleasantly to her daughter-in-law.

Rebecca rushed to the pre-school, took Trudy from the puzzled teacher and headed for the mall. She’d not seen money like this since her days in the Morgan household and would buy clothing appropriate for the both of them before taking the long journey to Crestville. The keys in her purse were keys to her new life.  But why Crestville, why hadn’t she been accepted back to the luxury of the Morgan mansion? That question could wait until later, but for now she was free of the Carter family.

That evening when Rebecca and Trudy didn’t return home an anxious Jed and his mother lodged a missing- persons complaint. The officer taking the complaint gazed at his computer screen and looked up in surprise. “You have a spousal abuse charge lodged against you,” he said coldly. “Looks like your wife and daughter have gone to a shelter to get away from your abuse!” One of the documents Rebecca had signed that morning had reached its destination.

Jed left the police station shaking with anger and frustration. He’d not let her get away with this.

To be continued.

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2015 All rights reserved

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Baydreamer says:

    I didn’t expect that twist at the end, but I’m eager to read what happens next, Ian. I think Ch. 5 is in my inbox, too. 🙂 This has been a compelling story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. Let’s hope for a happy ending. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mags says:

    Still enjoying this story very much and can’t wait to see what happens next. Hoping little Trudy comes through it all okay. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope it has a happy ending. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddie & Esther Norton says:

    For the last few months we have had nothing but problems with our phone, TV and computer and so this week had it all changed to a new company. Everything works fine now and I’m catching up on my email correspondence. In the process our old phone company would not release our phone number and so we had to get a new one.

    Just finished reading the first 4 chapters of your story. It’s hard for us to truly understand the caste system. Esther

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about your phone. I was reading a horror story this morning on the news about someone on the west coast who got a bill from Verizon for more than two million dollars and it took a news report to get the company to reverse the mistake. What prompted this story in my mind was the realization that people who’ve made it rich from a poverty background can sometimes be more snobbish than the snobs when they finally make it to riches.

      Like

  4. jstansfeld says:

    This one is full of different levels of snobbism. I find that the fortune reversals add to the tension and help to highlight the ridicule of social elitism. It is a technique worthy of Thomas Hardy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote this out of the realization that when poor people sometimes succeed they can be just as class conscious as the worst. I suppose that sub-consciously they’re trying to “join the club” and have to go to extremes to try and win respect. But human nature seems to have this built in problem doesn’t it? We hear about white against black more often but from my travel observations it is a problem of white against white and black against black and of course black against white too.

      Liked by 1 person

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