The story so far:
Things Not Made To Open - 54 by scryier
I go to Ohio. I can't say I'm living in Ohio, because the couple I'm staying with keep asking me where I am. It's been two months since the funeral and I'm in Ohio because I can't stay in New York. I can't stay in New York, because I'm the reason my mother died.
My father knows this.
My father has told me this.
Two weeks after the funeral, my father was discharged from Brookdale Hospital. My sister picked him up and brought him home. I offered to pick him up and bring him home, but he said my sister was picking him up and I should wait for them at the house.
I waited for them and watched them as they came through the front door. My sister went directly to his bedroom while he stood in the dining room holding onto the back of a dining room chair, for support. We faced one another and he began telling me; informing me that I was the reason my mother died. We're facing one another and I'm listening to him tell me how he imagines the happiest day of my life was when they lowered her into the ground. He goes on to describe how much pleasure I took in telling him, she was dead.
"Did you know," he asks me, "that she died of cancer?"
I can't muster an answer. I'm too numb.
"Do you know how she got the cancer?"
He waits for a response, but I'm crumbling. This pathetic, sick old bastard who can't stand on his own two feet without the help of a dining room chair, has made of me a Ritz Cracker caught under the heel of his boot.
"Of course you don't," he says. "You don't know anything. Well, I'll tell you how she got the cancer. The **** smoke from your cigarettes. You and your **** cigarettes put an end to her life."
I don't get this. I don't get any of this.
He smoked. He burned three packs a day for twenty odd years and whenever they had dinner together, she had an after dinner smoke. I remember laughing at her, once, because she didn't even inhale.
My sister comes out of the bedroom with a suitcase, full of my father's clothes.
"Come on, dad. Your stuff is all packed."
"Where are you going?" I ask.
"He's coming home with me," my sister says. "He doesn't want to stay here, with you. And I'll tell you another thing, Ben. You'd better get back that jewelry."
My mother had several pieces of valuable jewelry that she wanted my sister to have, but my sister can't seem to find them. She can't find them because she isn't looking in the right place. The right place is in her bank vault where my mother had her keep them, but she insists they're not there. So, she looks for them by tearing apart the house not five minutes after the last relative is out the door at the end of the Shiva week. She takes everything out of every closet in the apartment until it dawns on me that she isn't about to put anything back at which time I end up throwing her out.
This doesn't bode well with my father because it actually isn't my house. Therefore, I don't have the right to throw her out. I might not have thrown her out at all if she had been a little more cooperative the day my mother died. That night, I was forced to sleep 11 relatives in my fathers house. None of them could understand why my sister wouldn't put any of them up and quite frankly, neither could I.
"Why don't you check the vault," I tell her for the umpteenth time.
"It's not in the vault!" She yells. It's amazing how gutsy a sister I have when my father is standing beside her.
I wonder if this is really my mother's daughter, as I watch them leave and then go through every day of the next few weeks wondering why they won't call. Everyone else is. Everyone from my mother's side of the family is calling to tell me all about the sentimental value of the jewelry. My sister has convinced each and every one of them, that I pawned the pieces. I can't believe how many people believe that I pawned my mother's jewelry.
"You pawned it," she kept insisting. "But that's okay, because God see's to it that everyone gets there's in the end."
I got mine.
I went to Ohio.
Have you ever been to Ohio?
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