I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: The Plots
At the first traffic light, the chauffeur called back and told Hal that there was an envelope for him inside of the liquor cabinet. Hal opened the cabinet and saw a white envelope with the hospital’s logo on the front wedged between what appeared to be two very expensive bottles of brandy. He wasn’t much of a drinker, but he didn’t recognize any of the labels on the bottles in the cabinet. Inside of the envelope was a card key and a list of areas to which he had access.
It felt like getting the keys to a new apartment and there was no turning back. His surroundings had changed, he thought, and he had better prepare himself as much as possible for his life to begin changing in big ways.
The chauffeur knew exactly where to go, when they arrived at the hospital. Hal laughed at himself thinking, unlike him, it wasn’t the chauffeur’s first rodeo. He’d probably been living this life for quite some time. He was quick to jump out this time and open the door for Hal. He had a reputation to protect and Hal wasn’t going to ruin it by making him appear to be lazy, unprofessional and slovenly.
Upon, arrival on the penthouse floor, as Hal liked to call it, the other guard, whose name he didn’t know yet, offered to take his coat and show him to his room. It was clear that he had started to carry some clout around there and wouldn’t be having anymore problems from the bully brothers. He decided it was best to be civil and be the first to extend the olive branch of peace. When they got to his room, he tried to be cordial.
“Thank you, uh…”
Hal hoped that was a cue, but, didn’t get a response from the guard.
“I know Steve’s name now, but, what’s your name?”
“Okay, Jake, nice to meet you, well, you can call me Hal.”
Hall offered his hand, but, Jake was heading out of the door. Hal smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand, asking himself, “What do I have to do to make friends or even get a smile from these guys? There has to be some way.
Then, he remembered seeing them watch a Yankee’s game on their t.v. He would call down to the sports room at The Daily and ask Hopper to get him two good seats at the Yankee’s game. Of course he’d ask Miriam for permission so that the guys could get a day off, if they ever did.
The room was more than adequate and of course was very tastefully decorated, above the standards of a usual hospital room. It had all the comforts of home, with a full-size bed and bath equipped with a spacious walk-in shower. He opened the closet and found a robe, house shoes, trousers, shirts, ties, and four suits. He assumed they belonged to the previous occupant.
All of a sudden, the phone in the room rang, startling Hal.
Not knowing if it was for him, he decided to answer it anyway and recognized Miriam Barrett’s voice on the other end of the line.
“Hello Hal! How was your meeting?”
Miriam had brought back thoughts of Rachel he was trying to suppress.
“It was fine thank you, I…”
“Well, I have a meeting of my own this afternoon and I won’t be with you and Auntie Yonny. However, she’s waiting for you now. Are you finding everything satisfactory in your room, if not, we can call someone. I hope the clothes fit, but I’m a pretty good judge of men’s clothing sizes. I was married for fifty years and had four boys to clothe, besides my husband. If you require a different type or brand of undergarments, we’ll send for them in the morning. I had them bring several types and sizes of shoes. I hope something fits. ”
Hal opened the bureau drawers and sure enough there was an adequate supply of underwear, and an assortment of t-shirts and socks.
“Go ahead and have dinner without me. I’ll see you in the morning. Please say goodnight to Auntie Yonny for me. Good bye, Hal. ”
“Thank you for everything and good bye, Miriam.”
Seeing that he had a wide selection of toiletries, Hal freshened up a little, then, went to Tanya’s room and sat at her bedside.
“Hello, Mrs. Yanovich, I’m sorry I took so long in getting back. Let’s get started.”
Tonya nodded her head. Hal set his recorder up and took out his note pad.
“Now, you’ve been telling me a lot of facts, but what proof can you give me? Without proof its just a good fiction story.”
“I can give you John’s journals and files.”
“Didn’t the FBI and CIA get all of those?”
“No. Not all of them. He transferred files to his family’s business. Basically, it’s names and dates and encrypted files of funding.”
“And you can get this?”
“Anything else? How can I prove the election rigging?”
“The Mad Hatter’s Family. After the Russian uprise and government overthrow, Alice in Wonderland hurried to buy the States computer research companies involved in the democratic campaign hacking and cyber-attack on the election computers that the FBI said couldn’t be proven. Truth was, they had to keep the technology and Russia’s cyber weapons secret so as not to cause worldwide panic and a national crisis. The weapon was our assurance that if the race was close enough the Russians could take us over the top.
When Russia became a democracy, the Mad Hatter’s group scooped up a lot of businesses that had been under State control. I heard that the information is here in the United States now.”
“Do you know who has it?”
“Since her father’s death, I heard it was passed down into the hands of the Mad Hatter’s great-granddaughter.”
“And what makes you think she’ll just hand it over to me?”
“Because you’re going to leave her with no other choice.”
Hal stared at Tanya in disbelief. What kind of woman was inside of that decaying body? What had she learned during her education in the Whitehouse and around Capital Hill? Or, was this part of her shrewd business training from her father?
Then, there was Ilya Yanovich, who many said had deep connections with Russian Oligarchs, Russian mafia, and government corruption. She ran his businesses for years before turning them over to a board of directors and making her step-son the chief executive officer. What had Tanya Yanovich become? –Her Father? Or, more of a type of philanthropic dictator?
“How? ” Hal asked.
“Her father’s business is struggling and about to collapse. Her relatives don’t want to help her save it because they say it’s worthless–obsolete.
So you’re going to come to the rescue; on one condition, that is. But, at first, you won’t make it so obvious as to what you’re after. Make it sound like the only way to save her precious newspaper company is to publish and capitalize upon these files, making them an important part of American history.
Sell her on the sensationalism of owning such an item and how it will attract followers and readers for years to come. Offer to partner with her in making documentaries and producing new blockbuster movies about the files. Sure, there have been dozens of films made speculating on the subject, but, you have actual proof! Combined with my information, you will make THE movie with the true story that’s never been told and have sole rights to everything thanks to the hard work of my attorneys.
The Mad Hatter’s Family and surviving group will eventually try to get in on the deal and you will make them the primary donors to our foundation. They and others who contributed to the mess my father and family made will pay to help try to make amends.”
Hal couldn’t believe what he was hearing from this dying woman. Didn’t she know she was dying and about to meet her Maker? Didn’t she care about her soul?
“Oh, I know it sounds sneaky and conniving and somewhat ruthless and dishonest, but, it’s for a greater good. We’re actually doing her a huge favor. We’ll turn that shabby little newspaper into a historical monument and money-maker in no time.”
“How will I explain knowing about the files? Won’t she be suspicious? ”
“Not at all, you’re a reporter and you acted on a tip. She doesn’t know that I know. I hired a private investigator to get the information. You’re just working on behalf of my foundation to save historical landmarks and make them profitable and productive industries within their communities again.”
Hal began to wonder if everything was about making money to Tanya Graves and was she really a philanthropist and global activist for freedom, equality and economic empowerment of impoverished women and nations? Was this really about making amends for past wrong-doing?
“So, you expect me to deceive her?”
“No, I expect you to save a dying newspaper that doesn’t have to die, help a community and a sweet girl trying to preserve her father’s legacy and help to do what little can be done to right past wrongs. The means may be unorthodox, but it is for a greater good.”
Hal tried to internally process this newly revealed side of Tanya and determine its origin.
“So, that was the Graves Family creed and philosophy,” he concluded within his mind and began to understand their way of thinking. “Use any means possible for what they personally believe is the greater good and the greater good is always to their advantage and financial benefit.”
He began to mentally kick himself for approaching this whole story and opportunity with such a naive attitude. Then, he had to backtrack and think about how he too had ulterior motives and selfish expectations. Hadn’t he been hoping to use the epic story of the Graves Family and the horrors of history for his own advantage to propel himself into the limelight of journalistic fame and worldly fortune? He went on silently torturing himself inside.
“How could I be so arrogant and gullible! They weren’t looking for an up and coming journalist, they were looking for a stooge–a puppet–a fall guy to do their dirty work! Miriam is too old and Tanya has run out of time. They need someone smart enough to do the leg work while they’re the brains of the operation. No doubt, Tanya devised the plan and filled Miriam in on all the details to carry it out after her death. Gift? Perhaps they ARE a cursed family because of their GREED, cruelty, selfishness and shrewdness. Is having money their curse or the love of it?”