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    Andr0gene
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Butler - 4. Chapter IV

January 5th, 2011, Greenwich, CT

I smiled to myself as I remembered that conversation, so long ago and the beginning, indeed, of a very fruitful relationship. But there was still one person whom I owed a phone call and there was no more evading it.

Picking up the receiver, I steeled myself to what was undoubtedly going to be an unpleasant conversation. Oh, Gregory would be civil; he always was. Gruff and rude, but civil. Impatient. He would start barking orders right away and treat me like a lowly houseboy, a servant. A slave; he had done so ever since that second meet, so long ago. Since, our contact had always been far and in-between, and his coming here only out of pure necessity. He was the only one of the family, apart from his father, whom I ever addressed as ‘sir’.

I slowly dialed, stretching out the moment for as long as I could, before pressing the last number; then the busy signal came through loud and clear and I was relieved. A moment's respite, no doubt, but a welcome one. I waited several minutes and tried again. This time, the call went through and I took a deep breath when it was picked up.

“Montgomery.”
He sounded impatient, chagrined. I stiffened automatically.

“This is Christopher. Sir, I’m afraid I have bad news.”
It went dead quiet on the other end of the line.

“Yes? What is it?”

“It saddens me to inform you that during the night, your father has passed away.”

The sound of the small hesitation heard in his otherwise regular breathing was the only giveaway that the news did affect him. Their relationship was strained at best, but it was still his father.

“How?”
An immediate quip came to mind but I choked it down, out of respect.

“Quite peacefully, he went in his sleep, early this morning. You have my condolences, sir.”

“Thank you.”
It went quiet for a moment and then I heard him call in his assistant, Alan, before returning speaking again.
“My secretary will contact you with my flight schedule so you can pick me up at the airport. I will leave as soon as can be arranged. Have my brothers been informed?”

“Yes sir.”

“Very well. No one else? I take it you’ve received instructions for when this would happen?”

“Yes sir. No, no one else has been called, as per your father's orders. I understand you take it from here, Sir.”

“Correct. This will be all that is required of you. Thank you for calling.”

He hung up quite suddenly, and I put the receiver down slowly. So he was coming immediately. Well…shit. I’d suspected, due to their less than stellar relationship, that he’d turn up for the funeral only. Preferably at the last moment, as the casket would go into the ground. Guess not.

**********

Within the hour, Mr. Montgomery’s personal physician, Doctor Sullivan, arrived, being sent at the request of, he told me, Mr. Montgomery Jr.
I let him in and took his coat, nodding to the coroner who arrived right behind.

“Good morning, Chris. Gregory sent me. So the old man finally went, eh?” He took my hand and squeezed it warmly. “My condolences.”

“Thank you.” I knew he meant it. And he knew how I felt about Mr. Montgomery. The dad I never had. Of course I’d had a father, but never a real one. The real one was now dead as well.

“Where is he?”

“The master bedroom. This way.”

I put away his coat and preceded them to the bedroom, waiting respectfully by the door.

“Thank you, Christopher, we’ll take it from here.”

He squeezed my arm, and went inside.

**********

Another hour later, Mr. Montgomery’s body was taken away in the back of the funeral home’s van, and I let Doctor Sullivan out.

“Will you be all right, Chris, here, all alone?”

“I’m not entirely alone, Doc,” I assured and opening the door for him. The coroner went outside while the doctor remained behind. “The maid is here today and the sons will arrive shortly, and there is a lot to do before then. I’ll be fine. Thank you for your trouble.”

We shook hands once again and then pulled me into an unexpected hug.

“I’m so sorry, Chris. I know he thought of you as an adopted son. If there is anything I can do…
His voice trailed but I assured him I’d be alright. Then he left as well.

Once again alone, I went with the maid on a final round, inspecting the rooms that had been made ready for the arrival of Mr. Montgomery’s sons during the time the doctor and coroner did their work. Satisfied everything was as it should be, the maid disappeared to finish her duties before leaving. And then there was nothing to do. Nothing, other than wait. And so I found myself in the study once more, and the memories came to me again as if this room somehow triggered them.

Edited: 03/29/2018

Copyright © 2018 Andr0gene; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

I am bingeing to get caught up, and I doubt I could "put it down" anyway. Good story! Poor Christopher. I'm guessing the craziness is about to start.

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3 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

I am bingeing to get caught up, and I doubt I could "put it down" anyway. Good story! Poor Christopher. I'm guessing the craziness is about to start.

 

Oh yes...

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In the midst of sorrow it can be helpful to have things to do. But thinking back on happy memories can be good too.

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Gregory didn’t react to his brothers being told first... did he miss it ? Christopher seems to have made friends of all the important persons in Mr Montgomery’s retinue. 

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10 hours ago, deville said:

Gregory didn’t react to his brothers being told first... did he miss it ? Christopher seems to have made friends of all the important persons in Mr Montgomery’s retinue. 

 

Nope, he didn't, which tells you something. ;) The news does affect him, which throws him off balance.

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Waiting for the doctor and the coroner, or their people, can be very hard on some.  I think it is their arrival that often is the first glimpse that this is real, the person is really gone. 

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