At My Father’s Statement

  • by Kentto peep between the curtains
  • exposed him
  • just a mess inside that car
  • although she didn’t even own a car
  • seemed to me, judging from his fingers,

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At my father’s statement, questions took flight in my mind like a flock of startled birds. But now was not the time to seek those answers.

“You know, the world thinks you’re dead,” I said. “Supposing it turned out they were right after all?” He sat down heavily on the mattress. “Glad to see I have your attention. Sit there and behave for a minute and we’ll get this over with. You have to stop,” I glanced at the naked woman, “renting affection.”

The Asian woman scampered through a gap in the velvet along the wall. She turned back to peep between the curtains, just a face levitating in the blackness of the room. “That is not what it is!” she cried. “I’m not a prostitute. We’re good friends. Last night, I complained that he never exposed himself to me. So, he did.”

Father’s wheezing laughter grated on my eardrums. “In a New York minute, I did! Man, things were just a mess inside that car.” Father’s eyes drifted closed.

I snapped my fingers. “Stay with us, you pervert.”

“We were in a car together,” he went on in a dreamy voice, “although she didn’t even own a car according to my security team.”

“It was stolen,” the face in the curtains giggled. Father giggled back.

I turned to Cleopatra and Esmerelda. “Sounds like you’re mistaken about the abuse of treasury funds. Now I need to talk to my father about some family business.”

The sisters stood with their arms folded. Unconvinced.

I turned back to Father and snapped my fingers at him some more. I wanted to make him explain about Mom and the one-eyed Svenborgian, but suddenly I was unconvinced, too. Which meant I was pretty convinced I couldn’t believe anything he told me, so there was no reason to bother asking. Because I noticed a clue I had overlooked before, a clue that told me there was more to this story. Because it seemed to me, judging from his fingers, that my father had recently been handling a lot of currency.

I looked at the Asian woman and narrowed my eyes. “You,” I said, “tell me the truth about what’s going on here.”

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