To my mother:
If you’re reading this that means you’ve accepted my adventure. I’m glad. If you didn’t do this for me I feel like my life would not have it’s closure. I must add a few rules to this…let’s call it a game. Adventure is too epic and a game is supposed to be fun. I would like you to enjoy doing this for me. I imagine that it will be difficult at times; yet, when is life not. The point is that after every difficult time the lighter moments become that much more meaningful. I’d like you to open this envelope and give my mother the one inside. My mother’s information in contacting is quiet simple. Just go to her address labeled on the envelope. I would like you to tell her that you have a letter from her son Finny. Explain that you are helping me with closure. In-between the two envelopes is a hundred dollar bill. The idea is to bring my mother to City Hall park by the Brooklyn Bridge. I would like the two of you to sit on a bench. With the money i’d like you to buy two sandwiches and two drinks. You can talk to her in what ever way you wish. She’s a wonderful woman and will be quick to oblige to the idea. She might even get a kick out of all this.
Until next time,
She had read “To my mother” and her heart sank. She did not want to have to deal with a family member after agreeing to herself that’d she do this game. Her hopes were with starting with friends who would be more understanding of her neighbors odd way of dealing with death. What would she say is all that crossed her thoughts. Two weeks after the closed casket funeral she mustered up her courage to partake on his game.
It was a gloomy day, or so she thought, when she arrived at Finny’s childhood home. It was a modest looking brown stone from the outside. It was in a yuppie neighborhood, but she felt like it lost its touch due to commercial take overs. She buzzed the three floor building and waited. ‘How will I explain myself’ was running through her mind when she was startled that the door opened. She had expected the mother to answer the intercom, but between the door stood a short, wonderful looking lady with a hint of old age behind an illuminating smile.
“Well honey, what can I do for you?” she said with her hand on her hips with a mocking giggle.
“Oh, hi” Sarah hesitated she went blank. “I’m Sarah Jane Hines. I’m I..”
The mother threw her hands in the air and her face quickly turned to a concerned loving look, “Oh my dear girl! I know who you are, please please come in.” She opened the door and motioned for Sarah to come in. Sarah did not know how to react. She assumed that the mother recognized the name from the police report, but was uncertain. The mother could have thought that she was Finny’s girlfriend that he had not mentioned.
“I’m so sorry he put you through that ordeal,” she finally said. “I’m Finny’s mother, well I guess you know that, call me Claire.”
“Nice to meet you Claire. Er. I’m sorry I came over… Are you busy?”
“Of course not! Please make yourself comfortable.”
“Well mam, actually I’d like to take you somewhere. It’s kind of a request of Finny’s.” She felt like she sounded insane. Sarah did not realize, but she was staring at the floor. She was to afraid of looking her in the eyes. She kept thinking ‘why am I doing this! I should be focusing on work, or love, on my life!’ Yet, here she was playing this boy’s game and telling his mother, whom she doesn’t know, to go off with her. To go off with her per request of her late son. She must be going mad.
Claire stood looking at her trying to hide herself in plain site. Her hands wrapped around Sarah’s hips. The height difference between the two women made it look as if a child was trying to hug their mother. Claire’s motherly smile was back on. In a soft, sincere voice, “Of course darling, but my what a terrible two weeks you must had. Please tell me where we’re going and I’ll call the driver.”
A little taken aback, firstly by the comfort she found in the hug and quickly followed by the word driver. She was thinking to herself, ‘who are these people? A driver, a three story brownstone they must be a well off family.’ “City Hall park,” is all she could get out in-between thoughts.
“Oh wonderful!” as she glanced at her watch. “He always did love that park, Finny that is. I wonder why he’d like the two of us to go. You two weren’t..”
“No,” Sarah was quick to interject. She knew that this question would be brought up and she did not want to have any mix confusion.
“Well, you seem like a wonderful girl. Finny probably had a crush on you.”
“A crush on me? Oh, I doubt that. I’ve seen the girls he’s brought home.” She was about to explain how the girls he had brought home were not even close to her. In her eyes they were superficious and pretentious; yet, beautfiul. They needed to be seen in the right places at the right times. Not promiscuous, but always had a boyfriend that should be doing something amazing. She was none of these things.
“A crush is very different than someone you sleep with.” She let a giggle and put her arm around Sarah’s shoulder in the car.