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Family (Part XXX)

By Pete Moss

(Click here for Part IXXX)

I am awake. Definitely, but I don't want to open my eyes.

I'm afraid I'm in the hospital. And I'm old.

I feel a hand gently brush my cheek. I open my eyes. It's Lorelei. She's old too.

I realize years have gone by. Our kids are in the room also.

Where did the time go?

"You're awake," says Lorelei.

"What am I doing in the hospital?"

"You don't remember?"

"No."

"You had some kind of seizure."

The kids look worried.

"Am I old?"

"No sweetheart, you're still a young man too me."

"Oh, well that's a good thing."

But Lorelei looks worried.

"I have something to ask you," I say.

"Ask away."

"Maybe just the two of us?"

Lorelei shoos the kids out of the room.

"Well?" she says, when we're alone.

"Whatever happened to that Franz Ferdinand guy?"

"Who?"

"The Archduke."

"Oh...him. Pffft, he made this stupid speech. Said he could never marry me cause his family wouldn't approve. Wanted me to be his mistress. As if! I would never marry him, or be his bullshit mistress. What a load of crap!"

"You didn't want to marry him?"

"No darling. Or be his mistress. Or put up with his snooty family. I wanted to marry you. And have kids. And we did."

"You wanted to marry me?"

"Well yeah, it's been 26 years now."

"OK, that answers that."

"And?"

"And what?"

"There's something else you want to know."

"Those 2 cops? From the LAPD?"

"What about them?"

"Did you....you know....smoke them?"

"The ones they found in the canyon after the fire?"

"Yeah."

"Maybe. If I did, I had a good reason. They wanted to take you away from me, or me away from you. Either way I couldn't let it happen."

I close my eyes. My memory is coming back. Bits and pieces. 26 years of being married. Me? I didn't think I had it in me. And a dad to boot. My own family.

"Am I going to die?" I say.

"Not if I have anything to do with it!" says Lorelei.


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