((A Shannon O’Day Story) (Late 1984 to1988))
It was the morning after Amnon had returned home from college; he had spent six-years away at Harvard gotten his law degree (now twenty-four years old, handsome, tall, dark eyes and square jaw, and broad shoulders, five foot eleven), and was hoping to get an early judge’s seat in Ramsey County, likened his father—now deceased, Judge Albert Finley, the elder, and he was out on the town with his younger sister Tamar—who had just turned eighteen (prom queen from Washington High School, a beauty and well developed since last he saw her), and was preparing for school, and Mrs. Finley, their mother—Eleanor Finley (madden name Hill, from a well to do family, from Summit Hill in St. Paul, nearby where she once lived in a large mansion—nearly connecting to her parents’ house, now a museum) all three had gone out celebrating his Law Degree, to the Blue Horse Restaurant and Bar, out on University Avenue. In a way, this was for Eleanor, a climacteric year, one son returns and one child leaves, but Tamar would not be far away, she’d be living on campus, at the University of Minnesota, but a few miles away, studying Psychology. The elder boy, Nathan, he was already a judge in Minnesota, twenty-eight years old, who had gotten into some trouble a few years back, called “The Black Sedan Case” in Minnesota, dealing with the death of Otis Wilde Mather, a negro from Ozark, Alabama, a friend to the O’Day family, in particular to a deceased man once known in the city as Shannon O’Day, a war hero of the Great War, so legend says.
During the whole evening, Tamar had hardly looked at her brother, had said only a few words to him, especially when he had demanded they dance together and him crushing his body against hers, like slamming a door into her face, and trying to persuade her to go out and have a night-cap after they took their mother home. He had smelled the heavy perfume she used, he liked it, but she remained quiet, pert near still, and she walked off the dance floor, not waiting for his approval. Amnon made no reply, and slacken his pace as she increased hers.
When they had gotten home, he kept her up for three hours talking of his affairs at Harvard, drinking glass after glass of wine, red dry wine, and how she had blossomed into a beauty, as they walked on through the mansion in the darkness, down the corridor to their bedrooms—he kept close to her like a puppy to his mother.
“Oh Amnon, Amnon stop!” she said, “stop thinking I’m one of your girlfriends at school, I’m your sister, everybody seems to know that but you.” He slid his arm around her neck, sliding it on and over her shoulder, pinned her against the wall, the light was dim above them, “It’s true,” he said to her, “I’m your brother,” and her quick reply was, “You’re dirty! Step back!”
It was now well into early hours of the morning, and the scent of her was still on him, transplanted into his pores, drifted steadily into his bedroom from hers, as if it was waves of flowers following him; he had rapped her, kind of rapped her, without much resistance beyond the shady side of “Amnon, Amnon, stop, please don’t”; whereupon, after it was over he retreated himself to tiptoe back to his bedroom, not necessary back, since he had not been there that evening—yet, but down to his room, around the corridor. From his bedroom window, he could see her bedroom—and there he stared for a moment looking at her laying there naked, as he had pulled her covers off for that very reason, in her bed still sleeping.
Tamer, mess about the kitchen nervously in the morning with her mother, as the servant waxed the living room table and chairs, dusting this and that, and the cook was making breakfast for Tamer and Eleanor, Amnon was still sleeping, it was 9:00 a.m., Saturday, they had slept in some.
In the meantime, Amnon, dashed about the city, talking to his father’s old friends, making connections, harassed the younger lawyers at the courthouse, in his old cold arrogant Finley fashion, and took a liking for Catherine O’Day, now thirty-seven years old, she owned Gus O’Day’s old Farm—farmhouse and cornfield and all, had also inherited $10,000-dollars from her father’s will, and Otis Wilde Mather left her a fish store down on Wabasha Street in the city, now dead, all those from the last generation now dead, all those I’ve just mentioned, I just mentioned were dead to include Mabel, she had quite a sum after adding it all up. And Catherine had known of Amnon from the parties Gus had in what she’d now call the old days, and when he had invited Old Judge Finley over, and his sons and wife for dinner. Shannon was seldom about. So it was an updated reunion for them both.
Tamer had went off to the University, but had made a deal with Amnon, that he should ask mother for a $5,000 advance, of his inherence, lest she tell her what he had done, raped her, kind of rapped her, but she’d make it sound more like ‘Raped’ not the second one. She gave him until the end of the semester, three months—this of course would ruin his career, and as cold as he was, so was she—it was a Finley to Finley genetic thing, I think. And Amnon had known the bad reputation his bother had got from the “Black Sedan Incident,” he nearly lost his judgeship: where the brute of a boxer had killed Otis—when in essence the was just supposed to scare him, which the case was still fermenting between the Courthouse and the Police Station, looking to get a second and more clearer statement from the accused, now out on bail on $10,000-dollars. And should the Finley’s name come up again, come out in anymore derogatory cases, it would for sure, stop his being appointed to any critical position, and do his brother harm—not to mention his family name. But he dare not go to his mother, lest he wanted to be taken completely out of the will—she was not of course an original Finley, rather a Hill, but being married to one for over fifty-years made her cold as ice or could be, and as for his brother, if he knew, he’d surely not assist him in a judgeship or job or anything, wanting to keep his distance.
He spent a lot of time with Catherine O’Day now, and at the Courthouse as an assistant for his bother, checking out cases, occasionally now and then going out with the guys for a drink—not his usual self, and spending more time courting Catherine, over ten years his senior. Actually, his mother was growing a little concerned, un-preventative in the sense of she was used to being, just the opposite—over protective.
“Mark my words mother, I have my reasons, I need to make my mark while I can, I’m nearly twenty-five,” as if he would store up the devilment in the mean time, only to display it sometime afterwards, whereupon once he got what he wanted, and got to where he wanted to go, he’d hold loose of it, and let his inners burst wherever it may. And then, anyone in the way would have hell to pay.
“Why, what is it that is driving you,” she asked him, knowing the first few days back he was so carefree, but that gay kind of look was gone, that happy go lucky look had disappeared for a serious one. And then worse turned to worse, Tamer was pregnant, and she wanted $10,000 to shut up.
“Well,” Amnon agreed, “If you want it, it will take longer,” and he got a reprieve out of that; meaning, five-thousand as agreed on before, which was in a week, and the other five in three more months, thereafter. Amnon leaned over the sofa at their mansion, and touched her arm “All this for one night’s pleasure?”
“I don’t see why you are so upset over it, it’s your child. I mean, it really is.”
“Oh,” he said “then I’ll just wait to see the birth certificate, before I give you the second $5000-dollars and if my name is on it, I won’t pay.”
She sat there rigidly, “You’ll pay until that child is eighteen years old, or until I get married.” She said indomitable.
“Is that so,” Amnon said, walking over to the piano, sitting down on the stool and starting to play, ‘Old Man River.’ Then commented, “Those psychology courses are really helping out I see!”
The Child was born out of wedlock, and named Erskine Finley, in lack of knowing the father’s name, she told her mother she had gotten drunk and got Pregnant from some stranger at a college party. She ended up enjoying the grandchild, under not knowing the name of the father, for the following two years, during those days Amnon filled his destiny, and became a judge, and discovered pride once more, but not to any wild extent. And he made his payments as she had demanded $5000 every three months. Between his salary and playing the horses, living at home, it had worked out. Those days he drove a lesser valued car into town, and had less expensive habits, and gave up courting Miss O’Day, whom he was only courting anyhow for an escape route should he need one. Mrs. Finley, her growing belief what at last her youngest son had settled down, but something told her, it wouldn’t last. That he’d outwear this time and that old violent temper of his would flare up. Mrs. Finley being a true lack of optimistic outlook for young Amnon: Who even was quite fond of Erskine? She seemingly disillusioned herself by assisting him in every way she could to get him the best position at the courthouse, and in line for a future state legislative position. Yet is all, Amnon himself improved in his own ways, without perhaps even knowing, or wanting to, but through the snare he had created with Tamer, He had been so cleverly tricked, so he felt into this clandestine fatherhood dilemma. Tamer, herself was wondering how long before he’d grow out of wanting success at the price he was paying for it—monitory, and position. Mrs. Finley felt he needed a wife, but Tamer felt different, there went her support: perhaps Eleanor forgot: they both bled the same blood.
Then sowing-time over the following year—1988, Ronald Reagan was still president, Tamer had raised her support payments to $7000-per month. And she found herself with nothing to do, she had one year of college left, a free summer, and she was bored, and Amnon was taking interest in Miss O’Day again, and that bothered her. The summer was warm and hot, and she had gone into some kind of savage gloom over being a single mother. It was that summer, Mrs. Eleanor Finley pass on, had a heart attack. The family split up the $600,000-dollars equally, and only the mansion was left, and that had a 1.6 million dollar price tag on it. And Amnon was now engaged to Cantina O’Day. It was a sweet and sour summer for Tamer.
Samuel Ingway a young lad of twelve years old, son to a foreman who works at a foundry on the East Side of town called Malibu Iron, had been down by the Mississippi River playing waking up tramps and hobos sleeping inside of the cave cliffs, right above the Robert Street Bridge, that crossed the River from St. Paul—he’d run up to them kick them here or there and run like hell; a car had been driven onto the first part of the bridge, going southwest, towards West St. Paul that is, and the car went out of control and had skidded and jumped over the side railing, and crashed rolled and crashed, halfway into the Mississippi River, and the man in the car was groaning, he was still alive, and he lay with his head on Samuel’s knees cussing, struggling to move his body, but he was pinned, and the boy just let him do as he wanted, with half opened eyes. The man looked up to the boy “Something busted in the brake line,” he mumbled—still half in a daze, “I’m not drunk or anything, I think it was… (and he went silent, as if he had a hunch….)” The boy held his knee up higher so his head would not drop back into the shallow water; he was liable to drawn otherwise.
“I hear the ambulance coming sir,” the boy said.
“You, who are you?” asked Amnon.
“Samuel, Samuel Ingway, I was just checking out the caves down here and I heard a crash and here I am. I can’t pull you out, you’re too heavy, I already tired,” said the boy, “but I’ll stay with you,” he said with a calm face, looking at the wet face from what had been in the water prior to his arrival.
“We better get him out of here,” said the first arriving police officer to the boy.
“Aint nobody else coming?” asked the boy.
“He you’re pay” asked the police officer, as they both struggled to pull him out and would have but couldn’t slide him completely out, his feet were crushed under a tone of iron and steel. So they both stopped, having him half way out: caught their breath.
“No,” said the boy, “He’s not my pa; he looks like a dead man to me,” added the boy.
“He sure does act like one,” said the police officer; and then he was.
Outline: 8-16-2010/No: 668