Alternate Family: Part Four

The law firm was on the second floor of an unremarkable office building.  A young family lived at the address listed on the letter from his mother.  They didn’t know the previous owners or where they had moved.  That left the lawyer who had handled his mother’s case as Jason’s last lead.  Unless he wanted to go back and confront his father with the letter.

The receptionist greeted him as he entered the door.  “Good morning.  How may I help you?”

He walked over to the desk slowly.  “Hi.  I’m looking for the lawyer who represented my mother in my parents’ divorce.”

“Do you know who that would be?”

“Actually, no.  I was hoping you could tell me.  I believe it was someone in this firm.  Her name is Katherine Moore.”

“Okay.  Let me check.”  She turned to her computer and began typing.  “I’m not finding that name in our files.  Are you sure someone in this office represented her?”

Jason pulled out the check and showed it to her.  “This was sent by her to my father a few years ago.  I assumed that you guys sent it on her behalf.”

The receptionist looked at it.  “Hmmm.”  She turned back to her computer and typed some more.  After a minute, she picked up the phone and pressed a few numbers.  “I have a young man out here who would like to speak with you.  He says he’s Katherine Harris’s son.”  She fell silent, listening.  “Very well.”  She hung up the phone.  “Mr. Sarello will be right with you.  Please have a seat.”  She gestured to a group of arm chairs a few feet away.

Before Jason could sit down, a middle-aged man in a grey suit walked into the lobby.  Thin and tall with short salt-and-pepper hair, he looked like exactly like how a lawyer should look, at least if television were to be believed.  He extended a hand towards Jason.  “So you’re Katherine’s son.  Jason, right?”

Jason shook his hand, trying to match the firmness of the man’s grip.  “Yes, sir.”

“Come on back.”

Jason followed him down a hallway and into an office.

“Have a seat.  So what can I do for you, Jason?”  The man was looking intently at him.  It made Jason nervous.

“Well, I was hoping you might know where my mother is.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.  I found this letter she sent my father four years ago.  In it she mentioned wanting to attend my high school graduation.  Anyway, I checked out the address on the letter, but she’s moved.  And I found this check in the envelope from your office, so I was hoping you might know where I could find her.”  He was a little out of breath from talking so fast.

“I see.”  He sat for several moments, tapping his fingers and lost in thought.  “Have you talked to your mother at all in the last few years?”

“No.”  The image of his mother sitting across from him in their old house flashed through his mind.  “I mean, not really.”

“Not really?  So you have heard from her?”

“No.  I mean…  Just this letter.”

“Oh.  He stared at Jason, a question heavy in the air.  “I’m sorry, Jason.  I don’t think I can help you.”

“You don’t?  Why not?  Surely you have some way to contact her.”

“I…”  He stopped himself.  Jason could tell he was chewing on the inside of his lip a bit.  “I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“So you do know where she is?”

“Jason, try to understand.  If you haven’t heard form her, even after all this time, maybe that should tell you something.  It’s probably just better to let her be.”

“My father has kept her from me.  He didn’t even open this letter.  That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to see me.  She even says she does in the letter.  Here, look!”

The lawyer didn’t shift his gaze from Jason.  “Maybe your father had his reasons.”

“I’m sure he meant well, but still, I’m an adult.  I just want to talk to her.”

“I just don’t…”

“Please.”

The lawyer thought for a moment.  “Okay.  I’ll tell you what, leave your number with me.  I’ll see if I can get in touch with her.  If I can, and she’s willing, I’ll call you to set it up.  That’s the best I can do.”

Jason fought the urge to argue further.  It was something, at least.  If the lawyer didn’t come through, he could push again later.  “Fine.”  He wrote his number down on a piece of paper and handed it over.  “Please call me soon.”

“I will.  One way or another.  I’ll be in touch.  You have my word.”

“Thank you.”  With that, Jason stood and walked out of the office.

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