Chapter 26. Papers
Barbara had left Tom when they had taken him back to the room. He had been in a bit of pain as they gave him a bath and had gave him some medications to help him sleep.
She walked across the tar and macadam surface of the airport to the hangar that housed the Flying Sea Dragon, she could barely keep from sobbing the entire trip from the hospital. It hurt so much to even think of those papers that sat somewhere inside the plane, waiting.
She took a taxi to the airport, not wanting to ride with anyone driving who knew Tom, knew of Tom or had even heard about his books.
She had a serious need to sit and drink wine and smoke a bowl with her sister and talk.
She missed the afternoons with Sandy like they had in their teens. They had barely graduated from high school, but as the best of friends and the worst of enemies, they would fight ferociously for minutes, then would be the best of friends as they settled down for a toke.
But no one dare make either of them cry.
Woe be unto the person that faced the wrath of the Grant sisters. It would make for a biblical-bad day when both sisters would turn on the offending person with fury that sisters of family, of heart and soul have.
As they grew older, and although they attended the same university, they became closer still.
Opening the door, she looked down at the broken glass that still lay on the floor.
And saw the blood, everywhere. It was surprising the amount that soaked into the carpet on the floor. A body-trail in the glass where he crawled to the door and yelled for help at the plane’s technicans and engineers.
Stepping past the gore and glass that nearly ended Tom’s life, perhaps did end his writing life, she sat at the chair where the papers in the manila envelope that Tom filed in a cubby-hole that he told her about.
Barbara thought of Sandy, and all the fights they had, while she sat in the Flying Sea Dragon and held the annulment papers in her hands.
Tom had said she had only to sign on the lines in the document and mail it with…
She slumped in the chair and a sob escaped her lips.
It was strange, this is what she wanted four-weeks ago, now she had a serious temptation to put it in the washing machine somewhere on the plane. Except she was not sure where it was, hidden behind some cabinet door.
Barbara took a heavy breath, unsure of the wisdom of her next action, she found the place to sign in the back of the document.
Slipping the papers into the manilla envelope they were paper-clipped to, she closed and sealed the package and walked out the door of the big flying yacht.
Not as large as the Pacific Wizard was inside, it was more cluttered with furniture, bulky items that seemed to make it feel close.
Still, a comfortable plane to live in.
A flying yacht, she reminded herself as she walked across the airport to the main offices.
She nearly didn’t mail it, the woman behind the counter almost gave it back because of Barbara’s facial expressions and the slumped-sad way she carried herself.
“Miss, I don’t know what you have in this, and it is not my place to say. But do you really want to send this?” She looked as if she might have known Ben Franklin when she started for the post-office. Not a trace of color in the great-grandmotherly hair. Stamping it and putting it into the slot behind her and it was finally off in the US mail and it required a signature on delivery of the package at the courts.
Once the clerk of the court received and signed for the papers, in the eyes of the government, it never happened. She was never married.
While Barbara walked out to the sidewalk she called the number on the business card that the Chauffeur Kaikane had given her, anytime she needed a ride. This time it would be to the hospital. She would tell Tom that she signed the papers, but she was not sure about how she felt.
After breaking the line with Kaikane and his peaceful voice, she hit speed-dial and called Sandy on the video app of her phone so they could see each other.
‟BARB!” Sandy was always excited to hear from her sister. ‟Where are you?”
‟San Francisco. Tom has had a good run of luck with the doctors since his accident.”
‟You need to come home quick as you can. Glenn is here and he has asked for you, he said it’s important.” Sandy whispered in a conspiratorial tone. Her eyes glittered with excitement. ‟I think he is going to pop the question.”
‟Oh.” Barbara felt a thrill of fear shoot through her soul.
‟You don’t sound excited.” Sandy became quiet, shocked at the response. Worried with the look sister gave, as if someone died. “Barbara, this is what you have waited for.”
‟I just signed the papers and sent them off to Nevada. I stop being married and never was according to the state once the papers arrive.”
‟Oh Barb.” Sandy’s voice sounded like a hug. “But this is what you want, right?”
‟I don’t know. Tom needs me.” Barbara was quiet as she waited for the limo.
‟But he was alone before he met you, and it’s only been a month.” Sandy said helpfully. ‟And you said he nearly crashed the plane with you in it.”
‟He was showing off the wine country.” Oddly defensive while she looked into the screen of the phone. “Sandy, it was beautiful, right up until we hit the birds, I think I nearly pissed myself.”
The sister laughed, knowing Barbara the way she did, for her to say something like that was oddly funny.
They talked as sisters do over the video on the phone while she waited for the contract limousine to pick her up.
‟Why don’t you take a cab?” Sandy asked as Barbara sat on a bench and waited in the shade of an Oregon Ash.
‟No. If this is my last limo ride without going into debt, I want to enjoy it as much as I can. Besides, there is a hot Hawaiian that drives it. You’d love him. Surfer type, intelligent as any professor, knows more about sensemilla than a DEA cop.”
Sandy laughed so hard she snorted, then held her hand over the lens while she composed herself.
‟Snd? You know I can still hear you.” Barbara took her turn laughing, using the nickname that they worked out as children, dropping the vowels.
This only made Sandy laugh that much harder.
Sandy Grant was the only person in the world that could make Barbara laugh when things were at their darkest.
Barbara hated her for that… Which made her laugh all the harder, she loved Sandy more than anyone else in her generation.
They were, after all, sisters.