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Grandpa Jerry

by Daniella Cressman 2 months ago in Short Story
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A Short Story

Grandpa Jerry
Photo by Mathias Konrath on Unsplash

Grandpa Jerry

A Short Story

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors on PixabayMy grandfather, Jerry, had been dead for years. He'd died at the age of sixty, supposedly from suicide. No one had ever found his remains, but there was a note in his apartment that explained exactly why he'd wanted to do it. No one had ever seen him again. The investigators declared him dead after the two-month search provided no evidence or leads. We looked at where the body would have fallen had he jumped out of the window on the fifth floor, but we didn't see a damn thing except his shoes.

Looking back on it, the whole ordeal was quite mysterious. Jerry was consistently happy-go-lucky throughout his life. He was a lifelong entertainer and he was very social. He was with a different woman every night, drinking whiskey in dimly lit bars and taking them to his room. It seemed like, no matter where I went to visit grandpa Jerry, everybody knew him.

I was sitting at home reading a book. It was about suicides that were allegedly false. I was convinced that grandpa Jerry was the victim of murder. The guy was probably just super stealthy. I saw the name Jerry on the page as I was scanning it. Jerry Dinkins. There was a knock on the door. Suddenly, he appeared in front of me, smiling.

"Hello, grandson."

"Grandpa Jerry? I thought you were dead."

Shivers ran down my spine and tears ran down my cheeks.

"No. I've just been in Mexico for the past few years. Nobody knows me there."

"Mexico?"

"Yeah. Things were getting awfully stressful at home."

"Were they?"

"Yeah. Marianne wanted me to commit to her and only her and I wish I could, but I just can't."

I looked up at him, mouth agape.

"So you faked your own suicide?"

He burst out laughing and slapped his knee.

"Well what else was I supposed to do? Everybody knew me in this town."

He sighed and looked downcast for a few seconds.

"Marianne was tired of me. Everybody knew that. I was getting drained. We didn't have the spark we used to."

I furrowed my eyebrows and stared at him.

"Are you a ghost? Are you coming back to haunt me from the grave? You've been dead for a while, grandpa."

I caught myself.

"I mean, at least everybody thinks you have."

"Yeah."

He smiled.

"That was my plan. I'm with a lovely Argentinian woman now."

I rolled my eyes.

"I didn't know that you had a thing for Argentinians."

"Oh, I do, grandson, and they have a thing for me," he replied, smirking.

I laughed.

"I can't believe you're actually real, you bastard."

He laughed.

"I know right? Don't tell your grandmother I'm here. She wouldn't be able to live with it. I can't put the woman through so much pain. She's already had enough of me."

I chuckled.

"So you let your wife think you committed suicide but telling her that you're alive and well is too much?"

He nodded solemnly.

"Yes. It's far too much. Believe me. There's a reason I faked suicide."

He looked around the room as if she might be watching him. He sneaked to the chair I was sitting in and whispered in my ear, "She'd kill me if she knew. She would be livid."

I looked up at him and shook my head.

This man was unbelievable. He'd always been a little bit eccentric.

He patted me on the shoulder.

"It's okay. You'll understand when you're married, grandson."

"Let me introduce you to my lovely lady."

"Does my grandmother know about this?"

"No, and she's never going to find out, do you understand?"

I nodded vigorously, wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into.

He paraded back into my study with a Latina woman who had black cascading locks and who was very voluptuous.

"This is my lovely Lucia."

I reached out my hand, shocked that my grandfather, who so many people thought had committed suicide, was here and had a girlfriend. Not a wife, but a girlfriend. Nonetheless, I was enchanted by her beauty.

"Hola, guapo."

He told me that what she said was, "Hello, handsome," and I blushed.

"Muy guapo."

"Lucia!"

My grandpa feigned outrage.

"You're taken," he said, placing his hand on his heart.

"Well, have a good one. I just wanted to drop by and check in on you. Are you a writer now?"

"Yes. I've just completed my fifth novel."

I looked down at the ground and then, unable to stop myself from showing off, I say, "It was a bestseller."

"I know!"

He smiled.

"I bought it."

He held it out.

"Congratulations!"

"Thanks, grandpa!"

"Well, I'd better get back to Mexico before your grandmother catches me. I'm wearing a hat and a mask. Thanks to that damn virus, I'm not so conspicuous. If I add sunglasses no one can recognize me. No one except your grandmother."

I chuckled despite myself.

"What exactly did she do to you?" I ask before realizing that I've said this out loud.

"You do not want to know, Gerald. It's more about the affairs that I had with umm, oh, so many women…There was umm, Natasha, Lydia, Renee, Samantha, Tabatha."

He waved his hand dismissively as if he were simply recounting how many restaurants he'd been to in the past week.

"That many, grandpa Jerry? Really?"

He nodded.

"They were all lovely. I'm not proud of myself, but they were all lovely. Needless to say, your grandmother was very upset with me, and I can understand why. She wanted to file for divorce, but then she wanted the dog."

He frowned for a minute or two, acting as though she'd threatened to kill and bury his best friend.

"Plato was my best friend and I just couldn't stand it. I needed an escape."

"Are you having an affair with me?" Lucia asked, looking concerned.

"Oh no. I would never," he said, winking at me as soon as she'd turned away.

Nobody's called me Gerald since middle school. I've always been known by my middle name, John. Good ole' grandpa Jerry. Some people never change…

***

Reedsy Prompt: "You thought he was dead, but there he is, right in front of you on the street, smiling at you."

Short Story

About the author

Daniella Cressman

American-Canadian.

Non-Fiction: I write about the art of prose, politics, & entertainment.

Fiction: I write short stories in the suspense/thriller/horror/mystery genres.

Novelist & poet as well.

https://www.thewritinglife.co/

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