The Antique Silver Box — Finale
Casey reflected upon everything she had learned that day. While repairing a loose floorboard in the attic, the contractor found an antique silver box containing documents, notebooks, German and American birth certificates and passports, elite Nazi medals, a small bag of various gemstones and Nazi gold bars.
Her friend Gene, a German graduate professor, helped her translate all the documents and notebook entries, discovering Casey’s grandfather, Frank Spencer or Fritz Schmidt, was a top Nazi who helped save hundreds of Jews from the death camps.
Casey’s mother died driving drunk when Casey was six. Her father disappeared a few months later. He didn’t know his father was a traitor to the Nazis or about the people he saved. He knew his father was a top aide to Hitler, a shame he couldn’t bear. He took off, cutting all ties with his family and leaving his young daughter behind to be raised by his Nazi father and the housekeeper Marsha.
But Casey had uncovered her grandfather was a traitor to the Nazis, helping hundreds of Jews escape the death camps, something her father never knew. Casey felt he should know the entire truth about his father.
Casey hadn’t thought of her parents in years but her father had come up several times yesterday and today. Marsha and Gene both mentioned him and she watched a video clip of him getting named CEO of a jewellery company in Switzerland.
“I have to contact my father,” Casey said to Gene. “He has a right to know his father wasn’t the monster he thought but was a hero.”
She googled the company and found their email address and phone number but no company directory. She took a screenshot of the contact information. “It’s almost 11 pm here, so it’s close to 5 am in Switzerland. I can either send a general email asking for my father’s phone extension and email address or call in the morning.”
Gene yawned. “Speaking of time, I’ve had a long day. My opinion is to call him in the morning. It isn’t news you send in an email, which could go unread in his spam folder. After all these years, you should tell him yourself. And with that sage advice, I’m heading to bed.”
“Thanks so much for your help, Gene. Sleep well. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Don’t stay up all night thinking. The issue of whether or not to call him will still be an issue tomorrow morning. Have a good night.” Gene headed to his room.
Serena stayed in the study a while longer, debating what to do. She went to bed without making a decision when her eyes began closing.
That night she dreamed of her parents. She saw them, young and carefree. She heard their voices again. Her mother, Eileen, whose long blond hair, blue eyes and porcelain-like skin Casey inherited, was sober. Her father, Frank Jr., had his arm around his wife. They told her the truth would set everyone free before embracing her tightly.
Casey woke up smiling, feeling a warmth inside her spreading. Her dream told her what she had to do. She quickly dressed and went to see if Gene was awake. There was a note on the neatly-made bed. “Casey, I woke up early and didn’t want to wake you. Keep me posted on what happens with your dad and thanks for including me in such an incredible project. I had a great time last night. I’ll call you. Talk soon, Gene.”
She didn’t know whether the great time Gene referred to in his note was about her or her project. Putting thoughts of him out of her mind, she went downstairs to the kitchen.
“Good Morning, Marsha,” said Casey, going to pour herself a cup of coffee.
“Good Morning, Sleeping Beauty. Gene and I had a lovely breakfast together, catching up before Tommy drove him back to the university. He’s a good man. Don’t let him get away.”
“I’m not looking for a relationship right now, Marsha.”
“I’m just saying he’s a good guy, he likes you and he’s single.”
“We’re just friends.”
“I’m telling you, that boy wants to be more than friends.”
Casey smiled. “I’ll deal with that later. First, I have to call my father.”
Marsha was so surprised she dropped the mug she was washing on the floor, shattering the ceramic everywhere.
“Look what you made me do. Don’t shock an old lady like that.”
Casey had already gotten the broom and was sweeping up the broken ceramic. “If he did leave because he thought my grandfather was one of Hitler’s top aides, he deserves to know Hitler’s top aide was, in fact, a traitor to the Nazis and saved at least 400 families from the camps.”
“Honey, you haven’t spoken to your father in almost forty years. Are you sure you want to now?”
“He needs to know the truth, Marsha.” Casey threw the ceramic shards she’d swept up into the garbage. “Want to listen in?”
“Of course I do. What a question.” Marsha laughed to lighten the mood.
“Ok. Well, here goes.” Casey put her cell phone on speaker.
“Gemstones Unlimited. How may I direct your call?”
“Frank Spencer, please.”
“I’m sorry but Mr. Spencer is currently unavailable. Would you like to leave a message?”
“Tell him it’s Casey Spencer calling about an important family issue. He’ll take my call,” said Casey confidently.
“I’ll give him the message. One moment please.”
Casey and Marsha listened to tinny elevator music while they waited to see if Frank would take her call.
“He’ll call you back. At what number can you be reached?”
“Tell my father to take my call or I’m getting on the next flight to Switzerland to come to speak to him. Please book me an appointment with him.”
“One moment please,” the secretary sounded flustered.
Casey winked at Marsha. Covering the phone, she whispered, “The bastard’s going to talk to me one way or another.”
A gruff male voice came on the line. “Casey? Is it really you?”
“Hello, Frank. Yes, it’s really me. The daughter you abandoned because of a misunderstanding.”
“I didn’t want to leave you…,” Frank started to say.
Casey cut him off. “You left when I was a kid because you mistakenly believed my grandfather was one of Hitler’s top aides during the war and couldn’t stomach the thought of being around such a monster. So you took off along with some of Frank’s gemstones and gold bars. His hands were too dirty for you but his wealth wasn’t. But you only know half the story about your father. He wasn’t the monster you believed him to be. And I can prove it.”
“What do you mean? There is no more to the story. The man was one of Hitler’s top aides.”
Casey laughed at her father’s ignorance. “Your father was a traitor to the Nazis, having saved about 400 Jewish families from being sent to the camps. He helped them all to escape. He was working with the Underground Resistance and Freedom Fighters. Frank turned himself into Simon Wisenthal when he moved to the States, who decided not to prosecute Frank for war crimes. That’s the man your father was, but you left before bothering to learn the whole truth.”
“He tried to explain but I thought it was all lies so I wouldn’t think badly of him.”
“Nope. It was all true. Your father was a hero, not a war criminal.”
“I suppose I owe him an apology. Is he still living in the same house?”
“You’re too late. Frank died thinking you hated him. He left you a letter which explains everything. I can mail it to you if you like.”
“What about his will?” asked Frank Jr.
Casey laughed again. “I inherited everything. He didn’t leave you so much as a penny. I guess he thought the gems and gold bars you stole from him were enough of an inheritance. He was devastated when you took off, especially so soon after my mother died. And if you thought he was such a horrible person, why would you leave your only child to be raised by him? You’re the terrible person. Frank loved me more than you ever would have.”
“I’ll be flying to the United States for business, visiting our 300 stores. Why don’t we..,”
Casey cut him off. “The only reason I contacted you was to tell you the truth about your father. I wanted you to know he was a hero, not a monster. He was my hero. You’re my sperm donor. To what address should I send the letter?”
“Casey, it doesn’t have to be this way.”
“Don’t you get it? You abandoned me as a little girl a few months after my mother died. Grandpa and Marsha were my parents and they raised me well. I want nothing to do with you. Address, please.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” Frank gave her his office address.
“I’m not. I’ll mail the letter this week. Have a nice day.” Casey hit “end” with a satisfied smirk.
“Frank would have been proud to hear that call,” said Marsha. “You stood up to your father and didn’t back down. You didn’t let your emotions get involved.”
“I did what Grandpa would have wanted. His son now knows the truth and feels regret. I did my job and cleared his name. I don’t have to think of my father again. And I don’t plan to. I plan to call Gene. Maybe there’s something there after all.”
“That’s my girl. Now let’s have lunch.”
Don’t miss the exciting first three parts of “The Antique Silver Box” series:
The Antique Silver Box — Part One: Family secrets
The Antique Silver Box — Part Two: Revelations
The Antique Silver Box — Part Three: The Truth
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About the Creator
Robin Christine Honigsberg
Sensitive eccentric with numerous mental illnesses who often describes personal experiences with mental illness to raise mental health awareness. Suicide attempt survivor. Writer of different topics, in various genres. Please have a read!💚
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