Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Dead Baby Story
by Zalman Velvel

Charles Largent entered First National Bank of Staten Island on Monday morning and took the elevator to the top floor. He gave the receptionist his name and was directed to the president's office. He waited outside the open door.
Mr. Angelo was sitting at his desk, his gray hair perfectly combed, his pin-striped three piece suit without a wrinkle in it, holding a telephone to his ear. He nodded to Charles while he resumed his conversation. Charles took off his Yankee baseball cap, pushed back his muscular shoulders, and raised himself to his full six feet four inches. When Mr. Angelo hung up the phone, Charles was beckoned forward.
"Hello, Charlie. Have a seat."
We didn't shake hands, Charlie thought. Not a good sign.
"Charlie, you've owned the apartment building for what, 3 months now?"
"Yes, sir."
"And already you missed a mortgage payment?"
"I'm sorry, sir. I couldn't help it. First, I had to replace the hot water heater, and then the boiler broke down, and then the roof- "
"Charlie," Mr. Angelo held up his hand. "Every business has its problems. A good businessman solves his problems, and moves on. You'll have the payment when, Charlie?"
"By next week, assuming-"
"Charlie." Again the silencing hand. "Next week is sufficient."
Mr. Angelo walked around the desk and put his hand on Charlie's shoulder.
"Charlie, the previous owners of that apartment building are long-time friends of mine. They asked me for my opinion before they sold you their building and took back a mortgage. I vouched for you, Charlie. I told them, 'Charlie may be a young man' – what are you, 30?"
"32, sir."
"Yes, 32. I told them, 'He's a bit young to be owning an apartment building, but he has character. He knows the value of hard work because he saved up the $25,000 down payment on his own. He'll learn what he needs to know to make the building pay off.'"
Mr. Angelo stopped and looked sharply at Charlie. "Did I misjudge you, Charlie?"
"No sir."
"I hope not." Mr. Angelo sat behind his desk again. "I have been instructed to institute foreclosure proceedings if you don't send the mortgage payment by next Friday. Do we understand one another, Charlie?"
"Yes, sir."
© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.

Über den Author: stuv