Johnathan sit down at a table in a dim lit corner of The piper Fisherman. It doesn’t matter if it’s lunch, he needs a drink. He orders a double whiskey neat, with ice. He sits back, slowly sipping on his whiskey, counting back the years. What age was he and Michs when uncle Barney and aunt Alice disappeared? “Wasn’t she pregnant or just had a baby?”
He does remember she was a few years younger than his uncle, he thinks she was good looking as well…. “Ha, yes…they were about twelve years old, when the two of them took off.” It was around the same time when Carlton’s mom shot his dad. “Was that a coincidence? It’s bizarre, I wonder, thinking about it now?”
He took another sip and over the lip of his glass he saw uncle Barney enter the restaurant. He still remembers him. With his deep Christmas father laugh and a beard like one. There was always some food stuck in it. It annoyed his dad… Uncle Barney founded it hilarious and tormented his dad by doing it on purpose.
Apart from being older, grey and bigger forward-facing, he still looked the same. He looked around, spoke to the stewardess, but before she gaits him in Johnathan's direction, he stood up and waved at his uncle. He waved in recognition and walked towards Johnathan. While John watched him, the only thought that went through his mind was: “What do you want old man? What do you have to say?”
He came back to reality when uncle Barney stood in front of him. They stood there, looking at each other for a second. Uncle Barney grabbed John by the shoulders like a long lost son. He started crying: “I’m so, so, sorry…. Johnny, I’m so sorry, for everything. Your mom and dad, the money…. uncle Carlton…. His wife Jolene.”
Johnathan took a seat: “Jolene? You know she is coming out of jail soon?” He looked alarmed: “Uncle knows; Carlton doesn’t know a thing about his mom or dad?” Uncle Barney nods a yes, while he orders a gin and tonic from the waitress. He feels uncomfortable, Johnathan’s pair of dark green eyes scrutinised every piece of his being: “Uhm, what?” He stumbled….
“You” he pointed with his finger towards uncle Barney: “You don’t apologise to me. You, apologise to the people whose lives you ruined." "Beyond repair.”
Barney cleaned his throat: “Yes….” He hesitates: “Where do I start?” Johnathan smirked at him: “Ha; why did you take all that money? You left the Company and my dad bankrupt!” Barney hushed him to quiet down as people started staring at them. “That’s a start!”
Barney looked down at his drink. He took a long sip. He wiped down his mouth and slowly looked up: “Your dad asked me to leave town Johnny. Me and aunt Alice, well…. sort of politely. He stated clearly we won’t get a cent; he will make sure of that. He treated us, as if we were to blame for everything…”
Barney pressed with his forefinger on the table, as if it was a door bell: “I was mad, at Alice, your uncle Dalton. Your dad for wanting to throw me to the wolves…. Jolene, for losing her mind. I just decided, if I leave, I wasn’t going to suffer like a beggar, I’m sorry!” It seemed as if uncle Barney was angry all over again.
Johnathan looked at him in agony? “Why? What transpired between all of you? Grandma ended up in hospital with a nervous breakdown.” There was a flicker of interest in Barneys eyes: “How are they? Your Grandma and Grandpa?”
John slapped with his hand on the table: “What do you care? No one said a word about what happened. Apart from the fact, that Carlton wasn’t allowed to know about his parents, everyone was silent. Not a word about what else happened?” John looked at Barney, piercing through his soul.
“There is some-one I want you to meet Johnathan. It will explain a lot.”
Who is Uncle Barney speaking about? Who is Jolene’s hush-hush spy? What about Veronica’s undisclosed love for Carlton?