The Absconding Boyfriend

by Stredwick


The Absconding Boyfriend



by



Austin
Mitchell



 



           
“Just sign the form for me as my guarantor, Arlene. You know I’ll pay back the
money. I’ve never let you down yet,” Jeanie appealed to her friend, Arlene.



           
They were at her apartment in Washington Meadows. Arlene had gone there right
after work, having gotten an urgent call from her friend.



           
“What are you borrowing so much money for?”



           
“I want the money to help pay Jack’s legal fees.”



           
Jack was Jeanie’s on again, off again boyfriend for the past two years and he
had gotten himself in trouble with the law after the police caught him driving
a stolen car.



           
“Are you sure that they’ll lend you so much money? And why are you going to so
much trouble to help Jack after what he has done to you? And what about Karl
Radley?”



           
Jeanie glared at her.



           
“Jack’s a good man. I care a lot for him despite his many faults. If I don’t
get this money to help him and he ends up in prison, I’m going to feel guilty.
As for Radley, he’s not my type. Sure, we have gone out together, but he just
doesn’t do it for me, if you know what I mean.”



           
Arlene was experienced enough to know what Jeanie was talking about. Radley was
working with one of the phone companies and she had always encouraged Jeanie to
go with him. But it appeared that she had made up her mind to go with Jack.



           
Both women were in their late twenties and had been friends since high school
days. Arlene was tall, while Jeanie was of medium height. They had done some
amount of athletics in high  



school and still found time to work out.
Jeanie had been Arlene’s bridesmaid at her wedding five years ago. Arlene had
two children while Jeanie was still unmarried but the mother of a little girl
by her childhood sweetheart. However, they had broken up soon thereafter.
After another failed relationship, not counting Radley, she had fallen for Jack,
but despite Jeanie’s optimism it seemed to be going
nowhere.        



           
“I’ve lent you money already, and you’ve always repaid me, but I’m not sure
about this one.”



           
Arlene stopped short of criticizing Jack for getting in trouble with the law
again. It was true, she had lent Jeanie tons of money down the years. It hadn’t
been like that during high school as Jeanie’s father used to send her loads of
money which she would spend freely on her friends. Maybe if he hadn’t married
that young African-American girl and died, leaving her all his money, Jeanie would
be a wealthy woman today. Arlene thought that maybe she was the only one around
of their circle of friends still helping out Jeanie.



           
Jeanie’s head was bowed.



           
“I don’t know who else to go to, Arlene. I’m maxed out as far as my mother and
sister are concerned. I can’t even let them know that Jack’s in trouble again.”



           
“He seems to take to trouble like a duck to water,” Arlene remarked and Jeanie
jumped up.



           
“If you are going to behave like that, it’s okay. I don’t want your help
again.”



       Arlene
stood up, her hands akimbo and her face red at Jeanie’s dismissive
tone.  



        
“You’re in money problems again. Why is it that you have to be helping out Jack
all the time? Look how many times he has been unfaithful to you and you are
still with him.”



           
“I think I might be in trouble because I stood as his guarantor for him to get
a loan to start a business.”



           
Arlene opened her mouth but couldn’t say anything as she stared at her friend.
She re-took her seat, Jeanie also sat down.



           
“So what are you going to do? Okay, so you bail him, but does he have money to
pay a lawyer?”



           
“I think the lawyer will get him off. He had borrowed the car from a friend of
his after his car broke down.”



           
“So where is that friend now?”



           
“He’s vanished into thin air.”



           
“And you believe Jack?”



           
“Why not, I don’t know him as a thief.”



           
“How’s he going to prove his innocence if he can’t find the guy?”



           
“He says that if he gets bail, he knows lots of people who know the guy so he
should be able to find him.”



           
“He just borrowed the car to go to Morant Bay to see somebody. On the way the
police stopped him and told him that the car had been stolen,” Jeanie stated.



           
“I hope he finds the guy,” Arlene declared.



           
“I’m sure he will. As I’ve told you, I have every confidence in Jack.”



           
Arlene stared at her.



           
Presently the two women sat down to discuss their business transaction. 
Two weeks later, Jack was out on bail.



           
Jeanie followed him to where Clifton Martin, the man who had lent him the car,
formerly lived. The owner of the premises denied that anybody by that name ever
lived there. Even when Jack showed him the man’s picture, the landlord shook
his head in denial.



           
“No, I don’t know him.”



           
Jeanie was beginning to have her doubts. She decided to keep them to herself.



           
Two weeks later, Jack called her. He had found the guy, but the man denied that
he had lent him any car. Jeanie kept shaking her head at what Jack was telling
her.



           
“So okay, this guy, Martin denies lending you the car, so what are you going to
do? Who is the registered owner of the car?”



            “Based
on what the police said, Martin is not the owner of the car.”



           
They were seated in Ricky Chin’s sports bar in Eastwood Park Gardens.



           
“I know a policeman who says he’ll talk to him for me.”



           
“How long have you known this guy?”



           
“You mean the policemen?”



           
“No, not him, the guy who lent you the car.”



           
“Remember I told you that I once lived on Red Hills Road, he was my next door
neighbor.”



           
They left the sports club at eleven o’clock that night. For two weeks
Jeanie saw no sign of Jack. He wasn’t answering his phone and when she went to
his apartment it was locked up. The landlady couldn’t tell her about his
whereabouts. She managed to get the lawyer to get the case put off.



           
One evening she got a call from an unexpected source, Jack’s sister, Dania
Burke. The two women were hardly friends.



           
Jeanie was at her wits end. Jack was in the States! He had bought a visa with
the money she had lent him to pay off the policeman. Based on what Dania told
her she could only jump to those conclusions.



           
Then something hard hit her. Jack had absconded bail, she could go to jail if
she didn’t find the money for the bail bond.



***



           
Six months later and Jeanie was coming out of the loan agency where she had
just finished paying the balance of the loan that Darlene had guaranteed when
they last met.



           
“I’m finished paying off the loan now, Arlene.”



           
Arlene was thankful for what Jeanie had done. They decided to have lunch at a
nearby restaurant.



           
“Jeanie, don’t say I’m inquisitive but I’ve spied you out with Radley a couple
of times.”



           
“After what Jack did to me, I should be contented with my child, but Radley’s
been so good to me. I sometimes wonder what I saw in Jack to have preferred him
over Karl.”



            Jeanie
was of course remembering all the debts Jack had put her in and of how Karl had
helped her out with some of them.



           
Arlene laughed.



           
“By the way, have you ever heard anything about Jack?”



           
Jeanie glared at her and Arlene wanted to apologize.



           
“It’s okay, Arlene. Jack’s in jail in New York. I don’t even know what he did
this time. When they deport him I won’t be sorry for him again.”



           
“Are you sure about that?”



           
“Karl has asked me to marry him and I’ve agreed.”



           
“Oh my gosh, congratulations, girl!”



           
The two women embraced each other before leaving the restaurant. The End.



 Austin's blog: stredwick.blogspot.com



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