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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Best Friend’s Dark Secret 2

Best Friend’s Dark Secret 2

He asked me to open all the mail that we had been holding for him in my office and to please make the minimum payments, to try and maintain his secret.  While I was shocked (about the intrigue and debt) I knew that what he was asking me to do was no less than what he would gladly do for me.

Even though I opened the bankcard statements, and made the minimum payment required on all of them, one called his number at home and his wife answered.  That particular card only had a $7000.00 balance but with late charges and who knows what other charges he was over the limit, and they weren’t nice about it.  His wife waited until he was released from the hospital and confronted him about the credit card.  All of sudden my very tough friend wasn’t able to stand up to the pressure and he came clean.  He even told her that his statements were coming to my post office box. By now his total indebtedness was over $82,000.00
His wife called me and read me the riot act.  She wanted to know how I could betray her trust.  I really didn’t want to be in the middle but I also didn’t want to throw my friend under the bus, at least not all the way under the bus.  I explained that I wasn’t his manager, and didn’t check up on the correspondence that he was receiving at the PO Box.  Furthermore, I explained that I had just become aware in the last week about his financial problem.

Two days later I received a call from my friend at eleven o’clock at night: he asked me to come and get him at his house because they were separating.  I confess that I can be a pretty brave guy, but, and this is a big but, I was afraid to come face to face with her.  When I knocked at his door he opened and pointed to about 10 boxes that he wanted to take with him.  I walked into the entryway only and carried the boxes to my van one at a time.  I helped him down the stairs from his porch and into my minivan.  My conscience told me that I had to at least apologize to her in person, she had sounded so tough over the telephone when she scolded me that I expected her to be in total control.
What I found was a woman that was crying, and appeared devastated by the latest developments.  When she realized that I was standing at the door to her dining room, she looked up and all she said was, you are his best friend, are you happy now?  I couldn’t say one word after that.  I just left the house and drove away with my best friend, to look for a hotel that would serve as his temporary home. 

Joe L. (my friend) explained that his solution would be to file for divorce and with his share of the property (waterfront home free and clear); he would have more than enough money to liquidate his financial problems (after all he had two pensions plus Social Security).  I tried to talk him out of it but to no avail.  I could tell he was embarrassed by the mess he had created for himself.  I told him to let things cool off and they would be able to talk things out.  As it turned out leaving the house was his idea, his wife never wanted him to leave.  For the next week I became Joe’s special assistant, I drove him to restaurants for his meals, and anywhere else he wanted to go.
One day a week later I got a call at two o’clock in the morning, Joe wanted me to drive him home.  He and his wife had been on the phone and in a moment of weakness he told his wife, honey I miss you so much, I just wish I was home next to you.  I am worthless without you; I can’t even put my own socks on without a big struggle.  I know these statements because my friend told me about them. They agreed that they would mortgage their home for the amount of credit card debt Joe had accumulated, and he would pay form his pension funds.

Joe must have explained that I was unaware of his problems, because I was forgiven; the best part of our friendship took place after this incident.  She remained my very good friend long after his passing.  The best is yet to come….

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