The Morrow Family Saga, Series Three: 1970: Ohio, Chapter Twenty

Matt sat at the dining room table, his algebra book in front of him. Equations were nothing to him. He could fly through an assignment without any problem. But, then, he had been told that all Morrows had a mathematical and scientific mind.

That would mean that his siblings would also have the math and science aptitude and would be equally set to inherit a portion of the family business if they so desired to. Morrows were Morrows after all, and all were entitled to an active role in the business. Active unless they decided to go a different direction as he had.

Still, his production company fell under the umbrella of Morrow Industries even though he was considered independent. Any company with the name Morrow attached to it automatically became a part of the Morrow family empire. Even those under the name Venecek were also included in the Morrow Industries registry as was any other business created by any other family name attached to the Morrow family.

It had become a safety feature created to keep all members of the families safe from those who had searched for “communists” and “homosexuals” in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Hell. It still protected the family from the prying eyes of Eddy Hoover.

Matt remembered Tom’s tales of Eddy. J. Edgar Hoover, better known as Eddy in Washington, was the director of the FBI. For the past twenty years, he had been secretly compiling files on every person in the United States. These files, Tom had told him, were intended as collateral should anyone succeed in unseating him as director. Even the Morrows had files, not that the family had ever been remotely interested in politics.

Still, the little man seemed to see the family as possible enemies. He saw everyone as a threat. The way Matt saw it, the man was paranoid.  Too paranoid.

He looked at the time. 3:30. Time to stop. No need to do more than expected.

He could have done everything in the book, had he wanted to. Perhaps tomorrow or Saturday. That was the cool thing about home school. He could even do homework on Saturdays. And he often did.

He would do the work for an entire year on a Saturday when he was bored. He would pick a subject and just start where he had left off during the week. Perhaps that was why he was now a Junior instead of a Freshman. Besides. The tests were too easy.

He closed the book. Time for a little fun. All he wanted to do now was get into the studio and play a little guitar. He would let Tom’s wife check his work.

Getting up, he headed for the door. He stopped just long enough to push his chair back under the table. He wouldn’t hear the end of it if he left it out for someone to run into. Turning out the lights, he left the room.

***

Tom came out of his den just in time to bump into Matt. He looked over at the young man. “Ready to head to the studio?”

Matt smiled. “Yup. Thought I’d shred a few tunes before it got too late in the day. Need to unwind from algebra anyway.”

Tom grimaced. “Algebra?”

Matt nodded. “Yup.”

He shrugged and motioned Matt to follow. “Let’s go. You deserve a little time away from the house.”

The two men left the house and headed toward the studio. The drive wasn’t a very long one, but it seemed to take longer than it should have. Yet, after five minutes, they were sitting in the parking lot.

Matt smiled. “Let’s do it.”

Tom grinned. “That-a-boy.”

***

Natalia was moved from the main rehab ward into a private room. The first 48-72 hours after detox was the most vital. After a week of withdrawal and detox, it was nice to be in a private room…even if she still felt like a prisoner. Nurses kept a constant eye on her to make sure she hadn’t gotten hold of something she wasn’t supposed to have.

She was still in the rehab wing, just not where all the newly arrived patients were held, strapped to their beds during the worst of their withdrawals or kept during the first few “sober” days. Even so, she was grateful not to be in a ward full of screaming, moaning flakes. She frowned, slightly amused at the irony of her thought. Just a week before, she had been one of those “flakes”. Hell. She still was.

She knew that she would always be an addict, even though she was now what they called a “recovering addict”. She would always stand the risk of slipping back into that lifestyle. Always. She only hoped that she wouldn’t fall to temptation again.

She pulled herself up out of the covers, propping herself up on the pillows. Damned hospital beds were so uncomfortable. Still, she was happy for the first time in a decade. She had Matty to thank for that.

She had been hard on Matty the last time he visited her. now, she wished she could take back all that she had said to him. What had she said? She only hoped that he could forgive her. After all, he was the only person she had found it worthwhile to live for. He had been her sole purpose of carrying on.

Not that her other children didn’t also give her a reason. Matt had just been there the longest and had gone through it all with her. She put her head in her hands. Matt had always known how to make her happy, even when her choice in men failed her. Why couldn’t she find a man that was like him, only older?

Oh, God! She was at it again! Why did she always start thinking this way? Matt was her son, not a prototype to base her choices in men off of. She needed to stop thinking about men. Family, after all, was most important. Matt’s impression of her mattered more than her desire for a man.

She took a deep breath. Time to grow up and be responsible for herself. Time to quit partying. Time to settle down and be what she was supposed to be. But what was she supposed to be?

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