Chapter 15

I’m finally getting closer to solving the mystery - who is Ferguson Bogen. Not only that, but how did he write this book and how much is truth? I will find out in due time. Hopefully he’s not dead or in a hospital with tubes running throughout his body. That would suck.

            I was supposed to go to a study group with Nancy Yen, but I blew it off. I also didn’t go to the debate team meeting, nor did I attend a ‘non-required’ run with some of the cross country guys. I am sure I will take heat for not going to my activities, but some things are just bigger and more important. Since I am free, I get on my bike and head to Ferguson’s old house.

            I arrive at the Bogen home. I don’t have to deal with Manny and his cackling goons this time. I knock on the door and ring the doorbell. I can hear it chiming. I don’t hear anyone inside, not a peep.

I am about to leave, when the door cracks open and a set of eyeballs stare through the crack.

            “Is Mrs. Bogen here?” I ask.

           An old lady, bent frail, opens the door. She grins, shakes her head, then closes the door again. I don’t know why this is turning out to be such a pain in the ass. Being a detective is not my kind of job because I don’t have the patience for this kind of stuff. I have no idea who that lady is but she couldn’t have been Mrs. Bogen. I wait for a minute and instead of knocking again, I walk down the steps to ponder my next move.

            The door opens. I spin around and see another woman standing in the doorway. 

            “Yes, may I help you?” she asks.

            “Are you Mrs. Bogen?  My name is Fergus Gordon. Ray Gordon’s son.”

I have one foot on the stoop and another on the walkway, ready to bolt out of here. I don’t know why I’m so nervous. It must be because I didn’t expect to actually meet her. 

            “Yes, I am Mary Bogen, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She comes out onto the porch and approaches me. She looks younger than I thought she would. My dad’s mom is way older looking. This lady can’t be much older than my mom, can she? 

            “Are you Ferguson’s mother?”

She laughs. “Yes I am.  How is your dad?”

           “He’s fine. He doesn’t know I’m here though. I was named after your son. People call me Fergus though ... He wrote a book I am reading.”

A big smile appears on her face as she tilts her head. It almost looked like she was sad. I am not sure at this point.

            “I had no idea of either of those things. I didn’t realize Ray had a son. I heard he had a daughter but never anything about you. That is just wonderful, Ferguson would love it. Do you want to come in?”

            I follow her inside and she introduces me to May, the little Asian lady. She works here with her granddaughter, Tanya. I walk behind her as she leads me into the living room. She tells me to have a seat and put my things down. I take a seat and look at the pictures on the walls. This place looks nothing like our house. For one thing, it’s much neater. It reminds me of an antique shop. Mrs. Bogen sits down. She wants to know more about me and my family.

            I run through the cast of characters; never mentioning the weird stuff about my dad. It is impossible to tell others about my dad’s issues. How do you tell somebody your dad acts like a hermit in his own home, rarely interacting with the rest of the family? Trying to get him to talk is like torture. I just tell Mrs. Bogen he is doing fine. I really want to get to Ferguson and his life as fast as possible.

            “So where is Ferguson?” I finally ask.

Her face changes as she looks away briefly. I couldn’t help noticing the twitching in her left eye.

“Well Fergus, I wish I could tell you his exact whereabouts. It could change anytime, and it has changed plenty through the years. Last time we spoke he was living in Montreal Canada. He lives there with his wife and children.”

           “Wow, that’s far away. Why does he live there?”

She laughs, but it’s not a real laugh.

             “He would have to tell you that son. He hasn’t lived around here since high school. He went away to college and never returned.  He’s bit of a restless soul.”

            I sat there and listened to Mrs. Bogen for another half an hour or so. She wanted to talk about other things besides her son and I didn’t want to harass her about him. I wanted to get more answers so badly, but I think I might have to come back. Next time I’ll show her his book and maybe she will open up about him a bit more. I had to get home anyway.

Before I left, I asked her if I could call him up. She wrote down his number and told me that he might not answer. Sometimes she doesn’t hear from him in months.  I’m starting to wonder if Ferguson might be a nut job. 

I have piles of homework to work on. I missed my chance to get some help on my math and there is a quiz tomorrow. The teacher has been doing these pop-quizzes just to see how we are doing, which usually means a “D” for me. I have to see if I can call in the big brain; my sister. I have never asked much from her in life, except maybe a dance lesson or two. She will be gone in six months, so I should take advantage of her brain power while I still can. My dad and mom always tell me to “go ask your sister.” I used to ask her for various things, but she would end up kicking me out of her room when I teased her about her boyfriend-at-the-moment. If I can do something nice for her, it will give me some brownie points.

When I get home, I start to think what I can do for her. I finally realize I don’t know her all that well. I walk past the laundry room and there lies the treasure of hope. All her laundry is still in the dryer. Maybe if I nicely fold and deliver them to her room I can score major bonus points. So, I pull the bundle out and fold every single blouse and pair of pants. Of course, the underwear thing is risky. I didn’t care to do much with those because I learned long ago they are off limits and that you cannot make fun of a girl’s underwear, especially at the dinner table. Trust me, we had a fight one night while we ate beef stroganoff.

Cindy isn’t home yet, so I go into her room. Holy hell what is going on in here? It looks like a crazed animal went in here and threw all of her belongings everywhere. Clothes, shoes and stacks of paper are scattered about. I feel as though I’m getting a good look inside her brain. I know she is an extremely busy person, but this looks like a maniac at work. I put the clothes basket inside the door and leave. My room is neat for the most part. Robby and I have had so many fights about tripping over toys and other junk we have a truce not to leave any crap near the other’s bed. My dad laid down the law about our fighting. He threatened Robby with video game elimination and me with more chores, not just regular chores; grandparent chores. I start my homework blitz before dinner, I know it’s going to go well into the night. At the dinner table, I ask Cindy if she can help me with my math homework. She agrees. Then I open my big mouth. “I folded your laundry and put it in your bedroom.” For some reason her head nearly explodes. We all see a volcano of rage that is about to come out of her mouth. I was expecting a sweet “Oh thanks, you didn’t have to do that”.

Instead, she blasts me with, “What the hell Fergus? Who said you could do my laundry and go into my room? Jerk.”

Mom gets a handle on this quick. “Whoa, whoa, what’s the big deal here? Since when is laundry so sacred?” she asks Cindy.

“Mom, I don’t want him to inspect my laundry.”

“Fergus, don’t do her laundry anymore,” mom quickly tells me.

“And then he goes into my room,” Cindy continues to roar.

“Fergus, don’t go into her room.”

I just sit and watch all the back and forth thinking, “Are all girls like this, or just my nutball sister?”

I finally weigh in. “All right already, I was just trying to be nice so you could help me with my math homework.”

“Cindy, are you going to help him?” my father asks.

She doesn’t say anything. Dead silence.

“Cindy?” dad asks again.

Cindy just lets out a big, “Ahhhhh, can’t a person have some privacy?”

“What about the math?” dad asks. “That would be really nice of you.”

 “All right, all right,” she turns to me. “But never do that crap again.”

My dad closes the deal and then tells us to clean up the language at the table. According to him no one wants to hear the word, “crap” around the dinner table.

In the evening, Cindy comes down to the kitchen and helps me with my algebra. I show her what I am working on and if she can make some sense of it. My answers are never matching up with the ones in the back of the book.  We work on five problems together. My brain didn’t see it at first, but I keep doing it until I sort of remember. After an hour of helping me she tells me she has to take care of something. As she walks away, she turns.

“Oh yeah, I put a note in your locker today.”

“What? That was you? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I forgot, I was too busy being mad at you because you wanted to look in my room.”

Why do girls misunderstand your intentions? Why would I care about her room? I was just bargaining and trading services.

“Where’d you get that info?” I inquire.

“Some girl named Tanya said you were looking for a lady that she helps. Who’s that lady by the way?”

I don’t want to tell her anything more, but I can tell she won’t leave unless I give her something. I ask her for a vow of silence if I tell her. She agrees. After I give her the lowdown on the manifesto I explain that I am looking for the guy that I was named after, and that is where he lived.

“Why don’t you just go on the internet and find him?” Cindy says as she laughs. 

            “You don’t think I tried that? He doesn’t exist on the internet.”  

            “Let’s find him. I'll help,” she replies, excited.

I let out a sigh.

“It’s no big deal, I’m just curious,” Cindy says.

I don’t want her involvement; this is my thing. Hopefully, she won’t ask me anymore on this matter. Cindy already seems to know everybody’s business.