Glen Cove, Long Island. Saturday, March 2.
Andrea Dennis had continued to live alone in her beautiful old home in the upscale area of Glen Cove. She and her late husband had spent most of their adult lives in it, raised their two daughters in it, entertained in it, and prior to Miles’ death, called it the last home they would ever own. She chugged the remains of her second Irish coffee, then slammed the cup on the surface of her T.V. table. “That’s it. I’m going in,” she declared, determined to do what she had postponed since Miles’ death on September eleventh, 2001, the day she lost the love her life, the day her internal clock stopped.
She stood and marched to her husband’s office, a thirty square foot space that, by mutual agreement, would forever be his man cave, his private refuge. Entry would be by appointment only. She had never complained because, from the day they met, Miles had been a wonderful lover, a perfect husband, an amazing father, and a great provider. She had experienced too many abortive attempts to enter that office than she could remember, each time thwarted by a mysterious force insisting that she preserve the status quo.
“Don’t stop,” she prodded. “Do this!” she shouted, at last crossing the threshold and approaching the hand carved teak desk her husband had spent, in her opinion, half of his adult life. “Empty this fucking thing!” she yelled as she yanked each drawer and dumped its contents on the rug. The pace of her yank and dump exercise accelerated until she ran out of drawers. Jacked up by the euphoria of closure, she attacked his credenza, yanking the top drawer the full length of its rollers and onto the rug. The locked lower drawer refused to budge. Undeterred, she retrieved a crowbar from the garage and raced back to the credenza. Now there was no stopping her. She was determined to finish the job she had started.
The crowbar made it no contest. The lock shattered and the drawer surrendered after only two pulls. She descended to her knees and removed a legal sized brown leather bound ledger. A note fell to her lap the moment she opened it. She put the ledger on the rug, then read the the note, “My dearest Andrea;
If you’re reading this, it will be because I’m no longer part of your life, a life in which there have never been any unshared secrets. The ledger you have found is the only exception, the result of a promise I made to Kerri, never to reveal its contents. No exceptions. I bequeath its contents to you, my darling. I know you, like me, love Kerri and will do the right thing.
All my love forever,
As Andrea leafed through the thick ledger it quickly became clear to her that for the past ten years, Miles had been trading a very large amount of money, for the benefit of Kerri, for reasons she could not possibly fathom. Page after page of hand penned entries chronicled the dates and thousands of of trades, both long and short, in a bewildering array of commodities: crude oil, both Brent and West Texas Intermediate, natural gas, propane, butane, uranium, coal, corn, wheat, barley, oats, cotton, soy beans, coffee, and sugar.. She took the time to study the progression his phenomenal trades.
“Holy shit!” she shouted. She had discovered that from an opening balance of one hundred and eighty six million dollars, Miles had, over then next ten years of extraordinary trading, made Kerri worth almost a half a billion dollars. It didn’t take her long to conclude that Kerri was very likely the Iacardi Santa Claus. She asked herself, “Who else had that kind of money and the motive?” She did the math, then shouted, “Yes!”
She stood and hurried to her kitchen. She leafed through her personal directory until she found Kerri’s cell phone number, then dialed it. She caught Kerri in the garage of her Tribeca apartment, unloading her personal belongings from her black BMW 330 Ci.
“Nice of you to call, Andrea. How are you?”
“Lonely as hell. We need to talk. Are you free for dinner tonight? I’m cooking. The dress code is extremely casual.”
“Sure. I’m free for the rest of my life.”
“Yah. I guess you are. I’m so sorry for you. Those sons of bitches didn’t give you a chance. You didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”
“Thanks, and thanks for voting for me. You were the only one...Now tell me what we need to talk about.”
“I finally got around to cleaning out Miles’ desk today...I found something that belongs to you, something he’s been hiding from me for ten years. It’s a ledger he used to record trades he made for your account in a Swiss bank. Would you care to comment on that?”
Kerri was surprised by Andrea’s discovery and unprepared to respond. “Not on the phone. What time for dinner?”
“Cocktails are at five. You might want to get smashed, so bring an overnight bag.