A few days after the letter from The Departed’s lawyer, the paralegal emails me.
The Lawyer is swamped, she says, but I told him about the letter and his reply was, Not a chance. That was not the agreement.
Don’t worry, she tells me.
We trade a few emails about how to respond. The only item the lawyer wants to talk about, though, is when I am going to pay the money I owe The Departed for his share of the house. It’s not a small sum – $10,000. The Lawyer pushes me to pay it immediately, I do not want a judgment entered against me for credit reasons. This pisses me off and I say so – The Foreigner owes me all kinds of money and I have a judgment and it’s worth spit, I tell him.
That’s because he lives in Bora Bora, says the lawyer.
I don’t bother correcting his geography.
I’m annoyed but he’s adamant on the other points: We will not move, and if The Departed wants to go back to the arbitrator, we will demand – and he thinks we will win – the Departed having to bear all the costs I must incur.
In the end, I am taking out a loan to pay this all anyway, and after a few more expensive minutes on the phone with him I realize, it doesn’t matter when I take it. I am stuck.
Get this over with, I tell him. I will deliver a check upon entry of the decree.
I think it’s wise, says The Lawyer. I start to get off the phone, but he asks after my father. How is he?
Fine, I say.
Interesting guy, says the lawyer. I enjoyed hearing about his time in Israel.
That was a long time ago, I say. That’s when he met my mother.
It was very interesting, he says. We chat a bit about the upcoming election, and I say Thank You.
Thank you, he says, emphatically. Reminding me I’m the client.
The letter he sends to the other side is emphatic, too – so much so that I’m startled. Wind this up, it says between the lines: This has gone on for far too long.
A week later, we receive their reply: Please send the signed papers to our office so we can sign them and enter the orders with the court.
Sorry, what?, I say. That’s it?
I hurry to their office to sign before anyone changes their mind.