Family Lies Chapter 11: Records

Drawing of a partly-built brick wall with a sign saying: "Under construction." Caption reads: "Work in progress."

Family Lies Chapter 11: Results chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden

Emily’s call to Jessica the previous afternoon had been only a couple of minutes to give some forewarning about Jack’s plan to seek out a financial settlement.  

After that, she’d called Jenny to help her get to bed for the rest her brain and body desperately needed.

This morning, she had a clear head again, when Jessica called her.

Jessica’s first piece of information was that Jack, had indeed called her. She had explained to Jack exactly what Emily had, that any court settlement would be based on the assets of the marriage at the time it ended, and it was very likely Jack would owe her money.  Jack had insisted he was going to court anyway, then asked Jessica how to do that.  As politely as she could, Jessica had explained she represented Emily, not him, and he either had to hire a solicitor of his own, or work it out.

“He seriously wanted you to give him legal advice, to sue me?” Emily was once more amazed she’d married this man, and stuck with him so long.

“He seriously did.  He was angry.  Really angry.  I think he might go through with this.  Can you get your bank to provide records from that time? We might possibly need them. And any records of house, vehicle ownership, that type of thing?”

“I can do better than that,” Emily answered. “I never throw away legal or financial documents.  I can give you the statements on the joint account right up to the time he cancelled my access, the details of setting up a new account for my wages to go into, the accounts he kept charging things to, that were in my name, the rental agreement that shows we didn’t own the house, and even the details of the car he kept.”

“Can you scan all of that and email it to me?” Jessica said. “If he gets a solicitor, I can probably use that to prove he doesn’t have a case, and maybe save going to court.”

“Of course,” Emily said.

“I mean, if you do want to go to court, that’s fine, we can. You can get back your share of the marital assets.”

“No, I don’t need it, and if the threat is enough to get him to back off, that would be fine. Given everything else, I don’t need the extra stress.”

“Well, apart from the Jack update, I have to tell you what my clerk found. I’m sad to say, it is as bad as it seemed from what your mother said.”

Emily sighed. “Tell me the worst.  Just how bad was my father?”

“First we have records of birth from fifty-five years ago.  Henry Clark is listed as father on two birth records, yours in March, and in September Henry Clark is listed as father of a Henry Jacob Henderson, child of Kerry Henderson, aged twelve.”

“Twelve? Oh no.  Did my father go to jail for this? And what happened to the baby?”

“The only court records my clerk could find for your father was a warrant issued for his arrest, no sign he was actually brought before the court, so presumably he wasn’t caught. The electoral roll still has his address as your childhood home, so he’s never updated it.  Nothing in public records indicates he even still exists.  Police can access some things we can’t, so perhaps they know more.”

Jessica allowed a moment for Emily to absorb that information. Then she continued: “As for the child, Henry Clark Henderson appears in records again fifteen years ago when he was father of a child, Joshua Clark Henderson.”

“Joshua Henderson. Josh? The kid who delivered the messages?”

“That Josh Henderson, yes.  If Henry Clark Henderson is U. N. Known, he’s using his own son to deliver his messages.

“Henry Clark Henderson, my half brother, used his own son to try to extort money from me. He thought I knew he existed.  He thought I inherited something, presumably from my, our, father? I know I asked for this information.  Now I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.”

“I can make a suggestion.  Give me permission to pass all of this along to the police.”

“Of course. OK so what we know now is: Jack is probably not U. N. Known, but a half-brother, with the same first name as my absent father, probably is. Of course, it could also be that my father is manipulating both his son and grandson, or is that stretching it too far?”

“We haven’t found any death record for your father, but we can search again, if that helps eliminate one potential suspect,” Jessica said. “You’re right, if he is alive, he could be behind everything.  He might have told his son you inherited from a grandparent or great-grandparent or anyone. He could be pulling strings.”

“And Josh, who is just a kid, is dragged into all of this. Well he’s not just some kid now, he’s apparently my nephew.  I have to help him. Is there any way to try to get custody or guardianship or something?”

“In the middle of your crazy ex suing you for money you don’t owe, and possibly your half-brother, maybe with your father as well, trying to extort you, you still want to help this kid?”

“Yeah.  Because he’s a kid. Because, while he might have got involved, but he’s not responsible for this.  Because if I’d known I had a half-brother and a nephew, I’d probably have done something to support them anyway.”

“I’ll see what the options are,” Jessica said.  “But do not give money to U. N. Known. Giving in to this will only cause serious problems.  I’m going to call Detective Carstairs, and give her the information we’ve found.  Don’t you do anything more about any of this until you speak to you again.”

Chapters of Family Lies

Note, this is the first draft. What eventually is published as a book (if it is published as a book), will be edited, rewritten, and re-edited, and may not have much in common with this first draft.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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