BY THE TIME I left the office, I had forgotten all about my rent and was back to obsessing over my feet.
For being a trust fund princess, I’m super slack about my personal hygiene. I could go to the spa in the building. Hell, I could go to a spa in Chicago. Do a weekly thing, with a standing appointment and whatnot. It’s just, I’m not good about appointments.
I am good about sleeping. And about ignoring things. I’m not good at taking initiative. For example, if I hadn’t passed the mail room on the way back to the elevators, I would not have picked up my mail. If I hadn’t picked up my mail, I might not have discovered the extent of my financial problems.
And they were bad. Really, really bad.
Stuffed between all the Bed Bath and Beyond circulars and Papa John’s welcome back to campus coupons were a stack of final notices from all my utilities threatening immediate disconnection if they weren’t paid ASAP.
I sat down heavily on my couch and stared at the stack. I’d never paid a bill in my life. How’d one go about doing it? I reached for my phone to call my boyfriend when my eyes landed on an envelope peeping out from inside a Kroger circular. Office of the Bursar… I pulled it out and tore it open.
Dear Ms. McIver, We have yet to receive your tuition of $49, 162.21. Please remit all tuition and fees immediately, or you will lose your registration. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you are having problems–“
I heard someone screaming and realized it was me.
The Feds must have frozen my family’s assets again. Bastards.
I picked up my phone and called my boyfriend.
One ring. Two rings. Three rings. “Yes, Siobhan?”
I heard the tone in his voice, but I ignored it. “I have a problem, Alex.”
“And I’m at work,” he replied. Alex was the type of man who spoke softly when he was angry. “I told you last night. I have a meeting today. A very important meeting. Call me later. We’ll talk then.”
Alex had a thing about me calling him at work, but this was an emergency. He’d have to understand that. “Alex, I need to talk to you now! Something’s going on with my money.” I dropped to the floor and picked up a random bill. “Nothing’s being paid. My rent, my utilities… even my tuition.” I paused. For a moment, I felt like I was drowning. “I… I don’t know what to do.”
“Did you call your family?”
“Well, then. That seems like an obvious starting point. Let me know what they say.”
“Alex!” He could be a facetious M-Fer sometimes. “I think maybe it’s the Feds–“
“If you think that, then why are you calling me?”
“Because!” I wailed, “I’m freaking! Some comfort would be nice, you know!”
He sighed. “Comfort comes from within, Siobhan. Stop freaking yourself out and grow up.” He said something to someone he was with. I heard laughter. “Adulthood means facing your problems head on, and sometimes, all alone.”
I felt like I got hit in the face with a pail of ice water. My mouth dropped open. I lost my ability to speak.
“Okay,” he said when I didn’t reply. “I see. You’re angry. That’s fine. I’m going into a meeting for a few hours, so my phone will be off. Call your brothers and see if they can get to the bottom of it. It’s probably a glitch or something. We will discuss this in depth this evening.”
Fury was deleting my words before they formed in my head.
“Siobhan? Are you there?”
“Burn in hell, Alex Cosetino,” I hissed and threw the phone across the room.
I knew starting a relationship with a man twice my age, and my brother’s best friend on top of it, was so, so stupid. I knew better than to get involved. I didn’t want to get involved… but when stupid can kiss like nobody’s business and wears a suit like a god… I bit my lip as a memory of the last time we were together popped into my head.
I forced it out. No, Siobhan. No.
Back to the point. My money. Where was my money?
Alex was an asshole, but he was right about calling the family. So I dug my phone out of the potted plant it landed in and called my family’s Accounting Center for more information.
My brother, Patrick McIver, controlled my trust until my majority, but the Accounting Center is who allocates the funds. If the Feds were freezing things, they would know.
“McIver Group Accounting Center. Greg McIver speaking.”
“Hi Greg. This is Siobhan McIver, account number 19961031. My account isn’t distributing funds, and I’m not sure why.”
“Alrighty then. Let’s take a looksee.” A long pause. “I can’t seem to find you, Siobhan. What’s your patronym?”
“Okay…and there you are.” He paused. “Siobhan, you say you’re calling about a trust? There is no trust account listed under your name.”
I dropped the phone. Wrong, wrong wrong. In that trust was about 15 million dollars. As trusts go, it’s not a lot of money, but it’s enough to live comfortably off the interest and investments.
I picked up the phone, took a deep breath, and tried again.
“Greg, I should have a trust fund administered by my brother, Patrick McIver, in the sum of 15 million dollars, give or take.”
“What was the name of the trust administrator?”
“Patrick McIver,” I repeated, amazing at how calm I sounded. “Patronym FitzEdward. Number 2.”
“Oh…wait. Here it is, or well, it was. Are you sure it was 15 million?”
“Yes. Yes I am.”
“Siobhan, the notes say that the trust was only for 1.5 million, and that as of June of this year, the trust was depleted of all funds. I’m sorry, Siobhan. There is no more trust.”
Once again, the phone slide out of my hand and onto the floor.
That was crap. 1.5 million? Complete crap. I knew how much I had; I had 15 million. There had been an accounting a few years back when Patrick’s assistant had explained the whole process to me.
“Now, if you need a loan,” I heard Greg saying, “the family is offering short term financing at competitive interest rates–“
“Thanks for your help, Greg.” I ended the call and dialed Patrick’s cell.
He didn’t pick up.
Next, I called my brother Aidan. He was in a meeting and was not to be disturbed.
Then I called my brother Collin. He was in a client conference.
Lastly, I called my brother Sean. He was out of the country.
I tried a few more relatives, some cousins and a few uncles, but all I got was the same run around.
Assholes were circling the wagons in good and tight. If I wanted answers, I would need to go to the corporate headquarters of McIver, Inc., located in my hometown of McIver, Iowa. I have always found that face-to-face confrontations to be the more effective way of finding information.
Granted, face to face confrontations in my family required a firearm or two as an incentive to make sure the confrontation remained appropriately civil.
So air travel was out. I was driving.
I headed into my bedroom and ripped off the caftan. Looks like I wouldn’t be going to the beach after all.