“Welcome to V-World, where your dear ones can enjoy their remaining days, in the way they wished they could have lived all of their lives.”
Linda and I were reading a brochure, which our father had just handed us to read.
“What on earth ever made you even consider going in to a retirement home Daddy,” I said beseechingly? “You know you can live with me or even Linda, you do not have to go into a home.”
“I agree with Shannon, I really do not want to see you go into one of those places either Dad,” Linda echoed my words with a tear in her eye.
“Now, now girls, I know both of you would have me in your homes, but you are young and need to live your lives unencumbered by an old man like me. In addition, I have been searching on the internet and I like the way this V-World sounds. Did you know that I could live the rest of my days as a young W.W. II spy if I want to? I was thinking I might want to choose the package where I can travel throughout the galaxies as a space ship commander. Just imagine, traveling from planet to galaxy to planet, seeing outer space in the body of a twenty-one year old man, to meet your mother again and then to live my life with her, the sky will be the limit for us…” His voice trailed off into nothing, and I could tell his thoughts were on my Mom and her memory.
Tears were running freely, unchecked, down his cheeks, onto the front of his freshly laundered plaid lumberjack style shirt. My father was seventy-eight years old and I treasured him as some would treasure the Hope Diamond. His tears and the thought of him giving up on life and going into a V-World, home for the elderly, broke my heart.
“Daddy please do not do this,” I pleaded.
“Daddy, please reconsider and stay with me for six months then stay with Shannon for six months and see if you would still want to go to V-World after a year.” Linda cajoled.
“Girls, I love you with all my heart, but the discussion is over. I have made up my mind. Now, let’s eat dinner and tomorrow morning, if you two want, you can go with me to V
World, I need to fill out some papers and perhaps sign the contract.”
We stopped trying to talk to him about it. When our daddy said the discussion was over, it was over, we had learned this the hard way throughout the years. My sister tried to keep the conversation light during dinner, but it was extremely hard to do.
The next morning we drove to the home.
The building was an architect’s dream, with its towering height and stately pillars. The home was on ten acres of lush green fertile ground with trees and gardens everywhere, it was magnificent. It was killing me on the inside to do this and looking over at Linda; I knew she felt the same way.
“Just look at this beautiful place, girls, and you did not want me to come here.”
Opening the huge twelve-foot oak doors, we entered into what looked like a palace entry room. A starchy faced man in a three-piece suit regally walked briskly towards, us with an
outstretched hand, which he offered to my father, he welcomed us.
“My name is Allen Wesley and you must be Mr. Jeffery K. Austin, of the Austin Research Facilities, welcome to V-World. I am quite sure you will be pleased with what we have to offer you here”.
I groaned inwardly and my sister made a small coughing noise in her throat. My father introduced us to Mr. Wesley.
“Yes well, shall we step into my office, Mr. Austin?’
When we started to follow them, Mr. Wesley informed Linda and me that the paperwork would take around an hour to complete. He pointed to a garden lounge where we could wait. He politely dismissed us.
As we were walking across to the door Mr. Wesley had indicated, a man in a lab coat came out a door that I had not noticed earlier. Linda grabbed my arm and pulled me into the hall, the man had come through, before the door had time to close.
“What are you doing, this is the wrong door?”
“Lower your voice Shannon. Did you not notice that this door does not have a knob to allow entry to it?” Linda said as she let the door close behind her.” I do not trust this place, I want to see what these so call V-World suites look like.”
There were only four doors, two on the left and two on the right, one of which we had just entered through. We chose the first door on the left. When I opened the door my sister and I were stunned into silence, we were speechless. There before us line after line, row after row, were what looked to be hundreds of people hooked up to tubes, wires, and cables, from every part of their bodies.
“Do you believe this, Linda?”
“So much for the royal suite, look at this place it is full of a bunch of skeletons with skin stretched over them. Maybe this is the discount room or something,”Linda said.
“No it isn’t, look at this name tag, a Mr. R.W. Vanderbilt.”
We quickly snapped photos in all three rooms of the same disgusting sight, sent them to our fathers phone and left the forbidden area.
“Hi Daddy, are you finished for the day,” I asked.
“I sure am sweetheart.”
Turning and speaking with Mr. Wesley dad said, “I will be letting you know my decision, soon.”
“Do not take too long to make up your mind. We only have one royalty suite left.”
“Yes, and would that be the same type of suite old Raymond Vanderbilt chose?”
“Ah yes, the very same.”
In the car, Dad said, “Thanks for the spy work girls, now start making those calls. Linda, call Thurston Vanderbilt first.”