A Lease Purchase Christmas Carol ©
(with Sincere Apologies to Charles Dickens)
By Claude “What the Dickens” Diamond
Part II – The Return Of Max
I went to bed early that night as I was exhausted from lack of sleep and money stress. I woke up about 11:30 PM and felt ravenous. I guess the Mac N Cheese didn’t really stick to the ribs, so I stealthily got out of bed without waking Emily or the kids in their rooms. The house was so quiet. Looking outside the window, I saw a gentle snow beginning to cover the lawn. Odd, as I didn’t recall the weatherman predicting any precipitation.
I made my way down the stairs to the fridge. I recalled that I had a slice of leftover NYC style pizza that I brought home 3 or 4 days ago from my favorite cheap pizzeria. It was still in the brown paper bag with the wax paper around it. It was cold and stale, of course and I decided not to use microwave, as the noise would wake up the kids. I smeared some decadent thick and gloppy mayo all over it and tossed a couple of jalapeño peppers on it for good measure, just to beef up my questionable feast and then opened a bottle of beer. I think it was my very last can of Dale’s Pale Ale. Too expensive to buy premium beer anymore. I either had to switch to the flavorless popular light junk beer you see in football game ads or quit altogether. Can’t even enjoy a beer anymore without thinking about the money problems. Where would this all end, I pondered?
I took my midnight feast to the Lazy Boy lounge chair, put up my feet and proceeded to demolish the cold pizza and beer. It was delicious BTW or I was damn hungry. After a satisfying regurgitation, which was a little too loud for comfort, I fell fast asleep enjoying the warmth of the room. Thank Goodness for the Franklin Stove. Yup, snug as a bug.
I was awakened by a noise and a chilly blast of wind that blew across the room. Man it was cold in here. I had better throw some wood in the stove and toast things up a bit. Wonder why the fire almost went out? I tended to it not 15 minutes ago. As I knelt by the old black wood burner stoking the embers, a haunting, but familiar voice called me;
Ralph, why have you called me back?
I almost lost my late night snack, upon hearing the unearthly sound. I quickly spun around, the adrenaline was making my heart beat as fast as hummingbird wings. I beheld someone I recognized, an old friend, but something was different. I realized that I hadn’t seen Max, my old Mentor, in at least 10 years or more. He was dead, he had died a long time ago.
Again, why have you called me back? He repeated.
I didn’t think I had, Max. Why are you here? How did you get in? You are dead, aren’t you? When I stopped with the rapid fire questions he spoke softly.
When the student is ready, the Mentor will always appear. Have you forgotten all of the entrepreneurial secrets of The Society of Mentors which I once taught you? I gave you everything you needed. Why have you forsaken all of my teachings, those of unlimited wealth, health and happiness?
Max, you don’t understand it’s the economy and the…..
SILENCE, he bellowed. You should be ashamed of yourself. Have you no pride, no self worth. Blaming others, circumstances, politics, the weather, for your misfortune. HOW DARE YOU !!!!
WOW, was he mad! Maybe this is what I get for eating old pizza at night, I thought. I made an immediate mental note to forgo old Italian food with mayonnaise and jalapeños in the future.
SILENCE your petty thoughts Ralph and pay attention, for I will only ask this question once. Would you like to turn your financial standing and your life around in the next 30 days and give your lovely family a truly memorable Christmas, free of financial worry and debt or would you rather continue on the path you have created for them? You will not receive this offer again. As you know, I only make offers once and then you are dead to me.
You must decide NOW !!!
Heck, what did I have to lose, I muttered to myself. I nodded in agreement, not wanting to anger my old Mentor again.
Then before the sun rises, you will be visited upon by 3 Apparitions. Take serious heed as to what they say and show you.
Who are they Max?
They are the Real Estate Entrepreneurs of the Past, Present and Future. They will show you the errors of your ways. They will teach or better said, re-educate you; if you have the courage to learn. Are you ready to accept this challenge, this Gauntlet for the sake of your Wife and Children?
Yes, I replied and with that he vanished as eerily as he had appeared.
Wondering what the heck had just happened, I decided that this ghost was probably just some undigested pizza and this was all a bad and wacky dream. I climbed back into the chair and promptly fell asleep.
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