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"Ad Valorem" by Jacob M. Appel

"Ad Valorem" by Jacob M. Appel 

This story come from the collection of stories called "Scouting For The Reaper" by Jacob M Appel. 

Ever ask yourself the question while dating, or maybe while married, is she/he worth it?  What is their worth?  What would change the value of that person?  How much value would they have to have in order to keep you interested or to care about them?  This story delves into questions like these and other deep themed emotions. 

A widow, Greta, goes to visit her accountant for the first time since her husband, George, passed away.  George always took care of everything and that included keeping all the receipts and dealing with the accountant for the taxes each year. 

On her first visit to the accountant, Felix, they both find out each other are widowed.  She drops off the receipts for Felix to do her taxes for her, but she felt there was a spark between them.  She ends up being correct and a few days later Felix came calling upon her.  She had some mixed feeling about being attracted to Felix because of George.  George was gone though and she wanted to move on with her life.  There was just one little thing in the back of her head that wouldn't go away. 

She took last years photocopied receipts down to the local H&R Block and had them do her taxes all over again.  She basically audited herself.  What she found took her breath away.  She had to make some decisions about Felix and her life.  She swayed back and forth not knowing where the pendulum would stop.  Where it stops is quite surprising, but not totally unfathomable. 

This was a good story around where we place our value of other people.  The title of the story went well with the theme.  Greta had to place a value on Felix.  She had to determine if it was worth paying the "tax" that went along with falling in love with this man.  Did she owe herself love?  How far could he go and she still be ok with what he was doing, or what he had done? 

This story delved deep into the psyche of a woman torn between love of a new man and the loyalty she felt due to the man she used to love before he died.  She has to come to grips with things that aren't so wonderful as it all seems. 

Part of what I really like about this story was the theme and title of the story.  They went together just so well I can't get that across enough.  As always, Jacob Appel's writing was top notch.  I have seen this top notch writing through his story so far and I doubt that it will go away in the next few stories left in his collection.  I look forward to reading his stories and they have a warm, comfy feeling to them.  Like you've been reading these stories for your entire life, instead of just sitting down with them for the first time that day.


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