Monday morning brought with it a frigid north wind and sleet. Thomas Aims had asked that everyone who worked for Marcie be in his office at eleven o’clock in the morning.
Thomas looked at the small group; there was not a dry eye in the room. Looking at Mr. Duncan and his wife, he saw two people who had been with William and Marcie for over forty years. They had come to work, for William and Marcy, the year they had married, at the age of nineteen. Mr. Duncan was sixty-nine years old now, with snow-white hair and a tall thin body. He had a sun-darkened, craggy face with a hooked nose and weathered rough hands. He had worked hard and deserved all that Marcie had left him. He stood there, tall and proud with tears running down his face.
Mrs. Duncan, was dabbing her red tear filled eyes, she was a short heavyset woman only two years younger than her husband was. She had salt and pepper hair piled up on the top of her head in an olden style. She was Marcie’s cook and nanny to her children, for forty years, she had also been Marcie’s good friend. Yes, these people deserved all that Marcie had left them.
“As you all know, Marcie Edwards was a wonderful woman who loved each and every one of you as if you were family, as you saw Wednesday morning when you viewed the video she made for you.
“Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, The apartment you reside in and the three acres of land the house sits on, is yours for as long as you wish. She also left you her nineteen-fifty-four Bentley. Mrs. Edwards also bequeathed one million dollars to you. Mrs. Duncan, Marcie states here that she wanted you to have her mother’s Royal Albert fine bone china. She wanted to make sure you were able to live the rest of your lives in the manner you wished. Marcie told me that you may wish to be near your daughter, who resides in England, and if that is your wish, she wanted to be sure you had the choice.”
“That dear sweet woman, we may go visit our daughter, but after discussing it with Mr. Duncan, we have decided that this has been our home for so long now, that it does not feel as if England is home,” Mrs. Duncan said.
Mr. Aims turned towards the two housekeepers, who had been with Marcie almost as long as Mr. and Mrs. Duncan. Janie and Laura Parker, two elderly sisters who had never married, they would have passed for twins. Both had kept their hair-dyed sable brown, but if he were to make a guess, he would say they were in their late fifties. Taller than Mrs. Duncan, they looked as if they would have been sour and ill-tempered and were wafer thin with hollow cheeks, but they were a loveable pair, always smiling and singing as they worked.
Miss. Janie, Miss. Laura, Mrs. Edwards wanted you to have the same options that she gave to Mr. and Mrs. Duncan. If you wish to continue living in your apartment, then it is yours. She also bequeathed you, to be divided equally between you, one-million dollars. To Laura, she leaves her emerald earrings and necklace. To Janie, she leaves the ruby necklace and earrings. It says here, in her own words, ‘I saw them admiring them and I cannot think of anyone I would rather see have them.’ Mrs. Edwards has also bequeathed you her handmade mother of pearl inlaid, ivory chess set.”
Sliding his desk drawer open, Thomas removed the two jewel cases and handed them to the women. As they took them, tears came into their eyes and they held the cases close to their bodies.
Turning to Ellen, he directed his next words to her, Mrs. Edwards put the house, and everything in it, in Ellen Barkley’s name fifteen years ago, with the stipulation that the house will not be sold. “Ellen, Marcie knew that you would see to it that everyone continues to have the quality of life that they had while she was alive. I know you will not let her down. Marcie’s dream was that one day you would marry and raise your children in her home. Mrs. Edwards bequeathed the rest of her monies and estate to you, which we will discuss at a later date. The rest that is, with the exception of what she left her children.”
“Now, I hate to rush you, but Mrs. Edwards’s family will be here in a few minutes, and it might be best if you were not here when they get here. I do not believe they are going to be too very happy after today. I am sending Jonathan Wilders home with you, I hope you do not mind, he will be there to make sure The Edwards family do not try to give you any problems over Mrs. Edwards will.”
Jonathan led them out the side door.
At precisely one o’clock, Mrs. Landers, informed Thomas that the family of Mrs. Edwards was there. He told her to show them in and stood up to shake their hands.
“Please have a seat. Would anyone care for something to drink?”
“Just give me the keys to the Lamborghini now, I do not have the time to sit around while you blabber on and on about who gets what. I have some friends waiting for me and I want to take them for a ride in my Lamborghini. As for the money she left me, Dad has my bank account number and he will give it to you, so that you can deposit it for me,” Adam demanded.
Thomas looked at the eldest son of Nathan and sighed. The arrogant spoiled brat held himself in a regal, stance, trying to mimic his father’s haughty attitude, but failing miserably and with his hand-held out, waiting for the car keys.
“I am sorry you feel this way, but you will have to wait your turn, or have your parents tell you what your inheritance consists of later,” Thomas looked toward Nathan to see what he had to say about it.
“No, just get on with it, sit down Adam. I am sure we will have quite a bit to do after the reading of the will. You will have the car soon enough and I wish to get those people out of my house today, and I must take an inventory to see what they stolen from me,” Nathan said in his most arrogant tone.
“And just why do you think the house was left to you Nathan, I am the eldest so it is logical, that everything should be mine. I am sure mother made some allowance for you and those wastrel sons of yours,” Linda nastily stated.
“Please, sit and give me a chance to read the will. You will soon know what was left to whom,” Thomas told them.
After everyone sat down, Thomas Aims looked around the room. Nathan, his wife Caitlyn, and three sons were acting as if they were bored already. Caitlyn was what he would call a trophy wife. Having face-lifts for years, were starting to give her an oriental look. Bleached blond with long hair extension, breast implants that gave her the appearance of being top-heavy and lips that made her look as if she was puckering up for a kiss, made him think of a clown. He looked at the papers on his desk to try to keep from laughing. Adam, David and Josh Edwards were sitting in slouched positions, inspecting their fingernails or rolling their eyes in a childish attempt at achieving the same upper class snobbish attitude of their father.
Linda was once a beautiful girl, but now, she looked old and reminded him of a shriveling lemon. She always had her blond hair pulled back in a tight bun at the back of her head and it appeared to be more of a helmet, than hair.
“Mrs. DeMill, I could not help but notice your sisters and your daughters were not at the funeral Friday, will they be joining us today?” Thomas asked her.
“Certainly not, they are much too busy for this,” Linda waved her hand to encompass the room.
“I will see they receive their inheritances, just get on with the reading. I have a bridge club meeting later today and I need to have my nails done.”
Clearing his throat, Thomas put his glasses on and starting reading the will. After the opening statement, he came to the part that described their inheritance.
“To my eldest child Linda, I leave the home she is currently living in, but from this day on, she and her husband Arthur will be responsible for paying all of their own bills and debts. Arthur, you have been in school ever since you were six and you have three doctorates, it is time to get a job.”
After reading Linda’s part of the will, Thomas looked towards Nathan and said, “To my eldest son-”
Linda stood up and screeched, “Are you telling me that is all that she left me? That old witch had millions, and she left me nothing? I will take this to court; Nathan and my sisters will not have everything, while I have nothing, not even my living allowance.”
Thomas raised his hand to silence her, “Mrs. DeMill, while you do have the right to take anyone to court, you need to be warned that there is clauses in your mother’s will that states, if any of you try to contest her will, you will lose your share of the inheritance. I believe you may want to think about that.”
Arthur DeMill reached over and patted his wife’s arm.
“Linda, he still has not read what your mother left to me, perhaps she put it in my name, after all, I am your husband. Then of course we have two daughters and one granddaughter whom I am sure she made allowances’ for them.”
Arthur and Linda looked towards Thomas expectantly.
Clearing his throat once again, Thomas continued, “To Samantha and Elizabeth, I also leave them the homes they are currently living in, and to my great-granddaughter Sara, I leave a college trust fund. This money will be paid to the college of her choice by my executor, Thomas Aims.”
Arthur and Linda both looked shocked, but Thomas knew he had a way to go before this meeting was over. When Thomas finished reading the part of the will that said the other sisters received only their homes, he finally came to Nathan.
“Nathan, I have left you till last, because you were my only son, and you were my biggest disappointment. As I have given each one their home, so shall I give you yours. If my grandsons wish to go to college, then their college fund is set up in the same manner as my granddaughters.
“Adam, as I laid here dying today, I heard you and David at my bedroom door. I was ashamed for you at what you had become. You will not inherit the Lamborghini or any of your grandfathers many cars from his vast collection. I have also cut off your credit cards and all allowances that I once gave you and your brothers. I do this out of love and hope that you and your brothers will grow up to be decent caring men some day.
However, not one of you will receive one more dime of your father’s hard-earned money. All credit cards and the lines of credit that I afforded for you are now closed. For years, you expected us to support and give you everything you wanted. We should have cut each of you off years ago. Perhaps if we would have, you would have loved and respected us more. Now it is time you grow up and make your own way in life. You each have college educations, go to work and make something of your lives.”
Adam started cursing and yelling, until Thomas told him to shut up or get out of his office, or he would have him escorted out.
Nathan was enraged. He demanded to know where their mother’s money went. He threatened to take Thomas and his law firm to court. After awhile, Thomas started reading the final part of Marcie’s will aloud.
“I am aware that you will want to know about my money, my home and my cars. I have given everything away to either museums, charities or those who are deserving of it. I am also aware you are at this moment, threatening to contest my will. Knowing you would do such a thing, I have a provision in my will that states that if you do contest it, you will give up everything and your homes will be sold and given to charity. I know that you are angry with me, at this moment, but I hope in death that I can teach you the lessons, our wealth kept you from learning while I was alive. I can only pray that you will learn to be caring loving people, and one day discover for yourselves, your Life’s plan.”
After he finished reading Marcie Edward’s will, Thomas Aims folded the will back up, placed it on the conference table stood up and left the room. He had spent as much time as he intended to, dealing with this greedy lot. If they were stupid, enough to try to contest Marcie’s will, so be it. That was another day, as for the rest of today, he had done what Marcie Edwards wanted and he was going to lunch.
Thomas stepped out the door and walked towards his car. As he started to unlock his car door, he felt something brush his cheek. Reaching up to touch his cheek, he smiled and said,”Your welcome Marcie and they will be fine. Nothing a little hard work and a little humiliation will not cure. Now, you go on and discover what Life’s plan has in store for you. Thomas got in his car and drove off.
“Well, you heard the man Marcie. Now, since we know we will soon be returning to discover our life’s plan, who will you choose for your parents, if you are given a choice? Laughing, as she looped her arm through William’s, Marcie said, “I think I will ask God if I can be Ellen’s daughter. I do believe she will be married and have a child soon. Other than that, I want to be your wife, no matter how many times we have to do it again.”