the short story project


Tatenda Gurure

A Father’s Inheritance

Marissa directs the lawyer to the kitchen table and goes to get her husband, Jason. When he comes he looks at the lawyer and says “ Hi, my wife says you are a lawyer. What’s going on?”. The smartly dressed lawyer, in his suit and tie, looks quite serious.

“Uhmm well I am here to inform you that your father passed away recently. From my understanding you were estranged from him. Is that right?”, the lawyer begins. “Oh yeah. My father and I haven’t spoken in over 20 years. We didn’t have any real relationship at all. You came all the way here to tell me of my father’s passing?”. Jason was not particularly moved by the news of his father’s death.

“Actually there’s more. When he died he left a will. As you know your father was a wealthy man. After him and your mom separated he never remarried or had any other kids. You are his only child. He has left all his wealth to you…$165 million dollars to be exact” the lawyer responds. Jason and Marissa look at each other in disbelief.“What. Why? Is this a joke? Are you serious?” Jason questions him.“Yes I am serious. I have the paperwork to prove it. However, in the will your father left some conditions before you can inherit the wealth” 

“I should have known it was too good to be true. Even when he is dead he wants to be a pain in the ass” scoffs Jason.“Even though your father was an extremely difficult man his last few months alive he had a change of heart. He regretted how he mistreated you and your mother all those years ago. He said that he tried to reach out to you but he never heard back. But I can testify that he was a different man”, the lawyer paused, expecting Jason to say something.

There was silence. He could see the skepticism on Jason’s face. But he continued speaking “Before you can inherit all his wealth he wanted you to make amends for him with everyone he has wronged in the past. He has a list of people with specific details of how to make things right with each person”. Another pause. The silence continues. Marrissa who had been quietly listening to the conversation is just looking at Jason with her mouth slightly open. You could tell she wanted to say something but wasn’t quite sure what exactly.

“Most importantly he wants everyone on that list to be at his funeral. The funeral should be in 2 months. Otherwise you won’t inherit any of the wealth. It would all go to charity,” the lawyer concludes.At this point Jason is just in shock. It definitely sounded like his father. And God knows how much him and Marrissa could use the money. Him and Marrissa just stare at him. The lawyer, awkwardly standing there, not sure what to do.