Saturday, August 1, 2015

Short Story - Wanting What's Mine

Wanting What’s Mine
words: 1496

Lego characters arguing
Well dressed guests are shaking hands, hugging exiting the front door. They’re mourning the passing of Tom, the father of Will, Kayla, and Jason. Guests call instructions on storing the food they’ve left. Jason is near the door, his girlfriend Rita nearby. Jason took care of his father who was in failing health. Will is in the kitchen, the older brother, wearing a sharp looking suit. Kayla is on the phone, talking with her husband and kids who left earlier.

Jason: Thank you for everything. I can’t wait to cut into that pie.

Older Woman: Your daddy would have loved it. He was a special man.

Jason: Thank you. Drive safe.

Jason turns to Rita: I think that’s everyone, right.

Will enters from the kitchen, munching on a carrot: I didn’t think they’d ever leave. Give us a break already.

Rita sits down, taking off her shoes: They miss him too. It’s hard when you get to that age and your friends start passing.

Will: Jason, I was in the bedroom. just checking out the house, your girlfriend has a lot of stuff here.

Jason: Yeah, that happens when you live someplace.

Will: Wait, hold on. She lives here?

Jason: I can’t take care… couldn’t… not by myself. I work full time Will.

Will: Does she pay rent?

Rita: Pay rent? I helped take care of your father.

Will (disgusted): So dad’s footing the bill for both of you?

Jason (incredulous): If bybill, you mean we didn’t pay rent since dad owns the house, why not? It’s a full time job. You didn’t bother to come back. We both have jobs. He wasn’t a sugar daddy.

Will: You know i can’t come back. How could I? I’m creating opportunities.

Jason: Don’t give me those made up words. That’s a choice. One you made.

Will: You had a choice. I have obligations.

Jason shakes his head, glancing at Rita. Will returns to the kitchen for more food. Kayla jumps up from her chair to follow Will.

Kayla (into the phone): I’ve got to go. I need to help them divide the food.

Every inch of counter space is filled with platters of food. Will is rummaging through and Kayla is organizing.

Kayla: I’m going to take the sandwich meats, these casseroles, chips and and drinks.
Kayla scans the counters, confirming she got everything she wanted.

Jason: You can’t take all the food.

Kayla: I’m not at home to cook. My family needs to eat, you know. I’ll leave the casserole, is that okay with you?

Jason: Who in this room has had time to cook?

Kayla: Who in this room has a family.

Jason: Oh, so we fend for ourselves, but your family can’t.

Will cuts them off: Since I flew in, I’m supposed to what? Just eat at the hotel bar? I’ve got a claim on this food as much as either of you.

Kayla: Show me one thing that would fit in a hotel mini-fridge.

Will picks up a carrot: Carrots. Give me another complaint.
Will clears his throat: You know, we need to start thinking about dividing up the estate. I’ll have to fly out soon . That’s something we need to sit down for. You understand, don’t you Rita?

Jason: She’s my girlfriend, she’s been taking care of dad, she can stay.

Will: Well, she doesn’t get a piece of it.

Jason: A piece of it? Is this some treasure you’re dividing up? She’s spent more time with him than you have.

Will: I find that a little hard to believe. I’ve known dad for decades.

Jason: Seems like you conveniently forgot him these last few years. You know what I mean.

Kayla, defusing the situation: The house will need to be sold too. That could take a while  Don’t forget the kids, that would be what, a five way split.

Will: Oh, and you getting three out of five, come on. Are you going to try to play off being that blatant. It’s your job to provide for your kids, not ours.

Kayla: It’s typical to provide for kids and grand-kids. Oh, but I forgot, dad has to fund your business venture since you can’t.

Will: No dad doesn’t have to. It’s just easier than a loan. And which will benefit all of us.

Jason: Though decidedly you more.

Will: Says the person who has been life funded for the past few years. Maybe it’s time for me to get funded? At least I have ambitions.

Kayla: And why don’t I rank?

Will: You have a husband who makes good money. You don’t need it. You’re just being spiteful.

Kayla: And my kids. Dad’s only grandkids.

Will: You provide for them. Dad’s already funded Jason and his girlfriend.

Jason: Who has a name. Dad provided necessities to sustain his own life, which included our help.

Kayla: Yeah, whatever. You’ve used your portion and more when you include Rita.

Jason: Nurses are paid to take care of patients. Neither of you could or would have done it. It’s part of his care.

Kayla: You get paid for taking care of your father? That’s ridiculous, it’s expected.

Jason: Which explains why you avoided it.

Kayla: When you have a family maybe you’ll understand. At least we visited dad more than Will.

Will: Yeah, because flying cross country is so easy. Nagging siblings kept me away. Ugh. I called, we spoke. Quit using your kids as an excuse. Regardless, we need to contact the lawyer, the banks. Get all of dad’s information to sort this out. Did he have a will?

Kayla: Wouldn’t he have told us?

Jason: The lawyer may have something. You know dad planned ahead.

Will: Did he draft it before you started taking care of him? You’ve taken a large portion of the estate. I’m sure more than your share and that’s not considering her.

Jason: If you had put him in a home, how much would that cost?

Will: I’d never put dad in a home. That’s a ridiculous thing to even say.

Jason: But you’d never take care of him yourself either. You wouldn’t have stayed even for the money. Look past your ego. Did i get a benefit for taking care of dad? Sure. I got a place to stay. But it wasn’t easy. I saw the decline, stayed up nights, went to the doctors. Dad did not fund my hobbies or buy my car. I know that’s going to be your next insinuation.

Kayla feigning shock: Stop being so defensive. Don’t act like he was a burden either. It should be equal shares.

Jason: Don’t tell me how to act when you couldn’t even visit on holidays.

Will leans against the counter: Here’s a question. Can we void the will if we need to?

Kayla: What about Mark? He’s like a son to dad. That’s six shares?

Will: Your husband is your problem. Quit claiming shares. Will your dog be next? Because dad likes dogs? You post more pictures to facebook of your dog than your kids. It’s not as cute as you think.

Kayla: Shut up Will. If you car wash is doing as well as you make believe would you need the money?

Will: I’m expanding. Have you been listening? That’s not your concern. I want what’s mine.

Kayla: Is everything yours.

Will: Coming from the person who wants half of everything.

Jason: Shut up, shut up both of you. We can keep arguing or we can just talk to the lawyer. You talk about what dad wanted. why you should get the money, but the fact is he’s gone, show some compassion.

Will: It wasn’t unexpected. We knew it was coming. I made my peace.

Kayla: I didn’t like seeing him like that, you know that.

Jason: And I did?

Will: Oh, a martyr. According to Kayla that entitles you to a double portion, make it a quadruple for your girlfriend.

Kayla: No, I just think family should get a portion. That’s fair

Jason: How is Rita any less family than Mark? She took care of dad, talked with him, played board games with him. She did more than either of you, and Mark couldn’t even pick dad out of a line up if his life depended on it.

Kayla: When you have to support a family, you’ll know what it’s like.

Jason: Get out. Seriously, both of you. It’s the same argument, running in circles. It’s been a long day. I’m tired.

Will and Kayla file out after loading their arms with food.


Rita: You could have told them. It would have squashed the argument.

Jason: You don’t t know how much they like to argue.

Rita: Your dad has a will. Everything is decided.

Jason: It works better coming from the lawyer. If they know I knew, they’d think we colluded somehow. Being right is more trouble than it’s worth.
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