I couldn’t remember the last time I saw David so angry…I don’t think I have seen him that angry.  He’s a hard one to rattle.  I’ve tried.

Two excruciatingly long hours passed until the lawyer came for me.  His moon-shaped face reminded me of a childhood toy; though I couldn’t place which one it was.

His voice had an irritating nasal drawl, “Miss Katherine Wheeler?” he asked, as if he had already forgotten handing me this letter.

“Yes,” I answered.

“We’re ready for you.”

I nodded and followed him back to the conference room.  David’s weary, apologetic expression sent my heart plunging.  New lines were etched into his crumpled forehead as he sat slumped forward in the chair, and for the first time in his twenty-five years, he looked utterly defeated.  A chill ran through me, raising the hair on my arms and neck.  I reached for the closest chair before the dizziness collapsed me.

What was previously an organized file folder of papers was now a huge cluster sheeting the table.  I looked around the room carefully gauging each face in search of some clue as to what bomb was dropped while I was gone, but every set of eyes refused contact.  I remained silent; losing patience, gaining apprehension, waiting for someone to break the silence.  Finally, the lawyer cleared his throat in preparation to speak.

“On April eleventh, of this year,” he started, searching through his stack of papers as he spoke, “Your father came to our office to file his final will and testament.”  He was speaking slower now, dragging out what felt like a prison sentence.  He picked up a pair of reading glasses, then continued.  I glanced at David who was still slumped forward with his elbows on the table, hands tightly gripping the sides of his head.

“To get to the point Miss Wheeler,” he sighed, “Your father…”

David jumped up, causing the wheeled chair to ram the wall behind him.

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