• 01 Aug - 07 Aug, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

“And one more thing,” George exclaimed, “a very important thing that I almost forgot to share with you. If by any chance things go wrong. Or let me state this more clearly, if Hannah dies a natural death or if she dies an unnatural death, how the property division would be affected, let me make it very clear, regardless of how she’ll die the investigators will not spare you all. They will keep on sniffing you like dogs.”

Ronald chuckled and caught everyone’s attention.

Marge however, looked back at George and said,

“Go on, finish what you were saying.”

“Let me make this clear again,” George said pointing his finger towards Ronald, “you can laugh, but trust me my team is going to make you all cry, therefore I’m warning you all, do not take my will lightly.”

“Forget him George,” Aunt Marge said in between, “tell us what’s going to happen if Hannah dies.”

“You are a little too curious, aren’t you? If I’m not wrong, you are concerned about what would happen to her share of property.”

“Would you please get to the point? My intentions are way crueler than you can ever think.”

George ignored her last comment as he was used to listening this kind of talk from her sister. He continued,

“Anyways, I was saying that if my daughter, who is getting the lion’s share from my property, dies then based on the investigations my lawyers will approach her property.”

“Come again,” Aunt Marge said feeling confused.

“If Hannah dies unnaturally then her share of property will go straight to the charity fund. The manager is here between us.”

“And if she dies naturally?” Aunt Marge asked greedily.

“If my daughter dies naturally then the property will be divided equally among my two sons and my sister. I am not fond of my decision but unfortunately I have no other option.”

Alfred sighed and looked at Ronald.

George stood up quite unexpectedly and said,

“Alright I have to take a short break now. We will continue after a few minutes.”

He turned and left the table”.

Back at the present day, Alfred paused the audio and thought for a while,

Oh my God, the story seems quite true and understandable. It appears so logical to me. Anyone could have murdered Hannah, but I’m still not able to accept the fact that I could have been the one. Why am I the one? Why did I among all the people commit this act? Couldn’t I have waited for someone else to do this?

He held his forehead and asked,

What am I going to do? How am I going to escape this haunting reality? I murdered my sister, just for the sake of money? I would have easily believed if someone other than me would have done this. But I’m being told that I did this.

He kept his hand aside and wondered,

Sure I was jobless, but I wasn’t dying of hunger and thirst, was I? Its one thing to live as a lower class citizen but it is another to be lower than that. And I don’t think that I would have done that being a middle class or lower class citizen.

He sat up straight and said,

I think if I would have been jobless for five to ten years, my previous savings would have let me survive.

He then jumped out of his bed and exclaimed,

Oh, God! This is so frustrating and annoying. I am tied between two realities. I cannot simply put aside the fact that my sister’s natural death was rewarding me a huge amount.

He realised something and then said,

Although, one should consider the fact that my sister’s murder would not be a natural death. It would clearly be labeled as an unnatural death, so the question arises why anyone would plot a murder against her knowing that the unnatural death would shift her property to some charity fund. Yes, this is it and this might help my case.

As he gained some hope, he picked up the cell phone again, but then as he saw the diary, he suggested himself,

Or what if I read something from here, this is a stronger proof.

He opened the diary. He found that the diary was divided into four portions. Those divisions stated the consecutive four years. He went straight to year 2015 in her diary and read the first page of the section:

Today I’ve been told that our father is about to keep a meeting where he shall disclose the details of property’s divisions. I have already been told by him about how he’ll divide the property but I am worried that the upcoming meeting would seriously ruin the peace of his life. Nobody would accept the division of his property. I tried to convince him that this sort of division would only create trouble and feuds among the families but he simply won’t listen to me. Instead, he loses his temper whenever I discuss this topic.

I know one thing for sure, and that is that my brothers would not try to harm me for what he is doing, but the other family members such as his sister and brother in law might simply take this matter to court. I know that taking the matter to court would not resolve anything; in fact it would just make these matters worst.

The page ended and so did her words for the day. Alfred whispered to himself,

It’s so depressing; I can’t believe that she trusted us. Maybe I was trustworthy to some extent but Ronald was never nice to her.

Alfred sat on the bed again and turned the diary to the next page. He started reading the feelings of the new day,

Today, our father disclosed his will before us. I was so worried throughout the meeting. I wasn’t expecting this much from them but it had to happen. They were obviously angry about it and I personally believe that all the relatives had perfect reasons to be angry.

Aunt Marge was arguing a lot. I really dislike her now. She had been a sarcastic person since forever, but I never knew that she was so insulting. She knows very well that my father is three years older than her and she has no right to insult him in front of everyone. My father has given her enough already, she should be thankful for it.

My brothers on the other hand were calm and quiet. They behaved except for once. But what I’m concerned about right now is what will happen in the future. These relatives of mine will come after me and they might forcefully demand their share.

He shut the diary and kept it aside. He held his head again and shut his eyes, thinking,

Oh, dear Lord! This is getting so agitating. I can’t…I don’t have the courage to…I’m sorry, but I simply can’t listen to the story ahead. I really can’t, I don’t have enough courage to find out what I am capable of. I don’t want to know how I got the guts to murder my sister.

He opened his eyes after thinking deeply.

He picked up the phone and thought of listening ahead. He tried to play the audio but he couldn’t. He was lacking courage.

No, I can’t, he said keeping the phone aside and jumping out of the bed, I can’t. I don’t want to. I’m leaving this place.

Before walking away, he picked up the diary and said,

This is something lighter. I will read this in the hallway.

He started walking in the room. He reached the door and opened it. He peeked outside to make sure nobody was watching him, so he tried to hide himself as much as he could and shut the door after stepping outside. He hid his face through his right hand by keeping it above on his forehead.

He started walking and on the way he found an empty bench. He also saw that there was no one around in that portion of the corridor, so he sat on the bench and said,

Alright, this place is peaceful and comfortable. I think I should take a breath over here.

He kept the diary aside and said,

I want to see myself in a defending position. I know, I am being convicted but I want to convince myself that I am not a murderer. I might be entrapped by someone. This could be a conspiracy.

He opened the diary and started reading a random page:

I am very much afraid. Life is nothing different from a horror movie. I feel I cannot trust anyone anymore. I can’t even rely on my brothers. It seems that they all are involved in a huge conspiracy.

My father left me with a lion’s share. I simply have no interest in it, but I also do not want to hand it over to these relatives of mine. These are filthy people who according to me have no faith at all.

People are telling me that I should think wisely about what my father has done. I didn’t know initially but now I think that I do know. I do know what they mean while they are saying this. They are asking me to distribute this among them on my own.

I honestly have no greed for this money but I am never going to hand it to these people. I would rather transfer all of this to my father’s charity fund. At least, people who deserve this property would become the owners. And more importantly, my conscience would be easy and weightless.

As he finished reading he said to himself,

This is just getting worse. Every time I read or hear something, I get even more agitated.

He shut his eyes and stood up immediately saying,

I think I should go back. I can’t stay ignorant like this. I have got to listen further.

One minute later, he was seated at the same place and at the same bench, only this time instead of diary, he had a phone in his hand. He put on the hands free and started listening to Gwyneth’s narration after playing the audio:

“Next day, that same year (2015), Alfred and Ronald were sitting at Alfred’s apartment. Alfred was not in a mood to talk but Ronald began the conversation,

“Our father’s will…you know I was expecting less but I had no idea it would be this much. You know it wasn’t just selfish and unfair of him but it was humiliating as well.”

“Tell me, do you think that it is some sort of a conspiracy?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you think that someone has convinced him to do this, so there would be family feuds after him?”

“Okay, but who would it be? Who would want this to happen in our family?”

“I don’t know may be somebody who is obsessed with wealth. Someone, who is against our peace, and looking for revenge.”

There was silence for a while as they both were involved in thinking.

After a long moment, Alfred said feeling annoyed,

“Look this is not getting anywhere. Our sister has inherited the lion’s share, now except for asking her to lend some of her share, there is no other way out.”

“That’s what I’m here to say, that there has got to be some way. There must be some way we could challenge our father’s will.”

“We can’t Ron, we can’t. Our father has hired some of the finest lawyers of the state. Therefore, I think that we should make peace with Hannah. She’s the only one who can give us something out of sympathy. We can, we can at least try to convince her.”

That moment, they both heard the house’ doorbell; Alfred stood up and said,

“Let me see, who it is.”

He went to answer the gate. As he opened the door, he saw an unexpected guest Aunt Marge. He was surprised to see her. He asked her,

“Yes, how can I help you?”

She gave a stern look and replied….