The Lion's Share

  • 08 Aug - 14 Aug, 2020
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Alfred asked Aunt Marge who was standing outside his apartment’s gate,

“Yes, how can I help you?” Aunt Marge gave a stern look and replied,

“Do I have to tell you why I am here?”

Alfred was a bit fed up as usual with her behaviour, therefore, he said quite courteously,

“Alright, why don’t you come inside?”

She rushed in immediately like an ill-mannered person.

“Who the hell is she?” Alfred whispered in a low voice seeing how she cross-passed him.

Aunt Marge turned and touched him over his shoulder. Alfred was quite startled and he heard her asking,

“What did you just say?”

“Um, nothing” he replied fearfully.

“You just did. You said something, I heard you.”

Alfred realised how irritating and immature she was so he said trying to avoid the argument and an awkward situation,

“I was trying to say you’re welcome here, but maybe my tongue slipped.”

“What did it slip into?”

Alfred was really annoyed; he shut his eyes and said,

“Ronald is inside, why don’t you meet him?”

“He’s here. What is he doing here?” she asked suspiciously.

“Why don’t you go and ask him?”

That moment, she walked in and left him alone. Alfred took a deep breath of relief and sighed,

“Oh, God! What is this creature?”

He shut the door of the house and wondered by himself,

I think, I should make her leave immediately, or else she might destroy our plan.

He walked back inside the house and saw her standing by the door of the room where Ronald was seated. He heard her saying,

“I want to discuss with you guys about your father’s will. He turned out to be a selfish and cruel bootlegger.”

Bootlegger? Alfred wondered. How does that match this distribution? Where does she bring this stuff from? I’m sure, she is absolutely delusional.

Ronald stood up back in the room and said,

“Look ma’am, I know we are bound to respect you, but I must say that this is no proper way to describe my deceased father.”

“Oh, so you guys are satisfied with the division of property.”

Ronald was speechless for a moment. She asked,


“Well yes, we are. We are satisfied. I have no greed for his money.”

Aunt Marge gave out a very loud and extremely irritating laughter that shook him for a moment.

“Who do you think you are trying to fool?” she asked getting serious all of a sudden making it look even more absurd.

“You know what Aunt Marge,” Ronald taunted, “this is not even my home. I can leave this place right now. You came here to see Alfred, so obviously I’m not supposed to listen to you guys.”

He began to walk outside the room but Aunt Marge said,

“Wait, you can stay, I’m leaving. I just came here to say that I am donating the entire property that was part of my share to the charity fund.”

“What?” Alfred asked from behind.

She turned and left seeing Alfred. Before she finally left, she stopped at the door side and commented,

“I guess the shock on your faces proves how much you are dying to have my part of the share.”

Alfred and Ronald looked at each other for a second and then, looked back at Aunt Marge.

Aunt Marge stepped outside the house and shut the door.


Next afternoon, Ronald opened his eyes and found himself sleeping on the stairs. He sat up and felt a little pain in his head. He asked himself,

Where am I? What happened with me?

He looked around and saw that he was lying down as if he fell. He then remembered that while he was leaving for his home last night, he tripped through the stairs. He wondered,

How long have I been out? Was this a huge blackout?

He tried to stand up straight and as he did, he said,

Why can’t I remember exactly? Was I attacked? Did someone try to murder me?

He started descending down the stairs. He replied to his own question,

I am a millionaire; anyone can be greedy of my wealth. We were also told that day, that our wealth of two billion would be distributed when one member dies. And surprisingly, there was no distinction between unnatural death and natural death.

He checked his pockets, while descending down the stairs. He had to make sure that no one had robbed him or something.

I was attacked? He asked himself once again. Or did I slip on my own. I seem to remember that I slipped accidentally, but…

He stopped and turned around. He whispered,

What if I go and ask him? Maybe Alfred has the answer to this. And if he doesn’t, then I’m sure something’s a mess.

He started climbing back the stairs. He was headed for his brother’s apartment of course.

After a long distance was covered, he saw that a huge portion of the stairs was broken. He paid close attention to it and realised that maybe he fell over from here.

What if this is the issue? Maybe yes, maybe I slipped.

He turned back and said,

I think, I should forget it and move on.

As he left the spot, Alfred who was hiding on the floor above saw him through the side way of stairs. He whispered as he saw his brother descending down the stairs,

You poor, clueless human being. You have no idea about what I am capable of.”


Alfred stopped the audio recording and said,

This is absolutely bullshit. They expect me to believe stuff like that. If I was there all alone, then how did she hear me? How on earth can they find this stuff? I was whispering. Its okay about Ronald’s whispers, he must have told her on his own, but what about me. How did she know if I was conspiring against her?

He stood up kind of angrily and said,

I’m not buying this stuff. They are trying to make a fool out of me.

He walked back towards his room. He saw that the hospital was surprisingly empty. There was literally no one in the hallway.

As he reached the room, he opened the door and entered inside. He saw that one of the nurses was standing inside. He was expecting that this woman was going to yell on him, so he looked down on the floor to make it look like that he was guilty of how he left the room. But he was a bit surprised on her reaction as she spoke calmly,

“Alright, you’ve been out for quite a while. You should come now and have a rest, or my job would be at stake.”

“Wait,” he said trying to clear his confusion, “you knew that I was out all the time.”

“Well, it wasn’t that long but I saw you leaving the room.

Anyways, you have to stay inside now.”

He walked towards her and after keeping all the things he was holding on the bed, he tried to express his feelings to her,

“You know what Miss…?”


“Hajar, Miss Hajar I just want you to know what I’m being told. My brother is trying to convince me that I was a bad human being. I wanted to murder my siblings just for a couple of billion dollars.”

“A couple of billion dollars? That’s not a minor amount, anyone could do that.”

“No, Miss Hajar, I was a person with moral values. And besides moral values, there was something else that mattered to me way more than wealth.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“I always believed in merit. I was someone who enjoyed struggling in life. Facing the challenges of life was something that always fascinated me.

I remember

that before year 2015,

I faced several job rejections. They were literally countless.

It appeared humiliating in front of my friends. But the truth is that it didn’t matter one day. One day, I got a job on my own. I earned the job learning from my mistakes. It was one hundred percent merit. You have no idea about how that one moment changed everything.”

“I understand!”

“I got a job on my own and collected my first salary. That moment, washed every pain of rejection. All the humiliation and disappointment was washed like a stain is washed from a white cloth.”

“So, what’s your point? I mean I appreciate your thoughts, but I fail to see the connection.”

“My point is that all the money that my father gave me during those struggling days, it was just fun. It was never satisfying or fulfilling. Do you get it? It never gave me the satisfaction I was looking for.”

“Oh,” she understood her point.

“It was money earned through sweat and blood that satisfied me deeply.”

“I think I see your point now. So, you are implying that your father’s wealth was never in your interest. You wanted to earn on your own.”

“Exactly, and now my brother is trying to convince me that our father’s wealth was all that changed my intentions.”

“But Mr Alfred, with all due respect, I want you to understand something here. It is billion dollars. How many billion dollars are we talking about here?”

“Around twenty.”

“Oh, my God!” she gasped as she was more than just astonished.

“What?” he asked her.

“Nothing, excuse me.”

Saying this, she kept her clenched fist on her mouth and left the spot. She left the room. Alfred looked at her walking away and commented,

“What is it with you people with wealth and everything?”

He sat on his bed and said,

I’ll wait for Ronald. I’m going to give a piece of my mind. He needs to answer me how can he or his wife discover what was going on in my mind. How could they hear me talking, while I was all alone?

He held the diary and the phone, and said,

I’m keeping these aside for a moment. I’ll just wait for Ronald to show up.

v v v

Next afternoon, as Ronald knocked and entered inside the room, he greeted Alfred,

“Good day!”

Alfred, who was sitting on the bed as usual, replied,

“I want some answers Ronald.”

“Okay, but before that I have good news for you. I talked to a lawyer yesterday. He told me that he can help you escape. He can save you from even appearing at the court. Nobody would ever know, you will simply escape the state and never return.”

Alfred had no words for this, he asked,

“Are you planning to help me escape this?”

“Sure, why not?”

“So, you have no grief about the fact that I murdered your sister?” Alfred asked sarcastically.

“No, it’s not that. I’m just trying to resolve the entire issue. Just want to save us all from trouble.”

“Ron, I want answers to what sounds absolutely rubbish in your wife’s story.”

“It’s not her story, whatever she is saying, she is saying on my commands.”


“I meant, instructions.”

“Ronald, I was never greedy of wealth. You know me, I always wanted to work hard and earn out of struggle on my own. You must explain this, how did my intentions turn 180 degrees?”

“Have you listened to all the audios?”


“So, I would suggest you to listen to all of these very patiently. Read Hannah’s diary. You will be convinced. Your questions will be answered.”

“No Ron, these audios are not convincing me. There are parts where you are whispering and there are parts where I am. How does she know? How can she narrate what I had been whispering?”

“You don’t know Alfred, you are a loud person. Since childhood, you always think loud. You think with your tongue. Remember the exam accident. Remember when you were just fifteen and how you were caught helping others. You were not even helping them, you were recalling the answers on your own, and you were doing it out really loud.”

Alfred remembered the entire incident and he couldn’t disagree with the fact that he was a loud thinker.

He wondered in his thoughts,

Oh, my God! This is so true. Does this mean that their stance is absolutely true and I am really a murderer?

to be continued...