The Lion’s Share

  • 15 Aug - 21 Aug, 2020
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

He wondered in his thoughts,

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

“Yes, this is what it means,” Ronald answered him.

Alfred looked at him getting astonished and asked,

“What did you just say? Did you hear everything I was… but wait, how did you hear what I was only thinking?”

Ronald chuckled and then answered,

“You weren’t just thinking. You were also moving your lips. And while saying ‘does this mean their stance is absolutely true’, you raised your voice.”

“Oh, God!” Alfred yelled holding his head and shutting his eyes.

Ronald said to him feeling ridiculous about his reaction,

“Keep your voice down. You are very loud.”

“I think you’re right. I can’t disagree with you on this.”

“Now listen, what you need to do is listen to these audios completely. Don’t skip anything, and while you’re doing it make sure you’re not talking to yourself.”

“I’m really concerned now.”

“You should also know that you leaked your plans plenty of time like this. And one of the reasons why you failed plenty of job interviews was this. No one told me this, but this was my own assumption.”

Alfred didn’t like what he just heard from his brother, so he said,

“Alright, I’ll listen to these audios now. Don’t hire a lawyer.”

“What? Why?”

“I’m going to find a lawyer on my own. I don’t want a favour right now.”

“It’s not a favour, I’m doing this for our family,” Ronald clarified.

“Okay whatever, but my final answer is not to consult a lawyer. I don’t want one. If I’ll be convinced that I am a criminal then, I’ll hand myself to the police.”

“Leave that. I’m leaving right now, in the meantime why don’t you continue the audios?”

“I’ll do that. Thanks for coming,” Alfred spoke courteously.

As Ronald walked and left the room, Alfred held the phone again and said,

I must not waste any more time. I think I should continue listening to this and find out why and how I murdered my sister.

He played the audio and started listening to Gwyneth’s narration:

“Year 2016, Hannah had separated away from her family members and was living alone. She was looking forward to get married as soon as possible, so the family matters would not get even more complicated.

She was thinking that once she would get married then the thought of attaining her wealth would automatically fade away from the minds of her relatives.

Her father’s demise was a real shock to her even though it was quite expected. She had switched off her cell phone so that one would try and get in touch with her. She was unable to manage her decisions as her mind was not in the right place.

Anyways as several months passed, she got on with her life. She switched on her cell number again and answered only her brothers’ calls and texts.

One morning, while she was running in a park near her house, she saw her Brother Alfred coming towards her while running. She stopped running so she could greet him nicely.

As they were standing face to face, Alfred asked her,

“What is it with you? Why have you detached yourself from all of us?”

“I’m sorry Alfred, I have to. I have no other option.”

“What do you mean? What are you trying to escape from?”

“I know that my wealth has attracted several family members. I have received a lion’s share and it has exposed the impure intentions of several people to me.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes,” she replied firmly.

“Who are we talking about exactly? I want you to be more specific.”

“I don’t want to bring any names, but it’s not you. You’re not among those vultures.”

“Okay, I’m glad about that.”

“Well, you didn’t have to go through this trouble.”

“Excuse me?” he misunderstood.

“I mean, you didn’t have to come all the way here, just to ask me how I was. We are already in touch through phone.”

“I’m not worried about…what I am worried about is your well-being. Don’t you think that this isolation is ruining your personality?”

“No, I have friends. I meet them. I can stay the way I am.”

“Hannah, we are your family. You were never like this before.”

She didn’t respond. He continued,

“You were never like this. Meeting friends and avoiding family members. Is this a healthy sign?”

“Look Dr Alfred,” she taunted, “I’ve got to go somewhere. If you don’t mind, would you please let me?”

“Hannah, there’s something I want to discuss.”

“Okay, we have two minutes. Make it quick!”

Disliking her attitude, Alfred said,

“Do you have any idea how unfairly our father’s property has been distributed?”

“Okay, what’s next?”

“Don’t you think we should reconsider it?”

“No we can’t. It is my father’s will and I will not let anyone challenge it.”

“Hannah, do you know how less we have inherited?”

“Alfred, I don’t want my father to rest in pain. If we are going to challenge his will, then we might bring pain and torture to his soul.”

“Oh,” Alfred said getting angry, “and do you think that the way he has left us behind is bringing him peace? His unfair distribution, is it not punishing him in his grave?”

“I don’t know much about this stuff, but I will simply not tolerate this. I believe that fabricating his will would bring him eternal pain. I might be wrong, but what has been established will not be changed.”

“You are so out of your mind?”

“Be that as it may, I’m leaving.”

“Hannah,” he raised his voice.

“Good bye!”

She continued running and Alfred kept on looking at her giving an expression of astonishment.

v v v

Several days later, Ronald was at his home trying to make some phone calls. He heard the doorbell. He got disturbed and distracted when he heard it, so he stood up keeping aside his cell phone and went to answer the door.

He opened the door and saw Alfred standing outside.

“Alfred?” he uttered as he saw his brother outside. “What brings you by?”

“Ronnie I’m very upset. I do not want to be alone right now.”

“Okay, but you could have dropped a text message before showing up.”

“I’m sorry, am I interrupting something?”

Ronald left some way for his brother to enter inside and said,

“No, not at all. Come in, come inside.”

Alfred rushed inside the house and sat in the room where he always used to sit. Ronald asked him as he followed him,

“So, what is it? What’s bothering you?”

“Ron, we have to do something about our father’s wealth. This is absolutely unfair. Hannah has got so much. She’s not even listening to us. I have tried everything.”

“I understand. It is a problem, but unfortunately there is no solution.”

“No solution?” Alfred asked angrily. “Why are you so demotivated?”

“I’m not demotivated. It’s just a reality, a sad reality. We can’t do anything about it.”

“Oh, really?”

“Don’t taunt me Alfred. I’m just saying that we should put this thought aside. We should stop worrying about our father’s wealth now. Let’s just forget it and move on.”

“Forget billion dollars? Hey Ron, do you know I am broke. I am absolutely jobless.”

“It’s not that bad Alfred. Give yourself a little…”

“…I’m not in mood to argue,” Alfred interrupted raising his hand as if stopping him from speaking further, “just tell me, are you helping me with this or not?”

“Look, I don’t want to discourage you. But I’m just backing off. If you want to take this matter to court, you can take it on your own. I will not stop you nor will I help you, I’m sorry.”

Alfred chuckled and said,

“Should I call you a coward, or should you be labeled as a two faced person?”

“I won’t dignify that with a response of any sort. But I want to remind you that you were a hard working person who believed in earning through hard work and struggle. Look at yourself now, what have you become? Greedy and sharp tongued.”

“I am jobless. I am looking for a job since several years. I have no job. I never had one.”

“You had one job.”

“Okay I did, but when I lost it I realised that earning a job is not that easy.”

“So? You’ve given up? Don’t you think it is too soon to give up?”

“It’s not giving up. Look Ron, don’t try to change the subject, we’re discussing our future here. Is it fair that one child of George Watson lives a luxurious life and the other lives as a broke person?”

“Who says you’re broke? I think you have enough.”

Alfred got really fed up, so he stood up and said,

“Listen to me, are you with me or not?”

“As far as distorting our father’s will is concerned, I’m not.”

“This is your final answer?”


“Well, in that case, I’m leaving.”

Alfred started walking when Ronald suggested,

“Don’t you want to stay for dinner?”

“No, I’m leaving, and I want you to know that I’ll remember how you left me whenever I needed you.”

Ronald did not respond to this. Alfred walked towards the exit of the house and left.

v v v

Weeks later, Alfred was in a party arranged by one of his relatives. It was a pre-marriage ceremony of one of his second cousins. He was standing all alone and was having a drink. He looked around and saw that people were wearing really expensive clothes. He was getting upset on this, so he asked himself,

Am I ever going to live a luxurious life?

Few moments later, he unexpectedly saw his sister talking to one of their elder relatives. He was surprised as he wasn’t expecting her there, so he walked towards her and as he found her standing alone, he asked her straight away,

“What are you doing here?”

She was also surprised to see her, so she asked,

“Wait, what are you doing here? You were invited?”

“Hannah, I’m going through a financial crisis, you have got to help in this.”

“Alfred we’ve just met, please be a little courteous.”

“Hannah, Hannah you’re really trying my patience. Please try and understand that I have earned a very little share out of our father’s will.”

“Alfred, do you have nothing else to talk about? Is this why you came to say hi? Or maybe you followed me all the way to get into this conversation.”

“Don’t Hannah, don’t do this,” he replied angrily. “But yes, I came here to talk about this. I didn’t know you would be here.”

“Look Alfred, I’m not going to tolerate this behaviour of yours anymore. And I’m thinking that I should inform my lawyers about your intentions.”

Alfred was shocked on her comments as usual, and more importantly he was hurt. So, he moved back and said,

“I guess, this is where we part our ways.”

He turned and walked back from where he came”.

v v v

Alfred got distracted as he heard the room’s door knocking. He paused and kept the phone aside. He took off the hands free and said,

“Come in!”

He was expecting his brother or some nurse from the hospital but to his surprise it was his brother’s wife Gwyneth.

“Hey,” he spoke politely, “you’re here?”

“Alfred, we don’t have much time. There is something you have to know. Ronald is about to come, I just want you to hear me out in one flow.”

“Okay,” he responded with curiosity.

As she began speaking, the door opened from behind her and Ronald stepped in saying,

“Alright, let’s go!”

Gwyneth felt regretful, so she picked up a tissue paper from a table and said,

“I’m coming in a minute.”

Ronald was still standing in the room while Gwyneth was writing down something very quickly on the tissue paper.

After a while, she turned and said,

“Alright, let’s go!”

As Ronald left the room, she immediately handed over the tissue paper to Alfred, so he could read what she had just written. She left the room. Alfred was very surprised on her behaviour and understood that she was trying to tell what was very urgent.

Alfred unfolded the tissue and read,

to be continued...