Chapter 8 THE WILL
These past few days of my life were so exhausting and full of pain and anguish. I can’t believe that I’m still breathing, barely. Barely breathing. I’ve been through a lot for my eighteen years of life but losing someone you love is different than being held captive and torture. Although I’m also affected mentally I’m not heartbroken, unlike mom’s death.
Nothing in this world can ever replace my mother, I don’t even care about the Will, but it’s mom’s legacy. Her last will and testament will only remind me that my mother is truly gone and never come back. I just need to be strong, for dad, my only family left.
Dad reminded me last night before going to sleep that today is the day of reading of mom’s will. I saw the pain in dad’s eyes no matter how he tried to hide. He just lost someone who we dearly love and who has been his life partner for almost three decades. It sucks! I know.
Dad’s office reminds me of a lot of things, from my childhood until today. I still remember coming to this office when I’m still in grade school, I love reading books in this place even I have my own mini library and study room especially when dad’s around, but today it reminds me of Lost.
I run my hand through dad’s book collections alphabetically arranged according to Author’s last name, I guess it’s in the blood of being a bookworm. His huge mahogany desk still the same for as long as I can remember. On the left side are few of his liquor collections although dad doesn’t drink much. He has his own cellar here in our home.
Mom’s lawyer is already sitting in front of dad. I feel nervous but what ever written was mom’s wishes. She could just donate all of her money or sell her property to an auction and donate them to those in needs but I hope I can have some of her jewelry as her memories. Some are heirloom already that passes through generations of Hirlington.
I knew mom’s lawyer. I’ve met him a couple of times. His on his late 60’s, graying thin layer of hair with thick rimmed glasses just on the tip of his nose but he is well known for his practice. Atty. Timothy Sanders started since his late 20’s. After extending my hand for him I sit comfortably.
I take a deep breath. I didn’t pay much attention when he started mentioning mom’s name address, spouse etc., all I heard are money, bank accounts, properties and assets, and liabilities. When my name is mention I listen intently and something catches my attentions about three conditions. Three conditions??? Wait! What?
I must have shouted the word “what?!” dad and Atty. Sanders’s attention is on me.
“Let him continue sweetheart,” Dad says
“Well I really don’t care about mom’s money, she is gone and it will not change a thing. She can donate them and I will not say a thing. You don’t have to continue Atty. Sanders.” I say and look at the Lawyer.
I tighten my lips then frown.
“I know it’s hard for you Abbygail but let me continue. It’s your mom’s will. Honor her wishes, will you?” Atty. Sanders says. I nod.
“Okay, please continue. I apologize for the interruption.” I narrow my eyes to listen carefully, my hands start sweating.
“three conditions” as the lawyer continues.
I listen half interested. I hear in between words and sentences.
“All will be transferred to my daughter Mackenzie Abbygail Catherine a.k.a Abbygail Catherine within three years otherwise all will be transferred to my representative permanently.”
My eyebrows furrow.
“1. A ties of matrimony to Mr. Sebastian Christopher W. Hughes III within a month of my death, no divorce within three years otherwise all conditions will be forfeit.” my hands cover mouth, I freeze and just stare with eyes wide open.
“2. A Trust fund including educational fund, housing allowance, foods, bills etc. will be fully paid by my representative within three years, as monthly allowance according to her status of living.”
I remove my hands in my mouth, My gut twisted
“3. My representative, Mr. Sebastian Hughes III will take all the rights and ownership of all my properties after three years when any of my conditions are not met.”
I shake my head. I can’t believe this. I motion him to stop.
“Sebastian Christopher Hughes III?!?” I shriek, I observe both of them. Nobody talk.
“Sebastian? as in the Seb? the playboy, Badboy, man-whore?” I squint my eyes.
“ Unbelievable!!! Un-fucking-believable! Does he know about all of it?” No one answers
“Of course he knew. How could mom let me marry this man for God three awful years of my life.” I look at dad who’s seemingly calm.
“You knew about this, do you, dad? Why didn’t you stop her? I’m only eighteen and the last thing on my mind is getting married. I thought you both want me to enjoy life, have friends, travel all over the world and finish my MBA. I didn’t even go out on a proper date or yet even kiss. I didn’t even experience a teenage life and now everything is ruin because I’m getting married. What do you want me to do? Just pop out kids? And stay at home and make myself crazy waiting for my man-whore of a husband to come home and spread my legs? Tell me! Does he even want to marry someone like me who is totally
beyond damaged? An inexperienced, naive, full of baggage? I don’t even know how to cook or boil water, what more changing diapers? I’m sure he’ll be disgusted when he found out about this. Oh, I read on the internet about him. He probably has STD because he slept most of the women in this fucking state.” Both of them just stare at me in shock.
“I don’t want this God damn money or anything belongs to mom. And I’m leaving tonight.”
Before I can move from where I’m standing dad catches my hand.
“Sweetheart, your mom was an intelligent woman, she knew what she is doing writing her will. You have to know that. Respect what ever is written there. You can’t change anything. It is already done.” Dad’s voice is composed
“She must be drugged or confused writing them.” I look at the lawyer and I continue
“Or maybe you misheard or misspoke or overlooked. Please, this can’t be happening. There must be a mistake. I’m sure he’ll not agree with this. He seems to enjoy his life well and he’ll not just agree to marry me. This is so ridiculous. I’m going to destroy his life, marrying him or forcing him into marriage is entirely insane. He’ll laugh his ass off at me. He’ll think mom was out of her mind. He can have them.” My hands still on my hips, I sigh
“Sweetheart, pumpkin, I’ll talk to him don’t worry and I’ll arrange everything. It’ll be okay. We have a month to do it. That is your mom’s assets pumpkin. Your mom works hard to earn everything that she had and you deserve to have every penny of them.” I throw my head back and laugh
“I don’t think I deserve every penny dad because if I do she doesn’t have to let me go through all of these. I think she wants me to suffer, she doesn’t trust me enough. She thinks I might just throw all her assets to a pothole. She still thinks I’m irresponsible, she’s still blaming me for what happened to me three years ago.” I shake my head, my lips start to tremble.
Dad grabs my arms, he looks at me directly in my eyes “Pumpkin, she knew you well. She wants you to concentrate on your studies and follow your dreams. She knew if she’ll let me handle your trust fund I will pamper you and she wants you to grow up well into a responsible woman. You’ll be busy managing your money, how will you concentrate at school? What about your MBA? You will thank her soon sweetheart trusts me. I can still spoil you through without touching your money and your assets, you know that. I’m already managing your shares in our company. Think of it that you’re investing your money from your mom in Hughes.”
I flinch “Yeah, investing myself too by selling my soul to the devil. Oh my god I’m like a whore. We have our own company dad and I think we’re far from bankruptcy. Why mom leave everything with him? What’s with Sebastian that mom trusted him so much? What did she saw in him? Mom trusted him over me.” I take a deep breath and blink back my tears.
“Stop saying like that Abbygail and watch your language young woman, you’ve been swearing too much, and stop looking little of yourself, you’re far from broken. You’re a strong young woman who has huge dreams. You’re a survivor. Don’t forget that. I’m so proud of you. I and your mom love you so much, don’t ever doubt that.” Dad looks annoyed. I sniff and wipe my tears dry.
“I need some air dad, I need to get out from here. I need to process all of this.” I face the lawyer who stayed silent after he read the will thoroughly. I ask for the copy. I walk out from dad’s office without looking back.
I dial Drew and take a deep breath.
“Abby, how did the will go?”
“Very bad, I think I’m gonna sick, where are you by the way?”
“I’m out, Your dad asks me to come to his main office. What do you mean by very bad? how bad the very bad you’re saying?”
“I have three conditions to meet before I’ll have all mom’s assets and that is even after three years. I guess she wants me to finish my MBA but it’s not all that, the worst part is I have to marry someone within one month after her death. I mean I really have no choice, otherwise, I’ll lose everything of mom’s.”
“Wow, so you’re getting married, huh? She knew that you’ll do everything for her. That is not bad Abby, You can have a marriage of convenience.”
“Marriage? seriously? Mom can just keep the money in the bank until it reaches three years if doesn’t want me to touch them. Why she has to let me marry him of all the people?”
“Wait, did I miss something? You mean that man is the representative too?”
“Yeah, he is and not mom’s lawyer. Everything will be transferred to him after our marriage.”
“Wow! Who is he, Abby?” I blow an exasperated sigh
“Sebastian Asshole Christopher Hughes III, himself.” I say gritting my teeth
“Whoa! really?” He laughs.
Why is he laughing? What’s so funny? I’m so annoyed
“Really, you’re laughing when I’m here wanting to pull my hair out? seriously? you’re an ass too Andrew.”
“I’m sorry sweetie but your mom really has taste in choosing a man for you. I’ve no doubt.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, first He’s well educated, a family friend, good looking young man, extremely rich, confident, he maybe a playboy but he is smart and protective. A man like him can keep you safe, and I’m sure he’ll not harm you, you’ll not have problem filing for divorce after three years.”
“And why not?” I’m confused
“Because a man like him doesn’t do relationship, it means he’ll not fall for you. He’ll just screw around.”
I feel sad at what Drew said. Well, It’ll be easy if he’ll agree at least we’re both not into a relationship, but many things happen within three years. We could...Ugh! It’s hopeless
“Can’t I at least choose once? at least a man, do I really have a bad taste in men, well I don’t know, yet. But they always controlled me, tell me what to do. I love them both but this? this is too much. I’m already adult for God sake, yet they treated me like I’m eight years old.”
“Sweetie, I know, you have to understand that if something will happen to you again, your dad will be miserable, you’re only he has right now. If something will happen to him, how about you? you’ll be alone? How about the company? What will happen? do you think you can trust all the people here working under your dad’s wing? Do you think you can manage by yourself and just listen to their advice? I don’t think so. You might be smart and brilliant but it’s differently dealing with real business or running a billion dollar company with lesser experience. You still have lots of things to learn and experience. You need someone like Seb.” I feel relieved
“You can’t at least cheer me up by saying “he is not good for you or yeah he’s an ass, you shouldn’t marry him” I can’t believe you.”
“Hey, I’m your best friend for a reason. I’m where I know what’s best for you.”
“Come home when you’re done. I need movie marathon and some ice cream.”
“Be home soon Sweetie. love you.”
“Waiting, love you too. Bye” I look at the copy one last time.
Now I have the copy, I know what to do next. I take a deep breath
To face the devil himself.