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THE INHERITANCE (part one)

Welcome Home

By Margaret BrennanPublished about a month ago Updated 2 days ago 5 min read

THE INHERITANCE – part one ………

Welcome home

+++++++++++

“Good morning, Ms. Sullivan,” the receptionist said as Kate announced herself. “Please follow me.”

As Kate Sullivan followed the woman down an impressive glass-walled hallway, she noticed the beautiful graying hair stylishly coiffed in the latest fashion for those with longer hair. “Beautiful,” Kate thought to herself as the woman opened the third door on her right and hoped she wasn’t underdressed. She wore her best dark jeans and pale blue linen blouse. Around her neck, she wore the pearls her grandmother had given her for her sixteenth birthday. “Oh, well,” she thought, “what you see is what you get.”

“Mr. Winslet will join you in less than five minutes. He’s just regathering his paperwork.” Kate couldn’t help but notice how the receptionist smiled and rolled her eyes.

“Oh, forgive me, Ms. Sullivan, but Mr. Winslet is a stickler for paperwork. He never gets angry if there’s one “I” left undotted, but he will worry that someone else might notice. Actually, his paranoia about paperwork, at times, is quite comical. You’ll see what I mean when he walks in.” As she turned to leave, the friendly receptionist said with humor, “And speaking of the devil! Have a seat anywhere. He’s almost running down the hall.”

Kate smiled and witnessed a slightly over-weight man who appeared to be in his early sixties rushing toward her with a very large folder filled with papers.

Out of breath, he extended his right hand, “Ms. Sullivan, Finally! I’m glad to finally meet you. Please sit. Kate, isn’t it? Can I call you Kate? Would you like coffee? We also have donuts and bagels in the lounge. I can send for some.”

Kate smiled as she repressed a laugh at his eagerness to please. Mr. Kevin Winslet wasn’t as tall as she imagined. His eyes, while once might have been a vibrant blue, seemed old and tired, and yet, he gave the appearance of someone filled with energy and vitality. His graying hair was still thick and held on to a slight but persistent wave, no matter how he tried to comb it back.

“No, Mr. Winslet, I’m fine. Really. Is the file in order? The papers are correct? After we spoke on the phone, I realized I had no idea what was happening. I feel like I’ve been in the dark all these years.”

Kate sat and asked, “Oh, before we begin, when will my cousins arrive? I honestly doubt they’ll all be here, but I was sure most of them would be.”

Mr. Winslet sat and as he opened the folder, placed his arms on the table and said, “Kate, here’s the thing, as you are aware, eight live in various states, as you do, while the others, though live locally, expressed a definite disinterest. That leaves you. You’re the only one who demonstrated a willingness to at least listen to what I have to say. I know how far you had to travel, but I’m very glad you decided to make the trip.”

She didn't bother to tell him that she recently relocated from New Jersey back to New York, Long Island, to be specific.

“Wow,” Kate said as she shook her head in disbelief. “I can understand some of them not wanting to be here, but for sure, I thought Eileen and Maureen would be here to fight for it. Well, surprise, surprise!”

“I guess they might feel that it’s too much for them to just pick up and move, or even to travel to make other arrangements. They’ve all signed the necessary papers rejecting any claim to anything pertaining to your great-grandmother’s will. Anyway! Enough about them! Let’s discuss your great-grandmother’s property.”

“Kate, let me read from the papers I have and that should answer many of the questions I’m sure you’ll have.”

Kate smiled and said, “Mr. Winslet, I think I’ll take you up on your offer for coffee. I have a feeling this will be long morning.”

**

One week later, Kate was on a plane to Ireland. She stared out the window of the plane and fell deeply in thought. “Didn’t Great-grandmother have any closer relatives? I thought she had a daughter or two. I know she had two other sons; I found them while tracing my family history. Okay, true, they died many years ago, but still!” She thought.

Once again, she read through the papers the estate lawyer, Mr. Winslet had given her which stated that any living relative was found and contacted and denied any and all claims regarding the Will and any and all properties mentioned. The property and everything in it now belong to her. Lock, stock, and barrel!

“Old one-story, stone cottage, thatched roof, a few small windows, fireplace. Two bedrooms. Large kitchen. Bath with tub and shower.

Needs work. Sits on ten acres of fenced land, also needs work. Full electric (not currently working). Full water service (not currently working).”

There was a photo attached to the file and Kate wondered, “If this photo is fairly current, as it appears to be, where are the wires for the electricity? Underground? Hmm, I wonder.”

She reached inside her carry on and pulled out the envelope Mr. Winslet handed her along with her great-grandmother’s Will, and the deed to the house. She was past shock when she read the contents in the lawyer’s office.

“Dearest, I hope you enjoy my home as much as I did. This envelope contains the key to the front door (sorry, never thought of putting in a back door), the names of a few local shops in town that are now owned by the descendants of my long-gone friends. Also, the name of the bank where I always did my business. In addition to the house key, in a smaller brown envelope, you’ll find a key to a bank box that holds enough money to fix the house, and other precious memories I thought you might like.

Again, dearest, thank you for taking my home and making it your own.

Love you,

Great-grandmother,

Kathleen”

Kate’s hands began to shake as a wild unconscious premonition began to form - just as they did back in New York, in Mr. Winslet’s office. She couldn’t help but have her imagination run wild.

“Huh! Was I named after my great-grandmother? Did she know about me before she died? What am I going to find in her bank box? OMG! What am I getting into?”

**

She pulled her rental car close to the fence. “Yes, definitely needs work,” she said aloud.

The gate leading to the walkway was almost rusted closed but she managed, with a very powerful push, to open it enough to walk through.

She unlocked and opened the door. There in the kitchen, sat a table that Kate guessed must be at least a hundred years old, but it was what was on the table that intrigued her.

She picked up the very old sealed envelope and marveled that no one had ever removed it from the house. Then she read the letter:

“Dear Kate,

Welcome home.

Love,

Great-grandmother.”

Short Story

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 77-year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (3)

  • Novel Allen19 days ago

    I wish someone would leave me a house filled with mysteries Margaret. I love to do puzzles. Interesting start to an intriguing story.

  • Murali29 days ago

    Another great story!

  • Mark Graham30 days ago

    I really liked this story. Could you turn this into a novel like Nora Robert's or even Danielle Steele or even Jane Austen.

Margaret BrennanWritten by Margaret Brennan

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