He kissed her!
It had been over two hours ago, after the kiss he gave his conceited smile and vanished, leaving Mandy on the roof alone, cold and yet warm all over.
Mandy couldn’t sleep, rethinking about the kiss, what it meant. Everyone knew she liked Hank, now Hank kissed her. This is what she wanted for as long as she could remember. It felt dreamy, and every two minutes she kept musing over it, twirling her hair around fingers and blushing.
An hour more she fidgeted over the kiss. Then she remembered where she was. Why she was here and who else was here with her.
Her grandfather had been keeping I’ll for months now. It was probably time he found peace and left his failing body. But he endured. And he had every reason to endure.
Everyday his lawyer sat with him in the ICU room, isolated and mostly discussing the Will. The will that dictates what will happen to the dynasty.
The 3 billion dollar dynasty.
Everyone of the family and descendants arrived a week ago when the butler cried rapidly falling health. A week they sat under one roof, if hospital and the house and talked.
But make no mistake everyone wanted the highest portion of the pie available. They all hated each other, as siblings do when money is involved.
And Hank was the husband of elder sister, Gretchen. Gretchen was the second elder sibling with Tom being the eldest and Wayne being the third. And Mandy the youngest. And each had their own masks, they each played their parts in the ill health of grandfather.
But history aside they all wanted the same thing: Money.
And Mandy wanted Hank too, childishly and foolishly. She realized that this was a coy on his part. There have been many of those in the house, anything to get more.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Butler’s call about the inevitable.
The funeral was as big as this town could see. And after every one of the sibling and cousin and who not paid their respects only the four siblings were left in the church.
Gretchen had been crying through the entire ceremony. Tom was blank as usual. And Wayne wanted to cry. Mandy stood near grandfather.
She realized with a start that her three siblings were standing close by. Gretchen wasn’t crying anymore, the water was for the audience only. No one spoke for a while.
Tom surprised everyone by saying ‘I loved him. And I’ll miss him. He was our Father, our Mother. Our everything.’
Mandy noticed a tear rolling down his left cheek. He didn’t wipe it out.
And Gretchen swallowed. Mandy had a lump in her throat too. She never expected Tom to be the one to cry first. He was the strength, resolve. Dams broke and they all cried again.
Gretchen sobbed with her head buried in Tom’s shoulder, Mandy and Wayne held each other afraid to let go because they feared their knees will buckle.
This time it wasn’t for the audience. It was real, as real as they could be. They loved him. And with him gone they will miss him. They knew what was coming, the will had to be read. The power struggle was coming.
But now they terribly missed him. Now their silhouettes portrayed their true selves.
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