“Walk around if you want to,” Cecie said. “There isn’t any formal
reading of the will. They only do that in the movies.”
“Want to hear what it says?” Dillon asked.
I wasn’t sure I did, but they started in. Ninety percent of my father’s
assets was to be split equally between Cecie and Dillon, and the remaining ten percent was assigned to me. With certain conditions.
“No,” I said. “What?”
“It’s left to you in a trust,” Cecie said, “with executors, who are us.
You get interest payments. And there’s a clause that says you lose it all if
you make an unsuitable marriage.”
I did laugh, a dry, hooting, out-of-control sound. “Why did he think
I wanted his money?” I said.
“Everyone wants money,” Dillon said.
I was ready to run out and marry some unsuitable person immediately, just to get him rolling over in his newly dug grave.
“The thing about fascists,” I said, “they’re all about control.”
“Let’s keep politics out of this,” Cecie said.
“He was worried about gold diggers, I think,” Dillon said.
Had he left me that much gold?
“I’d like to sign whatever it is,” I said, “that gives up my rights to any-
thing. You guys can have it. I don’t want to have to deal with this again.”
Dillon said, “It’s more than you think, Billy boy. And you’re young.
You might want to buy a house, send a kid to college.”
Want what? I had just been grousing about the measly extra bucks for
my airfare. And my life was spent trying to get boosts in pay for under-
valued workers. Money wasn’t nothing. I knew that as well as anyone.
Better than some.
But I was entirely sure about not taking any of however much there
was from my father, there was no argument in my head. I didn’t want
my hand in that till.
Hadn’t I decided all this years ago? I only wished I could say this to my
father. “Not interested, sorry. Not at all.” And it was then that I really got
it that he was gone. I could hardly breathe from the weight of it. He wasn’t
coming back, no matter what I said. Discussion over.
“Think about it,” Cecie said.
“He knew I didn’t want it,” I said. I had no idea what my father actually thought. But I hated that my sister and my brother assumed I had
to take it.