Every week my social media pages are inundated with pictures of my friends from as far back as birth as they celebrate this interesting phenomenon. I don’t know who started Throwback Thursday or why they did it, but watching my friends participate is often quite hilarious. Though I don’t usually throw my hat into the throwback ring, I though that today would be a great time to do so…with a book clip of course!
Here we have the un-edited, early ESTyree work of My House‘s fifth chapter. This chapter brings to us the first real interaction between adult Kit and her estranged siblings. I hope you enjoy!
After Billy and his woos of a bodyguard left, I had to calm down before looking in daddy’s box and going through the emotional turmoil I knew would ensue. One glass of rum, three cups of Chamomile hot tea, half of an oversized chocolate bar and a run with Rollo later, I finally felt ready to see what Dad had hidden so long ago.
First I began to look through Daddy’s papers, but they were mostly work related and I made a mental note to hand them over to Billy at the cookout. Then I took a deep breath and turned to the box. All of my mental preparation went to waste though since I discovered the box was locked and once again had to run out my car for the lock picking kit. Not only did I find my kit, I also found that my brother had left me a present in the passenger seat. Grabbing both I went back inside and immediately got to work on the locked box. Ten minutes later I had the box open and began to go through its contents. On top of everything were pictures of our last family vacation to the beach and some drawings my siblings and I had made for Daddy when we were younger. The nostalgia had me crying, but in our family we were conditioned at a young age not to let our emotions get the best of us, so I quickly dried my tears and continued my search into the unknown past. What I found next had me crying again but this time it was with tears of joy.
“We can’t find his will.” My mother sat in stunned silence at our kitchen table, staring at Uncle Will, the family lawyer. When momma didn’t say anything he continued, “You’ll keep the house and the money set aside for the kids’ college educations, but everything else will be held for twenty years. If his will hasn’t been found by that time, the state will take possession of the rest of his holdings and auction it off.”
Remembering that day and the ones following when we discovered exactly how much we would be losing (six sports cars, all being held for special presents for us, two European estates, a summer house in Hawaii, and millions of dollars in off shore accounts) I decided that it was all worth it. As I sat in my living room holding my father’s missing will I finally allowed myself to mourn the father I had barely known. About an hour later I decided that although I wasn’t close to my family anymore, I needed to let them know what I had found. The logical choice would have been Billy, but I didn’t feel like taking anymore of his crap so I called Dee instead.
“Hello?” Dee’s gruff voice came through and I realized that my big, tough brother had been asleep at 9:30.
“Hey big-bro,” I replied, imagining his face when he realized who had called him. “Did I wake you?” I asked facetiously, loving the thought of holding the upper hand over my brother for once.
“KIT?!?!?!?” he asked incredulously as he struggled to overcome his sleep induced stupor.
“Wow, can’t pull anything over on you, huh big brother,” I laughed into the phone, receiving the patented McKlain growl in response. “What do you want,” he grumped through the phone.
“Oh, I just thought you should know that I found Daddy’s will today,” I replied breezily. I hung up as Dee began firing questions at me and decided to unhook the phone and take a nice, long bubble bath. On my way to the bathroom I remembered the present Billy had left me. I quickly nabbed the present and unwrapped it, inside was a gorgeous white sundress and a jewelry box that contained the silver Celtic cross I had given Daddy on his last birthday and a pair of diamond earrings, with silver settings. A note fell out of the box, written in Billy’s distinctively horrible scrawl. It merely stated, ‘Wear this to the family cookout’ and I had to laugh at his predictable shortness. After trying on the dress and being pleasantly surprised at how well it fit, I finally made it to my long soak. After my bath, Rollo and I curled up for a nice quiet night of rest.
I woke up early the next morning and decided to go for a run. When Rollo and I got back to the apartment we found five very frustrated but excited siblings and one very bewildered old lawyer. Deciding they could wait a while longer, I plopped a kiss on Uncle William’s bald head and breezed past everyone else on my way to a nice, long shower. I could hear them grumbling as I took my time getting dressed and preparing myself to deal with my family. I finally emerged from my bedroom, only to encounter twelve eyes staring intently as all chatter instantly stopped. “Hey guys,” I said, trying to use flippancy to cover the butterflies in my stomach. “How have ya’ll been?”
They all continued to stare at me as if I had grown an extra ear. The silence lasted for a few moments until Leila spoke up, “Cut the crap Kit, Billy woke me up at 5:30 this morning and told me to haul my butt over here because you found something. What is going on??” I stared at my baby sister for a minute, remembering the time before she had followed Billy and Dee into the family business. “Well Lele,” I used her old nickname hoping to soften her up a little before delivering the news, “I did find something. I went to the house a few days ago to look around and I remembered one night when Daddy came into our room and hid a box in our floor.”
“WHAT??” Everyone yelled at once, wondering where I could be going with this and not daring to hope for what I had found.
“Yeah, I thought it was strange too, which is why I went back and pried up the floor board to get the box.”
“Your room was locked, how did you get in?” Billy asked, shooting me an accusatory glance.
“I used my lock picking kit, and quite frankly I’m surprised you didn’t,” I replied, “Now, can I please finish my story?”
“Go ahead sis, we won’t interrupt you anymore.” I turned to look at Dee, surprised that he would stand up like that, especially to Billy who is not only his big brother, but also his boss in a very deadly business.
“Thanks Dee, anyway, I was looking through the box and found Daddy’s will.” There was stunned silence following my revelation and then Uncle William asked to see it. After making sure it was properly notarized and witnessed, he took possession of the will and went to his offices to start the necessary procedures to get us our father’s possessions. Shortly after he left everyone dispersed, promising to meet again at the cookout. After they were all gone I felt a need to get out and go somewhere, anywhere other than my suddenly too quiet apartment.
Realizing that the company of Rollo wasn’t going to be enough this time, I picked up the phone and called my best friends, David and Marie Westonfield.
Knowing I was troubled, but unable to get me to reveal anything over the phone, they agreed to meet me for a late breakfast at a local coffee shop. When I arrived at Hyper Beans David and Marie had already sat down and ordered for us. After taking a few, grateful sips of my caramel macchiato I began to tell them what was weighing down my pregnant mind.