‘You are invited to the reading of the last will and testament of Charlie Duffin,’ said the letter. Louisa-May had barely seen Charlie in years: he’d upped and left her back in ’65, leaving three kids and his ageing mother. He’d show up from time to time. No matter how angry she’d be he’d always win her round.
‘Charm a crab out of its shell. That’s you Charlie Duffin,’ she always used to say. He’d stay for a few nights and sometimes it looked like things may go back to the way they were. They never did.
As she sat in the lawyer’s office others began to arrive. Louisa-May knew he’d remarried; Charlie hadn’t contested the divorce. Three more recently bereaved women soon showed up. A fourth had died: drunk herself to death apparently. As the lawyer began eyebrows were quickly raised.
‘The following conditions apply to any beneficiaries of this will….’
It was a long list. Look out for his youngest kids was one. Tending to his old mother’s grave was another. One by one the former wives cursed Charlie’s name before storming out. Charlie knew they would. After a dozen or so more conditions were announced, only one Mrs Duffin remained. The lawyer continued:
‘If I’m right the only one of you still listening will be my Louisa-May. Are you there Lou? Louisa, I’m sorry for all the hurt I caused you girl. Sorry for leaving you with them kids and my crazy old mother. You know you were the only one I really loved. Them others? That was my ego getting the better of me. You knew how much I couldn’t resist laying a line on someone. Got me in a right mess at times. Please forgive me Louisa. Please don’t think bad of me. Whatever I had left is yours. Love Charlie.”
The lawyer stopped; Louisa-May smiled. She wasn’t interested in any of Charlie’s old possessions. She had their shared memories, good and bad. She didn’t need anything else.
These 333 words form my entry into the Trifecta 87 writing challenge. I hope you like them.