I step out of my car and take the winding staircase to the top floor of the building where I find the long, chair lined, hallway leading to the law offices of Caligney and Whootster. April and Meredith’s whispers float on the air toward me from where they sit, their heads bowed close together. I clear my throat, startling them both.
Meredith immediately jumps to her feet, a smile on her face. “How kind of you to meet us here,” she says, extending her hand. “Dad would have so appreciated this publicity for the charities.”
“Are you sure we need to do this now?” April says, twisting the blue handkerchief she holds. “Mr. Caligney should be here any second now.”
Meredith hushes her and beckons for me to sit with them. “Besides, he’s never on time.”
“Thank you for agreeing to speak with me.”
“Our pleasure,” they both say.
Clearing my throat, I ready my pad and pen. “When last my readers saw the two of you, it seemed like you were beginning to mend your relationship. Is that the case?”
The sisters smile, each reaching for the other.
“Yes,” April says. “I think we both realized that one sister is all the family either of us has left—”
“And if we’re both willing to stop being pig-headed, one sister is all we need,” Meredith laughs.
Clearing her throat, April dabs at her nose with the kerchief. “That’s what Dad wanted us to realize, I think.”
“April, my readers were particularly intrigued by your side of the story. Do you feel the rift between you two started with your father’s illness or did that merely widen it?”
“It didn’t start it, or widen it. I did—we did. Dad being sick had very little, if anything, to do with it.”
“All our lives we’ve been extraordinarily different from each other, but people always wanted us to be more similar,” Meredith says. “We grew up hearing each of us needed to be more like the other in this way or that, and I believe it made us resentful. Instead of seeing the good in April, I looked for the things I liked the least in her, as did she, concerning me.”
“April, did you see your father before he died?”
Swallowing, she nods. “I came home a week before he died.”
“In the very last part of your story, we saw the both of you being reunited by April’s admittance that she needed your help, Meredith, to accomplish her part of your father’s challenge to you both. Were you able to help her with that?”
“Is that your way of asking me if I could think of a way for her to spend ten million on herself?” Meredith chuckles. “Yes, I did. Spending money is rather like breathing for me. Very easy to do and extremely difficult to stop.”
“How did your sister end up helping you to spend it, April?”
“Being the business genius she is, she helped me find some property to rent, which was an idea I had already had, and she also helped me find businesses to invest in.”
“Did spending your money this way appease the stipulations of your father’s will while still meeting with your conscience’s needs?”
“Well, we won’t know until after our meeting with Mr. Caligney if we met the needs of Dad’s will, but I feel good about what I did. The property I bought will be renovated into commercial space, some of which I’m hoping Meredith will use as a headquarters for her fashion line, and the rest will be rented out. The money I get back from all of these different sources I can use to help whatever charity work I want to do—”
“And having dipped your toes into the business world you’ll know how to handle it wisely,” Meredith says.
“Meredith, were you able to find a way to spend the money that went along with the will’s requirements?”
She squeezes April’s hand. “Yes, I was. In helping my sister, I found several worthy causes that relate to passions of my own. Without her, I never would have known about them because I was so focused on the business side of things, and how each penny could be used to help me. Or just how many pairs of shoes I could get.”
“She does love a cute pair of shoes.” April rolls her eyes.
“What sorts of charities?”
“Some for domestic violence victims, mainly those dealing with making sure they always have clothes on their backs that remind them they aren’t worthless. You’d be amazed what a well-fitting pair of pants can do for a girl’s confidence. The others are mostly fashion scholarships. April helped me to realize that not everyone is as privileged as we are.”
“What are you going to do if you haven’t met the stipulations of the will to Mr. Caligney’s satisfaction?”
Each woman’s mouth turns down, her brow furrowing. Beyond this, my question receives only silence.
“Final question, if you could say anything toy our father, what would you say?”
Without hesitation, April speaks. “We’d thank him,” she says. “He knew it would take threatening to throw us off a cliff, so to speak, in order to get us out of our own ways and he loved us enough to do it. Even if it meant we might not forgive him if it didn’t work out.”
Meredith bobs her head in agreement.
As I leave the sisters sitting there, I pass Mr. Caligeny on his way down the hall. Pausing, I turn and watch him address them, his eyes sparkling when he invites them into his office. The last thing I see before he closes the door, is a wide grin, breaking over the face of each sister leaving me to report to you, dear readers, with utmost certainty that our beloved sisters have met their father’s conditions.
Thank you all so much for reading! I’m sorry this post is late. I had it written on time and then forgot to post! haha