Broken Pieces

The Howling Heart by April Bostic

Sunday, December 8, 2013

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In addition to my father’s funeral, my mother and I had to meet with his lawyer, Mister Urban, to discuss his will. We sat in his office as he proceeded to explain the terms. My mother and I didn’t speak during the reading of the will. It reminded us of my father’s death and put us in somber moods. She wore dark sunglasses indoors and sat stoically in the armchair next to me. With her sable hair pulled into a tight bun and her serious expression, she made it obvious she was all business.
When Mister Urban informed her my father left her nothing because of everything she acquired during their divorce, she sucked her teeth and sighed in irritation.
I, on the other hand, was stunned when he said, “Paige, he left you his cabin in Black River, Colorado.”
Suddenly, I had a flashback of the cozy cabin my father bought when I was ten years old. The vacation we had reached the front of my mind, and once again, a particular memory stood out among the rest. I wondered if there were still wolves in the area and if the white wolf pup had grown up.
“Miss Donovan?”
Mister Urban’s round face slowly came into focus. I blinked once. “Excuse me, what did you say?”
He looked down at the will. “The cabin in—”
“The cabin?” My mother repeated.
“Yes. It says here explicitly that Paige inherits the cabin in Black River, Colorado.”
My mother laughed haughtily. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware he still owned it.”
“He told us he sold it,” I added quietly.
She cursed my father under her breath. Mister Urban adjusted his black-rimmed glasses. He looked confused and scratched his balding head. Then, he looked at the will and shuffled through the papers.
“No, it’s listed here as a property asset.”
My mother and I shared a look of perplexity. “What am I supposed to do with it?”
She answered immediately. “Sell it. It’s probably in bad shape, and animals live in it. The upkeep will be expensive. Not to mention, you never liked it there.”
I shook my head. “No, you didn’t like it there. I loved it, remember?”
She turned her head away from me. “No, not that I can recall,” she said in a clipped voice. “I remember you ran away, and we searched for hours trying to find you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Maybe, Dad kept it up or rented it to another family.”
She scoffed. “I doubt it. Your father was a workaholic. I’d be surprised if he took the time to travel to Colorado for a vacation.” My mother…always a cynic.
“He could’ve used it as his own vacation spot away from…” I wanted to say “you”, but I cut my sentence short when she removed her sunglasses. She gave me a hard look and pursed her lips. I immediately closed my mouth and turned to Mister Urban. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the cabin, but selling it was on the bottom of my list.
My mother still tried to convince me to sell my inheritance during our cab ride to her brownstone home in Brooklyn. “You could use the money. Just sell the cabin. You don’t want the responsibility of owning property in a remote place.”
“I don’t think Dad would’ve wanted me to sell it.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, he lied to us about selling it, so it obviously meant something to him.”
She sighed. “Paige…”
“I want to keep it,” I said with finality.
She turned her head when I saw her pinched expression. “I want to keep the cabin, so I can keep the memories of Dad and our vacation alive.”
When I was growing up, we didn’t do too many activities as a family. I attributed this to the fact that my parents didn’t get along. Our vacation in the Colorado Rockies only lasted one summer, but I still cherished it.
She said, “We have pictures, so we’re already keeping the memory of him and that God-forsaken place alive.”
My mother was a Columbia University graduate with a Master’s degree. Despite her intelligence, she was clueless when it came to sentimentalism.
In the end, she was unsuccessful in dissuading my decision. I felt anxious to return to Black River, and I was curious to see what had become of the cabin. Did my father let it fall into ruin, or did he rent it to another family? I hoped he had kept it the way I remembered.
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Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – Adult
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