The Inheritance


Image is everything in today’s world. You are not the person that you think you are. You are, who you think, people see you as. This is to say that if you think that Joe thinks that you are an asshole, then you’re an asshole.

            Let me prove my point by telling my unbelievable story.

My mane is Nick. I’m the typical bachelor living in a typical suburban town. I hang out with typical friends, which is to say that they're not that great of friends, and have a very typical job. I don’t like to work overtime, as it interferes with my (yup, you guessed it) typical social life.

Now that all that typical stuff is out in the open and you have a picture of how I live, let me tell you that I actually enjoy it all. I love the monotony and every day social interventions with my not so good friends.

 I like it when I go to the bar and hit on the extremely hot Lisa and get shot down in flames for the millionth time. I even like it when I come home and get bombarded with cheap insults from my neighbor, Tim, who also couldn’t pick up a chick if one sat on him and hadn’t been laid in a year. O.K. maybe I don’t like it when Tim picks on me. He gets really rude and down right crude. I just want to punch him in the face. But I know that won’t help. Hell, I couldn’t hit him hard enough anyway. Never been much for working out; too much exertion and sweat. You would think that if I couldn’t fight then perhaps I would at least be able to do the verbal tango; think again. I can’t protect myself with brawn or brain.

Well, Tim is where this story really starts. But, I have to tell you a little before Tim begins.

As I said I like to socialize. With the social life and the bar life mixed into the equation, the expense was getting more than I could handle. I had a $150 lease special that was ending soon. Thank god because the truck only got 11 miles per gallon and gas was over $4.10. I knew I was going to have to claim bankruptcy and sooner than later. The bills were piling up exponentially and the creditors started calling my work number. I gave my creditors my work number during each application process, but who knew?

I’m a draftsman by trade. If you didn’t know; draftsmen are a dying breed. We are being replaced by software such as AutoCAD and machines that do the bulk of the work automatically.  The corporations are just looking for excuses to fire. ‘Downsize’ is what they call it, and I don’t need to give my company an excuse to throw my ass on the street.

So, I figured that I needed to claim bankruptcy. I may as well go out with a bang. The first thing I did was to turn in my lease and get one of those ‘Super Lease Specials’. I got a Jaguar. The lease was $750 a month, sign and drive. Sweet!

I pull into my cracked up driveway with the weeds growing out of the center like no one ever does any maintenance at the place, and who’s outside cutting his perfect and pristine lawn, Tim, that’s who.

Tim walks up to me as I’m slowly getting out of the Jaguar. I expect his normal sarcastic and predictable routine. Not this time. I could see it in his eyes. There is definitely something different in his approach. I can’t quite place the look as it’s not one that he usually wears.

“What’s with the car, man?” he asked with one of those ‘inquisitive minds want to know’ faces.

It was then that everything changed for me. My normal reaction was to just tell him the truth; that I’m going to have to claim bankruptcy and I thought I would go out in a blaze of glory. But, instead I lied.

“I got an inheritance,” I told him with a straight face.

I could see the envy in his eyes that he was trying to conceal.

Man, I just ran with it. It came to me as smooth as whipped cream.

“Who would have figured-an uncle from Tennessee? He lived like a hermit and never talked to anyone after the Vietnam War. My mother used to talk about him before she died, but I just assumed by the way she talked, that he was dead. Well, he’s dead now, God rest his beautiful soul. And I love him dearly,” I said with as much remorse as I could conjure up.

Now, I noticed that Tim had a different look on his face. It was a look that spoke respect and admiration. Not a look that I was accustomed to receiving from Tim. Hell, I wasn’t used to getting that from anyone actually.

“Wow, an inheritance. That’s sweet! What kind of inheritance did you receive?” Tim asked with crossed arms and that same inquisitive look on his face.

I was starting to enjoy this. It was like getting something that the other kids wanted around Christmas time. I knew that he was really asking what the amount of the inheritance was. He could care less ‘what kind’ it was. So I obliged him.

“One point two,” I said as matter of fact.

Tim’s eyes grew as large as beer cans.

“One point two, holy shit man!” He said with wonder.

“Yeah, I have to pay taxes on the total amount. I talked to an accountant already and with the tax laws about handing down money to family and all, I still have to pay the I.R.S about two hundred thousand. But, I still got a good chunk in the end. Don’t you think?”

Tim was speechless and just nodded his head. There was sarcasm in his eyes no longer. I really stuck it to him that time I thought. I figured that was the end of my charade and that I would crawl into my hovel and be depressed for a couple hundred years or so.

I took a shower and got something to eat- P.B & J, if you must know. I didn’t feel like being depressed that day, probably something to do with the Jag, so I scooped up the keys and darted for the door to go for a long ride in my new leased and super sweet car.

Just as I was closing the door, the phone rang. I was half tempted to close the door and ignore the unsuspected caller, but fate took hold of me and I answered.

To my absolute amazement it was Lisa on the other end. She was calling to see what I was doing tonight. Of course I told her that I was doing whatever she wanted me to be doing. She told me to pick her up at her house at 6:00 PM. I had to get directions because, previous to this afternoon, I hadn’t been privy to her address. I was so amazed about her calling and me having to pick her up that it never occurred to me why she was suddenly on my tail; until I got into the Jag to pick her up that was.

It must have been the car. And the inheritance! Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner? Well, I know why; I was thinking about how the long brown hair softly falls down the small of her back and stays perfectly straight as she walks. I was thinking about how she smells when she reaches past me to grab some peanuts at the bar (spring flowers with a light sprinkle of honey). She does this nonchalantly but we both know that she has a little something for me.   

It doesn’t matter though. I got a date with Lisa! And not just a casual ‘hey I got a couple of extra Tiger’s tickets for the Friday night game, want to go with me?’ I have used this one in the past and truth be told the tickets weren’t actually extra. Hell no, I had to pay top dollar in hopes that she would go with me. Sometimes it didn’t work though. I made a mistake the first time I tried this and asked her if she wanted to go to the game, that I had extra tickets. She scooped up the tickets out of my hand, gave me a smooch on the cheek and went to the game with some other guy. I didn’t even know his name. She dated him for a week and that was it. Just another guy that wanted in her pants she said.

The date went super great and I got a full blown kiss when I dropped her off. I was floating on air that evening and I slept like a puppy.

The next day I went into work and, boy-o’-boy does word spread swiftly. The guys wanted to know if I was quitting. They wanted to know if I was moving. They wanted to know when I was taking everyone out ‘Clubbing’.  Well I know their idea of Clubbing and if I really did have all that money, like they thought, I would be half broke after I took all those guys out for a full night of gambling, drinking, and strip clubs. No thanks, none for me.

By the time I got to my work area, I was being summoned to the owner’s office. My first thought was ‘here it comes, I’m being laid off’. This was really just a not so definite way of saying “you’re fired!”

So, I get in the office and the boss has a rather pleasant look on his face. I haven’t seen him give me a look like that since, well, never.

He asked me to sit and closed the door. He was a very professional aging gentleman of about 60 distinguished years. His frame spoke of a busy body with no fat and no real muscle. He was always on the move. He was actually a very nice guy, at least that’s what some of the men say. But perhaps that just because their afraid of getting “laid off”.

He sat across from me and spoke.

“I’ve had my eye on you for some time now Nick,” He said with his hands folded in front of him on the glass table.

“You have Sir?” I asked.

“Yes I have. You have the experience and the leadership qualities I need to run my new operation in Shelby Township,” He told me while boring holes in my skull with his eyes. I could swear that he was trying to look into my very soul with those eyes.

“You want me?” I asked skeptically. “You have many guys that I go to for help with projects that have been doing this for far longer than I have. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered by the offer and all. I just think that you must be putting me on or something. What’s the game here Sir?”

He looked at me as if he were expecting a response such as this. He leaned back into his chair and interlaced his fingers behind his head while looking at the ceiling as he spoke.

“Well, son, you’re in the big house now. I heard that you came into some money and I’m very happy for you. More importantly, though, I don’t want you to go off on your own and be my competition. With a sizeable down payment any bank will float you a loan for an operation such as this one. And you already know more than half of my clients. Hell, you have better relations with them than I do. You have to work directly with them in order to get the project just right. I don’t want to lose you, nor do I want you to go off on your own. You will start by running this facility, while I begin to get Shelby Township up and running. You will get all the benefits you need and a six figure salary. But, you better be willing to work even harder than you have in the past. And no more friends with the workers, got it?”

My head was spinning. I thought I was going to pass out right there. He thought that I came into money and that I would be his competition. What a gas.

What was I to say? How could I go on with this charade any longer? That one simple lie that I told Tim had blown out of proportion. Lisa and now this. It was all too much. I said the only thing that I could think of saying.

“I’m your man, Sir,” I said with a smile that about split my face in two.

“Great, you can take the rest of the day off and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow, Nick.”

Well, Lisa and I got married and I have been running the Shelby location for over a year now. If you haven’t guessed by know, I never did have to claim bankruptcy and my finances are doing very well. The boss introduces me to all his rich friends as they all think that I’m a super rich aristocrat like they are. I’m not super rich, but through their little circles I have been able to get some inside scoops on stock that were cheap and just go higher every day.

Lisa is pregnant. She is fat and happy and so am I. It’s amazing how your life can turn around merely on the basis of how people perceive you. Is it not?













on 7/27/2009 11:39:14 AM
Super Awsome!

thewritekat   thewritekat wrote
on 5/28/2009 1:41:20 PM
I really enjoyed this story of perception shaping reality. I believe it was Ambrose Bierce who said, "You eventually become what you pretend to be." Your story illustrates that concept perfectly. I would have liked to see you expand the story, make it a little bit longer. It's a fun ride.

shakatoah   shakatoah wrote
on 10/28/2008 10:08:46 PM
You have a story-telling gift for certain. I enjoyed your ideas and the uncomplicated way you got them simply made me smile. We can all learn to polish up our grammar and fix the details before sending off to a publisher...but not everyone can tell a darned good story, which is what writing is all about really. Thank you.

Moqui_Takoda   Moqui_Takoda wrote
on 7/29/2008 1:34:37 AM
ya know I really enjoyed this. i also noticed that the only people who anything critical to say, and that was mild, were other writers, but, please note, the non pro type writers liked it just fine ... first off, there is nothing wrong with changes in pov, whatever that is, and there is nothing wrong in tense changes,,, if you don't believe me as some of the greatest writers whoever lived ... grammar and punctuation are not the mark of good writing, tht is the job of an editor, and, furthermore, punctuation has fewer hard rules than it used to ... it is only necessary to clarify or avoid confusion or dangling participals, other than that it is just a lot of crap and don't fall for that stuff. Your writng is loose, fun and seductive and cool. Follow the advice of technicians and you'll have a nice boring textbook or something, see, what happens is that writers tend to want you to write like they do and so they want to sound clever and sophisticated and say something critical ... just for good measure .... Take the words of penname, starpoet, whitlock and aa who are all top notch writers ... the others, well, i just block them because i don't have time for their advice ... i never write bycommittee approval ... if i'm payin 'em they don't need the work, not on my stuff. keep up the good work, my man.

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 7/16/2008 4:02:46 AM
Nice work! I think if you take some of the other's suggestions, you can make a very good story here great!

Short Story
writing RaymondSpringer
Published Author
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Rating: 9.7/10

I updated this so anyone can view it. Sorry for those of you that already read it. Thanks. Raymond E. Springer