01-10-2012, 05:35 PM
Sharon Worth lay on the motel bed, propped up with both pillows, reading a paperback novel. The room was blissfully silent; here, she could read, watch whatever program she wanted on TV, or just nap in peace without having to hear some overenthusiastic sports announcer getting hysterical over a goal, or her husband demanding she tend to his needs, whether it was for food, beer, or help to the bathroom, or her lazy son begging her for a "little loanski". She could go to the bathroom without keeling over from the stench of flatus or having to wipe away the droplets of urine on the toilet seat. She could leave her purse on the desk without fear of waking up to an empty billfold the next day. She could eat nicer meals than canned soup or frozen dinners and not have to clean up afterward. She could live like a decent person, a real person, instead of a drudge. For the first time in her life, Sharon was free.
She set down her book and wondered how long it would take for Casey to get her inheritance. A week? A month? Two months? The probate judge ruled that Casey would receive a quarter of the estate, about one million six hundred thousand something. Well, it wasn't nine million, but it was better than nothing--a lot better, enough to start a new life. At least Casey got something out of the deal, and it didn't seem right to cheat the Piccucci kids out of their grandpa's will, so everything worked out just fine. If they put it in a savings account, at a good rate they could live off the interest without touching the principle. Maybe one of those IRA's or money market accounts they advertised on television would work even better.
The motel she had checked into was a modest affair, reasonably priced at fifty-nine dollars a night for a single, simply furnished but clean and comfortable. Sharon planned to stay there for the weekend until Casey could talk Mr. Springer into letting her stay at his house (Casey could use some help, she thought, what with that big house to take care of), or see if she could find an apartment of her own. Failing either, she could see if she could move in with her sister, Paige, who lived up north in Ely. One thing was for certain: she was not going back to her old life of servitude in her husband's house. She belonged to herself now, and she liked it. No, scratch that--she loved it! Inheritance or no inheritance, she was going to live her own life.
While Sharon Worth was relishing her newfound freedom, her husband, Phil, was sitting in his wheelchair in the living room in front of the television set, still in shock over his wife leaving him two days ago. Benny was out for the evening at some topless bar, leaving him alone with his thoughts. How could she do this to me? he kept asking himself. How could she just abandon me like this? I'm a paraplegic, for chrissakes! I depend on her to take care of me. Just when I needed her most, she up and left me! Why me, Lord? Why does this always happen to me?
As Phil brooded over this latest misfortune, his shock morphed into anger. Self-centered (bleep)! Thinking about her own selfish needs! College classes? She don't need college classes! Hell, I didn't go to college, and I landed a damn good job at the stockyards! And Casey don't need 'em, either--she's just gonna quit when she gets married, anyway, so why throw good money away on a college education? Besides, she's making good money caring for those rich old farts--why bother with training? She's got enough experience already.
Rich old farts? Phil pondered this sudden thought. What about that nine million bucks she inherited? If she was decent enough she'd share it with her family. Is she going to keep the whole bundle for herself? Nah, she ain't like that--she ain't like her mother, that selfish (bleep)! She wouldn't let her old dad go without. She'd been our bread and butter for years; she ain't gonna quit now.
Maybe Casey had been living among her wealthy clients for so long that she had developed a taste of the good life. Maybe she thought that she was too good to be living in this small brown and brick ranch house with a crippled father. Maybe that was why she never told him about the inheritance. Maybe she was like her mother after all. The estate included the mansion the old man had lived in (and died in, by the way, but that was neither here nor there). She'd jump at the chance to live there instead of moving back home--anyone with half a brain would.
Ungrateful little (bleep)! Living it up in that big assed mansion while I'm rotting away here in this dump! Why should she get all the breaks? Why can't I get a break? I've suffered enough in life--I deserve my share of the pie, too!
A grim resolve gripped Phil Worth as his bitterness reached its peak. I'm gonna get some of those millions! he vowed. I'm gonna get my share of that money one way or another! That, or I'll sue both Casey and Sharon for support! Either way, I'm getting what's mine! That'll teach them not to hold out on me! Greedy, selfish (bleeps)!