Chapter One :Chapter 1

Carla

My phone rang. I glanced at it for a brief second before halting what I was doing. I picked up my phone and answered the call.

“Hello?”

“Hello,” I replied to the person on the other line.

“Carla?” The feeble voice asked me.

“Yes?” I asked not recognizing the person on the other side.

“It’s me, Nina.” The person replied.

Nina. My oldest and longest client. She calls me every now and then to revise her will. She is a woman in her mid 60’s and had been fighting cancer for 4 years now. She is convinced that she will die and calls me once a month. She was one of my first clients, actually. I know her family and they know me. Nina is an amazing woman. She along with her husband, launched one of the biggest companies in the world. They had nothing when they started out and now, the entire world is at their feet. Beckett Inc. is a multinational company that is worth billions. She is my, well, a big shot client.

In recent days, Nina’s cancer has been progressing and she has stopped responding to treatments. She has been calling me every single week since she found out her health has been declining. I go down to her mansion every single week to review her will. She has a son and a daughter, twins actually. Both of them may be a year or two older than me.

“Carla?” She spoke again. I hadn’t realized that I didn’t respond to her.

“Yes, Mrs. Beckett,” I replied.

“Carla I have something important. Can you please visit me today?”

“Sure Mrs. Beckett, I’ll be free…” I said looking through my appointments.

“I’ll be free at five today. We can meet then.” I said.

“Looking forward to it Carla. Goodbye.” She said as she hung up on the call.

Most of the time, there are usually no changes in her will but since she found out her life is coming to an end, she has new heirs every week.

Like last week, she called me down to give her old wooden cabinet to a random girl who helped her load her car during grocery shopping. I didn’t know how to react to it. When I asked Nina the name of the girl, she told that she looked around 13-14 and wore a pink t-shirt and blue jeans. I thought I wasn’t clear and repeated the question to her but the reply I got was, I don’t know.

She asked me to find who that girl was. I had to go down to the grocery shop, she went shopping and pull the security tapes. I hired an investigator to look for the girl. I tried convincing Nina out of it but she didn’t budge. After three days, I found out that the girl lives in a small town right out of the city.

When I told Nina, she asked me to drive down there personally and get the girl to her mansion. I tried to deny but the faith she had in me, didn’t let me. So I drove for three hours and brought her to Nina’s mansion, only for the girl to deny the gift. Since her parents didn’t come back, I had to drop her back at her home.

By the end of that day, I was exhausted. But that wasn’t all. Nina lives alone and she called me in the middle of the night to go and get her some fish and chips. I drove around the city searching for a restaurant that sells fish and chips. As it was late, the majority of the restaurants that sell fish and chips were closed.

After an hour of driving, I found a place where fish and chips were available. I took it to her, only to see she was in deep slumber.

Sometimes, I can’t help feel sympathetic towards her. Her children never come to visit her. In fact, I’ve never seen them. The last I saw them was three years ago. I wonder where they were. What could be so important than your mom’s health?

I used to visit her whenever she had a chemotherapy appointment. Not even a single appointment, either one of them showed up. Nina relied upon me since her husband had passed away a long time ago and she had no one.

I met Nina, in my third month of internship. She was looking for a lawyer and the firm I was working for had one of the best. She was looking for my mentor and after he retired, I took his place and Nina was my client now. It’s been almost 3 years since then.

I always wonder if she even spoke to her children. Are they even aware that their mother is suffering from cancer? In the past three years, I’ve been to Nina’s house all most every single month but no one visited her. No one. I wonder if being successful, makes you lonely. She has three maids and a butler. And I’m the only one who visits her often.

After finishing my work at the office, I decided to get a coffee and head to Nina’s place. I stopped by the local café, that was next to my firm and decided to get a strong coffee. I had too much work today. I didn’t find time to have my lunch and now it’s 4:30 PM so, I decided to settle for a large black coffee. I know it isn’t healthy to skip meals but for me, work comes first. It’s not that I’m a workaholic or anything but it’s just that, I need to work to make ends meet. Living in a city like Chicago with a minimum wage is not enough.

After collecting my coffee, I settled in my car to drive to Nina’s place. It was a little bit far from my firm but she is not one of the clients who would yell and scream at you for being late. She is almost like my mother.

I was listening to music while driving. It’s one of my old habits. I was waiting for the traffic light to turn green. And as soon as it did, I was about to take a right turn and another car came, crashing into mine.

All of it just happened too fast for me to process.

My leg pushed the on the breaks, bringing it to a halt. My heart was beating rapidly against my chest. My hands, which rested on the steering wheel were now, trembling. I inhaled deeply a few times trying to control my rapid breathing.

Everything around me seemed extremely quiet and I could only hear my raging heartbeat. With shaky hands, I lifted my hands of the steering wheel. I slowly moved it towards the seatbelt and released it. No matter how much I tried to stop myself from trembling, it wasn’t happening.

With my trembling hands, I opened the door. I got out but instantly fell down on my knees. Placing my palm on my chest, I tried to control the tears that were threatening to spill. I slowly raised my head to see a few cars, that had probably stopped because of the accident.

Placing my other hand on the ground, I rose to my feet. I looked around to see a few people gossiping while others, were just staring.

I blinked a few times to clear my vision. With slow and steady steps, I walked toward the other car. The one that hit mine. I stood in front of the driver’s side and knocked on the black tinted window. I knew the person was still inside, I could see him through the tinted glass.

“Can you please come out?” I requested politely. We had to clear this. Because of us, so many cars were standing on the road.

Unintentionally we had created a traffic jam.

When I didn’t get any reply, I knocked again, “excuse me?” I said raising my voice. This man was arrogant. He not only hit but refuses to come out as well.

I was about to knock again, but his window rolled down. Before I could open my mouth to say something, he threw some money right at my face and drove away before I could contemplate anything.

I was appalled. This man, not only tried to kill me but also insulted me in front of so many people. If I wasn’t fuming then, I sure was now.

I bent down slowly and picked up the hundred-dollar bills he just threw at my face. I didn’t need his fucking money. I looked around and saw a homeless man sitting by. Without batting my eye, I walked towards him and gave him all of the money.

I had enough money and I didn’t need it. 

I ran towards my car and started the engine before driving off to Nina’s place.

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