The premise for a family argument is blown. Now what?
“What do you mean?” Talia asked, her eyes fixed on the ring glistening on the attorney’s desk.
He leaned forward, steepling his hands. “I mean this ‘antique diamond ring’ that you two have been fighting over is a fake.” He pushed a paper across his desk. “The report came back this morning.”
Tamara grabbed the report, scanning it. She snorted as her eyes reached the end of the report. “So it’s all been for nothing.”
The attorney shrugged. “My official recommendation is that you authorize me to close the estate and distribute it as outlined in your mother’s will. The grounds for contesting the estate are invalid if the ring’s fake. It’s worthless, so it doesn’t matter who takes it. ”
Tamara threw the report on the attorney’s desk and snorted. “Fine.”
He looked at Talia. Talia slumped in her seat.
“It’s all been for nothing.”
The attorney raised his eyebrow. “Meaning?”
“I’m dropping the case. Close the estate.”
He pulled a card out of his desk drawer and pushed it across his desk. “My unofficial recommendation is that you have bigger problems than a ring. You need to see a grief counselor, together preferably but apart if necessary.” He leaned back. “That’s the name of a childhood friend of mine who specializes in grief and family issues.”
Talia turned to her sister sitting next to her, studying Tamara’s ramrod posture. “I’m sorry, Tamara. It shouldn’t have come to this. Maybe we should see that counselor. He’s right. We need to start over, and I’d like to do it together.”
Tamara rose from her chair abruptly. “One thing I’ve learned is that I’m better off without you. Take the ring, and have a nice life.”
“Tamara! I said I’m sorry!” Talia said.
Tamara’s eyes flared as she stared at her sister. “I’m too smart for that, Talia. I know that apology is as fake as the ring on that desk. I’m better off on my own.”
Talia slumped in the chair as her sister slammed the office door. They heard a brief murmur from the receptionist before the front door to slammed seconds later. She blew out a sigh, taking the ring and holding it up to the light. “It was all for nothing.”
The attorney looked at her sympathetically. “I’ll take care of the estate. The rest is up to you. What will you do?”
She dropped the ring and card in her own purse and stood shakily. “I guess I’m doing this alone, too.”
Word Count: 421