It was an unusually cold fall day as Jackie waited for the estate agent to arrive. She had forgotten how cold it could get here and was completely unprepared for the frigid temperature. When the agent arrived 10 minutes later, Jackie could barely feel her toes and her fingers were completely numb. She hurried into the estate agent’s car and took control of the thermostat, turning it all the way up.
“Shall we go to the house or the hotel first?
“The house,” Jackie said shivering and rubbing her hands together. “Let’s get it over with.”
When they pulled up to the house a practically inaudible ‘humph’ was heard from Jackie. “This is all that’s left of him? Figures. Never took care of damn thing in his life.” Jackie stepped out of the car and walked towards the steps. She stopped and noticed the tire swing still hanging on the old tree. She smiled a half-smile, turned to the agent, pointed and said, “Will and I had some great times on that old thing.” She continued up the stairs. “By the way have you gotten in touch with him yet?”
“We did and he signed everything over to you.”
“That’s Will for ya. Could never stand up for anything,” she said with a chuckle. “Just as well. No need to prolong the inevitable.”
Jackie reached the top of the steps and pushed open the front door. She frowned up her face. “What the hell is that smell,” she belted. “It smells like somebody died in here.”
“Your father did pass away in the house and he wasn’t found for several weeks.”
Jackie slowly and methodically pushed her way through the debris over to the fireplace. She picked up a box, opened it, tucked it under her arm, turned and headed for the front door. “I’m done here. The demolition crew will be here tomorrow.” She looked at the tire swing. “Tell them to get rid of everything but that.”
After the estate agent dropped her off at the hotel, she took a long hot bath and made several phone calls. One of which was to her brother.
“Hi. I have it. Everything is here. I’m leaving for the airport first thing in the morning, so you’ll have to come pick it up tonight.”
There was a light knock at the door. As she peered through the peephole she saw it was her brother, Will. She opened the door and gave him a long hug and kiss on he cheek. Jackie handed the box to him and he traced the top of it with his fingers, then tucked it under his arm.
“Thanks sis. You’re the best.”
“She’s good. Glad it’s finally over.”
“Yeah. You guys did good.”
“It was all ma. She followed your instructions to the letter and they never suspected.”
“Good. Keep it that way, “Jackie said sternly. “I have some things I need to wrap up at work and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to help you and ma get settled.”
Jackie tuned on her heel, opened the door and gave her big brother a hug before closing the door. She leaned up against the door, took a long deep sigh and looked at her watch before heading to the balcony. As she watched her brother crossing the street, she hoped that everything was over. Once he was out of sight, Jackie picked up the phone, dialed a number and heard an explosion moments later.
“Hello,” the voice on the other end said.
“It’s done,” Jackie said smiling and fingering the box.