Cheryl scrutinised the book cover. her fingers lingered on the laminated picture of a trunk overflowing with faded letters while she reminisced…
18th March 1981
Cheryl was tending to an ailing grandma when her two sisters, Amber and Jade, stormed in the room. “We need to have a private conversation with Ma Matilda.”
“And it’s between FAMILY members only!” Jade emphasised.
Cheryl meekly made her way to the door, she was used to being taunted since she was adopted by Ma Mathilda.
“Granny you are not keeping too well these days, why don’t you rest and take care of your health.”
“Yes, you have toiled enough for the enterprise, now it’s our turn to shoulder some responsibilities.” prodded Amber.
“Are you sure that’s what you want?”
“Yes Granny dear!”, Jade said putting her arms around her.
“But the company is-”
“We will handle it well don’t worry. Here is the will and the power of attorney.”
A week later granny breathed her last and it was also the last day that Cheryl stayed in the house.
“Well you have to find yourself a place to stay. We are the owners of this mansion now.”
“Its okay I don’t need anything. By her grace I could pursue a degree and become a teacher that’s enough for me.”
“Yes all property has been bequeathed to her blood relatives.” Amber said dumping Ma Mathilda’s belongings in a gunny bag.
“Are you throwing away this trunk too? Granny loved it so much!” Cheryl interjected
“Oh why don’t you keep the dust filled scrap then?” she said rummaging through the contents and when she found nothing valuable she shoved it in Cheryl’s direction.
“Yeah sure I’ll take it as a keepsake.”
Back in her rented apartment, Cheryl ran her hands across the sturdy chestnut trunk, it still carried the scent of Ma Taylor’s room. She opened and inside lay bundles of yellowed letters tied with satin ribbons and postcards. There were letters from her late husband who was in the army, and family photographs. Ma Matilda had also preserved the letters Cheryl had sent her from boarding school and hostel. Her eyes moistened, she never had a family but was now heaped with family memories.
A thunderous round of applause broke her reverie, she was being called on the dais for the launching of her book. She delivered an ode to her late grandmother whose trunk of memories had given birth to ‘Letters Beyond Borders’.
She then proceeded to issue signed copies when she was greeted by Ma Taylor’s lawyer.
“I see you’re doing better off compared to your two sisters. You recently got promoted and now a published author.”
“Oh hello Mr. Walter! How are Amber and Jade?”
“Well taking over Mrs. Taylor’s property proved to be a wrong move, they’re still paying off the debt of the mortgaged property.”
“The trunk proved to be a prized chest after all.”
“Of course there’s nothing more precious than treasured memories.”
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