We were back in the home we grew up in, Philadelphia, having arrived there from the funeral of our parents, Henry and Mary Noble.
It really was a tragic accident, when a private plane attempted to use a stretch of highway to make an emergency landing.
Apparently they made a perfect three-point landing but they couldn’t slow down before running into an overpass that our parents were traveling over. A large piece of wing broke off and hit them broadside so hard the car was knocked off the bridge and they were killed instantly.
The five of us kids, with the help of the family lawyer got an $11 million settlement which we have split five ways.
Now we are back in the house we all grew up in not having been there for quite a while.
My name is Henry, actually Henry Junior, but I had thought of dropping the Junior since the accident.
I am thirty years old with a younger brother named Robert and three younger sisters named Linda, Lois and Luanne.
Luanne never liked her name much and quickly asked us all to call her Lulu when we all were very young.
That all happened long ago and we never called her that in front of our parents not wanting to hurt their feelings.
Robert, Linda and Lois all came in from out of town leaving their spouses and kids back home.
I still lived in Philadelphia as did Lulu. I had a few girlfriends along the way but none of them lasted more than six months. Lulu, being only twenty-three, never had a lasting relationship of any duration, but she is still very young.
As sad as the moment was, I was asked to lead the discussion about what we do with the house!
Everyone except Lulu and I wanted to sell the house and split the money. They all thought that was the easiest thing to do.
“Do you all need the money so bad that you’re willing to give up the home we all grew up in?” Our little sister said breaking back into tears again.
Robert said, “All we want is what is fair, Lulu!”
I moved over to sit next to Lulu and gave her a big hug. Her crying got loud and intense.
To the rest of them, I said, “Why don’t you guys head on home and Lulu and I will go find out who gets what from the visit with their lawyer and find out about their last will and testament.
They silently agree, with everybody standing, hugging everybody else and leaving to their homes and own families, in New York, (Robert, 28), Chicago, (Linda 27) and Charleston (Lois, 25).
I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket to help Lulu wipe her eyes clear of tears.
When she doesn’t have her make up running down her face, she is a rather pretty brunette with blue eyes. She looks more like mom then Lois or Linda.
“I think you need to powder your nose,” I said giving her a kiss on the tip of it.
She actually giggled a little, got up with her purse and wandered into the downstairs bathroom.
I was wondering what dad had to give in his will. That was a subject that he would not talk about even to his oldest son. Henry and Mary started their family later than most, he was forty-two when I was born, and they were both seventy-two when the fatal accident had occurred!
Lulu came back in the room looking much better. Despite being seven years my junior her beauty has always had a deleterious effect on me!
“Now, there is the pretty sister I remember,” which made her blush and giggle.
She ran to me and gave me another big hug then said, “Henry, if we don’t have to sell the house, would it be OK with you if I moved back in and stayed in my own room like back in the olden days?”
“It wasn’t that long ago my dear,” I said to her with my arms still around her. “You only moved out when you were eighteen and I remember you saying that you never wanted to come back to this house again. Anyhow this place is so big why would you want to live all by yourself in it?”
“Why don’t you move back here with me, big brother?” she said turning on her considerable charm!
“I like where I live,” I answered as assertively as I could without upsetting her.
“Please, I would cook for you ... I know how much you hate having to cook for yourself!” She wasn’t backing off.
“Let me think about it. The house may have to be sold depending on the status of any tax liens or any other reason. I promise I will give it serious thought ... is that good enough for you?”
Instead of answering me she got on her tippy toes and gave me a kiss.
I’m six foot four, she’s five foot four, in heels!
Three days later, the two of us went to the lawyers’ office for the Reading of the Will.
The lawyer, Mr. Christian Langford, after explaining our fathers entire work history explained that
dad was part of the bunch of guys who worked at Bic in Connecticut, where they had established the USA offices and manufacturing.
Henry and his team way back before it was popular dabbled in plastic particularly translucent plastic to make disposable lighters.
While the company was focusing on working on breakthroughs in ink flow in their line of pens, dad and the five other guys were given the go-ahead to proceed with what they were doing.
Fast forward to today Bic and Zippo have over 85% of the market!
We only knew dad as a businessman who could make any deal with anybody. Who knew what he was into before we were born? I tried to ask him, but he blew me off, saying it was none of my business.
I remember one time, back when I was ... sixteen and Robert was fourteen, we walked up to our father and I asked him if we could go to work for him to make money during the summer.
Without stopping his pouring over the newspaper, he said, “Fathers who give their children a job, are setting them up for failure. Find something you enjoy, learn all you can about it, and make as much money as you can as quickly as you can. That’s been my motto since before I was your age, boys.”
After that revelation Mr. Langford handed Lulu and myself an envelope with our names on it in what I recognized as my mother’s handwriting.
After playing a game of ‘you first, no you first, ‘ my little sister opened envelope ... And screamed very loudly!
Unable to verbalize herself to me, I looked at the check and it was for $213,577,445!
I hurriedly opened mine for a check for the exact same amount. I told the lawyer that our sisters and brother left town to get back to their families.
He put their envelopes in his pocket explaining he would mail them immediately.
We both got up and started to leave when we were asked to please sit down.
“There is one more thing,” Mr. Langford said:
“In the manner of the home on 4451 Magma Drive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, only those of my issue who are at the reading of this document are to hear this!”
He paused, we looked at each other, and I said to him, “Please proceed?”
“While I considered asking for the home to be sold and the money to be given to any remaining issue, I changed my mind. To those who are listening to this you have two options:
Come back and live in the house, or remove everything from it and have it destroyed!
“Can he do that?” Lulu asked.
“It is a common request of people of a certain age and era,” Mr. Langford said. “Here are all the keys!”
Luanne snatched them from his hand!
‘Boy oh boy will our siblings be pissed!’ I thought to myself.
Except for their three checks, we also got all of the documentation to make our choice with.
“Is that it?” I asked him.
“Were you expecting more?” he responded with a slight snicker in his tone.
Lulu was shaking in her chair.
“Take me back to the house please?” she asked.
“I guess we are finished. Thank you for everything,” I said taking her purse from her and putting her in my car.
“Are you OK?” I asked her.
“I think so.”
She handed me her check while trying to calm herself down.
On the drive home she let out a screeching yell and then said, “I need something to eat, please!”
“Drive-through or sit down?” I asked her.
“Drive-through please, Henry!”
I came across an In-N-Out Burger, which I remembered she liked. I ordered us some food at the first window then I felt her hand on my lap.
I reacted to that unfortunately and she started rubbing getting me even harder.
I paid for the food and she said please park so we can eat it without worrying! Her hand had moved and was now firmly gripping my full erection.
“Don’t you like that, Big Brother?”
I put the food in between us which made her hand move away.