I walked through the headstones towards Dad's car. It was my car now after that accident. I was walking away from the double funeral for Mark and Carol Arrowstone. It was less than a week ago that I had come home to the cops sitting in my driveway to tell me that Mom and Dad had been in a car accident. The drunk driver that hit them was dead too.
Standing next to the car was Mike Larter, Dad's lawyer. He was handling the reading of the will and the distribution of my parent's assets. I knew we didn't have much. Both cars were paid for, even if one was totaled. The house was rented so I wasn't sure what would be done there. I thought Grandpa Joe had left me something way back when he passed, but I wasn't sure what. The reading of the will was to be done later today.
"How are you holding up, son?" Mike's voice was gentle and full of concern. Dad had known Mike for fifteen years now and he was like an Uncle to me.
"Well, all things considered I am doing OK. It is still a shock that they are gone. I mean I was used to them being gone on business for days at a time, but I always knew they would come back. Now ... Now they will never come home again." I choked on those last words, catching myself before I started crying again.
"Come on. Let us just go to my office and we can get the reading over with now instead of later. We will get everything settled so you can start rebuilding your life. Are you still going to college after graduation?" He went around the car to climb into the passenger side.
I slid into the driver's seat, closed the door, buckled up and started the car before answering Mike. "I want to. You know how Mom and Dad were on education. I feel I would be letting them down if I didn't go. I am still not sure what major I will take though." I drove slowly out of the cemetery, not looking back at the now deserted gravesite.
The ride the Mike's office was silent but not strained. My mind wandered, jumping from the last time I saw my parents to the last session at the dojo. I thought about going tomorrow and do a meditation routine, I was pretty sure that would be what Sensei would order anyway.
I was something of a loner, but not by choice. With Dad's military career we moved a lot, not really settling down in one place long enough for me to make many friends. Girlfriends were completely out of the question. I would finally work up the courage to ask a girl out and it was time to pack up again. We had been here for two years now; one of the longest stints yet. Most of my hobbies revolved around a lack of friends. I studied Tae Kwon Do, read at lot of sci-fi and fantasy stories and surfed the net for porn to jack off to. I have been reading online erotic stories almost since I first learned that pulling on my dick felt good. Thanks to a very sexual girl I wasn't a virgin. One night of almost non-stop fun then I found out we were moving the next day. She had been my first and only. We pulled into the parking lot of Mike's office.
We still didn't talk as we went from the car to conference room where the reading would be done. There were two men waiting for us. Mike nodded at them and then took a seat at the table; no introductions were made. He picked up a folder waiting for me to sit down.
"Well, Jacob. I am not going to sugar coat it. At this point the only thing really going for you is that your 18th birthday was last month. That way you do not have to be a ward of the state and can take full control of all assets owned." He then proceeded to list all the assets in question. Between a life insurance policy and a college trust fund I had ninety-five thousand in the bank, the car outside, and all the things in the house. The house was paid until the end of the month, but the owner's would not rent to me. It was a military setup so I didn't really expect them too. Throughout the entire process the two mystery men had sat quietly watching. When Mike finished, the older of the two leaned forward.
"Mr. Arrowstone, my name is Jason Kirk. I was your grandfather's attorney. I am here to read the portion of his will that pertains to you."
"Grandpa Joe died several months ago, why are you doing this now?"
"The stipulations of Mr. Rooks' will were that you must be twenty-one but with the death of your parents you are now on your own." He opened the folder in front of him. "Your grandfather's grandfather built a cattle ranch in West Texas. He worked it up to a profitable spread. Then his son took over and expanded even more. By the time Joseph was born the family owned over a hundred thousand acres with tens of thousands head of cattle annually. When your grandfather's brother passed away he sold the ranch and moved to a house in Northeast Texas. He left that house, all of its contents and all of his wealth to you with only two stipulations."
"What are the stipulations?" I asked. I had not known that Grandpa Joe was rich, but I did know about the house in Texas. We had visited once or twice when I was much younger.
"Joseph's will states that if you do not choose to live in the house, you only get a percentage of the inheritance, with the bulk of it going to maintain the house to pass on to your offspring. The second one is that if you do take the house you must sign an agreement to never have the house demolished or completely rebuilt. You may add on to it but you may not change the core building."
"I knew Grandpa Joe loved that house, but not that much. Do you know why he doesn't want it changed or destroyed?"
"Well it was your grandmother's family home then when she passed away giving birth to your mother he kept it almost as a shrine to her."
Yeah, that sounded like Grandpa Joe. Mom always called him the last true southern gentleman and tried to instill the same manners and attitudes in me. She succeeded for the most part. I was always kind and courteous to the ladies, just never confident. I thought about moving to Texas. I had been born there, closer to Houston than Grandpa Joe's house, but never spent much time living there. With no house here, a paid for house there, it didn't really seem like that difficult of a choice. I didn't have any friends here, no further ties to this place. Plus Texas would be a permanent house, a place to start new. I couldn't pass that up, but I had a habit of always studying anything from multiple angles to find the entire story. I turned to the other guy who had remained silent this entire time.
"So, who are you and what is your business here?"
"I am just an impartial witness to both readings, nothing more. This is my office, I am loaning it to both gentleman since their practice is out of state." I knew Mike worked out of San Diego so that made sense.
I sat there and thought about it for some time. There was no reason not to take the house. Even if it was in some poedunk town it was still a house; a permanent residence. Decision made, I started the process to take control of the house and Grandpa Joe's wealth. I also made arrangements to have the money moved to an account I would set up at the new town. After the meeting I just went home.
Once there I started making calls to get my stuff moved to my new house. I looked over the paperwork Mr. Kirk gave me. It was a modest two story house with three bedrooms and two baths sitting on about five acres of land. The map provided showed that it was about three miles outside of the nearest town and that town was twenty miles northeast of Nacogdoches. After researching the area I found that Stephen F. Austin State University and a small town college called Panola were both within an hour's drive from my new house. Both offered a wide variety of courses, but Panola offered a study course for Tae Kwon Do. It would take some more study. Both looked like good colleges but I still didn't know what I wanted to major in. SFA offered an undecided major that was just all the basic classes most degrees needed for the first year, but I could not find a good dojo in the area. I held a red belt but was close to testing for black. Each sensei was different, so every time I moved it messed up my advancement. By this time it was getting late, I made a simple supper and turned in.
Monday morning came early, I still had two weeks of my senior year to do and my bereavement days were up; so back to school. I won't detail those last days because none of it mattered. After graduation I finished up the arrangements to get all my stuff to Texas. I still hadn't decided on SFA or Panola or just doing online classes. I had been in contact with Jake the caretaker hired to maintain the place. Grandpa Joe had a computer setup with high speed internet.
It took me two days to drive down there. With the GPS navigator I was able to get to Garrison. The caretaker's directions lead me right to the front door. Mr. Kirk was sitting on the front porch with another guy, obviously waiting for me. Mr. Kirk introduced the new guy as Jake the caretaker. Jake pulled out a ring of keys and led us inside the house. It was a typical setup; living room on the right, dining room on the left, kitchen behind the dining room, a den/office/library behind the living room with the downstairs bathroom in between. Upstairs was the bedrooms. The master bedroom took up one end of the house and the other end was split between the other two rooms. The master bedroom also had the master bath. It looked like it had been recently renovated, with a large multi-head shower and a whirlpool type tub big enough to hold six people. The master bath kind of surprised me because of Grandpa Joe's stipulation to not change the house.
.... There is more of this story ...