We will adjourn for the day and deliberate again tomorrow morning at 10 AM. DInner will be ready in half an hour.
The four of them stood up, stretched and moved to their respective rooms.
Day 3 of discussions had ended. Family partition, the topic of discussion was like a lecture till Day 2. The eldest one lectured and the others nodded in agreement.
Day 3 was different; the last item to be partitioned, the rambling old house where the discussions were held now. It’s sturdy wooden pillars with carvings withstood all the heated arguments, exasperations, denials and dejections of the day
He slowly climbed the narrow steps to the attic above the staircase and gently lifted the door up like that of a box. It creaked open and welcomed him into that familiar place where now dust and cobwebs were amicably residing together.
He moved towards the bookshelf, took a book, dusted it on the table and leafed through it. That familiar scrawl in the first page in green link seemed to look at him affectionately. His father’s signature. The other pages too had some paragraphs side marked in green, good phrases and eloquent words underlined in green. His father used to mark all the books he read.
His searching hands inside the table ended on the monopoly board which was now faded and covered in dust. He took the board and one of the books and climbed down the stairs.
His three siblings were coming in for dinner when they saw him coming down the staircase.
What is that in your hand? His brother was the first one to ask.
He tilted the monopoly board slightly to show them. Our old monopoly board! His eldest brother was quite surprised to see that it was still intact though faded.
As all of them sat down for dinner his sister laughingly remarked. ” Remember how he used to be a spoilsport always while playing monopoly. He would hold one blue place the costliest, all his other acquisitions mortgaged and would never sell the blue place to anyone whatever you offer him.” And then elder brother would upturn the board, fling the cash in his hand and storm away”. All of them laughed over the memory and retired to their rooms.
This elder brother stopped him at the door of his room and advised. ” I know you are very much attached to this place but think practically”.
Sleep eluded him that night as he sat down to read the book taken from the attic. He could hear his father’s voice discussing the nuances, the vocabulary and everything about the book. As he finished the book, he once more opened the monopoly board. The blue place now faded to a grey hue looked at him.
He could not afford to buy out the house and pay off his siblings . The blue place had to be sold off for the game to continue. He was not a spoilsport any more.
He the youngest of the lot had been the more sentimental sensitive and sensible of the four. He accepted the reality.