As his only two sons, they had to finally meet at the reading of the will.
“Hey. Are you the… I mean: you must be Richard, right?”
“Yep. You Derick?”
Derick nodded. A rush of anxiety disturbed his skin as he extended a well-groomed hand to Richard, who put sighed as he put his cigarette out to oblige the gesture, squeezing the hand firm with his calloused fingers, which bore nails that were dark with grime and soil. Derick wanted to wipe his hand on something but refused to compromise the integrity of his suit. As a secondary thought, he realized this would also be rude. Richard had the same thought, and carried out this action on his denim jacket.
“Well,” said Derick. “When your mother arrives, we can all head inside and get this over with.
“She won’t be makin’ it today.”
“Oh, why’s that?”
“Oh… none of us had realized that.”
“I noticed that in the letter.”
Silence seemed to raise the volume of the sounds of the street.
“I’m sorry to hear of her passing,” Derick felt obligated to say.
“Don’t sweat it. Your mama still kickin’?” Richard snorted and spit in the street.
“Yes. Thankfully, she hasn’t gone to Heaven yet.”
Richard smirked and said, “If my old lady’s in Heaven, she’s raising hell.”
Derick tried to smile, but his face looked pained.
“Uh, shall we..?” Derick opened the door for Richard.
“Thank god,” Richard said, as he walked through the door. “For a second there, I thought you were gonna ask me to dance.”
Inside the board room were a number of seats all filled with facsimiles of Derick, making Richard the obvious sore thumb. Derick introduced Richard to his mother and few other relatives, who all smiled and shook his hand, employing extreme hesitance every second of the interaction. Derick eventually gestured to an open seat, hoping Richard would sit, meaning the proceedings could start.
“Prefer to stand.” Richard moseyed over to the far wall and leaned against it, folding his arms.
“Thank you all for coming,” an elder gentleman behind the only desk in the room placed ovular reading glasses on the bridge of his nose and began to read from a large stack of papers. Many items and deeds were issued over the course of an hour. “Finally, the controlling interest of Brickman Industries will be left to his first son, Richard.”
Gasps filled the room. Derick clenched his teeth as his heart made their beats known, and he looked to Richard, who was cocking an eyebrow, mouth agape.
“There is, of course, a stipulation to this. Should, over the course of the next year, the company’s stock fall enough to break the company’s record low of the last five years, controlling interest shall be revoked and awarded to Derick.”
Another round of gasps came – more gentle, relieved ones.
Richard and Derick shared a bitter line of eye contact, and the fact of the situation came to light: they would finally know brotherly rivalry.
The elder gentleman cleared his throat with intention and the attention of the room returned to him. “Additionally: once this trial period is over, Richard and Derick shall share the movie rights for this ridiculous premise, should they choose to sell.”