“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”
Margo Blair hurried up the steps to the law offices of Carlson, Jennings and Wade. The reading of the will was scheduled for three o’clock. Glancing down at her watch, Margo saw that she was twenty minutes late.
In the reception area, a plump, white-haired woman greeted her then quickly escorted Margo down a long, plushly-carpeted hallway. As thigh contacted thigh, the sound generated by the older woman’s nylons became a mesmerizing rhythm for Margo’s thoughts—thoughts of a marriage recently ended by her husband’s death, making her a widow at the age of forty-five. His passing had left her wishing that things could have been different, that, maybe he could have changed for her, or she for him. Accepting his many liaisons had been the only bargaining chip on Kevin’s table. Margo had refused to play.
Today, she longed to be a grieving widow, to have adored the husband she’d just lost. Instead, Margo felt only pity for a man who had lived and died without ever knowing how to love.
She thought back to that day in 1986 when Kevin moved out of the house, and how, over the last three years, on his occasional visits, there had been a pseudo politeness between them, each masquerading in a disguise of, “I really do give a damn.”
Now he was gone. It was a sudden death. “Cardio infarction,” her husband’s best friend had told her.
Margo’s thoughts were interrupted when she was ushered into the lawyer’s office. The receptionist turned, retracing her steps back down the hall, her pace that of Alice in Wonderland’s pocket watch rabbit, her stockings singing their swishing refrain.
Peter Carlson’s office was lavishly decorated. A room heavy with polished mahogany and bound leather. “Sorry I’m late, Peter, but . . .” Margo stopped mid-sentence, her gaze resting on a woman seated before the attorney’s massive desk.
The lawyer stood up. Pulling a handkerchief from his pocket, he wiped beads of perspiration from his forehead, moisture that persisted in spite of the air conditioning. “Don’t worry about it, Margo. Downtown traffic seems to be getting heavier every week. Jennifer preferred to wait here in my office rather than in the reception area. We were just having a cup of coffee. Would you like one?”
For some reason the attorney couldn’t look at Margo. Instead, his eyes stared down at his shoes as if seeing them for the first time.
“No, thanks, Peter, I’m fine.” I’d be a whole lot finer if the Ice Queen wasn’t sitting in that chair. What is she doing here?
Jennifer Austin, Kevin’s office manager, had always struck Margo as a frigid, uncaring woman. The word “bitch” came to mind.
After a beat of nervous hesitation, and wondering where the stupid, insincere words came from, Margo blurted, “Hi, Jennifer, it’s nice to see you again.”
Ignoring the greeting, Jennifer addressed the lawyer. “Can we get on with this, please?”
With confusion, like dense fog, still lingering in the air, Margo walked over and settled into a leather chair.
“All right, let’s proceed.” For a moment, Peter looked down at the legal document on his desk. Then, hesitantly and with trembling hands, he picked it up. “We’re gathered here today to read the Last Will and Testament of Kevin Christopher Blair.”
To my wife, Margo Anne Blair, I leave our Victorian mansion, my wedding
gift to her, located at 1532 Benetone Lane, Portland, Oregon,
and all of the contents therein, plus the sum of fifty thousand dollars.
I leave the residue of my estate which includes my medical
practice, The Blair Center for Plastic Surgery, and my stock portfolio
in the sum of fourteen million seven hundred thousand dollars to Jennifer
Margo’s ears rang like the aftermath of a Chinese firecracker that had been set off somewhere too close. The name Austin—Austin—Austin—repeated itself over and over in her head—louder, even, than the incessant ringing.
Slowly uncrossing her shapely legs, Jennifer rose and sauntered toward the door.
Peter motioned for her to sit back down. “Wait, will you please? We aren’t finished yet.”
To Margo, the attorney’s words sounded far away—a fading echo.
Somewhere inside the echo, she heard Jennifer’s reply, “I’m done for today, Peter, I heard what I needed to. I’ll be back another time for all my goodies.” Resting her fingers on the brass doorknob, she turned. A malicious smile of obvious triumph stretched across her face as she purred, “Oh, and it’s nice to see you again, too, Margo.”
The heavy, mahogany door ushered out not only the patently spiteful woman, but also twenty-five years of Margo’s life.
"The common thread woven throughout MARGO is LOVE. The characters came alive to me
as I turned each page. I found myself rooting for Margo, loving Jeffrey and Kate,
and hating Kevin. Victoria intrigued me and I wanted to know more about Aunt Julia.
Almost every chapter offered up a complete surprise that I didn't see coming....and
I love it when a book can do that! Life is never perfect but the message that I got
from reading MARGO is that the universe will put people in your life for a reason...
and it's up to us to open our hearts up enough to figure out why." ~Susi Coco (Amazon.Com)
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