Inspirational American Christian

Gilbert was an industrialist, who owned numerous industries across the country. He worked hard in his youth, as he never wanted to die in destitution. However he was affluent in his youth, as was a descendant of a rich father. But, he toiled relentlessly to maintain the name and fame and was able to hold up to his father's name and fame.

  He was a family of six, including his wife- Emily, his sons Ivan, Riley and Dan. He had a sweet daughter - Emma, all of them were grown up. His sons were looking after the business quite proficiently. Since all of them were, nearly the same age were always at loggerheads with each other. Gilbert had to intervene quite often to resolve their differences. Gilbert though quite unhappy with their differences, thought it to be an issue related to young age and never took it seriously.  

 Ivan was elder of them all, was a bit too flamboyant, in his designs. Then was Riley who was a father's boy and obeyed his father to the extreme. Dan didn't have much to do with the office, as he and his sister Emma, were completing their degree in electronics. Emily was a homemaker and sometimes would like to go shopping with her daughter. Time was passing by in it's stride, and their business kept multiplying as the father the son duo devoted full time to it. 

 Ivan was a party animal, and he liked late nights and hanging out with his friends. He was also a social drinker. He had hobbies which were too expensive and a normal being would aghast at. He normally didn't like his father's simple and down to earth living. They all, were not very appreciative of Ivan's habits as he had some spoilt brats as his friend. He was such a nuts that he din't even felt bad insulting his father and brothers openly. 

 Though Gilbert was a billionaire, his behavior and mannerisms were too modest. As he grew from the scratch, he behaved well socially. So were his entire family excluding Ivans, as he had some kind of wrong signals being imparted from his spoilt friends. They always coached him to ask for his share and go independent. Ivans initially didn't pay much heed to these futile talks. But after some time, on continually hearing it from his friends, thought it wise to be 'independent', i.e. to part from rest of his family.

The family members were unaware of his designs. One fine morning Ivans while on the breakfast table expressed his ugly intentions to his father. He demanded division of Gilbert's business and thus his share. Ivan's mother got furious at this and cried out at the top of her voice. She reminded Ivan's of his father's obligations on him and the love and affection that his brothers and sister had towards him. Surprisingly, Ivans turned deaf ears to his mother and abruptly stood up and walked away. A week passed by after this incident, most of them forgot about the happening.

    Gilbert was in the office that morning, he received certain letters by post from the peon. One of the posts was from Ivan's attorney that was addressed to him, with the heading- "Legal Notice". Gilbert who was alone in his office that time, sulked and tears broke down his eyes. He closed his eyes and prayed for the unification of his family. His dreams of keeping his business consolidated was frittering away.

    The very next day, Ivans appeared in his father's office with his attorney and repeated the points mentioned in the notice. Gilbert was ready this time, he called Riley, and he showed up with their family lawyer, who handed over an envelope which consisted of some documents. The family lawyer asked them to reply those debts first, then ask for partition. He quoted the time-frame to file the reply, which was two weeks. Ivans with his attorney stood up and abruptly walked out stating shrewdly, that they would come back with the reply. 

     Gilbert discussed with Riley and the family lawyer about the contents in the envelope. He was informed that, Ivans was in the habit of taking loans from various banks and this he did on the basis of the business. The loans amounted to 10 million dollars, that were concomitantly on the joint business. This was alarming as Gilbert never knew about this, it was Riley who pulled up the records with the help of the family lawyer. This move was a 'tit for tat' for Ivans, now he had to explain as to where and what purpose, did he spend the loan amount. 

   Gradually the days passed by and more than 2 weeks time had gone by now. They didn't hear anything from Ivans till now. Now nearly a month passed by, Riley came in a candid meeting with his father and discussed about what was to be done further? They finally reached to a conclusion that since it was not a timid issue and the contention that Ivans had given rise to should be nipped in the bud. 

  They set forth for a reminder for their notice that they already sent. This time their reminder stated that if the reminder wasn't replied well within time, it would further incite litigation in the court of law. Days passed by, and after about one week, Ivans was seen in the office alone and surprisingly, in a casual look. Riley, his father and the family lawyer were all present there. His tone was very low, and was submissive and seemed sorry for all, that happened. 

  He wanted to talk to his father in person, Gilbert with a slight nod of his head asked Riley and his family lawyer to leave, they left soon. Ivans bowed down at his father's knees and started weeping badly, there was truth in his voice, which Gilbert could easily sense being his father. Gilbert only wanted the answer to a simple question and that was, where did he spend all the money. 

  Now Ivans started to reveal that sometimes back, he with his spoilt friends got into the habit of visiting casino. They visited the casino in Las Vegas and since Ivans was not that dexterous in gambling, he lost that much money slowly. It was his bad friends who coaxed him to ask for partition, so that they could carry on with their gambling business. Ivans once again apologized and promised never to repeat such an act again. Gilbert held his hands and patted his back, he was happy that he told him the truth. 

  Gilbert asked Ivans to be at the dinner table tonight. Ivans nodded in affirmation and left. Finally in the evening everyone was sitting at the dinner table and Ivans thought it wise to reveal every secret on his own. Every member of the family was initially perplexed but ultimately quite happy to learn that, ' It is never too late to mend'. 

  Now, each and every family member was elated upon learning that the question of 'family partition was over', and that they stay consolidated and intact. It is rightly said' United we stand and divided we fall'.

June 11, 2021 16:43

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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