As we walked into the ceremony, the villa looked more fit for a wedding, not a funeral. The purple flowered floor caught my eye as I took my family’s seat in the front row. The bright light shone on the sign that read: in loving memory of DeLoris Margaret Ashman- Johnson- Quinn- Gilmore- Lewis- Sawyer- Sparks- Hudson- Lopez- Webster. Not surprised Gammy used all 9 husbands names.
My mom had planned the funeral to my grandmother’s liking. She had always been the favorite. My grandma knew her liver cancer was fatal, so she wrote all her funeral requests down to the 10th cent, and gave the list to my mother. My mom’s brother and sisters didn’t care very much; Gammy had always been bitter toward them. She didn’t like Aunt Jessi because she got divorced and remarried Spanish, She didn’t like Uncle Colton because he married Spanish, and she didn’t like Aunt Julia because she let her son play football. But my mom, ‘Colleen the miracle baby,’ was, in my grandma’s opinion, the only child worth anything. My mom was born last, and was a relief after all Gammy’s other kids had been ‘flops.’
Me and all my cousins are still tight, despite our parent’s tension. Aunt Jessi and Aunt Julia were always close, and my mom was close with Uncle Colton, but the duos never mixed. Luckily, we were all close, but the duos kids are especially close. Me and Skylar were close with Lizzy, Uncle C’s daughter, and Malachi and Emily, Julia's kids, were close with Miguel and Barrett, who are aunt Jess’s kids. Emily always wanted to follow Elizabeth around since she’s really popular, but Aunt Julia thought that Liz is a spoiled brat, so she prevents it as much as possible.
So, my family sat in the front, andnext was Aunt Julia and her family, Then Uncle Colton, then all of Gammy’s ‘friends’ from the country club. Alllllllll the way in the back pew was Auntie Jessi and her family. Gammy never really liked her at all, but Aunt Jess learned to live with not being loved by ‘that soulless witch we call grandmother.’ The service was pretty and long, but everyone ‘had to go somewhere’ after the funeral.
So, Gammy like, died or whatever, so we had to go to her little funeral or whatever. It was sad or whatever, but no one really cried cause she wasn’t like, the nicest person or whatever. Eventually it was over and I got my phone back, and everyone went back to Uncle C’s or whatever. Naturally, we all separated in the living room, the older two with theirs and the younger two with their own. We all sat and tried to find good memories with Gammy, but all the pictures were like, of her. Aunt Jess had enough of remembering Gammy’s prime years of husband searching and like, left the after party.
Finally after like, three days or something we all went to the law office to like, divide all grandma’s dead husbands’ money, so it was like, super fun or whatever. My mom got the house, 6 out of the 9 cars, and $575,000 of the $1,000,000 she left. Aunt Julia got the beach house, a car, and $141,000. Uncle C got the winter vacation home, a car, and $141,000. Last, and in grandma’s eyes the least, Aunt Jess got some of the furniture grandma left in the mansion we got, a car, and $95,000. The remaining $45,000 went to a charity for whales or something. Grandma also left my mom all of her jewelry. I was glad we got a lot, but I was kinda like weirded out that grandma gave us so much more or whatever.
The next week, we went to like, collect all of our earnings, and we planned to move in to the mansion next month. Aunt Jess couldn’t make it, cause Emily had a talent show, but when we got there, the distributor said that our close cousin already got all Gammy left and would give it to us. That couldn’t be possible, because Gammy was an only child. My mom didn't have any like, cousins. It was weird, so my aunts and uncles hired a detective and a lawyer . . . or whatever.
As soon as the dealer said a cousin came and collected, I knew someone had stolen it. That is also probably a violation of some sort. I mean, who gives out a fortune to the wrong person? I asked the dealer, and he replied with, “oh, probably just the other dealer’s mistake. I’ll give you his number if you wanna call him and figure this out.”
“That would be great, thanks,” My mother replied impatiently. I had a confused look on my face as my mother took the sticky note with the number on it and exited the building. We waited 10 days to hear back from the investigator, but she did’t find any clues, and there were surprisingly no cameras in a storage center full of valuable things. I was fed up with not getting my new room, so I started digging. I took a hacking class online over the summer, so I knew a few tricks. I looked into their incoming reservations and outgoing pickups over the last 20 days, and found that order 100253 in locker 28, (our locker,) was put in on February 18, and taken out February 24. Today was March 7. The person registered in the system was under the name of ‘Jennifer Sawyer-Hartman.’ More than one last name, reminds me of my grandma. I looked on the internet for people that lived in our city, Haddonfield, New Jersey, but no one was there. Then, after an hour of searching, I noticed her first last name: Sawyer. That was one of grandma’s husband’s last names, and I was pretty sure Timmy had a couple daughters. I was getting in my car to go talk to Mr. Tim when Skylar came outside, running after her boyfriend.
“If you leave right now you're not coming back!”
“That's kinda the point!” Brad hopped in his Lambo, slammed the door, and sped off, and you could hear the anger in his tires.
I never liked Brad.
I needed to get my mind off things. Like, now. “Where you going, Ty?”
“Going to chat with one of grandma’s ex-husbands. I think his daughter took all our inheritance.”
“Ooooo! Sounds fun! Can I come?” Before he could answer, I was already in his car and had plugged my phone into the aux cord. He sighed, and backed out of the driveway. I had a feeling that this would be one of the last times that we’d drive out of those blasted suburbs.
When we got to Tim, or as we called him, Stu’s, we learned that he had moved to the estate across the lake with 3,500 more square feet and the golf course or whatever. That’s so Stu of him. We drove up the the gate, and the security guard said, “valid identification and reason for confronting Mr. Sawyer please,”
“Um, we’re his grandchildren.” Tyler chuckled at the intense security.
“Oh. Sorry. Go ahead.” He pushed a button, and the gate opened. He seemed surprised that Stu was getting a visitor. Guess he’s always business.
He opened the door, and had a confused look on his face. “Who are you?” His thick New York accent was very prominent, as his gut stuck out of his too tight button-up shirt. His gray mustache quivered on his lip as he spoke.
“It’s us Stu!” I wrapped my arms around my favorite ex husband.
“Oh Skye, how are you guys! Come ‘ere Ty! Oh, you’re almost taller than me! Come on in! So, what brings you guys here?”
“We just wanted to know how you've been, ya know? Your new house, your dogs, your daughters.” I said heavily, emphasizing the word daughters as we walked through the precisely furnished living room.
“Oh I’m good.” After brief small talk, he interrupted “ um, so I feel like you guys are here for something else.” Stu’s face looked deep in thought.
I didn’t really know the whole story, so I let Ty talk.
I explained how grandma died and how when we went get our inheritance, it was gone. His face seemed to lighten up when I said that grandma died. No, surprise. I then explained how when I checked the check-out list, the name under our locker was Jennifer Sawyer.
When I asked him if either of his daughters were married, he quickly responded, “Yeah, to some ‘Thomas Hartman.’ But there’s no way she took the money, ‘cause she’s been in some African Safari for the last 3 weeks. Did ‘ya know she's a photographer now?”
“No, that’s great, but its getting dark, so I think we should go.”
“Alright, but it was great seeing ya! See you kids around!” He waved as we pulled out his driveway. I was almost sure that it was his kid. But on the way back, it dawned on me.
“I’ve got it!” My volume scared Skye out of her selfie mode. She yelled at me for getting her out of her zone, but I didn’t care.
I almost had the perfect one. He ruined it.
When I got home, I hacked into the database of the police station and found the street camera direct line. I clicked the link and searched for cameras on N White Horse pike. There was a camera directly facing the door. I zoomed in an got facial recognition. I then screen-shotted it and ran the face through the police system. It was scanning. The perp was. . . Aunt Jess? Why would she do that? Regardless, I ran out and showed my family.
-3 weeks later-
After Tyler showed us that it was Auntie Jessi, my mom called the police, the lawyer, and the private investigator. Aunt Jess, got 10 years in jail, we got our inheritance back, and we got fined $20000 since Ty hacked a bunch of government files. I still kinda feel bad for Aunt Jess though. The only reason she’s in prison is because she wanted more stuff. She couldn’t have it though, cause she was mistreated by Gammy. . . Or whatever.