Kim moved into her grandmother’s house after college to help her out. But when the older woman died, she and her big half-brother, Peter, discovered that their grandmother had sold the house to a third party. Neither could inherit it, and Kim thought she would have to move until a surprising person knocked on her door.
“I don’t understand what’s happening, Mr. Salazar. What do you mean Grandma’s house is not part of the will?” Kim’s half-brother, Peter, asked their lawyer a few days after their grandmother’s funeral. Anna had been a kind soul, and Kim loved her dearly.
After college, she moved into the older woman’s house in Boise, Idaho, to help out. Kim’s mother, Cindy, assisted too, but she lived with her new husband.
Kim’s father died 13 years ago, and Peter was his son from a previous relationship. He was seven years older than Kim and never liked the idea of his father’s new family. Hence, he was never that big of a presence in her life.
But she loved her half-brother for some reason. When Peter got married at 25, he demanded many expensive presents from everyone. Kim was barely 18 and a broke college student. But after a year of grieving their father’s passing, she wanted to give her half-brother something special.
Unfortunately, her efforts were in vain. Peter barely said hello to her at the wedding and didn’t acknowledge her during his toast, in which he only mentioned their late father and how he missed him. That’s when Kim understood that Peter would never see her as family.
But that was years ago. She was now 30 years old and had moved on. Unfortunately, tragedy struck them again, and old age took their dear grandmother, Anna. Her only comfort was that the older woman had been 91 and had a wonderful life.
Now, they gathered at Anna’s lawyer’s office for the will reading. Peter showed up for that moment with a cocky grin. He grunted at Kim and Cindy and passed through to greet Mr. Salazar. Their grandmother wasn’t wealthy, but some of her things had great value.
Mr. Salazar revealed that Anna’s antiques would go to Cindy, and Kim received her legendary recipe book. The older woman also left his granddaughter some of the furniture in her house.
Meanwhile, Peter received his grandmother’s old car, which had been sitting in her garage for ages. No one knew if it still worked. If Peter repaired it, he might be able to sell it for a pretty penny.
However, her brother changed the subject to Anna’s house. It wasn’t a mansion, but their grandmother owned the land, which had to be insanely valuable in the current real estate climate. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Mr. Salazar said that the house didn’t belong to Anna anymore.
“It’s like I said, Peter. Anna sold that house years ago, and therefore, you can’t inherit it,” the lawyer said slowly, holding the will in his hands and taking his reading glasses off to focus on Peter.
“That doesn’t make any sense!” Peter exclaimed, hitting Mr. Salazar’s desk with his fist. “Was this your idea, Kim? You’re going to trick me out of my part of Grandma’s house?”
“Excuse me?” Kim asked, looking at her half-brother with a frown and placing her hand to her chest. She was offended at the insinuation.
“Yeah. If the house didn’t belong to Grandma, how come you’ve been living there all these years for free?” Peter accused with narrowed eyes, giving her the most disdainful look she had ever received.
“I was helping our old grandmother who could barely move all these years. I have a job. I’m not a moocher!” Kim replied angrily and wanted to keep screaming at her half-brother, but Cindy held her arm. Her mother didn’t want things to escalate further with Peter.
“Peter, calm down, please,” Mr. Salazar requested and pointed his hand at one of the chairs, asking Peter to sit back down and listen. “As far as I understand, your grandmother had a deal with the new owner. She never told me who this person was. That’s all I know.”
Peter stood up in a huff and angrily rushed out of the office. Kim and Cindy thanked the lawyer for everything and said goodbye at the parking lot.
As Kim drove, she pondered moving out of Anna’s house soon. Surely, the owner would come soon. It might be someone at the wake. But she frowned at the fact that Grandma never said anything about this issue.
Once inside the house, Kim took off her coat and started wondering about dinner when a knock sounded at the door. “Mrs. Brooks, hello,” she said after opening the door and seeing their friendly neighbor.
Mrs. Brooks was 87 years old and one of her grandmother’s dearest friends. “Kim, hi. How are you doing, honey?” the older woman asked.
“I’m alright, all things considered. Thank you for your words at Grandma’s wake. I know she valued your friendship dearly,” Kim said, closing her eyes and smiling softly. “And thank you for coming to check on me. You shouldn’t have.”
“Don’t mention it, sweetie. But that’s not why I’m here. I need to give you something important,” Mrs. Brooks revealed and started rummaging through her purse.
“What is it?”
“Here it is. It’s the deed to this house, honey,” the older woman said as she took a huge envelope out of her bag and handed it to Kim.
“What? Why do you have this?” Kim questioned with her mouth open in surprise.
“Right now, I’m the owner of the house, but that was only part of a deal I made with Annie years ago. May I come in to discuss it?” Mrs. Brooks asked with a tilt of her head and a cheeky smile. She started moving before Kim could utter a word and sat down on her couch. “Kim, be a dear and serve us some tea and cookies so we can talk. It’s a long story.”
That night, Kim discovered that Grandma Anna had not been oblivious to how Peter treated Cindy and Kim. She also knew her grandson was the greediest kind of man and would fight them over this house. The older woman thought there was nothing she could do.
After Peter’s wedding all those years ago, she came up with a plan. Anna gave her house to her friend, Mrs. Brooks, with the condition that she would give it back to Kim when Anna passed.
“She didn’t want Peter to know anything, so you’re going to say that the real owner approached you and offered to sell you the house back. Is that clear, dear?” Mrs. Brook said, holding the cup up to her lips and sipping slowly.
“That’s… a little… devious,” Kim countered, holding her own teacup up and drinking. There was a grin at the edge of her mouth, but she didn’t want to let it out.
“Oh, dear. There’s a lot you don’t know about your Grandma. I can tell you some stories…,” Mrs. Brooks added irreverently.
They gabbed for a long time, and a few days later, Mr. Salazar helped them transfer the deed to Kim. Eventually, she told her mother everything that happened, but it remained a big secret between them. In any case, her half-brother didn’t contact them again.
And as far as they knew, Peter never found out.
What can we learn from this story?
No one should feel entitled to an inheritance. Peter didn’t treat his family right, but still felt entitled to get an inheritance from his grandmother. But his grandmother schemed so he wouldn’t get much in her will because she thought he didn’t deserve any more.
Good deeds deserve rewards. Kim had been helping her grandmother out for years, and in the end, she got her house. But only because she never expected it nor felt entitled to it.