Tim is thrilled when he inherits his late father’s secret wooden chest, but unfortunately, the key to his legacy lies with his estranged sister. Before this shock could wear off, Tim must prepare for another nightmare when he gets the keys from her and opens the box.

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Tim’s heart started racing as he tried to process what the lawyer had just spoken on the call. “Mr. Parker, you there? Hello? Can you please come to my office today and collect the chest your father bequeathed to you?” the attorney’s voice broke the 35-year-old businessman’s silence, snapping him to the moment.

“Only that and nothin’ else?” Tim was puzzled. “He never allowed anyone to even go near that box… Why would he let me have it when he wasn’t even willing to show what’s inside?”

The lawyer’s words echoed in Tim’s head as he struggled to make sense of it all. And that afternoon, he drove to the lawyer’s office, his mind buzzing with questions and speculations about what could be in that box.

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What’s inside that chest? What was dad hiding from my sister and me?

As Tim entered the lawyer’s office that afternoon, his gaze shifted to the old wooden chest sitting on the table in the corner. He couldn’t take his eyes off it, and for a moment, it seemed like some magnetic energy was drawing him closer to it. Only if Tim knew what he was taking home with him that afternoon…

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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“Mr. Parker, please sign these papers,” the lawyer cleared his throat, interrupting the train of thoughts in Tim’s head.

Tim signed the papers, called his driver up to the office on the second floor to carry the heavy chest to his car, and just as he turned around to leave, he remembered about the key.

“Mr. Hugh, I almost forgot: Can I have the key to the chest?” he asked the lawyer and was stunned when he learned he had only inherited the chest but not the key.

“How will I open this darn thing without the key?” he blurted out.

Memories are the immortal footprints you leave on the sands of time.

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“I’m sorry, Mr. Parker, but you’ll have to figure that out! Nothing about the key is mentioned in the will.”

Tim left the lawyer’s office, determined to break the lock open and check what the box had been hiding all these years. After getting back home, Tim tried breaking the lock with an old claw hammer, but in vain.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

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“What on earth is inside this thing? Where’s the key?” Tim kicked the chest after all his attempts to open it turned futile. He was puzzled and curious to know what his late dad had left him.

Just then, he remembered his childhood home where he and his twin sister Karen grew up in. Tim and Karen had lost their mother to a fire accident just two months after they were born. They were raised by their dad Jonathan all their lives, and growing up, the siblings were the best of friends!

As they grew older, they were drawn to the mysterious chest sitting on a table beneath the Last Supper painting in the living room. Tim and Karen were always curious to know what was in that box, and as time ticked away, their speculations only deepened.

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“I’m sure it’s some treasure from our grandparents or great-grandparents,” Tim once told Karen.

“No, it must be money… bundles and bundles of them, and maybe we’ll get them when we turn 18!” Karen argued.

As kids, Tim and Karen spent several long nights whispering about what could be in that box.

One day, they even asked their dad about it, but he remained tight-lipped and sternly warned them never to go near that box or touch it.

He was hellbent on protecting the box and had even hung the key on a nail high above the fireplace so that the kids would never get their hands on its contents. Whatever he was hiding from his kids and everyone else, he was very cautious about it.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

As the years fleeted by, Tim and Karen moved on with their respective lives. They married their partners and had children, and with time, their brother-sister bond went downhill.

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The twins fought over who would inherit their dad’s house, and the friction between them was visible to Jonathan. It seemed like it was going to be never-ending, and he was heartbroken at seeing his family crumble. All Jonathan had wanted was for his children to get along, but no matter what trick he tried to reconcile them, nothing worked.

They lived in different cities, so sometimes, he would invite one of them over without revealing the other sibling was already there. But to his shock, Tim and Karen couldn’t even stand facing each other, let alone share the same room. That’s how much they hated each other, and their friction had only grown nastier with time.

Meanwhile, Jonathan’s health began to decline due to aging, and even on his deathbed, he wished his kids would put aside their differences and get back together. But who knew the unfortunate father would take nothing but a broken heart to his grave?

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

After his dad passed, Tim inherited the mysterious box that had always kept him guessing since childhood. He needed the key to open the chest and claim what was inside, so he decided to go to his childhood home to find it.

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Tim immediately drove to his father’s house, and as he approached nearer, he felt a sense of uneasiness crawl into his gut. It had been many years since he had stepped foot inside. The lawn was unkempt. The fountain with a marble statue of an angel in the middle had crumbled and given in to the wrath of time. The house no longer appeared like that loving home Tim remembered growing up in.

A thick gust of breeze brushed him with an eerie stillness as he walked up to the doorstep and found the door sealed. Since the late Jonathan had not bequeathed his house to anyone, it was locked.

Tim knew the key had to be somewhere above the fireplace in the living room. So he climbed up the roof to his bedroom window and crept into the house.

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The old wooden stairs creaked as Tim slowly climbed down, making his way to the fireplace, where his dad had last hung the key. As he walked nearer, he felt a wave of cold musky breeze brush past him. All the doors and windows were closed except for the one in his room. So from where was air seeping into the house?

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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Tim’s heart pounded as he reached to grab the key and spun around, feeling a sense of fear wash over him at seeing a silhouette of someone behind him.

“Tim?? What are you doing here?” shrieked Karen, casting the cell phone flashlight on Tim’s face.

She was clearly shocked and was not expecting to see her brother there. Even she had crept into the house through a window in the guestroom, not far from where Tim was standing.

“Karen?? What the hell are you doing here?” Tim gasped. “Dad bequeathed me his old chest, and I came here looking for the key. But what are you doing here?”

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Dad bequeathed me the key! So I came here to find the chest,” said Karen, puzzled about why her dad had given Tim the chest without the key and her the key without the chest.

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Something has to be wrong, they thought and stared at each other, stunned. They realized it was their late dad’s twisted plan to bring them together and make them talk. But once again, they began to quarrel.

“Dad should’ve given me the chest,” Karen blurted out.

“Oh really! And what do you think I’ll do with the darn key alone… hang around my neck like a fool?” Tim argued.

The siblings fumed and eventually realized they had to bring both the key and the chest together to see what was in the box.

They grumbled and swore, but they had no choice and decided to open the chest together…

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

As Tim and Karen opened the lid, their hearts raced with anxiety. For the first time in years, they were finally going to see something their dad had been keeping from them all their lives, and it was beyond anything they could’ve ever imagined.

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“What’s this??” exclaimed Tim, scooping up a document tucked between what looked like an old photo album. As it turned out, the paper was the second part of their late dad’s conditional will!

Tears gushed into Tim and Karen’s eyes when they began reading their dad’s last words, ultimately realizing why he had never allowed them near the chest. They looked into each other’s eyes as endless tears ran down their cheeks.

Tim and Karen knew they had to make a difficult choice that would impact their relationship and their love for their late mother.

What was in this conditional will that made the siblings that fought until a few minutes ago fall onto each other’s shoulders and cry? What choice were they about to make? Was Jonathan’s soul finally going to rest in peace? Were his kids going to reconcile? The answers came when Tim and Karen flipped through the album.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Beads of tears ran down their cheeks at seeing their childhood photos and those of their dad. And among those pictures were three precious memories of their late parents’ love — their wedding photos!

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As it turned out, those three pictures were the only remnants of their late mother’s life, as all her belongings and photos were burned in the fire. Their late dad cherished these memories and never allowed anyone, not even his kids, to see the pictures because he was afraid they would be ruined.

But now, it was up to them to decide if they wanted to keep their late mother’s treasured memories or destroy them if they wanted to split the house equally.

According to Jonathan’s last will, Tim and Karen had inherited his house together. However, they would be able to split the legacy equally only if they cut one of the three pictures of their late mother and submitted the pieces to the lawyer. If they do not wish to do so, then they would have to reconcile and inherit the property together.

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Tim and Karen were now torn between their rivalry and love for their mother. They realized that these photos were the only remnants of their mom’s life, and the thought of cutting one of the pictures seemed like a knife slicing through their hearts.

The siblings helplessly looked at each other, and suddenly, something shifted.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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“I cannot do this!” said Tim, stepping away from the chest, holding a picture of his late mother close to his heart.

“Me too! I cannot do this, Tim,” Karen cried.

“These precious memories are all we have of mom… they mean a lot to us!”

They recalled the good old times they shared as a family and cried, thinking just how beautiful their parents’ love would’ve been. Tim and Karen then embraced each other as endless tears streamed down their faces. They sighed deeply, looking at the chest, realizing it was their late dad’s plan to bring them closer.

“Remember this one? You fell off the bike dad got for me!” Karen laughed, flipping through the photo album.

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“And this one… this was when you won the last prize in the drawing competition and acted off like you lifted some championship trophy!” Tim chuckled.

The siblings laughed and cried, and as they flipped through the leaves of the album, the rift that grew between them flashed before their eyes.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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“What did we even fight about? I mean… how did it even start?!” Tim wondered.

“I don’t know… wait… you were the one who said dad’s house would go to you. You started it, Tim!”

“It was a joke, Karen! You took it seriously and started making a big deal out of it. You didn’t even invite me to your daughter’s baptism.”

“I thought you were too mad at me to come anyway, Tim. I really didn’t know you wanted to be there. I’m sorry! I guess we’d taken our fight too seriously without even knowing how it started in the first place!”

Tim and Karen rose from the floor and, with heavy hearts and some ‘new’ understanding, took two photos of their late parents’ wedding.

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“You ready for this?” Tim asked Karen, and she said yes with a hearty smile and tears twinkling in her eyes. The siblings decided to put their differences aside and reconcile, just like how their late dad wished! Tim and Karen then walked out of the house, having decided to take ownership of the property together.

And before leaving, they tucked the third picture of their mom and dad in a photo frame and hung it on the nail where the key to the wooden chest once dangled!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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What can we learn from this story?

  • No amount of money can buy the peace and happiness you get from your family. Tim and Karen despised each other over who would inherit their dad’s property. However, they realized that wealth was less important than being a family.
  • Memories are the immortal footprints you leave on the sands of time. After finding their late parents’ wedding photos in the wooden chest, Tim and Karen decided to preserve those memories and not ruin them in their race to split their inheritance equally. Ultimately, they reconciled and mended their broken bond to honor their late dad’s wish.

Tell us what you think, and share this story with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

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A man wakes up at the hospital with no memory of who he was. He then lived as a beggar for two years, having no idea he was a millionaire until a car stopped by the auto garage he worked. Click here to read the full story.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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