The Perfect Heir

Scene: A FAMILY DINING ROOM. LARGE SUBURBAN HOUSE.

The suburban house belongs to one of country’s richest industrialist. The dining table is filled with plates of delicious food consumed by the family members except one, the daughter, Alice. The camera zooms towards Alice, who looks frustrated as her engagement has been broken. She does not eat a single bite. Her eyes are filled with crimson tears. She pulls of her ring. Her mother sees it but avoids her and calls out for the butler to bring some black pepper for the soup. The head of the family, the father, looks at his son, who will be the next heir to the family and to continue the legacy of the hundred year old company.

ALICE: Father!

FATHER: Yes daughter!

ALICE: Why?

FATHER: I have already told you.

ALICE: Because he won’t able to carry the legacy of our bloodline.

FATHER: I am not having this conversation, anymore. We are done with it.

ALICE: It’s not done, yet.

MOTHER (cuts in): There, there, my dear daughter! You haven’t taken up a single bite. Shall I help you?

Mother takes up the spoon and moves forward towards her.

ALICE: I am not a child anymore to spoon feed your decisions to me! I loved him!

MOTHER: I know… but… (she shies away and looks at her husband’s cold face). Your father knows what will be best for all of us.

ALICE:(Looks at her father) He called of the engagement due to one decision of yours.

FATHER: I didn’t ask him to break the engagement.

ALICE: You humiliated him by stripping him from the chairman position. He was your worthy heir to the board and your own about to be Son-in-Law.

BROTHER: Alice, don’t tell us about he’s worth. Only thing he knew is feet licking.

ALICE: YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH! (Alice looks at him with anger and makes a fist to lower her own temper for the moment) Brother, mine!

BROTHER: I hated him after all this time.

ALICE: You hated him because he became close to me and my father.

BROTHER: I was neglected. All this years, till my return you all have despised me. And adopted some good for nothing brat to destroy my right to be in the throne. I do remember every moment of my life.

ALICE: Oh! Right! You remember your own damn jealousy filled minds rather than the love which we have laboured for your upbringing.

BROTHER: What about the time when I needed the most? I left home when I was twenty. I wanted to venture on my own. I wanted money but you all never believed me. I went out, I struggled to establish one singular enterprise with the labour I have provided and succeeded in the end and now our family’s company will have a deal with our company and later I will be the Chairman, which I have deserved so long since my birth. My own Birth-Right to the throne. Who the hell is this fiancé of yours? He is nothing! Nothing in front of me the struggle which I have gone through!

ALICE: Yeah, the so-called ‘Return of the Prodigal Son’.

FATHER: ENOUGH! (Bangs the dining table)

ALICE AND HER BROTHER: Father!

MOTHER: Both of you don’t realise the pain your father is going through.

The doorbell rings. The butler opens up the door quickly. The guest proceeds towards the family dining room as he follows the Butler quickly towards the dining hall. Everybody turns their heads towards the entrance.

ALICE:(stands up) RICHARD!

But the parents does not make a move.

BROTHER: Speak of the devil(He looks at him. Walks towards him and says) What brings you here in midst of all the problems, as you my friend, supposed to be brother-in-law, Richard the Great! (He thumps Richard’s chest).

RICHARD: Don’t push your audacity towards me, my friend! I stood for your family when they needed the most! Where were you, then?

BROTHER: You stood for them! Laughable! That’s what you have thought in your dreams! You were never in a position to offer nothing! Nothing! You are just the son of that small peddler who used to work in the local colony made by my father!

RICHARD: And that son of a peddler was provided good education and he who has reached the height of being a chairman!

BROTHER: (Mocks to Richard) One of those false promises of being educated! Look at me! I am a visionary! (Frees arms in the air of pride)

RICHARD: Destructive! At the most! What you offer now won’t work in the future! You don’t realize the investments which were made under my leadership was for a reason! It did have a bad impact but nevertheless had a good future.

BROTHER: Future! You call that a future! Wake up, Richard! That is not the world we will go through! Things have changed! Mentality has changed! Moreover the nature of jobs has changed! You cannot run on my father’s ideologies anymore.

RICHARD: Your father’s ideologies are way ahead of its time and it’s still relevant today.

BROTHER: Because of you, my father despised me all throughout my life.

MOTHER: He never despised you. He never liked your arrogance towards other people.

ALICE: That arrogance of yours made him sad. You never realized that you were wrong.

BROTHER: I have changed. I was wrong, yes. But, I have changed. It’s not easy to start on your own. Only thing I needed was a little help.

ALICE: Now, you have earned it, the future chairman of this company. You earned it. But Richard was more able-r than you. He has worked side by side with our Father.

BROTHER: And yet he is not in that position anymore.

RICHARD: It doesn’t matter whether I am in that position or not. I was vetoed out by the other members. Not only by one single decision. There were ten other people. I admit that I was wrong, but my thoughts were on the basis of the future returns which would have been a glory for us. The experts believed it.

BROTHER: Don’t give me that word, Experts! They are bunch of old fools!

RICHARD: And it implies your father too!

BROTHER: He is a fool in a way to appoint you in that position.

FATHER: Son!

Everyone turns to father. Mother stands side by side to him and holds his hand.

FATHER: You do not realise. Even Richard, you broke my daughter’s heart. You called of the engagement in a sudden manner. She loved you the most among us. Why?

RICHARD: I am sorry! Out of anger I have called of the engagement! But I shouldn’t have. I will marry her.

Alice looks at Richard. The engagement ring she takes it off from the table but puts it into her pocket. The sadness for the moment turns into a little smile for the moment.

RICHARD: I promised her once, whatever happens to our life we will.

ALICE: We will never be apart from each other.

RICHARD: Yes, Alice! But we won’t be staying here.

ALICE: But you promised me we would be staying here.

RICHARD: I believe we can’t. After what has gone through! I have got this fine place down south. We will stay there. We will build our own world. We can do wonders together.

ALICE (touches his hand): We will be together, right?

RICHARD: We have been and always shall be together.

Father and mother looks at them with a moment of happiness of their Daughter and their Son-in-Laws decision. Alice and Richard come close to embrace each other. Richard kisses on her forehead.

BROTHER: The so-called ex-chairman comes down to a lover boy. Wonderful! Worthy for applause!

Richard walks towards Father.

RICHARD: Sir, May I have a moment of time with you? Alone! I wanted to talk. Just for a few minutes.

FATHER:(looks at him into his eyes)Give me some light! I don’t have the strength to utter a word. Yet, I will have words with you. As you are my dutiful, loyal and a respectful apprentice in all my life.

Both Mother and Alice leave except Alice’s brother.

FATHER: Leave for a moment, my son! It is just between me and Richard.

BROTHER: I won’t make a move.

FATHER: I have already told you. Leave! This is my final word!

The brother leaves with anger by breaking of the wine glass. The butler closes the door.

RICHARD: Sir, why?

FATHER: You know very well.

RICHARD: You could have prevented them from vetoing me out of the Board. But you didn’t. You had your power and influence on them.

FATHER: I know.

RICHARD: I could have spilled out things at that moment! But, I didn’t. How ungrateful are you?

FATHER: I didn’t have any choice!

RICHARD: You didn’t have any choice! Why did I have to choose for sworn to secrecy that all those decisions of the investments are totally by you?

FATHER: I wanted someone, who is not a shadow of my decisions…

RICHARD: And your own son was the perfect weapon to ridicule me in front of the entire board. You know what it has done to me? You have any idea about that!

FATHER: Do I have to answer that?

RICHARD: Yes! You have to!

FATHER: My answer has already crossed your mind, Richard!

RICHARD: Sad! Sad! If that is what I get for repayment of my time towards your family then I don’t want to see your face anymore.

FATHER: There is nothing I can do!

RICHARD: There is nothing you can do. You are clouded by your own self-righteousness justice.

FATHER: Maybe, I am.

RICHARD: I have to bear this behavioural decision of yours just like a dagger to my heart, to my mind and my career. You destroyed it.

FATHER: Still you are going to marry my daughter!

RICHARD: She is the only person who stood by me all this years.

FATHER: Just like her mother! Lovely, Respectful, Trustworthy and Full of Life.

RICHARD: She wrote a letter to me! For that I felt the love in her is truer than any other person in my life! If I break her, even god won’t give me justice to the situation you have made.

FATHER: Love is a beautiful moment. You love people and then they repay you dearly, lovingly, affectionately.

RICHARD: And my respect towards you cracked from pillar to pillar.

FATHER: People loved me, respected me, you were the best apprentice one could ever have. But there is this primitive treacherousness in our heart makes us all different.

RICHARD: How come you say such a thing? You are a man of reason and logic. Those decisions were logical at the time we took.

FATHER: Logic dictated me to have my son on board. He is dynamic and passionate. He doesn’t fear anything.

RICHARD: But his arrogance and self-awareness does not go hand in hand. That will destroy him and the hundred year old legacy.

FATHER: He has changed. I have followed him for so long about his success. He won’t fail me.

RICHARD: Did I fail you?

FATHER: No. You didn’t! I see so much of me in you. Yet, you are not the son of my blood.

RICHARD: Is this all about BLOODLINE?

FATHER: In a way. Yet, a superior bloodline.

RICHARD: I have got nothing more to say! You have completely lost yourself! I came here only for your daughter and tonight we are leaving! And there is one thing I have to say to you.

FATHER: What?

RICHARD: Fuck Off, you son of a bitch!

Father does not show a reaction. He smiles at him. Richard holds his fist but a shed of tear falls from his eyes. He leaves the dining room. Father holds the glass. Pours Red Wine and says, ‘Cheers, Great Grandpa!’ to the portrait of his forefather from where it all started.

The End

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