He opened the door and saw her lying in her bed… weak, pale, barely breathing but still alive – his mother. The dark room was dimly lit by a lamp, heavy drapes were drawn against the morning light. The smell of damp, old clothes filled the air.
He walked over and sat down next to her on the bed. Held her bony fingers in his wide palms and caressed them. She had been with him through the toughest times, the only parent he had ever known.
Mother taught him how to ride a bike, how to whistle and much later how to trade in the stock market. She had been a dynamic woman, full of life. One of the leading stock brokers in the country, making the Forbes 100 list nine times during her career.
She coughed suddenly and he was brought back to the present. She looked at him with piercing eyes, her once striking blue eyes now a murky grey. She coughed again, her eyes darting to the glass of water on the bedside table.
He reached across to give her a sip but paused mid-stretch. What was the point? he thought. Best to allow the poison take it’s full course quickly.
He patted her hand gently, stood up and began to walk out. His stride already altering to reflect his imminent status as the sole owner of the family fortune.