We all get jealous from time to time — what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?
Over the years I have tried to adjust the emotionally crippling aspect of this emotion. Jealousy when properly motivated and controlled can be a healthy response to unwarranted and unwanted intrusions of what is rightfully yours. I never gave it much thought until this prompt.
At any rate here is the 5th installment of a short story, The Match.
Rusty lifted a savings account book from the box. He opened it. The final balance was recorded the day his dad was arrested. The amount was $5,000. Next was a deed to 40 acres in Montana. There was a last will and testament of Samuel Collins. He thumbed through the bank book and there was another note, “$5,000 Walmart stocks.” He opened a large brown envelope. Inside was the stock certificate. In the bottom of the box laid a photo ripped in half. It was of his mother. An arm was around her shoulder. It was most likely his father’s arm.
Rusty gathered the contents and put them in a plastic bag that laid on the table. He stood and dialed Ms. Martin from the wall phone.
“Ms. Martin, Rusty Collins.”
“I’ll be right back, Mr. Collins”
“That’s okay, ma’am. I’m cleaning out the box.”
“Please stop by my desk before you leave.”
“On my way there could you calculate the interest on this account. I have a bank book. It’s 204817910.”
“I’ll check the account for you and I assume you will want to withdraw it.”
“Yes, and if you could I have 300 shares of Walmart stock issued in 1970. Could you perhaps find out what its worth now.”
“…What do you think it’s worth, Mr. Collins?”
“Ha, ha, ha. Probably 15 or 20 thousand. I hear if you get in early you can really make a killing.”
“I’ll see what I can come up with, Mr. Collins.”
“Thank you, Ma’am“ Rusty hung up and carried a plastic bag full of papers with him back to Ms. Martin’s desk.
“Here’s the key, Ma’am,” Rusty said.
“I have a few papers for you to sign,” she said, “and we’ll have check for you in a few minutes.”
“If you don’t mind I’d like to take the cash,” Rusty said jotting his signature on a paper.
“I don’t think you will want to be carrying that much cash around with you,” she said.
“What!” Rusty said. “6 or $7,000.”
“Interest when compounded accumulates nicely,” she said.
“You have nearly $30,000,” she said. “The money was in one of our old high yield accounts.”
“Wow!” Rusty said. “I guess so. I’ll take a check.”
“We’ll have it in a moment,” she said. “You mentioned you were moving out of town, where is it you are moving.”
“Well I didn’t know until a few minutes ago,” Rusty said. “But there is a deed to some property in Montana. I guess I’m also a land baron,” Rusty chuckled. “So I’m going to Montana and view my vast holdings there.”
A young man in his mid twenties neatly dressed in an off-the-rack suit brought the check to Ms. Martin.
She handed it to Rusty. “Good luck to you Mr. Collins. So far it’s been a lucky day.”
“Thank you again, Ma’am,” Rusty said and politely shook her hand. He stepped away and turned back. “My dad died in prison twenty years ago. He was sentenced when I was 10. I’d rather have my dad right now.”
“I’m sure you would,” she said. Her phone rang. “Just a moment Mr. Collins. This might be about your stock.”
“That’s okay,” Rusty said. “I’ll cash it in when I get to where I’m going.”
Rusty walked to his truck. A parking ticket was on the windshield. He grabbed it. “Yeah, lucky day.”
He started the truck and began to turn the wheel to pull into traffic.
“Mr. Collins! Mr. Collins!”
Rusty looked through the passenger’s side window. It was Ms. Martin.
“What did I forget?” Rusty smiled.
“Nothing, Mr. Collins,” she said, “but I would hold on tight to your stock, Mr. Collins.”
“I suppose you’re going to tell me I’m a rich man,” Rusty said.
“Yes,” she said, “very rich.”
“I always knew I’d be rich someday,” Rusty mused.
“Mr. Collins we were not able to calculate completely what your stocks are worth,” Ms. Martin said, “but it is worth great deal.”
There was sound of seriousness in her voice. The sound that comes only from bankers and morticians.
“Thank you, Ms. Martin,” Rusty said. “I’ll check everything out when I arrive in Montana.” Rusty waved.
“Be careful, Mr. Collins,” Ms. Martin said, “drive safely.”
Rusty pulled away perplexed, but smiling. “The way things are going for me there has to be oil on that land in Montana.”