Modern Prodigal Daughter

IDEA - 5-6-2020

by

Patrick Ryan

1,578 words

A modern take On The Prodigal Son Parable, two daughters use their inheritance in dramatically different ways, what's going to happen to each of them?

A man has two twin daughters, Tyra and Julissa, both of whom he loves deeply. This man is named Cesar Santiago; he owns a chain of housekeeping crews that clean office buildings across the city. While he is the owner and operator of this housekeeping business, Cesar and his daughters lead a modest life, living in a two-bedroom house in the Bronx. Unknown to the daughters, Cesar saved his money with interest and other investment opportunities, and Cesar was able to give a gift to both his daughters on their 18th birthday. Each of them will receive one million dollars.

The daughters were shocked and amazed by the fact that their father was able to hide this from them, what an opportunity he had offered them. Julissa, who had aspirations to be a nurse, used a portion of the money to pay for nursing school, but after that, much of the time, she mostly kept the inheritance in accounts that would accrue interest. She decided to stay at home and support her father with the housekeeping business as he was growing older.

Tyra took her million dollars and upgraded her life significantly, partying with socialites, enjoying the New York City nightlife, and investing in upgrades for herself, like a nose job, Maserati, and penthouse apartment. Tyra used her money to fund a campaign to become an internet influencer, paying for ads that would funnel people to her site, paying writers to create content, and video experts to make her look good. Tyra, along with her socialite friends, succeeded in the short-term, they were influencers, making money for simply being rich.

It was the twin's 19th birthday, Julissa celebrated with her father at home, they both had hoped that Tyra would come, but she did not. Julissa was disappointed, as they had shared every birthday since they were born. Unable to sleep, Julissa decided to find Tyra that night, she figured she was at some club or dancing on some bar. Using social media as her detective tool, she followed Tyra's path of destruction, it seems, since it was her birthday, she used it as an excuse to drink heavily and party the night away.

Julissa finally caught up with Tyra at a club called Luxor, a very posh, upscale club, with an exclusive customer base. Tyra had just posted on social media that she was there four minutes ago. Julissa tries to get into the club, but does not have the cache to get beyond the bouncer, out of the corner of her eye, she catches Tyra just inside the club and tries to wave her over.

"Tyra!" Julissa says, waving furiously. Tyra and her upscale socialite friends make their way to the entrance of the club. Julissa is dressed in rags, compared to the fast fashion that Tyra and her friends adored, her hair is tattered, not professionally sculpted, and her makeup looks like something out of clown college, as opposed to the mysterious sheik look that Tyra and her friends pull off.

"Hey Tyra, this girl says she knows you," the bouncer says. Tyra looks at her sister, then back to her friends, who are giving some major side-eye. Maybe it was the continual drinking that night; maybe she was afraid to lose her status amongst her peer group, even perhaps she thought that her sister did not belong at the club, she responded,

"I don't know her. What do you think I shop at JCPenney?" Tyra says as she and her friends head back into the club. Julissa is stunned, turned away by her sister, Julissa returns to the Bronx, rejected and heartbroken.

Julissa continued to work for her father, eventually not giving much thought to Tyra, who carried on with her wild ways. However, soon, Cesar became ill, the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, and the medical bills started to accumulate. Julissa, couldn't stand by while her father struggled to pay his medical bills and started to use her inheritance to pay the bills herself.

It's funny how a million dollars can go fast when you're sick. Eventually, the doctors found the tumor that was making Cesar sick. The surgery was going to cost $500,000, that was more than Julissa had left in her bank account. She had no choice but to seek out Tyra and ask for money.

Julissa waited outside Tyra's posh Upper East Side apartment and pretended to run into her as she left one day.

"Tyra," Julissa said. Tyra turned around, feeling a little ashamed by how their last encounter ended,

"Oh, hey, really sorry about the Lux, sometimes I drink too much alcohol, and I act crazy," Tyra said.

"Whatever, I'm glad I caught you, Dad's sick, they found a tumor that's causing the problems, but the surgery is too expensive for me to pay alone," Julissa said.

"Oh no, will he be all right?" Tyra asked.

"Well, I mean, there are usually risks with surgery, but the doctors seem to think that if they remove the tumor, he'll be alright, he needs around $200,000 to pay for surgery, I don't have that much left," Julissa says. Tyra pauses, she gave the impression that she wanted to support her father, but it seemed like something was getting in the way.

"What's wrong ?" Julissa asked.

"I would pay, but right now my money is tied up in this edibles project, it's these candies that you take when you go to the club, laced with marijuana, it improves the experience of the club scene, it's a DJ Nitro product," Tyra said.

"So, you don't have any money to pay for this," Julissa said.

"Sorry, I just can't pull out now, we've just spent so much," Tyra says as she starts walking down the street, "Bye, love," Tyra says.

Julissa is furious; she works a hundred hours a week, nursing jobs during the day, housekeeping jobs at night, and even selling her blood on the weekends, and finally came up with the money to help her father with his surgery. She's exhausted, but her dad's going to live.

Cesar goes to surgery, the only person there is Julissa, Tyra didn't even bother to visit before or after the operation. The recovery was long and arduous; it was weeks before Cesar could walk on his own, and he needed the help of Julissa every step of the way; she had to clean up, cook his meals, and make sure he had enough exercise. All in all, it took Cesar six months to return to his old self.

The next year, there was a downturn in the economy, the stock market was in free-fall, businesses were struggling, and vast sums of wealth were lost. For Tyra, the edibles company, created by her DJ friend, went belly-up; it ended up being a black hole for money. Her work as an influencer finally collapsed, not allowing her to earn enough money to keep up with her lifestyle, and her constant clubbing and luxurious lifestyle used up the inheritance that her father had given her. Tyra had fallen into hard times, even considering getting a job, but with no experience and no college degree, she found it hard to find something that paid. Eventually, Tyra was evicted, her socialite friends would no longer pick up her calls, she couldn't even get into the clubs she used to frequent. Unemployed, broke, and on the verge of living on the streets, Tyra had no idea where to go, so she went home.

When Tyra arrives at the small Bronx house that she once called home, she still wears some of the high fashion, the remnants of her former trendy lifestyle, even though they're a little tattered at this point. She knocks on the door, and Cesar answers.

"Dad," Tyra says, before being cut off by Cesar, who wraps his arms around his daughter.

"You've come back, thank God, you've come back," Cesar says.

"I'm wondering if I could have a housekeeping job, I'll clean as many offices as you need," Tyra says.

"Nonsense, you're back! Don't worry about work; this is a cause for celebration, let's have a party!" Cesar says as he pulls his daughter into the living room. Cesar is preparing a big dinner; he's going to invite the entire family.

Julissa learns about the party and gets confused and upset. After all her dad's been through, why is he rolling out a red carpet for Tyra? It was only Julissa who helped when he was in need.

Julissa boycotts the party. About halfway through, Cesar notices that Julissa isn't there, and steps out to call her.

"Where are you? Why aren't you here to celebrate your sister?" Cesar asked.

"All these years, I've been here for you, you've had to pay medical bills, and I've paid them, you've needed help running the company, and I've helped you, you've never thrown a celebration for me, not once. But as soon as Tyra comes back, who squandered the inheritance you gave her, you celebrate her as the Queen of New York City?" Julissa says.

"We should all be happy, your sister was dead, but now she's alive again, she was lost, but now she is found."