They were a family of four, extremely well behaved and embellished with an insignia of aristocratical way of life. I hated how their kids used the cutlery with such ease while I was struggling with the table manners. The kids were so well behaved, they never played with my sister and I outside the church. I think their clothes were too good for the fun we thought we were having.
I grew up looking up to the man of the family, I loved how he would dress up and walk around in his shiny boots. He worked for a very big company and apparently made a lot of money until one day when god decided to test them and take everything away, or that’s what we were told. At the community hall, they talked about something like recession, the word was so difficult that I had to look it up in the dictionary. Everything about them changed. The family moved in with us, the good clothes and money was gone. I couldn’t decipher what the test really meant? I mean, was god testing us all this time since we always wore ordinary clothes and were quite frugal with our spending?
The man would lock himself in my sister’s room and mumble things only he could understand, going without food for days. I think money has a lot to do with the mind, my mother used to say. I was probably too young to understand the severity of the situation. The rich kids were enrolled in my school and they started playing with us in the mud. The rich man didn’t seem to care anymore. Does money change the person that we are, I often asked my father who was himself living an abject life.
Days passed and 2 years had gone by, I was getting more and more irritated with the stupid family that had created a ruckus in our happy family. My mother had started working to provide for the extended family and my father took the job in the city. The home was usually left to the that family, my sister and myself. They would watch television all day while my parents were away working for them. I couldn’t understand why were they doing this, why they did feel the need to accommodate these worthless bunch of goons who were behaving as if they were in the possession of our belongings, including the very house we used to call ours.
One such weekend, after supper, I went to my father’s room and decided to ask what was all this about?
…….to be continued.
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