Le t those beads of sweat trickle down
Down into the interior of your soul and moisten your heart
Let it remind you that pain is real
Let it remind you that the pain, sometimes, is needed.
It was real. It was too real and too serene a situation at the same time. Maybe it was because I stood aloof watching or was it because my mother said nothing? I just knew everything was too calm to be a lie – it was like a movie we already read the script. The movie was on play now, and no, you can’t rewind a film in a cinema.
He was handcuffed.
The one man I had looked up to all my life was handcuffed before his entire family. I would shout “What a disgrace!” but what would be the point? It wasn’t like I was blind to the facts of what he was doing; I chose to ignore them because I was just as greedy. It didn’t matter if he was defrauding people as long as I had clothes and shoes and bags and school and food and… And everything else I deemed fit to have in the world. Once I was bold enough to ask what he did for a living and he went
“I’m a business man. I deal with transactions”
I knew very well that didn’t mean he was a banker, it was more like
“I’m a fraudster. I spend people’s money when they are lazy to use it.”
I knew… but I let myself get brainwashed.
What happened this evening was something we were all waiting for but just didn’t want to happen. Daddy was too careless. Many times he and mummy would argue about how a job wasn’t neat and he would give an excuse. He seemed to always have a reply to mother’s questions before time. If she got him upset again, he would threaten to quit his “job” which silenced everyone anyway.
Now I’m not sure how I got here – into this mess. It’s our family mess and I’m pretty much involved. Did I think too highly of myself as a lawyer? Did I think I could handle it if we got into trouble? For the first time after spending five years in law school, I felt sorry for myself. I was ashamed of my family. Perhaps it’s a good thing my mother wasn’t implicated – maybe that’s the ray that would keep me sane.
I remember the debates. I remember the arguments. I remember the prices won because I told people bluntly that corruption is bad. Yes, the awards I got because I raised my nose up and far away from my family, criticizing others. It felt good being the loudest and pretending to be what I really wasn’t.
Was I scared? No… This is wasn’t fear. This was greed. My younger brother leaned on the wall as few drops of tears streamed down. My mother escorted the young men and my dad outside, holding her wrapper together every second. She was nervous. Or was she just worried that my dad would “cast” her any minute? I felt in my heart as though she wasn’t really concerned – Like her sorry face was just an act. Nobody consoled anybody. We all watched as he was taken away – Daddy didn’t utter a word.
Talk, they say, is cheap but if you’re not splashing water on a glass house, don’t stone anything at all.