Journalism · Short Stories

Louis, 29. 

He sat in the staff cafeteria with a blank look on his face; looking straight at the clock that hang on the wall above the tv. Louis had studied law and had big plans. He was the only one in his family that had gone to college and his mother was so proud of him. She always bragged about her son whenever she went to work at the market. She would tell everyone about her son at the university; she would say, “My son is studying law in the big university in town and he is going to be a big shot lawyer someday”. He grew up watching his father struggle to provide for the family. His father was a good man, he worked two jobs, at the local garage fixing cars and worked with a construction company as one of the builders. He sometimes rendered his services to the locals as a fixer; whatever needed fixing like toilet drainage, sinks he would fix at a cheaper price than the actual local business. The local folk called him “the fixer” because he could pretty much fix anything. His dad did whatever he could to make sure his mother and his two younger siblings had food on the table and didn’t sleep hungry; not even for one night.

His father died at a young age; he was only 39 and Louis was 10. His mother always said that his father died from too much hard work, she would say “Your father worked himself to the grave”. His mother and father had a relationship like no other. While his sister and little brother slept, he used to always sneak out of the bed just to watch his mother and father dance to Lionel Richie or Marvin Gaye. Louis remembers always wanting a love like theirs when he grew up. When his father past, his mother didn’t cry in front of the kids but would always hear her sobbing in her bed at night when she thought him and his siblings were sleeping. His mother had to pick up another job after his father died, she kept her spot at the market and started working nights at one of the popular local restaurants called “Spices”. He hated that his mother looked tired every morning and promised to look after her when he got older.

Louis always carried the weight of his family on his shoulders. This pushed him to make the most of his time at school. He studied while others at university went to the parties and festivals in the town. He pushed himself and excelled. So fast forward to seven years after graduation; at 29, he is seated in the cafeteria of a retail store were he is the manager but hated every minute of it. He asked himself how he got to this. As he stared blankly at the clock hanging on the wall, he knew there and then something had to change. He walked out of that store that day and never looked back. That was the best decision of his life.

That was the start of what is the rest of his life.

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