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A piece of cake

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The old city had many sprawling tenements with hundreds of dwellers. In one such old sprawling tenement, in the heart of the city, a young boy dreamed big. His father was a clerk in the local civic corporation and lived on a meagre salary.

The boy had a few cousins, who lived in a large flat in an upper middle class area, as his uncle had a well-paid job in a private co. They rarely visited him except on a festive day.
When they did visit him, they were mean and condescending. They made fun of his things and even broke the few toys that he had.
On one such occasion, the children brought their own toys. But they wouldn’t let him play with it. As they said, he was a dirty boy. He felt sad but knew that they didn’t refer to his hygiene but to his poverty and poor living conditions.

He decided then that one day he would be a rich man too. He studied hard, and like his uncle, got a job in a private co. Soon he had a large flat, car and other luxuries. He got married and had kids.

He had forgotten the old tenement where he grew up. His close friend still lived there and one day, his friend called him for his son’s birthday. He took his kids for it. After cutting the cake, his youngest son refused to eat it. “There are dirty children here.”, the son whispered in his ears.

He collapsed in tears. He knew then that success was not about his flat or his car, but about the values he taught his kids. He knew his kids had not accepted him. His success had no meaning for them. They would never value his struggle or his early childhood poverty.

He sat down on the floor with his friend, instead of the chair provided for him. He took his youngest son on to his lap and slowly fed him the cake, telling him all the time that it was the most delicious cake in the world and that one day when he grew up, he would remember this cake and the friend who had given him the cake.

Written by Karuna

January 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Posted in short fiction

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