All his seventeen years, the house was always full; sometimes Gabe would confuse the twins Sara & Helena and Peter & Paul. Of course he would laugh it off claiming that the mistake had been intentional but he knew deep down that he could not tell them apart. He had too many siblings to keep track of each one of them; every other year for as long as he could remember mother had a baby. May be it would have been somewhat okay if father could afford to look after all of them.
He’d never know since that wasn’t the case.
It did not help that Tabitha was pregnant by one of father’s friends; mother had said that he would marry her next year after she turned sixteen. Father’s friend would only assume financial responsibility upon marriage as was the custom in Isia village so they would have to stretch their resources until then.
He felt helpless for not being able to protect her from this especially because Tabitha didn’t know that she needed protection, that this should NOT be the norm.
Gabe always remembered the vow he had made to himself all those years ago; the minute he was old enough, he would open a carpentry shop and earn a living. He would not let history repeat itself, Lord knows there were enough dead beats in his family to last two centuries.
That was the only way he would be able to create a real chance for the rest of his family. Thinking about it brought tears that he blinked back, men did NOT cry.
He’d have to leave Isia village, it was very easy to lose focus here. He had seen that happen to even the best and he was nowhere close to that. Joining the cliques was easy & assured money and he did not want to put himself to that test. It was almost like the price for joining one was your ability to be/ stay sober, there was always a high being
shared forced onto them until they wanted it on their own.
The cock crowing interrupted his thoughts; he was hoping for at least thirty minutes of sleep. It was too late now, he’d have to doze in class because he’d rather face the teacher’s wrath for sleeping in class than suffer mother’s wrath if he didn’t do his chores before school.
Morning was a good thing though, a new day brought his dream closer.