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Windy Valley Secondary – Trials of the Young and Restless

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Previously: Ras and Susan’s father had just arrived to the hospital when Susan slipped into an unconscious state.

by Shane CONNELL 07.NOV.08

There was no point in Ras hanging around, that’s what Susan’s father had said to him, after all he had school tomorrow. Ras knew that Susan’s father was right, so he decided to go home, knowing that he would be informed of any changes to Susan’s condition.{{more}}

When he got home, it was dark and windy. He entered the house to find a few candles dotted around the room and everyone huddled together. They had been attentively listening to Miriam read them a story. Ras was immediately greeted by Alecia, who was then followed by Miriam. Everyone had been concerned as to why he had been out so late. Ras knew that this was not the right time to talk about Susan’s condition. He gently reassured them that there was extra work he had to do at school and urged them all to go to bed. The girls, along with his blind grandmother, went into the adjoining bedroom, whilst the boys rested on the floor in the living room.

“Food leave in the pot,” said Sel.

Ras knew that it would only be a few tablespoons of rice, and a chicken wing. He could tell by his brother’s eyes and dry mouth that he was still hungry. He said to Sel, “You can have it”.

“You sure?” Sel replied eagerly.

Ras nodded and Sel rushed over and gobbled down what was left in the pot. Ras watched his brother as his belly began to grumble. Another day without food, still right now hunger was the least of his troubles.

Ras rested himself on the wooden stool. Sel followed him saying, “Alecia say she shoes too tight… and look, look, watch me shoe, it come apart again; I can’t stick it no more. Ras, I don’t mind me, but what about Alecia? I hear the other children teasing her about her uniform. She got into a fight about it and … “ and so Sel went on.

Ras knew that everyone needed books, shoes and new school uniforms. Even he needed new trousers. He could tell that he had grown, as legs of his trousers were now at least six inches from his ankles. If he went on like this, he thought, they would soon turn into shorts.

“Yo see what in the newspaper about Miriam?”

Sel’s question snapped Ras back to reality.

“The reward money gone up.” Sel showed his brother the newspaper. Ras turned his face away, this is the last thing he wanted to talk about.

Sel continued, “This money could mind we for a year, and it might be enough to send you to University. You could become a doctor. That’s what you really want… to be a doctor.”

“She stays!” Ras commanded. There was no way was he going to turn Miriam back over to her father.

“I don’t understand,” yelled Sel “Why help some rich girl? When she goes back home she’ll be fine, at least she will have food to eat, new clothes to wear”.

Ras got up and prepared his bedding on the floor.

“Why you putting a stranger before your own family?” asked Sel.

“She’s one of us now”.

“Us?” asked Sel bemused, “Who decided that? You never told us why she is here. Ras listen to me, she’s more trouble than she’s worth. If they find her here we will all be in trouble. We could go to jail for kidnapping.”

Ras was silent.

“Do you hear what I am saying?”

Ras refused to engage in a conversation with his brother, instead, he went around the room and blew out all the candles.

Sel sucked his teeth and turned to go to bed. Ras could not deny that Sel was right, the longer Miriam stayed the more trouble that he and his family would face.

Do you think Ras should tell Miriam to go back home? Email your answer to [email protected]

The Windy Valley Secondary series is fictional. Any resemblance to real events, places or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.