The sparse cupboard with the solitary pack of Batchelor soup and canned beans stared back at him as if in mockery. His posh apartment was a sorry mess. Take out boxes and dirty mugs littered the kitchen and George wondered when his life had become so empty.
He was fatigued from months of insufficient sleep and taking work home; the promotion came with more responsibilities than anticipated. He was tired of eating out of paper boxes, he missed having a decent relationship with anyone and would have given a tooth for some helping of the curry flavourful dish that floated down the corridor from his married neighbours’ apartment; his tummy grumbled at the thought.
The ping of the microwave interrupted his thoughts and the cup of overflowing soup that looked more like lava made him swear. With a sigh of resignation, he picked up the phone to call Chinatown. The hum of voices and laughter from next door sharply reminded him that a robust bank balance did not make up for loneliness.
Little stabs of jealousy struck Cody as he stood at the corner and watched Josh and Sam cycle their latest acquisition around the neighbourhood park with such glee,
He envied how they always got the latest and best toys and momentarily, he felt sad and angry that poverty kept his mama from buying any of such things for him. He was tired of their scrounging for food, for hand-me-downs and their broken television.
From past experience, he knew not to ask them if he could join them because they would only laugh and make fun of him. Last time when they were flying a kite and he came closer to watch, Sam made fun of his ill-fitting clothes and oversized trainers and he had walked away red in the face and ashamed.
He really wanted to fit in and he was tired of feeling out of place, but what could a ten-year old do? Maybe if his dad hadn’t died, they wouldn’t be so poor with his mother juggling several jobs. He hoped mama was right in saying that things would get better some day.
As the pile of freshly felled tree trunks grew, so did Theo’s stress grow. The cycle just never seemed to stop. He truly didn’t mind the work, not in the least, but it also didn’t hold much of his interest.
Though he found the art of turning the logs into different purposes satisfying, at the same time, he felt a deep dissatisfaction with his life. After high-school graduation, he had wanted to proceed to college and pursue his dreams of becoming a Civil Engineer, but that thought had simply upset his dad.
His great-grandpa down to his dad were woodcutters and he was expected to be satisfied carrying on with the family business of logging. It’s been three years since graduation, he wanted to bring up the conversation of going back to college again, but the time never seemed right – there were bank loans to repay and dad’s health had taken a poor turn.
With each passing day, the displeasure simply weighed him down. He knew that he was called to be more than a lumberjack which was what life currently offered him.