No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible. George Chakiris
It was a Friday morning when we landed. The twelve hour flight in the cramped up economy class of Air Mauritius had been my last few hours of solace. I had filled my time watching every kind of movie on the plane, whilst Jason had slept and drooled on my shoulder.
We had never been quite close, the two of us...with only a 10 month gap, we had always been rivals at everything. We would fight over the most trivial of things and turn them into a big deal ever since our pre-primary days. He resented my outspoken personality as I begrudged his ambitious streak. As fate took its toll on us, I developed an inferiority complex, always questioning everything I did and accepting that others, unconditionally, knew better than I did. Jason, on the other hand, had received more blows than I had in life but had always gotten back up and blossomed from each obstacle. He was growing into the future politician everyone hoped to see him become and I had hovered in his shadows, uncertain of my path but convinced that Europe awaited me. With that conviction, there was only one thing to be done: be accepted in a London university and take it from there.
Mum and dad did not come pick us up at the airport. Instead, the driver greeted us and drove us back. Jason, excited to be home and looking forward to his golfing days, chatted incessantly all the way to the front door. This last week in London, although nightmarish and hard, had helped in strengthening our bond. As the thudding of my apprehensive heart resonated in my head, I tried to smile away at my brother's teasing and jokes...his own way of letting me know it was all going to be okay and that he cared. The green scenery defiling itself outside the car window was a great contrast to London's concrete jungle. Two years ago, I would have found it refreshing to be travelling in a car again, but given my recent indulgence in one of London's greatest luxuries: taxis, it was the change in scenery and light traffic that took over. I looked over to my brother, siting in the passenger seat, sunglasses on and making light conversation with the driver. A surge of gratitude and love for him brought fresh tears to my eyes,and once again, I blinked them away. Crying in public was the tip of my shame iceberg, I would not allow myself to do it.
"£8,000! £8,000!! How could you have spent so much money in six months?? SIX MONTHS!!! Do you realise what you did? You stole, Sophie, you STOLE! That's a crime and you could have been in prison right now...What were you thinking??" My brother's outraged and disbelieving exclamation echoed at the back of my mind. He just laid the facts down, but the background work still remained to be done. The 'why's now had to be answered, but what made if worse was that jury consisted of those victim to my scam and they were all forgiving. What they wanted, now, was to understand . As willing as I was to make amends, they asked of me the only thing I could not give: an explanation.