The place was a mess. A poor and poverty stricken area. Hungry kids looked up at him with widened eyes and old men offered a bit of rotten fruit. He wasn’t dressed like any of them and he wasn’t even refined. He couldn’t believe his own parents had directed him here. What had they expected him to do in a place like this? Live in destitution without them? He was meant for so much more than a back alley town and starving people. He didn’t belong here, not at all.
Still though he had nowhere else to go so he walked on towards the house he knew was his aunts. He tried to avoid looking at the sidelines, trying not to look at the damp place. He could feel a bit of bile rise up in his throat, he didn’t want to break apart just because he didn’t like where he was.
Lightly he knocked, his knuckles making an echoing sound against the cheap wood. He heard a bit of commotion inside until finally the door creaked open. A man was on the otherside, his face drawn and aged. He wore a damp frown and his eyes didn’t recognize him at all.
“Who is it?” Sang out a woman’s voice from further inside the house.
“My name is Jared…” he replied, looking behind the old man. He felt uncomfortable standing there, the man’s eyes just staring at him.
“Jared? Is that really you?” The woman asked as she came closer to the door. Her face was red, brightly lit but aged due to her surroundings. She looked at Jared like she had been expecting him but also someone so completely different than who he was. “My sisters son?!”
Jared smiled slightly, trying not to seem as unimpressed as he was. “It’s me. Yes.”
“You’re so grown! Your letter said to expect you next week but here you are!” She exclaimed, her arms wide as she wrapped them around his shoulders.
He let her squeeze him, standing there stiffly. Finally she let him go and looked him over with pride. She took hold of his face and planted a kiss to his cheeks. “Come inside! Please come inside!”
He took in a deep breath ready to sink himself lower than any of his aspirations. They went through the usual reunion, a few words that came out as stale from his lips and a below grade dinner compared to the sandwiches from earlier. Finally they let him go to a small room where he was allowed to stay and rest for once. He was worn out, he was sick ot his stomach from the dusty atmosphere. He laid back on the flat cushion and tried to close his eyes. It was dark, the candles had all went out and he was by himself. His aunt and uncle had retired to their room and he was left alone with his own thoughts. The sounds from the poor streets outside kept him wide awake but not so much as his own thoughts did.
He kept thinking of what had happened earlier. He felt the anger rise up again, the way it choked him from inside. When they had kicked him out of that restaurant he had been pushed down to the level of these people he was around now. He hadn’t mattered at all to any of them.
He rose up from where he was laying with a heavy breath and pushed his hand back through his hair. He didn’t care if this was insane, if him being this angry was ridiculous. All he knew was that he was insulted, all he knew was that in some way he wanted to pay. He wanted those men to know what it was like to be where he was, lost to his class despite who he was on the inside. He was just as ambitious as any of them, just as talented. But he would never get a chance as long as those sorts of men lived in their positions above everyone else.
he reached into his sack, pulling from it paper and ink. He set himself down nearest to the window,. giving himself barely enough light and set about writing a letter. A personal one, a threatening one. He couldn’t help but smile as the words flowed from the tip, he couldn’t help but chuckle when he thought of the expression the man’s face would hold once this was in his hands. He thought of that girl, of the wealthy surroundings of the cafe’.
He let it dry for a moment before folding it. He stood up, tucking the paper into an envelope and licking it shut. He took up his coat, threw it on although the worn holes would do nothing to keep him warm against the pressing wind. Creeping to the door and cursed at the creaks the floorboards made. Damned house was falling apart.
“Jared? Is that you?” His aunt asked, coming out into the living room a candle in her hand. Her eyes squinted in the darkness, trying to adjust to it.
“Yes, aunt. I’m just going to have this letter posted. I’ll be back soon.” He tried to sound as cordial as he could.
“At this hour? I don’t think you can. You should wait until the morning.” Her worry sounded as if it were directed at a small boy.
“Don’t you worry…you should get back to bed, it’s rather late. Goodnight.” He opened the door, hoping no other word would be voiced and he slipped out.
He walked quickly, ignoring the prostitutes that surrounded the broken neighborhood. Did they think he would stoop that low? The night whistled with victory as darkness took reign in the sky, the moon silver and huge above him. He tightened his coat and buried his hands deep into his pockets. The letter crunched a little at the movement.
Finally he was there. The Cafe’ Royale. It was closed, the large sign prominent, and its wealth even now apparent. He took the letter from his coat and pressed a kiss to the envelope. Something told him his fortunes would change with these words that he had written on impulse. Something told him that him getting angry at these over wealthy men was the best thing he would ever do. He bent down, slipping the letter under the entrance door. His smile was wider than the stretch of sky and his step was much more confident. By tomorrow evening he would have everything he would ever dream of.
His aunt was back asleep by the time he reached the house again which he was glad for. He didn’t need some ninny coming up on him with a million questions and useless worry. He rested back where he had previously lain to sleep, closing his eyes and smiling softly to himself.
His fortunes were about to change, his life was about to change. Who did he thank? To whom did he owe his gratitude. Himself.
That made him smile all the more. He opened his eyes, looking up at the ceiling that no doubt leaked when it rained. He let out a couple of breaths, not allowing himself to think of a time when he was under his parents roof. He didn’t want to know what they would think of his plan, of his ambitious plan to become a man like those he was so angry at. After all they had never seen the possibilities he held. They didn’t know what he could do. They had never seen how intelligent he actually was.
So quite quickly he brushed aside all thought of his parents memory and let his eyes close again. He drifted into sleep, telling himself that things were indeed going to change tomorrow.
I am not sure you will remember me. It might even amuse you that a man of my class can write and spell, perhaps better than you can. If that is not enough to surprise than I shall tell you something that will.
You stole from me the money I had on my person yesterday for lunch. I believe I did have enough with me to buy what food you served. Although how you manage to sell such ambominations I will never know. I would much rather eat a rotted fruit.
I would like my money back and I would like punishment for the way I was treated. Since I cannot go to the authorities, seeing as you are men of high standing and my word will be but wind compared to yours. I must now take matters into my own two hands. Do not be afraid I shall not come to seek your life. I seek only everything that is in it.
This evening I shall visit you at your humble cafe’ after supper has been served and I will bring you my terms. I hope you are smart enough to accomadate me. Do not underestimate me, I am more of a man than any of you. I am more than the man that you think I am. I pray you are ready…I really do.