Father had taken to mooching around in his
pyjamas. I thought it weird. He didn’t rush away
to work, but lingered at the breakfast table, his
spud-like face grotesquely unshaven. Father
growled over his cereal and slurped his black
coffee vulgarly. I could only assume he’d been
fired. I wondered what was going to happen to
our family. Father out of work, and Mother clearly
ill. I couldn’t imagine myself becoming the bread-
winner. I’d never had a job. I hadn’t even been
allowed to take a paper round. The awful muddle
of this world was growing more tangled and
desperate. Elizabeth was effectively gone. School
was foul torture. I was at a low ebb. Something
simply had to change.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist