Ugly Prelude

Ugly Prelude

Chapter 1

Childhood Confessions

by: FerSure
My infancy was one full of many ordeals. Yet as many falls as I had, there was just one mishap that marked me, and my sister, forever.

The unfortunate events happened some day I cannot exactly remember, but I can remember everything that took place in that large building that only held sterilized walls, imperceptive people and the tangible cloud of melancholy that hovered over millions of families, when they were told their loved ones would never see dawn again. It was during one of those months in the hot season, which I can remember because I had just arrived there from a tedious day at work in the fields.

Back then, I was quite clever for my age, so I did not need assistance in finding the room where my ill father rested, and my older sister accompanied him in his agony. His disease made the entire family suffer: we were going through an economic crisis because of his medicines and only one of the three people at home was at work, which unfortunately, happened to be the clumsy one, better known as me. At the end of the day, the pay I got was not worthy of comparison to that of my sister, and the gap was even greater when put next to my father's.

There was one of my father's healers who took a particular interest in my sister. Obviously, because of the class divisions and large age difference, there was nothing more than the rare one-night stands, which I found out later, from my sister. It was a shame, because the light that appeared I her eyes when she looked at him could not be compared to anything else in the world. I doubted she even cared for our father that much.

I would be lying if I said the vast majority of our existential problems was not closely tied to the class system. The class system was established in a distant past, by our ancestors, although it gained a formal name in the more recent times. It divides our society into two categories: the class ones and the class twos. Class One is composed of the faultless people, who are polished to perfection in every single one of their aspects. Class Two, however, is made up of the imperfect beings, who are deemed less important by nature. As always, street language replaced the original names of each class in colloquial speech, so it is more normal to hear someone refer to the Class One individuals as "the untainted," whereas my class is more commonly referred to as "the uglies."

The job of the uglies is to carry on the more unpleasant tasks, such as cleaning, construction and my very own, planting and harvesting the food. Each subdivision of Class Two deals with a different task and carries a different lifestyle, which creates even more inequality. One is not set permanently in any of the two classes, but a person's place is determined once one reaches a certain age and level of maturity by an odd coming of age ritual.

At the age of nine, I yearned to finally move on from being just another one of the uglies, but I was still too young to take on the challenge. It pained me to see what was left of my family crumble to the ground like a paper tower. I opened the door to my father's room, where my sister cried what seemed to be an endless river of tears at my sleeping father's lap.

"It will be fine." She assured, although I was not sure whether she directed it at me or myself and I doubt she, herself, was sure. She dried the fallen tears off, with her palm.

I said nothing, being the socially inept child I was.

"Go home. The doctors say it's highly improbable he wakes up tonight." She told me. "I'll go for you if he opens his eyes."

"You promise?" I asked.

"I promise." She said, caressing my left cheek. "I love you"

I left, without saying anything.

Luckily, my sister did not have to lie that night about calling me if father woke up, because it was that night that he entered a permanent slumber which would change our lives forever.

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