It was a lazy Sunday morning. Robert was on his way back from the church. He was known to be a pious person.

“Robert, you must keep a watch over Andy. I have seen him loitering with those wretched kids. He is definitely into drug abuse”. The next door neighbour stopped Robert at the complex gate. This was not the first time that Robert had experienced this. There was a daily inflow of complaints about Andy, his younger son. Andy had become a cause for concern and distress for his family.

Andy picked up his backpack and walked in rage out of the house. It was yet another showdown with his father.

The neighbours complained about his wayward behaviour. He was again seen with some slum children. 

 “Look at the way he dresses up. No one would believe that he is your son”.

Father gave a scornful look as he said this. Andy’s ripped jeans and crumpled Tees were criticised adding to the hatred towards him. 

Andy was in his second year of college. His grades were average. The college had sent a caution letter for non attendance. His brother, a year older, was always praised for being quiet and having a good academic record. 

“Andy you have to think about your future. Why do you waste your time with those good for nothing slum dwellers? Look at your brother, so obedient. Sincere in his studies “.

“But Dad, do you know….

Cutting him short, “Don’t give me any justification, your criminal activities are known to the entire complex. You have made me look down in shame “.

The “criminal activities” part was not understood by Andy. It was the stereotype figures of good and bad created by the so called respectable people. 

Andy couldn’t take it anymore. He stomped out of the house. His father did not make any attempt to stop him.

Andy took the call as he was about to start the session at the Literacy centre. It was his brainchild, which he nurtured for years.

A crowd had already gathered as he entered the street. The police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance service had reached the spot.

Andy saw the bloated body of his brother being fished out of the drain. A foul odour spread as the dirt covered corpse was lifted out.

The officer shook hands with Andy.

“Sorry Mr. Andrew, he was found after two days. He has been drinking heavily “.

As he glanced towards his lifeless brother, Andy’s eyes welled up with tears. His mind was in turmoil with mixed emotions. The grief and pain on loss of his brother, the humiliation caused by the way he died and the annoyance and rage about an obedient brother dying as an alcoholic.

His father’s words still rang in his ears, “Look at your brother, so obedient, sincere in his studies…..

The biggest lie of his life came forth as the worst truth.

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Photo By: Juan Pablo Rodriguez

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This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie

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