I was surprised to see Jekab on my doorstep. Even more surprised to find him sober.
He didn’t wait to be invited in. He barged in blustering and demanding to be heard, and a few minutes later, I knew the reason why. And now I have a decision to make.
Yes, I owe him money. A lot of money. Yes, I am obligated. And no, I will not give a drunk money. I do not trust him. I will not pander to the demands of an alcoholic. He knows that, and up until today, has not come begging.
But now he demands! He says the child’s needs must be met, and I have the money. The hide of the man! It is his disgraceful behaviour and irresponsible neglect that has cost him everything, not the debts he hasn’t collected. He has only himself to blame.
I abhor weakness and I abhor irresponsibility. Jekab is both of those things, but I abhor dishonour more. So, I have decided. Tomorrow, my wife will go to the children’s home and see for herself. She will tell me what is needed to be done for this granddaughter of Jekab. Then I will see if he speaks the truth.
And if he does, I will gladly pay my debt, on one condition. The money must not grace his palm. It is the child I will be helping, not him. He doesn’t deserve it, but I am not heartless. I will help the child.
After all, I am a God-fearing man of honour.
Author’s Note: Written from the point of view of the man who eventually adopted Jekab’s granddaughter – my mother.
© Inara Hawley 2016