Chapter Three

Joma made his way to his room. He would sleep this bad mood away. The room was small, consisting of a low bed made of a soft and pliable wood covered in rushes. He did not have many possessions. A small wooden desk and stool stood in one corner while an array of fishing gear, rods and spears, were neatly arranged in another.

Despite every effort to keep flies out of the home, their presence was inevitable. Joma lay down and shut his eyes. Sleep was not forthcoming thanks to a courageous fly. Joma made attempts to capture and destroy the pesky insect, swatting around aggressively, but it was to no avail. Recognising sleep wasn’t an option, he began to turn thoughts over in his head.

In many ways, he realised, he was in the wrong. It was frustrating his father didn’t back his abilities, though he overreacted and allowed these negative emotions to snowball and ruin the entire day. Furthermore, there was no need to push his mother away like he did. She had only offered love and comfort.

Despite the recognition, Joma didn’t know how to remedy the situation. He sulked and brooded regularly despite these self-talks. He sat up and pledged he would be in a good mood for the rest of the day.

He made his way to the kitchen but slowed his pace. He could overhear the conversation between his mother and father. “I know you’re well intentioned Fernando but you need to be more lenient with Joma. You know he tries his best. If you keep this up you’ll push him away,” his mother said while pouring tea for the two. A cold brew was their daily afternoon ritual. The tea was a unique blend of fruity and earthy flavours and was very popular among villagers. “I only push him because he has great potential. He has everything he needs to become great. We have provided him with the finest education and equipment. He must do better if he is to be chief one day,” he replied then guzzled the tea. It was typical to drink slowly but the chief was the exception, quickly drinking the golden liquid.

“What do you mean ‘if’? He is your natural successor,” she said with a look of concern on her face. Joma’s head dropped and he backed away from the doorway. His mother noticing the movement in the corner of her eye gasped. “Joma…” her voice trailed off as Joma ran out the door.

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