Sunday, 1 November 2009

Shame - 5

Chapter 5 
A few days after the burial, the family gathered in the dining room to have dinner together. Dinner was the only time when everyone was there. The short leave that everyone got from work ended and they had to go back to work. The family’s shop had to be reopened for business as usual. Moustafa started paying his brothers and sister’s allowances as usual and on time the same way the late Haj used to do. Now he had the big task of filling in the late Haj’s shoes. 

Kamal had to wait for some time before things settled down. He still wanted to buy that apartment. Kamal decided that when he got his rightful inheritance, it would be easy for him to get the apartment. The only problem was that his eldest brother, Moustafa, was always not there to talk to and was drowning to his ears at work. The Haj used to run the business from his office at the big wholesale store normally by phone. He put a lot of trust on Moustafa to run the business with him. Now Moustafa has to make all the decisions and watch the workers carry them out.

Kamal felt sorry for his brother and offered to take a leave from his work for a few weeks to help Moustafa run the business but Moustafa refused. Moustafa said that a government job was totally different from running a business. To run a business, you had to be very careful and very tough sometimes. As for the business accounts, the family’s accountant was doing a good job and keeping records of every cent.

Kamal was a little surprised by his brother’s reaction. He could see that his brother really needed help to run the business. May be he didn’t realize how big the task was or that he wanted to prove to the family that he could run the business the same way it used to be when the Haj was alive. Kamal brushed off any bad thoughts. After all, Moustafa was the late Haj’s most trusted person in running the business. 

Moustafa had always been stubborn and always did what he wanted to do. There was no need to rush him at that critical moment. Close family members never had to put each other under pressure.