June 21st, 2005


Professional pride

From theatrical_muse: At what moment in your life did you feel most proud?

It would have to be the first time I went out on a job with Serrin (the guy who taught me) and I got my first cut as a professional.
I was about 11. My mum didn't want me to be a thief--she had dreams of me getting promoted to Beta and getting a clean (and boring) office job), but when she got sick from all the chemicals in the factory she cleaned, I didn't have a lot of choice. Deltas don't get much in the way of medical treatment--after all, there're plenty more where we come from--so I had to be the income-earner.

And when I walked in the door, I really thought I was something special.

"Here you are, mum," I said. "Flowers, real ones!"

"Oh, Vila! They're lovely! Where did you--" Then she stopped and looked worried. "You didn't steal them? You know how I feel--"

"Nah, bought 'em fair and square." And I had, too.

"What with?" Didn't take her long to figure it out. "Oh, Vila. You could have been a Beta with your learning, you know what they said at your school."

"What, and work all day for some Alpha boss and never be the best no matter how I try? I know what I'm really good at. This is something I can do better 'n anyone, you'll see." Than I got out the real surprise, a little package. "Here."

"What's that?"

"Open it." I couldn't help grinning.

Mum loosened the tie and tipped a gold necklace into her hand. Real gold it was, the only thing she had from her own mum, left tucked into her baby blanket when she was left outside the orphanage. She'd pawned it to pay the rent several months before. She stared at it, then at me.

"I knew how much you missed it," I said.

"Silly boy. Don't you know you're worth so much more?" She grabbed me and hugged me tight, then slipped the necklace over my head.

I've still got it.