I can remember that day as if it were yesterday. The policemen coming and taking Zaide away because they found out he was stealing from the stables where he worked. Even though I was younger, I can remember feeling confused and guilty, as if it were all my fault. I was the one who told the policemen about everything that Zaide had done, and I was the one responsible for him being beaten, basted with hot fat, and then taken away to jail. I did not understand why Zaide was being punished, though, as he was helping out my family when we had nothing. I came to understand that even though we may try to do the right thing, sometimes it does not work out the way that we would like it to.
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Whenever I attended church with them, I was able to learn and read the Bible, giving me a better understanding of the world around me.
Now, ten years later, things are completely different for me. My wife and I are no longer together. Along with her having an affair with the Archpriest, I also found out that she was sleeping with the new town crier. I quit my job as the town crier since I felt that I was financially stable and that I could easily support my wife and me and buy the things that we needed. So now with me just living on my own, I would be able to save even more money since I no longer have to worry about caring for anyone else except myself. Or so I thought.
Even though I sent Your Honor my letter in hopes of you allowing Zaide to be released from jail, you instead did the exact opposite of what I had hoped. After reading my letter, Your Honor somehow saw through my plan and thought that I was lying in order to protect Zaide, so instead of letting him out of jail, you chose to lengthen Zaide’s sentence. With Zaide being the age that he was, the hopes of him coming out of jail alive were very slim. This was devastating for my mother to hear, along with the fact that she herself had fallen ill and did not have the strength to recover. She passed away later on that month, some say from the sickness, and some say from a broken heart. Either way, I will never forget her and all of the advice she bestowed upon me.
As if my family did not have enough worries, another problem arose: my little brother. Now with no one left to care for him, I realized that he would have to come and live with me. This frightened me a little. I never had children, so I knew nothing of the responsibility and hard work that go into raising a child. All I knew was that now I had another mouth to feed, and that I did not have enough money for us to live on.
The first few days living with my brother went well. He is just like me when I was his age. Since he never attended a school either, I made sure to teach him how to read and write. He learned very quickly. It seemed like everything was going well for us, until one day I actually noticed just how low on money we were becoming. I had to think quickly in order to keep us from going hungry. Then the idea came to me one night while I was lying awake worrying about our future: I could teach my brother all of the tricks that I knew when I was his age! I would show him all of the ways that I used to steal from people in order to survive. I am sure he would agree to it if he knew that it would keep him from going to bed hungry at night.
So for a few days...