It’s strange to look back on my life in those times. It still haunts me, the violence, the gangs and the very way of life. And even stranger to realise how my brother and I turned out to be so completely different. In many ways I continued on the same path, whilst my twin changed his life so radically that he became a builder in Worthing. Didn’t turn out to be a millionaire or the top of the pile, but he lives the kind of respectable existence that has always been alien to me. I even paid for him to visit and stay for weeks so he could build an extension on my house and we could catch up on old times and reacquaint ourselves.
Not that I’ve moved that far away, either in distance or in lifestyle. Although my family is away from the worst of my upbringing, you can still feel the latent undertone of violence in the air around here. Whereas my twin shunned that life for one of a more genteel variety. He married a girl from outside our world, one who had a middle-class upbringing, attended a private school and has an elegance about her. Whilst I married Marietta, a local girl from our school, a childhood sweetheart if you will. Clever, brave, loyal and beautiful, but she could never be described as elegant. My brother has a perfect family, one girl, one boy, beautifully mannered and high achievers at school. Marietta gave birth to five children, one of whom died shortly after birth due to the poor care given to our type. But we have 3 sons and a wayward daughter who love their parents and know from whence they come.
I couldn’t be happier, despite our lack of luxuries and treats that my brother’s family takes for granted. Our pleasures are simpler out of necessity but we have fun and lots of good friends who make living in this area so worthwhile. Our favourite entertainment is an outdoor party, roasting a pig over a pit, singing and dancing with more than a little beer in our bellies. We’re not the sort to drink wine, nor could we afford it, but we’re very happy with our lot and despite the reputation of our town, there’s nowhere we’d rather live.
Now I think perhaps I might move to a new chapter in my life