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STORY 2. PART 2. YELLOW GROUP. 1º A But the following day I decided to stay home and get my things organized instead. I hadn‟t brought many things back with me. I had been renting the furnished apartment where I had lived for the last five years so I only brought back some personal things and all my clothes. The basement was a mess. Everything was piled up against the walls and the bed was in the middle. The small bathroom was also full of boxes and I could hardly reach the toilet. I woke up quite late and went upstairs for a quick cup of coffee. No one was home so I took my time and had breakfast all by myself in my old home. Things had not changed much around the place which looked just as cozy as always. I knew my parents weren‟t happy to see me at home again. Things had been tough before I left and even though I knew I was to blame for most of the arguments and problems I had wished for a better welcome. I had taken a long time to finish my college degree, much longer than expected. After I graduated I turned down some job opportunities hoping to get the best paying one and when I eventually could leave home it was for what it seemed to me a very short time. As I was lost in my thought I heard my mom coming in the house. “Good morning” I said. “Hi” she said “I thought you might be out looking for work”. I could see the look of disappointment in her eyes as she put her things down on the kitchen counter. “Yes, I was going to, but I was too tired and decided to stay home and fix the basement instead” I replied. She sat down and without lo oking at me she complained that I hadn‟t changed, that I was once more postponing things. “When will you do things when you have to and not when you feel like it.” After she said that she stood up and left the kitchen. I didn‟t have time to answer. I really didn‟t have much to say. It was always the same story. I went downstairs and lay on the bed. I stayed there for a long time staring at the ceiling trying not to think. I don‟t know how long I had been there when I heard voices coming from upstairs. I sat on the edge of the bed and after a while I got up. I was really hungry and had no idea what time it was. I decided to go upstairs again and find out what all the noise was about and get some food too. When I reached the living room my mom and dad were arguing about me. This brought back memories. When they saw me they stopped talking. “Don‟t mind me! Keep talking! I know you don‟t want me here, you don‟t have to pretend you do” I said angrily and turned around. “Hold it there John” my father said. “Your mom and I are worried about you, you need to understand. You have always been much laid back and have done things at your own pace. That was ok when you were younger but you are a grown up man now and you have to take responsibilities.” I look ed at him angrily and left the house. I walked around for a while but couldn‟t stop thinking about what my dad had said. Deep down I knew he was right. I decided to go back and face my parents. “Mom, dad, listen to me, I have something to tell you. Starting tomorrow things are going to change for good. I promise.”


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PART 3 GREEK GROUP : This was the most difficult promise I had ever had to make. I didn‟t realize it in the first place but this wasn‟t something I was able to do by myself. I needed t o find a job immediately. And, fortunately, the only person that could help me was my brother. I found his phone number in my mother‟s agenda. I should have thought about it beforehand because I know I was going to regret it and it wasn‟t the right time for a decision like this. I had to prove above all that I was a responsible young man. May this was my last chance to make my parents believe in me for the first time. He didn‟t answer my call so I sent him a voice mail. It was somehow pathetic but ther e was no other option left. The hours were passing and I had made a promise to my parents that I was going to try hard. I was too upset for lunch, not to mention that I didn‟t want to sit next to my parents before the moment of truth, that is, before I would actually have something substantial to tell them. I spent many hours walking around my almost empty basement, holding my mobile phone in my right palm, waiting for my brother to call. My message was short but comprehensive. I was polite and tried to ask him that favor in the nicest possible way. Of course I didn‟t ask him directly to give a post in his company. I had just said I was in need of his help regarding family maters. And this wasn‟t a lie at all. It was six o‟ clock and I was too nervous to keep waiting, so I called him again. This time he picked up the phone but I found that I didn‟t know what to say. The words couldn‟t get out of my mouth. Thank God he spoke first. „Hello‟, he said. -Hi, Kostas. It‟s me, John. My voice was trembling. I called you in the morning but you didn‟t pick it up. We need to talk about a very important family issue. -Is anything wrong with Mam and Dad? They told me you were going to stay with them. - They are ok, don‟t worry. The problem is that I moved with them because I‟m unemployed. I couldn‟t pay the rent any more and I didn‟t have anywhere else to go. And, you see they are not very happy about that. They want me to move on with my life, just like you did. And I want to make it this time. I always disappo int them. You don‟t. That‟s why I need your help. He was listening to me patiently while I was talking to him. He didn‟t sound angry. - Look John, I know that you never had a great relationship with our parents. I do but this doesn‟t mean anything. It‟s not fair for any of us to be compared. We are two different people and this is never going to change. They must accept you just the way you are. And I would like to help. Being unemployed may seem tough, but there are always rough times in our lives. We need to find ways to fight. That‟s the reason I‟m offering you a job in my company. I want to offer you the chance you need being your older brother. Understand this: you don‟t live to make them proud, you live to be a happy man. - Thank you Kostas. I really do. I couldn‟t find anything else to say. This was all I was able to say to him: Thank you.‟ - I know we haven‟t been very close to each other but we need to change that, don‟t you think? - I do. We were both very happy about it. I never knew that my brother liked me nor that he would be lo sensitive as to offer me a job before I even asked for it. After that talk I told my parents what happened. I must admit that I had never seem them that happy before.


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They said that it was my brother‟s kindness. Somehow I don‟t care. I know I am grateful to my brother and I made a promise to myself that I will stand on my own feet as soon as possible by trying to do my best in my new post. Now I live with my wife and daughter Lucy in our own house in Nea Smirni. I have a job that I love and a very good relationship with my brother, who I have found is a very kind man. Sometimes I feel that I owe him everything. Indeed, he was the one who helped me in those hard times when all I had to do was to give up my false pride and become responsible and conscientious in the job he offered me. Now I am a happy person and in the end that‟s what matters. END



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