"YOU say money isn't everything, but I sure would like to
see you live without it."
Enrique was in the middle of a heated argument with a
friend from the city.
Noel, the friend, was calling it quits. He wanted to go
back to the city and claimed he could not take the life of
the farmers anymore. I've had it, he exclaimed. I'm going
back to the city first thing tomorrow.
Other members of their group tried to persuade him to stay.
Enrique was one of them. But to no avail.
"Money is a necessity Noel, but it is definitely not
everything," Enrique said, his tone biting. "Do not abandon
the cause for your love for those pieces of paper."
"They are not pieces of paper!" Noel exclaimed. "They are
the key to power. Fame. You know what we can do with power
and fame? We can buy the world. We can buy protection. We
will be invincible!"
I was wiping the dishes that we used with a rag cloth. It
was high noon. Enrique was summoned by a fellow member,
alerting him of Noel's decision. All of them had clustered
in front of our house, siding with Enrique, asking Noel to
stay. BUt Noel was too headstrong, too stubborn. Nobody
could really counter him. Enrique was the only one left
arguing with Noel.
"You know what? Screw this. Screw it all." Noel was talking
wildly, making big gestures with his hands. "Why should we
fight to liberate these imbeciles anyway? Why should we
risk our lives for these uneducated fools? They do not care
about social order Enrique! They only care about food.
Food! And as long as we give them food then we have done
what we must. Let htem serve us! Let them work for us! We
are bourgeois Enrique! We are the rulers! Who cares if they
only have the crumbs and we have the cake? Who cares? They
are uneducated! They do not know how to make their own
cakes. They should be happy with the crumbs!"
"That is why we must teach them," Enrique replied. "That is
why we are here! We are here to tell them that they should
not be happy with the crumbs because they deserve far more
than that! We will give them cakes and we will teach them
to make their own!"
"And what will you do, Enrique? Throw away all the riches
your father has toiled for for years?" Noel scoffed. "You
are a hypocrite! You live in the world that you abhor. You
are here simply to ease your conscience. You want to
believe that you are finally doing something. Tell me, do
you not miss waking up late and not having to do anything
in the fields? Don't you miss waking up on a real bed, in a
big airconditioned room? Don't you miss your steak dinners,
your beautiful seven-series BMW...everything that money has
given you. Admit it Enrique. You miss them. You are still
hopelessly hopelessly bourgeois!"
"I am not!" Enrique roared. "Shut up Noel!"
Noel was taken aback by the rage that consumed the man he
was talking to. He hesitated. But then a slow cynical smile
creeped into his lips. "You are angry," he said, "because
what I say is true." He laughed. "You are all fools," he
said, addressing the other members of the group. "What you
are fighting for is impossible. Do not risk your lives for
these uneducated masses."
Noel was about to leave. He caught a glimpse of me standing
at the door, watching him. His eyes shifted to Enrique who
was looking at him with clenched fists and angry eyes.
Noel sighed sadly. "Don't throw away your life Enrique," he
said. "There are so many girls in the city who can give you
far more than what she can. They are smart, they are rich,
they are beautiful. Don't throw away your life. Don't throw
away your future. Don't do something you know you will
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