Lost Hope

Lost Hope The ballroom came to a life of its own, as the dazzling light from the grandiose chandelier bounced off the pearly white walls and shone against the marvellous marble floor. The ethereal music filled the chaotic air as the orchestra brushed their fingers gently along the keys of the piano, and caressed the strings of the delicate harps and violins. I meticulously analysed the scene in front of me. The hall was filled with herds of families, distant relatives, and companions- some of which I was yet to be introduced to. To say I was appalled was an understatement. The men stood with immense pride- dressed in their finest dress coats with broad lapels and full collars, however the wives engaged in their not-so-discrete gossip, with their royal bustles cascading down. My frustration heightened, as did my forbearance. This was immoral and unjust. Where was the grief? Where was the despair? More importantly, where was the respect? Whilst I understood the privileges of being the eldest son of a Lord, it was clear to me that this was no more than an opportunity to display the wealth of my late father. He passed away four days ago- 24th November 1836. However, my mourning was cut short by the selfishness and greed of my mother- the organiser of this inconsiderate event to showcase and celebrate my late father’s estates and hereditary titles that I now inherited. This was unforgivable. To everyone in this room, wealth was a prize to be sought and won, whereas to me it was a prize to be abandoned and forgotten. In their materialistic eyes, money was the one factor that they all had in common, that displaced any other emotion and took priority- even in cases of death. This wasn’t a lifestyle I desired to engage in. Where did our morals disappear to? Where was the fulfillment in wealth? Where was the honour in greed? Unlike the rest of my family and acquaintances, I recognised and understood the significance of upholding my moral values- especially from an aristocratic descent, with the ability and financial resources to support those from lower class backgrounds. This made me different to them. I chose happiness over wealth- a concept foreign to my lineage and its corrupt beliefs. Sighing with an extreme disgust and resentment, I swiftly headed for the exit of the ballroom; I needed a pause from this tumultuous reality. As soon as I was engulfed by the bleak, wintry air, I let out a deep breath and looked up towards the crescent shaped moon that shone like angelic dust. Lost in the deep burrows of my mind, I was startled when I heard the faint pleas from what resembled a mudlark crouched against the opposite wall- his clothes damp and tattered, his face rugged and dishevelled. Without a second thought, I approached him commiseratingly and placed several shillings in his hand as he looked at me in disbelief, before making my way back inside...

by Aayla Qureshi, Age 17

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