Boj: Chapter Sixteen

   When their small children started to die, Golda lost her composure. Golda was always the rock. When her children died, Golda could not bear it.

   The little boy was first. He had always his problems but Golda willed him through the dark nights and painful mornings. When he could not fight any longer, when no doctor could help, when God seemed not to hear, Golda surrendered to despair.

   She had been able to comfort Boj through the sudden, total downturn in their business. Boj always had the golden touch. Honest, dependable, kind and decent; customers trusted Boj with their living. Boj could always find a way to help everyone and turn an honest profit.

   Overnight, it seemed, their business went to pieces. No one could say why.

   Golda told Boj, "It is like someone dared God to test you. I can't believe we are in this place at this point in our lives."

   In fact, they were ruined, ruined irreparably, without recourse. Tret nodded sagely, with his face in full smirk.

   "I knew your old reliable habits would catch up to you someday," Tret sniffed. "You never learned to leverage. You kept your customers on the safe side rather than let their greed drive you."

   "You're just a failure, for all you've done," Tret said, and leered.

   Boj had the equity in his home left, a car and a wife and five children. He went to work for Tret, collecting debts where they could be collected. He flatly refused to put anyone out of their property if they made an effort to pay something. Tret was often furious with him but Boj held firm.

   Then the children started to die. Golda lost her composure and Boj lost his heart. The oldest twins died shortly after the helpless little boy. The girls were inseparable in birth, in life and then in death. They died within minutes of each other; happy and playful one day, gone the next. No one could tell Golda why.

   She had held her strength when they finally lost their house. Tret had loaned them some money against their equity. Suddenly, one day, he announced he had to call the whole loan, as well as the loans of dozens of others. Families thrown first out of work were then unceremoniously dumped out of their homes.

   Boj was first.

   "God," he asked, "why is this happening to me? What are you saying to me?"


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