My Dad had begged on these streets, taking jobs sweeping, unloading grocer’s trucks, anything to work his way toward a life here. He was handsome, and people trusted him. He was working his way from one job to better job when the army came through recruiting soldiers. They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. I was about to be born, and he needed to support his family.
He quickly climbed his way up the ranks and by the time I was 7, he was in parades, the people cheered for him, and his ideas were making the army money. He was a happy man. My memories of him all had smiles. His office was stocked with board games, and when I would visit he’d play one with me. It was great for his image, I realized.
But the war escalated, and he was sent to fight. After the army orphanage was built in his name, attached to this hospital and museum construction also his inspiration, he died. My mother died in childbirth shortly after, the stress too much, and I was sent here.
The war turned ugly.