“The Watch” is the first collection of short stories published by Jonel Juste. As it says, they are short stories, meaning stories that could have been longer but that we shortened because we know you don’t have much time to read. Here’s the first one: The Watch.
Every morning I watched my dad wear his Cartier with a certain satisfaction and pride. From time to time he gazed at it as if he feared it would vanish off his wrist. He received this gift from my mother and he loved it as much as he loved her. Mom offered this precious gift to my father to celebrate their ten years of marriage, and he couldn’t stop talking about it. It was really a wonderful watch and a technological jewel. I became jealous. I was even more jealous that I’ve always implored my mother to buy me a plastic watch but she refused. I was jealous and angry. I thought she didn’t love me as much as she loved my dad and I swore in my heart to steal the watch and make it disappear forever.
Today, when I think about it, I realized I wanted to rob something more precious than a pricey watch. I wanted to steal love. Yes, the love of my mom for my dad. After my father got the watch, he was very merry and always smiling. He practically never removed the watch from his wrist. So I was looking for a good occasion to rob the jewel. I was praying that he removed it.
One day, he took the watch off his wrist, I don’t know for what reason. Maybe he wanted to clean it or to fix something, I don’t know, but my prayers were answered. Dad forgot his “precious” on the kitchen counter and when I noticed the miracle, I immediately snatched the thing and ran out. Later I’ve been told that my father came back and when he didn’t find the watch he started to cry. I would have paid to see this man cry. I really think that loss affected my father for the rest of his life, and I regret my evil action till today. Ironically, I stole the watch and as I was wearing it on the streets I got robbed myself. I was walking like a king. I would pretend to check the time just to show off my expensive Cartier. Two cops were looking at me is if I’ve stolen the watch. I mean I was a 12-year old walking on the streets of Port-au-Prince ostensibly flaunting a Cartier!
I wish they had arrested me that day. At least my father would still have his treasure. The police officers did nothing, but I caught the attention of some other guys who were not pleased with my watch exhibition. They were the bad guys. They were thieves. They approached me to ask some questions. As I didn’t want to answer their questions and agree to their request, they beat me up, took the watch and ran away. I must confess I was sad. I started to like the watch and couldn’t really enjoy it, anyway not as long my father did.
I went home that night and, of course, I lied shamelessly when asked about the disappearance of the watch. After all, I had what I wished, my father would never see his cherished jewel again. For some reason, nobody suspected me but one my brothers got a historic beating because one day he joked about stealing the watch. So everybody thought it was him although he never ceased to claim his innocence. After my brother’s beating the case was closed, but the watch was never completely forgotten. From time to time, when me or my 2 brothers would do something wrong, my father would allude to the incident. Worse, I remarked that my father was always bitter. He had mood swings, and sometimes had frequent arguments with my mom. He would beat us up for nothing as a way to tell us that he would never forgive us for what happened.
I grew up and I became more mature. I was a grown-up now, I had my own kids. I always feared they fooled me as I fooled my own father when I was a child. Read more on Amazon