Welcome To the Neighbourhood

Monday, May 30, 2005

A Family Emerges: Mark, Gurpreet and Rajah Ashworth

Lee mentioned he was going back at the end of his schooling when they first moved in together. He liked Canada, but after being a student for the 6 years before and with another 2 remaining, he missed his parents and older brother. It wasn’t as though Mark had no notice when he packed his boxes. And there certainly wasn’t a custody battle to be won.

Mark had saved up nicely by having a roommate while working full time as a roofer. As one of six children in his family, he wasn’t interested in ever living on his own. The silences of the first few nights in which Lee had class or volunteered drove him to wander the streets until Lee was scheduled for return. Mark was certain that Lee’s sudden desire to get a golden lab puppy was not a selfish act. Mark only needed to be convinced as to why Lee’s dislike of dogs vanished so quickly.

When the young pup arrived, they had settled on the name Stalin until Mark’s then-girlfriend insisted that the puppy was far too affectionate and loved for such a violent name. Instead, she began calling him Rajah and the name stuck. Not only did Rajah create excuses for Mark when he was tired of being alone, but also ensured that there was no “alone”.

Mark spent the months after Lee’s announcement that he was graduating at the end of spring looking for another person to move into the ground floor of the house he lived in, only minutes from the school. After repeated failed attempts to get someone to move in at the beginning of the summer, he realized that the only person he wanted to live with was his girlfriend. She wouldn’t be available in the month and a half’s notice he was ready to offer her.

Her family would want marriage before she moved out; and ideally not with Mark. Mark had some rough spots when he and Gurpreet were first dating. He went out of his way to please her parents, but it wasn’t ever enough. She and her parents came to a deal in which she could see Mark, but not talk about him to her sisters unless it was about “just a friend”. It was an arrangement that she appreciated, but Mark protested. Gurpreet won out in the end and Mark was restricted from affection with her in her house.

The proposal was brief and over a coffee on Sunday morning. There would be an elopement with a Marriage Commissioner when he had a spot available in the week. Lee and Jill were to be present as witnesses. She still wanted the full wedding in a year’s time and that only her family was to know of the technical marriage.

With her parents unable to undo what was done, the fact that it was done to appease them and the excitement of the eldest daughter getting married, the blazing anger only lasted the weeks in which Gurpreet prepared for moving out.

To her confused sisters, it looked as if she eloped to a good friend.


  • Not happy with this one, but I've been sitting on it for three days and if it's not going to come out in a way I like, I might as well put it up for critical commentary.

    By Blogger Corinne, at 5/30/2005 03:12:00 p.m.  

  • The beginning was a bit rocky to me, but it picks up mid-way through. Maybe if you showed some of the information through dialogue it would help? Like if you led off with a conversation between Lee and Mark just before or just as Lee moves out, in which Mark expresses frustration that he hasn't found a roommate yet and Lee says Mark's known for however long that he was moving out.

    I like the addition of the Mark/Gurpreet household. I think there could be a lot more tension coming between them and also with Gurpreet's family.

    By Blogger Briana, at 5/30/2005 04:20:00 p.m.  

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