Superbia entered the town’s walls muttering to himself. For the last half a mile he had been stuck behind a train of merchants mostly watching the swishing of a tale of a donkey’s ass. Why had his father sent him to this god-forsaken town? Pride had always been a slight problem for him, but being one of seven children he knew he had to be the best – how else was he to get any of his fathers attention and a fair share of his fathers wealth?
“Superbia”, he heard a voice call out in the crowd and turned to see a rotund figure heading towards him.
“Patruus”, Superbia waved back and as his uncle grew closer, he embraced him in a hug. As the train of merchants began to move again slowly through the town walls Patruus and Superbia walked side-by-side in comfortable silence.
“So, your father has told me you have lost your way Superbia. I make no bones, he told me he found you drunk crawling through town.”
“I wasn’t…” Superbia started to explain Avaritia’s evil set-up but Patruus held his hand up.
“It matters none to me, I helped raise your father into the good strong man he is today, and I can see the same in you. But you will have to put in a lot of hard work. Your father has said I am only to send you home once I am happy with your progress.” Superbia nodded in response. Although the remaining journey was spent in friendly discussion about Superbia’s brothers and sisters, Superbia could not wait to get to his uncle’s home and enjoy a nice hot meal and comfortable bed. His uncle’s wealth was beyond that of even his fathers and Superbia couldn’t wait to enjoy a little of that luxury, even if it was just to boast about it to his brothers and sisters back home. He was unaware his uncle had other plans.
After dropping of the cart and entering the cool home, Superbia was instantly happy to be out of the heat. He was in awe of the size of his uncle’s home, rooms to the left and right, cellars and stairways and a central courtyard with a garden and a fountain, it was all truly breath-taking. He turned to his Uncle, “Pat, may I see my room?”
“Of course”, Pat smiled happily, this way. Pat walked ahead of Superbia down one of the darker corridors, Superbia noticed the floor was rather plain compared to the beauty of the entrance hall, and in some places, the white walls even seemed to be crumbling a little. “Here we go”, his uncle said opening the room door wide for Superbia to see. Superbia stepped inside, there was only a hard wooden single bed and a wooden chair.
Superbia glanced up and down his body, would he even fit on that tiny bed? There was nowhere to put his things. He turned to his uncle thinking this to be a joke but his uncle was gone, putting his head out the room Superbia could see Pat was already making his way down the corridor.
“I shall leave you to get settled Superbia, see you in an hour for our evening meal together”, Pat called over his shoulder.
Superbia slumped down onto the hard bed. His father must truly want him to suffer. This was not what Superbia had had in mind at all.
After his hour Superbia was desperate to leave his tiny cell-like room and make his way to his uncle’s courtyard. As he approached he could hear many voices chattering and was excited to enter his uncle must have thrown him a party! But as Superbia entered the bright area, he could see the dressware of his uncle’s guests was poor, some even wore no shoes. Superbia tried not to stare agog but every now and then a detail caught his eye that he could not help question, lack of shoes, a rip in clothing, dirty hands or feet.
“Aaah Superbia”, his Uncle walked over and patted him cheerfully on the back, “You have finally arrived, let’s all eat.” Superbia turned away so his back was to the guests and tugged his uncle round with him. “Pat, who are all these people?”
“Oh dear boy, these are my friends and colleagues. You must recognise a few of them, some of them have been with the household since you were a child.” Pat turned back at the crowd and waved happily as everyone began to take their place at the table.
“You have invited your servants to eat with us”, Superbia could not help hide the anger in his voice.
“I do not have servants, I have employees and colleagues. They are all good and honest people, which is why they dine with me. You would do well to remember they are here because I chose for them to be, you are here because your father chose for you not to be with him. Does that make you better than them? I think not.” With that and his face once again filled full of smiles Pat returned to his table and raised a toast to his guests.
Superbia followed, his anger burning inside. How could his uncle and his father treat him this way? He picked at the fine selection of food and spent the majority of the evening stabbing at the leftovers on his plate. However the rest of the group merry with fine wine had a wonderful evening. After the meal was cleared away music started and several of the group including his uncle left the table to dance.
After a while Superbia stood up, deciding his cell-like room was better than this but as he turned around a vision of beauty stood before him. She blushed shyly and twirled a strand of her hair nervously.
“Umm.. would you like to dance?” she finally asked boldly.
“Me,” Superbia looked around him but it was just the two of them. “Yes, I would love to”.
After several dances the pair returned to table and began to chatter.
“Why did you come talk to me, I can’t have been particularly friendly looking?” Superbia said. He knew he was the best looking guy in the room and was sure she was about to pay him a compliment.
“I felt pity for you.” The girl answered. “I do not know what made you so sad, as your uncle has invited you to live in his beautiful home and put on such a wonderful meal , I suspect it is missing your family and I know how that feels.”
Superbia was gobsmacked. This was not what he had thought and to this he did not know what to say, she was right. Yet he still felt frustrated at the situation. So he just nodded.
“It is late, I must leave, I am to work the market stall early tomorrow so I must be going.” She sighed slightly, clearly not entirely wanting to leave.
“Wait, what is your name?” he asked as she stood.
“Humilitas”, she smiled at him.
“May I see you again, Humilitas?”
“Of course”, she giggled, “You’re uncle has arranged for you to work the stalls with me.”
Superbia was once again cross with his uncle, to work in the market place. That was definitely something his father would not expect him to do. Yet at the thought of seeing humilitas again Superbia felt his heart lift. He made his way across the courtyard to his uncle’s side.
“Good night Uncle. Thank you for the great meal and fun evening.” He turned and made his way down the corridor, so did not see his uncle’s smile. It was the first time Superbia had shown any signs of humility.
Superbia, exhausted from the dancing and the wine fell into his bed, he did not even notice how hard or cramped it was. Sleep soon took him as his dreams played over what tomorrow could bring. A day with humilitas, what could be better?
————————————————————————————————- Hope you enjoyed Superbia’s Story – humility, another 7 deadly sins based story.. To find out why Superbia got banished to Patruus’s care see this earlier post –“Superbia’s Story – Pride Before a Fall”. I would love to know what people think of this themed series. Thanks for reading. KL