Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Riches and Rags

Riches and Rags

Isabella Xie

Year 6, Pymble Ladies' College

Everyday sunshine wakes him up, he stretches on his goose-feather bed.

The harsh wind screams in her face, her bones ache and there's pains in her head.

Rows and rows of fluffy pancakes, glistening with maple syrup sit patiently on a table.

A perfect dinner, chicken and rice, to her it was only a fable.

His Gucci suitcase stood at his door, a sleek, black private limousine resting at his drive way.

Her “school bag” had holes in it, which resulted in her being constantly delayed.

He strode into the gold-encrusted gates, his fancy blazer covered his navy collar shirt.

She trudged to school, her uniform was a grey mess, she even had holes in her skirt.

His mahogany hair was flattened by Calvin and Klein Gel, it reflected like glass.

She covers her dirty face, ashamed and worried that she'll be laughed at by her class.

He pulls a 24k Carat Golden pen, the ink smooth and pure, his friends all do the same.

She pulls out her pencil, its wax peeling off, her classmates said it was lame.

He went home to a mansion, only marble sculptures littered the halls, he was alone.

She went back, sand and debris filled her shoes as she skipped home.

His father on holiday and Mother no more.

She prays for money, but she is always poor, all she can do is look at the stores.

His house is cold, large and lonely, there's no one to come and play, his friends are there for money, they wouldn't even care.

She was surrounded by kindness, by friends she could call “brother” and “Sister” their hate to her was extremely rare.

His father was always with other women, but occasionally sent him money, but he didn't want that, he wanted to watch a movie with his father and do manly things.

When she was alone, she felt carefree. The silence was calming, she felt like a King.

He was broken, friendship is all he wanted, money was not his cup of tea.

She wanted the riches, to touch gossamer silk, but she knew that wasn't the key.

He went to the mall, to buy his Father a gift,

She headed to the Shopping Centre, she sighed as she stepped into the lift.

He tapped his card on the tiny machine, “UNAPPROVED” was shown in bright crimson letters, he called his father and asked him “Whatever Happened?”

She walked in and embraced the coolness of air conditioning, kicked some trash and kept walking.

She saw a boy, the same age, his face was puffy, he had been crying.

Tears cascaded down his face, the news his father gave, wasn't very appealing. He was now parentless. His father had disowned him, and he was now dirt poor.

She peered at him and walked through the exquisite shop door.

Rows of dresses and hats she couldn't ever afford.

She ignored that they were staring at her mangled hair, she ignored that they were whispering about her.

She put a creased hand on his shoulder and asked, “Are you alright Monsieur?”

He sniffed and shook his head, he opened his mouth and explained his worries.

She smiled and whispered:

“Money Isn't Happiness.”