The story is about a child who has a difficult life where he loses his parents at a very young age. Confused and devastated he goes through the barbs of ridicule and insults at school and becomes afraid of social opinion.
Jerome is a shy kid since the death of his mother. He has a father who travels for work and an aunt who does not feel comfortable around. He develops a theory about his father being a spy in order to add heroism to his life and garner social prestige.
He feels confident that by creating a myth around his father’s profession he can escape in a world where he was more confident and respected. However, he soon gets the news of his father’s sudden demise.
Reason of Death
The teacher breaks the news and tells him that he dies because a pig fell on him. Jerome does not just feel sad but also humiliated to hear the nature of his father’s death.
Unfortunately, his sadness is increased due to the taunts at the hands of his peers. The students find about the death and mock and abuse Jerome. He suffers from depression and goes into his shell.
Over the years, Jerome becomes conscious whenever anyone asks him about his father’s demise. He feels embarrassed when his aunt narrates the accident to friends of the family. He feels that no person could ever feel compassion and empathy knowing the nature of his father’s death.
However, his life changes when he meets Sally. They both develop a bond of affection and trust. However, Jerome’s still feels reluctant to share the secret of his father and always redirects conversation when it lands on the topic.
After some years pass, the couple decides to get married. Sally begins to enquire more and eventually gets Aunt Sally to reveal the big secret. However, much to Jerome’s surprise and pleasure, Sally shows empathy and pain for the accidental death of his father.
She offers words of consolation and Jerome feels relieved to see her understand his grief. They both realize how much they mean to each other.
Jerome also recognizes that not everyone enjoys making fun at other people’s expense and there are genuinely sympathetic human beings in the world. He feels free from the torment of his father’s horrible death and finally finds closure.