"Mom I won't marry some churchlady's daughter! Are you crazy?!"
Josh probably didn't understand what was going on. Maybe he was just dreaming. You know when something makes perfect sense in the dream and when you're slowly waking up you start to realise how crazy and weird the things are.
Yes that must be it. He's just waking up. In a minute he will be in his room alone and not in the living room surrounded by his whole family looking at him expectantly.
"Josh, honey," his mother started while pacing around the room clearly not so comfortable with the circumstances either, "you know we're in depts, you know that we need some money but even though your dad has 2 jobs it's not enough… I'm not pleased with our decision but you have to understand that tomorrow we can end up in the streets."
Josh had to pinch his forearm at least 3 times 'til he figured out that this was the shitty reality and not his sick imagination.
Yes, money was tight all the time in this household. He knew it since he was a child and his parents always said that they couldn't afford to buy him a toy or a snack or sometimes new clothes and the fact that he had 3 other siblings with their own needs was even more sad, stressful and overwhelming for his poor mom and dad.
They always had some money for necessities though. Food, water in the sink and shower, heat and beds under a roof. That was all they ever really needed and it was enough. At least for Josh he wasn't complaining. Maybe he couldn't attend a highschool and was just homeschooled but it had some pros as for example he could wake up any time and it didn't matter much, he could focuse more on his favourite subject without it being a big problem and he didn't have to stress about tests, assignments or projects.
However there were some cons too. His mom thought him the basics how to read, write and calculate but since his mom had to go to work again after his youngest sister Abigail was old enough to be able to stay at home only with 11 years old Josh, it was his task to learn his younger siblings on his own when he became 16 years old.
But he managed pretty great, his brother and sisters were respectful and even had a desire to learn something new from their big brother. He usually taught his siblings from the youngest to the oldest in the morning and in the afternoon he continued with his own work.
He couldn't go to the collage and that was only one thing that he was disappointed about. He was smart and would be a great student and his mother cried because of that almost every night. She wanted the best for their children but couldn't due to the lack of money they had.
Josh respected his parents. He even found a job just to help them. He did what he was told. Always. But this was just too much.
"I can't believe you're selling the future of your kid! We can manage, mom! I can find another job! I don't know I can move out if it helps but THIS is just crazy! Do we live in freaking Middle Age for God's sake?!" In his opinion he didn't overreact at all. He just stated what was the truth.
Josh wanted to go to his room, lock himself and let his parents to throw that idea away but that's when his father suddenly spoke up. "Josh listen we wouldn't want this from you if we weren't in real need. You know this house needs to be paid and this month just wasn't the greatest I had to stay home for week because of the flu I caught and they showed me pretty well how it ends when I don't go to work. The car is broken again a when it's not fixed we won't even sell it for a good price. Josh there are more other things but we would be here the whole day if I had to name them to you separately." His dad stood up from the couch and walked the distance to his son to put a hand on his shoulder. He was clearly begging. They were desperate.
"Josh you can have a divorce after time if you want to or if it's that bad with that girl but please at least attend that wedding so they can give us the money they offered." Josh was still in shock and didn't understand a thing but when he looked on the things from his parents' perspective it was really the last choice that gave them hope.
"Can I even say no?" He asked quite hopeful himself because he really believed in love, he wanted to be married someday, have family with lots of kids but he didn't expected it to happen this way.
"I am sorry honey." His mom broke down and collapsed in an attempt to hug her son. "When she said she would be willing to arrange the wedding I couldn't say no." And that's how Josh knew he didn't have a choice now.