When I was young, or more than I am now, about twelve years ago, I remember that when I left school, I would return home running. I didn’t do it because I had no friends there. On the contrary, I have always been considered a people person, yet even so, with a slight dismissal at the bell, I would run like there was no tomorrow.
Upon arriving home, the first thing I did when I opened the door was to wipe my feet on the rug in the entryway. Of course, what else would it be but that? Afterward, I would go with my mom, who, since my dad was still alive at that then, was the one doing the housework.
Next to her, I hugged her, and she kissed my forehead. Then while she was in the kitchen and I was in an armchair in the living room, we chatted about how my day had gone. She only asked me about mine because hers was always the same routine, with nothing new.
I know all of this may make it seem like my motivation for returning was to see my mom, but that was not the case. At that time, I was a child, a very young one, so I could not have gone against her will. She was the one who urged me to talk to her every day when I came back, or else she would not allow me to go upstairs to my room.
She probably thought I had a severe addiction to video games since she warned me from time to time not to be on them so often. However, she was wrong.
Video games? Yes, they were a lot of fun. Without a doubt, I liked them as much as any other kid, but my motivation was different, was a somewhat strange reason.
Just as my mother satisfied her desire to talk to me, I let out a loud sigh, then went upstairs after saying goodbye and hearing her tell me to come down in an hour for lunch.
Free at last, with long, energetic strides, I walked towards my room… no, that was not where I was going. My destination was the bathroom.
Hahaha! I’m sure if my friends had known how happy I was to go to the bathroom, they, like the perverts they are, would have thought dirty things. They would forget that since I was so small, something like sexual desire did not exist in me.
What I was going there was to see the full-length mirror inside.
In front of it, I sat for hours, playing with an… entity? Or something like that, that was on the other side. To be more exact, I played with the other me that existed inside the mirror. So great was my obsession with that world that, right after I learned to read English, my next task was to learn to read the twisted letters drawn in its reflection, and I succeeded…
I don’t understand. Now that I can call myself an adult, I can’t figure out why I would do something like that. Well, that’s a lie, as I think it was happening because my younger self wanted to escape the hellish training our father gave me and my brother when he came home from work.
My dad was so obsessed with wrestling that, even though he had a belly worthy of a man in his forties, he forced us to do exercises and moves that he looked up on the internet. On the worst days, those when madness consumed him, he would make my brother and me fight against each other.
What an idiot. How could he think it was a good idea to pit a seven-year-old against a fifteen-year-old teenager? Because of him, the beatings I received were monumental. Fortunately, those events were few, for if my mom had discovered him, she might have even asked him for a divorce outright. So, that only happened when she went to visit her parents, who lived in another state.
That was such an unruly time. It is no wonder I ended up doing such strange actions, for with a father like that, anyone would have looked for a method to escape from reality.
However, all that came to an end after his departure.
You never know what you have until you lose it. That’s a very wise phrase that I have experienced firsthand. After his death, the thin cord that tied my brother and me together broke. Because of the age difference, we stopped talking to each other frequently, and eventually, the relationship became awkward.
Moreover, without the income my dad was bringing in, my mom had to look for a job, so from then on, when I came home, there was no one to greet me. Not to mention that I missed his boisterous attitude.
I missed that man who cheerfully came to the house, so he was lively that he even embarrassed us. That is why we began to consider him as if he were someone who had the body of an adult but was not old enough mentally to be one.
Without him, I no longer had any reason to rush home. Talk to my other self on the other side of the mirror? Impossible, that’s something I would have done only with my mother’s presence at home, since otherwise, I wouldn’t do it because I was afraid of it.
That’s when I opened my eyes and realized how shady my actions were, which became all the more reason not to return home alone.
So, with my young brain, I thought: What should I do to stay away from there as long as possible? The answer to such a question was easy to deduce.
To continue my father’s dream. That was my choice.
Without wasting time, I asked my mom to enroll me in a martial arts school, but she refused. It was clear that she would do it. After all, if she didn’t like our father training us, even though he was someone with whom we shared blood so he would take total care of us, much less would she want to leave me, the youngest, alone in a violent place with strangers.
Or so she surely thought back then.
In the end, I had to lie to her and tell her that I was doing it because I felt that my dad was talking to me from beyond the grave at night, that I heard him asking me to continue what he could never do. I tearfully begged him not to leave him suffering, to let me fulfill his last wish.
In short, the innocence of children can sometimes be worse than the hostility of an adult. Those few words I said pierced my mother’s heart. Understandable when considering how she, the woman who loved her husband so much, heard that he was lamenting after his death.
Whether she believed me or not, bringing her to the brink of tears, she accepted my request.
I joined a martial arts school, and not just any martial arts school. No, because with the money my dad left us, my mom searched until she found the best dojo in the area, that is, a place where martial arts of all kinds were taught. Predictably, though, the price for doing so was enormous.
As a result of what I did, my brother distanced himself from me even more than before. It didn’t seem like we were family or living in the same house.
It was sad.
In any case, as time went by, I learned several martial arts, and apparently, I had a high talent for them, one that my father never discovered due to his crude way of training us. It wasn’t one or two black ribbons that I got. It was four. Four, I said.
There were so many before I reached the age of eighteen. An achievement that surprised everyone I knew and that changed me.
I became arrogant but not evil, as with such a good mother at home, I could not have been. Yet, I came to think that there was no one to match me. Then, one day on my way to the dojo, I saw a girl being harassed, so I, feeling like a fantasy hero, went to help her.
From that day on, my life was never the same.
…why did I do this? Oh, that’s right, I forgot. I wasn’t just remembering the past. I was watching my life flash before my eyes.
Although I am not dead, nor am I dying, perhaps soon I will be, which is good because, based on the gunshots I heard in the distance, I seem to have lost everything that anchored me to this world.
Everything feels so unreal, so fake as if it were a dream.
Neither the drops of water falling on my body, nor the loud lightning heard in the sky can help me to wake up.
Time moves so slowly that I feel able to grab easily, with one hand, the gun pointed at my temple, and with it, be able to subdue… no, murder the four bastards in front of me who laugh at me until they lose their breath.
Like the cackling of pigs and chickens, their laughter sounds in my ears.
I want to do it. I want to take revenge for everything they caused. However, as slow as it all feels, I know this is an illusion. Acting now would not change anything, as the training I did, does not allow me to be faster than the movement of the finger on the trigger of a gun.
Moreover, even if I could do it, I wouldn’t. Why would I do it? After all, if I did it, I would get out alive, yes, but how many others would have to die, my friends, my uncle, or maybe my teachers?
I think this will soon be over anyway, as I can see that the laughter of those guys is stopping.
Yes, they are no longer laughing. Only a detestable smile and mocking eyes can be seen on their faces. It seems that they have decided to act.
‘Dad, after so many years, soon we will see each other’