Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta parents. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta parents. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 22 de noviembre de 2017

Thanksgiving

   She gave herself one last look in the mirror before grabbing her purse and her jacket. Jackie caressed her cat Milo before heading out into the night, where she would have to get into a cab and then wait inside before arriving and the Thanksgiving dinner she had been invited to only some days earlier. Paul had been kind enough to invite her and she knew they didn’t knew each other that well yet, so his gesture was all the more difficult to understand but welcomed. After all, she was very far from her own family.

Jackie’s new job as an assistant editor had forced her to move out of her small city to a bigger one, where she would have many more opportunities to grow. At first, she had been very reluctant to leave her home but it was her own parents that almost forced her to take that big new step in her life. They had never had the opportunity to do something like that and they wanted her to have everything they hadn’t been able to have in their respective youths. They were going to miss her deeply but it was necessary for her to leave.

 Starting somewhere else she had never being to was difficult the first few months but the amount of work had numbed her response to anything happening around her. Thanksgiving was the first time she was leaving her small rented apartment in order to actually have fun. She would leave everyday really early for work and then head back at night to sleep there. She would cook something as soon as she arrived and pack it for the next day. That was her routine and she was grateful for it because it didn’t require thinking.

 That party, however, did require a lot of it. She had to buy a proper dress, something she didn’t have in her wardrobe, and accessorize it with nice things and, of course, a great hairdo. She bought some fashion magazines to give her a good idea of what girls from the city liked to wear but she felt none of those styles actually fitted her. She was more the kind of staying at home and enjoy a new TV show, rather than going out to a club dancing or something like that. She had to go to several stores before finding a dress she liked.

 The woman that helped her was the one who advised her on which earrings and shoes she should wear with it. Thankfully, some of her own stuff was perfect for it, saving her a big amount of money she wouldn’t have being able to spend, unless she went in debt or something and that was something her parents had warned her against. She also borrowed a neighbor’s jacket, a girl named Olivia who had become her best friend in the city. That was something to say because they didn’t really know each other that well but Olivia had seen Jackie with her dress bag and sad expression and just knew she needed help.

 When she arrived at the venue, a very impressive restaurant on the twentieth floor of a very old and majestic building, Jackie felt she was entering some sort of book. The people tending to the guests were dressed like those butlers that you see on period dramas or something like that. She even smiled when one of them offered her a glass of champagne, which she accepted trying to fit in. She suddenly felt a little bit out of her element and tried to look for her friend all around. But the place was fairly big.

 The venue was like a palace inserted into a building. There were long and luxurious stairs that separated two floors, both of which had different rooms were people could stand up or sit down, have a drink or dance around if they wanted. No loud music thought. There was a live band playing some modern songs but in such a way it seemed the whole place had been transported magically back to the 1950’s. It was a very nice atmosphere but also a bit uncomfortable for Jackie, who wasn’t used to something like that.

 Her friend Leslie appeared from behind. He was a tall, very white and lanky man, who worked in the technical area of the magazine. He was the one who made it possible for the editor to make a digital edition to be on display for all of those women, and some men, who paid for the magazine online. He was one of the first people that invited Jackie to have lunch with him when she arrived, stating that he had always been the lonely kid in school and would have never wanted to have someone feel like that if he could do something about it.

 They laughed for a while before talking about the food and drinks and how fantastic the place was. Leslie explained that the place was owned by a very old club, which had been created by his grandmother many years ago. He didn’t say a word, but it was obvious his family was very wealthy. He tried to make it all seem like if it was something everyone could experience but Jackie soon realized that wasn’t the case at all. Elitist was maybe a very strong word but it would be appropriate for the situation.

 Leslie took her by the arm and carried hair up the stairs, to a room all decorated in gold and some red elements. There, she was presented to his family. Leslie’s mother Corinne was a very nice lady that was obviously not used to such luxury either. The young woman soon deduced it was her husband who had been born into wealth and not her. It was not only the way she spoke and moved but also the things that she didn’t do. Jackie liked her from the first moment and so did Corinne, who had never really liked any of her son’s friends because of their way of behaving in public.

 Helen, Leslie’s grandmother, was someone very different. She sat on a big chair and didn’t move too much. It wasn’t like she couldn’t walk or something like that. It was obvious that she wanted everyone to be around her and to be, to an extent, the center of everyone’s attention during her time in the event, which was actually short for being such a matriarch. The moment dinner was served in a very large table, she disappeared. Jackie asked about her whereabouts but no one answered. It was her thing.

 It wasn’t until much later in the evening when Jackie met Leslie’s father. He had just arrived from a very long flight, claiming he had taken a limousine straight from the airport to be able to share some time with his family. His wife was happy to see him but Leslie had a very different response. Jackie could tell he just stopped himself from joking around as he usually did and he became this stiff man that couldn’t almost speak a word. It was a very unsettling thing to see.

 And George, his father, was not at all an intimidating man. He was actually very charming; enchanting everyone present with some stories about his trip to Asia and the people he met there. He also told some jokes but many of them did not find an audience with Jackie. Maybe she was too oblivious or the content just went over her head. But the most likely reason was she was trying to make Leslie speak, with little to no success. He really seemed to have become a human icicle.

 Then, out of nowhere, a member of the staff came in rushing into the dining room, straight for Leslie’s father. He spoke in a very low register and fast enough no one could really understand what he was saying, not even Jackie who was fairly close. Whatever he was talking about, it was very serious because George’s expression went from utter joy to a very grim expression that drained all color from his face. The staff member left and George’s father stood up, trying to make people calm down.

 He announced, in a very deep voice, that his mother had just passed away in her apartment “upstairs”. He apologized for ending the evening, but the circumstances were very unique. Everyone stood up and headed to the lobby, to pick up their belongings.


 Leslie was still like a stone but he seemed to move his eyes, which was an improvement. Jackie wanted to stay with him but Corrine personally put Jackie’s neighbor’s jacket on her back and joined her outside where a cab was already waiting. She didn’t even have a moment to talk or think.

lunes, 30 de octubre de 2017

His right choice

   I took off my clothes and just tossed them to one side, on the sand. The wind was chilly and every single hair on my skin rose because of the cold. But I didn’t put anything back on. I left the clothes there to be carried by the water later on. There was no point in hiding them anywhere or trying for them not to get wet. The truth was I didn’t care anymore about anything and I still don’t. I didn’t even looked back when I started walking, looking at the rocks far on the other side of the beach.

 The water washed my feet, as if a thousand knives stabbed me slowly. It hurt, of course, but I knew that was going to happen and my body was getting ready for it. I was so tired of everything, of people and life and everything surrounding it. I just wanted to walk the beach, the only place that could relax my mind. Eventually, I would have to get into the ocean and breath in some salt water. But I didn’t know when that would be happening. It was better to take it one step at a time.

 Pembelton Beach was far from any settlement. There where some houses close by but it would take them at least fifteen minutes to get to me if they realized I was there, my some miracle. All the details had being chosen carefully. I didn’t want anyone to stop me from being free, at least once in my life. I had felt imprisoned from day one, from the first moment I realized life was just this unfair list of things happening to a mere body, an essence that has nothing to do with anything else.

 Society failed me. Or maybe I was the one who failed society. Anyway, we were not meant to be together. I had always felt strange in social situations, such as parties and crowds. The “odd one”, was my nickname back in high school. People thought I didn’t know that but I knew, I heard every word that they attempted for me not to hear. They didn’t have the balls to say it to my face. I would have preferred that. And it was the same in college and in other contexts.

 To be fair, I have to say that university was the best place for me because I could be whoever I was without really caring about others. I had what you would call friends but they are not around anymore and I don’t blame them. Or maybe I do blame them but, what’s that good for? People have excuses for everything and I have run tired of listening to them. As I said before, I don’t care anymore. Not at all. I just want to move on to something else, whatever that may be. Does it sound tragic and melodramatic? As you might guess, I don’t care.

 After the first twenty minutes, the cold water started feeling less painful, as well as the wind. I stopped crossing my arms over my chest and I just held them to the side. The ocean was getting more and more violent, as a storm was clearly coming from deep into the open ocean. The clouds had rapidly turned from white to almost black. And I could even see some thunders far into the sea. It was beautiful in a way. It seemed everything I felt was being reflected by the weather.

 I would have wanted rain to come faster but it didn’t seem to want to downpour just yet, so I walked on. I remembered many other times in my life when rain had been a factor. When being stood up by someone or just staying home safe, as it was the only place I could really feel protected. I lived with my parents, of course. I still do, in a way. The point is I felt taken care of because they were there and because I knew there was no other way for me. I can hear you think…

 Love was always a really weird thing for me. To be honest, I don’t think it exists. I never did. I did see some traces of it in other people’s lives but maybe it was something else. Maybe it’s just that people are too afraid to be alone and they just cheat themselves into having a relationship that they think it’s based on love, when in reality they just have a very basic human need to feel someone else close by, to feel someone else’s warmth. Of course, I felt that too. Not that it mattered.

 The sand on Pemberton Beach is very black, probably because of the ancient volcanic origin of the region. The big boulders scattered all over are also dark, doubling as a home for many sea creatures. As I walked down the natural path, I saw several crabs, in various sizes. Those small creatures made me think that life may not be as complicated as I think it is. However, they free of our society, our brains that torture us every day with things that will never happen to us.

 Someone once asked me what my dream for the future was. It happened on a job interview and it kind of shocked me. Not only because dreams are not something I have, but also because the question was asked in singular, as if most people had only one dream. Maybe they meant work wise but I just couldn’t answer the question. And I have never being good at lying, so I told the man I didn’t have dreams for the future, only hopes. For a future where I could be free, truly free. Of course, the man ended the interview there and I never heard from that company again.

 I went to several interviews and I applied to so many jobs. That ended recently, when I finally got a menial job at a company handling papers and getting coffee. After so many millions spent and time wasted, I ended up being the guy they ask for more milk or sugar or those stupid stick to stir up the coffee. You can guess I wasn’t very happy with it and that’s why I left it last week and came to this beach. My parents were disappointed but there was no other way.

 Begging was involved in getting the money for this trip but they eventually gave it to me, after promises it would be just for a weekend and that I would help them by looking at some houses for them to buy. They want a house by the beach to spend their elder years. With that excuse I travelled here yesterday and now I’m naked on a beach, far from any other human being that could intervene at what I’m going to do. That’s exactly how I planned it, many months ago.

 Because this idea had been around my head for a long time. It had appeared first when I was in school and many times more until now. The difference is I can finally do it now because I didn’t feel any remorse. I just felt I had to do it and I didn’t care about anything else. There was no other way right then and I did not want to listen to long speeches about people who cared about me, or wanted me stay around. If they did, they would have been around. My parents, they were prepared, or so I thought.

 Pain is always harder at first, that’s always the case. They knew how to handle it and had other children, which helps. As I entered the ocean, after a long walk, I realized it was the right moment to do it. I felt happy for the first time in a long time because I knew I was doing the right thing. I was finally doing something that made sense. My life was explained to me in those last moments and I realized it served a purpose. But that’s a long explanation, and I’m tired now.

 My body was drowned in just a few minutes. It is one of the most horrible deaths but I did it exactly as I had researched it. Big gulps and avoid moving too much. It worked exactly as it was supposed to. I was washed ashore the next day, when they discovered me.


 Now, I’m at peace. I’m finally free at there is no way someone can convince me I didn’t do the right thing. What was my function in life, if not ending up here? I wasn’t good alive, I was a waste of space and matter. Now, I’m finally who I was supposed to be.

lunes, 4 de septiembre de 2017

Singin' ain't so

   From her earliest youth, Jessica knew exactly who she wanted to be. She wanted to be a singer, to spend her days on top of a stage and just please millions of people with her voice and personality. She insisted so much to her parents that they finally accepted to pay for acting lessons and singing lessons. They didn’t really support her aside from the money aspect, so every single thing that happened afterwards was done only by that young idealist girl who wanted to eat the world.

 She spent every single weekend practicing in her singing school and at home. Her family didn’t really like it because her voice was not very good at the beginning. And even when she improved it, it was still very annoying for people that just wanted to relax at home after long days at school or at the office. Jessica sometimes left the house and sang outside, walking to the store or the park. In her mind, she had to keep using her voice until someone noticed her.

 In all the magazines, her favorite singers and stars told the stories of their discovery exactly in the same way: someone had seen them in a public space; sometimes it was the supermarket and others in an ice-cream parlor. The point was that they just saw them around and knew that they could be amazing artists. As she wanted to be a singer, she decided to sing in the park sometimes, hoping for people to stop by and just stay for a while, enchanted by her voice and talent.

 Jessica convinced her best friend Anna to play the guitar while she sang. Anna had been pressured by her parents from a young age, leading a very different life than the one her friend had. She had been told that by the age of ten she should know how to play at least three instruments, and one of those was the guitar. She accepted Jessica’s request after her friend said that it was the best way to be far from her mother, who was always telling her what to do, even in summer holidays.

 They started doing their small shows when they were around thirteen years old. They would sing five songs, chosen that same morning by the both of them. They had to do an act that would attract young people to the park but also adults that had connections to the artistic world in order for them to get noticed by a label. Anna was not as optimistic as Jessica, but she supported her nevertheless, mainly because it was such a fun time to have every so often. It didn’t happen every day, that would have been impossible, but they sat on the lawn of the park as often as they could.

Four years passed, very slowly for Jessica and very fast for Anna. They had only one more year of high school to go and then they would be sent to college. Their respective families had been saving for a long time and it would only be the right thing to do to keep studying and go on to live a life where they could be someone. But Jessica had already chosen who she wanted to be and nothing could ever change that. I her mind, she had a year to breakthrough and then, it would be undiscovered country.

 Anna was always checking universities on her laptop, even moments before their musical outgoings. She would tell all of the details to Jessica, who never really paid attention. She was too busy memorizing the lines of several songs or learning about her favorite artists. She had her room all decorated with several pictures of them as well as of other artists and bands that had come before. Her aim was to be in one of those posters in the future, inspiring other young girls to be the best they could be.

 However, life has a way of laughing at people’s dreams. One of those days, in which they sang on the park, Anna was late with her guitar, as her mother had decided to argue about the prospects of university. She wanted her daughter to study to be a chemist or a biologist. However, Anna wanted to learn something that required more creativity, more freedom. She had seen a lot of brochures about design schools, film schools and others like those. She wanted more than what she already had.

 As they fought with her mother, she forgot that time was passing and that Jessica was not the most patient human on Earth. Once before, Anna had been five minutes late and she had been received by a furious Jessica yelling at her a bunch of things about decency and manners that a person in the artistic world should have. She also said some hurtful things and it made Anna regret her decision to help her friend. Jessica apologized later but made her promised she was not going to be late ever again.

 But she was. Jessica had been waiting for a while. As winter was coming, the clouds and the sky turned darker sooner than before. It was the perfect moment for a criminal coming from outside of town to attack her right there, in the park. He covered her face and dragged her away from the lawn and into a wooded area, where he gagged her and raped her. A woman walking her dog found her the following day. Jessica had passed out the day prior and was still asleep when she was found. Not even the sound of more people around her and the paramedics woke her up.

  Jessica woke up in the hospital three days after having been found. Some of her bruises were already receding. Her mother was on the room when she woke up. It was obvious she had been crying for a long while. Her father came in later and he hugged her and cried, without saying a word. It was very strange but she didn’t even try to say anything. It wasn’t that she couldn’t talk; it just seemed wiser to just listen and wait for the right moment to say the right amount of words.

 That night, the doctor told her what had happened, her parents had left only minutes prior. She cried in silence as the man told her that the police had captured the man the day before on a road. He had been cornered by them, trying to take advantage of another girl. He was so surprised to see the police that apparently let the girl go and shot himself on the mouth. The police didn’t even have a moment to properly respond or to save his life in order to get the criminal to jail.

 Jessica nodded. She wasn’t really hearing the doctor. She was thinking about her career, about her possibilities now that she had been through something that horrible. She felt physically ill, disgusted and just tired. But something in her brain made her think that it wasn’t the end or something like that. She felt that there was more to her story than just that. She made sure the doctor knew she was going to get out of that hospital bed soon in order to achiever her goals, by any means necessary.

 Sure enough, she started writing songs the moment she was able to leave the hospital. Jessica closed her room door and did not come out of there for a whole week. Her mother would bring her food and she would often tear up but not say a word. Her father stood by the doorframe and watched her, absolutely stunned that she could be that active after what had happened. It didn’t seem right, but at the same time, Jessica seemed to be in her element writing in silence.

 Three songs came out of those writing sessions. She grabbed her video camera and recorded three different videos, which she uploaded to YouTube on the same day. She sang on them about what had happened, about how she felt and about what was going through her head.


 Her music was a success. Millions of viewers saw the videos and shared them in less than a week. Soon enough, a recording label contacted her and an album was planned to be released within the year. And Anna… She never saw her again. She couldn’t forgive her.

viernes, 25 de agosto de 2017

Recurrent dream

   I like lying on my bed every morning for a while, after I wake up. I clean my eyes and walk around naked for a while around my room, trying to decide what to do next. And what I always do is just lying there, watching the rood or staring at the window. Not that I’m actually using my eyes right there, I instead imagine another world, another place. I do that because, every single morning, I feel this is not my life. I feel my real self is somewhere else, living through something very difficult.

 It often happens that when I dream, I see this man in one room. It’s always the same room. I can see a bridge through the window and there are two beds, very neatly made. Everything is clean and there are also plushies everywhere. The man that I see sitting on one of the beds, the one nearest to the window, is not really the age one would think someone would have if you saw all those plushies and toys and several other stuff. It seems he’s stuck there, in that place, who knows for how long.

 I stared at him for so many nights. The dream was always the same and it would dissolve into my usual slumber after only a few minutes. It never lasted long so I couldn’t really pick up many details. After a while, I trained myself to be more aware of the dreams and try to really look around. The first thing I discovered was a teddy bear and that image stayed with me for long. Last Christmas, I even made the mistake of remembering the bear as if it had been mine, only I never had a bear.

 Oddly enough, my mother told me I almost had one. My grandfather had plans to buy one the day I was born, in order for him to be the first person to ever give me a gift. He wanted to have a strong presence in my life and he had decided a bear, carefully made and wearing a red shirt, would be the way to do it. Sadly, my grandfather had a heart attack some days before my birth, so he never got to buy the bear and I never got to meet him. That was the first time I had heard the story and it gave me chills.

 So, of course, I kept trying to figure out the recurring dream I had been having. But, for months, I was stuck in the same place every time. I saw the bear and then, when I turned my head towards the man, I instantly blacked out and then moved on to another dream. Well, to be honest, the first few times it happened I would wake up in terror, sweating and just too scared to go back to sleep any time soon. Those nightmares gave me dark marks under my eyes but I countered those by choosing to jog at night around my neighborhood, a very quiet place to think.

 I would come back sweaty and tired, ready to go to bed without any disturbance in my head or in my life. But the nuisance was there nevertheless. The dream returned a few days after and I just managed to handle it the best I could. I tried hard to discover anything new but it didn’t go anywhere. So I just decided to play a layback role every time, hoping my unconscious mind would get bored of playing the same dream over and over again. But it didn’t. It kept insisting.

 My parents entrusted me with a very large company, the main one in their corporation. It was started many years before by my grandparents and I just try to keep it going forward. We manage various companies dealing with trade and that makes my job very challenging but very fulfilling at the same time. I have been able to visit half of the world and I have learned so many things, even more than the ones I learned back in college, where I graduated with honors. I had always excelled.

 In my family, every single person trusts me with their lives, their secrets and their money. Every time there’s a problem somewhere, they call me to fix it or at least to call someone else to fix it. Since my high school days I have been connecting with various people around the globe and I have now an enormous network of friends and family in every single corner of the planet. Everywhere my jet lands, I have someone doing a party for me or at least treating me to dinner.

 Maybe it’s the dream, but I have found myself thinking what would my life be like if I hadn’t let this life. I think I would be fine. Maybe not rich but I would like to think that I would be as driven and smart as I am right now. I even think I would be just as much as attractive physically and socially as I am now. I have learned not to be ashamed of myself or of my various assets. I have made efforts in my life so I think it’s ok to let people now I’m very proud of everything I am and what I’ve done.

 That man in the dream seems worried. He’s not very well dressed and, to be honest, he looks bored to death. I cannot really make up his face entirely. I mostly see his body, like a shape, sitting there on the bed. It was a long time after I started having the dreams when I realized the man was actually moving the whole time. He seems to be writing, typing something on a laptop computer in front of him. The night I discover that fact I woke up tremendously excited because there had finally been a breakthrough. Whatever that was, it was going somewhere.

 You may not understand this, but I need to feel I’m always in control. I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak or something that crazy. The thing is I like to understand everything that happens around me, even if I’m not very familiar with whatever it might be. That’s why, when I travel, I try to meet locals and I ask them many questions in order to better understand their culture and their states of mind. It’s a unique way to understand a whole country, in order to do proper business.

 That’s why I cannot stand that I have the same dream every night and I cannot see or get what’s happening. I even got to a psychiatrist in order for him to explain what’s up with my head but he told me it was a pretty normal thing and that, once it resolves itself, it will simply go away as if nothing had ever happened. Normally, I would never doubt a professional but something tells me this is something else, this is maybe something much more powerful and convoluted than I thought.

 Then, Camilla came to my apartment. She does that frequently. Sometimes I go to her place and sometimes she comes to mine. My family has been pushing me to ask her to marry me but I cannot seem to find the time to do it. She’s very beautiful and entertaining, she has even heard every single detail about my dreams and has tried to help me find a solution. But something tells me I shouldn’t make that big step until I solve whatever is going around my head. It feels important.

 The last time she came, however, something changed. The dream happened as always but, when I was supposed to wake up, I finally got to see him. The man actually raised his face towards me and looked at my eyes with his, which were sad, kind of red. Then I woke up. I was sweating again. I got up as silently as I could, walked to the kitchen, and had some water. I was trembling a bit and my breathing was off. I tried to calm myself, trying to remind my mind it had been just a dream.

 I just realized the man I had been seeing in my dreams, for so long, was me. Those eyes were mine, that face was mine. Every detail was a copy of my real self. He looked sad, despaired and hopeless. I felt all of that inside me and I guess that’s what made me shake so much.


 However, what scared me the most was the fact that I got to see, through his eyes, what he was doing on the laptop. It happens he was writing. It was a short story and it was how, every so often, he had a dream about being someone else, having a much better life than the one he had.