~ Reflection ~
[His point of view]
Every step I took on the cold damp sidewalk felt like an eternity. The drizzle covered me with small drops of rain, soaking me to the bone. I was cold, I was hungry, and my body hurt from the fall I took earlier.
I once heard the following saying form an old man: “People are born with a certain luck, sometimes good and sometimes bad.”
A heavy sigh escaped my lips as I stopped and looked up at the sky. Just then a car drove by and didn’t even bother avoiding the big puddle in the middle of the road. The torrent of cold water splashed all over me. As if I wasn’t wet enough.
“Arf! Arf!” a dog barked at me.
I turned around and saw this little pooch, it was a Boston Terrier. The little bugger ran straight at me, dragging his leash behind. He didn’t even hesitate a single moment before sinking his teeth into my ankle.
“Ouch!” I flinched.
It hurt, and I could feel my warm blood dripping from the punctured wounds caused by the canine’s teeth.
“Pedro! Pedro!” shouted the owner as she came running towards us with her yellow raincoat beating against the drizzle and her boots splashing water left and right.
The dog reacted to her master’s call and unhooked his teeth from my ankle. He wagged his little tail and barked a few times towards her. I leaned down and covered my wound with my hand. It hurt, but it wasn’t too bad, it would heal within a day or two.
“What are you doing to my dog?!” screamed the woman.
I looked up with a raised eyebrow. Did she not see that it was her pet who bit me? I didn’t even touch the little bastard.
“Your dog… Ouch!” I tried to say but before I had a chance to finish my words, the woman mercilessly struck me with her umbrella like a baseball player hitting a home run with his bat.
The hit connected to my forehead, sending me flying on my back. I landed in the bushes by the sidewalk. The branches scratched me, and my head pounded like crazy. My ears rang, but at the very least, I was still conscious. If I didn’t know any better, I would say she put her full force in her swing.
“Ugh… Why did you hit me?” I asked with a groan as I rubbed my forehead.
“You pervert! You bad man! How dare you try to… to harm my Pedro! Hmph!” she shouted at me.
I looked at her amazed by the false claims she threw in my direction and then watched her as she walked away as if nothing happened. I started to wonder for a moment if maybe the woman wasn’t in her right mind.
With a sigh on my lips, I sat up and looked at the wound on my leg. Using gathered rain drops, I cleaned it of blood and dirt. When I was done, I didn’t try to chase after the woman to give her a piece of my mind. With my luck, I was certain to get in three or four more accidents before I reached her. Then again, strangely enough, all possible hate, disgust, or negative emotions towards her and my current fate vanished in the blink of an eye.
With a slow, limping step, I continued to walk back towards my home.
Wherever I looked, I could see people meeting with better fortune than I ever could. They found love, they had jobs, people were nice to each other, the absolute complete opposite of myself. Looking back at my life, I could never say I ever had moments of happiness or luck as normal people would call them. By all standards, my life was a complete and absolute nightmare from almost every imaginable point of view.
Least to say that for a seventeen years old, I was far from normal. But with what could I even start to explain it properly? Maybe from the very beginning of my life?
I was born to a normal family of office workers in Washington DC in the USA. The strange thing was that even while I was in her womb, I could recall how my mother cursed my existence, begged God to kill me, she even ended up hitting herself in the hope of making me vanish from her life. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on the point of view, I was born like any other healthy baby in the hospital.
Maybe, in a very weird, twisted way, my mother’s behavior would have probably been considered understandable if I was the result of a rape, however, I was a child born of love, so why did she hate me so much? I could never find a reasonable explanation except that maybe she wasn’t that sane as she appeared to be.
At that age, however, I technically wasn’t supposed to remember anything, but I was born with a one-of-a-kind perfect memory. Sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, thoughts, everything was recorded by my brain. At times, I felt as though the only reason I was offered such a gift was to better remember the beatings and sufferings I received throughout my life. That’s why, even after so many years have passed, I could still remember quite clearly what happened when my father tried to hold me in his hands for the first time. At first, in my innocence, I thought he did it out of care and love for me. Soon enough, I learned that wasn’t the case. His big sturdy fingers wrapped around my small neck, and he tried to strangle me with all of his might. He cried and screamed at me like a wild animal. It took three nurses and a good dose of sedative to calm him down.
Despite their odd behavior, the Child Protection services didn’t pull me away from them. They left me in their care as though nothing ever happened. Well, their ‘care’ didn’t last long though. As soon as we stepped out through the gates of the hospital, my loving mother threw me in the first dumpster she could find. The last I remember of her was only the smile filled with joy and happiness for the cruel act she was about to commit.
Normally, I should have died there, but that didn’t happen.
My cries out of fear, hunger, and loneliness caught someone’s attention. At first glance, she looked like a sweet old lady. She picked me with care and held me to her chest, patting me on the back and stroking my head to calm me down. When my sniffles turned quiet, she walked away from the dumpster. Like a loving grandmother, she held me close to her, but once I reached her home, things turned for the worse.
Instead of putting me on the bed, she placed me on the table, on a big platter. As an innocent baby, I looked around with big eyes, sucking my thumb and trying to figure out where I was. Even if I was too young to properly see, I could still distinguish a couple of shadows and some odd shapes.
Meanwhile, the old lady began to sing me a lullaby while she sharpened her knives. I had no idea what was about to become of me. The old lady didn’t bring me to her place to take care of me, she brought me there to eat me. I was to be her next meal.
When she finished with the knives, she approached the table and looked at me with hungry eyes. I was to be sliced and diced and cooked as her weird delicacy, but just then, there was a loud noise at the door, screams and gunshots were soon heard. I had no idea what was happening around me, but I got scared, and I started to cry. I whimpered like the scared little baby I was.
Moments later, I could only hear the sirens of the police cars outside, the officers talking and detaining the old woman. According to a newspaper clip I managed to find years later, the old lady was nothing more than a notorious cannibal on the loose, who managed to elude the police for quite a while. A passerby saw the old lady taking me from the dumpster and instead of heading for the hospital, she went the other way. After a phone call to the police, the detectives were informed of that lead and shortly after, they were at her doorstep.
At least, that was how things went after I read the news years later. What was interesting was that I wasn’t mentioned at all. The officers found me where the old lady left me, on the dinner plate, whimpering and crying. One of the cops picked me up, but just like it happened with my father, he suddenly felt the urge to harm me. Fortunately, he passed me along to another cop before anything bad happened.
The next thing I knew was that I was in some weird place. It was cold, smelled funny, and there was no one around me. If I were to guess, maybe I was thrown into the prison? Well, given the way people acted around me at that time, it wouldn’t be a surprise if that was the case.
Thus, I wasn’t even one month old and already serving time, for the crime of being alive.
I didn’t stay there for too long. The very next day, I was picked up by two nuns from a local Catholic orphanage. Normally, my luck should have changed, but for some strange reason, my new caretakers always forgot to feed me, and the local priest tried from time to time to exorcise presumed demons out of me.
Every day, I was hungry, alone, scared, and crying. I had no one to come help me out, no one to call out to… My very life hanged on a thin thread ready to snap at any moment. I doubted I would have been able to survive for too long given those circumstances. The funny part was that I wasn’t the only one in their care. There were three other babies there, but unlike me, they all got the best of care from the nuns and priest. They were being fed at the right times, calmed down when they were about to cry. They were loved, cared for, and played with constantly. Unlike me, they received absolutely everything they needed. It was almost like the adults deliberately tried to kill me through neglect because that was a very good way through which, I, an innocent baby, could suffer the most.
At that time, I couldn’t ask or question why was God being so mean with me. Why did he make me suffer and cursed my very existence in such a way? Was I not a soul like all the others? Did I not deserve the same love and care any other baby did? For what sort of unspeakable sin was I condemned that even my own flesh and blood parents wanted to kill me and abandon me the very moment I came into their world? My death and suffering seemed to bring joy to all those around me.
A car drove past me, hitting all the puddles on the way. I had but a split second to dodge. I did so, but I stumbled on my own feet and landed on the patch of mud just a step away. A glass shard cut my hand, leaving a red line near my little finger. The fresh wound stung and hurt, but I ignored it. I pushed myself off the ground and continued to walk back home.
Continuing with my story, a few months passed after I was taken in by the nuns of the Catholic orphanage. I lost weight and every minute of my existence felt like a living nightmare. The only times they remembered to bathe me was when the smell became unbearable for everyone. Unfortunately, that was also when they tried to drown me. Luckily for me, they always managed to regain their senses before they committed the horrible deed.
Afraid I would eventually drive the nuns and priest mad, they decided to get rid of me. Thus, I was sold for the incredible price of 20$ to a shady looking couple. The nuns had no idea, but the people they sold me to were a bunch of slave dealers. They bought me for the sole purpose of raising me as a slave and then selling me to the highest bidder.
Thus my next seven years of living hell began. They treated me as nothing more than an animal, but just like it happened back at the church, these people had similar dark intentions towards me. Among all the slaves there, I was treated the worst, fed the least, and beaten the most. No day passed by without me crying because I felt pain, suffering, and warm tears flowing down my cheeks.
For seven years, they treated me as such until finally a buyer came for me. To my surprise, the ones who offered to purchase me was actually my old family, the same one who tried to kill me upon my birth and dumped me into a dumpster. I couldn’t recognize their faces, but I did recognize their voices. That’s how I knew they were my biological parents.
I was sold for cheap, just a couple of Benjamins. They didn’t even recognize me, but I did, yet I could not call them father and mother. The reason why they bought me was quite simple, they needed me as nothing more than a slave and replacement for the baby they had abandoned a long time ago. Thus, I hilariously became my own replacement.
That day, I met my younger brother. He greeted me by trying to stab me with a fork. I was saved by my parents. They scolded the boy by telling him that he should never waste a good fork on me. Least to say, a lot more years of pain and suffering would come my way.
A month later, we moved to Paris. Apparently, my parents were forced to change their job sometime during the past seven years. Now, the company was sending them off left and right all over the planet. Eventually, they found themselves unable to handle the French way of living. Stressed out and homesick, my mother convinced my dad to apply for a transfer to the Tokyo branch. Just like that, a year later, we were on our way to Japan.
On papers, I was their son, but in real life, I was their “pet” or a more modern version of a slave. They didn’t want the authorities snooping around as to why they kept me at home all the time, so they went and registered me to a normal school. They picked one at random and didn’t care if it was one hour away by foot.
“Oh look! If it isn’t the loser of the school!”
Those words of hate were thrown at me by the otaku of the class. He was fat, wore glasses, and an avid reader of the Monthly Shounen magazine. Normally, he should have been the target for bullying, but instead everyone pointed the finger at me.
I raised my head from the ground and smiled kindly at him. I nodded once and then went on my way.
“You should go and kill yourself, you freak!” shouted another boy, a friend of his.
“Nobody needs you! Go die!” shouted the otaku.
Closing my eyes and biting hard, I continued to walk. I tried my best to ignore their words. Dying would do me no good. Everyone would be overjoyed if I ended my miserable life, that’s why I continued to live on.
Least to say my life at school was no better than the one at home. People made fun of me, pointed their fingers as though I was the worst living entity in existence, they even went so far as to hit me or ruin what few books and notebooks I had. I got used to simply hiding them and bringing them out when I was sure the teacher was going to ask me something. My memory saved me a lot of times from bad grades, but even if my answer was perfect, I would still get a low grade. The teachers never gave me the appropriate marks, there was even one who actually bullied me together with the rest of my classmates.
Everyone hated me as if I was some kind of germ, who needed to be destroyed through torture. I grew up knowing that I am an existence which brings only hate and despise upon itself…
Because of that, I couldn’t even dare to make friends, not to mention fall in love with a girl. My life was a toy for every human and animal alike. There was no place for me to retreat to, to seek comfort or relax, even God and his angels cast down hatred upon me. I lived every day scared and terrified of what might happen to me next. The only thing I knew was pain and suffering, yet I couldn’t bring myself to hate God or my fate. I couldn’t hate those who saw only to bring me harm. I couldn’t despise my family for the horrible ways they treated me. I couldn’t grab the kitchen knife, stab it into their hearts and look at them while laughing at how their lives slipped away with each drop of blood shed on the floor…
No, that wasn’t me.
Although living in a world which only knew how to hate me, instead of showing the same feeling and acting upon it, I harbored love… I loved my family and all those around me. Then again, all that time, maybe that was the only way they could show love towards me, a twisted love enveloped only in hate and suffering.
That was the only thought able to ease my pain, the only thought, which for a brief moment, could stop my tears of sorrow from flowing down on my cheeks. The same thought I constantly repeated in my mind as I walked back home, if you could even call it that.
When we moved in Tokyo, my family bought a house with three bedrooms, one living room, two baths, and one kitchen. They had purposely chosen an apartment in a building with a flat rooftop, so they could hold me up there. I was the slave, the pet, thus I had to be treated as one. With nothing more than a few cardboard boxes for shelter and a few newspapers for blankets, I spent my past ten years there. At the age of seventeen, while other teens worried about love, exams, and parties, I worried about my food and shelter. While they feared they wouldn’t be getting the latest techs as gifts from their parents, I feared the dreaded cold nights, the howl of stray dogs, the encounters with the local hoodlums, and the orders of my own family.
In my entire life, there has not been even a single person to show me even the slightest sign of affection. Then again, what was love? Although I knew and for some reason understood it, I never experienced it in my entire life time. From what I could tell, I knew it must be the opposite of hate, of what I constantly felt the world submerged me in.
If not even God could come to love me, then what hope could I have to be loved by another soul in this world? What reason would she hold in order to come close to me and instead of stabbing me in the heart, hold me in her arms? Was it so bad to ask for something like that? Was it so hard for the Universe itself to grant me such a wish? The wish of not living in pain, in loneliness, and in suffering…
I stepped inside my apartment building and started to squeeze the water out of my clothes. I was a mess, and I knew I would have to wash my clothes later, that is if they let me, if not, then I would be forced to do so while they weren’t looking.
“Oi! Michael!” I heard the call coming from ahead.
Looking up, I saw my brother holding a big grin on his face. A shiver of fear went down on my spine.
“Yes, master?” I asked.
He wore casual clothes, a pair of jeans with a chain attached to it, a T-shirt with a weird drawing on it, and sneakers on his feet. He had short spiky hair and a slim build. He was not very tall when it came to height, a little bit shorter than I was. Judging from his attire and the folded umbrella in his right hand, I presumed he was about to head out.
“Ma and Pa want to see you! Family meeting so get your ass up there!” he said and spat in my face.
I flinched and looked away.
“Now!” he ordered me.
My legs trembled, and I nodded. With a reluctant step, I walked past my brother and went up the stairs. He clicked his tongue, cursed me a few times and then walked out of the apartment building, slamming the door behind him.
As I wiped his saliva off of my cheek, the only thought crossing my mind at that moment was whether it was going to hurt or not whatever my parents had in store for me.
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