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It was a Monday that killed me the first time. Monday, 19th of January.
I came home from school, third year elementary. The house was empty. My mom was there usually, but not that day. Something was off, but I didn’t know what. I fixed a sandwich, ate, did my homework. No mom. Turned on the TV. Watched the news. A tragic accident. A bus hit a car. Not many details. Went to bed. Dad finally showed up. Woke me up. That tragic accident on TV, that was her. That was my mom.
That was my mom.
M y M o m.
That was the first time I died.
The finality of the grave has a cathartic effect on the individual. It helps one understand how futile everything is. How vanity is, indeed, vain. There is absolutely no chance of anybody making it out of life alive. We will all perish some day. So why the hell bother with bullshit?
If life gives you onions, start crying. Or make onion rings.
The grave made me who I later became. A recluse, an antisocial kid that took shit from absolutely nobody, that kept to himself, that cried every night asking for his mom. Begging for her to appear just once, so that he would properly let her go. That night never came, and that kid grew into a recluse teenager who didn’t have any friends, but enemies were too scared to show themselves. That kid didn’t give a shit if he survived a fight, and that made him a beast. The few times someone tried to bully him, the kid went into the fight as if he wanted to die. Guess what? He actually did. Dying was the easiest way to finally meet her. The bullies understood pretty fast that the most fearsome opponent is the one without fear – and that kid was absolutely fearless. And scary as hell. No matter how strong or how many his opponents, he went in for all, not caring how much he got beat in the process. He felt no pain, only cared to kill. He got pretty close to that with three school athletes who were hospitalized after being brutalized by a berserk middle school kid on a rampage. Nobody fucked with him after that.
No friends. No foes.
All good in the world.
I was a freshman in high school when I first saw her. She was so beautiful.
I never talked to her. I talked to nobody, and nobody talked to me, so that included her as well. She had surely heard the rumors, so she tried her best to keep her distance, and I accommodated.
As time passed, she showed her true colors. She really was an evil bitch. A snobbish piece of shit that thought her shit didn’t stink. But she was brutally beautiful. Everybody licked her feet and she shat upon them without shame or remorse. She had the looks of an angel and the soul of a demon.
I gave her a nickname which only I knew.
A mythical being that seduced men by her voice and then ate them. Although, to be fair, this particular siren chewed the ass off everybody, not just men.
We never spoke to each other, and that was good for me. At least she acknowledged my existence by not acknowledging it, and that was fine.
It would have been great as it was. But humans must always stir the shit pot.
I knew that my dad was seeing a woman. I didn’t know who she was, but I was happy for him. He used to be so miserable. Now, at least there was one of us that was getting a semblance of OK. I knew that he never really got over Mom, but he needed to move on since I was there and I did need him. That woman, whoever she was, did good. He seemed much better, and so I was relieved for him. I was mature enough to understand that he didn’t betray my Mom. She was dead and he was alive. There was nothing anyone could do about that. He grieved her loss all the time. He deserved a break. If that woman could do that for him, then so be it, no problem from me. I think that my stance about this was something that he appreciated.
It was the first Saturday of October in my junior year that he broke the news to me. He was willing to marry that woman. It was a bit sudden but, deep down, I half-expected that. She was going to come to our house for dinner the following day, a ‘meet the family’ gathering. I saw his face smile, and his eyes shone. He really seemed to care for that woman.
I cared for my father. He was a wounded soul like me, and if it wasn’t for me I know his life would probably have ended long ago, by his own hand. Yes, he loved my mom that much, and her loss completely destroyed him. But he had to care for his only son, me, and I in turn gave him a reason to live. Each of us was all the other had left in this world. I wanted him to be happy, so I decided to help make this work as well as I could. We started making our house presentable on Saturday and spent the early part of Sunday preparing the meals, not a small feat. We finished with everything just in time for me Kıbrıs Escort to take a shower before she arrived.
And then *they* arrived.
She was not alone. She had a daughter.
When we saw each other, both of us had the same reaction. Our faces drained.
“Beth, this is my son, Bobby!” said my super-enthused father. I woke from the shock and wore my best smile.
“Glad to meet you, ma’am!” I said, offering her a handshake, which she gladly accepted.
“This is my daughter, Nadine!” she said with pride, presenting her offspring, the official school tormentor.
“What a beautiful young lady!” said my father, full of wonder. “She most definitely takes after you!”
“And, if I may say so, Bobby is quite the handsome young man! Girls must be very fond of him at school! Right Nadine?” replied Beth. She was truly a very sweet woman. How could such a dear sweet thing bring such an utter harpy to this world?
Nadine and I just kept staring at each other, and she never answered, so to break the awkward silence, my daddy took initiative.
“Please come in! The meal is about to be served!” he said, clearly very excited with the whole thing. I really wanted to cry out-loud. I mean, what are the odds?!
“Mom, can I please talk to you for a second?” said Nadine to her mom and took her aside. They started the signature female whisper thing, which in their case was easily audible from where I stood.
“Mom! What have you done?! You paired up with the father of the school psycho?!?” asked an almost hysterical Nadine.
“What? What are you talking about?” asked Beth.
“Bobby has a nickname at school. You know that nickname, mom?” she said, at the verge of crying.
“No, baby! Tell me!” said a very alarmed Beth.
“They call him ‘the Killer’, mom! ‘The Killer’! You know why? Because he beat up three students almost to death at Emory last year! My God, mom! What have you done?” said an almost crying Nadine.
“Oh my God! He is that young man that took on three bullies and sent them to the hospital last year, isn’t he!?” replied Beth. Nadine nodded. “My love, I know all about that incident, except for who it was! He was attacked by three members of the football team. They later admitted to having no reason other than to bully him. Not only did he manage to not get beaten up by no less than three assailants – and athletes at that! – but he also managed to incapacitate them! I can tell you with absolute certainty that he was not at fault. If his Dad and I get married, you will have a true lion of a step brother! I am so happy now!” said Beth, and hugged a shocked – and at the verge of crying – Nadine with so much joy. I thanked the universe that my father found such a great woman as Beth. Simultaneously I absolutely did not want to be Nadine’s step-brother.
Why, one may ask. Well, two reasons.
One is because I hated her guts. Thank God, that was reciprocated.
The other is because I thought she was the most magnificent creature on this Earth. Alas, there was no way that this would ever be reciprocated. Hell, it wasn’t even true. I was not God’s most magnificent creature. She was.
Still, no matter what, I just couldn’t hurt my dad’s chance at happiness, so I let the whole thing slide. Surprisingly, so did Nadine. The whole thing went super smooth, without a hitch. We avoided talking to each other as much as possible. Our parents understood that us being classmates meant that we had communication protocols of our own, hence left us largely at peace.
Monday at school was weird. Nadine was pretty much her usual self, but stole some glances my way. So did I, at moments I thought she didn’t see me. Of course she knew, but pretended not to, as did I. After the last class, she deliberately waited until everybody but us two were left in class. She left first. When I got out the door, she was waiting.
“Um… Bob, I need to talk to you…” she said with a very cautious manner.
“OK”, I told her. We silently walked out of the school building to a secluded area.
“My mom sees your dad very seriously. She cares for him a lot and wants to marry him,” she said.
“Does your father feel the same way about her?” she asked.
“I think so, yes. He seems quite taken by her. Understandably so, she is incredible,” I answered.
She looked at me funny.
“So, you don’t have any problem with this? You are OK with your father marrying another woman?” she asked me.
“… What? ‘Another woman’? Nadine, that’s your very own mom we are talking about here, not just ‘another woman’! You talk funny, I mean… you dissing your own mom as suitable woman for my dad? Or you want me to do that?” I asked her. She didn’t say anything, or change her expression. “Look. My mother has not been alive for years now, and both of us have been grieving all this time. He deserves to be happy. He is a good man, and a great father. Magosa Escort I truly love him and hope to be half as good of a father as he is, one day. So I want him to be happy. Your mom is super cool and seems to make him happy, so sure, why not,” I replied, to a wide-eyed Nadine. “Why? You don’t approve of my dad?” I asked her.
“N… No, no, I have no problem with him. He seems nice. And I think my mom really sees him seriously too. It’s just that…”
“What?” I asked her.
“If they get married, we will move together.”
“Yes, I suppose that is the natural outcome.”
“Do you really want to move in with us two?” she asked me very cautiously.
“I have no problem with that, as long as we all know each other’s boundaries and respect them. Is there going to be a problem?” I asked her.
“Well, actually, there is. I… I don’t want to live with you and your dad! I like my life the way it is. I don’t want any of this. Besides, it just feels wrong,” she said.
“It feels wrong? Why?” I asked her.
“Dad died five years ago. It all is too fresh. How can she marry another man? And, no offense to your dad, but he doesn’t compare to mine on anything!” she said with a defiant look.
What the hell???
“Wow. Now, wait up. This is my dad you are talking about! I won’t have anyone talking shit about him! And that includes you!”
“No, you don’t understand…” she tried to interject.
“Oh yes I do! There is literally nothing NOT to understand in all this bullshit you just said! I don’t know who the hell you think you are or who you think I am, but I can guarantee you one thing: I ain’t anywhere near stupid!” I said with a tone of voice that didn’t leave much room for debate, so she wisely shut up. So I continued.
“Look, Nadine. What you want in your life is your own business. That doesn’t mean *shit* for the value of the man that is the world’s greatest father, to me at least. He has been the one person to always have my back, no matter what. He has been there for me every single time, helping me in every way he can, while grieving the loss of my mom, the love of his life. I imagine that your mom went through the exact same thing with your dad and also that you feel the same way about her as me about my dad. At least you should! The similar situation thing is actually one of the many reasons why I truly like her. They seem very compatible, and also seem to handle things in a similar way. So, excuse me, but I don’t give a *rat’s ass* if you don’t feel my dad worthy of filling the void of your father! Which, by the way, is such a fucking asinine and staggeringly shitty thing to say, both for my dad as well as for your mom and of course your very own dad as well! The depth of shittiness and pettiness and… and utter childishness that you exhibit here is absolutely phenomenal! If you spoke as a fucking adult, you would most definitely acknowledge that nobody, absolutely NOBODY can fill the role of a dead parent! There is only one of those, and that’s that. Your mom will *never, ever* be my mom. That would be so unfair on so many levels to everyone involved, most of all her! However, I absolutely DO accept her for who she is, a fantastic lady, and if she makes my father happy, that is all that matters to me. If my dad makes your mom happy, and he most definitely *is* a fantastic man, then that is *all* that should matter to *you* too! You hear me now?” I said, with an increasing level of getting pissed.
“Yes, I understand,” she said. “I didn’t mean to belittle your dad…”
“It sure as hell seemed that way! Tell you what: if you don’t like the whole shebang, talk to your mom and ask her to cancel the whole affair. But don’t expect me to kill my father’s happiness because it doesn’t fit your agenda! And, if you love your mom, you shouldn’t either, for your mom’s happiness. They both are super cool people, and they deserve to be happy. If they can make each other happy, then that is the only thing that should matter to you at this point, and not some petty shit like what you are spewing!” I replied.
“What? Petty? So my happiness is petty? Is that what you are saying?” she said, pretty annoyed.
“Let me be absolutely clear here. I care about my dad’s happiness, as long as I am not miserable. As long as he is happy and me not in the shitter, I am happy, cause I am happy for him. I don’t give a flying fuck about anyone else’s feelings but for his and mine – and make no mistake, that includes yours too! Since your mom is good for him and makes him happy, I am fine with her. In fact, I am so happy for him, and by extension, for her too, that I will even, lo and behold, tolerate your goddamn sorry ass! Imagine that!”
She looked at me as if I had two heads, fuming and ready to pounce. No time for that though.
“As for your personal agenda,” I continued, “your happiness is that, your happiness, a.k.a. your own goddamn business, most definitely not mine! The level of self-centered shit that you Girne Escort are happy to push to other people’s faces to achieve this ‘happiness’, now *that* is petty! Don’t confuse the issue. I would most definitely be even happier than a pig in shit if I didn’t have to put up with your damn face ever again! But I won’t force my dad to break up with your mom just because you make me wanna vomit with the shit you are saying, so I will swallow this bitter pill. I’ll take one for the team, so to speak,” I said.
“What did you say, you…” she said, ready for a fight.
“Don’t even go there! Cut it out now, before this goes really, really bad. As I told you, if you don’t like the whole thing, talk to your mom and tell her that you are allergic to us. Maybe she’ll listen to you, who knows.”
“I have tried, but she won’t listen. I don’t want to move in with you and your dad. But she doesn’t care what I think or how I feel,” she said angrily.
“She is your mom, for crying out-loud. She is the one person guaranteed to think of your feelings. If you resent their relationship so strongly, talk to her. Maybe she can find a solution that won’t affect you as much,” I replied, trying very, very hard to keep myself from decapitating her at that very instant.
“She just won’t listen. She said that I have to see the broader picture here, and it would be for the best. All I see is that I would be stuck in a house with a man that isn’t my father and… and…”
“…me” I interrupted.
“Yes, you!” she said.
“OK, so who is the bigger problem? My dad or me?” I asked her.
“What do you think?! You! Of course you! Of all people in the school, she had to choose the father of the…” she said, biting her own tongue trying to not say what she wanted to.
“Killer? School Psycho, if I remember correctly?” I asked her. Her face went ashen.
“Yes, I heard your little talk with your mom. You hiss-whisper louder than you talk, so I couldn’t help it, really. Thank God she knew about the incident. Is living with me that repulsive to you?” I asked her.
“What do you think?” She answered back. “If word about this goes around the school…”
“What? What would happen?” I asked her.
“It would be a disaster!” she said, almost to the verge of crying.
I was officially angry now. So I did the one thing that would show this best. I laughed my ass off, and she was absolutely fuming. When I got my wits together, I responded.
“Listen, Nadine. I don’t know what the hell is your beef. But I will say one thing. If, God forbid, your mom does the right thing and gives zero fucks for your asinine childish shit and does well with my daddy and thus we end up under the same roof, there is only one rule to adhere to. Actually, a very simple one. You wanna hear it?” I asked.
She didn’t move a muscle. So I continued.
“Don’t fuck with me and I won’t fuck with you. Fuck with me and I will fuck you up.”
She opened her eyes wide.
“There. Is it simple enough for you?” I asked her.
“I will talk to mom tonight. This cannot happen. It absolutely cannot happen!” she said half-crying, and left in a hurry.
Tough shit, I thought.
Of course the wedding did happen, no matter what Nadine said or did. It was a very simple ceremony with just a handful of participants: the happy couple, Nadine, myself and a very few friends. I am not sure anyone in town really noticed that these two people actually got married. For my part, I was happy for my father and for Beth who turned out to be even cooler than I thought. Nadine was literally grieving. After the ceremony and the pretty modest festivities, we all went to the house where Dad and I lived, to discuss the living arrangements henceforth. Nadine was being a total brat. She hated everything. Her room was shit, the house sucked, the paint on the walls was bad, the carpet was moldy. She was just being impossible, and that soured my mood. I was relieved when they left to go to their house for the final night there.
U-haul brought their stuff the very next day in the morning. It was thankfully a very busy day, so none of us had time or the energy for bullshit. All in all, their stuff fit along ours just fine. Of course, Nadine never let anyone near her shit. She insisted that nobody touch anything, which had the inescapable effect of having her stuff becoming a big pile in the middle of the living room without her having any way of taking it into her room without some help. The happy couple was busy unpacking stuff in dad’s old room, now theirs, which left only one possible helper with Nadine’s stuff: me.
This is when it really dawned on her that this was for real. She started hyperventilating and ran out of the house crying.
I kinda felt sorry for her. And, of course, the male thing: a damsel in distress has us by the balls. My initial reaction was to follow her, but then I thought better, and decided to let things be. I went to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water. She returned shortly afterwards, having taken control of her functions. She gazed at the mountain that was her things with a desperate expression. I went near her things and asked her:
“I’ll help you get them to your room. You unpack them, alright?”
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