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

domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

The mansion by the woods

   The mansion had been deserted for years. No one had seen what was inside, not even the children that crossed under the broken fence and used the front gardens as a place to play the sport of their preference. They had even broken some of the remaining windows, which were not many, but never dared to enter the building to grab their belongings. They knew that the place was haunted or something worse. When they played, they could sometimes hear someone slamming the windows and punching the walls or something like that. It was very scary and they always left when that happened. For them, it meant that the spirits had been having an especially awful day and they didn’t want to have anything to do with that. They just left and wouldn’t go in for a few days.

 Curious people had also come around but never past the fence that still went all around the property. Somehow, adults felt something else than the children or were frightened easier. The thing was that every adult that came in contact with the fence started screaming and left in a huff. The truth was they instantly saw the way they would die in the future. No one knew if it was an accurate prediction but no one really wanted to find out anything about that. They just felt they had to leave urgently after seeing that and just did. Even the children saw and heard more. Adults just wanted to get the hell out before something scarier presented itself or something like that. With time, no inhabitant of the nearby town would go near the mansion, only crazies from other towns.

 Despite its fame, the mansion was not in such a horrible state, not as one would imagine. The place was falling apart in some areas but the rest looked as beautiful as always, with a mixture of different tones of marble that looked beautiful, especially in the summer. The gardens were, of course, all dead because no one was taking care of them but one could see the past beauty just by taking a stroll. Well, if anyone took a stroll around the place. The place did not looked like the typical dark haunted house. It was a very beautiful place that had fallen into disgrace and no one really knew why. Very few people remain that remember what had happened there.

 The people of the town had always been very apprehensive to anyone that wanted to live in the woods or too far from the main municipality. The mansion was constructed over a hundred years ago and even then people watched it, from afar, with disdain. They thought that only crazy people that shouldn’t be trusted would decide to live in such a place. After all, the mansion was in the margin of the forest. No one lived there and the people of the town even tried to stop the construction arguing that it was a national park. But the forest wasn’t so the mansion was built there without any modifications to its initial design.

 Things were strange even from the start. Not only many workers left the building site because they had claimed they had seen creatures coming in from the forest, but also the place remained empty for at least ten years before a family finally came in to live there. People were very displeased by this and agreed in a town meeting that no one would ever help those people, not by selling food or supplies or helping them out of the region. But that meeting proved useless because the people of the mansion would ever come to them. The only time they would come in contact with those people would be when their cars crossed the small town to go from or into the mansion. Everyone fell silent when that happened, as if a hearse had just passed before them.

 The family that lived in the mansion was said to be one of the richest in the country They owned various oil fields and mines all over the country. And somehow, they had chosen such a lost region to come and live. No one knew if that arrangement would be permanent or only through the summer but asking would mean that they cared for them and that wasn’t what they had agreed on. The family did not even realize of the antagonist reaction of the people on town. The truth was that, for them, the mansion was a small piece of paradise that was only for them. They could have built it anywhere else in the country but the grandfather of the lady of the house had loved this region when young so they went for it.

 There was a father, a mother, two little girls and the youngest, which was a strange little boy. Even people in town knew he was strange because some of the people that worked in the house would often come into town and as they had never promised to deny them any service, they would talk to them even if they were there for only a few minutes. The one who talked the most was the gardener and it was them who had told the people about the youngest boy who would never leave the house and was always in a room for only their parents to see him. The girls had a nanny and they would often spend time with the cook but the boy would never join them. They believed him to be around five years old.

 The family came and went all summers, even staying a little bit more some years. They would never get any visitors but would rather stay inside much of the time. The girls would play a lot around the gardens and where the only members of the family that had an actual exchange with the rest of the staff. The two girls were eight and twelve years old and they would always play together. They would hold hands and skip around the gardens in order to smell the flowers or follow insects or just play around. They were cheerful children and, according to the people that worked in the mansion, no one else but them actually smiled. The father was absent and the mother was always melancholic.

 Then, they stopped coming for some years and returned three years later. It was the last time people saw the girls, who were already grown up. They were very beautiful ladies and it was said that the eldest was about to marry to a well renowned banker. It was on their last visit that they decided to visit the town and greet many of its inhabitants. No one asked anything, of course, but they were all mesmerized when seeing the two women. They had nothing uncommon physically or anything but they just felt strange, like something was off about them but no one really knew what it was. After that visit, they would never come back to town or to the mansion. Only her mother would come and her father, but only some times.

 It was obvious that the man of the house had never liked the mansion or whatever it meant for him. Since the beginning, he would come and go so many times that people ignored his car after a while. People thought it was because of work but the truth was, according to the gardener that the man couldn’t stand to be in that mansion or in the presence of his wife. Somehow, and all staff agreed on this, he hated his wife and couldn’t even look at her. No one had ever seen them being nice to each other, not holding hands or sharing a nice moment. No, the woman was always crying or pacing around the house and the man would just leave and escape everything that tied him there.

 Then, one particularly hot summer, there was an explosion in the mansion that could be heard for many kilometers. Apparently it had been originated in the kitchen. The only casualty was the lady of the house. Every person in the vicinity was shocked to hear this but no one was able to go to her funeral. She was buried over night behind the house and that event marked the time when everyone left the mansion and its slow decay began. Some children now say that the tombstone in honor of the woman can still be seen but no adult had ever come that close to check by themselves. Everything had happened so fast that only years later people would start to remember and question: And the boy?

 Where was the little boy that the staff had sworn had always been kept in his room, only contacted by his parents? When the family left the mansion, no one ever saw a child with them and the gardener remembered clearly he only saw the girls and their father leave. So naturally, many people assumed the kid was still in the mansion. People would come to “rescue” him but then the visions started and no adult ever returned to the mansion. Only children that claim that the sounds where sometimes too much to bear. Some even confessed to have seen a face in the windows. But they didn’t saw a child, rather something much stranger and scarier. Something like the devil himself, they said.

lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Lily's world

   Medicine tastes awful, at least most of the times. Lily wasn’t just going to drink it and she made sure her mother realized this very late at night. Lily would not go wouldn’t go to bed without her mother reading a story and she had decided that was the best time to make Lily drink a new medicine. Wrong. All wrong, Lily thought, because ruining story time was for her one of the worst things any of her parents could do to her. Granted, they could get violent but the most violent she had seen them was in Christmas when Dad had decided to yell at Sparky, their dog, for “unwrapping” the presents at an earlier time. He yelled at him for several minutes until the dog left the room and wasn’t seen until the next day.

 But Lily wasn’t Sparky and, to be fair, Mom wasn’t yelling. She was just being a mom and who could blame her? Lily understood it was kind of like a job and that they had responsibilities as making her do things she hated, but that was a bit too much. Lily thought that it was time to make her voice heard and she bluntly said no to the medicine. She didn’t even felt sick. She was jus fine but her mother insisted every single night for the remainder of the week and Lily refused every single one of those times. To be honest, Lily was amazed at herself. She was known to be very obedient and a “good girl” most of the time, but she just felt this time her mother had gone too far, she was overdoing the whole mother thing and that was not acceptable, not for Lily.

 Of course, she told this to her mother who looked at her and smiled. Yes, she smiled. Lily was equally as surprised. It didn’t make sense that a parent smiled when their children misbehaved. But there she was, her mom just smiling and almost laughing. The most offensive thing happened the next morning during breakfast when Mom told Dad about the incident. Dad laughed louder and grabbed his sides because they hurt of so much laughter. It was so unbearable to see, Lily just wanted to get on her bus to school and get it going with numbers and historical characters and all that. She’d rather have that than her crazy parents back home. It was even weirder because a laugh hadn’t been heard at home for quite some time.

 In school, Lily told her best friend Anne about what had happened. Anne was fast, which Lily liked, and told her parents had times when they behaved like that. They just went crazy for a few hours and then they returned to whatever they were doing or thinking before. According to Anne, this behavior was natural when people grew as old as their parents were. Just imagine living up to forty years old! It wasn’t an easy thing, or at least that’s what Anne thought. After their discussion about parents, they had a nice lunch together, sharing what each one had brought from home. Anne ate Lily’s ham sandwich and Lily took Anne’s carrot cupcake. She liked doing that every day.

 Back at home, Lily realized Anne had been correct: her mother was behaving normally, busy with her work at home. Her dad wasn’t going to be there for a few hours so it was safe for her to assume that he was normal again too. She smiled at the thought of it and realized that maybe her parents had still some child like feelings inside. She thought that forty years was a long time but maybe in all that time, they still remembered how it was when they were smaller. It had been grandma who explained to her that her parents hadn’t been adults all the time and than they had been kids like her one day. Her mother had shown her pictures and it was amazing how similar the girl in the picture was to her.

 At dinner, her parents attacked again. Yes, her dad was normal, not crazy. They told her that taking the medicine would only take some time and after that every single medicine would be barred from the house, never coming back again. She was almost convinced by them but decided at the last minute to stick to her revolution. She told them that she was tired of drinking all those medicines and that she had just had it. She didn’t want to keep feeling that awful taste in her mouth every time she went to bed. She told them that she just wanted to be like Anne, who hadn’t taken any medicine in years and who never went to the doctor. She was just tired of it all and wanted to be just a normal girl, like any other.

 She had won the round. Her parents changed the subject to something about the house, something with bills or who knows, so he tuned out after that.  What was worth mentioning was the fact that apparently her decision had been respected and that she had done something for herself. And that felt great. She felt like all those girls in the movies or in TV that just stand up for what they think and like. She felt really good and told Anne the following day. Anne was very happy for her and told her that her mom said that every girl needed to stand up for herself, especially against men. Anne’s mom had divorced her husband recently. But the girls didn’t understood about that but they did understand what she said.

 They decided to recruit other girls and form the first Young Girls Alliance against every single thing that was done against them. Basically, whenever they got reunited, whereas it was in school or outside, they would discuss ways to persuade their parents not to make them do things they didn’t want them to do. Even a boy, Roger, wanted to come into the group but they told him it was only for girls but that if they decided to accept boys they would tell him right away. He smiled at this and left. Essentially, it was all about not been forced to eat broccoli, visit people that they considered gross  o do things that no one ever wanted to do like cleaning their bedrooms.

 Word got to a teacher, apparently because someone had betrayed the Alliance, and then several parents were called to the school. The girls thought they would all be suspended from school to something but nothing as bad ever came to happen. Their parents had been in the school, talking to Mrs. Steele who was the headmistress, but apparently things were not as bad as they thought. If anything, things had become a little more enjoyable, both at home and in school. At home, Mom and Dad were always smiling and playing and just having a nice time, like never before. And it school, every single adult had been infected with the “smiley” virus. It was amazing to se it all around them, never stopping. Maybe they really had been successful in changing things for girls all around, maybe the Alliance was just what the world needed.

 But that thought didn’t last much longer. One day, in the middle of their break, a woman came for Roger and took him away. This was very odd as Jason’s parents, like Anne’s were divorced. But what was very weirder was that his mother had never come to leave him in school or pick him up. Actually, Lily did not recall having never seen her and she had known Roger for quite some time. He had been the only boy she had ever liked as a friend, as he was polite and clean, not like all the others. He was almost like a girl, which was the way things should be in a perfect world, at least according to Lily.

 She told what had happened at school to her parents and they didn’t seem surprised but their smiles were absent during dinner. It was of particular note that it was one of the few days she had received so many kisses before bedtime and from both of her parents. Both of them tucked her in and told her how much they loved her and how much they wanted her to be the best girl ever. They told her that they were very proud of her and her convictions and they encouraged her to be the best Lily she could ever be. It was a very strange thing but the truth was that Lily loved it. And she did because he loved her quirky parents, always saying and doing weird things that she may never understand.

 Roger never came back to school and it was a very hot topic during the morning break and lunch, at least for a week. Then, everyone stopped speaking about it. It was sad she would never see Roger again but maybe he was going to be happy in his new school, as she was sure his mom would put him in another school. It was strange, but that whole thing and the war about her medicine made her think a lot. She realized that parents were strange but not only them but all the rest of the adults and the world too. She discussed at length with Anne, who thought parents were just doing what they knew how to do and that’s why they were parents.

 Lily went on with her Alliance, advising girls in every single kind of problem or inconvenience. She knew that they all needed help for something or other and she wanted to be there to help. Maybe that was what she was going to do wen she became an adult. But thinking about it scared her and made her feel sick, so she decided to be the best girl she could. There would be another time to be a grown up but, for now, it was best if they just talked with Anne about those singing boys on TV.

miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015

The concept of friendship

   Many people say that their friends are actually family as they have known them for as long as they’ve known heir parents or siblings, and have spent the same amount of time with each one. Some friends meet first in a park, when they’re babies, or because their families are acquainted. That is known to happen although it’s not the norm. Many people meet their friends later in life, when they reach the age to go into school. That place is the most common one to make first friends and to make alliances that would mark a person’s life, for good or bad.

 In my case, and like many people, I also made friends in several playgrounds and places of conglomeration. Kids have that innate ability to communicate with others, without all the contamination that we have as adults. They don’t see beyond a face and they make friends for life in a matter of seconds. Even if they only see each other once, for a couple of hours, they label the other kids friends. Why wouldn’t they? They understand that people who share a taste for something or a passion are friends and, actually, that’s what the base consists of.

 But as adults, we do not make friends that easily because we know a lot more about people and because we are more worried about been safe that about meeting new people. It’s not something bad. Some adults don’t have that protective sensibility and that’s when attacks happen, whatever they’re reasoning or lack of reasoning is. As adults, we don’t really make new friends. We meet people and bond but it is very unlikely that we connect as easily as we would if we were kids. Because we know people and we know what they can do.

 Nevertheless, we meet people and often share a connection. But friendship built on adulthood is much more sensible to changes and it isn’t likely it lasts very long. Why? Maybe because you’re not really evolving anymore. You are the same person day after day, year after year. Many people start being friends because they share a growth process and they need someone to share that journey with. But when you’re an adult, that journey is much more slower, less satisfying and not very thrilling to see, only to live.

 Although, the real key is to know on what you have based your friendship. Is it built on shared experiences, shared tastes, a likening for the same kind of people, a feeling of loneliness, a need to speak to someone, …? What is it that makes you someone friend? Many people think it’s because you share opinions but that isn’t always the case. It is impossible that two people agree on every single thing. Maybe on key subjects. Maybe that’s where friendship lies: in connecting in a couple of things you consider to be most important in your life. If you find someone who sees life the same way you do, on those two subjects, maybe that person would make a great friend.

I, for one, count myself in the group of people that don’t really have a lot of friends. How many friends do you think it’s “normal” to have? Some would say ten, some others twenty, some even might say only one good friend is enough. But, as most of things in life, that all depends on the person you are talking to. After all, we are not all alike and we all have different lives that make us different people. Besides, it takes a lot more than a couple of shared opinions to be someone’s friend.

 Let’s take my high school as an example. I went to a school were parents with an above average income would send their kids, so they were many connections on that level. Many people’s parents were friends so naturally their children were friends too.  Then, there were some people with average or below average income that had been able to pay for a good school for their children. Those kids were, strangely, not always on with the other. Those were the ones that felt the need to blend in so they tried to have a wider range of types of friends. In fewer words, they played it safe.

 Was there any bullying? Sure. It would be a very uncommon school if that hadn’t happened. It was always about the ones that came up as unusual: the very nerdy guy, the very nerdy girl, an effeminate kid, the new kid,… They are many types of people in a school and it’s normally very easy to put every person on a box, even if that’s not the best idea. But that is what the kids do. Girls, from a young age, know that it’s far better if they have an athlete as a boyfriend than the nerdy guy. Unless that nerdy guy happens to also be an athlete but that rarely happens.

 And men also know which girls they should date: the physically prettier ones because they need each other as prizes. If the rest of the people know that they are dating someone especially “hot”, then the other will know who is more important. Of course, we are talking about young people’s dynamics. They are many times vicious and calculating and they have learned all that from their parents and media. No one can wash hands when we see a terrible teenager in a mall or small brat in the park. It is a shared blame but blame all the same.

 I was the new guy. I was the new guy for about two or three years. They saw me as an outsider because, although it was common for new people to arrive, they preferred the ones that were outgoing and had something to bring to the table. I didn’t. So I was an outcast for many years in school until I made some friends. But we didn’t have a strong connection, like common goals or tastes. We only had one another and that was enough to be friends.

 The years went on and I made some more similar friends and realized the concepts had slowly shifted. It wasn’t like when we were fourteen. At seventeen, girls want to date the bad boys and guys want girls that have been around the block. That is the truth and the biggest truth about it all is that it’s all a lie. Must people, and this is a proven fact, have not have sex until after they leave school. So it is statistically impossible that every single person with whom I graduated, had lost their virginity. But anyway, people claimed they have had sex because that was the next big thing.

 Kissing, having sex, alcohol, drugs… You name it. I doubt that it was only happening in my school. All kids have that rush, a need for what has been forbidden for many years. And they love it or at least fake they love it because at that age what you do most is faking and lying. Whether it is to your teachers or your parents or your so-called friends, doesn’t matter. You just do because you learn lies can take you where you think you want to be.

 I didn’t really lied back then. I didn’t have anything to lie about. Alcohol was fine but I was not interested. My sex life was better that many other’s in the school, which is something that does not make me proud but I find funny. But there was no love, no childish romance. I never experiences that. I never knew how it was to feel that stupid feeling of accomplishment when you haven’t really done anything. And, obviously, I will never know.

 In college I had the best time of my life, no doubt about that. I started learning about what I loved and met people with whom I made deep connections. I understood how it is you build a real friendship, balancing those similarities and the opposing opinions. That’s when I became and adult. I did it when I realized how society works and I refused to play by the same rules because I had learned them and wasn’t going to play that game of hypocrisy and lies.

 My rule in school was to make time pass and not to attract any attention to myself. And I think I did a tremendous job at it. But in college, when I realized who I was and why I was that, I started not giving a shit about what people said or thought. I think many saw me naked, not on campus of course. I attracted attention to myself a couple of times and did not care. I felt free and all because I was happy. I had never felt so fulfilled in my life.

 Nowadays, that freedom is blurry. I have no job, no prospects; the future is bleak at best. But I keep the friendships built on solid ground and all that I learned while growing up. The friends that I made on sandy ground are not there anymore. To be honest, I don’t know if they are really friends at all. I like them and would never say anything bad at them but it’s the truth when I say we needed each other back then but now what made us be together doesn’t exist anymore. We have no reason to be together as no real lasting connections were ever made.

 Friends, in any case, are important. We need that connection with others because it’s the only way we built ourselves up and realize our potential and how we can make this world one worth living in.