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

miércoles, 25 de enero de 2017

Afraid of them

   Each one of them had to be eliminated. There was no point in trying to argue this logic. The fact remained that all of them had been witnessed of something they shouldn’t have and they needed to be killed before they could say a word to anyone. Lucas did a very thorough list where he wrote the name of each person that had seen him move that object with his mind. Every single one of them had to be destroyed unless he considered them to be harmless with that knowledge.

 Actually, he did consider that for a while. After all, it wasn’t like he knew them all personally. All of the opposite, he couldn’t care less about who they were and he did try to convince himself that none of them had seen absolutely anything on that night. But then, someone was stupid enough to tell someone else, maybe as a funny story, and Lucas had to take care of it before it couldn’t expand beyond those two people. His watchful eye had been right then and he concluded it should be a definite answer.

 But, as he planned everything, he thought that probably every single one of those people didn’t really know what they had seen. Maybe they were confused and had decided to deny it or even rejected what their eyes had brought to them because their beliefs did not match any of what was happening with that unique moment in time. It was possible that people weren’t as bad and terrible as he thought they were. But then someone spoke about it and then someone else did and he realized what he had to do.

 A total of one hundred and fifty three people would have to be killed. That was the amount of people that had seen the large explosion he had caused very high in the atmosphere. He had caused that by pushing a bomb that was going to detonate, destroying a whole town. His reaction was to use his mind to push the object as high as he could. That way, the bomb would go off but harming no one. His effort almost caused him to faint but he bomb successfully detonated away from town.

 The problem was that, during that night, the monthly fair of the small town was taking place and, at least, a thousand people were there, eating and enjoying many rides and games. So was he and it was just after winning a plushy on a booth that he discovered the plans of a mad man and had only second to propel the bomb up into the night sky and hope his plan worked. That was why so people had seen his feat and that’s why know he needed to eliminate them all, as they couldn’t be allowed to know what he did, least of all tell anyone else about it.

 For many weeks, he decided to listen to every single person he remembered in the fair. The good thing was that he had a photographic memory and he was able to a complete list of people that had seen the explosion high up in the sky. After that, he followed every single one of them and checked on their lives to see if they had spoken about him at all. This they didn’t know, but he had very good hearing, able to hear a person speaking from many kilometers away, which he used to his advantage.

 He would spend hours hearing what a family talked about during and after dinner. Lucas did that in order to convince himself that maybe some of the people would be able to keep their mouths shut, for the good of the future and because they were afraid to say something out loud that seemed a little bit too crazy. However, that first family finally talked about it almost a week after it had happened. There was no choice in Lucas’s mind. So he entered the house at night and killed them with care.

 The idea was that he didn’t want the police or anyone else to think that someone had silenced those people. Instead, he wanted them to believe that all of these people had died of natural causes. Of course, after the first few, imagination would begin to be much more difficult to harness. But, thankfully, not much of it was needed because no one questioned the first deaths. It was all seen as a coincidence or as tragic ending stories for very happy and, sometimes, very sad stories.

 When he wasn’t doing what he was doing, he punished himself physically for what he did. He did so because it was obvious that he wasn’t killing criminals but all of the other people instead, the good ones, the ones that had families, and something they loved doing and lives that shouldn’t be disruptive of someone who wasn’t able to find another solution for an immediate answer. Lucas blamed himself for not having been able to handle things in a different way, for having to kill.

 Yet, he couldn’t change his plans now that he has started to execute. It wouldn’t make any sense to ignore them and let oust him as what he was. They couldn’t understand what was happening and what had been happening to him since when he was a teenager. Although he had received training, Lucas had never been able to master the complete arts of mind control and everything that had any connection to it. People wouldn’t understand that having those abilities was more of a curse than a blessing. And he couldn’t explain carefully to anyone, it would take much too long.

 Two weeks after his initial decision, only forty-two of the former group was still live. He had killed most of them during their sleep so they could be able to avoid pain and everything related to it. Lucas hated himself every single time he had to do it and would have loved to have a second opinion but there was no one there except him and his plan. He couldn’t be stopped and he honestly regretted that because a good person always wants to be stopped when they do something for the greater good.

 More often than not, the greater good is a way to shield oneself from criticism and understanding. He would have loved all those little children and the adults to understand that he didn’t want to hurt them but that he knew very well, after hearing all of them, that most would like to have his abilities or at least be able to see them in action once more. Once they had seen something so strange, they really wanted to see it again and again, until time came that it made no sense or they decided to be afraid.

 And fear was his number one enemy. Many of them had already planned to speak loud and clear about what they had seen and whom they had seen doing it. Although they felt a little bit of envy, fear was the key in making them move against what had fascinated them at the start. All of those he killed first were that kind of people, thinking they were doing this country a great service by pushing a fellow human into the pool of hungry sharks that was the military or even worse.

No, his powers had to die with him and that was it. He completed his mission almost a year after he had decided that was the only solution. There was no one to recognize that but at least he was in peace, or something close to that, at last. He also decided to never use his powers again, even at home where no one could actually see him. His short run as a powerful man was over. Lucas had so many other things to be worried about and he was glad everything now was on the past.


 But that never actually happened because the death of all those people was on his hands. It doesn’t matter what this intentions were back then, he had killed all of those people in order to protect himself. Every single day, he had to be convinced that what he did was the only choice. But then, months after finishing, a voice appeared in the back of his head and it told him something that he wasn’t expecting: an alternative. His own brain wanted to explain to Lucas how things could have been so different. But at the end of the day, he had to live with what he had learned.

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016

We all know Doris

   Doris had never been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was rather plain and didn’t have anything special going on for her. Besides, she was already over fifty years old and women her age simply didn’t have the same opportunities in life that younger ones. She couldn’t complain about her job, because she had been very lucky to keep it for so long but she would have loved to get married at least once in her lifetime. She had always dreamed of wearing a wedding dress and having one of those fun parties to celebrate her nuptials.

 She had her chance when she was around twenty-four years old. An older man had wanted her in marriage and her father had agreed to it. Of course, Doris didn’t want to marry him but, in those times, women did whatever their father told them to and it was very difficult to do something different than what parents told their children. Doris cried and stopped eating for a week but that didn’t change his father’s mind. However, the old man that wanted to marry Doris died only a couple of days before the actual ceremony so she was saved.

 When she looked back to that memory, she found herself thinking very differently from that young girl she used to be. For example, she regretted the fact that she was never interested in knowing more about the man she was going to marry. Of course, they practically didn’t know each other but she could have asked and maybe, just maybe, that would have changed everything, even the fact that he had died. Yes, fifty year old Doris thought it was a good idea to marry a man that was, at least, thirty years older than her.

 Be that as it may, she never got to wear that wedding dress. Besides, she had to see her two brothers and three sisters getting married. She had to go to their weddings and pretend to be happy for them but she never really was. She also had to go to other weddings, where she was even a bridesmaid. That was even crueler for her because she got too close to the real thing but it just wasn’t the same. It was all an illusion to keep her away from the one thing she wanted in life, the one thing you couldn’t really buy or force to happen.

 In her work, however, Doris was successful. She was the assistant of the principal in the same high school where she and her brothers and sisters had gone. At first it had been weird to work there but she adjusted just fine in no time. Now she loved to reminisce about all those good-looking boys that had walked the hallways back when she was a teenager. She found herself thinking about them a little bit too often and even took to the social networks to track some of them down to see if they had changed a lot or not so much. The results were predictable.

 Before turning fifty, Doris had gone over backwards to get a man. It sounds a little bit too desperate but it was what she wanted. She opened profiles in most of the matchmaking sites in the Internet and also downloaded several apps on her phone with the help of one of her nieces. She even started going to bars on Friday nights to see if she could attract any man. Doris didn’t even mind if it was only a crazy sex night but that didn’t happen either, which was frustrating and also hurtful for her. She felt even older than she really was.

 As her birthday grew closer, she decided to go to all these events that advertised that you would get a couple in no time. Some of them were events where you met several men in a limited amount of time and others were holidays for singles in which the goal was to meet all of the people that were there with you and then just see who you had the best chemistry with. The thing about all of those was that they were only a waste of money. She always came back home disappointed on everything and even sadder than before.

 After she turned fifty, it was as if something inside of her changed. She didn’t want to keep being desperate and accepted the fact that she was never going to find anyone. Of course, she remembered all of those family dinners for special holidays when she had to lie to her family or confess to them that she was still alone. As her family was concerned, Doris had been in a relationship with several men but it never really worked out for several reasons. Some didn’t have a job; some others were scoundrel and they were even a couple that ended up being gay.

 Now that her parents were dead, those family dinners were over. She rarely met her brothers and sisters, only in funerals and such events, which was great for her because that way she didn’t need to talk about her private life. Stopping the lies had been really good for her because for a fragment of her life, she knew too well all the things she need to say to make a believable lie. She was so good at it that it seemed that she was beginning to believe everything she said herself. It was a very sad thing to do and it was for the best that it was all over.

 So, after fifty, Doris was not interested in finding anyone new. She wasn’t interested in anything to be honest. She went from her home to her job and back home every evening. On the weekends, she spent several hours tending to her dog Fluffy and her small but well taken care of garden. It was her pride and joy, as she really loved to spend hours and hours getting everything to perfection. It was her passion and it helped her not thinking about thoughts that hurt her.

 One day, by the advice of her next-door neighbor, Doris sent pictures of her garden to a specialized magazine, just for fun. Her neighbor had said that sometimes they sent people over to take pictures for their magazines and that was always fun. She thought that Doris could be one of the proud owners of a famous garden. At first she wasn’t too sure but one night she decided to do it, just to add a little bit of fun to her life. Maybe it was the wine she had been drinking, but she was as happy as one could be while taking the pictures.

 Days later, she received an email from the magazine telling her that they were interested in a visit and asked her about her availability. Sure enough, they were there the following weekend. Her neighbor stood close by the whole time, showing Doris her two thumbs up every time the photographer took a picture or when the interviewer asked Doris about some of the flowers and she answered in the best way possible. They were only to people but she felt overwhelmed for a moment and had to take deep breaths when they weren’t watching.

 The interviewer, shortly before leaving, told her that her pictures would be in the mix for the next issue, which would portray suburban gardens from the country. She could be in or out, they didn’t know yet so she had to be very attentive of the issue. For Doris, it was a torture to wait that long because the magazine was released every two months. But thinking about it also made her very happy and proud and it was certainly better than wondering why she was not married or why no man appeared to have any interest in her.

 Sure enough, almost a month and a half later, the magazine’s new issue had her garden in the front page and in at least four other pictures inside. There even was an awkward picture the photographer had taken of her looking at her tulips. She was a bit embarrassed by it but many people thought it was a very nice picture. She kept the issue by her bed, to look it every time she felt down. Doris knew not many people knew about that magazine but that didn’t matter because it made her feel great and that’s what mattered.


 However, the following week every single person she met greeted her kindly, smiled and congratulated her. At first she was very confused but then she read a letter she had gotten from the magazine: she had been awarded a prize for the best suburban garden in the country. The prize came with a cash prize and an actual medal that would be given to her in a ceremony in the magazine’s headquarters. For the first time in her life, Doris was really happy, for real, and did not relate her mood to her relationship status. No man could make her feel better than that recognition.

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2016

Lemon slices

   She cut a slice of lemon and put it on the edge of the glass. One of the waitresses came in a second and grabbed it, taking the drink to its table. Working on a bar wasn’t the best paying job ever but no one ever get bored during a shift. Bronwyn had been working there for almost a year and she had already witnessed every single kind of thing you could see at a bar. From the beginning of a fistfight to a couple falling in love. She had seen first kisses and last dates. She had even been a shoulder to cry on for some people.

 It wasn’t like she had looking for that specific job or anything. The reality was that Bronwyn had not found a proper job in the two years after she had graduated college. She had a diploma that made her a professional engineer but she had never been able to work as one. Every single company she had sent her CV to, turned her down because she had no experience. But how could she gain any experience if no company would hire her? It was the eternal struggle and it got worse as time went on. She was desperate and there’s when her friend Alicia gave her the idea.

 Alicia had been dating a guy who owned a bar. The place was not very big but it had a very good location. As Bronwyn’s friend, Alicia offered her a job in her boyfriend’s club. She told her it would be nice for her to have at least one paying job in her information and that it would only be for a short period of time. Bronwyn wasn’t very convinced by that. She really wanted to find something that suited her better but Alicia reminded her of how much time she had spent looking for that. Besides, it would be fun for her to be a bartender.

 The first thing she had to do before taking the job was studying a little bit about the drinks that she would have to serve. Alicia gave her a copy of the menu of the bar and Bronwyn looked for the appropriate way to do those drinks. She practiced by watching videos online and failing once and again. She dropped several mixers to the ground before she could do the shaking moves the right way. The rest of the things she had to learn were quite easy and it was just about remembering the right ingredients and the amounts of alcohol she had to use.

 She practiced a lot because she wanted to be really good in her first job. If she was going to do it, Bronwyn had to feel she was doing the best thing she could do. The very first day she worked on the bar, she impressed everyone with her moves, despite being very nervous about something she hadn’t realized she had to do: talk to people. She had always being kind of shy but talking to half-drunks and people in almost darkness was much easier than doing it as if they were outside.

Her first day was an absolute success. Alicia came around late to watch her for a bit and then congratulated her on how much energy she put into doing the drinks. Bronwyn couldn’t really talk much because she was always focused on making the drinks properly and not missing one thing about them. She supposed that, in time, she would be able to do them without thinking that much. And it was true. After only a month in the bar she began to be more relaxed and even made friends with the other people in the bar and some of the clients.

 Besides, she found out people could give her tips and some of them were really good tippers. It was very clear for her where they came to, but it was pretty obvious that Alicia’s boyfriend had attracted the right crowd to the bar. They dressed with expensive clothes and paid for several drinks that large groups would consume. Some nights it was truly insane, seeing these rich youngsters drink and drink and their wallets never feeling a single thing from all of that craziness. For Alicia that was simply incredible, as were the tips she received.

  The place had two levels: the lower level was where the bar was located also had a lounge area and a small dancing floor. But the true dancing area and full club experience was upstairs. Lights there were even more scarce so all the waiters had to act as security officers also: they couldn’t allow any bottles or glasses upstairs, only in the tables and the bar in first floor. It was a difficult task for everyone and Bronwyn tried to help as much as she could by always being attentive of the stairs and the people going up to the second floor.

 There had been several times in which people tried to go there with their champagne or whisky bottles and one night in particular they found out why it was so dangerous for that to happen. A very drunk client grabbed his vodka bottle and hid it in his pants. The lights, or lack of them, helped him go unnoticed until he reached the stairs. Bronwyn thought he looked very strange, so she told a waiter to follow him and just see if he was hiding something under his clothes. The waiter did as she said but finding the guy wasn’t easy upstairs.

 It only became clear what he wanted to do once a girl screamed upstairs. Bronwyn almost dropped a bottle when she heard the noise. She ran upstairs automatically, as well as many other people. When they got to the second level, they realized the drunken man had broken the bottle and was threatening a woman with it. The waiter that had gone behind him was trying to convince him to lower the bottle but the he launched himself at the waiter, trying to cut him. Someone, a big guy, grabbed the drunkard before he could do any harm and put him on a lock.

 The bottle fell to the floor and the big guy took the man downstairs. The lights were put on and everyone was asked to leave the scene of the aggression, except for the workers, the drunkard and the girl he had threatened with the bottle. They all waited for the police, who arrived shortly and took the man away. The girl then explained to the officers that she was his ex-girlfriend. She could only guess that he had followed her into the club and had been waiting to do something all night. She was trembling a little bit as she told her story.

 After that, the big guy revealed his identity: it was Victor, Alicia’s boyfriend and owner of the club. He had been there just by chance and had been able to intervene. However, he wasn’t in a very good mood. He told everyone it was a shame that they hadn’t realized he was going up there with a bottle. He told them that they should be much more perceptive about who went up the dance floor. He told everyone he was very disappointed in them. After saying all that, he just left, leaving everyone to clean everything before leaving.

 Bronwyn thought she was out for sure. After all, she had left her post only to see what had happened upstairs. People could have stolen drinks or even money. She was certain that Victor would call her to tell her she was fired or not even that, maybe someone else would tell her. The next day of work, she was really nervous about that but no one ever came in to say anything. Furthermore, every single person that had been working in the club was still there and some of the also thought that they were going to be fired on the spot.

 Apparently, Victor was a much kinder guy that he looked like. That was a good thing for all of them because it wasn’t only Bronwyn that needed the job but every single one of them. From then on, they assigned a waiter to the stairs area to check on people and eventually Victor hired a security guy to do that job. The tips eventually got even better and Bronwyn realized that working as a bartender was not bad at all. She earned good money, she was good at it and she would make friends every night. The conversations she heard sometimes made her laugh, and some other times almost cry.


It was such an experience to be there with all those people, hearing their problems and the reasons they were happy about. It was funny to see the groups of friends dancing all together and it was also great to see love flourishing between two people, whoever they were, or seeing friendship be so active in men and women. Eventually, she stopped working there when a company finally decided she was good enough for them. But Bronwyn never forget the lemon slices she cut and the drinks she served at that club.

lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2015

Sushi

   Just when she was about to do it, a man passing pulled her back. Natalya tripped on her feet and landed on her behind, just at the feet of her so-called savior. But she didn’t see him as his savior; he was just an old fool meddling in things that were not of his interest. She got on her feet and just then the train stopped in front of them. She gave one last look of hate to the old man, who seemed to be oblivious to it, and boarded the train. It was peak time and everyone seemed to be too close from one another but she didn’t mind. She walked to one of the windows and just stood there the rest of the trip, staring at the tunnel walls passing by. She had been so close to do what she had imagined for days, and then the man had stopped her and she didn’t even knew why.

 Her foot had not even left the ground, she hadn’t begun to walk and he had pulled her back. Did he already know what Natalya wanted to do or did he just act on instinct? She didn’t care at all. It had been so close and now that it hadn’t happened she didn’t knew if she had to be grateful or not. She felt strangely alive, even there, in such a bleak part of town. In the following stop, she got out of the train and walked to the surface with one idea on her mind. She walked pretty fast, remembering a place where she had been pretty happy some time ago. Natalya wanted some of that happiness now, as she could really use it. She didn’t have to walk a lot. The restaurant only had a few costumers and the waitress recognized her from the last time.

 Natalya sat on a table by the window and decided to have anything she wanted, never mind the price or the amount. She needed to feel better and maybe food was the way to do it. As she waited for the dishes, the woman looked at the window. But instead of looking at the exterior, she found herself in there. Her face was still young but her body was older, as if the two parts that formed her being, body and soul, had decided at one point to age differently. Her eyes were sad and her mouth had always been arched in a way that always seemed to be sad too. Thankfully, the nice waitress came back with her drink. She was seeing the reasons why she had decided to kill herself and she just wasn’t ready to do that, to confront herself right now.

 For the next hour, all that she did was eating. The restaurant served Japanese food mostly but it also had some dishes from other parts of Asia. The waitress commented that one of the cooks was from India, so he had the idea to make rice and curry as a companion to every dish. Natalya thought that was a clever idea and asked the waitress to thank him for his idea. Surprisingly, he came out of the kitchen after the waitress had disappeared and shook Natalya’s hand. She was a bit surprised but she smiled and thanked him again anyway. He left with a clear sense of pride and that was good enough to make her day a better one.

 When the waitress came with the bill, Natalya asked her to sit down. The woman, a young Japanese girl, started to speak rapidly. She thought that her client was going to demand an explanation of her bill or have some criticisms about the food or even complain about the cook. But the truth was that Natalya just wanted to speak to her. She asked her where she was from, how old she was and, at last, her name. Misako was only twenty-four years old and had been born right in the city, her parents been immigrants that left Japan because his father wanted to have a restaurant and there was too much competition in Tokyo. So they emigrated to be more successful. Before paying, Natalya asked Misako if they could have a drink before leaving and Misako said she had to ask, as she was still working.

 They waited until the restaurant was closed to talk and then Natalya found out that the young woman had a life that fascinated her. The fact that she had lived all of her life in the restaurant and knew how to make every dish in the menu was outstanding. Misako clarified that she never cooked for the restaurant but that she tried the recipes at home to check on her skills but she ate it all alone as she was too scared to tell her father that she cooked. She explained that he had an education thought for her: she had already finished law school and now wanted her to get the following degree, for which they were saving. But she had no courage to tell her parents that she didn’t wanted anything to do with law.

 They drank a couple of Asahi beers each, until they all stepped out of the restaurant. Natalya got to meet the Japanese cook, a very private man who only raised his hand to say “Bye”. She also shook hands again with the Indian one, who was still very happy to have his ideas praised. Then, she met Misako’s brother Kenzo, who worked at the cash register. He was younger than her and was visibly sleepy. She realized it was better to let them go to their home. Before doing so however, she gave Misako her number and her email, in order for them to be in contact. She told her that she would come again anyway but that it was necessary for her to guarantee that they would keep on speaking.

 As she walked home, Misako realized she had been maybe too desperate but at this point of her life she didn’t really care. And that was because she was indeed desperate for friends, attention, love and anything in between. Maybe the only way to make friends was to just improvise in a moment such as the one in the restaurant. When she got home, she got into bed thinking of her insecurities but she decided not to do a thing about them. After all, it was them that had almost pushed her over the edge, literally. She was going to make one final effort to be a happy person and Misako would be her first friend to help her do exactly that.

 As she walked up very early for the office, a place she hated more than anything, Natalya got a text from Misako telling her that she had an idea she wanted to discuss with her. Thrilled to know her new friend’s idea, she answered the text right back, on her way to the office. Sad for her, she only got the response once she had started working on the most boring papers ever. Natalya was a teacher on the department of philosophy and the truth was that she hated philosophy and all the pretentious people that populated the campus. They were so filled with hot air; she thought they could fly to Europe and back. She hated that place where everyone tried so hard to be considered smart and unique when, and she had realized this long ago, no one was really special or unique. We are all the same kind of pretenders, of fakes.

 Or maybe not… Now that she had the way of friendship so close, Natalya thought that maybe she had been wrong about people and some of them could actually be real and interesting. Misako was exactly that and she was relieved to get a call from her at lunch. The proposal involved the two of them, and whoever else that wanted to join, cooking Japanese dishes in order to learn more and surprise her parents with a feast in the future.  Natalya thought that was a great idea and proposed they do it in her house. Misako said maybe a cousin of hers would join and that she could bring any friend or family member she wanted, as learning was more fun in groups.

 Unfortunately, Natalya had no one she could ask to come to their first attempt of a class. Many women worked in faculty but they weren’t her friends and she knew it would be weird to ask them, so she didn’t. As for family, she had lost that a long time ago. The following Friday, Misako showed up with her brother, her cousin and an aunt. She had brought every ingredient and when Natalya tried to pay her for the class, she said she had done enough by providing them with a place to practice. In just an hour, they were already rolling sushi and frying tempura. Natalya was a bit clumsy but they all had fun and joked around. They put on music and even danced as they put all the finished dishes together.

 When it was time to eat, they all enjoyed every single piece of food. Besides, Natalya realized the aunt and the cousin were just as nice as Misako, telling her about ancient Japanese tradition when eating and various other dishes they could try to make in the future. That made her happy and she decided to join the following Sunday at the market, to buy fish and eel and crab to make more dishes. Before she even knew it, they were all friends. They shared their thoughts, laughed together and even care for each other. When they felt it was time, they held a great feast at Misako’s home, with traditional decorations and all details taken care of.

 She was delighted to meet Misako’s parents, who were just the nicest couple in the world. They were older than her but wiser without a doubt. The father did not budge, the mother was obviously eager to know what it was all about. When the food came out, they all ate in silence. At the end of the meal, the father spoke in a harsh Japanese, which the aunt translated for Natalya. The father asked two things: where had Misako learned all of this and who was the woman that had joined him. Natalya felt out of place and insecure for a moment but then Misako put her hand on her shoulders and told her parents she had been the friend she needed. She explained how she learned by watching the cook at the restaurant and how she practiced in secret.


The father did not say a word for some time until he asked for everyone to raise a glass for his daughter, and her brilliant future. Misako cried in joy and Natalya felt she had found more than friends: she had found a family.