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

martes, 26 de julio de 2016

The Jones'

   The day the Jones family drove into the quiet neighborhood of Riverview, people of the street decided to greet them personally, as they had done before for every new family arriving to their community. It was a small town and they all believed a good relationship between neighbors was essential to improve the lives of everyone and even in order to prevent major catastrophes like someone disappearing from the face of the Earth or the kids being a little withdrawn.

 However, the Jones’ didn’t receive anyone on their first date. Every single person who went to their door was received by a little girl who told them they were really busy with moving and that they should get back once they had been done unpacking and setting their lives back together. Our of respect, people decided to come back later, although many housewives were insulted to be refused entry, especially if they had cooked something delicious.

 A whole week passed until the Jones’ themselves invited everyone o their home. They sent very nice invitations and tried to make every single family on the street feel they were sorry to make all children look around. Too many people thought that was something only strange folk did and they certainly didn’t wanted to live nearby anyone like that. But the invitations changed their minds, as they were never courted in such a nice way.

 It was a Friday night when everyone attended a dinner party organized by the Jones’. Children were admitted but had to leave the party at 10 in the evening. The Jones family was composed of several people: Lucy and Bert Jones were the mother and father of the family. And it had to be said they were very particular: they only wore black clothes and appeared to be as in love as a couple of teenagers, kissing around and barely showing people more than they needed to see.

 The kids were only too; there was Regina, the young girl that had opened the door for people when they had been moving and Jonathan, a teenager with baggy eyes that seemed to have never slept a day of his life. There was also a very skinny woman that spoke in another language, probably one of the adults mother. And finally, there was Brock. He was a very tall man, with a bit of a silly expression on his face. He seemed to be their employee or something.

 He spent the whole party in a cornet, as if he was verifying that everything was going smoothly. He made the glasses bang chilled again by the staff the Jones’ had brought for the event and he seemed to vanish every so often. A rumor saying they had one more member of their family started to grow after that and because of that strange employee.

 In any case, the party had been a real success. Now every single person knew who they were and, although they were called eccentric and other similar words, the Jones’ became an integral part of the community of Riverview. Yet, children would never go alone to that house, for example if they had lost a baseball or something like that. Children had invented that the woman was a witch that failed to be a proper one. They were scared of her because she was nothing like they were used to.

 In school, the Jones’ children were almost always alones, especially the teenager. He was obviously dressed much more conservatively than the rest of the children and seemed to be sensitive enough to make beautiful drawings and art in general. His teacher was impressed from day 1 because of the small masterpieces Jonathan had created for him in such a small amount of time.

 As for Regina, she did have a lot of friends but sometimes she said she felt alone and strange. She thought sometimes that her family was too uncommon and that because of that she failed to connect with anyone else. And when she did connect, she felt bad because she assumed that wasn’t what a Jones family member would do. They would talk about it and discuss it and see the options. They were very uncommon parents and it was often that the kids had to solve their problems by themselves.

 With the passing of time, the Jones’ house turned into the street every single kid avoid and also every adult ran in from of. It was like if their happiness was sucked away by the sole presence f the house. And then there was that monster, that enormous man that appeared no to be ale to talk. But he did talk but had decided years ago to limit the amount of things he said because he thought it was not necessary.

 Brock was not really a Jones but they had brought him to town and every single person wondered what did he do in that house. It wasn’t as if they had a mansion were help would be needed. Some people saw him in sometimes around the commercial area of town, buying groceries or running errands while the Jones’ were out. Everyone just stared at him because of his height.

 Every neighbor thought he was maybe the weirdest but the parents were not really the most normal people. No one actually knew what it was that Bert Jones did for work. The only true thing was that he left every single morning at the same time and he was the first husband to arrive to his home at night, something that most housewives around there thought was very curious, as they were used to their husbands arriving always late, with food already cold.

 But Bert was always there for dinner and kissing Lucy’s face every time he arrived into his home. It was something the neighbors also grew very curious about, the fact that they didn’t really hide the love they had for each other. No other couples in town were like that, maybe because it was such a conservative place. They were the only ones to actually show that they were in love and that their relationship seemed to work.

 Lucy also left in the mornings, after her husband, but returned very early in the afternoon, possibly to make dinner. Those were the assumptions the many eyes looking at them could make. Maybe she had some type of part-time job or she had something to do with family. Either way, she would always have her black hair in the same style and her clothes were always similar, very dark and kind of revealing for the taste of the community.

 Yet, as odd as they were, the Jones’ always attended the social gatherings. Whenever there was a meeting of the neighborhood patrol or some kind of reunion at the mayor’s office, they would always be there, husband and wife. They liked to help and were always very keen on making others feel happy. It was strange from them but that’s what they did and most of the time their attempts actually work. They were very beloved in that regard and many envied them for it.

 Of course, some people were actually scared and never really bothered to talk to them too much. There had been a small group of people who had refused to go to their welcoming party and had done it because they thought that they had been rude from the start, not receiving people into their home just because they were moving. They also thought they were strange because of their behavior and their looks.

 Jonathan was teased in school by the kids of those people. One day he was sent to the nurse’s office because one of the boys that thought he was weird had pushed him in the yard and he had fallen and hurt his chin. Both Lucy and Bert picked their son up from school that day and they seemed to be very surprised that such a thing had happened there with their son. It didn’t seem like something they understood.

 They lived there for a couple of more years until they felt they had enough of their reputation as “the weirdos” on Riverview. So one good day, a single moving truck took everything away and the neighbors only knew about them leaving when Brock was seeing driving the truck out of the city. The next day, the house was on sale and there was not a single Jones to see. They had tried and failed again. It wasn’t the first town they settled in and many more would come, as they had done for so many years now.

sábado, 21 de mayo de 2016

The apartment

   Arthur just couldn’t keep himself from doing a party. He always had to have one. It didn’t matter if it was only him and a few people or with a large crowd. Somehow, he needed that at least twice a week and if holidays happened to be occurring, the number grew considerably. Once, he even drank every single night of one week. The amazing part of it all was that the following week he looked good as new, as if nothing had happened.

 Having him as a roommate was particularly difficult. The parties were one big part of it but also his lack of order and cleanliness. Every time he cooked something, the kitchen seemed to have exploded: every pan and pot was in the wrong cabinet, there was rice all over the floor and even small puddles of water or other liquids on the floor. He would also get ketchup on the walls, and would never, even by an act of kindness, get the trash out to the street.

 Normally, a person like that would have been thrown out of an apartment after a couple of mishaps, but there was an important detail to be considered: the two bedroom apartment, which had a large living room, a balcony, a very big bathroom and comfortable rooms, was owned by Arthur’s father, who also happened to be one of the richest men in his country. The man was very powerful and it wasn’t a surprise he had properties a little bit everywhere.

 Anyhow, that’s how I met Arthur. I remember having arrived to the city, from my country and after a twelve-hour flight. I had browsed online for days until I had finally found a proper place to stay in. The apartment looked incredible and the price was just insane. At first, I thought there had been a mistake but, after I decided to write, they confirmed that the price of the room I wanted was correct. Immediately, I booked the room, excited to have found such a bargain.

 When I arrived, a month later, the first person I met was not Arthur but his father. I had no idea of who he was back then and even now I don’t really now the extent of his power and wealth. After all, Arthur and I are not from the same country and his father is not very well known to me. However, he was very kind, greeting me as I arrived. He made a brief tour of the apartment and then asked to have a chat after signing all the papers.

 He wanted me to understand something: his son was going to leave there too and that’s why the rent of my room was so cheap. I didn’t understand at first but he said I would I due time. He only asked patience of me and swore I would be glad I had decided to live there. At first, I thought he was just exaggerating. I was very wrong!

 Arthur had grown to be a very tall guy. His feet were big and his hands too. His head was a bit smaller compared to the rest of his body and that made him look weird at first. Of course, the first few days were just perfect. The apartment was not only huge and very well located; it was also very modern and had everything one would need, even a maid that would come in every Thursday to clean up. She was a very chatty woman and it was nice to talk to her when she came.

 The first party occurred just after the first month had gone bye. It was a big shock to see at least twenty people, all over the living room, drinking beers and watching some show on the TV screen. Hours later, they would turn the music up and start dancing and jumping and being all crazy. The rooms were separated from the living room by a corridor, which could be closed by a door. And if you also closed the door of your room, the noise wasn’t too bad.

 But the noise factor was only a part of it all. It was much more annoying to be walking to the kitchen the next day and having to avoid stepping on someone that was sleeping on the floor or on food or on the various puddles of beer. Of course, when they all went home, they would never clean anything up. Everything would remain as it was, as if a bomb had gone of in the middle of the living room and also the bathroom. It was just too disgusting.

 I called his father the first time. I was furious, telling him about all the vomit there was on the bathroom floor and about the unconscious bodies on the living room and the smells and the amount of dirty dishes on the kitchen sink. But he just calmed me down by saying he would send Minerva, the maid, to clean up and that everything would be fine. Then, I decided not to day a word because I thought it was a once in a year thing, once every six months at least.

 Minerva came and cleaned everything in less than an hour. It was as if she was magical. And she didn’t say anything about all the disgusting things around. I kept complaining to her but she only nodded and said “Yeah”, which should have been a red flag but I just didn’t see it. When I wanted to comment on the mess with Arthur, he argued he was too busy and would just leave the apartment or get locked in his room.

 I had never been the type to ask fro friendships or to want to have a huge bond with the people I lived with. I just don’t think it’s necessary. But I was willing to try if it meant getting sure that bomb didn’t go off again. However, Arthur didn’t let me. We spoke very few words and that was during my whole stay there, which lasted a full year.

 Arthur seemed like a very private person but then he would bring two buddies to drink beer and watch a game in the living room. And then they would start smoking pot and then some girls would arrive and then more people and suddenly he would have a party on his hands that he even wasn’t around to handle. It was wasn’t uncommon to arrive late at the apartment and finding a party where the person that lived there appeared to be missing. People he invited, of course, didn’t care. But it was stressful not to find him when the mess was going out of control.

 Neighbors didn’t complain for two reasons: the first one was the apartment was actually sound proof. So it didn’t really matter how loud the parties could get, the people on the same floor or on the one below (as it was a penthouse) could only hear a very soft hum. That was it. The other reason was that they know who was the owner of the apartment and it was a general consensus that they didn’t want problem which someone like that.

 So complaining was not a popular thing. And those parties and that mess happened every single week of the year except for two glorious one in March, when Arthur was forced by his dad to visit his family back home. It was the only time Arthur shared a bit of his life, only to complain about it. When he left, the calm in the apartment was almost overwhelming but it was welcomed.

 I could sleep a lot better and could use the TV without him been there. I could keep everything the way I liked it and even Minerva told me that I should leave her more to clean. I enjoy those two weeks thoroughly but was always afraid a party would appear out of nowhere because that’s how it worked. I went out a couple of days and arrived late and it was so strange to get there and seeing no drunk people on the floor and having a clean bathroom to pee in before going to bed.

 Of course, that didn’t last long. Arthur came back and the following months were just as horrible as the rest. I endured because my parents were really glad I didn’t have to spend so much money on a place. I also didn’t want to break the contract, which stated that if I left before the last specified date, I would not get my deposit, which I needed. So I had to endure by going out of that place every day of that summer.

 I went to the beach almost every day. I even made a couple of friends there. But then I would have to go back to the mess. I reminded myself that it was only for a few more months and then it would all be done. I would go back home and I wouldn’t have to care about cleaning floors or doing dishes that hadn’t been used by me.

 The last day, we had a conversation. It was very surreal. He said he was very sorry about how everything had been between us and regarding the apartment. It was obvious his father or someone had talked to him. Or maybe it was him, who had had a revelation. But, honestly, I didn’t care. My luggage was ready at the door and I ordered a taxi on my phone as he spoke. We just shook hands and I forgot all about him, until today.

sábado, 30 de abril de 2016

A horse named Alex

   Every single horse ran immediately, except one. Alex, named like that after the leading character in A Clockwork Orange, had stayed exactly were he was and no matter how much the jockey on top of him kicked him, he didn’t move a single millimeter. Everyone in the team was seriously pissed. They had all invested something in the race and now it was all in the trash can just because a horse had decided to show his opinion during a very important event.

 To be fair, it wasn’t that Alex was especially bright or anything, the point was he had been well trained by his former master. Lady Claire had been only ten years old when her parents had gave her that horse as a present for her birthday. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, considering the family had strong connections with horse that went for years. They had even provided the police and the army with horses and won several contests and shows with their best stallions.

 Alex was, nevertheless, Claire’s pet. He was never supposed to run in any race or to be under scrutiny of any person ever. Yet, when he grew up and transformed into a very well formed horse, more than one person started telling Lady Claire’s father that he was wasting a great horse by letting his daughter have him just running around his premises every day. They saw how he played with the girl and how he ran when she asked for a mount and all the other instruments.

 Those men were always around the house, normally just overlooking the training process for the horses that had been specifically raised to enter competitions or to serve certain institutions. But one of them, called David Byrne, got obsessed with the idea of seeing Alex run in a real race. The man insisted daily to Claire’s father that he had to make that horse run and that he could make a lot of money with him. He also proposed him to sell the horse to him and he would be the one to train him in the best conditions possible.

 But of course, as soon as Claire heard someone wanted to take her away from her pet, she insisted to her father that he couldn’t simply take something he had given to her as a preset. The horse was hers and only Clair could be the one to decide if he ran or if he just walked around their estate. And she had no intention of selling or training Alex for anything, so the answer was always a negative one to Mr. Byrne.

 Annoyed by the fact that a girl was on his way and that her father was a man that couldn’t even control his own daughter, he decided to do what he knew most: manipulate the context. He decided to end various deals he had reached with Claire’s father, which put him in very serious problems with a lot of people, like the government and a large amount of private investors that had invested their money in the very large and modern stables in which all of the horses trained and maintained by Claire’s father lived. Although the hit was not very strong at first, it became a problem after some months.

 Byrne was a very bitter human being and he didn’t like to loose at all. He hated the idea of even stepping aside to make someone’s life easier. The moment he had the idea of making Alex his horse and making him run in various competitive events, he had decided in his head that it needed to happen and he wasn’t going to stop for details, like the horse not being his or the opposition of the real owner. Besides, he was rather accustomed to winning his arguments so he knew it was a thing of time until he had his way.

 Claire’s Father, who she called Daddy even when she got older, came to her room one day and decided to ask her for Alex in the nicest tone possible. She was already a woman, almost off to college. She visited Alex every day in the stables and treated him more like a dog than like a horse. She even had the idea of going to study to a school where she could have him around in order to make some exercise and not to loose her connection to the horse. And it was then that her father realized what he had to do: promising something he wasn’t going to do, like taking good care of the horse.

 The girl trusted her father because he was who he was. She left for college months later and once she was out of the picture, her dad attempted to deal with Byrne. The man was obviously beaming with pleasure when he received the call and he even decided to play dumb and not accept the man’s calls for a while. But he eventually went to the stables and talked to him, hearing his proposal. Claire’s father was not ready to sell the horse as, legally; the horse was his daughter’s property. However, he would let Mr. Byrne trained the horse and earn money that way.

 The man accepted. Claire’s father was very glad because it meant they could do business again and he could access all of his former clients again. The money made from the horses was very important to him and his wealth. So Alex begun training under a very harsh woman hired by Byrne, who was supposed to be one of the best in the field. She was a very harsh person and used a whip to make her results even better.

 She made Alex work a lot more than he had ever worked. Called Françoise, the woman was as big as a small horse and cracked the whip every time she thought the creature was not doing what she was asking or had been doing it wrong for a while. She made him run and jump for hours, until Alex was exhausted.

 Even the other trainers, the ones supervising the horses that would go to other owners, seemed appalled by the way Françoise treated Alex and her energy around the stables. Every single horse got quite restless when she appeared and would only calm down after a while. Alex would always respond to her arrival by kicking the wall of his small room with his hind legs. He kicked so hard, he broke the wood once and that had to be mend by Claire’s father.

 He witnessed one day how the woman did the job and was horrified by it but he didn’t say anything because it seemed Byrne was very happy with the results. Françoise stated that the horse would be ready for a race in just a month and Byrne had already booked him for three different events taking place just within days of each other.  The only thing Claire’s father did was checking his calendar and making sure his daughter wasn’t going to be around for those dates.

 He had dodged any questions about her horse for days now. He would always answer to her vaguely over the phone and change the subject abruptly to her studies and she didn’t say anything because she was grateful to her father that he had understood her choices in life and that she had chosen to study a liberal art and not the career he had always wanted for her. So she went along and never insisted on speaking about her horse or anything else really.

 The last month of training was simply brutal. Françoise cracked her whip more times in those days that in all the others days combined. Her trained was becoming so intense, that some of the stable workers decided to ask her to relax a little and let the horse rest for at least a day or she would kill him from exhaustion. But she simply cracked her whip at him and they never insisted again.

 The day of the race, Byrne and the whip women were really confident that Alex was going to win. They had run tests with him against other horses and he had won every single one of those. So there was no doubt they had a winner in their hands. So it was baffling, to say the least, when Alex stood still and didn’t budge one bit.

 What they didn’t know was that Claire had found out some days earlier about the whole thing and she had visited her pet in secret. Having spent her life with him, enable her to just tell him what he had to do when he heard the gun going off at the racetrack. She claimed her horse back after that and decided not to forgive her father for his behavior. Claire just took Alex and moved him closer to her and away from betrayal.

jueves, 7 de abril de 2016


   Norman had never really had any dreams, no real aspirations for life. He had gone through high school with pain, due to his lack of interest for most subjects, and went on to take six months off to decide what he was doing next. His parents agreed but only because he had really made an effort in his last year to get the best scores possible to get into a good college. They weren’t magnificent scores but they were certainly much better anyone had hoped him to have.

 He loved animals so he thought of becoming a veterinarian. But decided not to when he realized he would have to operate and see wounds and things like that. He wasn’t the best person in the presence of blood or any substances like that.

 Then he analyzed the possibility of becoming an architect. But he really sucked at mathematics and at drawing so it didn’t make much sense. Engineering was also out of the question as well as anything to do with math.

 He turned to the arts and put aside at once anything very plastic. He had never been good with his hands. Literature seemed interesting but he didn’t very much mind reading and cinema required him to work in a group. Which was very hard because he tended to like being alone.

 There was also law school, which he found very boring, and psychology, which he thought was garbage wrapped in trash. Philosophy never ended up anywhere and there wasn’t really anything else he could choose in the available colleges.

 The only thing he was good at was typing, like the secretaries in the fifties. He was really good and was capable of writing really fast although he had no idea what he was writing about. So he looked it up and decided it would be interesting to become a translator. It seemed easy, it was something everyone needed in due time, they got to travel and it just seemed right for him. Besides, he had learned two languages in school besides his own so at least he had already begun his studies, in a way.

 After two years of the career, Norman met Drake. He was a stunning man who happened to be very well known in the small world of high schools that compete against each other. When they first met in college, Norman was sure he had met Drake before. The thing was, he hadn’t but he had seen him several times when he and his classmates would attend football matches to support their school team.

 Drake was the star of one of the other high schools and everyone knew him because of his slight accent and his popularity with women. Norman had checked him out a lot back in the games but never really thought of anything. Later on, through a mutual acquaintance, they met in college and hit it off right away.

 They would speak for hours about their time in high school, their personal experiences there and also about their lives as college students. Drake was studying to become an architect and Norman soon saw with his own eyes that he was really good at drawing. When he did it, he was always very focused, as if he was alone somewhere. It was something really nice to see.

 They labeled their relationship as friendship. Norman went to Drake’s house often and vice versa. Sometimes Norman would judge Drake’s drawings and designs and would help him find things to make his ideas more appealing to the teachers. Drake also helped Norman by learning all the verbs and their forms for the frequent exams that he had. He also timed his typing skills and they always had fun with that.

 Although Drake had two girlfriends during their time in college, Norman barely saw any of them. They didn’t really talked about it. It wasn’t really a surprise when, in their last semester, Drake confessed he thought he was n love with Norman. And Norman realized he had been in love from the first moment they had begun their friendship.

 So shortly after they were done with college, they moved in together and promised each other to make it work. They found a small apartment midway between each other’s jobs and just lived a nice life for a long time until Drake proposed. He was one of those guys that like all the classic stuff. He wanted his life to have it all and Norman accepted because he was happy and wanted Drake to be as happy as he could. 

 They got married in a beautiful retreat by the mountains with friends and family and celebrated it by travelling to a faraway island where they were treated like gods. Besides, their relationship grew stronger and they felt they really had someone to trust and talk to whenever they wanted to. It was one of their shared dreams and they had achieved it.

 But then, some years later, Drake asked Norman if he would like to get a child, through adoption or insemination. Drake had entered those years in which men have a desire to leave their mark in the world and the ideal way to do that is to have a child. Norman had to think about it for a while because it wasn’t an easy decision. It was the life of some poor kid they were talking about and he didn’t wanted to make a mistake with that.

 Months later, they decided to go to an agency where they would offer a woman willing to carry their baby for the duration of the pregnancy. It had been Norman that made the decision, as he decided that if they were going to have a child, it was best of it looked like one of them. He felt bad for all the children up for adoption but he just thought it was the best choice for them.

 The pregnancy months were difficult because one of them had to help the woman they had chosen with all her pregnancy related issues and the one who was less busy was Norman. He took her to the doctor and to the dentist and to those classes were pregnant women learning how to breathe and how to stay strong. She was a very nice woman that just needed money and had already been a mother so she knew what it was all about. She was a single mom and her parents were not very happy with their decision but she didn’t care about that.

 Norman had some time to work, mainly online, with official documents but had to stop travelling to take care of the pregnancy. When the baby was born, the woman disappeared after being paid and they had new responsibilities. Drake tried to get some months off but due to fact that they were two men; they only gave him half the normal time. They sued but nothing came out of that. They enjoyed their time together, now three, and when he went back to work it was Norman who had to put almost everything about his career on hold.

 He got a break when the child was bigger and they had people they trusted to leave him off with like their parents or sisters or brothers who already had children. Being a baby, they didn’t feel good doing it but now that little Kevin as older; it didn’t seem much of a problem.

 One day, it the supermarket, Norman realized he was looking for a different cereal box for each one of them as well as their favorite snacks and meals. He knew how to cook the best burgers with mushrooms and he created Kevin’s favorite juice, a combination of three tropical fruits. In front of the freezers filled with frozen fish, he realized he had become a “house husband”. He had never really intended to and now he was doing all the things that the house needed to get done in order to work.

 He loved dressing Kevin up in Halloween and kissing Drake every morning and having sex in the most unexpected times.

 Then, Kevin was in school, Drake was successful in his job and now had a company of his own and he traveled from time to time to act as translator for some government officials or in other events. When he did that, it was fun but he had much more fun at home, when he was cooking or making the house look good. He had finally found what he loved.

 Maybe it wasn’t the most popular job of them all but he loved the look on his family when they appreciated his hard work. They didn’t teach any of that in college and he certainly had no use for those damn high scores and grades.