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

viernes, 16 de junio de 2017

That old house

   In the neighbourhood of Cedar Hills, the people were kind and very friendly. The houses, built many years ago by people wanting to have their personal paradises not too far from everything good in the city, were established in a very perfect order, each different from the next but still seeming like a family. Not one house seemed out of touch, except for the one at then end of Maple road, just by the tall trees that belonged to the park. That house was the odd one out.

People were extremely nice. They would have all these parties and gatherings, to eat food or watch a movie. Sometimes they did this inside of their houses and other times they would occupy the street and do a nice night outside or something like that. The children were all specially close, having a group that headed every morning to school together, in bicycles. However, in that one ugly house, there were no children. No one ever heard much out of it, least of all a laugh.

Once a month, every single person in the neighbourhood, made out of about two hundred people, got reunited in another of their gatherings in order to talk about the most pressing things involving their community. If one of the lampposts of the street failed, it was there they decided how to proceed with the local council. Of course, the woman that lived in the run down house was never in those meetings. Actually, many people had never ever seen her face while others had already forgotten.

 But the meetings were mostly about people talking to others and sharing their love for each other by singing some music, showing their talents and even sharing personal news that wouldn’t normally be in public record. They loved their community and trusted everyone in it. They were close, so close in fact that when something bad happened, everyone was there for the person in need. Again, except the old lady from Maple street, who people had already learned to forget about.

 Bad things rarely happened in the neighbourhood. In the recent years, the most awful thing to happen was when a storm ravaged through the city and many trees fell because of the potency of the wind. Many houses had minor damages but the neighbours helped in a very short time to have it all looked as it had always looked: perfect. However, a large tree destroyed the garage area of the house no one ever talked about. It was the first time in years they ever talked about it, as if it had become real only because of the wood scattered all over the place.

 Reparations on that house were done only several weeks after the storm had passed. The people, concerned by how their neighbourhood would look which such a horrible stain on it, decided to write letters and then sliding them under the door. No one ever tried to talk in person to the woman that lived inside. They just wrote letter after letter until they got tired of it. And when they did, they decided to forget the house was there, again. They just didn’t want to know anything about it.

 Children, however, were not as “kind” as their parents. They couldn’t block out the house so easily, particularly because it stood by the entrance to the forest, a place where they liked to play and explore. The fact that they had to pass by the house every time they wanted to enter the forest, made it impossible to just forget about its existence. They couldn’t do what their parents do and often even stopped in front of the house and talked quite loudly in front of it, about the person living in there.

 Kids are mean. They used awful words to describe the woman, the house and everything they could come up with about the two of them. They insisted the old lady inside was probably dead. And even if she wasn’t, she was clearly a witch or some kind of sorceress. They also all agreed that the house was haunted, probably because of the woman’s tendency to kill every single man that became her husband. She was kind of like a black widow but in a human form and even deadlier than any animal.

 None of them could know for sure whom she was or why she didn’t seem to mind about the state of her house. The children often asked their parents about it but they never really received answers. Parents liked to pretend the one thing that made their neighbourhood out of the norm was just not real, not even there. One day, the people from the city council decided to remove the tree that had destroyed the garage. Weeks later, the garage was repaired, looking as if nothing had happened.

 Of course, children attributed this to the woman’s powers. They could have realized that the materials used in the repairs were not very good or that it was obvious the garage could collapse again by being hit hard by a gust of wind. But the fact that there was such mystery around the house, made it clear that they preferred to answer all questions about it from a supernatural point of view. But when kids grew older, they forgot about those thoughts and the words they used to mock the woman and the house, and they became just like their parents.

 But no matter what the neighbours thought, including their children, the woman inside still lived and had no plans to go anywhere else. She was called Sara and she had lived in the house more than any other person in the neighbourhood. The reason her house seemed like the odd one out was that it had stood there long before plans to build other houses and streets had been laid out. Her home was ultimately included in the plans, in an effort to have a certain harmony.

 Of course, that wasn’t what happened at the end because everyone disliked her house even more than they disliked her. She remembered clearly that her last day outside was when the first families decided to move into the other houses. You see, there was a reason why Sara lived so far from other people and it was that, her father had built her a home because of a psychological condition she had, where she couldn’t stand too many noises or constant contact with other people.

 She didn’t interact with her neighbours, not because she thought she was better or because she hated them, it was because she naturally feared them. She felt it every time she saw one of them out the window. She hated when they spoke loudly in her front lawn or when they held parties on that street. She would close doors and windows in her bedroom and then sleep inside her bathtub, where another door would protect her from the people outside and their words and hands.

Sara had been raped when she was just a teenager and her father had always felt responsible for what had happened. He felt he could have done so much more to save her, to put her away from danger. But when it happened, he decided he would do what he thought was best for her. As she became more and more aggressive to other people after her recovery, he decided to build on a land he had acquired long ago and that was how the house came to be, made only for her.

 He had been dead for many years and she wasn’t going to last much longer. Although still agile and sharp, she was an older woman that depended on family she had never seen to deliver her food at night, through her backyard. She only ate things she could stock for a long time.


 Sara never felt she needed other people to survive. She had learned to think those boxes of food just appeared there, out of the blue. It was better that way. Inside of the house, it was her own worlds with her own rules and that’s how she lived, in almost exile.

lunes, 27 de marzo de 2017

Bleeding

   Bleeding, he ran towards the forest, hoping that his attackers wouldn’t follow him there. He didn’t stop moving his legs until he found a place between trees that were too close, a place where he could hide. He sat there and waited. Sure enough, they came rather fast. He even tried not to breathe while they were close. They checked their surroundings but not with enough care. Eventually they stopped looking around and returned to the place they had come from, in town.

 He could breathe again but not the most comfortable way. His clothes were drenched in blood and, when he tried to begin walking again, he almost fell on his face. His legs were not responding properly and his head was spinning, hurting a lot. He tried to gather himself and at least make a plan of what to do next, because he couldn’t stay there in the woods. He came to the conclusion that those people didn’t know much about him and that his home was probably the best hiding place.

 That posed two problems: the first was that his home was in a city two hours away. The other problem was that his attackers had vandalized his car and now he didn’t have anything, including his wallet and house keys. The latter wasn’t an issue as he always left a spare in the pot next to his apartment door but he did need money to get to the city or at least to convince someone of taking him there. Besides, he was bleeding and he didn’t know how bad his injuries actually were.

 He decided to fin the closest road and just risk it. Hopefully someone would take him somewhere, no matter if it were the hospital or his home. The sun was rising far and he soon had enough light on the road to know where he was walking. Finally, he made it to a road and was lucky enough to be picked up by a lovely elderly couple. The good thing was that they were travelling very early to his hometown. The not so good thing was that they didn’t realize that he was injured.

 The wounded man tried to act as if nothing was happening. Maybe it was for the best if they didn’t notice his blood all over his shirt. He just kept talking about all the good things to visit in his town. That, at least, made the journey home less painful in every way possible. When he finally got home, he was about to faint but the voice of the old lady woke him up in the right moment. They left him in front of his building. He thanked them once and twice and then the car left and he walked into his building, took the elevator and went straight home.

 He plunged his hand into the big pot by his door and, in seconds, he found the keys he was looking for. He tried to leave everything as it was, in order for people not to know those keys were there, but his hand was trembling too much, as well as his legs. He opened the door as fast as he could. The first thing he did inside his house was looking for the phone and dialing a number he had recorded a long time ago but had never dialed because the need for that person had never arisen.

 About thirty minutes later, the man arrived. He was called Fred and didn’t look to be very bright in particular. The man had met him once, a long time ago in a job he had to do in a very bad neighborhood. Fred was an unfortunate kid back then, who had been able to educate himself but had never had the fortune to actually go to college and achieve his dream of being a doctor. Instead, he worked as a veterinarian assistant, in the same bad neighborhood they had first met about two years ago,

 Nevertheless, he came running and didn’t ask any questions. After all, they had discussed it a bit back then and he still remembered how any types of questions were not rally welcomed by someone like that man. Young Fred brought something like a purse, filled with many things a veterinarian and a doctor would both use. The man didn’t ask if he was needed at work. Silence was their common language. Fred cleaned the wounds, close what had to be closed and gave the man a paper with things he had to buy to stand the pain.

 When he was about to leave, the man spoke. He said “Fred”. The young man turned around, to see the man pointing at the kitchen counter. There were some bills there, which Fred took before heading to the door and leaving. The truth was that the man would have wanted the young man to stay because he didn’t only feel pain but he also started to feel lonely. After all, there was no one in his life to take care of him or at least to visit him in this, his hour of need. He was alone.

 The man decided to take himself to bed. He walked to the bedroom slowly, trying not to mess up the work Fred had done. In his room, he took off all of his clothes and then entered his bed, covering himself with the various layers of fabric. He felt really cold and his limbs were trembling even more. Through the closed curtain he could see the sun that day was bright and beautiful but he didn’t really care about it. He only cared about resting and just closing his eyes and go somewhere else, somewhere where he could get a life for himself that he liked.


He fell asleep fast and he dreamt for various hours.

martes, 8 de noviembre de 2016

Home

   Some people refused to understand. They had an idea of family in their heads and they couldn’t be bothered to change it, even if the city they lived in was one of the most progressive in the world. They stared and sometimes even laughed. But the trick was not caring at all about what they said or did. Moving forward and just doing your thing was paramount in order to survive the horrible feast that was living in a suburban neighborhood like White Pines. There were things people had to do and one of them was having a thick skin.

 Diego and Liam had moved from another city two years ago and even after that time people still looked at them as if hey were the weirdest people in the world. Yes, they were married to each other and yes, they had a son called Duncan, but they often felt it that what people saw was so much more than that. Actually, it was Diego who had to endure most of the social pressure of the neighborhood because he was the one that stayed at home. Liam saw some of those things but he refused to acknowledge it was serious in any way.

 Mothers specially, were vicious against Diego. Well, at least most of them. From the first day he brought Duncan to school, he was a topic of conversation of the group of mothers that helped with several matters like organizing parties or fundraisers. After all, the school that Duncan went to was a very high achieving one and it was paramount that all the children and most of the parents got involved in some of the social crusades that parents loved to be involved with such as feeding the poor and organizing lavish parties to give a few bucks to a charity.

 Diego wasn’t used to that. In the city they lived in before, his life was kind of different. He had always tried to be a writer but never really realized how hard it was. Liam tried to help him but nothing ever worked. Then, they had the idea to adopt a child, so they did and that was how Duncan became a part of the family. Now, the boy was nine years old and Diego was what you would call a “house husband”, completely dedicated to Duncan and to the new house they lived in, which was substantially larger than their former apartment.

 They were all happy, in a general way. But Diego soon became frustrated with all the parents thing. He thought it was quite an old fashioned idea that only women would leave their kids at school and be the ones who helped for all the things that they needed there. He was the only man to do so and he had done it after Liam and him argued about the school and him not having a job and so on. He didn’t like to go to those meeting but he felt he had to because of his responsibilities towards his son and his husband. But even so, it was very annoying.

 Most of the meetings lasted for more than an hour and, for Diego that was excruciating. Not only because the women rarely stayed on topic (whatever it was that they were planning in the school) but because they always stared and asked the silliest question, just as if the last hundred years of social progress had never reached their homes. He got asked who was the woman in the relationship or if he felt emasculated for not having a job. They also looked at him constantly, as if he was some kind of strange creature walking around the downtown area.

 Sometimes he skipped sessions and he had to come up with excuses. There were times when he actually did have true excuses and other times he just came up with something. But that didn’t matter because they always would look at him as if he was lying and, even more annoying, as if they pitied him for some reason. It was as if they thought he was just a poor soul that they were helping, kind of one of those charities they loved to donate. One day he had enough of their nonsense and just stormed out of one of the meetings, with no explanation.

 When he arrived to the house, he realized two things: that he had to come back in a few hours for his son and that the place they were living in was too damn big. The house looked like one of those in which people live in commercials or something. It had a big backyard and a front garden too. The kitchen was enormous, as was every other room in that place. Diego didn’t like to say it but he missed his apartment from before. Not only because it had been something his family had passed on to him but because he felt really at home there.

 In that cavernous house, he only felt at home when Liam and Duncan were there. But Liam was always at work or busy doing something else and Duncan was at school or at some friend’s house on Saturdays. Only on Sundays they behave like an actual family and even then Liam was distracted by his phone every minute and Duncan was exactly the same thing. Diego didn’t really have any friends to distract him. He only had a couple and rarely spoke to them because their relationship was a bit different than normal.

 When he was alone at home, which was for several hours a day, he would clean the house by himself. He even refused to hire a maid because he argued that it would make him turn alcoholic in five days. So he scrubbed the floors, the toilets and trimmed the grass all by himself. It was very hard work but he enjoyed it because at least that way he was distracted doing something productive that maybe his family would acknowledge. They never really did.

 He decided not to return to the meetings. However, he was surprised to realize, one day, that they had called Liam and told him about that. And the fight that ensued was just ridiculous. He said it was his obligation to go to those meetings and help and Diego replied he wasn’t going to be their animal to look at anymore. He would rather feed the poor himself than helping in those ridiculous parties. Liam said the husbands of those women were the one doing business with them and Diego said he didn’t care. It wasn’t his problem.

 Liam said he would never understand how working and living a good life really worked, al the thing you had to do to make it work. Then the fight got uglier, with Diego telling Liam he knew he never really approved of his choice of not having a job but at least he was there every day of the week and not having meetings that took hours and not even looking at his eyes for several days. Liam couldn’t respond to that and Diego just turned around and left the house. He jumped into the car and drove off without much thinking about his destination.

 He used the car to think, to try and get an idea of what it was Liam wanted from him. But he just couldn’t be that submissive person he obviously wanted to have by his side. He wanted him to be like all those other women and there was no way Diego would go down that road. The fact that he wasn’t a working guy did not mean he had no integrity. When he realized it, he was driving to the city they lived in before. It was only three hours away so he pressed on, thinking it could be a nice idea to go back to his real roots in a place he loved.

 He arrived in the morning. Thank God, they kept the keys in the glove box of the car. When he opened the door, a cloud of dust escaped the apartment. They hadn’t been able to rent it, partly because of the chaos they had left in there. So, out of the blue, Diego started cleaning, opening windows and buying products to get the place in perfect condition. When he went to the supermarket, people greeted him. They remembered who he was from childhood and from living there with Liam. They asked for him but he didn’t say too much.


 After a week, the place was perfect. He let Liam know he was there and he announced to him he was going to stay there. He actually told him that if custody were not his, he would fight for his right to Duncan. And so it happened, months after. He got his son to live in his former house and he noticed how much better it was for both of them. As for Liam, he had been seeing some woman for many months, so he stayed with her in the other town. Diego didn’t mind. He had returned home and he would never leave again.

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2016

Rejection

   Jean grabbed her purse and the bag where she kept her laptop. She walked very fast but tried not to look angry, disappointed or anything else. She just wanted to leave that place as fast as she could. It was very uncomfortable to stay there after she had been so insulted. As she arrived to the elevator, the door closed as someone was going down just before her. She whispered a course word, frustrated that she had to wait like an idiot in order to leave a please she definitely didn’t wanted to stay in or return ever again. She felt too humiliated.

 Out of nowhere, one of the guys that had been there during her interview walked up to her. He told her that they had been looking for her. A tiny shimmer of light appeared in her heart only to be crushed moments later when she realized the man had come to find her because she had left her pen in the table. What was even more annoying, was that he started talking about the results of the interview and telling her, once again, about all the flaws she had as a writer and so on. She wanted the Earth to swallow her, as his voice was very loud and everyone around seemed to be listening.

 She had to close her eyes and just try to relax by breathing slowly, feeling the air through her body. Ignoring the man was not easy but she could at least think of something else as he talked and talked and talked. The lady that managed the reception on that floor looked at them with surprise and obvious disgust. When Jean opened her eyes, the lady looked at her straight in the eye and shook her head, then looking at the guy. Jean only smiled, thankful that at least one person realized in what an uncomfortable situation she was.

 Finally, the elevator opened up and she stepped in without even acknowledging the man. For a moment, it seemed as though he was going to follow her into the elevator but fortunately he didn’t. He was even able to say anything else to Jean as she pressed hard the button that made the elevator close faster. She then pressed the number for the ground floor and started breathing normally again. She felt seriously awful and couldn’t believe she had to go home now in a bus that would take at least forty-five minutes. She didn’t felt good at all.

 Luckily, the bus didn’t take long to pass and she was able to find a free seat next to the window. She really wasn’t feeling ok and even though she was going to fall asleep, her brain wouldn’t let her. Not only because it may not be the best idea to fall asleep on a bus, but also because she had their words in her head. She could hear them once and again, trashing every single part of the work that she had done for them. Saying that they destroyed her isn’t enough to describe what went on in that conference room. A few tears rolled down her face.

 She had to clean herself with her hand because she had no tissues or anything like that. But it was clear to her that she had no intention to be the crazy woman in the bus that cries “for no reason”. So she tried to clean her tears off and attempted to think about something else. For example, the fact that she had left her family cat by herself. It wasn’t something that she did for the first time but it was something to think about. The cat was obviously ok but she had to create a problem in her mind in order to be able to resist the urge to cry.

 The bus took less time to her stop than it usually did. She hadn’t realized but she had left that office so early that there wasn’t even the normal traffic jam of peak time out in the streets. When she came down of the bus, she checked she had everything with her, including the pen she had forgotten in her pocket. Walking home took only five minutes. Her house had a cute garden that was brimming with light and color as she entered. It was as if nature was trying to cheer her up.

 And it did make her smile at least. When she entered the house, she called for her parents. Fortunately, no one answered back. They were normally there but she didn’t care where and why they had left, she only wanted to go to her run and be able to fall asleep and nap for while, all afternoon was possible. She dropped her purse and laptop bag on the ground and took off her shoes before lying down in bed. She faced upwards, towards the ceiling and, again, she could her all the criticism and the things all those men had said.

 She began to cry again but, this time, Jean didn’t clean her face or attempted to appear tougher than she looked. She didn’t need to do that, as that was her bedroom, her place in the world. There, she could do whatever she wanted and in that moment she wanted feel miserable for her. The words those men had said had been like daggers and they had stabbed her with them once and again and again. It was almost as if they had enjoyed themselves by doing so. To her, it was a very sick thing to do but she only reflected on that many days later.

 It had been really unnecessary to tell her all those things. They didn’t have to sink every single fiber of her soul by saying a lot of things that, even if part of the truth, weren’t as important in real life as they might have portrayed them. They essentially told her she had no idea how to write, that she couldn’t put three words together and that she made no sense whatsoever in what she had written for them. It was an essay about internal practices in very big companies.

 Jean had no idea of that. She had not been to business school or anything like it. She was just a normal girl trying to make her way into the world. She had thought that her English level was good enough for them but apparently it wasn’t. And of course it wasn’t because they had told her that she didn’t need to correct her essay for them and she didn’t. They lied to her because she would always do corrections but they had assured her they weren’t necessary. Besides, she had no idea of any business practices. She had a degree in creative writing, for God’s sakes!

 They had also told her that her way of portraying the business world was not very professional. And when she attempted to explain that she had no experience in the actual business world, as she had told the woman she had applied for the job too, they wouldn’t let her speak. They would only raise her voice and just keep talking. The guy that gave back her pen had been particularly nasty when saying that she shouldn’t have told them that she was actually good in English. At that moment she felt so enraged, she stood up and decided to leave.

After all, three men in one small conference room were attacking her. And it was all because of one miserable test they had set up in order to chose the perfect person for the freelance job they were looking for. They weren’t even going to take her into the company; they only wanted to see if she was available to do some texts for them once in a while. And, later that week, Jean realized the pay for one piece of writing was extremely mediocre compared to what people with no big company attached to them could pay her.

 It wasn’t the fact that they hadn’t hired her but the fact that they had been deceitful in a way and that they had been so rude in explaining to her why she hadn’t been selected. After all, it made no sense that they had invited her to their offices only to insult her. It would have been better to receive an email with two phrases: one thanking her for applying and the other rejecting her application. It would be more direct and less surrounded with bullshit. She realized those guys only wanted to feel superior somehow and they had found their guinea pig in her.


 Jean fell asleep as she was thinking all of this. She woke up to the voice of her mom telling her it was dinnertime. When her parents asked how it had all went down, she told her everything that had happened and that she was planning to move along. It was hard for her to be her age, living with her parents and she did wanted to earn some money for herself but she wasn’t going to stop looking for a perfect fit to her talents. That company wasn’t the only one in the world and she was certain that, sooner or later, someone would be interested in what she could do.