For the first time ever, I was in the presence of snow. It was like in those movies where everything is covered in white and the characters make snowmen and throw balls of ice to each other, but it was pretty nice nevertheless. The snow just began to fall as we had stopped on a gas station and I walked out of the car just to feel it by myself. I was the only one there interested in the phenomenon but I didn’t care, the experience was even more unique like that. It felt so nice at first and so soft and simple. It was like magic was real but it was also very basic and not complicated like one would imagine. It was just this: snowflakes slowly falling to the ground and on my skin and hair. I felt alone and unique somehow but then I was reminded I was escaping and I had to go back to the car.
Our journey went on exactly as it had been going on before the stop. Although the magic was ongoing because I could still see the snow falling on the other side of my window. But somehow, it felt very far away now and even more considering the circumstances. The driver was a woman I didn’t even knew the name of but she said she was doing all of this to save both our asses. I believed her because I had no other choice but the truth was I didn’t trust anyone anymore. Doing so had been my downfall and now I was in a car with a strange woman who never smiled, being chases by the police and other security agencies just because I never opened my mouth to say anything, I never fought back.
I guess I have never been the kind to fight back, to be on the offensive side of things. I have always been more into letting things happen and just adapt to that. To be honest, I consider myself one of those persons that don’t need to go around the world doing things to prove who I am or what I’m worth. I don’t really need to test myself because I just now what I’m capable of. My life is one to be lived in peace, without breaking to much controversy in my path. Or that’s what I had always thought. Now, I really only want to be looking at the snowflakes and enjoy the beautiful spectacle that it is to see nature unfold itself in front of my very eyes. But soon, snow stops and rain ensues, ruining the landscape with its violence.
I hate rain and now I have nothing to look for. I just realize I don’t want to be there, I don’t want to be running forever like a criminal because I’m not that. I’m just a stupid idiot that made a mistake and didn’t have the courage to talk when he had to. I bet she doesn’t know that I’m not an evil mastermind as many have thought, I’m just an average and maybe even below average guy who just wants to be left alone for the rest of his days. But I’m not stupid; I know that now that’s impossible. There’s no way everything’s going to stop just because I say the truth. My truth is simply not interesting enough for people to listen to me and I know they will just not care about it at all.
It was all about lies and more lies and I now that I’m not completely innocent because, after knowing what had happened, I didn’t say or do anything. My so-called friends, those people I had learned to love and respect, they had set me up several times by making me keep their secrets, whether they came in the form of drugs or in the form of money. To be fair, they just gave me bags that were black and covered in duct tape so I never really knew what I was taking care of but those people were the only thing I had in life. I couldn’t doubt them, I just couldn’t begin to dare to betray the confidence they had put in me. So for years, many years, I kept those bags of whatever it was.
I discovered once one of those bags had money and I asked my best friend what that was about. He told me he had earned a lot of money and would rather split it and keep it safe with friends that in a bank. To be honest, I didn’t believe him; I just decided that having friends and a certain sense of family was better for me that meddling in some business I had no idea about. After all, it was them who paid my rent, my clothes and food and who had given me the chance to be someone by working in a factory. They made plastic objects, of many natures, but I wasn’t to bad at it and I earned my living so they didn’t have to help me so much. I loved my life back then and wouldn’t have changed it for anything.
My parents had died many years ago, leaving me an orphan. They didn’t have any money so I was about to turn into one of the many children that roam the streets at night, when I met them and they just accepted me into their bigger family. To be honest, I don’t remember my parents. I have no idea what kind of people they were or even how they looked like. I guess I could find out maybe now wasn’t the best moment to do so. It had never been one of my priorities in life to know who they were because I had always felt my family was the guys and girls and hung out with, those who gave me money to survive and live a life that was just good enough for me. Even now, I know I owe them a lot for what they did because they had no obligations with me.
But I grew up and realized that what my family was doing was not really ok. Also because I saw the people that bought their product, on the streets, and thought that selling such a poison was not what a good person would do. I asked one of them once if they would change their work in the future. He said he wouldn’t because drugs not only have him money, they also gave him status and respect from other people. I told him about what I had seen and he just said that weak people shouldn’t be doing what’s meant to be for the strong and the mighty. So it was all a question of power that I couldn’t quite put to words.
That wasn’t necessary. I discovered the hard way that this family had never really been mine or anyone else’s. The day one of their bags filled with cocaine arrived at the police department, they instantly went for me. They sent a thug, a guy I had know and loved as brother, to punch the truth out of my body. I was beaten heavily, barely surviving the whole thing. Even now, my ribs hurt as if his enormous feet were pounding my thorax again. I bled a lot, covering the flour with the unmistakable odor of iron. I told him, when he let me, that it hadn’t been me. He just left me there, to clean myself and to take care of my wounds alone, because my family had officially left me for good.
More bags arrived to the police department, some filled with money and others with drugs. This time, I got a letter saying that someone was sorry it had to be blamed on me but that it was the only way to do it. So before I was killed, I surrendered myself to the police. It was stupid from me to do it, as I hadn’t done anything, but my mind couldn’t decide of anything less dangerous. The police didn’t believe me either, only thinking I was looking to save my ass from something they didn’t know about. They protected me for a while but I knew I wasn’t safe and I knew the police wouldn’t risk it all just to have me alive. So, once again, I escaped but this time with the woman that was driving the car after I had seen snow for the very first time.
She didn’t talk at all and it was better that way. We just knew we had to run away and we did. I didn’t wanted to know why she had been arrested or she was guilty or not. Not even if she was a serial killer. I knew that the trip would end eventually and that I would have to fend for my own, which I was looking forward. I needed to prove myself that I could defend my own body and my own existence. So I just waited until the moment came and it did, faster than I thought. Because when we stopped again in a motel, and now more snow was falling, I went to get something to drink and eat and she stayed behind. She was arrested by a state security agency that was looking for her for a long time. I saw them take her and just leave, without even stopping to look for me.
I didn’t know what that was for but I thanked it. I left our car there and just realized I had no money. So what I did was simple: first of all, I ate what I had bought. There was no reason to go hungry now. After that, I waited patiently until the night arrived and then I went to a bar that was just a few steps away from the motel. It was greasy and old and depressing but it made me shine. So I took advantage of that and, eventually, I found what I was looking for. A mind that was weaker than mine, someone that would pay attention to me and to no one else. Someone that would want me and not the rest. For the first time, I was going to be my own person.
The next day, I put on my clothes, went out the bedroom and bought a seat on a bus that would take me far away; so far it would turn me completely into another person. And I would like that.