A Mother’s Fear

She can feel it creeping up inside of him. His curious eyes have stopped wandering and are now fixated upon her gaze. He stares as if wondering what he should do next, but she already knows what happens next. A prophetic power only a mother has. 

Her son begins to cry. Unending screams of agony fill the void of silence; breaking the calm before the storm… and what a storm it is. She holds him desperately. Presses his soft head against her breasts. “Is he hungry?”she thinks. “No… Does he need a good changing?” She inhales but there is no pestilent smell to be found. Still, she changes his diaper and clothes, hoping by some miracle that this was his belligerent demand.

The echoing cries persist, deafening her resolve with their increasing volume. She starts rocking him back and forth whilst caressing his head. She sings softly… desperately:

Hush little baby… don’t say a word. 
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockin’ bird
And if that mockin’ bird won’t sing
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

Her voice begins to croak. Her tears of helplessness and solitude come to mingle with her child’s. Two streams of sorrow. A river of powerlessness. A Mother’s Fear


Her son is all grown up now. A man. She raised him as best she could; gifted him with a mother’s love.

He still cries at times. However, she is always there to help him. She has grown to know and understand him. She has familiarized herself with his different cries. She has learned how to heal is suffering in whatever form it may take. Her strenuous studies of motherhood forever motivated by a Mother’s Fear


She is old now. She has not the strength to help him as she used to, but she taught him well. She has given him everything that a mother can give.

He can feel it creeping up inside of her. Her loving eyes have faded. He stares, hoping to see a glimmer that once existed. They lock gazes. They both know what happens next. 

She preemptively takes his hands. She caresses it weakly then struggles to bring it to her chest. He begins to cry all the same, a cacophony of desperation. “Here it comes again” she thinks. A Mother’s Fear. The nightmare that has always haunted her. 

She knows she is going to cause him the greatest pain he has ever lived. Yet she smiles at him.

She understands that she will not be there to help him through this traumatic endeavor. Yet she finds the strength to sing softly… lovingly:

Hush little baby… don’t you cry. 
Mama’s gonna say her final goodbye
And if that goodbye ever hurts
Surrendering will only make it worse

Her voice begins to croak. She pulls her son closer. They are locked in a loving embrace. Her tears of pride mingle with his tears of despair. Two streams of devotion. A river of emotion. 

She whispers in her son’s ear, breaking the heartfelt silence: “You will always have my love. I will always be with you my son, but you don’t need me anymore. It is your turn to love. You will be a father soon.”

One of the two streams engulfs the other. He cries endlessly as he did in the past. “How can he become a father in a time like this?” he asks knowing he will not receive a response. “I am not ready…”


He is mature now. He has become a great father. He had learned much from his mother even if he had not realized it at the time.

His tears have dried up long ago. His anguish became dedication. His own sorrow was replaced by a fear that once haunted his mother. He dreads the day when his silly jokes won’t make his daughter laugh, when his embrace won’t quench her tears… when his love won’t heal her pain.

He can only hope to do as his mother did. She had given him boundless love and affection and he does the same towards his daughter.

A cycle of life and love.

Father to Son, Son to Father

These are words spoken from a son that is not yet a father. They are mere speculations of what the truth may be. They come from what I have lived and seen, from what I have been taught explicitly and implicitly. These words come from the reality I have lived.

Fathering a son seems to be a difficult task.

From the moment his child is born, a father must worry for the example he displays in addition to caring for his progeny. In other words, he must be wary of two different beings now. Two very distinct lives. How can a man ever hope to bare this weight? How can he keep himself and his child afloat in the maelstrom of life?


“For my father, this was simpler than you would think. He had always considered the lives surrounding him. He had always carried the weight of others drowning beside him. He had already built the strength needed to father a child.”


Inadvertently, your son will want to make you proud. He will crave for your attention and your approval. Ever seeking to inspire you, hoping to recreate the first smile you ever gave him; a smile sparked from the pride of creating life. How can a son ever measure up to such a feat?


“I am not proud to admit that I spent my entire childhood dedicated to this hunt. An eternal quest to please my father. To make him smile. To make him proud. He never knew, but he might have suspected it.
All my efforts and achievements were dedicated to him, yet all my failures were my own.”


A father will see his son grow. He will see his son live through experiences he has already faced. He will want to warn him of these dangers. But there comes a time when a child does not listen to his parents. A period in which the teenager thinks he is smarter and wiser than he actually is. During this phase, a father can only hope that he has prepared his son well enough to make his own choices.


“Teenage years are a dreadful period, for the child as well as for the father. Happily, I was a calm kid. My father had shown me that it was pointless to speak loudly to get my point across. He had taught me to pick my battles wisely for others might not be ready to listen. I treaded with caution and selected my friends wisely. I was distant but still I followed a good path.”


A father will see his son rise and fall, many times. What action should he take then? What will make him a good father?

Is it to prevent his child from failing? To prevent his sorrow? If so, how will his son ever learn? Our greatest lessons are taught from our own mistakes. Mistakes we never wish to recreate.

Is the solution to drive his ambitions then? Push him to achieve greatness? What happens then if he does not succeed? When he tries to reach for the stars thinking anything is within his grasp. How can it not be if his father tells him so? He falls, the stars too far from his reach. If it was possible, then why couldn’t he touch them? He thinks: “Does the problem lie within myself? Am I the only one that cannot achieve greatness? What will my father think of me?”

What is a father to do? There are benefits and drawbacks to both these methods. An exceptional father will know when to shelter his son, when to drive his ambitions and when to catch him when he falls.


“It might seem a complicated task, but my father had already mastered it. He had found the perfect amalgam of encouragement and support. He lurked in the shadows, praised me lightly, guided me gently, held me softly. I made my own path, but I always knew that if I needed his help he would be there. That if I ever fell, he would catch me. He would do all those things without any judgment. He knew that it was the best way for me to learn. He knew mistakes were an important part of growing up. He knew the price of wisdom. “


Wisdom is a hard trait to describe and it is not easily taught. It may appear in various ways. However, it is up to the beholder to acknowledge its existence. Therefore, it is up to the father to open his son’s eyes.

A child will mimic without understanding. As a father, you must show him how to think before copying. You must teach him how to judge right from wrong by himself. As a rule, you must always display wisdom to infer wisdom.


“I consider my father to be a wise man. He is not perfect forto strive for perfection is a fool’s quest. However, to always improve upon yourself is a sign of wisdom and courage. His wisdom his displayed in the fact that he knows that he is flawed. It is shown every time he tries to better himself. I have seen my father fail and accept defeat. I have seen him rise up to new challenges, fearful obstacles. But I have never seen my father give up. He prides himself in his failures as well as his accomplishments.
He is a true inspiration to behold.”


Most of us know how to love endlessly, but it takes more than endless love to father a son. Too much love and a child may grow to be dependant. Too little and he will be resentful. How then do you manage the amount of love you give? How can you even control love?

Unfortunately, here lies the true challenge of fatherhood. It dwells in the intricacies of love. It resides in the mystery of wisdom and culture… Abiding to the ever-changing rules of society and the flow of time. You must discover how to be a good father and strive to become one. Fortunately, there are many experienced teachers that will gladly help you in this endeavor.


“I confess, I do not know the truth of things. Trial and error have always been my chosen method of learning and I have not yet tried at fathering a son. However, I do not fret at the future task. I have a hidden tool you see. An experienced teacher that has always been there for me.
Here is to a special dad. A master of the art of fatherhood. A man that has always displayed wisdom in his actions. A great role model and a good teacher. A loving man with a heart of gold. He has shown me how to be a great father by being one.
I will be forever grateful for my upbringing. Here is my promise to you daddy: As you know, I will always love and cherish you. However, I will also strive to continue your legacy. To spread the wisdom and courage that you have taught me.

Thank you, daddy
From your loving son,David Turmel


 

Rough Hands

6:00 am.
The alarm startled and woke the tattered old mechanic. “You’d think I’d be accustomed to this redundant lifestyle by now” he lamented. He slapped on the beeping machine with his rough hand dreading the beginning of his daily routine.

8:00 am.
Another late client. Punctuality seemed to be a dwindling priority. “Is my time not as precious as others’?” he thought angrily. Values were changing. The rise of technology foretold the fall of man; Some sort of twisted equilibrium. Still, the tired mechanic did not change his ways. He did not adapt. He did not give up.

8:30 am.
“Sorry for being late!” said the young man. “My friends told me you’re the best at fixing broken things! I hope you’ll be able to fix my car.” he added. He hoped to appease the old man’s stern gaze with his insincere apology and praise.
“What is the problem?” the mechanic asked bluntly.
“My car is making this weird noise. I think there’s a problem with the engine!” the young man exclaimed.
“That’s not what I meant.”
The client wore a puzzled look. He didn’t say anything, not understanding what the old man wanted of him. He watched him open the hood of his car and start working.
“I already know what’s the problem with your car. I heard the noise as you arrived. You haven’t been taking care of it, have you?… Anyway, what I meant to ask was: What is the problem that is haunting you? Why do you look so sad?”
The young man stood there, aghast. Tears started streaming down his face, flooding the floor.

9:00 am. 
“This might take some time. I do not mind working in silence, but feel free to talk to me. I can multitask. I am good at fixing things.” the mechanic said breaking the sobbing silence.
The young client felt compelled to answer, to evacuate all the sorrow that haunted his heart. “How did you know that… that I was sad?” he mumbled.
“People don’t take the time to look at people anymore. I can tell when a man is broken. I have seen many broken things. I have been broken too.”
The young man’s tears stopped flowing, startled by this sudden display of wisdom.
“I’m having marital problems… I think my wife is going to leave me.” he said pitying himself.
A small crescent smile stretched on the mechanic’s mouth.

9:15 am.
The young man finally mustered the courage necessary to explain his intricate situation. He gave details and examples of his problems. Reasons why he believed his marriage was failing. He talked and the mechanic listened. The latter never stopped working on the broken car. This did not deter the young man from unburdening himself. He felt lighter. He had shared his problems. He was not alone to face them anymore.

11:00 am.
The mechanic had not spoken yet. He had listened to the entire story. “You can’t fix something you don’t understand completely” he always told himself.
“Unfortunately, I can’t mend your marriage for you. However, I can help you do it yourself.” he said confidently.
The old mechanic spoke for two straight hours. Wisdom oozed from his mouth. Never did he stop to look at the young man. Never did he wait for his opinion. Never did he stop working on the broken car. Never did he stop multitasking.

1:00 pm.
The mechanic’s smile had spread. The young man was now jubilant. He was confident he could save his marriage. He knew how to renew his vows. He knew how to love again.
The mechanic stretched out his rough hand and dangled the keys in front of his client.
“How can I ever repay you!?” he exclaimed.
“700$ for the car plus the parts and a smile for the advice.” he answered with a grin.
“That won’t do! My happiness is worth much more than my stupid car!”
The young man advanced hastily towards the wise man and hugged him. Tears of happiness fell on the old man’s shoulder.
“Now you understand…” the old man whispered as he patted his client’s back.

1:15 pm.
The young man stopped abruptly as he was walking towards his fixed car. He turned towards his savior, the old mechanic.
“Hey mister! May I ask you something?” he said.
“Anything” the wise man answered.
“How do you know so much… I mean.. how do you know how to help people? You know… being a mechanic and all… How do you know how to fix lives when you’ve worked with cars all your life?”
The mechanic showed the young man his bare hands. Old hands. Scarred hands. Rough hands.
The young man’s puzzled expression showed the mechanic he didn’t quite understand his answer.
“My hands are like my soul you see. They have lived many years. They have suffered and bled. They have healed. They have experienced many things. They are scarred and frayed… but they can still fix broken things.” he added.

Waking the Monster (part 1)

What if there is a simple cause to all our pain and suffering? What if we could blame it all on someone… some”thing”?


Note that these words might be the ravings of a madman. However, my family has no history of schizophrenia. Furthermore, my family, my friends and my wife have always considered me as a rational man. In the past, my thoughts were always clear and coherent. I do not think I am or ever was “crazy”. Nevertheless, if my findings are correct, I believe humanity is doomed. Although, if I am not and am in fact “insane”, humanity is still in a dire situation. Here is my story; make of it what you will. I am haunted and do not wish to continue living like this. “It” has taken what I cherished most: my mind. 

I was blessed with an incredible brain. When I was a child, I would spend hours inside my own mind. Creating worlds, creatures, characters, stories… My dad would drive me around a lot. We traveled often. He did not talk much. However, I was never bored during our lengthy car rides. I would simply stare out the window and imagine things. As you might presume, I was a distracted child.

Consequently, school was not easy for me. Teachers would speak for hours on end. I listened to what they said as I was a respectful kid. My imagination did not belong here. I could not venture in my mind as I did in the past. Time was constricted in the classroom. We, students, could not waste it. I resigned myself to this new and boring lifestyle. At times, outbursts of imagination would disturb my tuition. At first, I raised my hand to ask the teacher to clarify my insights. But the teachers would rarely answer my questions. They would justify their silence with various excuses: “That is not what I want you to learn David!”, “You will learn that next year!” or my personal favorite “That is too complicated for the class David, I don’t want to confuse the other students!”. I quickly understood that if I wanted to learn everything, I would have to search for answers by myself. It was then that I turned to books to satisfy my curiosity.

I read every book I could find. From philosophy to science or historical romance to fantasy novels, my curiosity was insatiable. I quickly mastered different uses for my brain. I started losing myself inside my mind once again. Simply, this time, instead of creating my own world, I would contemplate all that I had seen and learned. I would rationalize my thoughts; understand them. My comrades quickly found that I was an insightful tool. I made many “friends”. With their help, I grew to further understand human interactions. I was a good listener. I absorbed everything I was told. People came to me for advice or simply to be heard. At my own peril, I was and still am an emphatic person. I could understand exactly how others felt and why they were troubled. I rationalized their problems and guided them as best I could. I learned from their mistakes and matured alongside them.

Come December 21st, 2012, the last day of the Mayan calendar. How ironic that we would cause our own demise on that specific date. The worst day of my life… the worst day of our lives. I spent that entire day in bed, but I could not sleep. I trembled. I clutched at my bed rails to stabilize myself. I could not close my eyes, for every time I did, all I could see were two gleaming red eyes floating in a world of darkness… a world of hatred. I lay there paralyzed for hours, haunted by the sight of those spiteful red slits.


Humanity is a peculiar race. We discover, think, innovate and build. Curiosity is what defines us… from our beginning to our end. We discovered how to create fire. We explored our world and adapted it to our own lifestyles. Our planet still hides many mysteries, yet we venture elsewhere to discover our galaxy. Our curiosity is truly inspiring… and dangerous.


As I aged, I realized I needed to focus on the struggles of the real world. My mind remained my safe haven, but it could not protect me from the cost of survival. I needed to find a job to pay my bills. Money became a priority. Without it, I had no shelter, no food… no value. I searched for jobs and continually reached for higher salaries. I lost myself in the process.

I never spoke of my “first episode” to anyone. “It must have been a panic attack” I told myself. A few years passed as I transitioned through many jobs, trying to find the right one for me. I had lost my imagination, my curiosity, my powerful mind. I felt depression and anxiety wrapping their dark tendrils around my feet, constricting my body. Preventing me from finding my path. The creeping darkness I felt was swallowing all the hope I could ever have of freeing myself. I had no purpose. Sadly, my imagination and curiosity had fled, but my empathy remained to spite me. I could feel the sadness and suffering of everyone around me. The pressure all of humanity felt. We had to be successful, we had to be beautiful, we had to be kind and generous… we had to be perfect. Anxiety and depression were and still are at an all time high! Why did humanity suffer so? 

Our parents seemed happy enough. They had found a path that suited them. They were happy with what they had. Was our generation cursed? Were we doomed with eternal despair? Even the rich and famous had their own set of problems. No one was truly happy. I assumed it was because of how society had evolved. I assumed it was because of the rise of social medias and the pressure they caused us. I assumed it was because we were promised everything but could have nothing. I assumed it was because of all our rules and social standards… I assumed…

Luckily, in 2015, I met the perfect woman, my savior. Her love was unconditional. She helped me escape my misery and find my true passion. She reignited a flame that had long since died in me, submerged in the darkness that surrounds us all. She jolted my sleeping mind back to life.  

I became a writer, an excellent one, a renowned author and blogger. Everything was perfect for a time. However, my happiness was ephemeral. My imagination had returned, and with it, my recurring nightmare. My mind never stopped. I constantly thought of stories and tried to perfect them. I was annoyed by all the buzzing of ideas in my head. I could barely sleep but when I finally did, all I dreamed of were those burning red slits starring at me from the abyss. 


We searched too deep. We woke it from its timeless slumber. Damned by our needless curiosity. We discovered something we should have never found. 


 

Fear

I try to create an appropriate environment for the task at hand. I light up a scented candle; Lavender… the smell of tranquility. I search for the perfect ambient music; Orchestral… the sound of inspiration.

I sit down and stare directly at the emptiness that exists before me. The dreaded blank page, ever so daunting. Alas, tranquility and inspiration are not what I need. They are ever present within me. My mind is a creative wonderland capable of wonders when put to the task. Any environment can be a palace of serenity if it is used to do what I love. Why then, is it impossible for me to write? Why do I procrastinate if I have the skills to complete the task at hand? Why am I powerless?

A frigid tear wakes me from my stupor as it tumbles down my cheek. However, it is not a tear bred of sadness.

I am haunted by recurring thoughts and doubts. I dread I will never be successful. I am terrified of never being read. Fear… Fear is what paralyzes me. My fear of judgment… my fear of failure. Oh, the irony of my idleness.

Fear supersedes ambition. Passion is replaced by anxiety. Will I ever become a successful writer? Or will I succumb to the will of my own demons?

***

Courage is found in the darkest of places. All I needed was a single spark that would reignite the flame within me. What I received were many. My friends, my family, my few followers… I thank you for your support.

I will not falter. I will no longer procrastinate. My demons will continue to haunt me, but they will not stop me from achieving my dreams. I will become a great writer. I may stumble. I may fall back in the abyss of self-doubt. However, my undying courage will shepherd me to success. My flame will never waver. It will grow alongside my conviction.

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Bang!

Gun shot.
Vital spot.

The light fades.
His last thought.
Not what expected.

The pain is overwhelming.
Yet he neglects it.
His life is ending.
Yet, he regrets nothing

Surprisingly, he thinks of her.
However, he does not smile.
Tears stream down his face.
He cannot leave her alone.
This world is not safe.

Who will guide her, protect her.
Who will appreciate her beauty now.
Who will make her smile everyday.
He is wasting his last moments.
With his last breath he says:
I love you, with all my…

Safe Haven

I feel it building up inside of me. The by-product of social gatherings. It has become… insatiable. I hadn’t thought of the consequences as I was feeding it. How stupid of me.

They know… They know what is happening to me. They can feel it also. They are all judging me. What can I do now? The pressure is overwhelming but, if I leave now, I will confirm their speculations. Damn them! Why do they even care?

Its growth is accelerating. It is now feeding off of my anxiety. I have to get away from them. Far away, where I will be immune to their judgmental gaze. Somewhere they will never dare find me. Somewhere safe from their condemning chatter. I feel as if I were going to explode at any moment.

I find the perfect room; the only room that could save me. My safe haven. I open the door and lock it behind me, for added security. Anxiety cannot affect me here. I am safe now, as they are safe from my future actions. I am free to filter the demon I have bred inside of me. I am free to evacuate all of my unnecessary problems.

I breathe in harmlessly. The last pure breath I will inhale for a long time. I sit down on my throne of peace and absolve myself from all that can affect me. There is only happiness here. There is only relief in this safe haven.

Inside the bathroom.

Contract

I felt it creeping up inside me. A spawn of despair and anxiety that I could not contain. My mind was fractured. Insanity had me in its clutches; the result of overwhelming despair.

If only I could have experienced something new, something unexpected. Day in, day out, the same mediocre suffering. At first, my resolve was unwavering. I woke up with a smile. I was unflinching, charismatic, funny even, a positive leader… a beacon of hope for everyone around me. I felt needed and persevered… for them.

My days were bleak and tasteless. My jokes became as redundant as the days were themselves. My torture was mediocre but mediocrity was torture itself. I think he knew it was pointless for him to change his sadistic recipe for suffering. He had found the best instrument to cause anguish, time. Patience was pointless for us. We were all waiting for a miracle that would never come. God could not intervene here. He could simply wait; rest as we inevitably gave up, one by one. He wanted to see us fall while our single purpose was to survive. Who would win in this contest of patience?

I struggled to stay strong. I could not let them down. I could not appear to be weak. What would they think of me if I gave up? Anxiety and despair, a concoction of pure malice, poisoned my spirit. I lost myself in the efforts. I had become what they wanted me to be; what they needed me to be.

I resigned. My endurance was cracked. My resolve was shattered.

I walked into his office. There he sat in the darkest of rooms, hidden in haunting shadows, he, the one with the blackest of hearts. He stared at me with a casual grin. Time, his friend, had brought him another victim. I signed his malevolent contract.

***

I felt relieved. Not because the suffering had ended- It would never end, not for me. Not because I could finally stop portraying an heroic character, ending this constant pressure imposed by my peers. Sadly enough, I felt relieved to, at long last, experience something new. However evil this new task may be.

I embraced my new position. I had a new purpose. I did what he asked of me. The anxiety they had caused me fueled my actions against them. Causing suffering did not affect me. I was already broken. You can’t break a broken man. Causing pain was better than suffering through it. Or at least… it was different; a welcomed change.

***

Days, months, years… Time was still on his side. Inflicting had become as bland as receiving.

This new kid came in. His resolve, his smile, his charisma, even his jokes were impressive. He inspired others around him. I started focusing my attention on him. Until I could break him. Why? To show him his facade was pointless? To teach him he would inevitably win? To renew my purpose and postpone monotonicity? Or was it because he reminded me of something; of someone?

I stopped trying to justify my actions a long time ago, yet I could not waver this feeling of nostalgia. He kept challenging me. We both persevered for a respectable period of time. However, I eventually broke him… broke myself.

I saw him walking towards his office. What had I done? I had relinquished the role of a character to simply play the part of another. I had become his puppet to be used to create a cycle of pain and suffering.

Will he always win this contest of patience?

Fallen

Empathy… my gift… my curse.

I was the happiest kid on earth. My parents exerted incredible efforts to hide their sorrow from my immature eyes. I only knew their smiles. They concealed their tears and their anger from me. They were talented actors. I cherished the joy they showed me and the love they gave me. My parents simply wanted to protect their only child; whatever the consequences may bare. I grew up naive but happy; innocent but loved.

The moment they feared most finally came. They could not protect me anymore. They had to offer me to the clutches of society. I was horror struck by the chaos that unfolded before me. The screams, the rage, the tears… School haunted me for years.

I mostly kept to myself. I was the silent kid; the shy kid. I kept studying, not school subjects but people. Smiles became a rarity for me. All the kids played together while I stood alone. Friends.. a foreign concept for me. I was lonely. I felt sad, desperation slowly crept around me. It was engulfing me. Then he came.  The first of them. Out from the darkness, a light to show me the way. He held out a hand and invited me to play with him. He became my first friend. He showed me how to interact with other people. I still kept  mostly to myself. I kept analyzing but the fear of loneliness had vanished. He had saved me.

High school started. I had already matured at an incredible rate. I exercised everything I had learned from my surveillance of social interactions. I made many friends. We played together; our individual happiness amplified by that of the others. I had never felt such blissful joy. I relished in their jubilation. Every smile and every laugh I created radiated through me. I wanted to make everyone happy. I tried to extinguish everyone’s sadness by listening to them and helping them through their pain… By giving them love.

I quickly learned of all the suffering that existed in the world. War, hate, sorrow, for a time, they were all I perceived. I wanted to change the world. I had a special gift. A talent at understanding others. I could help them, the ones that suffered. I wanted to show people how easy it was to be happy. I could give them love. I thought it would solve everything. I thought it was going to be simple. I had ideas of grandeur. I wanted to be the next Jesus… the next Gandhi… the next savior.

Humanity needed a savior. And I tried to be what it needed. I concocted plans. I was a great visionary. Why stop myself at simply helping my friends and loved ones. However, I was young. A kid… and nobody listens to children. Why would they? How could a child know anything about life and its intricacies. How could a kid teach anything? My authority overruled by my age. If I could not save the masses, then I would have to find another solution. I resolved myself to help the world one person at a time. Helping people, one by one, to slowly save humanity from its sadness.

I helped others. I spread happiness. However, desolation was stronger than I could ever become. People kept asking more and more of me. Desperation was now the one that crept up around me. Its claws tearing through me, weakening my resolve. Dreams of failure haunting me. How could I ever save a world that did not want to be saved? My resolve was broken.

Then she appeared… Our salvation. A fallen angel who’s light radiated brighter than any sun. Possibly brilliant enough to burn away the shadows that grasped our world. Her glare could absolve any sin, her smile could cure any disease, her words could heal any wound, her touch… her simple touch could inspire love.

I stood aghast. Jealous, at first, of her incredible power. Then I saw it. My gift, my curse, it showed me what others blindly ignored. However formidable she seemed, she could not hide her doubt, her fear, her sadness from me. Her charisma was indisputable. She had the power to save masses at a time, but I could feel her strength was fading. Her resolve was withering, as mine had. She doubted herself. Anxiety ate at her. She feared what would happen if she failed. Her light was dimming.

By her simple presence, she gave me the most precious of gifts: Hope. She had renewed my resolve. I knew I could not save the world. Not yet. Not alone. But what if I helped the one who could. I vowed to protect this fallen angel. I vowed to make her smile, to make her smile, to never let her give up. I would give her hope as she had given me. I would fuel her wavering flame and together, we would save the world.

Image result for fallen angel

The Teacher

 

His alarm rang loudly. Another weekend already over… Another damn Monday. He tried to appease his anxious mind by speaking to himself: “Only 42 school days left teaching to these ungrateful students! You can do it Dave! Summer vacation is right around the corner”. 

He drove off towards the school. Another day teaching pointless notions to evasive ears. The bell rang. Most of his students were late. Punishing them never solved the problem. Why start now. He simply endured. He began explaining a complicated math problem. A few kids listened intently. The ones that probably did not need to listen and would have good grades regardless. The others chattered among themselves, burying his voice beneath their own cacophony. He did not care anymore. 42 days left.

One of the students, Tommy Narchay, raised his hand and talked immediately. Surprising that he took the time to raise his hand if he’s simply going to impose his words upon us. The class fell silent. They respected this student more than the teacher. Damn Tommy.

– Why do we have to learn this useless shit. This is bull shit. How is this going to help us later on?

Every year, some student would ask this question. The question seemed late this year, but it did not surprise the teacher in the least. He quickly thought about what he would like to answer. School is simply an elaborate daycare. A way for the government to conform you to modern day life, entice you to follow rules and obey different authoritative figures, prepare you for 8 hour shifts. You will probably forget most of what the education system tries to teach you. And, yes, most of what you learn is pointless for any job you may have in the future. However, he decided to reply as he always did.

– You need your diploma if you want a good job. And the only way you’re going to get that piece of paper is by suffering through my class and all the others. You might think everything you learn here is pointless, but some of it might be useful for certain aspects of your life. You never know what might happen. That is why we try to prepare you to any eventuality. Furthermore, we try to teach you every subject we can in the hopes that one discipline might stimulate you more than the others. Our goal is to help you find your passion. A goal in life.

As it did every year, his speech commanded silence. Every student was mute… thoughtful. The teacher always relished in their pondering silence. Suddenly a loud Bang! broke his cherished tranquility. 

A gun shot echoed through the hallways. Nobody understood at first. Puzzled glares flickered everywhere until they all rested on the teacher; the authoritative figure. He felt betrayed by the education system once more. It kept asking more and more from him. He felt a rush of adrenaline overpower him. He had to act quickly. He spoke to his class.

– Everyone stay calm and quiet. This room must seem empty. Block the door as silently as you can and hide in the corner. The police will arrive shortly. Again, I need everyone to stay calm!

He was surprised at his own rapid initiative in this chaotic event. His countless meetings about school shootings had finally paid off. Students began slowly moving their desks towards the doors. However, before anyone could advance, Tommy stood up and screamed “fuck this shit, I’m out of here!”. He ran out the door before anybody could block it. Damn Tommy.

The teacher followed after him. Pleading him to stay with the others. Hoping the shooter was far away. He looked to his right. Tommy was standing still.. paralyzed. He was staring blankly… passed him. Damn. The teacher screamed: “Run Tommy!”. He spun around.

Bang!

Everything went dark.

***

His alarm rang. It’s already over! Damn it. He drove to work, mumbling complaints all the way. He walked through the familiar hallways.

The bell rang. All the students looked up at him intently. They already respected him, but did he deserve this respect? He introduced himself and started teaching. A student lifted his hand lazily. The teacher gave him a simple nod, urging him to speak.

– Why do we need to learn this? This is never going to be useful! We’re wasting our time!

Already. First class! 

– What is your name son?
– Dave

Figures…

– I am going to be entirely honest with you Dave. You will probably never use most of what you learn in school.  In fact, school is like a complex form of daycare. Our education system was made for you to conform to societal rules at a young age. Most teachers will say otherwise. Not because they want to lie to you, but because they want you to stay in school. Not out of spite, but out of love for students. You will learn things here. However, they are notions you did not expect to assimilate. You will mature. You will learn how to adapt and organize yourself. You will make friends and master communication skills. You may think that going against the current is a smart move. You may think that you are better than everyone here and that you have already mastered all these notions. Telling yourself that you can do everything your own way and much faster, but believe me when I tell you that you are wrong. We teachers have lived through what you are living now and we simply want what is best for you even if you do not see it at the moment. Appreciate your education and find a use for it even if that may seem impossible. Now, If you still believe your own path to be better, I simply demand one thing of you. Do not follow it alone. We live in a large society. We prosper together. Do not go against the current. Follow it. Push it forward. Become a positive leader for your friends and fellow students. Never sequester yourself. Never act alone.

– Woah… okay.. Well thank you mister Narchay.