It got to a point where I thought I might just go somewhere, leave the keys in with the doors unlocked; and hope that someone steals it — making sure insurance gives me a new free one.
For obvious reasons that wasn’t such a great idea, so I promised my parents that when I finally get my break from work — I’ll get the car cleaned.
Shinny, like it once used to be.
I haven’t driven the thing in a while either, and getting around to figuring out where I need to go to take care of these things; I realised I’m a failure at pretty much anything that requires manual labour.
I googled, found a place, and let the animated map navigate me to car-cleansing heaven.
Upon my arrival, the attendant informed me I was free to go relax in the café whilst my car was being taken care of — she was even nice enough to give me a 20% Discount Coupon next time I drop by; which will probably never happen because I’ll lose the coupon.
Anyways, it was a decent day and I didn’t mind waiting in the café as I sipped on my foamy cappuccino and a soggy croissant.
After having completed my café adventure, I thought I might as well drop by the car; make sure it’s doing alright and not feeling to lonely whilst its being molested by strangers.
So I decided to take a sneaky peek at it was being wiped clean of any evidence of debauchery.
A very muscly looking fella seemed to be rubbing pretty hard on my car, I figured it didn’t seem that necessary; I mean it’ll dry off eventually anyways.
I was kinda just bored, so I figured I’ll go let the gentleman know that if it isn’t too much of a bother to me if there’s a few scratches left on the car.
As I approached the muscly looking fella, his face somehow triggered a nostalgic memory shuffle; an intuition that maybe I’ve met this person before.
Thinking it might have been in passing, I approached the gentleman in hopes that I’ll be on my way and save him some time too.
Upon doing so, the gentleman remarked,
“Sir, you really don’t know much about cars do you?”
I obviously lied, letting him know “My parents use it more than I do..”
Saving myself the trouble of receiving a car cleaning instructional lesson.
Anyways, as the gentleman seemed unwavering to let my vehicle go until he was done with wiping it down; I thought I’ll just stand around hoping my awkward presence will hurry up this endeavour I’d embarked upon.
I guess it was in that moment of nonsensical small-talk, that I said; “Dude, you’re pretty jacked. You know you remind me of this guy I knew back in school..pretty intimidating looking fella.”
“Oh yeah..haha. What school did you go to?”, muscly gentleman asked kindly.
Well I guess this was the moment that I was about to receive a freakin’ sucker-punch of nostalgia; because no way in hell would I have known that this dude was none other than the most famous guy in my school, Son of a very powerful Politician, and a straight-up bully to me.
There was an awkward pause, as I finally revealed my name to him.
Surprised that he didn’t recognise me at first.
For some reason, he began to tear up.
Thinking maybe I’d done the wrong thing of maybe reminding him of something he would rather forget, I apologised.
When he finally composed himself. Much to my surprise, he said this to say;
“Oh God…wow. I can’t believe it’s you. Sir, I’m so proud to see you here. Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re here…you made it!”
Umm…I guess I was overcome with shock, and my natural response was probably not the best I could’ve done.
“Yeah…I left after school. I was gone…I mean I left the country. Went abroad. Been away for about 12 years. I visit occasionally to catch up with my parents. They like living here so…haha. Umm…but how are you?”
He said he was very happy. Asked if I’d kept in touch with anybody at all, I answered no. I pretty much left it all behind when I left the country, I never hoped to look back again at a place that had been the source of so much misery to me.
I don’t quite know how to describe what compelled me to ask him, but I asked when he finished work — he should come with me to meet my parents.
I waited for about an hour, he finished up work. And off we drove, in my now freshly cleaned car.
I didn’t think to ask much of how we’d ended up where we are in life. I wanted to keep it simple and move on.
When we arrived at the house, he truly was joyful; talking to my parents about all the stories from ‘back in the day’.
And then suddenly out of nowhere, my dad remarked “I’m sorry about what happened to your father. No child deserves to go through for the mistake of a parent. But you should know you have people you can call for help.”
I was surprised. I don’t keep in touch with politics and rarely do I follow the news. Being away from home for 12 years obviously had taken its toll.
After we finished up, I offered to drive him home.
Upon arriving there, he said I should come in and say hello to his wife and three kids.
I thought it’d be the polite thing to do.
So I did.
It was a tiny house, resembling the opposite of what his house once used to look like when I was a young child bullied by this figure.
Time had taken it’s toll, and whilst I looked at my past and thought nothing worth keeping; he’d held on to it.
He finally revealed how his father had made certain bad decisions and the events that had followed. Leaving him alone in this world to figure out what to do.
He’d decided nobody would work with him because of his last name, so he’d tried to make contact with his father’s affiliates; none of whom offered to help. I guess it was ass-covering time for them and this child wasn’t really at the top of their priority list.
I discovered he was a bully because his father was one, and maybe that’s why he would take it out on me.
Of why he was so proud to see that “I’d made it”, was him confessing his guilt that he was selflessly happy that I’d accomplished something.
I don’t think I’ve made it, I never thought of it that way — for me it was just how life goes. I had to work, so I did. Nothing more to it. There’s no fantasy to be explored.
To him, it was the bullying that maybe helped me; shaping my character and allowing me to become more sensitive towards others — a skill he developed too late in life.
I didn’t know what the appropriate response was, and frankly I wasn’t sure what I could do.
I thanked him to welcoming me into his house and noticed the children looking at my wrist watch.
Suddenly I felt guilty, and thought to myself what my dad had said earlier; “No child deserves to face the mistake of their parents”.
Maybe this was time to repay my debt.
I asked if he’d like, I could refer him to a company that is seeking a Head of Security; with his his build and a few weeks of training, he might get the job.
They’d pay well, and would cover the expenses of education for his children up until the age of 16.
I told him I wasn’t doing it out of guilt, even though I was. The children had an effect on me, and I do not know what else I could do.
Maybe it wasn’t even appropriate to bring up such a thing, maybe he felt I was being condescending.
He thanked me, gave me a hug, and said that if such an opportunity was available — he’d be willing to contribute his utmost loyalty to the offer.
I told him I’d take care of it, and so I did.
It didn’t require much, all I had to do was make a phone call and ask a friend to offer someone I knew a chance at securing the position.
My catharsis wasn’t that I’d somehow reached a moral high-ground that I’d been the better man, I do not think that was ever my intention; I just knew that I couldn’t walk away from that situation because the kids kinda reminded me of myself.
Maybe, that’s the only reason why I helped out.
I guess, kindness much be one hell of an aphrodisiac because I haven’t felt that good in a while.
I’m planning on selling that stupid car, because I never use it.
I might just leave it near a very public place, hoping someone drives off with it.
Or maybe, I’ll just finally admit that I never bought the car to drive to begin with — I bought it because I thought my parents could show-off how their son was doing alright.