Think twice before you react, one false move.
It’s not often that I find it myself, the courage to write about moments that are deeply personal; too often I’ll disregard them entirely or wait for them to disappear in my subconscious.
These memories tend to lay there for a while, but they develop a life of their own and occasionally when I observe a similar event; I’m back at again thinking about.
I’m much quieter now than I used to, this way some time ago; in a different time, much younger and provocative.
A punk-rocker who pretended to be the class clown, because it felt cool and it made me feel tough.
Me and my buddy, we would jam out in school — it made us feel like we were the shit.
We were drawn to one another because we didn’t fit in with the rest of the crowd, our surrounding was too elite for us.
There were children of Politicians and Wealthy Businessmen, people of influence.
People with too much power and too little time to be responsible for their children.
Their children had free reign and as such within their shelter of power provided by their parents’ names, they felt they could get away with anything.
It was a can of soda, we were in the queue awaiting our chance to be served.
The group behind us was louder than we were, eloquent and popular.
Not like us, much different in the way they carried themselves.
The leader of the group was the son of an influential politician, his ego had never been tested — he always got what he wanted.
With him in the group were many of the girls in school, many of the girls we didn’t much care to impress but hoped to hang out with someday.
Like I said, it was a different time entirely.
He showed my friend to get out of the way, I guess he wanted to prove he was superior to us.
The girls laughed along with him at how skinny we were and that our hair made us look like “fags”.
We didn’t mind, we were the two lunatics who took pleasure in being made fun of.
I laughed, and my buddy alongside with me — refusing to move, “wait your turn”.
He didn’t have much of a nerve for patience, and showed us both out of the way; his goons helped.
I thought let it go, I wasn’t physically strong and felt the two of us couldn’t take on a group larger than a dozen people; a group deemed so powerful that even the school teachers couldn’t discipline them.
We always kept our identities hidden, we didn’t come from an upbringing where it was okay to brag about who our parents were.
The leader of the group knew though, he knew who my parents were and hence never directly threatened me; knowing that maybe the repercussions could lead to a family feud.
My friend wasn’t so lucky, his came from a Military Family — considered to be a lot less influential when compared to Politicians and Businessmen.
“Fuck it…we’ll just get it from the vending machine”, I said in an attempt to escape the situation.
My friend too angry and embarrassed of being shoved out of the way didn’t have much patience for it; he was brave, I wasn’t so much.
“Nah…fuck HIM! And his fucking corrupt family. Can’t wait till they lock up your father some day, you prick!” — he shouted in retaliation.
He threw a can at us, and the group laughed — “fuck off peasant”.
My dear friend, too thick skinned and stubborn to let it go — found it best to retaliate by egging his car, a freshly pimped out BMW.
“Fuck him and his fucking car”, if only we hadn’t.
The guy couldn’t stand when the group he stood with, was not laughing with him anymore but at him.
“I’ll show you, motherfucker!”, as he pulled out a pistol and that was it.
We look back at these moments and wonder how it could’ve been different.
How someone would’ve said something.
How someone should’ve reacted.
But we freeze, because it’s not like the movies and I wasn’t no Denzel Washington ready to spring into action.
He’d walk away of course, and I would be told to keep my mouth shut.
I’d be sent away abroad for my own safety, you don’t want to get involved with these people; I was told.
I guess time does its healing, and whatever forces are at work at bringing balance about within the universe tend to submerge.
He never went to prison, but did lose both his parents.
Not prepared for practicality, he’d realise the wealth and friends disappear rather quickly when the cloud of power fades away.
You’re perceived to be a cancer, nobody wants anything to do with you anymore because you’re now part of the problem.
Sever it off before it metastasises.
People don’t want their secrets getting out, there’s no loyalty in the games we play.
He’d learn the lesson through difficulty, I’d learnt mine through experience.
To this day, I can’t find it in myself to feel sorry of him — but I don’t hold blame for him either.
It wasn’t his fault he was made out to be this way, it was his parents who never did put in the time and effort to remind this child it wasn’t always going to be this way.
Where as mine, as much as I despised how strict they were at the time, always reminded me I’d be nothing — if not for their name.
Hence it was up to me, to build my own identity; stand up on my own if the day came.
Look after my other siblings, if I was required to do so.
We were never promised a BMW, we were taught how to earn it.
It’s in these moments that I look back now, and can be grateful — for how much patience my parents put in, to make sure I didn’t grow up to be an animal preying upon their legacy.
That I would grow up to be an individual, much wiser, much quieter, much more resilient and patient.
Do I ever think justice was served? I think so.
Though I do not know how to make peace, I know not to hold grudges.
I know not to react out of anger, and I’m reminded to this day to not take my life for granted.
I’ll label this one as fiction, because that’s what it feels like to me to this day.
I never did think I’d survive, and I never did think a day would come that I could look back proudly upon myself; that I had parents who cared enough to remind me every day — think twice, you little brat; life doesn’t give out second chances.