The storm catches a rejected male teenage musician.
|The atmosphere's chill, watery breath recalled his consciousness. The forsaken house was pelted with innumerable darts of water, while the rotting roofingsheets rattled lifelessly and threateningly. |
The roof sounded like his father, who since his childhood threatened to send him out of their home, and had done it that day. Beneath his woolen hood, tears formed in his eyes and dropped on the guitar case on his thighs.
His shoes on the wooden floor of the verandah were soaked with water; his jean trousers were soaked up to the shin. The roof was leaking thoroughly -- the inside of the house was nearly as open as the fields before him, in which fields stood a homely looking bungalow, its exterior lights keeping darkness away from all around it. It was the only house around there. Farmers lived so.
Who would accept a youth of his age into their home in the middle of a stormy night? He thought. If the door were answered by a man that would let him in for the night, or a caring, motherly woman of his mother's age, he would be lucky. It was like a dream that would never come true; like the meal he left at an unknown hostess' table in his just recent sleep. He was hungry. He smiled quietly.
'Mom,' he whispered in the dark. 'I wish you didn't give birth to me. My childhood was as if it was spent in a slave master's lodge; Dad thinks he isn't my father.' He thought a bit. His father had named him -- Maxwell. He had stood in his childhood pictures smiling -- even carried him in some of them -- and standing beside his wife, whom he had spent his younger days watching him beat up. He had run to the rescue time and time again, but Dad had not listened to his plea for mercy.
'Why would he listen?' he said, referring to his father. 'The black sheep, his firstborn, telling him not to beat up his own wayward wife as much as he willed?' His hatred for his father intensified.
'My siblings don't respect me, because of how he treated me, Mom. They had little to fear, I had much to fear. I was the slave, they were the children. I was beaten for hitting whoever did insult me. If I reported them instead, no scolding would befall them. I had a big share of the chores, but less of the food.' He laughed and opened his guitar box, brought out his instrument and plucked on the strings, making light melodies to himself. His hand had played that sound all through the afternoon as he and his music group prepared for a song they would sing in their church. He had overstayed at the church, so his father wanted to hit him when he returned. He was running around the house, so his father sent him out of their home. He only had time to grab his hooded jacket from the line outside, and his instrument from the floor.
'They had volunteered to beat him up -- many times. I refused. I couldn't imagine watching them beat up my father. He thinks he is strong and could put me in jail or disown me in court, but I can also kill him or allow my friend to waylay him with his gang members. He wouldn't know it was me. Yet I told them not to. Why?' He stopped playing.
He decided to play again and empty his heart of tears with a new song he intended to make up on the go.
'Among all his children, I'm the only one that resembles him - both in form and in colour. Why would he say to a little boy, ''I'm not your father''? '
He had the first line for the song already. He intended to play, while looking at the yonder house in resignation.
' It's been only me -
The gloomiest among my friends;
It's been only me...
The most scared of all the three... '