Sometimes, fate decides who you are. Leon must learn this the hard way.
|Watching everything burn didn't make me feel any different. I really wanted to believe after watching my mothers body burn inside the casket, I would feel sorrow, like my heart was in agony. Instead, it was anger. My head was on fire thinking about everything she had done to me. All the beatings, the mistreatment, it was all too real. She was more of a nagging demon than a mother. And yet, I couldn't help but feel like some of it was my fault. Maybe, somewhere along the way, I let her down. I know she wanted a daughter instead of a son. Is that why she treated me in such a harmful way?
For a moment, I realized a tear stream down my cheek. The fields were burning so amazingly, the heat must've been too much for my eyes. Looking around, I see only fields of grass and trees across the border of the horizon. No one else, but me and the burning casket. This is no surprise to me. No one in this small town liked her. Not even me. Maybe it's for the best that no one else be here. A chance to be alone with my mom where I can say anything to her and she can't talk back. It's my turn. I could feel a rush of energy fueled by pure resentment reach my throat ready to fire a flurry of cursing and hatred. As I take a deep inhale, preparing myself for the worst, I couldn't help but think for a second about all she did for me. All the feeding, the shouting at the kids who would bully me back in primary school. She handmade me cake for my birthday every year, and no one came. No one except her. She made sure my clothes were ready for every day of school. She even made me lunches on those days, but every time I came home, she would be there with a switch to beat me for something I didn't do. Every afternoon it was because 'I wasn't good enough', every night it was because 'I need to try harder'. The burns and bruises I received over my fifteen years of living have never been justified. I wanted to ask, but I was always afraid of another squall.
So why? Why can't I tell her how I really feel? She deserves to feel how I felt. Worthless, alone, like no one wanted to be there for her. Every time someone saw my bruises, they gave me a hideous look, as if I was some sort of diseased child. All because of her. So why can't I speak? Why?
That's when it hits me. In an instant, I think of the picnic, me and mom spent hours out by the trees in the summer of my tenth year. Her elegant sundress flowed with the soft breeze sweeping across the fields. The blanket we lay on was checkered red and white, with a basket in the middle holding all of our sandwiches and supplies. I laid there, wondering about the next year of school hastily approaching. My mom simply sat with her legs bent to one side. She poked my face, snapping me out of my thoughts. "You know, you're turning into a big man. Soon you'll have to start doing more advanced things such as cutting the grass, washing dishes, even buying groceries from the marke-"
"No! I don't wanna!" I squealed. Back then, being an adult was something I considered ludicrous. Who wants to spend their time doing such boring things? In an instant, my mother snapped. "You WILL do what I say! Do you understand?"
I jump at the tone of her voice. Whenever she got this angry, I would expect nothing less than a beating.