All of us yearn for stories that would last, ones that would touch our hearts. Make us drown in both good and bad feelings, something hardly perceivable to be derived from a set of strong, keen words. We are all born to realize and recreate our own stories with other beings, a story of friendship, love, bliss, and last but not the least, a story of sorrow. This whole lexicon of stories that we make up worth "reading" for another person is what we call "life".
We revolve around this little sphere of rock, unknowingly thinking what is next to happen in every revolution. We live as fateful mortals converging in a world filled with seas of people, realizing and recreating stories about our pasts and what we would expect to follow later. Thinking about all of these makes me wonder sometimes, why do I exist? What is my role here when I know someone better can outperform my existence?
Well me, I'm a person who hardly cares for his actions. Life isn't that serious to me back when I was still a small chap. I feel like there's a need for me to go back to my past and generate more memories, good ones. As a kid I have been bullied, deprived of my abilities, maltreated and hurt. Being an introvert was so good until people made me mainstream for being a hotspot for bullies. I would often burst into tears every time I realize that I have been a weakling, for not being defensive against horrendous people who want to tear me to pieces. I expected my childhood to be like what others often experience-living it blissfully, free from too much pain and suffering but my past, everything in it, boils down to plain sorrow.
I'm a nice, silent kid. Im friendly. I talk when my participation is needed or asked. I act only when I am told to. Nope, it doesn't mean I don't have a proper working initiative as a kid. I just think it would be better if I don't steal the spotlight from the person who wants to take it, or let's say I'd rather be unnoticed by my actions to prevent slipping into trouble. It was how I perceived bliss to be attainable, by being simple, nice and silent. Everything in life was descent yet moderated that way. What made it seem harsh is probably how our school's environment changed me into somewhat an opposite of an introvert. I became outgoing, noisy and at a time, very proud of what I own over others. Whenever I see that my seatmate has fewer crayons than I do, I would be enticed to tell him that we're rich because we can afford to buy more stuff than they can. He would end up sobbing or calling his mum. I felt like a boss for being able to disrupt their somewhat happy day. To be honest though, we're not rich. Truth is I come from a family of farmers. We consider our land as our biggest wealth, our crops as our source of our monthly salary. You could very well say that we're quite poor. But now that my parents work in the government then maybe we have raised our way of living as well. It was just my grandparents who were farmers. We live far away from them and our farms but we still receive help from them despite their old age.
Oh. It seems like I forgot to introduce myself. The name's Zach. Well, it is my nickname but I'd like you to call me by that name instead of Zachary. It makes me look and sound old. This little tale of an introvert turned extrovert turned normal yet a childish teen may seem to be like a myriad of random rants about how I view my life but I think it very much covers up a side of people that most would prefer to be forgotten or be kept in their little mind-boxes. I am a person who tries to deal with life in a way weird people would do.
Why weird? Because we may be common but it doesn't mean we're not unique in our own little ways. Dealing with life in a weird way has its perks and major drawbacks. Sometimes, one wrong turn could change all you thought was indestructible. What's worse? One unstoppable force could end up everything, even your life. But heh, I'm used to be thrown up and down all over again so there's no going back, just a few changes would do neat.
I live in a moderately-sized cemented house surrounded by a colourful garden of different flowers. The scent of unripe mango and tamarinds wafted just around every corner. Guavas were present almost everywhere while towering pine trees provide us a cool shade whenever we come out and play. Our humble abode is located near the river, inside an unguarded yet hidden subdivision at the foot of a lush, forest-green hill behind an old, mossy brick wall. The rich and poor live side by side together here and would often help each other in times of need. Most of the people who live here are farmers and other poor men. There are a few businessmen, teachers and other professionals residing here as most would rather live in the bustling city.
As a kid, I had this little habit of examining the clockworks of our community and one of the first things I have realized is how the balance of poor people and rich men works: Farmers provide the food; the commoners, preferably those who need fresh produce, buy from them and consume. It's like a circulation of hard work, although in different proportions, it seems to be fair enough for everybody. I realized this by simply observing how people function around me and I did this at a young age of 5. My playmates would be thinking of cartoons and all things childish but me, I think almost like an adult. Well, almost. I still have an undying love for cartoons that time.
Living here isn't as harsh as living in the main city. Because we're surrounded by trees, we get to be exposed to wild animals that may hurt us. A few are snakes, wild boars and cats. This may seem terrible for an environment where kids play almost everywhere that has space but the fresher air, less noise from vehicles and an almost peaceful community is much more better than crowding with the city men in the polluted streets.
We rarely see new people transfer in our subdivision but whenever a new family is planning to join our neighbourhood, talks about it would be spread out like wildfire. More like a news, rather. The day they transfer would be very much fun for the transferees as folks would pass by their house and greet them to enjoy their stay, often bringing some cakes or traditional delicacies. Some would bring gifts especially if the transferees happen to be close with other families before they have even transferred. It's our little way of being hospitable. We try to know each other in our neighbourhood and make everybody feel that they are very welcome here.
There was this time when I actually tried to enter a new house that seemed to be abandoned only to know that there were already people occupying that house. A sweet looking girl riding on her mum's back stared at me and what I did was just kept a straight yet friendly look and somehow these words managed to go out of my mouth.
"Hi! Are you guys new here?" and her mum replied "It seems like we have a cute visitor! Come, have a seat."
It was heart-warming to be honest. I was expecting them to actually be finding my presence albeit awkward because it was 10 in the morning and they were preparing breakfast and suddenly I barged in.
The little girl's mum asked me what my name was, "My name is Zach".
"What a cute name! My little angel's name is Claire." She replied.
Claire is a nice name too, I said to myself. She looks cute and friendly.
After introducing ourselves with each other, we had a little chit-chat about how much they have appreciated my visit as well as how the folks treated them during their first day of transferring in our neighbourhood. Claire's mum is happy for deciding to live here.
"I like the fresh air here, it's like I'm out of town and the cool breezes during the afternoon is just refreshing" Claire's mum added.
They were so nice and accommodating that they invited me to eat breakfast with them after our quick chat. It was like a feast although we often have large servings of food back in our house but theirs were better. They had large servings of bacon and milk that I was so contented after munching every little bit of what they have offered.
I shared lots of nifty things about the subdivision while I we chowed, one of which is the location of our house. It really isn't natural for me to be talkative but words just kept on going out of my mouth like a normal kid so I kept on stuttering. Claire was sitting in front of me I just can't myself from being attracted to her innocent eyes and blushy fair skin. I have this weird feeling in my chest, it tickles me a bit and it happens whenever I stare at her. It felt very weird because I haven't felt such warmth from a stranger.
I felt an awkward chill when Claire's mum stood up, sat beside me and whispered in an airy tone.
"Zach, would it be fine if you could escort Claire to play outside? Would it also be okay if you could introduce her to your friends?"
That gave me a mini heart-attack.
"Of course" I replied.