A Familiar Face
One of the things about studying at a language department is that you often run into people you haven’t seen in a while: as it turns out it’s not always a pleasant surprise. This was one of those days.
As I turned to the right after going up the stairs, I intended to take a casual look around, but I was cut off halfway, I caught a glimpse of the strangely familiar face, and before I could recognize the long memorized features, my body betrayed my mind. I stiffened, every muscle in my body tensed, and then absolutely involuntarily I took a step backwards. I looked up again warily, I saw her now, and I felt relieved when I recognized her and I understood my first reaction. Relief that lasted for about a fraction of a second because the anger, the rage, the fury that I felt for the next minute was indescribable. It all just came back to me: the blasphemy, the banter, and the ridicule, the almost daily threats of violence, the one time she got to me…
I stared at her face now, blatantly. She noticed. She looked at me curiously and smiled tentatively. Well I was certainly not expecting that! She waited expectantly now. Was she crazy? Had she honestly forgotten? “Maybe bullies only have a short term memory” I thought to myself, “or they have no conscience.” I took three steps forward, (involuntarily again), my heart was exhilarated; pumping with sanguine anticipation, in the tip of my mouth I could savor the sweet taste of vengeance. My fists clenched, but not out of fear anymore but out of power and control, they searched for retribution. And then I woke up from my daydream.
What was I going to do! I had to quarry with myself for the next few seconds. “It was a long time ago” I said to myself, ”You’ve both grown up now, it’s different” “ You cannot take revenge, What could you possibly do? … I stood there thinking… “She’s probably a nice person now” –Ppfh!- I laughed sardonically and strode away. – Not worth it. – I mumbled just like in the old times, but this time I truly meant it.
Lying under a dark, warm, safe place I found them. Almost like magic, one morning they suddenly were there. These little things were hidden away by a protective belly, purring and snoring, sleeping and stretching, and caring for nothing. And certainly doing a lot of eating!
But they cannot see me or their hysterical mother as I approach; their tiny eyelids are still shut.
They are loved and embraced, looked upon with great curiosity and wonder by the foreigner human, or else…