A Letter to the Man I Used to Be
Twenty years ago, when the rain did not come in massive droplets that carved deep holes in the earth beneath you, your name was written in the hopes that you would become strong enough to someday conquer the rest of the world in just the flick of your fingers.
At some point five years later, you could built castles, revived dinosaurs and created a whole new universe with just your bare hands. You were just a boy back then, but you had done much more that what grown-ups could ever boast.
When you were ten years old, you were the top of your class. Despite the names that people call you, you never stopped helping that old woman cross the street. You never stopped your mom from giving you kisses before school even when your friends are giving you snide remarks right across the street. You were just a boy back then, but you had more dignity than any grown-up could ever dream to have.
When you were fifteen, you saw the kitchen knife slide from the cupboard to your dad’s hands to your mom’s throat. You saw how the slits on your father’s eyes slid past the countertop to your baby sister sleeping soundlessly on a make-shift bed. Despite the clicking of your teeth on that hot summer night, you ran toward her. You never really knew what happened after that. You only remembered how large the scar was on your arm and how your grandma was kneeling — crying — beside you and your sleeping sister in a hospital room. Perhaps, that was what made you decide to trek this exact road that brought me here. You were just a boy back then, but you had more courage than any hero that had walked on this earth.
Yesterday, when you were nineteen, you recalled how your endless trainings had finally brought you here, high above a concrete mountain, just a kiss — or maybe a bullet — away from heavens. You cradle between your arms an instrument of justice and the bringer of peace to a much greater society. You were given orders to wipe out and to clear those who try to threaten that peace and you didn’t have a problem with that.
As the sun shone, I became the new chapter of your life. I saw a boy walking just below me. He shouldn’t have been more than five. He was smiling and waving at what was left of the wreckage, nothing really in particular. I watched him closely and he made me think of you when you were five. He made me think that your fond memories should have been his too. He made me think that he should not be here. Most of all, he made me think of the strict orders that I was given when I saw what was strapped underneath his ratty cloths. He made me a hero to the much greater society.
I don’t know what made me do it, but right after I released him to the gods above and below, I set free the gun on my hand. I raced toward him just like how you did when you were fifteen. When I reached the same ground where he is — was — there was nothing left but droplets of roses slipping between the dips of my nails, covering what was once the greens of my camouflage. Your face flashed passed the wreckage where I’m in. I remembered how you were just a boy back then, yet you were much more of a man than this monster that I’ve become.