The experiences of life, with the tragedy, translated…
“With your red hat and dressed up in red, Santa Claus, come quickly, we’re all, well-behaved children……….” do you remember it, it is a song you’d sung to me, you’d learned it in your kindergarten class. But, I can’t recall, what was it, that I’d, sung to you from when you were, young children now.
We were neighbors, playing pinballs, slingshots, playing hopscotch, we’d done, everything together, and, we’d also, practiced kung fu on the manuals, dreamed of becoming, the world class kung fu masters. We were, inseparable, we’d once, held that conversation, as we’d, strolled across half a city, and turned in the cans we’d found on the roads to the recycle yards, to trade them for cash, to buy ourselves some, popsicles, to lengthen our trips away from home together. We’d once, taken our ping pong paddles, with our thick skins, knocked on doors of strangers, asking, “We’d heard you have a table tennis table set up, can we borrow it to play?”, we’d even, mingled our ways into the police department’s table tennis rooms, and met a bunch of police big brothers, and, set up our goals to become representatives of table tennis for the country too!
However, our paths separated in middle school. I was on the academic track, remembering the USELESS facts that I can’t even recall now; and you, were in the losers class, with that life that I’d, envied, but, our paths just, don’t cross again.
You were a bad kid, and, I wasn’t, supposed to, be around you, and, you’d, known this too, when our eyes met.
One day, you took the weapons, and engaged in a fight with your gang leader at a restaurant, with that learned sense of righteousness, escorted your bleeding “brothers” home, without knowing, that that wooden sword that was stuck, behind the back of your head had, already caused a hematoma in your brains, and, as you’d arrived home, you’d, collapsed, became a vegetable, the doctors told your family, that you will never, come back again.
My father led me to your door, your mother cried and told how you weren’t supposed to be like this, my father screamed, “It’s not like we caused this!”, like he’d wanted to justify what’d happened to you. And, as your family asked if I wanted to go to your room, to talk with you a bit, I’d, chickened out. The me back then, I just, couldn’t, face you like that.
Soon enough, your family moved away.
Later on, I’d studied in school, went abroad, fell in love, started working, married, had children………and, there was, NO more chapters of my life with you in it, but, there were moments, as I’d thumbed across that passage, “Fun Memories of Childhood”, or when I heard the singer-songwriter’s “Childhood”, or when my own child inquired, “Dad, who’s your best friend growing up?”, I’d, felt that, sense of sourness, rising from my heart.
Today, I’d wanted, to return back to that day, and say to you, on behalf of my younger self, “Thank you, for accompanying me through those most innocent years of my life.” And, “We’re both, good children.”
So, this, is regret, from watching how his friend took up with the wrong crowd, and, how the friend’s life turned out, but, everybody HAS a separate life path s/he needs to travel, and, this tragedy just reminded us, that we should, stay on the right paths in life, otherwise, we may, end up, very badly.