The Others

Chapter 8: Why Did He Leave Me?

I don’t remember how I came home tonight, but I’m happy I found a way to abandon her. I’m sitting behind my desk, staring at my blog. I feel an urge to delete everything. What did I do? How can I do this and how am I going to solve this again. I just wish it never happened. I kissed Samantha. It’s just, knowing she likes me that makes me like her back.

Do I like her? I felt butterflies in my stomach, but maybe that’s just because I finally managed to get someone to like me? I’m maybe not the failure I once thought I was? But, I’m gay. I was pretty sure of that. NO! I AM pretty sure of that. Then how can I like her? Why are emotions this hard to understand?

I need a distraction. I need to write a new post. I open my notepad and stare at my screen, but it’s Samantha who I see. I pick up my phone and feel relieved it’s still charged. I text Sam: I’m sorry, Sam, but I think this was a mistake. I do like you, but I really don’t feel like making any commitment. I meant it when I said I’m not going to hurt you, but I feel like I've failed you already. Please tell me I didn’t?

It doesn’t take her long to respond, but that’s probably because her response isn’t long either. I don’t know, Addy.

I stare at my screen again. I open my mailbox and notice Seth mailed me again.

“Hey there AB,

I want to thank you once again, though you’re probably not aware you helped me again. But, because of your request for me to write a blog post, I told one of my closest friends my biggest secret. It really feels good!

I asked another good friend to help me write the post (I hope that was okay with you), but because of the secret I told today, we didn’t manage to write the post together. That’s why I decided to write it myself. I should warn you; I’m not the best writer.

What if you want to be part of a group of people, but you can’t, because they only accept right handed people and you, you are left handed. What would your reaction be? Of course you can try to be right handed and it works when others are around, but every time when you’re on your own, you automatically write with your left hand again. So maybe, while you are able to pretend you’re right handed, you are part of this group, but how will this make you feel? Do you feel like you’re showing your real self to the people around you?

Now, of course you could think: if they don’t accept me, then I don’t want to be a part of this group and in some ways you are right. But, what if this group is a one of a kind and you feel like you belong there, even if this feeling isn’t mutual?

That brings a lot of frustration. Unfortunately this happens a lot and there is no way around it. It could sometimes feel like you are the one who's WRONG, instead of it being the group who are MAKING a mistake.

That brings us to another question. Is being different from others really a bad thing? From an evolutionary aspect it is, of course. But wait, even from an evolutionary aspect it isn’t. Mutations have to appear, so the idea of the survival of the fittest is being able to compare this mutation to what’s usual right. Maybe that’s what’s going on. Let’s for example take those people who are left handed, maybe that is just a mutation, made by mother earth. Normally a mutation dies out or lives on, changing the whole population to this mutated version. But, because of our mental and physical possibilities, we were able to stop the survival of the fittest. So, maybe, that doesn’t make this their problem, but ours? It’s the problem of our society not to allow evolution, but to abandon those who are a result of this choice.”

Wow, I didn’t expect this. I thought he wouldn’t be able to get much into his feelings. I thought I would have to edit it a lot, but I think I won’t change anything at all.

I decide to not upload it, yet, because it’s not been that long since my last post. If you post too frequently, readers will get overwhelmed by it. And luckily I didn’t, because within an hour I get another email from Seth.

“Please don’t upload it.”

Weird. If he doesn’t want me to, I won’t, but it’s a little bit strange, don’t you think? I decide to go to bed early, because so much has happened today. The only way my mind is able to get some rest, is when I’m asleep. Even then sometimes my mind stays busy, but it’s worth a try.

I didn’t set an alarm, so it was past eleven when I woke up. I have school today, but when my mind wanders off to Sam again, I decide against going there. I’ll make up an excuse tomorrow. It’s Thursday and I bet everyone is out of the house. By the house, I mean my father’s house. It’s time to stalk him again! I won’t admit I want to stalk my father only to see his… son… again. Wow, that feels weird to say, his son. Am I still his son?

On my way there I wonder why he lives so close by. I actually expected him to move to another city, a city on the other side of the country. But for some reason he stayed. Maybe he had already met a new woman when he abandoned us?

I arrive at his house and walk towards it, very cautiously. I don’t want to get caught, how will I ever explain being at my father’s house. My brother got caught, although I’m pretty sure he wasn’t as cautious as I am now. Knowing him, he probably barged into the house and demanded to see my father.

I look through the windows. The house isn’t very tidy, the dishes from their breakfast are still on the table. Behind the kitchen, I can see a small part of their living room. There are toys everywhere, toys for babies. Does my father have a new child? Like, a child that really is his. Wait, does that mean I have a half-brother? That’d be great.

No, why would it. I don’t know the baby and will probably never get to know him. He maybe shares some DNA with me, but that doesn’t make him my brother. But… I always wanted to have a little brother. I want to really care about a brother, because that’s something I never felt with Tyde. I love him, that’s for sure, but I only love him like I’d love every brother I could’ve gotten. I love him in a family kind of way, like I probably still love my dad, even if I’m not willing to admit it.

I wished many times that I could have another brother. I don’t necessarily want to replace Tyde, but I wanted not to feel alone. I wanted Tyde to have to share his time with others. I’m pretty sure if I had another brother, I would’ve been left alone more often.

And, if I had a little brother, we could’ve stuck together. Whenever Tyde got angry again, or whenever he decided to make a problem out of nothing, my little brother and I could’ve put an arm around each other and looked him right in the eyes. “Stop it,” we would say together.

Whenever mom gets home, finding a teapot has been broken, because Tyde decided to constantly touch me and it drove me crazy, both me and my little brother would point at him, telling mom what really happened. Oh, almost forgot. When my mom and my brother are fighting again during dinner, both my little brother and I can take our plates upstairs. Sigh…

“You look awfully happy for some creep who is staring through my windows,” I hear a woman's voice. I look up and see a nice looking lady. She is dressed in a business suit and wears glasses that almost seem to hide some kind of scar on her face.

“Huh?”

“You are smiling from ear to ear. You like watching my dirty dishes that much? You can come in and do them, if you want.”

“No, I’m fine, ma’am.”

“So, are you going to tell me what you were doing in my front yard?”

Shit. Of course she wants an explanation. Normally I’m very good with thinking up excuses, but I don’t know any. I didn’t expect her at all. And… she seems nice. I thought my father left me for some bitch, but he didn’t.

“Hm?”

“Ugh. I, um..”

She smiles, but it doesn’t feel genuine. “You almost look too embarrassed to tell me.”

Gotcha! I love it when people give away this much while I’m trying to come up with something. Never tell someone what you are thinking at the moment, because they can use that to their benefit. “I actually see your son sometimes at school.”

She flinches, but quickly corrects herself. She manages to pull up one brow, as if to ask what comes next.

“And I noticed he always looks a little down. My dad always tells me to look out for the students around me and whenever I see someone who looks like he needs help, I gotta check it out.” I almost smile at my own excuse. Wow, I’m so good at this. Now I actually ruled myself out of being my dad’s son. Even if she thought perhaps that I was the other son of her husband, now she will probably not think that. Unless she actually saw a recent picture of me, then this is very embarrassing. There is one thing that I hate most and that’s when you are lying to someone while they know you’re doing it. It’s like you give them a direct look at your own self, without any mask to protect yourself. It’s worse than when someone finds out you lied to them later on.

“Wow, I didn’t expect this. You wanted to look out for my son?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Please, come inside.”

Okay, this isn’t something I thought would happen. I just got invited into the lions den. What if dad gets home?

We go inside together. I see there are even more toys on the floor than I thought there was. “Does he have a little brother?” I ask.

“Actually, it’s his half-brother. I’ve got a new husband.”

We walk into the kitchen. I notice some pictures in the hall and I reckon taking a look at them won’t hurt me. She thinks I’m here because I want to help her son, so wanting to know everything about him isn’t weird, right? I automatically recognize my dad. He looks happy in the pictures, again something I never expected. In my mind he lived with a bitch, in a crappy apartment with loads of beer cans scattered around. This is far from that.

“That’s Codey when he was 4 years old,” his mother points out.

Codey… wow, I didn’t even know his name till now? That’s pretty weird right? I don’t want her to know that though, so I act as if I knew all along.

“Do you see how happy he is?”

I nod.

“That’s when his dad was still alive,” she says. “And this picture, this is right after he died, Codey just turned 5. I don’t know why I have it still on the wall, maybe to compare it to pictures that are more recent, to see his mood is slowly changing to how he was before Mike died.”

“I didn’t know his father died.”

“I thought you didn’t. Now, let’s go to the next picture. He is six years old and you can see he is a little less sad. That’s because he got his, how he called it, his new dad.” She smiles, though I can see tears in her eyes. “This one.” She points at my dad.

Ten years ago my father left me. I thought he abandoned me, I thought he was a bad person, not caring about the people around him. But, he isn’t. He abandoned us and I still don’t know why, but instead he helped Codey and his mother. I almost feel jealous of Codey, he had my dad while I didn’t. My father only transported the sadness Codey felt for losing his dad to me and Tyde. We both lost our dad.

Does Codey’s mother know this? Would she accept my dad as the person he is, if she knew what he did to me, my brother and my mom?

“And from then on it got better. Until Codey was 14 years old. He never had many friends, only one. The son of his father’s best friend. They were always close, both his father, his friend and their sons. It’s almost like it had to happen that way. They went away on camping trips and fishing trips very often, just the four of them.”

“And what happened to this friend?”

“He got hit by a car. He’s been in a coma ever since.”

I swallow and don’t know what to say. I wonder when my dad is getting home and how he’ll react when he hears about me.

“As you can imagine, that brought back his sadness, this time it was even worse. It’s been three years, and still he cries in his sleep. He doesn’t want any friends for fear of losing them.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything, you already did enough. You came here and listened to my story, that’s something I really needed. You offered to help my son, that’s more than most people your age would do.” She looks at her watch. “I should get little Rick from the day care centre. You can come with me, if you want?”

“No, it’s okay.”

“By the way, I don’t know your name.”

“Matt,” I quickly respond and reach out my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Matt. I’m Sandra.”