Aidan heard the news. He moved from the bench to the swing. He sat on the left one, slightly higher than the right one so his leg can hover above the sand. His toes pushed the sand underneath and he started swinging. Not much energy given but he’s not stopping it either.
Several minutes passed and he felt nothing. Numb. “Should I be happy or sad?” he thought to himself. He didn’t have the answer. The trees didn’t propose one either. Like a pendulum, he swings back and forth without any extra effort. His body was stiff. Hand in front of the stomach while the elbow circling around the chain. His back was straight up.
A pair of crows were taking a peek in the trash bin across him. Looking for foods. Leftover or whatever. Aidan hoped that he lives as simple as a crow. Or the swing.
He almost could listen to his own heartbeat. He wonders and he ponders. Does he have any heart left to feel? Arguments swirling around. Should he be happy? Should he be sad? Shouldn’t he actually feel something?
The lamp started to light the place. Still, he wasn’t any close to enlightenment. The swing hasn’t stopped and so his thought. Instead of getting an answer, he questioned himself when was the last time he cried or fully mad. He’s looking for answers and ended up with more questions. He wanted to understand himself but he’s not arriving at any conclusion.
His abusive and control maniac dad couldn’t avoid the second attack of stroke. The first stroke didn’t hinder his dad to torment Aidan. He ran away for a couple of years after a couple of months taking care of his dad. Didn’t leave any trace behind. Including digital existence in order to fully avoid Dad. Sense of relieve and sense of guilt in him exchanging jabs and hooks. None came close to win.
When he was seven or eight, playing swing was enough in his life. It’s simple. Push the feet off the ground. Push the feet upfront in the air when it swings forward and bends the knees when it’s backward. While Dad pushed Aidan higher, Mom will tell him to stop pushing so he didn’t fly out of the swing. That was enough for him. A father, a mother and an older brother. Loving and warm family.
It didn’t last forever. Aidan remembered Dad was like two different persons when he started a new job. When Dad was done with his shift and came home, it was hell. Mom almost always will be the first victim. Dad will say sorry to them, Mom, him and his older brother, then take them to a recreational park or a good restaurant. It was heaven during that time. It’s usually happened at the weekend. The cycle kept repeating weekday and weekend, hell and heaven. Coming from the same Dad.
There are reasons why Dad act that way. He’s aware of it although he didn’t understand why Dad pours his suffering on his own family. He didn’t hate him. Nor he was loving him nevertheless.
Photo by Андрей Гаврилюк on Unsplash