Interlude 2: First love/jealousy
John was about twelve years old when he first realized that he loves Amalia. Well, like her not love because that was a big word. But any crush eventually turns into something or it crashes and burns. This one did both.
John was not the good looks boy, especially next to his brother and Amalia who, somehow brought out the worst in him. Ivan was tall, with clear, clean skin, blue eyes and a smile that would turn a lot of heads and break some hearts during his life. He was easy-going and friendly; with a way of talking that kept you listening like a good song you would hear on the radio and wouldn’t want to change the station. Amalia, even from young age was a beauty. You could see her features that would make her a good-looking woman later. She had slightly curly brown-chestnut hair that was always falling perfectly on her soft shoulders or getting in her dark-green eyes and over her button of a nose. She had a birthmark on the side of her neck that looked like a grape and her mother told here that it was there because when she was pregnant she took a grape and ate it without paying. When she was small that story seemed stupid but as she grew up it became a nice little story to tell people that asked about the mark. John was quite the opposite of them, the ‘ugly duckling’. He was short and fat- or ‘big boned’ as his mother always defended him- with fizzy hair in all directions, always looking slimy and unwashed. His oily skin and dark, deep eyes would make you feel uncomfortable talking with him for more than two minutes. He wasn’t a big talker anyway most of the time he would just look at you and it would feel like he was staring into your soul. There was always something dark about him.
When his brother and Amalia were turning fifteen he was barely twelve and they all went outside to walk till the nearby river where they usually fished. The day was misty and somber, the sky menacing with the possibility of rain and coming from somewhere far, if you would be dead quiet, you could hear the faint echo of a tumultuous thunder. But it was still hot and moist and quiet, so quiet. Their voices and the chirp of some passing birds were the only sounds that were filling the air.
John was feeling his heart in the throat every time Amalia looked at him or even talked. He didn’t understand why and that made him act weirdly- more than usual. Just near the river was rabbit with two small bunnies, all black and afraid.
“Look at those! I want one, how cute they are!” Amalia shouted, pointing at the rabbits. They were all bunched up together under a small tree, the small ones shaking at every step. Their mother was washing herself not too far away.
“Which one you want?” John asked excited, starting to walk stealthy towards the bunnies.
“Leave them, Johnny!” Ivan said with a kind authority.
“Why? I won’t heart them… she said she wants one!”
“No… I was only… I wouldn’t know where to keep it and my parent wouldn’t agree anyway… leave it Johnny, seriously, it’s ok!”
“The we’ll take care of it!” John said, as he was getting closer to the bunnies that were already backing up filled with fear.
“Leave them, Johnny! You’re scaring them and their mom is going to attack you…” Ivan didn’t get the chance to say something else because the big rabbit went to attack, unexpectedly, young John. She bit his knee so fast and violent that John immediately kicked her hard. She flew meters away, landing on her feet.
“You stupid fucking rabbit!” John shouted then grabbed one of the small rabbits and threw it in the river with a hateful grunt. The world stood still as the small, innocent rabbit splashed the surface of the water and disappeared in its depths. He went to throw the other rabbit but Ivan ran and pushed him to the ground.
“What are you doing? Are you crazy? Why would you do that?” Ivan’s face was turning red and his eyes and voice were full of anger and maybe shame, or fear?
“But… but… it… it hurt me…” he answered.
“Who? That innocent, little bunny?”
“I… I… I… No… their mother bit me, you saw, and me… I…”
“Come on, let’s go home! Sorry Amalia!” Ivan said taking Amalia by the hands. All this time she was standing petrified with tears forming in her eyes.
“Yes… I… Want to go home now, I don’t feel so good.”
“I wanted to do a nice thing for you, Amalia, you know that? I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s ok, Johnny, let’s just go home.” She grabbed Ivan’s hand and turned. Right then and there John felt this rush of rage, which quickly dimmed down. That, although he was too young to understand was his first fit of jealousy. An emotion that would cause him many problems later on.