“I think I was afraid of being myself most of my life” - J. A. Redmerski, Between Now and Never.
That day I couldn’t prepare lunch or fix the house when I arrived. I just threw myself on the bed - praying my brother hadn’t messed up with some street girl upon it before - and cried, but cried a lot.
Jorge arrived late, almost with the moon in the sky. He was surprised that there was no food ready, not for him, but because it was not something I would forget to do without having a problem involved.
Entering the room and finding my body stretched like a corpse, his heart squeezed so hard that he thought he was going to have a heartache. However, as the footsteps approached the bed and my breathing became audible, my brother relaxed.
He laid beside me, keeping a safe space to avoid being hit by a punch. His right hand touched my dark curls, delicately contouring them with her fingers.
- Hard day? - He asked.
“You can’t imagine ...” I looked at him with red eyes, small with tears. His fingers came down from my locks and found what was left of those damn droplets that washed my face.
- I was paid. Want to order pizza? - Although it was a random question, our relationship always around a little pampering that made us happy. Jorge wouldn’t mess with me unless he was serious, and in fact, talking about boys with my brother would be torture.
I nodded, trying to smile.
We had mozzarella and chocolate pizza, my favorite. Without saying much, we watched a few episodes of Sons of Anarchy until Jorge fell asleep and I was forced to release the couch.
I wondered what Gleice had said about where we lived and how people viewed the North Zone. Madureira was so large that it was known as the Capital of our Zone, it had an incredible market, a beautiful park and was the land of Samba. Our joy spread to the world and yet they were afraid of us.
It was a shame to think that this boy at the Museum was disgusted about me or worse. It hurt to know that with the lights out I was worth it, but only as long as the darkness reigned.
My phone rang. It was past 10 pm, however, as we were on a Friday, a call at this time seemed acceptable.
Claudio’s voice was hoarse as if he had been drinking all day. He stumbled over the words as he begged me to find him in Lapa. I had some money from the allowance Jorge gave me, so I could go out and enjoy once he was sleeping soundly. The question was: after all that happened and how much I suffered, did I want to see my friend?
Deciding to at least put an end to it, I pulled on a pair of jeans, a black tank top, and the same pair of sneakers ever before slamming the door.