I used to be an ordinary man. Then they came and took all the children away. From light into darkness with nothing but a gentle push, we never saw them again. I was bereft of hope, such that I turned against my father’s wishes and left the army to take care of the family business. It made everybody go nuts, especially my cousin, who ended up in an asylum. It was wretched. When life started going places, when we had all recovered, except for my father, who had suffocated on an orange, I was convicted of a crime I did not commit. Not in the manner it was described, at least. Prison taught me little beyond caring for mice and playing nice with psychopaths and improbable healers. Surprisingly, it never felt like home there, not at all like the childhood days spent peeking through cracks and keyholes at the promise life holds. After my release, I stumbled out of the family business and became a journalist, which turned out to be the key to finding love. She was a wonderfully ambitious girl who had survived the bulls of Pamplona, at the cost of a short stint in a coma. Upon recovering, she took up ballet and was never the same again.
Giving and taking hope like that is just not right.
Now that’s cruel, Oskar.