With a towering presence and an imposing stature, you could see him from half a mile out. He holds his head up in society, a handshake firmer than a wrench clamp and a smile, wit and humour like no other. His life seemed perfect, governing the respect of the biggest names in the community. He supersedes all others in terms of intelligence, power and more importantly life standing. They knew him as the gridiron warrior for a reason. He was a person who was calm and strong to face any situation, regardless of how demanding the situation got.
He was a favourite of the society, able to start the best of conversations and ending the worst of nightmares. He was a pillar of hope for some and an arch rival for many. He was so prone to stress, that the society though that it was humanly impossible to handle it. Still, he proved them wrong, unmoved by the stress and developing his sense of humour along the way.
As time passes, something seemed amiss. He began to behave strangely.
At times, he would just shun himself away from society, choosing to be a loner, avoiding almost everyone he sees, even the closest of his friends.
At times, he would have temper outbreaks, lashing and venting out his fury on everyone, anyone or anything within a 10 block radius, the girl he loves, being the one who receives the full brunt of it.
At times, he would refuse to sleep, ranging from a day to a week, sitting silently alone, unnerved at the fact that it is already 4.30 am and he has not had a minute of sleep for more than 2 days.
This new behaviour didn’t really suit well with the society. Instead of trying to get to the bottom of it, many decided to take the easy way out. They began to avoid him, going about their daily lives without him, gossiping about him and cutting him away from the group. He sits alone, as people comfort the girl he loves, who has just received the latest of his temper lashings.
“You should just leave him, he doesn’t care for you anymore,” says one.
“There are many better people out there, why should you stay with him,” says another.
“He’s getting old and soon to be mentally disabled. There is no use caring for a mental problem person,” declares another.
Words like this continue to reverberate as the gridiron warrior sits at the corner alone, deprived from any care, love and attention from the society he would die to protect as they protect and shower the fragile and subtle girlfriend, whom they believe was abused by the mentally disabled gridiron.
No one bothered to ask the gridiron warrior one thing:
“Why are you like that?”
No one cared about the 3 deaths in his family, the latest being his youngest cousin who died in a car accident. He remembers vividly, teaching his little cousin how to ride a bicycle. He remembers vividly, the smile on his little cousin’s face, as he rode the bicycle out the front gate of the house. He remembers the terrifying sound of screeching tyres and a loud crash. He remembers seeing blood everywhere, as he picks his little cousins lifeless body up from the tarmac, next to the mangled wreckage of the bicycle. He hopes that his cousin is just sleeping, for he knew that he will blame himself for eternity for whatever that had just happened.
No one bothered, that his parents were going through a divorce after 8 years of fighting. He remembers seeing his mum, crying as she sat in the living room as his dad walks through the front door, without saying goodbye. He remembers the countless nights, his parents fought, some lasting just a few minutes, others lasting hours. He hears the sound of breaking furniture followed by screams as he shuts his ears, trying to drown the nerve wrecking noise. He remembers praying for all of it to be a nightmare and that he would wake up from that nightmare, but his pleas come to no avail.
No one gave a damn, that he had a horrible childhood. The marks on his body, bruised by bullies, lay visible, for all of time. He remembers the awful names his peers called him. He was not the best looking boy, nor was he the most well built. He was always the avenue for everyone's fury, a rag doll, waiting to be tossed around, by the next person who just wanted to release his/her anger on him. He could not retaliate, he was not made that way, a price which he will have to bear for the next 10 years.
He’s a grown man now, but still, emotionally scared by his past. As the world wrought its judgement upon him, he sat unbeknownst of the future. The uncertainty bearing down on him like a tonne of bricks. As he sat there in the corner, shunned aside by the world, a tear rolls down his cheek.
“Why can’t the world understand me? Why can’t they accept me? Why can’t they care for me?”
As the words reverberate in his thoughts, life moves on. Please, ladies and gentlemen. Just because we are called guys doesn’t mean that we have no feelings. We have just as much feelings and the ladies. So the next time a guy is sad, don’t brand him as an emotional person. Lend him a shoulder to cry on and help him up. Even the biggest and most successful of giants have their sad past.
“We Have Feelings Too”