Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Very Short Story: Opening Pandora's Box Part One

Where do I begin? I’ll just start from the beginning.

I was abandoned by my mother as a kid. I never met my father because he and my mom split before I was born. At the age of two, my mom dumped me at her sister’s doorstep, and that was the last I saw of her.

My aunt tolerated me for a few months before she let the foster care system take care of me. I constantly moved from one foster home to another with the result that forming any close and meaningful relationship proved to be futile and impossible. However, school was a refuge for me. It was the only constant in my life where I didn’t worry about adjusting to new rules or new faces on a regular basis. Consequently, I made friends with my classmates and got along handsomely with my teachers until Mr. Eric came along.

Mr. Eric was my Physics teacher, and for a while he was the only adult in life I was comfortable conversing with about my life at home until the day he violated me. I had approached him with some Physics problems I wanted him to clarify, but he was busy and suggested I come over to his place later that day. As he’d always been avuncular in his manner towards me, the thought of his hurting me never crossed my mind.

Later that evening, I went to his house and once inside he offered me a glass of orange juice which, unknown to me, had been laced with drugs. It wasn’t until I awoke from my drug-induced sleep without any clothes that I realized something was awry. Dazed and traumatized, I ran out of his house without uttering a word to him.

It took nearly a month before I garnered the courage to tell my friends about the incident. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t because I’d have saved myself a lot of pain. In a shocking turn of events, my friends accused me of attempting to drag Mr. Eric’s name through the mud. To them and many others at school, he was their beloved football coach and Physics teacher who could do no wrong. In a matter of days, I found myself ostracized and alone. The way I’d been treated led to my vowing never to trust anyone. Finally, my school life was on a par with my life at home.

A year later, I graduated high school which was a huge relief as I could make a clean break with my traumatizing past and embrace the anonymity that university provided.

By the time I started university in September, I had built high, impenetrable walls. I knew not to let my guard down, and each time an acquaintance lamented about how they’d been betrayed, the vow I’d made to myself was reinforced. Eventually, I went through university neither dating nor befriending anyone which saved me a lot of drama and allowed me to focus on my studies. Four years went by quickly and my hard work was rewarded with a job offer from a prestigious management consultancy before I even graduated.

Within three years of joining the firm, I was given more responsibility and leeway to manage my projects with little supervision. Some of my projects required my travelling to and working from client sites, and it was on one of such trips that I met Kian. Kian was a beautiful man - both inside and out. He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word and his patience could easily rival that of a saint. He was also the first person I’d trust enough to date, but persuading me to date him was no easy task.

On the last day of my visit with his firm, he invited me to lunch, but I declined saying I needed to return to the office to file my report. A week later, he sent a text message informing me he was in town and inviting me to lunch. Once again, I declined the invitation with the excuse that I was busy. Later that afternoon, he sent another text inviting me to dinner with a promise not to pester me again if I accepted his invitation. Begrudgingly, I accepted to have dinner with him just so I could rid myself of him.

Much to my surprise and delight, I enjoyed his company at dinner immensely. He was quite versed in a plethora of subjects, and we chatted about everything and nothing until I apologetically ended our conversation in favor of an early meeting at work the next day. We said our goodbyes and agreed to meet the following evening.