It all started with traditions and Robert hated that fact.
He started receiving those harsh feelings after his family’s settling in their new house at Greedy Islands when he was 11. They moved there because his father has just found a new job, with a very good salary. “Finally. Now I get to buy that necklace I looked over in that magazine” said his aunt to herself while looking into the mirror and combing her hair with pride; she made sure to say that voiceless. His father, Henry took care of his entire family: Irene his wife, Robert his son, Georgina his sister and a German shepherd dog, Penny.
His folks always loved him in the same way typical parents would love their kid, but Robert felt that they loved the dog more. He loved Penny more. It was just a feeling.
In the beginning, students at the new school made fun of his dog’s name. But when he told them the reason for naming his pet like that is because they bought the dog for a penny, they stopped bringing the subject up because they knew how poor one needs to be in order to buy a dog for a penny and most of the families at Greedy Islands were poor. Of course he made that up, he actually never thought about the real reason.
The first couple of years were typically hard, but Robert adapted to the new society. For him it was just a society with the same criteria as another but only different people with different names on their justification cards. He despised it.
All that he could see was people unaware of things and who believed their pretentiousness, which was the most dangerous thing according to lil’ Rob. But who would listen to a 15 years old kid in a society where truth, cruel or not, is buried in the dirt, next to the bodies of some people who tried sorting verity out.
Plus he wanted to visit Disney Land in the future; therefore he decided, “I need to stay alive till then”.
Later that year, Christmas was at the door.
“Oh not again!” Rob said with rejection while standing on the sidewalk holding his bicycle and waiting with some friends. He was looking at some people moving red colored stuff into a big mall. He knew it was because of the holiday everything turns red, even socks and underwear.
“What’s your problem with Christmas?” his fellow Tom questioned him, looking at him awkwardly.
“Not just Christmas” Rob replied while closing his eyes and putting his head to the ground.
“What do you mean by that? I heard you complaining about it last year.” his friend insisted.
He felt it. Lil’ Robert knew that people get extremist about holidays, even when it doesn’t concern them.
Calmly he turned his head to the sky, took a deep breath, tightened his grip on the steering wheel, opened his eyes and kicked off pedaling into an alley, leaving his friends confused and worried. Rob considered that they didn’t have the right to worry about him.
Later that night, his mother prepared supper back at home. Standing and baking inside her small kitchen wasn’t easy at all, she needed to be aware of all the pans put on the table and avoid hitting the handles, aside the coffee pot that she keeps ready for her husband.
“Dinner is ready” the mother yelled, notifying her family to gather around the wooden table so they can start eating, except Penny.
Robert, back in his messed room, frowned a little bit; disapproving with his mother cooking’s taste. He remembered when he was crossing the streets on his bicycle earlier that day, glancing through a restaurant’s window glass, a family having a fancy lunch, he’d visualize and feel the food in his mouth, a very well cooked piece of meat between his teeth, he sensed the taste is better than his mother’s, then he snapped back to reality one second before realizing that destiny has put some garbage heap in front of him. The crash left a very small wound on his knee, and a big scar in his memory: “My mother doesn’t know how to cook and destiny has no sense of humor. Check”
“I SAID DINNER IS READY” his mother called louder, again lil’ Rob snapped back to reality and stood up from his chair and headed to the eating room. At the dinner table, everyone was calm, except the aunt. She always makes weird voices while eating, Rob gave it a thought, especially when she’s not talking, but the voices filled with words were less disturbing, even to Penny who sat on his fours in the next room doing what dogs do instinctively while sitting.
The night passed safely, Rob had dreams of Disney Land and big farms, then his dreams shifted to nightmares where his mother is suiting him up with new clothes while his aunt is watching and imposing her opinion. Rob forgot what he dreamt about the next morning.
His father decided to drive Robert to school instead of sending him by the bus. He took a longer path on his way to drop Rob at school, he thought of catching up with his son’s adaptation to the environment, checking on his situation with his colleagues like a normal father would do; late better than never. Rob didn’t like that; he thought that everyone should mind his or her own business.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” WALT DISNEY
Lil’ Rob was fed up from new paths, new homes, new schools, new friends…new recipes gone wrong by his mother.
Eventually they reached school where he walked off the old cheap blue car, trying to avoid other students to see what type of car his father owns, trying to avoid embarrassment.
“ROBBIE” his father waved, “you forgot your food”. That was it. Rob felt his sphere universe shrinking distinctively crushing him while he’s standing in the middle. He experienced the other students’ eyes trimming him down and girls laughing on him, although there was no one around because he was late and everyone was inside the campus. It was a mystery for him why his mother kept preparing him food for school even though he explained to her not to do so. He didn’t need food, he believed that a human body needs to eat only once per day, perhaps twice, but not thrice, definitely not.
And days passed without special moments to remember, or to motivate oneself, beside Disney Land daydreaming.
Christmas vacation took place. According to Rob, it meant colder weather, people singing or screaming, other people using their silver forks and spoons for eating and their polluted mind to connect with each other, and beggars roaming the road with the hope of finding kind and generous beggars with shelters to share.
The holiday went smoothly over Greedy Islands, no violence or theft occurred. No one rebelled against another one. Beggars didn’t complain; they were poor in their mind, and Rob was scowling because of the new clothes his mother bought him as a gift that made him look like “rich kids”, his aunt insisted.