The day I saw him for the first time, I was too sleepy to really register all the details of his face or what he was wearing.But I do remember that look on his face.A haunted, sorely humbled demeanor.The first words I said to him nearly made him jump out of his dark-tinted skin.It was impossible to look away, yet my very stare seemed to frighten him somehow.
I didn't know anything about him,then.I was barely even interested to.I just knew his name.Johan.
He gripped the sides of his chair as I moved closer, as if my unceremonious appearance posed a threat on his otherwise very familiar morning serenity.I backed off---already thinking about the immediate challenge of dragging myself to college, what I should wear and whether my best friend would come....the usual rant.,in short.
Little did I know, that Johan had a hole in his tiny heart.
Or that at the age of five, he was mature enough to assuage his mother,recently deserted by her husband.Who would have known from that scared little facade the courage with which he was battling the plagues of his disease and poverty;that every night he would tell his barely literate mother to let him go to the angels, to pull the plug on the treatment costs because in his holed heart he felt he wouldn't live to see too many tomorrows anyways;that the night before he died he asked his mother to accompany him out of the house, have a last dance with the one and only woman in his life...under the moon, in the still, almost succinct 3pm air.God really has his weird ways...
The next morning, it happened...in the very arms of his 7 year old sister.
And...all that remains is a grave that will expire after 3 years, because that's all his mother could afford.
Even his grave,with its facsimile of 'rest in peace' hopes will only see the morning of peace.Like the last day of his life...
Like his short 5 year old life.Quite unlike the first two words I ever said to him, the words that delivered him to some unknown fear---'Good morning'.
Now it all makes sense.