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The Beauty Of Revenge
Even now, exactly twenty years later, I can remember what happened. There is not a single thing that happened that I can’t remember. However, when I do bring the memory back, it feels like knives digging into my heart. I can bring back all of the pain, the screaming, and the mourning from then, but also, I remember all of those little times that I had with my family. I remember all of the smiles and the laughing too. In the year of 2012, I turned 11 years old, too young to understand, but old enough to remember all of it. As the year went on, the suicide rates went up and the country I had lived in, The United States of America, was full of unsolved mysteries of hundreds of people gone missing. Everyday that I went to school, the school bullies would steal my lunch and laugh.
“Sorry, we need food to survive the end of the world!”
When they realized that I had taken their joke of the end of the world seriously, they grew quite amused. So every single day that I walked through the hallway, they were there. They would tell me stories about how the world was going to end, and I believed every single part of it.
I started to grow more and more worried about the end of the world every day. Some nights, I would just stay up all night, curled in a ball in the corner of my room, sobbing because I didn’t want to die. My parents started to notice this, and one night, my mother and father came to my room, and found me in my usual position, crying and moaning right next to the door. When my mother opened the door, ever so slightly, I panicked. I jumped up from the ground, heart beating like a drum, and shrieked a tone of utter horror and surprise.
“Calm down! Calm down, its your mother and your father.” My father exclaimed. Then, looking down at me, I saw some sorrow in his eyes as he looked into mine, he seemed older than he usually did, and he looked troubled. Then, I turned towards my mother. “Oh, my poor baby,” she hurried towards me and hugged me quite tightly, then whispered into my ear, “What’s wrong?”
On the risk of sounding like a crazy child who was talking nonsense, I explained my fears about the end of the world to my parents. I was expecting my parents to hug and kiss me telling me that it would all be okay and that the big old bullies were just trying to scare me. Instead, they did nothing. Absolutely nothing. They simply stood there in the middle of my tiny room full of superheroes painted on the walls, motionless. They stared at me, showing no emotion in their faces whatsoever, or said one word. And I just stared back at them, not scared as to what they would say, but scared as to what they wouldn’t say.
“I thought that you were stronger than this. I am not going to have a coward for a son,” said my father. Some may say that my father was a heartless man who yelled at his children too often. However, they didn’t know him like I did. He was a strong and brave man, in my eyes he was a superhero and I was his mighty sidekick. So when my father told me that he was disappointed in me, I was crushed.
“No, the world is not going to end. They’re merely attempting to scare you,” he continued, leaning down and sitting down next to me, “Jamie, I love you but you must be strong and not give in to bullies. If they saw the way that you cry about the things that they say like this, you are letting them win. Don’t let them win.”
After that night, things started to get much better. I stopped listening to the bullies at school and I didn’t let them scare me. Everything was as it should be. Until I awoke one chilly December morning, to find a babysitter in the living room, watching the news. She was quite young, only in her early twenties. After seeing the confusion on my face, she explained to me how my parents had called her late the last night, begging her to watch me for the night and when she had come, nobody was home.
“They seemed so hurried and terrified that I began to worry, you know what?” said my babysitter Jamie, “It’s all gonna be OK. Don’t you worry about a thing.”
She gave me a weak smile and turned away, walking into the kitchen. Something is wrong. It’s not going to be OK. She’s lying to me, I thought to myself. I then frantically ran upstairs to my sister’s room. My sister Salina was my best friend. I could talk to her about anything and everything. She was so beautiful, with her long, chocolate brown and curly hair. Her hair, although curly, looked incredibly soft and when I hugged her I would get a few sniffs or two out of her hair. Sabrina was turning 18 years old this year. About to start her life and go out into a great journey while I, Chase, barely eleven years old, would be stuck at home.
When I reached her room, and what felt like a lifetime of knocking on her door, she came out in her pajamas, messy hair and an extremely sleepy expression on her face, I had woken her up. As tired as she was, she allowed me to come in. Her room was quite neat; it was dark though, so I couldn’t see much. Then, she made her way towards the bed, lied face down, and told me in a muffled tone, “What was so important to wake me up for, buddy?”
“Well,” I told her, “Where are Mommy and Daddy?”
“Where are Mommy and Daddy?”
“No they’re not.”
“Yes they are.”
“No, they’re gone! I woke up this morning to find not my mother or father, but to find Jamie in the kitchen freaking out, saying that our parents called her last night in a hurry telling her to take care of us while they were gone, not telling her when they would come back, or if they would even come back - Salina, wake up!”
Salina then brought her face from the pillow and turned to face me. Her big, brown eyes looking straight into mine. There was a long pause where we just stared at each other for a long while. She then broke the silence, “I believe you.”
“Good. What do you think happened?” I asked her.
“I know exactly what happened. I’ll tell you when you’re older; you’re too young to understand right now. But one day all of this will make sense and everything that has happened or will happen is all going to come together, like the pieces of a puzzle. But you have to remember, puzzles take time and knowledge to solve.”
But I didn’t want to know when I was older; I wanted to know right then and there. I kept my mouth shut, though, because I knew she wasn’t going to tell me until the right time came.
“You coming or not?” Salina said.
“Coming where?” I asked her, thoroughly confused.
“No time to explain, get in the car, quick.” She was packing clothes, money, food; even weapons that I would never expect someone like my sister to have. I was so confused that I just sat there, watching her pack. When she was finally done packing the bags ever so neatly, she looked out the window.
“Oh s***! They’re here. I told you to get in the car, Chase! Why didn’t you get into the car?”
“Who’s here? What’s going on Salina? I’m scared now.”
“You should be.”
She then slung the bags over her shoulder and looked back at me with tears welling up in her eyes. She bit her lip, picked me up and gave me a big hug. “I love you Chase,” She told me. As I hugged her, time slowed down, and although her hair was messy, it still smelled like roses. After a while longer, she brought me down from our embrace and turned serious and stiff once more, as if remembering where we were. “Stay inside of the house. Do not come outside unless I order you to, all right?”
I nodded. With the two bags still on her shoulder, she left the room. Regardless to what she had told me, I followed. As she exited the house, she left the door wide open. I was so small that I was able to crouch at the door without being noticed.
I watched as my sister crept forward, hands in her pockets. Then, I realized that there were police cars and several men standing outside of the cars, with guns in their hands, surrounded her. Salina, what are you doing? I thought to myself.
“Keep your hands in the air, where we can see them,” Shouted one of the men. When Salina did not react to this, he shouted again, “I said, put them up in the air! Now!”
Salina took her hands out of her pockets, two guns in her hands, and instead of dropping the weapons, as she should have, she started shooting. I saw bullets go through my sister’s petite body. Time slowed down and after all of the bullets went through her chest she fell to the ground.
“Salina!” I yelped, and threw myself at her. The men didn’t seem to find me as a threat, so they did not fire at me. When I reached her body, she was still alive. There were wounds from the bullets in her chest, and as I looked down at her, I didn’t want to accept it, but I knew that she was going to die. “Salina, don’t do this to me. You can’t die, you can’t. Don’t leave me. Please!” I told her, holding her body in my arms, squeezing her cold hands. She was covered in blood, and she no longer smelled like roses, but warm, stinky, blood. I was breaking down into tears, watching her take her final breaths. I’m sorry, She mouthed the words to me, because she was in such a severe condition. “It’s okay, Salina,” I barely managed to tell her, choking on the warm, salty tears that ran down my face. She nodded back in response to me slightly, and then shut her eyes ever so calmly, like a toddler falling to sleep after having one too many drinks of milk.
When I was sure that she was gone, I laid over her body, hugging her so tightly so that nobody could have taken her away from me. I forgot about the rest of the world and stayed there, still holding her hands, and wept over her beautiful body.
20 YEARS LATER
I awoke abruptly in my bed. It was three in the morning and I was covered in sweat. Not again, I thought to myself. It’s been twenty years and I still get the nightmares that I got when I was eleven.
I can still picture every single detail about 2012. There is not a day that passes when I don’t think about that year. In the nightmares that I still frequently get, I can still bring back the smell of blood on my hands after my sister’s body had been taken from me and the feeling of abandonment that I felt when I had to live with my uncle Darren due to the death of my sister and disappearance of my parents; I remember everything, no matter how much I wish that I didn’t.
How come you haven’t ever done anything about it, Chase? Don’t act like it doesn’t affect you, because it does. But the question is, what can you do about it to make things right? That’s right. Revenge. Revenge for what they have done to you. But here’s another riddle, who did it? I thought, still lying in bed, unsure if my face was drenched with sweat or tears. Lying in my bed like that, I realized how useless I had become, never doing anything about what happened to my sister and parents. Still, there was absolutely nothing that I could do. So I shrugged this off once more, told myself that I was not a child anymore and went to work like the mature man that I was.
As I was on my way to work, I felt a sudden need to talk to uncle Darren. So, instead of taking a right turn to head to work, I took a left and headed for Darren’s place instead. When I got to Darren’s fairly large home, I rung on the doorbell and waited a few moments for the camera to catch my face, recognize that it was me and allow me into the house. When the voice coming from the camera said, “Authorization granted,” The door swung open and I walked in to the house to find my uncle in the kitchen making an old school sandwich, using his bare hands, rather than tapping on the screen, choosing what he wanted on the sandwich, and wait a few short seconds for it to make itself in the Insta Food device that he owned.
“Want a sandwich?” He asked, and when I shook my head, he said, “Then if not to eat all of my food, what have you come for?”
“I just want to talk,” I told him meekly.
“You want to talk to me? Now why would you want to sit and talk with a grouchy old man like me?” He said, his eyes squinting at me in suspicion, bringing out his wrinkles.
“Well,” I said, hesitating, “I have some questions that need to be answered.”
“What kind of questions, my boy?
“Do you remember what…Uh…what happened in the year 2012?”
“Oh yes, many things happened that year, boy. Was that your question?”
My heart was beating like a drum; I was scared to know the answer that he would give me. I was scared, and wondered if Darren actually knew about something, “No. I wanted to know if you knew anything about what happened to my parents or any reasons why my sister was murdered the way that she was?” There was an extremely long pause. I could tell by his facial expressions that he knew something that I didn’t. He was squinting the way that he always did when he was trying to think something through. He’s deciding on whether or not he should tell you what he knows, I thought. I was beginning to lose my patience with Darren, and I quickly became desperate. I exclaimed, “I just need somebody to tell me something. Darren, I’m a grown man and if you know something, tell me because of all people, I have the right to know about it!”
Uncle Darren responded to this with a long sigh and headed out to the living room. Naturally, I followed him, to find him sitting in his favorite chair and I sat next to him on the large sofa. For a long while, he just sat there, still looking terribly troubled, eyebrows furrowed, as if he were trying to decide whether he should tell me or play it safe and not speak at all. Then he spoke.
“All right, Chase. Remember that I am only telling you this because your parents would have wanted you to know this. You never knew this, but although your mother and father to the naked eye seemed to be your normal, average parents, they were not. Your parents worked for an organization known as the CIA. Your parents did not even marry for love, they married to play their role as normal beings even further, but I do suspect that they cared for one another at some point. However, that’s not the point I’m trying to make. They had both been working on an operation for an extremely long time. Your mother and father had been a part of a cult that the government saw as a threat at the time, in order to gather up information for the CIA. However, from what I know, the leader of this dangerous cult had found out about the entire double agent scam going on. When he found out, he was infuriated. He imprisoned your parents, and tortured them until in order for them to tell him all of the CIA’s secrets and information. However, your parents were much too strong to give in to this and they got to a point where this man knew that they would not give him any information, and he murdered them. I am so sorry, Chase,” He took a long pause, allowing all of this to sink in, “I am not your real uncle, either. When they died, someone had to take care of you, and train you to be an agent as well. I worked with your mother and father in the service.”
“But what about Salina? Why would they kill her too?” I asked, on the verge of tears, but I couldn’t cry, not because I wasn’t sad enough, but because I had to maintain a strong character for him to finish the rest of the story. It would be uncomfortable telling this to someone who is crying and sobbing the whole time.
“Salina knew too much. See, when she had turned eighteen, your parents told her everything. So in case anything went wrong, like it did, she would be able to inform the agency or rescue them, since she was trained. However, when she was on her way to get them, men sent from this man came and stopped her, as you witnessed.
“Now, these men are still out and about the world today, living free and forgetting about what had happened twenty years ago. You have two choices, Chase. You can either forget about everything I have told you and move on with your life, or you could seek revenge. There is no need to tell me, I already know your answer. Now go on, and leave me alone to watch the game, boy.”