2261 Words
** TEN YEARS AGO **     EZRA   "What are we doing here, Aunt Cora? I am hungry,” I tell my aunt, who brought me back here to this place to sit in the car for hours and look from afar towards the huge house at the back.   "Shut up," she replies with an annoyed expression, and I feel my stomach grumble from the lack of food.   “We were supposed to go to the park, Dad told you we couldn't come here anymore, or we could get in trouble,” I repeat, hoping that now we will leave, but she gives me a scathing look, and I shut up immediately.   We should have gone home after the park, that is what we are supposed to do every time I have to stay at Aunt Cora's house when my dad goes on a trip, but she never keeps her word, last time she had promised to go for ice cream and we ended up here again, only this time she looks more anxious, and she has been yelling at me all day, then she brought me here and we have been sitting in the car for hours watching people go in and out of the castle.   I decided to call it that because it looks a lot like the castles in fairy tales, it is very big and beautiful, and while we wait in the car, I always imagine what it will be like inside, will it have a McDonalds like in that movie we saw once with Dad? Or maybe a roller coaster? But I have no idea what could be inside of there because my aunt Cora says we can't go in, and when I ask her why do we keep coming here if we have to stay outside? She gets very upset.   Although today is different than the previous times, there are many people coming and leaving, small and large trucks that carry things, some are food, I know it from the logo on the back, and just seeing them my stomach begins to grumble again, but I try not to think about it and get distracted by seeing a huge truck that pulls up behind the castle, and then a lot of people start pulling colored things out of it.   An hour later I understand what is happening and hope grows in me, because what they took out of the huge truck was an inflatable castle and now that they have put it in place and filled it with air, my eyes widen with surprise when I see how giant it is, and although it is shaped like a princess castle, I would give anything to get up there, and for a moment I think that is why she brought me here, to attend the party they are preparing, but my aunt does not seem to intend to get out of the car.   And when I see the guests start to arrive and my aunt is totally focused on her binoculars, I slowly open the car door and get out as quietly as I can, planning to go and see everything up close, maybe grab some of the snacks that are there on tables all over the place, and then get back in the car without my aunt noticing, yeah, that sounds like a great plan.   I crouch when I pass behind the car and then I run towards the entrance, I stand behind some people with two twin kids who are entering, and the guard only gives me a look but does not say anything, I smile when I notice that I was able to enter without problems, and although at first, I want to go see the bouncy castle and also the real one, the smell of the delicious food that is on the tables just a few steps from me makes me deviate there, and I start having a few puff pastry sandwiches filled with hazelnuts cream, and I put them all in my mouth in one bite, while I stare at a cart of hot dogs just a bit far from where I am.   However, when I start to head towards the cart, a girl crosses my path and frowns at me, she has straight black hair tied with a light blue bow, and huge blue eyes that look at me suspiciously.   "Who are you? I don't remember inviting you to my birthday party,” she tells me, and I feel my heart begin to pound, because even though she is pretty, her annoyed expression reminds me of my Aunt Cora's, and at that moment, I know that I have already spent a lot of time here and I have to get back to the car.   So, I turn around to leave and she takes my arm tightly, fear invades me because I feel like they caught me and I am going to get in a lot of trouble now, but she just guides me to the hotdog cart, and asks the person in charge to give me one.   "Do you like it with mustard?" she asks me, and I nod slightly without saying anything.   “Here, I guess this was what you were looking for, right? I saw you looking at them,” she tells me as she puts the hot dog in my hands.   “Don't be afraid, I am not going to tell anyone that you sneaked into my party, you must be the son of one of the employees, right? Go and tell your mom to let you stay at the party, that I invited you myself,” she tells me with a smile.   "I don't have a mom," I reply, my mouth full after taking a big bite of the hot dog; and her smile disappears to give way to an embarrassed expression.   "Oh, I am so sorry, I didn't mean to be rude," she replies, and from the way she speaks, it is clear that she has been educated very well.   "It doesn't matter, it doesn't bother me," I say shaking my head, but deep down it does bother me every time someone asks me about my mother, or when the school children talk about their mothers, because no matter how much I have asked dad about her, he always gets mad and ends up hitting me.   "So, tell the person you came with to let you hang out for a while, a magician will come later and some princesses too, it's going to be great," she tells me and I smile, but when I am starting to nod with excitement, I remember my aunt again and then I shake my head.   "Thanks, but I have to go," I tell her, and she tilts her head to the side.   "You look a bit like someone I know," she tells me, narrowing his eyes.   "Abigail!" I hear a woman screaming, and then I see her heading towards us, so I try to leave, but she takes my arm again.   “What are you doing out here? You must go to change immediately, the guests are already arriving, your dad has been looking for you like crazy, I told you that you cannot hide from him like that, you gave us a huge scare,” the woman tells her, and I see that they look a lot alike, except for the color of their eyes, since the woman’s eyes are green and not blue.   "Mom, he is the son of one of the employees and I invited him to stay at my party, can you talk to his dad and ask him to let him stay?" the girl, Abigail, tells her, and the woman nods.   "Okay, I will take care of that, but go change now, please," she replies, and the girl says goodbye to me waving her hand before running off.   "What is the name of your father?" the woman asks me, leaning towards me.   "He is not here, I came with my aunt, but she is waiting for me outside, I have to go or she will be very upset," I tell her, beginning to feel afraid of the reaction that aunt Cora would have if this woman talks to her.   "Go and tell her to let you stay a moment, she can stay too if she wants, or later we can send you home with a driver," the woman tells me, and then gets distracted when someone approaches to tell her something about one of the princesses, so I take the opportunity to run away.   I sneak out the front door and run to the car, where I see Aunt Cora standing outside, wearing huge sunglasses and a red wig, holding her head with both hands and looking really angry, she starts pointing her finger at me, and when she is about to say something to me, she freezes looking at a point behind me, but before I can turn to see what happens, she hurries over and picks me up to put me in the car.   “s**t, s**t, have they seen him? Damn it,” I hear her mumbling as she backs up the car so we can get out of here.   I see her looking nervously at a family that has just got out of a car, the man is tall with brown hair, and the woman is short with bright red hair, like the one in my aunt's wig, but much prettier, she is holding a little boy in her arm,s and the man is holding a little red-haired girl by the hand, but I can't see their faces because my aunt speeds up away from the place.   Aunt Cora spends the whole journey home, which lasts more than two hours, yelling at me and asking all kinds of strange questions, she asked me to describe in detail what was inside, and each one of the people I spoke with, she asked me to repeat over and over every word that the girl and her mother had told me, she asked me if the girl was accompanied, how she was dressed, where she had gone when she said goodbye to me, every little thing, but I was too scared by how Dad was going to react when she told him everything, so I couldn't answer her what she wanted.   So, when we got home with dad, she was quite upset with me, and as soon as we walked in the door, she starts to tell him everything that happened, while I try to break out of her grip to find a place to hide from the rage that is already starting to come out in my father.   "We have to do something, he is already beginning to look too much like that lawyer, whether you leave the country, or do something with him because otherwise, they will discover us," Aunt Cora tells him, and Dad looks at me with his face distorted with anger, and then, without saying a word, he hits me hard in the face and I feel my nose break.   "There you have it, that will be enough," he replies to my aunt, and then he takes me by the neck and starts walking with me towards the basement.   "No daddy, no please, not the basement, I will be nice, I promise," I beg him, but he just huffs in disbelief as he drags me down the stairs to the small, dark, dank, rat-filled basement, and I make myself a ball in the corner, I close my eyes and imagine I am in Abigail's bouncy castle. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
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