Reputation. It was something that I'd like to keep high. However, I was not really who I showed. I was just a little nerd who tried to blend in with other people and it drained me every single post. At this point, I turned myself into a monster and its only food was the feeling of validation from a like, retweet or share.
Monster, I'd say. Why? It was because I wasn't better than anyone just because my last tweet has 5 more retweets and 10 more likes or that my Insta has a little more likes and followers than my other old classmates.
And that's when I felt something strange.
I felt a weird tingling, yet numb sensation and never had I imagined what happened next. My body began to shake like I was having a weird mix of a hyperventilation and a panic attack. That went on for a minute until my mouth went wide open, then suddenly something came out of my body. At first I felt relieved but then I realized it was the monster. To be honest, I could not even remember what it looked like, but what I knew was what happened next. It destroyed and rummaged my room like a thief finding the most valuable thing to steal. Then, I saw my mom crying and scolding me for being such a disgrace, how much of a piece of garbage I was and that she did not have and would not tolerate a gay son in her house. Then, it quickly moved to a person in the shadows laughing at me and saying that I should kill myself. The person held a gun and pretended to shoot at me, and I ran as fast as I could but then it flashed to an another scene.
A lot more things happened, but the last one could possibly stay in my brain forever and it was me seeing myself in a puddle of blood, full of bruises and scars which came from the monster itself. I was twitching a little bit and because of that I winced in pain and thought that it would be the end of me.
"CHRIS," I heard someone scream but could not see where the sound was coming from.
As I was crying and screaming my lungs out, my mom shook me. I woke up and somehow knew that it was the worst nightmare that I'd ever have ever since moving here two months ago.
"What happened," she asked with a concern on her voice.
It was a lot to process. "I did not even know that it wasn't real until you shook me to wake me up," I said in between my bawling and shaking. And I couldn't even say the words properly because my whole body was so numb.
"It's okay Chris. It's okay," she said hugging me tightly and rubbing circles on my back which kind of relaxed me.
"Mom, I'm really scared. What if my nightmare happens again, but in real life?"
"Don't worry, ok? I'll protect you from anything, no matter what."
I was still crying when she said that but then as she hummed her lullaby to me, I fell asleep in her arms. I did not remember her laying me down to bed, but the next thing I knew was that I woke up at around 11 A.M. I went to the kitchen I saw a note that mom had left and she said that she'll just enroll me and do the classroom preparation by herself because of the emotional drain that the nightmare had on me. She was right though. I did not feel like even walking a few more steps to eat and pour some cereal on my bowl. I'd rather just sleep again than, honestly, do anything for that day. However, I managed to pull through and went back to bed right after finishing my bowl. The effect of that nightmare was still on me.-
I was walking back home when I heard a low voice of someone crying and screaming. I looked around and saw that nobody was there. Although, it was possible that it could be the couple, living a couple of blocks away, fighting. Probably, the only reason why I heard it was because it was so silent at that time of the night.
"No! Please noooo! AAAHHHHHHHHH," I suddenly jumped. That was the voice of a person who was definitely in need of help but I could not even detect where the sound was coming. It was like coming from something so near, yet so far and was blasting lowly at all directions.
"CHRIS," a lady said just right enough for me to hear, until my Dad came out of our front door.
"Noah! Get your ass up here before curfew or you'll not hang out with your friends again for a month," my Dad said standing at our home's front door. I knew that he wouldn't do it because (from what I found out later) he was just concerned that his son wasn't walking and froze on the sidewalk right in front of their house in the middle of the night. It seemed like he didn't ever hear anything outside our home.
"Yes, Dad," I yelled as I was basically running from our front yard to our front door.
"I'm now going to bed!"
"Ok, son sleep well," he laughingly said. Why was he in a happy state? Everything was so weird at the moment. It seemed like nothing was right.
I went up to my room and to my suprise my mom was in my room, sitting at the edge of my bed with a rectangular box by her side.
"Hey, my little Noah! Come here, your Dad and I have a little suprise for you," she said with a giggly smile.
"Uhm, first I'm not little anymore. I'm literally almost 6 feet tall. Second of all, what is that," I said while walking to the bed then sitting beside her.
"Ok then my big but still my baby Noah, just open it." I opened it and I jumped like a little kid who was given the news that they were going to Disneyland for the first time. My parents gave me a 15" MacBook Pro with the new touch bar! I looked at the back for the specs and all of it were maxed out! I know some people really hate Apple, but I like Apple and what they're doing with their products. You like your Windows laptop, I like my MacBook Pro so let's just be civilized, get along and move on. I hugged my mom and jokingly said that I love them much more now. Kidding only, my love for them will never degrade and it will stay the same.
"How did you know Mom? And isn't it a little too much for our budget right now," I said with a little worry since Apple's laptops can get a little extreme on its prices.
"We just know it, because you are our son. Don't worry about that Noah. All we ask for you now is to just take care of it and all will be well," she said with a smile. It was the smile that definitely told you that everything was, is and will be alright.
"I sure will Mom! I love you and Dad so much," I hugged Mom and on cue, Dad entered. I hugged him just as tight as I did to mom. "We love you, son." both of them said at the same time. Overall, today was a very good day. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and finally fell asleep.
Well for sure, you may be thinking what had I dream about? And to be honest, nothing. Well, probably there was something but I couldn't remember anything. But, there was something that made my day a little better and that was the feeling of content. I didn't even know why I felt like that, but something inside me that I couldn't describe spring into my body like the mouth when it received water after a long period of not drinking any. Probably it was because of my new laptop, maybe it's my laptop.- - -
Today wasn't a busy day for me. I just played some video games and chilled out with my family by watching some television with them and to be honest, it was relaxing. We never really had time before because of their work schedules and how their day off's do not really match, but now it's like I can chill everyday with them and probably be a little more open with them. But, I know that this wouldn't last forever since I somehow knew inside that Dad's income was not meant to be self-sustaining for a small family of three. Which meant that for this school year, I needed to be a little more thrifty than I was before. Good thing, I have a couple of grand in my savings since Mom was strict to me when it comes to finances except for little treats along my childhood and pre-pubescent years.-
It was already 5 P.M. when I woke up again from my very long nap and I went from hungry to really hungry when I smelled my mom's Adobo. It's a Filipino food, google the ingredients and try to cook it. It tastes really good! I went downstairs and she kissed me on the cheek. She also asked if I felt better. I only said a little because I was still emotionally drained from everything that happened last night. We ate happily, watched a show on television and I went right back to sleep. She also said to me that I should wake up before 10 A.M. tomorrow, since we will do a little back to school shopping.
I finally fell asleep and now my dream was somehow way better than the night before. I saw myself being happy with someone else. I couldn't figure out what his features were, but all I knew was that he is the right one for me and that we will settle forever. Sounds cliché? I know right.- - -
Well, 10 A.M. came way too fast for me. I woke up at around half past 9 A.M. and I took a quick shower, brushed my teeth and checked myself in the mirror. For a 15 year old, Southeast Asian boy, I probably could do a little more exercise and diet, but nonetheless I am somehow satisfied with my body. Not that I hate a little baby fat, but moving to a city where people definitely take care of themselves, I felt somehow insecure and a little jealous of them. I went downstairs and my mom rushed me out to her car and said that we'll just eat at McDonald's. We ate and let me tell you and McDonald's, something that is loud and clear. Please also serve lunch at breakfast. Seriously, most breakfast options suck. Moving on, we went to Target for supplies shopping and then went to the nearby mall to buy some clothes from Urban Outfitters, Gap and some undergarment from Calvin Klein. By 5 P.M., we went home and ate at Pop's again. However, this time, I searched the whole place to see if the boy I saw two nights ago was there and sadly, he wasn't. And before I slept, she told me, yes I know, my mom likes to set reminders on me before I sleep, that there will be a few of the neighbors going to our house tomorrow, for a little "settling in" party and that I'll be meeting some of the kids around the block.
Hopefully, everything will turn out to be great. With our move, settling in and spending the summer here in sunny L.A. occupying my mom and I's mind for quite some time, tomorrow should be a relaxing day.