It all happened in the barbershop. Back then my mother worked there and sheared different people, most of whom were not very rich. I was only eight years old. I went to her work and, like any kid would, I started to run around the barbershop. I was running everywhere, and looking at the people who were sitting in front of great big mirrors.
Natalia, the manager of the barbershop, did not like me, and it was mutual. She was very angry with me because of my races and she threatened to fire my mom if I did not stop running.
“It would be even better for you not to come here at all”, she said to me.
Mother replied that there was no one to take care of me after school. I continued to run about in the room and braked sharply, leaving black bars from winter boots on the linoleum.
Once, a fat man came in and asked my mom to cut his hair. They seemed to know each other.
“Hi, Vicky”, he said, “Could you please make it as usual?”
“Of course”, she applied.
I drove in the direction of the room where Natalia was. I bumped into her legs and flopped down on the floor. Natalia pouted like a huge octopus and her eyes became like the eyes of a spider. Her hands were shaking like a jackhammer at my dad’s work. I crawled aside.
“Vicky”, she cried, “as soon as you finish with the client you are fired!”
Everyone in the barbershop was looking at my mother and her hands were shaking like a jackhammer. She tried to smile, but she failed. My mother pretended that nothing had happened and continued to cut man’s hair.
“Maybe it is better for me to come next time?” the man asked.
“You should not worry. It is all right I will finish my job.” my mother replied.
Her hands were trembling. She stopped at the back of his head, and gently brushed the place where a birthmark was. It was so big that I could see it even from a distance where I was standing. Mom carefully cut hair around it with the scissors and took a haircutting machine. I thought it would be nice to do something funny, so I decided to do it while she could not notice me doing that. I stood up, stomped a few steps, crept up on her and grabbed her leg. I really thought it was funny. Mom cried with a deep fear.
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“AAAAAA”, the man yelled, clutching his head. I fully realized what happened next only a few years later. That man had actually died from blood loss the same day. Now, when I have grown up, I am blaming myself for his death. I do not know how I can actually go on living? You may say that eight years is a small age. Maybe you are right, but when you are going through this, you are growing up much faster. My mother still blames herself. She says that she did not have to take care of me like that. She and my dad were really worried about me, and they still are but they are trying not to show it.
That incident changed everything in my life. After it happened I was transferred to another school, because that man used to work in my school and some people knew the truth. I became more withdrawn, inconversable and unsociable. I began to think that I bring bad luck, and it would be better for people to avoid my presence. My relationship with the parents has been greatly worsened. I think they are still blaming themselves for what had happened. It is now very difficult for me to find a common language with my peers. I have ceased to understand them, and they seemed to no longer understand me. I think we just started to have different views on life. At the same time, I began to appreciate the value of human life. I started to read a lot of books and listen to classical music.
Today, I often wonder about the meaning of our life. I have revalued many things and I am a totally different person now. Sometimes I think that our life is just an aimless existence. It is very sad when you realize that society can live without you and nothing will really change. What are we all actually doing here? You can say that we are living for the future, for the sake of our children. Another people can reply that they are living for love. I think it is all nonsense.
What purposes do we usually have in our life? To finish school, go to college, to get a good job, get married, etc. Nonsense! To go through all this and be slaughtered in a barbershop because of the stupid minor child. I did not know what to do next for a quite long time. These thoughts tortured me for a while and I suffered from insomnia. At the same time, I became kinder and more attentive to the people that surround me. I realized that every single moment of our life is unique and priceless.
Over some time, it seemed that I started to forget about what had happened. Now I am in the same class with my best friend. I have a girlfriend, my parents seem to stop blaming themselves, and my life seems to get better. But every time I go to sleep I see his face before my eyes and hear his high-pitched moan or cry or both at the same time. And I find myself in some space, not in my room and not in this world, somewhere in the other dimension where I have never been, and no one can hear me. There is no Natalia, and I am not there either. I fall asleep and wake up in the morning quite cheerful and ready for another good day.