I was twelve or thirteen when I found out I was writer. I started writing short stories to help me escape from my reality. I unfortunately had very low self esteem and didn’t keep any of the stories. I remember laying on the floor in my bedroom and writing. I had school notebooks I bought and I wrote with a pen. The stories were usually only one or two pages long. I still have one notebook though; it has a story in it called the Saigon Medallion. It’s my own attempt at Fantasy adventure. I was very careful to make sure that all the stories were decent. No swearing, graphic violence or questionable behaviour. The reason is because my parents were the ones reading the stories and any stories I didn’t share, I was petrified that if they found one, I didn’t want them thinking I was a troubled kid. Deep inside though I had very dark and very graphic visions of what the world was, what my world was. All the pain and anguish I felt I would project onto my characters, the problem was, I never let them suffer too much, there was always a happy ending. That’s not how life works though, sometimes some people have their lives end with no or very little happiness. When I was a child, I did everything to get my parents approval. I sought out attention from them at all costs. I can think of so many times when I was about to do something and I knew my parents wouldn’t approve but I had in my mind that even the pain of seeing disappointment in their eyes was recognition. Now as an adult I know why I did what I did, but it’s all behind me and at some point, I had to decide to move on and leave the past buried. That is no longer who I am or even what I want to remember to be honest.
As a writer, I also needed my characters to have hope. Even in the darkest points of their lives and when there seemed to be no hope at all, there was light. Again, I was afraid that my readers would find my darkness to disturbing. What would they tell my parents? In grade 11 my English teacher asked his class to write a short story, it had to be at least 4 pages long. I was so happy; I went home and did the homework immediately. For those of you who don’t know, I never did homework in my educational career. I was a D average student, I simply had too many stories in my head to focus on boring math or even science.
I was in my room with my notebook open and I stared at the page. I began to imagine characters in my story, 2 brothers, they were elves and they had been separated from their parents at birth because some kind of evil had killed their parents. They had turned their lives around and were well respected in many communities but then they heard of an evil that was approaching. That’s where the story began. The brothers had been visiting a castle and the people living there began to talk about this evil that was approaching. As I wrote out the story I began to think, what if they died in the end? No, I couldn’t do that, my teacher would give me a fail and tell my parents I was obsessed with death. I would be in therapy for months. The story was called Its Evil’s Turn. The brother’s died and the castle burned down and the evil won the day. My teacher gave me an A for the story, 23/25. I lost 2 mark’s because of spelling. Give me one writer who can spell well and I will give you an honest politician. I’ll take that A any day, English is the only subject I didn’t have to write the final exam at the end of the year. I really became obsessed.
I had to get more people to notice. But how? Queue the years of puberty. Every time I had a crush on a girl, I couldn’t talk to her, I couldn’t feel vulnerable. I couldn’t write a love note, that would be way too creepy. So, I hid behind my writing. I wrote a story about me and her and how I was her hero. There was only one catch, the world was going to end. One story I wrote was called, Nuclear War!. Yes, that was the title, even with the exclamation mark, picture this, I couldn’t even hand it to her. I found out where her locker was and I would insert the paper through the crack of her locker and let it just hang out a little so she could see it as she approached. I would be standing at the end of the hall watching but making sure she couldn’t see me. She opened the paper and stood there reading it. She never spoke to me afterwards.
BUT SHE READ MY STORY!
The world never fell apart after someone read my stories. I still felt safe and I could live my life in secret. No one would ever know that my characters were a part of me and I always wanted to be my characters.
I was in my twenty’s when I started writing my first book. It was a paranormal suspense story. Before I started writing the first page, I vowed to be honest with the characters and I knew that it could upset my parents. There was going to be death and darkness and very questionable behaviour with my main characters. Then I heard another writer speaking and he had the same dilemma, what would his parents say? Then he asked another question, what if his parents were dead? Would he still write the same as if they were alive or would he be freer as a writer, untethered, liberated? His answer was yes. So, he contemplated to give up writing but how does someone stop doing what they love? How would an athlete amputate their own leg? The writer very quickly realized that he couldn’t stop writing. The words never stopped coming, they were like a tsunami that overtook his life. There was only one thing to do.
“I had to kill my parents.”
When he spoke those words, I immediately knew what he meant. I began to feel alive again. I imagined new stories and I felt free. I knew I wanted my parents to be proud of me, but I also knew they wanted me to be the most honest person to myself as possible. So, I had to write 2 poems. They were called,
I published them on my website. That was my eulogy to them. I wanted to let them know they raised an honourable man, respectful and honest. A man with a moral code. That I no longer hungered for their approval, they had taught me to do the right thing.
As a writer, I killed my parents. As their son, they live within me every day.