Post by bakabekkers on Mar 25, 2020 18:14:56 GMT -5
I fell onto my back, and suddenly, all the air inside of me felt like it was sucked out by a vacuum.
"Up, Adonis, up!"
My fathers thick African accent, most people could hardly understand him. But I knew, I knew it all too well. I had just turned 16, in addition to picking up more hours at the fields, my family had another gift for me.
A boot, sent into my side, heaved me over onto my stomach. At this point I was desperate for air, I could hardly breathe. In my family, when you turned 16, in an act to toughen us up for the games. This was put into place by my father, who nearly loses his mind every year at the reaping. Hes become so paranoid that when the next child in our family turns 16, he must take on those older than him. This includes my 3 older brothers. Two of them are seventeen, and the oldest is eighteen. Added onto this, of course, is my father. Happy Birthday to me, I guess.
I croak to show that i'm still breathing.
"I did not teach you to be a coward, Adonis!"
Two of my brothers stand me up and step off to the side. My side is killing me, and every time I draw breath its in stitches. "Perhaps we can start you off light". My fathers stern face is an indication that he has officially lost his mind. In my household, the ages of twelve, to fifteen, are considered the years where you are weakest. Your speed, strength, cerebral ability, all underdeveloped and not at its potential yet. Sixteen is where my father thinks you begin to grow into your fullest potential, henceforth why he beats the ever living shit out of us when we turn sixteen. Working on the farm has broadened my shoulders, legs, and back. I've become quite strong, working in the morning before school, and then coming home after school and working some more. My father does not think this is enough, however. I don't know how to fight, he thinks. My brothers match my strength, at the least, and at this rate i'm already a few inches taller than two of my brothers. I haven't quite reached the height of Tyberius, though. He stands at a very impressive 6'4. Im around 6'2.
Suddenly i'm staring back into the doors of reality, my father standing across from me. "Tyberius!" The thickness of his accent intensifies. "Give Adonis your best." My father nods his head toward Tyberius and I. We both nod back. I hardly have a chance to blink when i'm being lifted off the ground. Tyberius' speed was incredible. He has his arms fully around me, wrapped so tight i'm beginning to feel claustrophobic. In an instant i'm flung like a sack of potatoes onto the floor. I scramble to my feet, instinctively lunging underneath my brother, as he makes an attempt to grab me once more. We square up, and suddenly are pushing against each other, fighting for superior leverage.
I cant help but wonder, if mom was still alive, if this would be going on right now. My mother passed away of natural causes when my brothers and I were just boys. When Tyberius turned 16, my father gave him a beating so brutal I thought he'd never be able to recover.
"You must be ready, at all costs, for the games Tyberius. They won't be as easy on you as I was today".
I could hardly believe my ears, my dad beat Tyberius half to death, and Tyberius fought back valiantly. But that wasn't quite enough. Part of why Tyberius is such a hard ass, goes back to that day, I think.
I'm snapped back out of thought, Tyberius attempts to throw a jab at me, I lift my forearm, and deflect it swiftly. I swing my knee forward, separating Tyberius and I from each other. There is anger in his eyes, that I can see. He swings upward, and catches me on the bottom of the jaw. This alarms me, and I stumble backward, extremely disoriented. Tyberius moves in to finish me, and I slip underneath him, stumbling into my dad, who pushes me back toward Tyberius, who grabs hold of me. I make a feeble attempt to swing my head back into his. We're separated again, and I turn around to see Tyberius lunging toward me. I throw my fist forward, and it catches Tyberius. To my complete shock he crumbles, onto the floor. His legs so wobbly that he can hardly walk. In that instance I have never felt more triumphant in my entire life.
The triumph was interrupted by one of my other brothers, blindsiding me. I'm lifted off the ground and my brother decides to pile drive me into the dirt. When i'm on the ground, Tyberius is finally back up. I know i'm in for it now. I can hardly think underneath the kicks and punches i'm receiving, But when I have time, I come to a conclusion.
In a world like ours, the weak are weeded out, and only the strong prevail.
And I know for damn sure I can't afford to be weak.