The whistle pierced through my ear drums, heralding the end of a 90-minute session of utter humiliation. I left the pitch, eyes fixed on the turf that has just witnessed this football massacre, as the gleaming summer sun of Dubai sent its flaming tongues licking the back of my stooped neck, and the eyes of the audience radiating looks of belittling with their tongues lashing with callous mockery. The series of physical and mental torture continued as I made my way to the changing room. I didn't know what these people wanted; we were the least qualified team in this league. But I knew exactly what I wanted; a shower. Even the mighty endocrine system was losing the game of thermoregulation against this arid weather, so you wouldn't really expect much from the youngest team in a 'stache-dominated league', and the changing room testifies to my statement. That place boasted withTESTOSTERONE and GH!
But that wasn't for me.
At the age of 16, I was a David Copperfield in terms of literature, the far left end of a height normal distribution curve in terms of statistics and probably a gratuitous prey for stabilizing selection pressure in terms of ecology. I could represent myself in terms of all sciences with such wit I'm trying to claim, but I could never be able to answer why I was so. My mom would say that no one gets everything, and would remind me of my decent grades and my merely gaffe-less social life. But I wasn't exactly jumping to my mother's courtesy; for as the Egyptian proverb says "A monkey is a deer in his mother's eyes". And the fact that my Dad shaves twice a day and is almost 2 meters tall ruled out the cause was due to genetics. I just hoped that with time, things might change.
Back to the changing room, where everything changed. As I turned the faucet, I was turning onto a new page of my life. As I put on clean, new clothes, a new identity of my own self was discovered. I saw it. Carved on me was the mark of the beast; the odd-shaped seal that proclaimed the arrival of the beast, whose name makes hairs stand on ends in awe. In such a lost state of disbelief and mental bafflement, all I could do was cover the mark with my jeans. The mighty beast felt humiliated. For having his tyranny covered by a piece of denim cloth, he hid what he had for me by the cloak of the unknown tomorrow. For my humble attempt to overlook his deleterious might and ignore his fearsome roars, he distorted my perception; I lost sense of my surroundings, all I saw around me was rapid, meaningless blurs, all I heard was chaotic noise, life was turning bland.
As a 'David' against this mighty Goliath, my last pebble was that of acceptance. I stuffed the beast with what he wanted, a tasteless meal of fearless acknowledgement. The beast grew physically, but was aging. His fearsome roars amplified beyond my audible range of fear. His ravaging fangs of depression grew ever larger and sharper, injecting into his very mouth his own venomous despair. He grew too weary to rip me apart with his claws of fatality and he laid there: a silent, defeated Goliath. I was visited by the emperor of all maladies, captured to be sent to the land of the hopeless and dead. I was visited by the beast with the fearful given name of "Cancer". Ironically, I owe him my life, for the change he has brought to it. I lived with him for 2 years that were crowned by a meaningful perspective of my life. Oh, about the league, we went through the next 2 rounds, and our terrible loss was crowned by a silver medal.
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