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The impotence of not being

Javier Garralda, student first year student of Degree at Philosophy of the
School of Philosophy and Letters, brings us a story that invites us to
deep reflection. A story that keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the last moment.
the last moment.

The impotence of not being

I never wanted to think of myself as an orphan. My biological mother was very good friends with my adoptive parents, so I always liked to think of myself as having two families.

Since mum died, I've been living at Marina and Peio's house with their daughter, Lucía. My sister told me that mum didn't die, that she had simply been transferred from the police station, but I knew what had happened, I could see it in Peio's eyes.

I hardly remember anything about her and that makes me sad. Her hair was very long and blonde, maybe brown. She was German, but she got on perfectly well with my new parents. She worked as a policeman and was investigating a series of crimes that were happening in the neighbourhood. With her by my side, I was never afraid, but now...

The impotence of not being

Lucia was a very pretty girl and she was great with me. When we played outside with the ball, and if some bully neighbour came to take it away from us, she always protected me. Maybe I was a bit of a scaredy-cat, but luckily my sister was older, she was sixteen; I had just turned seven. We didn't have much in common and we had barely lived together for any length of time, but we were thick as thieves. It didn't take me long to call her sister.

Peio was also very nice, I used to sit next to him when we watched TV and, while he stroked me, he would explain to me very interesting things about animals I didn't know. We both loved documentaries. Besides, he was the one who cooked, and how he cooked! He was an artist in the kitchen. I would always watch how he did it and he, proud of the admiration I had for him, would give me a taste, even before lunchtime. He was the first one I called Dad.

Of all my new family, the only one I didn't seem to fit in with was Marina. She treated me as if I didn't exist and when she listened to me it was only to tell me off for something. I was very affectionate with her and always tried to behave well, but she never rewarded me when I did, she only punished me and often for no reason. She was as strange as she was lonely, she was hardly ever at home, she left very early for work and came back very late. 

The impotence of not being

I think the reason she had it in for me was because a few months ago she started bringing home a man on some Saturdays, when Lucía went out with friends, I went to bed and Peio went to spend the weekends with his parents. It happened that one day I got up to drink water in peace and quiet, but when I went back to bed I saw them hugging, and I think she saw me. It took me a long time to call her mum.

In broad strokes, you could say I was happy. She was... But this man was coming around more and more often. I mean, he came no matter who was at home, and Marina didn't seem to like that very much. He must have been a neighbour, because he came almost every day. He used to talk to dad as if they were friends and when mum saw them she got very nervous, trembled and stammered. Lucia didn't like him either, she kept to herself and, even though Marina's friend tried to get close and bond with her, she didn't like to talk to him or about him. On the other hand, she didn't care about me: she never bought me anything, never flattered me, never called me on the phone...

The truth is that it was a shame that Lucía didn't pay attention to him, he was very attentive. Many times I could hear my sister's mobile phone ringing repeatedly from my bed until she stopped hanging up and answered by saying the man's name. Everything went on like that for too long, mum and Lucia were getting sadder and sadder. Sometimes I would find them crying but they would never tell me why. The strange thing was that dad didn't notice their state of mind. On the bright side, mum was starting to pay more attention to me, she was unusually protective of me.

My sister was becoming more and more attached to her mobile phone. She kept messaging with friends, I was very envious, I also wanted a mobile phone and to be taught how to use it, but my parents ignored me when I asked them. Sometimes, out of envy, I would take my sister's mobile and try to turn it on to find out how it worked and what I could do with it, but the only thing I got was that my sister would get angry and throw me out of her room. Lucia would ignore me. It had to be dad who forced her to play with me, but as she didn't want to, it wasn't the same anymore, she didn't have fun and that made me sad...

The impotence of not being

One day, Peio forced us to go for a walk because the weather was good. It was summer and unbearably hot. I was very sorry I had left my hair long. I drank as much water as I could and waited by the door for Lucía to come. She appeared with a high ponytail, shorts and a tank top, which was understandable in the heat. But in the end she had to take off her ponytail because I couldn't stop teasing her while I was punching her like a punching bag.

Outside the heat of the sun was like a series of continuous prickles. Lucia put on her sunglasses and we continued to see dry trees along the road. There were hardly any people and those that were there were returning home. Probably because of the heat. Although the truth is that there was more and more insecurity in the neighbourhood, some neighbours had moved, I think?

We were halfway there and Lucia was getting more and more nervous. Suddenly, she stood still, immobilised. I turned and saw mum's friend with a shopping bag in one hand and the other on my sister's shoulder. He was smiling as he sucked on a lollipop. Lucia, making an effort to calm down, swallowed hard. She asked us where we were going and, before my sister could answer, offered to accompany us without taking no for an answer. I tried to greet him, but as usual he ignored me. The whole time he was talking to Lucía, but she didn't seem comfortable. He asked her, laughing mischievously, if she had tried on the clothes he had bought her.

The man offered Lucy something to eat and, although she responded with a resounding no, he roughly grabbed her chin and took the lollipop out of her mouth and forced it into her. My sister grimaced in disgust and spat it out, the man angrily slapped her in the face. At this gesture, I got angry and shouted indignantly at him. 

He raised his hand again in a threatening tone to shut me up and took the opportunity to grab my sister by the wrist and drag us to a nearby bunk bed and throw us inside. He threw the bag as he closed the door. I backed away as I screamed and grunted in fear, hoping that someone would hear me. The man looked at the eggs in the bag, they had fallen out, they were broken and that strange, disgusting yellowish liquid was flowing from between the fractured shells.

Lucia was crying helplessly. I ran to the man and tugged at his trousers asking him to let us out, but he turned and kicked me in the ribs. My sister stepped in, pleading that he would do whatever I asked as long as he didn't hurt us. The man smiled and asked for the mobile phone. Lucia obeyed and handed him the phone. Once it was in his hands, the man threw it into a corner to my sister's cries.

I struggled to my feet and slowly approached the corner. I had the device in front of me. I knew I could order financial aid with it, but I didn't know how. In desperation, I began to pound on it with my feet, hoping that it would turn on. Maybe, if I could have barked for financial aid, maybe, if I had been human....

The impotence of not being



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