Animal Skin – Part II


One of the many reasons of Adrian’s loneliness were his parents. They would always tell him that the world was packed with wolves in sheep’s clothing. They narrated how at every step betrayal and treachery formed the shadow of most of the people. During the day and night meals, before the bed time, and in the small intervals of the day, his folks muttered how the history was more truth than mere collection of idle stories, how the evil was taking over the balance of forces in the world, suffocating good.

Many times, Adrian would be dazed, almost believing his parents’ pessimist lens. Other times, repetition made the little boy simply hear his parents’ words without fully understanding them.

The same happened with the parents telling their child to stay away from strangers who were new to the town. Often, the most valued is the least spoken but since such an instruction was so heavily repeated, Adrian forgot its essence and just flowed with the rhythm of things.

According to the sense Adrian’s mind could make, Russel approached him first so he never went to the stranger himself. And by sitting with him in the biweekly study hours, Russel was no stranger. From what Adrian heard in stories, strangers were those that materialized out of nowhere and asked for something out of the ordinary.

Russel, on the other hand, was a quiet bird like Adrian, the one who spoke less with all the children just as Adrian as he was also not welcomed. Several weeks went by but the boys never uttered a word to one another; they sat beside each other and that was all. Until, finally their gestures at the ancient tales they heard in the study hours sparked the kindle of friendship.

It was a slow development, one that was akin to the budding and growth of any pure relation. Both the boys knew that they liked to imagine things better than chatter through the class so they discussed the films in their minds with each other to better refine their imagination.

One dulling afternoon, the sun’s light faded fast and Russel waited outside the study sheds for Adrian. The Tale of Trussia was left undiscussed and the boys still had to wrap their heads around the whole story. When Adrian looked at Russel waiting for him, he was slightly surprised. No one ever waited for him but he thought that their story tellings must be just as pleasing and fun for Russel as for him so he continued.

That afternoon Russel walked Adrian to his home, a small quarter that was neatly bordered with a thin frame of grass. All the way to his home, the two boys mused over how the Princess of Prussia tricked the King, her own father into deception to take over the throne. When Adrian took a small pause to see the purpling sky, he sighed out loud. Without a second thought, he felt that Russel would understand his thinking just as much as he understood his so he murmured about how he thought the Princess could not have done it in reality. Instantly, Russel’s warm brown eyes were on the same page as Adrian’s, their thoughts clicked and Russel agreed that there was something more to history, an emotional aspect or necessity that the pages of history failed to hold in its lap. Both the young friends ended up wondering why the Princess would kill her own father to get to the throne when she could have got it eventually, why kill and slice to get to something materialistic that would satisfy the mind but not the spirit.