Editor’s Choice: Moses! Please save the Gays! – Touching Short Story with Social Message
The striking glow of the midnight candle brightened the dark, gloomy and murky room of Darwin. It was already wee hours still he continued to read the book of his favorite author. Looking at the mirror he noticed that his eyes were becoming small and his vision started to become hazy. He decided to place a bookmark on the page where he ended reading followed by the blowing of the midnight candle. Darkness filled the sad and pressured room but not his mind. Tomorrow will be another day of routine activities comprised of studying, making of projects and reporting to duties imposed by the stern university where he was enrolled. He was in his last year in a nursing school in one of the country which is well known in producing competent and caring nurses in the world. The clock continued to tick and Darwin fell asleep.
It was a humid and sunny morning the next day. Darwin woke up early and arranged his things for his class. After taking a bath he ate his breakfast and went to school. He was expecting a normal day; another day full of routine just like a monotonous movie which the ending is very predictable. However, destiny played over him, a twist happened during that day- 9th of June. He was never expecting that he will meet the one that will add colors to his vague life, the one who will give meaning to his abstract thoughts and the one who will fix his heart shattered so many years ago.
Darwin was hesitant to approach his apple of the eye. He was afraid of the possible rejections; uncertain of the possibilities, he moved nearer and nearer as if a lion moving nearer to a deer. “Hi! I’m Darwin”. , he said while extending his hands. His hand was trembling and droplets of sweat were becoming visible on his forehead.
“Hi! I’m George! Nice to meet you”. , he replied with a smile.
The anxiety Darwin was feeling during that time subsided because he was never rejected. He continued to socialize with his new acquaintance. Darwin knew that George was a son of a wealthy family in the nearby province. Charismatic, handsome and equipped of things, values and morals that anyone will surely love to have. They become good friends, study together, hang out together and share the same pattern of activities. Starting the day Darwin met George his days were different from his typical days. He often compared his life now as to a colorful rainbow; full of hue and happiness. The people around them were starting to speculate whether the two has a special relationship.
One day, in the library while studying for their final examination, Darwin did gained a handful of courage to verbalize his feelings to George.
“You know George, since you came, my life changed”. , Darwin uttered while looking to his book, as if to pretend that he was reading. George remained reading the book. Hearing no response, Darwin continued to verbalize.
“George, I love this book and I love you.” Darwin said while looking George straight to the eyes. George closed his book and bowed down his head.
“You know Darwin; there are things in this world that are supposed not to happen. We are bound with rules and norms that should be observed”, George replied as soft as possible because the librarian might hear the private conversation. Darwin’s face became flushed as if he had a fever.
“George, you mean, you can’t accept my feelings for you”? Darwin asked while his tears were about to fell from his eyes.
“My friend, our society does not and will never permit same sex relationship even homosexuality! I love you! You are very kind and loving to me, however, the environment will not permit us to enjoy life, and it would be very difficult for the both of us. And I don’t want that to happen.” George spoke with full of feelings, tears fell from his eyes. Darwin was stunned after hearing those words. The librarian rang the library bell signaling that they should observe silence. Many judgmental eyes were looking at them. Some were smiling, some were uttering while some were taking down notes of the incident so that they could post it later in their internet accounts. Darwin and George decided to move out from the library and escape the hostile environment.
The following day, postings in the university wall caught the eyes of every student. “Darwin loves George!” another posting states “Darwin and George are homosexuals-Sinners!” Darwin upon arrival noticed the postings and he immediately pulled it out from the walls. His schoolmates were laughing and looking at him as a sinner and an abnormality.
Darwin was called by the high priest who was the administrator of the university. They spoke privately about the incident. Upon arrival to the office of the administrator, Darwin kissed the administrator’s hands and bowed down to show high respect. The administrator was sitting on his golden chair, with gold rings on his fingers and the holy book on the right side of his table close to his hands. He began to speak; “My son, Darwin, is it true that you are having same sex relationship with one of your classmates?” the administrator looked directly to Darwin’s eyes.
“No Father.” Darwin said while looking down.
“However, many of your teachers and your schoolmates came to my office to report this. And you knew clearly that our school does not and will never permit this kind of immorality. The librarian also heard the both of you talking inside the library. Don’t lie to me, I have the holy book in front of us and it is a sin to lie.” The administrator said while pointing the holy book in the table.
Darwin was very afraid but he asked the administrator. “Is it a sin to love a man father?” The administrator eyebrows began to meet at the center of his face. The administrator stood up and said “Yes! It is strictly written in this book that a man should love a woman, there is no phrase that permits a man should love a man. Darwin’, since time immemorial it has been taught to us that man is for the woman only. And it is blasphemous for you to question this book!” the administrator stood up from his chair.
“But father, it was taught to us also that we should respect each other’s preference and existence, is it not written in the holy book that judging people is a sin also?”
“That’s! Enough! Blasphemy!” The administrator shouted with rage. His eyes were unusual just like of an eagle. “Questioning this book is questioning our Lord! And this is punishable by dismissal from this university! Now, Mr. Galvez you may now leave the room. I will send a letter to your parents to come.
“Sorry father, but I am not questioning the book, this school should respect the freedom of each student especially if no harm were resulted from practicing those freedom. We have gambling here, immorality such as premarital sex and pregnancy and many more. Millions of years ago, Moses freed the people of Israel from the cruelty, I hope another Moses will come and free us also from this unjust treatment. It is not about who we are, it’s about what we do which I believe in accordance with the teachings of this university. “, Darwin left the room. The administrator was insulted, puzzled and challenged about the words that came from the mouth of Darwin. He sent a notice to Mr. and Mrs. Galvez to come to the school for the deliberation. The next morning, the parents of Darwin went to the administrator’s office to talk about Darwin’s misconduct. They approached the administrator with high respect kissed his hand and offered some gifts . The administrator was wearing a colorful robe and with the holy book on the right side of his table.
“I asked you Mr. and Mrs. Galvez to come in my office because I was deeply concerned with the misconduct of your son Darwin. He was becoming a bad role model for the students in this university by showing publicly unacceptable behaviors which the university will never tolerate.” the administrator said while drinking his cup of tea.
“What unacceptable acts Father?” Mrs. Galvez asked.
The administrator finished drinking his tea and begun to open his blue book. “As per record, your son is a homosexual and was caught publicly displaying affection with another student; also yesterday, he verbally attacked the rules of this school and the writings of the holy book.”
“My God! Father, as a mother, I am asking for forgiveness and we will assure you that we will take action as to our son’s misconducts here in school.” Mrs. Galvez was weary upon hearing the charges against Darwin. After, the deliberation, it was decided that Darwin will have to render 120 hours of community service.
At the house of Darwin. “My son, what have you done, you disgraced the reputation of our family. Your father will be running for the next election and here are you projecting bad images in the public. “, Mrs. Galvez was holding Darwin’s hands while asking. Fear appeared in the eyes of Darwin as his father approached him and held him in his necktie.
“Roberto! Put your son down”! Mrs. Galvez shouted while Mr. Galvez placing his power over Darwin. “You disgraced the name of our family! You are a gay! An insult to our family! What will be the people’s reaction when they will know that my only son is a gay, having relationship with another man?” Mr. Galvez was very angry, he removed Darwin’s dress and pants. Darwin was left with his boxers on.
“Roberto this is enough!”, Mrs. Galvez was crying and shouting.
“Leave me alone Fanega! Let me discipline my own son! It was you who disciplined him through these years and now, look at the result he grew up as a gay!” Mr. Galvez blamed his wife. Mrs. Galvez went inside her room crying hearing the agony of his only son.
Mr. Galvez brought Darwin inside the comfort room and was splashed with cold water. “Now tell me are you a man or a woman!” Mr. Galvez was trying to torture Darwin. For almost 10 minutes of physical torture inside the comfort room Mr. Galvez did not hear any answer from Darwin. Darwin was shivering because of the splashes of cold water he received from his physically abusive father. Now, Mr. Galvez turned on the shower and placed it in a hot setting. Darwin began to shout for help as the hot water touched his shivering skin.
“Mama! Mama! Help me!”, Darwin was shouting for help to his mother.
“Now tell me are you a man or a woman?” Mr. Galvez asked.
“Father please! Have mercy on me! “
“Tell me Darwin are you a man or a woman?” Mr. Galvez asked for the second time.
“I’m a man father! I’m a man!” Darwin shouted in pain.
Mr. Galvez turned off the shower and locked Darwin inside his room. “Now you know that you are man!” Mr. Galvez said. Darwin suffered from first and second degree burns. He was crying because of pain all over his body and he has no one to talk to. However, his mother opened his door from the outside.
“Mama?”, Darwin asked.
“Shhh.. Yes it is me Darwin.”
Mrs. Galvez hugged his son and begun to cry.
“Darwin, I’m very sorry! I was very irresponsible. I didn’t protect you from your father. I didn’t expect that it will reach as to this extent. Forgive me Son!”
“It’s alright ma, I learned one fact tonight, even your own father will not accept a gay son and worst he can torture you, this is the world that I knew, the society hates us, hurts us, tortures us and some want to kill us; what have we done for us to suffer this prejudice; I know if the Lord could speak, he would save all of us; who only wants freedom and acceptance.” Darwin cried after saying those words.
“Stop saying those words Darwin, Here I am, you are my son, I will accept you whoever you are, and whatever you want, it will not change anything.” Mrs. Galvez said while comforting Darwin.
“Am I the worst being in this world, the Lord accepted the lepers in Israel, he accepted the forgiveness of his enemies and loves them instead of hating them? Why does my father forsake me in the basis of gender and sexuality?”
The next morning. Darwin was found dead inside his room wearing a rosary and with the holy book near his body. And a piece of parchment was found with Darwin’s handwritten words: “Ma, Please tell Papa that I lied to him last night. I said that I’m a man but the truth is I’m a woman trapped inside a man’s body. I must tell no lie. Love you, Darwin.