The Good Son.

It's been five days since I had last gone to the gym.  There were things that got in the way.  I was supposed to go yesterday, Tuesday, but instead I was out fixing a family friend's computer that has been plagued with an undetected malware.  Another time, I had to pry open a laminating machine because a paper got stuck.  There was always something that kept me from going to the gym.  Time sure has a way of adding up when you don't notice it.

Today, I made sure I can go to the gym.  I knew that the day, before it even began, would be stressful enough that I need to have some form of release from things that were bugging me.  I took a swim first; I don't know how long that went, but it felt good being underwater.  Not unlike Percy Jackson who relishes the moment being underwater, able to think and block out the noise of the world above.  I did an hour of cardio after that.  I ran on the treadmill for about thirty minutes and then switched to cycling for another thirty.  That felt even better to be able to feel like I'm running and speeding away from everything.  But it's always anticlimactic when it ends and I find that no matter how fast I run, I'm not even an inch closer to where I want to be.

It's been a long day and somehow I wanted it to be over.  Not just the day, but all of this.  The pretense and the sacrifice for a better life.

When we were going back to the house, I kept thinking about an alternative, a way out if there was any.  What if I leave all this behind me.  One day, I'll just pack my bag, leave and never return.  But already, I can see people shaking their heads in muted disapproval.  It doesn't and it wouldn't make any sense.  In this climate, in this time, at your parents' age, how can you turn your back on all of that?

I realized this much.  I'm not scared of leaving all this behind, but I don't want to break my parents' hearts.  At least, not yet.  This is not yet the time.  Not when my Dad's pushing 60 and every time we're gathered at the dining table, there's always the conspicuous absence of the fourth one who should be sitting with us.  Four years is still a little too soon to heal from a terrible loss.  Especially when my parents can't help but always say the what-if-your-brother-is-here.

This is my predicament and I have to accept it for what it is, a pause long enough to feel like I will be locked away.  Maybe if I were a little bit selfish and ungrateful, I would've never considered this.  But I know I will break their hearts eventually, I will disappoint them when the time comes and I bring home not a girlfriend but a boyfriend.  To blunt and soften the edges, I would've to play the good son for the meantime.  A role I would've to keep up until such time I can reclaim my life.  Like a play on an extended run, I would've to see this until the curtain drops and closes, take my final bow and leave.

This is the dark tunnel that people were saying.  There's a light at the end of it, they'd say.  Funny how no one told me it was light from an incoming train.

I have nowhere to run.


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