By: Katrenia Busch
The sound of the alarm clock echoing in my head, as I’m still asleep and late for school again.
“Daniel! Are you awake?” Dad’s probably still trying to impress that whore, he dragged home again. “I’m up!” He never was like this before the incident, I’ll start from the beginning.
2 years prior
“Dad, where are we going?” “You’ll see, it’s a surprise” Gazing out the window, I’m watching the trees as we are driving down the highway, I wish I knew where Dad was taking me, He’s never taken me down this route before.
“Howdy, sir” the gas station attendant walks up to the window.
“I need a full tank of gas and do you have a restroom I could use?” Dad replied.
“Sure do, I’ll fill this gas tank here up for ya, ya see that sign over yonder, theres a restroom right inside those doors.” The slightly odd, fairly slim gas station attendant informed my dad.
I watched as my dad walked through the parking lot, he was nervous, I could tell, he always starts scratching his head and tapping his foot when he’s nervous. Then I looked over at the gas station attendant, as he pumped our gas, his clothes looked worn out, the strap was missing on one of its sides and I couldn’t help but stare at his missing teeth. How does someone eat with so many teeth missing, I thought to myself.
“Aliright, Daniel, do you need anything before we leave?”
“No, I’m fine” I replied. Where are we going, Dad, has been acting a little strange lately. I think ever since he lost his job a few months ago, I’m not sure what has been actually doing, nor have I asked. It’s been a rough year, my mother past away almost a year ago and dad has been more secretive and distant the past few months, since he lost his job.
What is this road, I’ve never seen this before, I’m afraid to ask Dad, and I’m honestly just happy to spend some quality time with him, as we haven’t had much time together recently. There’s no houses, I feel like I’m going to the middle of nowhere, no wonder Dad filled up in gas. I reach for the radio station to see if there’s any service, and nothing but static on the radio. I recline my seat and kick my feet up to the dashboard to stretch out.
2 hours later
“What’s going on?!” I awoke to a blindfold over my eyes as I’m being dragged from the car, where’s dad, who are these people? As I’m fighting and kicking whoever I can, “Dad! Dad!”
“We will not hurt you, just calm down” some deep voice from a man carrying me stated. I try desperately to look from the corner of my eye out of the blind fold, I can only make out some of the grass and dirt that’s being walked upon as we are moving forward.
Door slams, “Did you get him?” I hear an unfamiliar voice say.
“Yea, he’s here” the deep man’s voice replied.
“Good, you know where to take him” the unfamiliar, older man’s voice stated.
I can feel the blood rushing to my head, as I’ve been on this man’s shoulder a while, I get placed on to something that feels like a bed, relieved I can sit and regain my thoughts.
“I’m going to remove the blindfold” the deep man’s voice stated,
As I feel it lifted off my eyes and I can see the man standing before me.
He looked like one of those body builders or something, he was darker completed, black hair, dark brown eyes and looked like he could be off some men’s magazine. “Are you comfortable?” He asked. “Can you please tell me what’s going on, or where my dad is?”
“I cannot at this time, although your dad is safe and well” He stated.
“Can I at least get your name?” I asked.
“You can call me Vince, I’m going to leave, but please make yourself comfortable and get cleaned up, dinner will be promptly at 7pm and you will need to look your best.” Vince said.
“Dinner? What dinner?”
“Don’t worry, all things will be explained soon, just do as I requested,” Vince said.
Why should I do as he asked? He won’t even tell me where my father is, or where I am and I think I’m feeling sick.
I browse through the drawers in the dresser, there’s clothes, my size folded and put neatly inside. I have one window, as I look out it, all I can see is forest trees and grass. I walk into the bathroom, there’s a toothbrush in a package sitting on the counter, and the room and bathroom look as if it’s prepared specifically for someone, more than just a guest bedroom. I can’t find a clock anywhere in the room, and decide to take a shower and clear my head.
Letting the water drip from the shower on my head, thoughts persisted in my head, what is this? Where am I? Why didn’t we just stay at home? My thoughts are swarming my head. If I had just said no, we wouldn’t be here now, I wonder what my friends are doing right now, Tony wanted me to stay with him this weekend, his parents are out of town, and I bet he’s having a blast.
Knock, knock, the sound of my bedroom door, as someone’s standing outside the door.
“Just a minute!” as I start drying myself off to get out of the shower.
“Yes?” I ask suspiciously.
“It’s time to begin” it’s Vince outside my door.
Begin what? What in the world is going on, I feel like I’m in a dream, this can’t be real. “I’m getting dressed, I need just a minute” I said. Hopefully, I can find some answers.
I placed some of the clean clothes I found neatly tucked inside the drawer of my dresser on, pair of black slacks and a button down polo shirt. I open the door to see Vince standing on the other side, and I can now see the hallway, it’s a strange house and set up, it looks like an old fashioned mansion of some sort. The lights are dimmed down the hallway, and it looks like it’s a mini castle or something. “Follow me” Vince said, in that deep voice. I’m walking slowly behind, as I’m glancing at the surroundings around me, the doors and paintings look similar, I would easily get lost in here, the hallway doesn’t look like it even has an end in sight I think to myself.
We get on an elevator, and I watch Vince from afar, He appears so confident, may be a body guard of some kind, he is definitely someone you can’t forget. We get off the elevator, and Vince walks ahead of me and guides me into a room, “you’re here,” an older man appears, the voice sounds familiar as the older man I encountered earlier, I look at him, he’s got to be in his 70’s I’d say, but his skin is in great shape, full head of hair, and could probably pass for younger, blue eyes, the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen, they look like the reflection off the ocean, I could get lost looking into his eyes. “Here, sit, take a seat “Daniel, the elder man suggested, He knows my name? How does he know my name? I didn’t tell Vince my name, feeling rather surprised, I take a seat and am unable to utter words at the moment as I try to clear my voice and hide the fact of how surprised I am.
“No need to worry, we have been expecting you and are quite honored and excited to be here with you.” The older man said. Honored? Expected? What is going on? I want to pinch myself to see if this is indeed real. Again, I try to speak and nothing comes out of my mouth. “Don’t worry about your Dad, he’s fine,” the old man stated, as if he was reading the thoughts of my mind. I sat there still, trying not to act shocked or surprised.
“Do you know who you are Daniel?” The older man replied, “No” I just blurted out, the only word able to form by the lips of my mouth. “Well, its time you learn, you are a special person and come from a strong heritage, and I’ve been watching you since the time you were born” the older man stated. I didn’t dare question or ask what he meant by that statement, I’m so confused already and now I’m feeling paranoid as I have no idea how he could have been watching me since I was born. I again, sit in silence and say nothing.
“Don’t worry, Daniel, this is good and I’m proud of you and the choices you have been making,” Me? Choices? Proud? What is he talking about? “I know you may not know what I’m speaking about yet, but you soon will” he stated, there he goes again reading my thoughts or something, I feel a cold breeze go through my spine, I’ve got Goosebumps, I can feel them and feel very out of place.
“Don’t feel out of place Daniel” Can he read my thoughts? I better stop thinking, stop Daniel, gosh I bet he knows what I’m saying in my head right now, don’t be stupid Daniel, stop thinking. “I don’t feel out of place,” I was barely able to say without stuttering. “Good, I’d like to begin, after we have dinner, there’s a special meal awaiting, I’ve had our chef prepare the finest grilled chicken and mashed potatoes, they are your favorite right?” He stated. How in the world does he know what I like, I again stayed silent and I sternly replied, “Yes, they certainly are.”
Vince reappeared near the door and motioned for me to follow him, I began walking down the hallway once again and saw the elevator we had previously been on, but I must have not paid attention too well the first time as the elevator looks different this time and slightly different location than I had thought, I don’t think much on it, I’m not surprised my thoughts are playing tricks on me.
I follow Vince, as he guides me into this huge formal dining room, with a beautiful shining chandelier; It’s the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen, perfectly decorated, the table is stunning and the food smells delicious as I can taste it in my mouth just walking in.
I’m left alone, as Vince leaves, and I stare around the room looking at all the paintings and the light shining off the chandelier, its beautiful. “Well, have a seat Daniel,” Startled, as the elder man walked in and said to me. “Yes, I was just admiring the beautiful artwork in here and the interior decorating,” I said. “I know, it is lovely isn’t it, let me show you something.” He started walking towards a wall as he motioned for me to follow. I walk up behind him standing there, in front of a huge portrait on the wall, as he takes his finger and points to an area and says, “Do you see this Island here?” He stated, “Um, I think so?” I said uncertainly. “Get closer and look Daniel,” I walk closer and examine the portrait, it looks like an odd portrait, his fingers are indeed upon an island of some sort, as there is water surrounding it, I see a lighthouse afar off and what looks like it could be a painting of the world or globe of some kind.
“Yes, I see it” I said. “Good, you may not understand this yet, but this is where you currently are, as this is also the home to your ancient ancestors” Huh? How am I on an Island? What Ancient Ancestors? “I told you Daniel, you may not understand it yet, but you will” He replied as we walk back to the table, where the chef appeared with what looks and smells like the greatest dinner I have ever seen, I hadn’t ate yet today and my stomach I feel grumbling.
“You can call me Majister,” he said, “Majister?” I exclaimed, “You were wondering what to call me?” He stated. “Oh, ok,” I replied as I looked down and tried to remove my thoughts from my head, wondering how he seems to know what I’m thinking.
“This food looks great, thank you,” I said, trying to change the subject.
“You don’t have to worry Daniel, I’m here to help you,” Majister stated, as I placed food in my mouth to distract from having to say anything and clear my mind as quickly as possible.
“Would you like wine?” Majister stated
“Wine?” I immediately felt hesitant as I am obviously not of drinking age and worried to respond.
“Yes, Wine, Chef Gusto! Please bring me my red wine sitting in the pantry with a couple of glasses,” Majister told the chef, as I sat there feeling rather uncomfortable.
The Chef entered back in with a bottle of wine and a couple glasses, as he poured it into the two of them and handed the glass’s to Majister, then asked Majister if anything else was needed prior to returning through the door, I assume to be the kitchen.
I felt awkward, sitting there as Majister handed me a glass of wine, I couldn’t help but stare into those eyes, those blue eyes, captivating to say the least.
“Please, Daniel, have a glass of wine.” Majister stated
“Ok” I said, hesitant and feeling awkward, as I reached my hand across the table to the glass Chef Gusto just poured.
“I’d like to tell you something, if you don’t mind,” Majister stated
“Ok” I answered, as I feel the anxiety increasing as I try desperately to hide how uncomfortable I am.
“I know you’re uncomfortable, as I would like to provide you some answers and ease some of your worries” Majister stated
“I’m listening” I answered
“You could say I am a relative to you Daniel,” Majister stated
A relative? I’ve never met this man in my life, my dad never mentioned him, mom either, what is he talking about? I said to myself.
“Vince, is one of my workers, I have known him a long time, and I would like to tell you a story Daniel, if you are ready?” Majister insisted
I glanced down at my plate, as I drank a small portion of the wine that was previously prepared for myself, as I whispered, “ok”
“On the date of your birth, March 14th 1986, as your mother had gone into labor at the stroke of midnight, your father rushed her to the nearest hospital and there were serious concerns regarding the well-being of both your mother and yourself as she was drenched in blood upon arrival to the hospital.” Majister began
How did he know that? I thought to myself, as I sipped another drink from the glass of wine before me.
“The doctors and hospital staff scrambled to assist your parents and save your life, as your parents were unaware until the moment you were delivered that your mother had in fact been pregnant with twins.” Majister exclaimed
“Twins?” I barely was able to say, as I felt I had a knot in my throat and could barely swallow. My parents never told me anything about that? He has to be lying, why wouldn’t they tell me?
“It’s in deed true, Daniel” Majister insisted
I placed my fork down to the table, as I couldn’t stomach looking at my meal after his statement.
“You were one of two twins born to your mother that day, after your brother was delivered and barely held a heartbeat, you were born.” Majister explained
“What happened to my brother?” I quickly asked
“Your brother, the first born, was immediately rushed to emergency medical interventions, as the hospital staff performed numerous medical interventions to save his life.” Majister explained
He had my attention at this point, as I sat up closer to the table and began listening inattentively.
“Your brother, whom your parents were unaware was in the womb with you, was unable to survive without extensive assistance, work and would have been extremely expensive and placed financial obligations on your parents whom at the time did not have the ability to afford such rigorous assistance.” Majister stated
“Where is he? Is he still alive? What happened to him?” I quickly exclaimed
“Would you care for anything else to eat or drink?” Majister asked
I couldn’t think about food right now, I could barely think, as I’m so anxious to know and find out more about my brother I never knew I had. “No, I’m ok” I replied
“Are you sure?” Majister insisted,
“I’ll take a glass of water,” I then answered
“Chef Gusto!” Majister yelled
“I would like 2 glasses of water and if you could make me a cup of expresso” Majister paused
“Would you like any coffee Daniel? Majister asked me, as I debated and said, “Yes”
“Make that 2 cups of expresso” Majister told Chef Gusto
Chef Gusto nodded as he acknowledged the request then left the dining room through the door he had entered from.
“Where did I leave off? Oh, your parents, Daniel would not have been able to financially support and provide for your medically fragile brother, as they thought long and hard on what they might perhaps be able to do, as they had seen an advertisement for a Transforming Teacher, that operated a school of sorts, that took participants in and provided all things they needed, as he taught them and provided for them.” Majister explained
I sat with my jaw about to drop, a school? My brother lives in a school? I thought to myself.
“It’s not a school you think of Daniel, it is in fact a learning based environment, but is not as you would see labeled as an institution today.” Majister stated
What kind of school he is talking about, I said to myself as I sat there dumbfounded and considering what he could possibly be talking about
“Your brother was handed over to the Transforming teacher, as an act of self-less love on your parent’s behalf, in hopes that he would be taken care in the ways they were unable to do so at that time.” Majister explained
Chef Gusto walked in the through the door, carrying a tray with drinks placed on it.
“Would you care for your coffee?” Majister asked
“Thank you,” I replied
I began sipping the expresso, Chef Gusto prepared, as I continued pondering the notions of my brother being in some weird school
“As I was saying, your brother was handed over to the transforming teacher that your parents learned about, after meeting with him of course, as they were informed he would be well taken care of and they were promised that they would be able to see him again on his 15th birthday.” Majister stated
Whoa, I thought to myself, as I had turned 15 just months prior which I anticipated might be the reasoning for my current predicament.
“Yes, your father has met him,” Majister said assumingly
I sat back for a second, as I wondered why Dad hasn’t told me any of these things as I also wondered and hoped that perhaps I too could meet my brother
“Your brother had received a special opportunity, not given to most, as he was under the direct supervision and care of the transforming teacher, the transforming teacher has been referred to as the wisest of all upon the earth and has successfully influenced society as his teachings and instructions are unlike the rest, but he does generally come with a high cost as well” Majister stated
I felt somewhat disappointed, as I knew I could never afford the kind of schooling, and desperately thought about how desperately I wanted to meet my brother
“The cost of his program, is not one that money can buy,” Majister explained
No money? Then what’s the high cost? I thought to myself
“The cost, Daniel, is in lack of other words, one’s life and one’s time” Majister explained
I didn’t understand what Majister was trying to explain as I silently starred off into space and desperately attempted to not let him know I didn’t understand what he was speaking about
“Time and Life, as money cannot buy time nor life, money could be seen as worthless, but one’s time is valuable, one’s life is valuable, much more valuable than money and if one gives up their time, which can also represent one’s life, which is a higher value, they shall afford and gain the instruments and tools that only the transforming teacher knows and can teach.” Majister explained
I sat there rather shocked and then understood what Majister was explaining to me and I felt silly for even suggesting the material form of money for such a highly valued education
“I understand,” I humbly replied
“Many in this world Daniel, would have stated the same response you did, as in this world, many believe that success is determined by an income, as higher incomes come with higher professions and educations and they generally give their lives and time into such things and activities to further their careers and advancements, to be successful,” Majister stated
I sat there just starring, as I rethought the statement, as I came to realize and understand that in general people do tend to place most of their time and life into becoming successful, which can be defined by what one does and or earns, “I understand,” I replied
“You see, there are things that money cannot buy, and if we spend our time only thinking or doing towards these things we achieve on earth, we will miss out on much bigger treasures and gains.” Majister stated
I wasn’t exactly sure what Majister was implying, as I sat there, but came to believe it had something to do with this education or teaching, such as the one my brother was sent off to.
“Would you like to see your brother?” Majister asked
“Would I? Yes!” I yelled
As I saw Majister look down at his watch, and say, “It’s time”
The door, in which Chef Gusto previously entered and exited, I saw the handle turn as I heard footsteps walking closer.
Oh, my, I sat there shocked, as I gazed in amazement. It was Vince, the man I had seen earlier, the Man that carried me blindfolded, Majister’s worker.
Vince entered the room, as he radiated with shining light and glowed like a star in the sky, as I was lost for words and couldn’t stop staring at him in amazement.
“You remember me?” Vince asked me
“Yes,” I replied, as previously I had definitely knew Vince is not someone you could forget, as he demonstrated such confidence, such beauty, such wisdom previously, but this time, undeniably so, as he is literally glowing like an angel before my eyes, and this is my brother?
“This is indeed your brother” Majister stated
“Do you remember the day your mother passed away Daniel?” Majister asked
“How could I forget, everything fell apart shortly thereafter,” I replied
“Your mother was a beautiful soul and undoubtedly your father and you have been experiencing a lot of difficulties this past year,” Majister confidently stated
“Yes, that is in fact true, my father even lost his job,” I sadly replied
“I know, Daniel, and I know the challenges you and your father have faced, as after your Dad lost your mother and his job, is the time he started the journey here and was reunited with your brother and the transforming teacher.” Majister stated
I sat there, thinking, as I felt he was being truthful, as I had noticed a change in my father and haven’t been able to explain his time away, as he hasn’t been working. I felt very strange, as if it was some sort of a conspiracy or something, as I tried desperately not to show what I was thinking or feeling.
“You see Daniel, the difficulties and challenges we face in life are to improve us, to make us better and to learn and grow from, once again, lessons we can’t buy with money, and most people would avoid if possible rather than embrace the difficulties understanding something much more valuable was the prize or treasure.” Majister stated
I began to understand what Majister was trying to imply, as I began grasping the concept and an explanation for the recent turbulent and difficult life my father and I had been experiencing
“I’m going to tell you something else Daniel,” Majister stated hurriedly
“We don’t have much time, so I will be brief, Vince your Brother, has also always been with you, some may call him your spirit, I too have always been with you, as some may call me your unconscious mind, you will not remember much of this when you awake, as the wine you drank earlier, consists of forgetfulness, as we return to our lives upon awakening, but I am going to give you a gift, which is to remember the Island I showed you earlier, as its surrounded by water, where you currently are, which is the unconscious state, like an island, as everything on it is usually protected as an Island is surrounded by water.”
When you awaken Daniel, you won’t remember me, nor your brother Vince, but I will tell you now, we are with you and working to help assist you, I will ensure a vague remembrance is within you to also assist you when experiencing difficulties and to remember the lessons and value of them.
“Where’s dad?” I asked
“He’s in bed at home, sleeping, the same as you are right now.”
The alarm clock ringing, noise echoing inside my head, “Daniel are you up?!” My father is yelling from down the stairs.
“I’m up!” I yelled back down the stairs
Wondering which whore he brought home last night to impress, dreading going downstairs for breakfast, as I begin getting dressed until I notice a strange piece of paper under my pillow, with a drawing of some kind, with an island in the center. I gaze upon it, as it looks familiar, and I have no idea where it came from, I look closer and wonder where I may have seen this before, a feeling of Déjà vu hits me, as I’m looking at this paper, as If I had seen it somewhere before, as I look closer I see the word Majister written on it, which I learned in school recently meant “teacher” in Latin.
Katrenia Busch from Bay City, MI is a published poet and mother of two. Her work can be found in the screech owl, literature today, Riverrun, Literary yard, Super poetry-highway, Eskimo Pie and Poetry & Art Press. She has also published essays on psychoanalysis and spends time as a “peer reviewer” for journals concerning psychological studies and research. She has an established background in healthcare and law enforcement and has contributed articles on leadership and the healthcare system for senior care quest.