It was the day of the winter solstice, and the cold wind was howling, piercing your bones like needles.
I had been at my neighbor's house for dinner and didn't hear any commotion, but the back door had been kicked in when I arrived home. As I walked inside, I could see that someone had ransacked the entire house.
"You're fucking kidding me," I swore. I was already so poor that I didn't have enough to eat, and now someone broke in to take the little bit I did have.
Years ago, my mother ran away with another man. After that, my father suddenly disappeared, leaving me with the rundown house. Fortunately, I was pitied by my kind neighbors. I was given food to eat and clothing to wear; I had survived even though my living conditions were worse than that of dogs and pigs. I was thankful that I hadn’t starved to death on the streets.
The house looked like a tornado hit it; everything in the house was scattered around. I could easily clean up, but the wooden door provided protection from the weather and stopped intruders from coming in, or so I thought it would.
In the dim light, I could see something on the table. As I stepped closer, I could see a one-dollar bill with a note saying, "Dude, go get yourself some bread. You are so poor that I even feel sorry for you!"
“Damn, even a criminal is looking down on me!” I whispered and crumpled the note and money up, throwing it into the backyard.
A wave of anger had suddenly taken over me until I thought of the hot-dog vendor at the corner. I rushed outside to grab the money before the wind blew it away.
The house felt like a walk-in freezer, but I was determined to make it through the night. However, it was too cold to sleep, so I had no choice to get up and try to piece the door back together.
The wind was blowing so strongly that the noise of me banging didn’t disturb anyone. Looking at the door, I smiled and thought that I would finally get some rest. But suddenly, the door flew open again.
The first thing I saw was a pair of leather boots. Before I looked up, I said, “You aren’t done yet? You could fucking treat me like a person, you know?”
"Are you Tony Palcino?"
Although the wind was whistling, I could clearly hear the pleasant voice of a woman. I slowly raised my eyes from the leather boots to leather pants. Her long legs were magnificent, and when I reached her chest, it was clear to see they were large and firm.
“What are you looking at?” The woman snapped.
“Hell, I am eighteen years old. I can look at whatever I want. What are they 36D?”
“Watch what you are saying!” She warned.
"You have massive boobs; what is the big deal?"
Seconds later, I was trampled to the ground; she was not showing any mercy as she snarled, “As expected, you are a big jerk!”
I knew that a decent man shouldn’t fight back against a woman, I didn’t intend to argue with her, but she offended me. Garry, a man who lived down the alley, had said nearly the same thing to me two years ago, and I beat him half to death. From then on, he avoided me, but now this wicked lady randomly appeared at my door and insulted me.
I struggled to my feet, reaching out to touch her leg in the process. It was called taking advantage of every opportunity for self-benefit, or so the street girls nearby told me.
"You broke into my house in the middle of the night, and you are standing here calling me a jerk?"
The light wasn't very bright, but I could finally make out her face. She had delicate features, bright eyes, rosy lips, and ivory white teeth. She was stunning, and of course, the most attractive thing about her was those… I smiled.
"Look again, and I will gouge out your eyes!” She shouted, snapping me out of my daze.
"You think I'm handsome, so you have taken the initiative to throw yourself at me. I get it, but you don't need to be so fierce!" I replied. Although she was a beautiful woman, I was not going to be bullied. Everyone on Palm Street knew who I was and that I was not a pushover.
"Your father is dead," She suddenly said.
My father is dead?!? I hadn't heard anyone mention him for many years. Then I wondered what the connection between the old man and this beautiful woman was. Even if he was dead, that had nothing to do with me; I quickly commented, "You're not asking for funeral expenses, are you? I don't have anything."
I didn’t care what he had done when he left. I am too poor to take care of myself, never mind his funeral.
"Just come with me. Don't worry; you won't be charged a cent," The look on her face showed obvious disgust as she looked down on a poor man like me.
I knew I was poor, yet I still had a backbone, "If I do what you say, that would be humiliating. I am a handsome man; if you take me into the wilderness, you may take advantage of me. I would have no opportunity to call for help."
Although it may have sounded dramatic, I didn't know why this woman was standing in front of me; naturally, I would not follow her.
"Well, I'm your aunt, your stepmother's sister. Your father is gone, and there are many things that the family needs your help with," She said hesitantly. She seemed very reluctant to tell me, which left me extremely uncomfortable with the fact that my “aunt” suddenly appeared out of the blue.
I was sure my father ran away because he was in serious trouble, so how did he have the money to marry someone. And, I had no idea how he would marry into such a beautiful family.
"Miss, are you a comedian? Or am I on some practical joke show? With your looks and body, I bet many men would buy tickets to your show, especially if you wore something sexy."
I couldn't tell if she was flattered or disgusted with my comment. And, before she could say anything, two large, muscular men walked in behind her.
It had been many years that I was on my own, and if I had been foolish, I would have been dead long ago. So, when I saw the two men, I knew that I had no choice but to run away. They could take me down in no time. It would be courageous to confront a stronger man, but it would also be pointless.
There was a window to my left; I casually glanced over at it, planning to crash into it and run away when the time was right. However, they saw through my plan, and one quickly stepped in front of it; I was cornered.
"You're my aunt, right? So, whatever needs to be said, we can just sit down and talk it over. Look, we shouldn't fight the first time we meet. We are civilized people; why not be reasonable?"
"Are you coming with me or not?" The woman asked coldly.
This woman really thinks that I am going to give in that easily. I immediately jumped to my feet because no matter how hopeless a person is, they should try their best not to be looked down upon by others. Worst case scenario, they were going to beat me, that had been happening since I was young. I put my hands on my hips, shrugged my shoulders, and said, "No, I am not going. What are you going to do to me?"
After saying that, I felt a little nervous. She did look harmless, but the two men were a bit frightening. The only reply I received was the men stepping toward me.
"Gentlemen, please don't slap me in the face!" I begged before feeling a sharp pain in the back of my head. My eyes went fuzzy then I was thrown over the shoulder of one of them. I could hear my neighbors shouting and Garry laughing at me.