School of Thought
On his way home from the secondary school some malicious thoughts took possession of him. First he dismissed them as trivial but when they persisted and he found himself powerless, he slapped his face violently and cried: “How could I ever wish my family were dead when I got home?” He wondered with a look of horror in his face. A shudder went through his body and reached his soul. “Please, forgive me, God. I am not guilty. I never wanted such monstrous thoughts. They are forcing themselves on me. I want my mother and father, my brothers and sisters all safe and sound. Go away, Devil, leave me alone” he ordered with paralyzed inability.

When he got home he was visibly shaken. His mother greeted him as usual with a smile and patted his head. What’s wrong Son, why are you so pale? He hugged her and thanked God nothing dreadful happened. Alone the idea that his mother might be dead one day gave him fits of depression. He begged God to let him die before her. Then he went to his room upstairs, sat on his bed and cried: O God what a monster I am. How could anyone wish his own family any harm? No, I would rather die than see them dead. This time he didn’t go downstairs for the evening meal as usual. His mother knocked on his door: Are you alright, Son? Why don’t you come down and eat something? He answered: Sorry Mother I am a bit tired today and I really need some sleep.

The following morning when the alarm clock went off he was not able to get up. His mother was worried. Son, are you ill? Shall we take you to the doctor’s? “No Ma I am OK I’ll get up in a minute and go to school“, he replied. He got up, washed his face, got dressed and left without having breakfast. The monstrous thoughts he had, struck fear into his heart but he was determined to fight back with all his power. Then he thought it was best for him not to be alone. Some boys were standing in a corner talking. He went and joined them.

Everybody was talking about a young woman who was married to an old man against her will. The newspapers wrote how she killed her husband by putting some small doses of rat poison in his food everyday for years. Some people thought rat poison was a weapon typically used by women. Some even pitied her for this was the only way to get rid of him. Divorce was not in her hands. One of the boys boasted about his father’s job as a laboratory chemist. He spoke of some sort of poison, a few drops of which could kill even a dozen. On his way home the monstrous thoughts came back again. Some people who passed by thought he was insane when they saw him hit his face.

The picture was the same. He would find all the neighbours gathered in their house. Some women would try with quick motion to screen him from the view of his family lying dead on the floor. Now the house and the furniture would belong to him alone. It was up to him whether to keep everything or even sell the house and buy a new one. Women would pity him, look after him. He would enjoy being the hub of everybody’s attention. He even thought of asking a neighbour woman whose husband died a few years ago to come and live in his house. His fancy was running riot along those days ahead of him.

The thoughts came back again and again and he was striving to beat them back with his will. But when he finally abandoned himself he decided to ask the boy about the poisonous drops his father had in his lab. The boy brought some in a phial. There were only a few drops but he swore they were enough to kill more than a dozen causing sweating, rapid breathing and death all with a fatal dose of three or four drops. He put the phial in his pocket and went home. He had no idea how to use it but he was not keen on knowing it anyway.

Nearly every house had a water tank on the roof. Water supply was often cut and people needed the tank water for drinking, making tea or coffee, cooking and washing. Besides the sun heated the water particularly in summer and this made having a shower a pleasure. When he saw the water tank, he hastened to his room for he knew he now found a way to do it. He carefully put the drops into the tank and left before anybody got up.

His lessons ended and his thoughts stopped. He didn’t know whether he was dreaming or living it real when he got home. The same scene he was daydreaming was now happening. He saw people going in and out of their house. When they saw him women stopped him from entering. They told him in broken sentences what had happened. They assured him he could live with them and they would always love him as one of their own children. After all, a boy couldn’t live in a big house alone. As soon as he realized the alarming proportions of what had happened, he banged his head on the door and cried for his mother. Then he fell down and fainted.

The neighbors arranged for a quick burial of his family. The police were not informed because they thought it was an act of God. They decided that he should live as long as he wanted at a neighbor’s house of his own choice. They rented his house out and spent the money on his education. Two years later when he finished his secondary school education they sold the house and decided he now should complete his university education and then be sent abroad for a higher degree. They opened a savings bank account in his name. They also hoped he could one day get some psychiatric help abroad for he was now as they put it half a human being. They thought what had happened to his family must have been a severe blow.

He was now almost 25 when the plane landed. He immediately went to the landlady the neighbors told him about. She was about fifty five, lived with her husband on the ground floor. Her daughter lived with her husband on the first floor and the top floor was given to him. There were two big rooms, a living room and a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen. Before starting his studies at the university he had to do some language courses. The landlady felt pity for him for he was often alone and he couldn’t speak the local language. She put an ad in the newspaper for him.

A mother who had an eight-month old son was chosen by the landlady as the best suitable. Most women who phoned were either married or lone parents. He met the mother after one week and they started going out together. Short before he seriously started his higher studies they got married. But later when he regained his full mental stability he realised it was a big mistake for he never really wanted to be married to a mother. He couldn`t be a father to a son he didn´t have a part in bringing into the world. After all, blood was thicker than water. He envied lions when he saw them on TV kill other lion’s babies before mating.

No, he didn’t want to kill the baby for he was not a killer at heart but he couldn’t ask for a divorce either. His problems with his wife got worse and worse because of her son. He played the second fiddle in her life because she loved her son above everything. Whatever they did, wherever they went, her son was the centre of everybody’s interest. In the evenings when the boy slept his wife was tired and he didn’t care anymore whether she had time for him or not. His monstrous thoughts had already started taking possession of him again.

Bremen, 27 April 2008