-Stand up, tell us what’s your name and what would you like to be when you get older.
-My name is Daniel; I am 12 years old and when I grow up, I would like to be a Literature teacher.
Daniel Mitchell will always remember his first day at his high school. Many of his old friends had went to different schools, some were in his own school and others would not see them again in his life. That day was very exciting for him, seeing several boys of his age going on the same class as him was something he had never seen before, some would become his friends and another would pass without sorrow or glory in his life. But what he remembered the most was when her Science teacher asked them about their student’s dreams. When he finished speaking, his classmates he didn't know at all started clapping and cheering him on. And that same day, his Literature teacher had asked them the same question, but that time they didn't cheer him on. They laughed because she had told him that being a teacher was the worst thing he could be.
Daniel did not want to be a Literature teacher because he wanted to teach, he wanted to be it because it would be one of those jobs where he could do what he liked the most, writing.
The idea for his first book came when he was twelve. It was a Friday night in front of his computer. He was bored of playing Candy Crush on Facebook and instead of playing more video games he was reading his older friends' posts. He saw more than twenty of them and Daniel imagined if he would be a person who would change the world by using his talent one day. He and his sister, Monica, were the first generation of their family to be musicians. He played the violin and she played the piano. Their parents enrolled them in a conservatory where they spent most of their childhood and adolescence. Her parents said that music should be accompanied by the university career and profession they would choose over time. Daniel liked to play the violin, although he did not like to make it his profession. In many parts where he went and studied, he was often asked to participate with his violin; people cheered him on and every day he was more respected, and even though he made a little money, he did not feel entirely happy doing it. On the night of that Friday he began to think about his video games with which he had completed, the books with which he had cried and the films with which he had enjoyed. It was as if all his ideas were mixed inside his head and eventually took a definite form. A story of kingdoms, kings and princes. Minutes passed and their ideas wanted to get out of their heads. He closed his Facebook and opened a new document in Word. The first words came out at such a great rate that Daniel did not look at the document in case he had committed any misspellings and corrected it at that very moment.
-That can wait- he said.
He wrote for an hour and corrected his writing in another. Although his story was developing in every second, he did not know what was going to be the title of his story, so he kept the document as ''Untitled'' and so it would stay until a name encompasses everything his mind could do.
He had told his friends and some teachers. Some were astonished and some did not care. For the first time, Daniel was doing something that really made him happy and didn't need previous studies to do it. For that reason, he left his dream of being a Literature teacher. For many years his parents pressed him on the career he would choose. He didn't think about it, and he said his phrase again,
''That can wait'.'
But time was running out and his despair grew at every turn. He had started writing his book three years ago, and until that day new ideas appeared. Each year he deleted several chapter fragments and rewrote new ones. He was writing something he felt was good, and the next day he didn't think the same way. That was one of his great flaws, he never settled for what he did, and his greatest enemy was lack of self-confidence. Due to that, Daniel stopped writing for a year.
First it was Astrophysics, then Psychology, later Filmmaker and went back to Literature teacher. It would take a few years to start college.
-The career you choose will be with you all your life- his parents said.
-I want my book to be my source of happiness and income- Daniel said in his mind.
But he was afraid that if he told his parents they would end up disappointed. It is for this reason that he also did not tell them the fact that he was bisexual and that he had never had first kiss. Neither with a boy nor a girl. He hadn't told his friends; he was afraid to be asked those cliché questions: What do you like more, boys or girls? Would you like to have a threesome? Is it true that bisexuals are the most unfaithful? He never answered those questions because he didn't need to. He didn't give his first kiss until he was twenty, when one of his friends challenged him to kiss one of his classmates. He never revealed his preferences. Daniel knew that people were hypocritical, and surely those childhood friends with whom he had had a good time and loved him would abandon or reject him for the simple fact of being as he was. He was desperate for everything and felt he would have no escape, from his future or from time. It didn't help at all when his grandmother, Anne, the person he loved the most besides his parents, had passed away.
She was the only person that supported Daniel despite the mistakes and bad choices he made. Sometimes she wanted her parents to be a little more like her, full of hope and more comprehensive. He'd never forgive himself for two things he didn't do with his grandmother before he closed his eyes forever. The first thing he regretted was that Anne always asked Daniel and Monica to perform her favorite song with their instruments. "'That can wait'" said the siblings. They were very busy with their studies and with the French courses they took in the evenings. The moment was postponed, but her grandmother couldn't wait any longer. Especially Daniel, he wanted her to wake up about five minutes from her eternal sleep to play the song her grandmother wanted to hear in life.
-Melodies of Time- used to say Anne-. Each one has a song inside, which when listening to it transports us to places that even imagination could not create, would transport us to the time when we must be to be happy. A time machine of the soul, which endures even when we leave this world.
And the second thing Daniel regretted was that he had never told her that he was a writer and never made her read one of his many chapters of his book or one of the works he did for school. If he had said it a few years earlier, at birthdays or at Christmas, Anne, instead of giving him ornaments that produced music by winding them, she could have given him special pens or a notebook as a symbol to support her grandson's dream. That never happened. The first few days without her were the worst, he found it hard to believe that she would no longer greet him, that she would no longer give him her blessing before leaving home, that she would no longer give him warm kisses and hugs. Anne, like all her aunts and cousins, thought Daniel would be a doctor. He was the first of his classroom, the most loved by his teachers, the smartest. He would have pleased their dream, but when he used to see blood that was not his, he would cause nausea and even pass out. If he had told his grandmother that he wanted to be a writer, he would have allowed it, give him a hug and surely talk to his parents to make sure they understand what his grandson wanted to be.She would never read his book. The time to finish it would be at that very moment, while he still had his grandmother in his mind and in his heart. He locked himself in his room and went out once in a while. His parents and Monica thought he was still crying over the death, and although he sometimes stopped to cry, Daniel wrote with more feeling than ever before. He wasn’t writing for himself; he was doing it for Anne.
His parents were surprised by what Daniel did in all those years. Daniel was very sociable with his friends, but he did not have much confidence to the beings who gave him life. They had the final writing in their hands, they were flipping through it all the time, but they saw especially a part of it.
“To my grandmother”
His mother burst into tears and hugged Daniel. She missed her as much as he did. His father said he would look for the money to publish what his son did. The Mitchell family's financial problems were in place even before Daniel was born. His father thought that publishing his son's work would be an investment and he would get the money so that his son's voice, which is not heard much in his home, would finally do so in the world.
It took a long time to publish “The Golden Castle”, much longer than they expected. He wanted his book to be a success so that he would tell his parents that he didn't need a college degree to make so much money, because he was doing it. It would be risky to say it, but he had to try (he never did). His dream of being rescued so as not to go to college could not be, he had to decide what to do with his life.
Daniel couldn't understand why he decided to study Biology at the University. Moreover, he decided to study not because he wanted to work in that branch of science, because it was one of those few people who entered university not to have knowledge for a future work, he did it because he wanted to expand his knowledge, especially of the subject that he hated the most at his high school. He could have studied Chemistry, his favorite subject. Maybe it was because his father involuntarily instilled him the like for plants and animals. As a child, he used take Daniel to the countryside, because his father helped control pests of many plant species, and while he made enough money for his family, he decided to leave it to spend more time with them. Maybe it was because her substitute teacher made biology look like an art and only a few could dominate it. When he told his parents, he wanted to study that, they accepted, but they weren't very enthusiastic about the idea. The first doctor in the Mitchell family wasn't going to be Daniel, neither a lawyer. The early years in his faculty were a little difficult, he didn't like to understand too much how complex that science was. But he was a smart man and he'd know how to deal with it.
Daniel was going back to his old house at the age of twenty-four. For the past five years he had lived outside his city. When he was in his old room, he saw that on his desk was the first part of his fantasy saga that he had written several years ago. "The Golden Castle" was a great success both in his country and in other Spanish-speaking countries. Some critics said the plot was a bit predictable and whose characters were too pretentious, but despite this it was addictive to read and above all, they said: 'We can't wait until the second part'. It was to be a series of four books and the second would be called ''The Blood Trail''. Fans who loved the book created pages and posts in relation to the plot and fanarts drawings of the characters circulated everywhere. They said Daniel was an author they didn't want but needed. It was the inspiration of many, and his disappointment at receiving the message that he would study something different from what he was used to doing. He promised everyone that he could write the second part of his beloved saga while studying, but that didn't happen. He took the book and hugged it. He recalled what his life was like, to his family and friends that many of them never saw again. He wondered how many of them would have read his book and how many of them did not live long enough to await its sequel. He left home with his book and went back to his apartment in the capital.
He turned on his computer and next to the mouse left ''The Castle of Gold''. He did the same thing as that Friday night of April, he opened a document in Word and stood there waiting. The little ray of the document appeared and disappeared every second, waiting for Daniel's words to flow on his fingers and write a new story. He waited, one, two and three hours, but the words didn't come out of him. He closed the document and went to sleep. Tears were about to burst from his eyes, but he held them so long that his chest began to hurt. Why didn't he do what he really liked when he was still young? Why did he go to college when he didn't want to?
It wasn't all his fault. He had a curse he couldn't break. Daniel was born in a third world country, where blood, death and corruption are the order of the day. Thieves in their governments and talentless people were more famous than people who studied art and received no recognition. The gossip shows had more presenters than artists, and many of them were politicians and people who, by all stupidity, became trending and received praise for them. His country had no artists, and any rubbish that appeared was considered as a masterpiece by people of the lowest kind. They desperately needed an icon, but they didn’t see people who really struggled to make their dreams come true. Daniel reminded boys who studied at the conservatory he was in when he was a child, he also remembered those who were in his school musical band, and others that he didn't even know they were musicians and singers with a lot of potential. He really thought that they would study an artistic career, but they preferred careers that could offer money and opportunities, and they chose all of it over their happiness. Politicians made people see artists as starving people, lazy, unemployed, and if they wanted to go to some concert, a painting or photography exhibition they did not attend if it was not free. Daniel blame the presidents and the society that was enslaved by junk television, yellowing and a lack of culture.
When Daniel woke up the next morning, he made some coffee and turned on his radio. In his country there was a law that dictated that all broadcasters should play national music for at least an hour. Wind instruments were very typical in his country, and any song with them were very cheerful. Suddenly, that song that her grandmother loved so much sounded, that song that he could never dedicate to. Daniel cried again, not because of the song, but because he didn't remember his grandmother for so long. He also reminded his artist friends, those talented kids who would never be heard and never read, for choosing the careers their country needed.
Melodies of Time, the one in the radio was her grandmother’s song. It was like Anne wanted to give strength to Daniel through the melody. And she was right, that song had power. He felt that strange thing when he was twelve, several ideas began to form in his head until everything took shape. He put aside his cup of coffee, turned up the volume on his radio and turned on his computer again. Word's document was no longer entirely white like the night before, tens, hundreds, and thousands of words began to pass. Daniel didn't even know he was actually writing, but he didn't think about his story, but who he would dedicate it to. I would dedicate it to those who did not live long enough to read their second book, to those who abandoned their dreams because of social conflicts, for those who sounded like artists but were afraid to be artists. And he would dedicate it to his family, who taught him much about time and destiny, he would dedicate it to his school classmates and teachers who supported him and who did not support him as well, because from them he learned to believe in himself.
Daniel grabbed his cellphone and texted on Twitter:
His fans were excited and they couldn't believe it. Their author was back.
While Daniel took a break after three hours of writing, he wondered what would become of his classmates and his college professors. They knew Daniel was an excellent scientist, and they couldn't wait for him to write an article about a research or theory he had made or raised. Daniel smiled, brought the cup of coffee to his lips and said in his mind
"That can wait..."