Connor sat in the front yard to enjoy the summer rain, it always brought him peace. The cool breeze and little droplets of the rain always made him wonder why summer rains were different. He enjoyed spending his time alone; he was always close to his mother and his little sister Amelia. Connor was often told that he was mature for his age after all he was just 12. He was an excellent student and his mother always said, “the real man of this house”. A proud feeling always came in him when his mother said that. But a little part of him always hated that phrase, it felt like a burden on his soul. He wanted to be carefree like the rest of the boys in his age but could not because he was always worried about his family.
Connor always thought why their only responsibilities for men is why cannot women have responsibilities too. He asked his mother that once after she had an argument with his father. She told him both genders have responsibilities, but society has placed certain expectations on both genders, which always lead to injustice. He wanted to break the gender roles but was often made fun by the rest of the boys. They made fun of his sensitivity and quietness, they told him to stop being a sissy and act like a real man. Some girls giggled at his appearance to. The people that knew Connor background understood his personality and loved him just the way he is. Every teacher and adult adored his generosity and courtesy.
The rain stopped and decided to go inside to make himself lunch. He was famished, the thoughts running through his head made him hungry. One thing he hated about the summer rain was the humidity after. When he was in the kitchen, he looked outside towards the backyard and noticed Amelia was in the treehouse. Amelia was lost in her own fantasy word and thought everything was perfect. She often played in the treehouse since she was little, she did not realize the fights between their parents. Connor made sure she was busy and often caused a distraction. He did not want to expose her to the real family problems; he wanted to keep her safe.
He made a turkey sandwich; he took out the turkey slices from the refrigerator while he was making the sandwich, he heard his parents arguing again this was the fifth time for today. He hated his father, he hated that he always blamed his mother for everything. She worked all day and came back home to take care of everyone and hear her husband taunts of how bad of woman she is. His dad sat in front of the TV all day drank beer and did nothing but complain. Connor’s father was kicked out of his job and now had nothing to do. His father fought with both his mother and him. He taunted Connor by calling him useless, unmanly, and told him to get a job. He told him that women are inferior, and men are superior. Connor always said under his breath “Then act like a real man and get a damn job. But you are just wasting your life by shouting at the TV and not doing shit. Yet, your woman is sacrificing everything just to hold up this family. She is the man and you are the woman.” But he never said that out loud he knew it would be bad for his mother, Amelia, and him. He could not handle giving more pain to his mother.
He was annoyed by the daily fights and wanted to kick his father out of the house. His mother told him it was none of his business and not to get involved, he scuffed by that thought. As a kid he hid in the treehouse every time his parents fought, he stopped going to the treehouse because it became Amelia safe space. She needed the treehouse more than him he was used to his parent’s quarrels, but Amelia wasn’t Connor wanted to keep it like that.
He wanted to take a break and feel vulnerable and not act like an adult. He wanted to escape from his reality just like he did as a kid. The treehouse looked the same as it did when he was a kid. The brown wooden wall with a small window which you can peak your head out. The stairs were getting rusty because of the rain. He took his sandwich and went up to the treehouse he did not want to save anybody today. He passed by Amelia but did not want to disturb her he sat on the corner where there was a little bench. There was a toy chest filled with Amelia’s toys. Connors toys were there last time, but he threw them out and gave the space to Amelia. He sat down on the floor eating his turkey sandwich.
Amelia was busying playing with her dolls she did not notice Connor in the treehouse. She had a woman doll and another doll as a man.
“You should be home more often and stop acting like you own the house.”
“You should stop drinking and be home all day and look for an actual job. The man doll than slapped the woman doll. The woman doll was on the floor and the man doll was on top Amelia’s voice became loud.
“You don’t tell me what to do, ungrateful woman. I am the man I can do whatever the hell I want.”
Connor shouted “Amelia! What are you doing?” She was startled and her lips trembled
“Nothing I was playing, don’t yell at me. These are my dolls and I am playing Mommy and Daddy. Mommy and Daddy fight like this Connor.” He had a sad look in his eyes felt bad for yelling at her. He hugged Amelia.
“I’m sorry Amelia but what you did was not good. You must be nice to other, yes mommy and daddy fight but I do not want you to do the same. It’s not okay.”
“I know Connor I don’t like it when they fight that’s why I come inside the treehouse to get away.” Connor held on Amelia tightly. “I used to do the same, I gave you this treehouse to protect you from their fights, but you still see it.” Amelia nodded her head “Would everything be okay, Connor?” He smiled and gave her a kiss on the forehead
“One day it will, and we won’t repeat the same mistakes as Mommy and Daddy are doing with us.” Amelia smiled
“Yes, when I have my own family, I will not fight with them. We will be one big happy family.” Amelia arms were spread out. He had tears in his eyes and gave Amelia a hug.