*There are no images.  This is just Sergio’s recollection of the events that have led him to today&*

I was sound asleep, probably dreaming about some girl I saw on the beach the other day.  I don’t quite remember. The only thing that I can remember with certainty is the knocking at my door at 3:30 in the morning.  It jolted me out of bed. It just kept up. I stormed to the front door of my San Myshuno apartment and ripped open the door, the anger must have been etched on my face.  There was a cop standing there.

“Yes?” I said.

“Mr. Sergio Alvarez?” the cop said.  

“Am I under arrest?” I asked him half-joking, half wondering why he’d be knocking at my door so early in the morning.

“I’m Officer Tim Humphries of the San Myshuno Police Department.  Are you the son of Hector Alvarez and Maria Moreno?”

I didn’t want to play 20 questions, but his mention of my parents by name sent a shiver down my spine.  My anger began to fade as I could feel cold water begin coursing through my veins. As I stood there with the door in one hand, the other propping me up via the door frame, I took a deep breath.  “Yes, they are my parents.”

I waved the cop in as he stood there almost like he didn’t want to tell me what he’d come to say.  He sat down on the couch and declined my offer of something to drink. He put his policeman’s hat on his lap and began to tell me the news no one ever wants to hear.  My parents had died in a fire. He was being so polite and kind and trying to say things just so, but I couldn’t get past the news. There I was, 19 years old and an orphan.

The next morning I went to identify the bodies.  I don’t know why they make us do this, but I guess they have to.  It wasn’t something I can describe to anyone without making them sick.  They were barely recognizable. I broke down right there in the morgue. Two assistants had to rush over to help me up after I collapsed on the floor in grief.  The two people I loved most in the world, and the only people who would ever love me for me, were now… gone.

They came from Spain and moved to San Myshuno before I was born.  They wanted me to have the kind of life they never had. Papa was a cook and mama was a maid.  They worked day and night to give me everything I needed and lot of what I wanted. They never complained about their hard work, though.  When I would ask them why they couldn’t be home more, they just told me that they were making sure I had a better life. I didn’t understand it then.  How could I, I was only a kid. Now, as I am getting older, it’s all kind of becoming clear to me.

I was good with money and sports.  Mama always said I was either going to be a rich banker or a famous athlete.  I always asked why I couldn’t be both. I managed to get into college on a soccer scholarship and, let me tell you, I’ve never seen my parents so proud.  I can still remember that day when I read them the letter. My father cried and my mother just couldn’t stop beaming. It is the day I remember and cherish the most because I had done them proud.  I had helped them realize all their hard work and sacrifice was worth it. I was gonna be someone.

They died in my sophomore year at university.  I poured myself into my studies probably trying to forget those images of that day.  I graduated with a degree in business administration and now I live in Brindleton Bay.  That was my dream. To move to Brindleton Bay, to bring my parents up from San Myshuno and let them live in luxury for the rest of their lives.  But, that’s not possible now. Now, I am alone. Now, I have no one to love me and tell me everything’s going to be alright. There’s nothing but me and my shadow.

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