My real name is Markus Marshall. You heard it right. I am. But that’s not what they knew. My parents had named me Ryan. As I grew I became aware of my popularity in my school. I was known as a joker. A joker whose jokes were as deadly as the man I become. I was never comfortable with rejection. Everyone called me Mark, for short. And I will tell you why.
Once in school, one of my usual routines was to cheer up students after a boring class of studies. But that’s what everyone saw on the outside. No one knew in my heart, I was burning. My only regret was I do not like what I have become.
Alas, it’s the same with everyone. Most, if not all, don’t like who they are. It’s a shame. Why it happens so to humans?
Because we all live different lives.
But it wasn’t like that for me. I aimed for perfection. I couldn’t take no for an answer. There was no room for failure. Until I was faced with the real Markus. He was a slob, and always bullied me on every next opportunity.
As a child, he’d crack jokes at my expense and called me names. I never recovered from the pain, the ridicule and the scorn. As the days passed and I fell deep into the abyss of my depression, I became desperate too, to avenge my dignity and pride. I was simply waiting for the absolute right moment to strike back.
Everyone assumed Markus was sweet. But I knew who he really was. He would pretend to be nice to me when others were around, but when the show stopped he would turn the monster on me.
It took careful planning to do away with the one who had left me scarred forever.
Markus always attended the annual fair. Ah, the fair! The one place I enjoyed the most. Fun and laughter- all for me. Ryan will be there… useless pathetic Ryan. I don’t mean to bully him, but I just cannot help being bad. He may have thought about this as well.
There goes Markus into the haunted house. No one will know that I, Ryan, am capable of such an act. I entered the house and followed him everywhere he went. I was about to strike Markus, he would never know what hit him. No one would ever know but it dawned on me as I saw my reflection in the mirror that I would become Markus I put the weapon down and tapped Markus. He turned around and gasped as he saw the weapon in my hand. “D…donnn’t,” he stammered. The fear in his eyes snapped something inside of me.
I smiled and said, “You know I was about to finish you but I realised that it was not who I was. For years you have bullied me. Well, I want it to end today. Here is the weapon with me. I will not hurt you.”
Markus was shocked. He burst into tears and apologized for hurting me. He said, “You see Ryan, I have hate within me. I need help.”
Markus promised to attend therapy. Today, he is my friend and in his own words he does not like what he was, but loves what he has become.”
Peace at last.
From that day onwards, I’m Markus. I call myself Markus Marshall for that one incident that not only changed him but also changed me forever.
Zarteina Antao, Ruchika Parmar, Shilpa Kaushik, Shreya Sharma, Dodong Ener, Janaki Nagraj, Nagamani Kuchimanchi, Charulata Panigrahi, Sangeeta Shah, Kajal Kapur, Rham Dhel
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