Escrita por: viisaw
The opinion of the world was never truly important to Eren, who liked to enjoy the life as his instincts indicated to him. From a very young age he liked to rebel and go against to warnings and advices of his mother, however, his adventures began to lose fun when he began to pay attention to the conversations of the other kids. It was at four years old that things started to get weird. In kindergarten, Eren heard the petized mention several times a day the word colour and its derivatives, but he couldn't understand for sure what they referred to. For him, it was like speaking korean to a german.
When he started the first key stage, he was the subject of criticism and comments from his colleagues. Eren, at school, was crying on the lap of his teacher, and when the situation got worse, his parents saw themselves obligated to attend a school meeting. Understanding the initial financial situation of the family, a fundraiser was organized by the school to help Eren to attend therapeutic consultations, which ended up not working.
In the second key stage, his mother took every precaution to enroll him in a school where he couldn't meet any student from his old school. The plan didn't go as expected; it was by law mandatory, during those four years, for schools to give art lessons, which involved the use of colours. Once again, Eren was victim of psychological assaults that later evolved into physical ones, causing the twelve-year-old boy to withdraw and close himself to the world that had become so cruel in his eyes.
However, in the third key stage, Eren's father asked to the Department of Education for help in trying to prevent such situations from happening to his son again. Besides the man receiving a guarantee of word, Eren was introduced to a school psychologist who would be with him twice a week in order to help him fight against something that even Eren himself didn't know what it was.
It was then that a light appeared at the end of the tunnel.
“Have you thought about the possibility of your son being colour blind?” The psychologist asked to Eren's parents, who had gone to the school to discuss the problem of their son. “What I have understood from you is that you have always taught the colours to Eren, but he doesn't decorate them. However, in his words, you are asking a blind man for hours.”
"What does Eren tell you for sure, professor Hanji?" Questioned Grisha, Eren's father, curious about the conversations of the son with the woman.
"He tells me that when you start the exercises of colour identification the things become very confusing because, for him, the colors seem to be the same." She explained, straightening the glasses on her nose, giving her a more ethical and professional look. "So he can't say for sure which color is which. As I've explained before, we've done the same exercises that you do with him in your respective homes, but we've also talked about a lot of other things from his daily routine. Is something going on that Eren's omitting me by any chance?"
“Professor Hanji, my ex-husband is here and he won't let me lie. Ever since my son started to suffer physical assaults, he's become someone else. Before, whenever I came home, he welcomed me with kisses and hugs, but today he doesn't even ask me how my job went, and that also happens to Grisha. Eren is no longer the same.”
“That's true. He also stopped wanting to do the color identification exercises and stopped telling us what's going on at school. I don't know if my son is no longer bullied or if he's hiding it, and as much as I can't figure it out, I'm still a father who loves and cares about his son.”
“Oh, I don't say otherwise, Mr. Grisha. I also have my problems with my children and I still love them anyway. The point here is that we need to know what Eren has so we can put an end to all the problems that surround him. Color blindness is my guess, as it is one of the main problems involving the human eye and colors. I advise you to make an appointment to examine Eren.”
“We can't afford an eye appointment, Professor Hanji, it's too expensive...”
“I'm sorry, Carla, but there's no way to help you either. This precinct works because the government helps with the expenses spent here, but it doesn't even matter if the facilities are minimally acceptable for students to study. I advise you to contact an ophthalmologist to find out about the prices and go collecting money until then."
Since they would have to collect money for an appointment, both of Eren's parents searched for the best specialist in town. However, before they made that decision together, they decided to meet with their son so that they could discuss the issue and what would happen from then on; they would also take advantage of the conversation to try to establish ties with him and understand what was going on.
So later that same day, to Eren's surprise, the two met next to each other in a simple coffee shop near his school. His parents were divorced as long since he understood himself as person, and although they maintained a normal relationship it was rare to see them together in the same place. It was quite a surprise.
“You're probably wondering why the three of us are here together, aren't you?" Started Carla. Her voice was calm and soft, and it made Eren more relaxed. “You must have figured out that the relationship you have with me and your father is a little strange, and Eren, we care about you, so there's no need to hide the things that scare you.”
“I don't hide it. You probably don't see the same as me, so that's why you're having this conversation.”
"And what do you see, sweetheart?"
Eren didn't want to answer his mother's question, so he kept his mouth shut for long seconds.
He knew that the colors he saw were not the same as those seen by the other children, or that the colors that the other children saw were not the same as those seen by himself. That was a problem, for him and for everyone around himself, who considered that an atrocity.
If that wasn't enough, his parents said he was strange and different, when in fact they were the ones who were. For more than seven years, since his color problem began, they have constantly insisted on his correct learning, forgetting the most important thing: Eren was a child who needed love and attention, and not to be forced to see something that, for himself, was impossible to see.
And that thought gradually robbed him the admiration and fascination that he had for his parents.
The seconds were passing slowly; were enough for an employee of the establishment to deliver to them the request made initially at the counter. These short seconds of distraction served to give Eren courage and open his hearts to his parents.
“I don't remember when it all started, but every time I got home from school you'd slaughter me with this color-learning thing. You both did that." He sighed, directing his gaze to zhis parents. “At school things weren't very different, and when they started hitting me because of it the only steps you took was to talk with the teachers and with the Department of Education to try to prevent this from happening again.”
His parents listened attentively to every word spoken by him, feeling a pand of guilt and repentance at each new confession of their son. They were bound to a situation so shameful that they didn't even give for the suffering of the child. Instead of putting their son above all else, they had actually put his problem and people's reaction, and finally they realized that they had made a tremendous mistake.
“The wounds they make me at school don't go away when I get home. I have scars that I hoped would be healed with the love and attention of my parents, but which were only healed with the concern that I didn't know the colors. That's what I feel and what I see."
“I'm sorry we let things get to this point, my love.” His mother lamented, casting him a look of sorrow; a look that showed guilt and repentance. “Our goal was by far to make you suffer from everything that's going on. We were so obsessed with finding a solution for you that we didn't even realize we were making you suffer. Forgive us, son.”
Eren nodded, directing his gaze to his father's when he began to speak.
“Things like this are very, very complex, Eren, and when we try to look for the best way to solve them we don't realize that maybe we're doing it in the wrong way. We want to put you out of your suffering at school, we want to find out what you have so we can help you, so I ask you to understand that our actions weren't mind taken to affect you. We're sorry about everything, son.”
“It's all right, dad. I'm a little more relaxed and happy to know that you came after me so we could resolve this situation.”
“Speaking of which...” Remembered Grisha, pulling some folded papers out of his pants pocket, unfolding them and handing them over to Eren. “Today we went to talk with Professor Hanji and she gave us a guess.”
“What guess?" Questioned Eren, curious.
“She thinks you can be colour blind." It was his mother who answered.
When he was bullied, Eren heard his colleagues call him colour blind. He knew that the word didn't mean well to associate it with him while they beat him, then, one day, when he came home completely bruised, his concern was more focused on the meaning of the word than on the wounds made in himself. When he saw its meaning, Eren felt sad, but he also felt sad for his colleagues.
They were immature enough to make fun of a person's anomaly.
That same day he decided to search about colour blindness, and Eren ruled out that his problem was that. After all, he knew the colour of a sheet of paper and of an apple, or even the wine his father drank at dinner. So when his mother told him that, Eren found it strange.
“I don't think that's it...”
“Eren, we were looking for a professional while we were waiting you to get out of school. Look.” Told him his father, pointing out the papers with his head. “Doctor Levi is from here in the city, and was also highly recommended by people on the Internet. We will contact him to inform us about the prices and also so that we can start collecting money for a consultation. Since we're not professionals, it's best to talk to one, don't you think?"
“Yes, you're right... But an appointment with an ophthalmologist is very expensive! Where the hell do you think you're going to take money to pay it?"
“Look at the tone, Eren.” Alerted his mother, the serious tone and the expression closing a little to the exaltation of the son. “You have nothing to worry about. Your father and I are going to put money aside just for that appointment. It's going to be a while before it comes, but we can assure you that it will come."
Eren was apprehensive; an appointment like that was too expensive, and however much money his parents put aside it would take years before they could finally afford it. As angry and proud as he was, he didn't feel comfortable letting his parents skin themselves from working so hard to get thirty minutes with an ophthalmologist. It was too much for him to bear.
Thinking fast and instinctively, Eren managed to come to a conclusion that would make things easier for everyone.
“Maybe you've already thought about this possibility and even discarded it, but I will be sixteen years old next year. I'll be of the minimum age to be able to work part-time, and you may not like the idea, but just so you know, I don't feel good about knowing that you guys are cutting some things just so you can raise more money for the damn appointment. Let me work." Asked. “Even if it's in a coffee shop, as a housekeeper or selling goodies on the street, but let me work. This appointment is part of me, and somehow I want to contribute to it happening."
Grisha and Carla now looked at their son apprehensively. Eren had an expression of almost supplication; the eyebrows raised, approximated by the contraction of the pyramidal muscle of the nose, thus forming wrinkles on the forehead. The lips were compressed against each other, and knowing the son they had they knew that no negative answer they could give would cause Eren to give up the idea of working.
Then, in a conversation made through an exchange of looks, they agreed with their son's insistence.
“Okay, if that's what you want, we're not going to stop you. However, if we see that the job is not suitable for you to be able to work, well you can forget it.” His mother warned, and Eren, upon hearing the woman's words, opened a smile almost capable of tearing his face off.
“Thank you, mom! Dad!”
The younger Yeager got up from his chair and went to the other side of the table, where his parents were sitting, hugging them behind them back with all the strength he had inside him. He also put a kiss on each other's cheeks and lifted his father's glasses, entangled them in the man's long hair. It was a gesture he used to make from a young age that demonstrated his approach and his love for his father.
On the same day, when the afternoon showed signs of finishing, Carla contacted the professional to be able to inform herself of the values of the appointment. As expected, the prices were not at all affordable and the woman had an initial shock, but soon recovered and ended the call.
In the next two years Eren worked in three different places: for the first six months he worked as a bartender at a bakery near his home, and thanks to his friendliness and good communication with customers he got from these fat tips. However, the business manager was unable to cope with the number of employees working on the place and Eren turned out to be one of those chosen to be fired; in the next six months Eren took advantage of the good temperature of the year to walk dogs and treat other animals domestically. The money he received couldn't be compared to that of his previous job, but he thanked for the payments people made to him; in the other six months he chose to give private lessons to younger people, keeping this job (if he could call it) so far.
For you, this work was the least exhausting and the most favorable, besides helping you to create bonds with other families, who eventually discovered your condition and increased the value of your salary. And more! Having started teaching privately Eren can make his first friend.
“It's me, Mikasa, Eren!” He greeted his friend on the intercom at her home, warning her of his arrival. Moments later, the large entrance gate was opened.
The house was one of the only things that intrigued Eren about the girl. He had never found himself in the midst of lust and wealth, so it was strange to be in a place like that. It was like a dream to live in a place like that, but Eren was realistic enough to know that no longer he worked, he'd never have the money to pay for a house like that. And given his poverty, it was kind of weird being in the middle of his friend's fortune.
Despite his condition, Mikasa seemed to not care about his social class. For half a year she could easily understand that a person's character was worth much more than his financial condition. Eren was someone with great determination and conviction, and although he was a little cocky the young woman could see that his heart was made of a very valuable material.
Mikasa saw Eren as a younger brother, although the age difference between them was only a few days.
When he finally entered the house, Eren waited for his friend's reception. As much as he'd been working in that space for months, it was still hard to feel comfortable with the girl's absence.
“I'm here.” Mikasa said, crossing the hallway that connected the living room and kitchen while carrying a bowl in her hands. “Are you served?”
“What the hell is that?”
“It's cereal flakes with soy milk and fruits. I'm tired of always taking the typical coffee with milk and toast, I decided to invent something new with what was in the cupboards.”
“And by any chance that's good?”
“It's wonderful! Do you want to try it?”
As Eren nodded, Mikasa filled the spoon with the mixture she had created and took it to his mouth. This one, after chewing for a few seconds, made a grimace when feeling the taste. It was too simple and tasteless.
“That's awful, you didn't even put sugar in it!”
“You're the one who's used to eating candy and other sugar-laden things for breakfast. You need to start eating well if you want to keep your body healthy.”
“I know that, you don't have to tell me. Besides, I play sports too, don't forget.”
“Sport isn't enough, Eren. Now, come on.”
The two teenagers headed towards the living room table. The fabric of the chairs placed there was so unusual in Eren's eyes that whenever he sat there he was apprehensive about committing some damage, and the huge windows that let natural light invade the interior of the house favored to give a more magnificent air to the environment. As simple as it was, that was his favorite detail of the whole house.
As he always did, the boy, at first, sat shyly and carefully in one of the chairs arranged around the round table, while Mikasa sat with one foot placed on top of his own seat, getting his knee bent upwards. She continued to eat quietly and with a relaxed expression, watching her friend carefully place the study materials on the table.
“Next week I'm going to have a philosophy test.” Eren began when he opened his pencil holder and took the writing materials out of there, ready to begin the moment of study. “Since our teacher is the same, I believe you also have a test in the same week.”
“No, mine's the week after yours.” Mikasa replied, still in the same position. “What are you having trouble with?”
“I'm the one who should be asking that, not you. Your brother pays me to help you overcome your difficulties, not me. If he finds out...”
“My brother can be anything but dumb, Eren. At the end of each period he receives my evaluations, and you can see that my grades are excellent and there is no need for me to be taking private lessons.”
“Then why does he keep hiring me? Why did he ask my parents to give you private lessons when you don't need them?”
“So far don't worry about it.” She answered him, landing the now empty bowl on the table. “How's the money for the appointment?”
“It's almost there." Sighed. "If at the end of this month your brother pays me, I'll be able to go to an appointment next month.”
“That's good.” Mikasa ended the conversation.
For the rest of the morning the two friends focused on preparing for the test they would soon have. Both helped each other when they struggled in some part of the matter — in this case, it was Mikasa who ended up helping Eren most of the time, and this saved him study time, since in this way she could catch up on the knowledge of the matter.
Around mid-morning the youngest of the Ackermans was forced to force her friend to eat, even though he denied and insisted that he was not hungry. Despite the short time of friendship, Mikasa knew Eren well enough to know that he didn't eat breakfast so as not to give expenses to his mother, and in her house he was ashamed to eat, since when he put something in his mouth he wanted to want to repeat the meal and ended up being shy.
And that wasn't a problem for the girl, given that money and food weren't missing in her house.
Of course, the two were not one hundred percent focused on the studies. Sometimes they both diverted attention from the matter and talked about completely random subjects, but of one in particular; Eren had a virtual friend a few years ago, the same age as him and Mikasa, and now that he had bonded with his friend he decided to introduce her to the boy, through a video call. Since the day of the presentation, the three had become inseparable.
“He's in a enigmas-solving now. Honestly, I thought that were challenges for geeks, but from the moment he introduced me to one I saw that, in fact, are challenges for people as smart as him. I can't even get past the first round!”
“Don't forget he has a brain, Eren.”
“Are you calling me dumb?!”
“No, I'm saying you don't have any brains and if you do, it doesn't seem like it, because you act a lot for emotion and instincts.”
The healthy and unserious discussion of the two might have been pursued if Mikasa's phone hadn't sounded to indicate a message. When she unlocked the device, she saw that it was her brother communicating a message to her through audio.
[voice message]: "I'm out of home. As I was outside I took advantage and went through the garage to get the car to go to work. Don't be late for school, have lunch and say hello to Eren for me. Tell him i'll pay him his salary next week."
“We're still in the middle of the month, he doesn't have to worry about that...”
“My brother, next month, is going on vacation, but he still doesn't know when, and how he's going to get the vacation allowance, he'd rather pay you off right now..”
It was almost eleven o'clock, and at that time the two teenagers finished their moment of study, taking advantage of the next hour to perform household chores and rest their minds. Despite the fortune of the Ackermans and the great house, the two brothers saw no need to hire employees to perform simple work; cooking, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house and other functions were tasks that, organized and distributed by the two, were perfectly well performed.
So as soon as Mikasa finished washing the little dishes he soiled, the couple of friends went outside the house to extend the finished laundry. It was a pleasant time — a warm, relaxing sun, but despite this, it was a slightly strong breeze, making it difficult for both of them to perform their tasks.
“Now that I remember... You never talked to me about what your brother works with.”
Upon hearing his friend's speech, Mikasa braked. It was easy to answer him, however the right answer carried a great meaning that could not be revealed at the time. Therefore, after some time stopped thinking of a short, explicit and diverted answer from the true meaning, she replied:
“He works in a clinic. Patients tend to like his care very much.”
"Yes, if he's as sincere and direct as you are, the patients should love him."
The next second Eren felt a great burning in the back of his head. Mikasa had hit him in there with a force he didn't know the girl possessed.
“Mikasa, that hurt! Don't think just because you're a woman you're getting beat up!"
This was the relationship of the two: inseparable friends, almost like brothers, who help themselves in school, in the execution of household chores, who discuss and with games only their own. The friendship was only just over six months old, and despite this Eren and Mikasa believed that this was only the beginning of a new stage in their lives.
The rest of the week had passed in an instant and Eren's account already counted on the salary that Mikasa's brother had given him. At the time, the boy's mother was on the phone with the ophthalmologist contacted two years ago so they could finally make an eye appointment.
Of course, in addition to Eren's happiness, Carla and Grisha were completely accomplished by finally getting money to pay for an appointment like that. It was like completing a task successfully, and their joy was so much that they didn't fit their bodies.
"I can't believe this is happening, Armin! We finally have the money for the damn appointment!”
“That's wonderful, Eren, I'm really happy for you! But have you thought about what's going to happen if the doctor doesn't see anything wrong with you?"
“Oh, now that you're talking... I didn't think about it.”
“I'm not saying don't worry about it, because if he doesn't see anything wrong with your vision, that's great! However, all the efforts you and your family have made will have been in vain...”
“It's true, and it's also-”
“Eren, come here, son!” His mother interrupted him, and Eren, knowing what it was about, was completely dashing and anxious.
“Armin, I'll be right back!”
Eren didn't even wait for his friend to answer and immediately blocked his phone screen, where the video call he used to make occurred when he got home from school. He left his room and hurriedly toward the living room, where his mother was. She was sitting at the table, pointing out some things on a piece of paper in front of her.
“Your appointment was scheduled for tomorrow morning. Your father works, so only I can go with you.”
Tomorrow morning was earlier than Eren thought.
It was amazing to think that two years had turned to a "tomorrow morning" after so much hard work and conviction.
Finally, after so long wondering if all that dedication and determination would be worth it, Eren was able to feel great relief within himself. All those years when he was bullied, where he cried before he went to sleep; he would finally have an answer and a solution, so he hoped.
At that moment, a great euphoria took hold of his body, and Eren knew he was getting closer and closer to an answer that could completely change his life.
He just didn't know if it was for good or bad.