"Daddy, daddy, I want to go."
"Really? Would you really enjoy that place?"
"Most definitely. Let's go at the weekend."
"We wanted to go fishing in the morning, cut wood, fix the roof and sit by the fire in the afternoon and carve."
"Just once, daddy..."
I agreed. I had never been to a theme park. This place is of no interest to us, son., my father always said. Plenty of things to do around here.
On Friday, I asked my daughter all kinds of stupid questions. I had no idea. She had it all figured out. Shall we take lunch with us? NO. Shall I wear fancy clothes? YES. How much money do we need? SOME. Do they open very early? NO. Are our dogs allowed to go too? DEFINITELY NO.
The parking lot was already crowded at 9 a.m. We bought our tickets and handful of sugar candies. Surprisingly, I was enjoying the place. The rides, the colors, the noise, the crowds.
STORY - COLOR - ZOO, read the banner over the door of a large boxy worn-out building. The idea was terrific. Intertwined corridors with hundreds of doors, hundreds of rooms. Inside - little animated stories.
And then - a door swung open to reveal pink giraffes and red elephants. A distant memory. I have been here. I saw my father as he held the hands of my brothers. I saw my mother. He is special; he has a map in his head. Just follow him, and we will wait outside.
"What's going on, daddy?"
"I have been to this place. I have won the grand prize."
"Grand price? So that little boy in the old photo at the entrance was you?"
"I guess, I don't remember."
"They don't do the grand price anymore."
"No. You don't remember?"
"I was two."
"The newspaper said that after the family of the MIRACLE BOY won the grand prize, a lady of that family and his two brothers were taken hostage, never to be found... "
A faded memory of me sitting on a pile of maps and clues, playing with a red elephant... and my father sobbing.
You most definitely ARE NOT SPECIAL...