A lot of people would disapprove due to its subject content – it’s a story about the friendship between two teenage boys, which becomes something more with disastrous consequences. The reason I chose the film was because in its blurb it talks about the reactions of the people around them to the situation, and I have a weird geeky fascination with people’s reactions to things. I had no idea that God was going to reveal something to me in this random film.
One of the boys in the relationship is younger than the other. They’ve both never done this before with anyone else. However, a few weeks into the relationship, the younger boy gets rough – enough so for his partner to become alarmed and causes him to question where he learnt to be like that because it wasn’t from him. He immediately assumes that his younger partner has been cheating on him and lying about the fact that he has never slept with anyone else. The younger boy looks puzzlingly shocked by his partner’s reaction; it’s as if he believes that what he did was normal. It soon becomes apparent that the younger boy’s father has been molesting him and therefore what his dad has been doing to him has become normal to him and therefore I think that he honestly believed that he had not done anything wrong with re-enacting it on his partner.
I was in tears at this point, because as a child – up to a certain point; I too believed that what my dad was doing was normal. It was the only time he used to show me any attention and therefore I used to misconstrue this attention for love. It took me a few years and some subtle questioning of peers to realise that not all dads paid this kind of attention to their little girls, and I think that the boy in this film had the same epiphany because he immediately goes home and sets a trap for his dad so that when he does creep into his room late at night he won’t be able to hurt him anymore. I wish I’d been that clever! I took the option of not sleeping and staying up all night with the light on so that I could keep watch and be ready for when he came.
What really compelled me the most with this story, was the fact that this boy’s view of relationships was warped by what his dad had done to him. You could tell by his face that he was genuinely shocked by his partner’s reaction because I don’t think he realised what he’d done was wrong because his father had done it to him. Things which happen in childhood can completely warp not only our perceptions but also our adult relationships. At first, when my dad left I seemed to understand that what had happened to me was wrong; however I began to overthink it all and in my head it suddenly made sense to me the awful lie that what he’d done had been in love; he didn’t know how to show it any other way, and soon as I got older and began to be attracted to boys, to me the only way to show a boy that I liked him was to let him have my body. The last time that my dad came into my room when I was almost eleven years old I managed to fight him off and then a couple of days later after going back to the Middle East (he worked out there for three months at a time) he called my mum to say he wasn’t coming back. I blamed the fallout afterwards upon myself; my mum’s hurt, my sister’s pain and confusion, my dad leaving us penniless and us almost losing our home; all I could think in my head was that if I hadn’t rejected him, he would’ve stayed and all of that aftermath would have been avoided. Henceforth, this is how I viewed my adult relationships. I would constantly get hurt because of this naivety, however in my head it was my fault and so I’d just have to do it better with the next guy to really show him how much I loved him so that he would stay. My innocent mind didn’t understand that God had removed dad from our lives and saved us; regardless of the things that happened afterwards.
In the film, the boy ends up being murdered. However, in that pain and sorrow, his mother finally has the courage to pack up and leave her husband and start a new life of her own; he saved his mum. Saying no to my dad saved my family. Free from my father’s dominating presence, my mother was able to build a life for us and turned our house into a beautiful home. It took a long time to get that point (what do you expect in a house full of women!) but I shudder when I think about how life used to be when he was around and what could’ve happened if he hadn’t walked out.
I heard somewhere that a true hero is someone who takes their own pain and uses it to help others. As scary as it is knowing that people are reading about some of my innermost thoughts, I love the fact that good is finally coming out of this. I’m not claiming to be a hero by the way! I’m just a girl sitting in her room trying to make sense of her past and hoping to help a few people along the way.
Christina Noel is a creative writer from London. She used to be a coffee addict until her Epilepsy nipped that in the bud. Her yet uncontrolled condition is a fuel for her writing. When she’s not writing poetry, short stories and horror film scripts, you can find her anywhere where there is live music. Or you can find her working as a Secondary School Learning Assistant, preaching the good news of grammar to her adoring students.