It was a dark and stormy night, or at least that’s how it should have been; but even without the crackling thunder and silhouette shots, it was terrifying. My parents replaced the storm’s roar with shouting and the crash of our dinner table. I could hear glass shatter and, through my ajar bedroom door, I could see the pieces scattered across the kitchen linoleum and onto the living room carpet. Several shards were wet with a red darker than whatever they used in Inspector Spacetime. It qualified as crimson and something about this shade scared me.
My mother’s sobbing was interrupted by a vicious scream. I don’t know what she said, but my dad responded with a string of curses. The front door was opened and then slammed shut. A car was started, and then driven away. The engine’s rumble faded quickly, and was succeeded by silence. Seconds seemed to last for decades, as if the director had to stretch the script. Then, my father stumbled into focus, clutching his left hand. I watched him wrap it in a towel and then slowly make his way to the couch. He sat down and sunk into the cushions. I walked towards him and he turned to me.
Close-up of my father’s face. Rivers flowed. They followed the wrinkles and, although slowed by the stubble, eventually dripped off his chin. In a shaky voice, he said to me, “Your mother’s gone, my son… I’m sorry but she’s not coming back.” I could feel something inside me move—like a gear falling out of place. My mechanical heart stopped. It pinged painfully, like an engine cooling. I felt broken, but my eyes didn’t leak. My six-year-old self thought I should be like Bruce Wayne: on my knees in anguish. I let my legs give out and, as I fell, screamed NOOOOO! as loud as my little lungs would allow. I landed and looked up at my father. His wet eyes stared into mine—dry. He didn’t understand that I was sad because he couldn’t see it; there should have been more moisture. “Abed. She’s not coming back.” I didn’t know how to respond. I knew that I would never see my mother again and I felt it, only the pain was trapped inside. I couldn’t express my sadness. I felt like Kickpuncher.
My father tried to fix me like he fixed the TV. His bandaged hand looked like a boxing glove because the blood had soaked through, but the blow came from his right. It landed cold against my head, and then warmth arrived. Tears poured over my reddened skin. The salt stung when they reached the cut his wedding ring had made. I ran into my room and he sunk further into the cushions.
The more I watched TV and movies, the more I realized how inaccurate they were; good did not always triumph over evil. As a boy, I endured the bullying because I thought it would eventually end. I graduated high school only to realize I had simply moved to a bigger school. Through the grimy window of my father’s falafel truck, I saw bullies of all ages. Jeff Winger was one such bully, but I changed him. I transported us to a different world, one which abided by the laws of TV. Jeff was a jerk, yes, but he eventually came around. And I, a misfit at first, eventually found Community. Even my father underwent a miraculous transformation in which he paid for my film classes. Ah, but that was all the way back in season one. I wonder what I’m going to do for the movie.