My story is about a man named Nathan Drake from the video game series Uncharted. Although he does have a bit of a backstory that is briefly mentioned in the 3rd game, I took the liberty to make my own and change some details. I hope you enjoy it.
When we grow up, we all feel the desire to achieve greatness. Children always try to reach for the stars. For them anything is possible, and the possibilities are endless. As we grow older, distractions come, dreams fade, and we become complacent with ourselves. We settle for “okay.” Our aspirations become cracked and rusted, and soon all we focus on is just staying above water in our lives. But for a select few, they manage to reach beyond the stars. They stay thirsty for more; they realize that “okay” is not enough, and that there is always one more thing to discover. One such person is a man named Nathan Drake.
Nathan Drake was not always Nathan Drake. His upbringing was about to mold him into someone completely different. In the beginning, we had a boy named John Leeman, and he came from the great plains of Sidney, Nebraska. His father corn, when he chose to grew it. Most of the time he felt that his time was more valuable at the local bars speaking of how his father was the great Leeman farmer of Nebraska. A man who was just trying to hold on to the past.
John’s mother did the best that she could. She was a school teacher at first; the students loved her 6th grade math and science classes. At the end of the day she had every reason not to keep trying, but she kept day for the hope that the next day would be better than the last. But as John’s father focused more on the drink and less on the fields, she slowly faded away from the classroom to the factory yards, trying to make ends meet.
John always had an obsessive thirst for things undiscovered. In first grade his mother had to come into the principal’s office because John kept digging holes in the playground because he thought there was lost Nazi gold buried somewhere. He had a notebook with him at all times. In it was a list of hiking supplies; a number of languages he needed to learn; and the countries where he thought he could find lost societies, including one underwater.
The summers were the worst. Other than the schools, the closest libraries were 10 miles away. His mom did her best to take him there, but with her work, and dad pretty much out of the picture, he was left alone practicing his skills in the barn: he knew if he wanted to achieve greatness, he would have to fight one or two guys along the way. His mother always encouraged dancing in his life, and I guess some of it stuck with him. He loved swinging on the rafters in the barn and trying to see how far he can jump off the roof into the hay bales.
Mom was screaming at dad, and he was upstairs in his room with his stories of Marco Polo and Treasure Island. He was listening to his walkman that his mom bought for him for his birthday. Downstairs mom was pleading with dad; she still wanted to make it work, but dad was sick of her words. They were screaming, and dad was throwing bottles and books and anything else he could get his hands on. She was so scared; she didn’t know if she had any other choice. The knife was right on the kitchen table, and all she could think about was John and what an incredible young man he could become. She knew that dad was long gone, long before this fight.
As she lunged at him, the knife sliced his heart inside, but he still had enough time to throw her against the counter, breaking her neck. John still had no idea.
As the courts push him aside, he began his life as the explorer. He knew he needed a new name, a new start. He first needed a new name. At the foster home, there was a book entitled The Great Adventures of the English Navy. In it he found the name Francis Drake, and he read about his exploits on the ocean seas. Drake. That was it. The great explorer he wanted to become was asking him to fulfill his dreams. He packed up everything he had, and stole every penny from his foster parents. He left a note with the words “I’m sorry, but I need more.” First stop: Bogota….